Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Rainforest green

One of my friends, Kristine, just moved into a new appartment, and that deserves a celebratory card. A wallpaper with a lush rainforest photo print decorated one of the walls in the appartment - a statement design element indeed! I liked the idea of bringing that into the card, and this BoBunny paper does the job. I know she wanted to make some changes before moving in, so let's hope she hasn't replaced that wallpaper by now... If the rainforest is gone, this card will just have to serve as a reminder of what she bought in the first place. ;) I let the paper do most of the talking on the front page. The Stempelglede stamp ("You are fantastic!"), ribbon, a glimmermisted flower with leaves and some dots of Liquid Pearls, was more than enough. Oh, and at the last minute I remembered to add a "new home" sentiment in the corner... That is, after all, the occation! :P
I chose these two corners of the DP to decorate the inside, they fit together so well and leave a nice space for writing. I couldn't resist adding some flowers although they strictly speaking weren't necessary. The last corner decorates the back of the card and that means that I've actually spent an entire 12"x12" DP on one card! Phew... That doesn't happen often and feels a little scary but quite nice at the same time. Stashbusting in action!

Monday, November 29, 2010

20/52: Advent

After weeks of passionately ignoring any and all things even remotely christmas related,
I can finally allow myself to start letting in the christmas spirit.
Welcome, advent!

Click here for more info on my Project 52.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Encourage your hopes

The retro/vintage/distressed style doesn't come out of my fingers as easily as I wish, but this attempt isn't all that bad, I think. I felt inspired by other bloggers out there and wanted to incorporate as many details as possible without crowding the small space. The two pairs of wings fit nicely with the theme of the Tim Holtz stamp. Other embellishments are a bit of ric rac, some Scrapper's Floss, a rub-on border, white Crackle Paint and some Magic Mesh. I was so thrilled when I found that little film strip (altso Tim Holtz) at Bikuben, and despite that I've actually never used it until now... Shame on me. Is that a sign that my stash needs slimming?? Oh my... What a thought. :P The papers are BG Pyrus by the way, love them!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Christmas card #4, Willow with candle

"We light our lanterns when darkness falls." It's a line from a beautiful Norwegian christmas song, and it suits this image so well. And oh, how I love to colour these lovely dresses! Lots of flowing fabric that brings out the three-dimentional effect really well. They take a lot of time to colour though! I've used no less than four shades of blue Prismas for each of the elements in the dress... It takes a lot more work to get the highlights out when working on kraft, but it's definitely worth it. I love the contrast of the bright, strong image against the natural, muted kraft cardstock. The shimmering chalks bring a glow around the image, slightly helped by some yellow Prisma colour right next to the candle.

Monday, November 22, 2010

19/52: Time heals all wounds

They say, time heals every wound
- but I'm still waiting -

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Christmas card #3, Henry and wreath

I tried to get some depth into this mainly green wreath, but I still feel like I should go back and add something... Maybe. There's my issue with Henry being tricky to colour on kraft again, but I think he'll have to do like this. I think I'll make more of these cards using Willow instead, I'm usually much more pleased with her flowing dresses! More to come! ;)

Friday, November 19, 2010

New on my needles - two slippers at once!

No, I'm not knitting a giant bra. ;) Or an old-fashioned-shaped bonnet. This is my first attempt at knitting two slippers at once! I have leftover Alpaca in five shades of gray, and knitting two at once is a way of ensuring that I don't use so much of each colour on the first slipper that I haven't got enough to make the second slipper look the same.
Challenge #1: One of the two circular needles needed for knitting this way, is only 40 cm long, so the stitches just barely stay on, and it curls unpredictably when knitting.
Challenge #2: I knit each slipper using two strands at once, so I have to keep track of four strands of yarn at all times.
Challenge #3: As all my yarn is leftover from previous projects, I only have one skein of each colour, so I have to draw yarn from both the inside and the outside of the skeins at once!
Challenge #4 (and this is the kicker): I've never knit two slippers at once, and my only guide to how, is a picture I saw somewhere, ages ago. So I don't really know how!
A recipe for disaster? Maybe. But that just usually makes me more determined to get it right. :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Christmas card #2, Henry and cocoa

The kraft cards continue! This stamp is called "Henry with large teacup", but who puts marshmallows in their tea? :P Nope, it's definitely a cup of cocoa in my mind. Oh, but he's so cute no matter what he's drinking. I think Henry is difficult to colour, at least on kraft... Other colours blend and cover the kraft fairly easily, but the white and greys are tricky to get right. Practice, practice. I've used my Prismas of course, and shaded around the image with shimmering chalks. The sentiment says something like "Christmas - a time for thought, caring and warmth".

