Tag Archives: gift

Happy Mother’s Day!

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Happy Mother’s Day!

Ok, I know some of you are now raising your eyebrows and thinking I’ve gone crazy to post this today 🙂 But I haven’t. Apparently (I myself learned this only last year) not everywhere in the world Mother’s day is celebrated at the same time: last year I was quite surprised that Mother’s Day here in Finland is on the second Sunday of May, because all my life in Lithuania we’ve been celebrating Mother’s Day on the first Sunday of May. Hence – my post today: both to congratulate my wonderful, clever, beautiful, indispensable Mom (I love you, mommy, very very much!) and to show my project for this occasion (maybe it will give someone the last-minute-idea they’ve been desperately searching for 🙂 ).

As both my husband’s and my moms have already called about the cards I made them, I am safe in sharing them with all of you because there will be no spoilers for anyone. So here’s what I came up with on Tuesday evening.

I’ve grabbed a few sheets of decorative paper, a little scrap of gorgeous fabric my friend brought me when I was looking for something to decorate my daughter’s nighties with (I saved the scrap because the little princess decided she’d rather prefer a bright-pink sparkling iron-on butterfly than these beauties), some embroidery thread and glue, and set up to make cards from scratch, so to say – for the first time in my life. I’ve made cards before, of course, just not out of plain paper and thread: I usually had card stock and some ready-made card-embellishments I just had to glue in place. Now the process was a bit longer, but easy – really 🙂

I folded the decorative paper and cut out the “card” to fit into a standard envelope, then cut out butterflies from the fabric, glued them in place and embroidered the “branches” the butterflies kind of sit on. As this resulted in those same branches appearing on the inside of the cards, I then just drew a few flowers and leaves with our and our kids’ names inside of them – and made trees on the inside of the cards as well. That left one clear half inside for a greeting words and basically – I’ve got two real cute greeting cards.

So, once again, HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY, MOM! And all other moms celebrating their very own day today – and those who will celebrate it next Sunday (me including 🙂 ).

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Now on a completely different subject: I spent a wonderful weekend, the highlight to which was a visit to Recycling Factory – an annual event here in Helsinki that I attended for the first time and was completely amazed by the creativity and ingenuousness of some Finnish artists, crafters and designers. The full story with lots of pictures and links will be here soon.

Have a nice Sunday evening and a great start of the new week!

Ta-daaa!

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Ahm, maybe the fanfare’s too much 😀 I must admit that I myself was really looking forward to seeing my first design “in the flesh”… and it’s not that much to see. No, it is beautiful really and my daughter (whom it was made for) adores it, but it is such a small thing and it took me so much time to make… Well, not actual time to make – maybe rather find time to make. But, without further ado, here they are – Girly Wristers With Bows.

Now for those who would be interested not only in photos but in the actual process of making these pretty things, I have promised to tell more when I mentioned problems I stumbled upon, haven’t I? Here’s the list (and it’s not the full one, either): first, I thought I had suitable beads for the wristers – that’s basically why I decided to make the little girly ones in the first place: because I had a few batches of pink beads that I didn’t think I could find any other use for and half a ball of white yarn, but when I sat down to string the beads, I found out they had too small holes in them and the yarn simply didn’t fit in. So I had to go buy new beads. Second came the problem of stringing: the seed beads are so small and there’s a LOT of them (well, in this design there were only 306 beads in one wrister, but that was a really small design) and the woolen yarn, though I use quite a thin one, is not so tiny after all, so I had to find a good method to string them all together. When I knit wristers earlier for my own pleasure, I would just cover the end of the knitting yarn with glue and use it instead of a needle, but that was a slooooow process and having in mind that I’m planning to kind of make my living off of this kind of knitting, I had to come up with some more “productive” method. It took me four kinds of glue and a gazillion times of trying to glue yarns of differing thickness together, but I made it – the “productive” method was found! Then came the knitting itself that proved to be a bit more difficult because first, I was knitting with 5 needles instead of the usual 2, and as the beads were of differing colors for the first time in my whole “knitting history”, I found out the hard way that it does make a difference which way the beads are strung – you have to think where the beginning of the knit and the beads will be, and where the end will be (sure, I would’ve figured that out without actually experimenting if I’d thought about it, but I simply didn’t think about it. In Lithuania there’s a saying for such instances which could be roughly translated as “If the head doesn’t work, the legs [in my case – the hands 😀 ] suffer”). And, of course, there were lots of other small “light bulbs” along the way that I might not even remember now but I’m sure they will come to mind the next time I knit.

So there really was a great amount of experimenting, looking for “optimizations” (with the view of all the future work that would be easier when I found them), knitting and re-knitting in this project. I only thank all the higher powers that they steered me in the way of choosing something really small for my first design. Knowing myself – if not for those pink beads that I already had and the fact that I don’t wear pink but my daughter doesn’t wear anything but – I would have chosen to make long wristers for myself (it’s still – already! – winter after all) with some intricate design that would have taken me not a week but a few months to make with all this experimenting.

So you can guess what I’m planning to make next with all of my new-found knowledge, can’t you? 😀 Although I’m sure it is still far from the end of my adventures and experiments. So… To be continued!

Butterflies on the Toes

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Oh, finally there’s something that looks like winter outside! You’d think that living at the end of the world (Fin-land, right?) – and in the most northern capital of Europe – we’d have winter from October. Not so this year: it was dark, wet, windy and autumn-y up until now. We started the New Year without a grain of snow! But now the winter is finally here, there’s lots of snow, the sun is shining and it’s -14 C… About time for warm slippers, which is exactly my most recent project that I was supposed to finish before starting my first “designer piece” in wrister department.

First of all look at the raw “product” from which the slippers started. "Raw material"Now it does look kind of ugly, doesn’t it? 😀 I myself actually hate this phase of making this kind of slippers because after hours of knitting you end up with something that looks like sacks for not particularly “appetizing” products. On the other hand, it’s just the “raw material” for felted slippers that don’t require any hard “hands work” and water-and-soap usually required for felting. This fact alone redeems the “ugly sack phase” for me. All that’s needed is knitting, sewing up the seams, crocheting a border and tossing these things into a washing machine. Admittedly, this time it took me 3 times of washing and spinning until the slippers shrunk to the size I needed. And all that just because I was too impatient to start and decided to knit them using another kind of yarn than indicated in knitting instructions…

Oh yes, I did use knitting instructions. This is not my original design, neither is it my original idea: it was the courtesy of a wonderful free knitting pattern page DROPS Design. If you’re into knitting, check it out! They have enormous amounts of gorgeous designs, great ideas and interesting techniques. Even if you hate knitting from a pattern, there’s lots of inspiration there.

And so, after knitting, sewing, crocheting, washing, re-washing and re-re-washing, adding slip-stopping designs on the soles and drying them all through the night, and then adding embellishments on the tops… Ta-da, the great wintry accessory!

Now I may not yet be a very good photographer but it is still apparent that these cute cosy butterfly slippers are far from the ugly things they started life as, right? 🙂 Mhm, and they’re even not for me – it’ll again be a gift for someone else. I hope she’ll enjoy them!