Sunday, May 26, 2013


Strawberries!!! I love strawberries!

Ours are still to little and far to green to eat. Belgian strawberries in the store are still way to expensive. So we decided to look up a local farmer on Fermweb who would sell them.

I can tell you they were amazing, and the homemade strawberry jam they sold was even better!!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Potted Gift

I just wanted to share the super cute mothers day/birthday gift we made for Toms mother. She's a real flower person (you won't believe how pretty her garden always is), so we thought this would be an appropriate gift. We'll be dropping it off this afternoon, so I'll wait with posting till then, to keep it a surprise for just a little bit longer!

Oh, and the lavender in the middle is called Edelweiss lavender, it blooms white (we have one too)!

55 Gallon Drum Inspiration

I found this cutie on Pinterest, linking to this Etsy page.. Being a badly funded student (aka cheapskate) I just cannot afford the 400 + euros it costs. So, we'll have to figure out how to make it ourselves :)

Friday, May 24, 2013

Reupholster Project - Part 10 (the before and after!)

Uni-Therapy: Striped Chair Before & After

Finally, as promised the before and after of our (now) super cool chair!! It was a shitload of work, but totally worth it in the end! It turned out such an amazing eye-catcher! In the end redoing the chair cost is about 35 euros (10 for the chair, 25 for the fabric), a whole lot less than buying a chair like this!

Onto the next project!

Reupholster Project - Part 9  (the last pieces)
Reupholster Project - Part 10 (the before and after)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

DIY Swiss Army Key Ring

Look what I found on Instructables, wouldn't that be handy for all those guys who have way too many keys in their pockets? This one is definitely going on the DIY To Do list!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Envelope Clutch (for my car papers)

This afternoon we're picking up the banana-car (yaaay!!). I managed to get all the papers on Thursday, and Friday they delivered my number plates to Toms office. The thing is I have to have a pretty big pile of papers lying around in my car. Knowing me they'll end up either lost or with juice/coffee stains on them, and to be honest, it's not very stylish to have a pile of paper lying about. So, why not make a envelope clutch to keep them clean and together?

I decided on a two part clutch, a soft red inside and a flowery outside (the outside fabric was a left over from when I redid our couch). Since I knew the exact size of the papers (half an A4), I used a folded piece of paper as a size template. In short I needed two pieces of fabric a cm bigger than my papers, and I needed two pieces the same size, but with a flap on it. If you trace around the papers, make sure you keep a little more space so that if the pile grows you still have place enough for them. I used 0.5 cm for extra space and 1 cm (at least) for a seam. And you'll need pieces of vlieseline (an iron on stiffener) to fit on every piece of fabric you'll need.

To get a nice round flap I used a plate of more or less the same with as my stack of papers.

Iron on the vlieseline, if you have a thin version (link me) you can see your marks through the vlieseline. I iron it on with the temperature on two dots and no steam. The glossy and smooth side is the ironing side, the other side sticks to the fabric.

Pin together the tops of the front and back parts. Make sure the pretty sides face each other!! Sew and trim the fabric. Pull your parts inside out and iron down the seams. This makes it easier to get them straight if you sew everything together in the end.

Place your front and back together with the outside in. So for me that is the flowers on the inside and the red on the outside. Use your paper to mark where your stack should come and pin off the area. Make sure to leave some room for the eventual bigger stack of paper (the 0.5 cm remember).

Sew the sides together and trim the sides. Make sure not to cut into your own sewing. 

Pull your work the right way round, and voila, your clutch! You could add a button to keep it shut (the fabric was too thick to do that with my machine - so I'm planning to use magnetic buttons). Can you imagine the look on the face of the next cop who will pull you over to ask for your papers??

Friday, May 17, 2013

Amat and her paw

When you wonder what happened with your seedlings...

Plant Labels

Transplanting some of the seedlings to a new container, I found that I had to label the containers in some way. This is the solution I came up with:

There should be other ways, but hey, this is what I had lying about. and to be very honest, I like the effect. Even when I slip a plastic bag over to mimic a greenhouse I can still read what they say, and they keep up  the baggie too.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Growing Seeds

I have the amazing ability to kill every plant around me. I'm especially bad at making seeds grow! So when Tom bought a couple of seed packages and a teeny tiny hot house, I saw a very dim future for them.

But lo and behold! It's growing! The petunias and the broccoli already had to be transplanted to different containers because they were crowding their own family. Even the strawberries (very small seeds) now form a green little carpet. I'm so proud of myself!

