Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Time to update :-)

The last couple of days I have been at Ravelry... I started a new group called Belle Epoque.
It is supposed to be of all things Edwardian and BEish. Like Art Nouveau, Jugend, Arts and Crafts movement (a little early but well fitting), Mucha, the great illustrators, like Arthur Rackham and Edmund Dulac, Kay Nielsen, Rudolf Koivu, John Bauer; the couple Mackintosh and the couple Larsson; Ballets Russes and Leon Bakst (a little late, but ok), Erté etc. connected to crafts; knitting, crocheting, dyeing and other crafts.

So - I have already designed a jacket inspired by Leon Bakst's costumes for the ballet Firebird; a sock pattern by Mackintosh rose; a crochet jacket inspired by pines; a variation of a free jacket pattern online... I want it fitted and with open neckline.

I have also got tons of things on my "want to" list...
Horst Schulz' African Adventure;
Meg Swansen's Giant Latvian Mitten Cardigan - why didn't I think of using the mitten patterns on sweaters? I don't use mittens, I don't like mitten, I won't knit mittens, but the patterns are great. I love Norwegian type sweaters though... I want the fox sweater as well...

*sigh* I also joined the Village Hopelessly Overcommitted... So much to do, so little time...

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Friday, April 24, 2009

I am a horrible snob...

I was reading the messages in a group of people who hate acrylics, and someone asked what we have used acrylics for... and someone said she has knitted A PONCHO of acrylics... now, I don't know about you, but ponchos are like a swearword in the knitting community... at least in the snobby better-than-though knitting community I am a member of. (Not proud of that though... I am really ashamed of that, but - at least I'm being honest.) Anyway, I almost screamed of horror. Someone in yarn snob group admits having knitted a PONCHO of ACRYLICS and she didn't seem to be the least ashamed of this confession!!!

In fact, she shouldn't. But I should... just for thinking that she should, just for thinking that she shouldn't share that kind of information, or another member shouldn't be sharing her projects which are not very well done nor advanced... I should be ashamed of myself. These people are doing things! That's reason enough to be proud of oneself, reason enough to be sharing that fact. It's wonderful! These people are doing the best they can, they should be proud of that and sharing that!

To another thing. I have almost constant pain in my joints, I should be walking to get more exercise and better condition than I do, but it hurts too much. This morning I was thinking that it feels as I was being hit on my legs with an axe, and then I thought that I don't know what that feels like, so I can't say that's how it feels. It feels as if I had training pains, growing pains AND I have twisted ankles and knees. And then something else... possibly sciatica. Though I can't tell because I have never had that either.
I have also occasionally fever, just a little, just enough to make me feel sick, just enough to strain all energy... and it is possible that I have Lupus. I might have hypothyroidism. I might have high bloodpressure due to sleep apnea. I have something... and something I DO have is pain.

*sigh* The doctors are working on trying to find out what it is. As for now, no-one knows.

Anyway, I love you all as always :-)


I very much want to do the following things:
little sheep
Little Cotton Rabbit's free patterns - the tiny animals are cute :-)
wee tiny elf sock
Alla's garden shawl
North Roë
Laura Martos' Serenity (see the list of free patterns on right)
Nutty Irishman's Juniper Mitts and Sourwood mountain mitts
Roman Sock's square chicks
Monkey Toes' socks and paraphernalia socks (you find those too in the right side link list - or at Ravelry)

BTW, here's Duduza dolls... I was talking about those some time ago :-)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Happy birthday to me :-)

I got a laptop to birthday present! YAY!!!
One of the biggest and best blessings in my life is my family :-) It's the best family anyone can have, and it's MINE! YAY!!! YOHOO!!! YIPPEE!!
I really love them to bits, and not just because they gave me a laptop :-D I would love them to bits even if they didn't give me anything but their lovely company :-)

My knees hurt like hell and I am not going to walk tomorrow, but it was worth it. I spent a lovely day with my sister, cousin and mother in the city, we saw the Pre-Raphaelite exhibition at Nationalmuseet and visited a little chinese shop (I'll add the link when I find it), and yesterday the whole family was here - or my parents, my sisters, my cousin, two nieces and a nephew :-) I love them so much :-) It was lovely and I am full of love to them :-) And I love my laptop too LOL (my preciousssss....)

