Monthly Archives: February 2014

Things 2, 3 & 4

This one’s a three-fer.

In my stash I had a ball of super chunky, bright orange acrylic yarn that I bought last year on a whim. Because reasons.

The Netherlands celebrates Koninginnedag — Queen’s Day — every April 30. Except now we have a king, so it’s going to be Koningsdag on April 27. Same same. Either way, the occasion calls for lots of orange, with an emphasis on the bright, and good taste is completely optional. Possibly even discouraged.

These two facts — my bright orange yarn and the upcoming Koningsdag — found a beautiful life together in this tutorial. I used a 5mm hook and as the yarn was so thick, by following the child-size pattern I ended up with an adult-size crown. And because I had enough yarn, I made a second one. And then with the last bit of yarn I made a third — baby size. Or cat-size. Anyone want a cat-size crown?

photo 2_1


We could be crown buddies! (Not really. I’m allergic to cats.)

photo 1_1

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

Thing 1

My very first thing of the year is admittedly mediocre. But free, so that counts for something. Following this tutorial I made a basket from some fabrics in my stash:

photo 1

The pink fabric is a stretch jersey from an old t-shirt. For some reason I keep getting small holes in the front of all my knit shirts (I think it’s from my bad habit of leaning against the stone countertops while I’m working in the kitchen.) The white fabric is from my Ikea curtains. I had to lop a good foot off of them and they still puddle too much. I think it’s cotton. I used batting between the layers to plump it up a bit. That definitely took away some of the crispness I loved in the originals.

When I was done I had four padded squares of each fabric. I couldn’t just throw those out, could I?  So I made a teeny tiny quilt, which can just be a little rug for the blanket. I think the whole thing turned out a bit ugly, but it was a free way to test out a pattern. One of my goals for this year-long project is to improve my sewing, so I’ll chalk Thing 1 up to a good sewing lesson. Plus I’m using the basket to store the little bits that came with my serger.

photo 3


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

The beginning of all things

Hi everybody! Welcome to

For over a month I have been planning my first post. Totally paralyzing.

What to say?

My oldest daughter had a one minute presentation to give on the Pantheon (punishment for not doing her homework – and very effective punishment I might add). She too was paralyzed on how to begin. Then I (or she?) suggested the 5 W’s: Who What When Where Why. And today, more than a week later, I had my epiphany.  So without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, my blog…

Who am I?

  • I am a Canadian  living in the Netherlands, the motherland, from whence came my ancestors.
  • I love to sew, crochet, make jewelry. I love Farmer Boy. Mother Wilder inspires me. She made everything from scratch and she did it well.
  • I’m an aspiring children’s writer. I’ve had stories in magazines, but have yet to crack the book market. I’m working on it.
  • Random fact: When I was twelve I saw the roller-skaters at Universal Studios with their Dolly Parton hair, and decided I would be a part-time roller-skater, part-time author when I grew up. Some dreams need to die.


  • What is For this year at least (next year’s them to be announced in December) I will make 365 things in 365 days for 365 euros.
  • What kinds of things? Mostly sewing, some crocheting, some beading, and maybe I’ll even do some box-making again. (I took a course 14 years ago, made about 50 boxes, and then abandoned the hobby. But I still have enough supplies to make a couple dozen boxes, so if I’m searching for projects later in the year, this could be a possible fall-back.)
  • What am I allowed to spend money on? Anything I want, but the limited budget means I will need to choose wisely. I have enough beading and box making supplies, so those get nothing. I might buy a few skeins of yarn, but since my crocheting tends to focus on amigurumi, a little goes a long way. This leaves the bulk of my budget for sewing: thread, interfacing, miscellaneous supplies… and of course fabric.


  • Where do I live? Near The Hague, in the Netherlands
  • Where do I do my crafts/sewing: Sewing upstairs in the guest room, crocheting on my favourite blue velvet couch in the living room, beading at the dining room table
  • Where do I get my supplies? My favourite yarn shop around the corner; the Haagse Markt – the fabrics, oh the fabrics, for a song; anytime I travel I look for beads; online – that wide wonderful universe where everything is possible and available. And only rarely from garbage piles.


When do I make stuff? Morning, noon and night.

Why, Why, Why? 

  1. To improve my sewing. I want to begin sewing clothes for myself without looking like I sew my own clothes.
  2. To bring consistency to my writing. I’m aiming for daily (or near daily) posts.
  3. Stewardship. The same reason I try to use the leftovers in the fridge in meal planning. To cut down on waste. To improve my finances (or not damage them). Also, before I start buying the good fabrics to make beautiful clothes, I want my skill level to offer some reassurance that I’m not going to be throwing money down the drain.
  4. Because I have too much stuff – yarn, old jeans, fabric scraps, patterns… and clutter gives me hives.
  5. And because I am at my most creative when I need to make do with what I have. Choice paralyzes me. Just like I make my best meals when my pantry is down to two onions, a tin of lentils and a bottle of Worcestershire sauce, my favourite sewing, crocheting and beading projects often come out of the leftovers.

Over the next weeks I’ll play catch-up, posting about the things I’ve already made. Plus making new things. Plus prettying up this blog. Plus cleaning up my sewing room. Okay, maybe not the last one.