Handmade Living

I’m feeling all joyful, cheery and proud writing this blog post: my dear, fun, lovely, spunky, talented and audacious friend Lisanne / Draad & Praat has fulfilled a dream she’s had ever since she was a teenager: she has made her own magazine, “Handmade Living”!

Isn’t that truly a-ma-zing? I know from firsthand experience what it means to make a book, and how much time, love and dedication goes into that. However, when you write a book, your publisher has your back – especially when, as in my case, your publisher is all kinds of cooperative and wonderful.

Creating your own magazine is quite a different story. It takes even more & other skills, and a whole lot of (girl)power, and courage.

And Lisanne ‘just’ did that!!
I truly love people who – sometimes even against the tide – follow their dreams; they have my full admiration, which, I think, is exactly what they deserve.

When I finally saw the result of all her hard work, leafing through the 120 ultra-inspiring pages of utterly beauty that her dream culminated in, I felt there was only one thing to do: take a deep bow in honest admiration for this visionary, young woman.

Guys…. “Handmade Living” is SO gorgeous! Even though it’s written in Dutch, I’m 100% sure it will be as inspirational to non-Dutch creative people as it is to us Dutchies.
It’s filled to the brim with beautiful, clean and fresh photography, it has recipes, plenty of diy/crochet/knitting projects, interviews, shopping tips, new trends, lovely interiors that have been put in the spot light, you just name it, and it’s been covered: creativity at its best, really!

Contributors are people you probably already know, like: Heleen, Janneke, Miriam, Lidy, Liza, Manon, Anique, Anette, Ilona.
It also has an article on “Trendy Crafts” written by yours truly. I interviewed Twirre for it – very inspirational. It goes without saying that I’m super proud to be part of this awesome production.

Now … I’ve saved the best for last: Lisanne is allowing me to give away TWO copies of Handmade Living!
Please leave a comment under this blog post if you want a chance to win, making sure I can reach you via email.

The giveaway is open worldwide and will close Wednesday, September 27th, 2017 (22:00 GMT+1hr). If I do not hear from the initial winner(s) within 7 days after my notification emails have been sent, (a) new winner(s) will be drawn.

Good luck!
Love,
Marianne xx

PS: if you can’t wait to get your hands of “Handmade Living”, you can buy it here!

After Summer Catch-up…

Hello, you lovely people! Long time no see……How was your summer (or winter, for those of you in the southern hemisphere)? I sure hope it was good!
Mine was mostly great, but ended with a weird twist, and was over before I knew it.

It began with my husband Lex and I enjoying a truly wonderful 10-day vacation in France. We stayed in a beautiful Bed&Breakfast “Le Petit Chateau” in Bétaille (Lot-region). I had the pleasure of visiting this amazing place 3 times before already for a yoga-week, but it was a first for Lex, and now it’s definitely not a last for either of us!
We honestly loved everything about our vacation: our lazy days on “Le Petit Chateau”s lush premises, being pampered by our marvelous hosts, just aimlessly driving through the Lot’s ever so pretty surroundings, visiting picturesque villages and their charming farmer’s markets, the food……And while Lex enjoyed a couple of rounds of golf, I happily crocheted&knitted these days away, total bliss!
Shortly after we came home, I had the pleasure of being reunited with my dear friend Heike / Made with Loops, while she and her husband Mark were in Amsterdam for a short break on their way home. So good to see them – I loved catching up with Heike, and meeting Mark this time around (and I love this happy picture he took of us)!
And then, 2-1/2 weeks ago, as Lex and I were leaving “Tuin11”, Mila pulled me off my feet…..There was a handsome (male) dog coming our way, and Mila decided they needed to meet (ignoring her leash, and me being on the other end of it), catching me off guard, and – as I said – pulling me off my feet. Before I knew it I was … eum … hugging the ground. The sound of my head hitting the pavement actually made Lex turn around, only to find me lying right behind him.
This is the little rascal minutes before the accident – can’t be mad at such a cute face, right?

Needless to say our next stop was the ER, where they found out my left arm – my working arm – was broken (to be more precise: the ulna, very close to my elbow).
As it turns out I was lucky to come away with just bruised hands, knees, cheekbone&chin, and a broken arm.
Apart from this being rather painful and mostly very unhandy, not being able to crochet or knit was the worst news for me.
I was extremely relieved when I went in for a check-up last week and the doctor told me I could still not put any weight on my arm, but was allowed to use it as long as that wouldn’t hurt too much.

