26 November, 2013

Crochet flowers

Crochet flowers

It's so much fun making flowers, I've been having a ball! And I think it's definitely the best way to use up your little scraps of yarn. I've been working my way through a book I have called 200 Crochet Flowers, Embellishments & Trims, making whatever takes my fancy, and thoroughly enjoying myself!

Crochet flowers

I borrowed Mini Motif crochet pattern from my friend Yumiko and it has some neat flowers to try out too - but in small!
 Isbn 4021904166 More crochet patterns books

Hazel had a quick look through it yesterday and instantly fell in love with the little icecreams and shoes, as well as the colourful flowers (monochrome is so not an 8 year old girl!).


There are quite a few motifs done in fluffy yarn which isn't really to my taste so much but if you google ISBN978-4-02-190416-5 there are quite a few photos of other pages in the book. Sorry mine aren't that great, but hopefully they'll give an idea of what's in the book. The designs are all charted so there's no issues with it being in Japanese.




21 November, 2013

The Little Tree

My next Christmas project is going to be crocheting a couple of little trees to go with Sarah's very cute book The Little Tree. I love that you can get the pattern to recreate Little Tree and bring the story to life in a way. I'm going to do two for my niece and nephew and they can share the book. I'm not so naive as to think they'd share a tree :)

The Little Tree

You can buy the book and see some more images at Sarah's Felt store.

I need to find a good brown for the trunk still, which means another trip out to Spotlight - when I popped in last week they were reorganising and it was so radically different that it felt a bit surreal and I couldn't quite focus on what I was meant to be doing and came away with a totally wrong brown! Sad when a craft store revamp sends you into a tizz.

20 November, 2013

Christmas comes early

It seems much too early to be sending boxes of Christmas presents off in the mail (and not just because it's early summer here!) but I've already missed the economy post Xmas deadline so it can't be. I missed it because I suddenly realised that I'd bought all this fabric to make bags LAST year and hadn't, so I had better do it this year or be totally disgusted with myself. I made 7 bags over about 5 days and pretty much wore myself out, I'm not very good at doing lots of the same thing over and over again, I get bored quickly. I'd like to make a few more though, but not for a couple weeks!

Christmas comes early when you have international mailing deadlines to meet. They were meant to be in the post today to make economy deadline - what do you reckon, should I be a rebel and post tomorrow anyways? #christmas #christmas2013 #lineddrawstringba

The pattern is the Lined Drawstring Bag pattern by In Color Order. The link goes to a free tutorial but I bought the actual pattern with a bunch of different sizes. Highly recommend it!

19 November, 2013

Teeny tiny crochet

I'm a huge fan of the delicate crochet jewellery I keep seeing in Japanese craft books. I got Knot's Itoami out of the library ages ago and fell in love with it but couldn't find any copies to buy at the time. I had another look recently and found it on Fishpond (our local NZ online bookseller) and snaffled up a copy. I've started in on just about the simplest pattern in the book but I'm thrilled with how it's coming out.

Necklace in #60 mercerised cotton with a .65 hook. And yes I'm going blind but it looks great!

It's done with #60 mercerised cotton and a .60mm hook. It takes me awhile to get the hang of it when I start but it's not too hard actually! The hard bit is focussing to be honest. I'm not quite at reading glasses stage but I can tell it's coming, my eyes don't focus quite as well or as quickly as they used to darn it!

05 November, 2013

Spelling Eggs app

Ages ago I was approached by Australian company Reading Eggs to review a new app called Spelling Eggs. I usually say no to things like that because they're often completely irrelevant both to me and my blog and/or mildly insulting when they don't get my name right or want me to jump through hoops and follow lots of rules. BUT. We buy quite a lot of apps in this house, and a goodly number of them are educational ones for Hazel. We usually get maths-oriented ones because she's a bit weaker in that area than reading and writing, so I was interested to see what she'd think of a spelling one. I also liked that it was Aussie so we wouldn't have to explain to her why Americans spell things differently and why she needs to put a 'u' in words and no you spelled that quite correctly sweetie, don't worry that it's saying you didn't (curse you Microsoft and your constant attempts to revert to American spelling!) and what lb and oz are and no I have no idea how many ozzes are in a lib and a quarter is twenty-five cents. I'm not sure how Australian grades and curriculum compare to ours, but I suspect they are essentially the same so it's easy to pick the correct grade/year to buy. We went for Grade 3 since she's in Year 3 here and it seems to fit well.

