Thursday, December 24

Merry Christmas all!





I would like to thank all my blog readers for visiting, sharing and commenting. Hope you all have a Happy Christmas and wishing you a Magical 2010! I'm going to have a little blog break for now but will be back in the New Year. The shop is still open by the way in case you get bored between Christmas and  the New Year... ;)
p.s and a BIG thank you to all my customers as well!  Your support and kind comments are much appreciated! <3

Sunday, December 20

More wintery scenes, satin stitch and a storage tub



I was going to take a photo of a bit of satin stitching I did yesterday but was kind of distracted by the wintery scene outside. We currently have quite a lot of snow here and with a bit of luck we will have a White Christmas too. :)

The children had lots of fun in the snow this morning and there was more than enough to produce this snowmen!

Anyway back to the satin stitch. I couldn't resist and started stitching a new pillowcase yesterday (which is also a try out for a new pattern). To transfer the pattern to fabric, I usually stick my patterns on the window, put the fabric on top and trace with a water soluble marker but this time I tried out what I call 'the poor man's lightbox'. Bookwormbethie gave a similar tip on Flickr a while ago. I put a bedside lamp on the floor under an empty clear storage tub, put the pattern and pillowcase on top and it worked absolutely fantastic!

Thursday, December 17

Winter-y scene from a balcony, a Capelet and a Needlebook


Because the weather over here is like this....I'm extra extra happy that Ballee (Puk) finished knitting my beautiful new capelet last week!




Check out her Etsy shop for gorgeous yarn and hand knitted items. Puk also has another Etsy shop with lots of yummy buttons. Puk and I 'met' on Etsy and Twitter and we found out we live within a few miles of each other. So when I saw a wonderful knitting pattern by Stitch Poet for a capelet Puk offered to knit it for me!
The capelet deserves a better picture than this but this was the best I could do at this moment! (Note to self: must remove cleaning items like Swiffers when taking pictures for blog) :D

Anyway, just one last picture to share. I made a little felt Needlebook for my swap with Georgia. I did almost all the embroidery free hand (with out a pattern) and it still looked o.k. when it was finished. :)

Monday, December 14

Random stuff (with lots of links)


  • I'm very excited that my pattern/shop will be featured in the Dutch Magazine Flow next month (for my Dutch readers: it's on sale from the 13 th of january) It's only a tiny corner in the shopping guide section but I hope some good will come from it.
  • I'm attempting (and failing somewhat) to take some time 'off' pattern making but the shop is still open, so please stop by soon! Untill Christmas Eve I'm adding the cute bear + girl Christmas pattern  with each order in my Etsy shop. New stuff will be introduced in the shop early next year. Hope you will all like it. :)
  • If you are in need of cute gift labels, hop over  to Helen Dardik's colourful blog Orangeyoulucky for these lovelies.
  • Finally, I did some work on my own Princess and the Pea Embroidery. Check out the stitches I added here. I particularly like the basket weave stitch. 

Sunday, December 13

Sunday stash #23 Kei Honeycomb <3


I love these Kei Honeycomb dots so much I think I need to get them in every colour available. :) Georgia sent these to me in a swap we did and it was such a good choice, can't wait to use them!

This morning I finished the Stacked Coins quilt. I will post proper pictures later (I think) but I 'll show you my best mitered corner yet. Not perfect but they look better with each quilt I make. I always use the method described in Amy Karol's Bend the Rules Sewing and checked Denyse Schmidts Quilt book this time too but maybe I should look into to other ways of doing these corners as well. If you have any tips on doing quilts corners please let me know!


I love the toile/silhouette fabric I used here for the backing. The fabric is called Sweet Dreams and has a fairy tale kind of theme with castles, boats, animals etc etc. It's a Robert Kaufman fabric from a couple of years ago, I bought it on Ebay. If you have any of this at home and if you can stand to part with it I'd be happy to swap it for something from my stash! Especially the red colourway is so pretty!

Of course I've already started a new quilt (for my husband this time). One of my crafty new years resolutions will be to improve my quilting skills and I'm also thinking of trying hand quilting next year! Somewhere in the next couple of weeks I'll be sharing my Crafty New Year Resolution List with you. Hopefully it will help and keep me focused on really learning a couple of new skills, instead of going from one thing to another without really knowing what I'm doing or what I have learned! :)
 


Tuesday, December 8

Sewing machine in the willows

In the Netherlands we say when we are ready to definitely give up on something (skating for example) "I'm going to hang my skates in the willows". Well this week I was ready to hang my sewing machine in the willows! I messed up both the cute Saffron Craig Owl  (which is like the easiest project in the world!) and my Kitsch Floor Pillow! The Pillow has a gap in one of the seams that can not be easily mended, I need to add a patch or something to cover the hole.
I also messed up sewing the Cute Owls feet and put some green flashy long legs in as replacement... Luna loves this owl and she is fiddling with the long legs all the time so maybe it wasn't so bad I made a mistake after all....

