Crochet Lantern(s)

During our most recent – as always pleasant and inspiring – “CraftKitchen”-bloggers meeting, we came up with the idea to have a “Christmas Challenge” amongst the five of us.
We would all receive a box with the same materials, and design a x-mas project with (most) of them: fun and exciting!

Usually we share our projects in our private “CraftKitchen-group” as soon as they’re finished (way before publication date), but this time it was decided that we should all keep our makes secret. This was not easy, haha!

Over the past few weeks all our projects have been published on the “CraftKitchen”-site, and it has been great to see what Janneke, Lidy, Lisanne, and Liza made! Even though all five of us used the same technique – crochet – we all came up with something different.I made a “Christmas Lantern”, and decided to crochet a non-Christmas version as well, and I’m sure you’re not surprised to see my second lantern is a pink one 😉The free pattern is available in Dutch and English, and I do hope you’ll enjoy crocheting it as much as I have enjoyed creating it!
The Dutch version can be found via the CraftKitchen-site, and here (on my blog); this is the link to the English pattern; for a complete overview of all the free crochet patterns on my blog, just click here.

Happy making!
Love,
Marianne xx

Christmas Gifts – showtime!

maRRose - CCC - Christmas Projects 2015Now that all Christmas giving has been done, I can finally show you the things I made. That is, as far as I was able to take decent pictures (quite the challenge these dark days in this part of the world), or simply did not forget to photograph a particular item before gifting it.
As I’ve said before, I loooove making and giving handmade gifts – since they’re gifts from the heart – but I’m always kind of nervous about it as well ……
maRRose - CCC --- Hey Hat-50For most men in my family I crocheted “Hey Hats” (original pattern in Dutch by Wimke Tolsma, more info/links to pattern in Dutch and English in this blog post).
They have all been received well, my sweet brother-in-law being the happiest with his hat. He kept saying how cool and awesome he thought his “Hey Hat” was – I could not have been more chuffed with his response.
The grey/teal one is his hat; the grey/black one was gifted to my father.
maRRose - CCC --- Hey Hat-54           maRRose - CCC --- Hey Hat-55           maRRose - CCC --- Hey Hat-56
More “Hey Hats” went to husband, son and daughter’s boyfriend – more satisfied recipients …….
maRRose - CCC --- Tweed Scarf-15For my brother I knitted a scarf, and (hurray) he was really pleased with it. I used 9mm needles, a super simple purl stitch and this lovely yarn.
I so love how Joyce’s leather labels put the perfect finishing touches on my projects!

maRRose - CCC --- Crochet Christmas Baubles-57maRRose - CCC --- Crochet Christmas Baubles-56Some more knitting was done making this fun Christmas bauble for a mint-loving blog friend. Going from 9mm knitting needles to toothpicks couldn’t have been a bigger change, haha!maRRose - CCC - Cat Hat-01maRRose - CCC - Cat Hat-02When I found this adorable (free) pattern on Alexis’ beautiful blog (Persia Lou), I knew I had to make cat-loving Quinn one. Don’t you agree she looks very cute wearing it? maRRose - CCC --- Christmas Cookies-20Other than some more small Christmassy bits & bobs, like home-baked cookies (1,5 kilos of just flour went into those) gifted in upcycled-jam-jars-turned-into-cookie-jars, and a couple of crocheted Christmas baubles, the scarf I made my mom was the last one on the list.

maRRose - CCC --- Monsoon Scarf-06 maRRose - CCC --- Monsoon Scarf-07It’s basically The Little Bee‘s lovely “Monsoon Stole” that I made earlier this year (more here), but longer and wider; I used all the different stitches given in the pattern, just played a bit with the number of rows to get the desired length. A lot of the beautiful Lana Grossa yarn that I got at the Knotten Crochet Party went into this one – including the shiny Lace Lux.
maRRose - CCC --- Monsoon Scarf-20I edged one side of the scarf with pom poms (tutorial here), and love how it turned out.

One of my new year’s resolutions is to start planning and making my Christmas gifts way sooner, and sticking to it this time around …….
Any tips in this department are warmly welcomed!

Love,
Marianne xx

Wolplein Christmas Party

maRRose - CCC --- Crochet Christmas Baubles-40Last Saturday the lovely people of Wolplein threw a fantastic Christmas party for a whole bunch of creative/crochet bloggers and instagrammers. It was held in their wonderful “Wolplein Inspiratie Centrum”, just going there’s a big treat for any yarn lover!
maRRose - CCC --- Wolplein Christmas Party-20Everyone was welcomed with a glass of pink bubbles, and after an introduction by Wolplein’s Lotte and Petra, we were set to “work”. We all drew names, and were asked to make a special Christmas card for the person we had drawn. Paper, yarn, hooks, scissors, glue were all on the table, as well as lots of tasty goodies.

