Thursday, December 29, 2016

from Tunic to Tote

So, the days of Christmas are over!

While realizing that Christmas has passed is not a particularly  merry thought, I am quite happy to wave goodbye to the this year trending hashtag of 'let it snow': #letitsnow ....
Because every time I see that, I picture a French man angrily demanding the boobs: "Le tits, now!"

Sunday, December 25, 2016

the new take on christmas cards: the postable christmas garland!

A very merry christmas my friends, I hope your christmas days are filled with good moments and that your thoughts of the new year are filled with dreams and hopes.

Our christmas started a few days ago, with the sound of a card falling on our doormat, followed by a young boy's voice shouting through the open letterbox: "HELLOOOOO JOOST AND MARIJE!"

It was our young neighbour Mees (6), proudly delivering his own christmas card:

Der Jost and Marije.
I hop that yu haave a nice christmas party.
And I hope that yu seend bak soon.

Geetings, Mees and me whoole class. 

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

helping out my nieces' homeless dolls.

Hi there!

Today's a special day, my friends! Not only because for the first time in weeks I'm able to write a new post (huzza!) , but also because today the Netherlands is recovering from a party called sinterklaas!

Sinterklaas, for those of you who don't know it, is (and my mum is going to kill me for what I'm going to say next) kind of the same as santa claus/christmas. Different, but also the same. There's a lot of gifts, the main guy wears a lot of red and has a beard, you know the drill.

But the amazing part of sinterklaas is that it includes little poems that go with the gifts, where you can utterly and completely roast your family members, for all the mischief they have done last year.
So, what happened? My dad got a few potatoes thrown at his head -all in good fun of course-, I accidentally set fire to a glass full of coffee beans, my little niece produced a diaper so vicious that we almost had to take to poor kid outside, so nothing out of the usual there!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Midas' touch: the upcycled desk organizer

Before you get dishearted by the look of this project: don't!! It's really, really easy and requires very little carpentry skills! 

"Nooo! You can't use that! I need it right now!" "No you don't!" Joost and I looked at each other, hot-headed and both pulling at a corner of what appeared to be a wooden box.

oh my, trouble in paradise....

Sunday, October 30, 2016

I've got a refashion up my sleeve....|| DIY cherry pit pillow with rice

Hey guys, how are things going? As for me, I'm..

well, kind of. See those bruises on my hand? that's from taking a tumble in the middle of Utrecht central station yesterday. Not sure what was hurt more in that action: my hand, my pride, or the cup of yoghurt that I was carrying at the moment. And it following only a few days after a I got a concussion from a garage door that fell on my head ( yeah really...)  I think it's safe to say that Murphy is my new roommate. But apart from that, I'm fine, and I really hope you are as well! 

Of course, I didn't post that picture just to show off my thumbs up and bruises, I posted it because I did a refashion with that fabric today (cheerings crowds..) and not just any kind of refashion: one that will probably be the most important refashion of the upcoming cold season.. a cherry pit pillow!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

DIY hanging planters || an office update!

Hey guys!

Today I welcome you in my office!! ( I now expect a slightly disappointed "whooooooo" from you)

As some of you may already know, I work as a researcher in a hospital. The main part of that hospital is - like most hospitals- a huge pastel-coloured concrete box, but my office is is somewhat different: a completely hidden office in the basement of one of the few old parts of the hospital building, with loads of marble, old architectural details, and you get there by a somewhat hidden marble staircase.And to make it even cooler: it also used to be the anatomy-lab/morgue of a very famous professor.  So: the place is quite cool.

or should I say was? Because somewhere in the summer, someone had this *great* idea to strip the walls to give with the intention of giving them a new layer of render.... to subsequently notice in august that they were never going to finish before the students would come back to the faculty, so they just.... kind of left, leaving a load of dust, desks moved everywhere, and a set of very unfinished  walls...

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

on Dust and Demolition

Joost woke up, looking not only bleary-eyed, but also slightly disturbed.  "You can't believe it" he sighed, "I even dreamt about dust!" "Ouch..." I sighed, "I think all the home-improvement has gotten into your head."