I'm also struggling big time with the 30 flower pot coasters I have to make for Luna's school. I cut squares and I thought it should be possible to just fold over all 4 sides half an inch or so to the back (iron) and finish the coaster all around with a decorative stitch (like a zigzag). The stitch looks o.k. but it seems to leave holes in the fabric. Any ideas what could cause those holes? The fabric isn't of the best quality either but  the teacher chose and bought it so I'm kind of stuck with it. :/

Moving on to some nice stitchy news. Feeling Stitchy has a fab give away going on now. You can win Jenny Hart's  awesome book Embroidered Effects!

p.s. sorry about the dreary dark photos I've been posting lately. Too much rain and too little daylight over here I'm afraid...

Sunday, December 6

Chinese Birdie Blossom Embroidery finished and what we did last night...


 Finished my Chinese Birdie Blossom Embroidery this morning and I think it turned out rather cute. I'm thinking about adding Lettering/an Alphabet to the pattern too. These would be proper letters (still drawn by hand though) not the wobbly half freehand style you see in the picture. ;)


So...yesterday evening we had 'pakjesavond'. On the evening of the 5th december Sinterklaas gives all the Dutch children presents. Well the story goes only the sweet children get presents... Anyway, just after dinner we sang a couple of Sinterklaas songs quite loudly when suddenly the doorbell rang. The kids ran downstairs (our livingroom is on the first floor) but Sinterklaas and his helpers were long gone by the time the childeren reached the door. Of course Sinterklaas hasn't got time to literally hand over the presents to each child so all we found on our doorstep was a sack full of presents ;) Can you tell from the picture how excited Luna was when she found all the presents? Still peering outside if she could see Sinterklaas but in the meantime not letting go of the biggest box of the lot!

Sunday stash # 22 Hi-ho-cherry-oh


I always find it difficult to resist cheerful cherry fabrics. I'm pretty sure there are more cherries hiding in my stash! The one on the left is a flannel, the blue and yellow next to it are from the American Retro line of fabric, the cherries on the right are from Sandi Henderson's Farmers Market.

Later today I will give you an update on a finished embroidery (yay!) and what we did yesterday evening! :)


Friday, December 4

Toys!





I must admit that I enjoy buying beautiful toys for the children just a bit too much. Not sure if they always prefer my sensible choices to their plastic ponies and Polly Pockets though ;)
Just this afternoon I was making this pretty jigsaw puzzle with Luna. It's called Arbracadabra and it's designed by Marc Boutavant. Because the weather is so bad I couldn't make a proper picture of us making the puzzle (the box only shows a bit) but I think you can tell just from this photo how lovely it is. A wonderful and playful way of introducing your little ones to a bit of art, I thnk.






While searching the internet for more pretty toys I came across this wonderful version of Snakes and Ladders featuring polar bears and penguins, designed by Marc Boutavant too.



Also on my wish list is this colouring book based on the brilliant work of artist Charley Harper. I wonder if these illustrations would work as embroidery patterns too?

I'm pretty sure most of these toys are available all over the world and over the internet. The puzzle and game are by French toymakers Djeco (they make lots of other lovely stuff as well) and I saw the Charley Harper book on Amazon.


Tuesday, December 1

Now I know my ABC's...


Or at least my BCP ;) I started to do a bit of work on my Animal Alphabet again this morning and I am rather pleased with the results so far. I sort of left the concept of using super exclusive animals for each letter because that was what caused the lack of progress up till now I think... I've been drawing a whole lot of other stuff too so there is much to look forward to in the new year. That is if you like my stuff and if you don't you wouldn't be reading this, right? :)


The girls put their shoe next to the Central Heating yesterday evening and sang some songs in the hope of  receiving a gift from Sinterklaas (the Dutch Santa Claus type of person I wrote about last week) And they did (of course) but they didn't bother to remove their shoes after they took the present and the candy away (of course) which gave me the opportunity to make this picture by daylight. :)