Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Finally, some grunge!

Ah, it's been too long. I love grunge, but for some reason don't do it often enough! The 60th birthday of a man is a good reason to grunge it up though. He likes bicycles and I actually managed to find some bicycle related papers! Add some gears, baker's twine, Scrapper's Floss, chipboard numbers and some other leftovers, brighten it with splatters of white Crackle Paint, and you've got a detailed, layered look that works on a man's card. In fact, I wouldn't mind recieving this myself, even though I'm neither 60 years old or a man. ;) But that's me, and I realise I'm surely a minority in the card making community in that respect. There's room for all! :)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Keep joy in your heart

This card matches the layout of the previous one, because we had a party for two colleagues that same day. Very different colours though. The sentiment is another little poem wishing the recipient all the best in the future. It's not easy to read in the picture, because I've stamped it once in white and once in muted black, creating a kind of shadow effect that looked better IRL than here... I still wish I had been a little bolder with the black ink though.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

May you find happiness

The challenge of making cards for colleagues who quit or retire is, what sentiment can I use?? In this case, I've made a card using a little poem wishing her happiness. It has a very intense colour scheme, but the last one she got from me was quite the opposite and think she might appreciate somehting different. And anyway, the pink colour is a sort of theme at this particular workplace, so I thought it would fit. :)

Friday, September 28, 2012

Nordic style dress and bolero

There was talk of a "bunad" dress. Something knitted, that resembled the Norwegian national costume. When this was first mentioned, I had already just started knitting this dress. What to do... Was it similar enough to what she was looking for? Should I keep it a secret or reveal my plans? But as the bunad recipes were few and their decision dragged out, the choice was easy. I finished this one and gave it as a surprise for her birthday! It has a few traditional elements, although it doesn't exactly resemble any particular bunad. The original recipe uses bright reds, but I went with neutrals because I thought that would be more to their taste. Here's my Ravelry link.
The previous dress I knitted for this girl was smaller than it’s intended size - this one’s on the large side. And that’s despite my sincere - and successful - attempts at obtaining the correct gauge. Also, I have almost two skeins of dark brown Alpaca left over…! How did that happen?

This was easy peasy, mindless knitting. I might do some things differently next time (as always), but overall it's a nice project and a pretty result.
I might have chosen a sturdier yarn than Alpaca to go with the Fabel, because the fairly heavy skirt pulls and stretches the waist border and yoke quite a bit. Also, doing stranded knitting might be easier with a less slippery yarn. Other than that, the recipe is nice and easy - but man, am I sick of garter stitch… ;) At least the skirt was done in a painted yarn with gorgeous blue, white and brown colours and something was continually changing there, but that bolero was a trial. I need lace!!!

The bolero is constructed in a strange way… But it seems to work anyway. It's knitted flat in garter stitch and sewn together under the arms. It looks like I've knitted a poncho and forgotten the hole for the head! :) But as you can see, it's not too bad really.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Another wedding card

In contrast to my previous wedding card, this one sports rough teared paper edges and a completely different colour scheme. The recipients of this card aren't the pink and frilly type, so it was a good match - but that happened entirely by accident! This was a commissioned card and I had no idea who I was making it for, so I took a chance and was very lucky. :) That cool blue and gold paper is by Panduro, and I swiped some blue StazOn ink over the Prima chipboard letters.

Monday, September 24, 2012

For the bride and groom

Wedding season is winding down and I have a couple of cards to share. This one is cute and pink and frilly! Pretty basic layout. I love that placement of flowers, and have lately developed a bit of an obsession with adding lots of flat-backed pearls among them. The sentiment is stamped on die-cut and sanded Core'dinations Whitewash cardstock.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Pink&purple baby card

I don't think I've shared this card yet? Life has taken the front seat around here these days, so updates here have been scarce. But I have a few cards and a knitting project to share - soonish. This one is clean and simple. Basic Grey pattern papers and some random stuff from my stash. Easy peasy!

Friday, August 3, 2012

When you wish upon a star...

At times our own light goes out
and is rekindled by a spark from another person.
Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude
of those who have lighted the flame within us.
-Albert Schweitzer

For you, my friend (you know who you are). I wish you all the best, all the very best for the present and the future. You have been a constant spark of light to me. This time, I give mine to you.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Enjoy! (lost in translation)

I've failed to come up with a translation for this Norwegian phrase. Enjoy... Life? Living? Being? It is a way of saying enjoy your life, who you are and what you do and just... everything really. The card is for a colleague who is retiring, and "congratulations" just didn't seem right. Thanks to Krissie for the suggestion!
Mental note: When you know about a card three months in advance, try not to start making it at midnight the night before deadline... again.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Reuse, reduce, recycle

Recycling a familiar layout, this time with a considerably better picture... Nothing new to say about it!

