Typical Dutch sky

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Today was Queensday. Last year the weather was great, so we kind of hoped, maybe even foolishly expected to have a day like that again. We started at the flea market in Gouda, but I only bought two books (Jessica Fletcher, I love her). We went home very soon, because we were very cold and wet. We never even tried to see the enterntainment on the townsquare, since it’s always even colder and windier there.

The rest of the day we spent at home, reading, relaxing. Which is also good.

Growing herbs

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I try this every spring and summer but it somehow never works out. I guess it has something to do with the moist (the windows get condensed when it’s cold and rainy) and the sun (when it is shining it’s quite bright and hot behind these windows). But I like trying.

I’m also fond really fond of the watering can. I always buy vintage ones, but have broken the handles of two of them (the plastic gets hard over the years). I do hope this one will last. At least until my red-loving period (I seem to be adding red to the kitchen almost weekly) is over.
Oh and I know the herb on the right is not thyme, but there was no planter for parsley and I hardly ever use thyme (I used to make coughing syrope, but I bought thyme in the herbshop for that ).

New kids on the block

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This is across the street. We live on a dike and as you can see, we have quite a view from our home. There will be some building going on next to that farm on the right, but because our home is build on the side of the dike, not on top of it, we won’t see much of it. From where I sit now (diningroom table) I can only see the top of that farm.
The sheep are on a field that will remain as it is. There is a road behind it and building will only be done behind that road.
We have been living here for almost three years now and I still feel very lucky to have this great view, both in front and at the back of our house. We look forward to the sheep wandering on the other side of the road again. It kind of marks the beginning of summer for us. The lambs are late this year, we don’t often see them this small on this field.
For Holland this is really extreme freedom. We live just outside Rotterdam, in the most crowded area of the country. There are more empty spaces like this, but not close to the city, which is necessary for dh’s IT-bussiness. He has most of his clients in Rotterdam and can reach them within 15 minutes or half an hour (depending on the trafficjams).
We have been moving around quite a bit (this is our fifth home) but I think we will stay here at least until we retire…

My cookbooks

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Not all of them, by the way, I have four big binders on an other cupboard and four cookbooks that are part of a sixties series of household books.

I don’t use them much, I have to admit that I’m not a very adventurous cook. I do a lot of stir frying and we also have plain potato-meat-vegetable meals. I do plan to try some more recipes soon, but I plan to do a lot…

I could tell you a lot about the individual books, but I’m way too tired. (And my lovely teenagegirls are having a rather loud discussion in the same room, so it’s kind of hard to form good -english- sentences)

Blooming explosion

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This was yesterday, those flowers are blown off quickly now.
I’m going to watch this tree and try to get a picture of the cherries before the birds get them.

In our back garden


Isn’t this a logical sequel to yesterday’s picture of the front-garden?
Actually it has not much to do with it. Yesterday I was sick and uninspired, today I want to tell you about our back-garden.
When we bought this house there was no back-garden. There was some room to sit on the side of the garage, but the land behind our house was divided between our neighbours. They managed to convince the farmer it used to belong to to sell it to them before we bought the house.
We had no problems with that, but when our neighbours offered to sell us a big part of their garden (the piece right behind our house) we quickly agreed.
We took the garden as it was, with a very big terrace and very few plants. I was impossible to plant more, because there is a big concrete slab under the terrace, which used to be the floor of a barn. The raised bed behind our house was the only place I could try to plant something different.
Well, three summers came and went. The only thing that changed was that the small plants my neighbour planted grew out to big bushes. I love the rosemary, but I had ten enormous shrubs. And the roses were just everywhere, hurting me with their thorns when I tried to get rid of some weeds. Last September I took the biggest and ugliest shrubs out of the bed and I planned to start sowing and planting nice little flowers this spring.
That would be about now. But… instead of doing some nice little gardening I’m taking out the tiles of the terrace and breaking up the raised bed. Sitting and eating outside will have to be done on the roof (which is quite nice too). Why? Well, we bought a swimming pool and to fit it in the flower bed must go.
But I’m not sad to see it go. I mean…a swimming pool!

In the garden

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Not a very soft bed

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He really wanted to sleep on my (clean) laundry, but the basket of clothespins was on top of it (on purpose, to keep him from sleeping in my laundry).
So he decided to compromize: he is sleeping in the basket that is on top of the laundry. And also on top of the clothespins, so I doubt if he is really comfortable.
But hey, it’s all a matter of principle, isn’t it?

