Category Archives: Off Topic


This post comes to you lovingly from Sunny Australia!

I’m on holidays right now visiting my family and having lots and lots of fun!  Unfortunately it also means that there is virtually zero crochet happening as I’m far too busy being Ms Social Butterfly 2015…

Here’s the one project I managed to complete:

It occurred to me that if you are using an RSS reader to read my posts, you won’t see all my pics.  I’m adding some from instagram directly and the image doesn’t translate through to Feedly or Bloglovin.  So, click through to to see them all.

I had planned to make this beautiful Summer Shawl (from Crejjtion’s Puur Haken book) on the flight over and made great progress on the leg between Amsterdam and Dubai, but after that it was dark, and a really quick day and extended night so I kind of sat in a daze for many, many hours.

It was a gift for my aunt’s 80th birthday and in the end I was up until 10 pm the night before finishing it and getting it on the blocking boards!  Thankfully we are in Australia and the blocking was done over night, instead of the usual three days in Holland for a cotton project!

Otherwise, we’ve just been hanging at the beach

and trying to avoid the scorching sun, Australia has really put it on for us!

I’m in project dream mode too.  Wondering what I should make next.  I do have a modified Jasper V on the go in orange bamboo, but it’s not satisfying me.  I’m spending my days ogling Cleckheaton Superfine Merino and wondering what project would be perfect.  What would you make?

There will be a bit of a posting drought over the next few weeks while I’m in Australia, so if you want to keep up with what I’m doing, you’ll have to follow me on Instagram, where I’ll be sharing pics of my daughter and I frolicking in the sun!

See you soon!

I’ve Written a Book!

That’s right, a real, life book!  Well, not an entire book, but a couple of chapters in a real, life book!

I don’t often talk about my life beyond what I crochet here (maybe I should, what do you think?), but what’s going on in my “other” life is just too exciting not to share with you!

Ages and ages ago now, more than a year, my friend Lynn from The Nomad Mom Diary approached me about the possibility of contributing to a book about expat life in the Netherlands.  Can you imagine how excited I was at the prospect of contributing to a book?  That somebody out there actually read what I was writing, and perhaps even enjoyed it enough to consider me for a book?!

Back in the old days, not long after I arrived in Holland, I started writing a blog to help people and answer questions about the integration course and exams that so many of us have to take to stay here, and it grew into a wonderful community where I met some amazing people, and even better, was able to connect immigrants with one another.  Some of my favourite people on this earth were found via that blog, but never in a million years did it ever occur to me that I might actually contribute to a real life book!

Dutched Up! is a compilation of stories from Expat Women Bloggers living in the Netherlands. The book covers a wide range of topics about everyday life as seen through the eyes of a foreigner. Some are funny. Others have a wealth of professional information. Yet other stories are sad, shocking or surprising.

But here it is.  Dutched Up! Rocking the Clogs, Expat Style.  A book about life as an expat woman in the Netherlands.  What it’s like when you land, the drama, the fun, the trauma!  So many of my fellow contributors have such beautiful, funny pieces, I feel so honoured to be in such great company.

So, do me a favour, and grab a copy.  It’s a wonderful read, especially for any woman who has ever been outside her comfort zone.  And let’s face it, that’s all of us, right?  You’ll laugh, you’ll cry.  You’ll stamp your foot in indignation, you’ll be incredulous.  You’ll love it.  It’s a wonderful book, and I’d say that even if I hadn’t had a hand in it!

Right now it’s available on Amazon, with an iBooks and real, book-smelling book coming soon, and you can pick it up here:

Dutched Up!: Rocking the Clogs Expat Style

It’s also on iTunes, Here!

This is an affiliate link, so if you’re thinking of doing your Christmas shopping on Amazon this  year, use this link for the lot all right?

And here is a list of all the contributing writers, these women are all very impressive, let me tell you!

The European Mama – Olga Mecking
The Nomad Mom Diary – Lynn Morrison
Stuff Dutch People Like – Colleen Geske
Finding Dutchland – Rina Mae Acosta
The Three Under – Farrah Ritter
Neamhspleachas – Molly Quell
Currystrumpet – Deepa Paul
George With Ears – Zoe Lewis
Dutch Australian – Reneé Veldman-Tentori
Expat Life With A Double Buggy – Amanda van Mulligen
2 Little Monkeys in Breda – Rosalind Van Aalen
Olympic Wanderings – Caitlyn O’Dowd
Smart Tinker – Lana Kristine Jelenjev
Expat Since Birth – Ute Limacher-Riebold
Life In Dutch – Aislinn Callahan- Brand
The Non-Hip Hippies – Alexia Martha Symvoulidou
Naturally Global – Katherine Strous
Amayzmom – Shivangi Tiwari
Naija Expat In Holland – Tamkara Adun
Amber Rahim – Amber Rahim
Amsterdam Mama – Catina Tanner
Like A Sponge – Marianne Orchard
The Tini Times – Damini Purkayastha
Bardsleyland – Donna Stovall Bardsley
Foodlovas – Kerry Dankers
Social Fusion Amsterdam – Iulia Modi Agterhuis

