Things 359 – 365

It’s New Year’s Eve and the night is resounding with a constant barrage of fireworks. It will continue to get louder and crazier until midnight, at which point the Netherlands will sound like a war zone.

For now I’m taking refuge inside, though we’ll join the craziness on the streets later. First I need to finish this blog.

Tonight I wrap up this blog project with a random collection of Things from all three categories: beading, crochet and sewing.

Let’s start with beading. The first piece of jewelry is a three-strand elastic bracelet with an assortment of pink glass beads, finished off with a lock and key charm set.




The second is a simple slip-knot necklace, made with white leather cord and a big flower pendant from my stash.



The last piece of jewelry of 2014 is a necklace with some kind of stone (agate?), freshwater pearls and metal seed beads. I made a mistake the first time I made it. Can you spot it?




I thought the section with three stone beads was in the middle. This evening I restrung it, removing the extra bead and adding some more seed beads to compensate.




That’s better.


The next category is crochet. This Thing was a gift for a young friend, Rebecca. Earlier this year I made her a yellow toque and scarf with the yarn left over from a blanket from her Oma.

There was still enough left for one more gift. For her birthday, I crocheted a bag to hold her crocheted turtle, Pumpkin, that I made for her last year and that she sleeps with every night.




I improvised a pattern and finished it with a drawstring cord with tassels.




I included another little turtle that I crocheted earlier this year. He can be a little brother for Pumpkin.


The last three Things of 2014 fall in the sewing category.

The first is another bra for Martina. (Sorry, darling. This is the last time I will post your underthings on the internet.)




She needed a black one to go under her Christmas gala dress. I used the Ohhh Lulu pattern I’ve been using all year. The fabric is from an old t-shirt of mine (the one that I cut the sleeves off of for Esther’s shirt) and the straps are the wide black elastic left over from that project.


The next item was a gift. Some months ago Esther made a pillow for her dear friend. There’s a 70-year age gap between them but they get on fabulously. He’s from South Africa so Esther used a fabric that I picked up for her when I was there two years ago. This was her pillow.






He loved it so much that his wife asked me if we could make another matching one. Last week I made this.




I didn’t position the fabric as well as Esther did, but the pillow was well-received nonetheless and together they make a nice set.


My last project of 2014 was the fulfilment of a promise to Esther made a couple of months ago. She requested a cloak, but I kept telling her I needed to finish a bunch of other projects first (flower girl dresses come to mind.) This past Monday I kept my promise.

Presenting Thing 365….


That’s Esther’s solemn, cloak-wearing expression.


I found instructions for sewing a walking cloak at the Jane Austen website. The fabric is silver stretch velvet from my stash (from the same shopping trip as the white velvet of the angel costumes).




I lined the cloak with the champagne satin from the flower girl dresses. A gold button from Esther’s stash and a white ribbon loop serve as a clasp.




Due to fabric limitations I couldn’t quite make it the length Esther wanted (sweeping the floor like Darth Vader) and the hood is a bit smaller than anticipated, but it’s still delightfully swishy and full.






So that’s it, folks. 365 Things in 365 Days for 365 Euros. I did it! I think this calls for champagne.

Happy New Year!



Cost of these Things:  7.91USD for beading wire = €6.52
Cost of all Things to date: €363.98


Would you look at that? I have €1.02 to spare. Time to go shopping for craft supplies!


Things 333 – 358

The theme of today’s post is Winter Wonderland.

Sinterklaas brought me a crochet hook kit and I was itching to try out all the sizes.




So when a local organization issued a call for warm clothing, I got to work. I had already picked up lots of thick, chunky yarn to make more gifts for the Angel Tree, but I figured I would have time to make some extras.

From the first ball of yarn — a grey and white acrylic — I squeezed out two toques, an infinity scarf and a cowl. I didn’t follow a particular pattern. I just double crocheted with my biggest hook (12mm) until the size was right. For the scarf and cowl I crocheted in the back loop only, for a ridged pattern.




Martina and her friend, Jessica, modelled them for me:




Next I pulled out the brown and magenta yarns from Anna, and crocheted with them together for this:




Finally, I dipped into the big ball of cream-coloured yarn and made a cozy toque.




I dropped all those off along with some winter coats that the girls have outgrown.


It was time to get busy on the Angel Tree gifts.

I pulled out the cream-coloured ball and made another toque and infinity scarf. This set was for a 40-year-old woman.



The toque is based on a pattern from Jenna Windgate designs. The pattern is now retired but I still have a print-out and followed it loosely for the basic cable texture.


Martina chose to get a gift for a 14-year-old girl. She picked out another ball of the chunky grey and white yarn and I made an infinity scarf and toque. I made this scarf extra wide and luxurious.




