On the brink of a new year

Time to look back and forward at the same time.

Some of the highlights of this year for me (with a very clear emphasis on food and children :))

2006: a few highlights

For me personally 2006 has been a very good year. My challenges are often about daring and I dared a lot this year. I went on holiday by myself. I did a crafts fair. I found a wonderful new job.
All in all it's been a great year on all kinds of levels for me.

In the new year 2007 I'm hoping to continue the way I'm going now. If I achieve that then I would be more than happy.
Of course there a some things that didn't go so well this year and that I'm hoping to improve. My immediate goals are losing the weight at last and cleaning/sorting out our house so that it will be an even more comfortable place for all of us. I'm looking forward to it!

I'm wishing you all a wonderful, happy & healthy new year in which at least one of your dreams may come true!!
Be safe!

Crafting was definitely fun in 2006!

Crafting in 2006


Christmas treats

This year I made everyone in my family a present for Christmas.
For the adults I made tissueholders like I promised.

I tried to pick out fabrics and ribbons that I thought would match everyone's personalities or taste. Like the one for my mum which is green en flowery because she loves gardening so much.

Don't they look colourful together? I've got a whole collection now :)

For Amber I made a scarf that goes with the beautiful coat my mum made for her. I used fleece and it has appliqued flowers on it. She was happy with it.

For the two little ones in the family, Simon and Sarah (our niece), I made patchwork bibs. It was my first attempt at making bibs (since the others I made were just spiced up by me) and I was pleased with the result.

I used fabric scraps for the front, Amber's old bathrobe for the back and the ties are two small fabric belts that Amber never wore.

Sarah's bib had a handy pocket for her cutlery (there was not enough fabric to leave it out and I thought it was pretty neat).

Their initials were also on there.

Today I've been doing some end-of-the-year things, like cleaning, washing and sorting. I also managed to get FOUR packages to the post office! So relieved.

Well, tomorrow I'll be back with the last post of this year. Goodnight all!


Christmascards with a twist

I've been getting lots of Christmascards at work lately. I appreciate them all and I love getting them, but I felt a bit reluctant at handing out ordinary shop-bought cards myself. They're just a bit... boring!
So eventhough it might have been wiser if I had spent my time differently, I made some alternative cards today. Well, they're not cards but stars obviously...

They were very easy to make; cutting the fabric shapes took most time probably.
For the photo I attached them to my fridge with poetry magnets... nifty no?!

I then made small tags to write my greetings on. It was the first time I ever sewed on paper and it was so much fun!! I'll be doing that again, I'm sure!

The fabric I used is from Ikea. I love a bit of Ikea-fabric once in a while.
And I love something else I got from Ikea too!

My christmaspresent :)

And I didn't even have to pay for it!
Thank you, nice people! I suppose I'll be making an I-pod cover really soon :)

*Ok, I think I need to explain here that this was my Christmaspresent from Ikea, because I work there! Hope you didn't all raid your Ikea looking for a free Ipod :))*


Poppe's double smile

Last week or so I started a new Poppe using the fabrics I bought in Oxford (yes, those again and I still have plenty more :)).

I loved the colour-combo and it turned out really nice... except for the doll's face. The thing was that I didn't notice the weird face until I put the whole doll together... bummer!

So I left it for a while, like you do, and hoped the face would magically normalise, like you do. However, the face remained unchanged.

So this morning I thought I'd give it another try. I embroidered a new face on a piece of felt (new stock from my parents, thank you Mum and Dad) and sewed the new face on top of the old one. And it worked! I'm finally happy with the way it turned out.

Added bonus: this poppe will always have an extra smile :)

Hope it will make Ava smile too, because this was made for her.


Ready for Christmas

Our tree was bought and decorated as planned yesterday... Christmas may come now!!
I love how a christmas tree gives your house an instant extra cozy glow.

We put in all decorations that we collected over the years, a wonderful mix of handmade, storebought and given things.

New to our home is this nativity set by Dick Bruna. None of us are religious, but we all (and by that I probably mean everyone in Holland) love the Dick Bruna design, which for us justifies having baby Jesus in the house :)

Here is a photo of Simon reading his book this morning. We had to move the furniture around a bit to make room for the tree, which is why this sofa is now at the other side of the room. I really like it this way; it's nice to have a change now and then!

These are last years' stars that I used in a different way now.
All I have to do now is start making Christmas presents!


Crafting with Amber

Amber and I have done quite a bit of crafting lately.

Our latest project was this string of lampshades for her room. She got the box with all the material from Sinterklaas, all we had to do was put it all together and embellish it the way we liked.

They're now finished and I think they turned out pretty cute. I would like to put them around her mirror.

Another thing we made the other day was a calendar for December.

