Saturday, 30 June 2012

Birthday Card

Yesterday I made a simple unpretentious card for mom-mom, who was 99 yesterday! What a great age! Bless her!

Vase with pansies

Another of my recently painted pieces of glass - a vase (can also serve as a bowl for floating candles) with pansies :) The pattern comes from an archival issue of Crafts Beautiful magazine but I haven't got a clue what year.issue it was as I received a cut-out with this pattern from a colleague. 

Spent quite a lot of time painting this one as the paint kept on leaking and streaking down all the time. This is always the case when you paint curved surfaces and the runnier paint, the worse. Must have used millions of cotton buds to wipe off the streaks :-/ Finally the paint was dryish and thick enough to stop leaking over the relief outlines. Used a new paint on the flowers - Pebeo Prisme (new on the market), which turned out to be translucent in the sunlight. 

Friday, 29 June 2012

Fun day in Plas Coch

Last Saturday I took part in a fun day organized around the Plas Coch school in W. Had my stall again, this time under a tree in case of rain. I didn't rain but it was windy A LOT! The wind kept knocking off my glass on and off which kept me worried and on my feet all the time. Also at the end of my selling time the wing blew so strong that one of my painted bowl got chipped by another glass item :(((( Again, I realized that selling glassy items doesn't work well outdoors in rough weather as it does indoors. Sale? Not impressive, I must admit. Think everybody is feeling the pinch these days. Enjoyed it myself tho! I treat every fair like a sort of a lesson on your marketing skills and a feedback on your crafts and people's likings. Still 2 Fairs to go this summer!

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Nordic Julekuler: "Selbu" 17/55 and "Three Leaf Clover" 18/55

My last week was all about glass painting for the next coming fair as well as knitting some more Julekuler :) I am sooo addicted to knitting these Scandinavian balls that I can't stop! I've recently finished knitting another two balls: "Selbu" pattern and "Three Leaf Clover" 

 ("Selbu" 17/55)

("Three Leaf Clover" 18/55)

The Selbu pattern was alright to knit. Pretty easy and fast to knit, looking very Nordic, I may come back to this pattern in a while to knit a black-n-white version. Enjoyed making this one. The Three Leaf Clover was a bit different story. This pattern creates lots of floats (= loose strands) at the wrong side of the knitting and there's lots of tugging and thread staggering involved. I made my floats rather loose as I didn't want them to distort the shape of the ball and make the surface puckered but then I wasn't sure if my knitting pattern would look ok after stuffing but it did turn out even and smooth! Really pleased :)
In the meantime a new poinsettia pattern has been knitted :)

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Father's Day Card and a Bookmark

This week, apart from knitting my julekuler's I've also found some time to stitch this cool retro-looking bookmark. The design comes from the recent issue of Cross Stitcher and it has been designed by Emily Peacock. (My first 'Peacock' in my collection of cross stitches, hopefully the next ones will follow in the future)

I loved stitiching it - the colours are vibrant, intense, they mingle well and the pattern is so simple that you just can't go wrong with it. I simply love Emily Peacock's retro looking designs for their boldness and geometric touch :) 

For the upcoming Father's Day in PL I've made this card for my dad:

Looking at my recent creations, you can clearly see I've been in "the stripy mood" recently :) Retro rules! Next week is going to be EXTREMELY busy and crafty as I'm preparing for my 2nd fair next Saturday. I'm hoping to paint some more pieces of glass this week. Excited to see some more freshly painted stock!

Time to head over to Hand-made Monday place, which is Handmade Harbour blog. Follow me and see what other crafty people have been up to.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Twin Vases with an entwining leaf motif

Long time no painted glass! Finally I managed to dig out my glass paints and sit down to some painting. With the 1st fair came some new glass painted works. Here are the 1st pieces of my glass art - two twin vases with a leafy motif entwining them.

This time I felt sort of coming back to basics that is using a basic black outliner as in stained glass windows and some mixture of shaded reds, orange and yellows.

The pattern on the vases is a freehand pattern. Simple but pretty eye-catching :)

Nordic Julekuler: 13, 14, 15, 16/55

Hi there anybody who comes here to have a bit of a nose around :)
Another five balls have recently joined up my Julekuler collection :) Hope you're not bored with looking at them yet! And here we go!

("Christmas Stocking" 13/55)

("X's and O's Version 1", 14/55)

("X's and O's Version 2", 15/55)

("Halling Border" 16/55)

With the 16th ball, I first knit the white version of it (just as most of them are!) then looked in the book and doh! The one in the picture was a red version! (I like to go and do my projects, by the book, literally!) Not the end of the world though! Ha ha ha! So I knited another ball with the opposite colours! :)

("Halling Border" 16/55)

I think I like the 2nd version a little bit more! ;)
And this is all 5 five balls together:

and the whole Julekuler collection so far!:

My Christmas ball statistics is the following now:
Total number of knitted patterns: 16/55
Total numbers of knitted balls: 22
Extra knitted balls: 6
Only 39 balls to go! :)))))

If you are a great great great and I do mean GREAT fan of Arne and Carlos knits, please feel invited to join a growing group of A&C's fans on Flickr. We post our knitted balls photos there and there is possibility to chat too!

Monday, 11 June 2012

Nothing new...