I feel even more silly now that I’m typing this, but I honestly could not wait to get home, and give crochet a try …
Going slowly, letting the other (my right) hand do most of the movements, taking frequent breaks: it’s working!!
Man-oh-man, I can’t tell you how fantastic it feels to be back in the crochet (and knit) saddle : yihaa!

I’m sure to non-creative people this must sound like I’ve gone totally cuckoo, but being able to create again, has surely lifted my spirits. It’s true: craft IS my therapy, and I’m delighted I’m crocheting & knitting again.

The past few weeks I’ve been going through my photos (an easy one-arm-activity, haha), and have come to realize I have not shared a fair amount of finished projects here. Adding that to new ideas, projects, free patterns, and future fun activities (workshops, craft fairs etc) I’ve put together a lovely&long list of things I can’t wait to blog about.
So, I’m not only back in the crochet saddle, I’m most definitely back in the blogging saddle as well! Next blog post is already scheduled for tomorrow, and it has a rather fab giveaway …
See you soon,

Love,
Marianne xx

Summer Break

It doesn’t even seem like I’ve been fully back to blogging since the release of my book, and it’s already time to announce my summer break!
I can’t believe a full year has gone by, and how much has happened.
Only 12 months ago I had just started working on the projects for “Colorful Crochet” / “Eindeloos Haken”. Tuva and I had established which projects were going to be part of the book, samples of the designs/patterns had been made and tested, colors were chosen, and crocheting the actual and life size projects was “all” that needed to be done next: happy times, really.
After all: crocheting is what I like to do most!
Many a lovely afternoon was spent crocheting outside, at my cherished “Tuin11”: bliss!

Given my long list of things on my “want to blog about” agenda, it’s tempting to keep going and – finally – catch up with all of that, but under slight pressure from my lovely husband, I’ve decided to take some (indeed: much needed) time off by logging off.
I’m afraid, all I can do now is tease you a little bit with some photos of projects I’ve been working on lately, most of which have been finished. I promise they’ll all get their solo moment of glory here as of next month 😉
The good news is I’ll be back in September – fully energized – and share here all the things I’ve been working on lately, many a free pattern/diy included: yay!

And if everything goes to plan, when you and I come back here in about a month, you’ll still find your trusted content here, but in a slightly updated lay-out, and with a “maRRose”-store built-in: exciting times!

Before that all happens, I intend to do a lot of leisurely crocheting and reading: two of my favorite things!
Wishing everyone of you a great summer (and equally great winter if you’re in the southern hemisphere) – looking forward to meeting here again at the beginning of September!

Love,
Marianne xx

PS: I’m sure I’ll be posting to Instagram occasionally, so if you want to see what I’m leisurely crocheting and reading, you’re more than welcome to follow me there!

Cross & Woods – giveaway

Not too long ago I blogged (here) about the wonderful cooperation that culminated in the “Let’s Get Chunky” magazine.Given the fact that all contributors worked with the beautiful Borgo de Pazzi-yarn, very quickly we – the lively bunch of crafty friends participating in this fun adventure – were referred to as “The Borgo Babes”.
At first, this made us all giggle, but I think right now most of us see this as an honorary title, that we carry with pride.

You see, we all donated our time and patterns for the magazine, knowing that part of its proceeds would go to the “Samen Breien Clubs” (“Knitting Together Clubs”) / the “Ouderenfonds” (a Dutch foundation that facilitates elderly to craft in groups, thus striving to make them less lonely).
                                           (photo credit ↑ Liset / Tante Setje)
We were thrilled to learn the magazine is a hit among knitters and crocheters, and last month we were able to realize a first and really fab donation (thank you, Borgo de Pazzi & Bert Noorderijk/BN Agenturen) during a festive meeting (cake and all) with some of the “Borgo Babes”, Bert, and the “Ouderenfonds” at their headquarters: happy (& proud) times for all of us!

