Thing 276

I’ve been busy making lots of beady Things over the last weeks in preparation for the pre-Christmas sales.

Today’s Thing is a bit of a splurge. My wire supply is dwindling so I’ve been mostly sticking to bracelets made with scraps or elastic.  However, I assembled a beautiful pile of beads that cried out for more.

The flat rounds are jasper from my stash. I’ve had it for a long time but could never decide how to use it. I picked up the gold pearls and glass in Canada last summer and loved the way they looked with the jasper. I finally had my project. I strung them in random-ish order until they were all used up and I had a long, drapey necklace.




Last Saturday was our big jewelry sale of the year. A woman liked this necklace and wanted to buy it for her mother’s Christmas gift. However, instead of one long strand she asked if I could make it a two-strand necklace, with some extra length (i.e. not just the current version folded double). I promised I’d have it ready in time for Sinterklaas.

I didn’t have any more of the jasper, gold pearls or glass so I rummaged through my stash for some beads that would blend in. I found some light brown glass that worked.

I needed to restring the entire necklace so I could work the new beads in evenly. While I was at it I also changed the clasp — the original one was slippery and difficult to open when it was on a two-strand necklace. I replaced it with a gold toggle clasp.




Hopefully the mother likes it and doesn’t ask if I can make it one long strand instead.


Cost of this Thing: €2.82
Cost of all Things to date: €295.04

Things 261 – 275

Today my firstborn is 14. Happy birthday, sweet girl!




It’s appropriate that today’s Things are gift bags. They’re not for Martina, mind you. But still.




Using scraps left over from Martina’s summer pyjama set, I cut out 15 pairs of squares and rectangles in various sizes. Then I figured out an assembly-line method that cut down the time per bag to a few minutes.



I finished each one off with organza ribbon from the stash.




Martina used one for a gift for a friend who has a birthday tomorrow, but the rest are for our jewelry sale on Saturday. I spent a couple of hours making jewelry today, and now I have something pretty to wrap it all in.


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

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

Things 251 – 253

The sun is shining and the not-our-cat is basking in its warmth.




Last beading evening was super productive. Not only did I make the eight elastic bracelets, I also made three necklaces. However, this might sound more impressive than it really is. All I did was string a pendant on three chains.

The first two were owl pendants I picked up in Canada. I just added a jump ring and put them on a couple of silver-plated chains.





The last one is a black glass cat bead. I attached it to a head pin, bent a loop in the top of the pin and called it a pendant. I strung it on a length of gun-metal chain.




Our last sale of the year is on Saturday so I want to make as much jewelry as possible before then.




Cost of these Things: €4.25
Cost of all Things to date: €292.22

Things 243 – 250

This is not our cat. He just thinks he is. He wanders in the house, hangs around in the garden and has taken to napping on the table.




Last night I made some good headway on Thing production.

I have a bag of black glass beads with gold swirls on them. Cheryl passed them on to me and she has no idea where they came from. I finally decided to do something with them.

I strung them on elastic and added some charms that came off an old piece of jewelry.




The bag of beads was still more than half full so I carried on with three more elastic bracelets. I added some shiny orange plastic beads to make them a bit more interesting (the charms were all used up).




I think I would have been better off just leaving them plain black. And since the baggy of black beads is far from empty, I may just do that.

For now, though, eight is enough.


Cost of these Things: 0
Cost of all Things to date: €287.97

Things 233 – 242

Remember this? In July I posted Work-in-Progress reusable snack and sandwich bags.




I finished them before the vacation so I could take them along for a gift.

I started with the velcro sandwich bags. They were quick and easy.  I cut the fabric into squares, folded over the top edges and sewed the velcro over the raw edges. Then I sewed all the way around the sides and bottom, using a French seam to conceal the raw edges. These were done in under an hour, I think.




The zipped bags were a little trickier and I wasn’t really happy with the zipper insertion until the last one (third one down in this picture). Otherwise they’re good, though, and the perfect size for small snacks like goldfish and grapes.




