Thursday, 18 August 2011

Nursery D.I.Y. part 2

No baby yet, she apparently decided that she likes here hide-away, and I don't feel like she's planning on showing herself soon...
So lets get on with the nursery projects.
The crocheted t-shirt yarn rug was merely the beginning of the DIY's for the nursery. The next thing I made, or actually restyled, was the main light for the room. We bought this old thing a couple of years ago through Marktplaats (which is the Dutch version of Craigslist) for 20 euro's.
It was a complete light, but in a terrible style. We had it in our bedroom for several months, but eventually we took it down, because it was just tooooooooo wrong... It went into storage until I decided I could give it a new life with some spraypaint, some shades and a little love. I went to the market on a Tuesday afternoon and bought some fabric and trimmings.

I used primer basecoat spraypaint to give the entire thing a matte white finish, and glued fabric and trimmings on the shades. This is the result:
Nursery DIY

Baby Dull

I really adore how it turned out. The first shade was a pain in the  >uhm< rear to do, but after 4 you get a routine, and by the time I finished all 8 I considered myself a pro. (sidenote: I notice some of the ribbon let loose, and the fixture is a bit off.... But I fixed it.)

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

No Longer a WIP!

Yay! I managed to transform a WIP from being a WIP to a FFI! (Fabulous Finished Item! don't know if it's an existing term, but I like it!)

Ive blogged about this rug a couple of months ago', when it was still a WIP. I was struggeling with the edges of the rug, they were curling up like a mad man! I finally sat down, ripped the last 4 rows and decided that the curling was probably caused by the thicker (or broader) yarn. I fixed this by cutting it in half lengthwise (yes, it was a lot of work) and using the thinner yarn for the new rows. It worked like a charm, the rug stays perfectly flat on the floor.
Nursery DIY - t-shirt yarn rug
I added some more rows, because there were some more shirts discarded for recycling in our home, and because Bigger is always Better.
I finished the rug with a cotton thread scalloped edge, which gives the rug a nice and smoother finish. I absolutely adore this thing! The best features? It's Major Recycling, it's sort of a keepsake, because there are shirts from a couple of family members in it and it's the very first thing I finished for the baby...

Sunday, 7 August 2011

The last days with the baby-bump

The last couple of months have flown by... Just one more week before my due date! We are anxiously waiting for this little one to arrive. I guess she will probably be late, because her Papa & Mama never seem to manage to arrive somewhere on time too.
We have done so much to get the nursery ready, I have made a lot of things myself. I'm looking forward to show you guys around, and maybe tell a little about the projects.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

A little bit absent

Hi all,

Just a little update to tell you all that I’ve been a little absent from my blog. Because I am tired, but mainly because my camera is Kaput and I haven’t had the time to take it back to the store to get it fixed. About the tired thing: yeah well; doing your household chores, decorating a nursery and working fulltime isn’t done easily, I find myself sleeping often in the car (not whilst driving it myself, mind you), and wanting to crawl under the blankets of our very big bed at 9… BUT all is well and I guess that after a Saturday filled with a little celebrating – Mr Dull turned 32 on March 1st – and a Sunday spent relaxing, taking a short hike and some DVD-time I know I’ll be feeling fine again on Monday.

Now to find the time to go to the store…

Monday, 21 February 2011

maternity clothes shopping.

I went out and bought me some maternity pants last weekend. My regular jeans just didn’t fit anymore, and I figured I might as well take the jump and get on the preggotrain. I am wearing one now (a maternity jeans, that is) and I can tell you all, it feels soooooooo much better than the stressed seams on my favourite regular jeans. I had been planning on making my own maternity jeans with some tutorials I found online and some thrifted pants, but I just haven’t had the time to thrift (the openinghours are pretty tight) yet! But I got the jeans and tops on sale, a good sale! 2 pairs of jeans, a pair of corduroypants, a skirt, and 3 tops for EURO 63,- I was thrilled, not only because I went to a store earlier that week and found out that the cheapest jeans were 50. I don’t even pay that amount of money on regular jeans, let alone a pair I only get to wear 6 months!

I went online to search for some basic patterns/tutorials on maternity clothes, but pickings are slim! Pretty strange, because I would love to make my own (stunning, ahem) maternity dresses, instead of paying 100 for a silly polyester black thing that’s called a dress. I mean, you can get lovely cotton(blend)s for a mere 5 euros per metre/yard. You can make the most fabulous things for around 20. But the big patterndesigners just don’t seem to get this. Burda, Simplicity, Mcall. They all have about 2 or 3 designs in their collection and they are not the most fashionable ones. Can’t pregnant girls look pretty? Are we destined to walk around in tents and dresses from mum? Look at the big undies that we have to wear, we want something cute to cover those up! Oh, no wait, you CAN look cute, but it’ll cost you! Big time!

