Follow-up Friday – The Mandala Cushion

maRRose - CCC --- Mandala Cushion-02It wasn’t until this very morning – when I started organizing last week’s photos – that I realized how full, but fun a week this was.

maRRose - CCC - Mila the Wonderdog-53Filled with nature – lovely, but also very wet walks with Mila, filled with lots of crafting – always a good thing in my book, and filled with moderating the “Craft as Therapy”-account over on Instagram – at least as good as hands-on crafting.maRRose - CCC - Spring 2016-14maRRose - CCC - Spring 2016-13And how nice to be having a midweek extra day off – thank you King Willem Alexander for celebrating your birthday with all of us Dutch ;)!
maRRose - CCC --- Kingsday 2016-04

Apart from all this, I did finish a project, and I’m happy being able to share my latest cushion, the “Mandala Cushion Cover”.maRRose - CCC --- Mandala Cushion-05 maRRose - CCC --- Mandala Cushion-07

The mandala itself was crocheted following a pattern in Haafner’s “Mandalas to Crochet” book (more on that here).
I made it bigger to fit my 45 cm circular insert, just playing with stitches, and ending up crocheting 6 rounds with black, and a last one in blue.maRRose - CCC --- Mandala Cushion-06maRRose - CCC --- Mandala Cushion-04I then sewed the blue cover, added a zipper (!), and hand stitched the crochet part onto the blue cushion cover.
I love how it turned out ….. It’s for sale and I’ve listed it in my Etsy shop, link here.maRRose - CCC --- Mandala Cushion-09 maRRose - CCC --- Mandala Cushion-01

By moderating the Craft as Therapy-account, you not only pick and post people’s gorgeous work (that they share under #craftastherapy), but you get to choose a theme for that very week also. Looking at my rather gigantuas pile of test-squares, left over flowers and the like, I picked “craftastherapy_bitsandbobs” as the theme for “my” week, asking people to share their creative orphans with us. And, gosh, this turned into such a lovely gallery!maRRose - CCC --- Craft as Therapy-130

I added a little extra challenge to this whole “bits & bobs”-business, by seeing whether I could turn some of my unused crochet pieces into something new. I think my plan is going to work, but I’m still in the process of finishing……maRRose - CCC --- make-up bag-11Other than that I have added three more squares to the “Rustic Lace Square”-blanket, and have a small army of squares (9) lined up to be joined as well. All that’s left is color positioning and the last joining round on these, after which row 7/12 will be ready too, and I’ll be up to 77/132 squares, woohoo!maRRose - CCC - Rustic Lace Squares-30maRRose - CCC - Rustic Lace Squares-31

I wish you all a lovely weekend – I’m off crafting …….:)
Marianne xx

Follow-up Friday

Happy Friday to all of you! The past week was a mixed bag of ups and downs (just like life in general, wouldn’t you say?), but luckily the “ups” outweighed the “downs”, so all’s good.

A big, rather personal, “up” was my mother turning 85 years old on Tuesday. She invited our small family for a celebratory “rijsttafel”-dinner in our favorite Indonesian restaurant, “Djago”. We just had a delightful time, enjoying each other’s company, as well as the excellent food.
maRRose - CCC - Lien's Birthday - 85 maRRose - CCC - Lien's Birthday - 85-02Another “up” was the sunny spring weather that mother nature finally sent us – first outdoor crocheting of the season was a fact, hurray!maRRose - CCC - Spring 2016-05You know how much I love my daily walks with Mila the Wonderdog, but seeing nature wake up at this time of year, is definitely a bonus. Oh, and speaking of our beloved Mila: she turned 1 on April 12th.maRRose - CCC - Mila the Wonderdog-50

As I told you last Tuesday, I’ve picked up my “Rustic Lace Square”-blanket again; very happy to report I’ve made great progress. Twelve more squares were added to the 54 that I was up to this past Sunday.
maRRose - CCC - Rustic Lace Squares-25maRRose - CCC - Rustic Lace Squares-24 maRRose - CCC - Rustic Lace Squares-26At that time I thought I needed a total of 143 squares, but after doing some proper measuring&calculating this morning, I think 132 squares will be enough, which means: I’m half way through – yay!!
I “just” need to keep the momentum going …….maRRose - CCC - Rustic Lace Squares-28

