Thursday, April 3, 2014

Call for textile artists around the world

Textile-link is a Dutch initiative that publishes books on textile arts from around the world. Designer Ellen Bakker knows her way to make beautiful books. Right now she's working on two new projects and she's calling for artists around the world to share their work.

These pictures show sample pages of the upcoming book TextileArt around the world. Textile artists anywhere can create an archive on the website. To have a chance of your work being published in this particular book you need to upload your pictures before 1st May 2014.

At the same time Ellen is working on a book on colors of felt and will be working on a book on natural dyeing. She already published three books that are available in English, German and Dutch on her website and in book stores around the world. What a great initiative.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Tutorial for shambala bracelet

So many plans and so little time. Months ago I bought a piece of cord and some beads to make a shambala bracelet. As I a child I used to macrame whole tapestries and I wanted to try this technique again. Last night I finally did.

I found several tutorials on the internet, but ended up doing it my way. This is what I did:
  1. tie a double knot in the end of a piece of cord of 40 cm (16 in)
  2. fasten this on a clipboard
  3. fold a cord of 1.60 meter (5.3 ft) in half to find its middle
  4. start with 15 square knots at 8 cm (3.2 in) from the knot
  5. add one bead, make 3 square knots, add another bead, make another 3 square knots and add the last bead
  6. make another 15 square knots
  7. make a circle of the short cord by holding the ends together each pointing in opposite direction and make 20 more square knots on both ends together
  8. finish by making a knot in each end of the long cord very tightly to the bracelet or make two tight knots with both ends, and make a double knot in the end of the center cord
Would I do it again, I would change the fifteen knots in the beginning and the end into twenty, and the twenty on the two cords together into ten. Just as many square knots, but keeping the ends a bit more out of sight.

It was fun! Hope you enjoy it too.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Marcel Wanders design exhibition in Amsterdam

From February until mid June the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam is having a survey exhibition on Marcel Wanders to celebrate his 25th anniversary as a designer. In 1996 Wanders became world famous with his Knotted chair, made of macrame.

Wanders is renowned for his product, furniture and interior designs and his art direction. In the Stedelijk four hundred items are on display ranging from furniture, utensils, wallpaper, packaging and jewelry to images, sketches, prototypes and experimental work.

I spent a day at Museumplein also visiting the Rijksmuseum, but I enjoyed this exhibition most. I love Wanders' use of traditional techniques and images turning them into interesting and exciting new items. And I love his use of colors - often bold, like the size of many of the objects.

The lamp shade below of course appealed to me instantly. On the description next to it, it says it is woven, but I'm sure it's knitted. It's soft, wooly and radiant ánd it's really wearable.

Great exhibition. Go there, if you have any opportunity.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Designing a pouch pattern

The other day I saw this make up pouch with round shapes that was standing up. I loved the design and decided to give it a try to draw a pattern to make something similar. It's not perfect yet, but it worked out quite like I expected, and I'm proud of what I made.

On the inside is a beautiful, slightly tacky lining. I won't show you the details however - I still have to practice more in making pouches, getting the zipper in neatly and working with bias binding :) This took me to on a short but interesting sidepath to quilting by the way...

The zipper was used before and when the pouch was almost finished it broke of. I attached two hemp strings to fix this. All in all it's an experiment. But not a bad one for a first time.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Retro crochet coaster pattern for free

Thrifting sometimes brings me little treasures. Like these cotton coasters in colors that are so seventies. I love the pattern and I was planning to figure it out some day. Last night I did and today I've written my first ever crochet pattern.

Here you see the whole retro set with my new one swimming towards them. Besides the written pattern I made a chart picturing the stitches. I had to get a new math compass to be able to do this and hope you don't mind my drawing.

Would you like to make these coasters too? Look in the upper right hand corner under free patterns. Have fun and show me your coasters if you like.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Turning trash into treasures

Local opp shop Het Goed is quite an experience. Besides goods they have inspirational displays, activities and they often sell some items for a good cause. That's where I found this 'spoorblok' (railway block) made of the yellow timetables that are on every Dutch platform and station.

I bought it as a gift for someone I know who worked at the Dutch railways for many years. A 'dienstblad' (service tray) was another option. They're made by Verdraaid Goed, a brand that has many more items made of waste, all with fun names. Look at their webshop if you like.

(photo by

The woman behind this great idea is Lisanne Addink-Dölle. An engineer and designer who wants to make the world a better place, by reusing trash and turning it into treasures. I love this spirit and it's great how she makes it work out.

(photo by

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Cooking like mom learned

Since 1910 the 'Wannee kookboek' is the elementary cookbook in the Netherlands. It's been updated and is still published today. It was written for girls at domestic science schools. When I heard about it I was eager to get a copy from the fifties, the time my mom learned cooking.

Last Friday I received my copy from a second hand book store. It's the 14th edition and it's fascinating. It's like traveling back in time. I love how simple things were: not that much kitchen utensils and not too many ingredients. It's very seasonal, straightforward and honest cooking.

Today I made chocolate custard. I was surprised the cacao and the cornstarch in my cupboard are of the exact same brands as mentioned in the recipe. I wonder if the package changed ;) And I know, I should decorate these deserts, but they are too delicious to disturb.

I'm really pleased with this book and will make a lot more from it.