Anyway, here's some freebies I like:
chick bookmarks
cat eating fish pouch
magazine reed box
how to make paper straw stars

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Paper is fiber too

Now follows a little whining and ranting.

I have been looking at some inspiration for ATCs (Artist Trading Cards - miniature art works in size 2 1/2 inches by 3 1/2 inches. I have been at Flickr and most people there make their ATCs in collage and using many different techniques and mixing different media. Most of the people are very creative and produce art. I am really bad at this sort of art. My collages just don't work. My Dearest Husband is very good at this. He just throws together a bunch of pictures that don't seem to have anything in common, and the result is amazing... my sister has this talent too. I don't. I am really envious to all these people, simply because I don't have it... And I have been sitting here, looking at the wonderful collage ATCs and feeling poor, untalented and miserable...

Then I got the idea of looking elsewhere... I googled "ATC" and "ACEO" and found out that the original form of these little artworks was indeed a miniature artwork. No, I don't do collages, but I can draw and paint. Now I feel relieved - and very stupid :-D
I have also made my first ATCs :-)

But - even though the majority making ATCs ARE artists, there are people who are not. I get angry when I see the "ATCs" made by taking a picture of an existing artwork, fitting it into the format and then claiming that's "my" ATC. Some people do "try to hide" this fact by embellishing the picture a little, but one of the worst examples of this I have seen was a picture cut from a calendar, glued on a 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 piece of cardboard and that's it. The person didn't even glue on any flowers, rhinestones or glitter... At least she admitted that that's what she did.
I also don't think it's art to cut a person from a picture of a well known artwork and glue it on pretty paper, but it's better than not even do that. Nevertheless, there are some copyright issues with this too... It's one thing to do that with 19th century (and older) art and a totally different to do that with a contemporary artist who's trying to get a living with her art...
I am not sure what I think when a person prints the picture on fabric and enhances it by embroidering the flowers and adding some beading and such... I suppose it is skillful and the cards are very pretty, but... I'd still want the person to create an own picture.
I also don't think it's art to cut a photo from a magazine, glue it on the cardboard and add a quote or something to it. Unless, of course, it's your photo - meaning, you photographed it.
Also, taking some pretty paper and stamping a pretty stamp on it... that's really not art either.
Or just whacking some color on paper and writing with your own handwriting the color's name on it... Er... That might have been art like 40 years ago. I really wish people would put a little more effort on the things. Especially if it's a question of a swap. Some people actually do a lot of work and try to make the receiver happy. Now, if the taste is different, that cannot be helped, but don't send anything you wouldn't be overjoyed to receive. I wouldn't even bother making such an "ATC". (On the other hand, I know how to make calligraphy as well... such an ATC made by me would be worth it... ;-))

The thing with ATCs is that they are supposed to be ART.
*sigh* But I suppose there's room for everyone and every idea. If making "ATC"s make people happy, go ahead. I can fully understand that some people create very beautiful images and it would be lovely to have them with one in a handy pocketsize version. I also understand that some people are more creative, artistic, imaginative and inspired than others, and when it takes a lot of work for some people to embellish a pretty image taken from a magazine, it really IS one's "own work" after that... I shouldn't be using myself as a measurement on others' creativity and work. Besides, I'm not supposed to be some art police and tell people what is good taste and art and what is not. If they are happy with their work and publish it, good for them.
Nevertheless... *sigh* Sometimes I wish people would take art a little bit more seriously and allow the artists to get the appreciation they deserve and leave the art making to artists.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Stones might break my bones

but apple streusel cheesecake bars will break my diet :-D

I am thinking about Project Spectrum and green stones. There are so many green stones...
I have tried to find the different stones from Etsy to give some advertisement to the sellers.
I don't necessarily think the item is pretty, you might, and you might find other items you like.
Also, check who has the item and the seller as favorites, you'll find other things you'll like, and other sellers :-)