Friday, July 27, 2012

In the WIP basket

It took three weeks of internal debate before I had the nerve to open my wallet for this skein… So expensive. But sooo beautiful! First attempt at knitting 100% pure silk. The pattern is an easy going one, I can actually knit this lace while talking to people. Track progress and view details on Ravelry.

Now this one, though... It has tought me the difference between lace knitting and knitted lace. I'm telling you, this one's tricky. This is definitely not a bring-along project, it's a sit-at-home-in-deep-concentration project... But just look at the delicate result! Track the (most likely slow) progress and view details on Ravelry.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Too late to take a new picture now!

Yikes. I had a photo day when I shot this, apparently. I really should have spotted this before I delivered the card. Well, the card isn't too bad though, despite what you might think when looking at this. You can just about make out the embossed white paper there - it says "love" and "forever" in various scripts. The seemingly grey paper is actually a shiny silver, and I've spritzed the card with Glimmermist so the whole thing shines. I put the name of the bride and groom on the inside on this one, but didn't get a picture of it...

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Sugary sweet

This is probably the only time I can get away with such a sugary sweet pastel card! But hey, she's only one year old, so there's no problem this time. :) Simple stuff really, I've let the pattern paper do most of the talking. Some flowers, baker's twine, washi tape and flat-backed pearls create the pastel details.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Maile baby jacket

This one was for a friend's baby girl. It didn't take long - baby clothes are usually nice that way. :) Nice easy lace pattern to keep my interest going.

The assemby method is tricky due to no bound off stitches under the arms - but I decided to use two circular needles (the same technique I use for small circumference projects, like sleeves or socks) and that made it all quite easy after all. Each needle went from the middle of one sleeve, across the front or back, to the middle of the other sleeve.

Yarn held double except all garter stitch borders (to make sure I didn’t run out of this particular painted pink-brown-white colourway, which is no longer made). The painted yarn looks kind of dirty when knitted on its own, but when mixed with the white yarn the balance was perfect.

I soon realised that this yarn combo would make the jacket larger than 3 months, which is just fine, babies grow so fast anyway. I just added a few cm of length to the body and sleeves before starting the raglan to keep the proportions right.

Details on my Ravelry page.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Smart phone cozy

Just a tiny little project to warm up, since it's been sooo long since my last post. I've got a few unpublished cards that will make their way in here eventually, and another (big) knitting project that's in its finishing stage as I write.

I specifically chose a yarn that doesn't shed much - Ella Rae Lace Merino. Too pretty a yarn to spend on such an ordinary project perhaps? Oh well. I splurged on the phone, it deserves a luxurious home. :P
The label says 3,5mm needles are recommended. I cast on 2x22st on 2,5mm needles using Judy’s magic cast on, keeping the gauge fairly tight. Decreased 4+4sts in second half of ribbing. The phone doesn’t slip out by accident now, but it wouldn’t have hurt to have decreased another 2-4sts in case the ribbing in the turtleneck gets a bit looser with use. Good excuse to make another one? I want to make a TARDIS cozy next. :) Ravelry link.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Not-so-frozen leaves beaded shawl

The thing about lace knitting... There are only a few items that allow you to immerse yourself in that kind of knitting, and those are shawls, scarves and table cloths. And since lace knitted table cloths really aren't anything I'd ever use, shawls it is. This pattern is called Frozen Leaves, but I've done mine in a lush, vibrant green and beaded it for added shine.

Frogging mohair is a nightmare, so I wanted a simple, classic design. The large leaves of this pattern appealed to me, and I’ve done enough knitting now to be able to figure out the pattern and recipe despite its obvious shortcomings.
The yarn, however, is gorgeous! DROPS Kid-Silk is soft and thin, and still strong. The matte, dark green mohair has a light, glossy silk core that gives lots of shine and life to this shawl. It’s strangely warm despite its feathery light feel… :)

The last row in pattern, with beading, took me the better part of three whole evenings. Yes, you read that right. THREE evenings. For ONE row! But it was all worth it. :) Not enough beads for another row, so I ended it there.
There are twelve leaves along the center spine, and a few rows of filler pattern at the edge. So this is quite big. Finished measurements: 90cm from the neck down, 180 cm across. Big&beautiful. The beads really make a big difference, adding a lot of shine and brightness to an otherwise quite dark shawl. Love it. :) Details on my Ravelry page.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The wedding standard

Whenever I get a request for a wedding card, I immediately reach for the white and silver cardstock. It's the silver standard, so to say, for my wedding cards. This one came together quite quickly for that reason - no tricky colours to match or contrast, no long hunts for that perfectly coloured embellishment. Neutrals I've got. ;) The layout is also very familiar by now... Three cheers for effectivity!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Sunday mittens

After my Echo Flower shawl, I had enough yarn left for something small to match. These mittens caught my eye and was made with just over one skein DROPS Alpaca. I am so pleased with these! The lace pattern looks beautiful and they are a great fit on my hands.

