Monday, August 29, 2011

Romantic blouse

Well, let me tell you that I was really crafty last week and now I feel content. However I didn't document everything so I guess I'll go one step at a time.
For today's post I am sharing one of the blouse I made. I bought several meters of this fantastic silk resembling fabric because I simply couldn't resist the lovely celery green color. I also bought it in light pink (don't judge, please!).

I made the pattern myself after having seen this somewhere around the web.
For the upper part of the bodice I used a shirting fabric with lovely and tiny pink and purple stripes and I must say I love how it turned out. I added ruffles at the joining place and added a flower for greater effect.

I also added ruffles at the hem. It is girly and goes nicely with both jeans and skirts.
I am having another one made for Eva but hers would be a lot different than this one. We are not that freaky to wear identical clothes :)
Have a nice day!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Take a spin with a pin

I know many of you have heard of Pinterest. I love it since the first day I discovered it. For me it is the best way to bookmark things I want to try/learn/enjoy/share.
I considered it to be a cavernous treasure chest hiding all kinds of jewels. And it is highly contagious so beware when you enter it. You may be lost for hours :)
Here are some of my boards there.

Do come and visit and I hope you join in the fun!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Look who came to visit today!! My Cupcake!

She's adorable! I couldn't take my eyes off of her...
And the smell... oh how much I love the smell of little babies...
Did you look at those cheeks? Well those cheeks are made for kissing and that is what they got ;D

Monday, August 22, 2011

Steampunk softies - a book review

Recently I won one of Kathreen's fabulous giveaways and this is it!! I cannot tell you how excited I was when I got it! It's called "Steampunk softies" and it's available through Andrews McMeel Publishing.

Nicola Tedman, a professional model maker, and Sarah Skeate, an illustrator, joined forces to make this highly exceptional book full of charming characters with unique personalities whom you'll fall in love with at first site. As the editor says in the introduction "these softies are the very embodiment of steampunk values. Eccentric, individual and very appealing, the softies may be plushy in the middle, but their exteriors are all business".

{Minerva Dupine -a detective}

The book presents a total of eight lovely characters. Each comes with a short, witty and heart capturing introduction with a hint of his/her backstory. It also offers an extensive list of everyday crafting materials you will need (most of which found in your craft boxes), interesting aging techniques, and tips on cutting and gluing.

The make of every doll is elaborately explained in fully illustrated step-by-step instructions, supported by excellent tips and suggestions. And of course - a detailed list of every single thing you need for it!

{Floyd Fastknight -an explorer}

{Marveletta O'Houlihan -an Opera Lady}

One thing is for sure. This will make my crafting so much more pleasurable, and I cannot wait to make them.

I would like to thank Kathreen from Whip Up and Shelly Barkes- McMeel's publicist, for making my craft world richer! Dear Ladies, I am much obliged!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Field flowers on your fingers...

...or bring the crochet to another dimension.

These are the rings I promised to share. Crocheted rings for girls. At first I was going to write that they are for little girls, but I changed my mind. Little and teenage girls. And maybe their moms. And moms' moms perhaps?? :)-

In absence of the little/ big Miss Eva I had to wear these for the shoot and didn't feel silly at all - but maybe I should abstain from wearing them out in the real world -eh?

While playing with flowers one day (trying to make another lariat) I put some on my hand and liked the idea, so I crocheted a ring base on top of which I sewed the flower; I added shiny beads and sequins and voila! Eva's most favourite piece(s) so far. Not to mention the hearts they stole from the neighborhood kids.

So off I go to fling myself at the project that stole my night hours this week.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Lace rings

It doesn't take much to achieve the looks you want for yourself. In fact, it is at the reach of the hook.

These are the lace crocheted rings I made lately. The age span is non-existent. They can also be made out of colorful (thicker) yarn for a more playful and casual look, or with a fine and thin yarn for a more delicate appearance.

The pattern is a free download from Crochet Today you can find here.

To be honest I altered the patterns as I went along.
I also strengthened the lower part of the ring by making two sc rows.

For the red one I used one of my medallion patterns and I like how it turned out in its miniature version as a ring.

These are made with thicker yarn for colder days.

Hope you make lots of them. They are so easy and you'd love them on your fingers.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Rose lemonade

Yes, you read right. A lemonade made of roses and not just from any rose bush. This is a special rose that is edible. The lemonade was given to my mother in law by a neighbour who is an expert in making it. My MIL is now set on growing such bushes so that we can all enjoy it!

I cannot describe the lovely taste and can't wait to make it ourselves!

I know I promised crochet rings tutorials but spent the weekend days on the beach having fun with the kids. In the late night hours I removed unwanted links to my posts. Still bitter about that and sorry if I filled your readers with my old posts!!
Talk to you tomorrow!

Friday, August 12, 2011

How to make crocheted beads

This is a tutorial you are really going to like because the finished product is adorable!
How to make crocheted beads in a few easy steps.
Here we go.

Used terms: stitch (st.), single crochet (sc), single crochet 2 together (sc2tog)

Start by chaining three chains. Join with a slip stitch with the last chain from hook to make a ring.

Row 1: 6 sc in ring (6).
Row 2: 2 sc in each stitch (12).
Row 3: 1 sc in one stitch, 2 sc in the next; (18)
Rows 4 - 5: sc 1 in all sts (18) (You can stuff it here)
Row 6: 1 sc, sc2tog (12).
Row 7 - end: sc2tog until end.
Tie the end, thread an embroidery needle and hide the tail inside the bead.

