Monday, 30 January 2012

Time flies and so does my cuckoo

Having thrown out two big bags of clutter I now have the freedom of getting stuff back IN the house. I am a big fan of vintage, old and corny things. I love hunting for treasure in charity stores or on the attic of my parents and I found the corniest thing ever. It was lying in a basket covered in dust, just waiting for me to find it.

Yes, an old cuckoo clock. My mom warned me that it didn’t work properly anymore, sometimes it just stops running. I indeed had some trouble getting it to work, so I gave it a good clean and some love and it works like a charm.

You probably wonder if it also has this little bird in there, yes it does! And it works! I find myself waiting sometimes for it to come out and say cuckoooo cuckooooo. I couldn't get a proper picture of it, I was just too late for the 12 o'clock cuckoos! 

The dog still has to adjust to it every time the bird wakes him from his nap. He is such a scaredy cat.
Speaking of cats, I am going to copy cat something that is used in a lot of blogs. Inspired by blogs like Attic24 and Crochet with Raymond I introduce the Monthly Mosaic! I wanted to start these for a while, but I have waited for 2012. What better time to start with these than a new year.

January was just perfect, but went by soooo fast. I have high hopes of February, winter has finally arrived and I can’t wait to enjoy some winter scenes.

Have a great week sweet peas!  

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Pretty Crafty Home: Recycle

I got myself a new bathroom eye-catcher, a fluffy bath rug. One that is washable, absorbs the moist from my feet and feels lush and posh. And the best part is, this one is made from recycled towels. How I got to this idea is all thanks to my Pretty Crafty Home journey that I started here

This will be my first Pretty Crafty Home post. Making my home pretty and crafty has a few rules and for this post I will use three of them:

1.  Tidy, tidy, tidy and clean, clean clean!
Yes, a troublesome rule indeed. Since this never ends, there is always some form of mess. Though every day consists of returning cleaning it does help to get rid of the clutter. Overall my house is not a big mess and it looks well organized on most days….Until you open a closet or a cabinet….

Do you think you can handle it?


It's bad isn't it?

A bit embarrassed about this to be honest, how did these shelves get like this anyway?! So time to de-clutter. Armed with huge garbage bags, some coffee and some music playing I started to sort. The result?

That is better, isn’t it? I got enthusiastic and went on to my wardrobe and started sorting out some sheets and towels. Then I found some old towels in the very back of the wardrobe. Once gotten from my mom when I started living in my student apartment. They were already old when I got them, now they are stiff, grey and even have holes in them.I wanted to recycle them, giving them to charity wasn’t an option because of the state they were in. So I applied rules 4 and 5:

4.  Thrift, re-use and recycling are my watch words.

5.  Crafting is king!

I found this very neat idea on the internet (thank you Google), making a bath rug of old towels. I used 4 bath towels (but they weren’t big) and cut them into pieces. I knotted the little stripes to a non-slip mat that I bought for €1. 

The result is a 50 cm x 50 cm bath rug that fits my tiny bathroom perfectly. You can make this rug in the perfect size or shape. If you want to know the details, I used this website. It even comes with a little clip. 

Next project to tackle is the balcony, it’s grey and gloomy and that is about to change with some de-stashing crochet! 

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

One a day 5: Spread the love

Hexipuff count: 39

Yarn: all kinds of scraps, but also new yarn! A lot of Lana Grossa. 

I made 9 puffs this week and I bought some yarn. Thank you for all the suggestions that you gave in the last One a day post, a lot of you suggested moss green and yellow. I bought some mustard yellow and fluffy mossy green! I also bought some printed merino lana grossa of which I already have a few other colors. I am still looking for some pretty pink sock yarn, the search continues!

Last week I received a wonderful surprise, I was nominated for beautiful blogger award by Sarah from CraftsFrom The Cwtch. Thank you so much Sarah, especially since you inspire me in many ways. Take a peek at her blog to know why. She is a very kind and creative person and has a great taste in patterns and projects to knit or crochet.

To spread the love in blogland I will pass on this award to another wonderful blogger. I had to give it a little time, since many of you have a beautiful blog but finally I made a choice.

I give the Gingerbread Girl blog the beautiful blogger award. Carole, the person behind this blog has brought many bloggers together with her One a day group. Every week progress is shared and comments are given on various projects. I met many lovely people through this group and I think this is what makes blogging a great experience. So a big thanks to Carole for bringing us all together!

Next to organizing this group event every week on Tuesday, Carole is also a beautiful person. She is has her ups and downs as a person, crafter and as a mommy which she shares with her readers. This makes her blog very personal and lovely to read. It hasn’t been easy for her lately and although she is a very positive person by nature I hope this award will make her smile even more today.

So check out her blog here and you will also find the other One a day Projects. 

