Monday 31 March 2008

Mysterious beads

'We found these extraordinary beads in Amsterdam’s flea market, and I can’t, by de life of me, determine what they are made from. They are not glass and not plastic, they look very much like bamboo coral, but again, they feel different, some how. They sure are gorgeous, thought.'
This is part of the description of our necklace 'Mysterious beads'.

Funny thing is, when it ended up on the frontpage yesterday we got several convo's about what they might be...
*the mysterious beads are seeds , in this case Paxiubao seeds dyed red, they came from the amazon.
*They look a lot like chestnut beads :o) but whatever they are they are very pretty!!
*I wondered if these mystererious beads were 'tagua' beads, or 'vegetable ivory'? The thing about tagua (if that's what they are) is that they can be dyed really nicely, varved, and have a nice shiny surface like your beads here...
.... still a mystery....

So, what do you think they are? We would love to hear more interesting suggestions....

Sunday 30 March 2008


De moeder van de duizend poot
Is vreeslijk ontevreden,
Want haar zoontje is zo juist,
In de sloot gegleden.

En…als je even rekent…
Weet je wat dat betekent…
Op zijn hoofd een groote buil…

En duizend sokjes vuil!


Are you wondering what this is all about? This morning Estella was shortening a pair of pants of mine and one of the legs she had to do twice, because it didn’t go well. Afterwards she was muttering something about pants with three legs, what immediately made me think of a very sweet children’s verse about a centipede (a thousandfeet in Dutch). I have tried to translate the little verse for you:

The centipede’s mum
Is very, very upset,
Because her little boy
Has fallen in the creek.

And if you do your maths…
You know what it will mean…
A great lump on his head…

And hundred socks to clean!


Friday 28 March 2008

Friday Findings: Trees

From now on, we will have some beautiful picks from Etsy every friday, it's not difficult to find great things there :) This friday's subject is trees. Not only are they gorgeous in nature, but also in Art.

The Bonsai by AnnaRubyKing
Sahara Print by jellybeans

Antique Tree Landscape by galeriedeilluminata

Innocents Lost II by BellatrixArt
Tree of Life by corid

Fantasy tree with owl by carambatack

Ehno print by melissamoss
One subject, but all in such a (beautiful) different way...

Wednesday 26 March 2008

Spring; the season of flowers!

Spring has arrived! The garden of our workplace was full with Calla lilies untill I cut them off, to save them from being eaten by snails. I find them one of the most beautiful flowers on earth, simple but strong.

Most flowers have layers of petals or at least have 5, but the Calla lily has only one petal which makes it such an unique flower.

A luxury for the eyes and the nose!

Monday 24 March 2008


Why people always have the urge to collect has always been a mystery to me, but why some people do NOT collect things at all is even a bigger mystery!
If you ever have seen the film Cast Away with Tom Hanks, you might remember that althought he was hungry and wounded, he soon started to collect ‘stuff’. Not only for making a boat to escape from the Island but also pretty things. You really should watch that movie, if you haven’t , one of the best I’ve seen.
We are huge collectors, some collections are huge and others are just in a beginning stage and will grow slowly until it piles out!
For example our sewing machine collection.

Look at these sweet, pretty toy sewing machines!

This green one was a toy of my mum, in Spain, when she was a little girl, it's from the early sixties.

This brown one I bought last year in Istanbul at a Fleamarket for Mum's day, I was so happy with this finding and luckely mum too :) (1960's)

This one is my favorite, I know it as long as I live, it was bought before my existence at a Fleamarket in Amsterdam. I always have admired it as a little girl and still love it. (1920's)

The Singer in a beautiful wooden box. I so much love the details of old machines, why can't they make them like this anymore? (1920's)

And look at the inside! Isn't it gorgeous?

You use it by winding the weel with your right hand, we actually have used this machine, and it sews terrific!

And the last one. This one is mine! We bought it in Kütahya for 20$! And with a new wooden table and some small reparations (worth of 30$) this machine sews better then many new ones. (1950's)

It works with a footpedal, you just keep on winding it with your foot, like riding a bike.

Sunday 23 March 2008

Sunday brunch a la turka

Turks love to picnic, stronger, going to the country side is the perfect excuse to eat copiously and to drink enormous amounts of tea.

A mere 15 km from Marmaris, where we live, there is a charming place called Çınar, plane tree in English, where indeed inside a plane tree forest, and making use of the natural wells, a restaurant has been built, and a lavish brunch can be had, all when feeling ‘one with nature’.

It is a favorite place with the locals, no tourist in sight, and you can expend hours eating –well, of course- and watching the ducks have their brunch. They really are funny!

'Hey Harry shall we race? I bet you can't hold your breath as long as I can!'

'Okey let's race then!'

'Ready....1...2...3, hold your breath and dive!'
'Blub, blup.....'

'He he, stupid Harry, I'll have a short break while you are down there!'
'Better dive back under before Harry sees it...'

