Category Archives: Home

Posh produce bags

Back in January I told you about the little produce bags I made to use for vegetables, fruits, nuts and so on. You can find this post here. They are great to use, and ever since I didn’t use any plastic bags anymore.

But, I don’t have to buy all my veggies myself, since my neighbour started a little kitchen garden and especially in the summer she comes over with her hands full of the most wonderfull vegetables. Of course I thank her every time, but now I wanted to make her something special. So I thought of the little produce bags (she has to do some shopping in the winter, doesn’t she?).  But not the plain bags as I use them.

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I made three bags with a blackwork embroidery. This because the fabric is very light and doesn’t hold a heavier design, but also to keep the weight of the bags as little as possible.

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Every bag has its own design: ‘homegrown vegetables’, tomatoes and carrots.

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My neighbour was very happy with the bags; she even didn’t want to use them because they might get dirty!

Because I liked the bags so much, I decided to make more of them. A couple for myself, and a set for the shop. In the next couple of days I’ll make more of them and list them as soon as they are finished.

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The bags measure 25 x 31 cm (10 x 12 inch) and have emboidery designs of tomatoes, bell pepper and lettuce.

Groetjes, Dorien


A Washing Line

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Nice little washing line, isn’t it? It was time to make a new laundry bag. The one I had was torn and was beyond repair. That is, the bag itself; the wooden frame however was not perfect anymore, but still good to use. So I made a new laundry bag, and because just a simple, plain bag was not much fun, I decided to make a washing line on it.

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First I drew some clothes and sketched  an outline of what I had in mind. The clothes are already on scale. Then I traced them on to some fusible web, ironed this on some fabric scraps and cut them out with a little bit extra around the final cutting line.

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The next step was washing and ironing the main fabric ( shrinkage!) and then arranging the ‘clothes’ on a line. After I was happy I cut out the pieces on the final line and ironed them onto the main fabric. I sew around the pieces with a nice large stitch, and embellished a few with a ribbon and some beads. The line itself is just a simple piece of cotton which was sewn on with a small zigzag-stitch.

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Then all that was needed to be done was make the bag itself, put the buttons on and that’s it.

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Groetjes, Dorien

A new workspace

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Hello to my new studio. I think I may call it that. Up to now I used the dining table in the living room as my work space, but that wasn’t ideal. Luckily we have a table in the kitchen to use for daily meals, but still all my mess in the living room wasn’t a very nice sight.

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Because one of the boys moved out some time ago, we have more space , and it was possible to clear one room just for me. And the last couple of weeks we have been moving around a lot of cabinets and boxes. I had my stuff stored in almost all the rooms of the house, and it appeared  that I had quite some materials and tools twice. Now everyting is in the same room and near at hand.

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The table was found at a thrift store and measures a massive  2.2  by 1 meter. It was a bit of a hassle to get it upstairs because of its size and weight, but the men of the family managed it and I’m so happy with it.

If you look at the first picture, you might see that the only ironing board in the room is quite small. Perfect for small patchwork, but for larger pieces not really appropriate. So again I went to the thrift store where I found this beautiful old wooden ironing board.

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Perfect, but it did need some work.

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So I took everything off; cleaned it and made a new cover.

First I put on some underlay from the carpet store (!)

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Guess I’m all set now.

Groetjes, Dorien


Going to make an effort

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At the last moment I find time to make a post in the first month of this year. So much for New Year’s resolutions! Usually I don’t really make them, and this year is no different, except for one thing. I’ve been thinking about this a long time, and kept putting off inquiring about it, but now really was the time to do something. What I’m talking about? Trying to be a lot more conscious about waste. Looking at all the garbage produced by our household is quite shocking. So the intention is to reduce this. We won’t go ‘zero-waste’, at least not now because I don’t think that is realistic for now. But the first step is trying to avoid all plastic (and even paper) bags used for produce and bread.

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So I started with making these 4 drawstring bags with sheer fabric. In the first picture you can see them after my first visit with them to the shop. Which was quite strange, because there was nobody else, using their own bags, and at first it was a bit awkward to use them.  But I’m sure this will get better, the more I do it.

These bags are just fine for produce not weighing too much, but the onions already were too heavy. So I had to think of something else.

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A piece of cotton I cut off some curtains a while ago was just perfect. It still is thin and light, but a lot stronger than the sheer fabric. So I used every inch of it to make bags in different sizes. The large one is perfect for bread (10.5 x 16 inch), and the smallest measure 7.5 x 9 inch.

And making these bags, I realised that one kind of food I’m really fond of, is cheese. So I looked around and found these wonderful beeswax cloth tutorials on the web.

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A piece of cotton and some beeswax are all that is needed. After grating the wax and sprinkle it around the fabric, it was put in the oven (fabric folded).

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After just a few minutes, the wax melted and holding the fabric to cool down, it became sturdy and ready to use.

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I wonder how this is all going to work in reality, and I know there are a lot more possible, but for now this is the first step.