Since she's the target audience I thought I'd let her do the talking first. She kept it short and sweet and said "It's got reading and writing. I really like it because I like all the games. I like Quiz Master the best". "Sometimes I get it wrong and it shows me the right answer and then I remember how to spell it afterwards". She does honestly seem quite keen on it, although she doesn't spend as much time on the iPad as she used to - must get back in the habit of getting her to work on the apps as they have made quite a difference in her math in the past. The variety of games in the app is a good feature as she has become bored with other apps after she's collected X number of whatevers to do whatever you can do in the one game it offers.

Like most apps the learning process is gameified and it does encourage the kids to persist and spend time working through the material. Hazel really responds to it and I bet I would have too when I was a kid - if such things had been available! Flash cards were as high-tec as it got back then though. Generally she just gets on with it with no input from me at all, although I've had to help her a bit with the quizzes as some of the questions are outside her experience. I'm not sure if that's because it's aimed a bit higher than she can cope with or if it is a different curriculum issue. Either way I don't mind helping with answers as it's the spelling that matters. When I asked her how she found it difficulty wise and how it compared to what she's doing in class she said it was a bit on the easy side in terms of the actual spelling. However, that probably reflects the fact she's in the top group for spelling in her class and it would be about right for an average 8 year old in Year/Grade 3.

Reading Eggs clearly targets their range of educational apps at the 3+ age range and Spelling Eggs is their only app to cover kids older than 7. That's a shame because based on our experience they do a good job - I hope they come out with math for older kids in the near future!

25 October, 2013

Doll's Ripple blanket

I started this ripple blanket because I've always wanted to make one but didn't want a big (and expensive!) project, plus I thought I'd be able to use up a goodly amount of my left-overs from my granny square experiment. As it turns out I ended up buying another ball of pink and one of the light green, so I'm not sure I entirely succeeded on the 'using up' bit! I thought I had heaps but crochet uses up wool like it's going out of style. The pattern came from Cute & Easy Crochet, which my friend Jess gave me when I was in Canada, but it's a pretty standard pattern with three increase stitches and three decrease stitches to get the zigs and zags.

Ripple blanket

I really enjoyed doing this, it's fun switching colours so often and using such bright ones was cheering. I think a larger blanket would be somewhat garish, but it's fun in this size. Originally I was going to make the cushion as per the instructions but it was going to be really small so part way through I thought I'd make it a doll's blanket. But then I changed my mind because Hazel is, in her own words "not much of a doll girl" and it wouldn't get used, so I finished it off square. About a week later we got an invitiation to our young friend Samantha's third birthday party and the doll's blanket idea immediately sprang to mind because she IS a doll kind of girl, big time. She loves toting them about and putting them to bed, the whole nine yards. So out came the ripples again! You can tell I had to abandon my repeat of six colours but I think it's fine. If I did something like this again though, I'd start off random so that using up one colour wouldn't matter so much.

Ripple blanket

Here is the finished bed. Since she's a girl on the go I thought perhaps a portable arrangement would be good, and I found this laundry basket thing at the Warehouse. Nice and bright, lots of handles, and it fitted the blanket fairly well. I made a simple box mattress, two flat sheets (crisp white of course), and a comfy pillow. I would totally sleep in here myself if I fitted!

Doll's bed with ripple blanket

 I can't wait to give it to her on Sunday!