Someday. I am going to be an amazing patterndesigner, and design some fabulous maternityclothes! It'll take some time though, I have only sewn 3 dresses...
In the meantime I will be lounging on the couch in Mr. Dulls tracksuits, eating my daily doses of Ben & Jerry’s, not wearing any make-up, grey uncombed hairs and a hormone rage!

Please note; Me and the Shrimp are doing fine, all is well. I am just on quite some hormone-waves lately. Ask Mr. Dull, he will be happy to share some amazing stories.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Fabulously Finished Friday!

Don’t you love these kind of theme-weekdays? I think I love it… And I am sure going to try to use these themes to make my postings here more regular.
So, after the WipWednesday, I’ll give you the Fabulously Finished Friday! This will be the day to show you what I’ve made during the week. It can be something from the Wipbasket, a quick little project, or something I have been working on for a little longer.

I am going to warn you, though: this post will be about babies. Or better said, the little shrimp that’s growing inside of me… I don’t know why we start calling it The Shrimp, it doesn’t sound that cute, but somehow it feels fitting.
But, back to the Fabulous Finished Item of today: The Elf Hat. (I can't seem to find the Ravelrylink at the moment).
Now I am not a fabulous great knitter, I know how to do cables, I can do a little lace, and I think I know the words for every technique better in English than my own language, but hey, that’s the side effect of using the WWW to get into - or reacquainted to - a new craft. My tension usually varies during my projects, creating a not so uniform end result. I like to use mohair, angora, or any other fluffy yarn to disguise the slight difference in stitches. That usually works pretty well.

elf hat - flat view

This hat was knitted in the round on dpns. The only sufficient dpns I had were 25cms steel needles. The overall tension I work with is pretty tight, so when I have 20 stitches per needle, everything is okay. But then the decreases start; fewer stitches on the needles and the stitches were a bit stretched due to the weight of the needles. As soon as I finished off I scooted over to Ebay and ordered a large set of bamboo dpns. I think that will make knitting these more easy. Because I would love to make some more babyhats. Maybe not newborn, since the shrimp is due in August, but there are a lot of patterns for 3mo old as well. Don’t you just love Ravelry?? I know I do..

I used a mohair yarn in bright turquoise. I think this colour could go well for both sexes, once we know the sex I can make it more girly by adding some crocheted flowers, or more boyish by adding a little patch of a boyish something (I absolutely have no idea what I mean with that). I love the way this yarn looks, however, I might line it with a soft cotton knit, cause mohair tends to be a bit itchy sometimes.

elf hat

This is the very first item I finished up for The Shrimp, I have so many other things I want to make, but I guess it’s best to wait a while so we know if it will be a He or a SheShrimp!

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

WIP-Wednesday ~ Will it be a pillow, or a ball, or a tablerunner-fine hexagon crochetwork

african flower hexagon

I started this thing a couple of months ago.  I used the African flower hexagon pattern.Truthfully, I really don’t know why I didn’t finish it. It has so much potential, and all my favourite colours. It can be so many things, I can make it round, stuff it with a soft filling and make it a ball. I could make it a pillowcase, and I can crochet on and make it a tablerunner. But just like the finishing of the bedspread has it’s problems due to a large bed, the tablerunner will probably not happen, because our table is 2.20 meter. And since I am working this thing with a 2mm hook, I really don’t see that happen. But it would suite the table, because the chairs around the table are red, purple and orange, so that would look fabulous! Hmmm.

african flower hexagon

First I am going to finish the t-shirt-yarn rug (yes, yes, I really am!) and I think I’ll pick this baby up after that. And maybe just go for the table dress up…

african flower hexagon

Friday, 11 February 2011

No WIP, this week.

Hi! Just dropping in to tell that I didn't get to posting this weeks WIP... Lighting has been pretty grey this week, and my camera seems to have issues. But I'll be back next week!

