Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Bigger Bag...

Tadaa, here is my bigger and more improved bag:

From the front...

And from the side...
(there is the gusset, in the middle)

And on my shoulder...
I used the same pattern as the previous one but I adjusted it quite a bit, unfortunately not all for the better. First of all I enlarged it by 125%. Then I added a gusset, that is the piece between the front and the back panels and it makes the bag wider/ deeper. In hind sight I don't think the bag needed that extra room but it has it now!  ~wink~

I also added a flap over the top for a bit more security. Anything to not use a zipper, which of course would have been way better. Maybe next time... (I found several tutorials but it was just looking very confusing)

Some interfacing was added to the strap which was a good thing, it is much sturdier now. I also added some fancier pockets, even one with some elastic in it!



Now the bag is ready to be taken to Europe this summer: Yay, I can't wait! Only five more weeks to go. School will be out late next week after some gruelling finals for the kids. (they're in 8th and 10th grade) The stress level is rising steadily over here. At least the end is now in sight...

PS I still have hardly been able to leave any comments around your blogs, I am still reading every single word though, I promise!  {smile}


Monday, May 30, 2011

Signs of Spring #14, Final Episode...

Here is my last 'Signs of Spring' for the year. All in all we are still below average temperatures, in fact I don't believe we ever came above those average temperatures. Also above record rain fall but everything is blooming and growing like crazy and that is what we want right?











Chives (Bieslook)


Border in the front yard...
This morning we had, once again, fun company at the bird feeder. A Purple Finch this time:


I just finished sewing my new bag but I will show you that tomorrow... Bye for now!Here is my last 'Signs of Spring' for the year. All in all we are still below average temperatures, in fact I don't believe we ever came above those average temperatures. Also above record rain fall but everything is blooming and growing like crazy and that is what we want right?

Mags & New Friends...


Last night we had new friends over for our 'smoked pork butt dinner': it was Wonderful! (both the new friends and the pork butt) And they stayed until midnight! When was the last time I was up until midnight??? (not New Year's I can tell you...)

And they brought some fun magazines for my perusing pleasure: yay! I've been very curious about the Mollie Makes mag from the UK (the whole of British Blogland has been going gaga over it) and now I can see why: I love it! Can't wait until they start selling it here. Rumour has it it will come it on the news stands June 9th and I think at Barnes & Noble...
Look, it even comes with a little do-it-yourself felt kit!


So this morning we all had a hard time getting up (8am, very late pour moi) but now that I have my coffee in me, I am ready to go. And how nice is it that we don't have any work or school goings on today?!   {smile}

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Indy 500...


Today the Indy 500 is once again taking place. We used to live in Indianapolis for 7 years and every year on race day we would be out in the garden (hot and humid!), listening to the radio reports of the race (and hearing the real race going on far in the distance), drinking beer and thinking of our friends who are live at the race Every Single Year!

We left 4 years ago but still every year we have the radio on outside (if it isn't raining), remember the song ("Back home in Indiana"), drink beer later in the day (because of the 3 hour time difference, drinking beer at 10am is just a tad bit early, even for us) and we're thinking of our friends who are frying in the stands. (I think it is something like 90+F over there right now)

We also have our smoker out...


A patriotic flag on the table (it is Memorial Day after all)...


And the hummingbirds are zooming by like crazy!


All we need now are our new friends who are coming over for dinner later in the afternoon and Some Sun Please!!!


Friday, May 27, 2011

Pipo Koeien!!!






The "Pipo Koeien" phrase is a reference to an old Dutch Children's series I used to watch on TV in the 70's. Someone is warning Pipo (a clown) that cows are approaching. I know, it doesn't sound so funny when you have to explain it, but this was the phrase that immediately came to mind when I saw these cows last night.

Here are Pipo and his Mamalou and their wagon:



The cows were mooing loudly when I approached the fence too quickly but they stayed in their spots and let me enjoy them. Their fur (do you call it fur on a cow?) was so red and soft and I would really have liked petting them but they didn't come close enough...


