A face lift

This is a story about me performing a plastic surgery.

The subject to the surgery is Paddington’s favourite plushy, tigerkitty, as he calls it, not being able to entirely decide whether he loves it as a tiger, or as a cat. It goes mainly by the name “little kitty”, and he has been to many wild places in his lifetime: baby beds, lunch boxes, under the beds, buried in a pile of Lego, on a train ride to Hungary and back, sandy beaches, museums, butterfly houses, restaurants, and most recently: inside the mouth of a labrador… One hell of an adventorous life this tigerkitty lives, and all this, especially the latest adventure with our dog, resulted in changes in his appearance…

Paddington and tigerkitty

Poor little thing, lost his nose and one eye… Paddington took it very brave, he came to me with the chewed tigerkitty, and pointed out the problem quite calmly: “Doggy ate kitty”…

Tigerkitty after the dog attack

Well, what should a mum do, knowing the important role of tigerkitty in our everyday life: I went and bought some eye-buttons (you know that black knob things), but first of all, I put poor little fellow in the washing machine, since a little wellness trip to a labrador’s mouth leaves you with a very distinctive smell you might wanna get rid of.

Then I replaced the cheerful pink plastic nose with some embroidered pink nose, and tried to fit the new eye carefully in the eyesocket… I sometimes get completely buffed over how serious tasks I have to perform as a mum – so much responsibility! Well, I have to say the new eye is slightly bigger than the old one. For a moment I contemplated taking out the old eye and replace that one too with a bigger one, so they can be symmetrical, but then I decided not to make poor tigerkitty suffer any more than necessary.

And here is the new tigerkitty. He might not be the same as before, but I hope he can live a full life after the operation. What do you think?

Tigerkitty after the surgery

Crafting versus working

So far January has not been about crafting at all. As I entered worklife a few weeks ago (finally), and getting more and more important and serious tasks, my time is limited, and my priorities shifted. Ok, not shifted, let us just say shuffled. I am still trying hard to find a balance between all the things that are important to me, and so far the first two weeks of this year has been dedicated to my family, my work, and my volunteer work. Actually I am very proud of myself that I still found the time to go for my runs, twice per a week.

To give you an idea of the very exciting and eventful and therefore quite busy start of the year at the company I work at, here is a little picture of my little creative corner at home:

Pc vs sewing machine

Yes, my work computer moved in for the afternoons and evenings, pushing my sewing machine gently and discretely back at the wall… Poor thing is just standing there, waiting patiently.

I also find the the quotation below very appropriate at the moment:

work life

But don’t you worry, the situation is not that serious, actually I kind of find the new challanges at my work refreshening and exciting. And I also know that they are seasonal, and will pass.

In the meantime I dedicated 3-4 days to Paddington alone. He fell victim of the nasty stomach virus circulating in their daycare. Don’t worry, I will spare you the details πŸ™‚ But it also meant, that the very first winter day of the season found me and the kids at home (I let Cherry stay at home too for a day). We haven’t got much of a winter so far, it has just been a very long autumn really, with temperature above freezing point and boring rain. But the first snow (and winter cold) came on Monday, so we spent some very happy time in the garden with the children and the absolutely bewildered dog.

snowy

 

I also realised at this point that Paddington doesn’t really have a warm winter hat anymore, as he grew so much since last winter. So I took some leftover jersey fabric, the pattern of the elephant hat, and followed my own tutorial (because I can πŸ™‚ ) to make him two new hats. And that was about all the creative activity I did so far this year πŸ™‚

I was somewhat worried that he was not going to like them, because recently he excercises all the willpower of his almost 3-years-old little self, and refuses to wear clothes I am picking for him, and constantly taking his socks and hats off. But surprisingly, he really loved the hats, probably because he witnessed me making them, and he took the striped one, and didn’t even want to take it off inside the house. He just stood in fron of the mirror, petting his little head under the hat, repeating: “my pretty hat, my pretty head”. It is nice to have a boy with some healthy self-confidence πŸ™‚ I also have to mention, that he is equally generous complementing others than himself too, the other day when I was dressed up smart for work, he looked at me and said: “pretty Mummy”. Awww πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚

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

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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚ 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!Β 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:Β 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:Β Β 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:Β 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:Β Β 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 πŸ™‚ Sl st into beginning.

Rnd 12-17: Hearts are formed

  • Rnd 18:Β 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:Β 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 doneΒ 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 πŸ™‚

Little Girl’s Tee Dress

I am on a serious stash busting mission recently. Yes, I guess I have a problem – when I see some cute fabric, especially when it’s designed for kids, and even especially when they are on sale, I just cannot help it, I have to buy a meter or two of them… Probably you know the feeling πŸ™‚ Anyway, this habit of mine actually leads to a storing problem of the above mentioned cute fabrics. So I decided that this summer I am not going to buy new clothes for my kids (or for myself), I am going to make them. Because I can πŸ˜‰

Tee Dress

So I decided to make a small, girly version of the summer dress I made for myself, and asked Cherry to choose a fabric from my stash. She picked a lovely, summery fabric with funny peacocks on it. After picking the fabric, she pointed out, that one of her little horse toys is very sad, because he doesn’t have his own blanket, and is freezing, poor thing. So after I am done with her dress, will I make a blankie for the horsie of the same fabric please? Well, of course I made one. I don’t want to be blamed if the horse catches a cold, or something πŸ™‚

SAMSUNG CSC

 

Making the dress again was super easy and super fast. I just picked a shirt that fits Cherry perfectly, folded in half and placed it on a piece of pattern paper. I draw along the edges, and prolonged the pattern at the bottom to the desired lenght, so instead of a shirt, it becomes a dress.

