Tuesday, May 23, 2017

City Gym Shorts

One of the blogs I follow is The Purl Bee, where you can find anything on sewing, crocheting, knitting and other things involving yarn and/or thread. Most of the time the posts are very inspiring and come with nice patterns. And every now and then I make something I found at The Purl Bee.

After a spring clean up of my cabinets I found this Hawaiian fabric, that I  bought a while ago. So long ago actually, that I had totally forgotten all about it. Don't even remember where I bought it. I haven't seen my sewing machine for quite some time either, but the combination of the fabric found and the inspiration I found on The Purl Bee, made me want to make this short.  I made the biggest size, because I like wide leg pants on shorts. The taille is elastic.


You can check out the (very easy) pattern at The Purl Bee. There's one for girls and one for women.


This week the Pink Unicorn I made for my youngest daughter was featured by Creating My Way to Success!!

Thank you so much, Jill!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies

Since we went to Sicily, Italy a couple of weeks ago I love almost everything that's made with lemon. Lemons are used a lot in dishes in Sicily and you see lemon trees growing everywhere, as if it is weed. 

Before I wasn't very fond of lemons, but now I can't get enough of its freshness. Makes me feel like summer has already started immediately. So today I made these Lemon Cookies with Poppy Seed. The recipe is to be found here

So delicious!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Made It! #19

~ I love Pinterest and would like to make one thing every week that I find on Pinterest. Since I have lots of pins (that, until now, I've just pinned and only that), I hope this will be a way to reduce the amount of pins on my boards. It can be anything, from cooking to crochet and from sewing to paper crafts. Just small projects that don't take weeks to make ~

And here's the bag I promised to make this week for Made It!. I was delayed a little bit, because I always try to post three crafts in a week, on Friday, Saturday and Tuesday, but I found it becomes harder and harder to keep up with my own crafting pace, due to other obligations. I think I have to choose projects that take a little less time for Made It!. Anyway, this week I'm just in time for midnight (CET) to post the result. 

In the end I choose a pattern of waves instead of pineapples or palmtrees. This pattern makes me think of Hawaii and surfing and I love to make things that bring back great memories!

I found the idea for the waves on the same page as the pineapple and palmtree. 


Next week I want to make a key chain for the bag, to embellish it a bit. The idea is something as in the picture below, but made by myself instead of store bought.

I found this pendant here.


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Crochet Whale

Seven colleagues expecting babies. Seven! Busy (crochet) times ahead. The first baby present is finished. For a baby boy I made this little whale. 

The pattern I found here.


I just saw a lot of my projects were featured on the Pinterest board of Strawberry Butterscotch.

Felt Swan

Stroller Toy

The Cat in the Hat

Lucky Cat

Thank you very much, Anna!!!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Market Bag

One of the mothers I always meet at the schoolyard of the school my daughters attend, knows my favorite hobby is crochet and asked if I could learn her to crochet, too. She also knew someone else who wanted to learn to crochet. I told her I would look around for more fans, so I could learn them all at once and wouldn't have to reserve my beloved day off for a couple of weeks to teach crochet. 

I didn't think there would be much eagerness among friends, family, colleagues and schoolyard mothers, but now I've ended up with ten applicants and have to part the group into two smaller ones. 

I chose two simple patterns to choose from and am busy now to make them as an example for the workshops, that will be in three weeks. I already finished the market bag beneath. The pattern I found here.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Made it #18

 ~ I love Pinterest and would like to make one thing every week that I find on Pinterest. Since I have lots of pins (that, until now, I've just pinned and only that), I hope this will be a way to reduce the amount of pins on my boards. It can be anything, from cooking to crochet and from sewing to paper crafts. Just small projects that don't take weeks to make ~

Last week I showed  you the Blue Hawaii Mandala (free pattern) I wanted to make. I used other colors and named mine Lua Pele Melia Mandala (lua pele meaning volcano and melia meaning plumeria).


Before I went to Sicily I saw this great bag, but I just hadn't enough time to make this one to take with me on vacation. Our next trip is planned in two months, so I would say: plenty of time now.
The last couple of years we go on vacation in our own country in summer, because it's just too hot around the Meditarranean, and with two kids we don't want to take hour long flights, since after just two hours they just have enough of sitting in that plane. No patience (and indeed, that's my share in their character). So for next week I planned to make this bag, or maybe both, because I don't know which one to choose. Love them both.


My Hand of Fatima from last week's Made It was featured by Simple Sweet Home!

Thanks, Jerri!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Crochet Unicorn

My youngest daughter has a new crush, namely The Unicorn. We already had Rabbits, Flamingos and Angler Fishes and now we have Unicorns. And because I had some rainbow colored yarn left from a never finished project, I could finally use it: for the manes and the tail.

I made up the pattern myself and didn't write it down on the go, but my daughter wants another unicorn, a male (and the male unicorns are blue, as you certainly knew), so hopefully I don't forget to make notes next time.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

String of Red Peppers

Food is good in Italy, nobody can deny that. In Sicily it isn't any different, of course. A lot of the souvenirs in tourist shops have to do with food. Cook books, magnets of lemons, cooking aprons, attributes to cook with, name it and you'll find it. 

