The Christmas Dining Room

There's something about a dining room that I can't explain in words without using my hands to make grand gestures. I've always dreamed as a little girl to own a dining room. Growing up in The Netherlands I sort off lacked the sense of a proper dining room as most Dutch homes always have L or I shaped floor plans with windows in the front and back of the house. My childhood home had a T shaped open-living floor plan with the living room at the front of the house and the kitchen and dining area at the back of the house, it's complicated. But the areas lacked doors, and I love doors. I love "rooms".

My home has lots of rooms. And one of them is a proper dining room. It's 25 square meters with a non-working fireplace (I do love fires but I do love my white walls even more), a large window that overlooks the street and soon to be flower garden, an original ornamented ceiling dating back to 1896 and two china cabinets stuffed with vintage Johnson Brothers and Wedgwood flatware. I love it!

In the non-working fireplace I've stacked acacia logs that we each year have to trim down as they grow on the empty lot next to us. If we don't maintain them they will overgrown our home. But the logs of acacia trees are just so perfectly beautiful.

TIP! If you're planning on doing this make sure to check them regularly for woodlice.

I've made a simple wreath out of eucalyptus for over the mirror and punched circles out of gold cardboard and stitched them together under my sewing machine. I love gold for Christmas.

Ever since Bo's father past away I've been hosting the family Christmas dinners. Mostly we are with too many people to actually fit them all in the dining room but this year there will be 8 of us. I have all the meals in my head and I can't wait to start shopping and cooking.

I use a white linen tablecloth and vintage Wedgwood Queen's Plain plates as I like how they match my walls and woodwork - seriously people the thought I put in this progress is really insane, I am aware of that. I make mini wreaths with wild thyme that's growing in my garden to lay on the linen napkin. This way the napkin will smell lovely when you use it.

Ah Christmas, can one ever have enough of it?

Vase Villages

Christmas decorating is in full swing. The decorating progress always starts at the end of November and ends at the 24th of December. It's not that I'm slow, I just can't stop.

These vase villages are really simple to make. Use any clear glass vase that's wide and high enough to hold at least a couple of trees, a paper house and a Schleich animal. I've used decorative white sand which I bought at a garden centre. It looks so much more like real snow instead of the fake snow you can buy in bags. You can read about the bottle brush trees I've used right here.

I bought the vintage Putz paper houses years ago on eBay. You can still find quite a lot of Putz auctions online. I have my eye on this lot!!

Have fun! More Christmas stuff until it's Christmas ... just 1 week left!!!!

40

On Saturday I turned 40, the big four O! That age doesn't bother me that much as I think I'll start to freak out in 10 years. I'm quite a happy four-tier and as my friend told me, so well preserved. I think nowadays we are all very well preserved. If I look back to when my parents were forty, I thought of them as very old people. Dressed in stuffy old fashioned clothing, with dull grey hairstyles. I must say that my mother at 75 looks rather hip and healthy these days. She shops at COS and H&M, she eats well, she's up to date on most current affairs and she also looks very well preserved for her age.

We are all going to live forever - I guess eventually.

To celebrate I made a many-coloured-cake. Because I like my colours and will embrace them throughout my forties.

The Cake Recipe

For 2 cakes in a 18 cm cake tin (do this twice to make four cakes)

  • 225 gr unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 225 gr golden caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 225 self-raising flour
  • 4 different food colouring colours

Preheat your oven to 180°C

Mix the butter and sugar with a mixer in a bowl or use a KitchenAid until smooth.

Add the eggs one by one.

Add the vanilla extract and baking powder.

Add the self-raising flour and mix until the batter is smooth.

Divide the batter over two separate bowls and add a different colour to each bowl. Mix it very well until the colour is dissolved.

Pour the batter in two 18 cm cake tins and place in the oven for 20-25 min.

Let the cakes cool down and make your other 2 cakes to get a total of four.

The Frosting Recipe

  • 230 gr unsalted butter
  • 1 kg confectioners sugar
  • 120 ml milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Mix all the ingredients at once until super smooth.

Pasta a layer of frosting between each cake and when all cakes are piled up, paste the rest of the frosting on the outside of the cakes. Sprinkle some disco-dip on the top for an extra festive touch.

Happy Monday lovely people. In 2 weeks it's Christmas!!!

The Yvestown Winter Fair - a few days after

It was bitterly cold but oh so cosy. With fairy lights and A Very Ally Christmas and Michael Bublé blasting out of the speakers. It was a quiet fair but the company was wonderful. And although we were all freezing cold we kept each other warm. Wrapped in blankets, snuggling up with hot chocolate.

