bits and pieces / crochet

July Moves On

The last time we spoke was at the end of June. We were having a few pink summer days. The weather has been on and off since then with a few really nice and warm days but also with some serious rain! That’s July…

I have been busy with several things. I made bread again using the flour and sourdough starter from a new Dutch brand. My first attempt (see Instagram) did not give a very satisfying result. The bread felt like a stone. Something obviously went wrong. I was contacted by them when I mentioned my frustration on Instagram and they were so kind to send me a new set of flour and sourdough to try again. A few tips were included as well.

And guess what? Much better this time, but still room for improvement. Thank you to the team of Meesterlijk Brrod!

In bloom

On the floral side, my hydrangea finally started to turn into this beautiful pink! I think I like them best at this stage, the transition from green to pink with some green left. (Meanwhile they have turned completely pink.)

And this the oregano plant in my small herb garden! I guess I don’t use it enough and it just keeps growing. Then these lovely flowers appear. I don’t mind, I like them. And so do the bees and other insects.

This one is a small petunia and they are in full bloom at the moment. I prefer this tiny version over the ones with the larger flowers since those are higher maintenance. These little ones only need water whereas with the larger ones you have to constantly remove the old flowers to keep them producing new ones. The little flowers always look very fragile and as soon as rain is forecasted, I move the pots away to a place where they are more protected. It would be too bad if rain destroys these lovely little flowers!

And look who is relaxing on lovely summer days as well! This sunbed is in our garden and it is definitely one of his favourite places. Harsh competition with the spot under the garden table though! He won’t let us lie on the sunbed by ourselves, he will claim his spot next to one of us. But he doesn’t mind being there alone as well. Bono is such a relaxed dog!

Summer Food

Of course, Summer days involve some alfresco dinner as well. Preferably cooked on the BBQ. I think we had simple chicken thighs with this. Anyway, this meal turned out be in Sicilian style: I made caponata (a Sicilian aubergine stew, find recipes here) served in a ceramic bowl that I bought on Sicily a few years ago. And the wine turned out to be Sicilian as well.

A simple green salad with pine nuts and a dressing made of balsamic vinegar and olive oil was all that I added.

We love to try different wines and usually buy them from the local wine store. They have a nice selection with new additions every now and then. We have our favourites that we buy regularly and try new ones. This particular one is an organic red wine. The thing with organic wines is that you somehow expect them to be good just because they are organic. Well, that is certainly not the case with a lot of them. This one however, definitely is an exception to that: it is good. We bought a new bottle a few days ago to try it again as it has the potential of becoming our new favourite red wine! (Don’t you just love the label???)

There was actually room for a dessert: chargrilled bananas with vanilla ice-cream, pecan nuts and honey. The signature dish of my husband.

On the Crafting Side

I did some knitting and finished that project. I’m working on the pattern and I will release it here soon. I still need some photos of it…

I also realised that one of my project bags was empty! How could that happen??? Time to start something new then. I decided on the Moonlit Shawl by Sandra of Cherryheart. She just released the pattern and it’s available on Ravelry.

I found some nice yarn in my stash for this project. It’s a lovely and comforting pattern. Not too complicated, just perfect as an in-between-things kind of project.

After you have made the main part of the crescent shaped shawl, you add a border to one side.

And there are some new balls of yarn lined-up already for something that I am planning to make for a long time already. These will become two pillows… to be continued!

In between things we celebrated my father’s birthday so we spend a few days at my parents in the southern part of the country. I actually took the Moonlit Shawl and the new balls of yarn with me to work on both of them. But I only added a few rows to the shawl.

Homemade Jam

The great thing about Summer is the abundance of fresh fruit. There are peaches and strawberries and cherries… and apricots. I made jam with them and I wrote down the recipe, you’ll find it here!

Exploring the Surroundings

Yesterday morning we decided to go somewhere else for the dog walk. It is not so much the dog that needs a change of environment, but we do every now and then. It was warm though, really warm. Bono was very happy to find this puddle on our walk!

As the sign next to it says, this puddle is a crater caused by a bomb during World War II. It is now home to frogs and other water loving species. And it served as a water bowl for Bono on this warm morning.

We walked by the Hunebedden (Dolmens in English) as well. These granite stones are burial chambers. Can you imagine that these monuments are over 5500 years old? They are quite impressive when you walk around them. How did they get those heavy stones stacked like this?

What have you been up to? Enjoy the rest of your week! I am going to finish my Moonlit Shawl now!



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