What I wanted to buy before we left, was a string of red peppers, one of the local foods we ate a lot. The night we arrived, our host even welcomed us with spaghetti aglio e olio (pasta with garlic, red peppers and olive oil). So it seemed like a proper souvenir. But from the moment I started looking for the pepper strings, I only came along shops that didn't sell it. Have you ever experienced this, too? Fact is: happens to me all the time. Beautiful painted hornbill in Costa Rica, great Hawaiian quilt, the nicest Menorcan avarcas ever seen, I all had to buy them the first time I laid eye on it, because when I wanted to buy it (another time or another place) it was sold, stores didn't have it in that particular town or they didn't have my size anymore.

I still haven't learned my lesson, I guess, because I came home without the string of peppers. So I made it myself, that of course isn't as nice as bringing them from the island, but they look nice in my kitchen anyway.


I used this free pattern.


My Bare Foot Sandals were featured this week by Crafts a la Mode, Creating My Way to Success and Pieced Pastimes!

Thank you, Linda, Jill and Suzanne!

Friday, May 5, 2017

Made It! #17

~ I love Pinterest and would like to make one thing every week that I find on Pinterest. Since I have lots of pins (that, until now, I've just pinned and only that), I hope this will be a way to reduce the amount of pins on my boards. It can be anything, from cooking to crochet and from sewing to paper crafts. Just small projects that don't take weeks to make ~

Last week I skipped a week of Made It, due to vacation and a broken laptop, but this week I make it up. The Hand of Fatima (idea found here) is finished. 

I made it of white polymer clay, carved flowers and figures in it, rubbed it in with different colors of water color paint and dabbed it dry afterwards, so paint would only stay in the carvings. 


What I want to make next week, is something bohemain-like again. In summertime I always love to decorate my garden with bohemian stuff. I found this free pattern for the mandala here

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Penne alla Norma

Just home from our trip to Sicily and as said in the post before, the food was excellent! Even in restaurants that locals would consider crappy, for us it was much better than a lot of Italian restaurants we find in our own country. Ingredients were always fresh, for example. People sold food beside the roads, from their own land I guess, so maybe fruits and vegetables weren't even genetically manipulated, too. 

One of the things we ate a couple of times was Penne alla Norma. As a vegetarian I loved to find a dish like this. There's no meat in it, but it's not vegetarian per se, and that are the recipes I like the most.

Want to try it?

What to use (for 4)
Pasta (the original used pasta is penne, but any pasta will do)
olive oil
1 onion
2 garlic cloves
1 egg plant
 1 pound of tomatoes
basil leaves

What to do
Cook the pasta as said on the packaging
Heat the oil
Cut onion and garlic in little pieces
Add to oil and cook until soft
Cut the egg plant in slices and season with salt and pepper
Cut slices in four pieces
Add to onion and garlic and cook until moist is released
Cut the tomatoes in four pieces and remove the core
Add to onion, garlic and egg plant and add 100 cc water
 Tear the basil leaves in little pieces and add to the sauce
Cook until all ingredient are soft
Stir until it looks like a sauce
Put the pasta on 4 plates and add the sauce
Scoop a tablespoon of ricotta over the sauce
Top with basil leaves

Buon Appetito!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Travels: Sicily, Italy

Just came back from our week vacation in Sicily, Italy. We looked forward to it for months, but vacations are always over in the blink of an eye, so after a night in my own bed I can't even imagine I was away for a week. 

Sicily is beautiful, really beautiful, the food is in one word great, people are very friendly (far more than on the main land, in my opinion, but my opinion is based on just one other trip to Italy, to Florence and Pisa to be precise). All ingredients for a great little trip, but there was one big downer.

Before we took the plane, we had hired a car on internet. We would arrive in the evening, so plans were we just had to pick it up at the airport and could drive to the house we had rented. In theory, that was. When we arrived, the car rental had canceled our booking, because our arrival time wasn't filled in. Although they had our flight schedule (which is what I would look at as I rented cars, because flights can be delayed), they just canceled it. 

So after a long wait for our turn, we had no car. All cars were hired! We were addressed to another car rental, that probably would have a car for us. And they did. But we had to pay double the price and had to wait two hours before it was available. Bad option if you're with two kids that are already crying because they're tired. Then, alas, all they could do for us was rent us a BMW station wagon.

We had already spend two hours at the car rental now and just wanted to go. So my husband accepted the BMW, for even more money. As soon as he said we had a BMW I felt my anxiety levels rise, uneasy as I felt by driving a car this big and pretentious on an island where most people don't have lots of money to spend. 

