Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Welcome to my world

It has been several years now that I wanted to begin this blog but the indecisiveness of my Piscean nature kept me in procrastination mode. So blame it on astrology, my parents and the universe - anything else but me - for the long wait of this peep into my life.
I have always had a great need to express myself creatively, it keeps me sane. I also have the desire and will to leave some kind of inspirational mark behind. Perhaps to justify my very existence, although I know very well that that doesn't need any justification, I am just who I am.

Although writing doesn't come that quick and easy to me (too much thinking and pondering) there have been several phases in my life that I seem to be attracted to pen and paper or tapping a keyboard. From my teenage years onwards I used to keep a diary, wrote poetry and tried my hand at some short stories. I even self-published a poetry book in Dutch with the financial support of friends and family.

The truth is I love words in all its forms and not-so-secretly belief that there is a book somewhere hidden in me. Although I don't know if it will ever come out of its hidden place.

My love for textiles and stitch stems from early childhood. I still remember the reassuring sound of my mum's sewing machine until the early hours of the morning. She was a dressmaker, born between the wars, with the 'make do and mend' mindset, now so fashionable re-invented as 'upcycling'.
Being the oldest girl of a 'good' Roman Catholic family with 13 children she had to stay home, from the age of 16, to sew and repair the clothes of her family. She was very upset about that, as she wanted to study, so when she was well in her 20's she took her chance and trained as a Montessori Kindergarten teacher. She married my dad, for those days, late in life (32) and it was more out of necessity that she picked up her sewing again.

My mum bought me a second hand Singer sewing machine when I was about 14 and taught me how to make some of my own garments. Later when I started my own family, I took great pride in making clothes and toys for my two little daughters. Living in my home country, The Netherlands, I started to follow adult education classes in all kinds of textile techniques and was hooked for life.

Before I go any further I want to thank all those creative inspirational people out there and in particular my friend Gina, whose blog 'kindled my fire' for the blogging world.

Though foremost I want to pay tribute to my daughter Kiama Petit, who suddenly after a short illness, passed away on the 11th of May 2012 at the age of 22. This devastating and most shocking event in my life is slowly opening up new roads, insights and inspiration. Last but not least it was the direct push to start this Blog, as Kiama showed me clearly that life is too short to waste it with procrastination.
She was a happy, enthusiastic young woman with a passion to inspire people to live a more positive, healthy and happy life.

Kiama was a 3rd year art student at Norwich University College of the Arts (NUCA) and was just weeks away from finishing her course in Visual Studies.
During the preparations of her funeral and Life Celebration, which we organised  ourselves with the help of friends and family, we discovered in her journal that she had written, several months before she died, a 'Bucket list' (a list of things you want to do before you die). As far as we know Kiama was, like us, unaware that she would die so soon and suddenly.
Her sister, Ilana, read 'My Bucketlist' out during the Life Celebration. It is such a moving and inspiring piece of writing that her friends and tutors at NUCA did ask our permission to make a poster of it and print out a limited edition. Ofcourse we agreed.

The students and tutors wanted Kiama's work to be part of the graduation show. She had done a particpatory art project, called 'Papergirl Norwich' and it was decided to present an impression of this through film, photographs and a wooden crate full of 'My Bucketlist' posters, which people could take away when visiting the graduation show.

They went out as hot cakes and the university ended up having to do several print runs, printing 1000 posters in total, and they all went. The graphic design of the poster was done by her friend, Luke Emery, and can be viewed and printed, for free, in high resolution via his website here.


Heather said...

I have a son and four daughters and can't imagine how painful it must be to lose a child of any age. Your quiet strength comes off the pages of your blog and my heart goes out to you.

Jackie said...

Thats a beautiful tribute to your daughter. I can only try to imagine what it must be like for you and admire your openness. I would like to read the bucket list poster but the photo is a bit small. The phrases in larger writing are so positive . She must have been a wonderful daughter.

Jill Dian said...

Kiama would be so proud of you...there was so much love in her short life...and that love is ongoing.

Happy blogging and stitching - Jill

mikhail said...

I am loving this Blog Catherina, and excited to hear more about your life and journeys, both inwardly and outwardly. Be proud and write bold, you have so much to share and celebrate. xxx