Tuesday, 12 October 2010


Hello to you out there!
I haven't shown my face around here in more than 6 months, and that is outrageous! As I said earlier: March wasn't my friend. Problem is: neither was the rest of spring and summer...
So I took a step back from many things and selfishly enjoyed other people's blogs for comfort.
Now I'd like to be back out here with you (if you'll still have me) and start over again! I hope to add a few links to my blog list soon, so you get a better idea of what kept me "sane" the past half year. And I'll probably show off some things I made to take my mind off things. Crafting is a great way to escape, it surely helps me, and it's so much more rewarding than wasting my time in front of the telly!
See you then!

Monday, 29 March 2010


March has not been my friend! And I won't play with him no more (just three more days, I keep telling myself...)
I won't start telling you what went wrong for two reasons:
1) it would take a lot less webspace to tell you what went well
2) this is not what this blog was supposed to be about
(not that I'm known for suffering in silence...)
But because almost nothing went according to plan (and quite a few things weren't "planned" to happen in the first place) I'm just going to post some pictures I had promised a long time ago and be off again to wait for April. Maybe she'll be nicer to me  ; )

So, here's a picture of my woodcarving WIP (although I've been working on it since I took the picture, and it looks a bit different by now):

And here's a picture of something green (as promised in my last post, still not finished though):

And do you remember I said I'd keep you posted on the paper-maché head? Well, it did dry eventually, but had changed it's shape so much, it looked like it had suffered a severe case of smallpox. I guess I didn't cut the paper small enough to smoothen it out more... I need more practice, that's for sure!

That's got to be enough for today. I'll crawl back into my cozy nest and sit the rest of this month out (there's not much else I can do). See you in April!

Monday, 8 February 2010


As you can see our calendar project is still running, although this one really pushed K's patience. Halfway through the stitches around the heart she felt like giving up. I told her she didn't have to do them in the first place, but like all 6 year olds she wanted to do it like mum. And again I have to say I like hers (on the right) better than mine (but that's just motherly pride speaking I guess  ; ) )!

I've finally finished my latest crochet project, which is a little short summer dress for K:
(summer garden granny square by courtesy of, but without her knowledge, the wonderful Lucy )
Look at her flapping her wings...  ; )  All magpie chicks need practice (she doesn't like being photographed, though...)
I hope she still likes the dress once summer arrives... right now it's hard to believe spring will ever come! Now that the snow has melted away it's getting colder again. I'm dreading "carnaval" at minus 7ºC, stepping on my own toes so they won't freeze off, and K in a way too thin princess dress... with no hat on 'cause "with my hat on I can't wear my crown!!!" Where's global warming when you need it?  ; )

Now I'll have to leave to pick K up from school. But I'll post again soon, I promise! I still have to tell you about my new woodcarving project, and a new crochet project as well (something green for a change)!
So hopefully I see you around soon!

Saturday, 9 January 2010


Hi there, world,
finally I'm back to writing again... Christmas (aka my birthday) and New Year's have come and gone, but winter has decided to stay a bit longer here, which is a first since I came living in the Netherlands. Time was spent doing wintery things, like baking a lot. K loved decorating our candy houses

and they even tasted lovely ( I managed not to burn them in the oven for the first time ever ; )  ).

A new year brings new projects, and this is one K and I are going to do together:

The idea is to make something for every month of the year  and put it in a calendar. K and I each have our own calendar, but we'll use the same creative technique and theme for each month. Since it's cold out there and we've had snow now for a while our theme for January is snowflakes. And I have to admit, K's (on the right) looks a lot more like the real thing than mine... I guess I got a little carried away...

I've also wanted to try out papier maché for ages, so I finally did. Of course I did glue paper to balloons to make lanterns when I was a kid, but I had never tried to make real papier maché.
If you haven't tried, do so! You'll be surprised what you can do with it (well, I was)! It behaves like modelling clay, and I'll certainly experment with it a little more in the near future!
I started by cutting a newspaper into little pieces,

then I soaked the stuff in water over night,
squeazed most of the water (but not all) out of it again,
sprinkled some wallpaper paste (the powdered stuff, and not too much of it) over it
and worked it like bread dow until it all was mixed well.
If you want to try this and your papier maché is too dry to work, just add a little water.