I'll keep you posted on the progress!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Banana Car

Say hi to my new car!! My banana-car :) I payed it off yesterday, today the insurance, and Saturday the pick up! I can't wait to be driving around in a giant banana.

I contacted Chiquita to find out if they could give me a Chiquita sticker for on the side. Still haven't heard back from them though...


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Home Made Ginger Ale

Last week I bought a bottle of Rivella on our local Dutch supermarket  Since I love the fizzy whey based drink and it is terribly hard to get in Belgium, I was wondering if I could make it myself. It turns out I can't. But while I was searching the internet for a Rivella recipe, I found an easy ginger ale recipe <here>. The recipe is simple (copied from the link above):

clean 2 liter plastic soft drink bottle with cap (not glass: explosions are dangerous.) 
Grater (preferably with fine "cutting" teeth 
1 cup measuring cup 

Freshly grated ginger root (1 1/2-2 tablespoons) 
1/4 tsp and 1 Tbl measuring spoons cane (table) sugar [sucrose] (1 cup) 
Juice of one lemon 
fresh granular baker's yeast (1/4 teaspoon) 
cold fresh pure water

1)  Lay it out all the listed ingredients and equipment.

2) Use fresh ginger root (purchasable at most large supermarkets, or Asian food shops).

3)  Add 1 cup sugar to the 2 liter bottle with a dry funnel.  (Leave the funnel in place until you are ready to cap the bottle.)

NOTE: Many have asked about bottling ginger ale in glass bottles. I do not recommend it because ginger ale is a very aggressive fermenter, producing high pressure fairly rapidly. Plastic bottles can be felt to judge pressure. Glass cannot. Tardy refrigeration can lead to explosions. Exploding plastic bottles are messy. Exploding glass botles are dangerous...

4) Measure out 1/4th teaspoon fresh granular active baker's yeast.  (Fleishman's etc.  We buy ours in bulk from the health food store.)

5)  Add yeast through funnel into the bottle, shake to disperse the yeast grains into the sugar granules.

6)  Grate the ginger root on a fine "cutting" grater to produce 1 1/2 Tablespoon of grated root.  (Look at the large picture of the grater.  This style of fine "cutting" teeth works MUCH better than the style with the sharp pointy piece of metal which crumble food.  The design is also less likely to shred your knuckles.  I have had to look far and wide to find a fine "cutting" grater.  Mine says "Stainless Steel Denmark" on its handle...)

7) Place grated ginger in the cup measure

8)  Juice a whole lemon.  (Lemon is optional, giving a little tartness to the ginger ale.  Try it both ways to see which you prefer.  I like them both.)

9)  Add the juice of a whole lemon to the grated ginger.

10)  Stir the lemon juice and grated ginger to form a slurry.

11)  Add the slurry of lemon juice and grated ginger to the bottle.  (It may stick in the funnel.  Don't worry, the next step will wash it into the bottle.)

12)  Rinse containers with fresh clean water.

12)  Add the rinsings to the bottle, cap and shake to distribute.

13)  Fill the bottle to the neck with fresh cool clean water, leaving about an inch of head space,  securely screw cap down to seal. Invert repeatedly to thoroughly dissolve sugar.  (The ginger root will not dissolve, of course.)

14)  Place in a warm location for 24 to 48 hours.  (Do not leave at room temperature longer than necessary to feel "hard."  The excess pressure may cause an eruption when you open it, or even explode the bottle!)

15)  Test to see if carbonation is complete by squeezing the bottle forcefully with your thumb.  If it dents in as in the picture, it is not ready.

16)  Once the bottle feels hard to a forceful squeeze, usually only 24-48 hours, place in the refrigerator. Before opening, refrigerate at least overnight to thoroughly chill. Crack the lid of the thoroughly chilled ginger ale just a little to release the pressure slowly. You do not want a ginger ale fountain!

NOTE: Do not leave the finished ginger ale in a warm place any longer than the time it takes for the bottle to feel hard. Leaving it at room temperature longer than two days, especially in the summer when the temperature is high, can generate enough pressure to explode the bottle! (Speaking from experience here...) Once it is thoroughly chilled, there is little danger of explosion.

17)  Filter the ginger ale through a strainer if you find floating pieces of ginger objectionable.  These are found in the first glass or two poured, and, since most of the ginger sinks to the bottom, the last glass or so may require filtering too.  Rinse the bottle out immediately after serving the last of the batch.

I tried it out... Now I just have to wait for 24 hours!