With the invitation for this festive event, we were also given a ball of this gorgeous, sparkly Rico Essentials Cotton Lurex and asked to make a Christmas ornament with it. We brought these with us, and they were all hung in the Wolplein-Christmas tree. It was great fun to see all the different takes on this assignment.

maRRose - CCC --- Wolplein Christmas Party-Miriam's Ornament           maRRose - CCC --- Wolplein Christmas Party-Nandi's Ornament           maRRose - CCC --- Wolplein Christmas Party-Ornament Loes
These are some of the lovely ornaments that were made! The makers are (from left to right): Miriam Catshoek, Nandi Kruijswijk and Loes Verhoeven / Freubelweb.

While we were crafting, chatting, eating, drinking and being very merry, the season’s very last “Koffie & Wol”-show – the Christmas edition – was shot.
maRRose - CCC --- Wolplein Christmas Party-18You might remember me being on one these shows in May of this year (link to that one here), as was my dear friend Janneke/JipbyJan in November (you can see her shine in that one here). This afternoon we were both interviewed again for the Christmas show, which you can watch here.

It’s safe to say everyone had a fabulous time – these photos are definitely proof of that! It’s always awesome being among likeminded, creative people!
maRRose - CCC --- Wolplein Christmas Party-19Some of the pretty cards (top to bottom/left to right): Janneke, Tertia, Miriam, and mine ……

As I type this seasonal post, we’re getting ready to celebrate Christmas. We’re looking forward to doing this with the people we care about most, and I’m sure some good food and festive drinks will be part of it as well.

I’d like to wish you all a wonderful, magical Christmas time, and look forward to seeing you again next week!
maRRose - CCC --- Crochet Christmas Stars-25Love,
Marianne xx

Treasury Tuesday

maRRose - CCC --- Treasury Tuesday, Christmas Stars-03Only a couple more days before Christmas 2015…….
The Dekkers household is pretty much in vacation mode. Plenty of things that still need to be done – and they are – but in a nice, slow pace: very enjoyable!

The way things look now, I’ll be working on my Christmas gifts until the very last moment, but that’s ok. Every once in a while I glance at the projects that are finished already, and that’s the best encouragement, really. I can make the deadline ….. I think….

In the spirit of my latest post I’ve gathered a whole lot of pretty stars for this week’s “Treasury Tuesday” – the last in this year’s Christmas inspired TT’s.

I’ve picked some colorful ones as my favorites, feeling both designs will be beautiful in one (muted) color as well. I absolutely love the intricate construction of the star balls!
maRRose - CCC --- Treasury Tuesday, Christmas Stars-01maRRose - CCC --- Treasury Tuesday, Christmas Stars-02As it turns out, I had already prepared another Christmas Treasury Tuesday for you last week. I totally forgot about it, and only just found it when saving the star-TT ….. It’s too lovely to not share, so here it is! How about those Elf Shoes?? Very cute, right?
maRRose - CCC --- Treasury Tuesday, Christmas Gifts-04Have a great week, and a very relaxed and happy holiday season!
Love,
Marianne xx

Christmas Stars & Baubles

maRRose - CCC --- Crochet Christmas Baubles-15With a Christmas-to-do-list longer than my arm, it was probably not the smartest thing to listen to the crochet voice in my head. On the other hand, just sitting down with a hook, yarn, some beads and the two ideas that apparently needed to be materialized, was very relaxing too.
And when the ideas turned out like I had envisioned: ahh…..such a happy feeling!
maRRose - CCC --- Crochet Christmas Stars-15Having shown my stars and beaded baubles on Instagram, I made a promise there to write down the patterns/diy, and here they are.
They’re both rather quick projects, so you’ll be able to whip some up, even in time for this year’s Christmas…..
maRRose - CCC --- Crochet Christmas Stars-11Christmas Stars – small version (us terms used)
* chain 5, close to form ring with slip stitch in 1st chain;
* chain 3 (= first dc), 15 dc in ring, slip stitch in top of 3-chain st (total of 16 dc’s);
* chain 3 (= first dc), dc in same stitch, 2dc in each stitch of previous round, sl st in top of 3-chain (total of 32 dc’s);
* chain 6, slip stitch in 2nd st from hook, and in every following stitch: sc, hdc, dc, tr; slip stitch in 4th dc from previous round. Repeat 7 more times (8 star points made).
Fasten off, sew in ends; blocking your stars definitely pays off, and you might even want to stiffen them up a little by adhering some Mod Podge.