14 October, 2013

Rada the rat

I've been working on this guy for quite awhile, Ravelry says I started in April, but at long last I'm done! The main hold-up was running out of yarn about half way through, and it took me ages to get into town to the shop where I'd bought it originally. Luckily the new skeins were exactly the same and I can't even tell where I stopped. The other major hold-up was my issues with finishing things and it's been 95% done for quite awhile now, only lacking 2/3 of an arm. It's not a hard pattern really, probably advanced beginner/intermediate, it's just involved and takes a lot of rounds!

Rada the rat

He's really just so super-cute I think I'm going to have to keep him for myself! More info on the pattern etc. over on Ravelry.

20 September, 2013

My blog all gansta

Mat introduced me to Gizoogle.net last night. He was all excited about it and insisted I had to go and look at my translated blog and so just to humour him I did, and just about wet myself laughing so hard. It's not the kind of site you want to visit if the f-word (or several other -words) bothers you, but otherwise knock yourself out translating your blog, craft blogs, whatever you want. It makes them so much more interesting, I'm considering switching over permanently! Here are a couple of examples (language warning!):

"Mini-dawg school" heehee. I'll finish up with another bit that really made me laugh, it totally changes my perspective on my quilt group members:

19 September, 2013

Crochet rug

I've been hoping a reason to buy some Zpagetti yarn would come along for awhile now, and I finally came up with one! I needed a small rug to put in front of the basin in our toilet so that the splashes that come out (it's one of those stupid small basins that you can't help but make a mess with) don't get all over the floor and make it slippery. It's a total health and safety thing. Really. It suddenly occurred to me that a red crocheted rug in Zpagetti would be just the ticket. The yarn itself isn't that expensive, but it's heavy and the shipping to NZ from Australia cost as much again so it's not a cheap rug, but I love it! This rug took 1.5 large cones.


I used this pattern from Gosyo -the link is to the pdf of the pattern, you can see the whole range of their free patterns here. If you are a knitter or a crocheter and haven't been to their site you must, it's full of great patterns. I have yet to check out their yarns etc. but at a glance it looks interesting, not sure about shipping etc. from Japan though.

There are a few issues with it, and I'm not sure if it's the yarn or the pattern because I'm not all that experienced with doing ovals. The pattern called for seven stitches into the last chain at each end and that bulk meant that it turned out sort of lozenge-shaped. I think if I did it again then I'd only do five or even three. The edging doesn't sit all that well going around the ends, it pulls too tight compared to how it is down the sides. I suspect both these issues are more to do with the bulk of the Zpagetti than the pattern, and if I felt like pulling it all apart (I don't) and redid it then it would be just perfect!

Here is Ollie helping take the photos. The only way I could get him to stay out of the one above and stop attacking the rug was to make him sit and stay behind me. Amazingly it worked. Sometimes he really is an A dog even though he was a solid B at puppy school. Apparently he is very good at 'stay' and 'leave' - for a pug.

Crochet rug and ollie

15 September, 2013

My new quilts on old beds

We set up the Monday Modern quilt exhibition at Highwic House this morning and it was a lot of fun - what a nice way to spend a sunny Sunday morning, lugging quilts all around a gorgeous old Victorian house and strewing them artistically on beds and chairs and any surface that wasn't already full of objects. Hazel came too and helped a little and enjoyed it so much she thanked me for letting her come.

My quilt at Highwic

The quilts looked so nice on the beds, and some of the locations were quite stunning. Pop over to the Monday Modern Flickr group to see some of the others' quilts, I've only posted my two here.

Scrappy trip around the world at Highwic

11 September, 2013

Being a perfectionist

Many (many) months ago it was my turn to have bee blocks made by the Monday Modern group.

Bee block bundles

It really is exciting to have them done for you, and they look great all together! The lovely ladies got me up half a Queen-sized quilt - and the rest are up to me! 

