Friday, 23 August 2013

Daisylove!

So,it's been a few weeks since my last post...
Time is running so fast, and the days are hectic again now that the long and lazy summer vacation is over.
But now it's finally Friday afternoon, the weekend seems to become one of those nice ones, and I'm cuddled up in my favourite chair with a warm cup of lovely, frothy cappuccino. The kids are all busy playing soccer outside, the house is quiet for a blissed while and I can finally write this post that I've been thinking about and looking forward to for a while now....


Daisies!

I love daisies in all shapes and colours, but my favourite are those little, pretty ones that fill my lawn and makes it very tricky to cut the grass.....



When I first discovered all the beautiful chrochet daisies out there in Blogland, I got so excited! I searched around a bit for a tutorial, and the best I've found is this one from the Tillie Tulip blog. Nice photos and clear instructions, and her Daisy blankets are just amazing!
One day I might be able to make a whole blanket with these cute, happy flowers...I just have to finish some of mye other BIG projects first...For now I have to settle for smaller projects like cushions, and I've already made a few.

Here is my first attempt at the pattern...
The stiches on this pillow are a bit loose and uneven, and I am not too happy with the joining method I chose for the squares,  but I love the colours and the cushion fits nicely in my favourite chair, so it stays for now...


I started crocheting less than a year ago, and I am 100% selft-taught..... Thanks to great tutorials and YouTube videos, my skills are improving little by little....

I have been knitting since I was 5 years old, and I love it. But when I started crocheting, it only took one grannysquare and I was " hooked". So now I'm trying to make everything at once - there are just sooo many wonderful things to make, and my mind is constantly working on new ideas to patterns and colour-combinations.

Anyway, back to the daisies...I absolutely LOVE this flower, and when I first found this lovely pattern at Tillie Tulip it just made my heart sing!
After a few projects using this pattern, I started to experiment a little.
A dear friends birthday was coming up, and I wanted to make her a BIG cosy cushion.
She is also definately a "Daisy-lover", so I wanted to make the flowers really big and bright on her cushion.
After a few attempts, I came up with this version, which I call "The Double Daisy". I made the yellow centre bigger, and more 3D-like. It kind of pops out a bit, like it does on a real Daisy.
I also added a second row of petals to make it bigger. I really like how the flower stands out, bold and beautiful!
The colours were carefully chosen for my friend, and I think these aqua tones are really nice together with the white flower.


Here is how it came out all joined together with a light blue colour. 
I really like the joining on this, it is the flat braid join which I also used on The Blue Meadow Cushion. 



Tah-da! The Double-Daisy Cushion




The back is made out of one big grannysquare in the light blue colour. With so much going on at the front, I wanted to make the back calmer and more neutral. 




This cushion is part of a birthday present where every item had a special meaning to me and my friend, and since the Daisy played the leading role here, I also made a lantern with a couple of pretty daisies attached.



...and of course my little signature heart





Here is the whole ensemble together: Daisy cushion, Daisy lantern, pink champagne, lovely, sweet merengues, Marc Jacobs wonderful Daisy perfume and of course a big, wonderful REAL Daisy plant!





 A little close-up of the pretty pastel colours




...and a little, sweet Daisy-treat

Daisy and Butterfly vanilla cupcakes were obviously a must for this particular birthday party. The butterflies and daisies are made of sugarpaste. So much fun to make :-)




Pretty and really, really yummi!




Ok, I've finished my coffee,  the noise from outside is coming closer, so I guess my little moment of quiet is over....
Now it's time for movienight with the kids - and I might just be able to sneak in a little crocheting while watching...

I wish you all a wonderful weekend with lots of fun and love



 


❤ Live - Laugh  - Love❤


                                               






























Monday, 12 August 2013

The Forever Blanket

So, finally the "Forever Banket" is finished!
I have been working on this blanket in what feels like forever - hence the name...
I started knitting the squares when my youngest was a baby, since I at the time did not have the time nor the energy to start a more timeconsuming and complicated project. With 5 year old twins and a new baby in the house, some simple knitted squares from my scrap stash was all the crafting I could handle.....

I brought my knitting needles with me on every long car-ride and familytrip we went on, so the stack of squares slowly increased throught the years. My whole familiy developed some kind of relationship to these knitted squares in all kinds of colours, and my kids kept asking me when the blanket was going to be ready...

I kind of put off this big joining project for a long time, but when we bought our summerhouse last year and had finished renovating and furnishing this, I noticed that the colourscheme we had chosen for the interior was almost a perfect match to the majority of the squares I had made. 
This discovery put a rocket in my knitting fingers, and I quickly knitted up the remaining creme coloured squares I needed fo finish the blanket. 