The last picture of the cows reminded me of a cross-stitch pattern I came across the other day. It is 'La Vache Qui Rit' or the Laughing Cow as they call it here...

Yesterday I was working hard on a new bag design. I really like the one I made a couple of weeks ago and have been using it a lot, but it will be too small for when we go to Europe. So I wanted one like it but then bigger and with a flap on it. I will show you more tomorrow since today I have to go to Little Bit again which leaves me no time nor energy for creative stuff. Here is a little sneak peak though...

The mess during the creative process.
And yes, those are wine bottles next to the sewing machine!
I'll leave you with the following picture that I took in our backyard yesterday afternoon around 5pm. I thought it looked pretty and threatening at the same time!


Happy weekend to all of you, especially you Americans for this is Memorial Day Weekend: woot!
(3 days off)



Thursday, May 26, 2011

Cloudburst & Desert....

Last night, while I was constantly checking the Indianapolis radar for tornadoes approaching my friends there (we lived there for 7 years), we got hit by a red squall line on our own radar: Cloudburst!
Wow, the noise was incredible on our windows and skylights....




We were getting so sick and tired of the  depressing weather we've been having, that it was just very understandable that we wanted to see something different. Cue Michael Palin's travel documentary to the Sahara! (remember him from Monthy Python's Flying Circus?)

In the past we have loved watching his other documentaries, for example 'Around the World in 80 Days' following in Jules Verne's footsteps and also 'Pole to Pole', just to name a couple.
We didn't realise he had made this one to the desert and we came across it on Netflix last night. This one was made in 2002, where have we been all this time?
Anyway, we found it at an opportune moment and it was lovely to imagine all that heat and all that sand... (not the crazy sandstorms though: uuugh!)


Ever since reading those Niccolo books that I talked about last week (by Dorothy Dunnett), I look at all these places with a different eye: it just makes so much more sense somehow...

Well, back to life and back to reality (name that tune). Heavy clouds outside and millions of weeds. At least after all this rain the weeds should be easy to pull out. Those things just keep on growing like crazy!

PS I'm still reading (and Loving) all your blogs, but haven't been able to leave any comments anywhere: how frustrating! Come on Blogger: get yourself together!


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Tunic Was Made!

Look!

With a sash...

The sash!
Ha, finally I made something for myself that I will actually wear! Although the fabric is so not my style, I actually quite like it!    ~wink~

It is very thin and sooooo soft. It will be lovely to wear when the sun is shining. (can't wait for that sun, oh wait, haven't I mentioned that before already?) Anyway, it is very comfy and not bad looking at all...   {smile}

I did have a few small problems with the pattern, the main one being that it was waaaay too big! This seems to be a recurring theme for me, I must be smaller/ thinner than I think I am, which is quite a good problem to have  I think. I also made the sides a bit more contoured so that it wouldn't look so baggy....

And then secondly the tunic itself felt more like a nightgown without the sash so I decided to make and design one myself: not bad either! So yes, I am quite pleased with myself!  {smile}



Signs of Spring #13...

Sorry for the delay (I usually post this segment on Mondays) but we didn't have any sun until late yesterday afternoon! Here it goes...








Not bad considering we've only had about four afternoons of sun this Spring!


Monday, May 23, 2011

At The Feeder...



Wow, there must be a lot of migrating birds around because these guys we don't see very often. If I remember correctly then this is an 'Evening Grossbeak'. How pretty is he, just look at those colors!
Remember that I take these pictures both through the blinds and then the window itself, that's why they're a bit blurry....

Otherwise not much else going on. I'm sewing a sleeveless tunic with the small flower print that I bought last week at the Goodwill. I also bought another piece of fabric (40% off!) at Joann's this afternoon so that will be for the next project, whatever that might be...

Groetjes!


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Soup & Stuff...


It is Sunday afternoon, ouside everything is quiet (and cloudy but not too cold), inside I hear the noise of a Wii Mario game going on...