1. Row:
1. Grossular Garnet - judithguajardo's necklace
2. vesuvianite - JPGemJewels' earrings
3. Andalusite - BebesBaubles' earrings
4. Green amber

2. Row:
1. Olivine and green turquoise - fantcastle's necklace
2. Lemon Magnesite - fantcastle's necklace
3. Prehnite and tourmaline - JenniferCasady's necklace
4. Labradorite - HillCountrySilver's pendant
(There is an especially colorful and fine variety of this stone, Spectrolite, which exists only in Finland :-)

3. Row:
1. Turquoise - SilviasCreations' necklace
[I think the green turquoise is interesting... of course, it's not turquoise (which BTW means "Turkish" ;-)]
2. gaspeite - ljmoreau's bracelet
3. Pyromorphite - CreativeByNature's pendant
4. Seraphinite - BroadwayBeads' necklace

4. Row:
1. Verdite - RainbowRiver's earrings
2. Gaia Stone - green vulcanic glass, from Mt. St. Helens also called Mt. St. Helens' Emerald
3. Green Kunzite (Hiddenite) - mandalarain's pendant
4. rainforest jasper (rhyolite) - bijouxbead's necklace

1. Row:
1. Moss Agate - pacifixe's prayer beads
2. Aventurine and African Jade - The BeadingBestLLC's necklace
3. jade - mcrdesigns' earrings
4. larimar stone - bpdesigns7

2. Row:
1. Nebula stone - peacejewelrydesigns' pendant
2. Moss Jasper - DnJDichroicArtGlass' earrings
3. Kambaba Jasper from Abetterbead
4. Amazonite - starsb117's pendant

3. Row:
1. Vericite - RosemaryLane's necklace
2. Ajoite
3. Malachite - CreativeByNature's pendant
4. Zoisite - MaggieMcManeDesigns' necklace

4. Row:
1. Smithsonite - Nomeworks' pendant
2. Unakite - AnneMarie1025's necklace
3. Zinkite from Crystal Tech Creations
4. Epidote - blindeyeboutique's necklace

1. Row:
1. peridot pebble, teal green apatite and chrome diopside - bellajewelsII's sculptural pendant
2. peridot and tsavorite garnet - bellajewelsII's sculptural pendant
3. Andamooka matrix opal from opalgems
4. green amethysts (green-quartz, prasiolite, vermarine), vesuvianite garnets, emeralds - alittlebitvintage's earrings

2. Row:
1. Central emerald from the Spanish Inquisition Necklace at Smithsonian Institute
2. Uvarovite - Master69uk's pendant
3. Mawsitsit - AccentsbyDave's pendant (which, btw is NOT jade)
4. Aventurine and Green Topaz Quartz - JillMcCrystalJewelry's knottet necklace

3. Row:
1. tsavorite garnet - handmadethings' necklace
2. Variscite - sandrawebsterjewelry's necklace
3. Emperor Stone from wlj beads
(I don't know what this "emperor stone" is supposed to be... is it jade in matrix or variscite? Or aquaterra jasper?)

4. Peridot - glassgoddessjewelry's tree pendant

4. Row:
1. fluorite - CoryellDesign's bracelet
2. Green Peruvian Opals - jdeandrade's bracelet
3. Green African Amber and Kyanite - BondsJewels' necklace
(it seems that this "African amber" is actually vintage faux amber, bakelite or something similar, not real amber, but some sorts of African Amber ARE actual copal, naturally polymerizated resin, not just as old as Baltic sea amber.)
4. ruby fuschite and malachite - BroadwayBeads' bracelet

1. Row:
1. Aquaterra Jasper - MangoTango's Anklet
2. Dioptase - GlobalPathways' pendant
3. Chalcedony and Aqua Quartz - Jenalynscreations' necklace
4. Green Russian Serpentine - AnneMarie1025's necklace with pendant