You might remember this little thing in black and white?maRRose - CCC --- geo blanket-01 maRRose - CCC --- geo blanket-04I’ve worked on that on and off over the last few weeks, having enough pieces to assembly them in either a cushion cover, or maybe a bag? What do you think?
In a little “Rustic Lace Square”-lull, I played around a bit, which resulted in this colorful surface crochet – fun to do!maRRose - CCC --- geometric crochet black and white-01 maRRose - CCC --- geometric crochet black and white-03

And lastly there’s Haafner’s test-mandala, that I’ve been meaning to turn into a cushion cover. How about finding this perfect matching blue in my stash? I’m looking forward to finishing it.maRRose - CCC --- Mandala Haafner-10 maRRose - CCC --- Mandalas-28While going through my stuff/stash, I also found this long lost Instagram pouch – made almost 3 years ago, following this free pattern by “Haak & Smaak”.maRRose - CCC --- Instagram pouch

In between all this, I’ve been working hard on my May-project for CraftKitchen, while my second one – a diy to make cute little treasury boxes – went live on the CK-site yesterday – busy, but exciting times!
The tutorial (in Dutch ànd English) will be available here on Monday.
maRRose - CCC - CK-schatdoosjes-66Wishing you a wonderful weekend,
Marianne xx

Treasury Tuesday

maRRose - CCC --- Treasury Tuesday, Halloween 2015-03There’s no way around it: Fall is definitely here in my part of the world …..
Although I’m a big(ger) lover of Spring and Summer, I have to admit that the kind of Fall weather we’ve been having lately is nothing but glorious! Crisp air, beautiful colored leaves, blue skies and a warm sun, that makes everything look even better…..
maRRose - CCC --- Amsterdamse Bos-01This photo is from last Sunday’s walk in the “Amsterdamse Bos” with Mila – who, by the way, turned 6 months yesterday.
maRRose - CCC --- Mila-06Having a close look at some of the leaves, and seeing all the gorgeous pumpkins in their patches, it’s pretty clear why the color orange is connected to this season.
Fall means we’re close to “Halloween” as well, so making an all new Halloween themed “Treasury Tuesday” seems a logical thing to do (this is where you’ll find last year’s) – I had great fun collecting this week’s items!

I love the crocheted eyes (like these zombie eyes, or the ones in this garland) but my two favorites are the beautiful yarn (ohhh…….) and the quirky, happy little ghosts.
maRRose - CCC --- Treasury Tuesday, Halloween 2015-01 maRRose - CCC --- Treasury Tuesday, Halloween 2015-02Have a great week,
Marianne xx

Follow-up Friday – “Crochet Mood Blanket”

Well …. let’s just say there’s a first for everything …..
Soooo, how about a “Follow-up Friday”-post on a Saturday?

For a pretty organised and control-freakish kind of person like me, it was a big step to accept that “no”, I was not going to finish my “Crochet Mood Blanket”, ànd take photos of it, ànd put a blog post together yesterday…..
maRRose - CCC --- Crochet Mood Blanket-54It was something Quinn said, that made it clear to me that this was actually ok – thank you, sweetheart!
On a totally non-related side-track: this sweetheart and I had a great time yesterday evening, attending the opening of the “Munch : Van Gogh” exhibition in the “Van Gogh Museum”……(oh, and this youTube-film is absolutely wonderful; informative is this one).
maRRose - CCC --- MarQuinn - De Schreeuw-01This is Quinn and I in the “Munch – The Scream”-photo booth at the exhibition; to activate the camera, you had to literally ‘scream’ ……

But: without further ado, let me present to you my “Crochet Mood Blanket”; started in 2014, finally finished in September of 2015!

If you want to read back as to how and why this blanket was begun, this is where you’ll want to go.
The pattern I used can be found here, with a little note that I adjusted the rectangle a tiny bit, so that two short sides had the same size as its long side. This allowed me to play around with the lay-out of the squares, when I commenced the joining.

