zaterdag 30 november 2013

Faded colours

When Annie from Knitsofacto asked me if I would take part in the  'Colour Cooperative', I felt really honoured and said yes straight away. After that, panic struck!  When it came to put together a post which would be suitable for this months theme 'faded', I was at a loss.

When I think of faded colours, images of the old warehouses in our Rotterdam harbour pop into my head. The greens and greys of the metal doors and the worn off lettering on the walls looks simply beautiful. Unfortunately my diary was completely full, so I could not find the time to step on my bike and cycle to the harbour.

I opened up my laptop instead and scrolled though my photographs, taken in my favourite B&B's & shop, my garden and my home. I chose the photo's which I thought show what faded colours are to me. They still look bright, but I can't help it :-)

Please have a look at Nina's, Lori's, Alex's, Annie's, Sandra's and Gillian's blog. You can find more details about their blogs and the colour collaborative below.

A Happy Thanksgiving to my American and Canadian followers and a lovely weekend ahead to all!


Madelief x


Don't forget to visit the other Colour Collaborative blogs for more of this month's posts, including three from November's guest bloggers, just click on the links below ...

Sandra at Cherry Heart Annie at Knitsofacto, Nina at Tabiboo, Gillian at Tales from a Happy House Alex at Lola Nova, Lori at Lori Times Five, Madelief at Madelief

What is The Colour Collaborative? All creative bloggers make stuff, gather stuff, shape stuff, and share stuff. Mostly they work on their own, but what happens when a group of them work together? Is a creative collaboration greater than the sum of its parts? We think so and we hope you will too. We'll each be offering our own monthly take on a colour related theme, and hoping that in combination our ideas will encourage us, and perhaps you, to think about colour in new ways.

zaterdag 23 november 2013

Rocky road

The road which the girls and I walk is still rocky, but now and then our house is filled with laughter once more. Today was one of those days! My parents and my brother and his family came to visit, which is always fun. My incredibly sweet brother helped me repair a huge leak we had from the bathroom in the living room. A big kiss and hug to him. The girls and I can take a shower once more. Hurray to that!!

Having people over to visit is always the perfect opportunity for baking something special. I decided on a walnut cake with espresso cream from the book 'Gorgeous Bakes' by Annie Bell and  Rocky road bars :-) They were both a success, with the young and the old.

You need:

300 gr white chocolate
150 gr mini marshmallows
150 gr jelly beans
100 gr vanilla biscuits (broken into pieces)

Line a 20cm square cake tin with greaseproof paper.

Melt the chocolate au bain marie. Don’t let water or steam come into contact with the chocolate as the chocolate will seize. Stir until melted.

Mix the remaining ingredients together in a separate large bowl. Pour the chocolate over and mix with a large spoon until everything is evenly coated in chocolate. Spoon into the baking tin, pressing the mixture lightly to fill any openings between the ingredients. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until set.

Lift the set mixture out of the tin by pulling on the protruding paper. Place on a chopping board and pull the paper off. Use a hot knife to cut into 5 x 5cm squares. Store in an airtight container.

Have you been baking lately?

Happy Sunday and a great week ahead!


Madelief x

* The bunting was made by Ilse from the Etsy Shop 'Eigenhandig'

* I am joining Hannapat in her weekly bake.

zaterdag 16 november 2013

Staying warm

It took me almost two months to make, but my slightly large (1.90cm) and wide scarf (50cm), is ready to wear. I am incredibly pleased with the result. The colours combine beautifully and I love the ripple pattern. The girls think it looks a bit like a Missoni scarf, which off course is music to my ears :-). The big advantage being that my wrap is much more affordable!

I used dark blue, black, denim, cobalt and grey wool from the acrylic 'soft' line by Zeeman, a light blue acrylic/wool mix 3.5 by Phildar and an incredibly soft grey wool with a silver thread by Phildar, called Strass Light (argent). I wish you could see the silver thread on the photo's, but I can assure you it's the touches of silver that make the scarf special!

If you are interested in making a scarf or wrap with this pattern, you can find several tutorials on the internet. I prefer the tutorial by Lucy from Attic 24. Simply because you can't go wrong.

The photo's below were taken on my roof terrace. On a clear day the view is amazing, but today the city centre of Rotterdam, with it's tall buildings, disappeared into the mist.

I felt a bit like Mary Poppins, being on top of the roof, waiting for the chimney sweepers to arrive and do their rooftop dance :-)

Wishing you a wonderful weekend!


Madelief x

zaterdag 9 november 2013

Vintage tea cups & chocolate crackles


The last couple of weeks have flown by. There is so much paperwork to be done and authorities to be visited. I even bought a second hand car, after our old one broke down recently.......Never thought I would be doing things like this, can't say I like it, but I manage, we manage.
We have all taken up our lives again, but while we go on, the sadness remains. I hope we will get our sparkle back one day.

I believe that this week was the start of better times to come. My youngest daughter passed the three exams she had, with high grades. I am so very very proud :-)!

While coming home from work today, I was welcomed by a delicious smell. My two youngest daughters have been infected by a virus called The Great British Bake Off. The kitchen has been taken over. They made Chocolate Crackles from the book Bake Off, How to bake, by Linda Collister. The crackles were absolutely delicious! Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Thought I would share some photo's with you.

The crochet cat was made by my friend Ilse, who has an Etsy shop called Eigenhandig, where she sells her beautiful handmade animals, Christmas decorations and other treasures. 

Hopefully I can show you the crochet wrap I am working on next week. It's almost finished and I am incredibly pleased with the result!

Thank you once more for you sweet words on my blog. You are all so very kind! Wishing you a lovely weekend! Hope the sun will shine on you.


Madelief x


100g dark chocoloate (70% cocoa solids)
100 g unsalted butter
150 light brown muscavado sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
175g self raising flower
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of sugar
2/3 tbsp icing sugar 

Break the chocolate into pieces and melt in a glass bowl, over a pan of simmering water. Once the chocolate has melted, take the bowl from the heat and stir in the butter. When the butter is smoothly incorporated, stir in the sugar. Leave to cool for about 5 minutes. When the mixture has cooled, beat in the egg and the vanilla extract. Sift in the flower and bicarbonate of soda and mix for one hour. After one hour preheat the oven to 200°C and grease two baking trays. Divide the biscuit mixture into 30 pieces and roll each piece into a small ball. Place the icing sugar in a shallow dish and roll each biscuit dough ball into the icing sugar until well coated. Place the balls on the baking trays and then pop in the the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove and leave to cool on a wire rack. You can store them in a tin or airtight container and eat them within five days.
They only lasted one day in our home!