Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Today's Google logo is to commemorate the 166th birthday of Carl Fabergé ... I don't think I need to introduce the man who's famous for having created more than 50 precious Russian Imperial Eggs.

Here's what Wikipedia says:
Peter Carl Fabergé also known as "Karl Gustavovich Fabergé" (May 30, 1846 – September 24, 1920) was a Russian jeweller, best known for the famous Fabergé eggs, made in the style of genuine Easter eggs, but using precious metals and gemstones rather than more mundane materials.

In 1882, Carl Fabergé took sole responsibility for running the company. Carl was awarded the title Master Goldsmith, which permitted him to use his own hallmark in addition to that of the firm. Carl Fabergé’s reputation was so high that the normal three-day examination was waived. His brother, Agathon, an extremely talented and creative designer, joined the business from Dresden, where he had also possibly studied at the Arts and Crafts School.

Carl and Agathon were a sensation at the Pan-Russian Exhibition held in Moscow in 1882. One of the Fabergé pieces displayed was a replica of a 4th century BC gold bangle from the Scythian Treasure in the Hermitage. The Tsar declared that he could not distinguish the Fabergé's work from the original and ordered that objects by the House of Fabergé should be displayed in the Hermitage as examples of superb contemporary Russian craftsmanship. The House of Fabergé with its range of jewels was now within the focus of Russia’s Imperial Court.

When Peter Carl took over the House, this resulted in reviving the lost art of enamelling and concentrating on setting every single stone in a piece to its best advantage. Shortly after Agathon joined the firm, the House introduced objects deluxe: gold bejewelled items embellished with enamel ranging from electric bell pushes to cigarette cases, including objects de fantaisie.

In 1885, Tsar Alexander III gave the House of Fabergé the title; ‘Goldsmith by special appointment to the Imperial Crown’.

I think Google did design a very pretty logo around this event. I also learned that they are called "Google Doodles" and when googling the name, I stumbled upon the "Google Doodle Museum" where you can take a look at everything they've created the last years. I think it's pretty interesting cause you get to learn a lot about people and past/future events.

I'm always curious to see with what they come up next :-)

Have a nice day/evening!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Long weekend

Hi all,

Our long weekend was great ... There was plenty of sunshine and according temperatures, we BBQ'ed three times in a row and took a dive in our swimming pool (not the rich man's stuff only an inflateable one) ... life is/was good ... today it's back to work :-(

Stitching wise I finished the other three panel outlines and now it's only special stitches left. I'm not happy with them I can tell you ... First of all there were the hutt's roofs and now I'm considering of doing the panels' "roofs" in another stitch. I really don't like the large algerian eyelets that should be stitched on the three sides of the panels (one batch in the "roof" and the other two in the flanking borders). I'm OR going to stich smaller algerian eyelets OR rhodes stitches with one ply ... Still undecided!

We also went to the bookmarket in open air on Sunday ... This event falls makes part of a bigger one that takes the whole weekend namely the "Palingfestival" which means "Festival of Eel" where you can eat the local specialty of cooked eel in a savoury herbs sauce.

Paling in 't groen is a Flemish regional dish, mainly from the area along the River Scheldt between Dendermonde and Antwerp. The Dutch language name (literally 'Eel in the Green') means 'eel in a setting of green plants' and refers to freshwater eel in a green herb sauce. The traditionally home-made meal is also sold fully prepared but still uncooked by some fishmongers' shops or market stalls, and can be enjoyed in specialty restaurants.[source: Wikipedia].

You could also opt for a bicycle ride on the numerous dikes/embankments, do a historic vapour train ride or go for a boating excursing. We kept things calmer and tasted delicious pancakes and bought some reading books at highly reduced prices - including one interesting cookbook called "One month in Marrakech - A Food Journey to the Heart of Morocco".

On Monday we went for a stroll in the zoo in Antwerp (not the one we visit regularly but one a little bit further away). This is really a green oasis in the middle of the city! Really special and worthwile a visit when visiting Antwerp.


And eldest DD lost her first tooth later that day. This means another milestone in her young life ... she's getting big! In September she'll also be going to the "official" (and obliged) school, so kindergarten will be definitely behind her!

For the rest there's nothing to report! ;-)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Start to run

Hi all,

Today I'm not going to talk about cross stitching, crochet, quilting or anything hobby/crafts related .... no, this couch potatoe is going to talk about health - oyoy :-)

You know ... yours truly should have to lose 15 kg at least and therefor I decided it was time to change my habits a little bit (now there's still time - I'm 37 and I was always told that after 40 it would be even more difficult "shedding" some weight).

So what am I going to do? I started with Weight Watchers again and decided to do something "sporty" ;-) (me ... who hasn't got one ounce of sporty genes :-). I started to run. I'm not kidding, it's the name of the program = "Start to Run". You get 27 lessons on your MP3 player and the goal is that after that you'll be able to run for 5 kilometres (non-stop that is).