I’ve knitted both mittens at once as usual, on two circular needles. As the pattern says, there is some guessing required, but most of it is very easy. The decreasing at the end had me scratching my head for a while though. Fortunately, someone else had guessed before me and charted a solution! Ravelry is a wonderful thing. :)

The mittens underwent the weirdest blocking process ever. I nibbled away at two corners on two large chocolate bars (making the ends slightly pointed), replaced them in their plastic wrappers, and stuffed them into the wet mittens! :P It worked great by the way - now they’re just a tiny bit looser around my finger tips. Perfect! Details on my Ravelry page as usual.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

DIY distressed photo canvas

Aaaaaw... Now look at that cutie!! :) She's my niece, 7 months old in that picture. What a smile. :)
There's a ton of detailed tutorials out there on how to do this, check this one out for example. I'm not going to bore you by repeating it - but since there are so many variations, here's a super quick recap of the choices I made: After tweaking the picture to my liking (and mirroring it!) I printed it on a laser printer on ordinary printer paper. I used a thin layer of Golden Gel Medium (Soft Gel, semi-gloss finish) to attach the picture and three more coats after removal of the paper pulp, for a good seal. Then used the same medium to fasten the lace, which wraps over the canvas edge. The string was the final touch - it's something K's mom does when she makes her own art, so this canvas should fit in nicely in their home.

The transfer of the photo was nearly perfect! In fact, far too perfect for the look I was trying to achieve. So I scrubbed really hard along the edges of the photo, even scratching it with my nails, to give it a more distressed look. I also sanded down my signature (bottom left corner) a bit.

When I chose the lace it was late at night, and the sunlight the next morning sent me into a bit of a panick. The lace was crisp white and the canvas is off-white - a difference that was invisible in lamp light, but incredibly ugly in sunlight. What to do, what to do... DistressInk to the rescue! I carefully inked the lace and sides of the canvas and the problem was solved. In fact, I probably should have inked it even if the lace matched the canvas. The darkened edge (which is surprisingly difficult to see in these photos) created that depth and definition that pulled everything together, and it echoes the brown string. All in all, this was an easy project that looks awesome. :)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

It's the little things that make life big

...like little cards for example. ;) This is the last one for now, but I'm sure there will be more some time soon. Next up is some canvas crafting, and then some knitting. And then more cards. A sudden rise in activity here, I like it! :)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

A little hello

More tiny cards! More scraps! More baker's twine! Do you see how this works? You make one, the leftover materials are right there in front of you, and you slap them onto the next card base. Easy peasy. That leaves enough brain capacity to chat with all the other girls/women in the room while crafting. :)

Friday, May 4, 2012

Happy birthday

Oh I think this one is a favourite of the tiny cards... Simple, with just the right amount of detail. Baker's twine of course, and that gorgeous Stempelglede stamp is perfect.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Happy day

Another small card. It's so easy to use paper scraps with these, so the cards will often have similar colours... The washi tape is Tim Holtz. Love it!!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Tiny cards

I'll be sharing some small cards the next few days. These are 10x10cm, a format I have come to love lately. Especially for those card making evenings at someone else's house - when you talk as much as you make, so the brain needs something simple to work on. :) The papers are from some BG paper pad, can't remember which one. The cute yellow baker's twine is secured by a couple of dots of glue, but is fairly loose.
And in case you're wondering why I haven't made these pictures big and lovely like in the previous post - well, it just looked silly that the card was bigger on screen than in real life. ;)

Friday, April 27, 2012

Short-sleeved pink toddler jacket

I've resisted naming this post "The hated pink jacket", but that's what I've been calling this project for a while now. That recipe is rubbish. It’s a shame really, because the end result really is quite pretty. Cute, feminine and I can't wait until K is big enough to wear it! I chose to put buttons along the whole length because I knew K's mom would prefer it.

 The original lace pattern annoyed me to no end and didn't look like the pictures, so I made up my own (simpler) version. It basically looks almost the same, but knits up much easier. I chose a cabled cast-on and it looks gorgeous. When it came to casting off, I had hoped to find a pretty technique that could match the cabled cast-on, but hours of googling left me with nothing that looked good on garter stitch. My crazypants solution was to cast on the same amount of stitches with the pretty cabled cast-on and grafting it to the jacket. It was worth it (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it).