One of the many Dutch shops carrying Borgo de Pazzi-yarn, and selling the “Let’s Get Chunky”-magazine, is “Cross & Woods” in The Hague.
Its owners, Pauline and Eloise, liked the magazine’s content, and decided to invite all “Borgo Babes” for an inspiring yarn-tasting party in their absolutely beautiful “crafting parlour”. Needless to say, we gladly obliged!

“Cross & Woods” is one of those gems that is so well worth a special visit.
As for me, it ticks all my crafty boxes: the shop is spacious, has a beautiful interior design, jaw dropping-gorgeous specialty yarns (“Hedgehog Fibres”, “Isager”, “Madelinetosh”, “Manos del Uruguay“, “Moeke Yarns”, “Nurturing Fibres”, just to name a few) and tools of the trade (“Merchant & Mills”, “KnitPro”), super pretty fabrics, books&magazines, you just name it: it’s there! And a true “crafting parlour” it is as well: many a workshop is being given at “Cross & Woods”.

Pauline and Eloise had us “taste” (work with) a lot of their specialty yarns, and provided us with all their background information – that went into such detail as the kind of sheep the particular yarn was harvested from, very interesting.

And…..being generous women, they gave me TWO skeins of amazingly soft&stunning “The Fibre Co.” yarn to give away here on my blog!

It’s a blend of 65% alpaca, 15% silk, 10% camel, 10% cashmere, which explains the fabulous softness. Each skein has: 145 m / 159 yds (needles: 3.25-3.5 / 3-4 US / 10 UK).In order to have a chance to win this lo-ve-ly duo, all you need to do is leave a comment beneath this post (and preferably tell me what project/pattern you have in mind to use them with).
The giveaway is open worldwide and will close Sunday August 6th, 2017 (22:00 my time, which is GMT+1hr).

Good luck to all!
Love,

Marianne xx

PS: please, make sure I can reach you by email – if I do not hear from the initial winner within 7 days after my notification email has been sent, a new winner will be drawn.

EDIT: this giveaway is now closed – the winner has been notified by email

Granny Square Love

I’m sure this will not come as a surprise to you: I absolutely LOVE granny squares!
From the simple ones, to the more intricate patterns, not to speak of the endless possibilities these little squares offer us crocheters: BIG love!

This post’s 1st photo was taken by my dear friend Lisanne / DraadenPraat during one of the photo shoots for my book “Colorful Crochet” / “Eindeloos Haken”.
It’s actually “Granny Square Cardigan Marie” you see here, but we wanted to show how pretty the very same grannies would look even if they were crocheted “just” into a blanket.Granny squares are the best beginner project – and I’m speaking from personal experience – allowing you to create something pretty and useful with your crochet right away, how awesome is that?

These are a few of my first granny square projects, and they’re all made and used with love.
The one above ↑ is my “Boho Granny Blanket” (more info here), and the squares below ↓ are part of my “Rose Blanket” (more info here).
The blanket in grey ↓ is my “Homely Blanket”. As you can see it consists of many different squares, all designed by my lovely and talented friend Heike / Made with Loops. One of the reasons I loved being part of the “Homely Blanket Crochet Along” was because it taught me so many new (to me) stitches. And I was very happy with the end result as well! More info on this blanket can be found here.

Going through some older posts and photos I came to realize there are a couple of free granny square patterns on my blog, and I’ve made them easily accessible for you via this link :).

Given my crush on granny squares, it was inevitable for them to be part of the designs in my book, and I’m very happy with how each one of them turned out.
Below are a few of the projects that are based upon granny squares: the “Dolly Dotty Cushion”, “Sunshine Blanket Quinn”, and “Merry-Go-Round Granny Square Cushion”.

Knowing I’m not the only one hooked on these mostly colorful little squares only adds to the fun. Did you know there is an actual “Granny Square Day”?
Granny Square Day was created in 2014 by one of the “Granny Square Crochet Queens”, the lovely Susan, and takes place each year on August 15. This year we’re looking at the 4th edition already.