Quite some thinking went into the border. At first I thought a simple border would be best for this colorful piece of crochet, but after a couple of tries I went for a more elaborate one and am absolutely happy with the way it turned out. “Boho” comes to mind, when I look at this blanket.

For the border I went down 0,5 mm to a 3 mm hook and did a simple round of black dc’s (UK: trebles). Second round with green was a sc (UK: dc) in between every 4th and 5th dc from the previous round, chain 3 – and repeated all around. Third round – with black again – I crocheted 4 dc’s in every chain3-loop (you can find a great tutorial for this so-called “block-stitch” here).
maRRose - CCC --- Crochet Mood Blanket-44 maRRose - CCC --- Crochet Mood Blanket-45 maRRose - CCC --- Crochet Mood Blanket-41Inspired by this beautiful border on Ryane’s latest blanket , I crocheted two rounds (in orange and pink) using this stitch, and I love how these rounds give some reliëf to the border.
The last 3 rounds were an exact copy of the first 3, the bright blue being the accent color here.
maRRose - CCC --- Crochet Mood Blanket-43When I posted this photo on Instagram, someone asked me why I was crocheting on three rounds at the same time? I do this to get a feel for the final lay-out – it’s not until I like what I see that I go ahead and crochet all around my blanket/cushion cover.
The details:
* number of squares: “only” 192 instead of 365 ….
* weight: 1248 grams (2 lbs, 12 oz)
* size: 115 x 225 cm (45,3 x 88,5 inches)
* yarn: all 100% cotton (Katia, Catania, Cotton8, Phildar, etc)

Do I like it? Oh, yesss! I’m very happy with the result. Also: very happy to have finished another old-wip. If I’m correct there’s only 3 projects left on the wip-list: the “Rustic Lace Square”-blanket – which is an ongoing project, so not really counting. Secondly, the Simply Crochet Squares (still no idea what to do with them …..). And then I need to write down the pattern for the square I designed to make my “Les Tourettes”-shawl.
The end is near ……maRRose - CCC --- Les Tourettes Shawl-10

There’s one more thing I want to share here: my 4 favorites of last week’s “Craft As Therapy“-theme:
maRRose - CCC --- Craft as Therapy-favorite4Top left: Mariana‘s beautiful crochet hexagon blanket;
Top right: Corinne‘s stunning hexi puffs/bee keepers quilt;
Bottom left: Sarah‘s gorgeous knitted, double sided baby blanket;
Bottom right: Tina‘s very uniqe and fabulously made candy skull lead picture.

Next week I’m taking a short break, having been invited by my brother and his husband to come and visit them in Cannes: how awesome is that?!
Wishing you a wonderful weekend and week ahead!
Marianne xx

Follow-up Friday

maRRose - CCC --- Bridal Shawl-Summer Shawl-05It’s hard to believe one full week has already passed since I announced my big wip-plan. Luckily I do have some finished wip’s to show you, even though it’s been a busy old week with (too) many non-crochet related things.

Why not start with the biggest achievement?
I’ve finished one of the bridal shawls!! Woohoo – very happy me!
maRRose - CCC --- Bridal Shawl-Summer Shawl-07 maRRose - CCC --- Bridal Shawl-Summer Shawl-09 maRRose - CCC --- Bridal Shawl-Summer Shawl-06Also: very anxious me, because I haven’t been able to show it to my friend yet (she’s on vacation – no internet access – and won’t be back until the beginning of August).
Her being happy with it is what counts most of course!
(btw: don’t you love my little photo bombing assistant ……;))

Then there’s one more “tadah”: the potholders I promised my mom are done as well. They were actually finished right before I posted my first “Follow-up Friday” here – so I’m cheating a tad bit …..
maRRose - CCC --- Potholders-01 maRRose - CCC --- Potholders-02They turned out quite cute – I padded them, by sewing fiberfill (the kind you use for quilts) into the fabric that I hand sewed the crochet fronts onto.
Pattern for the crochet part comes from Maartje’s blog – SillyOldSuitcase, link here.