Look at that back! Oooh... Also, I did a little trick with the neckline that I absolutely love. One extra stitch and a slipping technique gave me that gorgeous unbroken column of stitches running along the top (picture below). I learned that one from the baby "bunting bag" I did last fall. Details, as usual, on my Ravelry page.

Oh, and by the way: I've tweaked the HTML coding so that I can have these lovely big pictures! :) :) I love it and it looks fine from this end, but if you're having trouble viewing the blog, feel free to leave me a note.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Mini card for a baby girl

Yet another nasty flash photo! But it's almost light enough outside to snap a decent photo by the window before leaving for work now, so you won't have to put up with these for much longer.
This card is small, 10 x10 cm. Usually I love working in that format, but this one took some time. The pattern papers were scraps I collected in my recent desk clean-up project, so I'm not entirely sure where they came from... The white rub-on wing is by Hambly Screen Prints.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Hip hip hooray

Just a quick flash photo today, a card I made late at night for a colleague. That seems to be the trend these days, late night scrambling to get things done. But at least I've managed to dig my desk out from beneath a massive collection of accumulated odds and ends, so maybe there's hope for some more crafting in the near future?
These papers are of the few I have remaining from the lovely BG Wisteria stack. Most of them are the greenish-brownish kind that I have so much trouble finding matching cardstock to, but that flowery one had some lilac I could tie in and so the solution was obvious. :) My MS punches have been left alone in a drawer for far too long, it was about time one of them got do do some work...

Monday, February 27, 2012

Simple and masculine

Oh the colours came out a bit weird on this one... It's actually a nice brown on kraft sort of thing. And there's that brown baker's twine again, I told you it was a current favourite! ;) Plain and simple, just twine, gesso and washi tape.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

If anyone is still reading...

Hello everyone! It's been a while... High time to bring some activity to this little blog! This card was halfway done for a long time, and I finally managed to colour in the stamp so I could give it away. That brown baker's twine is a current favourite of mine.

In case you've been wondering what I've been doing all this time, you can see that my Pinterest account is showing a lot of activity lately. I'm also knitting this shawl and this baby jacket (both recipes are rubbish but I'm working out the kinks), and watching my current TV obsession: BBCs Sherlock (be still my heart). And to compensate for all this sitting-down-activity, I'm out geocaching now and then - it's a wonderful way to discover new places and get some exercise in the process. There might be more cards coming soon, but I think the yarn projects will still dominate for a while. :) See you later!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Hello sunshine!

After months and months of steel grey skies and seemingly unending downpour, this warm yellow alpaca yarn kept begging me to be wrapped around some knitting needles and made into something that could brighten up any rainy day! How could I resist? When looking through my Ravelry project page, it is immediately clear that this is most definitely not my usual colour scheme. I think I should be more bold in the future, because I absolutely love this shawl. :) The lovely yellow works well with both my dark grey winter coat, and my cool lilac autumn coat. A wonderful splash of colour!
-This shawl measures 62 cm from the neck down, 125 cm across. So, not a big shawl for me, closer to a shoulderette. I’m using this more as a scarf than a proper shawl, but it also works well if I'd like to cover up a V-neck top on cold days (as demonstrated in the first picture). The pattern is easily adjusted for size, because you can end on whatever number of repeats of the main flower chart you'd like.
The excellent pattern is called the Echo Flower Shawl. The only tricky part is the nupps, those big blobs you see lining the cathedral window pattern. The secret is to knit loose, loose, loose!! Purling those 9 loops together into one was a challenge at first, but as it is with everything in life, practice makes perfect. More details on my Ravelry page.
I have a little bit of yarn left, and will try to make some matching accessories... More sunshine to the rainy days!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Undercover baby blanket

The idea of knitting a square blanket in the round seemed like an interesting concept, and I couldn't resist trying it. I've got a kind of ombre effect going on here, it starts light in the centre and darkens towards the edges. In a perfect world the transitions wouldn't be as distinct as they are - but that is determined by the yarn. Had I found yarns in more similar colour tones it would look smoother, but this isn't too bad. The centre is knit using two strands of the light pink, then one strand light and one strand dark pink is held together, then two strands of the dark pink, and finally the edge is done with one dark pink and one brown strand.
-The pattern looks soo much more complicated than it is! There's a system for adding stitches in the corners, but everything inbetween is identical for every pattern row. And you still get this cool, graphic pattern. Go figure. I think it would work for boys as well as girls, and have some plans for a green version some time in the future.
-I blocked the blanket to exactly 1m by 1m, because that't the size of my excercise mat. It shrunk down a bit afterwards, and the finished size is 90cm by 90cm. Details are, as usual, on my Ravelry page.