February 25, 2010

A Walk in the City

4:50 pm

5:18 pm

5:52 pm

February 24, 2010

Mr. Wonderful

Mr. Wonderful has been away for the past week and a half. He is in London on a study trip. Despite the random act of violence, I am sure he is having fun and learning quite a bit about water urbanism. But I miss him something awful, I am ready for him to come home.

I just got home myself. I was in Amsterdam last week on holiday, came home, and went to Brussels to take care of some sweet children for a few days. I couldn't have asked for better experiences or company while Jon is away, but I am so glad to be home.


Today I realized "home" is Leuven. This surprised me, but when I say "I want to go home," I mean that I want to go back to my cozy little studio that I've set up with Mr. Wonderful. You see, we have a good thing going here.

He sent me this photo:

I asked him to take pictures of a Banksy if he saw one.

That's why Jon is Mr. Wonderful.

February 21, 2010

From the Desk of Ms. Lydia

Mr. Wonderful's sister is a teacher in Texas. She teaches English as a second language for elementary school. Wonderfulness must run in the family, because during her first year of teaching she was awarded 'Teacher of the Year!' I think that is just amazing.

Late last year she sent me a package of letters from her 2nd grade kids. It must have been around Christmas time when they wrote them because they asked a bunch of questions about Sinterklaas. They were pretty cute, and funny.

I think about the time when I was in second grade... I don't think I thought too much about the world, I am not sure what I knew about Europe and I definitely didn't know about Sinterklaas. So, I wanted to make something special just for them.

I took some time and went through some of my photos from our travels here. I printed and glued them on blank postcards from my beloved store HEMA. (Have you clicked on that link yet? If you haven't, you MUST! Wait a few seconds and watch. It will make you smile! I love HEMA design!)

Ok, so next I went on-line and searched for postcard templates and found a cute one on Martha Stewart's website. I scanned a copy with a Belgian stamp to make it seem more official. Then I wrote individual messages to each child, 15 total, mostly telling them about things in Europe that I think would be interesting for a 7 year old. Have you even thought about what would be interesting for a 7 year old?

They just arrived in Texas last week, so I am curious and excited to hear what their reactions will be! In the meantime, I am working on letters for her fifth grade class.

February 16, 2010

The Train

A terrible passenger train accident happened in Belgium yesterday. I ride these commuter trains almost everyday, in fact I am about to get on one in a few hours. One of the trains involved left from my town, but the entire country is feeling the scare of the accident. There was a great loss of life and many severely injured. It's a shock when accidents like this happen so close to home. It really makes you stop and think.

Think: Even if it's as mundane as getting on a train every day to go to work. Even if it's as mundane as getting off the train to come home to my loved ones. I appreciate my loved ones and my life so much.

God bless Belgium.

From the Desk of Ms. Lydia

It may be below freezing temperatures here in Belgium, but I still wear skirts:

Last Friday, the grade 5 class I help with had a Valentine's lunch. I had never done one of these Surprise lunches, but it's a great idea that can be adapted for any season, theme or holiday.

First, you need to fill out a questionnaire that asks about your favorite snacks and foods.

Once all the forms are collected all of the participants' names are drawn at random, and it is TOP SECRET!

Over the next two days, you spend some time gathering all the favorite goodies for the person you drew.
One is also responsible for the decoration of the box or bag and you can also include fun little things like stickers.

Put it all together and:
VoilĂ !

It was really a fun idea, and something that can be done for all ages. Give it a try!

The kids made Valentines:

Click here to view the one I made.

Last Friday, the kids also celebrated Carnival with a colorful costume parade. I didn't know what to expect. It's a little like Halloween, but there are more masks, feathers and glitter.

The kids got really creative with their costumes. The following two were my favorites.

Here you have the Frog Princess:

And here is the fly.

These were handmade by the kids, and they were so awesome! It was a riot to see them chasing each other around.

February 14, 2010

Today IS

Last week I made some quick valentines for the class I work with.

I had to make them educational.

It's the year of the tiger! Which always makes me think of this painting:
Image from HERE
Salvador DalĂ­
Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee Around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening
Oil on canvas. 51 x 41 cm
Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid

Pretty twisted thinking on my part, right? Did anyone else have to look at this poster during college, or was it just my friends? 

Happy Valentine's Day!

I made this!

February 5, 2010


I saw this skirt on a postcard the other day at an art bookstore in Brussels. I just love it!

The artist is Terhi Hieno, and the piece is called Skirt from 2006. It is made of used teabags, string and a cloth hanger (I think they mean clothes hanger).

Think of all the materials that could be used to make a skirt!

February 1, 2010


Turning over a new leaf. 

It snowed this past weekend, but the skies were blue and sunny.

The project I have been working on:  I submitted my application for the master's program in art therapy at the Art Institute of Chicago. Even 7 hours ahead, I still submitted my application on time. Woo hoo! I've been thinking about doing this for 9 years... 9 years!

One year ago today, I was in Chicago at the SAIC for an art therapy conference.

Isn't it ironic... Don't you think?

Glad that's done. Now I can sleep.

And upload pictures that I have put off for a month.

I need to tie up loose ends.

Hooray for February!