Letting go of frustration, moving on to fun

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I have been thinking a lot about the way my crafting has evolved lately. And I don’t mean that in a good way.
It is reassuring that I’m not the only one, but that post and some short reactions back and forth have triggered even more thinking.
When I started knitting and later sewing about two years ago, I was so excited about the things I made. I knit myself some cardigans and made some bags for myself and the kids. Oh, and I had a lot of fun knitting my whole family scarves as a Sinterklaassurprise.
But something changed. People who used to be inspirational for me, started to be an example. That may sound riduculous, but it’s the best way I can describe it. Instead of triggering creative processes in my mind, I started wanting to be like them.
I wanted people coming to my blog and tell me how fabulous my crafting was (it isn’t, I’m not that talented, I know) just like they did with those blogs. Also most of those people I admired had shops and their stuff sold like crazy. So I opened an Etsy shop too.
That was a stupid thing to do. I started making things to sell and that made my crafting very selfconscious. The more I wanted things to be perfect, the more mistakes I saw. I have blogged about that frustration before, I think.
I even started collecting fabrics to make stuff to sell, again, copying the fabulous stashes I saw online. For me having a big stash (well, not that big compared to some others, but for me and for the little house I live in it’s a big stash) is not a good thing. I thought it would be like having my own little shop, but instead it frustrates me. It makes me feel that there is so much work to do. I need to cut down on that too.
I have a stupid pile of bags laying in my closet. They are not selling, because they are not that special. I think most people who would like a bag like that are able to make them theirselves.
Yesterday, I was finishing two other bags. Made from vintage pillowcases, made carefully, hoping to be able to sell them. And suddenly Beki’s post came to my mind again. And I realized I was not having fun at all. I was just being frustrated at some stupid stitches that weren’t as straight as I wanted them.
I did finish the bags, but than put the whole shop thing out of my mind. I started cutting into some other pillowcases (saved to make bags to sell) and started putting together a quiltblock. I have been wanting to try that for a long time, but I was always thinking about that shop that still had zero sells. Time for sewing had turned into “now I have to make something that others will like” instead of “let’s have some fun”.
I did have fun with the quilt block. It was not perfect, nor were the other two I made. But that didn’t matter, since this is going to be my own quilt.

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And now I’m with Beki. I’m going to play from now on. Have some fun, make things just because I like making things. The shop will be closed, maybe even deleted if I have the courage (it is kind of hard to let go of dreams.)
Also, I’m taking a blogbreak for the rest of the summer. For the mainly the same reasons. I love being a (very small) part of the craftblogging community, but lately I’m asking myself if I’m not too obsessed with it.
I have been struggling to come up with a post every day and sometimes feel like I’m doing things to blog about them instead of just documenting my life. I have been deleting blogs a lot since I started blogging in 2001, but I always started missing it after a while, regretting I deleted things. I don’t want to do it like that again. I’m just giving myself some time off, to find my way back to having fun and being at peace with myself and the things I do.
I hope to return here on the 1st of September with lots of fun crafting and nice pictures.
Hope you all have a good summer, filled with lots of fun!


In the channel in front of our house there is a coot nesting.

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One chick peaking from under her wings.

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There were three chicks under her wings, but I couldn’t get more than two in the picture.

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One chick was very adventurous, exploring around her, testing the lily leaves for walking and splashing in the water. The mother was watching him carefully and the father was around too, yelling at me when I tried to come closer. Such a cute family!


Terrible headaches! Can’t even think about something to take a picture off! Hopefully tomorrow things will be better

Learning to knit

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Their vacation has started, computertime stays limited and the weather is not good enough to spent hours in the swimmingpool. So when they got bored, they asked me to teach them to knit. So much fun!


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Trying to loose weight seems to make me more mindful about the food I prepare. I like that.

Teatray got promotion

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I bought this vintage foldable teatray months ago. I fell in love with it at first sight. I have always wanted a teatray (is that what it’s called? – it’s more like a little carriage) and this was just my taste. I must have been very modern in the late sixties I think. And it’s red, my new favorite thriftingcolor. (I have been buying greens for years, but lately it is all red). Also it was cheap, only 2 euros. So I took it home.
I have always been picturing using one of these while having a tea party. Elegantly pouring some tea, handing it over to my guests and presenting cookies and cake.
Um, yeah. I never have teaparties. I hardly get any visitors and when I do we drink coffee. We’re dutch, you know? Dutch people drink a lot of coffee. DH and I love very strong coffee, so we have a automatic coffeemaker. One of those things that grinds the coffee fresh before every cup you make. No need to pour anything, just put the cup under it.
Anyway, no chances to use a teatraything. It is foldable, but it was a bit “in the way” most of the time. I have this rule, not to buy or hold on to anything that I cannot find a good place for. So it had to go. I have made trips to the thriftshop several times to drop off things, but always “forgot” about my little red teatray.
And it was a good thing I did. After the floorincident we rearranged the furniture in the living room. And suddenly we found ourselves needing a place for our tv, stereo and dvd player. Preferably as small as possible and with wheels, so we could easily move it around.
Ha! I said, pulling the teatray from it’s hiding place. Let’s try this!
I thought dh would not like it, but he does. So now our little obsolete teacarriage had been promoted,
We love the way it looks, it makes the tv more casual. It looks like it’s just sitting there for a while, not dominating the room and demanding people to look at it. I like that.
(taking pictures of it was a challenge, I wanted to show you the nice design, not our electronics – this was the best I could do)
(thanks to Barbara for inspiring this post)


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Kind of funny, I feel I can’t just post pictures, even when I’ve got nothing to say.

To be totally honest: this was the only thing I could think of photographing today. I have been wandering around the house, but there was just nothing speaking to me.

And outside? Well, dutch summer has started. Rain, rain, rain. But I promised not to nag about it, remember?
I cherish the days we enjoyed the sunshine, swimming, eating outside, taking in the warmth. I’ m glad we did, so many years we let those sunny summerdays go by without realizing how little we get.

And there will be more of those days. Eventually…


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He is always on the look out for a new place to sleep. A pile of bags we left lying around after some exhausting shopping needed to be tested too. He has been sitting there completely satisfied for … um … minutes, until he tried to lie down and discovered the plastic bag (yeah, I know – I was too exhausted to fight those ladies who put everything in a bag so fast, you always realize it only when they hand it over) was too slippery to curl up comfortably.
Maybe it’s just my tired brain, but I suddenly realized there was a lesson in his behavior, an example.
Let’s be like that cat: eager to try something new, satisfied with the experience and than happily returning to safe, familiar places if it doesn’t work out…


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Yesterday I had some good hours in the garden. Did a lot of weeding and even had time to pick some of that lavender.

Hair band

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E. needed something to keep her hair out of her face when dancing. So I made this simple hair band, with some elastic in the back. The embroidery was already on the fabric.

The bag that could've been

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When I was making this bag, I thought I finally had it. Perfect stitching, great combination of vintage fabrics. This just could become my first sale on Etsy.
But then I ironed it one more time (you know, to make it even more perfect for the pictures), somehow got stuck behind the zipper and made a nasty spot that won't come out.
Oh well, I'll keep it for myself. I do like it.

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