2. Row:
1. Infinite Stone - Verdasmuse's pendant
2. Hemimorphite - glitterbug's stitch markers
3. Afghani Turquoise l. Mystic Jasper - jewelrywirewrap's necklace
4. Apatite - catrocks' bracelet

3. Row:
1. Maw-Sit-Sit - squawisland's necklace
2. Chrysocolla - catrocks' bracelet
3. Mosaic Turquoise - febrarose's earrings
4. Peru Chalcedony with Apatite - yanis07's earrings

4. Row:
1. Emerald - Loreleisatelier's necklace
(there's very little real beryls; emeralds and aquamarines, in etsy. Naturally, due to the high price. These are quite raw and flawed, but still real emeralds.)
2. Tourmaline - Philip Crow's pendant
3. Aquamarine - selinavaughan's necklace
4. crazy lace agates - wlj beads
(also, most blue agates are dyed. It's irrelevant when you use the stones to make artwork, crafts and jewelry, but not if you wish to use the stones for their magical properties.)

Friday, April 03, 2009

I keep forgetting...

I have actually made some stuff. I just keep forgetting the updating.

This guy is Judah Maccabee. I started knitting him for Chanukkah, and finished him a couple of weeks later, so you can understand that he has been sitting there on the shelf for a couple of months.

He is made by a pattern of knitted family father from a book from 70's, the moles, clothes and kippah (of course he has one) I knitted "free hand" and I have stitched him some toes, kneecaps, buttocks, breast muscles and nose ;-) Eyes, eyebrows and hair are embroidered.
(Behind him are Boris and Doris, my stoneware "staffordshire spaniels", the Chanukkiah, on right is an art plate with Russian lacquer box art and on the left is a moon landing memorial plate. I was born 1969 and I feel very connected to that event :-)

This is Manta. It was supposed to be in my Beloved Husband's Pesach Egg Surprise Calendar, but I didn't manage to finish the egg shells. I am making them of papier mache. I have three egg shells that need to be sanded, painted and decorated. I need like a dozen more.

This is my green camisole. It looks better on me, but I need a skin colored top (or a top of a color that goes with this green) to wear it. I am not comfortable showing my bra to everyone, and my tummy skin is rather private that too. But it's very nice :-)

Martha Stewart (yuk) has published an idea of yarn covered styrofoam eggs. I am thinking of temari eggs... I know which counts higher in my book. Yarn covered styrofoam eggs are so 70's.

Bakerella has a problem. She can't stop making cake pops. Good, I say. I love her cake pops.

Kate gives a tutorial on how to turn a small tin into a helper tin and here's a perpetual calendar. Wonderful idea. My Dearest Husband keeps wishing for somekind of a clock where he could see which mood I'm in. Now, that would be a solution :-D

Pretty checkerboard scarf.


Here's a little bunnyrabbit for you as an Easter gift.
(Here's a knitted bunny toy and here's a crocheted bunny toy in PDF file)

I don't sleep well nowadays. Yesterday I slept like 4 hours, then I went to bed at 7 and slept 9 hours. Now - 3 hours later - I'm still tired. Well... I've been awake since 3 A.M.

Here's a Japanese site... I can't make heads and tails of it, but the photos are nice and her work is inspiring.

Hard Rock Zombie has some interesting blog entries about knitting. Among them I found this other Japanese site.

"CAT PRIN -- the tailor for a cat you know -- it is -- fact which will become dearer than former if a cat has clothes on

Don't you doubt? "Although I want to dress with dress extravagant with my cat, doesn't a cat dislike having" clothes on?
It is impossible that continue for time long to be sure, and you continue dressing a cat. But about [ to which you dress a cat and take a commemorative photo on special days, such as a birthday of a cat, ] is OK.

1. You need to dress a cat. And you will say to a cat together with a family. "It has changed just for a moment". [ "it being very dear" or ] You will pass pleasant one time.

2. If a family and a cat become fortunate, you will take a commemorative photo! Therefore, please photo your cat lovelily with much trouble.

