Category Archives: art

klompen

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Frisian Flag

Opa is still most comfortable gardening in his wooden shoes, or klompen. Wood or not, over time holes are worn right through the wood in the vicinity of the toes. When that happens, it means it’s time to get new klompen.

But what of the old ones?

make a planter

This works best with two wooden shoes, because they can be hung from the string that ties them together.

If you want them to last, start with a plastic bag ~ milk bags* work quite nicely. It works best to start with a seedling that will fit into the bag with a little extra soil, and then the bag can be inserted into the wooden shoe. I expect you could do this without the bag, but then the klomp will break down much faster.
Flag og Groningen
It is important to pull the tip of the bag through the opening worn through the toe. Once a corner of the plastic bag is outside the shoe, it can be punctured for drainage. When you water the plants (best done daily, and carefully) the excess water drips out the wooden shoe toe.  (As you might imagine, this type of planter is best employed out of doors.)

decorate
Naturally, they can be decorated any way you like. I chose to paint mine with flags from the Nederland provinces of Friesland and Groningen.
wooden shoe hanging planters


Milk bags* are the most common way milk is sold in Ontario. Originally, there were three 1 quart clear plastic bags of milk packaged together in a larger opaque bag. When Canada went metric in the 1970’s, they started selling 4 litre bags of milk, but they kept three interior clear plastic bags inside, now each holding 1 1/3 litres of milk.

In case you’re wondering how we get the milk out of the bag and into our cereal without making a horrendous mess, you’ll be pleased to know the milk bags fit inside handy milk pitchers. Once the sealed bag of milk is settled inside the pitcher, you cut off the top corner of the bag and pour from there. It works a treat. 🙂

As you can imagine, these bags are durable and if washed out immediately, can safely be reused as a freezer bag for storing food… or as a planter bag for your klompen.

making drawings

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We were always making things when I was a kid. My parents were creative, and they certainly encouraged us in this. These are some of my pencil sketches from when I was three and four years old.

a bunny drawn when I was about 4 and a half

Paper was expensive, so we drew on whatever we could get our hands on. When I was a little older, I rememberwe used to go through our notebooks at the end of the school year and liberate any unused pages for drawing paper. That’s why a lot of our early drawings are on lined paper.

primitive pencil drawing of a lion

my dad, drawn when I was almost 4

I never felt I was a good artist, because my older siblings drew so much better than I did. I was never very good at colouring inside the lines.But it never stopped me from making art, because making art was fun.

pencil drawingsfrom when I was three years old