Neat Stuff

Check Out My Beautiful New Wooden Shoes to Celebrate St. Nicholas Eve!


My sweetie and I just got back from visiting the coolest shop!

Dutch American Market & Import in Beaverton, OR.

The whole purpose of the trip was to purchase a lovely pair of wooden shoes so I would be able to properly celebrate the Feast of St. Nicholas this year.

But needless to say, things got a bit out of hand as my sweetie browsed the imported food aisles and I happily poked about among the shelves and shelves of Delft Blue pottery candlesticks, ornaments, dishes, canal houses, St. Nicholas figurines and of course wooden shoes.

I have come to the conclusion I am going to need more than wooden shoes and one Delft Blue Windmill ornament to celebrate my Dutch roots on December 5th!

And one of those things needed for the celebration is Edam and Gouda imported from Holland. We brought a big piece of aged gouda home with us but it will probably not last the week - certainly not til December.

The "Gouda" in the grocery stores - which I happen to like by the way - no comparison.

When I bit into the sample,  my mouth felt like it was tasting cheese for the first time.

Locals, you just have to visit! And go hungry because they have a lunch bar serving sandwiches featuring their lovely cheeses! Or you can just taste test the cheeses. Did you know there isn't just one Gouda??

And - did you know there are 32 kinds of Dutch licorice? Apparently licorice is a huge favorite in the Netherlands! My sweetie brought his share home - didn't even make it into the photo before it was sampled!

At the end of our visit, Joke, who helped us with our questions and purchases and whose heritage is Dutch East Indies, sat us down and served us complimentary Dutch coffee (in the most beautiful Delft Blue cups) and - get this - Speculaas windmill cookies!

I wish I could have taken every one of you with me.

They do have a web site here and will ship anywhere in the US. It is not yet set up to show the inventory but many, many items available are listed so, by all means, contact Hans or Lia Middelhoven. They are genuinely kind people who will be happy to assist.

If you are local, don't miss a visit with Joke. She will guide you through the food items from the Dutch East Indies.  We came home with both salty and sweet soy sauce (OMG) and packets of spices to be used in chicken and beef dishes and even one especially for green beans.

You might find the history of the Dutch East Indies interesting - I sure did.  Holland ruled the Dutch East Indies for 300 years before giving Indonesia it's freedom to self rule in 1948.  I found this story especially fascinating.

Now if you will excuse me, it is time for another piece of Gouda!

We Have a Winner!


We have a winner!

Lizzy, my sweetie picked your name out of the hat!!

I will send your e-mail right over to Devon Bear Designs.

For those of you have not yet met Lizzy, she is a very lovely English gal who just recently moved to Switzerland. She has knitting needles in her hands almost 24/7 - well at least she did until her beautiful baby girl, Bea, came into her life just a few months ago.

Take a moment to pop over to Ruffles and Ribbons and say hello!

Congratulations Lizzy. I am sure you are going to enjoy your subscription to Bustle and Sew Magazine as much as I do mine.

Most Excellent News to Share


I could not be happier than I am right this minute!

And I just have to share the news!

Diane has just been named Editor in Chief of CRAFT.

Pop over here for the full story!And more on Craftypod here.

Diane and Natalie, I join many, many others I am sure in wishing each of you happiness and success in your new adventures.

Bustle and Sew Magazine Giveaway - Try The Magazine For 6 Months For Free On Me!


Image from Devon Bear Designs and Bustle and Sew

I am thrilled with my subscription to Devon Bear Designs' new online monthly publication - Bustle and Sew Magazine.

I just today received issue number four. You can get a peek here! It is beautiful and packed full of original and vintage patterns including a pattern for knitting the cutest little tea cozy I have ever seen, several adorable embroidery designs including one just for the big wedding coming up in a couple days, and a most interesting article about crafting blogs today - written by Zara Saliba of SewnbySaliba. Over 50 pages of crafty goodness including 8 embroidery, knit and crochet patterns.

Bustle and Sew magazine was originally offered at the incredible price of $2.50 per issue. Remember - I told you about it not long ago!

However, beginning May 1st, the price will go up to $4.50 per issue for new subscribers. Anyone subscribing before May 1 locks in the current rate of $2.50 per month forever.

So - I have decided to giveaway a six month subscription to Bustle and Sew Magazine. Not only will the lucky winner receive 6 issues, beginning with the issue just published on April 26th, but she will be guaranteed the $2.50 per month rate when renewing.

You can read more about the magazine and past content and even find free pattern downloads just by going to the Bustle and Sew blog.

Then, leave a comment right here by midnight April 30th PST. You can leave any comment you wish but "love notes" are always welcome!

Because Bustle and Sew Magazine is an online publication, the giveaway is open to everyone world wide.

Just remember that only one person will win. So if you don't want to take any chances and want to lock in the $2.50 monthly rate, go sign up now! If you win, the 6 month subscription will be applied to your account.

For those of you who are just not into embroidery or stuffies or knitting/crochet - enter anyway if you have a friend you would love to gift the subscription to.  We can do that!

Good luck everyone.

Don't Miss This Chance to Win a Bunny Pattern!


I couldn't share the pattern I used for my bunnies I made last year as it was was given to me privately.

But I just found an adorable bunny to make for this year that I can share!


Image made by Meg at Mega Crafty

The pattern for these adorable little knitted / felted bunnies is available at Fiber Trends.

OR you can pop over to visit Meg at Mega Crafty and enter her giveaway! She is giving away five Bunny patterns.

And one lucky winner will be the "grand prize winner" and receive not only the pattern but also a Starter Felting Kit!

My name's in the hat already!

Hurry on over and enter - the giveaway ends on Sunday, April 3rd. at 11:59 pm EST.

Meg has made the giveaway available worldwide!

And just a little warning, when you visit Fiber Trends - be prepared to fall in love!  The cutest creatures ever!  Owls, lamas, lambs, and OMG the squirrels!  I am in sooooo much trouble.


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