The First of Advent

Don’t you think it’s absolutely amazing that the first Sunday of Advent was on the 1st December this year? Or is it just me who is an absolute fan of these kind of coincidences?

Also a coincidence, or just good timing from my part, that I was done with my next portion of handmade Christmas-decorations by yesterday:

Star Frames

These lovely crochet stars are the idea of Sandra from Little Golden Nook, which is a beautiful blog. I saw the stars on Pinterest, and followed Sandra’s lovely tutorial to make them. I picked a bag of curtain rings, some yarn of my choice, and some Christmas postcards, and the 10 starts were done surprisingly fast.

let's make frames

 

I really enjoyed making them. Here they are, bathing in sunshine 🙂

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Also, as you can all imagine, we have been very busy with advent preparations all weekend. Actually I have been planning it for quite a long, because the advent calender is something very important in our family. And getting 2 times 24 small, cheap, yet exciting and funny gifts for small kids is a challenge in itself… And then wrapping all of them… Even when I only had to wrap advent gifts for Cherry, I decided that the maximum amount of children in our household is going to be 2. Because there is noone on earth who can handle packing 72 (or more!) tiny little gifts every year, or is there? 🙂

For advent calender we decided to go with the tradition of my husband’s childhood. Every year his parents hung the gifts on a piece of string somewhere in the house, but without numbers on, and he and his sister got to choose one present every morning. And they loved it. So that’s how we do it too. No numbers, but random picking every morning. It has been two mornings so far, and my kids are in absolute trance 😀

Our Advent Calender

Sorry for the poor picture quality, I made the photo late in the evening on Saturday, when I was done with hanging the packages, and obviously there was no natural light at my disposal in our living room 🙂

We also got out our Christams boxes, placed a few elfes, Santas, candles here and there in the house, and made an advent wreath – well, it is just 4 candles in a box with some dried fruits and branches from our garden really, but it is nice.

nisse collage

 

So, we are ready for the Holiday Season. Is it too much to ask for a little bit of snow as well? 🙂

The season to be… crafty?

I would like to share some family joy with you all: On the 16th of November my beautiful sister-in-law gave birth to a beautiful baby boy 🙂 We obviously all got very happy and excited, and book the ferry tickets for the next Saturday to visit them. The plan was to pick up my mother-in-law on the way there, and spend the day in Copenhagen.

Then, of course, Cherry got the flu 😦 First of all my heart was breaking for her, because I don’t remember her being so sick ever in her little life. My heart was breaking, because it also meant, that there is going to be no baby-visiting for Cherry, and no baby-visiting for her Mum either (that would be me). And I don’t know which one of us was more disappointed about that, the almost 5 years old, who was sooo looking forward to see her new little cousin, or me, who knows that every baby born to family members or friends might be the last chance for me to hold a newborn again in my arms (as we are NOT having more 🙂 ).

Anyway, my husband packed up Paddington last Saturday, picked up his Mum and they sailed over to Sjælland for the visit, while Cherry and I stayed at home.

At this point Cherry was feeling well enough to be bored out of her mind, locked up in the house, but still too sick and contagious to go among other people, so we had to find some activities we can do inside. And then it occured to me: But it is almost advent! So we were going to make some advent/Christmas decorations, hurray 🙂

One thing you have to know about Cherry, that she is obsessed with pearls. She has tons of beads and pearls that she prepares lovely necklaces of, many a day, then she picks her little scissors, cuts the wires, recycles the beads, and starts it all over again 🙂 She also has a huge box of Hama Beads, and sometimes she spends hours sitting on her little chairs, making lovely shapes and figures out of the Hama Beads, then brings them over to me, so I can iron them. So making decorations of Hama Beads was an obvious choice for us 🙂 Cherry made some circles, hearts and other full shapes, and I tried to create some snowflakes.

Hama Snowflakes

 

At the end we hung them up on some branches, collected from the garden, together with some old Christmas cards we had. I am also thinking about making some more, and including them in the postcards we are going to send out this year, as they are so tiny and light.