Thursday 20 March 2008

The truth about Chocolate

Some good excuses to eat Chocolate :P
Sugar is made of sugar beet, wich is a VEGETABLE…

Chocolate is made with milk, therefore chocolate is healthy!

Real chocolate is a cacoa paste made from cacao seeds. Cacao seeds are the FRUIT of the cacao tree (Theobroma cacao).


In some kinds are raisins, cherries, orange peels and strawberries so again fruit.

So you can eat as much as you want!
And of course Chocolate helps against stress…


Saturday 15 March 2008


I went to a long beach walk today. Just to empty my head a little, enjoying the sun and beach...

Suddenly I saw a joung man with a Shark in his hand! He was walking so calm with it as it was his handbag! Untill he got public attention ofcourse...
It got in a fisher's net and died...


Friday 14 March 2008

I hate feedback

Oops…it’s scary to say that, a big no-no, I know. I feel like crossing some taboo line of sorts. You are supposed to embrace feedback, either positive or not, and learn from it, or that was the original intention.

In online shops, like e-bay and in a milder way, on Etsy, is feedback, more often than not, a weapon in a power struggle between buyer and seller, a public way to air discontent. I understand very well that open feedback is supposed to protect the buyer-to-be and provide information about the other party.

It is always been our motto to treat our customers as we want to be treated when buying, but with the increase in our sales (yay!), we haven’t be able to make everybody happy, and a couple of negative feedbacks have been received.

I have never read about it in other blogs, it is like every other seller lives in perpetual bliss with the customers, and most of them leave sure enough heart warming comments, but the one percent unjust, reality distorting (to use an euphemism), negative feedback, really sucks, and we are unsure how to go about it.

Many sellers I know, only leave feedback after receiving one, in order to reciprocate in kind, but we dislike very much that system. Not only it creates a big backlog in feedback, you can argue that if a buyer has paid in a timely fashion, he/she has done his/her part, and should receive positive feedback. I really dislike the withholding of feedback to have a stick in your hand to but the other over the head (if the other hits you). But not withholding it makes you as seller very vulnerable for unreasonable demands and the misuse of feedback.

All by all, I would plait for the disappearance of feedback. In Ruby Lane is not used, but sellers are warned that their shops will be closed after two reasonable complains, what I think is very fair all around, especially because it implies the involvement of a neutral third party.

Another alternative would be to split the feedback in categories: the customer’s satisfaction with the item itself, the communication with the seller, the shipping time and costs, etc.

I know that Etsy is not going to change its feedback policy to accommodate me, and I know that I am not going to allow somebody to twist my arm in order to avoid negative feedback, but the fact is that we get rather stressed over this question, and we will like to know how others cope with this situation. So, please, friends out there, could you give us some FEEDBACK on this issue??

Handmade Weddings

This morning we had a nice surprise on Etsy! Our 'Wild Bride' necklace was on the frontpage!

The Storque has started a serie of 'Handmade Weddings' and we are featured in that article!

Wishing everyone who is planning to marry soon (or later) lots of happiness and LOVE!

Friday 7 March 2008

The road to Byzantium

You know that saying about the long and tortuous Byzantine ways? About never taking the direct approach or telling the naked true, but embellishing –or lying- out of properness or politeness or not to loose face.

Here, in modern Byzantium, it is a corner stone of society. It is impolite to tell the truth in many occasions, and is even more impolite to tell somebody that he/she is lying, even if it is very obvious.

So we hired once a young man to help with the garden a couple of hours a day. This young man got very often ‘distracted’ and forgot to come to work, but had always very good reasons:
First, his grandma died; then his maternal uncle got sick, then his paternal uncle had an accident, and so on. In a couple of weeks he run out healthy relatives and I run out of patience, so he had to go.


Last somebody send us a very funny example of this customs by mail. Over lies and politeness, good manners and indirect approach, and the long and winding road to Byzantium. Enjoy!

Mehmet and Ayşe are two students sharing a flat in Istanbul. Mehmet’s mother, living in another city is invited to dinner one evening at the flat.

During the meal, Mehmet’s mother observes Ayşe long and hard, noticing that she is a very pretty and attractive girl, and wondering if they are more than roommates. Mehmet, who can read his mother’s mind, says:
Mum, I know what you are thinking, but we are roommates, nothing more!
After dinner, Mehmet’s mother goes back to her house.


After a couple of days, Ayşe says:
Mehmet, since the day your mum came to dinner, I can’t find the silver sugar dish.

Mehmet replies;
I can’t imagine that my mother took it, but I will write her a letter anyhow.


And so Mehmet writes;
Mummy, I am not saying that you took the silver bowl. But I am not saying that you didn’t. The point is, that since the evening that you came to dinner, the silver bowl is missing.
Love, Mehmet

A week later a letter arrives from Mehmet’s mum:
Dear son: I am not saying that you are sleeping with Ayşe, but I am not saying either that you are not sleeping with her. The point is, that if Ayşe slept in her own bed, she would have found the silver bowl.
Love, Mum.