I still had some of the fabric left so I made two more velcro bags, a bit smaller than the others, giving me a final total of ten snack and sandwich bags.




I gave all but the last two to my favourite family in California. I was going to use those for Martina’s and Esther’s snacks. Grand plans, indeed. They’re still in the closet. Anyone want a couple of snack bags?


Cost of these Things: €8.23 (fabric 5.88, zippers 2, velcro .35)
Cost of all Things to date: €287.97

Things 231 & 232

Remember Martina’s Dementor transformation last week? She won first prize for best costume at her school party. Huzzah!

Halloween continued into November for us. On Saturday we met up with a group of friends for another night of trick-or-treating, this one organized by the expat community in Wassenaar. The night was unseasonably warm — I think it was the warmest November day on record.

Esther wore the Dementor costume and her friend, Catherine, continued the Harry Potter theme and went as Ginny Weasley.

Martina and her friend, Jessica, wore the poodle skirt outfits I made for them a couple of years ago. In keeping with the fifties vibe they renamed themselves Shirley Ann Tate and Alice Petunia Presley.



Everyone needs an alter ego.


Today’s Things are a set for my niece, Kelsey. She’s lived in Lithuania and London so I picked this travel stamp fabric from my stash for her.




The lining is from Martina’s blue Hollyburn skirt.




And of course I made a… *all together now* … tissue pouch.




The summer backlog is dwindling. I should be through blogging about it by the end of this week, which means I’ll actually need to produce something new.


Cost of these Things: 0
Cost of all Things to date: €279.74



Things 229 & 230



My baby, my firstborn. Isn’t she precious?

Martina had a school party this evening, so Esther offered up her Dementor costume.

Esther wore Martina’s pumpkin costume that I made a couple of years ago (still love that hat!) and went trick-or-treating in the neighbourhood.





Every year we get a few stragglers at the door. This year a few ambitious families tried to organize Halloween in our area, sending out flyers asking families to stock up on candy and welcome trick-or-treaters at the door. As a result we had a record 14 kids. (This tradition may take a few more years to catch on…)

Now I have a big bowl of leftover mini KitKats and Twixes. Must. Not. Eat.




Let’s change the subject.


Today’s Things are another set, this one for my niece, Nicole.




I used the fabric from the box I made for Martina’s desk to make a flat bag and lined it with yellow cotton from an old shirt.




And yes, I made a tissue pouch to go with it.




Cost of these Things: 0
Cost of all Things to date: €279.74


Things 227 & 228

Look who lives in our garden!




We’ve seen this guy out and about even in broad daylight, though the most action happens after the sun sets. We’ve also seen offspring, so we’re pretty sure there’s a whole family settled in. As an added bonus, the slug population has taken a beating. Hooray for hedgehogs!

In less prickly news, today’s Things, taken from the summer backlog, are a set I made for my niece, Christine.

I used the leftover purple flower fabric from Martina’s summer pyjama set to make a gusseted zipped bag. I think I may have interfaced the outer fabric since it’s so thin, but as Christine has since carried it off to New Zealand I can’t check for sure.




I lined it with the solid purple that exactly matched the zipper. (At some point I stocked up on zippers at the Haagse Markt and consequently seem to always have the right colour in stock.)




And of course I made a tissue pouch to go with it.




It’s what I do.


Cost of these Things: 0
Cost of all Things to date: €279.74


* Bonus hedgehog pic. You’re welcome.






Things 225 & 226

Today’s Things, taken from the summer backlog, were made for my niece, Emily.

The fabric is left over from the great tissue pouch marathon. (The supply is endless. I will be making Things with this fabric until the end of time.)

I picked two sections of fabric with lots of crazy stuff going on and kept the bag simple and flat. The hot pink zipper and pink polka dot lining don’t do much to tone it down.






I whipped up a matching tissue pouch and this gift was ready to be packed.





Cost of these Things: 0
Cost of all Things to date: €279.74