28 juni 2013

Bag for Lil Sis

Remember the felt bag I made for Husband? Now that must be one of the simplest items I've ever sewn in my life. It is also the most popular. Husband proudly takes it everywhere and many people compliment him on his excellent taste. When he tells them I made it, they often ask if I can make them one. Which I can. But first I had to make one for Lil Sis. That's my husband's sister. And as I don't have a sister, he now has to share her with me. Life got in the way of me making the skirt I promised her for last year's birthday. So when she asked for a shibbie felt bag this year, I couldn't not make it. I spent a happy morning buying the supplies and a happy evening putting it together.

24 juni 2013

the big bag theory

I was in a shop once, buying boxes for storage. A man who looked to be in his eighties came up to me. He told me not to bother with buying them. I asked him why. He told me: the more space you have for storing things, the more you end up using it. In the end, you get into a vicious cycle of clutter, spending money to store the clutter, more clutter, more money spent, etc. In his experience, it was best to learn to let go of things and throw them out. Thinking he was a little cynical, I told him I still intended to buy the boxes I was holding at that moment. He said that was up to me, but he gave it a month before I was back in the shop buying more. I told him I thought that was highly unlikely. But he turned out to be right. And it wasn't just the once I went back for more boxes.
The same seems to be true for handbags. The bigger the bag, the more non-essential-stuff you tend to carry around. Eventually this stuff multiplies and you need a bigger bag. And so on and so forth. Luckily I can make my own bags. So while I am setting myself up for accumulating more stuff to carry around, I'm also putting the huge pile of fabric I have stored in the above mentioned boxes to good use. A lot nicer than throwing it out as the man in the shop suggested.

I used the pattern for the Emily Bag from this site.

21 juni 2013


Let me introduce the latest additions to our family. They're about a month old, don't grow, are very quiet, sleep through the night, don't eat much and are always smiling. The one on the right is 'Little Man Doll', the one on the left is 'Girl Doll'. Much to Girl's amusement, Girl Doll has the same clothes as she does. Little Man has got slightly better dress sense than the doll version of himself. So now you know what my kids look like. Sort of.

I used this book to make them. The photo's are inspiring and the instructions are clear and amazingly simple. You can make a doll in half the time you think it's going to take. It probably helps to be able to read Dutch, though.

18 juni 2013

grumpy in playgrounds

I used to think playgrounds were cool places to hang out. As a child, ofcourse. Then later, as a babysitter. I used to see the mums and dads enjoying the sunshine. Casually watching their children playing on the swings and slides. Whilst reading a book. Or amicably chatting away with the other parents. It looked so relaxing, I couldn't wait for Girl and Little Man to be big enough to take to playgrounds. 
So now they've been old enough for a while and I have to conclude... I ... don't ... like ... playgrounds. I don't get to relax and read a book in the sun. I get to run around a lot. Saving a scared Girl from a contraption that, she's decided halfway through, is too high. Or rescuing a not-scared-enough giggling Little Man, dangling upside down from the top of the same contraption by his left toe. If I do get to sit down, I find the conversation with other parents is not so much amicable as factual. Nothing relaxing about it. And so, I get bored. Call me a grumpy mum, but after watching the same activities, on the same contraptions, pushing the same swings, aiding the same climb up the slide for the millionth time, I ... just ... get ... bored. 
I'm not miserable enough to deny Girl and Little Man the pleasures of the playground. However, I do see the advantages of the long, cold and wet spring we had this year...

10 juni 2013

a wedding and a bag

I love watching my friends say and do stuff they once adamantly swore they would never do. That's why I like being invited to their weddings.
How many 15 year olds swear they'll never get married, have kids or under any circumstance ever do anything to end up like their own parents? I'm not saying there's anything wrong with changing your mind. In fact, I might be a little guilty of that myself. I'm saying it's amusing that two decades down the line, there's not much left of the passion and conviction of the teenage version of ourselves. And we're all well on the way to becoming our parents.

In the past three years I've been amused by two such weddings. I've just come back from the third. I made myself a handbag to go with my black-and-white dress to go to the wedding of my friend who I remember quite clearly stating he would never ever get married and would prefer to live on his own for ever and ever and ever. I wish him and his beautiful wife all the luck in the world!

I used this free online pattern.

30 mei 2013

shibbie goes English

Did anyone notice I haven't posted anything for months? I didn't... I thought it was a few weeks ago. Turns out it's been three and a half months! What was I doing all that time? The observant reader may think I took an English course. That's not the case. But for some reason all the words are coming out in English. I must have run out of things to say in Dutch.

Anyhow, I certainly haven't been sitting still all this time. But it really wasn't interesting enough to share my activities online. A quick summary: Little Man got a stomach bug, then Girl got a stomach bug and then Husband got it. After I had finished nursing them all back to health, obviously I got it. At the same time Little Man got the flu, which he passed on to Girl, who gave it to Husband.
Having just recovered from the stomach bug, I got the flu with the added bonus of a middle ear infection. I took my ear to the doctor, who accidentally anaesthetized the part of my ear responsible for keeping my balance. This meant 24 hours in hospital feeling very sorry for myself (I will spare you the details), no permanent damage done. 
Girl had her fifth birthday, Little Man grew out of all his clothes (again) and I had a short break in the south of Spain with a friend. When I got back, a surgeon decided I would be better off without my gall bladder and proceded to take it out.
And that's about where we are at the moment: I'm recovering from mild surgery, Husband is keeping everything running smoothly, Girl and Little Man are just going about their business as usual.

18 februari 2013

creashibbie: multifunctionele kussens

Ik maakte twee kussens voor in de woonkamer. Het blijken multifunctionele kussens. Ze wonen op een stapeltje in de hoek van de kamer. De één gaat boven op het stapeltje zitten lezen. De ander sleept ze naar de tv en gaat er op de buik Sesamstraat liggen kijken. Weer een ander tilt ze op de bank en nestelt zich ertegen met een biertje en de laptop.
Ze waren makkelijk in elkaar te zetten. En ik heb er niets nieuws voor gekocht. De stof had ik in de kast liggen, het garen en de paspelband ook. En voor de vulling gebruikte ik oude handdoeken en stofresten. Eigenlijk wil ik nog een derde kussen maken, maar ik weet niet of we nog genoeg vulling in huis hebben. Of zou Lieve Vriend geloven dat hij altijd al slechts twee t-shirts had?