Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Feeling the love!

I recently gathered up some courage and added a hit counter to my blog. I must admit, I've been hesitant to do so... Quite simply, I was afraid to be disappointed, feeling that I write all this stuff just for my close friends and a few more. So, having no idea of how many people who actually comes to visit my tiny little space here on the www, I found myself astonished to see the number reach 1000 in a week! Needless to say, my jaw dropped to the floor and my heart sang a little song right there. ;) Honestly, if I had 50 hits a week I'd be pleased as punch, but one thousand?? Wow... Thank you so much, each and every one who visit!
And so for my first award! It came to me from Sarah at the After Craft blog, where I stumbled upon some very nice kanzashi flowers by the way. Thank you Sarah!
-I have a thing about privacy, especially on the internet. Once something is out there, you can never take it back! That's the reason why I always watermark my photos and don't really share personal details or photos. So I'm skipping the parts of the award instructions about "seven secrets", and quite simply say thank you so much!

I'll be leaving for a little easter vacation soon, but I'm currently working on a couple of scheduled posts for those of you who still find yourselves in a place with an internet connection. Personally, I'll treasure the abcence of it for a few days... :)

Monday, March 29, 2010

White batwing shawl

It only took me two night shifts and one extra evening to finish this shawl, now that I've got a corrected recipe to start with! It's made from one skein of crisp white DROPS Vivaldi on an 8mm hook. It's definitely smaller than the first and second, but this one isn't made for me and this size seems better for the recipient. No fringes this time, for a cleaner look.
More details (with free pattern) on my Ravelry project page.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Featured again!

This made my day - again! :) My fulled red(-ish) basket made the Flickr Friends Roundup over at One Pretty Thing! I've been featured once before, with my denim wrench case. Phew, that's a lot of links for just two sentences... :P
It doesn't take much to please me - it's just so much fun to see my own work pop up on a page I read every day, and to be featured among so many other amazing crafters! Thank you!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

For the love of kraft

Something paper related at last! I haven't exactly posted too much of that lately... This kraft cardstock has been lying around my desk for a while and I suddenly couldn't resist it. The white cardstock is a lovely contrast against it, but those small touches of spring green made all the difference. The flower assembly has been Glimmermisted and that's one of my new MS border punches in action! Lastly, I've doodled a line with my Sakura pen and added a sentiment from the awesome Art Warehouse rub-on collection.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Little lilac bowl

With my very last skein of lilac mix yarn, I made a little bowl/basket/catch-all. I don't know what this one will hold exactly, maybe some felted easter eggs...? For the interested, here's the Ravelry link with details about the project.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Ice cream box cozies!

Anyone else longing for summer? I know I do! Now that the temperature no longer dips below zero at night and the sun has had a real go at melting all the huge piles of snow everywhere, spring fever has hit me. It's been the best winter we've had for years and a part of me is sad to see it go, but I think it also means we'll enjoy this spring and summer even more than usual. :)
So to prepare for the impending heat wave (well, it could happen??) I've made two cozies for Häagen-Dazs ice cream boxes! No more nasty melted ice cream! And no more frozen fingers. :P Great stashbuster project - and it took exactly one skein to make each cozy. Perfect!. :) The lilac one doesn't quite reach the edge of the ice cream box because of the extreme reaction to the machine wash, but I've decided not to stretch it more - who wants wool fibres to find their way into their ice cream anyway?
I also made one in my last skein of light green mix. I added one row of slip stitches in a left over strand of dark Eskimo - but that looked better before felting.
Crocheted in Eskimo on 6 mm hook and felted in washing machine. For the details, check out my Ravelry project page!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Easel card and vanilla extract for Celina

I've been dying to have a go at an easel card for months now, but somehow I always end up doing the same thing every time. Good thing I have lots of friends turning 30 this year - I'm finally getting that little kick in the rear I need to move out of my comfort zone. It's so much fun to do something extra for their big day!
Ok, so I might have gone a little over the top with the flowers and Stickles here... :) It's a reaction to the two very masculine cards I just did. It just becomes instantly nescessary to jump to the exact opposite!
A very simple layout on the reverse side of the card using scraps and my personal stamp. On the last side, which is now resting on the table, I used the MS punches to make a simple mat for writing.
For the actual gift, I filled a small bottle with my homemade vanilla extract. I hope she can put it to good use!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Fulled red basket