I myself also experienced something like that. Only a few weeks ago, around the time when we were replacing our kitchen floor,  I had this very vivid dream where I was attending the Olympic games to compete in the sport of.... laying floors... 
yeah.. that was exactly as is sounds: we had to line up at the start line with a big pile of wood, and lay the flooring as fast as I could.  The bends were a little tricky, but... I was incredibly fast, laminating the floor where later that day Usain Bolt would work his magic,  and... I won the race! .... Only to discover that I also had to build my own podium.
... Yeah, really, it was that kind of dream.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

DIY || yarn-wrapped porcelain painting!

Ah blue.... the colour of summery blue skies, calm seas, tranquility, and probably the most loved colour in the world.
And ironically.... also the name of a mood that pictures none of the above.

And boy, I was feeling it.  Might be autumn, might be stress, I don't know, but I just couldn't get myself to be creative. But as the saying goes: if you're feeling blue, paint yourself a different colour.. or just put that blue onto something else and make good use of it ;)

So, I made these painted mugs. Except that they weren't actually painted: I did something far easier: I wrapped them with paint-dipped yarn. So no painting skills needed at all!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

picture-perfect is just another word for boring || sideboard becomes bench

uhg, I feel guilty for leaving you alone! There were probably some very good reasons for not finding the time to write some blogs, but I can't remember them at the moment, so I just feel guilty. So guilty, that I actually gave up my little lunchtime-stroll to write you the long-promised post about my little bench!

Remember how I told you about how I upcycled one of the sideboards that was left in our kitchen?  Well, that was not the only sideboard left behind by the previous owners. Enter sideboard number two:

That one!
(thank you real estate agent for taking all the pictures that I forgot to take!)
That first sideboard may have been a nightmare to remove, but this one was even worse. It was attached to the wall with a thousand screws, and I literally had to break it in pieces to remove it from the wall.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

DIY | a hanging planter.

I kind of have locked myself out, my friends.

You may now raise a sceptical eyebrow and wonder "what happened?" well, this is what happened.

See, we (okay, it was Joost) oiled our new wooden kitchen floor this afternoon. No biggie, right?
Except that it has to dry for 24 hours and the kitchen is... well kind of the central place of our house.
So while I was sensible enough to take some measurements and lock myself into the part of the house that has a loo and a backdoor,  I was stupid enough leave many important things, such as my laptop-charger, in the now inaccessible living room.

So, here I am, in the bedroom with a slowly dying laptop.. wondering if I should use my last minutes of online time for a crash course in ninja-skills to get the charger back, or if just accept my fate and write you a post.

As you can see.. I choose the latter ;)

So, as you can understand, time for writing this is rather limited, so let's get to it! Today an easy peasy, nifty thrifty hanging planter!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

that time I saved England. ( or... that time I made a shopper bag)

Last Octobre, when I was visiting Oxford for work, England was suffering from a catastrophe of a national scale. Consternation everywhere.

"This is outrageous!" shouted a lady in front of me in Sainsbury's. "It's like they have taken away my freedom!" said a guy in a preppy Oxford to his mate.

What was happening? World War III? the beginnings of Brexit? No, this was much worse. Much, much worse. The government had decided to ban all free plastic bags in shops, and the country was in uproar.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

not a scrap get's wasted...

Remember these little pieces of wood that I used to make legs for my sideboard? ( of course you do, it was my last post! ;) )

Well after that project, I was left with a few of these...

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

DIY clothespin poetry

It was fairly early this morning, when I walked into my garden with a big basket full of laundry to let it dry outside.
And while I was standing there, I suddenly realized how incredibly beautiful that moment was.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

moving files: the room that must not be mentioned

( small note for the tender souls amongst us:  I'm in a slightly rebellious mood today, it might show;))

if you've got a little experience with house-hunting, you might have noticed a pattern: brokers always tend to ignore a vital part of every home: the loo.  I mean, I can understand it: in our lives we all tend to ignore the loo and the business that belongs in there, but still.....
In all the houses we have seen, I think the most elaborate description of a loo we heard was " it is functional."     ...    Really?

