Friday, November 25, 2011

beautiful bovine


Lovely is the bovine
Who's shiny fur reflects the beautiful zesty spirit within.
Large eyes
and a big nose
Perky udder swaying in the breeze
before she climbs on new-bull-friend Arthur.

welcome to our family
who are as full of character as you are.
And when you're done with Arthur
(who lives at the neighbours place)
we'll take you home
read you bed time stories
give you the moozley take-away food you seem to love
and tuck you in safely at night.

We love you Rosie
no trip to the meat works for you.
Instead a life of frivolity awaits!
A sweet milking Mooooooooooo is a
Beautiful Bovine.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Why do we do what we do?
This is the bio I sent to Hemptech: the company who releases beautiful eco textiles in Australasia.
(My Cows and Couches design and the Footprints collection. Below with a Mooodlies cushion.)

"As a designer I work on many different creative projects: interior, furniture, product, and textile design. I work primarily as an interior designer. My passion however is: goats. I'm an absolute animal nut and yes I do talk to them too. On our 64 acre llifestyle block in the south of Otago we run highland cattle, saanen goats, turkeys, chooks and pigs. Inspiration abounds as nature is very much expressing itself on our property. New Zealand scenery is so powerful and beautiful. My heart is always outside running alongside the animals in gumboots, clad in overalls, having my hair in ponytails.

My designs reflect this happy attitude and I do adore the whimsy and playing. My desire to design for eco textiles stems from that inner sense of letting my love of living in New Zealand out. As a Dutch immigrant I am fully aware that this slice of paradise is not (easily) accesible to everyone on our planet. We do live in a wondrous place down under. So what could possibly be lovelier then sharing that magic energy at home with others?"
Why do you do what you do?
Photos: copyright: Mirjam Spronk and Hemptech ltd

Monday, November 21, 2011

state what you want

I've been hearing over and over, both online and off, that the Occupy peeps "don't know what they are about", that "there is no clear message" that they are "a bunch of hippies".

Here in Dunedin New Zealand there seem to be more Dunedinites in favor of removing the tents of the Octagon because it's "unsightly" and doesn't allow the public to mozy over the grass at lunchtime. One protester was headbashed on national TV by an aggressive IT-entrepreneur and the council had trouble dealing with the Occupying situation in a switched on manner from day 1. Now there are about 15 tents remaining on the public lawn, representing a hardcore group and according to the council: allowed to display a symbolic representation of their right to protest as a larger group. (The police surprisingly decided not to honour the council's warrant to have the protesters removed as they wisely stated removing them by force was not the best course of action considering freedom of speech and so forth. Naturally the council was furious the police didn't back them up.)

So yes what do these mostly young people care about? Why are they up in peaceful arms? "Can't they just go and get a job" as they hear shouted to them from car windows?

According to the now released Declaration of the Occupation of New York City, their sentiments certainly incorporate the following:

As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together. We write so that all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world can know that we are your allies.

As one people, united, we acknowledge the reality: that the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members; that our system must protect our rights, and upon corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights, and those of their neighbors; that a democratic government derives its just power from the people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth; and that no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power. We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments. We have peaceably assembled here, as is our right, to let these facts be known.

They have taken our houses through an illegal foreclosure process, despite not having the original mortgage.
They have taken bailouts from taxpayers with impunity, and continue to give Executives exorbitant bonuses.
They have perpetuated inequality and discrimination in the workplace based on age, the color of one’s skin, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation.
They have poisoned the food supply through negligence, and undermined the farming system through monopolization.
They have profited off of the torture, confinement, and cruel treatment of countless nonhuman animals, and actively hide these practices.
They have continuously sought to strip employees of the right to negotiate for better pay and safer working conditions.
They have held students hostage with tens of thousands of dollars of debt on education, which is itself a human right.
They have consistently outsourced labor and used that outsourcing as leverage to cut workers’ healthcare and pay.
They have influenced the courts to achieve the same rights as people, with none of the culpability or responsibility.
They have spent millions of dollars on legal teams that look for ways to get them out of contracts in regards to health insurance.
They have sold our privacy as a commodity.
They have used the military and police force to prevent freedom of the press.
They have deliberately declined to recall faulty products endangering lives in pursuit of profit.
They determine economic policy, despite the catastrophic failures their policies have produced and continue to produce.
They have donated large sums of money to politicians supposed to be regulating them.
They continue to block alternate forms of energy to keep us dependent on oil.
They continue to block generic forms of medicine that could save people’s lives in order to protect investments that have already turned a substantive profit.
They have purposely covered up oil spills, accidents, faulty bookkeeping, and inactive ingredients in pursuit of profit.
They purposefully keep people misinformed and fearful through their control of the media.
They have accepted private contracts to murder prisoners even when presented with serious doubts about their guilt.
They have perpetuated colonialism at home and abroad.
They have participated in the torture and murder of innocent civilians overseas.
They continue to create weapons of mass destruction in order to receive government contracts.*

To the people of the world,
We, the New York City General Assembly occupying Wall Street in Liberty Square, urge you to assert your power.