I played around a bit with my stars; added some beads and hung them on a stick that Mila found on one of our walks the other day……
maRRose - CCC --- Crochet Christmas Stars-21 maRRose - CCC --- Crochet Christmas Stars-23Christmas Stars – big version (us terms used)
* chain 5, close to form ring with slip stitch in 1st chain;
* chain 3 (= first dc), 15 dc in ring, slip stitch in top of 3-chain st (total of 16 dc’s);
* chain 3 (= first dc), dc in same stitch, 2dc in each stitch of previous round, sl st in top of 3-chain (total of 32 dc’s);
* chain 3 (=first dc), dc, dc, 2dc’s in 4th st of previous round; repeat all around: dc, dc, dc, 2dc’s (total of 40 dc’s);
* chain 7, slip stitch in 2nd st from hook, and in every following stitch: sc, hdc, dc, tr dtr; slip stitch in 5th dc from previous round. Repeat 7 more times (8 star points made).
Fasten off, sew in ends; blocking your stars definitely pays off, and you might even want to stiffen them up a little by adhering some Mod Podge.
maRRose - CCC --- Crochet Christmas Stars-10Christmas Stars – 3D version (us terms used)
Crochet 2 circles like you would for the small or big stars; with wrong sides facing, crochet them together: 1 sc in every stitch, no increases made. With a small opening left, fill your circle with a little fiber fill, close circle.
Pick up the part of the pattern to make the star points and ta-dah: 3D star made!

maRRose - CCC --- Crochet Christmas Baubles-27Beaded Christmas Baubles (us terms used)
I’ve used plastic Christmas balls for mine, but you can easily use styrofoam balls as well. My balls were about 9 inches in circumference (ca 22 cm), and I crocheted with 100% cotton and hook size 3,5 mm.

* start with a magic circle and crochet 4 chains (=1dc plus 1 chain);
* crochet 1dc + 1 chain 11 more times; close with slip stitch in 3rd chain of 1st stitch (total of 12 dc’s and 12 chain spaces);
* slip stitch into next chain space; chain 2 and 1dc (= 1st 2dc cluster stitch), chain 1. Repeat all around: 2dc cluster + 1 chain in every chain space from previous round (12 2dc cl, 12 chain spaces);
* slip stitch into next chain space; chain 2 and 2dc’s (= 1st 3dc cluster stitch), chain 2. Repeat all around: 3dc cluster + 2 chains in every chain space from previous round (12 3dc cl, 12 chain spaces);
* chain 4 (=1st treble), * 2 trebles in 2-chain space, 1 treble in top stitch of 3-dc cluster from previous round **.
Repeat from * to ** all around – total of 36 stitches;
* chain 3 (=first dc), 1 dc in every stitch – total of 36 stitches.
Fasten off – sew in ends. Make a second one.maRRose - CCC --- Crochet Christmas Baubles-30

String your beads – 36 if you want one in every stitch, 18 for every other one – onto your yarn.
maRRose - CCC --- Crochet Christmas Baubles-22With wrong sides together, start crocheting your half crochet balls together with sc’s, only using the two inner loops (like this tutorial shows you).
maRRose - CCC --- Crochet Christmas Baubles-29Make sure to slide a bead towards your hook, before you crochet each sc (more info here). Once you’re 2/3 done, you’ll want to fit your crochet work onto the ball. The next part might be a bit fiddly, but you’re going to continue to crochet your work together, adding beads while doing so. Fasten off, sew in ends, and …… admire your work!
maRRose - CCC --- Crochet Christmas Baubles-25maRRose - CCC --- Crochet Christmas Baubles-28Wishing you merry times!
Love,
Marianne xx

Christmas cookies – a family recipe

maRRose - CCC --- Christmas Cookies-05One of our family Christmas traditions is giving homemade cookies to teachers, neighbors, friends and family members during the holiday season (and eating a lot of them ourselves too, of course).
maRRose - CCC --- Christmas Cookies-2005-04For as long as I can remember the kids were involved in this, being given the enormous responsibility to pick out the cookie cutters and decorate the dough with sprinkles, smarties and what not. A whole lot of fun!
maRRose - CCC --- Christmas Cookies-17Although I love my children being the almost-adults they are, decorating Christmas cookies together with them is one of the things that got lost over the years.
However ….. they still like to eat them, and I still like to make them (decorating included) – so all is good.
maRRose - CCC --- Christmas Cookies-19The recipe for our cookies is really simple, but over the years people have constantly commented that they’re “wow” soooo good. Since I can’t gift the actual cookies to you, my lovely readers, I thought I’d go for the second best option here: sharing the recipe with you all!
maRRose - CCC --- Christmas Cookies-06I’ve tried to track down where I got the recipe originally from, but just couldn’t find it. No surprise, really – it’s an old clipping, at least more than 25 years old ….
It says “festive baking” at the bottom, now this is very true!

