So, first of January and all that. You say “Happy New Year!” (Happy New Year!), you kiss and hug, you smile, and then you make an unreasonable list of new years resolutions like going to the gym five times a week, eating seven servings of fruit & veggies and clean the house from top to bottom every month.

I am not going to make resolutions. Because we all know that most resolutions are not kept anyway. But I do want to put here things I’d like to do this year. In no order of importance, small or big, doesn’t matter. I’m not even going to call them goals, like other bloggers are doing this year. Because having a goal (or a resolution) will most likely set me up for failure. So this is just a list of things I want do do!

Here we go:

  • Getting my bachelor’s! Yes, halleluja. Moving to Belgium and finishing my studies here was the smartest move ever I think. Right now I am one exam period and one semester (with its own exam period) away from this. I still can’t believe it!
  • Sewing more, and drafting some more patterns. I want to try a t-shirt and some trousers.
  • Knit more. I am enjoying knitting my first cardigan, so I might jump in and make a second.
  • Crochet more. I’m still taking toddler (not any more baby, I’d say) steps in crocheting. I prefer knitting, but there are some things that are more suited to being crocheted.
  • Keep reading. Brain candy! Something to let my brain rest after studying in Dutch.
  • Cooking. I want to try new recipes, adapt some Belgian classics so they’re vegetarian.
  • Blog more. I wrote a whopping 5 posts last year :(
  • Getting acquainted with our Nikon D7000. Maybe even read the manual gasp
  • Be happy!

And there is probably more to it. But that covers the basics. Enjoy the year, and don’t be hard on yourself. Who’s going to love you if you don’t?

Happy 1005 Times Two

(That’s 2010 for those not inclined to do math or those who have had a wee bit too much to drink)

We celebrated with a feast for two, watching the Spanish tv with the 12 bell tolls from Madrid, fireworks from the balcony and bubbly in our glasses.

A quick recap of our menu with pictures. Just because I’m such a meany ;)

Cavi-Art on toast Faux Gras on toast Cottage cheese mint samosas and mango chutney
Mushroom Sundried Tomato Risotto Rosemary focaccia Chocolate pear cake with cinnamon whipped cream
Click on the pictures for a bigger view

Those are, in order from left to right, first row then second: Cavi-art on toast, Faux Gras (de Gaia) on toast, Cottage cheese mint samosas served with home made mango chutney, Mushroom & Sundried tomato risotto served with Rosemary focaccia (home made, of course), and Chocolate pear cake with cinnamon whipped cream. All accompanied by a lovely Spanish Rueda Verdejo and some bubbly.

Wishing you a lovely 2010, and hoping your wishes come true. I’ll be working on mine to come true, because well, fate always benefits from a bit of pushing in the right direction.


Yes, it snowed! And I took pictures:

Snow 1 Snow 2
Snow 3 Snow 4

And then we went out and had a snowball fight, and tried to make a snowman but didn’t go all too well. And I made a sorta snow angel and froze me butt in the proceed. But it was fun! Then we came back up, warmed ourselves up with a cup of “winter mix” tea, and some speculoos. Winter is starting to look like winter, now it just needs to snow a bit more for Christmas!


As a parting gift for my best friend, who is also moving for next year at University (and the following, to finish her degree in a different University from where we both started), I got her a small Teddy-bank1 at Tiger. It comes with some paint and a paintbrush to decorate it yourself. The end result can now be showed, since she has the present already.

Teddy Bank Front Teddy Bank Back

On moving, I’ve already moved in with Jan. There are only a few details in the apartment left to do, namely paint one small thing, and do some retouching here and there. And then putting everything where it should be. But we’re moved in and happy! We survived our first week together already, inluding our fifth anniversary2. One lovely view out of our balcony happened a couple of days ago:

Sunset from our Balcony
  1. Same as a Piggy-bank, but it’s shaped like a Teddy. So cute!
  2. Yes, we’ve been already 5 (five!) years together, and as happy or more as when we started.

Good Pics vs. Not So Good Pics

Living in Belgium, I’m stuck with not much natural light. Most days are over cast, or plain down pouring, and then if by any chance the sun shines without a cloud to hide it, most of that light doesn’t make it into the house. The brightest room is the bathroom (upstairs) followed closely by the hallway (upstairs), they’re the two places blessed with roof windows. The rest of the rooms have normal wall windows, and most of them are shadowed by a huge amount of ivy. That’s another thing, the never ending ivy trimming. If it was for me, I’d just tear it down, but at this point, it might be a point in the stability of certain walls where the ivy roots show inside.

To the case in point, we all know to get good pics, you need a pretty decent lighting (amongst other things, such as a decent camera, doesn’t have to be exceptional, some artistic view, and perhaps a good item to take a pic of). The solution to take pics of most still life, food that won’t get cold cause it’s already cold, or won’t melt in the heat, yarn, toys, rubber stamps, and a long etcetera, is to make a light-box, or purchase one (if you’re in for the 50 euros or more). I searched the internet for a foldable light-box, cause I didn’t want to have it taking room, and found the expensive foldable light tents, or a DIY solution that called for foamcore cardboard, tape and vellum paper. Obviously I went for the DIY option. You of course need some lamps, but I make do with what I have at home that can be moved around.

Off I went to AVA, to get the foamcore and the vellum. Since I wanted to be able to take pics of things bigger than a moddle figure, I doubled the size. Some hard work later, I got my light box made up (although I left the “roof” unattached). I set up to find the perfect place to take pictures with the new toy, and found out that our mini dinning room table was ideal. It already has one light over it, so I only need to provide the side illumination. Wanna see my setup?

Light Box Light Box

First pic there, it’s taken with flash, so you see things clearly. The tiny camera in the mini tripod is my trusty Olympus :mju mini 5.0 mpixel. It’s so small it fits in my pocket, and I don’t mind carrying it in my purse more often than not. It also takes great pictures if you take the time to get to know all its quirks. Of course, I’d love to get a dSLR, but I can’t cough the dough for it at the moment (and probably not for a few years), so I make do with what I have. The Olympus, by the way, was a present from Jan.

You’ve already seen proof of what such a small camera and a light box can do, but in case you don’t remember, let’s post the picture again, ok?

Ball of yarn

Now, what I could do with even better tools!