Friday, 30 August 2013

Mollie Makes Crochet Book

I'm writing this post inspired by a post about craft books at Ladybird Diaries blog :) All crafting fans of Mollie Makes magazine will like this news: Mollie Makes CROCHET book is on sale now! :) Mine has been delivered today! :))) I'm so happy! 

I know Mollie Makes have already issued other books like Mollie Makes CHRISTMAS or Mollie Makes FEATHERED FRIENDS but this one is my first in my "Mollie books" collection and I have a feeling I'll be buying others too! Mollie Makes WOODLAND FRIENDS is expected later this year too. Just go to amazon and have a browse for all these yummy books.

A few sneaky peeks what's in the book. This book introduces its reader to a wonderfully colourful world of crochet projects - blankets, covers, coasters, various cute crocheted objects... it' all awaiting you :) There is also a very decent introduction into the crochet techniques and technical how-to's for beginners. Smashing! 

You can always count of crochet flowers from Mollie makes...

Love those babushkas! Aren't they gorgeous?

Coasters, doilies, pot holders...

Kindle / tablet covers...

Zig-zag blankets! Fabulous!

Granny squares - very trendy in the UK recently. I keep seeing them A LOT!

Stuff for the kitchen...

And of course the cover star: the crocheted blanket - (it definitely goes on my to-do list)

More chevrons - I love this design!

Crocheted edges - great idea for a nice finish :)

I've received other goodies through the post today too! But I shall be blogging about them some other time :)

It's Friday! Yay! Have a good weekend! :)

p.s. Can you see what's in the corner of the cross stitch magazine? :))))) <drooling>

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Ordnung muss sein. Ribbon Love.

Ordnung muss sein. There's got to be order. When I was thinking of the title for this post, I had this German phrase going on and on round my head. Why in German? Perhaps because from a stereotypical point of view, order is a quality attributed to the German nation and I, though not German, subconsciously must have been longing for one. For a while I kind of have felt I need to sort out my ribbons. There was a massive tangled THING in my ribbon box and it was just getting on my nerves whenever I wanted to pull one out to use on a card. So time for ribbon taming! I sat on the floor and for the 2 consecutive hours I was untangling the messy ribbon ball, chucking away remaining cardboard spools and placing my ribbons in a colour-coordinated fashion in the glassy jars. Voila! 

I've had a few empty jam jars put away for upcycling (read: in my case, glass painting) and they just came in handy for this kind of thing. It is my ambition and I've had it in my plans for months to paint and decorate those jars with glassy stones and glass paints so they look funky just like the content inside. However, with autumn and Christmas coming, they may have to wait a little more for their turn :) The two kilner jars at the front had already been done decorating and I've been using them to store some ribbons for a while. I blogged about them HERE - if you're interested. 

I just love ribbons. I could have hundreds of them :) My favourite ones are ginghams, tartans, stripes, dots and chevrons, ric-racs plus of course any ribbons with a Scandi-look :) Both satin and organza. Funnily enough, I'm surprisingly stingy with using them in my crafts - I just want to have them, collect them, keep them stored, look at them, admire them... LOL
Well, these 3 ribbon batches have joined my collection recently. Not at one go of course. It took 3 separate shopping excursions to the same place to collect them. They are American Craft ribbons - beautiful colours and designs. Could I resist? Hell, no! They still remain unpacked, untouched ;) too nice to be used at the moment and they need to "mature" a bit, me thinks ;) I'm particularly happy about the batch in the middle - it's something I haven't had before - natural dyed string. So funky and a nice change from a usual macramé string! 