The idea is that as many people as possible share their granny squares on Instagram, simply by filling your Instagram screen with a close-up of a single granny square, all using the same hashtag (#grannysquareday2017 and #grannysquareday), thus creating a beautiful virtual blanket for everyone to enjoy. Sandra / MobiusGirl Design – aka @mobiusgirl – started a Facebook group for anyone interested in sharing their squares and generally talking up this year’s holiday.
She too got ultra-creative with some of past year’s granny square day’s images, as you can see for yourself (and shop!) right here; oh-la-la: her crochet hook bag looks marvellous!
Still smitten with my “granny square bag” ↓……..I do hope you’ll feel inspired to start crocheting granny squares, turning them into something beautiful. And of course we would all love you to join us for “Granny Square Day 2017” on August 15 – it will be great fun again!

Have a wonderful, creative day,
love,

Marianne xx

Rose Party Triangles – “Het Nije Huis”

Last week I received an email from Carolien, asking whether it would be okay if her organization, “Het Nije Huis”, used my “Rose Party Triangles” in their Guinness World Record-attempt to crochet the longest crochet bunting ever.

“Het Nije Huis” is a foundation that wants to inform, support and help not only people who have been diagnosed with cancer, but their loved ones as well.
Given the enormous amount of crocheted flags needed to qualify for this Guinness Book of Records-achievement, they have set March 13, 2018 as the date on which they want to have reached their rather ambitious goal of having created a garland of 10.000 meters.
Since 2018 is the year that “Het Nije Huis” celebrates its 10 year anniversary, it would be utterly cool if they could add to their festivities by bringing this to a successful completion!

Of course I didn’t need to think about Carolien’s request at all; I’m so pleased my pattern will be part of something so wonderful, useful, and fun.
The organization being based here in The Netherlands, she asked whether I had a Dutch version of the “Rose Party Triangles” – which I didn’t.
My intention is to always have my patterns/tutorials in both English and Dutch available on the blog, but all too often life gets in the way, and the translation-stuff lands on the back burner.

So….her request was an excellent push to translate the pattern right away, and have it available for heaps of enthusiastic Dutch crocheters, that will help Carolien and  “Het Nije Huis” to achieve their fantastic target. Of course they hope to raise a lot of money as well – for instance by selling parts of the 10.000-meters-long garland, for which, by the way, they’ve calculated they need 40.000 flags! That’s a whole lot of flags, and it’s clear that they need all the help they can get.
As you can see in this video, they got off to a great start this past Wednesday!

For those of you who want to contribute, this is where you’ll find more information, or you can go to the Facebook page, right here (in Dutch, or please use Google Translate).
Even though this is a Dutch initiative, wouldn’t it be fantastic if we could make this an international event? Key is that you crochet flags that have 18 cm on at least the top side (you can find links to the templates at the bottom of this page). The “Rose Party Triangles”, version rounds 1-6, crocheted in worsted/aran/afghan, and a 5,5 mm hook (US: 7-9), should give you the perfect size.

You can send your flags to:
“Het Nije Huis”
Beursstraat 9
7551 HP Hengelo
The Netherlands

While translating my garland-design into Dutch, I made some small changes/improvements to the original pattern, and added an additional (and optional) round 6, ensuring the top side of the triangle meets the 18 cm size requirement.

You’ll find the English pattern here, and the Dutch version here (or via the “Crochet Pattern”-section of my blog, here).

My first contribution of 11 flags is going in the mail right now – I’ll be making lots more in the coming months. After all, they’re a great stash buster, and just plain fun to crochet when I need a short break from my (quickly accumulating pile of) other wips!

Oh, and my dear and talented friend Janneke/JipbyJan designed a lovely flag-pattern for “Het Nije Huis” as well, you can find it here.

Have fun making, and if you’re donating to “Het Nije Huis”, please tag your pictures with #nijeslingers and/or #langstegehaaktevlaggetjesslinger, so we can all enjoy them!

Happy weekend,
love,

Marianne xx

More “Eindeloos Haken” partying…..

