GEERTRUIDA DE GRAAF
A few years ago we started this site as a means of sharing those things that make us happy: gardening, cooking, collecting, creating, and living in a sustainable manner with our environment. We share a cozy home in a small town in rural northern Netherlands with our cat Frida. On our blog you will read all about our gardening, beautifully photographed by my daughter Sietske.
When I was growing up in the Netherlands making wasn’t something done for pleasure: things were mended and repaired, and anything else was frivolity. I was always a creative person, and started making dolls in the 70s. At that time there weren’t many folks around with the same hobby, so those that were frivolous enough to make dolls had to learn it for themselves.
As I grew more confident in my craft, my husband encouraged me to go out and sell my handmade things on fairs all over the country. Then, in the late 80s, my dream came true: we bought a house with an old shop in the town where I was born, where I could work and sell my creations!
We are still living in the same beautiful home, and though the shop has changed over the years, we are still as happy and excited about it as when we first started it! If you would like to view my paintings or dolls, feel free to drop by at our shop in Sloten, or have a look at what’s available in my Etsy shop. If you decide to visit us, make sure to get in touch in advance to avoid disappointment in case we’re out shooting pictures for the blog!
SIETSKE DE GRAAF
My younger brother Jacob and I grew up in a home of makers: mum made dolls and other wonderful things, Jacob would make drawings and craft projects, whilst dad was an avid photographer. He had a collection of cameras and lenses, and there was something very special about entering the dark room which he’d made in the attic of our old home. The smell of the studio, the strange red light, and then pictures suddenly appearing in the chemical baths was something magical. Dad sadly passed in ’91, but he distilled a love for photography in me which lasts to this day.
These days I take photos mainly on my Pentax digital SLR camera, but occasionally I will get the old analogue cameras off the shelve and use them. As mum does an excellent job in making the house and garden look beautiful, it’s a pleasure taking photos here.
I’m a great lover of animals and nature. Living in the countryside, we love going for walks and cycle trips, and whenever I can I bring my camera with me. You can check out more of my photography at my Flickr page, and on our Instagram account. I hope you’ll enjoy the photos! – Sietske
JACOB DE GRAAF
Having creative and encouraging parents, it was wonderful growing up in a house where I could make whatever I wanted. As I showed a keen interest in fine arts, I decided to pursue this interest in a study at the School of Fine Arts in Kampen, the Netherlands. After graduating from the academy I ran an art gallery where I made and sold my work for four years. I then moved to live in the UK with my partner, where we’ve been living in the beautiful city of York for over ten years now.
We recently bought our own cottage home in the city, complete with a small rooftop garden. We share the house with two small cats, Neko & Mira. Here I work in my studio, occasionally cook and bake, and run my business, Modern Folk Embroidery. Through my partner’s work we often make short trips abroad, which allows me to soak up new cities and take lots of photos. I’m looking forward to share my stories, photos & recipes with you!