Tuesday, June 8, 2010


1 I'm Dutch, 65 years old, married for 40 years. We got married in Rockville MD USA in 1969 when we both lived in the States for a short time. Moved to Toronto Canada in 1970, but returned to The Netherlands a few months later due to the fact that it was hard to find a job for my husband. He was in architectural drawing and due to unemploymency all around, most job vacancies demanded a 5 to 10 years Canadian experience, so we choose to go back home while we still had the money to buy a ticket. We got two girls, now 39 and 36 years old, living their own lifes.

2 We live in the South of The Netherlands, in a part of the province Zeeland, called Zeeuws-Vlaanderen. We have an old little farmhouse and still restoring it for the last thirty years. A lifetime project so to say. We're surrounded by farmers and a beautiful landscape with old creeks and ancient pollard willows. As our land is flat as a cookie on a tray, in winter we see the sun actually sank behind the horizon in front of our house. A scenery of 1/3 land and 2/3 of beautiful colored skies.

3 I've been writing poetry almost all my life, but in 2001 I discovered American poetry sites on the internet and I wondered if I could write in English too. I've been writing in English since then, because I think the English language is a perfect language to write poetry in. I'm a member of a few American poetry sites (Piptalk.com and All Poetry.com). Some of my poems have been published in an anthology from the Piptalk site.
I'm an amateur photographer too since I got my first digital camera. At the moment I use my Sony Cybershot 717 and recently we got a Nikon D5000, a gift from our eldest daughter and her husband, for taking care of their cats while they lived in Dubai. But I haven't gotten around to explore that one yet.
As I love to capture nature's moments and write poetry, I often combine the two together, calling those creation 'Rhyming Images'.
Just a few months ago I got enough courage to publish my rhyming images through a POD Blurb.com. I made 5 little books and the titles are 'Where I shall live an die' (landscape) , 'The me and mine connection' (about my family), 'Seasoning the Sun' (sunsets), 'Reflecting my Soul in Water' (creeks sea and rivers) and 'Spiders in my Head' (spiders and spiderwebs). I've made a tribute book in memory of a very dear friend, who died last year with all her moon poems and some of my own.

4 I've been raising sheep for about 27 years, the oldest Dutch native and very rare breed, called Drenthen Heathsheep. They were roaming our pastures ever since 1300, but as it is not a commercial breed, they almost disappeared due to inbreeding other breeds. So we formed an Association of country wide breeders to keep the old typical Drenthen Heathsheep from extinction and succeeded very well. It's not out of the danger zone yet, but it's getting there. You can see them in my photo album at www dot pbase.com slash lookheretitia slash drenthen_heathsheep. It's a beautiful multicolored sheep, both ewes and rams are horned, they're intelligent and still very close to wildlife behaviour. Mine stay outside all year round. I'm an inspector of the breed and I'm keeping the pedigree book. I have two border collies which I'm training to work with the sheep. So now I only have to tell them 'go get them' and they will bring them to me.

5 I have a lot of other hobbies, like tending my rose garden (once I had about 200 different roses in my garden), I like fishing, specially trouts and salmon, but as we don't have them swimming in the wild, I have to catch them in commercialized fishing ponds, but all the same they taste delicious when we smoke them. As I have to travel our country in order to inspect the sheep at our member's homes, I like to take the dogs along and then we camp in our big van. I put the benches of the dogs a bit apart and lay a flat door on top and on top of that a mattrass. I have a cooler to keep my food fresh and I have a heater for when it's cold and I have a little tv for the evenings. I just love to roam my country this way.

How and when did you find zazzle?
I once signed up at CafePress, but didn't do much about it, until a few months ago. Roaming the forums I often came across the name Zazzle, so I decided to look it up and was sold right away. Left my 'store' at CafePress for what it was and signed up at Zazzle. I'm still a newby, still filling my store with stuff, took a while to find out a lot of things, lots of reading in the forums and asking questions.

What is the best advice you received since starting zazzle?
The best advice I got was from Shopaholic on how to make my own templates and I'm not saying this because I'm featured in her blog now, but it really was and still is a good advice. Took a moment before I got the hang of it, but I'm using it now most of the time.

If you were watching TV and saw an actor in a sitcom wearing your shirt/your poster or card was in the set what would you do?
LOL if I would see that, I would probably fall off my chair as I haven't sold anything yet. But if I had sold it and it would end up on tv, I would feel very proud I guess. I don't think I will see that happen though, as I don't watch US tv, other than detective series.

If you could choose any gift for your birthday from any shop other than your own, which would you choose and why?
Oh dear, that took me a while searching. Being busy all the time managing my own store, I glanced at other stores, but I haven't taken the time yet to have a decent look at them. So I did now and found this lovely key chain in the store of smilodonart.Why? I just think it's an adorable piece of art and I'm always short of key chains.

Do you have any formal art or computer training?
I don't have any formal computer training. I use PaintShopPro 9 to handle my photos and make my designs. I hardly ever use images from internet, always use my own photographs to make my designs. I once taught myself a bit of html and managed to make my own website on one of those free providers, but that was a hell of a job and I wouldn't know how to add stuff anymore, so it's just sitting there (titia/netpoets.net /put the http stuff in front)
Often tried to make my own website for my photos, but it seems that websitemaking and me are always fighting, I just can't get the hang of it.
I wouldn't know how to add it to search engines and all that. I truly envy those who know all about making websites.

I do have, what you would call, a 'master degree' in Textile Art. Studied that for 5 years, including history of art, history of old tapestries, history of making lace. I've learned and practised every embroidery technique there is, but don't ask me now to explain them all, I forgot a lot. Part of that study was making designs and compositions and it helped me a lot in my photography. A lot of people look, but often forget to see. Even in a square meter you can find so much beauty. Some of my designs in embroidery techniques got placed in specific books in the old days, but I don't think any of them are still available. I had some exhibitions once, but I don't do anything in textile art anymore. Times change, minds change, circomstances change.
Oh, writing this all down, made me remember that I still have some of my designs stuck away in a map somewhere, have to look them up and see if I can use them on my zazzle products somehow.

And maybe it helped a bit that my dad was a marvellous painter. He has made beautiful drawings on his trips to France and I'm planning to photograph them and put them on posters and/or framed prints.

List your shops:

You said in the forum to give you three favorites of my own store, here they are:

Calender 2011- Trees calendar
Calender 2011- Trees by TitiaG
Buy your own 2009 calendar on zazzle

editors picks

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