Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Post-raphaelite by Helene

As a member of the Burdastyle community I have the unique opportunity of meeting people from the whole world, exchanging ideas and experience and get inspiration.

One of my favourite members there and the never-ending source of inspiration- the magnificent Helene (a.k.a. carottesauvage) is the mastermind behind this gorgeous blouse.

I think the name of the project captures the essence of this creation. The wonderfully and meticulously pleated front, together with the bishop sleeves make this blouse remarkable and one of a kind.

Helene is this week's featured member (which should have happened long time ago) and she completely deserves it!

By the way, as the starting point she used Burdastyle's Jeniffer

Monday, December 20, 2010

Moss stitch blue knit wrist warmers

This is a pattern for lovely knit warmers. I found this pattern on the Internet about 2-3 years ago. They are short in length, but because of the chunky wool and decorative stitch these warmers are really warm and beautiful.

The Moss Stitch pattern:
Cast on 38 stitches

Ribbing = 8 rows: K2P2 right side / P2K2 the opposite)
Row 9 starts the double moss stitch: K2,then P1, K1(repeat this to the end)
Row 10 = P1, K1, (repeat this to the last 2 sts) then P2
Row 11 = K1, P1 (*repeat this to the last 2 sts.) then K2
Row 12= P2,then K1,P1 to the end.
Repeat rows 9-12 until the desired length is achieved.

Next row - ribbing for 6 rows. Bind off.

Repeat these 4 rows until the desired length is achieved (I repeated these 4 rows for 8 times which totals 32 rows of double moss stitch without the ribbing!)
Next start the ribbing again (as explained above) and knit it for 6 rows. Bind off!

Note: Please note that I cast 38 sts because I have fairly tiny wrists . If you have longer/bigger arms/wrists cast more sts. than suggested here. Remember that you have to have an even number of stitches.

This is also a quick project and you may use it to make some last minute gifts!

Happy knitting!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Transform socks into warmers

When I saw these beige - gray speckled socks I knew I had to have them. They are kids' size but that was exactly what I needed for this project.

This is a simple tutorial how to transform socks into wrist-warmers.

You need a pair of socks.
Cut off the toes part.

Turn the sock with the heel part upwards.
Gather the part where the heel is, pin it and hand stitch it.

Add a decorative button.

Add some lace or ribbon.

This is important.
You have to insert a tailor's ham inside before you stitch the lace.
If you don't have a tailor's ham insert another pair of socks or a small pillow.
Something that will expand the sock. Then (hand) stitch the lace.

Your new, fabulous wrist warmers.

These also make a nice last minute gift and you can make them in less than 15 minutes.
Tomorrow I am going to share a knit warmers pattern.

Enjoy your Sunday!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Sea horse brooch

If you see a seahorse

Be sure to say hello.

Just smile and say a bright ‘good day’ -

They’re most polite you know!

(Poem by Julie Murphy)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Meet the Frosts - a tutorial

The Frosts

I immensely enjoyed making this lovely family of Frosts with my kids and they are proudly displayed in our living room. Not the kids - the snowman's family ;)

I documented the process as we went along, so here is an easy way to make yourself some decoration in an hour!

What you need:
- Styrofoam craft balls (we used 6 for the heads and bodies)
- tooth picks (3-4)
- fabric scraps
- a marker
- modeling clay
- and glue

First stick the head and the body on the toothpick to make the snowman.

Next, with the marker, draw the eyes, mouth and body buttons.

With the scraps make Mr.Frost a scarf, mittens and a top hat.

With modeling clay make him a nose and stick it.
Tie the scarf and glue the mittens.

Mr. Frost is a very health-conscious snowman.
He knows smoking is bad and that is why he
doesn't have a pipe. He's got a toothpick in his mouth.

Mrs. Frost.
She is one very fashionable lady.
We made her a hat out of modeling clay and decorated it with a jewel (ahem..bead).
She wears a ruffled scarf and elegant red mittens. Her body buttons are bling.

Baby Frost.
His hat is a cut-off thumb from old mittens.
His scarf is the ribbed part of an old sock.

We hope you like them!

Greetings from our family to yours!
***Happy holidays!***

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Jellyfish necklace

Yesterday I got wonderful news of my deadline being prolonged and guess what I did.
I did everything my heart desired. Including embroidery. I worked late into the night and finished a couple of things - mostly fabric jewelry.

This is my favourite. A jellyfish pendant.

These days expect a lot more sea creatures turning into wearables.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Wooden ornaments

Bought myself a box of wooden ornaments. A set of twenty in lovely colors and postures. Most of them are angels and snowmen but I don't really mind.

They are tiny and gorgeous. I have always been crazy about wooden miniatures.
The kids hanged them on the tree and I enjoy looking at them. They make me calm and peaceful after an exhausting day.

This Christmas I wanted to make a lot of things, you should see my list, but have been severely interrupted in making anything Christmas-y. That's life.

I hope you all have lovely new ornaments to hang on your trees!

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Dear (blog) friends and family,

Currently I am maintaining a low profile due to transliteration related activities. The left hemisphere of my brain is heavily harnessed and being strained to the extremes, but do not assume that the right hemisphere is idle. I have many new things to show you. Lovelies for the eye and soul.

Until then, you just sit back and enjoy the weekend!
Yours truly,

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Lavender and turquoise scarves

I've not been idle this weekend and crocheted some scarves.
Discovered the loveliest of yarn and thread at my favourite wool shop and bought a whole bunch in all the palette they offered. Mostly cotton ones, but I couldn't resist the charm of the sparkly ones.
The lavender scarf is made of a cotton and viscose yarn. The viscose gives it a lovely shine and at first glimpse it appears silken. It is even more appealing because the yarn itself changes the hue from lightest to darkest.