Exercise your right to peaceably assemble; occupy public space; create a process to address the problems we face, and generate solutions accessible to everyone.

To all communities that take action and form groups in the spirit of direct democracy, we offer support, documentation, and all of the resources at our disposal.

Join us and make your voices heard!
*These grievances are not all-inclusive.
source: Daily Kos

This statement if far from chaotic rambling and a very far cry from stoned out hippie dom. The people know what they want: no more bullshit and an actual democratic system which is fair and true to sustaining people and planet in a cohesive sustainable and long term viable way. It sounds perfectly clear to me. The status quo just has problems hearing it. An existing system must crumble first by losing support before it can be replaced by another which is desired by many. The sheeple may have to let go of watching television in order to comprehend this turn of events.

The way I see it: some may not like it, yet a tidal wave coming can't be sidestepped. It's just physics really. State what you want and try to understand the different elements at play.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

self responsibility

I am SO rejoicing in what is happening in friends and family's lives at the moment. One friend has started a new career and is bound to be absolutely awesome at it, another friend has decided that doing what she loves is more important then her career: she is going on a world trip -cycling accross many continents for a year, another friend is contemplating divorce and following his inner radar, he has been putting this decision off for a few years but is now ready for it and me: well I again made peace with what is, celebrate my wonderful life and have gone on exploration and doing training. I keep hearing that it's a time that is very busy, often times stressful or plain derailing for many people. The good news is that many seem to wake up to the fact that many things have happened because of the choices they have made themselves.

As one friend said to me today: it's about self responsibility.

We can decide to blame governments for the economy being crap, or our spouse being afwul, or our work being sh*t, but at the end of the day we usually find out that hey we did choose to study or not, have a study debt or not, support the government we have or not, have the partner we wanted or not, are alone or not, know what we want or not right now, follow our gut feelings or not, live wisely or not, have money or not, choose to be happy despite anything... or not. Either way it doesn't matter in the big scope of things all these details: it matters to us only what we feel we want to do right? Whether we feel we matter, whether our connection to the larger part of who we are (some call this God) means anything, whether we wil be happy with what we are doing now and on and on. My we get busy thinking about stuff don't we?

Ultimately: this is our life. We do the best we can in deciding how to choose and navigate our way through it. But to blame anyone outside of us for anything that doesn't work the way we want it to, is outdated. It also very conditional. In case you have forgotten as well from time to time: love is unconditional. Yes that applies to yourself too. Stop beating yourself up already. So you are searching. Groovy! Shake it baby.

This is your life remember? Do you want change? Work it dude! You are the only one who can effectively bring about the change you want to see. You ARE the change you want to see. Stop whining to other people how it should be for you instead of how it is, just go work on how it will become already!

Lots of love.

Monday, November 14, 2011

favorite summer day

After a summer day
with smiles and snoozes
Light rain sets in
barely audible on the roof

Later we're outside once more
and whilst turning a corner
the scent of fresh grass
suddenly hugs me like a soft blanket

The hens run around in the field
Calling to me for their supper
The cattle still lazily lying further away
and the sun is showing itself again

In the good life
where the grass smells better still
I only have to remember days like this
to be forever happy.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

lasting fancy

I have a chair fetish. Not shoes, not handbags, no, chairs. I just love them. So what could be better then a big lush outside chair that is like a treehouse? Exactly!

10 trees growing into a life structure to support people having a snooze, or to read a book in dappled sunlight.

from Design Folio mag: "Stockholm-based studio Visiondivision asked students at Politecnico di Milano to consider the impact of a fast-paced lifestyle and asked them how to create environments in which nature can be used to create a sense of retreat on campus. The result? Ten Japanese cherry trees that are encouraged to grow in certain ways making room for a two-story retreat that students can sit up high in."

The result was drafting plans and planting the young trees plus structures to support the growth over time.

From VisionDivision: "Together with the students we worked out a maintenance plan and instructions to future gardeners that is simple enough to actually work.

On the structure, we instructed that a pattern of wood will be grafted in, leaving two spaces between the trees as entries/exits and the rest is closed in ornamental patterns with branches.

On the upper level which is reached by the two staircases with exquisite handrails, is different fruit trees grafted into the cherry trees so the visitor can have a variety of fruits while relaxing in the canopy. Branches are also grafted in for security reasons between the tree trunks.

In about 80 years from now the Politecnico di Milano campus will have a fully grown building and the students will hopefully have proud grandchildren that can tell the story of the project for their friends and family."

How fabulous is that?