Then I took a toilet paper roll and stuck a paper ball to it with masking tape.

And then the messy bit started: I stuck the papier maché to the paper "model" in little bits at a time.
An hour and a half later (I guess I can't just do quick experiments, I always try to make things as good as possible...) I ended up with this:

Now the waiting begins... It'll take at least a couple of days for it to dry completely. After that I want to try whether you can sand it smooth, how to paint it... the finishing touches if you like. Can't wait to see how this will turn out in the end!
I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

week 51

Well, looks like I'm more the one-blog-entry-a-week kind of person...
; )
Last week I did promise to show my woodcarving project once it's finished, so that's what I'm going to do today. When I first posted it it was still very bland. I have to admit, it didn't change all that much in the end... and it did not become a bowl either...
This is what it looked like after I was done sanding it:

Already you can see the lovely pattern of the grain. But look what happened when I rubbed it with flax oil:

Aren't those colours phenomenal?
And now imagine it with a candle burning in it:

The warm candle light makes the grain come alive, and it looks so cosy, just perfect for winter!
(sorry for the bad quality shot, I lent my tripod to a friend and just couldn't wait for her to return it...)

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

December already???

It's been very busy in this magpie's nest lately. Not only has "Sinterklaas" (Saint Nicolas, it was his "birthday" last Saturday, and so he came all the way from Spain on his steamboat to bring presents to all Dutch children, well, the good ones that is...) come and gone this past weekend, dropping a huge bag of goodies for K at the front door, I've also started to work on our smallest bedroom to transform it into a workspace. That means I won't have to carry the heavy sewing machine down the stairs anymore every time I need it, 'cause now I have a little desk there. And finally I managed to hang a pinboard on the wall where I can keep my smaller crochet WIPs, so I can look at them and maybe every now and then take a picture to check whether there is any progress at all  ; )
Right now it has some hairclips and a keyring on it:

I hope that there will be lots more of these in the near future. I love making them, and they make great gifts!

One other thing I'm currently (still) working on is the woodcarving project I mentioned earlier. I'm almost done, just a little something left to do and I can "proudly " present it here, hopefully sometime this week!

Thursday, 26 November 2009

cats and dogs

No, no pets in todays blog entry, just a deep sigh about the weather...
It has been dreadful around here this whole week, so I felt I needed some chocolaty comfort:

They are very easy to make, you can find the original recipe here. I had to improvise, though. I have no idea how many oreo biscuits are in an American package, so I played around with the amounts until they were about right. Maybe mine are a little less smooth, and I covered them in white chocolate, but I assure you, they are lovely nonetheless! I used 7 biscuits, 45g of cream cheese and ordinary white chocolate.

I've also finished a little something to give away, although K kind of fell in love with it and it won't be easy to get her to hand it over:

I saw the pattern for these little crochet birds here and loved them straight away.
I just added a little flower I made up. Well, probably I'm not the only one who came up with it in crochet history, since it's such an easy pattern... ;)
And here it is:
beginning cluster:
chain 2, yarn over, insert hook in the same stitch, yarn over, pull through, yarn over, pull yarn through 2 loops, yarn over, insert hook in stitch, yarn over, pull through, yarn over, pull through 2 loops, yarn over, pull through last 3 loops

(yarn over, insert hook in stitch, yarn over, pull through, yarn over, pull through 2 loops) 3 times, yarn over, pull through remaining 4 loops

with colour #1
chain 3, make a beginning cluster in the first chain,
(cluster, ch3) 5 times
join to the top of beginning cluster with a slip stitch
(you should have 6 clusters now, separated by 6 ch3 spaces)
fasten off

join new colour to any ch3 space
(dc, htr, tr, htr, dc) in same space
*(dc, htr, tr, htr, dc) in next ch3 space*
repeat * all around and join with a slip stitch
fasten off
This is my first attempt at writing a pattern that not only I have to be able to read, so please forgive me if I made some mistakes here and there. If you come across one, please let me know so I can straighten it out.

Well, enough for today. It's way past my bedtime, and I'll surely regret having stayed up so late when my little living alarm clock (i.e. K) starts screaming for attention in the morning. At least we won't have to hurry through the cold rain before even really being awake, since there's no school tomorrow. Ah, the simple pleasures... ; )