Today it's Queensday, which means that the whole country is one big orange party.
It's always such a great day, I love it!
What is so great about it is that it's a fun day for everyone. Games for the children, music and alcohol for the adults and freemarket for everyone.
The freemarket is the most wonderful thing. Anyone can sell anything on the street and it's absolutely the best day to go hunting for cheap secondhand stuff.

Unfortunately I had to work today, but I was allowed to start at 11 o'clock which still gave me some time to stroll the freemarket. We had great fun, even though it started to rain after about an hour.

Amber had two little flags painted on her face and was given some money that she could spend.

For Simon we found this big police car. He totally fell in love with it. I swear he growled if anyone came near it!

Also we bought this great big crocodile which came in very handy when it started to rain!

This was my modest find:

A very pretty sewing box stuffed with embroidery floss.
It was a happy day!



I have a confession to make.
I think I broke the Use What You Have Rules... I bought some black & white-handkerchiefs yesterday that I want to use for my BackTack softie. I was actually getting a bit nervous about it, since I have NO black & white fabric in my stash whatsoever. So when I saw these lovely perfect hankies yesterday I just bought them... I didn't want to wait until next week. They might be sold out by then!!

So do you think I'm really out? Even if I promise not to use any of it until next week?! I was doing so well...

This pincushion for example is made completely out of materials that I already had.

I made it for one of Michel's sweet collegues who lent me her sewing machine when mine broke down a couple of days before the craft fair.

It was almost impossible to get a good photo of this. I tried different backgrounds, indirect/direct light, different angles, but the right colours just don't show and about 80% of the photos I took were fuzzy. Strange how that happens sometimes.

I received a wonderful package from Molly yesterday. I swapped another doll with her (so both her girls have one now) and she sent me lovely ribbons that I can use for future dolls!! She also included a couple of her handmade buttons which are beautiful; thank you, Molly!

Edit: Is anyone reading my blog using Bloglines? I'm having trouble with it; I don't think my blog is coming through. Also other blogs that I like to read are not showing up on my bloglines (both blogpot and typepad). Is anyone else having similar problems or does anyone know how to fix this?! Thanks!



Leya (who makes fabulous things & also just celebrated her 30th birthday!) tagged me, so here goes...

Five minutes to yourself: how would you spend them, ideally?
Sitting in our brandnew garden in the sun with a newspaper, cup of tea and a piece of chocolate

Five bucks to spend right now; how would you spend it?
Fabric or ribbons (and I know a shop where I could actually buy quite something for that money!)

Five items in your house you could part with, right now, that you hadn't thought of already?
One of our sofas, the diningtable (+chairs), MANY books, all things old/dirty/broken in the attic that only lay there for sentimental reasons (that's more 500 than 5 items...)

Five items you absolutely, positively could never part with in your house?
Photos, some books, the pearls from my weddingday, the box full of old letters that I keep, my sewingmachine

Five words you love?
I have to think about this one... I'm sure there are words I love more than others, but right now I don't know

I'm tagging anyone who hasn't been but wants to be
tagged :)


Today was the first time in 2,5 weeks that I used my sewingmachine again. Such a long time without sewing!! I think I had to recover from my craft fair sewing overdose. I'm not sure what I'm making yet, it's just a bit of patchwork... I think it's going to be a new doll. I want to try something for my BackTack softie. Thankfully my sewingmachine works perfectly again after it's been to the crafty doctor.
I also made a pincushion today,whilst sitting outside in the sun watching the children get dirtier by the minute, but the photos didn't turn out so good. So I'll just show you a cushion I made a while ago.


Tea for ladies

Yesterday I had high tea with three of my friends.
Posh tea for ladies... except that it was in the red light district!
But it was lovely...

Yummy cakes

The table looked great

And the entourage... well I suppose shabby chic!

We had lots of girltalk: boyfriends, children, pregnancies and of course laughed a lot.

Today we've been working very hard in the garden. We're on the road to something wonderful, but right now it's rather messy, since we still have to do a lot of major work like making a terrace and putting up a fence. It's very rewarding work though!

Simon has been our little sh*t-monster for the last couple of days, but thankfully he seems to be getting a bit better now. I hope this really was the last illness for some time now!!

Also I've been tagged twice (different ones), but I will do that tomorrow!


Bird with belly

This is what the birdie looks like when it does have a belly; much better I think!