Hamas and Cards

Later, while she was resting on the sofa, watching some cartoons, I cuddled up next her warm, little body, and crocheted some cute little starts of different sizes. I found this lovely tutorial (on Pinterest, where else) :).

Crochet Starts

Twinkle-twinkle 🙂

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The Sunflower Granny Circle Pillow

During this Fall I have been trying to give a new look to our sofa. Poor little thing, serving a family of four with two dirty little children and a not any less dirty dog, this sofa could tell you horror stories of poured cereal, apple juice, sharpie marks, melted candy, chocolate biscuits, mud, wild wet dog running in from the rain, and whatsoever. It has a central part in our everyday life, and therefore it gets used and shabby. However, we are not going to replace it with a new one, not just yet.

Instead, we made a cover for it, that can easily be washed, many times a week if needed, and the sofa itself goes under heavy cleaning once in a while. So with the new cover the sofa got a new life, and a new, funky colour (ok, probably not so, funky, but a bit more fresh at least). And it needed new cushions too. (Yes, the old cushions were all chewed up by our dog when she was a puppy, and for a while I decided to go cushion-free for safety reasons, but it is a different story.)

Besides sewing cushion covers of my favourite fabrics, I decided to make two round cushions with crocheted covers. I did some research for patterns, and for the core I went with the lovely sunflower pattern I found as the center of a granny square pattern, you can read the tutorial here. After that I carried on crocheting granny style. As I didn’t find a pattern I could directly interpret to my pillows, I went the good old trials-and-failures path, but finally I found the right way, and ended up with the perfect pattern. As I said, I made to pillow-covers, the first took me literally 3 weeks, because of all the trying and failing, pulling downs and starting overs. Once I was done with that, and had my little pattern in writting, I completed the second cover in less than 2 days 🙂

I took the completed mandalas, sewed them together with some fabric of my choice, and stuffed the pillows inside them. Aren’t they lovely? 🙂

The Sunflower Granny Circle Pillow

I know you are interested in the pattern, so I am going to share it with you. But first things first, I would like to introduce you to my lovely photoassistant of the day 🙂

My Little Photoassistant

Now the pattern: This pattern is going to fit a round pillow of 40 cms in diameter. I used a size 6 (or 4.25 mm) crochet hook, and used up all the sweet little acryl yarns I had in stash already. These are all kind of thin yarns, so I used them doubled up. I also went with as many colours as possible per cushion, but of course the colour choices are completely up to you 🙂 I am using US crochet terms in my description.

The Sunflower Granny Circle Pillow:

  • Start with a magic loop
  • Rnd 1: Chain 1, 7 scs in the ring. (You will get 8 scs this way) Slip stitch into the first chain stitch.
  • Rnd 2: Ch 3, dc in the same st, 2 dcs in each st all around. You will get 16 dcs in total. Sl st in third chain of the beginning.
  • Rnd 3: Ch 1, sc in the same st, 2 scs in each st all around. You will get 32 scs. Sl st into first chain. – Now the core of your sunflower is made.

Rnd 1-3: The Core

  • Rnd 4: Ch 2, dc3tog, ch 4, * dc4tog, ch4* , repeat * * 6 more times. You will end up with 8 petals. Sl st in top of chain. – Now your sunflower is done.

Rnd 4: The Sunflower

  • Rnd 5: Ch 1 and 5 scs in the first 4chain-space. 6 scs in each 4chain-spaces around. You will get 48 scs in total. Sl st into first chain.
  • Rnd 6: Ch 4, * skip st, sc in next st, ch 3*, repeat * * all around. You will get 24 chains of 3 chain spaces. Sl st into beginning.
  • Rnd 7: Ch 1 plus 2sc sin the first 3chain-space. 3scs in each 3chain-space around. You will get 72 scs. Sl st into beginning of round. – Now the lacey part is done.

Rnd 5-7: The Lace

  • Rnd 8: Let’s start the grannies! Ch 3 into the first space in between two scs of the previous row, 1 dc into the same space. *Skip 2 spaces, 2 dcs in the next space*. Repeat * * all around. Sl st into beginning. Here in this row you will have to cheat a little bit, because at the end you will only have to skip 1 space to reach the beginning.