A corner

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Actually it’s not a corner, it’s the middle of the wall. The weights are from a clock that used to belong to dh’s grandfather.
I bought the flowers last week and they are finally open. I like having flowers in the house, in a vase or on a plant, but I’m not that good with blooming plants. Green plants do very well, I have nourished several back from almost dead. When I brought back a schoolplant I had taken care of during the summervacation, the teacher even thought I had bought a new one. But I just gave it some fresh soil and plenty of water.
Some people say take care of my plants too well, that’s why they don’t get flowers. Flowers are there to make seeds and plants do that when they think they won’t survive. Mine just never fear death.
Well, at least it sounds better than just not being able to sustain any flowering plants…

Fantasy Fair dress

It's done, just in time for the big event. It's not too bad, I think, but I made her promise to use the same dress next year. She agreed (it was a great idea to let her work on it with me, so now she nows just how much work it was).

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I had a lot more fun making a matching bag.

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Almost finished

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That was way harder than I expected! I have the zipper in now, but I still have to hem the whole thing. And I really have to hurry because Esther is going to her big fantasy weekend tomorrow evening.
Also I’m not satisfied with the way it fits her. It’s too wide. But I’m not sure If I can fix that in time. Still, it looks great. She has been working on making wings this afternoon for hours. They need to be finished tomorrow too, but we’re getting there.
Hopefully I’ll have pictures of the finished dress tomorrow!

Almost finished

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That was way harder than I expected! I have the zipper in now, but I still have to hem the whole thing. And I really have to hurry because Esther is going to her big fantasy weekend tomorrow evening.
Also I’m not satisfied with the way it fits her. It’s too wide. But I’m not sure If I can fix that in time. Still, it looks great. She has been working on making wings this afternoon for hours. They need to be finished tomorrow too, but we’re getting there.
Hopefully I’ll have pictures of the finished dress tomorrow!

In the garden

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Thrifting treasures

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Accidently color coordinated. I love it when that happens.

Laundry

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Outside! Always a sign of spring.

Sunrise

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Bedquilts

I started these quilts way back in september. They were supposed to keep us warm during winter, replacing our very wornout sleepingbags (we use those as blankets) but things were not as easy as I thought.
Here’s what went wrong:
- the fabrics were too stretchy (I did try that before buying, but when I cut it into strips it seemed to get stretchier), and not in the same way, so things went kind of wonky, especially on the logcabin design.
- I don’t own a quilting foot or even a walking foot, so quilting was really hard. I couldn’t keep the back without ugly wrinkles and I’m not completely in the dents also (sometimes a bit next to it)
- I used extra thick batting, which will keep us warm, but was not a good idea craftwise, especially without a quilting foot.
It took me so long, because I got frustrated, tried to fix things only to make them worse etcetera. But our sleeping bags are really falling apart and I thought it would be a waste to throw all my work and the nice fabrics away. So last week I pushed through, ignored mistakes and finally finished them. Yay!

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The first I finished. I pinned the whole thing, but you can see clearly the fabrics did not stay where they belonged. Also I have a big problem doing “random” piecing. I don’t like the way the orange is in a big block right there.


This is supposed to be a logcabin, but I should have organized those fabrics different, since now it looks like an hourglass. I cunningly tried to disguise the wonkiness by pretending I made the bed, but you can still see it…
I basted this one thoroughly so the quilting acutally went a bit better, maybe it would even have gone great if it hadn’t been so wonky.

 
I do like the way stitching in the dents makes a pattern on the back though.
So… Am I put off from quilting now?
No Way, I love it! (Yes, these were my first.)
But I’m going to by a quilting foot for my machine, use proper (at least non stretchy) fabrics and thinner batting the next time…

Bedquilts

I started these quilts way back in september. They were supposed to keep us warm during winter, replacing our very wornout sleepingbags (we use those as blankets) but things were not as easy as I thought.

Here’s what went wrong:
- the fabrics were too stretchy (I did try that before buying, but when I cut it into strips it seemed to get stretchier), and not in the same way, so things went kind of wonky, especially on the logcabin design.
- I don’t own a quilting foot or even a walking foot, so quilting was really hard. I couldn’t keep the back without ugly wrinkles and I’m not completely in the dents also (sometimes a bit next to it)
- I used extra thick batting, which will keep us warm, but was not a good idea craftwise, especially without a quilting foot.

It took me so long, because I got frustrated, tried to fix things only to make them worse etcetera. But our sleeping bags are really falling apart and I thought it would be a waste to throw all my work and the nice fabrics away. So last week I pushed through, ignored mistakes and finally finished them. Yay!


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The first I finished. I pinned the whole thing, but you can see clearly the fabrics did not stay where they belonged. Also I have a big problem doing “random” piecing. I don’t like the way the orange is in a big block right there.

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This is supposed to be a logcabin, but I should have organized those fabrics different, since now it looks like an hourglass. I cunningly tried to disguise the wonkiness by pretending I made the bed, but you can still see it…

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I basted this one thoroughly so the quilting acutally went a bit better, maybe it would even have gone great if it hadn’t been so wonky.
I do like the way stitching in the dents makes a pattern on the back though.