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

WIP-Wednesday – The slice your old shirts and crochet it – Rug

Crocheted rug

I am a big fan of recycling. We have a compost box in the backyard, we separate glass and paper from our regular waste and if the plastic-recycling-containers weren’t further away than a 5 mile drive, I would separate those as well.
Besides recycling, I am a big fan of clothing, as is Mr. Dull. Our closets are stuffed with it. But because we don’t like to throw out stuff that isn’t damaged or permanently stained, there are quite some piles of clothes that don’t fit anymore (these are the “I will start going to the gym next month, so I will lose some weight” labelled items) or just aren’t fashionable anymore suited for going outside. But hey, sometimes a girl needs a little space in her closet for some new finds, which means shifting through your stuff and throw out the “I am absolutely not going to wear this anymore” items. With Mr Dull, this resulted in a very big pile of t-shirts. I cut one up for polishing cloths, but since we don’t have a silverware tea-set in our house, nor a big pile of shoes that needs polishing, I needed to find a different destination for the other 15 shirts. Hurray for the WWW and good ol’ Google, who told me to go and make some T-shirt yarn!!! Now I don’t know about the rest of the world, but here in Holland “Hoooked Zpagetti” yarn is basically the same thing; a “yarn” made out of a cotton knit fabric. You can buy these yarns in lots of colours, in patternkits, or just on cones. They sell these online for about €1,- per 100 grams of yarn, which is quite do-able. But I just love the recycling-thing, so I started to make my own. The first problem I encountered is that Dutch shirts are almost never knitted-in the-round, but made from a front and a back piece, sewn together, which results in two seams on the sides (or maybe this is because we only buy cheap shirts?). These seams make lumps in the yarn. But since I was going to make a rug, I decided it didn’t matter, I could place these little lumps on the backside, so you wouldn’t notice them. I cut 5 shirts and started hooking with a 10mm bamboo hook – which is absolute bliss – I wanted it to be a round rug.

Crocheted rug

I hooked, and I hooked, and I hooked, cut some more shirts, hooked and hooked, ran out of shirts and decided I could search Mr. Dulls closet for some other shirts he didn’t wear anymore, cut them up and hooked, and hooked, had a little argument about one of the shirts that ended up in the rug and hooked and hooked, asked some relatives if they had any old shirts, cut them up and hooked, hooked, hooked….

In October I went to the “Handwerkbeurs” with Mom. This is a fair for all kinds of needlework, weaving, feltmaking and so on and so forth. There was a large stand from Zpagetti and they had big tubs filled with left over balls of yarn, at great prices. I loved some of the colours, so I bought them and used them for the rug. Which resulted in the second problem, the Zpagetti yarn is a bit wider than the strips I cut from the shirts, resulting in bulkier stitches, which caused the last rows of the rug to curl up. I can stretch it out, but it remains a bit ‘bubbly’. Then I tossed the entire thing in a large bin and put it on top of the closet. This was in November last year.

I actually forgot about it – a bit. Last week, while we were shopping and getting inspired for the nursery Mr. Dull said it would be cool if we could incorporate the rug in the room for the wee one. Because it contains shirts of us, and the grandparents, it would be a really nice extra. I loved him a little bit more.

Crocheted rug

So I took the bin off the closet yesterday and put the rug on the floor. If I stretch out the points (the larger it got, the more hexagon-y it became) the curling is gone, I am thinking about maybe making it more star shaped, by skipping the middle stitch in the straight lines, and maybe start hdc on the points, later on dc’s. But I don’t know if it will work out. Or I could rip the last couple of rows until I get to the bought yarn and take it out. But I hate ripping hours of work.

Any ideas? Because I would love to finish this thing up before Mr. Dulls Birthday on March 1st…. Or at least get started on it again!

Tuesday, 1 February 2011


-(Non)Parental Warning- This is a very “seventh heaven-we-are-getting-a-baby” themed post, if your not up for that, please come back on Wednesday for the WIP!

Yesterevening we went to the midwife for our twelve week check-up. Both of us were very, very, very nervous. We had to wait 15 minutes before we could go in, but then she really took the time for us. We had the whole how-are-you-feeling-are-there-any-diseases-in-your-family-and-do-you-take-your-vitamins-regularly talk during which we couldn’t sit still. Then she checked my bloodpressure and took some blood.

Then it was finally time for measuring and listening, the thing we were a bit nervous about. She checked the size of my uterus, which was right ‘on schedule.’ Then she took out the listeningthingy. While she warmed it up a little she said it could take a little searching to hear the heartbeat. I held my breath when she put the thing on my belly (Mr Dull was doing the same thing, holding his breath that is, not putting the thing on my belly) and straight away we heard a firm and regular beat. So all is fine, all is well and we are very happy!

We bought all of the furniture for the nursery last weekend. We got a good deal on a lovely teak crib. Almost all of our furniture are made of teak, so we were very thrilled with this find. But there was only one left, so we had to buy it, because you never know you can find the same great thing in 3 months. Of course there was a lovely dresser that matched up and 2 days later I found a great wardrobe-cabinet through a secondhand site. I just love those finds.

So now the decluttering starts. We need to get rid of so much stuff. It’s amazing how much 2 people can hoard in a couple of years.
I have so many ideas for decorating the nursery… I could fill up 5 nurseries with all these plans!

So there you have it, please be back tomorrow for this weeks WIP!

