Thursday, September 21, 2017

Ultimate Dot-to-Dot Extreme Puzzle Challenges: Part 1

Talking about crazy (last post), how about something totally different from me!  But...when you stop to think about it, you know it it totally up my alley, which is the crazy, fun part of it.

A couple years ago an English friend of mine from our Shutterchance photoblog told me about a dot-to-dot book she thought I'd enjoy.  BINGO.  Since then, I have purchased 3 different books, all with designs of +/- 1000 dots.  I'm such a glutton.

The last book I bought is the Ultimate Dot-to-Dot Extreme Puzzle Challenges, using colored sections of dot-to-dots...a new challenge in the dot-to-dot sphere for me.

As you can see from the cover, you're also able to color the drawings once done,
which I didn't do...but I would use thicker pens the next time.
[Google image]

And yes, between 28 February and 2 July of this year, I drew all 30 designs.
Today I will post the first 15 in the book, followed by the rest next week.

Each design is 10 x 14.5 inches (23 x 38 cm),
too large for my scanner, so please forgive the poor quality of my photos.

Only one color!

You can't say I didn't warn you!

No titles/explanations/descriptions were given to any of the designs.

However, you do get a cheat-sheet at the end of the book.
And now you know what I'll be posting next week....

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Gorinchem 2017: Crazy River Run

How's this for some crazy fun!

Astrid has been running 5K twice a week since forever along our citadel wall here in Gorinchem, NL, where we live.  We access the wall just a few meters outside our back door!  I am crazy proud of her, seeing how much good it does her every time.

When she found out a few months ago that there would be a Crazy River Run here in September, she made the decision to do it...and so started to train for it by running along the grassy knolls and river banks nearby.

This past Sunday, 10 September, was the day!

The start-up point for the race was at our outside water port on the Merwede River.
We got there in plenty of time to get the lay of the land (me for photos)
and a chance to just chill before starting (Astrid).

While I walked around, allowing Astrid to chill, I clicked away.
Sometimes you have to give each other a pep talk!

And with shoes like that, how can you NOT run!
How can you NOT be crazy!
(that's pretty-tame Astrid in the center)

The race really IS a river race...well, at least at the beginning and end.

But because I stayed put, I saw Astrid...only at the beginning and at the end.
When she crossed the blue carpet both times, the timing chip on her shoe was activated.

I had already walked down the beach to catch the beginning part of the race.
Astrid is at the back of this 5K line, easily recognized by the time she flies by.  HA!
(red shirt, light-gray baseball cap...and, yes, that's the wind you hear)

Lucky for me, newspaper photographers caught Astrid in the places I wasn't.
That's my crazy Lady of the Polder, having so much crazy fun.

This is the collage I showed on Facebook after the race.
She did it!

And then everyone got to chill out.

There were 83 who ran the 5K race:  38 men and 45 women.
Astrid came in at 00:35:30 minutes, a couple minutes longer than when by herself.
She couldn't have been happier.  Can you tell?!

Sometimes the crazy world in which we live is a GOOD kind of crazy!

Thursday, September 07, 2017

My Dutch Weathervanes Book

It's done!

It took me only a week to do it...380 images on 94 pages...a book that's been in the wings for a long time, as most of you already know.  I'm glad it's finally come to fruition.


(or you can also look at it full-screen in the video above, which I recommend)

[I apologize that the embed code from Shutterfly does NOT allow this book to be fully displayed correctly in the video.  Pages 34-35 should be a full-page spread, but because it's not, the rest of the book is off-kilter.  I'll be working with Shutterfly to get this fixed.  In the meantime, it at least gives you an idea.

If you click on the "view this photo book larger" link below the video, and then click "view" when it opens, you can see the book exactly as it should be, but it will be hard to read the text unless you enlarge your screen several times:  Ctrl + for Windows; Command + for Mac?]

And now you can also find it on my sidebar.

Friday, September 01, 2017

Watercolor Sunday and Saturday's Color: August 2017

Surely I've mentioned before that once we hit September on the calendar, I feel like we're running downhill into the new year!  Indeed.

But this post is for August, so here are my Watercolor Sundays on Facebook:

August 6 (photo manipulation):
"Promise me you'll always remember:  You're braver than you believe,
and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." 
(Christopher Robin to Pooh) --A.A. Milne

August 13 (photo manipulation):
"August is a gentle reminder for not doing a single thing from your new year resolution
for seven months and not doing it for the next five."  --Crestless Wave

"August rain:  the best of the summer gone, and the new fall not yet born.
The odd uneven time."  --Sylvia Plath

August 20 (photo manipulation):
"Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago."
--Warren Buffet

August 27 (photo manipulation):
"When summer gathers up her robes of glory,
And, like a dream, glides away."  --Sarah Helen Whitman

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

My Saturday's Color posts on Facebook for August:

(finished on 2 June 2017, posted on FB 5 August 2017)
Of all the designs I've ever colored, this was by far the most labor-intensive,
taking me 2 full weeks and 3 weekends.  I should have kept track of the hours.
Let's just say I felt I had sewn a quilt by the time I was done.  :)
(from my Mind Body Zen book)

(finished on 10 March 2013, posted on FB 12 August 2017)
This Viking Colouring Book design always makes me laugh,
not only because it's called a "pair of gripping beasts," but because of the "eyes" at the top.
Wouldn't you love this as a clock/watch face?  :)

(finished on 6 December 2015, posted on FB 19 August 2017)
From my Celtic Stained lass Coloring Book, everything black you see 
is part of the black-background page and not colored by me.
This is the book that uses translucent paper for its designs.