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Topic change. Guess how I spent last Sunday evening? Chasing an alive mouse around our living room! While I was busy cutting my bf's hair in the kitchen, one of our cats got in through an open window and brought in her prey with her. Not until I had heard something squeaking, did I realize what we had in our house. Was just about to shoo the cat outside hoping she would take the mouse with her when she actually went further in the room and dropped the mouse to play with it. The rest you can guess... the mouse ran away and hid itself somewhere under the old bureau. Great! With all the heavy furniture around it won't be easily found. The cat which brought the mouse (actually to be correct, it wasn't a mouse as such, it was a vole) quickly lost her interest, turned her back and left, probably for some more "lovely prezzies". Our Stinky just kept on sleeping on the sofa, not bothered at all by a running vole! So much for the cats' help. Bf suggested going to town the following day and buying a mouse trap. I spent a long time stressing and wondering what's gonna happen to that vole. Some time later I caught a glimpse of the vole running along the wall under a radiator. Up and running. Healthy and not wounded at all. I started tracking it but it was far too tiny and too fast to be caught. It tried to nibble at a plastic wrapping for the oaty (!!!) biccies it found on the floor. I could hear it rustling every so often. At 1.30 am I was still up trying to catch that vole and it started to move to another parts of the house! Finally I manged to cover it with a plastic blender bit (!!!) when it was running confused to and fro next to my cat's litter tray. I slid the paper underneath and transported the little vole outside. Back to its natural grassy home. Phew! <sighing with relief>

Here's the photo of the little culprit just after catching it. Teeny-tiny cute vole :) I was glad I didn't have to set up a mouse trap for it. Not the best quality photo but there was really no time to play with the camera settings! 

Yay! Happy Ending! :)

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Cards with Scandinavian Birds

Hi all. Hope you've had a good relaxing weekend. It's a bank holiday tomorrow here in Britain and I bet many crafters will appreciate this extra day for some crafting. 
More cards appearing on my crafty front. This time I tried out a new technique: paper cutting. You don't need anything more than some good cardstock, scalpel and glue. I chose a project from the Making magazine (an archive issue from last year, on sale around Christmas) which had some Scandinavian projects published in it. 
The cards have modern Scandinavian feel and I really really really love this design. They had been on my to-do list of craft projects for months and before I finally got round to make them. 

All elements have been cut out by hand with a scalpel. I can't compete with a laser cutting machine but considering that I was doing this sort of cutting for the first time with a not-so-sharp scalpel (a note to self: must get a decent one) the cards came out pretty well. 
The project included both red and a purple variation. 

I made an extra one - a teal card with a cream coloured design.

It wasn't mentioned in the magazine but I believe that whoever designed those cards for the magazine must have been heavily inspired by a contemporary Finnish artist Sanna Annukka. She designs wonderful modern Scandinavian art. If you're interested in this kind of design, do have a look at her website. The Finnish spirit shows well in her graphic.

Thank you for your lovely comments x X x

Would love to share these cards with other lovely crafters at Hand-made Monday tonight. 

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Thought of the day

Here is the message for my boyfriend ;) Hope he understands :)


Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Cross Stitched Vintage Rose

Hi all. Today's post is all about roses :) 
This is my recent make - a cross stitched vintage rose designed by a Dutch designer Eline Pellinkhof. Again, it was a freebie kit for Mollie makes magazine. Eline has got a very romantic feminine style of expressing herself and this shows in her books and projects. A bit similar to Tonne Finanger and her Tilda world. Check out Eline's blog for more info and inspiration.

I have recently taken to those lovely vintage rose designs one can see in magazines and I was very happy stitching it. They have sort of folky feel you often can see in Polish folk paintings and fabric patterns and embroidery. 

And now, what my source of inspiration was... Just have a look at those gorgeous florals in the photos (source: internet)

Coming back to Eline again, I envy her this fabulous cross stitch wall painting:

How do you like it? :)))
I loved this cross stitch from the beginning. For a change I stitched it with 3 strands of cotton for a denser and fuller cross effect. I think the ribbon + lace feature is a nice thing too.

Eline's project involves winding strips of fabric around the embroidery hoop. To make it simpler and faster, I painted mine with acrylics mixing red, raspberry and white :) I still have plenty of cotton left, I may stitch it again as a motif for a card sometime. 

Very pleased and enjoy looking at it. It will be a decoration in my bedroom.

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Welcome my new followers and visitiors. Thanks for your visits and kind comments you leave behind. Pleasure to read :)

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Would love to share this cross stitched rose with a lovely bunch of crafty people at Hand-made Monday. Do join in this interesting highly social blog hop :)

Monday, 19 August 2013

Tropical Bookmark

Finally. The book mark with parrots has been finished :) I stitched it quickly but I took a little time to wash it, iron it and mount it (stitching is fun but I'm always a bit lazy about the technical finishes) :) Overall it came out nicely with all these cheerful breezy colours and trendy chevrons in energizing hues. I'm pleased. The bookmark was a freebie kit from one of the current issues of Cross Stitcher. 

