Saturday, December 21

Hey baby, mrs. Cold

This Owls sweater by Kate Davies was on my mind for months. Finished it just in time for colder Winter months to come. It fits perfectly after blocking.

Again, it's hard to get the accurate, real life colour of the yarn on photo. It seems like it changes with the light. The yarn is a 100% Peruvian Highland Wool (Cascade 220, Beige 8021).
Lately, I get lots of crafty inspiration from Pinterest, so for 'cosy-pimping' the living room I've made some tealights from mason jars. I used some glue, glitters and hennep cord.

I wish you all warm & happy holidays and like to thank everyone for visiting my blog and leaving such sweet comments!

(Title: Mrs. Cold - Kings of Convenience)

Sunday, December 15

When you're still waiting for the snow to fall... doesn't really feel like Christmas at all...

But it's almost Christmas!!
It was 8°C (46°F) today in Belgium and it doesn't seem like there's going to fall any snow soon :-(
But hey, it's almost Christmas!! :)
I made these ornaments in 2008 and 2009 in white clay and golden paint. One layer of varnish was added too. I made several characters: a snowman, a nurse, two angels, a reindeer, a Christmas tree, a sheep, two of my former pet rabbits, P.'s dog that passed away in 2008. The only animal that I think is missing, is my cat, living with my parents.

The glass pendant is handmade by Irene Owens. She makes lovely paintings and drawings for nurseries and children's books.

I hope you guys have a lot of crispy white snow to celebrate the holidays! Send some to me... :)

(Title: Coldplay - Christmas Lights)

Tuesday, December 10

Infinity of light

And the sky is a roof made of tin
With a million holes for the light to get in
Beyond, there's an endless sea of lucidity
and infinity of light

>> M. Craft - Love knows how to fight <<

Sunday, December 8

Almost Christmas

This afternoon was filled with knitting and photographing light. What more can I ask for on a lazy Sunday afternoon? My new Owls Sweater is coming along nicely, though the colour of the yarn is so hard to capture on photo! We had some weird but beautiful skies here, maybe that's the reason why I had trouble with my lighting today.

Friday, December 6

Slightly addicted

Owls in beige Cascade 220 - Kate Davies Design

Last night I wondered: how come I have spent 29 years of my life...not...knitting?

I might be slightly addicted to yarn and browsing Ravelry for hours finding a nice project to knit. Good thing some of the compelling yarn in the online yarnshop was out of stock or I would be broke by now.

Seriously, only slightly addicted. ;)

Wednesday, December 4 my sketchbook

I have no clue why I'm filling this year's sketchbook with polar bears. Really, I don't. I just like them. Their anatomy, their movement, the fact that they're not black or brown. Years ago, it could be already ten, I drew this very simple sketch of a polar bear somewhere on a blank spot in the left corner of my sketchbook next to other scribbles and doodles. I didn't think much of it at that time but now I think it's one of my best sketches ever. Just because it's so simple, has no shadow, just some lines. I think the feeling I've got when I look at that drawing makes me drawing polar bears again. Even though I drew many (and another page) this year, none of them top the one from my early drawing days.

Tuesday, December 3

...but does he compost?

Sewing machine and me are already best friends! Last October I went to a huge fabrics sale and spotted this gorgeous comic style fabric in curtain material. It just screamed 'cushion cover'. I thought the blocked fabric had similar colours so I grabbed a piece of that too. It was my first time sewing in zippers. Let's call that an adventure.

After finishing the cushions I thought it was about time to make the pot holders from Liesl Made (thanks so much for people like you for putting clear tutorials online). I've been wanting to sew them for a while now and bought some thermal batting yesterday. Let's call sewing a bias strip another big adventure ;-)

Have you been sewing lately or seen some compelling fabric that you wanted so bad?

Friday, November 29

Owls go hoot hoot!

Proudly presenting my first ever knitted sweater! This Kate Davies’ pattern is a fast knit and even for beginners like me I figured out how to attach the sleeves to the body and do the kitchener stitch for grafting. I had some troubles with the short rows at the back though, but in the end I'm very pleased at how this sweater turned out. I do hope it fits for my sister's two-year-old . I knit a size 3-4 year old, because the pattern's size was small according to fellow knitters WITH children (it's always hard to knit children's garment when you don't have children yourself, it's like: next time I see the child, I'll try to measure and memorize the length of her arms, body by sight :-) )

I don't know which buttons and how many buttons I will add to represent the owl's eyes. I found some reddish buttons in my mom's sewing supplies box, but maybe I'll look for other ones because the colours don't really match in my opinion.

Wednesday, November 20

Thankful November

When Winter is already waiting on our doorstep, I try to stay warm with hot tea, self knitted socks, cosy blankets on the sofa and the thought of how lucky I am not to be living in the Philippines. There where people lost their homes, families, belongings, faith and hope. So I'm even thankful when it rains, to see raindrops on the windows. They remind me of how lucky I am to have a home.