I really love the invention of the hastag as it's such an organised way to see what's been going on. If you click on #yvestownwinterfair you'll get to enjoy all the photos made by the stall holders, visitors and me.

Eline's Doll house was present, beautifully equipped with lights and Christmas decorations. Eline was so lucky to be able to make this doll house assigned by her publishers.

Also Erika's doll shop made it's début.

It was a good day and it was definitely the last fair in this format as it takes too much from Bo and myself. It's hard work, not just on the day but the day before and the day after. I'm still cleaning, doing laundry and defrosting. I'll think of something new to do, I might even take it abroad - I'm not sure yet.

Please consider to shop small this Christmas, to promote small and independent shops and stay the hell out of Primark.

Below a gift guide of my favourite fair products.

1. Eline's Poppenhuis (in Dutch) 2. Wood & Wood x-mas tree and Waldorf Angel by Stella by Rosa 3. Tray by Miinti 4. PVC vase by Mauk 5. Dongri/Kiko by Mondaysmilk 6. Souvenirs de Paris Tea towel by Mikodesign 7. DIY tote bag by Mondaysmilk

The Day Before The Winter Fair

I'm just about awake, synchronizing the play list for tomorrow which is very important. My feet are killing me and I keep asking myself; "why on earth do I feel the need to host fairs?". We've single handedly build 4 party tents and equipped them all with fairy lights, it makes me feel so utterly giddy.

I LOVE CHRISTMAS.

There's not a single bone in my body that even slightly dislikes Christmas or anything that has do do with it. So I earn this fair. My painful fingers of all the plastic tying earn a Christmas fair. And you earn it to be here and join us tomorrow.

It will be cold so dress warmly. There's food, and a fire, lots of lovely people and fairy lights.

See you tomorrow.

The Yvestown Winter Fair Family Tree

We are all set and ready to go for our first ever Yvestown Winter Fair.

It's all going to be pretty magical with lots of fairy lights, lovely food, good company, workshops and lots of beautiful Christmas products. Part of my home will be open to soak up the Yvestown Christmas atmosphere and you are allowed to hang out with us all day.

Please dress warm.

The Principles of 3D Crochet

Can I first give a big hug to all of you who left a comment on my previous post. I will get back to this topic properly as we kind of lost to connect and I love to connect.

On to the subject of 3D crochet, or making balls, bubbles ... things that stand out. I've made this post initially for my upcoming magazine but with cutting down and taking it slow(er), the magazine will turn into a zine and will be published when I have loads to tell instead.

These 3 simple steps explain you how to start crocheting balls. Try to mix it up and use it for various projects. I'll show you two different projects I've used 3D crochet for.

Wrist warmers are great for autumn and spring when it’s getting either colder or warmer. I use them in my car when the steering weal is freezing in the morning or when I work in my basement sewing room where it can get very chilly.

Hook size
4.5 mm

Yarn
Annell Rapido 3331

Stitches
CH (Chain)
HDC (Half double Crochet)
SL ST (Slip Stitch)

Foundation chain:
CH 25 - SL ST in the first CH to make a hoop.

Round 1/3/5/7:
HDC all around - CH 2 and turn.

Round 2/4/6/8:
CH 2 - HDC 6 (ball) - CH3* - CH till end - CH 2 turn.

Round: 9-14:
HDC all around - CH 2 and turn.

Round 15:
Fit your thumb size, make a gap. I’ve skipped 4 CH for my thumb. So you CH 4 - skip for CH and HDC.

Round 16-22:
HDC all around - CH 2 and turn.

Round 23:
CH 2 - HDC 2 in the same stitch - SL ST in next stitch - HDC 3 - SL ST in next stitch* - Fasten off with a SL ST.

3dcrochet04.jpg

This is what I've used for a standard IKEA INNER 50 x 50 cm pillow. I've only made one crochet front panel and used unbleached cotton to make a cover.

Hook size
7mm

Yarn
Katia - Canada 3

Stitches
CH (Chain)
HDC (Half double Crochet)
SL ST (Slip Stitch)

Foundation chain:

Cast on 34 stitches - CH 2 (counts as 1 HDC) - HDC until end

Row 2-28:
CH 2 (counts as 1 HDC) 3 HDC - HDC 4 (ball) - HDC 3 * HDC 5 at the end of the row

Round 1-15:
CH 2 - HDC until end SL ST

Have fun. I'll be back later this week with the first issue of my zine as I've got loads to show you. I'm so grateful for all of you who still visit my blog. It's here to make you smile x