Quote of the day

In the rhythm of the needles

there is music for the soul.

Breiclub in Oostende : elke woensdagavond van 19 u - 21 u !

donderdag 30 december 2010

more zahia workshops

I haven't had the time to publish these images of another workshop I followed at Zahia.  But in December I made another set of lovely jewels.
This time it was all about working with old venetian glass beads called millefiori.  They were originally ment to be buttons, but never got to that stage.  Forgotten in an obscure Italian basement, they gathered dust untill one of the buyers of Zahia found this treasure and brought them to Belgium where we could have a go at turning them into lovely rings and earrings.
A very easy technique (involving a 2 component glue), a patient teacher and great results, as usual ....

a lovely pair of earrings

a matching ring

all presented in a nice box !

dinsdag 28 december 2010

fimo kralen maken - polymeer clay beads

Well, it has been a very busy time.  Glad to be back in a more normal routine.  And as it is a holiday periode for me now, I have some free time to spend.  Winnie asked me to accompany her to a workshop where we were going to make a necklace in fimo (polymeer clay).  I had done that years ago, and remembed it to be great fun. 

The workshop was given by Christine.  In the attic of her beautiful house she has created her own (gigantic ) craft space.   There were 9 of us, all very creative and eager to learn.  We all started with 3 different colours of fimo, and spend the morning rolling balls and 'sausages' until we had some very lovely beads.  It reminded me somehow of my kindergarten days...  back in the middelages of course... After lunch  ( great soup made by Christine's father !) we baked the beads and started on the necklaces.  As we all chose different colours, everyone's beads and necklaces were unique and so different.  Amazing technique, to produce such a variety ! I took some pictures, they will speak for themselves...

these are the colours I choose

Me and Winnie rolling away

Winnie choose turquoise, cupper and white

Some  beads were black, white and red

we learned some 'tricks of the trade'...

the results of our efforts on the baking tray

I had a lot of beads to choose from
putting them on a string or ribbon

nice earthly colours

how do you like mine ?

I had enough to make a matching bracelet, ring and earrings...

A very good workshop, well prepared  and an excelllent teacher who knew what she was talking about.  A lovely day, thank you Winnie for the invitation ! 

vrijdag 24 december 2010

Christmas dinner

Tonight my parents are coming over for Christmas dinner, and my table is all set.

The meal is as good as ready.  We are having :

champagne with small appetizers, and a first share of (small) gifts.

3 slices of home made pâté with salad and croutons
(my father in law is a retired butcher who made many of his preparations himself.  His pâté is the best ever.  He is also a hunter.  He has made the pâté from animals he shot.  Not really a nice thought, but his artisan pâtés ares made of hare, wild boar and partridge.)
A second share of gifts.

Then,  home made shrimp croquettes  -  home made by my husband I am proud to say. ( My kitchen was a mess, but the croquettes are very good.)
A third round of gifts.

Then, a taste of pumpkin soup with cream.  On my menu, I call it pumpkin cappucino.  Sounds real funky, doesn't it ?  I am going to serve it in glasses. Showtime !
Another round of gifts, if there are any left over by now -  haha.

Next is the main course : stew of deer.  Yes, we are eating bambi's dad...  I have prepared it according to a tv show by one of Belgiums best cooks ever : Jeroen Meus.  It smells delicious.  Along with it are cranberries, chicory, mushrooms and mashed potatoes with celeriac.

And then dessert.  I know myself : after this dinner (and all the wine) I am tired and quite fed up with cooking.  So I bought some ice cream and I will serve it with a good cuppa coffee. Along with some sweet Belgian truffles and chocolates of course.

By then I am dog-tired and we will fall into the sofa with a last drink.  Many cheers to Xmas,  love and peace, and we wish you all the best.  Tomorrow, a very late & small breakfast (just a vitamine drink perhaps...) and in the late afternoon we are invited for coffee and cakes at my in-laws.  Another load of calories, and probably no time to blog.  See you all next time !

more home made Christmas decorations

Just a quick giveaway for the members of my knitting club...

these hearts are made of felt, and filled with lavender

I made a little bag to put the gifts in, made from old wallpaper.

dinsdag 21 december 2010

Ellen's vilten hoeden - Ellens felted hats

During the workshop at the Banier, I met Ellen.  She's a young mum, has 2 children, and her hobby is felting.  She's a 'self-made' felter, she learned it very effciently by 'trial and error'.  And some very useful youtube tutorials.  We got along very well, and I asked her to send me some pictures of her hats.  Well, they are sooo original and wonderful, I just have to share this with you all.  Just imagine the hats are black.  My stupid computer seems to interpret the black as dark purple.   
Ellen doesn't have a blog, but I'm going to convince her to start one.  She makes lovely babyhats and children's hats too.  I told her to put them up for sale, but she's shy that people will not want to buy her items.  What a shame.  I would buy one if I had little children...
Anyway, don't be upset when you see the hats presented on a female head....  It's not real !  It's a dummy-head used by schoolgirls who train to be hairdressers.  It is a bit awkward, but the size is just right for presenting the hats.  If you want to contact ellen, just send me a mail.  I will forward them to her.

zondag 19 december 2010

workshop vilten hoed maken - felting a hat

Vorige week deel 1 van een superleuke workshop in 'De Banier' gevolgd : een hoed vilten.
We kregen een stukje naadlvilt en mochten er een zijden sjaal bijkiezen.  Ik koos groenig blauw vilt en een kaki bruine sjaal.  Deze hebben we samen vervilt, met nog stukjes zijden draad en wol als accentjes ertussen.  Ook truukjes geleerd met koordjes en zo.  Gisteren deel 2 van de workshop : onze lap vilt is nu een hoed geworden.  Van de overschotjes maakte ik ook nog een paar handschoenen zonder vingers, en een vilten tasje voor mijn gsm kon er ook nog uit.
Ik ben heel blij met het resultaat.  De hoed is afgewerkt met enkele vilten 'worstjes' en een oude knoop van een jas die mijn moeder had in de jaren 60!   Hij is wel zo erg speciaal geworden, dat ik nu de durf moet vinden om hem te dragen....   Ik denk dat mijn zus jaloers zal zijn...

