Friday, 18 January 2019


When I was a little girl, I had a blue budgie called Tweetweet that I loved very much. So when I found this pattern by TNGiftsUA on Etsy, I had to make it.

This was a quick holiday project - it took me only a few days to finish it, while watching the Australian Open.

Isn't it cute?

Something else I found on Etsy is this gorgeous copper shawl pin from Crafty Cat Knitty Bits:

Perfect for my Happy Whirl shawl!

Friday, 11 January 2019

Looking back on 2018

At the end of the year I usually look back at what's happened, but with the New Zealand holiday in the last weeks of December I didn't get around to that. So let's do it now...
A new year in yet another new house, in a new city, and most importantly: with a new family member - our beloved Barney, surely the best thing that happened to us in 2018!
Apart from that it wasn't the best year for us: my oldest son tore his ACL at the National Gymnastics Championships, had knee surgery, and is still not able to do gymnastics - although he can run again and joins us for parkrun most Saturdays. My middle son broke his left wrist (for the second time); a bad break that required surgery too. It has healed well, but he will need another operation this year to remove some hardware from the arm. And last but not least, I had to go to the Netherlands urgently in November to deal with a family health crisis.
But there were good things as well: my youngest son found a new dance school and a lovely partner, and together they danced  and danced, in the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, and brought home lots of medals and trophies. We can't wait to see what 2019 will bring for them!

My husband is happy in his new position, the kids have made new friends, and I have found a part time job that I love. We are happy in the house we currently live in, though we may look into buying a house of our own this year.
Looking back at my creative endeavours in 2018, I thought that for the first time in at least 15 years I didn't quilt or sew anything, and was quite surprised - but then I remembered that I made covers for our new dining table set. But that really was the only time I used my sewing machine this year...

I signed up for a pottery class, something I have been wanting to try for a long time. I enjoyed it and made a few nice pieces, but was happy to leave it at that.

Crochet was what I did most last year, and what I will continue to do this year. Here is a collage of my finished projects:

There's one project missing: a cushion that I designed myself. I still have to write down the pattern - once that is done I will show it here on the blog.
I also have to finish this Lone Star blanket. I started and worked on it very enthousiastically in the first half of 2018, and then forgot all about it when I discovered amigurumi...

The other thing I did a lot of in 2018 was running. Here is a collage of my running highlights:

In 2018:
- I ran 30 parkruns at 14 different locations in 2 countries, and volunteered 8 times, for a total of 40 parkruns and 9 times volunteering;
- I ran my first events: the Gold Run (5 km) at the Commonweatlh Games, the Gold Coast Airport Fun Run (5.7 km), and the Bridge to Brisbane (10 km);
- I ran my furthest distance so far (11 km);
- I brought my 5 km personal best down from 34:39 in 2017 to 31:45.

Aims for 2019:
- Complete 50 parkruns and 25 times volunteering;
- Run my first half marathon (at the Gold Coast Marathon Festival in July);
- Bring my 5 km time down to sub-30 minutes...

Something else that I did in 2018 was singing. I joined a local choir in September and very much enjoyed the rehearsals and the Christmas concert we did at the Gold Coast Airport in December. Looking forward to more singing in 2019!

And of course a big highlight in 2018 was our holiday in New Zealand - I've shared some pics of that in the previous posting. Here is another one of Hobbiton (more on my photo blog):

For this year, a family holiday in the Netherlands is planned for Christmas - it will be 2.5 years then since all of us were there.

Although this quilting blog has morphed into a crochet and running blog, I hope you will continue to follow my adventures in 2019!

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

First finish of 2019

My Happy Whirl shawl is finished!

I love it so much. These really are my colours.

Thanks to my youngest son for taking these pictures!

The details:
Happy Whirl Shawl
Pattern: Happy Whirl Shawl by Atty van Norel
Yarn: Scheepjes Whirl Brambleberry
Hook: 4mm

Monday, 31 December 2018

New Zealand

Two days ago we arrived home after a fantastic holiday in New Zealand. Here are a few pics of some highlights: an early morning run in Auckland (above).
A visit to Hobbiton:

Walking in an ancient forest:

Sightseeing in Napier, a city full of art deco buildings and street art - what more could you wish for? (they also have jacarandas!)

And last but not least, spending a few days near majestic Mount Ruapehu, hiking and moutainbiking in Tongariro National Park:

I brought my Happy Whirl shawl and got quite a few rows done. This project is nearing its end!