Rnd 8-9: Granny Starts

  • Rnd 9-10: 1 sl st to next st, then sl into space. Ch 3, 2dcs in the same space, 3dcs into next space, all around. Sl st into beginning.

Rnd 10-11

  • Rnd 11-13: 1 sl st to next stitches, then sl into space. Ch 3, 3dcs in the same space, 4dcs into next space, all around. Sl st into beginning.
  • Rnd 14-15:  1 sl st to next stitches, then sl into space. Ch 3, 4dcs in the same space, 5dcs into next space, all around. Sl st into beginning.
  • Rnd 16: 1 sl st to next stitches, then sl into space. Ch 3, 5dcs in the same space, 6dcs into next space, all around. Sl st into beginning.
  • Rnd 17:  1 sl st to next stitches, then sl into space. Ch 3, 2dcs in the same space, 3 dcs into spaces between every 3rd dcs of the previous row, all around. This way you can form cute little hearts 🙂 Sl st into beginning.

Rnd 12-17: Hearts are formed

  • Rnd 18: 1 sl st to next st, then sl into space. Ch 3, 2dcs in the same space, 3dcs into next space, all around. Sl st into beginning.
  • Rnd 19: 1 sl st to next stitches, then sl into space. Ch 3, 3dcs in the same space, 4dcs into next space, all around. Sl st into beginning.
  • Rnd 20: Ch 2 into dc of previous row. ‘ hdc in every dcs, all around. Sl st into beginning. You are done with your mandala:)
  • Fasten off and weave in any loose ends.

The Mandala

Now you can pick some fabric for the back-side, or make another mandala for that purpose and join them together for your pillow cover 🙂

Girls day out at Ikea

Cherry woke up with a little fever today. No kindergarden for her. But she felt quite ok, so I decided to take her to Ikea. The main reason for the trip was to buy some new lamps for the guest room, but of course one cannot just go and buy one thing at Ikea, I am sure you all understand this 🙂 My husband doesn’t 🙂

Cherry and I ended up buying some new plants for the house as well. You have to know something about me: I kill plants… not intentionally, but I do kill them all eventually… It was very hard to accept that no matter how hard I try, how often I water or don’t water them, put them on direct light, semi-light, darkness, one by one they fade away 😦 Finally I had to realise, real plants in pots are not for me. So the plants we bought today are all artificial. Fake. Plastic. But actually very good quality, and you can hardly see they are not real.

plants in row

Cherry also picked some plastic flowers of different colours that we put in a vase and then in her room. She is very happy about them 🙂

roses

We also bought some cookie cutters, cute animal figures, and tried them right away when we came home. I made some linzer dough, and Cherry helped me cutting the cookies. We got lots of squirrels, hedgehogs, foxes, snails, and also some cars, trains, planes, ships and what not. While we were working hard, Cherry ran upstairs a few times, went into her room, and smelled her fake flowers 🙂 We also had a nice conversation like this: “Sweetie, don’t eat the raw dough, you’re gonna get sick!” – “But I am already sick!” You cannot beat children logic 🙂

When the cookies were done, they got some chocolate icing, and decoration.

cookies

I’ve Got Paint And I’m Not Afraid To Use It!

Suddenly it is such a beautiful spring weather here, sunshine, flowers, kids playing in the garden without their hats on, windows left open, clothes hung out to dry…

Suddenly I feel the inspiration and the need to create… to do something around the house, to clean up very nice, to dress up the rooms… It has been a long winter, and I have realised, that my craftiness was limited to sewing warm clothes and crocheting heavy blankets during these months. Now it is time to return to home decorating.

I have a lot of thing up my sleeves these days, but today I managed to take some time to spraypaint and paint a few things that have been waiting for a redo since last summer… shame on me 🙂

First of all I took some of the mason jars I am using to keep different things in them around the house.

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Then I took the cute little shelf I found last August in a local charity shop and bought it literally for a few pennies. Poor thing was a little dusty, shabby and miscoloured. All it needed was some dusting, cleaning, sandpapering, a few layers of painting and some love 🙂

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So I took my tools, and went into war.