So, finally: Tah-da!!! The Forever Blanket is ready to be snuggled with!  Filled with lovely and treasured memories from various family outings and holidays, and from blissed little coffeebreaks when the baby was napping.....❤

Big enough even to be used as an extra blanket in bed on cold nights - I'm sure we'll need it soon enough for that purpose...!



     

I just LOVE the colours

I made a row with single crochets on every patch, and then stiched them together one by one....
Tidious and fiddling work, but the satisfaction of seeing all these patches finally turning into a lovely blanket made it all worth it! 
The edging around the whole blanket is a few rows of single crochet and a simple picot edging. 
My Signature Heart is embroidered on one of the corner squares. A little crooked, byt never mind...It' s homemade


                    


It fits perfectly on our coach, but rarely ever get to stay there for very long before someone snatches it...

                    

In fact, this blanket turned out to be so popular in my family that I had to make another one real quick!

I still had quite a few squares in the right colours left in the box, but not enough scrap yarn to finish what was missing. So off I went on a search for some more yarn in the right colours. It turned out to be a rather difficult quest, since most of the colours were discontinued a long time ago...that's the way it goes when you use Forever to finish a project....
Ayway, I had to settle for some similar colours for blanket nr 2, and finished this in a matter of weeks, knitting like a maniac!

And then, there were two.....

                    

Perfect for chilly sunset evenings on the porch❤❤

                

So, we now have two snuggly blankets, but we are a family of five....
There are still quite a few knitted patches left in the box in all kinds of colours, so I guess the story continues... 


                                                       ❤ Live - Love - Laugh ❤
                      

Saturday, 10 August 2013

New WIP bliss...

I'm only half way through my summervacation, which we at the moment spend at our summerhouse  enjoying  a much needed "slow living" break with the kids .
 And with sooo much time on my hands for crafting, my mind is now just boiling with ideas and creative buzzing!! It's almost too much, and I really have to make an effort to tear myself away from my yarn and patterns once in a while to spend some "quality-time" with my family....
I jump out of bed around 7 every morning (strange that it is never that easy to wake up on a work-day??), and enjoy some quiet hours on the porch with my coffee and my crochet before the rest of my noisy, lovely family wakes up.

I think I might have started on at least 5 (five!) new projects the last 2 weeks, and I am now  juggling all of them in an attempt to at least try to finish one before the everyday-stress catches up on me again....
My dear husband  is frowning when he spots yet another basket of yarn stacked away somewhere, but he has refrained from saying anything, knowing just too well that trying to stop me once I'm "in the flow" is not a good idea....

(Un-) fortunately there is a very nice yarn-shop right next door to my local grocery store here in "Vacation-land", and yesterday, on my way to buy something for the grill for dinner, my eyes spotted the most WONDERFUL light-blue fluffy dream of a mohair-silk yarn in the window...❤
These lovelies just had my name written all over their dreamy fluffiness, and before I could help myself I had bought 4 skeins of these, as well as 4 skeins of the softest Alpacca/Silk blend imagineable! A match made in heaven for a feather-weight, lacy, cosy-smozy shawl/wrap for chilly summernights.

 As mentioned before,  I have a serious "scarf-addiction", and my closet is already more than full of these snuggly, warm and comfortable pieces of fabric or knit... But, there is always room (and need!) for one more..They're just like shoes - there is just no way you can get enought scarfs og shoes!!

Inspired by my success with my "Strawberry Cheese Cake Shawl", I have been planning to make some more shawls for gifts, but first I need one more for myself...he, he
I have been looking for a more lacy pattern than the plain and simple one I made for the " Strawberry Cheesekae Shawl", and I think I found one that is just perfect! 
With  my new luxurious silk/mohair/alpacca love all ready and waiting, I could just dive into the challenge of a new pattern. I'm not really good at following patterns, and I usually wander off in my own way and the outcome is a mix of somebodyelses pattern and my own making, so I think'll tell you more about is pattern as soon as I have testet it some more...

This time I have tried, though, to follow the pattern so far... The main reason being that this yarn is almost impossible to undo if you make a mistake, and way too nice (and expensive!) to throw away on experimenting with patterns....

So, are you ready for some sneak peaks of what I think is to become my "Daydreamer Shawl"?
Here is one of the lovely, dreamy, fluffy yarn that started the whole "shawl-frenzy" all over again....


                         
 
Love at first sight It is impossible to resist, right?
The colour and the texture is even lovelier in real life ;airy light blue and sooooo soft!!

And here is the beginning of what I'm planning to make as a BIG and snuggly wrap...           
 
                         
 
                        

I promise I will post a link to the pattern and some more info about the yarn as soon as I know how this "adventure" will end...

