She who leaves everything , including using a free day travel card , to the last minute can't be picky , which is why I ended up in Utrecht on the coldest , foggiest day of the week . Luckily , I'd put on layers of warm clothes ( though drew the line at the 1930's stomach warmer above, pattern available on request , since it looks rather itchy ) and could spend a happy half-hour doing what retired chaps /chapesses do everywhere and watch men dig holes .
Not having the level of expertise the other spectators had , it took me a while to work out how they'd got the heavy machinery down there . And then a large barge went past with a crane ... Duh !
Then it was time to thaw out and the Museum of Modern Aboriginal Art www.aamu.nl is just the place to do it . The permanent exhibition on the top floor was a mass of warm ochre , caramel and chocolate and the Education Room was full of local children's own wonderful interpretations of aboriginal paintings .
Actually , Utrecht is full of colour and paintings even on gloomy days .
It's satisfyingly full of little shops , odd corners and little alleyways and you can always find something new . I loved these paintings , stuck in a window of a silent , empty building
and definitely wanted this Azbekhistani rug to tuck over my knees on the journey home .
Talking of which , by this stage I was chilled to the bone and resisted this last temptation on the corner of a sidestreet
SmitoniusAndSonata is a mother and daughter collective blog.
London based Smitonius (Jessamy) makes one of a kind jewellery using vintage buttons, as well as a combination of beads from all over Europe: from lampwork ones by a range of UK artists to vintage and modern glass beads.
Sonata is a miniature quilt maker based in the North of Holland (Leeuwarden). Geraldine Keyzer is already known to collectors of Hitty dolls and owners of vintage dollhouses. She likes to use vintage as well modern cotton to create a range of quilts from simple One Patch to the more complex Grandmother's Garden.