Reduce plastic waste #1

Remember my new years resolutions? The plan for 2016 was to reduce the amount of plastic used in this household of ours.

If you are not collecting your plastic seperately, I recommend you start doing so. It really is an eye opener to see how much plastic one collects during a week, a month…..

we collect our plastic seperately and at the moment it’s enought to fill a plastic bag a week. I take this to the shopping centre to throw it away in a special container. But, collecting our plastics seperately so they can be recycled is one thing…. now it’s time to start reducing the amount of plastic that enters our household (and that wille leave it again eventually). But let’s do this step by step.

Step 1: try to avoid replacing plastics (and make your own stuff)

If I run out of something that’s packed in plastic..let’s see if there’s an alternative to replace it. Like, for example, deodorant. I ran out of my storebought, chemical, packed in plastic deodorant, and decided it was the perfect occasion to try and make my own, rather than running to the store to get myself a new one, in a new plastic container that would sooner or later be discarded.

I have heard many positive stories of home made deodorant, so, why not?



I used a recipe I found on the blog Leven zonder afval ( living without waste).

All you need is a (re-used) glass container coconut oil, baking soda and corn starch (optional: glycerine and scented oil). I understood the glycerine helps to make it smoother, but since I didn’t have any, I skipped it.

All you need to do now is mix 4 table spoons of (soft) coconut oil with 3 table spoons of baking soda and 2 table spoons of corn starch, plus a few drops of your favorite scent if you wish. Stirr, well, store in your container and make sure you have clean hands, or a clean teaspoon every time you take some of this mixture out of the jar. You just need a small amount per armpit, so this little jar should get you quite far.

You can keep your deodorant in the bathroom, but on hot days,  it can turn quite liquid so you might want to store it in the fridge.

And PS: it works! It works really, really well.

now, let’s see which other steps we can take…….



DIY playdough

When the kids where younger, I often made their own playdough.

Now they are older, they play with playdough less often, but it’s still a success during the holidays! This time I made a cinnamon scented pink batch. Fun ( and a few quiet moments for me) guaranteed!


You will need: one cup of salt, 2 large cups of flour, 2 large cups of water, 5 tablespoons of sunflower oil, 1,5 teaspoon cream of tartar, a large pan and a wooden spoon. Optional: foodcolouring, scents).


Put all ingredients (except the foodcolouring) into the pan, and stirr above medium heat. Stirr well!  Within a minute or two you will see your mixture changing into a playdough-like ball.

Remove from pan and place on your workspace. Allow to cool, kneed thoroughly and add foodcolouring according to taste.

Now, let’s play. When done, store in an airtight container and use again and again.


You can use this recipe for very young children too. They love to feel, kneed, smell, touch….taste….., and you don’t have to be afraid they put anything poisoness in their mouth if they decide to taste it!

Christmas decorations

It’s that time of the year again; time to bring out the Christmas decorations!

Not the most fashionable ones perhaps, just the ones that make us happy, and that make our home a comfy colourful welcoming place.


thrifted christmas angels

Our Christmas decorations are thrifted:

thrifted plate


fair trade christmas decorations.jpg

Made by the kids, throughout the years:

kid craft decorations.jpg

And handmade by me:

handmade christmas


That Christmas tree is hard to photograph, but you get the idea I  guess: branches collected in the woods, dried, and tied together, hung on the wall and decorated.


…and it ain’t Christmas ’till I’ve had time to crochet some stars!

Use what you have crafts #3

I finished crocheting the red granny ripple blanket which was my previous ‘use what you have’ project, pictures will follow sometime soon.

Since I love making blankets, I soon started a new project. This time I am cheeting a little. All colours are leftovers from myself and others, but I needed something to bring it all together, so I bought some white yarn for this project. I like the bright colours, and the pattern I choose. I don’t know whether there’s a name for this stitch, it’s something I made up along the way but I am really happy with it. The blanket seems twice as thick and is very stretchy…perfect for wrapping around little babies!


Perhaps later on I can write a little tutorial?

Noodles in a jar

Are you also fond of noodles? Easy to take along to work, hot and spicy, warm and tasty… it’s a perfect snack or office lunch.

Those packages of noodles are also packed in multiple plastic sachets, and are filled with E-numbers you don’t want to know you’re eating….

I found a healthy, greener…and tastier!…. alternative: noodles in a jar!


All you need is a  500 ml glass jar, a family size package of noodles, spices and vegetable stock, and fresh vegetables.