Here is one last pic to set the mood to Pure Crochet Bliss : Iced Cappuccino, a rich and lovely handcream (a necessity when working with silk and mohair - every soft and delicate fibre sticks to your fingers....) and a new, lovely WIP. Happy ❤
 

                          


                                                     ❤  Live - Laugh - Love ❤

Rosy-Cozy Survival Kit for cold summernights...

Happy Birthday Sister Love

My little sister just celebrated her birthday, and since we'd had a particularly cold and rainy summer so far, I decided to make her a "Rosy-Cozy Survivalkit for Cold Summernights" .
(Since then the weather has improved a little, but rest asure; the cold and the rain will be back soon enough...!)

Inspired by the lovely Coco Rose and her amazing photos and tutorial of her hotwater bottle cover, I made this Cath Kidston inspired version. The "Provence-rose" (from Cath Kidstons book "Stich" ), and my sisters initials,  are embroidered in cross-stiches on the crochet cover. I like the vintage look and the colourcombo so much!

This will be so ovely to snuggle up with when the long and light Scandinavian summernights gets a bit nippy....


                    
 
 
A little ( blurry photo- sorry!) close-up of the Provence-rose:
 
 
                    
 

.... and a lovely rose for the backside as well!


                    

 
                    
 
This lovely rose is made from this great tutorial from the amazing Lucy in Attic24. These roses are so pretty and so easy to make - and they turned out to be quite addictive....I have lost count of how many I've made so far in all types of yarn. Perfect for my huge stach of scrap yarn.


 
My little Heart-signature, of course...

 
                    
 
 
 
I also made a jar-cosy in the same pattern, and filled the jar with pink marshmallows. So sweet and soft! Some wonderful Kusmi teas are also included in the kit!


 
                    


A proper rosy-cozy survivalkit is not complete without a rose-cake....

Under the rosy cover there is a lovely, classic Oreo-cake.....(  Note to self: remeber to write a separate post about this cake- it is rather lovely and my daughters absolute favourite cake! )

 
                    
 
 

So, here it is! The Rosy-Cozy Survivalkit, complete with a beautiful rosebush and a good book to read, while snuggling the hot-water bottle, chewing on marshmallows and sipping tea! 

I'm very happy with the result, and have now  stacked up my little "studio" with hotwater bottles (found some lovely, big ones on sale!!) to make for my whole family. I have so many colours and patterns all ready in my head, so I'm really eager to try them out!
(So something tells me this will not be my last post about hotwater bottles.....the story will continue...! )
 
                    

                                                           ❤ Live - Laugh - Love ❤

Friday, 9 August 2013

The Blue Meadow Cushion

A tribute to a very dear person ❤❤

My lovely mother-in-law has turned 70! Incredible, but true!
She is such a warm and caring person with a wonderful, bubbly personality. Her (extremely) high energy-level takes our breath away from time to time, and after she retired from her job as a teacher, she is involved in more projects than ever. And she is not one to fiddle about with minor details....Grand and important causes like World Peace and Preserving the Environment are at the top of her list, and I admire her immensely for her strong commitment and tireless work to make important changes in the world.

I wanted to make her something special and personal for her big day. Something that would tell her how much I appreciate her, but also something to remind her to slow down a bit from time to time....
After  a long and busy life working fulltime as a teacher, and raising 3 children as a single mum, she now deserves to enjoy a slower and calmer life (although I don't know if a calm life actually would make her happy.....)

Anyway, I figured that a big, soft and cosy cushion would be the perfect symbol of relaxation and "slow living", and since her favourite colours are all shades of blue, green and purple, this would have to be the colourscheme I'd go for. Bright blues and greens are not colours I use very often myself, but for my mother-in-law there's just no other option. These are her colours! Bright and strong just like her lovely self
I had a picture in my mind of a big cushion bursting with flowers in all shades of blue, reminding her to take the time to "stop and smell the roses"...

So off I went "flowerscouting" for just the right ones for this joyous project. Google is a good and effecient friend when it comes to finding inspiration, so after a few searches online, I found the perfect flower for this lovely person. What could be better for mye bubbly mother-in-law than Popcorn flowers? Both the name and the look of these lovelies are perfect for her!  The best part is that these flowers are so fun and easy to make, and I found a great tutorial right here.

The flowers literally pop out of the pillow like a vibrant meadow of blue flowers. So from now on this cushion is known as "The Blue Meadow Cushion". Sounds like a lovely, relaxing dream does'nt it?
It was so much fun picking the colours and making all these lovely flowers, and the excitement and love you feel when working on a unique design dedicated to a special person make the whole creative prosess even better!  I love making gifts especially made for the receiver - it's just so much better and personal when you have a special person in mind for your creation

 
So, enough talk! This is how the Popcorn-flowers turned out. Rather lovely and cheerful, aren't they ?