Some rows were crocheted on the black shawl – but I have to admit I’m not too keen on working on this one: all this black is so very boring ……

I also managed to crochet 3 “rustic lace squares” – total count is 27 now – I do love to work on this project!
maRRose - CCC - Rustic Lace Squares-07maRRose - CCC - Rustic Lace Squares-02 maRRose - CCC - Rustic Lace Squares-05Since “Bridal Shawl No. 1” is ready, I have started with “Bridal Shawl No. 2” with the gorgeous “Colortwist” by Echtstudio in red(s). The link to the pattern I’m using can be found here.
maRRose - CCC --- Bridal Shawl-Summer Shawl-103To get the most out of the color changes from the “Colortwist”, we decided it would be best to crochet the shawl with the desired width as the base, deviating a bit from the pattern here. After doing the math, I started with a “foundation double crochet” (excellent tutorial by Moogly, here) and ended up with 12 times the repeat pattern of 26 stitches for the lace border, so a total of 312 stitches. Once blocked it will give us the width we’re going for, approx. 170 cm.
I’m pleased with how the pattern/yarn combination looks so far; however, I think that the border will add the real beauty to this shawl, and I can’t wait to start crocheting it …..
maRRose - CCC --- Bridal Shawl-Summer Shawl-104One week into this whole new project in itself, I have to tell you it’s really helping me staying focused and it’s a wonderful feeling that I’m able to check off 2 (two!!) wip’s from the list – “only” 11 more to go, haha!

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!
Marianne xx

A Fabulous Visit!

maRRose - CCC --- MadewithLoops Visit-02Do you know this feeling of bursting with joy and thankfulness, wanting to get it out, share it with everyone and then you realize you just don’t know where to start, because it was all so fantastic, wonderful etc?

maRRose - CCC --- MadewithLoops Visit-07

If so, you know exactly how I feel after having finally met one of my very dear Instagram-friends, the very talented and ever so lovely Heike (link to her beautiful blog, here).
It must have been almost two years ago when we first “met” on Instagram, around the time she so graciously shared here “Homely Blanket”-squares with all of us and I decided I wanted to join in on this crochet-fun. We immediately felt a click, and when Heike on her many travels had a chance to make a stopover in Amsterdam, we were both happy it gave us the opportunity to – finally – meet in person.
maRRose - CCC --- MadewithLoops Visit-33So, last Tuesday around 6pm I picked her up from the airport and took her home with me – the start of a fabulous couple of days, really! Tuesday night over dinner we realized that, yes, the friendship we had already felt online, was precisely the friendship we experienced in real life. After all, we did know quite a lot about each other already!

maRRose - CCC --- MadewithLoops visit-30 (2)Wednesday morning we set off for Zaltbommel, where we had been invited by lovely Petra and her Wolplein-crew and where we met with – as a surprise for Heike – the equally lovely Maaike/Crejjtion (I’m sure you all know her gorgeous blog, but in the rare case you don’t, here‘s the link).
maRRose - CCC --- MadewithLoops visit-55It’s for a reason that this wonderful place is called “Wolplein Inspiratie Centrum”, because inspirational it is!
maRRose - CCC --- MadewithLoops Visit-09Being the sweet person she is, Maaike brought both Heike and me an utterly beautiful doily – truly crochet-works-of-art, and to add even more delight we were all three presented with a big box, filled to the brim with “Rico Creative Cotton” in every color and shade possible by the ever so generous Wolplein-people: wow!
maRRose - CCC --- MadewithLoops Visit-36 maRRose - CCC --- MadewithLoops Visit-35Wednesday ended with yet another big surprise for Heike, since I had invited a couple of Dutch creative ladies to spend the evening at my beloved “Tuin11” – our little cabin on one of the Amsterdam canals.
maRRose - CCC --- MadewithLoops Visit-20maRRose - CCC --- MadewithLoops Visit-21We had an amazing time and it felt like Heike and I were celebrating our birthdays since everyone brought the nicest presents: we were truly spoilt! A sincere “thank you” to lovely Claire, Simone, Lisanne, Miriam, Lidy, Nerissa and Janneke for taking the effort to drive long distances to be with us, your wonderful gifts-from-the-heart, and most of all your fabulous friendship, camaraderie, and laughter!
maRRose - CCC --- MadewithLoops visit-31 (2)Thursday being Heike’s last day in Amsterdam, we drove to “Echtstudio” in Alphen a/d Rijn to meet with delightful Michelle of Scaapi (website here, blog here).
maRRose - CCC --- MadewithLoops visit-50Scaapi is a yarn agency specialized in selling unique hand knitting and crochet yarns produced in South Africa. Michelle gifted both Heike and me a beautiful selection of the yarns that she carries and I can’t wait to start creating something with them.
maRRose - CCC --- MadewithLoops Visit-34 maRRose - CCC --- MadewithLoops Visit-38Around 17:30 I dropped Heike off at Schiphol Airport again where she was to meet Sarah (more on Sarah here) for the last leg of her journey – you can read about that here.