This is a concept in Belgium started around 2001 an promoted by a lovely young lady called Evy Gruyaert (one of our lady presentators on TV). She also made/cooperated with ... for other books like "Keep running" (in which you learn to jog/run 10 km), Start to Veggie, Start to Bike, Start to Walk, Start to Swim, Start to Fitness and Start to Golf.  A true marketing campaign and lots of money to be made is of course always the incentive behind the idea :-)
Anyway ... today was my first lesson (18 minutes) and although it wasn't easy (all that extra weight dragging) I can tell you that I did it! There's always a pause of one day so lesson two, here I come (on Saturday)!!!

I really want to get rid of my extra weight and buy pretty woman-like clothes again!

Hope I'll succeed!

Monday, May 21, 2012

IHSW May 2012

Hello everyone,

This weekend we had the IHSW. I admit that I "cheated" a little bit, since we had a long weekend ... a bank holiday on Thursday, followed by a day off on Friday :-). May and November are fabulous months for us having two sometimes three longer weekends like that!

I can only say that it was great! The weather previsions first talked about wind and rain but we had some marvellous weather on Saturday and Sunday, which allowed me to stitch in my garden! Yay ... at long last spring is coming!

So what did I do? I continued on Serengeti mandala and almost finished the first panel (I only need to backstitch the giraffe and tree and longstitch the grasses). The construction of four hutts began under the supervision of yours truly, but I'm not completely convinced by / happy with the roofs. I think I'll be switching the perlé with a normal thread in order to work out the diamond stitch to my likes.

Do you see that white line going away from the giraffe ... That was me going crazy with the white interior backstitching! It was hard to figure out where I was and where I needed going to, so I decided to give it a break and head over to the hutts! Once they are finished (four out of eight) I'm going to start on the frame stitching on the four sides ... that is if there's still some time left before the first of June!

I didn't bake but I made a great dish with pasta and "saumon au papillotte" (basically meaning that you "vapour cook" it in an aluminium bag).

Have a nice week!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Busy bee!

Hi my lovelies! I had a busy week and weekend hence almost no updates the last week :-(

First of all I would like to show you my progress on Serengeti mandala (part 4) which is all but finalised :-)! I'm now starting to realise how big it will get ... there are three panels that have to be stitched yet followed by flowers, trees, medallions and a huge border! Trying to keep up means I won't have time for stitching other things untill this one is finished (which should be February 2013 :-)!

I did obtain two snowglobes for both my daughters in which you can insert a picture. Of course, being a stitcher this means a stitched piece in over-one crosses! I'm thinking on stitching the new TraLaLa - Jardin de Roses :-) Once with a pink dress for my eldest and once with a purple or lilac or blue dress for my youngest!

Another thing why I was so busy this weekend! I did some baking ... don't know why but the last couple of weeks I feel like using my oven and making sweet (therefore not healthy) things! ;-). I tried a recipe that Wilma posted on her blog of a delicious apple pie (I can always translate from Dutch into English if you're interested) You should really check out her blog because she has quite some lovely quilts - finished and in the making!

Instead of putting the apples horizontal you have to
cut them in eight pieces and insert them vertically!

Yesterday (Sunday) we also had the Annual School Day :-) Each year all the parents and children are invited to come together and celebrate somewhere in the month of May (and the almost ending of the school year, before examinations begin ... this isn't for my little ones - yet). Each class performs and sings so you can understand the exitement of our children! There's a small fancy fair, a couple of "bouncy castles", kids make-up, funny bikes, ... And the weather cooperated as well!

That same day we also had Mother's Day (in our part of the country - in the other part it is celebrated in July or August ... but that isn't the "official one" ;-)

Have a nice week! We have a long weekend this week (Thursday to Sunday) which I shall be using to advance a little bit more on my Serengeti stitching!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

OEQC - 5th of May 2012

One of my favourite craft fairs that I try to visit each year is the Open European Quilt Championships in Veldhoven (Holland). It is a good mix of exhibition, championship and shops :-) Since three years they have changed the venue to a complex of a beautifull hotel with different meeting rooms.

Here's an idea of all the beautifull things I've seen. For me the two things I liked most were the quilts presented by the Egyptian tentmakers and the creations of Japanese quilters (like Yoko Saito and Reiko Kato) that are amongst the most refined ones in the world = lots and lots of work, details, stitching and beautifull features like crochet that they incorporate in their designs ... for me each of their quilts are true works of art.

Wildknitting at the entrance of the hall

A couple of my favourites (it's obvious I like the colour red :-)

The Egyptian tentmakers' quilts

The Japanese quilts

Of course there was time to do some browsing, admiring and of course shopping afterwards at one of the numerous booths with books, quilt fabric, yarns, ... ;-)

Stitching (especially cross stitch) will always be my first love, but I also want to explore the world of quilting, making smaller items like table runners and such (for the moment I'm not courageous enough to start a bead spread) ... so here's the stash I've acquired :-)

Already thinking of Halloween and Christmas ;-)

Ooooh ... I'm fond of those craft fairs! The things to admire, get inspiration, buy new items, ... :-)

Till the next time (probably with an update on Serengeti mandala)!