zaterdag 18 december 2010

een halsketting haken

Het kriebelde weer eens om aan de slag te gaan met gouddraad en enkele glazen ringen die ik al een tijdje liggen heb.  Ik lag vannacht weer eens wakker (heb ik wel eens last van) en dan gaat mijn brein van de hak op de tak springen en opeens was daar een duidelijk beeld : ik ga die ringen gewoon aan elkaar haken !  Gelukkig ben ik opnieuw in slaap gevallen, en vanmorgen met volle moed aan dit kleine project begonnen. Perfect voor de feestdagen !

When I can't sleep, my brain seems to jump from image to image, so many ideas and then suddenly I get a picture of something I want to make.  This is a necklace that I imagined during a sleepless periode.  I crocheted it with fine goldthread.  I crocheted around the dark glass rings and the effect is really nice.  Perfect for the holidays !

vrijdag 17 december 2010

handmade cuddly animals - handgemaakte knuffel

Ik maakte 2 knuffels met restjes stof.  Het lijfje van de blauwe is een restje badstof, het andere is gebloemde groene stof van een stukje gordijn.  De ogen zijn knopen, met een stukje vilt onder.  Ik gaf ze snorharen : wat zwart borduurgaren vastgenaaid.   De armen en de benen zijn een gebreide sliert, die ik maakte met een punnikmachine.  De voetjes zijn afgewerkt met een rondje vilt dat ik dubbelgevouwen aan de punniksliert bevestigde en vastnaaide met een knoopje.  Het lijfje is gevuld met mousevlokjes, dat is lekker zacht.  Maar je kan er ook kersenpitjes in stoppen, of bakerwten.  Dan is het een beanie-bag, om bv. je deur open te houden.  Of op je boekenrek.  Als je het wil namaken, hieronder vind je het patroontje.  Veel plezier ermee !

I made 2 cuddly toys with some leftover fabric.  The eyes are buttons, under the left eye I put some felt.  I gave them a moustache with some black embroidery thread.  The arms and legs are knitted I-cord, but I cheated and used a magic loom.  The feet are a round piece of felt, folded in half and attached with a button.  I filled the body with soft fluffy bits but you can also use beans and make it a beaniebag.  if you want to make one yourself, the pattern is included.  Good luck ! 

total height of the body is +/- 20 cm

arms are 12cm, legs are 20 cm

feet are cirkel of 3 cm diametre

een warme muts voor Monique

Monique (zie breiclub) was gek van mijn blauwe muts in gewassen wol.  Dat moet je me natuurlijk geen 2x zeggen.  Ik heb met hetzelfde patroontje dus nog een muts gemaakt, deze keer in oranje wollen stof.  Hopelijk vind ze hem leuk !

de bloem is gehaakt in bijpassende wol

woensdag 15 december 2010

father Christmas and my grandmother

I have a picture of my grandmother that I cherish.  It is a very old photograph, all in sepia colours (brown and yellow)  In the picture she is only 12 years old, wearing her best dress and a silk bow in her hair.  She was the eldest of 12 children.  You can see her earnest face.  In front of her are one of her (many) brothers and sisters.   My grandmother was born in 1908, and she lived a great life.  She lived through a first worldwar when she was a little girl of 6, and the battlefield was right here in Flanders Fields... and a second worldwar when she was married and mother of 5 children herself.  When she was 16, she was sent to the capital, Brussels, to be a servant to a wealthy family.  That's were she taught herself to speak French.  And that's where she made so many beautiful embroidery to fill her evenings.
When my mum married, she came to live with us and she took care of me when my mum was at work.  She taught me all about knitting, crocheting and embroidery, even before I could write...  Now I've put father christmas next to her picture.  Her name is Madeleine Vanhoutte, but I called her mémé.  Maybe one day I should write a book about her life, it's such a complicated, but nice story.

I found this lovely old frame, just right for her picture ! 

dinsdag 14 december 2010

zondag 12 december 2010

home made christmas decorations - zelfgemaakte kerstversieringen

I have finished decorating my house.  This year I was planning to keep it very simple, like in those fine home decorating magazines.  No tree.  No frills.  No sparkles.  Just a delicate touch of reds and greens and a few nice objects to create the festive atmosphere.  But then the eldest son was complaining : when we were kids, you used to make it really cosy, mum.  (he means the excess and overload of frills I was guilty of in the past...)  Hmm.  Then I got this great idea :  I told him that if he wanted a xmas tree filled with balls and lightbulbs, he'd have to do it himself.  Being a 19-year old boy, with a big talent for making a mess of his room and very little talent as a decorator, I never expected him to actually do this.   Think again, mum...   So now there is - again! - a fully loaded xmas tree in our living room.  And to be honest, I am quite pleased with it.  I suppose the chique minimalist design that I love so much in magazines is ok for other people's houses...
This one however is now again filled to the roof with all the stuff we accumulated over the past years.   Many of it is crafted by the kids when they were little, and some of it by me.  May I invite you ?

styrofoam with small pieces of fabric pinned to it

I made some muffins too...

years ago I was in a patchwork frenzy...

with left over red buttons you can make this

a gift from my niece when she was little
the doily is hand knitted lace

Christmas cat...

I just want to sleep...

Merry Christmas to you all !
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