Here you can see the difference in size from above:

It's funny that yesterday I was rather pleased with my first bird and now I think that it's looking a bit odd. This often happens with the things I make, but usually over a longer period of time. For example, I was really pleased with this softie that I made a couple of months ago for Amber. When I look at it now I see quite a few things that I would change if I would make a new one. It's an interesting process and I think it's only normal that you continually want to improve the things you do and make.

The postman delivered another package today. I think he is starting to wonder why I'm getting so many packages. He was really chatty in a sort of annoying way. I really wanted him to leave, but of course couldn't be rude to him for fear of not receiving more wonderful packages...
Anyway, this package came from Lu and it was just stuffed with lovely things.

There were ribbons, buttons, beads, fabric and cute handmade goodies.
Also great fabrics!

It was all wonderful, Lu! Thank you so much for a lovely swap!!

I myself sent out F O U R packages today; hopefully they'll all arrive safely.


Two become one

Do you want to see how?
First you have two birds:

Of course they need wings:

And when you sew them together you have one cute little bird.

With its belly missing... but don't tell it that! I actually forgot to sew the belly-bit, so I'm making another right now, which will have the original belly. I'll show you when it's finished.


Good news... I'm in! Yay!
I'm really looking forward to it. I'm sending my softie to greetingarts and will be receiving one from veryellaberry.com. Very exciting :)
I've pretty much thought out what I want to make. Michel really likes to think along in these cases. In fact he had already made up a design for the softie! He was very disappointed when I told him that we're really supposed to stick to one of the given patterns. So now we've agreed that I will be making two; one completely to my idea and one to his. I think it's great that he's so enthusiastic about it!


Happy Easter!

This is another one of Amber's pieces of art that she made at school! Isn't it wonderful?! I love all the little details!

Not much exciting happening here at Easter. I'm working sunday and monday (and wednesday and today too....), so not much partying for me.
Amber is still not well. Last night it came from the other side of her in quite an explosive manner, if you know what I mean... You should have seen the mess in her bed, or rather you shouldn't!
So a quiet Easter for Mich and the children, although of course they will be seeking eggs tomorrow!

I had another birthdaypresent in the mail yesterday. It came from my sister in Oxford.
It's a dvd of Brideshead Revisited. She and her friends are watching the complete series together and I saw one episode when I was there. Now that I have my own dvd, I will finally be able to learn all about Charles and Sebastian. Thank you, Laura!


Improvised Easter breakfast

I woke up in the middle of the night to Amber's shouting. I rushed to her room and asked what was wrong; I stroked her -slightly wet- face. I thought what is that smell?! The poor girl had thrown up all over herself and her bed... So I spent quite some time cleaning up the mess, showering Amber, changing her bed, putting on the washing machine. After she was settled again, I lay in bed, exhausted but unable to sleep. I was so grateful! For one thing, I've never had to do this before. Amber will be 5 in two months time, but this has never happened before! She has been sick once when she was very small, but then she threw up behind the curtain in a little plastic bowl (this sounds a bit strange, and actually it was).
But this was not why I was so grateful. I just realised that although we are having a really crappy winter (and now spring) healthwise, we never have anything really serious. My children are healthy and I could just cry of happiness. It's something you know, but don't always realise. It was a good moment.

Unfortunately, Amber wasn't well enough to go to school, which was really sad because they were having special Easter festivities, starting of with a breakfast at school. So I quickly went to the supermarket and got all the things for our very own Easter breakfast. We all enjoyed it, even though Amber had no appetite. Simon ate everything that she didn’t want.

Traditionally, we always eat matzos at Easter (we’re not Jewish). I wonder whether this is a tradition in other countries, too? I’m always looking forward to them; I particularly like them with butter and sugar. Look what they’ve come up with this year: mini-matzos. In the supermarket I thought they’d be cute, but really they’re quite pathetic, aren’t they?! I prefer the large ones that are too big for your plate and that break when you try to put butter on them!

Oh, and the first photo of the hot air balloon?! That passed over our house yesterday evening. I’m always in awe when I see one; I would love to go in one myself…
By the way, do you know what Michel gave me for my birthday? A flight in a hot air balloon! I’m so excited!!! Yay!


Backtack and swap loveliness

-The "Australian" tulips are even more spectacular today-

So I stayed up until 1.00 a.m. last night to sign up for Backtack III. Yes, I wanted to participate that bad!
I usually go to bed late, but now it was for a particular purpose which made it sort of special. I had no idea how quickly the 100 places were going to be filled (it turned out 1 hour 9 mins), so I already had written an e-mail with all my details. Aren't I efficient?! I sent it as quickly as I could, only to discover that I had forgotten to say which country I'm in (not so efficient). Hopefully it will all be alright.
I'm really looking forward to participating. I have so many ideas and I'm so curious to see what other people will come up with. Michel is very enthusiastic about it too, so I expect him to get involved in it as well.