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I gave the jars a few layer of spraypaint and they got a lovely metallic silver colour. They look very cool on my kitchen counter, holding some pencils and straws.

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Or in my office, trying to organise my crochet hook among others…

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And here is a reborn shelf, in the colour of turquoise, enjoying a sunbath, drying.

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It is going to bring a nice pop of colour to my office, which is due to a major redo very soon!

 

Cherry’s Rainbow Retro Circle Blanket

Ta-daaam! It is done 🙂

the blankie

Isn’t it wonderful? It took longer time for me to join the squares than expected, and there is one very simple reason for it: My book arrived by post last week. And even tough I promised myself that I won’t open it until I’m done with the blanket, because I knew I am not going to able to put it down again once I start it, I couldn’t help it, and gave it a sneek peek… I basically closed the book again 800 pages later… damn, I am weak 🙂 Or is it just an excellent book? 🙂 Anyway, it is a shame you cannot read while you are crocheting, so my finishing of the blanket slowed down a bit.

book

 

But now I am finished with the book, and finished with the blanket 🙂

rolled up

Cherry was very happy to see that her blanket was finally done, she has been waiting for it so patiently. Also, I say it was a very good timing, because the blanket was done yesterday, the very same day when the first dots of the chicken pox appeared on Cherry’s little body… A little bit of consolation for her missing out the mascarade in the kindergarden today…

rocking chair

I showed off the blankie to my Mum via Skype, and she said it is beautiful, and she ordered a throw for their double bed right away 🙂 Well, first I would like to make a similar blanket for Paddington’s room, but after that I’m gonna start my parents’. I think it’s gonna be a nice Christmas present 😀

close up

New Year, New Plans, and the secret of the Origami Cranes

Life is back to normal. We returned to Denmark, holidays are over, kids are in care again, husband left to Copenhagen for 3 days, snow is falling.

I realised that I haven’t even said hello to 2013 in a proper way, so here it is: Well, hello 2013! I have a lot of plans for this year. I don’t call them resolutions, because they don’t really call for any radical changes to my current lifestyle, but plans, because they need to be done.

First of all, I would like to apply for Danish citizenship, and I plan to get it as well 🙂 That means an exam, how exciting!

Second of all, This year, and hopefully soon, I will open my own Etsy shop! Yay, hope you guys are excited about it too 🙂

There are some DIY projects I would like to accomplish this year, like finishing Cherry’s retro circle blanket (almost done, by the way!), and make another blanket for Paddington, plus a huge, XXL size crocheted blanket for our big bed too. Lot of crocheting for this year 🙂

Furthermore, I am certain that I am going to keep up a (relatively) healthy lifestyle, with good food, a lot of motion, gonna keep a better order at home, and train the dog, you know, the usual stuff 🙂

 

Now, I also realised that I haven’t posted anything creative lately, well it is not easy while being on a visit and limited computer time, so to fill this gap, I am going to share with you the secret of the origami cranes, whether you’re interested or not 🙂

 

the origami crane

 

  • Start with a square sheet of paper

 

steps 1 and 2

 

  • Step 1: Fold it diagonally with the blank side out, bring a corner to its opposite corner. Open up. Repeat it in the other direction. Open up again. Turn it.
  • Step 2: Fold your paper in half, this time the coloured side out, open up and repeat to the other direction. Open up. Now you have a sheet of paper with 4 folding lines in it.

step 3

 

  • Step 3: Using the creases you made, pick up the sheet by holding it by its middle, and bring the two and two of its corners to meet each other. Flatten in out.

step 4 and 5

 

  • Step 4: With the open side pointing downwards, take one of the side corners, and fold the upper triangular flap into the center and unfold. Now do the same to the other side.
  • Step 5: Turn it around, and repeat Step 4 to this side too.

step 6 and 7

 