How lucky can you be, celebrating the release of your book twice?
After the official book launch at “Echtstudio” on May 27th, there was a semi-official one on June 17th, at my favorite yarn store in the more southern part of The Netherlands: “Inspiratiecentrum Wolplein”. If you ever have a chance to go there, please do : it’s – as their name suggests – such an inspirational place!The Thursday prior to the event, I packed up all projects that can be found in “Colorful Crochet” / “Eindeloos Haken”, and drove to Zaltbommel to prepare for the party.
“Wolplein” made a fun time-lapse of Lotte and me decorating the Wolplein Studio :-).
The day of the book party was such a fun day again!
Once more I felt very grateful being surrounded by so many of my crochet friends, who took the time to come and celebrate with me, offering help during the DMC-yarn tasting-workshops, ah…. I love my crochet tribe: they’re the very best!
Lovely people traveling from near and far, wanting to have their copy of my book signed, bringing sweet presents…. very touching! And they all seem to know me extremely well – their gifts were spot on and left me feeling very spoiled (lots of chocolate, mmm).
I love this cut-out gifted to me by Shirley (also, it’s so true, don’t you agree?).

One of the gifts nearly got me in (happy) tears: it is the mini-Marianne that super-sweet Esther made! Isn’t she absolutely fabulous? And meticulously made as well? Just the thought that someone I “only” met through social media (and up to that day never in real life) would take the time and effort to create something this special and precious: simply amazing, don’t you think?
Mini-me has a place of honor on my desk, and is now supervising all creative things being done there!
I’m still very busy during the aftermath of my book jumping into the real world; pleasant stuff, like keeping an eye on the fantastic “Colorful Crochet” / “Eindeloos Haken” blog tour that’s still going on, and ….. being interviewed, whaa!
“Colorful Crochet” was reviewed in issue 90 of “Inside Crochet” (and they loved it, so pleased about that), plus one of the projects from the book (“Puff Scarf Wendi”) was published in this edition: yay!

Another project from “Colorful Crochet” (the “Geometric Triangle Blanket”), and a rather extensive interview with me is in the latest “Crochet Now”, issue 16: very exciting.

Gladly I’m also slowly getting back into crocheting, and it feels great!
I’m currently working on another “Hexagon Shawl Ursula” in a very soft pink ↑, and I have just finished a cushion using the “Granny Square Lenize” ↓ – both projects from “Colorful Crochet” / “Eindeloos Haken”.
A third “Colorful Crochet” project that’s on my hook right now, is the motif used in “Floral Lace Throw Heleen” ↓, but this time crocheted with a 3,5 mm hook and the DMC Natura Just Cotton – I think this will become a scarf, or a small shawl.

Agnieszka had the very same idea (great minds think alike, haha); she used this motif and her own gorgeous hand dyed yarn, and I love the look of her scarf.
Seeing so many twists on my designs from all the bloggers participating in the blog tour – and loving them – made me want to crochet my own patterns again, and I’m really enjoying the ride. No more checking, double-checking, but just some relaxing crochet: bliss! After all, as I was so pointedly reminded by someone over on Instagram: my love for crochet is the core of all that has happened so far.

Apart from getting my crochet on again, I’m doing one more “Eindeloos Haken”-celebration before my summer break: I’ll be visiting “Rits-In” in Zwolle tomorrow, bringing all projects, doing small workshops, signing books, and hopefully meeting lots of lovely co-crocheters – I’m really looking forward to it! Maybe I’ll see you there?

Love,
Marianne xx

“Colorful Crochet” – “Eindeloos Haken”

With the “Colorful Crochet” / “Eindeloos Haken” blog tour well underway, I thought it would be fun to share the posts and projects from the first 20 participants that have ‘blog toured’ so far.
From left to right, top to bottom:
1. Susan’s Cobblestone/Striped Babyblanket washclothes;
2. Clare’s Stroller Blanket Wendi;
3. Natalie’s Hexagon Shawl Ursula;
4. Mandy’s Flowers in a Field motifs.

Sure, I might be a bit biased ;-), but I find it greatly inspiring to see my projects crocheted with different yarn and in different colors. Honestly, it makes me want to pick up my hook, and start crocheting my own patterns again doing the same thing, choosing other yarn and colors!
1. Shelley’s Boho Cushion;
2. Nerissa’s Ribbed Tartan Cushion;
3. Tanya’s Lenize squares;
4. Lisanne’s Flowers in a Field squares.

I also feel extremely happy and grateful that my crochet peers love the book as much as they do. You see, it’s one thing to put your heart and soul into 20+ projects, and work on them with lots of dedication for almost a year. It’s another thing to stay objective……

1. Kathryn’s Circle Wall Hanging/Doily;
2. Ingrid’s Striped Babyblanket Ingrid;
3. Emily’s Flowers in a Field Shawl/Blanket;
4. Alia’s Circle Wall Hanging.