Saturday, November 9

Off the needles and from the sewing machine

A woman's got to carry a lot in her bag or purse. I often find myself dragging along lots of handy stuff like mints, lipbalm, a tiny in-case-of-emergency-kit, personal stuff for thàt time of the month, hair ribbons and lots more. I also find myself searching through my bag for all that and that made me come up with an idea to organize my purse content a bit more. So the first thing I wanted to make was something that kept my personal things together, yes indeed, for thàt time of the month. If it could hold a few sanitary pads and some tampons for emergency cases, that would be fine for me! I'm satisfied with the outcome. It was a first try but I think it looks kind of 'sloppy'. I did use some fusible interfacing though. It was actually my first time working with it. I'm planning on making more, for organizing some make-up.

The past weeks I also finished the In Threes Cardigan for my little niece. I think it'll be a Christmas present.

Have you been knitting or sewing lately? Do you have any smart ideas for organizing your purse?

Saturday, November 2

All Souls' Day

Sant Serni de Canillo (Andorra, 2013)

Remembering all the deceased.

As a nurse, I deal with death more than I actually want. I remember my first deceased when I was only a nursing student during one of my first internships at a small, local hospital. The nurse I was assigned to, send me to a patient to take her blood pressure, only I didn't know the patient was almost deceased. So I entered the room and there were two people sitting next to the patient. Very quietly.  They nodded to me. They were family.

I told them what I was about to do. The woman in the bed looked like she was sleeping. I had a very hard time hearing the systolic pressure, because the patiënt probably had a very low pressure. At that moment, it occurred to me that the family was actually there, outside of the visiting hours, because clearly the woman was about to die. I was actually a bit mad at the nurse for not telling me about the patient's condition and just sending me in there on my own, just because she needed a blood pressure, written in the patient's file. Of course, 15 minutes later, she had passed away. Later that day, another patiënt had to be rushed to the E.R. because of an acute bowel ischaemia. She returned deceased.

Now, 8 years later, having worked on regular units and on an intensive care unit, I have seen many people pass away. I have seen people pass away after family has been waking near their beds for hours and hours. Just when the family takes a 5 minute break, the patient slips away. On the other hand, last month, family was waiting for one more son to come from a far region, he had to drive 8 hours to get to the hospital and told his brother on the phone to tell their dad that he was on his way to say goodbye to him and that he loves him. On intensive care, people are monitored continuously. Looking at his vital signs on the monitor, we didn't think the son would make it in time. But he did and the moment he stepped into the room and took his dying father's hand, the patient went into a flat line and his pressure dropped.

Death is a part of my job and I do feel gratification and satisfaction from family members of deceased patients. Just to be there, and also taking care of them, often means the world to them.

Often it's sad to see them suffer from their loss. But also seeing their relief, after sometimes weeks or months of coming to visit their beloved one on intensive care, and already having said goodbye to them, bit by bit, everytime they leave.

Thursday, October 31

Belgian Ardennes: an impression

A 2,5 hour drive from home and we're almost out of the country. Yes, my country is small. But the Ardennes I love the most.

Tuesday, October 29

World Psoriasis Day

October 29th is World Psoriasis Day. Being a psoriasis patient myself I would like to support all people with psoriasis today.  Psoriasis is an immune-mediated skin disease. It's not contagious but is characterized by an increased skin cell production. Symptoms are an accumulation of dead skin cells on certain parts of the body and that causes red, flaky plaques with silvery scales. I mostly suffer from scalp psoriasis and occasionaly I have small plaques on my elbows, knees and eyelids.

The drawing above is a sketch of something that was supposed to be way more detailed and bigger in the future. Too bad it worked out wrong, so I feel better just showing the sketch. The big leaf near it isn't really a part of the drawing or concept. I don't really feel the need to explain the drawing, I think it speaks for itself, but I'll give it a go anyway. As the leaves represent my dry skin and are often quite suffocating, I also wish that a cool Autumn wind could blow them away so I can breath again.

Normally I don't suffer so much from my pso, but last year, when I was in a lot of stress, I couldn't bear the itching on my head. scratched unconsiously untill it bled. Washing my hair with shampoo was a disaster because of the open spots and stinging. I tried the No Poo method for 10 weeks and it helped. All my plaques disappeared and even after using (non detergent, non - SLS) shampoo again, it's only recently that my spots returned and started to worsen again.

Is any of you suffering from psoriasis too? What are your tips to survive the Winter season?

Sunday, October 27

Light & Shadow

This was yesterday. Today we have rainy weather and blistering winds. More pictures on my Flickr-page. Hope you had a wonderful weekend!