Tips: For the blue bead I used a six-stranded yarn and a 3 mm hook. The red bead from the intro picture is made by a thinner yarn and a 1.9 mm hook. You can see the difference in size. Hence, by combining different yarn and hooks you can have beads in different sizes.
Also, if you want to make big(ger) beads, just repeat row 4 until you achieve the desired size.

As you can see, I used filling for my beads, but you can use this pattern for wooden (plastic) beads too, only you have to insert it earlier and again employ the row 4 instructions.

I usually stuff it after row 6, but you may find it difficult, thus I thought that it may be wise if you stuff it before. Anyway, try both to find out what works best for you.

All these beads are in different sizes and filled with stuffing.
I hope you liked this. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments section.

I have a digital tutorial on how to crochet various beads for sale on etsy here.
The tutorial's content:

1. Introduction
2. List of supplies
3. Round / Circular Beads
4. Mini Doilies
5. Ovals / Teardrop Beads
6. Diamond Beads
7. Triangular Beads
8. Bow Necklace
9. Rectangular Beads
10. Twisted Rectangular
11. Wool/ Yarn beads      

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Crocheted beads ring

When I make accessories I love using various kinds of beads. Crocheted beads have turned out to be the most favourable, because I can make them in any color and any size I need at the moment.
For this ring I used three beads in different colors and size (lovely pinks and purples). For this project I didn't crochet around wooden beads; instead I made them with filling and hence they are much lighter than it would have been with wooden or plastic beads.

Tomorrow I am going to share the pattern I use for crocheted beads and in the next few days there will be tutorials for crocheting rings for small and big girls.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Lace crochet cuffs

Long summer afternoons are not spent in vain. I've been crocheting flowers and scarves and cuffs. Cuffs are one of favourite accessories. They add a bit of drama to clothes, and make the appearance highly feminine and elegant. Especially with a lace pattern like this.These are lovely Cinderella cuffs.

I have also been teaching my daughter to crochet. She tried to crochet a simple flower but got bored and frustrated because the hook went the opposite direction of what her brain was dictating and soon gave up. Our lessons always end up like this, but I know that deep in her heart she wants to learn. So we'll keep trying. 

 The cuffs.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Vintage finds - Burda magazines

Browsing the antique stalls, stuffed in a cardboard box I found Burda magazines from the 1970s.
I would have been happier with even older magazines.

With a nice cup of coffee I spent a lovely afternoon leafing through them and pinpointing dresses I might actually try and make. My most favourite the lovely grey dress above and this pink two piece I first thought was a dress. I like the collar and the pleated part with the buttons.

Here are some boards I made for inspiration.

Burda magazine / August 1975
Burda magazine / February 1977

Burda magazine / May 1977

Children's clothes in the 1970s.The thing that struck me as curious is that the patterns were for one or two sizes only (mostly), which is not the case today. So if I like to make a dress from these (not offering my size) I will have to do the grading myself. Kind of tricky, I'd say. But I guess that was the case then, although I am still having a difficult time to get it into my head and stop wandering what they were thinking!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

How to crochet on a piece

This is the guest post that showed on Whip up.

History: It is believed that the earliest crocheted projects in the past were finger-crocheted and evolving from traditional practices in Arabia, South America and China. In Europe it gains popularity in the 19th century.

Crochet (meaning “hook” in French) consists of a series of interlocking and pulling loops of thread through other loops and incorporates wrapping the thread (called stitches) around the hook one or more times to create various intricate and highly detailed patterns. Various stitches and patterns can be created. Some of the more common stitches known are: Chain, Slip Stitch, Single Crochet, Half-Double Crochet, Double/Treble Crochet, Popcorn Crochet, Cluster Crochet, etc.

In the past crochet was used for decoration of the home and the clothes with which they gained a more luxurious look.

Recently the crocheting of trims and edgings increased in popularity once again. Trims are crocheted to enrich pillowcases, bed sheets and clothes. I like to use them to decorate and beautify simple tees.

Here is a little tutorial of how to crochet the basics for a trim on an actual garment, bed sheets, curtains or blankets.

What you need:
A simple tee, a crochet thread and a hook.

Step 1: Mark the neckline where you are going to make the foundation. Use a ruler for this and mark it with a washable marker .

Step 2: To make the holes use a metal poker or a thin double sided needle. For the foundation I used the blanket stitch. You may employ the embroidery needle to make this. Secure the thread on the other side.

Step 3: Now crochet a single crochet in each stitch of the foundation. I crocheted 2 sc because the foundation gap was big. Also you need to know the pattern you are going to employ later - i.e. you must know the exact number of stitches before you make the first row of single crochets.

The finished rows. Now you are ready to use whatever pattern you like. For this tute I used the same crown pattern you saw here.

I have a simple crochet trim here

However, another much easier method which I highly recommend is that you crochet the trim first and attach it to the garment later. I have shown how to do that here

As a conclusion I would like to offer some interesting crochet related facts:

Crochet as a hobby or activity has no age limits. It sorts of transcends between ages. Young children are taught and encouraged to crochet in order to increase their fine motor skills, aid in counting and following instruction, then to boost self-confidence and introduce quiet time, to learn a family tradition and so on, while the older generations love crochet for the pleasure it brings them (think of the things your grandmas crocheted for you) and many find financial security in selling their crocheted products, then there is the social element in this – many crocheters gather together to work in groups and clubs and share their love of this craft. Further more doctors recommend crochet for those suffering of arthritis!

So grab a hook and join us!