vrijdag 31 december 2010

Wishing you a happy newyear

We're going to toast, tonight and wish you all a merry newyear!

vrijdag 24 december 2010

Stary, Stary Night

This quilt is made by my mom.

Dear readers,

Thank you all so much for reading this blog.
I wish you a very happy Christmas.

Heartfelt greetings,


zaterdag 4 december 2010

Little Zwarte Piet

The first time Pelle is dressed up! He is ready to help Sinterklaas and gave me 'pepernoten'.
I'm so pleased! Doesn't he look adorable (the picture is a bit yellow because it was evening in our kitchen and he doesn't want me to use a flash) and this is a first step for him to take on a role.
Yesterday, when Sinterklaas came to school, I saw him imitating the real professional Zwarte Pieten, dancing and jumping around. Go boy, go!

woensdag 1 december 2010

As Pelle sees it

A weekly picture, made by my boy. (Often without me noticing him doing it).

His aim was to photograph the spider he made at school (that is: the brown paperbody with the round eyes and coloured legs). But you can also see one of the magazines from Dad.

woensdag 24 november 2010

Climing up and down

My mother made these little zwarte pietjes (black Petes) a few years ago, at the same place where I made the ones I showed on Sunday. They have magnets in their hands and feet, so they are able to climb. In our livingroom I attached them to our lamppost. Ready to perform their tricks.

dinsdag 23 november 2010

As Pelle sees it

A weekly picture, made by my boy. (Often without me noticing him doing it).

Daddy doing his laces.

Hmm. Maybe we need a carpet to hide those scratches.

maandag 22 november 2010

A new blog

If you're Dutch, and interested in me playing with Pelle I invite you to come over to my new blog, Spelen met Pelle. I'm starting it because I want to eleborate more on our activities and share my enthousiasm for raising Pelle this special way. I hope I can inspire other parents.

I will stay active on this blog, with my creations and also about Pelle's development, village life and everything I love to share.

And I want to thank you for reading my posts. It really means a lot to me.

zondag 21 november 2010

It's the time of the season

It's time to take them out of the closet again.

zwarte pietjeskrans

zwarte pietjeskrans

zwarte pietjeskrans

I made them 2 years ago, during a couple of evenings at Atelier Het Zonlicht, in Haren (sorry, couldn't find a link).

woensdag 17 november 2010

As Pelle sees it

A weekly picture, made by my boy. (Often without me noticing him doing it).

zondag 14 november 2010

Dancing into the world.

I am so optimistic about Pelle’s development. I really think he can outgrow his difficulties. Two amazing things happened last week.
Friday, we had a classmate coming over to play. Pelle wanted to show him his favorite film on YouTube, which is about a mill. At first I was a bit hesitant. Because I have this conviction that watching television or sitting behind the computer screen is not good for the development of a child. Children should play, not watch.
But in this whole process of raising my special boy, I have to learn some things. Like letting go off some rigid aspects of my belief system. Because watching this film was not at all about being passive and just absorbing what’s presented to you. For Pelle, it proved to be an excellent way to start communicating with the other boy, asking questions and responding to answers. As I was in the kitchen doing the dishes I overheard them, and was very pleased, because this was really a first, talking so long to another boy. So he has this motivation to talk and share, and when there’s already a common ground (the movie) it’s easier for him to interact.
Yesterday, there was another prove that I need to revise my convictions about watching telly. In stead of killing his imagination, it helps him to elevate it.
Pelle set up a little tent in our living room. Until now, just clicking the poles together and raising the fabric was the fun he had. He could not do anything else with it. But yesterday, he pretended to be a miller, and acted out what he saw in the film. He even stretched his imagination by wanting to close the door to read a newspaper inside. “What does it say in the paper?’, I asked. After some time he replied “It’s about Sinterklaas”. And on he went, opening and closing the door, being busy in the mill and wanting Mark to look at a pretend window. I was thrilled.
It looks like every new skill or development pairs with a relapse into more repetitive behavior. Like he needs to hang on more to familiar grounds while exploring others. I see it as his way to dance in this world. I’m learning to read his performance.

zaterdag 13 november 2010

Coming to town

Today Sinterklaas already came to our town.

We still have to wait for 3 weeks to finally open the presents, but Pelle's shoe will stand next to our chimney this evening and we hope that tomorowmorning it will hold a small suprise for him.

vrijdag 12 november 2010

As Pelle sees it

A weekly picture, made by my boy. (Often without me noticing him doing it).