Like I said, there’s so much to be thankful for ……. all in all it has been an absolutely ace week, stuffed to the gills with inspiring, creative friends (new and old), lots of gorgeous yarn (known and unknown), and a shared love for all things yarny.
maRRose - CCC --- MadewithLoops Visit-08Still on a high, it’s back to “normal” now, which isn’t quite so “normal” having a 9 week old puppy around the house. But, we’re all madly in love with our new little darling, so it’s all good!
maRRose - CCC --- Mila-01Wishing you a wonderful new week!

Marianne xx

“Let’s Meet Crochet Party”

maRRose - CCC --- Draad en Praat Crochet Party-06It’s been a while since I’ve had súch a fantastic weekend!
A weekend that had no less than 3 highlights – all very unique and different, but all so very enjoyable too.
maRRose - CCC --- Draad en Praat Crochet Party-02The big kick-off was Saturday afternoon: the truly fabulous, extremely talented and super sweet Lisanne of the “Draad en Praat”-blog organised her 1st “Let’s Meet Crochet Party” in one of the most beautiful yarn stores here in The Netherlands, “Echtstudio” in Alphen a/d Rijn. She invited 25 bloggers and instagrammers, all avid crocheters/diy-ers.
maRRose - CCC --- Draad en Praat Crochet Party-01And isn’t is lovely to be with like-minded people, who can as easily get carried away by the look and feel of a certain cotton, an arrangement of cool colors, a new little crochet trick/technique – just like yourself?
maRRose - CCC --- Draad en Praat Crochet Party-05 maRRose - CCC --- Draad en Praat Crochet Party-07We all got along so nicely – meeting old friends, making new ones, seeing blog- and/or IG-buddies in real life for the first time. I felt totally inspired by this creativity-vibe – and I’m sure I’m not the only one!
maRRose - CCC --- Draad en Praat Crochet Party-03Lisanne must have spent many an hour preparing this remarkably well organised event, paying attention to every little detail, from a delightfully styled table to yummie treats, photo props and last but not least gorgeous goodiebags for all of us to take home.
A huge “thank you” goes out to her – she sure “made it happen”!
maRRose - CCC --- Draad en Praat Crochet Party-04maRRose - CCC --- Draad en Praat Crochet Party-08After this awesome event I drove to Noordwijk, to join my husband, children, mother- and sister-in-law to have dinner together in honor of my sil’s 50th birthday. She had made reservations in a lovely restaurant on the beach – great company, fab food in an excellent setting (that sunset …..): what more to ask for?
maRRose - CCC --- Sunset Noordwijk BeachThe third weekend highlight was today: we got to see (and cuddle!) our new puppy dog for the very first time.
Unfortunately – and totally unexpected – we’ve very recently lost our two beloved black labs (not even within 5 weeks of each other).
I can’t even begin to explain how shocked and sad this has left us……. it made us realize also we really need a dog in our lives and so the search for a well bred, healthy puppy started.
We were lucky enough to find a wonderful breeder, everything worked out perfectly and we’re already looking forward to June 5th when we can bring this black beauty home.
maRRose - CCC --- Fantdetica Pup-01

I sure hope your weekend was as joyous as mine!

Marianne xx