I mean, how great would life be if brokers would approach the loo with the same enthusiasm as they describe every other room and say something like:  "Voila! and this is where you will poop! Look at how magnificent it is!"  and we would respond like " mmm, yeah, that looks like a magnificent place to poop, I look forward to that!" that would be absolutely brilliant.

So, in a vain and cheeky attempt to change the world: look at our updated loo!

Friday, July 15, 2016

moving files: the upcycled kitchen, part 2.

Before I start with today's post, I would just like you to know that I really loved your reactions of encouragement to my last post, you are all truly amazing.
Naturally, things haven't been great here, and last week was pretty tough to say the least, but a very busy week at work kept my thoughts a bit diverted, and well.. we'll manage :)

So, now on to more positive things: as I have a hour between work and, wel.. more work, I thought it would be nice to give you a little update on the kitchen!

let's take a little step back, and see what we started with, okay?

Saturday, July 9, 2016


I'd rather not write this, but I think I should. Writing blogs should not only involve the good moments, it should involve the bad ones too.

Friday, July 1, 2016

and now for something completely different.. a DIY wire ring with a bee!

The kitchen may steadily become more and more beautiful, but my own appearance... ough, that has sunken to a whole new level.

There is paint on my fingers and my ankles. Dirt of a dubious nature beneath my fingernails. My mascara was lost days ago and is hiding somewhere together with my hairbrush, and I haven't really bothered looking for them. I can only say that I feel very sorry for Joost, having to live with this home-depot version of a cavewoman.

So for the sake of my relationship, I decided to pay at least a little attention to my own appearance, and frost myself with some home-made jewelry (and some good ol' scrubbing) Hence today's post!  

Monday, June 27, 2016

moving files: the upcycled kitchen, part 1

"errhmm.... You might want to put in a new kitchen...." the broker said, when he first showed us the house. Although brokers are usually not too happy pointing out necessary investments to a potential buyer, he just couldn't deny this one: the kitchen was indeed beyond hope.

Wait, would you like to see it?


What you are looking at is a patchwork of everything: a small vintage kitchen with beside it some weird extra cabinet with a piece of weathered wood, and a gap next to it where our oven just didn't quite fit in. Oh, and did I mention the styrofoam ceiling, the range hood that didn't fit and the tiles with a color of moldy eggnog?

Something definitely needed to be done, but buying a new kitchen, as the broker suggested? no..... we have something much more fun in mind!

Friday, June 17, 2016

DIY leaf printed fabric

After the heavy rainfall of last week ( which created a temporary rivier in front of the house), the plants and trees in our garden are growing with such an astonishing speed, that I almost suspect that Hagrid has been toying around with them. So of course; what else could I do but giving today's blog post a botanic twist?

I really love the recent (well, kind of recent) botanic trend, but rather than hopping off to the nearest interior shop and buy the same botanic inspired that everyone else buys, I decided to make my own version of it, by printing fabric with leafs!  And guess what; it's really simple, and gives an awesome result! So why don't you give it a try as well?

Sunday, June 12, 2016

DIY: backpack becomes... well, a backpack.

"Ugggh, I can't move..." I sighed last Monday, whilst hobbling through the house like an old lady. 

Yeah.. After a couple of years being lazy in the city center of Groningen, those bicycle rides (31 km a day) are something to get used to, if not for the sore muscles, than at least for the damage that a saddle does to your butt. I'm not gonna describe the situation of my bottom in detail ( I've got boundaries, people! Not many, but still some!) but let's just say that if I had been a baboon, they surely would have thought I had my fertile period. 

Luckily, the view during my cycle ride is not too bad...

See that tiny white house on the left? That's ours!
As I soon discovered, not only my butt and bicycle, but also my collection of bags is not entirely adjusted to the long bike rides: I only own shoppers and hand bags, which aren't very useful on a bike. So, I decided to make myself a backpack!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

countryside things! On elderflowers and family.