We also did two parkruns in New Zealand, which brought my total this year to 30, and overall to 40!

With only two hours to go here in Queensland until the start of 2019, I would like to wish you a happy and healthy New Year!

Sunday, 16 December 2018


Last weekend I was in Melbourne, where my youngest son and his partner competed at the Australian Dancesport Championship. They did very well and came home with two trophies and lots of medals. A great end of their first year of dancing together!

On my way to parkrun in Albert Park on Saturday morning I spotted some brilliant street art in Yarra Place (more pics on the photo blog):

At the park the view over the lake with the city in the background was beautiful:

I brought the Happy Whirl project with me to Melbourne and even managed to crochet a few rows. The purple is starting to appear now:

Back at home I've also been working on the Sea Breeze Cover Up:

School holidays have started here in Queensland, and on Wednesday we are flying to New Zealand for a holiday on the North Island. Very exciting! There will be one more post on the blog before the end of the year, so stay tuned...

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Another Whirl

When I heard that my local yarn shop, Teekays Yarns, now stocks Scheepjes Whirls, I had to pay them a visit of course... (they also sell them online!) I came home with my third Whirl - this one is called Turkish Delight. I immediately knew what I was going to make with it: the Sea Breeze Cover Up, a pattern from ByKaterina. I'm about halfway through:

Meanwhile I'm also still working on my other Whirl project, the Happy Whirl shawl:

I love Whirls! (no, I'm not sponsored by Scheepjes - sadly!)

Wednesday, 14 November 2018


Last week I had to make a quick trip to the seaside town of Scheveningen in the Netherlands, where a family member was admitted to hospital. Sadly he won't be going home again, so I had to clean out his apartment and organise lots of things.
Needless to say it was a stressful week, although thankfully some good friends came to help and it was lovely to see them again, even under these sad circumstances.
I brought my current crochet project (the Happy Whirl shawl) but didn't crochet a single stitch - during the day I was too busy and at night too tired (jet lag...)
I did go for an early morning run three times (not difficult since I was awake at 5am most days). It was cold (around 4 degrees centigrade), colder than it ever gets in Queensland, but invigorating! (and so good for my mental health)

I had to stop a few times to take photos of the gorgeous sunrises and the stunning sky:

(more pics on the photo blog)

Of course I bought some Dutch delicacies to take home to my boys (liquorice, spiced cookies, Saint Nicholas treats, syrup waffles). I also got some crochet books and bookazines:

The top right book, Haken met Joep (Crochet with Joep), is written by a 17-year-old boy called Joep who learned to crochet when he was six and now sells handmade beanies in his online shop. How cool is that! (I showed it to my boys, but sadly it hasn't inspired them to take up crochet).
The amigurumi book was a belated birthday gift from my sister-in-law. It's written by Dendennis, a Dutch guy who designs very original amigurumi.
And I'm sure the Scheepjes Yarn bookazines need no introduction, they are just chockful of gorgeous projects.

Now I'm home again, exhausted and once more suffering from jet lag... I still haven't picked up my crochet hook but will do that soon - have to finish my middle son's amiguruME doll!

Monday, 22 October 2018

Jacaranda time

October is jacaranda time in Queensland. There aren't as many jacarandas on the Gold Coast as in Brisbane, but that only makes them stand out more. Here are a few pics of my favourite jacarandas in our area.

Meanwhile my Happy Whirl shawl is slowly growing:

The second colour change has happened! Can't wait for the purple to appear.

I have also made a start on my fourth amiguruME doll. Stay tuned for a reveal soon!

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

New Whirl project

A while ago I treated myself to another Scheepjes Whirl (I bought my first one last year in the Netherlands and used it to make a Lacy Pineapple Shawl). This time I chose the Brambleberry, a gorgeous blue and purple colourway.

After finishing the third amiguruME doll (and before I start on the fourth) I wanted a simple project, something that doesn't require too much thinking or counting. I decided on the Happy Whirl Shawl designed by Atty van Norel. So far I'm really enjoying it. The first colour change has just happened - always an exciting moment!

Remember the sun visor I made a while ago, from a pattern in issue 71 of Simpy Crochet? Today a kind lady on Instagram let me know that it is featured in the current issue - and as it will take a while before it's in the shops here in Australia she sent a few pictures as well. Thanks Lisa!

Can't wait to get my hands on this issue! (not that we will need mittens or jumpers here anytime soon... It's warming up quickly and summer will be here before you know it)