Tuesday, August 31, 2010

How to check the insulation of windings

You are looking at my new blouse.
I had this small piece of jersey just enough for a blouse so I chose a pretty simplistic Burda pattern to make it. I like the big flounce / ruffle at the centre and I believed that with this super soft jersey it's going to fall down as waterfall. But, it didn't prove my expectations.

However, I think it's going to be exploited a lot.

You may wonder what has the title got to do with this post.
It has nothing to do with the post. As of yesterday I am being stuck with translating how to check insulation of windings. It's showing my protest of being held away from my sewing machine.
Tomorrow we start school. So I wanted to make something pretty (do you see how 'pretty' gets to be the most used adjective of the post and with different meanings- mind you!) for myself and actually bought two gorgeous pieces of fabric. But now I can't and that's why I am bitter.

Be well, I am off to tackle some mechanical engineering.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Fabric flowers tutorial

This is a tutorial I composed and it originated from from the straw flower sticks tutorial (look at the craft tutorial section on the right). I have it in my right side bar but linking to the Burdastyle platform. I thought, why not make it at home and change its address :)
Home archiving is the safest place.

Here it is.
Step 1: Make a fabric tube and fold it in half.

Step 2: Take the second strip and fold it
counterclockwise over the first strip.

Step 3: Hold the upper part firmly with your thumb and forefinger.Then take the first strap and do the same, putting it over the second strap (counterclockwise). Work like this in circles until you get about six 'petals'.

Step 4: When you get the shape of the flower as seen here, you continue by working in circles, sliding the straps underneath the "main part", which you are holding tightly, until you get to the end.

Step 5: This is how it should look viewed from the side.

Step 6: Now thread a needle and secure the 'petals' through all the layers, so that it won't wriggle its way out!

This is the flower you just made. This cutie can be used to make necklaces or rings, headbands, brooches... anything you can think of. I hope you like it.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


I am obsessed with paper. Not just any kind. The handmade one.
I love the feeling it conveys - the rough yet fragile surface showing its fiber veins, telling a story of its own... Bearing the stamp of creativity and imagination of the artist who created it.

Yesterday, I bought myself the book called Paper - from the handmade style series by Murdoch Books, and I've already leafed through it numerous times. Filling my eyes with beauty and discovering techniques I would love to try.
The book is a wonderful invitation to explore the creative potential of paper whether recycled or commercial offering elaborate description of gorgeous decorative effects such as embossing, embedding and laminating.

While in Italy we visited a Paper farm and participated in creation of the fibers for paper. With this book, my experience made a full circle. With eagerness I hope to plunge into a paper making project. Soon...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The big, the small and the tiny

As I mentioned yesterday I made something out of an old oil cloth. It was a tablecloth in its previous life. I found it in a box, neatly folded, feeling miserable over a burned hole in its body. Since my mother in law didn't intend to use it any more, I thought it might be fun if I get hold of it.

The idea was to make a beach bag. Whole summer I've been struggling with wet beach towels and swimsuits, carrying two-three other (cotton) bags so that I don't mix the dry and the wet ones. So I thought it would be a great idea if I make a bag that wouldn't mind getting wet, that would be easy to dry and clean and big and spacious enough for all the things we carry to the beach.

I love it already! Can't wait to try it this weekend!

Since it was a big tablecloth I used the scraps to make Miss Eva a cute bag she will certainly use when she goes to the beach with her friends and is big enough for all the girly stuff she always takes like sunglasses, sunblock, lip gloss, a kerchief and a pair of bikini. I hope she likes it!

And since I cut out the squares (brain storming other projects) I made a tiny pincushion!
Phew! How's that... enough repurposing?!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Flower necklaces and rings

We've just returned from a fabulous weekend at the lake, refreshed and eager to tackle everyday chores. While weekending I managed to take pictures of these tiny and cute necklaces I've made weeks ago.

Do you remember this one? It's my sweet carnation!

With the pink tulle I also made a ring and I love its delicacy and fragility.
It looks so feminine.
I also managed to make some stitches today. But no pictures yet. Tomorrow I will show you what I did with an old oil (table) cloth.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Welcome to Spiderdom

Yesterday I cursed the wo(man) who invented housework! I did my best to employ quite a motley vocabulary, just so you know, but don't worry - the kids were not at home!


After being away for almost two months the house was invaded. By spiders and their knitting, mind you. I cannot tell you about the spider webs. They were all over the place (all credits go to the linden trees in the yard). And there were also some excellent specimens showing off, I tell you. So the place really needed airing, dusting, vacuuming and cleaning.All that just before the avalanche of heat waves. I swear - if there was sand on the streets someone would have mistaken him/herself being in Sahara.

