Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Gift Wrapping Ideas





  I don't know about you, but for me gift wrapping is as exciting as all Christmas wrapped together. :)

 I love both receiving and giving thoughtfully and tastefully wrapped gifts and (thank you God for the internet) these days one cannot be short of wonderful gift wrapping ideas.

This year I am more inclined towards tastefully colorful ideas with lots of stickers / cards /drawings / cut outs.


Here I also added some images showing traditional - or as I would like to say - ideas that transcend time - like using gifts of nature into the wrapping (fir cones, ferns, leaves, dried flowers, dried lemons/oranges, cinnamon,etc). 

Enjoy the selection!

All credits to images here.


 








Monday, December 9, 2019

Christmas Decorating Ideas

 

When we were little, my sister and I were excited beyond words to see our mom decorate the house for Christmas, for that woman knew how to have a blast Christmas decorating. Entering the house in December felt like a wonderland back then.

She still does that but on a much smaller scale these days. I am glad she hasn't lost her Christmas spirit.  

 

I continued that tradition and I try to make decorating the house for Christmas an exciting experience. Now that the kids are grown up (Eva's nearly 19 and Jacob's 14) I let them decide (read I let Eva decide) about the what and the how.  For example, last year she wanted a pastel Christmas, the other before she wanted everything in red and gold only (and we have like a ton of colorful ornaments!). It's creating wonderful memories for them what really counts, and I want that to last a bit longer. 




We still haven't decorated yet - but it will be this week, so we have a couple of days to decide on the theme for this year.
I turned to pinterest for some interesting ideas and maybe some DIYs I can pull off myself. You can find the relevant credits for the images in this post on my Christmas board





How about you? Do you theme decorate for your Christmas?

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Crochet Art Brooch - free pattern

 

It has become a custom here on the blog for me to share ideas and patterns for handmade Christmas gifts and this year won't be an exception. 

 

The pattern is for a miniature brooch pin crochet art, as I like to refer to it. The pin is 7 cm long (the crochet beginning is 5 cm) and the crochet pieces are 6-7 cm in length. 

 

They are worked in sport yarn and a 1.9mm hook
Crochet terms used: chain (ch), slip stitch (sl st), single crochet (sc), half double crochet (hdc), double crochet (dc), treble (tr), picot. American terminology used.
  

How to crochet on a brooch pin
Crocheting on a brooch pin can be rather challenging and frustrating. The closed part of the brooch and not the needle part is the place where this is crocheted. After you make the initial chain, I recommend you do the rest of the chaining by holding the brooch (at the end of the brooch) as I show in the picture, holding the needle for support while you make the chains. Once done, it is a piece of cake.



Pattern for the red piece

Foundation: Chain 13 on the pin. Turn the work on the other side - away from the needle and close the brooch.
Row 1: Starting from the 2nd st from hook, sc1 in each stitch (12). Ch2 and turn work.
Row 2: Skip 1st st and hdc1 in the next 2st, next dc1 in next 6 sts and hdc1 in the last 3 sts. (12) Ch2 and turn work.
Row 3: Repeat row 2. Ch1 and turn work. (12)
Row4: Sl st in the 1st 2 sts, then dc1 in next 8 and lastly, sl st in the last 2 sts (12). Ch1 and turn work.
Row 5: sl st in 1st st, sc1 in next, hdc1 in third, dc1 in next st, make a 4-ch picot, dc1 in that same stitch, tr1 in next st, make a 4-ch picot and tr once more in that st, dc1 in next st, make a 4-ch picot and dc1 again in that stitch, next, hdc1 in next, sc in the next and end the row with a sl st. That's it. Work tail.
 
 

I sewed a decorative tulle / lax/ lace flower piece and added metal elements (leaves and a dragonfly) to it.


Pattern for the grey piece
Repeat pattern for the red up to the fourth row.
Row 5: sk1, sl st in 2nd st, next dc1 in next 8 sts, sk1 and sl st in last st (10). Ch1 and turn work.
Row 6: sc1 in 1st st, dc1 in next 8 sts and sc1 to end it (10).
Row 7: ch4 and make a picot, sk1 and sc in next. Make a 4-ch picot and sc in next st. Repeat this pattern up to the 7th picot. Make the 8th picot, sk a st and sl st in the last st.


 

For this one I decorated a corner with a lace piece, a cabochon, a pearl button and a pearl bead.  I also decorated the center with pearl and a metal bead. 

 Pattern for the pink piece

Foundation: Chain 13 on the pin. Turn the work on the other side - away from the needle and close the brooch.
Row 1: Ch 3, sk 2 and sc in next st. Repeat this pattern to the end of row. There should be 4 chain spaces.
Row 2: Ch 2 and hdc2 in the 1st ch -sp. Next, hdc3 in every ch-sp to the end.
Row 3: Ch3, sk 3 and sc in next st. Repeat this pattern to the end of row. There should be 3 chain spaces. Ch1 and turn work.
Row 4: In all ch-spaces work the following: hdc1, dc1, hdc1. 
Row 5: Ch11 and sl st in the last st.
Row 6: Ch3 and sc (over the chain of row 5) in the dc of the 1st ch-space. Ch 3 and repeat the sc for the second dc of row4 and lastly, chain 3 and sc in the last st. Ch 1 and turn work.
Row 7: dc1, make a 4-ch picot, dc1 once more in that chain space. Repeat this patter for the other 2 chain spaces. Sl st to end row. 

