Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Pretzel Love Crossstitch for Make-A-Wish

At my place of work (the Dutch branch of Holland and Barrett) we are having a fundraiser for Make-A-Wish.
The Make-A-Wish foundation grants wishes of seriously ill children. So that, for one day, the kids and their family can forget about the illness and enjoy themselves.

My contribution to raising the money is selling these 6 crossstitch DIY sets I put together.
My design is a pretzel with a heart. It was a design I started on for my friend, a big Pretzel lover. But her gift eventually became a bigger pretzel. ;-)

I sold already a few, but there are still kits available! You will get black crossstitch fabric, embroidery thread, a needle, a 11cm hoop (that's about 4 1/4"), a design and a tutorial in both Dutch and English.

How do you get your hands on a Pretzel Love crossstitch kit?

A DIY set costs €12 (is about 13.40 USD or 10.25 GBP). The shipping's on me, so FREE SHIPPING!
If you would like to order a kit give me a shout via the comment section, or send me a mail or a message trough Facebook or Instagram, with your Paypal emailaddress. I'll send you a Paypal invoice. If you would like to ship me to another delivery address than the one on Paypal let me know.
Please also state which colour you would like (light orange, bright orange, light pink, hot pink).

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Going Green. Plastic-Free July - Food & Drink - The Easy, the Adaptations and the Struggles

We are a week into Plastic-Free July: a challenge to deplastify your life.
I got into it through The Story Of Stuff on Facebook:

So here's my first update on how it goes so far. I'll focus in this post on the food and drinks sections.
In the Netherlands we do have a special plastic recycle program ( or actually: downcycling) , so it is very easy to track how much plastic our household collects as we keep it in a separate bin.

I divided my experiences in 3 sections.
* Easy life change: the why didn't I do this before?
** Needs some adaptation in lifestyle: doable, but takes more planning.
*** The struggles: Hm, difficult: How am I going to make this work?

* Easy life change

- Shop local
Preferably I'd be baking biscuits myself any way, because of the sugar. But in events that I will buy cookies, the ones at the bakery come in a paper sachet or I can bring my own container. While supermarket cookies are wrapped in 2 (sometimes even 3!) layers of plastic.

- Be prepared
Bottled water and plastic bags have been scratched of my list a long time ago. And I never use straws anyway. I ordered waxed cloth for keeping cheese fresh.

- Ask
I used to feel guilty about being a 'difficult customer' if I asked for plastic free. But not only I stopped worrying about it (after all, I could take my shopping anywhere else if they don't like it). But I find that - especially at the market stalls - the people are actually very supportive and enthusiastic about it.

** Adaptation in lifestyle

- Choose an alternative
We shop for food on the market, in 2 health food shops and in the supermarket. Of these the supermarket uses most plastic for packaging. Now we do love broccoli and I found that the health food shops where the only option for buying it without the plastic. Unfortunately this resulted in buying a very limp soft vegetable.
The woman at my regular vegetable stall on the market suggested trying the green cauliflower as an alternative. She had seen my FB post on Plastic Free July and was actively thinking along with me on how to avoid any plastic :-)

- Make yourself
ALL vegetarian alternatives to steaks, burgers and such are plastic packaged. I will have to get more back to basic with these and look up more recipes for vegi-burgers.

- Bring your own
To work I bring my lunch in a glass jar. For the days I work late I bring my own salad in a reusable container in stead of a ready packed salad in disposable plastic from Albert Heijn.

Een foto die is geplaatst door Ama (@missminoes) op

*** The Struggles

- Time and convenience
Nutmilk I buy in plastified carton packaging. And I know it is even cheaper to make it myself! It just seems an awful lot of work. I really must get myself to at least try this. Same goes for yoghurt, but I might choose for the glass bottle alternative there.

- Talent, or lack of
Herbs: The ones I buy at the organic stall are in plastic. Most glass jars have a plastic lid. Trying to grow more myself, but keeping plants alive is not my strongest feature.

Upcoming next week:
Plastic-Free July: Personal Care & Cleaning products

Do you have experiences with Plastic Detox?
Please share!

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Breien! in Fries Museum - Knitting! Exhibition

Four knitters on a train. All the way up north to Leeuwarden.
The exhibition Breien! / Knitting! in the Fries Museum is all about knitting.

Finally I could see my Flamingo hat among the other 14 nominees for the Animal Hat contest 'Beestenboel'. It's really fun to see how each knitter has a different approach to the animal hat theme!

In the same room as the 'hat-tree' there were little boxes with miniature knits about the history of knitting.

We really enjoyed our museum tour. There was work from knitters we were familiar with and new discoveries.

Nice surprise was there were knitting patterns available. For instance of the skirt in the top right picture below. If you understand Dutch: the patterns are also on the Fries Museum website!

The top floor of the museum was dedicated to the art of Claudy Jongstra. Her textile works from natural materials are amazing.


In the Breien! / Knitting! exhibit there had been samples of wool and other yarn to touch and feel. Still we jumped with joy when there was an option to actually make something ourselves. Even the lack of scissors did not stop us. We used a key to cut threads of yarn, just to get our creative juices flowing. Yes, we could weave!

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Hello Spring - Flower Tulip Buntings

Our cat Dita turns out to be an avid plant and flower eater. So we did not have any bouquets in our house for a while now.
And as spring is only crawling in with baby steps some floral decoration would be nice to brighten up our home.

From a flower guide book I took these beautiful illustrations and gave them a decorative edge.

Hello floral bunting!
Hello spring!

Bring the springtime in your home too!
Book & Button Buntings available at AllFairness.