Busy, busy, busy – or why not being productive makes me unhappy

There are those weeks when I run from one appointment to the next and at the end I realize that I was not able to squeeze anything creative into the last seven days. This week was definitely one of those.

My hubby and I love to go to the cinema but did not have time to do so since end of December. Therefore on Monday we went to watch “The shape of water”, a movie I can highly recommend. It’s a modern fairy tale but not in a happy-go-lucky world but with a dark, emotional background. I love the subtle pictures the movie paints in between the obvious.

On Tuesday I came home late and did some homework as I knew I would not have time the coming weekend. Wednesday was the last of my beginner’s Yoga course which took the whole evening. Thursday there was a company event taking place I wanted to participate and Friday I prepared everything for a weekend trip to visit some very good friends. My friend is singing in a choir and they were giving a big concert together with other choirs, an orchestra and a percussion group. The theme was songs from movies – so I just had to come. It was such a great performance that I do not regret going there but as the concert was scheduled late and it was far from home, we had to stay over night. I did take some needle tatting project with me but hardly could find time to work on it. On Sunday we went to a nice little Zoo with our friends so that we had some time to chat – therefore we travelled home pretty late. I finished my needle tatting afterwards but it is still drying on my blocking board.

So as you can see, I was busy but not in a way that makes me feel like I achieved something. I actually hate it very much when days slip by like this and I have not much to prove that anything even happened. With crafting I am always able to look at the finished product and can remember the happy times. In search of a picture to go with this blogpost, I actually stumbled over one of those happy moments I have not shared with you yet. These are the first pieces of jewelry I made in October last year as practice pieces for the Christmas presents I had planned. I carried one set to the concert this weekend and am still very proud of them. And guess what: my friend asked me to make her some earrings to match the pendant I made for her. This really gave me the shivers as that means she really likes it! Now I have to figure out how to change the design to make it smaller and more fit for earrings. I love a good challenge!


Two little helpers

I am totally in love 😍. Okay, I know that I am easily falling in love with a pattern and have so in the past several times but this time it’s serious. When I first saw the Crafter Granny from Zhaya Design, I just knew that I need to make one for myself. Not only am I a huge fan of anything the designer has created so far, her patterns are always well written and easy to follow. I started to work on head and body and ran out of stuffing as this project is really big and I just didn’t have that much left at home. Additionally I filled a little bottle with rice to weight her body down so that she has a real solid stand. I mostly used leftover yarn and had several close calls with loosing at yarn chicken but luckily made it through. In the end I added some detail – a button on the hair band and a pearl necklace. I totally love the result and she is such a lovely helper. She usually stands next to me on the arm of my crafting chair holding my row counter, my stitch markers and my wool needle for me. I hate to put the row counter on my finger as it hampers me while crocheting and I kept misplacing my stitch markers all the time. Now anything I might need is stored nicely in Granny’s apron – even my sissors don’t fall off the arms of my chair again. Thanks so much Granny – and of cause thank you Kathrin!

After finishing my Granny I was again procrastinating, not wanting to work on my long timers. Then I remembered that a couple of weeks ago I bought the first book of Supergurumi where he shares all his patterns for bookmarks. You might remember that the rat bookmark “Leseratte” has been made by me several times already. Super cute but I wanted to make something different for myself. I had also bought some fluffy wool from Schachenmayr to fit the sheep pattern. Well let’s say, that was not one of my smartest moves: tough this wool is so nice and fluffy, it is awful to work with – the thread cut into my finger and the stitches where so hard do see that I am really not sure if I worked the stitches correctly (they most probably aren’t). I needed to adjust the pattern too as the bobbles on the head were impossible to make with this yarn. But in the end I winged it nicely I think and I now am proud owner of my first – and only – fluffy book sheep.

Last but not least – if you are curious about the Cake Dutchess Modelling Alphabet Collaboration I did my little hare for and want to know what all other participants created, mark the date in your calendar and bookmark Etty’s website. The reveal is scheduled for the 20th of March and I can assure you that you will be totally amazed of the creativeness of each and every one that took part!