3. If it finishes taking a photograph, you will make it remove clothes from a cat immediately. You will say then, without forgetting the language of gratitude to a cat. "-- be flooded -- a way -- good -- having done one's best -- ! -- " "
Frankly, having a cat collar that looks like a frilly blouse isn't too bad... but - I think the Scottish Fold Cat is one of the ugliest things I have ever seen. I know that the Scottish Wildcats have folded ears to protect the ears, but why - OH WHY - did some idiot cat breeders need to promote that feature on a breed?
"It's very important to only breed fold ear cats to straight ear cats. This produces litters with 50% straight and 50% fold ear cats. If a fold ear cat is bred to another fold ear cat, this can lead to kittens with degenerative joint disease."
DUH! If your cat is born with folded ears or bulldog bite it HAS a degenerative genetic problems!
Frankly, the Persian cat and the shorthaired variation, modern British Shorthair, are ugly. Cats SHOULD have "noses "rather long than short"; "long and slender" necks; and "narrow. . . graceful" bodies" - like the European Shorthair has today. The original Persian Cat, the Angora, looks still today what the Persian Cats are supposed to look. Looks like a proper cat, with "long" nose, slender body and neck, with silky, soft hair... But one can go too far on the other side as well. Siamese should look like a cat, not like a coathanger spook. Sure, it's not the cat's fault how she looks, it's the breeders' fault. That "new style" Siamese in the second picture must have health problems due to the excessive breeding. It cannot be good for a cat to have so narrow face - and if it does have a narrow face, what other problems does it have? Cannot give birth naturally due to too narrow hips? Breaks bones easily? Reminds me of Ekhnaton.
Enough with ranting :-) Make yourself a siamese coat hanger in stead :-D

Smariek knits has really nice patterns.

Knit something green...
Pretty tatted shamrock I, II and more
Shamrock washcloth
Why shamrocks? Well... It's the green bimonth at Project Spectrum, and I'd like to knit me a shamrock lace shawl. No, I don't know what I do with it, I don't use my huge red silk shawl either, nor my beautiful white silk butterfly shawl, and I just gave the mystery shawl to my sister - because I don't use it. But it's fun to knit and very posh :-D The main thing is that I happen to like clover. It's friendly.

BTW, here's Heather's Mittens by Spillyjane, Latvian mittens from distric of Kurzeme (graph 117) by Lizbeth Upitis and mittens from Jalasjärvi (graph 81) by Eeva Haavisto

Here's some patterns you can use to knit mittens. (click the "cimdi" on the list on left, and click on the tiny images)

Nezumi world is always interesting

A reality check...

The World's Largest Collection of Smalls

Finnish blogs I visited, but that's not much fun for the non-Finnish speaking audience of this blog. Nevertheless, Henri, the knitted bear, seems to be very popular... (My Dearest Husband is Henric and he loves bears... Guess what is going to happen in this household soon LOL)
Also, shopping totes made of fabric are quite popular too. "I'm not a plastic bag" was fun :-D I liked the "Farewell to Plastic Bags" too. One could use the Sublime Stitching's bag and embroider the message ;-)
(Earth Day Market Bag)

Some fun German sock patterns.

Lacefreak - who introduced me to a very striking eufemism: Conga-Line of Death (AKA future projects)

At P.G.Wodehouse's Sally is being read. You can listen to it and knit some of Kay's projects :-)

I love Kayla coo's embroidery and Jackie's embroidery

Little House in the Suburbs has really nice tutorials and instructions... like for liquid soap and stick deodorant... I really should start doing soaps and stuff. *sigh*

Sharon's Pin Tangle

Tottie talks craft

I really like this columbine square, these popcorn pillows, frog tongue bookmark (well... I don't actually LIKE it, not that I dislike it either, I think it's really funny :-)), this felted snowman, this card pocket (no, I don't play this specific card came - but I used to play Magic the Gathering, and if not straight out, then with minor modifications, this would make a very nice pocket for Tarot cards or ATCs.) and this backscrubber.