Next on the list was a gift for a 10-year-old girl. Esther chose a thick red yarn for a scarf.

When I was in Amsterdam two weeks ago I visited my favourite shop. It’s a tiny store devoted to ribbon. Bolts and bolts of ribbon. I love that a store that specialized can even survive. I picked up several lengths of ribbon to use as labels. The snowflake label was the perfect finishing touch for this scarf.




I used the leftover cream and grey/white yarns for the toque, as well as the grey and red left over from my hat trick a few weeks ago.


The last Angel Tree gift was for a young man. I crocheted a toque with some grey and cream, but the cream had a bit of shine to it and it looked too feminine.




For my next attempt I picked up some dark grey and black yarn at Hema and came up with this striped hat:




Much more manly.


With the Angel Tree gifts complete I moved on to other Christmas gifts.

First I made a mustard-coloured infinity scarf for Martina’s friend, Jessica. I love the Paris label (from my Amsterdam store).





By this time, Esther wanted in on all the infinity scarf action. She chose out green yarn for herself and purple for her friend, Daniëlle. I made them each a scarf and Esther chose iron-on labels from my stash.






Next on the list was a navy blue scarf for Jessica’s little brother, Jonathan.




With the last of the chunky cream-coloured yarn I made one more infinity scarf for my friend, Rochelle, the one who started me on this crochet adventure.




The matching toque, with navy blue stripes from Jonathan’s remnants, went to her daughter, Eline.




By this time I just couldn’t sit still anymore. Must. Keep. Crocheting.

I scrounged around for any and all suitable yarns and made six more toques.






These will be going to the Ukraine, along with the non-manly men’s toque. Our church is working with a church there to help people displaced by the conflict there.

Now I’m done with scarves and toques. Unless Hema has another good sale on yarn…


Cost of these Things:  50.52 for yarn plus 2.35 for ribbon = €52.87
Cost of all Things to date: €357.46

* note: I forgot to include the ribbon cost when I first posted. This has been corrected above.

Things 286 – 288

The cold weather is upon us and I’m back to obsessive levels of crocheting. It’s Toque Season!

Today’s first Thing is the Elsa Toque. Back in February I crocheted Elsa, Anna and Olaf from Frozen for Esther’s friend, Daniëlle. I still had lots of the blue yarn from Elsa’s dress left so I decided to make Daniëlle a matching Christmas gift.




It’s crocheted with a 5mm hook, nice and soft, with a white crab stitch trim. I found the crocheted snowflake in my yarn basket and hot-glued a blue crystal for a sparkly touch. With the rest of the blue yarn I made a luxuriously heavy pom pom.


Toque #2 is for my friend, Marko. I made him a toque back in January. However, his head is too big and he requested another toque that would not cut off his circulation.


I picked up some grey acrylic at my yarn lady around the corner and supplemented it with an assortment of wools and cottons from my stash. The pom pom has a bit of everything in it. This toque is cosy, fun, and most important, extra large.


The final toque in this hat trick (get it? Hat trick? Hat?) is a going away gift for a friend who’s so cool he’s been mistaken for a Canadian.




How appropriate is that?

I used a 5mm hook and some grey and red wool. The red was a huge challenge. It was way too thick so I needed to first separate it into two strands. That upped the pain-in-the-neck factor significantly, but the colour was just right so it was worth it.

I started out by following this pattern, but ended up doing my own thing after about row 6. I have difficulty following directions. To finish it off I crocheted a ribbed edge using this tutorial, a new trick for me. The maple leaf is from the same pattern I’ve used before.

I love this hat. All it needs is a Roots label.


Now let it snow!


Cost of these Things:  €3.95 (grey yarn for Toque #2)
Cost of all Things to date: €304.59


Things 278 – 282

Anyone who knew me in high school is going to recognize my last-minute, panicked, let’s-get-this-thing-done approach to the blog over the next 30 days.

I had a tendency to procrastinate back in the day. I did most of my homework and studying on the bus. I remember writing an essay on Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World in under half an hour without having even read the book.

Now I need to post on average three Things a day. And that’s if I post every day.

Right then. Let’s get to work.

Today’s Things are the last of the summer backlog. They were a gift for my sister-in-law, Linda.

Using the endless supply of fabric left over from the tissue pouches, I made a book tote bag and matching accessories to take to the beach.




The bag itself had a recessed zipper, inside pockets and a gusseted bottom. I didn’t use a pattern but this tutorial on recessed zippers was a huge help.





A little zip bag was needed to hold loonies for the ice cream shop.





