Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Felt balls

Yeah, it is finally finished! My wreath with needle felted balls. All balls felted by myself....that's why I didn't finish it last year around Christmas and it has been an UFO (unfinished object - my mum taught me this new abbreviation) laying around the house for several months. I learned this technique from my cousin from Atelier Love for Wool.




How to make a needle felt ball:

Materials:
- Wool roving (I got mine from Kleiendraad)
- A felting needle
- Foam block
- Soap
- Bowl of lukewarm water

First you take a peace of wool of about 15 cm long and you tie it into a knot. Wrap the ends around the knot so it already looks a bit like a ball. Stick your needle in from different sides and angles. Use your foam block so that you don't stick the needle in the surface your working on. You'll notice that your ball will get firmer. Dip it into your bowl of lukewarm soapy water and roll it between your hands into a nice ballshape. Let it dry and you can use the balls to decorate whatever you want.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas tree



A few years ago without planning it I started a new tradition of collecting Christmas ornaments from the countries we visit. Funny enough you can even buy them in spring. This year this cute little bird with a knitted hat was added to the collection in St. Jacobs, Canada. It goes well with the tree my boyfriend made out of wood three years ago. Although I miss the scent of a real tree, it is pretty practical to put it in the attic in one piece after the holidays and take it back out the next year. We do take out the ornaments, but the lights stay in!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Flower cushion



Tadaa!! My crochet flower cushion. I'm not experienced at crocheting, but I did make this and it turned out pretty nice. I followed a workshop by Natasha from Natashaakt.nl (too bad if you don't live in the Netherlands, but there are a lot of tutorials online as well). It is made with a 12 mm crochet needle and Shetland wool and probably looks more difficult than it actually is. The cushion is about 50 cm.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Solufleece

Some projects work out better than others and this is one of them (that's why the picture is from a little bit further away :)) I tried to make this sewing machine pin cushion, which turned out quite okay. Do really like the little yarnspool on top! The reason I did want to blog about it, is solufleece. Solufleece is a water soluble fabric. So you can draw anything on it, attach it to your fabric and embroider the drawing onto the fabric. Then put it in hot or cold water and the solufleece disappears! Now leaving only your nice embroidered, in my case flower (which I should of embroidered in pink or orange because you can't see it)!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Birdhouse





The temperature dropped significantly this week so we started to think about feeding the birds again. I saw this birdhouse in a magazine and my boyfriend recreated it in a couple of hours! He used leftover pieces of wood that were overcrowding our small shed. I added a sketch to give you an idea of the measurements.




Sunday, September 29, 2013

Ocean waves quilt

This is the first quilt I finished on my own!












It was a lot of work and there are some irregularities, but I'm still pretty proud of the end result. Ocean waves is a pattern made up out of a lot of small triangles. It's ideal for your fabric leftovers. I did cheat a little bit by using a square in the middle! The white fabric with large blue flowers is a fabric which my mother bought about 25 years ago and one of my best friends donated a piece of fabric as well, so besides it being my first 'big' quilt it also has an extra personal touch.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Edinburgh

Edinburgh, a city with an impressive castle, a beautiful park, lovely old buildings and GREAT shops!! The shops above (except for Bibi's Cake Boutique) were all in the Grassmarket area where we stayed for three days.

1. Mr. Wood's Fossils - we bought a Mosasaur tooth, which is around 70 million years old, for my nephew who turns five this week and is really into dinosaurs (like my boyfriend).

2. Materialise - this shop wasn't actually open when we came across it, but I loved the window. It's a a place to sew in, create, learn and share ideas in and a shop where you can find fabulous fabrics.

3. The Red Door Gallery - okay, so this one is my favorite out of all the shops. They call themselves a 'melting pot of affordable artwork, prints, artists books, accessories, jewellery, homewares and artist cards'. I refrained myself and only bought a brooch and some earrings for my niece who turns eleven in two weeks.