And I really, really, really LOVE these knives... Well... I'm a Jensen too :-D

BTW, we switched out all the electricity on Earth Hour. Earth Day is April 22nd and there's some projects being done for that too... Fits well for the Project Spectrum idea too. ;-)

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Fantasy and Craft

were the two last words of the National Crochet Month Crochet Along. Good words, together :-)

Today is April first, the April Fools' day, and I have got some good laughs today :-) GOOD laughs, not laughing at people, at people getting hurt, at people getting their food, clothes, humor and day destroyed. We haven't done anything special today, as I planned, but it's an ok day :-)

Today's blog entry will be about Fantasy and Craft. I am a bit bored and I got an extra day with the computer, you see, we share the computer, Beloved Husband and I. So we have shared the week in two, both get three days and none gets the computer on Saturdays. We will hallow our Shabat and spent it together, doing things together, things we both like :-) But today he's tired, sad and wants to sleep, so I get the computer. I use the day to surf the internet, visit all the hundreds of nice, inspiring blogs I love and celebrate the fact that the world is a small and wonderful place - I have it at my fingertips through the Internet. I think that's the best invention ever! :-D (No, it's not. I actually prefer plumbing and harnessing electricity, and nothing of this would have happened, had not someone invented the wheel LOL)

I promised to promote the Crane Project. I think the idea is lovely, to turn the death into something beautiful, but still remember it - thousands of human lives lost for nothing much... So, go and fold a couple of cranes and send them to Judy. Fold 1000 and Gods will fulfill your wish.

Angry Chicken got inspired by a fashion photo and finally found use to a small scrap of very pretty fabric. There's also some words about small pies and about the art of papercutting... That's another form of art I'd like to do. I have good lines, but my coloring skills suck :-D
I have one piece of papercutting on my wall, someone had thrown it in the carbage, because the glass had broken... (Some time ago, two papercuttings by Eva Schönberg went for 100 dollars a piece at eBay... lucky me.)

iHanna has made a book of her blog :-) Actually, she did that already a year ago, I just found out right now... There you see how often I visit her blog, even though I love it :-D

She lead me to Katie's little books, which reminds me of the amazing Arbouricon made by Lana. Lana has had some problems with her eyes, but her work is wonderful.

Then we have Art for Housewives. It is a bit confusing, but focus on the text you are reading, follow the links and enjoy. :-)

Then there's Woof Nanny's the purse project. It's like "Tie One On", but with bags, purses and totes. So - if you are into crafting bags, join the project :-)
In her blog was an entry about vintage weave-it loom - what to do with tiny woven squares. You can actually use pieces of MDF and nail nails in it, as close to each other as you can, in the shape of the piece you wish to weave, and use the technique to weave bigger pieces - like scarfs, bags, vests...

wonderful bag blog :-)

Aren't these plastic bag animals cute? I especially love the chicken :-)

I love this calendar. I thought the buttons were slotted, not fastened with velcro... you know you could have the days in long slips and button them. You could also make a big pocket with see-through plastic front on top, so you can add pictures to your calendar :-) For example your favorite photo, or some things from nature you found...

pod bead tutorial - you can do it with any form... and bigger ones become cute ornaments.
Kusudamas are really cute too.

The Folding Tree lead me to this Drawer Divider tutorial. I just don't see why they didn't paper the divider too... I don't think brown corrugated cardboard looks good nor tidy. The idea is good though. (Ehrm... I have used the idea in my kitchen drawers for several years now...)

Then some fun: Google knows... (Not really... but I found another Sanna...)

Everything your mama made and more

meet me at Mike's (not "meet meat-Mikes")

I like the idea of a magical thinking jar and wishcasting blog... but I don't like the realization... I think I would like a wishing well jar or so, write the wishes in pretty paper strips and fold them into stars and fill a decorated jar or bottle with them, and trust that the Universe fulfills my wishes...

I'll continue this tomorrow :-) Beloved wants the computer :-D