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

New home for Helle

Getting new supplies is always a great inspiration for card making! Right? ;) My new BG 6x6 Wander paper pad had all these great images of skylines and metro maps and I figured they were perfect for a "new home card". The tag is K&Co, and you can glimpse a 7 Gypsies overlay underneath it. I also slapped on some script tape by Tim Holtz and a rub-on from my ever present (and never-running-out-of-rub-ons) Creative Inspirations Memories rub-on pad.
The Tim Holtz clock hands serve more as direction pointers in this setting, indicating the move from one location to another. They had a layer of dark paint or something, that made them more black than metallic. I used a very coarse sandpaper to bring out some shine and colour while still keeping them very rustic and distressed. Loved the look so much I attacked all the other metal embellishments with the same sandpaper! :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

18/52: Procrastinating

Is it time for another Project 52 photo already?
Ugh. I think I'll just stay in bed, thank you.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Easy winter mitts

A while back I made these and I suddenly realised that I haven't blogged them yet. This was a simple little project from an easily memorised Pickles recipe, made with some leftover yarn. They have been slightly felted - I actually made another pair first, that came out absolutely tiny! They are seriously warm, so we'd better get a winter like last year's if I'm ever going to use them... ;) Details are, as usual, on my Ravelry page.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Pink and grey Fairy Flora

The Prima Fairy Flora 6x6 paper pad found its way to my shopping cart the other day... I've been eyeing it for long time online and just couldn't fight it anymore. ;) It's been a while since my last pink card I think? Usually I use browns or greens with pink, but the pink-grey combo is actually really awesome. Once the ribbons got stuck on the card I struggled a little to make the layout work, but this is ok enough I guess.
The only thing I knew I wanted to do when I started this card, was to use those two satin ribbons from Stoff og Stil. Gorgeous colours! The grey one was put on as is, but the greyed pink one got some special treatment. I did a simple running stitch with three strands of thin silver thread and pulled it to create the wrinkly look, and then just glued it down along the midline.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Basic toe-up socks

I've knitted more baby socks than I'm able to keep track of, but this is my first pair of socks for adults. You can say I'm bitten by the bug by now! There are already a few more recipes on my list. Please visit my Ravelry project page for recipe link and details.
I started with a very simple recipe, and still learned a lot doing these. The next pair will have to have some more detail though. Got to keep it interesting! ;) Oh, and the last thing I learned was that it's nearly impossible to take decent photos of my own sock-wearing feet! ;)
This short-row toe is so fascinating! There's this magic moment when something flat becomes something round and the cast-on edge disappears. There's no apparent start or finish to this toe, and everyone who sees it is equally puzzled by this phenomenon.

The heel is knitted in exactly the same way as the toe, making this a very easily memorized recipe.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Christmas card #1! Willow with lantern

While many of you out there are currently working on your christmas card #50 or so, I've just managed to make my first one for this year. I made this the same day as my previous card and as "Willow with lantern" is my absolute favourite stamp designed for colouring, the choice was easy. The sentiment is a line from a beautiful Norwegian christmas song and is hard to translate in any beautiful way, but basically it says "we light our lanterns when darkness falls". Suggestions for a more poetic translation are very welcome.
I've used my Prisma pencils of course, and added some shine with shimmering chalks. The chalk is not very visible in the picture, but adds a subtle glow around the lantern and Willow's upper body. The single layer look is tempting, but I still feel like I haven't quite got it right yet... Although I have no idea of what to do different. Oh well, maybe it just takes some getting used to? It certainly is a change from my usual stuff! I think this just might be the theme for this year's christmas cards.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Life is the art of drawing without an eraser

When I saw these cards over at Helen's Craft Haven, I immediately knew I had to try something like that. They were so clean and simple, but so beautiful! And then my good friend Krissie beat me to it, but she was inspired by Judy's card, made with kraft paper instead of white cardstock. And I was sold. Expect to see more of this soon! Now, have I remembered to credit everyone involved in this? Funny how an idea can appear to several people at once and spread so far so quickly. It has to be said that these cards look much better in person.
I couldn't help but stamping this one on a small piece and matting it with some blue cardstock, mostly because I wanted to try out the technique without ruining half a sheet of kraft paper... But I like the way the frame brings out the blue colour in "ART" anyway, so it all worked out nicely. I've used Prisma pencils and some shimmering chalk to colour the Tim Holtz stamp.