First quilt block #vintagesheet #wonkystar #patchwork #quilt #sewing #craft #star

I'm finding the concept of 20-odd blocks a bit daunting! I'm not a fast sewer at the best of times, and envy those who are - I spend a lot of time visualising (which is free and can be done on the couch), then worrying, and planning, and working up to cutting and then cutting (which is the job I really loathe and put off), sewing and then it usually sits awhile while I work up to doing a back, then it sits awhile longer because I don't like quilting much on my little machine. See even my description of the quilting process is long and drawn out! So I've started back into the stars but I can't quite remember what my plan was for the bits I already have cut out so it's going to be slow getting back into it and then I'll have to do a bunch more cutting - I'll need to find the original tutorial I used to make up the instructions I handed out (if I can remember which one it was). The main problem though, is how SLOW this is going to be because I have to press each seam as I make it, and that slows things down big time. I'm better at not being totally perfect at things than I used to be, but I still require a certain standard from myself and I can't be slapdash. I don't think I'm being OCD or anything, I just wouldn't be happy if I knew I hadn't tried my hardest to do the best job I could. I don't care so much if the result isn't perfect, well ok just a little, more that I tried hard. Not pressing the first seam when making the individual points would be slacking off in my books. Why am I so hard on myself when I'm not on others? See I'm just using this blog as cheap therapy ;)

ETA: I came back to change how I worded this post, I don't know if anyone else thought it sounded a bit whiny and self-pitying, which I didn't intend at all, so hopefully now it reads more like I intended! Plus I've been working at not pressing that first seam today (with mixed results on the personal development front).

10 September, 2013

New Quilts for Old Beds

The Monday Modern quilt group is putting on an exhibition at Highwic House here in Auckland starting on the 18th. It's such a great pairing, an old house and new quilts, I think we're all pretty excited about it! It's nice and casual too, the quilts will be displayed on the beds and around the house, so along with the quilts you get to see all the other neat stuff at Highwic. Given my professional interest in the past, combined with my love of modern quilts, I'll probably be all overcome and stuff.

New Quilts for Old Beds
If you want to read more about it, here is the media release from Highwic. I have to admit that when I googled the exhibition I got kind of a rush to see that the first page was almost all about us! Now I suppose I'd better go and finish the binding on my offering...

03 September, 2013

Charity quilt challenge

The latest Monday Modern quilt group challenge is going to be making a quilt for charity using fabrics from Helen's post-quilting shop stock. She brought along a couple of boxes of FQs and told us to go for it. At first we're all "yay it's like Christmas!" but then faced with so much choice I actually found it a bit daunting! I started out going for blues and greens but then suddenly remembered Rita at Red Pepper Quilt's Instagram post yesterday morning with a WIP shot of a 'low-volume' quilt she's working on. It made me all happy because it looks like spring so I thought I could go with that kind of fabric selection. Luckily I had my phone with me to have a look at it because she's got some surprisingly bright colours in there, which puts paid to the idea I have so far subscribed to that 'low volume' is just a euphemism for 'pastel'. This is what I ended up with:

Charity quilt fabrics

I'm not 100% sure about all the fabrics (I've already pulled out three to return to Helen which don't go, although Hazel is very keen on one so perhaps I'll just buy them), and I'm sure I'll add in some from my own stash but I have a pattern in mind, and two months to do it - stay tuned!

Other things that are making me happy at the moment:

 Kowhai flowers and spring arriving

Kowhai flowers. It's been a gorgeous day, spring definitely feels like its here! @mexturesapp #mexturesapp #jj_newzealand #jj_vscomextures #flowers #newzealand #kowhai #spring #ig_newzealand #au_nz_hotshotz

Kowhai. Our new-to-us tree in the front yard is going to be glorious.

This photo taken in Edmonton - it's so Canadian it makes my heart ache a little.

Quintessentially Canadian at Fort Edmonton #latergram #fortedmonton #canada #jj_canada #edmonton #hudsonsbayblanket #snowshoes

And this little girl and her pug and how much they love each other (he does really, despite the pleading look in his eyes here!)