Lazy Birthday

This week was terrible – I just couldn’t motivate myself to work on anything. Don’t know why but sometimes I just need a break from creating. So I had a really lazy week of playing games and reading and watching TV. And then I realized that at the moment I have only long term projects to work on again. And I tend to loose focus on long time projects as it just seems that I don’t get anywhere. A short, easy project – that’s what I needed!

temp-16As it was my birthday yesterday I made myself a little, low calory birthday cake. The pattern is from Yarn Blossom Boutique and can be found on Ravelry. The result is super-sweet but when sewing the candle on, I slipped and pricked my finger with the wool needle right under my nail. Hurt like hell and makes holding my project while crocheting pretty hard. I started Zhaya Designs Crafter Granny nevertheless – she kept popping up in my Facebook stream again and again and I just love the idea. I realized that I do not have enough stuffing any more to finish her, so I will need to do a little bit of shopping today.

temp-17My hubby spoiled me with a self made birthday dinner that was really excellent – pork curry Madras with rice and a water melon limoncello trifle with almond brittle. This was really special for me as my hubby usually does not cook. He helps me in the kitchen whenever I do the cooking but hardly cooks himself. He helped me afterwards with baking some red velvet whoopie pies with marshmallow buttercreme filling too.


Peyote with a twist and H for hare

Another week has past and this time I have not been as productive as I would have liked to be. The problem is probably the cold weather – we have snow and freezing temperature right now again and spring seems still a long time away. This makes me want to just snuggle up and fall asleep all day long. I did however try out a new beading technique: Peyote with a twist – not crochet that was invented by Gerlinde Lenz. It’s much easier than crochet as soon as you wrap your brain around the join. The stitch itself afterwards is similar to the classic peyote stitch. You can find detailed instructions and lots of help in her – of course – FB Group. I started with a basic pattern in order to test the technique and used some cheap rocaille beads. Just in case I would mess up totally. I struggled a little with the finish but overall I think it really looks nice. Sadly it ended up a little bit too big, even though I used my Argyle bangle as measurement. It tends to slip of my hand if I don’t take care.

Then there was one entry on my ToDo board that I kept pushing back over the last weeks. But now I was forced to tackle it as it actually is the only one on my list with an actual deadline. Remember me writing about the Cake Duchess Alphabet Collaboration I signed up to last year? Well, the deadline got extended in January but it will expire on the 28th of February. So I just made myself jump over my shadow and tackle it. I needed to stop thinking of how embarassing it would be to totally mess this one up and to confess to everyone that I just couldn’t do it. If you don’t try, you’ll never know. The letter that I had picked was H and I came up with Hare as the thing that stands for this letter. Don’t ask me what made me pick that – have you ever tried to figure out the difference between a rabbit and a hare? I am now an expert in that and probably have read every page on the internet on it. But knowing and modelling are two different things. My hare still looks too much like a rabbit for my taste as I did not bring it to sit up as straight as a hare would. I painted on the fur rather than colouring the modelling paste and I love how it looks. Overall I am really pround of the little fellow.

A happy hubby and a happy me

temp-12This week I got squishy mail and only other yarn addicts can understand the amount of joy such an event brings. Remember that scarf for my hubby I ran low on yarn? Well, I ordered some yarn at Loveknitting and they sent them to me right the very same day! Now I had enough yarn to finish the scarf and a little bit extra just in case. Therefore my hubby is the very proud owner of a new soft and cosy scarf . It’s also a very manly scarf as it is done solely in moss stitch. And it was finished just in time as it started snowing again this weekend. I am so tired of grey and cold and am looking forward to spring and some colours….

temp-13After finishing this project I decided to finally finish another one of my half finished WIPs. I posted a sneak preview of that bead weaving project a couple of weeks ago but then lost the drive a little and got distracted by other stuff. I decided that I would not stop until this is finally done. It’s my first time using the netting technique and I really love the final result. It’s the Argyle Bangle and it is just the right size to slip it on easily.

