what I make, thrifting and more

Posts tagged ‘diy’

A new old cabinet

Hi everyone!

Yesterday we went to the charity shops and there it was…the ideal wall cabinet to house either my collection of frogs or my vintage sewing utensils!

I have been looking for a nice cabinet for a long time but never found one that was affordable and nice at the same time. This was just 5 euro’s and I love the way it looks.

The previous owner must have kept their perfume or soap bars in there because when you open the little door a lovely smell comes floating out

Here are some ideas of what I could do with it, I haven’t decided yet

Lot’s of inspiration there

I also found some other things but I will post about them later

for now


Easter Decoration

Good morning this lovely sunny – but cold – Sunday morning.

Dear daughter in law and I had a lovely time yesterday making our Easter decoration. I’m not a big fan of decorating the whole house for Easter. When the boys were small we would just put some willow branches in a vase and hang some wooden eggs in them like this

and in recent years I haven’t decorated at all, but this I like a lot. It keeps the decoration contained to this one space on the dinner table.

We made a big mess of the table…

We painted our little glass vases with glass paint which gives a lovely stained glass effect.

We arranged all our bought items and some of my own things.

And the finished product

Much nicer and definitely cheaper than buying the whole thing ready made!

In the evening I washed my hair and put in cut-up-tshirt-strips so I went to bed looking like this

I’m very curious about the result!

See you all on Monday and on that day the Beginner Bloggers Club starts over at http://asimplyklassichome.blogspot.com and I’m featured…


More book pages

Hello dear readers,

Yesterday was quite the busy day. No time for blogging.

My mother in law had a nasty fall on Thursday and broke her upper arm. We’ve been busy organising medical care and some help around the house as she can’t care for herself right now. She’s in a lot of pain and being very brave about it, but of course she’s quite helpless. We also went to get her some groceries and visited for a while.

In the afternoon I went out with dear daughter in law to some local furniture and diy stores and for a trip to the garden centre. We treated ourselves to some easter decorations to make a nice display on the table. Today we are going to put it all together. I’ll post pictures later.

I’ve also been working on presents for my dad’s birthday

A nice note pad, it just needs adding a small pencil

I used an old coaster, some cardboard saved from a biscuit package, book pages, brown wrapping paper, scrap paper, glue, part of a note pad I bought in Action, a clip and some raffia.

He had requested flowers for his balcony so we have bought him some lovely Petunia’s

and a Ranunculus

and to that I added a butterfly. I’ve seen them with a small solar powered system that makes it move but I thought why not make one myself. This time the wind will make it move just as well

I used a bicycle spoke covered in colourful tape, some metal wire from the garden centre, of course a page from a book, some scrap paper and stickers and a toothpick and glue and sealed the butterfly with multi coat to protect it from damp. It is not meant to go outside but on a protected balcony where there will be no rain I guess it will be ok.

See you later!

Flea markets and presents

Hello dear readers,

Yesterday was such a busy day with some unexpected visitors that I didn’t get a chance to post.

In the morning Hubby and I went to two flea markets in villages nearby and this is what we found

this lovely hall lamp. I like the shape and the look of it with the grey metal coming through but I still have to repaint as big chips of paint keep falling off. It was a bit too expensive actually, we usually don’t buy stuff over 5 euro’s and this was 7.50 after some haggling but I liked it too much to let it go.

For when I’m finished with the first book, which will be a while yet I’m afraid, but it’s good motivation. It was 1 euro

I don’t know what it’s called, but it’s to hold in your lap while peeling potatoes. It was handmade by the man in the stall and he was sooo proud of his work 🙂 It was just 1 euro.  I’m still in doubt if I will leave it looking like this. I would like it to be all white but then again, I also like to keep it like the man made it.

I also came across this Wade whimsy. I used to collect these as a child when we went to visit my aunt and uncle in Britain. They somehow got lost over the years but whenever I see one in a charity shop or flea market for less than 50 euro cents I take it home with me. This one was 20 cents.

When we got back in town we went to a shop called Action and I got this

some pretty pink nail polish for less than a euro, to celebrate the lovely spring weather and to go with this…

the first high-heeled shoes I’ve bought in I guess over 10 years! They were just 9,95 so I thought I could risk not being able to walk in them LoL

As it turned out I could walk in them although a little pain was involved as I blister very easily. But I so love the look I am going to wear them regardless of the blisters. I’ll just cover my toes in plasters and look pretty 🙂

In the afternoon dear daughter in law came visiting and she brought me presents, isn’t that sweet?

