The stillness of early Spring

copied illustration and dye experiments by AppleApricot

I'm having fun experimenting with several media. I think I will do a whole lot more experimenting because I'm really enjoying it! First of all, earlier I had tea dyed some papers for a junk journal (of which I'm still in the progress of editing the video footage I took of it). I thought this was so much fun that since then I'm begging everyone's used tea bags when their tea is still hot, lol! Then I run upstairs to "paint" with these bags on paper and cloth.
When doing so, a flower head of a bouquet dropped on one of the papers and I noticed the colour the stamens were making on the paper. So I started rubbing some of these on paper and cloth. (Some result are on bottom of the photo above, both left and right.)

I also started experimenting with the copier machine. I copied a bird illustration I painted earlier and really love the result. And when I saw two little leaves that had fallen from house plants, I picked them up, put them under the copier again and again, creating a pattern. I then copied some vintage French text on top of that. (See top right of photo above.) I think this is so cool and will definitely experiment more often with the copier machine!

It's freezing cold outside. We had a tiny bit of snow a couple of days ago, but it's all gone now. The howling wind is icy. "Wind is spoiling skating fun, natural ice still very unreliable" the news headlines read. Dutch people love to skate on natural ice. Well, many of them do, not all.

But the sun is shining happily, making my room comfortably warm. If I didn't hear the howling wind, I would say it's a nice Spring day. But it's not, it's still Winter. There are some first signs of Spring though. In a neighbouring garden the ground is littered with Crocuses. Happy little dots of purple in a neutral coloured surrounding. This gave me the inspiration for an Early Spring fabric heart. Which is finished, but I cannot show it to you yet because it will be send to a dear friend. So you'll have to do with a little sneak peek for now. See on the left of the photo below.

embroidery by AppleApricot

On the right is the beginnings of a small journal, with a birdie I embroidered.

I also gather flowers and press them. Not flowers from outside, not yet. But from bouquets that are on their return. And I have so many flowers and leaves dried and pressed last year. Here are some Hydrangea flowers that I used on a tag. The tag I will show you later, cause again this one goes to my dear friend. Patience my dears :)

pressed flowers Hydrangea by AppleApricot

More experimenting: I made my first two erosion bundles and put them in the garden. I wanted to try this for some years now, but never did. So here's my first attempt. Now I have to wait two or three months and see what the elements of wind and moist create with it. In the bundles there are papers and fabrics, pieces of lace, flower heads, rusted iron and copper bits, and some cheap water colour paint splashes here and there. I hated painting with this paint and thought this would be a fun way to try something different with it in stead of disposing of it.

And then of course there are some of the photos I promised earlier, of the walk we did on the Utrechtse Heuvelrug. In the land of bogs and woods and heather fields. It's such a beautiful area and it's not far from where we live, so we love to go there often.

Utrechtse Heuvelrug by AppleApricot

There was a thin layer of ice on the water then.
I'm sure it's grown much thicker now with this icy cold.
But the strong winds make it treacherous to walk or skate on it.

In the woods we found beautiful textures of bark and fungus.

 textures of bark and fungus by AppleApricot

And I love the beautiful mirroring in the water.
There was no wind that day, so the water was peaceful, like a giant mirror.

lake mirroring by AppleApricot

Small fungus growing on fallen bark.

bark and fungus by AppleApricot

You know what I forgot to look for?
Skeleton leaves!
I'm sure there must be skeleton leaves now, don't you think?

artwork and texture photos by AppleApricot

Well, it doesn't spoil the fun I had :)

I was just thinking, funnily I named this blog post the stillness of early Spring. But indoor as well as outdoors it's not so still at the moment, with my happy experimenting and the howling wind, lol!

Wishing you a beautiful day!

Big hugs xx


  1. Wen you are such an inspiration and all those things here... amazing- love the spring feel to your post with all the lovely artwork and the beautiful photos!
    Really beautiful!Thank you for sharing!You are so creative and so artistic!
    Happy weekend!
    We have the same weather here in Northern Austria -- but spring will come soon - I am sure!
    oxo Susi

    1. Thank you so much for your sweet words dear Susi, they really made my day!
      Yes let's hope Spring will arrive soon, that would be so welcome :)
      Wishing you a beautiful weekend too, big hugs xx

  2. Oh my dearest Wen, I totally love all your experimentation, - love the result from the copy machine, and your drawings . Your pressed hydrangeas have the most beautiful tone, I wonder how they still keep such bright color, the tag must be gorgeous, dear friend,- and so much, also, the heart, of which we can see a tiny bit , so very beautiful Wen- someone will be so happy receiving your gift. I also love your amazing photo collages, and the fantastic nature you visited, yes I would say you can find skeleton leaves there, now-- Where we lived before I always found them March April !!
    Wen we will leave for Copenhagen tomorrow , so I will write you late next week when we are home. Please wish us luck on the glitchy and snowy roads , dearest friend. Love and hugs to you . Dorthe, xxx