Love. #ollie_the_pug #love @mexturesapp #mexturesapp #pug #agirlandherdog #curlytailgang #hug #pugsofinstagram #fogsofinstagram #pugstagram @the_naughty_pug

25 August, 2013

Bathroom storage vessels

When I was in Edmonton my friend Jess and I ordered some Knitpicks wool. I'd never heard of them before, and as it turns out they don't ship outside of North America anyways (in this day and age? Seriously?), but they really do have a wonderful range of colours, particularly in cottons. I ordered a ball each of a range of colours, including their Cotlin range, which is a blend of cotton and linen and meant to be good for dishcloths etc. I always have good intentions of making such things but I think I must have a subconscious issue with the idea because somehow it never happens and now I've used most of it up making containers!

Bathroom containers

The pattern calls them bathroom storage vessels but I don't think I'll use them there, in fact I'm not entirely sure where I'll use them but they're fun anyways! I used the Cotlin doubled to give more body and they're certainly solid (though rather squishy despite that) but boy did it chew through the balls! I have no white left, and very little of any of the other colours either. Sheesh. The bowl is about 16cm wide and 9cm deep and the pot is 10cm by 14cm. I wish I'd done some more rows in the dark grey Wallaby to show it off better, it's my favourite of the whole lot. I have a ball of red left too, which would look great with the leftovers of the Wallaby, so maybe I'd better bite the bullet and do a dishcloth?

22 August, 2013

Slipper boots

One of the first things I did when I got to Edmonton was go through my mum's yarn and find something to do these slippers in. I ended up using this quite coarse worsted weight wool that she bought in 1980 here in Auckland from a carpet manufacturer who sold their short ends (which aren't all that short!). This amazes me for two reasons, firstly that there was ever places like that in Auckland because there sure aren't now, and how beautifully things keep in Edmonton with the low humidity and lack of wool-munching insects! The range of colours she has is wonderful, I would love to know what the carpets were like! Anyways, I made mine two-tone because I wasn't sure if there was enough orange to do them, although in the end there was plenty.

Slipper boots

The pattern is very quick and I think you could probably make a pair in 2-3 evenings without any trouble. You start by doing the cuff in the round, and then switch to rows to do the sides and back, then switch to rounds again and come around the bottom and across the top of the foot for a couple rounds, before switching to rows to finish up the top. The soles in the pattern don't have much shaping other than some increases and were very narrow, so I started with a couple more chains at the heel and then increased more and only on the outside of the front so it matched my feet more closely. The original has quite a square toe which doesn't really suit my very tapered toes although I do like the look of it in the book! My slippers have a much more shaped look at the end there which maybe doesn't look quite as neat but they fit beautifully.

Despite the coarseness of the wool they are surprisingly comfy and I don't need to wear socks or anything (as you can see by my scruffy legs, I need to prep more for photoshoots obviously!). I still need to put the leather on the bottoms. They are supremely warm and will be very nice on cold days, although perhaps a bit too warm at the moment!

13 August, 2013


So I did have good intentions of blogging while away, and the app was there on my phone, but nope I was having too much fun! We crammed quite a bit into a month including camping and two trips to the mountains. Hazel had two extra weeks off school in addition to the two weeks term break, so I felt I had to make things at least mildly educational.

A rock circle we built in the Pembina River (engineering, hydrology, public art)
The rock circle I helped @the_naughty_pug and  @jessicat818 and her kids make. Girl power! We were quite proud of ourselves. #pembinariver #alberta #canada #circle #rocks #river

The girls playing down by the river near the campsite (engineering, environment)Some of my favourite people #pembinariver

On the train to Jasper with Jess and the girls. Instant noodles for breakfast after a 6am start - class all the way! (transport, nutrition, cultural differences)
On the train to Jasper with @the_naughty_pug and @jessicat818 's kids.