4. Owl & Lion - This is not only a shop where you buy books or prints but where you can also follow bookbinding courses.

5. Bibi's Cake Boutique - Just look at the website, I need not say more!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Freezer paper





I bought freezer paper from VANMARIEKE and downloaded the bowler hat and moustache image from Knippie a while ago. My nephew turned four last week so a nice chance to try them out together.
I printed out the image and traced it onto the 'paper' side of the freezer paper. The other side is more shiny. I cut out the image and laid my now iron-on stencil with the shiny side onto the fabric and ironed it on. The final step was to paint in the hat and moustache. Make sure you put a bit of cardboard inside the shirt so you don't get stains on the back. Let it dry for the amount of time it says on the paintbottle and 'klaar is kees' (as we say in Dutch)!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Recycling envelopes

My friend is going on an adventure to Nepal in October. She's going hiking so she can't bring a huge amount of luggage. But you always need something to write on and store your souvenirs in! I found the perfect gift. This handmade pocketbook made out of washipaper and - once send - envelopes by EnvelopeBook. We put a Saint Christopher pendant in who will keep her safe during her journey and the garland I made during last weeks Sewing Bee. It resembles a prayer flag, often found strung along mountain ridges and peaks in the Himalayas.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Sewing bee

 
Last Saturday one of my best friends celebrated her birthday with a sewing bee. Seven women, lots of felt and ribbons in different colors, cake and presents were the recipe of a great afternoon. The idea was to make a garland. It was fun to see that everybody added their personal touch and came up with a different design. The fact that I had already made two crochet flower garlands (see first picture) to go with my presents was a complete coincidence. I can't read crochet patterns, but you can find numerous tutorials on YouTube.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

On the wall




                             A tea box + a city in a bag by Muji + an enlarged photo = a wall decoration!

 
We try to go on a citytrip every year and if there's a Muji store there we always buy their city in a bag. So as you can see we did this in Berlin (photo of the Berlin Wall), New York and London. I used the back part of a cheap tea box, which I painted white, as a frame.

 
 


Sunday, July 28, 2013

Letters



We went to a first birthday party this weekend. I saw these great letters made out of felt once in a magazine or on a blog. I couldn't remember where I saw them, so I made these without a description. I used a thicker type of felt so the letters (Font: Rockwell Extra Bold) can actually stand up after filling them. My first idea was to use the sewing machine but the felt was too thick so I ended up stitching them by hand. I kind off like te crafty look they got from not having all the stitches be truly equal.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Photo Board

 

Friends of ours celebrated their 10-year wedding anniversary last weekend. Their gift request was 'a little envelope' so we decided to create something around this gift. The result was this photo board with pictures from the last ten years. You can use a canvas, but I used plywood which we had lying around. The great thing is they can put in other pictures whenever they like. I've got a memo board in my hallway for the invitations, postcards and drawings (mostly from my nieces and nephews) I recieve during the year. At the beginning of every new year I take everything down and wonder what nice tidings I'll recieve the coming year.
An other possibility is to hang a memo board in your kitchen with your favorite recipes or your grocery lists or make one for a girlfriend who is about to get married and put pictures on it from here single life or your wishes for her future.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Back home!


 

And after a little more than two weeks we're back home.....On the map you can see the journey we made (except for Montréal because it's a map of Ontario so Montréal wasn't on it). From every holiday abroad we take home a 'cheesy' souvenir. This time a wooden canoe with on one side a bear and on the other side a moose!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

History, islands and the countryside

It came down to the last four days of our stay here in Canada, so we started descending towards Toronto again. First stop was Upper Canada Village where you go back to life in the 1860's. There was a medieval tournament going on so we actually saw some knights jousting! Then we were off to Fort Henry in Kingston, which was build in 1812 to protect the British against an American attack.










We stayed the night in Gananoque and the next day we went on the Thousand Islands boat tour on the St. Lawrence river. We saw some some beautiful houses on islands in the middle of the lake. We even went into US waters and got to see Boldt Castle. It is a castle built by a hotel magnate. When his wife died suddenly before the completion he immediately stopped all the construction and the property was left vacant for seventy years. A real sad story, but they made it into a tourist attraction so some good must have come from it......















The last two nights of our trip we stayed in Picton in Prince Edward County. We had a lovely afternoon by the pool at our hotel, but the last day unfortunately it was raining so we toured the county by car and did some more shopping. Off home tomorrow!



Monday, June 10, 2013

A tale of two cities




 


 





After the quiet of Algonquin Park we went on to visit Ottowa, the capital of Canada. We stayed there for two nights and our hotel was just a couple of blocks away from Parliament Hill. On Thursday after 5 p.m. a lot of museums are free and we arrived on Thursday so the first thing we decided to do was to visit the National Gallery of Canada. In front is the huge  sculpture of a spider named 'Maman'. Inside whe saw a Picasso, a Van Gogh and a Mondriaan among others. Unfortunately the weather was pretty bad so we ended the day in a shopping centre. The next day wasn't much better but we went walking about anyway and visited the Byward Market which had some colourful products.