A year ago he used to say about each book: "this is about letters".

dinsdag 9 november 2010

Scenes from the playroom

I wanted to write about our Sonrise approach much earlier, because I want to share my experiences. But it had to wait until now, because only now I feel things are really shaping up.
Here’s a bit of our reality at this moment.
You can see us playing in Pelles bedroom almost every day, for half an hour or longer, until he wants to go downstairs (and after I tried to tease him into one more game).
I started low profile (after initially putting far too much pressure on the whole process), not every day, just as long as Pelle wanted it. But now we’re both much more accustomed to the new routine in our lives and we can delve in deeper. So the hours spend playing are longer and I’m planning to do it every day, except for Saturdays, because I now see so much benefits from this joyful way of being together.
Pelle is not a typical autistic kid in the sense that he lives in his own world. He will talk to you if you’re an adult and wants to connect with you by sharing his interests. He talks really well and sees you in the eye. People call him sweet, and he really is. He’s always joyful and smiling. But he does not play with other children or has many interactions with them. (He’s doing fine at school, his classmates just take him the way he is and I’m very grateful for that.).
My main goal is to learn him how to play and love it. To let him feel the fun and explore his possibilities. Learn him more skills, so he will be able to play with other children some day.
At the moment I’m practicing pretend play with him. Since he likes to be chased, I’m a policeman, wanting to lock him up, or a lion, wanting to eat him. Or I play with a puppet who wants to climb the towers he loves to build, or an old lady who opens the door when he comes to sing for SintMaarten (a Dutch feast on Thursday where the children walk with their lanterns and collect candy). Since I also would love to see him to play a game with cards (like memory) we do funny things with them. The apples, pears and other images on the game from the hungry caterpillar are devoured by us. Afterwards, we’re having a little belly ache.
So here we are, both learning. For me it's about setting goals and working with them while I tune into his world. I’m coming to grips with it more and more and it feels like I can now reap what I sowed the last couple of months. I can take our play one step further and introduce new elements.
I’m dreaming about dressing up and more elaborate role-play. Of him being really concentrated for a long time. Those days will come. Because one of the things I discovered is that my boy is a fast learner. I often have the feeling that I only have to touch his inner abilities and they are growing. Sometimes it feels like magic.
And I’m not the only wizard in our house. Every Friday, Christa comes to play with him. She’s an apprentice from a college nearby and is learning to become a player. It was lovely to see him curled up into her arms as they were reading a book, the other day. I’m so pleased she’s here to help us. I’m going to search for one more player, so Pelle has another different input. The fun has only just begun.

I leave you with two scenes from the diningtable. He's demonstating his foldingskills.

vrijdag 5 november 2010


Every Friday, Pelle goes to his music lessons. Together with other 5-years olds, he sings and plays. He has a lovely teacher, a lively, witty mom of two adorable boys who were born in China. I love their little paradise at the end of the village, where the boys have so much space to play and live a great life.
When she asked me if I could make her a pouch for the flute, I really liked her request, because it gave me the opportunity to make something different (than clothes).
I used an existing pouch as a template and here's the result.

In the making

Voor Angkan

(Fabic from Van Marieke)

For Rian

The fabric with the owls I bought online in the States (sorry, don't know where anymore).

I had a lot of fun making them. Even made photos along the way, so maybe I write a tutorial, someday.
Wishing you a lovely weekend,


dinsdag 2 november 2010

As Pelle sees it

A weekly picture, made by my boy. (Often without me noticing him doing it).

maandag 1 november 2010

One For The Road

Firetruck T
Originally uploaded by oddwise
One of the last T's I plannd to make for Pelle, this season. I wanted to use the velours applique (ready made) from this shop, before he outgrows this kind of images.

dinsdag 26 oktober 2010

As Pelle sees it

A weekly picture, made by my boy. (Often without me noticing him doing it).


Putting on my coat.

maandag 25 oktober 2010

Hey hey we’re the monkeys.

I made yet another T-shirt from the fabric I ordered in Denmark. As I was concerned that using all the fabric would make the T too busy, I decided to go for a raglan cut, and I also added some black knit along the front and back.
I also used a black trim at the yoke, because I wanted to avoid seeing stitches in the pattern of the fabric (and decapitating the monkeys, so to say). I am very pleased with the result. Despite the black, it’s fresh and despite all those rows of monkeys it’s not to childish.

I would love to make 2 more shirts and try the T-shirt pattern of the last issue of Ottobre, because I think I have an excellent fabric match for that one.
We'll see.

donderdag 21 oktober 2010


Pelle's drawing skills are emerging! I could hardly believe my eyes when he came home today with a drawing of a lion he made at school. It's a little hard to photograph, but I hope you can see the figure.

It also reminds me of the drawings in the cave of Lascaux.

head (with hard to see yellow manes).


Last week it was ‘kinderboekenweek’ (children’s book week)), which is a national week organized every year to promote these books. At school, the pupils of grade 8 came to read for the children in grades 1 and 2 (4-5 years old) and every child had to bring his favorite book along. Pelle choose “The hungry lion”, which tells the story of Singham, a lazy lion searching for food.