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Pretty Crafty Home with Cherry Heart

All is gloomy again here in Holland. The fresh cold sunny winter days didn’t last long and have been replaced with rather warm but very rainy grey days. It makes the atmosphere dull and I feel the need for spring.
I need color

I need flowers

I need fresh air

I need to de-clutter

I need all that combined in a crisp neat interior, a warm and still fresh welcome for my hubby and myself (and Puck the Jack Russell Dachshund, but I have the idea that it pleases him when things start to get messy). I think many of you feel the urge to reorganize once in a while.

I stumbled on this post of Cherry Heart and she describes exactly how I feel right now. I struggle like her when I need to make a picture for my blog. I surge for perfect spots in my home and I found that they are in low numbers. I'm not pleased anymore with how my home looks, I feel the need to do something about this. So I introduce to you making a Pretty Crafty Home with Cherry Heart. 

I will be posting about this journey throughout 2012 and will post this lovely button on each post. To give us a starting point there are 5 goals posted on the Cherry Heart blog:

1.  Tidy, tidy, tidy and clean, clean clean!

The first step is to get rid of the junk and de-clutter.  It's time to get rid of the stuff I don't want, don't need and can't use or re-use and tidy up everything I'm keeping.  As I'm doing the tidying and de-cluttering I'm going to be giving this house the 'Spring clean' of it's life.

2.  If it has to live here, it should be pretty.

If there comes something new, it should add to the home, not detract. 

3.  If I don't like how it looks, and I can change it, I will.

I'm not planning on re-decorating the whole house, this is about finding the bits you don't like and changing them into something you do.

4.  Thrift, re-use and recycling are my watch words.

As it stands the budget for this little project is practically zero, so I'm looking for cheap solutions here! (Although there may be the odd exception, knowing me!)

5.  Crafting is king!

The most important thing thing of all.  This project is all about home improvement through crafting.  If it's home made and it makes me happier about my home then it's part of the project.

Next to these copied rules I want to add another rule of myself:

6. Something comes, something goes

My mom always has this rule I had to obey when I wanted new toys as a child. When I wanted something new, something old had to go. This wasn’t always easy and of course me mom made exceptions with occasions like birthdays and holidays, but overall this rule was very useful. It made me appreciate my old toys more and they didn’t end up in a box on the attic but were given to family or charity to get a second life. So, this will be an extra rule for me to achieve a nice and tidy home.

It is funny though, when I became a teenager I thought my mom wasn’t being realistic at all. I mean, a girl cannot have enough shoes, bags, cloths, etc…right? So the rule was ignored, categorized as rubbish. But of course, now that I am older, I see my mom was right all along. Sorry mom, hahaha.

So, if you want to join this journey with me and many others in blogland gather at the Cherry Heart blog here and make your home pretty and crafty. 

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

One a day 4: new yarn needed

Hexipuff count: 30

Yarn: all kinds of scraps, but also new yarn! A lot of Lana Grossa. 

Most of these puffs are made from merino wool by Lana Grossa. The yarn is actually bought for this project, instead of a scrap. Although the grey once are made from scraps left from the yarn that I used for my cable mittens.

Do you see the yellow/green puffs on the left? This one is made from a scrap of super bulky yarn. I split the yarn to make a thinner yarn that was perfect for my puffs. Great way to use different kinds of yarns. 

I also made a very tiny puff...but I'm not sure what to do with it hahahaha. 

It's like a mommy and a baby puff....again...not sure what to do with this. 

I think many of the colors are a bit dark and a lot of blue tones are found. I want to add some yellow, orange and lighter tones in there. But I don't have any of that in my stash. But Suzanne, you are on a yarn diet?! Yes, but I had two rules:

I have to know where the yarn is for - Hexipuffs!

I have to use it right away, not put it in a cabin gathering dust - This project in on the needles in between things, so no problem there!

So, it is of to the yarn shop today! Do you have any suggestions for colors? These are all the puffs I have right now:

Monday, 16 January 2012

Woodland hoodlet

Are you ready for another Ta Da? This one I’m very proud of, it’s a knitted project. I’m not much of a knitter, but recently I’ve seen so many cute knitted projects that I couldn’t resist trying. Warning, this post contains pictures of me being extemely happy haha.



I have learned so much from this project. It’s been a hassle in the beginning, unraveling the project 3 (!!) times. But once I got the hang of it, it worked like a dream. I learned the kitcheners stitch, I learned bobbles and I learned to work with short rows. All these terms were unknown to me, so I had to struggle to learn new things (thank you Youtube!). But now I know a lot more and the result is stunning.
Just in time too, since the winter is finally kicking in here in Holland. This project is a real head turner when I walk the dog. People either think I’m like a pretty character from Robin Hood or think I am some crazy girl that thinks she is in some lame fairytale.