G. & C. are off to an Ultimate Frisbee Tournament in Pyllalup for the day and won't be back until 5pm at the earliest.

M. had her big part in The Odyssey play at school yesterday (and the night before) and slept until 9am, pretty late for her. Here is a picture of her and her friends (she is the one with the long blond hair) taken last week during that big Lacrosse game...

14 going on 24...

I have managed to fill at least 5 buckets full of weeds from the front yard and am now somewhat enjoying a bowl of soup. (it is from a can so what can you expect?)

G. had to re-download Picasa so now I have been able to play around with it some again. I think I have to add some bright spotlight to my set up because I keep on getting shadows around my objects. I am completely new to photography and only have a very simple 'point-and-shoot' camera. (a Canon Power Shot 1200 IS) I would love to get a camera with which I can focus better (and closer) but no money for that right now I'm afraid, especially with our big European trip coming up. But, any suggestions of you in the know are very welcome!   ~wink~

Well, enough rambling for now. I hope you all had a nice relaxing weekend and as always love to hear from you! Take care!  {smile}


Friday, May 20, 2011

Thrifting....

I am so tired right now but I still have loads of pictures to show you of our thrifting adventures yesterday. So here they come, before they become old news...

These napking rings (originally from Ikea apparently)
I found here in town a couple of days ago,
but I hadn't shown them to you yet...
They are enamel!

Nifty colorful displays at the large Goodwill in Seattle.
Check out the tidy whities! (that is the pair of underwear, for you Europeans...) ~wink~
In the middle you see one of Tif's Catherineholm's pots.
(so jealous, her mom brought it over from the UK)
We both also had a giggle about the doggies in the left upper corner...

Love the folk-art design on this one...


Basket for my embroidery floss and some kitschy flowers.
You can never have too many of those...


Cute pocket mirror...

Left: Ralph Lauren king size cotton sheet for sewing
Right: a Liberty type of fabric, really nice and soft
and thin too, for something summery...

This is the oilcloth I have outside on my table
and on my blue chair.
Thought you might like to see the close-up...


And this is what I wore yesterday.
The skirt I bought the last time Tif and went thrifting...
Well, that was it. I'm off to bed now. It has been a busy week and the weekend looks like it has even more in store for us. Cheerio!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Dress, LaCrosse and Mt. Rainier: What A Combo!

My Picasa is not working properly today so I will present you with some collages from PhotoScape. The first one is of my latest summer dress that I made about a month ago. Not bad with the belt I think...

I always feel so stupid posing in front of the mirror like that... Anyway, now at least you know what the dress looks like on me...

So yesterday I spent the whole day (Yes!) reading outside in the sunshine. It was warm but also very windy so not quite hot yet. But, perfect weather to attend a Girls Varsity LaCrosse game at school in the evening.
I know absolutely nothing about the sport and apparently I was not the only one. Everybody kept asking each other what was going on. Very complicated stuff.
We won though by a lot and it was exciting right until the final seconds so a great game! I think if they win Saturday's game they might go to State but don't quote me on that...


Here are some impressions....

Our mascotte is an owl so on the left you see 'Hootie'
cheering on the crowd. (and the team of course)
 In the last picture you see our oldest in the white t-shirt.
His backside is most of what I see of him these days... ~wink~
At least he was hanging with his buddies which I'm very happy about... (he is a bit shy)
It is supposed to be a non-contact sport but of course the girls get whacked left and right with that stick. The only protection they have is a mouth guard and a metal 'cage' over their eyes. (see the larger middle picture)

The game didn't end until 8pm so we had a beautiful sunset on our way home. And surprise, Mt. Rainier was out in all its glory!

In foreground you see our little town...

All in all a perfect day and it looks like today will be the another one. In a couple of hours I'm off to see Tif and together we're going to the large Goodwill Store in Seattle to buy her some new/ vintage sheets for her prayer banners that she sells in her store. They are apparently selling like hot cakes so new sheets are needed. Good for her!  And for me because I get to tag along...   {smile}


A New Chapter...

Today  was a very special day for me: I started working at   Tolt Yarn & Wool ! Yes, at my favorite yarn store, can you believe it?!...