Rabbit Rattle

Crochet Rabbit Rattle for my friend's new baby.

Gardening Apron

Gardening Apron for a friend's house warming present.

No Junk for Us!

Handmade "no junk mail please" sign in Finnish.

Meet Cyril!

Cyril is an amigurumi pig, made for my nephew.

Boxy Matryoshka Pouch

Boxy pouch made with very kawaii Japanese fabric.

Sunday, 31 August 2008

Queen Victoria was a Hooker!

As in crocheter, of course! While we were in England visiting friends and family we visited Dover Castle (definitely worth a visit, although possibly the windiest place on earth up there on the cliffs). While hubby took a peek in the keep (too tricky for me and VV in his stroller), we popped into the Princess of Wales’ Royal Regiment Museum and among the endless uniforms, medals etc etc, we found this:

The last place I expected to find some crochet, I have to admit. And by none other than Queen Victoria! Apparently she made 8 scarves for "brave soldiers" (her stipulation) of the Colonial Forces in South Africa. Sounds like the soldiers wore them with their dress uniforms, which seems a bit of a shame, but then I suppose it's not that cold in South Africa.

Saturday, 30 August 2008

My Fave Blogs: Unclutterer

Welcome to this, the first in a series of introductions to the blogs that I read on a daily basis. I say daily, but what I really mean is whenever they make a post - I use Google Reader to subscribe to blogs that I like and check it out whenever I sit down for a minute with a nice cuppa (so that's pretty often...).

First up - Unclutterer. I am by nature a pack-rat extraordinaire. I love - or even live - to hoard. I am incapable of throwing anything away, either because "you never know when it might come in handy" or because throwing something that is not broken away is just too wasteful. I know where the former comes from (my family are pack-rats too), but I'm not sure about the latter.

My husband will no doubt attest to how annoying this is to put up with. When I moved to Finland I drove him mad by sorting and resorting of all my wordly possessions (he would substitute "crap" for "possessions") into different piles, to give to friends, recycle, sell on ebay etc etc. I stand by my "piling system", but I admit that it doesn't often do much to reduce the overall number of possessions that I own (and have thus dragged over here).

However, I think I have found the cure in Unclutterer. I have now made the first step by designating a Charity Box in which to place items that we do not want or need, which we take down to the nearest charity shop when it's full.

For some easy, beginner-unclutterer tips, try 10 tips to beat clutter in less than five minutes.

(For a more extreme uncluttering tale, have a read of the book, Bonfire Of The Brands: How I Learnt to Live Without Labels by Neil Boorman. Not strictly an uncluttering guide, but a very interesting book by a guy who decided to rid himself of all branded goods, which he then burned in a huge bonfire.)

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Meet Cyril the Amigurumi Pig

Cute, isn't he? I made him from Amigurumi!: Super Happy Crochet Cute by Elisabeth Doherty (see cover shot below). He's yellow, because that's what I had in my stash and I figured that it didn't matter, since the multicoloured spots meant he wasn't exactly lifelike anyway.

I found out a few things along the way. Firstly, cotton yarn is not so great for Amigurumi. At least, I don't think it is, but then I haven't used anything else yet. Seems very tight and hurts my hands. Mind you, deciding to take up crochet wasn't the most intelligent plan ever, what with the years of RSI I have behind me.

Second, I am incapable of making two things that match. Both ears are different, both front legs and both back legs. I told myself that adds to Cyril's charm.

And finally, it is really very hard to follow a pattern while looking after a four month old baby. So much unravelling!

Cyril is now at his new home with VV's cousin (my nephew) Luke, over in the UK. Scarily VV weighs the same as Luke who is 2!

PS Sorry for the lack of posts - we've been in the UK visiting friends and family.

