Monthly Archives: March 2014

Thing 77

Sometime around 2:30 this afternoon I did a panicked Google search for a quick sewing project. I didn’t feel like crocheting, and I had to leave at 3:30. That left me a small window and limited options for today’s Thing.

I found the solution at Craftsy. The Business Card Holder is quick to make and uses small scraps of fabric. I like having another scrappy go-to project besides tissue pouches.


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I made a couple of mistakes, though. First, I used too-thick elastic that doesn’t stretch enough, so the button, placed one inch from the edge, was way too far over. I moved it as close to the edge as possible, but it still pulls and isn’t as cute as the pattern sample. Then I realized that when I attached the exterior to the interior, the inside pocket was upside down, so the button is on the back. Oops. This one’s not going into the gift stash, then. I’ll just have to keep it for myself and call it a learning experience.
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I love to travel, so I’ve made this my travel card case. It holds business cards from my favourite places around the world: an art shop in Pretoria, a downtown cafe in Vancouver, my regular hotel in Paris, a seaside restaurant in Zadar, a treehouse pension in Olympus… Captivating memories, right at hand. I look forward to adding to the collection!

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Get your motor runnin’
Head out on the highway
Looking for adventure
In whatever comes our way

Cost of this Thing: 0
Cost of all Things to date: €91.61

Thing 76

Today I made a turtle family keychain. That wasn’t my original plan. I was going to make a single turtle keychain, to add to the frogs, elephant, cat and octopus.

The pattern is Teeny Tiny Turtle from Lucy’s blog. (Do I even look anywhere else right now?)

I made the first one with dark green cotton, and he was, well, teeny tiny. Like an inch across. So I made another in light green. And then I decided they needed a mother.


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The babies are made with cotton and a 2mm hook, and Mama Turtle is acrylic, crocheted with a 3.5mm hook. I attached them all to one keyring. I made the same mistake on both babies, so their shell doesn’t have the edge that Mama’s has.


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Turtles may be slow, but I can whip these ones up in less than half an hour. That’s a lot faster than the hare.


Cost of this Thing: 0
Cost of all Things to date: €91.61


Things 74 & 75

I made another Renfrew shirt, this time a long-sleeved, cowl-neck version.

I bought the fabric at the Haagse Markt at the same stall where I found the purple wool for Esther’s coat. It was priced at 3 euros a metre, but he gave the rest of the bolt — about 1.5 metres — for the price of one. So 3 euro shirt, yay!

It was quite the puzzle to fit all the pattern pieces onto this remnant, especially with the long sleeves and the cowl neck, but it worked. I had to cut the waistband in the wrong direction, but that doesn’t really bother me.





With the tiny leftover scraps of fabric I made a tissue pouch using the same tutorial as always.



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A tissue pouch to match your clothes — it’s the newest fashion. Everybody’s carrying one.


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Note: I posted a review of this shirt and the striped one from last week over at Pattern Review.


Cost of these Things: €3
Cost of all Things to date: €91.61


Things 72 & 73

Today I added to the collection of crocheted animal keychains. I went back to Lucy’s list of tiny amigurumis, and knocked off another two .

First I made another Octopus, but this time the long-legged version in navy blue.


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And then I made the Witch’s Cat


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I used cotton, a 2mm hook and 9mm safety eyes for both of them.


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They make an unlikely pair: The Octopus and The Cat. There’s a story in there somewhere.


Cost of these Things: 0
Cost of all Things to date: €88.61


Things 70 & 71

In non-Thing news, I replaced a zipper in Martina’s spring jacket today.  I’ve been putting it off — who likes replacing zippers? — but it wasn’t so bad. I used a shortcut that Jessica at Gracious Threads wrote about. This quick method may not please the purist, but it pleased me and worked like a charm. Thanks, Jess!

Today’s Things were the result of yesterday’s productive beading evening. I made two bracelets, using 4mm Swarovski pearls (Mystic Black) and some silver-coloured seed beads.


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The clasps are sterling silver, as are the little bits of chain, which I finished off with another pearl.


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I love Swarovski pearls. They have a deep lustre and the coating is much stronger than most pearl beads. They stay beautiful for years.


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The jewelry pile is growing. One more beading night before our sale!


Cost of these Things: 0
Cost of all Things to date: €88.61


Thing 69

Today I was inspired by the sunshine and by the hopes of a warm, tropical summer ahead.

I started with a little self-designed pineapple appliqué.  By self-designed I mean that I printed out a picture of a pineapple and traced it onto fabric. My art skills are limited.