Own archive. Sahara 2009

But housework has been done and knitting has been resumed. Granny squares are coming all right and I have already made some sewing plans (grinning) having treated myself with three past copies of Burda magazines I've missed.

Until my next endeavor...

Friday, August 13, 2010

Cherries on top and granny squares

Thanks to the lovely Ophelia who awarded me with cherries on top! She is the person behind Crochetie. A true candy of a blog!
I have to pass on the award to five awesome people, but that puts me in an unfavourable position. Since I cannot do it, I welcome you to take the award yourselves you awesome bloggers!!

What have I been doing lately? Well...
My fingers were itching to make something. Since I am parted with my sewing machine, I asked my husband to bring me my crocheting needle the next time he visits (the poor soul started work while we are still on vacation). I bought me some lovely yarn in my favourite colors and I started a scarf.

Have always been softy when it comes to granny squares!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Gossip around the net

Maybe you have already heard the news about the wonderful giveaway organized by the ever inspirational Craft Gossip and Etsy.

I couldn't resist the temptation and composed a list of my own.
I would love to win these:

Romantic blouse

Floral purse

If you want to try your luck click the link to it.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Dreamhouse in the woods

When I first saw Sandy's fairytale cottage in the woods I was enchanted in a heartbeat.
She saw potential of this hidden jewel and transformed the shabby 125 square feet cottage into a dreamy, ethereal, breathtaking dreamhouse with a Victorian feel.

What impresses me the most is that Sandy did everything by herself by using salvaged materials, thrift store finds and the most important: employing her imagination and creativity!


(Photos by Trevor Tondro for The New York Times)

Isn't it gorgeous! I would love to have a retreat like this for myself.
If you want to learn and see more photos of this enchanting place, visit Sandy 's blog. It is a true candy and you'll find yourself transfixed!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Body art - a giraffe and a jelly fish

This is what we did today - a giraffe and a jellyfish.
For the giraffe...

Make a hand impression for the body

(Look at the cute tail)
Then draw a curved line for the neck and make the head
and the ear(s) with the fingers.

Then let those tiny fingers make spots and eyes and a mouth and there you are.
Your own giraffe. Ours is a bit chubby because it cannot
resist mom's cooking, you know.

For the jellyfish you make a hand impression and then press it again slightly away from the first one so that the palm covers a part of the first impression, but take care the fingers not to make marks over the existing ones.

Draw eyes and mouth and it's done.

I highly recommend you let your children experiment with watercolours because hand (and feet) painting can be quite fulfilling and it certainly let children explore their creativity and enhance their imagination.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Body art - a butterfly and a crab

At kindergarten Jakov receives a lovely children's magazine called Rosica with lots of stories, poems and craft ideas. This one is taken from there. It's how to make cute watercolor pictures of animals (or insects) with your hands and feet.

For this cute project you need sheets of watercolor paper and watercolors.

You apply a generous amount of color to your child's feet and press them on the paper one by one because they should be placed in opposite position of the one they naturally are.
Like this.

These are the wings of the butterfly.

Then you add all the details by dipping the forefinger in different colours. Make the body and the spots on the wings.

I like when a watercolor gains a different dimension by simply outlining it with a marker. And here it is. A picture with your child's signature.

For the crab you just have to press the hands joined together with the fingers apart.
The thumbs had to be at an angle but for Jakov this was a bit difficult hand positions (which it is-try it for yourself), so now it looks like the crab had grown horns :)

Add little eyes and a smiling mouth since this is one friendly and good-natured crab.
Tomorrow we are going to make a giraffe and a jelly-fish.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

My vintage book of handcrafts

There is a corner in the centre of town swarming with little stands that offer old/new books, comics, LP albums, medals, pins and other petite antiquities and what-not. Well that is the corner that magically pulls and draws my attention whenever I pass by. On one of those passing bys I noticed this great book of hand-craft which I was allowed to browse through on a couple of occasions and finally I decided to buy it.

Published in 1979 (although in impeccable condition - the patterns inside were intact) it features numerous sewing, knitting, crocheting, weaving and beading projects with extensive and clear explanations and (what I love the most) elementary to advanced techniques of every craft mentioned above.

I fell in love with this traditionally embroidered blouse which I would love (and hope) to make one day.

A vest that reminds me of one I had as a child....

...and a gorgeous tablecloth.
I hope to use many of the ideas and techniques elaborated in the book and eventually bragging with all of them here :)-