I don’t really care what people think about this one, I like this hoody so much! It’s warm and soft and the color differs during the day when the light changes. From grey to blue to minty green.
The pattern is used is from my favorite designer at this moment, Tiny Owl knits. You can buy it here. It’s not an easy pattern when you are not a very experienced knitter. When I opened the pattern I was a bit scared. It looks very complicated because of all the cables and bobbles, but it is very well written and when you take one baby step at a time you’ll get through. It’s fast too, since it uses needle size 10.0 mm (US 15) and super bulky yarn. I used Drops Andes and used up only 4 skeins (6 where recommended for my size), so I have some left!  

Mr. boyfriend made the pictures, I felt kinda aaaawkward. But he was very helpful haha. He likes the hoody but what matters the most is the comment of my mom when I was waring it:

"Oh dear, you look so adorable again."

♥♥♥ Priceless ♥♥♥

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Special moments...

♥ ♥ ♥ Cherish the moment ♥ ♥ ♥

Arm-in-arm in the sun

Makes me feel like sharing some romance music:

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

WIP Wednesday: A little game

This week has been all about a knit project, my first big knit project. Apart from scarf and mittens I never knit anything wearable. But of course my 65% alpaca yarn deserves something that is worn in what should be a horror winter. All kind of scientists and experts predicted a winter with freezing temperatures. Snow and ice were to be expected.

So far the experts couldn’t have been more wrong. Winter has been far from horror this year; it’s more of a second autumn. That is, without bright autumn colors. Instead we have misty blue and grey and rain, lots of rain. So much rain that part of Holland were threatened to flood. Dykes were strengthened and sandbags were placed. Luckily the water level dropped and all was well. 

Although this horror winter hasn’t shown up yet, no need to despair. I still hope to see some winter wonderlands in January or even February. So to be fully prepared for long walks in the snow and icy forests, I am making a delightful winter project. 

This is a close-up of the project I am making of my yammy alpaca yarn. Can you guess which project it will be? I think some of you might recognize it. It is almost done and I hope to share a finished project with you this week. 

A little more about the yarn; I use to buy a lot of acrylic yarn. Just recently I bought my first wool and now my first alpaca wool. It seems alpaca’s smell wonderful, the dog is intrigued by it. Normally he totally ignores all the yarn lying around, but not this time. He wants to have it, all for himself.  I made a little clip of him so you could see him in “action” together with Mr. Boyfriend. 

This is the first time I participate in the WIP link party and I like it already! Check out the other project at Tami's Amis.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Marvelous mittens

I have been knitting away like crazy! Today a dear friend celebrates her birthday and I have the perfect present. She has these cute little hands with pretty slender fingers. These hands deserve some homemade super soft mittens! So I made her these:

They are so soft and warm! I kinda have a hard time giving these babies away haha. And I know, I know, I have to cut my nails :p. I'm like the wooly witch of Holland looking through the window of my eight-story ivory tower scouting for puppies and children to eat. 

Look at the thumb gusset, I'm pretty pleased since there are NO holes! It's a miracle. My problem were the "make 1" stitches. It turned out I did these the wrong way. If you also have holes in your mittens you should check out this clip. It's a bit long but I found it very enlightening. 

I made these using my bamboo 3.5 mm DPN's, smaller needles than the ones used in the pattern. I wanted these to be really tight and small. I used Lana grossa Merino yarn and it is so nice to work with. It doesn't split and it is sooooo soft and warm. I used this lovely free pattern. 

One more picture before we have to part ways *sigh*: 

Bye bye sweet mittens, hello lovely new owner! 

Edit: Sorry everybody! The pictures are not working (Thank you Sarah for pointing that out! :-D) so I'm fixing it right now. 

Edit2: should be fixed now.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

New year's resolutions

Happy 2012 my lovelies!

I had some busy and wonderful days away from the computer and needles. But I'm back!

Time for some new year's resolutions:

1. Finish my Tiny Owl Knit 12 in 2012 list. Together with other members of the TOK group on Ravelry I will knit 12 projects designed by Tiny Owl Knits. One of these will be the beekeepers quilt.

2. Get on a yarn diet. Restrictions have to be made since the boxes are pretty full. I can buy yarn, but only when I know for which project. No random yummy yarn impulsive buying anymore. Also I will try to wait with buying yarn until I will really start the project (so not many months before :p).

3. Making another pattern (either knit of crochet) of my own, I just love when I make a project that is from my own creation and I love it even more when other people like it and make it too.

4. Making some needle/hook cases, time to get organized!

5. Making a dog sweater, I wanted to make one forever.

6. Learning how to Fair Isle knit.

Nice list don't you think? About the second one, the yarn diet, guess what the mailman just delivered?

A box full of the warmest yarn I ever bought, Drops Andes. 65% Wool and 35% Alpaca. 

Big chunky squishe yarn in a beautiful icy green blueish color. I totally adore it. And two teeny tiny skeins in the same color. These skeins will result in two projects, but I will keep this one in the dark for now.