  • Step 6: Now take the uppermost corner, and fold down a little triangle to one side to create a crease, unfold it, turn it around and repeat to the other side as well.
  • Step 7: Unfold the flaps you created in steps 4 and 5. Lift the upper flap and carefully open your model up while pressing the sides inwards at the same time. Flat it out along the creases.

step 8

 

  • Step 8: Turn it around and repeat step 7 to the other side.

step 9 and 10

  • Step 9: Fold top flats into the center, both left and right side.
  • Step 10: Turn it around and repeat step 9.

step 11 and 12

 

  • Step 11: Take of leg of the model, open its upper flap up, then reverse fold the leg upwards. 
  • Step 12: Repeat step 11 to the other leg.

step 13 and 14

 

  • Step 13: Take the wings, and fold them downwards, making a crease.
  • Step 14: It is time to decide, which “leg” is going to be the crane’s head, and which one is going to be its tail. Hold the top of the head, and invert fold a part of it downwards. Now gently pull the crane sidewards by holding its wings, to flatten its back a little bit. And ta-daaam, we’re done 🙂

 

The most wonderful month of the year

December, that is. When all the magic is created in anticipation of the peek of the year, Christmas, that leads to boredom, emptiness and apathy in the months of January and February…

But lets not run ahead. December is here and we rejoice 🙂

The weather, here in Denmark, decided to make this December even more magical, and the snow arrived precisely on the 1st of the month. Also, the Christmas celebration has officially started all over the country last Friday, when Santa visited all the towns, and lit the holiday lights on the walking streets and on the huge Christmas trees towns have erected. He must have been very busy last Friday 😉 He arrived to Hammel, to “our big city” of few thousands people, only a few kilometers away from our tiny village, at 5 o’clock in the afternoon, in total darkness, and in a fire engine. He was raised high up, so everyone could see him, then turned on the lights of the 15-meters-high Christmas tree. After that a little procession started on the walking street, following a band, dressed up as elves (nisse in Danish), playing Christmas songs. My kids were flabbergasted by the events 🙂

jul i hammel

Naturally we also made our little preparations for advent. Saturday evening we all sat around our kitchen table full of all the supplies we could possibly need:

raw materials

With the help (or in spite of the help 🙂 ) of a 3 and a half-year old, and a 20-month-old, we created our advent wreath, some other christmasy decorations…

advent plates

and some wreaths to hang on the front door and on the staircase:

wreaths

And don’t forget the scented candles and Christmas lights, to complete the atmosphere.

So came the morning of the first Sunday of the Advent. My husband went out to shovel some snow, while I was making our usual Sunday-morning treat, heart shaped waffles, this time with a dash of cinnamon in the dough.

advent morning

This Sunday was not only special because of the advent, it was also special, because we went out to chop our Christmas tree! Yes, that is the Danish country-side way 🙂 Growing up in Budapest, the capital of Hungary, for me picking up the Christmas tree actually meant picking it up with my parents at the market place, trying to pick the most symmetric one (or the least crocked one) from the selection. For my husband, who grew up on a farm, in the middle of a forest, picking up the Christmas tree meant that my father-in-law took him and his sister by the hand, walked into their forest, chose a pine tree, chopped it, and dragged it home. I think we can all feel the difference in the degree of romance and magic of these two kind of traditions 🙂 We would like to give our kids the most magic possible this time of the year, so, just like last year, we decided to chop our own tree. Obviously, since we don’t own a forest, we cannot just walk in one of them and chop someone else’s tree. But luckily there are many pine tree plantations around, where you can just walk in, they provide you with a saw, show you which trees you can choose from, you pick your own, chop it, pay for it (some ridiculously cheap price) and leave.