A scrap of bright orange lining and neon yellow zipper begged to be part of this Thing. I followed the same  zipper pouch tutorial I used for Thing 5.


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Pineapple princess, I love you, you’re the sweetest girl I’ve seen
Some day we’re gonna marry and you’ll be my pineapple queen


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This one is for my friend, Hanneke. I’m pretty sure she needs a pineapple pouch.


Cost of this Thing: 0
Cost of all Things to date: €88.61

Thing 68

Martina joined a badminton club a few weeks ago and apparently it is A TOTALLY AWESOME SPORT. THE BEST THING EVER.  (Have I mentioned I have a teenager?)

For the first couple of lessons she carried her shoes and water bottle in a plastic shopping bag. Then she got her own racket and things got serious. The time for shopping bags had passed.

I decided to draft my own pattern for a badminton bag. I drew out dimensions and got to work. I figured if I can sew a coat a simple sports bag would be a walk in the park.

I was wrong. I broke a needle, stabbed myself with a pin and bled on the bag. It took three tries to attach the inside pocket to the zipper before I got it right. Except it was upside down. And then I sewed the top of the bag shut. Sigh.

And yet.

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I kind of like it. The exterior fabric is from an old sheet that I picked up for a euro at a thrift sale a couple of years ago. The interior is also lined with an old sheet, but in plain white. I interfaced all the pieces to give some structure to the bag.

The racket nestles in the interior pocket, and the shoes and water bottle tuck neatly into the front.


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A small zippered pocket on the front fits a phone and some change.


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The drawstring closure is a bit tough to close but should loosen up with time.


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Since it’s not going to be used for anything heavy I made simple back straps of more of the rope.


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A little loop means we can hang it out of the way during the week.


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 Go Badminton Girl, go!

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Cost of this Thing: 0
Cost of all Things to date: €88.61

Thing 67

Here comes Peter Cottontail
Hoppin’ down the bunny trail,
Hippity hoppin’,
Easter’s on its way…

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Tiny Rabbit comes from, you guessed it, Lucy’s blog.


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I crocheted him with a 2mm hook and the brown acrylic yarn from Anna’s hair.


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And of course I finished him off with a white cotton tail.


Bringin’ every girl and boy
Baskets full of Easter joy
Things to make your Easter bright and gay…


Cost of this Thing: 0
Cost of all Things to date: €88.61

Thing 66

Last week I helped Martina bring order to her bedroom. Since she hit her teens it’s an uphill battle. However, I still believe that somewhere deep down she is a naturally neat person. Deep, deep down. It’s up to me to give her the tools she needs to dig up those inclinations.

We sorted out her bookcases and desk, threw out about four bales of paper, and she was on her way to the order she loves. The notebooks pile neatly, but she has a bunch of little things on her desk that she would like to keep at easy access. A little basket was in order.

Last year I made her a fabric-covered magnet board and I still had some of the fabric left. I paired it with pink polka dot quilting cotton I’m using in another project and pulled out the basket tutorial from Thing 1. This time I used heavy interfacing instead of quilt batting to give it a crisp look.


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It’s perfect for earrings, hair elastics, lip balms and whatever other little bits and bobs a 13-year-old can’t live without.





Matchy-matchy basket and magnet board:


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Now if can just stay like this for the rest of her teens…


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I’d settle for next week, even.



Cost of this Thing: 0
Cost of all Things to date: €88.61


Thing 65

I did it! I finished the striped Renfrew shirt. And I love it!




The fabric is a remnant that I picked up last year at a going-out-of-business sale in our town. I think I paid four euros for it at the time. It feels like a soft, fine cotton with some lycra in it. It was the perfect fabric for a Renfrew.

When I sew I tend to look for the shortcuts. I don’t always pin and I almost never baste. This time I did both. I worked back and forth between my sewing machine and serger, using the old workhorse for basting and the serger for everything else.


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The V-neck can be tricky, but I took my time and it went in neatly. I love how the grey and black are perfectly even, and the V isn’t puckery at all.

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And look how the stripes line up! Taking my time paid off.


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I am so pleased with how this turned out, and I know I’ll be wearing this shirt a lot. It’s perfect with a sweater on a breezy spring day…

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I’ll be writing a review to post at, but that’s a job for another day. It’s Saturday night and I’m done with all things crafty. Now it’s time for a glass of wine.


Cost of this Thing: 0
Cost of all Things to date: €88.61