Next stop was Montreal, so we had to dust off our French. The only thing we didn't take into account was that it was GrandPrix weekend. So we didn't stay in the city because the prices of the hotels doubled or sometimes even tripled. On Saturday we drove to Parc Mont-Royal to have a great view of the city. On Sunday we visited the old city which has a real European feel to it with its cobblestone pavements and churches like the Notre Dame, the Chapelle Notre Dame-de-Bonsecours and the Oratoire Saint-Joseph. The weather was gorgeous so we had lunch outside and finished it off with an icecream on a bench in Place Jacques-Cartier. Oh, and on our way back to the car we saw Mick Jagger who was leaving his hotel after a gig the night behore :) 

Friday, June 7, 2013

Moose, flies and canoeing

 


Our motel in Huntsville was a great starting point to go visit Algonquin Park. The whole purpose of us tourists going there is to enjoy nature and off course see a moose in the wild. We started out having breakfast at the Moose Cafe :) and after that we drove into the park. The man at the permit office told us that his colleague had an encounter with a wolf the night before. The wolf walked right by her. Ok, we would settle for just a moose. And hey there it was in the water at the side off the road. The picture is not very clear, because it was quite a long way away, but we definitely saw one. Our excitement about seeing this great animal was immediately interrupted by a swarm of (what we later learned to be) black flies. Horrible. They actually bit us a couple of times. The reason why the moose are driven out of the woods are actually these flies who are a real pest to them as well. We wanted to go canoeing but were a bit wary about the flies being there too. Luckily they weren't so we spend a lovely time canoeing on Canoe Lake (what's in a name). It was really peaceful and quiet (except for when the lumberjack started chopping down some trees).

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Falls, mennonites and lakes


 



After Toronto we headed out to Niagara Falls. A couple of words come to mind: beautiful, fabulous and amazing. We went on the Maid of the Mist, the boat tour, which was fun and wet (even though we wore our blue raincoats). We were suprised about how close we actually got. Then it was off to the rural area of Ontario where the Mennonites live. We stayed in a bed and breakfast in St. Jacobs, a small town with a lovely quiltshop (that was one of the reasons I  wanted to go there). I was kind of dissappointed that we only saw one person in traditional clothes and didn's see a horse and carriage, but what can you do. The Farmers market, where the Mennonites sell their produce, wasn't on till Thursday or Friday and we were there on Monday. So not great timing on our part. On Tuesday we made our way to the Colonial Bay Motel near Huntsville. From there we are going to visit Algonquin Park. A friend recommended the motel and we were glad she did because we can see Peninsula Lake from our room.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Toronto tales



 







We're on holiday! We're starting off our two week vacation in Toronto, Canada. When we left Holland it was about 15 degrees Celsius and here it's about 30 degrees. Quite an adjustment! The number one tourist thing to do in Toronto is to go to the CN Tower, so that is where we ventured out to first to have a great view of the city. We also visited ChinaTown and the Farmers and St. Lawrence Market on Jarvis Street. The one thing that struck us  most about Toronto is the combination of old and new buildings.
We had some lovely food and made sure we fit some shopping in too (I'm especially happy with a nice book I bought, but I will blog about that later).  

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Beautiful bow


I like to make a bit of a fuss off my giftwrapping. I'm always on the lookout for nice wrapping paper. This weekend it was my sister in law's birthday. Our present was gift wrapped by the store in this bright, a little bit boring, red paper. I wanted to spice it up a bit and found a template for a paper bow here on How about Orange. It's really easy to make as it only consists of three pieces. It will take you just a few minutes. If you have more time you can also make multiple or different colour bows to put on a present, a card or whatever you like.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Sunny Spain

                  

Last week we had a lovely weekend in Oviedo, Spain.  The weather was beautiful, as you can see in the pictures. We  had some lovely tapas outside on a terrace and even found a quiltshop. On sunday we went to the baptism of my friend's little girl María. She was baptised in a church in a small village called Lieres. As a present we made her a quilt which I will blog about later.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Pink and purple pillow

Made this pillow for my niece Sanne who turned five last week. Her parents gave her a new bed, so I thought this would be a nice personal addition.
I followed a tutorial on By Miekk and finished it off by ironing on a big pink S using vliesofix. It was an easy way to make a pillowcase for an unexperienced seamstress like me, especially because you don't have to put in a zipper. Make sure you draw the letter you want to iron on the fabric mirror image on the vliesofix.