(finished on 24 July 2017, posted on FB 26 August 2017)
Trying out new color combinations from my Kaleido Color book,
on black-background paper.

Now join me as we slide down the hill towards the holidays and another new year!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

The Birthday Girl

It happens to be Astrid's 63rd birthday today.  Not that we're counting, of course, but at 9 years my junior, we laugh about how she's always catching up.  HA!

So, this is a SHOUT-OUT to my Partner in Crime, Dancing Queen, Lady of the Polder, best friend, wife...and love of my life.

 Surely you remember this from our Amersfoort trip a couple of weekends ago.
Yup.  She's the one and this is HER day.

Now, how about something fun!
When I saw this on Facebook a month ago, it had ASTRID written all over it.
One-eyed Stuart is actually her favorite Minion, but this one is close enough.
(I have since discovered the copter also comes as Stuart!)

So I ordered it without blinking an eye...and gave it to her early.

Do I know her or what!

We don't usually give gifts to each other...saving our money for eating out and traveling.
But this was an exception too good to refuse.
Every time it crashes, she repairs it and starts all over again.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Lady of the Polder!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

And now for a heads-up about what's on my plate these days.  I've started my Dutch Weathervanes book and am up to my ears in gathering them in from myriad files these last almost 8 years.  

Which is another way of saying I'm not processing travel images right now.  Just weathervanes.

So, wish me success as I try to figure it all out.....  I want to have the finished book waiting for me when we arrive in America for our annual October trip!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

A Day in Amersfoort, NL

Even though we don't do it as frequently as when I first arrived here almost 8 years ago (!), Astrid and I still love to make a day's visit to a new place here in the Netherlands.  Amersfoort is a city 60 km. north of where we live in Gorinchem.  It was NOT new for Astrid because it's only 27 km. from where she grew up in Hilversum.

Anyway.  Here's snapshot kind of day with impressions of a delightful city here in the Netherlands.

A fun Google map with my added red dots shows what the highlights were for us:
The Koppelpoort, Muurhuizen, Sint Joriskerk, Our Lady Tower, and Mondriaan's birthplace.

Because Our Lady Tower is the first landmark of the city we saw as we drove in,
and is also seen from almost everywhere we went, let's start there.
At 98 meters high, it's the third tallest Medieval tower in the Netherlands.
It's nickname is Lange Jan = Long John.

It also happens to house inside the exact mid-point spot of the Netherlands.
How fun is that!

Where we first started the day, however, was at the Koppelpoort, a Medieval gate from 1425.
I think this was what Astrid most wanted me to see that day.
The view from inside the city was mostly in the sun when we saw it...

...leaving the outside of the gate in the shadows.

Just a wee walk away, back inside the gate, we stopped in this neighborhood...

to visit the Flehite Museum, using our museum card.

We don't usually stop at the museums, as you know by now,
but we were so glad to see this one...because of the lone WWII bike up in the rafters.
Talk about a photo op!

This is what I wrote on Facebook: 
On 6 October 1944, during WWII, Hitler gave the order to his troops in the Netherlands, 
Denmark, and Italy to take as many bikes as possible from the locals to move around faster.  
He is thereby known as the biggest bike thief in history, explaining why this bike is in the rafters,
so it can't be stolen. 

From the museum we walked along the  street of Muurhuizen = Wall Houses.
These are the houses built from the bricks of the city wall that was demolished in the 15th century.
The houses have become the new "city wall."

Apart from the landmarks, there's so much to see.

As I always say, impressions, impressions, impressions.

Surely every little thing has its own story.
Don't you wish you knew?

You know how some things become "many faces of a thing" for me.
I can't help it.

Astrid gives scale to some of those things, of course.
Did you know that ice-age boulders are found all over the Netherlands (bottom-right)?
Amersfoort's nickname is Keistad = Boulder City.

One last stop of the day was a visit to Mondriaan's birthplace.
You see his colors all throughout the city.  
He's a famous Dutch painter who lived from 1872-1944,
living in Paris from 1919-1938, in London from 1938-1940, and in NYC from 1940-44.

By now it was time to eat our main meal of the day, near St. Joriskerk in city center.
Sadly, even though it was Sunday, the church was closed.

But it didn't matter because we were ready to eat!
And guess what Astrid got as an early birthday (24 August) present!
I'm not a fan of mussels but I sure have fun watching her eat them!

 And there you have it:  Amersfoort in a snapshot kind of day!