Nothing new today, or rather nothing finished and ready on the knitting front line ;) Just these 3 red and white woolly skins for my next Christmas balls :) They are made of Heilo wool only - 100% natural Norwegian wool, hence this cosy hairy surface :)

Well, I'm getting happier with my knitted balls. I've made some progress since my first knitted julekuler :) my knitting has become more relaxed, the knitting stitch has become smoother, I'm getting my strands inside a ball right and finally the balls after steaming and stuffing look definitely more spherical than my first ones! Getting there! Now my target is to make all 55 different designs before Christmas!!!

Another skin is being knitted at the moment :)

This time I'm using my new set of knitting needles, much shorter (circa 13 cm) than the previous bamboo needles (21 cm) and such fun to use. It's the Symphonie series from KnitPro brand. They are fab! Light, warm to the touch, strong and durable, hold the yarn well and have that lovely polished wood coloured surface. Perfect to knit a woolly ball! (two blog posts back I also mentioned the Symphonie Knit Pro crochet hooks :) do pop in!)

Lots of you say in your comments that they find it impossible or too difficult to knit on 4 or 5 needles at the same time. Well, I can assure you it is possible, even if you are a beginner and such was my case :) As a child I could knit some basic stitches (knit and purl) and maybe one "fancy" stitch thanks to my Nan's teachings and all I could knit then was an uneven wonky scarf for my teddy. Then I lost my interest in knitting for many years, grew up in the meantime and even started to dislike knitting! I used to think that knitting is boring and only for pensioners and grannies! Wrong! 
Now, having that lovely book of Arne and Carlos and facing a knitting knowlege gap I revised my basic knitting skills and with the help of the book basically "jumped" to knit on 5 needles straightaway! I wanted to be able to knit those Christmas balls so much that I re-learnt knitting only for them! I quite quickly worked out the pattern and how to place stitches on all joined up and crossed needles and off it goes, round and round, in circles! I do enjoy my knitting now after that rediscovery and I'd love to learn more! Hungry for wool too!

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Nordic Julekuler: "Secret Rose" 11/55 and "Handcraft Border" 12/55

Another 2 knitted balls have enlarged my Julekuler collection :) Really enjoyed knitting these as they were such a nice change from red and white baubles :) The patterns were easy and fast to knit. The balls names are original and taken from the book.

 ("Secret Rose" 11/55)

("Secret Rose" 11/55)

 ("Handcraft Border" 12/55)

("Handcraft Border" 12/55)

Love taking my knitted balls outdoors and photograph them in the natural sunlight. This time I was accompanied by one of our cats - Ben :) I had yarn-bombed our rose bush again. This is what the whole collection of woolly balls looks like (so far!).

Looks like cats intuitively feel that woolly balls are great to play with!

... and so is wool :) Here Ben chewing and pulling at my Heilo wool!!!

 Now only 43 woolly balls to go! :)

Tonight I'm joing up the linking party - Hand-made Monday. Do pop in there to see other lovely creations or better, join yourself :)

Friday, 8 June 2012

I've got it! I've got it!

Recently I've had my best weekend so far this year and been lucky with my craft shopping! About two weeks ago (yes, I've fallen a little behind with my posts :-/ ) I finally received through the post a book I had been looking for for months! Arne & Carlos Adventskalender - something I really, really, really wanted to have in my collection and something, which is not so easily available on the book market in the UK. Not available on British Ebay or Amazon or any online bookstores either.

The book is a sort of thematic addition to the well-known book of Arne and Carlos "55 Christmas Balls to knit" and includes another 24 knitted balls in a form of a lovely advent calendar. As a big fan of A&C's woolly balls I simply must have had it! And finally my dream came true thanks to the Kidsknits shop and its lovely owner Mary Ann Stephens (hope she's reading it now! ;-)) I have finally managed to lay my hands on this long-awaited and now highly-treasured book. 
The book is a spiral bound calendar, standing on its own and you can count down to Christmas with it by turning page a day and making one knitted bauble. It also includes Scandinavian recipes!!! I shall be starting it sooner than December, I think as knitting one ball per day (not to mention steaming it and stuffing, sewing up and attaching a chain) is going to be a bit too intense as I usually take at least a couple of days to complete one. However I simply can't wait to start this project! In the meantime I shall be completing my 55 knitted balls :)

Just look at those gorgeous pictures full of festive flair plus the coloured patterns and all technical details of yarn you need.

Oh, and the recipes!

The only drawback of this book (apart from its unavailability) is that it exists only in Norwegian and it requires translation but since I'm a language lover and in love with the Nordic culture I'm looking forward to decoding its instructions and recipes :)

Well, this is not the end - recently I've also managed to obtain these books, another lovely addition to my knitting book collection:

Paskestrikk - a booklet with knitted Easter decoration including Easter balls and Easter eggs (another future project to look forward too!)

Aren't they lovely?

And how about those quirky vases? :)

I'm sooo in love with these hanging knitted eggs! I'm definitely knitting them! 

Could you resist these? :)

And finally this booklet (also from Kidsknits) with a gorgeous Advent Calendar in a form of a wreath with hanging numbered Nordic style mittens 

... and some other Scandinavian decorations:

 Simply, gorgeous!!!
I also love to see my Heilo yarn collection to grow. I've purchased some more colours in preparations for the next knitted balls and eggs.

And some more wool to try out: Baby Ull, also from DaleGarn :)

The cherry on the cake that wonderful weekend turn out to be a parcel with these lovely wooden crochet hooks Symphonie from KnitPro - a subscription present from Mollie makes magazine. 

So pretty they are! And also a good quality wood and decorated edges too!

Isn't life good? :)