Before you leave for work, fill your jar with fresh vegetables that don’t require long cooking ( sprouts, frozen peas, leek, paprika, carrots, use your imagination…and whatever is available in your kitchen).

Add a big teaspoon of organic vegetable stock, and spices to taste. I usually add a spoon of curry powder and some extra black pepper.

Then, fill your jar to the top with noodles. You may need to break them a bit to fit in.

If you’re in a hurry in the morning, you can also prepare this the night before and keep it in the fridge.

At work all you’ll need is a bowl, a spoon, and some boiling water. Pour the contents of your jar in a bowl, add hot water until your noodles all well covered. Cover and wait for a minute or so, stirr, then eat.



Use What You Have crafts #2

I’m still keeping my promise to work with materials already at hand. Yarn left behind by migrating owners or passed on to me by a previous owner who apparently ran out of time or inspiration to make something with it….and all the leftovers from my own previous projects….

I am still surprised by all that I find lying around, and by the surprising patterns and colour-combinations they make me make….

This is the start of a sweet little babyblanket. 100% cotton, and with a pretty retro look & feel. I love it already……



Ik houd me nog steeds aan het plan om alleen te werken met materialen die ik al in huis heb. Garen  dat ik kreeg van migrerende eigenaren, of van eigenaren die het aan tijd of inspiratie ontbrak om er nog iets van te maken…. garen dat overbleef na mijn eerdere projecten….

Het verbaast me nog steeds hoeveel ik tegenkom, en wat voor patronen en kleurencombinaties ik er mee kan maken….

Dit is het begin van een babydekentje. 100% katoen, lekker retro en heel geschikt voor in de maxi cosi of kinderwagen. ik ben er zelf een beetje verliefd op……


vintage fabric baby dress


This is a cute little babydress I made last summer. The floral fabric comes from a vintage sheet that I thrifted a while ago. I fell in love with it right away and  I have used it for several projects already. The buttons too are a thrifted find, and although ‘baby clothes’ are probably not the first things that come to mind when you first see these buttons, I do think they suit just fine on this little dress.

The pattern is from Ottobre 1/2012 and over the years it has become one of my favorite patterns. I like to crochet around the edges in a slightly different design every time. That’s not part of the pattern though, it’s just something I like. I use thin cotton yarn and a 1.75 mm crochet hook.  I always start with crochetting along the edge of the dress ( yes!) with a special hook that has a very sharp point on top. I bought it once online, but have forgotten where. I’m using it quite often though.


The dress I gave to my little niece, and I love they way it looks on her….. they’re sooo cute when their that young…kids…..oh my…..


Dit jurkje naaide ik afgelopen zomer, van een lief gekringloopt lakentje en idem knopen. Bij de grote stoere knopen denk je waarschijnlijk niet gelijk aan babykleertjes, maar ik vind ze hier wel op hun plek!

Het patroon komt uit Ottobre 1/2012 en is een van mijn favoriete patroontjes voor babykleding. Het randje er omheen bedacht ik er zelf bij. Ik heb eerst een ketting van lossen en hier en daar een vaste aan het jurkje vastgehaakt. Daarvoor gebruik ik een speciale haaknaald met scherpe punt die ik ooit online kocht, maar vraag me niet meer waar…… ik heb er wel veel plezier van, dat wel!

Het jurkje gaf ik aan mijn pasgeboren nichtje, en ohohoh wat staat het haar lief. en wat zijn pasgeboren kindjes toch lief…och…och..och



Use What You Have crafts

For a while now, my household tends to be a final destination for all kinds of yarn- and fabric scraps. People who know I  love to sew and crochet tend to bring me their leftover pieces of fabric and bits of yarn. Migrating friends, my aunt, other crafty friends……..they know where to find me. And then there are all the scraps and leftovers from my own projects……

To put an end to the ever growing yarn- and fabric stash, I committed myself to making as many projects I could without buying any new materials.

Turns out you can do a lot of colourful, interesting stuff working with the materials at hand, rather than running to the shop time after time.

Like these cute summer hats for example. I made them with leftovers of 100% cotton yarn and designed the pattern myself. I am quite sure I would never have chosen these exact colour-combinatons if I had a shop full of yarn to choose from, but I am pretty pleased with the result!

Since I have nowhere yet reached the bottom of my stash, I intend to post some more ‘Use what you have’ posts soon.