 

I decorated it with a cabochon centered daisy under which I sewed pearl disc beads. I added a pearl bead on the center picot. 

I hope you get inspired to make some yourself. 




You can download a free copy of the Art Brooches from ravelry



This pattern also comes as a complimentary (gift) pattern with my Thumbelina pendant necklaces and using the code XMAS2019 for a 25% discount, you can get both for a bargain.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Christmas Gifts for Crafters


 
 Cherry Heart Image


If you have crafter friends  and wondering what gifts to give for Christmas this year, I would like to show you my subjective, carefully handpicked collection of indie designers and artists I have met through the internet. 

 
Marjan has a wonderful shop where she sells her hand-dyed yarn and she offers a fantastic collection of beautiful stitch- markers. Aside from that she offers crochet patterns and handstitching kits.


 

Anna  from crochetmishmash makes magical hand carved botanical hooks and they all have a uniquely painted design. The hooks are made from fallen branches and bear their own enchanting charm and character. 



Every felt lover and crafter would go nuts for the ornament patterns that Larissa Holland makes. Her imagination is mind-blowing and her patterns awe-inspiring!



Then there is Jules from Little Woollie where she indulges her crafty cravings and shares them with the world.


Here, I'd like to show you my other shop Crochetella
which I neglect more that I want to and have limited but gorgeous offer of ribbons and a handful of buttons. I have tons of ribbons I plan to take photos of and simply put out on the market in the new year. 

Crochet Pattern Stores 

Crochet Pattern Stores I love: 






For art online classes I wholeheartedly recommend Alisa Burke's classes. I had the pleasure of trying several of her classes and she is my all time favourite artist.




 Finally, I'd love to offer you a 25% discount on everything I have in my shop. The discount is valid through December. Use the code XMAS2019 or simply click on this link.


Support small shop owners!
Thank you!

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

The Nutcracker Soldier Scarf

 

I love the nutcracker soldiers. They are inevitable part of my Christmas scenery which I put up every year on my living room dresser and there is something deep inside of me that ignites whenever I see a nutcracker soldier :)

So, as it happened, I came across this idea on pinterest where a lady has worked a knit scarf to look like a soldier by putting googly eyes and strands of yarn to imitate hair, and when I saw it, I thought why not making it look more like a soldier in a uniform and a hat and everything one can think of to make it as identical as possible. And Voila! Here's my take of it. I worked it on my whims and I love it!

Now, when it's done, I am thinking of redoing the hair, adding black pupils on the eyes, redoing the golden  part on the hat and eventually adding something golden to the uniform (buttons perhaps?). 

Also, I am thinking of making him a friend but this time in navy blue and golden... 







Monday, December 2, 2019

Happy December!




December
/dɪˈsɛmbə/


a month of lights, snow and feasts;
time to make amends and tie loose ends;
finish off what you started and hope your wishes come true.



Saturday, November 30, 2019

The Most Popular Posts of November

 

The past month has been immensely fruitful for the blog in sense of traffic and the rankings have changed rapidly and quite surprisingly. 

So if you are a new reader / follower, I have the most popular posts on the right-hand bar, but you have to scroll a bit down to see it. Maybe I should put it a little wee up?
 
A firm popularity and a mind-blowing first position for the past two months goes to the Frida Kahlo Brooch, my all time favourite!

My bohemian scarf, though quite new - posted just a week ago, pushed its way up :)

Then there are the African Violets Bracelet and the Flower Bookmarks, as well as the Vintage Bib Necklace fiercely featured by All Free Crochet. Thank you guys!!



My newest autumnal collection also hit the list and I must also include the Festive Bracelet post that is almost a year old, but I believe it will be a frequently searched post for the upcoming holidays because it makes for a fantastic Christmas gift. 

I did not include several of the most popular for one reason or the other, but as I said earlier, you can find them on my side bar. 

Now a question if you managed to read this far. Do you track your traffic for the most popular posts and how do you surge / boost it? 
 

Friday, November 29, 2019

Mix & Match: Burgundy Roses Necklace




I cannot believe that my last Mix & Match play was back in January! Not that my storage boxes are not overflowing; somehow I was so immersed in so m.a.n.y things to do, I just left crochet goodies piling up. 

I am contemplating a thorough cleanse and perhaps lots of mix 'n matches at the beginning of the new year, because {happy dance} I will be having a 2-week holiday to use as I please!!!

This is how I mixed and matched my burgundy goodies:


I gathered all the things I picked for this necklace - a sequin decorated bib, crochet flowers and leaves I was going to use, plus a tulle insert and a pearl bead I forgot to include in the picture. I sewed the tulle, leaves and flower in the upper left corner.


 Next, and this is my favourite step when working with flowers, I stacked them all up. 


I sewed that stacked flower onto the leaves and lastly added the metal chain.


And that's how I did it. 

Bye, bye!

I wish you a happy weekend ahead!