Stash Storage

A couple of weeks ago I shared an image of my creative workspace, and how it is slowly taking over our living room and this last week I needed to find a colour for a project I’m working on and this happened:

Yarn pouring out of the cubpoard

It sparked a curiosity into how we all store our yarn.  I’ve of course seen a million Pinterest Perfect images, but how do we store it in real life, and not just for taking pictures for our #socalledfacebooklife.  So I’m sharing mine.

Here’s where I store my yarn:


Isn’t it just a beautiful cupboard?  I bought it from a friend with the intention of moving it upstairs to be a wardrobe for my daughter now that she has graduated from baby furniture, but it’s so heavy and a bit of a tight squeeze to get up the stairs that after an argument on the first morning my husband and I abandoned the idea.  It’s a deep corner cupboard and I just love it.

Meanwhile, here’s what my stash looked like last week:

stash1 Not particularly organised, is it.  Every few months I go through and sort it all out, but as the collection grows (and grows) I don’t seem to be able to keep on top of it.

I had a bit of a tidy up last week, so here’s how it looks today:

stash2 Better.  Not great, and not ideal, but better.  Ideally I’m going to update an upstairs storage room into a craft/escape room.  Right now it’s my husband’s computer room, but he rarely uses it any more, so I’d like to add shelving and a nice workspace for us both to be able to use.  It’s one of those never-ending discussions though.  He has a desk that was his fathers and made by his grandfather that he’s very attached to, but I hate.  Not because it’s ugly, but because it doesn’t fit the space *at all* but he won’t part with it.

So until the desk issue is resolved, here’s how my yarn will have to stay.  I store it by brand and weight.  I love the pretty pictures of the colours all being together, but I need to know how much of one yarn I have.  Everything is in zip lock bags and perched on top of one another in the cupboard, ready to topple at any moment.  Kind of like my life, I guess.

How do you store your yarn?  I’d love to see, post some pics to my Facebook page!  Do you have any ideas how I can improve this, bearing in mind that it’s a corner cupboard, so is a triangular shape?

My Friends are Fabulously Famous!

How’s this for cool?

My friend Tammy, who incidentally is one of the first bloggers I found when I moved to the Netherlands, is an amazingly gifted crafter.  She can crochet like nobody’s business, and man, the girl can knit!  She just whipped up some of the most beautiful outfits you could imagine and I’m in absolute awe of her skills!

It was Tammy who gave me the inspiration to make the Convergence top (which is still a WIP), and her result is so beautiful that EVERYONE wants to get their hands on it!  Just today, Tammy has been featured on the front page of Ravelry.  If you don’t know, Ravelry is about the largest fibre arts database on the planet!

Here she is, isn’t she beautiful?

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You should go and check out what Tammy’s been doing on her blog.  She’s been neglecting it for ages, and has just started posting again (yay!), so get amongst it!

Baby’s not a baby any more!

It’s a strange feeling. Two years ago I was childless and happy, and today I have a toddler and am even happier.

This coming Wednesday my daughter and I both have birthdays. She’ll be two, and I’ll be 29 again. We celebrated her birthday yesterday with my husband’s family and had a lovely day eating rainbow cake. I felt a bit guilty letting her eat so much food colouring, but honestly, it’s once a year. I’m not feeding her red icy poles on a daily basis, and there’s no red cordial in our house!

Last year we went a bit overboard with a Very Hungry Caterpillar birthday theme, and this year we toned it down a lot, and had rainbow things. My daughter loves rainbows – I’m always drawing them for her and she loves to give it a go herself.

So off to Pinterest I went and found the most amazing rainbow cakes in jars that I just had to make.

It took a bit more effort than I thought, and if I could I’d do them again because I got my amounts wrong, so instead of one rainbow, I had to mix up two batches and had two rainbows in the end. They also shrunk a bit while cooling, but I don’t know how I could have prevented that to be honest – any ideas?

Here’s the original:
Rainbow cake from

And here’s my daughter, enjoying herself immensely!

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Dig in!

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As a little bit of fun for myself, I dressed her as my two year old self for the day. My mum has a photo of me with my hair in pigtails and wearing this exact dress as a two year old, so because my own family can’t be here to celebrate either birthday, I wanted to offer a bit of a tribute to them too.

The best part of the whole day was Raina saying happy birthday all the time and even singing Happy Birthday to You, she’s awesome.