So we found one of these plantations nearby, and drove in. The owner was not at home when we arrived, but there was a note on the door, and we followed its instructions, grabbed the saw, walked up to the plantation, found the area where you can pick your own tree, and walked around for long minutes in the freezing cold, because Cherry was not very satisfied with the trees. She kept saying that we need to find a girl tree to chop, we cannot choose a boy tree… Anyway, we managed to convince her that we have just found a looot of girl trees, aren’t they beautiful (and they were, haven’t seen so many beautiful, dense, symmetric trees in my life), then we picked one we thought we can fit in the car and our living room, then my husband chopped it and dragged it back to the car. We measured the tree ourselves, left the appropriate amount of money in the postbox, and proudly drove home with our prey 🙂

chopping the tree

There are a lot of differences between the Danish and Hungarian Christmas traditions. I might write about them later, but one of them is the time of setting up and decorating the Christmas trees. In Hungary we leave it to the very last moment, it is usually decorated on the 24th, some families, like mine, do it together for the fun, in other families the parents decorate it secretly, while the kids are asleep, saying that the tree itself is a magical gift.

In Denmark Christmas trees are usually set up somewhat earlier. And since we are not going to spend Christmas itself in our own home, we are going to visit both grandparents, we decided to put it up on the first Sunday of the Advent, so we can enjoy the sight of it long enough.

So we rearranged the furniture a little bit in our sitting room, put the tree in the corner, I brought out the decorations, and we all took part in the process. For me a real Christmas tree is  completely eclectic, it doesn’t follow any trends or colour schemes, my ideal Christmas tree has all kinds of colours and all kinds of textures on it. You can find crystal or golden designer pieces on it (usually hanging somewhere near to the top, far away from the reach of curious dog noses and sticky baby fingers), but also creasy, messy paper  decorations, made by our children. And everything in between 🙂 My husband’s ideal Christmas tree is just like the one Mickey Mouse has in a Disney movie 🙂 So we have about the same concept of it, luckily 🙂 And the kids are just amazed by it, no matter what 🙂 They were also a big help in decorating. Cherry mainly concentrated on the horse shaped decorations, and she made sure they all hang close to each other, since they are close family. Originally she wanted to hang them all on the very same branch, but the poor branch started to fold downwards, and I managed to persuade her to distribute the horses on different branches. However, two of them had to stay together, because they were mum and baby, apparently… 🙂 Paddington instantly found all the car and train shaped decorations, and was happy for the rest of the day, pushing them around the couch, the carpet, and the tree, enthusiastically wrumm-wrumming, while doing so.

decorating

So, here it is, our corner before and after the tree:

corner before and after

The tree is standing and is beautiful, we showed it off to all the grandparents (thanks to Skype), and our biggest challenge is to prevent the kids from hurting it or hurting themselves with it. Also, the first dog vs. tree meeting was very exciting too… let me just say this: No-one under the height of 1 meter is allowed to be in the same room as the tree, without adult supervision 🙂

There is nothing left for this post than to welcome you all to our advent, and wish you a very nice, stress-free preparation  for Christmas! ‘Cause remember: it is all about coziness now!

welcome to our advent

 

 

 

 

I heart the heart garland

Since we only moved in to our house, well, let’s see… 4 month ago, there are still many things that are under progress. I am not talking about my family’s ability of making a terrible, stinky mess all over the place in less than four seconds, that part is totally working… Right now I mean that the whole concept of decorating is still evolving, mainly in my head 🙂 But slowly-slowly, the small ideas are taking physical shape.

Like this easy little heart garland I wanted to make for so long for a door, that is standing in between our living room and the dining room. Watch out, a new tutorial-like post is coming up 🙂

 

This afternoon I got a very long break from being a Mum, Paddington decided to sleep for almost 4 hours (whooa!), and Cherry was having a little rest, sitting with her Dad in the living room, watching (surprise) My Little Ponies. So after finishing some chores, and before starting to prepare dinner, I decided to make the heart garland at last.

I took out some origami paper, and ended up with  7 pieces of 7 different colours. I mainly went with the blueish-greenish colours, but for a pop I decided to include one piece of dark red paper, as a statement 🙂 Then I folded very simple hearts of them, here is how I did:

(I would like to apologise for the poor quality of the photos – I guess you all know, that good photos require a lot of natural lights, but unfortunately we have just entered this few months of the year, when natural light is going to be a very rare guest in the Scandinavian countries)

The Origami Hearts:

Step 1: Fold your paper of choice in half twice, to make creases along the diagonals, then fold back

 

Step 2: First fold the upper corner to meet the center. Then fold the bottom corner to meet the top.

