Sunday, 24 February 2013

Easter cards (3): More Nordic Spring theme.

Another batch of Easter cards made by me with my top theme - Nordic Spring. They are stamped, inked, shaded with chalks and fun to make. I thoroughly enjoyed myself.
The stamps I've used are a combination of stamps from: The Waltzing Mouse - Nordic Spring, Noolibird, Lemonade Stamps, W plus 9 Designs.









And all cards together:


Quite pleased with them. My favourite card in this batch is the onewith the bunnies hopping over the tulips :)
Hand-made Monday time! I'm sailing off to the Hand-made Harbour to see what other crafters have made this week.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

The weekend was cozy :)

I like cozy weekends like that: with plenty of relaxed knitting and films on telly :) You can have both at the same time. 


Currently working on these:
A stack of knitted egg "skins" waiting to be steamed and stuffed.


It's beginning to look like... Easter :)))))

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Arne & Carlos: Easter Knits (2)

Half-term break is a good thing. You can craft, craft and craft as much as you want. And this is what I've been doing this week. Plenty of knitting on those rainy days.


My Easter knit collection is expanding slowly :) 2 new knits joined up - an Easter ball with blue hens and a small green Faberge egg.


Loved knitting the ball with the hens - its pattern reminds me of Norwegian jumpers, yet it retains its Eastery feel.


The little eggs was knitted with 2.5 mm DPN and with Daletta Dalegarn yarn, which is thinner than Heilo and Falk. I wanted to see how small a knitted egg can be.


Now, I've knitted 4 Easter balls so far:


 and 5 eggs - starting from the 1st most primitive one to the improved ones :)


All my Easter knits together:



and this is what I'm currently working on:


The first knitted eggs made of Lerke yarn :) Love the  mix of colours. Perfect for spring. 

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Love is in the air!

I don't like quite the commercial side of Valentine's Day but I definitely love the crafty side of it :) Every year I try to make a hand-made Valentine's Day card for my bf. Just for him and always from the bottom of my heart :) He seems to really appreciate all my cards I make for him it since the day when he once sat down to make a hand made birthday card for me all by himself. I let him use all my crafty toys and whatever he wanted to do with his card he could :) After 30 min of hard mind racking and trying to be creative he said he was at a loss for ideas and felt overwhelmed by all that scrap booking equipment surrounding him ("I don't know how you use all these ideas and techniques to make one card! It's too hard!"). Eventually, he made me a stamped and embossed card with a somewhat kinky picture message and a sticky gooey embossed heart inside ha ha ha - it was definitely one of a kind card. I loved it as for me it was the funniest card in the world I've ever received and it came from my scientifically-minded bf, who perhaps is not the most crafty person in the world but I love him anyway.

Back to the cards. Materials I used: Spellbinders Scalloped Heart dies, Noolibird stamps, Lemonade circular sentiment stamp, Martha Stewart heart lattice punch, backing papers from Panduro. I really enjoyed making those Valentine's cards. Love the blood-red vibrant colour contrasting with the white card. 



I coloured the image with a red pro-marker and used some of my glass painting relief paste to add some 3D effect to the stamped badge :)



I coudn't resist trying out my new love stamps so here's another card with a gorgeous Noolibird stamp, heat embossed in red, shaded with chalk and embellished with a red and white relief.  Love the backing paper for this one too - sort of xxx stitch pattern on it.




Quite pleased with the cards :) Hope my bf will like them.

EDIT:
 (I thought I'd edit this blog post and add this photo here as it matches the love theme :)) This year I decided not to go commercial on the St Valentine's Day. Instead I came up with an idea of giving my bf something different than chocolates (we both are supposed to be dieting!). Here is another part of my Valentine's Day present for my bf :) They say: the way to a man's heart is through his stomach - so here it is, my bf's favourite chicken and sweetcorn pie in a limited LOVE EDITION :)))


My bf is a big fan of this dish and he never lets it last for more than 24 hrs (I always make 2 ceramic dishes) and surprise! surprise! Guess who is always making frequent (and secret) trips to the fridge?.... well.... it's so called a Chicken. Or I should say "The Chicken" - our imaginary creature that lurks at our home and which always gets blamed for eating things away or for things disappearing from the fridge. I suspect this chick has got my bf's name ;)

Time to join the Hand-made Monday in a crafty Harbour. Do join in and enjoy your blog hopping through the crafty fields of blogs. 