I’ve made an English and Dutch version, saved them as pdf’s – all you have to do is click here for the English pdf, and here for the Dutch pdf.

maRRose Christmas Cookies
maRRose - CCC --- Christmas Cookies-14

Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
1 cup (two sticks) butter, softened
1,5 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Tools:
Mixer
Baking sheets
Rolling pin
Wire rack

Recipe:
Mix sugar, butter, vanilla and eggs in large bowl (I use my KitchenAid stand mixer for this).
Stir in remaining ingredients – mix well.
Divide into 3 equal parts, wrap in saran/plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours.
maRRose - CCC --- Christmas Cookies-16Preheat oven to 400 Fahrenheit. Roll out dough on floured surface to thickness of approx. 1/8-inch.
Using cookie cutters, cut out your desired shapes and place them roughly 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheet. Repeat the rolling and cutting process with the remaining dough (leftover scraps can be re-rolled).
maRRose - CCC --- Christmas Cookies-08 maRRose - CCC --- Christmas Cookies-07Decorate (or not), bake for about 7/8 minutes or until just golden brown around edges. Remove from cookie sheet. Cool on wire rack.

maRRose - CCC --- Christmas Cookies-02Last year I made these jar lid covers for the containers that I used to gift our Christmas cookies in – they turned out great and looked so festive!
I used this tutorial to make the crocheted covers; the little holly leaves are the ones I’ve made before after Attic24’s diy, I just added the red berries ….
maRRose - CCC --- Christmas Cookies-04Enjoy!
Love,
Marianne xx

Treasury Tuesday

maRRose - CCC --- Treasury Tuesday, Christmas Crochet-03Can you believe it’s only 16 days until Christmas? Are you as frantically crocheting, crafting, decorating, and planning as I am? And having a good time while doing that?
I sure hope so!

My only pet peeve around this time of year is that I can’t show as freely what I’m working on as I would like to – you see, even my sweet 84-year old mother is on Facebook these days. Definitely don’t want to spill the beans ……which is the reason why it’s a little quiet on the blog these days.
I promise I’ll make up for that right after all x-mas gifts have been received, which in our case will not be before December 28th, since we’re having the annual Christmas Brunch with our extended families no sooner than Sunday December 27th…..

How about some more seasonal crochet in this week’s “Treasury Tuesday” to get you in the right frame of Christmas mind even a bit more?

I think the cushion’s very christmassy & cute, and so is the Santa Clause party decoration!
maRRose - CCC --- Treasury Tuesday, Christmas Crochet-01 maRRose - CCC --- Treasury Tuesday, Christmas Crochet-02Oh, and how about this adorable tea cosy …….
maRRose - CCC --- Treasury Tuesday, Christmas Crochet-04Have a great week,
love,
Marianne xx

Treasury Tuesday

maRRose - CCC --- Treasury Tuesday, Crochet Christmas-02Sinterklaas and his Piet-helpers arrived safely in The Netherlands this past Saturday.
A reason for lots and lots of Dutch kids to be very happy (and a fair amount of adults too, I’m sure)!
You know, Sinterklaas is Santa Clause’s big brother, and he celebrates his birthday by giving presents to others on December 5th. Now …. how’s that for a true x-massy gift-giving spirit?

With all celebrations regarding Sinterklaas’ birthday going on at the end of November/beginning of December, it usually takes Dutch people a little longer to get into the fun stuff related to X-mas, but as soon as Sint and his Pieten leave the country and return to their sunny home in Madrid, we go all out on X-mas as well…. just like the rest of the world ;).
maRRose - CCC --- Treasury Tuesday, Sinterklaas-02My love for Sinterklaas ánd X-mas made me create two treasuries on this “Treasury Tuesday”…..
One is Sinterklaas-themed and the second treasury is loaded with inspiring Christmas-crochet!

