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