Will test the bookmark tonight :)

By the way, to whoever commented on the book "Thousand Splendid Suns" here - I'm really enjoying it :) The heroine, the happenings, the culture, the events the book describes. The author seems to have his own special way of describing things - his language is simple and easy to take in yet picturesque and striking. The marriage of Mariam (the main heroine in the book) to a much older Kabul shoemaker - Rasheed is so heartbreaking and her six unsuccessful attempts to give him a son and to please her husband in many ways is very touching. I'm looking forward to finding out what else will happen in this book.

Linking up to Hand-made Monday tonight. Do join in :)

Sunday, 18 August 2013

(Early) Christmas Cards 2013 (4): Nordic Kids (2)

Hi everyone. My Christmas card making is going very well at the moment and I'm staying Scandi-tuned all the time as you can probably tell it by my posts ;) It's great fun coming up with all sorts of layouts for cards in a Scandi-style. I'm thoroughly enjoying it. So here are two more Scandinavian kiddies on my Christmas cards ;) 

For these cards I used Scandinavian Christmas papers from Marianne's Designs and this time I used a cute whimsical stamp set from Basic Grey - Snow Baby Bitsy- Eskimo kisses Christmas featuring two sweet kiddies in Eskimo coats <3. The Nordic mitten stamps are from a Polish online shop:
The punched snowflakes are from Martha Stewart punch: Himalayan Snowflake.

To be continued... :)
Have a good weekend xX x

Friday, 16 August 2013

Shopping for goodies :)))))

When I check my blog statistics I very often see that my blog comes up in search results when some key words like Nordic, Scandinavian, Nordic cross stitch, julekuler, etc are typed in the search machines. So I'm writing this thinking of some of my blog visitors coming here looking for various Scandinavian stuff available online. I know they are out there and perhaps they would like to know what craft resources with the Nordic theme have been recently on the market. 

Thursday was an extra special day for us. We went out to visit some local shops which are our favourite shopping places. Coffee at Costa (It's always a nice treat. I just love it there!) WHSmith's for craft magazines, HomeSense for some American Crafts products (Goodness me! The bargains they've got there!) and finally one of my favourite craft shops - The Purple Butterfly in Daleside Garden Centre. Just imagine the bags I brought home. Definitely the best moment was an unexpected discovery at that shop - some newly launched Scandinavian craft products on the market from DoCrafts Papermania. The collection is called Christmas in the country and features cross stitched and knitted themes - something I can never get enough of. I was overjoyed! 
The Christmas in the country line includes among others:
cross stitch kits - I got myself two Scandinavian hearts to cross stitch, stuff and hang. Naturally, I can't wait to start on these.

Next, my new stamps with a trendy knitted jumper pattern (<3 I love them! Love'em! Love'em!) I'm particularly happy about the borders - they will be great for building backgrounds. I also love the big knitted heart stamp and stocking.

No Nordic product line will be complete without a reindeer!

Ribbons and bows to complete your craft work. Notice how everything is nicely colour and style coordinated :) This line of products actually combines a few motifs: knitted pattern, cross stitch, Nordic theme and tartans/ginghams. 

 Paper pad:

Add ons: Tags and stickers:


I got myself some extra bits like self-adhesive fabric papers from Papermania, a gorgeous product line from last year: Home for Christmas

These are really interesting. They have sorta fabric texture and I'm dying to try them on my cards :)

and my last thing: another two washi tapes in my collection plus some gorge ribbons <3

And the cherry on the Nordic cake for me has been this:

when one of my Polish friends has presented me with the pattern for this ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS cross stitch ornaments. I'm sooo in love with these little Nordic characters. The cross stitch is from Prairie Schooler and is called "Nordic Holiday". You can find it at 1-2-3 Stitch shop. (by the way, they have an amazing choice of samplers and quakers there). It's a MUST-DO project for me and I shall be ordering the threads tomorrow. 

Well what can I say? I'm so pleased that these days the craft manufacturers have a good sense of what's trendy and they are really meeting our, crafters', needs and I'm also excited and dire to sit down and craft, craft, craft...