Tuesday, 4 December 2012

mitred corners tutorial

Every week spoonflower has a fabric design contest and I've entered a few of them. One of the design contests was to design a cocktail napkin.

 I've never heard of cocktain napkins and made the napkins bigger than the recommended size, but they are still quite tiny! Recently I received my first bunch of swatches in the mail (very exciting!). One of the swatches was for the cocktain napkin design. I've since changed the design a bit so that its usable as a fabric and not just for small napkins, but decided to sew one small cocktail napkin from my swatch and make a tutorial for mitred corners during the process. There are a lot of tutorials for mitred corners, but also a lot of different ways to make them and whenever I want to make them I've forgotten how exactly, so I hope these pictures can serve as a reminder next time around!


Tuesday, 23 October 2012


A few months ago I joined spoonflower, a site where you can design and buy fabrics. Since then (and before then!) I've been very interested in fabric design. I still haven't bought any, but the weekly contest is often a good incentive to come up with a design. I recently added a side-bar on the right side of this blog which links directly to my shop on spoonflower. So far none of my designs are for sale because I haven't proofed them yet. In order to sell fabric the designer needs to first order a swatch, check the colours, upload any changes.
The design process is lots of fun! I'm also learning more about how to use inkscape and gimp, so I might post another tutorial soon.
The contest this week is arrows and this is my entry. This is the repeating element, you can see how it looks repeated here.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

autumn postcard

This morning I went for a walk along the river. The leaves are just at the point where they're about to explode into colour.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

sock monkey

I made a sock monkey yesterday. I found this pattern and went out and bought a pair of socks - thick and striped.

The sewing was quite easy and I had some wool stuffing from a pillow. Its a gift and I think I'll make a few more!


Sunday, 2 September 2012


A few weeks ago I harvested some lavender. when it was dry I removed all the dried buds from the stalks and enjoyed the smell for a few days.

Then I made some lavender shortbread. We had the shortbread at our wedding and its delicious. You can find the recipe here

I had enough lavender left over to make some lavender sachets: sew two pieces of material together, leave a gap, fill with lavender and close by hand. 

Friday, 31 August 2012

turqoise bag

I recently dug out this little bag and finally finished the details: sewing on a snap, fixing the strap and securing the flower.

It was a birthday present for a friend that I promised to her two years ago. I wish I had finished it sooner!

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Dollhouse 3

Time for another update on the dollhouse, since the walls are up, the roof is on and the living room is finished.

a closeup of the living room. I decided to make it 4pm, time for tea.


Monday, 21 May 2012

knit snowflake

Recently I came across this pattern for a knit snowflake on Ravelry. I know about crocheted snowflakes but didn't know they could be knit as well and wanted to try it as well as take a break from my scarf.

The yarn I used was quite thick and I would like to try it again with thinner yarn, but first I'll need some thinner double-pointed needles.
After knitting I soaked the snowflake in sugar water (1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water heat to almost boiling) and blocked it on a cardboard box.

Now I can put it away until winter.


Sunday, 20 May 2012

spring flowers

When I came back from Canada my mother in law had planted spring flowers on my balcony. What a beautiful surprise!

There were many warm days in April where I could sit outside and enjoy them.

drinking tea from one of my favourite tea cups, matching the forget-me-nots.

Friday, 18 May 2012

corn tortilla chips

yesterday was a holiday and for lunch I made corn tortilla chips. The cornflour gave the tortillas a nice texture, then I coated them with olive oil and spices and baked them in the oven. It made a lot so there are still lots left! just no more guacamole sadly.


Saturday, 12 May 2012

new pictures

I've been back from Canada for a month, and I finally got around to choosing some of my photos to print and hang on the wall. I wanted three that would match eachother and the living room. The two outside ones were taken in Thunder Bay during the winter and the middle one in Friedensfeld in the spring. I love that picture and this is actually only half of it, I wanted the format to match the other two, so some day I may get the whole picture printed.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

paisley lace

what I'm working on these days.