During the book making process, I grew increasingly fond of all my projects in an unconditional kind of way, I started to love them as if they were my children. Seeing them gathered up in my book, made me overjoyed, but also – as I said – …. less objective.
There were times when I thought “what’s not to love about such-and-so project”, but as the publication date neared, that changed into “what if my projects are not loved”?

1. Sarah’s Geometric Triangle Blanket;
2. Holly’s Hexagon Blanket Inez;
3. Frederika’s Hexagon Blanket Inez;
4. Sharna’s Flowers in a Field Garland.

So big sigh of relief and lots of happy dances finding out, that yes, other people love my projects too! And don’t we all adore it when other people like our children as well?
I’m so proud, humbled, and thankful for all the praise the book has received so far, whether it’s from people who crochet as a hobby, or from the crochet pro’s: it’s just all fantastic!
1. Carmen’s Hexagon Shawl Ursula;
2. Sandra’s Circle Wall Hanging;
3. Funda’s Merry-Go-Round granny squares;
4. Sandra’s Puff Scarf/Cowl Wendi.

To have you share in all this happiness, sweet Joyce / Mez11 – the lovely leather-label-savvy and generous woman who donated all the beautiful labels for the projects in the book – is allowing me to giveaway THIS ↓ fabulous set of labels!

All you need to do is leave a comment under this blog post, and make sure I can reach you via email in case you win. This giveaway is open internationally, and ends Sunday June 18th, 2017 – 23:00 my time (GMT+1), after which a winner will be drawn and notified. Good luck to all of you!

Love,
Marianne xx

EDIT: this giveaway is now closed – a winner has been drawn and notified

PS: If you have an opportunity to join me this coming Saturday, June 17th for another festive “Eindeloos Haken”-party at Wolplein, I would LOVE to see you there (more info here), and here ↓

“Eindeloos Haken” Book Launch

It’s hard to believe it has been way over a week since the official launch of “Eindeloos Haken” took place …
Usually I’m quick and eager to share the fun of crochet parties I’ve been to with all y’all here on the blog. Of course a lack of being eager was not the issue for not writing up a blog post about and right after my very own crochet party: I just couldn’t find the right words.
In fact, I’m afraid I still can’t, so many days after the big day! I’m still glowing, happy, grateful, humbled, positively overwhelmed, impressed, extremely thankful (and I could easily go on for some time) by all festiveness that took place: it was absolutely fantastic!
I’m going to give it a try anyhow …. so here it is: my account of May 27th, accompanied by a great deal of – mostly pink (what else, haha) and happy – photos.

Having been part of the crochet-scene for quite some time, I know how kind, friendly, caring, and loving a community this is. Being at the center of it was a whole new experience for me.
                                      Miriam and I on the big party preparation day!

For starters there were many people offering their help getting the party prepped! Just to name a few: G. Brouwer & Zn, beautiful “Echtstudio” and its lovely staff, and of course my sweet friend Miriam: I couldn’t have done this without her excellent help, she’s the very best!
Then there’s the ladies who helped during the workshops on the day of the party, thank you, darling Borgo-babes!
My dear husband Lex, our two fabulous kids, Quinn & Carter, my brothers Lex and Marcel….. and I’m sure I’m forgetting people, please forgive me.

Lovely Kim of “Echtstudio” doing me the honor of handing me the first copy of “Eindeloos Haken”.
Right before the party started, Sharina interviewed me about “Eindeloos Haken”, and the process of making the book (you can find the Dutch article here; for another interview with me – in English – you can go here).

I don’t know if you’re familiar with the Dutch climate, but we don’t get a lot of warm, sunny days, not even in Summer. So when the weather forecast for May 27th, 2017 says: tropical temperatures, you can be nothing but very, very, EXTRA thankful for people braving the heat and coming to celebrate an ever so special moment with you: the launch of your first book!
(As it turned out May 27, 2017 was the hottest May 27th ever in Holland, with temps reaching a whopping 33.4 Celsius).