But we were finally on the road. That night I dreamed about scratches on the car. So first thing I did when we stepped in the car the next morning, was check the car for damage. And that was what I did every time, after every trip we made with the thing: checking for damage.  That's why I know somebody must have brushed our car when we parked it (our first day on the island!) while doing grocery shopping, because before we went into the store the car was spotless. Scratches all over the front bumper. After that I didn't have one relaxed moment. And I know it's me, my character, but I find enjoying myself very difficult when in the back of my head the BMW that might be scratched again flashes on and off all the time. 

After that first brush four days later followed another one, while our car was parked on a parking lot near the beach. Maybe the brushing wasn't on purpose, I don't know, but a day later I found scratches on both sides of the car hood. Brushing the car while leaving can happen by accidence, maybe, but what can possibly make lighting strike formed scratches on top of the car hood by chance? 

Soooo, just one tip when you go to Sicily: hire a indistinct car, preferably a ragged one, so people don't feel the urge to damage other people's property. And if they really can't control themselves, you don't see the difference anyway. 

Only after returning the car at the end of the week I got back my peace of mind. And just now I can enjoy our time away with retroactive effect.


So now: some pictures of this beautiful island!!

On our first day in Sicily we went to see Taormina with her narrow streets, lots of little shops and the unevitable gelaterias. The last we visited every day, because no country can match up to the Italian ice!

Behind Taormina lies the little town of Castelmola, which can be reached by climbing a lot of stairs, that end at the cutest little church, that's build in a cave.

When you walk out of the church, there's a great view on an old Greek amphi theater.


Of course we rode up Mount Etna. Although we went to a lot of places with volcanoes before (my parents actually live on the volcanic island of Lanzarote), and we have seen the lava flows on Big Island, Hawaii, we never actually saw one erupt. Etna smoked all the time we were there. One evening I saw some orange glow at the top and one morning I saw smoking lava roll down one of her flanks, but that's about it. So seeing an erupting volcano is still on my list.


The day we rode to Milazzo and took a ferry to the Eolian Islands, I personally found the best day. The islands are located north east of Sicily. We hopped off on the tiny island of Vulcano and hiked to the top of the Vulcano Crater. I especially loved the laid back atmosphere of the island, which is very different from the aggressive driving and more hasty way of living at the 'main (is)land' .

Beside the great views on the other Eolians, it was not only an experience for the eyes, but especially for the nose. Do you see the smoke coming from the crater rim? Smells like rotten eggs that are rotten (yes, rotten eggs that are rotten, double rotten, to accentuate how bad it really stank). The smoke coming from the so called fumeroles is actually poisonous.


Of course we had to visit the little town of Savoca, where a (small) part of The Godfather was filmed. In the little church above Michael Corleone married Apollonia.


Beside the church and the famous Bar Vitelli, where another part of the movie was filmed, we visited a little monastery. In the catacombs were a couple of well preserved mummies to be found, which my daughters (and honestly, me too) found quite haunting. Taking pictures wasn't allowed, so nothing to show to you here.

The most famous cat of Sicily lives in Savoca. In the short while I was sitting next to his balcony, eating pane (bread) with Edammer Cheese (Edam actually being a place in The Netherlands; my grandmother always bought cheese from Edam, so I chose this filling just for the memories, but just as you do I wondered how this cheese ended up here in Savoca), there were at least fifty people who took pictures of this cat.


 Great island views


Another beautiful place we visited was Gola Alcantara, a trench of basalt stone and ice cold water, flanked with tiny beaches where you could spend some time in the water. 


The duomo of Ortigia in Siracusa


 The most popular fruit on Sicily: lemons!


Saturday, April 22, 2017

Bare Foot Sandals

In just a couple of days we will take off to Sicily. I hope temperatures will be a bit better than here, because it's rather cold around here. When summer approaches I always feel like making hippie-like clothes (very convenient when you like to crochet). Today I made bare foot sandals, so hope there will be at least one day we can go to the beach.

Update: for you people who were expecting to see a picture of bare feet and crocheted sandals, I hope you weren't that disappointed. A couple of days before we left for Sicily my laptop broke down, so I couldn't post pictures, text, nothing. Hope you're still with me, because today, tadaaaaah, I'm back in business! With the picture!


My Triangle Shawl was featured by Oombawka Design!

Thank you so much, Rhondda!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Made It #16

~ I love Pinterest and would like to make one thing every week that I find on Pinterest. Since I have lots of pins (that, until now, I've just pinned and only that), I hope this will be a way to reduce the amount of pins on my boards. It can be anything, from cooking to crochet and from sewing to paper crafts. Just small projects that don't take weeks to make ~

As said last week I would love to make the beautiful felt swan I found on Pinterest a while ago and although mine hasn't the dreamy beauty of the original one, I'm pretty content with my own swan. Too bad I couldn't find the speckled white tulle the designer of this swan used, because that makes it even more beautiful.



Another idea that's on my boards for a while now, is this clay hand of fatima. For some reason it gives me a summery feeling. Would be nice to have some of them sitting around the garden with scented little candles in it. 

The idea was originally pinned from the instagram account of Denise Alice.


The Octopus I made last week for Made It #15! is featured by Pattern Paradise!!



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