She had been on a shopping spree in a local shop before opening hours with a friend who works there and had brought home lots of nice things for bottom prices

She gave me this lovely tea-pot door stopper, which is way to pretty to sit on the floor and be played with by the doggies maybe, so it now sits on the coffee table together with these lovely candles I have yet to unwrap. One is magnolia scented, mmmm lovely

She also gave me this lovely frog to go outside on the window so I can read the outside temperature. I have a thing about frogs and toads, don’t know why and I used to actively collect them until it got to be a little too much to display. Now they just sit in a box in the attic waiting until I find a nice wall cabinet to put them in. I don’t actively collect them myself anymore but sometimes the kids give me one and I love them.

I’m also making thing out of old books and loving it, such a nice idea. These are the first things I made, more to come soon…

Have a lovely sunday!

Back where I was born

Goodmorning, and a lovely sunny spring morning it is. They say it could be 20° next week!

On Saturdaymorning I played Portal 2 for a while. I’m already at chapter 7 again so not much more to go before I finish this game. It’s much more fun now I can handle the controls better and know how the game works. I’ve only needed help from son 4 twice so far and that is because I have a fear of heights in this game as well as in real life and that makes it hard for me to jump into a portal from great heights. It is silly to have such fear and sit with sweaty palms and heart racing, it is just a game after all. But I do find that is not so scary anymore the second time around, so maybe it will help with my fears in real life if I play games? Let’s hope so, because not being able to stand on a chair or stepladder is not very practical.

In the afternoon I have been out with my parents

Here we were close to Zierikzee, we drove over the Zeelandbrug which used to be the longest bridge in Europe for a long time – 5 km’s – I don’t like driving over it much as it is very narrow and I always worry about the car breaking down in the middle of the bridge, because there is nowhere to go, you have to stand still in the traffic lane

The sun was still out but there was a mist coming in from the sea and on the way back we could hardly see the car in front of us

The bridge has a section that opens to let boats through. We had to sit and wait for almost 10 minutes to let this tiny sailing boat pass under the bridge.

We’re almost there, Ridderkerk is where I was born and we were on our way to visit with my mum’s sister who has just moved out of the house she has lived in for the past 52 years into a lovely new flat just a few blocks away.

We were back home just in time for dinner and in the evening I worked a bit on one of the UFO’s I have found in my crafting cupboard

It’s a lovely picture by Dimensions and I started on this a few years ago, but then I couldn’t see the stitches very well anymore and lost interest. Now I want to finish it finaly and it is going well so far. I will probably be working on it again today since son 2 has the car and I will not be going anywhere because of it. I may also be cleaning our printer today as well, it is clogged up with old ink.

Have a lovely sunday!


The girls are out!


Today is another sunny but slightly chilly morning. The hens have all had their wingfeathers clipped (for anyone who is wondering: no there was no blood or cutting of bones involved as some seem to think when you speak of clipping wings) Hubby likes it a lot when they walk around him in the garden when he’s working there, but we don’t want the girls to go over the fence into the neighbour’s garden or worse into the street so they have to have their wings clipped. Our Leghorn doesn’t like it one bit, she does not want to be held, although she will sit on your hand like a parrot

The Sussex hens just love the attention, they would sit in your lap if you gave them the chance…

Now they are ready to do some gardening for me…

They are much faster at removing the grass from inbetween the stones

They are also very good at loosening the soil to get it ready for planting, although they make a big mess of it on the paving while they’re at it.

Work is being done on the new roof for their home, more of that later. I’ve been busy sorting out sewing yarns and mending clothes and my men’s-shirt-blouse is ready

I’ve also glued the broken lid of  my penbox. I seem to have a “thing” for boxes and tins. It is something old and nice looking to collect and the fact that they are always useful to keep small objects in is a good excuse to buy more of them. But actually it is a bit of an addiction so I now try to be more selective in what I buy. But boy do they come in handy in my ADD household where everything small gets mislaid never to be found again. This way I can at least keep my own belongings safe! But there is still a problem…you just don’t stick a label on such pretty boxes, so I seem to be forever opening boxes and tins when I want something but can’t remember which one it’s in. Any suggestions anyone? 🙂

This one has a lovely lid I think with a little mother of pearl inlay in the middle. I think I bought it on Koninginnedag (our Queen’s birthday) last year.

I’ve also been looking through a few drawers of crafting material, books and patterns and such and did a big cull. One pile to go in the attic for later use. One pile to sell on the internet and one pile to throw away. My drawers look nice and organized now, but there is one downside: I have found some more embroidery kits to finish so my UFO basket is filling up again.