Clean and simple inside - well, I might have gone a bit overboard with the stamping here. It's a brand new stamp and I got a bit carried away. ;) I've used Versamark watermark inkpad and the brilliant Elzybell's white pigment pad.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Felted robins tutorial

Tweet tweet! I'm not tweeting electronically just yet, but here are some of the felted variety. Robins are gorgeous birds! Their round red bellies are so easily recognisable and a lovely touch of colour during the relatively monochromatic winter months.
These felted robins have become something of a winter tradition of mine. I love them! Since they feel more like a winter decoration than a christmas themed one, I bring them out of hiding some time in October/November, and keep them up until all the snow has come and gone, long into the new year.
Several robins have flown away to my family members as little gifts the last two years. Even my brother spontaneously declared that he loved them and would like a little flock of robins for his appartment. Well, I couldn't deny him his wish, could I? ;) Away they went, all of them, and I started gathering a new flock for myself.
This time I thought I'd make a little tutorial for you. I originally made mine from a material set from Panduro Hobby, but all the nescessary materials are available in hobby stores. Needle felting is incredibly easy, just hold the wool and stab repeatedly with the felting needle. The needle has notches that pull the wool fibers in and when you pull it back out they leave the wool fibres behind. Just one thing though. Be very very careful with your fingers, that needle is incredibly sharp!! Go on, ask me how I know. ;)
ETA: I've been asked for more details on how the technique works. To start the robin you hold the red wool on top of the styrofoam ball. Stab the felting needle through the wool into the ball - this will bring wool fibres into the ball and make the wool stick to it. Keep poking the needle through the wool and into the ball until all the wool is well entangled around the whole styrofoam ball, and starts to resemble regular felt. You'll see the transformation from fluffy wool fibres to the dense red layer happen right before your eyes. No glue is needed! The wool sticks to both the styrofoam and itself. In fact, the styrofoam ball isn't actually necessary because the wool felts to itself, but it gives you a shape to start with, and therefor saves a LOT of time and wool. It probably takes a couple of hundred stabs on this first step, so have a little patience. When I got the routine in, it didn't take me more than fifteen minutes or so to complete the entire bird.
When you get to step 3, you simply gather some gray wool and hold it over the now red ball and repeat the process. Stab through the gray wool into the red wool and styrofoam ball and watch the gray wool entangle itself. Use the needle to guide it into the desired shape. After a while you'll actually see an effect from each stab. To make the tail you use the felting needle on just the grey wool for a while, poking through it into thin air, and it will entangle into itself forming a firm clump of wool protruding out from the body.
I hope this clarifies the process!
So here it goes!
1: Grab your styrofoam ball, mine are ca 3 cm in diameter.
2: Cover styrofoam ball with red carded wool and felt with felting needle.
3: Cover half of the red ball with grey carded wool and felt. Be sure to let some of the felt protrude from the body to make a tail.
4: Make a ball of black carded wool and felt to body in the opposite end from tail.
5: Felt a tiny amount of grey carded wool to both sides of head, to make eyes.
6: Cut a small square of orange felt and attatch to head along the diagonal with felting needle. Attatch black sewing thread to back of head. Done!
I'm linking up to the Strut Your Stuff link party.
ETA: I've been featured on Five on Friday at Singing with Birds! Thank you for my 15minutes of fame. :) And thanks to all of you lovely ladies - and gents - leaving comments! I read and enjoy every single one! :D
Also, if you have any questions, just leave a comment and I'll answer as soon as possible right there in the comment section.

Monday, November 1, 2010

16/52: Checklist

A very detailed to-do-list may seem daunting at first,
but I get to make so many satisfying checkmarks that way.
Making a blueberry crumble was, quite possibly,
the most important item on today's list.