Here's the first installment in my new "felting with Eskimo" series - there are a few more projects like these lined up for next week you see. I've had a whole table full of drying wool baskets the last couple of days! The first project I'd like to share is a basket crocheted in a rust-coloured mix yarn. I used three skeins for this one, so it's a decent size despite shrinking like crazy in the machine. For the details, check out my Ravelry page.
This particular colour is so difficult to describe! When examined closely, the yarn reveals strands in bright red, blue, green and yellow, and the overall impression is something red-brown-ish... After the machine felting it changed quite dramaticly: the blue fibres are apparently long and have been contained within the stitches, while the red, green and yellow fibres seem to be shorter and therefore sticks out in every direction. The result is a soft red-ish fuzz with little firm bumps in clear blue. I can't stop stearing at it. ;)

Friday, March 19, 2010

New on my needles - white batwing shawl

Because new on my hook just doesn't sound that good. ;)
I feel like I'm just feeding you WIPs lately, sorry about that - I promise you an FO or two before the weekend is over! This is the batwing shaped Seraphina shawl I've made before, in a brown/gold version (Ravelry project page) as well as a lilac/silver one (Ravelry project page). Love love love this shape.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A basket of goodies

I've made a vow to myself - to not to buy more yarn until I've used all the yarn I bought on sale last year. Oh dear.
So I've been knitting and crocheting like crazy lately! It's not always easy to find uses for those last left over single skeins - and I had quite a few of those lying around, in lots of different colours. What you see above is a basket full of various small projects waiting for a turn in the washing machine to be fulled. Yep, I've learned a new word. ;) Apparently, it's not called felting when the wool is spun and knitted first... The term "felted" is reserved for wet felting and needle felting. End of today's lesson. ;)
Now, if I could just figure out a way to transfer this ability to spend stuff before buying new stuff to my paper crafting addiction too!?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Candy alerts!

My side bar just exploded with candy links! Sooner or later I must be one of the lucky ones, right? Most are papercraft related, but there's also a link to Lisa Leonard's blog - she makes amazing jewelery and I'm keeping my fingers and toes crossed. :) Have a look, visit their blogs, and why not take part in their candies yourself? ;)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Not just for the guys!

It pains me to push my kanzashi sunflowers post down from the top of my blog, but it had to happen some time... The vibrant yellow colour was a real energy boost and a natural mood enhancer. Sheer bliss. And just look what I'm replacing it with! ;) Don't get me wrong, despite this card belonging to a less cheery colour family, I still like it very much. Most cards (including mine) are cute and cuddly and flowery, this one definitely stands apart! You might recognise the materials from this card posted not long ago. I threw in some white in this card, and finally got the perfect opportunity to use my inverted scalloped circle dies. Look how it mirrors the shape of the silver Punchinella! Janne is actually 40 years old, but the 32 years written on the card is an inside joke between giver and recipient. How cute. :)
Ok, now I need to get a brighter card done in a hurry - I'm having spring fever and craving colour!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Tsumami kanzashi sunflowers

My finished tsumami kanzashi sunflowers will serve as brooches, identifying the six ladies in charge of a conference they're arranging soon. It's a neat idea I think - if you need to talk to someone in charge, just look for the sunflower! :)
I made a prototype earlier using a rounded fold, which is probably the most commonly used folding technique. After some searching for something with a closer resemblance to sunflower petals, I came across a few techniques for pointed petals. This particular one is asymmetrical, something that's showcased well when the flower is sligthly squashed in the center like this, twisting the petals and giving the flower a pinwheel/spiral look. Quite simply explained, this petal is made by folding a 3 1/4" square piece of fabric over itself four times and snipping off the raw edges. You can see some WIP pics here. The button and backing piece (with safety pin for attatching to clothes) were simply glued on with ordinary craft glue.
If you want to have a go at making your own, I've got a few tutorial links for you!
Kanzashi in Bloom excerpt (rounded petal and assembly instructions)
Tutorial at Deviant Art (three petals and more links)
Gochemoche's tutorial (two petals)

ETA (18.03.10/19.03.10): I've added this post to this week's Strutt Your Stuff Thursday at Somewhat Simple, a blog I recently discovered. There are so many fun projects to be found there! I was also invited to add it to the very first edition of Favourite Things Friday at A Few of my Favourite Things, and of course I had to join in the fun. :) Thank you for your lovely comments!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

New on my needles - winter mitts

I've got a lot of Eskimo yarn leftover from my shopping spree last spring, when it was on sale. Not enough of any colour to make anything large, but just enough for some small projects. Like these winter mitts! The winter we've had this year really makes these a nescessity - gloves just doesn't cut it when it's -17 degrees Celcius!
Recipe found at Pickles, via Ravelry.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Tsumami kanzashi sunflower WIP

Cut, starch, fold, press.
And repeat. About 90 times.

Cut, cut, snip snip snip, glue.
Cut, fold, press, insert, glue.

Fold, fold, fold, cut, string.
And repeat. Again, about 90 times.
Finished project to be posted later this week! :)
(ETA: Here it is!)
(Link to prototype)