Amber loves to countdown the days when there is a special occassion coming up (e.g. her birthday or a holiday). Usually we just use a sheet of paper on which she draws and I write the days in squares, so she can easily cross them off. This December, however, is so packed with special days that we decided to do it a little fancier (just a little!).

Basically I just covered a big piece of cardboard with red fabric while she cut small bits of blue paper on which I wrote the date. We placed these on the board with colourful thumbtacks and after a bit of golden ribbon was added we were finished. So simple, but lots of fun to make. Now Amber enjoys crossing off each day and it's easy for her to see what exciting things are happening in the near future (Sinterklaas, Christmas, staying over at the omas, Laura coming to Holland etc).

Tonight we're going to buy and put up our Christmastree... we're all looking forward to it! Ofcourse, these will also find a pretty spot in the tree.


Sick babies

Like last year... poor little 'uns.
But we're not the only ones feeling poorly... good luck all you mamas and babies!
Meanwhile, I finally switched to Beta Blogger. What do you think; a bit too bright (you all know I like it colourful :))? It's very user friendly though. I think I'm happy with it; I just need to change the banner a bit.
Ok, caring required... bye everyone!


Successful thrifting

Yesterday Michel and I had a day off together!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yes, I know, we could hardly believe it ourselves!
Whilst Amber was at school we went to the thriftstore in a town near ours. I think that many people in blogland would have gone wild in there!
We restrained ourselves since we've been on a mission lately of getting LESS junk in the house instead of MORE.
That said, there were some things that were just too good to leave behind.
Such a this gorgeous tin. Michel found it, we both love it.


Look at those leaves.


And what to say of these buttons... they were 1 cent each!! Do you think I was crazy just buying 50?! I'm afraid I was.


I also bought four great purple napkins. I hardly ever use purple in my sewing, but I'm sure I can think of a project for these.


And four Portuguese placemats; I've always loved that rooster. These will be used for sewing too. Perhaps I can use this fabric to make new placemats.


Michel bought some books ofcourse.
Oh, I almost forgot this tablecloth... isn't it pretty with the little acorns on it?!
Simon is here pointing out that there's a road on it that he can use for his cars.


We even managed to have coffee and cake before we had to pick up Amber. It was weird being in a restaurant without her and we definitely missed her. On the other hand it was lovely to spend some alone-time with Simon... he is such a sweet funny little man!

All in all a very good day.


Goodbye Sinterklaas!

Sinterklaas 2006

Thank you for all the lovely presents, Sinterklaas! Have a safe trip back to Spain!!

Sinterklaas today

Read more about this traditional Dutch feast here & see some more photos of yesterday's fun here.

*Is there something wrong with Bloglines? I know others had problems before and then I was fine, but now my blog is not showing up?!*


Bloggaversary & bibs

Plain bibs

Today it's exactly one year ago that I wrote my first post on this blog.
I created this blog as an experiment. I wanted to see how it worked, because I wanted to 'give' my sister-in-law a blog before she went back to Australia. She now posts about once month and it's a good way to get an idea of her life down south.
Well anyway, once I had created this blog it turned out that I really enjoyed it myself and I've been writing ever since. Even though I had a bit of a blogbreak this summer, this is my 126th post, which comes to an average of posting every three days... not bad, I think :))
Blogging for me is: fun, creativity, discipline, connection, inspiration... it's been a great enrichment to my life.
To commemorate this milestone I'm going to send some LONG (very long!!!) overdue packages to these three girls. I'm so ashamed, but hopefully they'll arrive in time for Christmas!

So onto the bibs you see above. I bought a package of plain Ikea bibs the other day and spiced them up a bit yesterday... what a lovely way to spend a sunday afternoon!
Eventhough Simon is two he still needs to wear bibs when he eats his porridge and dinner; he even asks for them himself.

Fabric also used here.

Fabric bought in Oxford.

Star made out of a small logcabin.

Amy gave me this fabric. Simon particularly loves this one.

Ikea fabric.

Simon is two! (thrifted fabric)


Have a good day all!


Pompon fun

I bought a bag of pompons this morning at Hema and put together a Christmas wreath just now. Amber is away playing with a friend... how selfish of me to do this without her!! Well, a good excuse to make another soon :)
This was so much fun and so quick and easy!

The beginning

First there was the wreath (which I found in the attic, someone gave it to me years ago and I never used it... see, how hoarding can be useful ;))

Then I pinned some pink fabric onto it (one of my old t-shirts ... another bit of proof that you should never throw anything away)

Along came the bag of pompons. Of course, I'd been a better crafty girl if I'd made the pompons
myself, but this is undeniably faster.

I pinned lots of pompons onto the wreath, but kept some small ones to make a pompon-string.

Christmas wreath

And finished!

Add more stuff if you like. I used the decorations that Amber and I made, but the possibilities are endless :))