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Gardening Apron; Craft Book Club

At last I have made a project from Sew and Stow: 31 Fun Sewing Projects to Carry, Hold and Organize Your Life, only 3 months after I bought it. That might actually be a record for me! Here's the finished article, which is a moving-in present for my best friend (who I am sure won't read this before I see her on Sunday):

I'm hoping I'll be quicker off the mark with my next craft book, The Big-Ass Book of Crafts, which I've just ordered from Amazon Marketplace. I reckon I'll manage it too, since I've joined what's possibly the first Craft Book Club, over on Crafty Daisies. The idea is that members get their hands on the month's book and make one of the projects. We then share our creations and discuss the book online. Fab idea in my book (heh), so why don't you join up too?

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Customised Furniture

Our first collaborative project! Hubby and I worked together today to bring an idea to life that's been festering in our collective brain for quite some time. We were finally pushed into action by our dog, Monkey, who decided to pee up our trusty orange Ottoman-thingy yesterday. We think it was a show of jealousy for Hubby's Mum, who was visiting and making a big fuss of VV.

Anyhow, on to the project. I'd show you a before pic, but my dratted camera is refusing to let go of the lovely photos it has. Soon I will show it who is boss and let go of it... So, I'll have to describe the original piece of furniture instead. It was a cube of foam, with an orange slipcover. We've got two of them and they've justified their paltry 20 euro price tag a million times over - we put our feet up on them, rest our laptops on them, and eat dinner off them. (And apparently, if you're called Monkey, you pee up them too!)

Here's what one of them looks like now (sorry that they aren't the best photos, we had to use a camera phone):

Oh, what's that? Oh yes, it's a special slot to stow a laptop, that's what. A small (and we think, cool) effort on our part to declutter our living room. At least now my laptop has a place to rest when it's turned off. It'd probably overheat if we put it in there turned on, so this also gives us a good reason to shut it down when we're not using it, something we've not been very good at doing.

The whole thing took us a couple of hours, all told. Hubby was the chief foam cutter and had the excellent idea of reassembling it with the aid of cocktail sticks (to hold the cut parts together, internally). I was chief seamstress.

We're thinking up a treatment for Ottoman number 2 now. And is it an Ottoman? We used to call them poofs in the UK, but perhaps that was peculiar to my family. Don't suppose it is spelled like that, either.

A Crafty Corner to Call my Own

Insanely jealous of my best friend and her new house, replete with a designated craft space, I just had to do something. So, I claimed a small area of VV's room for myself. Since he's still in our room I'm sure he doesn't mind. I promise to move once he does!

I am pretty sure that my craft output, at least sewing-wise, will increase now. It was just too much effort to get the sewing machine out every time I wanted to use it. Now any time I get a spare 5 minutes (and it's usually only 5 with VV about), I can nip on the machine and make something. Check out the next post to see what I made today...

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Lunch Craft

When is food craft? Well I'd say that cooking is creative, so all prepared food is craft, but it's especially so when it's unbelievably cute kids' bento boxes:

I was alerted to these wondrous meals by Ohdeedoh, who also suggest checking out Lunch in a Box. I'm now dying to make VV a packed lunch, but since he's not even on solids yet, I suppose I'll have to wait for a bit!

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Gorilla Tactics

I'm hoping my new Gorillapod is going to improve my somewhat shoddy photos. Here's what it looks like in all its prehensile glory:

Check out my posts later in the week to see if this tactic has indeed improved my photos...

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Pimping the Pushchair

We've recently acquired a Maclaren buggy/stroller/pushchair for VV, to make life a little easier when we go away. VV's head slumps to one side when he falls asleep in it, so I fashioned a head rest for him out of some of my stash fabric:

We road tested it yesterday on a day out in Stockholm and it works pretty well. I think it needs a few minor tweaks, namely interfacing to the back and extra ties. I'm now planning some frog "seatbelt buddies" to complete the treatment - hopefully in the next couple of days.

Oh yeah - spot the deliberate mistake. Small prize for the first correct commenter...

A Sun for our Son

Hubby made a great lampshade, modelled on the Sun, to replace the Moon that I smashed to smithereens a while back:

VV loves it and we're pretty keen too - if I switch the light on first thing, it gives us a few extra minutes in bed in the morning.

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More