inspiration'I have never done it before, so I think I can'  Pippi Longstocking  Astrid Lindgren

Who are you?

My name is Saskia van Herwaarden, maiden name Van Dijk; I was born in 1963 in Maastricht from a Danish mother and a Dutch father. During my early childhood, from 1966 till 1971, we lived in England, hence my love for the English language and the United Kingdom. Every long Summer holiday of my entire youth we spent in Denmark together with our Danish family. I therefore regard Denmark as my second home. These days I live in the Dutch countryside, an area called The Betuwe, together with my husband and our two black labradors.

What keeps you busy?

For as long as I can remember I love working with my hands, I make up stories and I enjoy tidying up. My mother liked recalling how nothing was allowed out of the house before I'd checked out if if was worth keeping after all or maybe I could use it for something or other. She loved adding that if you need help getting your house in order, i.e. tidying up, you should ask me. Whatever else I've done in my life, I have always continued making, telling and tidying up.

Where do you work and what do you make?

I am mainly busy in my garden studio 'The Birdhut'. I can experiment with all kinds of materials in there. In 2011 I 'discovered' cloth and started working with (recycled) cloth, resulting in fabric pieces that can either hang in a space or against a wall and the so-called'Small Pillows'‘. 

Before working with textiles I made oil paintings, on wood and on linen. I recently returned to my old love: painting on flat surfaces again, especially ink-wash paintings on all kinds of paper. 

Another great project that has been ongoing since 2014 is the doll's house I made in my studio. This is called 'The Dwelling©  which took shape in part on the blog. I hope one day to publish these stories.

How come your weblog is in English?

I have kept a blog since 2011 called ‘Tales from the BirdHut. The main language is English as the first online group I participated in has member spread out all across the globe and our shared lingua franca is English.

How did you get started tidying up in other people's homes? 

It all started with tidying up in our parent's house, where I helped out my mum and dad in turn in their respective rooms and cupboards.....During this intimate process they shared many stories and anecdotes. Whilst they were still alive this was an ongoing process. They have recently passed away, within a short space of time, and I continue the tidying-up without them. 

Any future plans?

I would love to publish a book with stories from The Dwelling , oh yes, and a calendar, and cards......gosh enough to dream about and look forward to.

more info on my CV


click on 'Vogelhut' for interview with Gabri Wijnakker with me in my studio

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