Friday, January 29 my sketchbook

A peek into my sketchbook shows a quick portrait while I was listening to Jan De Wilde, a Belgian cabaret singer (Kleinkunst). I've always loved listening to this kind of music. A few other Flemish and Dutch cabaret singers I love to listen to are Zjef Vanuytsel (who recently passed away), Boudewijn de Groot, Bram Vermeulen,  Wim de Craene, Noordkaap, De Mens, De Nieuwe Snaar and Herman van Veen.

Monday, January 25

Scenes lately

Kristina's Photo, framed but not hung yet | Kitchen | Towels in our scaffolding wood cabinet | Another one of Kristina's photography | Billy Baby Romper Suit (pattern by Sofie Bovbjerg) | Washed handknitted socks on the drying rack | Baby's first clothing

Thursday, January 14

24 weeks

Weeks are passing by...belly is getting bigger...kicks are getting harder...knitting needles are knitting faster...

Finally, since a few weeks, I can enjoy this pregnancy. I'm reassured by gynaecologist's visits, ultrasounds and kicks of our little one. My nausea is now mostly absent and I'm sleeping a lot better.

I'm kind of finding my way through all the necessary baby equipment, I say necessary because I think there are a lot of things you actually don't need, but are just convenient or plain trendy. Like, we're looking for an old second-hand wardrobe to paint and I'm learning a lot about cloth diapering. I still don't know yet if I'm going to pick cloth diapers over regular throw-away diapers. I'm a bit concerned with the laundry pile, my washing machine takes 2 hours (!)  to finish a 60°C wash (Okay maybe that is just normal?) It'll be okay if I'm still at home, but I'm worrying about it for when I have to go to work again.

Do any of you have some tips on these matters for a first time mom?

Wednesday, January 6

Yarn Along

Knitting: Finished and blocked my Sydänmaa Mittens by Hanna Leväniemi. Knit with De Rerum Natura, Gilliatt in colorway Poivre et Sel on 3.5mm needles

Reading: Started a while ago on Little Women and trying to pick up again where I left. Holiday season and crafting projects stole a lot of my reading time. :-)

Linking up with Ginny.

Tuesday, January 5

DIY: Golden animal keychains

First of all, I'd like to thank you for the comments on my latest post about being pregnant. It warms my heart to read such lovely comments on the news I shared.
Second, happy new year to all of you! I hope this year brings much peace, health, craftiness and joy!
A few weeks ago, before Christmas I promised a post about golden animal keychains. Well this is it :-)  I made some golden keychains as Christmas presents.
You'll need: golden spray paint for synthetic materials, transparent primer, high-gloss or brilliant varnish spray, a bag of cheap plastic animals.  Some screw eye hooks (small), wire and key rings (preferably in golden color). A skewer is another handy tool you can use, along with something to cover up your surface (you can't control the spray distance as accurate as you would paint it with a brush, so make sure you cover up your surroundings). To attach some beads, a tweezer or plier is handy too (not pictured). Optional: some colorful beads.
Take your animals of choice and spray them with transparent primer. When dry, screw in the screw eye hooks and hang them on the skewer (I rested the skewer on a few old shoeboxes on each side). Spray paint the animals from all sides with golden spray paint. I applied three layers and waited three hours before applying the next layer (see instructions on your spray paint bottle). 24 hours after the last golden layer, I applied the varnish.
Add some beads and decorations, to give your keychain some color.

Some tips:

  • I used a layer of transparent primer first, to improve adhesion. The brand I used also advised to use a white spray after that to completely cover up, but I didn't do that and it worked just fine.
  • I had some varnish left from the clay ornaments, but it was a matte varnish that I applied o,n one animal (to try) with a an old paint brush. Not a good idea: it was way too matte, so I went back to that store and bought some high-gloss varnish in a spray bottle: way better!
  • This project doesn't need to be expensive. I bought one bag of kingdom animals at the toy store for 1.5 euros. It included 10 animals or so. You can also choose dinosaurs, farm animals, pets,.. . You can use anything you like, just keep in mind that you're making a keychain and it's more convenient to use a small animal for that. 
  • Keep in mind that, due to the several layers needed to fully cover the animal, it might occur that the animals stick to the card board or whatever cover up you're using. That's why I improvised the trick with the skewer, it's just something I experienced during the process. Maybe it works perfectly with some sort of plastic cover up, I don't know. 
  • For an extra touch you can add beads or other decorations. I have a box full of beads from my childhood (my sister and I used to craft a lot and make our own beaded bracelets, or cut the bracelets we didn't wear anymore but saved the beads). I bought a few new beads in the craft shop. You can also buy very cheap children's bracelets and cut them to use the beads.
  • Of course you can use other paint colors like bronze, silver, metal look, pastel colors, fluorescent colors,.. .