                                      Lots-and-lots of smiles, and happy people!
You can imagine I was extra delighted they did, because it was just wonderful being surrounded by so many people I love spending time with: family, dear friends, and oodles of dear crafty friends….. ah….. glorious times!
Both my parents being present (83 and 86 years old) was very special – I so loved that they were there.
Realizing I have fans was exhilarating as well: I feel honored that they too took the time to come to the book launch, no matter the heat, patiently standing in line to have their copy of “Eindeloos Haken” signed (by me, how surreal is that?!). Above you see lovely Laura, aka @cosyup on Instagram (photo credit: Laura’s boyfriend).

Apart from being spoiled with so much love and personal attention, I was showered with gifts! Incredibly sweet! Pretty flowers, yummy treats (homemade jam, chocolate, champagne to name a few), lovely bath products, a very special pepper&salt shaker set from South Africa (gifted by dear friends who know I collect salt&pepper shakers), pretty notebooks, gift cards, and a whole lot of the most beauteous handmade gifts….. utterly-utterly marvelous! And overwhelming, hence my little ‘writer’s block’…….

Look at these fabulous leather labels my sweet friend Joyce / Mez11 made!
Aren’t they awesome?
I’m in love with the beautiful present Anique / Kleinmaarfijn made for me…
and with the one Lidy / Lidy Nooij made…
as well as the one created by Chantel / De Haakfabriek

plus this gorgeous pouch for my knitting needles, made by Janneke / JipbyJan
Too many thoughtful gifts to put in the spotlight here….. *sigh* ……

The Sunday following the party my mother in law sent me such a touching snapshot of what she calls “the family book shelf”. My crochet book is positioned on this honorary shelf in her bookcase, right next to the two books my father in law wrote, and among books either written by or about other family members. Very special indeed!
                                               Yay! The “Terrific Tester Team”

To top this all off, so far, the book has been received very well – I can’t tell you how much that pleases me. To see people enjoy the projects in the book, and crochet the most beautiful versions of my patterns is extremely gratifying.
Equally wonderful is the feedback I’m getting from my crochet peers, who are participating in the “Colorful Crochet” / “Eindeloos Haken”-blog tour; I couldn’t be happier about all this!
If you’re keen on winning a copy of the book, it’s good advice to follow the blog tour: there’ll be many more chances for you to enter book-giveaways!

Love,
Marianne xx

PS:  “Alles is Haken” author Saskia Laan stating in her latest vlog my book is a “must have” was a nice way to get my week started!

Treasury Tuesday 2.0 – Terrific Testers

There was no doubt in my mind that this particular “Treasury Tuesday” would be a big, fat shout-out to the truly wonderful women who were on my team of testers while I was working on the designs for my book.

All four of them are extremely skilled (as you can see from just these 4 snippets of their work as shown below) and really deserve to be put in the spot light!
So without further ado I very proudly present to you my “Terrific Testers”:

                                                         Heleen Scharstuhl

 

                                                              Inez de Goede

Not only did they do an honestly fantastic job testing and re-testing my patterns, but they turned out to be the best group of cheerleaders I could have wished for as well.
The first photo in this post shows you sneak peeks of the projects they crocheted for “Colorful Crochet” / “Eindeloos Haken” – all six of them look splendid, and are beautifully made.

                                                             Ingrid Danvers

 

                                                           Lotte van Dinteren
The need to keep all the crochet projects I was working on a secret might have been one of the toughest things in the whole book making journey, so it was extremely nice I was able to show at least my testing tribe what I was making and get their feedback along the way.

We had a couple of “Terrific Testers”-meetings, and felt an immediate click right from the start. Not a whole lot of crochet got accomplished during those gatherings, I have to admit…
This past weekend we were talking online about how kind of odd we all feel now that we’re finally able to share photos of the projects we had to keep away from everyone for so many months. All 5 of us started searching our albums for shots we thought would be fun to share, only to come up with mainly photos of – delicious – food, haha!
We regret not having taken more photos of us and/or the things we were crocheting, but concluded at the same time we simply had too much of a good time and been way too busy chatting, laughing, and yes: eating and drinking ;-), to take pictures.

At the end of June we’re having another “TT-meeting”, and we’ll make sure to take plenty of pictures and spam you with all of these in our social media feeds!

Have a great week!
Love,

Marianne xx