A drawstring sunglasses case lined in white velvet was for for the end of the day when the sun slipped behind the mountains.





Of course no set is complete without a tissue pouch.




And a crocheted flip flop zipper pull was the cherry on top.




Perfect for the sandy beaches of the Okanagan!





Cost of these Things: 0
Cost of all Things to date: €295.04

Things 254 – 260




Today’s Things are for Remembrance Day. Here in Holland I can’t buy Remembrance Day poppies so I crocheted them instead.




I found the pattern at Ravelry. I like it for its simplicity. It’s the closest I’ve seen to the poppies I always wore in Canada:




I used cotton and a 2mm hook, and attached each one to a small safety pin. They’re quick to make; the last one took just nine minutes, including attaching it to the pin. In the end I made a total of seven for friends and family.




Cost of these Things: 0
Cost of all Things to date: €292.22

Thing 223

Today’s Thing is the first of the summer backlog. I made this keychain back in July and meant to attach it to a gift. That didn’t happen so it’s still in my stash. No worries, it’ll find a home.

I’ve used this pattern before (Things 212 and 213), but this time I added a small flower button.


photo 4_102


These flip flops are quick and fun to make. I brought my crocheting supplies to Canada for the summer and fully intended to crank out at least half a dozen.

I made none.

In fact, I haven’t crocheted at all since I made this. There are at least ten unfinished projects in the basket: a dodo, another flip flop, a maple leaf, a shawl, Christmas ornaments…

In good crochet news, the weather has turned and it’s definitely fall. Cool weather brings out my crafty side. I hope.


Cost of this Thing: 0
Cost of all Things to date: €279.74

Thing 217

I finally finished one of Wednesday’s works-in-progress. I’ve abandoned the flip flop and I haven’t touched the dodo but the cupcake is complete.


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I’ve made cupcakes before this one and its mate but this is my favourite pattern by far. It’s so quick to crochet and easy to assemble.


photo 3_135

What a yummy pair!

In other blog business, my posts are going to be rather spotty for the next six weeks. I’m going to try post a couple of times a week but definitely not on a daily basis. I have enough Things made to keep me going but most of them will be posted in batches.

Happy summer! I’ve got some relaxing to do.


Cost of this Thing: 0
Cost of all Things to date: €277.74

Thing 213

Esther told me today she needs another teacher gift, this one for the student teacher who’s been helping in her class for the last couple of months.

I made another flip flop, lickety split, in yellow and pink.


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This time I sewed the strap on right side up which gives it a more polished look.



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I didn’t have anymore lobster clips so this one got a regular keyring. I tied it on another bottle of Bath & Body Works soap.


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It’s starting to look like a gift shop in my house.


Cost of this Thing: 0
Cost of all Things to date: €277.74

Thing 212

It’s almost the end of the school year so that means teacher gifts. The last time my friend, Rochelle, was in town she showed me a bunch of teacher gifts she had crocheted. I fell in love and vowed to copy her. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right, Rochelle?


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The pattern is from a Dutch blog but it’s been translated into English as well. I crocheted it in cotton with a 2mm hook. The sole is actually two layers crocheted together with a contrast colour, giving it a firm structure. The straps should have the other side facing up, an error I will correct on future versions (there will be future versions), but this looks fine, too. These flip flops are quick to make up. Even with the multiple pieces and assembly I can have one done in under an hour.

I attached a small lobster clasp keychain from my stash and clipped it to a bottle of Bath & Body Works hand soap–an exotic foreign product here 🙂 This gift is for Esther’s teacher. Martina doesn’t give teacher gifts anymore now that she’s in high school. That would violate some pretty serious cool code.




Now I just have to think of something for the Esther’s principal and vice principal. I’ll probably do a tissue pouch with a thank you note from Esther. And then we’re done! Summer vacation is almost here. It’s been a long time in coming.


Cost of this Thing: 0
Cost of all Things to date: €277.74

Thing 204



Exactly. Thank you, Pinterest. You understand me.

But since this strategy is obviously not working, I decided to forgo real cupcakes and make this instead:


photo 1_161


The free pattern is from I crocheted the cupcake with acrylic and a 2.5mm hook and added pink sprinkles and a cotton cherry on top.

It’s a quick make. Despite frequently jumping up and losing my place I was able to crochet most of the cupcake during the Netherlands-Costa Rica game last night. I finished it off today, once my nerves had calmed down. (The games get more and more stressful.)


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This sweet, low-cal cupcake is part of a gift I’m putting together, more to be revealed over the next weeks. Summer vacation is fast approaching and the panic is setting in. So much to make before then!


Cost of this Thing: 0
Cost of all Things to date: €274.74