I was nine years old when my parents moved to the countryside. Moving from our modestly sized family house to a large farmhouse in the middle of nowhere was quite a big change, and from the first weeks of living there I remember most vividly the smell of grass and blossoming flowers, my fear of getting lost in that big house, running around throughs the fields, and my unshaking conviction that there was a vampire living in our chimney.

On an especially warm evening in June that year ( we had moved in a couple of weeks earlier) , my mother looked up from unpacking boxes and said: "let's go pick elderflowers, so we can make lemonade with it." I still remember her saying that because for me, it was the summum of countryside living: just picking some flowers to make lemonade! How cool was that? In my mind, lemonade came from the supermarket, and the fact that you could not only make it yourself, but make it from something that was simply growing on the side of the road amazed me.

So I threw on the most romantic, countryside dress that I could find, we picked up a basket, and went picking elderflowers, just down the road near our house. Even now, years later, the smell of elderflowers brings back those memories: picking flowers and making lemonade with it. So, when I saw that the elderberries near our new house were blossoming, I told Joost: let's go make some elderflower-lemonade!

Friday, June 3, 2016

The moving files: gotta have friends and family!

It has taken a few days, but I am very happy to announce that our hallway is as good as finished, Hurray hurray etc etc...

Let's quickly recall what we started with, okay?


okay, so as you might recall, we then got that weirdish period where we painted everything white but it looked like a milk carton..
But luckily, we came to our senses and decided to cut the wood into wainscoting.

Still a lot needed to be done, but we got some help, as our friends, Bram and Marcella, came by to lend us a much needed hand!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

The moving files: the work continues...


As I am writing this, I am catching some rays of sun on my very own lawn. whooooh!
Looking to my left, the neighbour's chickens -who are not to be stopped by fences- are happily destroying my newly planted border, and looking to my left, 3 extremely grumpy cats are staring at me through the window, annoyed with the fact that those chickens are outside, whilst they are not. So far my attempt to make you jealous ( did I succeed? )

But back to business, because there is a lot of home improvement to be done!!

Last post I told you about painting the hall, and as you might have guessed; I wasn't entirely pleased with the result..  Wait; let me refreshen your mind: this is what it looked like...

it's okay, but not terribly exciting..

The problem was not that it looked bad, it was just a bit... boring. further, the paneled walls just felt a bit like a weird choice for such an old farmhouse. But then I thought of something: wainscoting.

While many of you may associate this with frumpiness, wainscoting ( or well, the Dutch type of it) was actually the regular type of cladding for farmhouses like ours. The main reason for it was practicality: if your 1900-husband would enter the house with his wooden shoes covered in mud, spraying lumps of it all though your hall,  it helps to have a wall you can easily clean; hence the wainscoting.

like this! ( this is a house we actually considered to buy)
I figured that transforming the panels into wainscoting shouldn't be too hard, so I called my dad and asked if he would lend me his circular saw ("please don't cut your own fingers of, girl"), cued the music and set to work!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

The moving files: chaos, cats and crappy paint

before I go on with this post, I feel obliged to show you the dark side of our moving skills:

well, one member of our household enjoyed the mess..


Thursday, May 19, 2016

the moving files; things that can be done in a day

Break out your champagne, people, we are proud owners of our own house!

(in absence of champagne we made our own wine-labels for the occasion)

For those of you whom I haven't yet bothered with details of our house-huntinh, we bought this 100-year old farmhouse:

I still have no idea how we managed to buy something this cute.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

easy like sunday morning, and an upcycled lampshade

Yesterday, as Joost and I were hurrying through the house and packing things, one member of our household that did not feel the stress at all:

Oh, sometimes I really wish I was like Broen... I'd even accept such hairy legs if that would be what it takes ;)

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

moving houses, moving schmouses.... and a refashioned dress!

Hi guys!