Inukshuk at Angel Glacier pond (it was tiny, about 15cm high tops). I have totally fallen in love with inukshuks and plan to make a big one asap (cultural heritage, climate change, environment, engineering)Inukshuk at Angel Glacier pond. There were heaps of them but this one was tiny and perfect. #inukshuk #angelglacier #mtedithcavell #jasper #glacier #canada #rocks

We picked lots of raspberries in the garden (food, sustainable living, foraging, eating what you grew)
Summer days and fresh raspberries (taken with the big Canon) #raspberries #summer #berries #red #edmonton #canada #hazelnutsonholiday

Visited the Tyrell Museum (dinosaurs! evolution, fossils, teeth, general coolness)Teeth #tyrannosaurusrex #tyrellmuseum #trex #dinosaur #fossil #teeth

Admired the prairies...  (landscape, crops, transport, spending hours in a car and not driving your family crazy) Little house on the prairie (going 110kph down the TransCanada) #alberta #prairie #sky #clouds #canola @mexturesapp #mexturesapp #jj_landscapes

 ...and the badlands... (landscape formation, not hiking before a violent thunder storm, how flash floods develop)Badlands at Dinosaur Provincial Park. Moments later it was bucketing down and we were drenched. #badlands #dinosaurprovincialpark #landscape #jj_landscapes #alberta #canada

...and the Rockies again up at Lake Louise (environment, finding the nicest hotel in the world, hiking without whining, putting up with a little discomfort without whining, how good it feels when you get there).View from Plain of Six Glaciers Teahouse, Lake Louise. #plainofsixglaciers #rockymountains #lakelouise #banffnationalpark #alberta #canada #mountain 


It wasn't all education, nature and pretty photos though, I did get in some crochet! I'd taken a couple books to show my friend Jess who wanted to learn to crochet (which she did) and I was taken by a sudden desire to make a bunny that's in Simple Crochet by Sara Sinaguglia for her daughter Amy's birthday present in February. It was a little down to the wire but I got there the day before we left. I made things a lot harder for myself by deciding that the only wool in my mum's stash that would do for the stripes was this gorgeous marigold crepe stuff, but it was in quite short lengths for reasons I was never entirely sure of, so it had to be tied together and it made things a lot slower. The inside was a total mess of ends but as it turns out Jess likes sewing in ends and she volunteered to do it. I would have liked to have spent a bit more time on the face, especially the whiskers and mouth, but needs must and overall I'm pretty happy with it. Hope Amy is too!

Crocheted bunny

09 July, 2013

Mug cozies

I bought these lovely mugs from Porcelain Rove at the Auckland Art & Craft Fair a couple weekends ago and was so enthused about them that I fell into the same trap as I did in Sweden and didn't notice the lack of handles. Some sort of cosy was clearly called for! I didn't want to sew one as I thought it would obscure the applied patterns so I decided to crochet them. I tried two fan patterns and although both are nice I think I like the green one best. The white just doesn't show the pattern as well. They should work just fine for drinking tea though!

crochet mug cozies

05 July, 2013

Bee blocks

Only a week until I head off to Canada for a month! Can't wait. :) Before I go I'm hoping to get my scrappy trip around the world quilt done up for an exhibition the Monday Modern group is having in September. I need to find some time without Ollie around so I can get it all laid out and basted. However, that's time that's hard to come by! The thing about pugs is that they just want to be with you all. the. time. Allthetime. If he's not by my feet he's on them, or trying to be on them, or on my lap. I know they call some small dogs 'lap dogs' but they really aren't good on laps like cats are, Ollie is always slipping off or having trouble knowing where his legs and paws should go. Anyways, despite Ollie and packing I'm hopeful!

I had the last two bee blocks to finish up for the start of the month, I forgot to take photos of Heather's but here is Stacey's. She just wanted us to do a 12 1/2" block for her, our choice, from the four fabrics she supplied. I decided to have a look through Modern Blocks (the 99 blocks one) to see if anything took my fancy and ended up doing 'Stuck in the Middle'. I really liked it, quick and effective.


I've never really seen the appeal of the cross-hatched fabrics, though I know they're popular, but in a block like this I can see their advantage, they really conceal the seams well, as did the yellow dots although they show more in the photo. I thought that made the block even more effective, as the shapes really do look like they're set into each other.

26 June, 2013

Advancing my crochet

Although doilies look really tricky, I don't actually think they are - you just get lots of bang for your buck by going around and around doing different stitches. To me getting increases and decreases in the right places and remembering how many stitches you've done is far trickier so I was quite nervous when I started out on Rada the Rat by Lydia Tresselt on Ravelry.

