Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Cochet sun rainbow mobile

I guess that all of you that like Pinterest and crochet have seen the mobile of a sun, rainbow, clouds and raindrops. The usual pins state that this is a free tutorial. I also had seen and pinned it but when I decided to make one as a gift I could not find the free tutorial anywhere. I did found a website that wanted a subscription but I was not in the mood for that. I simply eyeballed the design and created a 3D rainbow to mix better with the sun. I kind a messed up the amount of increases but with a bit of creative sewing all worked out fine.

The mobile was a gift without occasion due to a post I shared on Facebook at the beginning of the year. One of my friends was sharing a "pay it forward" creativity post. The first five people that would react on her post by sharing it on their timeline would receive a home made gift (if they would also make 5 home made gifts for people that would react on their message).  I loved the idea and shared the message but omitted the condition that people has to get creative themselves. My Facebook crowd it not that into creating hand made gifts but I was positively surprised which people were delighted to receive those type of gifts. I did not create all the gifts yet but I will (once).

Did anyone else also join this nice alternative home made swap movement?

Friday, November 15, 2013

Knitting children clothes

After knitting Christmas decoration and dolls I kind a was up for knitting clothes again. I felt more confident I could finish a bigger knitting project. But baby steps, I decided to first knit for my kids. I have fond memories of knitting on the couch in front of the television (especially during the winter). When I told my mother my plans she also became enthusiastic and together we bought yarn online and looked through old knitting magazines (which I kept from 10 years before), instant fun! Besides the old magazine I drooled over Phildar magazines that I bought but never used.

The actual knitting went faster than I hoped and I quickly created two sweaters. The bear application is from a Phildar magazine and and red shirt is an adjusted version of a grown up pattern. 

The red yarn ran out before the project was done. We had bought the yarn on sale in a mixed surprise package and I therefor had to be creative with a different color. Although unplanned I think that it spices up the sweater in a positive way. 

I like knitting (or crocheting for that mater) because it is more social than sewing. Although sewing has stolen my heart, when I sew, I sew I can not talk to somebody at the same time, let alone look at them. If I have people over sewing is not possible. Knitting and especially knitting clothes (more repetitive stitching without complex counting) is perfect. I now even have some friends that regularly come over to knit (and talk).

Saturday, October 5, 2013


Okay, I admit it, I am easily distracted and easily excited. Every time I see some new craft I kind a have to try it, and own all the things that are needed (I have a feeling more of you share this problem). A few weeks ago I came across felting crafts. I spend some time searching the web and found both needle felting (dry) and wet felting. The second type can be done in several ways, but the way that intrigued me the most was knitting wool and then wash it in a regular washing machine. I bought a small starting kit for needle felting and bought some felting wool.

The needle felting I used to spice up some crocheted ester eggs (this had been the original plan) but it was not as fun as I anticipated. I had read that you should not watch television at the same time while needle felting and this indeed seems a good idea. I of course tried it and hit my finger (a few times) with the needle. I also understand the appeal to watch tv at the same time because  the felting takes much more time than I anticipated. I did not fell in love with the craft.

I did use the material again a few weeks later when I bought my daughter a shirt of which I cut of a bow that I did not like. It turned out that the one that had sewn on the bow has not that great with the machine and had created hole while applying the bow (all shirts had the same bow so probably it was not put on to conceal the hole). I therefore ended up with a hole on her shoulder. I needle felted her initial on the place of the hole (I had seen on Pinterest that they directly needle felted on shirts to create an application). The T now perfectly conceals the hole, perfect.

The second felting project I tried was knitting myself a pair of slippers. It was a fun and quick project, I immediately bought a small package for a friend. If you have smooth floor like us (wood) then you will need to add some rubber patches on the soled of the feet to avoid slipping.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Starting sewing with knits

Ever since I was a child I had a bucket list in my head of what a mother should be able to do when it comes to crafts. I felt that I had to be able to do all the things my mother could, or else I would be lacking as a mom (which is of coures totally not true, but that was my view).  I have a broadly talented mother so on my crafts bucket list were: sewing, crocheting, knitting, baking pies and baking pancakes.

In the sewing department I was not satisfied with my skills.  I taught myself to work with a sewing machine but I did not feel that I understood how to modify patterns to make fitted clothes. I made a few dresses for my daughter from cotton almost a year ago  but I wanted to learn more.

I bought a sewing magazine at my local fabric store at bought fabric online and simply started with one of the dresses and I was addicted! Addicted on sewing knits and addicted on sewing in general. The magazine I bought was Ottobre and I love it. Although one magazine can deliver a whole wardrobe, my "collect them all" instinct kicked in immediately and I had to have all Ottobres ever made.

