Cucina con amore

This is a cookbook I was hoping to find secondhand some day. No luck. But then it appeared that it was in the collection of my parents in law! Actually the first cookbook they bought for their new household back then. And we got to borrow it. What I love about the recipes is that they are short and with little ingredients. Very little for this Spaghetti con l'alloro. We all loved it. Can't wait to try more recipes.

A morning of me-time

I've been screen printing in the completely renewed Grafisch Atelier in the Willem II sigarenfabriek today. I printed mermaids, drawn by our youngest, on fabric. All fabrics came out of the 1€-bin in the fabric store. I'm still not sure what I'm going make out of the prints. Maybe small wallets like we made for our eldest. Other suggestions for a quick (we'll have to make 10) project, as party favors for 8/9 year olds?


Next birthday is coming up. N wants to go swimming with her friends. For me finally a chance to work out a mermaid theme. Not that I'm so fond of mermaids, but N is. She's been drawing mermaids all of her life. If I had known I would have kept all those mermaid drawings from the start. Would have been a extraordinary collection. You'll see some of those drawings later in the party process. For the invitation we have turned N into a mermaid. We took a picture in the bathtub to have the right hair and collaged a mermaid scene around it. The body, squid and orange coral with paper from storybooks, the background in photoshop. When you're insecure about your drawing skills, try collaging. You'll be surprised about the results.

Paper rolls 2.0

This book we bought a few weeks ago in France. We like to spend time int those large french bookstores. Our youngest found this one. I loved it right away. Such sophisticated animals made from inferior toilet paper rolls! I used the kangaroo (it's on the cover) pattern and transformed it in an, slightly awkward, easter rabbit. I think, he turned out to be a pretty handsome bunny.

Flourishing felt

Every year in spring we get these wonderful magnolia branches from my parents in law. From the tree in their garden. They almost cease blossoming. I was thinking to replace the real flowers then by fake felt ones. And of course someone thought of this before, because when I googled for felt magnolias, I found this tutorial. I made some changes though: coloured the outside of the leafs with pencil, used orange and pink for the heart and reduced the size by 50%. They look almost real when applied to the branch.

Selfie cake

I thought it would be difficult to make a chocolate portrait like this one. But the instructions are clear and my first try was already pretty ok. The portrait came on top of J's favourite chocolate-sour cream cake (similar recipe). Every year the same. Luckily her friends like chocolate cake too.


What a great weekend we've had! One saturday J celebrated her childrens party. Taking selfies with a camera on a selfie stick,  a guided tour along selfies and other portraits, taking paintinglike portraits (thanks Casper) and making stop motion movies featuring their own face, all in the Noordbrabants Museum. I think, a big succes. Sunday was her real birthday, for the family. Very excited she was about the Lego Mindstorms set.The present was unwrapped quickly and the snake came together in no time. With her father she reprogrammed it, adding sounds and movement. Great way to get acquainted to computer programming. But our future biologist loved another present best, even better than the tickets for Freek Vonk live (Dutch Steve Irwin): the giant prickly stick insects. But I'm not sure I am so happy about those 5 new pets...

Less is more banana bars

Sometimes a bunch of bananas is gone in one day. The next time they all keep waiting to be eaten, until they turn brown. like this time. I googled for a banana cookie recipe and saw this one. A two ingredient recipe, with one extra ingredient to vary. Very quick and simple. The result is not crunchy, but chewy. One daughter and the husband really disliked them, the other daughter loved the cookies. And I? I'm somewhere in the middle. Didn't really like them at first, but grew to appreciate them more and more. I would add a pinch of salt next time. But then it's already a 4-ingredient recipe.

Johannes Vermeer

Another painting. It's funny how easy it is to make costumes for pictures. To be honest, you can't call this a costume yet. Only one seam, on the schouder, is sewn. On her head just scraps of fabric, pinned together, already looking like a turban. Of course, the pearl (Thanks Y) does the main trick. Although they recently discovered that it couldn't possibly be a pearl in the girls ear. Research revealed that it possibly is a metal ball.

Jan Sluijters

Like every year I spend far too much time on our daughters' birthday parties. Something I always realize in the last week. But I so much enjoy developing such a complete, relatively small, concept, to perfection. Unfortunately my work suffers from it. Yesterday evening I turned a thrifted straw hat, with an also second hand drapery cord and tassels and some felt, into a 'lady in red' look-a-like. You shouldn't look in detail (hooray for the glue gun), but in the picture it looks quite chique.