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

WIP-Wednesday: The In-Way-Over-My-Head-Bedspread

Instead of bothering you with all the raging hormones and the fluffy babyworld I am starting to explore, I thought it would be a good idea to use this place to show you my W.I.P.s. (W.I.P. is short for Work In Progress). Maybe even ask you guys if you know ways to get each of those little buggers out of the WIPbasket and into the “Ooooooh-look-what-I’ve-made-I-am-so-proud-file.” Don’t you just love that moment…?

Due to a short attentionspan and a very large interest in hobbies and crafts whatsoever my WIPbasket is very, very, stuffed. In fact, I am talking about a basket, but I am really not that organised to keep all the stuff in a neat basket, if there even are baskets that large! They are all over the place. In the attic, in the closet, stuffed in bags under my bed, and so on and so forth. Though I am not one for New Year’s resolutions, I decided it would be a good thing to start on working away those wips, or even declare some as UFOs (UnFinished Objects) and take them apart (or throw them out).

I am starting today with my Way over your head-Crochet Beginnings Bedcover.

Why did I start this: Better yet, what was I thinking…. Well I blame it all on Lucy of Attic24. This avid little crochetfairy changed my life when I started reading her blog. I used to think about crochet as the handywork little old grey ladies were doing in the elderlyhomes. Creating lovely (but not my style) doilies and such. In comes Lucy, with her large, bold, bright coloured hookywork! I fell in love instantly and decided: I want to make me a lovely blanket for our bed. Where most people start of with a scrubbypad, a potholder or even a pillowcase, I wanted to make a total bedcover out of grannysquares in all kinds of designs and colours. Did I mention our bed is 180x200 cms (70 x 80 inch)…?

The kick off: I ordered some yarn through Ebay (fabulous bamboulene 50% bamboo, 50% wool), got overly excited when the box got delivered and started hooking. Night after night, the squares kept piling up! After each square was finished off I squeaked at Mr. Dull, so he would come look and admire my progress. I joined the squares while hooking the last row of the square and finished the ends by putting them into the next row. This way finishing off would take less time.

Progress: I have made two large blocks which both consists of 9 smaller squares, both edged with a single colour. Each block measures 55 x 55 cms.

Why did this end up in the WIPbasket?: Uuuhm, I still love this project, but I feel a bit overwhelmed with all the work that it still needs (not mentioning the costs). I am not absolutely sure about the colours, I am wondering if I should blend in some hot pink, steel blue, black and white (cream). And maybe I’ll have to rip the red and orange borders and give it a black or darkbrown or white border, to balance it out. But, I dunno…

Costs: The box of yarn cost me € 50, but I haven’t used it all for this blanket. I think I’ll have to order another € 100 worth of yarn. But € 150 is not that much for a bedspread that large.

How am I going to get this out of the Wipbasket?: First, I could just order the yarn and finish it up the way it was intended. But I think I need some directions on colours and ideas, some fresh inspiration. Second: I could make a large pillowcase with the finished blocks, maybe line it with a red cotton and put it on our bed. Third: I could frog it, but I would end up with short pieces of yarn, so that’s not an economical decision ! So tell me, do you guys have any suggestions?

Friday, 21 January 2011

The Return....

After a long, long, loooooooooooong period of absence I decided to take another go at this little blog of mine. This little-big-blogbreak of mine took almost 5 months. So much has happened and I have a lot to share.

Let me start by telling you the real reason for my blogbreak… Me and Mister Dull have been trying to get pregnant for a very long time. I am not going to bother you with all the details, but it has been a period of many hospitalvisits, and emotional rollercoasters. We decided not to tell anyone about our babyplans. I did tell my sister and best friend, but it was all hush-hush.

In the beginning of our BabyAdventure we thought: well, a couple of hospitalvisits and we will get pregnant and happy. I didn’t gave it much thought and had a lot of other things going on. Things I liked to chitter-chatter on and on about on this little nook of mine in Blogland. However, as time progressed, without a growing belly, I noticed a change in the way I blogged. My head kept wandering around everything babyrelated and I found myself pressing the Backspace key on my keyboard whenever I finished up a new message for the blog. When I read the words I typed, I noticed they were drenched in all kinds of emotions I picked up on the rollercoaster-ride of getting pregnant. And since my Mum reads the words I sent off to the WWW, I decided I had to rewrite the post and try to do so without thinking about babies and such. That worked for about 15 posts or so. Then it started to feel like work, it took a lot of energy to block out the thoughts, wonderings and anxieties and I just didn’t want to do that anymore. So I bought my self a paper diary and shut the blog down. It was a hard decision, I really loved my little space, but I just had to do it. Hope you all understand, and I certainly hope that the sweet souls that were reading my words will start doing so again.

But please keep in mind, this blog is going to change… Instead of beads (I haven’t touched them since a year ago..) I finally will be talking about babies… Because in the end it all worked out and we finally got a growing belly!

So happy to be back!

-xo- Mrs. Dull