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.

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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™‚

Of blog-aniversaries and successes

When I started this blog one year ago I did it only for myself. I wanted to give myself a reason for staying on track and finishing things rather than leaving them halfway done. I never thought that it would be so much fun actually writing the blog and also to interact with fellow bloggers. I got to know a couple of really great people out there and would not want to miss them in my life any more. I am also really amazed that people find my blog interesting enough to read it – and looking at statistics they are from all over the world. So I say hello to the world and to anyone following or reading me – you are the ones that make it so much more enjoyable to create things and share them with you than I would have ever imagined.

img_0613Now it’s also the last week in January and therefore it’s time to review what I planned and actually achieved. I used last weekend to practice my hand lettering using a practice session from the Creative Hand Lettering journal. I know it’s not spring yet but I am so sick of grey and cold that I wanted to dream a little bit ahead. I so much enjoyed adding flowers and greens to the lettered word. I really will consider using that technique again.

img_0614-1I also continued with the Solar System CAL but as it’s only rows of rows of black I will not bore you with a new picture. Instead I’ll give you a sneak preview of some beading I did in between – I just could not wait to start when the postman delivered the supplies I ordered for that project. It’s not finished yet but I am really in love with it already. Even though it is a simple technique it takes some focus to not mess up the colours.

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I couldn’t prepare my lace bobbin patterns as my printer decided to quite collaborating with me. As well the little fish is still half way done. Those two will be moved to February – top prio, I promise πŸ˜‰

Sandy, Yoga and a new CAL

img_0603This week I was forced to stay at home due to a lot of sneezing and sick feeling. Luckily it was not the flu but only a short cold. This on the other hand gave me time to work on some projects and start some new ones.

I was lucky to get picked by Emma from EmmaCraftDesign to test the pattern for her super-cute Sandy, the Sea Dragon. I fell in love with this little fellow from first sight and had waited already for the pattern release. The pattern is so well written that it really worked up fast and easy. It’s probably not the right pattern for a total beginner as it has some tricky spots but I can highly recommend it for anyone with already a little bit of experience in amigurumi patterns.

 

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The pattern calls for DK weight – I actually used Scheepjes Catona which is a 4-ply and a multi-color cotton yarn I had leftovers from. She ended up approximately 12 cm from fins to horns. Look at this cute stuby nose <3. I am certain that I will make her some more companions – sea dragons live in flocks as far as I know…. Thanks so much Emma for this great pattern and a lovely first testing experience!

 

 

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After whipping up Sandy, I started the Solar System CAL designed by Alex from Two Hearts Crochet. I struggled a little bit with the beginning as the Sun started to curl really a lot – and though our solar system might not be flat, my project is supposed to be. I want to use it as a rug in my library and I really don’t want to stumble over the sun all the time. Luckily I was not alone with this problem and as I am late to the party, there were also several solutions proposed on her blog. Now even though the sun bugles a little bit, its much better and the rest is nice and flat. It will probably not become my favorite project though – and if you’ve ever done a project with only half double crochet stitches in the round then you might understand why. Can’t wait to get the base finished so that I can add the fun stuff to it!

 

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Finally I had a go at sewing again after quite a long break. My running buddy convinced me to join her at a yoga class as an alternative training for better mobility and core stability. And as I find it really, really, REALLY gross to train on a mat someone else sweated on, I went on a shopping spree and bought myself a yoga mat. Wow, those mats are seriously expensive … As a result I decided against also purchasing a yoga bag and will just sew that myself. The shop I usually buy my fabric from however had a terrible selection of oilskin fabric and so I postponed the bag-sewing to another time. That made me in need of something to prevent the mat from unrolling when carrying it. So I came up with the idea of just copying the paper sleeve the mat came with. That was an easy and fun sewing project: just sewed a double sided rectangle and added some Prym Colour Snaps.

 

Last but not least I wanted to sew that little fish kit but I totally messed up. I made the worst beginner error of all. I did not think when cutting the shapes from the fabric and ended with two front side pieces for body, head and fins. So stupid of me to not flip the template over for the backside! I was frustrated, stomped and rumbled a lot while my hubby tried to hide from my stormy mood. I was actually almost ready to throw everything away in frustration – almost crying because it was a present from my best friend. Luckily I did not yet because now that I have cooled down again, I have the perfect solution. There will be two fish with different fronts and backs – fish never swim alone anyway ;).