    1. Thank you so much dearest! Fingers and toes crossed that all will be well on your journey sweetie, take care!
      The pressed Hydrangeas have been stored in a book, so there was no light to change the colours. But when I glued them, the colour changed unfortunately. But still it's very beautiful with the changed colours. I just love pressed and dried flowers!
      I'll be on the lookout for skeleton leaves then! I hope the fierce winds didn't blow them away :)
      Take care sweetie, safe journey!
      Big hugs and love xx

  3. Oh, what an inspiring little post. Thank you!

  4. Dearest, sweet Wen, I cannot tell you how many times I've opened your emails and found exactly what my heart needs. My husband and I have been helping our son, daughter-in-law and three children (one of those angels is a newborn) through a deep, deep bout of depression our son is enduring. He has been manging his depression quite well with therapy and medicine since he was in college. As it is with depression, even with the help of medicine and a wonderful doctor, sometimes it take its own path and the bottom drops out for a short or longer period of time. I've managed to stay "up" and positive with them and especially our angels, but when night falls or when I am alone, the tears come until I'm exhausted. BUT! I press on! Your beautiful, uplifting photos provided me with some wonderful prompts for meditation today. I have been studying and thinking "into" them for the past 3/4 of an hour. I can drink gallons of peace when looking at pictures of nature living her quiet, beautiful life, especially when she doesn't know we're watching. One of my grandons, 11 years old, loves to get up just before sunrise, grab his fishing pole and head down to the dock in his backyard to get a little fishing in before school. I have joined him on a few occasions. On one of our "dock sitting" occasions he said, "I love this time of day. If you listen and watch real close. when the sun just starts show light, you will hear all the sounds of nature waking up and there is the best smell in the world that wakes up too." I stared at my sweet little "Walt Whitman", grabbed him up in a hug and squeezed him until he squeaked. What better to explain the innocence of nature than the innocence of a wise child's voice.
    Your precious birds in all of your creative mediums are the sugar in my tea this afternoon. Thank you for sharing. Your creative mind and talent give so much more than you know, dear Wen.

    1. Hello dearest Judy, thank you so much for your heartfelt words, they really mean a lot to me. I'm so sorry for the struggles your family is going through. Dealing with depression is tough for the whole family. You are so strong, Judy, thank you for holding on and being such an inspiring and loving person. And oh my such wise and beautiful words from your 11 year old grandson, wow...
      I'm grateful to hear my creative mind can be a part in what is giving you what your heart needs. When reading your words, I thought to myself: yes that's exactly what I hope to be able to bring. Thank you for letting me see that so clear now, dear Judy! You know, I gain so much from this arts and crafts community myself, that the only thing I'd love to be able to do is to give back whatever I can. Thank you so much for sharing with me what's in your heart and mind. It is the most precious thing someone can give me. Big hugs and warm love, take care sweetie, xx Wen

  5. Good morning dear Wen!
    What a glorious post you have shared today!
    I am in awe at the beauty you have created as well as the beauty that surround you!
    So happy you are sharing your sketching! I love that little bird-he is ever so sweet and so brilliant carrying such a beautiful rose! And the sneak peek of the tag- what a lucky lucky friend! I just hydrangeas!
    A beautiful park for sure and how lucky to have it so close to you! I love skeleton leaves as well, but hardly ever find any. I must remember to search for them this summer when we go camping!

    Thank you for making my morning shine,even with this foot and a half of snow! brrrrr!
    Have a beautiful weekend sweet Wen!
    Jackie xoxo

    1. Thank you so much for your sweet words dear Jackie :)
      I LOVE Hydrangeas too, they're just so so beautiful!
      And you know where I found skeleton leaves this week? In the garden! Can you imagine? I couldn't find any in the woods but there were plenty in the garden, under the Magnolia, haha!
      Good luck with the snow... brrr!
      Big hugs xx

  6. Wow - such an interesting post this time! So many beautiful images and techniques to wonder about. Looking at the barn & fungus photos made me wonder how it would be to print those and then re-print them with text over top.

    1. Thank you Mary Anne :)
      And oh wow, yes, what an awesome idea! I must try that. Thank you!
      Big hugs xx

  7. Brrrr it does look chilly! I just adore your embroidered bird, that made my heart sing!
    xxxx Rhonda

    1. Thank you Rhonda!
      The cold is bearable as long as the sun keeps shining :)
      Big hugs xx

  8. Beautiful post filled with lovely stitchings, great textures in your pictures and those beautiful reflections in the water I so love them too!! I am sure your beautiful creations were a lovely touch to your friends day, that little birdie stitched on the journal is just precious!!

    1. Thank you so much Connie!
      And yes, I love the water reflections so much! Thank you for the word "reflections" by the way, I completely forgot what the word was and used mirroring instead, haha :)
      Big hugs xx

  9. as a child I had a bloemenpers which I used a lot. Now I use a thick book. Your technics are lovely and the results beautiful.

    1. Thank you Alice :)
      Yes I use a thick book for pressing as well, very handy!
      Big hugs xx


Thank you so much for leaving me a sweet message, I love reading your comments. Hugs and happy day to you! xx Wen