First of all, can I have permission to say 'UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUURRRGGH'!
and then some more uuuuuuuuuuueeeeeeerrgggg... and well, more of that.

moving houses sucks so hard, that if I could put all that sucktitude into a machine, you would have the best vacuum cleaner in the world. I banged my toes against Every. single. moving box in the house. I have turned three boxes upside down looking for scissors, and now Joost is calling from the kitchen, asking if I know where I packed the nutmeg (!) which i know, because I packed it at the bottom of a box, but I have no idea which one. So, yeah I think I will start liking moving houses again as soon as we've got the keys to our new place, but so far, I am hating the guts out of it!

But to cheer myself up, yet another throwback-refashion! ( I will soon be making things again. promised!)

Monday, May 9, 2016

refashioning: Bow-time!


As I am writing this, I'm wiggling my toes towards a lovely French sun, overlooking one of the most beautiful sceneries of in the Morvan. Yes, I'm spending my weekend abroad! (magnifique etc etc)

Well.... after I had written that sentence - indeed underneath a lovely French sun- I spend my weekend with other French activities, such as drinking wine, shouting at French drivers (but not at the same time) and eating cheese. So, woefully, I have to inform you that the rest of this blogpost is written in plain old Netherlands. But to make you slightly jealous, this was my view of the weekend:

a grassy hill and a cute niece!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

interior hunting: thrifting for free

now that Joost and I are quite confident that we will actually move into our new house, my favorite part of moving has started: the hunt for goods to fill our new house with! And as you may have guessed, we're not doing that by spending all our money at some interior store, no: we hunt online and in thrift shops for second hand furniture.

We already bought some pretty nice things, such as an antique bathtub (with those adorable legs!) for 60 euros, a real wooden floor for 175,- and a second hand fridge and dishwasher for 150 euros. But what's even better is that we actually scored a few items completely for free! 

No kidding! If you look at online secondhand sites such as (it's my favorite site), there are A LOT of free items available. 
So, let's have a look at what we've scored so far, shall we? 

Starting with our dinner chairs. We got 4 of these chairs from a really nice lady who wanted to buy new ones, and wanted to get rid of the old ones as soon as possible, so she advertised them only for free. I didn't think they were very beautiful, but Joost convinced me to get them because they are really comfortable and practical.

When we got them, they were white. 

nice, but not yet perfect...
Since we didn't really like them as they were, we started removing the white paint, and look how they turned out:

That white/wooden look is so pretty!!!

Monday, May 2, 2016

a geeky rocking horse

Last Saturday, Joost and I looked at each other in slight panic: we had a birthday coming up for the son of one of Joost's friends, and we had completely forgotten to buy something for the child.

In my opinion, buying gifts for a one-year old is a headache anyway: they are too young for the really cool things, and too old for the baby-gifts. Fortunately, the father of this child has a not-so-subtle hobby: Star wars.

Well, yeah.. something like that!
So instead of doing the sensible thing and just buy a book or something alike, we decided to thrift something and turn it into something Star wars related.
So, ( with a trunk loaded with things to donate) we happily hopped off to the thrift shop!

And there we found this faded little friend:

a rocking horse! We thought it was perfect for a one-year old, but the paint was a little faded, and the wooden rockers were slightly spotted.
So, we cued the Star Wars music ( PAM PAM PAM PAMPAPAM PAMPAPAM....) and set to work!

Friday, April 29, 2016

a handmade bed.

hey readers!

A few of you have asked if I also made things like furniture. Well, of course!
Since crafting is a bit difficult with the while house filled with moving boxes, I thought it would be nice to show you the bed that Joost and I made a year ago.

When I moved in with Joost last year, we discovered that we had a big shortage on storage space. So we decided to build a bed with not only a lot of storage space underneath, but also space for our dryer!