So… Am I put off from quilting now?

No Way, I love it! (Yes, these were my first.)
But I’m going to by a quilting foot for my machine, use proper (at least non stretchy) fabrics and thinner batting the next time…

Books

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I love a good clean out and straightening of the books. I also think I need more book cases...

Thrifting treasures

Two vintage dresses

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Some old magazines ('50's/'60's)

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Work in progress

I’m trying to work through that stash and started by sorting it. The stuff I may make cloths out is still in the cupboard, and so are all the smaller pieces. These are the fabrics that will be bags. Or at least that’s the plan.
I matched everything, outside fabric(s) and interfacing. Now if I would just get on a roll… I have been on and off the machine all day and have only finished one simple tote yet. I really wanted to do more, but I’m so sleepy…
The fabrics can’t stay layed out like this - which I think is a shame, because I like to see what I’m working on. But that’s our coffee table in the right corner and it’s not where it’s supposed to be (that would be on top of the fabrics).
So there are piles all over the place now….
One good thing about DH being on a bussiness trip: I can let it lie around for a few days now.
That’s why I’m sleepy, by the way. He was on his way to the south of France by car yesterday and I stayed awake until he called that he arrived safely. He did, at one o’clock in the night.

Work in progress

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I’m trying to work through that stash and started by sorting it. The stuff I may make cloths out is still in the cupboard, and so are all the smaller pieces. These are the fabrics that will be bags. Or at least that’s the plan.

I matched everything, outside fabric(s) and interfacing. Now if I would just get on a roll… I have been on and off the machine all day and have only finished one simple tote yet. I really wanted to do more, but I’m so sleepy…
The fabrics can’t stay layed out like this - which I think is a shame, because I like to see what I’m working on. But that’s our coffee table in the right corner and it’s not where it’s supposed to be (that would be on top of the fabrics).
So there are piles all over the place now….
One good thing about DH being on a bussiness trip: I can let it lie around for a few days now.

That’s why I’m sleepy, by the way. He was on his way to the south of France by car yesterday and I stayed awake until he called that he arrived safely. He did, at one o’clock in the night.

Finished!

Finally! I started this back in may 2007 and slowly worked my way through nine blocks of garterstitch. But I like it very much now that it’s finished!
tutorial on how to do the logcabin knitting thing here (about halfway the page)

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Finished!

Finally! I started this back in May 2007 and slowly worked my way through nine blocks of garterstitch. But I like it very much now that it’s finished!
tutorial on how to do the logcabin knitting thing here (about halfway the page)

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Weaving in the ends

I’m still weaving in… I calculated that there must be over 300 ends to weave in. Nine blocks, seventeen colorchanges, each leaving two tails. And some more, because I have been using up the really small balls first.
Oh well, we’ll get there over the weekend. Hopefully I will finish the last of my two “quilts-to-sleep-under” too. Just need to sew on the binding. But 1.40 m by 2 m is a lot of binding!
After that I will be on to doing something really fun. I received an invitation to send in design proposals for a book!
It says: “After doing Internet research and spotting your work, we’ve placed you on our prospective designer list.
Yay! I know there must be lots of people that received an invitation like this, but still, it’s some form of acknowledgement.
I really need that. I am somewhat (ha!) insecure about the things I make. I never think they are good enough. I admire other peoples creations but I’m never satisfied with mine. So, even if my design won’t make it into this book, receiving this invitation already has made my day!

Weaving in the ends

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I’m still weaving in… I calculated that there must be over 300 ends to weave in. Nine blocks, seventeen colorchanges, each leaving two tails. And some more, because I have been using up the really small balls first.
Oh well, we’ll get there over the weekend. Hopefully I will finish the last of my two “quilts-to-sleep-under” too. Just need to sew on the binding. But 1.40 m by 2 m is a lot of binding!

After that I will be on to doing something really fun. I received an invitation to send in design proposals for a book!
It says: “After doing Internet research and spotting your work, we’ve placed you on our prospective designer list.
Yay! I know there must be lots of people that received an invitation like this, but still, it’s some form of acknowledgement.
I really need that. I am somewhat (ha!) insecure about the things I make. I never think they are good enough. I admire other peoples creations but I’m never satisfied with mine. So, even if my design won’t make it into this book, receiving this invitation already has made my day!
(this is the work they're referring to)

My stash

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Um...yeah. It's time to stop buying and start making.

Recycling

It was about time to do some sewing again...
I started with something that has been waiting for a while.  I promised D.  to use some of here favorite, but too small, cloths to make bags.
First: a combination of jeans (with a fun embroidered detail) and white embroidered pants.

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And a skirt.

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Ironing

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(something I'm sewing of course, not the usual ironing, I try to avoid that as much as possible)