The fabric that I bought was from Lillestoff and they have such fun prints. Their fabric line consists of biological cotton knits and regularly new prints come out. When looking around on their website for the first time, I could not choose what to buy. I decided to simply buy a surprise box and hope for the best, I was not disappointed.
The pictures are from the first three projects I made. I made them on a "regular" sewing machine without a special stretch stitch (I used a small zigzag). I quickly started to cut up pattern pieces to make my own adjusted patterns and bought a lock machine. Sewing with knits for my kids (who are not that demanding when it comes to how pretty a bias collar looks like) even made me confident enough to sew some for myself! But I am not confident enough to blog about that.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Crochet flower bouquet

When I started crocheting, I started out with a plant. The good thing about crocheted plants it that they do not need any water (although it is not a tragedy either if your 2 year old decides they do) and do not mind the lack of sun light in our livingroom. I very much like plants and flowers, but I like them outside. I somehow do not seem to be able to give plants what they need when they are not safely with their roots in the dirt. I do not like plants dying in my livingroom which also applies to flower bouquets. A flower bouquet is kind a already dead when they enter your house so I never buy (or ask/get them), I know I am strange in that.

Crocheted flower bouquets however resemble their crochet plants very much when it comes to their need of water and ability to not die. The project in the picture is actually a suggestion from my husband. He was searching for a present to a wedding and asked me if I could make a crochet flower bouquet. I thought it was a great idea and created the white bouquet. Most of the patterns I used are from the book: 100 flowers to crochet and knit. The yellow ones already flower for more than a year on our dining table, those are made using a pattern from Planet June.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Arne and Carlos dolls

Last year I refound my knitting passion when I spotted the book: Christmas ornament knitting from Arna and Carlos. A few years earlier I took up knitting simply because I wanted to master it. My mother taught me when I was small but it never really got the hang of it. So a few years ago I knitted a few sweaters. Knitting a sweater is really a big commitment for me because it takes a lot of time! Especially because I never was really interested in my own knitted sweaters so they just remained in the closet. The Christmas ornaments seemed a perfect project to get back into the knitting game. Finishing one never took more than three evenings (my way of counting creative time) and they looked great. So Arne and Carlos's new book, knitting dolls looked like another very promising new project especially because my eldest is really in the doll playing phase. Over Easter Arne and Carlos had a nice book containing a bunny.
At that moment I was totally into crocheting and I made adjusted the pattern somewhat to make a crochet version . When I got the doll book I got the same giddy feeling as when I got the Christmas ornament book. It is just so nice to look at all the pictures. flipping through the pages was like flipping through an illustrated cookbook. You simply want to try them all immediately. Not only the dolls look amazing they come with a bunch of clothes!

Knitting a doll took me around 6 evenings and I enjoyed it a lot. If you are considering to start up knitting (again) but are wondering what to make, this is very recommendable!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Gum drops fail

The first time I saw a "nailed it" post on Pinterest I laughed my ass of. It was the reason to start a humour board. It picture in question contained a muffin that I was actually planning to make!
I can totally get why people post their fails because, well sometimes you just need to be able to laugh about your frustration or else you will cry. I had such an experience when making gum drops!
Look at that picture how jummie do they ought to look. Imagine making them with fresh fruits juices (that is what I imagined) not containing the E numbers from the store. I even thought that it would be a great project to do with the kids. Making your own sweets how fun would that be...These are mine:

I even tried it three times (I really wanted them to work) with different recipes and procedures, but the gelatin always melted when combined with the sugar. If anyone could tell me what I did wrong it would be very happy. I simply assumed that dutch gelatin works differently than the US kin

Monday, June 3, 2013

Wrapping up pregnancy/ crochet project

When you mention crocheting many people think of granny squares. Colorful yarn blankets using up left over yarn. I also had seen some granny square projects and wanted to try it. The fun thing about grannys quares is that you whip one of them up relatively quickly. You can use them as a coaster, sew a few together as a scarf or bag. The possibilities are endless but somehow after making a few squares the endless list of possibilities could not motivate me as much.

When my due date became closer I felt the urge to create something for our new family member.
I considered knitting some clothes but decided against it. I had knitted a sweater for my son, but he never really wore it. Our babies double as lamas and drool/spit/vomit all over their clothes all the time. The drooling/spitting/vomiting behavior stopped me from putting on the sweater that took me hours to make.

Enter my unfinished granny squares. Within one and a half week I created enough squares to make up a nice baby blanket. The spitting/drooling/vomiting is usually done on the sheets under the head and not on the blankets. Now I have the perfect thing to cover my new born with love :).

And "yes" if you might be wondering if that gray blob in the right is belly. Usually when making pictures with my phone of projects on the floor or table my feet appear in the picture. I did not notice immediately but when I did I thought is was extra funny and kept it like this.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Kids art T-shirt

I assume that most of you have experienced the addictive effect of Pinterest.

After you pin something Pinterest kindly offers you a glimpses in the boards of others that also pinned that and before you know it you are lost for hours :) During one of those digital scavenger hunts I came across embroidery. Embroidery I remembered to involve a lot of counting little X's.

It appeared I was misinformed, embroidery could be anything! After I saw some crazy quilt examples I fell crazy in love with embroidery. I really wanted to try it, but what would I make.... The projects I liked the most involved a lot of playful lines and designs and my inspiration was lacking. Fortunately Pinterest as always came to the rescue. I also stumbled upon some kids art projects and combining the two has lead to this.
I took a store bought shirt and let my eldest draw on it with her usual washable markers. When she was finished I simply embroidered over her design and washed it. It was super fun for both of us. I now fully understand why Picasso is considered to be such an artist because he could still draw as a child. Children really do have a great imagination and simply draw freely. I might not have that type of drawing imaginationanymore  but fortunately I have four kids who can help me with that ;)