Last but not least – as I had my beading tray already out – I tried myself on a new technique: Peyote with a twist – not crochet. Now this one is a lot of fun! So look forward to next week when I can show you the finished project for sure. I am totally in love with beading again at the moment even though I am supposed to work on my Jacaranda. I am running behind with this week already …

Jacaranda Part 2, a manly hat and a ship in a bottle

temp-9This week I spend three days at home recovering from the flu and as I was feeling better I was able to do some creative stuff. I started easy with a shawl for my hubby but ran out of yarn at the end. So I ordered some more and until it arrives, the half finished shawl is neatly folded and stored away. Next I started a manly hat for my hubby as some weeks agoΒ he lost the last one I had made for him. It’s based on a neat little pattern by Nancy Smith that I found on Ravelry. I had to change it a little bit though as the yarn I used was less heavy than the one called for in the pattern. It was a quite simple change though – just kept on going with the increase rows until the hat base was big enough for the sides. Hubby loves it, so I call it a success πŸ™‚

temp-10As soon as I was up and running again, I did some shopping. I have to confess I am still loving the good old Lego even though I might not be part of the main target audience. Usually I mainly build stuff with the kids of one of my best friends. When a friend told me of the release of a ship in a bottle though, I just had to get it for myself. And then my hubby and I spend an evening building our own little Leviathan.

temp-11Last but not least the next part of the Jacaranda CAL was released. It looked quite simple but then I messed up the popcorn row by adding an additional popcorn accidentally. Of course I found out only three rows later and had to go back all the way. My hubby was very supportive though – by now he really is an expert in finding the right words of empathy πŸ˜‚. I really love this design – see those cute little hearts in the last rounds?

A challenge and a Jacaranda

A couple of months ago, at the same time my beading passion started, I began experimenting with the Japanese craft of kumihimo – an ancient braiding technique that only recently started to spread. Usually students are not allowed to share the patterns they had learned from their masters and written patterns were strictly forbitten. It was learning by watching the masters only. Well, no art form can be kept hidden forever and therefore we are now also able to learn this craft. Essentially it’s not very difficult – you have a disc (historically it would be a wooden marudai but today for easier work it’s a simple foam disc) and several strands of thread. Then you braid in a certain pattern – and voila, out comes a beauty. So the theory. Practice showed that it’s not so simple as that. I started with a simple 8 strand braid with three colours that worked out really well. Then Pru from the Facebook group Kumihimo by Prumihimo and Friends suggested a challenge themed “Valentine”. I’m always up to a challenge – so I aimed for a simple but nice looking pattern: a 16 strand two colours heart pattern. Sounded simple, looked simple on youtube – and was a total desaster. No hearts, just a multicoloured mess. Tried several times, failed several times. Got help from a really nice group member – and failed some more. I already thought myself stupid. Then all of a sudden they appeared – not perfect yet as tension is key and I am not using a weight at the moment but definitely hearts. Well long stories end: I added a heart bead on a square stitched bail to spice it up a little bit. Even though it’s not perfect, I love it because it thought me never to give up. Just like you should do for the love of your life.

Facebook will be my doom one day – especially those groups that show new designs. I really did not wanted to start a new CAL. I already have too much in progress and planned. But this nice little CAL just keep popping up – Jacaranda. It comes – of course – with another Facebook group. But look at this beauty – isn’t it pretty? And it will become still more pretty over the next couple of weeks. Sadly I got really sick after finishing part one of the CAL as my hubby decided to share his flu with me. I can tell you, this year’s flue is one terrible virus. I felt like hell for two days and was not even in an way motivated to do an crafty stuff. Can you believe that? Gladly after only four days I am back to the world of the living, so look forward to some more crafty business next week πŸ™‚