Thursday, July 17, 2014

Pillowcases

I still wasn't done with the yarn the girls got me for Sinterklaas, so I finished the pillowcase I started last December and then I made another one. For the backs I made two white squares, one knit diagonally, one a big granny square.



The rest of the yarn was made into squares for KAS.



Total count: 1 hat, 1 scarf, 2 pillowcases and 6 squares, all made from my lovely gift of five skeins of yarn (well, seven if you count the white). Not bad!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

In my garden

This week is so busy... but I did find a little bit of time for a quick garden update:

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The lettuce is doing great and the snails haven’t found it yet (hmn, hope I didn’t jinx myself now).

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Finally blooming (they needed lots of water and that’s what they got these last few days; we had lots of rain).

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It seems some of my lettuce seeds finally decided to start coming up.

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Chamomile is doing great.

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Almost time to harvest these.

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Uh, I think this is a weed. I do like how it looks though.

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Borage again. Always buzzing with bumble bees.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

A rainbow around my neck

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The girls got me this five colors of yarn this Sinterklaas. Almost all the colors of the rainbow. I loved it, but I had a hard time deciding what to do with it. I started making a pillowcase, then cast on for a little sweater for KAS, frogged that, knit some squares for KAs and finally made a hat in the blue green yarn.
And then, finally my creative mind started working again. I finally knew what to make with these colors. So I cast on 300 or so stitches (forgot to count) and just kept knitting row after row, switching colors every row and letting the ends hang by the side. When the first color ran out (green – I made two squares with that color) I cast off, tied the ends together (all five colors in one knot) and cut them straight (they don’t look straight in the picture, but they are). Simple, but I do like the result. It’s narrow (because I ran out of the green), but long, so I can wear it double.

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So what has that silly elephant (I brought it with me from South Africa) to do with it? Well, nothing actually. I just noticed that it had the same colors ;-)

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Our couch

We have a very comfortable, but ugly couch.

We got it for 100 euro from our neighbors 8 years ago. I was going to say 6 years, but it’s been 8. Oh my, that explains why it’s looking the way it is. But it’s still as comfortable as it was back then. The big cushion got a burn mark and some other stains in it very soon, so I made covers in 2008 (I think, might be earlier). Those have been in heavy use too, especially if you consider both Theo and I are usually working from the couch. We do have an office, but somehow we spent most of our working hours here (and yes, we should probably change that to have a better balance between work and free time, but that's how we've been rolling for years now)

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So, the covers were stained beyond washing and some of the fabric was just falling apart from all the washing and sitting. A few weeks ago I began looking for fabric to replace it with. No luck. I tried Ikea, but didn’t find anything fun. And when I finally got myself to a market (that used to be my place to go for affordable fabric) they had all kinds of fabric, but no thick cotton or denim that I could use to recover the cushions.
I was close to giving up when I suddenly realized I needed to take a closer look at the curtain section in the thrift shop. So I jumped in my car and went immediately. Which was a lucky call since I found this:

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15 euro for 6 metres. Nice deal. And just enough to cover the bottom cushions, I hoped.

Some very scientific measuring took place (also known as trying it on).


And I found that 7 meters would have been just the right amount.

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But I did a bit of patching and that took care of it.

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The result of a few hours of measuring and sewing. They covers are a bit on the wide side, but I think that will be solved after I’ve washed them for the first time (no I didn’t before, too eager to try).

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But oh those back cushions look so dirty now! They can be washed, but take half a day to dry and you have to put the covers on when they’re still wet to get them on. I hope someday I’ll found more light fabric to match the white, but for now I reused the jeans covers (I cut out the worst parts and sewed them back together).

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I decided to dig up those blankets I made way back in 2007 for everyday use, to protect the white from our spilling and dirty socks etc., thinking we can take them off and show our good side when we have company over. It looks a bit bohemian, but I like it.

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The cat agrees. He has been sleeping there for days.

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Next mission: find some fabric to cover the frame…

Monday, June 30, 2014

In my garden

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Of course I couldn’t help myself during my last visit at the garden center. More veggies. Some beets. I never tried to grow those before, so we’ll see how that goes.
And some all time favorite (though not my favorite meal): endives.

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In the herb bed things are growing very well. That’s peppermint and lemon balm, and in the right behind it you can just see the cola herb I planted (it has a different official name, but it smells like the soda).  To the left there’s chamomile, but the little white flowers are other flowers, just for the beauty of it (and for picking, but I can’t have flowers in the house with all the hay fever going on).