The turquoise one is shorter but wider. Both end with fringes. They are made with a purpose. Tell you later about it! Have a great Sunday and I'll be talking to you soon!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Shades of gray

Image courtesy of Abernathys

I was thrilled when Elizabeth Abernathy contacted me regarding the review of the Nuno Magazine. Knowing Elizabeth through her blog I knew that there was a phenomenal project in front of me and I was not wrong.
The two talented sisters Elizabeth and Rachel are the creative force behind the e-"Nuno Magazine". Their philosophy is the creation of your own clothing, accessories and home decor, by salvaging, modifying, recycling, altering and transforming things.

Image courtesy of Abernathys

The winter edition of this incredible well of fabulous ideas and inspiration revolves around the color grey. Gray has never been more attracting and inviting. Through all shades of gray you enter into a world of splendid and wondrous projects that offer a feel of delicate femininity, elegant simplicity yet marvelous down- to- earthiness. The step-by-step elaborate instructions are intelligible and clear, accompanied by fantastic photographs.

Image courtesy of Abernathys

Last but certainly not least. What warmed my heart is that share of the profit from this issue of the magazine benefits a goat bank in Uganda. Haven't heard of goat banks? Here's what the project is about: "Goat banks are elegantly simple. A family is loaned a goat. The family breeds the goat. The family returns the first born kid to the goat bank (after it is big enough, of course) which in turn provides another family with a start to their own little flock". Isn't this divine?

Image courtesy of Abernathys

You can buy and download the copy of the magazine here.The price is symbolic. It's only $5US and for the value you receive 125 ad-free pages of craft, sewing and knitting projects made from recycled and salvaged materials. And you also participate in a good and humane cause.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The cat, the donkey and the running carrot

My mother is moving into a smaller flat so guess who gets to inherit all the pretty stuff she usually wonders "what do I need for".

But how could I get rid of this sweet, sweet needle point of a cat playing the violin and the lovely notes floating around it! I found this in a bag my mum uses for her finished but unframed work. It is more than 30 years old. I am so sorry she didn't hang this in my room when I was a child and didn't give me when my children were small. But I am not letting it go. I am sure I'll find a use for it. I mean what is the point of doing such an exhausting work (did you notice how small and tiny those stitches are?) and not display it anywhere.

And then I found this. A donkey running after a carrot! This is appropriate to sprout children's imagination and not entertain a cotton bag! I may use this one to make a bag... or a pillow. The bag sound more appealing - at least to Eva. Can't decide right now. Have to wash it first! And with this let me finish my post on children's needle point and pointless embroidery!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Once in a blue moon

Well, according to this article, today we'll be witness to the appearance of "the blue moon" although necessarily it does not always appear in that hue. So you might tell people that everything you did tonight you did it "once in a blue moon".

I, myself, was not aware that the infamous saying was born that way and it was interesting reading about it! And I still wonder about the influence a common mention of a word may have in a language!

The pictures I used for this post are actually postcards of a famous Sicilian artist Caroline van Riet (by Dutch origin) , who we had the pleasure of meeting in person at her lovely shop in Syracuse's old town Ortigia. Her work is incredible. You may check it here.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Reanimated mittens

Last year, at the end of winter I bought my children 2-3 pairs of mittens for a bargain with a lovely Nordic pattern. They came in five different colors. For myself, I chose the white ones, although I was painfully aware that they do not fit me and that they are too small. Nevertheless, I bought them with the intention of re-doing them in any way.

So this is what I did. A simple how to on saving shrunk /shortened/ small mittens.

Take the pair of mittens ...

.. and cut the upper part and the thumb part.

With a sewing machine, sew an ordinary stitch to prevent the stitches to unravel.

Then with a crocheting needle (mine was #3 -1.7mm) single crochet the edge. I started crocheting just below the line I stitched by machine.
If you have plain mittens you may employ a more decorative or lace edging, but this was not appropriate for my mittens because of the pattern, so that's why I left it plain.

Do the same for the thumb part and you are done!
I don't think I 'll ever throw away my children's mittens.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Granny square scarf

I haven't yet showed the scarf I started long ago. After indulging in so many projects I eventually set on joining the little granny squares and completed it.

Now let me tell you something about the "scarves wearing preferences" of this blog owner. She ordinarily likes long, knitted winter scarves preferably with chunky wool which she can wrap around two or three times around her neck and the ends would still hang, and she might consider wearing much, much shorter ones - French style, that is tied closed to the neck (I am sure you get the picture)- only if they are silken.

This was neither. She'll wear it closed with a pin.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wrist corsage tutorial

Today I made some wrist corsages and prepared a tutorial for you.
It is quite easy and the end result is amazing.

Materials needed:

* ribbons
* elastic band
* flowers
* needle and thread (glue gun)

Step 1:

Make the foundation wristlet by positioning the elastic right in the middle of the ribbon and sew it with a zig-zag stitch. When sewing pull the elastic slightly making tension. When finished back stitch it. I made mine about 20 cm long. You can measure it before hand according to the size of your wrist. I advice you to make it longer; you can adjust the length afterwards.

After you measure it on your wrist, pin it and sew both ends together.

Step 2:

Make petals with the ribbon.
I made several and sewed them together.

Step 3:

Add a contrasting ribbon. I chose white for my corsage and made it smaller than the purple one. Sew it on top.

Step 4:

Add flowers and attach them to the base. I sewed mine, but you can use a glue gun for this purpose. You may also add beads, buttons, pieces of fabric... whatever suits your imagination!
Attach the whole set to the foundation wristlet by sewing it tightly and your wrist corsage is finished!