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Lerke of Dalegarn

Hi all.
Half term break midweek now. The weather is either snowy or rainy - truly miserable. Just look:



I'm staying indoors. The house is a too comfy and cosy place to leave right now and with a cuppa next to me I'm enjoying my knitting and other crafty adventures plus I read a lot too :) and it all does feel sooo good, I'm telling you. :) 

Bookwise, just finished reading The Pianist - a very sad but also a moving story about a Polish Jew desperately trying to survive in bombarded Nazi-occupied Warsaw. Books like these always leave a mark on heart and I like to call them "books with the content" as opposed to the books you read, filter through your mind and nothing is left after a month or two.


 Now moving onto The Piano :) - a Victorian love story in exotic scenery of New Zealand


I've seen the film adaptations for both books and I can recommend them with all my heart.

Back to crafty matters. A new type of wool has arrived recently at my doorstep from kidsknits.com :) it's a fresh supply of yarn for my Easter knitting. This time I decided to try out Lerke - a mix of 48% of cotton and 52% of merino wool for some of my Easter eggs. 


The parcel came all the way from the USA after about 3 weeks and I couldn't wait to lay my hand on its content. Lerke turned out to be a lovely yarn - soft and cosy to the touch with a smooth "stringy" feel. When I asked about the colour cards, Mary Ann of kidknits.com was so kind  that she presented me with a bunch of them for free! They are brilliant to quickly find the right type and the right colour of the wool. I was so chuffed to have them as I've been looking for these Dalegarn shade cards for a while and they help me identify my yarn very quickly. When your wool stash grows and the skeins become mingled in your knitting bag, then finding which one is which becomes a challenge!
I'm delighted how many shades Falk has got in its array. I'm thinking of substituting the colours I miss in Heilo array with the Falk shades.



At the moment I'm working on one of my Easter balls, - a sunny yellow "jumper style" ball with a decorative blue hens band. 


It looked like this not long ago..


A few minutes later, it is off the needles :)


Easter knitting in progress. More balls on the blog soon!

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Easter Cards (2): Nordic Spring

We all know very well those Norwegian winter jumpers famous for their characteristic geometric patterns and coziness. I had a very Nordic Winter last Christmas full of these Scandinavian patterns and loved it a lot! Why not  prolong the feeling and have a Nordic Spring then? 
Since I've been in love with the Scandi culture for some time now, this year I decided that my Easter cards will have the folky Nordic accent too. Christmas greens and reds will be replaced by the cheerful Eastery pastels - whites, yellows, oranges, blues, fresh greens and pinks. As far as the colours and patterns are concerned, the main source of inspiration for me has been the "Easter Knits" book by Arne and Carlos where you can find a bunch of projects bursting with springy colours, yet maintaining their Scandinavian feel.
These are my first "Nordic Spring" cards I've made. They will participate in The Nordic Spring Card Swap on facebook :) These are mostly stamped cards with various coloured inks and decorated with some simple punched shapes. The stamps I used to make them is a mixture of The Waltzing Mouse stamps, Noolibird stamps, Craft Fun stamps and W Plus9 Design stamps. 


The hopping bunny stamp from Noolibird has been my favourite this season! In the card above, I tried to stamp with one stamp but with 3 different inks at the same time. It worked quite well, I think.



The well-known Norwegian stars featured in so many knitted jumpers, hats and scarves, here embellish my cards in forms of decorative bands. Can't imagine Nordic Spring cards without them! They are undoubtedly my favourite motif.