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The next batch of radishes is coming up already.

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And some carrots are too (but just a few).

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The lettuce isn’t coming up at all. I sowed it in that little corner of the bed, but nothing is happening. Next year I’m ordering biological seeds again (I had those two years ago, they did so much better than the garden center stuff I have now).

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Luckily my three sisters are doing quite well. It’s a bit full and messy, but I love seeing it all grow together.

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The first zucchini flowers. Love spotting these.

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Not in the garden, but on the roofterrace: a salad bar. I bought some lettuce seedlings and planted them in our old barbecue (it has a few holes – rust- in the bottom, but some anti root fabric (how do you call that in English?) took care of that). I hardly ever see snails up there (spiders I do see, but that’s another story), so I hope to outsmart them like this and finally have some home grown salad this summer.

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It is growing well. The picture above is from when I planted them (the 26th), the one below is from this morning
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Oh, and the red is meant to be, I’m aiming for a happy mixed salad and bought some red lettuce too. I was wondering why it was called red when I planted them, since there was only a little red in the leaves, but now I understand ;-)

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Friday, June 27, 2014

Summer

Sometimes I feel like I’d better stop blogging and taking pictues, because I’m constantly repeating myself. But that's life. Cycles. And what would my blog be without these familiar summer pictures?

:: knitting on the roof terrace

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:: “farm fashion” in accidently matching colors

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:: laundry drying outside

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:: trips to the garden center

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:: and flowers, of course

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A bit of thrifting

I did a bit of thrifting today and I thought it would be fun to take you with me. Wanna come?

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I didn’t buy any of this, but now I regret it. That little tin (1 euro) is so beautiful. And I also love that iron cup on the right. It looks and feels handmade and it was only 50 cents.

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I liked these too. Cast iron feet, nice glass. But I have no place to put them, so I left them behind.

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Metal seems to be a theme today, since these three are metal too. I don’t like the color, but I do like the design. And it was only 5 euro for the three of them.

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I love, love love sewing baskets and this one almost came home with me. But I don’t really need it, so I put it back. Oh if only I wasn’t so reasonable…

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Only 5 euro for all these tennisballs. If I had (small) kids or dogs I would have taken them…

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Yeah right. I don’t think so.

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I wish he could, maybe then this cute dress/tunic would have fit me.

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Funny, I realized this morning that sofa’s like this catch my eye because one of my most favorite bloggers has one (and blogged a lot about wanting one before she got it). Luckily her blog also tells me it doesn’t work for a family to hang out on and since I don’t have a library nor a studio it stayed right where it was, saving me 250 euro (and a lot of dismay from my family too, I think).

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This makes me feel nostalgic, although I know we never had one at home. I didn’t buy it, since I never use gadgets like this (I’ve had some).

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Of course there were plates and dishes and bowls calling my name. There always are. If my house wasn’t so small I’d have an incredible amount of these.

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Blue ivy? Hmn… not sure. Which is fine, since there were a lot of these to be found in the piles of plates in the second store I visited.

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Never use cups and saucers, so I’m not allowed to buy them. But I did like the blue ones.

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I always think it’s a bit sad to find these homemade paintings in a thrift shop. This one was kind of nice. But I also don’t have a lot of walls to cover, so I left it there.

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Always checking to see if a piece of furniture is good handwork. This is.

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To be honest I really, really want this little dresser. If only to save the beautiful wood from being covered with chalkpaint which seems to be the thing to do lately (sometimes it’s nice, but in this case it would be a shame – imho). But I have yet to think of a good spot for it, so I fear it’s doomed.

20140625a (17) (Large) No, bookcase. I know you’ve been trying to talk me in to buying you for weeks now, but I just don’t have room for you. Even though you have the perfect shallow shelves that fit just one row of books. I do like that very much, you know that. But I’d have to buy another house to fit you in and that would be way too expensive, don’t you think?

Well, there you have it. Sixteen pictures of things I didn’t buy. I saved so much money ;-)
But what did I buy, you ask?

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This. A Staub Dutch oven. It was 7,50 euro and that’s really cheap (look here for proof of that). And I know I’ll use it a lot (I have another one, but this one is smaller- which is good when kids are moving out).

Yep, that’s what I call a happy ending to a fun bit of thrifting ;-)