Thursday, 5 April 2012

ribbon store

When I was in Toronto in March we went to a ribbon store. The whole store was full of all possible colours textures and sizes of ribbons.

I think the best part of working in a ribbon store must be arranging and rearranging the colour combinations.


Friday, 23 March 2012

winter embroidery

This is a design by Marjolein Bastin, one of a series of four of the four seasons. My mother received this as a kit many many years ago and sometimes I would find it at the back of the closet and ask if I could please have it, or if not, at least make it for her. I don't remember when she finally gave in, but it must have been right before I graduated from highschool. This was my first big embroidery project and I started working on it after I first moved to Germany. I loved the colours and the different small details of the design.

The matting was done in the Summer in 2001. Doug had a special ruler and a 45 degree knife for cutting matting and a few of us went to an art store to choose matting. Looking at colors and thinking through different combinations is one of my favorite things.

Two years ago when we were looking for a place for our wedding reception and for a place where guests could spend the night we found a small hotel/bed and breakfast in the middle of the Veluwe. We had been driving and looking at places all day and were pretty discouraged. We walked up to this place wondering if anyone was around and were promptly invited into the dining room and served coffee while the owner went to get his books to talk with us. As we sat there sipping our coffee I saw that the other three seasons were embroidered and hanging on the wall. It ended up being the place where our guests stayed, and I would have liked to as well!

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Teapot fractals tutorial - using gimp and inkscape

Using gimp and inkscape I've been playing with this design. its far from finished, but here are the steps I've taken so far:

Step 1: Take a picture. This is one of Kerry's teapots. I liked the lighting but I should have taken this in front of a neutral background, which would have made the next step easier.

Step 2: Select the teapot. I zoomed in to 400% and used the free select tool. it takes a while tracing the teapot, but it gives better results than the scissors select tool. I also learned that you get better edges if you select feather edges (I moved the radius up to 22)

Step 3: Again in gimp, I desaturated the image (Colours - Desaturate) and then changed the threshold until I was getting a clear image. I inverted the colours and used the colour select tool to select the teapot and Ctrl-comma to change the colour. 

Step 4: The teapot in gimp doesn't have very smooth edges, so I opened the image in inkscape for this next step: Click on the image and then choose Path - trace bitmap. Then I could zoom in and use the edit path by nodes to smooth out the edges. 

Step 5: back in gimp I tiled the image (Filters - Map - Small tile) and played around with fractals (Filters - Map - Fractal trace).

Its not finished yet, but one can see the possibilities :-)

Wednesday, 7 March 2012


Recently I've been taking a lot of photos and learning some things about editing. We got a new camera for Christmas and its very exciting to learn more about using it, I still have a long way to go. I've also been learning about the GIMP, there are a lot of tutorials about using it and every day I learn something new. One thing I tried was choosing colours from a photo to make a colour scheme. I learned two other things in the process: how to make rounded corners and how to add a transparent watermark. This picture was taken looking out over lake Superior.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012


We've been living here three weeks now, and today is our last day in this house. We're both flying away tomorrow for 1,5 weeks and after that we'll be living somewhere else. Yesterday I took some pictures of some of the houses around where we live. I love houses and I love looking at their lines and shapes and colours. Can you guess which one we live in? And which is your favourite?

Wednesday, 29 February 2012


This is Snorri. I started him right after christmas and finished in time for the cold Canadian winter. Luckily that winter hasn't been too cold so far, but Snorri is thick and warm.
Snorri was inspired by another Snorri, made for my brother and "like a warm thick woolen blanket." My Snorri isn't quite as thick. The woman in the little wool store assured me it would be okay to knit with size 7 needles, even though the pattern called for 5's.

Some details of the neck and front cables. The cables were fun and made the knitting go quickly.

And here's the inspiration Snorri. Shot in front of the Canadian blue fir tree in Veenendaal.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Dollhouse 2

The brick walls are up, I like the difference it makes when the bricks are mortared.
and the trees are planted.