(here he is in the book)

Apparently, the children had to draw their favorite character and look what my boy did!
I was so pleased to see it.

A couple of weeks ago, when we had a party at school, all the children where invited to add their part to a large painting. And then he did his first figurative work: two small stripes forming a cross. “It’s a mill”, he said. (Your either Dutch, or you aren’t).
Last week, he came home with another drawing and for the first time I saw figures: a spiral, a rectangle, a triangle, some waves.
This already was so different from all the scratches he made before.

And now he’s taken another leap.
I’m going to frame Singham. And celebrate my little artist.

woensdag 20 oktober 2010

As Pelle sees it

A weekly picture taken by my boy

de hongerige leeuw 008

dinsdag 19 oktober 2010

Tea time again

I recently bought some wonderful fabrics and am busy making T-shirts for Pelle.
I finished a stripy orange one, which unfortunately turned out a little tight. He can wear it as an undergarment, but that was not my intention. Luckily I still have a lot of fabric left, so I can make him a real nice summerversion in spring, because I so love those colourtones.


patch on the back

I made this patch on the back, from 2 different cottons.

This T is a little thicker and wider (still size 110, but with seamallowances this time) and will be comfy now and still wearable a few month from now, I hope.

Hedgehogs T

Finally, I'm getting a bit faster in sewing these T's. They still take me 4-5 hours, but I really like playing around with shapes and colours. The black trim from the hedgehog T is from an old ribknit T from Mark and it gives me such a pleasure to combine it with other fabrics into a whole new look.

Next up is a longsleeve raglan from monkey fabric. I hope to show you that one at the end of this week.

maandag 11 oktober 2010

As Pelle sees it

A weekly picture, taken by my boy.

zondag 10 oktober 2010

Green Sweater

green sweater

I made Pelle another sweater. This is from a lovely green soft terry knit I bought in Germany (through internet ), at Micha's Stoffecke (the fabriccorner of Micha, although 'corner' is an understatement, because they have a huge supply).
After I finished, I made an applique, but didn't like that one. So I removed it, but than there was some glue left on the shirt (I used Vlieso-fix, a European version of the paper-and-adhesive iron-on stuff). So I had to come up with another idea. Hence the robot on some cotton scraps . Next time, I just make a plain shirt. He doesn't have to wear embellishments all the time.


This little robot is an iron-on gadget I bought in Denmark (through the internet), at Stof og Stil (Fabric and Style). They have some really nice fabrics as well.

dinsdag 5 oktober 2010

As Pelle sees it

A weekly picture, made by my boy.

zondag 3 oktober 2010

Another milestone

This is what we did yesterday. Coloring. A first. Of course Pelle does a lot of painting and coloring at school, but until now, he didn’t do this at home. But recently, he likes to do a thing we call “prikken”. It’s something I don’t know the English word for, but you can see it on the picture, where he’s making holes in the carton, using a sharp pen.

He’s really good at it, pinching hole after hole and being focused.
Since the images are white, I suggested coloring them, yesterday. So there we were, on the bench, working together. It’s still a bit hard for him, because of his grip (using his fists more often than his fingers) but I was so glad, suggesting colours and doing the parts he didn’t want to do. A real co-production!

It’s just an example of the huge changes he is going through. Becoming far more active. Doing things in stead of talking all the time and asking the same questions over and over again. He almost lost that repetitious behavior. And if he does come up with his favorite topics I really concentrate and sincerely answer him, knowing he needs it to digest his imput.

Here you can see him backing bread,

Keen on wearing those mittens

He announced that from now on, he wants to help in the kitchen every day. It slows down my cooking, but oh boy, how I love to give him instructions and enjoy his company.
This morning he said: “Do you know why I want to make the croissants? Because I like to roll them”. So I suggested using clay (we can only eat that much, can we). Also something we didn’t do in a long, long time, because Pelle only wanted to eat it, last year (asking me to make him an icecream). I’m looking forward to do it more often.

In the meantime he has mastered a skill from a whole different kind. He can see the time on a clock. It doesn’t even have to have numbers on it. Now is this the boy with an IQ of 65, as they said last year? I really don’t believe those values anymore.

donderdag 30 september 2010

I'm wishing on a star

T-shirt with stars

I've been making a T-shirt again, using the basic Ottobre pattern and making some alterations inspired by some of the latest T's I saw in the mag. The stars are made of a rose-red cotton and I used the same colour for the honeycomb stitches. This is not a colour I would normaly use, but I think it turned out just fine. I would have loved to make the neckbinding in the same colour as the star, but couldn't find the right fabric for it. So I ended up using another striped jersey.
As the days are rapidly getting colder now, I hope Pelle can wear it often (it's a bit tight, so he can only wear it this season, have to size up for the next batch).

T-shirt with stars, back