I needn't have worried though, it's a great pattern and I'm so pleased with how it's going. I only have a photo of the legs so far, although I've done the (super cute) head and ears, hands and tail as well. I'm just really chuffed to have produced actual feet! I did the decreases and then suddenly there were feet and they looked even better stuffed. And then I managed to join the legs together and begin the body and it looks good! Well sort of, if you don't examine between the legs too closely - but then you woudn't would you because you're not a perv.

These legs are made for walking - even if the body isn't quite there yet! I'm absurdly pleased with myself for doing the shaping and joining, it's the first time I've done anything like this. #crochet #amigurumi #rada_the_rat #legs #craft

I've had to stop at this point though, as I ran out of wool! I need to get to the shop again and am crossing my fingers and toes that they still carry it and that the colourway isn't too different to what I have. Mat suggested I could just start a new colour and make it look like he's got a top on and I guess that would be ok too, although I'd like to go all the way in the same colour.

23 June, 2013

Scrappy tripalong pillow

I realised when I came to parcel my swap items up that I tend to craft large, and if I ever do another swap I need to work on my small items! Kristel was much more savvy and sent a wonderful array of little things in a padded envelope, I sent a gigantic box. What actually took up the space and required a box were the two tin can lanterns we sent, but also this pillow case - no I didn't send the inner but it's quite bulky sewn up. I had some blocks left over from putting together my scrappy tripalong quilt top and coincidentally four of them were exactly the right size to make a pillowcase that fits what we call a Euro pillow (not sure what Europeans call that size...)


I came across the technique of quilting the scrappy tripalong blocks with a line either side of every second seam on Red Pepper Quilts, and it works really well. I also went diagonally to try and emphasise the diamond pattern which wasn't particularly obvious on just a cushion, partly because of the prints and also because one of the blocks was put together slightly wrong but it was a pillow by the time I figured it out. Can you spot where I stuffed up? It was backed with plain linen quilted with wavy lines. Hazel was very dismissive of that technique, felt it wasn't attractive and was appalled I was going to be sending it to poor Kristel who could not fail to be displeased. Children, they are so free with their opinions! I haven't had any complaints back btw ;) She liked the front though, and so do I. I'm not sure if I have enough blocks to do one for myself, not that they take a long time to make up or anything!

Talking about the Euro pillow makes me think of a topic I often wonder about - here in NZ, and in Canada from memory, furniture and other items are often advertised as "European design" or "Italian design" or "made in Germany" and all these terms are used to tell us that it's really stylish or that it's well-made, or both. So what I always wonder is how those items are advertised in those countries - do Europeans assume that things made there are stylish like we do here? Or that if it's made in Germany it won't fall apart in 2 weeks? Well actually that's usually true of the stuff that gets here, but I bet they make crap stuff too. Do Italians like to be told shoes are made with Italian leather? Drat, now I've got Ricardo Montalban saying "rich Corinthian leather" in my head, over and over again...

20 June, 2013


A little while ago I did a crafty swap with Kristel (one of my favourite bloggers) in the Netherlands, and as part of my parcel I made her a runner sort of thing with doilies scattered across it. The pattern is from Simple Crochet, although I didn't do all the doilies and the runner isn't quite as long I think. I still liked how it turned out (apologies for the poor photos, some were totally out of focus when I came to look at them but the runner was long gone!)


That photo was taken at our old house, makes me feel a bit nostalgic and sad!

The doilies were all done in either Perle 5 or crochet cotton #10 (or was it #20...) and I really liked the contrast in texture that gave. Some of the patterns in the book didn't seem to work right and I had to add or subtract stitches to get them to sit flat, but in general the results were great.






Doilies made for a swap #crochet #doily #craft

The last one is via Instagram, which I still love, because the orginal sitting on Flickr has been squashed down and is all distorted. Does anyone else have this problem when exporting images from iPhoto? It happens to some images and not to others, sometimes not at all, sometimes really frequently - always compressed vertically. It's weird.


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