                    
                        
   

The stack of squares increased day by day, and for a 60 x 60 cm cushion I figured I would have to make 25 happy flower squares.



                      


   It is starting to come together nicely:


                         



All 25 finished and laid out to be admired in the sun


                          


Joining the squares

This is the best part of the whole making! Joining the sqares and see how all the colours and forms come together is always exciting, and in this case the result came out exactly as I had pictured it in my mind. Yeah!!

I chose the Flat Braid joining method for this pillow, and you can watch a great tutorial right here if this is unfamiliar territory for you. This is ( at the time...) by far my most preferred method of joining squares, whether it is for afghans/blankets or pillows. The result is very elegant and seamless, and the lovely braided pattern is a nice detail to the finished product.
 

Here is a (blurry!) close up of the joining. So much fun to see "the meadow" come together joined by this deep blue/green colour. I love it ❤



                        



 Hm, what to do with the back?

I had originally decided to go for a solid coloured backside, but after having worked with all these beautiful shades of blue and green for days, using just one colour seemed to dull...
So I ended up using all the colours from the flowers in one big granny square...(I did regret it a bit after finishing, and if this pillow were for myself I would have gone for the one colour, or at least I would have have left out the light blue colour. This single light stripe seems a bit out of place in this calm and toned down pattern.
But, this little, bright stripe certainly makes a lot of itself standing out in this muted tone-in-tone colourcombo,  so I decided to keep it. The symbolism here suits my mother-in-law perfectly: a bright, shining ray of light standing out from the crowd making a stand



                       

  
 
Ta-dah!

Finally, The Blue Meadow Pillow in all its blue glory! I'm VERY happy with it, and might start on a version for myself as well....
(But that would have to be in something soft pink and beige, maybe with some sparkling silver added to it for a a little "bling"...? Hmm, must put this on my "must-make" list for later....and make it soner rather than later....)






❤ Live - Laugh - Love ❤

 
 


 
 

Sweet as Strawberry Cheesekake...

It is summer in Norway, and even though the temperature is not quite as comfortable as I would prefer, I just LOVE to spend most of my time outside.

Early, crisp mornings welcoming a new day, or long, light Scandinavian summernights are all spent outside- most of the time under a comfortable blanket or wrapped up in a cosy shawl.

I am now almost halfway in my summer vacation, and thus have lots of lovely time to endulge in my crafting. I've had this wonderful, thick and oh so warm Alpacca yarn laying about for a while, wondering what to make of it. It would have to be something special with such beautiful, exclusive yarn. 

I had earlier admired this amazing triangle shawl with lovely, romantic lace edging in my favourite boutiqe. Far too expensive for me, but it did spark an idea in my head....

Now, with vacation and "slow-living" coming up, the time was right to make this idea come to life, and I started experimenting with a pattern to make a shawl of my lovely Alpacca. The perfect accessory for cool summernights on the porch.
 
I added some amazingly soft and delicate slik/ mohair yarn to the Alpacca to make it more fluffy, and the combination of the two are just perfect! It makes the yarn more difficult and fiddlesome to work with, but the fluffy effect from the mohair makes it all worth it. Just so soft and lovely to touch.

The thickness of the yarn made it necessary to go for an airy and simple design, otherwise it would be too thick and heavy to bring along. So after some fiddling back and forth with various stiches, I ended up with a simple pattern consisting of trebles and chain stiches ( I might post a pattern og tutorial for this later...)

It has the most wonderful, soft pink colour - my favourite colour ever since I was a child! It reminds me of yummy Strawberry Cheesekake


                     


I wanted to add some more lace to the edging, and had this lovely lime coloured lace in my stash. 
In my opinion a perfect contrast to the soft pink, and it gave the shawl that little extra spark to make it stand out a bit...


                   


Mmmm, Strawberry- Lime Cheesekake...I just love these colours together. So fresh and full of summer

                 

                       


Very happy with my colourcombo, but still feeling the need to add a little extra "bling"....
Some nice plum-coloured beads were digged out from my stash and sewn one by one on to the lace with invisible thread. Fiddling and tidious work, but  oh so happy with the result! 


                     

                     

The finishing touch: my little signature hearts attached to the ends


                    

One more with the hearts.... Just Sweet❤


                     



.... and there you have it: my lovely Strawberry - Lime Cheesecake Shawl just waiting to be wrapped around  my cold shoulders. I LOVE it ❤❤

                    


                                                          ❤  Live - Laugh - Love ❤

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