Before I talk you through the process, there is one thing I need to clear up!
As I looked through the old photo's, I noticed one thing: I was completely absent in all pictures! What the wup?
I engineered the whole thing. I measured. I sawed wood. I drilled holes. I fastened screws. I really, REALLy busted my ass off in this project. But who's in the pictures? Only Joost, that evil boyfriend of mine ;)

 so if you see a picture like this...                                         remember that it happened like this! ;)

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Recycle week day 7: Magazine stool

" So... What are you going to do with your magazines?" Joost asked while we were clearing our bookcase. "Do you really want to keep them all?"
Whoops. Joost was touching a sensitive point here: my addiction for home design magazines. I just love them. I especially love looking at the incredible expensive things in them and thinking: "I TOTALLY could make that myself!!"

That addiction has resulted in quite an impressive staple of magazines. I really cherish that moment of smugness ("you little fools, buying all these expensive things that you can make or thrift?"), so the magazines had to stay. But something had to be done, so -after a quite ingenious design I saw a few years ago- I decided to make a stool with them!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

recycle week day 6: Bottoms up!

Earlier this week, I received a message from Tambra, with a link to this creative lady. Bottles are so versatile, it immediately inspired me to make something with bottles as well!

But before I let you in on my crafting adventure, I first HAVE to show you the amazing work of this lady:

so, so, so cool!!! 
But as I started digging through my house looking for empty bottles, I suddenly realized something: We already had a quite amazing bottle-craft in our house...  So I hope you will forgive me for the fact of sharing that one with you today!

Friday, April 22, 2016

recycle week day 5: a trip down memory lane.

Last week, I've been going through my old belongings. Going through stuff I didn't even rememver I owned, deciding what should stay, what should go and -the things you've read about- the things that deserve a second life. The reason for this? Well, we're moving houses!

Yes, Joost and I have bought a really cute little farm house, and we are moving houses in only a couple of weeks. Of course I've known about this for a for a few weeks now, but I didn't dare tell you yet since we hadn't yet received a final decision from the bank. But now we have, and it's official: We are leaving!

For me, it will be the fourth home I live in in only 2,5 years (the end university life/start of working life is a chaotic time) So, first things first, I'm going to give you a little peek of what -in a 100 buckets of paint- will be our home:

If it's old, I'm sold...  and it has a huge backyard!!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

recycle week day 4: soda can stove

Behold one of my all-time favorite upcycling crafts!!

I'm a pretty big fan of camping. Not just any camping, no the wild camping, survivalling kind of camping, where your ass freezes off, and your idea of luxury is a pair of clean socks. ( Hey, I live in the Netherlands, our most dangerous animal is the honey bee... I need some adventure in my life!)

making dinner in Dalarna, our shelter in Belgium (at -16 degrees),
wild camping whilst cycling through Nothern Sweden, wild camping whilst canoeing in Glaskogen.

Love those memories!!
Sounds like hell, you say? Well, don't worry yet: although today's craft might be veerry handy if you have a hobby like mine, but it works very well in the luxury of your porch/backyard/beach/at your BBQ. Because this is what I'll be making today: a stove made from a soda can (okay... beer can, but soda sounds nicer!)

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

recycle week day 3: the unloved vase

Hello crafty people!

Just a short post for today!

Joost went on a small business trip and took my laptop, leaving me alone with his incomprehesible computer.  So now I'm sitting behind his desk, and the computer and me are staring at each other with intense hate.

Tami asked me if I couldn't use this week to turn an incredibly ugly thrift find into something beautiful. I think that today's vase is a pretty serious contestant in the run for ugliest thrift shop haul...
I haunt your nightmares!
( too bad the thing quite matches my interior here. But rest assured; it's ugly!)

Only thing is that I didn't actually find it at a thrift shop, but in our basement ( I hope you forgive me for that Tami, there might be more thrift shop on its way!)  It probably came from a thirft shop though, but it wasn't bought by me. I'm guessing it was once bought by Joost's ex. Extra reason to change that whole lotta ooglay into something new, don't you think? (Don't worry, I only get hateful towards exes after at least 5 glasses of alcohol!)

Raffia may be making a comeback in interiors, but I absolutely don't care for this vase at all. This is the kind of thing that you only find with faded, fake flower in it, on a plastic table cloth. or worse: filled with dusty marbles that noone ever uses. So: it had to change!