This is my favorite Sinterklaas-project:
maRRose - CCC --- Treasury Tuesday, Sinterklaas-01and this darling brooch is my favorite item from the X-mas treasury – fabulous crochet by Irene:
maRRose - CCC --- Treasury Tuesday, Crochet Christmas-01
Wishing you a lovely new week!
Love,
Marianne xx

PS: if you want to have a look at last year’s Christmas Treasuries, you can do so here; this pinterest board leads you to another cute collection of Christmas Crochet

Christmas 2014

collageWhile it is lightly snowing outside, I’m comfy and warm inside typing this after-Christmas blog post.
I hope your Christmas was as wonderful as ours, filled with things that  – I think – matter most during this festive season: quality time spent with people who are important to you, enjoying each other’s company, a beautifully decorated Xmas tree, candle light, nice food & drinks, music, and gifts made (or bought) with love ……

To me this holiday it was all about home and/or handmade and I loved every minute of the process, from deciding what to make for whom as well as the making itself.
Maybe slightly overdoing things, I even made my own gift tags this year – using some of my cookie cutters to shape them.

Now that all presents are gifted I can safely show you what I’ve been doing, so here’s a little round-up with links to patterns/recipes I used.
maRRose - CCC: hot water bottle covers maRRose - CCC: hot water bottle covers

For my kids I made hot water bottle covers, using leftover yarn from the chevron blanket I crocheted earlier this year – no pattern, just following the outline of the hot water bottle (the hot water bottle cover granny style-diy can be found here).
maRRose - CCC: Nordic Wrist Warmers

Since my mom owns the black Nordic Shawl I crocheted and my mother-in-law the blue/pink one, I decided to make them matching wrist warmers (link to My Rose Valley‘s paid pattern here).
maRRose - CCC: flower bookmark maRRose - CCC: flower bookmarkMy father loves to read, so a bookmark was what I made for him – flower pattern here, for the leaves I used Lucy’s holly pattern, but crocheted no prickles.
maRRose CCC: christmas balls/baubles maRRose CCC: christmas balls/baubles maRRose - CCC: snowflakes maRRose - CCC: snowflakes

For my brothers, sister-in-law and friends across the ocean I crocheted Christmas balls and snowflakes – loved making them very much! I stiffened some of the snowflakes with modpodge – worked great.
Patterns can be found on my “Christmas Crochet“-board on Pinterest.
maRRose - CCC: Triangle Pincushion with tulips

Another little gift that traveled quite the distance – all the way to a dear ig-friend in Australia – was this pincushion. The tutorial for the basic pattern can be found here.
maRRose - CCC: Christmas cookies maRRose - CCC: Christmas cookie jars maRRose - CCC: Christmas cookie jars maRRose - CCC: Christmas cookie jars

Since we have a tradition of baking Xmas cookies in our house, I made these jar lid covers for the containers that I planned on using this year – they turned out great and looked so festive! I just made them up as I went, but there’s a wealth of tutorials to be found here.The little holly leaves are the ones I’ve made before (links here and here), after Attic24’s diy, I just added the red berries …..
pretzels-01Other than baking cookies, I made these yummy pretzels (recipe here) and as place cards for our Christmas brunch I thought these chocolate candy cane hearts were just right (diy here).maRRose - CCC: Chocolate Candy Cane HeartsmaRRose - CCC: Chocolate Candy Cane Hearts

Just because I loved this little guy from the moment I laid eyes on him, I hád to make this very cute snowman, free pattern from the “Dapper Toad”-blog, link here.
maRRose - CCC: snowmanThe only gift that I did not manage to finish in time, was a hat for my husband …… As you will understand, that one is high on the wip-list right now!

These days in between Christmas and the New Year seem to have a slower pace and we’re quite enjoying these lazy days. Some crochet, a little (sock) knitting, a nice book, some hot chocolate, a glass of wine, fire place going …. oh yes, I can get used to this!
Wishing you the joy of calm days as well!

Love,
Marianne

 

Treasury Tuesday

maRRose - CCC: Treasury Tuesday, Christmas CrochetThere’s no way around it: it’s cold outside, the days are short and mainly dark and grey, people are putting up their christmas decorations …… yes, we’re definitely gearing up towards Christmas!

Adding to my x-mas spirit too is looking at this week’s lovely, quirky, beautiful crochet in red, green and white and I sure hope they’ll make you smile, sigh in admiration and inspire as well!

My two favorites this week:
maRRose - CCC: Treasury Tuesday, Christmas Crochet maRRose - CCC: Treasury Tuesday, Christmas Crochet

Happy crocheting!

Love,
Marianne