Groetjes, Dorien


No care needed

The last couple of weeks have been quite frantic. Today we’re going to celebrate our evening with Sinterklaas and I wanted to make as many gifts as possible myself. And even though I started a couple of months ago, it was as always a race against time to finish it all. And of course I thought just this week of the most complicated gift of them all. I’m not going to tell and show all of them, and certainly not all at once.

Today I want to start with these little cuties.

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Three little knitted cacti made for J. He has moved out of our home last year and he loves to make his room cozy and homey. So he bought himself some plants. And you probably can guess what happened….. they didn’t live that long.
So he tried a cactus. Didn’t give it too much care, but some of his (female) friends gave it a bit of water when they visited. So the cactus lasted longer, but in the end, it didn’t survive either.

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So as a kind of a joke, I made him these three little ones. The pattern is by Drops/Garnstudio, and the yarn used is Stylecraft Special DK.

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Hopefully these will last a bit longer!

Groetjes, Dorien

Cushions for the kitchen

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About 3½ years ago I made a pair of cushions for the kitchen bench. But I wasn’t really smart, because I made them with beautiful cotton whicht was meant to be used for clothes. So after sitting on these practically every day, you can imaging how they are looking now. Time for new ones.

This time I bought fabric which is much sturdier so hopefully they will last a bit longer.

First I finished off the edges with the serger. This fabric is woven so it ravels terribly.

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Next step was to cover cord to make a piping. I cut strips of 1.5 inch (4 cm) and stitched the fabric folded over the cord. I used a zipper foot to stitch as closely to the cord as possible.

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Then everything was ready to put the covers together.

I made a blind zipper on the back.

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The cushions are finished and I’m very happy with them. But the bench does need something extra. So I guess one of my next projects will be to make matching pillows.

Groetjes, Dorien

A bunting for ….

The last step to make was to sew the ‘bunting’ onto…

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Can you see it when it’s slowly unfolding?

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Indeed, the parasol! It was a plain, boring parasol and it became just a little more ‘me’ with this border to it.

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Now all I hope for is nice sunny weather the next few days.

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Groetjes, Dorien

Something Old, Something New

Back in March I showed the new wallpaper in our bedroom. I promised to keep you posted about the finishing of the room, and this morning, waking up in our wonderful new bed, I realized I never kept that promise. So I knew what to do today.

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Isn’t that a beautiful headboard?? As soon as I saw it in the shop I knew it was there just waiting for me. My husband saw it too and said immediately:” Hmm, I guess we don’t have to look any further!”

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Except for the bed, all the other furniture was already ours, and some of it has quite a history.

The white bookcase used to be the closet in the nursery of our oldest son. Back then it had a clothes rail and a door, and the colour was some kind of white wash. On top of it you can see the doll I got for my very first birthday. It has the costume of a part of Zeeland, the birth province of my mom.

The chest next to it, is a lot older.

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It was originally used in the early decades of last century by the railway company. The stamp on it marks it as belonging to the city of Maastricht, my birth town.

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Then there is this cute little thing. It was made (about 80 years ago) by my grandfather for his daughters, as a closet for the clothes of their dolls. It had an awful green colour, but besides that it was in a great shape. All we had to do was paint it. The door knobs are original.

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And of course the room wouldn’t be finished without a chair for reading. You can read about this chair here.

Groetjes, Dorien

A new Bench for the Kitchen

Hello, how nice of you to stop by. The sun is shining abundantly, so I thought it would be best to make this post now, still quite early in the morning, and then try to go outside as much as possible today. There is a lot of work to do in the garden, so I won’t be bored.

Remember the fabrics I showed last week?

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The renovation of our kitchen is almost completed and one of the new items is this lovely bench. Of course I had to make pillows for it.

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One side has a very bright floral pattern, the other side a more subtle light blue pattern with small roses. 

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In between a stripy fabric with colours of both sides.

It was the first time ever, for me to make a piping. But I’m very happy with the result. Not  too difficult, but it does need concentration.

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And one last picture with the table on its usual place:

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Groetjes, Dorien

Something New and Something Old

 

Usually I’m using Drops Safran for almost every crochet project I work on. This time I was asked to make skirt guards with the exact colours of the rainbow (as a symbol for the LGBT Community), and this wasn’t possible with the Safran. The colours just aren’t bright enough. So I went out to look for a different brand in the same category and I think this just might be right. It is Catania Cotton from Schachenmayr. The skirt guards are going to be different from the usual in the way that I’m going to make 2 rows with small flowers. A new challenge to get this right: different design and different yarn.

I’ve told you before that we are renovating the kitchen. Last weekend it was finally completely stripped; walls, ceiling and floor: all was gone.

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And especially the space under the floor was filled with a lot of rubbish, but also something very nice:

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A paper half as old as our house

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Unfortunately it couldn’t be touched without falling apart to crumbles, so all I could do was quickly make a picture before it was gone. Too bad; I would have loved to read the paper and see not only what the news back then was, but also in what way the language was different from today.

Groetjes, Dorien