 

Step 3: Fold both sides into the middle, to meet the center line (Hey, it almost looks like a heart already 🙂 )

 

Step 4: Turn your heart around, then fold in the little corners on the sides and on the top.

Step 5: Turn back around and you will find love 🙂 See? I told you it was going to be easy 🙂

Now I had a bunch of pretty paper hearts in front of me, it was time to make a garland out of them

The Garland:

I placed the hearts next to my sewing machine (well,you don’t really need a sewing machine, you can sew them together with hand) in the order I wanted them to hang, from top to bottom. You might have realised, that this kind of heart is tricky, because it opens up easily in the middle. So instead of just sewing them with simple stitches, I decided to zigzag them along the openings, to make them a little bit more, well, stable. As you can see, the little hearts turned out to be a little bit Frankensteinish this way 🙂 Or, as if they had been broken, then mended, bless them 🙂

So starting with the uppermost heart, I zigzagged along it, then pulled the thread still connected to its bottom for about 10 cms before I started to sew on the next heart. I tried to keep an approximately even distance in between the hearts.

Voila, about 15 minutes after I started to fold the first heart, I had a garland in my hands 🙂 I just needed to hang it on the door, and secure it with some tape.

Cherry said: “Look, mummy! Ohhh, how pretty…” 🙂 She is my best critic 🙂

 

 

The Paper Crane Mobiles

I have an addiction. I fold origami cranes…

 

Actually, now, that I am a mother of two, being responsible for a whole household (can you imagine?), not having much time to just sit around, doing nothing, this addiction has faded a little. But years ago, especially when I studied at different business schools, it was at its peak.

Generally I am not very good at origami. I can fold the simple things, boats, hearts, birds etc easily, but don’t expect me to present you with the paper edition of Neuschwanstein Castle, for instance. It will never happen.

However, I learned how to fold the cranes at 6th grade, from one of my dearest teachers (who happened to be a very good friend of my Mum -who, by the way was, and still is, also a teacher at the very same school). I was fascinated by the fact, that I created something nice with my own hands, and this fascination hasn’t disappeared during the years, I still get genuinely shocked and amazed if I make something that looks good.

Years has passed, and the origami cranes kind of became my “trade mark”. I folded them when I got bored and could get a hold on a piece of paper, I gave them as presents to my friends, left them behind at random places, hoping to bring a little happiness to those, who stumble upon them. I will never forget the 4 years of my bachelor, when sitting at painful, never-ending, boring exciting seminars and lectures, folding cranes to make time go by a little faster, and then giving them to my best friend, who was drawing hedgehogs, snails and sheep in my notebook at the same time as an exchange 🙂 Ah, those were the times… (she now works at a ministry, I really hope she is not drawing hedgehogs, snails and sheep publicly anymore…)

So when the time came to make a mobile for my kids, the choice of origami cranes was almost obvious. I didn’t really have a plan for the mobiles, to begin with. I just collected a lot of sheets of papers in my liking, made birds out of them, and let the whole thing evolve by itself. I choose pink-green-yellow dominated papers for my daughter, and blue-red-brown-grey for my son. Folding all these birds took some time, I was mainly working in the evenings, once the children were sleeping, and we were watching movies with my husband.

All these years of folding paper birds, this was the first time that I happened to work with real origami paper. You see, I was a little bit skeptical, I mean paper is just paper, and even though they look nice, why does origami paper cost so much more than any other paper? Well I realised it very soon: origami paper is just fantastic, it almost folds automatically, all the edges just fall into their places without effort, it is amazing!

Anyway, a few months, two times 45 pieces of origami cranes, about 180 pieces of pearls and pom-poms and a few meters of thread later, I came up with these:

For Cherry’s room:

 

For Paddington’s room:

After I was done with these two, my life (and mainly my evenings) suddenly seemed shallow and empty, so I quickly put together another very small crane bunting as well, just to hang it up randomly in the playing/reading corner.

 

Now, I shared my greatest weakness with you. What is yours?