Now over to to the lovely things you see in the photo above. I received this swap-package from Samantha; just in time for my birthday! Great timing, Samantha! Apparently it was delivered on Saturday when we were away at the craft fair. The next morning we found it under a bucket in our backgarden... a bit of a strange initiative of the postman, but I was thrilled to find it, ofcourse!

It is an absolutely wonderful package! There was one of Samantha's famous chickens (which is now under the easter-tree), a beautiful picushion (which I'm going to keep for my embroidery needles) and a tissueholder (too pretty to put in my bag, so I'm probably going to put it on my desk). For the rest there were three pieces of lovely fabric and buttons; everything was put together in a cute bag (which I'm thinking of giving to Amber for her gym-clothes).
Thank you so much for this lovely swap, Samantha! I'll be sending your package on Thursday.

Well, it's time to cook dinner now: couscous!


Happy birthday to me!

I've had, and am still having, a wonderful birthday!
Look why...

Four cakes (all yummy)!

Tulips from Australia!


And lovely presents!

Turning 30 is not bad at all! Actually, it's so good that I think I'll do it again next year...


The Craft Fair

I had a wonderful day at the craft fair yesterday.
Unfortunately the wheather was bad most of the day, which meant that there were not a lot of people around. First there was a really heavy wind and later it started to pour.
However, it was a good experience for me. I enjoyed seeing other people's stuff and it was lovely to meet Crafty Girls I R L.

Well, today I'm having my birthdayparty (although I won't be THIRTY for a good 13 hours!), so I'd better get a move on... the house is a right mess and I even have to wash the windows (yes I do, because today the sun IS shining)!


Today: Blenkies

I spent most of the day behind the sewingmachine.
I finished 3 3/4 Blenkies (babyblankets).
This is what they look like:



Blenkie #3


I really want to finish the last one as well, but I'm sooooooo tired and my back is aching. Better do it tomorrow...

Thanks everyone for sharing your feelings about turning 30!
The overall sentiment seems to be that it's a bit of a difficult moment, but once you're past it you're really happy about it and life just keeps getting better. Well, nothing to worry about then!

Are you going to participate in Backtack III?
I would love to; the whole idea really appeals to me! However, can someone confirm that 9.00 a.m. 4-11 in Australia really is 23.00 p.m. 10-4 in Holland?! It would be awful if I have the wrong time!
I have a feeling there is going to be a bit of a counter-revolution, though...
Nothing wrong with that; even more lovely craftiness!


Keep busy and don't think about b-day

Yes, I am busy.
I'm going to participate in a crafts fair this saturday and as you can imagine there is still LOTS to be done.
And yes, it is almost my b(irth)day.
You might wonder why I don't want to think about... because I'll be THIRTY!
That's right: 30!
Well, I have mixed feelings about it. As far as I'm concerned it's a birthday like any other, but people sure don't seem to agree with that. And every person who reminds me of my age definitely has an amused sadistic glint in their eyes.
All the past year I told myself I was fine with it, but as my last days as a twenty-something are ticking away, I'm not so sure anymore.
It does feel as a big change.
It feels as if my young days are really over now... (which might seem silly as I've been settled down in an adult life for so many years already)
I'm on the threshold of adulthood... that is a bit scary actually!!
I've heard of people that make lists of the things they want to do before they're 30; what about my list? I don't have one and there is no time make one anyway!

I would love to know how you all felt about turning 30! Or if you're not 3o yet, what are your thoughts on turning it?

Well enough about getting old...
Here are the two pocket-bags I made today.
Don't they have a lovely summery feel to them?!

I'm really behind on my sewing and of course this is the moment that my sewing machine is starting to act funny! It makes horribly ugly stitches and there is no time to have it fixed before the weekend. Luckily I've been able to borrow a sewing machine from one of Michel's collegues, so full speed ahead!

To end this post I'd like to share this photo of Amber.
She wanted to play a game with me this afternoon, but I was too busy sewing (bad mother).
So she played alone.

When I looked what she did, I was so proud...
She had found a photo in the leaflet and had arranged everything exactly as on the photo, which was really quite tricky!
It's lovely to feel so proud over such small things... why should I even care about turning 30?!