Sewing machine adventure

Hi, it’s a glorious sunny morning and I’m ready to tell you about my sewing machine adventure…

If you have a computer sewing machine like I have, you are not to open the machine any further than the manual says you can. If your machine is new and still has warranty on it : do not open it for you will loose your warranty. If you have no patience or if you have no technical skills : do not try to do as I did! You might damage your machine, bits could easily break off and you may never be able to put it back together again, or you could damage the electronics and it won’t work again.

But if like me you have a secondhand sewing machine with no warranty in place and no money for costly maintenance at a repair shop, be brave and have a go!

This is what I did with my brother super ace 3:

These are the materials I used: the screwdrivers that came with my sewing machine for the bits you’re allowed to unscrew and two regular screwdrivers for the bits they don’t want you to touch 😉 ; a very fine knitting needle to pick out lint and threads in difficult-to-reach places; tweezers for dropped lint/dust and dropped screws and putting screws back in place where it’s hard to reach with fingers; a paintbrush to pick up dust  and finaly sewing machine oil.

First you have to take out the bobbin and remove the needle. I suggest that you place everything you take off in chronological order on a table so you will know in which order to put everything back in place once you are done with cleaning and oiling your machine.

Then you have to remove the presser foot

This plate also has to be removed.

This side cover has to be removed as well.

To take the top left cover off where the lightbulb is you have to unscrew this screw in the back.

In order to be able to take the front cover off you have to take this bottom plate off, unscrewing these two screws is enough to slide it off.

To be able to clean the part where you thread your machine, you will have to take the screws off. I could’t find an easy way to remove it completely but turning the wheel will show how to loosen this bit. It has to be removed from behind the square metal plate at the top. You can leave it that way but be careful when moving the wheel later to not get this part stuck and damaged.

The top screw you see me unscrewing has to be loosened a bit to be able to take the front off later.

This bit covers the place where you adjust the pressure, it has to come off before you can take the front away.

Another little screw I couldn’t find at first, there’s a lot of calmly sitting and observing involved if you have never done this before in order to be sure not to damage anything.

At the back of the machine behind the handle was another screw to take away.

At the side where the wheel is located, there is a screw hidden behind a stopper. The side can be taken off now but be careful in doing so because there are plastic clips holding it in place.

Here you can see the belt and motor, you will have to check the belt for wear and tear and replace it if needed (take it with you to the shop if you want to replace it)

Almost ready to take the front off. Before that can happen there are three more screws to unscrew at the bottom of  the machine. This is where you will need your big regular screwdriver to unscrew the torkscrews. This is where they really want to discourage you and sadly I needed a man to use force on these. They were just tóo tight.

Be careful when you take the bottom plate off as it is also attached to the front and back  and has to be ‘wriggled’ loose without damaging the plastic

Now you are finally ready to take the top off. I found this the most difficult bit because there were still two plastic clips holding it firmly in place (see arrows) and they were very hard to get loose without damaging or breaking anything, so please be carefull and take your time to gently apply pressure with your screwdriver to get them to open up.

This is the machine taken apart as far as needed. The top will not come loose from the machine entirely, it will stay attached by the bits where the arrows are in the picture, be carefull not to pull or twist or you will damage the electronic bits of your machine. You can also see the printplates now and they shouldn’t be touched at all.

This is me blowdrying my sewing machine 🙂 In a repair shop they would use compressed air and you could also use canned air like they sell for computers but I think a blowdryer set on cold will work just as good. Once you have blown away most of the dust you can look inside to find the bits that haven’t been blown away and take them out with the brush, knitting needle or tweezers. Also take out the bobbin holder to clean it with your brush and a soft damp cloth. Especially look for dust and threads underneath the place where the bobbin holder sits as that is where I found the most lint and threads stuck on the moving parts. Clean every bit that you think is cleanable with a damp cloth, like the motor. And also clean every bit of cover you have taken off inside and outside and also the bits that are not so easily reached when the machine is put together again.

Once you are sure there is no more dirt in your machine, you are ready to apply oil to all moving metal parts. If you look carefully you will probably see tiny holes in most of these places to put the oil in. Use just 1 drop of oil! There is nothing worse than oiling too much, says hubby who, long long ago, used to have to repair clocks.

Once you have done all this and replaced all parts that were broken you can put the machine back together again. Just put everything back in place in reverse order.

Once everything is back in place you replace the needle with a new one and you are ready for testing the machine. I was very relieved to see all the lights back on !

And it works!

To test the machine I have filled up the scent cushion with lavender and sewn on a ribbon.

%d bloggers like this: