Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Boho Clutch - Free Pattern


Today is or better to say was my birthday and I thought I would celebrate it with you guys with this amazingly easy and fast and beautiful clutch tutorial.

* DK yarn in 3 colors
* 3mm hook
* 2 wooden beads
-tapestry needle

The pattern I employed for my clutch is called a side saddle stitch, very easy to crochet and gives an interesting texture to the project. 
The finished clutch measures 23 cm in width and 14 cm in length.

Here's the diagram- courtesy of pinterest.

As it says, you work multiples of 4+1, so use this as guidance if you want to make a different size than the one in this tutorial.

Foundation and row 1: For our clutch ch 44 in color 1. Dc3 in the 4th st from hook, skip 3 and sc in the next st. Ch3 and then dc3 in the same stitch. Skip 3 sts, sc in next and dc3.  Repeat this pattern to the end. You should end with a sc st in the last st.  Ch3 and turn work.

Row 2: You already chained 3, so now dc3 in that same st. Next sc1 in the chain space below, ch3 and dc3 all in that same ch-space. Repeat this pattern across. 
Continue working row 2 pattern for 12 more rows (14 rows of color 1) and then at row 15 switch with color 2.

Work the row 2 pattern in color 2 for 5 rows. Cut yarn with a long tail that you'll use to sew the clutch's sides together.  


Fold the clutch and turn it sideways - color 2 should be at your right. We are going to make the flap.

Flap Row 1: With face up, start making chains on the second / back fold: Insert color 1 at the color 2's end, ch3 and sc1 in the ch-space. The space is actually the chain of the clusters we've been making. You should make 10 such chains. 
Flap Row 2: ch 3 (counts as the 1st dc) and dc2 in the first ch-space. Ch 1 and dc3 in next ch-space. Continue chaining 1 and then crocheting 3dcs for each chain. When you come to the last st. dc2 in that same stitch. Next, chain 3 and turn work.
Flap Row 3+4:  dc1 in all sts. (40)

Trim: insert color 3 in 1st st. Ch 7 (3 for the chain, 4 for the bobble), make the bobble in the 4th st from hook, ch3, skip 4 and sc1 in the 5th st. Repeat making this trim to the end. Don't be confused - there will be only 4 stitches for the end instead of 5  for the last bobble. 

Sew the sides of the clutch and then sew the beads. I placed them on the third bobble space of each side. 

So, what do you think? Do you like it?
It could easily be made into a shoulder bag by attaching a chain at the sides.  
Tip: to make it sturdy / strong you can insert a piece of fabric covered cardboard inside that would be the same size as the clutch.  


Monday, July 29, 2019

Bejeweled: Elizabeth Necklace



Happy Monday all! 

We are in anticipation of a fierce summer storm, and to be honest, I cannot wait for it. I don't know about the rest of the world, but the temps here are scorching hot and tempt this summer child to cuss in despair. So a bit of a cool down would suit me nicely, thank you very much! 

For today I have the last of my polymer clay necklaces to show you. Once again I used my "rocky jewels" technique in sculpting them and this time I made little cocoons for a couple and the others fitted the centers of the roses. The foundation of the necklace is made of separate, very easy to make flowers, which in the end I sewed up together. 

I documented the process so I plan to make a free tutorial for this necklace, somewhere mid August. 

That's all for today. Do drop back later this week - I will be  sharing an exciting clutch tutorial!

Friday, July 26, 2019

Refashion it with style: Crochet Flower Inset



This is my latest refashion! 
I am sad I cannot offer better photos, but these couple of days, the lighting in my house hates my guts!

Never mind that, let me tell you the story behind this refashion, 
So, I have had this blouse since the beginning of time, very comfortable to have on when running errands around town, not too demanding in terms of care, so it was quite worn. But I have gotten dreary of it and when selecting the clothes for the summer I thought I might part with it. However, that was just a flash thought I discarded immediately and  started thinking how to squeeze more life from it - or in it as the case is. So I came up with the idea of making an inset that would go at the center.  


{How can one same blouse look different in color being shot in the same light on the same day???}

1. First I marked the place that I wanted to cut off and made it into a cone shape.
2. Having the flowers made before hand, I worked on the arrangement and even had to make a couple more to fill all the big blank spaces. 
3. Cut the marked center. 
4. Top-stitched the edges of the blouse (reminder why I hate sewing jersey).

I hand sewed all the flowers on the sides and between themselves.  And the inset was done. I am quite impressed how it turned out, so this blouse will definitely be loved this summer!


As it happens, I have another one just like this, but in grey. 
So I am going to refashion that one too, but a little bit differently. :)

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Some Like It Hot - clay necklaces


For the Debonaire collection, I made three polymer clay necklaces, each different in color and shape and each inspired by a different 1950s movie. 

The title says is all. The hot red beads are handmade and  following that curvy, denty shape I am obsessed with when I put my hands onto polymer clay. I wanted to add two rows of beads, and actually did, but it is heavy as is, so I discarded the second row.


For the second one, I was inspired by the classic Grease, which I loved as a girl and still do. For this one I played with mustard and dark fuchsia and somehow I am quite drawn to this particular combination this summer and quite eager to dig into crochet and use it.

That's all for today. I'll see you on Friday!

Monday, July 22, 2019

What to See When in Monte Negro - travel tips

Hello and happy Monday! We are back from our trip to Monte Negro and here's a glimpse of our experience of this beautiful country and a handful of tips. 

Montenegro is situated on the Balkan Peninsula. It is a country with rugged mountains, medieval villages and pearl -like cities set into the narrow Adriatic coastline. 

For those of you who regularly follow us, you know that this was an unplanned business trip on my husband's part, but I think those trips are the best.  So we didn't have a lot of time to plan what to see and visit there as with our previous travels, where we always have a full list prepared well ahead; this time we mainly decided right there on the spot. Or the evening prior :)

Let's start with the capital of Monte Negro. 


It is a charming city with a population of around 200K. Cradling the river Morača, it proudly bears the wonderful mix of history and dances with a modern vibe. Being there  makes you feel free and elated mainly because there are no tall buildings and there is a constant flow of wind, so it makes summers bearable and quite breezy and winters harsh and fierce (according to the locals' words). 

I recommend you visit Podgorica's Museum, where you can learn about their history through a small, but interesting exhibition. 

Ancient past is always the peek of my interest, so we also visited the ancient site Doclea which is in the vicinity. Only 3 km away.


or Duklja, as they call it, is an ancient Illyrian, Roman and Byzantine city founded in the 1st century AD. I was the only one who wandered there at the time - we went early in the morning because it tends to get extremely hot on the site and I believe you can arrange for a tour with some of the agencies. I mainly learnt about it from internet (link in the title) and just let my imagination run wild while enjoying the walk through "the town", imagining what life was life centuries ago. 

Many of the artifacts dug up from there can be found in the Museum (above).

Niagara Falls 
Yes, you read it right. The locals jokingly named the waterfalls on the Cijevna river -  Niagara and the name stuck. They are about 5 km from Podgorica (I told you - the most popular things are at the reach of the hand) and it is a true piece of heaven. 

We were warned that our anticipation and eagerness to see it might  deflate because in summer the river is at the bottom of its strength and that we might not see the falls, which was true, but we were not disappointed at all. We could walk around it on the massive rocks that make a mind blowing, narrow canyon and enjoy the nature. What caught us by surprise is that people go there and sunbathe on the bank. The water was crystal clear and we also enjoyed looking at the play of family of ducks. 

On the bank, right there overlooking the river,  there is an ethnic restaurant, all made of wood which adds up to the whole experience. Wonderfully designed, with a huge area/ playground dedicated to children, it is a very popular spot. Guess what is it called? Right. Niagara Restaurant. 

Ostrog Monastery

Situated against an almost vertical background, high up in the large rock of Ostroška Greda, in Montenegro, it is on a 50 km drive from Podgorica. The Monastery was founded by Sveti Vasilije or Saint Basil of Ostrog in the 17th century. He died there in 1671 and was glorified years after. 

A gathering pilgrim point for Orthodox Christians, Catholics and Muslims. A true place of miracles. Many have witnessed and experience the healing powers of St.Vasilije, by praying to his body. His remains are enshrined in a reliquary kept in the cave-church dedicated to the Presentation of the Mother of God to the Temple. 

Or popularly called "Montenegrin Miami" because it is the most popular tourist destination and most crowded city in summer. 

However, the crowds do not diminish its attractiveness. It is vibrant during the day and equally lively at night. Its natural beauty, islands and beaches are greatly enriched with historic monuments. 

A great point of interest is the Old Town which is at the heart of Budva. Upon entering it, you immediately feel as if being in one of Game of Thrones episodes. Old stone houses with wooden shutters steal your glances all the times. 

Lined up on narrow streets and alleys, cradling wonderful, colorful shops, you get the feeling as if in a fairy tale. There are numerous bars and restaurants if you wish to freshen up in between walks. Inside there is also a museum, churches, a library, the Roman ruins... Be warned. Prices are a bit spicier than outside of it. There is a part of the town's walls, where through a narrow, stone arch you exit right into an amazing sandy beach. 

Sveti Stefan

This is a small islet and a 5- star hotel resort, about 6 km southeast of Budva. It is quite attractive when you spot it from the distance and looks like a real jewel in the sea. 

The thing is, you cannot enter inside if you are not guest of the hotel. All those houses you see on the islet are under one management and they all function as a ... hotel. There is a beach (on the left of it) free of charge, while the one on the right is reserved for the guests of the hotel and if you want to have the pleasure of sunbathing here - they will charge you - believe it or not - 100 hundred (in words!!) euros! And you can see here, the beach is almost empty, while the other one was pretty crowded.

After seeing Budva, I thought I've seen it all. But, boy! Was I wrong! Secluded in the Bay of Kotor, this picturesque town will take your breath away! 

We visited Kotor on our way back home, so we just drove along both sides of the bay with stops to admire nature and have drinks, so I cannot recommend anything specific, although I have read an interesting post about things you can do there.


The town that stole my heart. Would you believe that I am still longing for it. Watch the pictures on my phone repeatedly, wishing to return there again! 

I've read that it is looks like a small chunk from Venice that has floated down the Adriatic and anchored itself in the Bay of Kotor. And the description fits it perfectly. 

A few kilometers from Kotor, the small town of Perast greets you with a shine. It slopes down from a highway into the waterfront. And there is only one main street! But that one street is lined up with the most beautiful, memorable stone palaces and piazzas. 

The two most famous landmarks of Perast are actually not on land. Those are the island churches - one natural, the other man-made. The natural island hosts a monastery that is off limits for tourists, and the man-made one embraces the church called Our Lady of the Rocks, over 600 years of age . The church is also a museum worth visiting. We didn't visit it. Instead we stuck to the shore and enjoyed our walk around town. The prices of bars and restaurants are normal and not as dear as one would expect of such an exclusive town. 

As I close this quite lengthy post, I have just one wish. To return to Perast once more!