All 4 together :)



More Nordic cards on their way! Keep on checking! :-*
Joining Hand-made Monday tonight at a lovely blog Handmade Harbour and off to do some blog hopping.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Arne & Carlos "Knit and Crochet Garden" - new book on its way

Hi all. Today some news from the knitting world :)
Arne and Carlos - a now well-known pair of knitwear designers from Scandinavia have got another surprise up their sleeves for their fans - their new knitting book will be released this year! Woohoo! It's a new theme, this time and it's going to be garden full of flowers, picnics and summer flair - lovely! Also this time Arne and Carlos will be trying to convince us not only to take up knitting but also crocheting and cross stitching. Great idea for summer days!


The book will be released in Norwegian first (scheduled date 20th Feb) then in other languages subsequently throughout the whole year. According to the news from A & C's facebook page - the English version of the book is expected to hit the shops in September (a little late for summer hols but just in time for Indian summer!;)). 
The cover of the Norwegian / Danish version of the book will look like this:
The Finnish cover will be somewhat different, but also nice :) and the Finnish edition is scheduled for 1st March.
Arne and Carlos let us have a peek into their book:
Just look at those curious picnicking characters...


There will be also some cute knits to make - I  love this knitted pouch with a Nordic design! Can't wait to have this book!


The Norwegian publisher - Cappelen Damm also lets us have a peek into A&C's book in form of a small pdf file, click HERE. This is what they say about the book:

Another amazing book by Arne & Carlos, HÅNDARBEID FRA HAGEN (CRAFT FROM THE GARDEN), will be out in February. Now they have been inspired by their own wonderful garden. You can make butterflies and flowers to use under a hot boiler or to sit on – or make a lovely rug. Rights have been sold to the Denmark, Finland, Iceland, the Netherlands, USA and UK, and we are currently negotiating with the other publishers of JULEKULER (CHRISTMAS BALLS).

The shapes and colors inspired by the flowers in Arne and Carlo’s garden are turned into simple and more advanced projects.

Rights have been sold to the US, the UK, the Netherlands and Iceland, and we are currently negotiating with the other publishers of JULEKULER (CHRISTMAS BALLS).
The first book by Arne & Carlos, JULEKULER, has been published in Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, the Netherlands, Sweden, UK and USA.

I've also discovered that Arne and Carlos set up their own blog! -if you want to know what they are up to,

*source info: all photos and information about the published books I used in this post come originally  from the facebook page of A&C

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Easter Cards (1): Folky stuff

As the days are getting longer now (finally! yipeee!) and there's more sunlight I begin to sense something "springy" in the air and start to long for all that freshness, energy and vibrant colours spring brings into our houses. I even spotted today some snowdrops popping out on the grass near my place. Now, since spring is just round the corner I thought I'd treat myself to some great Easter stamps and simply start my Easter stamping. This is great fun and I always look forward to it.

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you probably know I'm a big fan of all folksy designs and trends and these inspirations show clearly in my cards. This year I'm planning to make my Easter and spring cards with lots of stripes, dots and gingham combined with folky stamps. The cards are to be fresh, joyful, vibrant and simple. Simply naive, just like the folk art. Here is my first batch of Easter-themed cards. These fabulous stamps I used on them come from Noolibird and Lemonade Stamps.

I started with this card first but when I'd finished I came to the conclusion I had overdone it a bit. Too much doodling, I think. Well, I forgive myself this bodge card :P it's my first Easter card this year anyway ;)


Then the better ones followed...


I wanted to try out blending two or three colours on a stamp at the same time hence some Easter egg images are double and triple coloured.



 Stripes are so folky... I dug out all my stripey papers from my craft stash.



Very pleased with this card below. Love this Lemonade stamp and it's a typical pattern seen on some wax-decorated Polish Easter eggs.


But most of all I've been pleased with this card below. It's a pretty big card - I managed to put as much as 5 eggs in a row onto it. Martha Stewart's Deep Floral Vine punch has been used on it too - my favourite design.



And the cards in group photos...



Easter cards to be continued...

Join up the Hand-made Monday tonight. Do head over there to see what other crafty people have been up to recently.