SAMSUNG CSC

Once the pattern was done, I took the fabric, and folded it into 4, with the wrong side out. I placed the pattern alongside the fold, and cut it. This way I got two pieces of dress-like fabrics, that I just had to sew together along the shoulders and sides.

SAMSUNG CSC

After that i adjusted the lenght of the dress and cut a little bit more of the neckline in the front, zigzagged all over, and sew a hem on them. And done πŸ™‚

SAMSUNG CSC

 

Told you. Easy πŸ™‚ Now we just have to wait for the nice summer weather to return, so Cherry can wear it.

 

Summer dress

Oh, hello! How have you been? Haven’t seen each other for a while, eh? For about a month…

I haven’t been lazy, though… I have done a lot of things, I just haven’t found the opportunity to write about them. Well, probably I could have if i really wanted to, but I guess I was suffering from some kind of writers’ block. Anyhow, I am back, rejoice πŸ™‚

This is going to be a relatively short post, since I have the board of the School’s Support Association coming for a meeting in the evening to discuss a lot of important things, and I still have to make the house look presentable, and bake something for them.

But let me tell you about my new favourite dress! Originally I am not a very big fan of dresses, somehow the shop bought dresses simply don’t seem to fit me properly, they all hang on me in a weird, uncomfortable way. Even the jersey ones. At places they are far too tight, at other points they are just too loose. But now I decided to end this, and make my own summer dress!Β 

I found this very nice tutorial of a Tee dress from ICandy, and I followed her steps. It was so easy, I cannot even tell you! I might make a few more of the same dress, in different colours, probably also different lenghts…

I just took my favourite T-shirt, drew a pattern around it, extended it to a comfortable dress lenght, grabbed a piece of summery-flowery knit fabric, and tadaaa!

Dress Collage

Please excuse my shiny, white legs, even though summer and sunshine is coming, I can reassure you, my tan will not get any better than this, sorry πŸ™‚

I simply love this dress! I have been wearing it day and night (not literally, of course), it is simply perfect for everything! For example a lovely stroll around in Grenaa, when we visited my husband’s parents, for my mother-in-law’s birthday last Saturday.

SAMSUNG CSC

The Local Flea Market

Yesterday was a big day in our little village of 300 inhabitants: The yearly flea market was held in the premises of the school.

Let me tell you a little bit about this school. There are two types of schools in Denmark, state-schools and private-schools. For a lot of years state-schools dominated, but at some point some cut-backs were necessary in the budget, and numerous state-schools were closed, mostly in small villages, like ours. So the state-school that operated here was shut down about 10 years ago, and you can guess the effect it had on the village: Families with small children moved away to be closer to the school, no new families moved in, the population started to grow old and rare. So, like in many other places, a foundation was set up to start a new, private school in the old building, 3 years ago. Our school has a young inspector (who happens to be our next-door neighbour), many dedicated teachers, classes from 0 to 9, maximum 17 students per class, a sports hall, a playground, and it puts a big emphasis on creativity, music, and motion. With the reopening of the school life, new, young families, children returned to the village. The school is about 200 metres from our doorsteps, and was a very highly weighted factor when we were contemplating buying the house. It is in our, and everyone’s interest, that the school is running nicely. But of course, being a private school, it doesn’t get financial help from the state. It is dependent on the foundation and all the help of the parents: donations, weekends spent by parents working on the playground, or cleaning the school.

The flea market is organised by the school’s support association, and parents do all the work on it. We don’t belong to this group of parents yet, as our children are too young for school, but in a few years we are going to be one of them, so we decided to help out with the market. We donated a few things we don’t need anymore (unused, outgrown toys, clothes, etc.), my husband helped unloading all the trailers that kept coming with all the stuff for 3 days, and I helped organising, pricing and selling them. It was great fun, a good way to meet new people, and had a good meaning to it: every penny earned by the flea market goes to the school. Last year they raised a huge amount of money, and I don’t have this year’s figures yet, but I think it was very successfull again.

flea market

Also, I am a sucker for flea markets. I love to go and look and find hidden treasures, plus save some money. Being part of the “crew” meant that we could all take a good look at the selection in forhand, choose our favourite items, and put them aside for ourselves.

Let me introduce you to my new baby: A beautiful, perfectly working Columbine II sewing machine πŸ™‚

columbine

She was a very hard choice, because she had to fight for me with an older Singer and a Husqvarna model, but she won, and came home with me after I paid some ridiculous amount for it.

My other favourite find is this charming, old breadcutter, as you can see it on the logo, the manufacturer is an official supplier of the Danish Royal Court. My breadcutter could be exactly the same as the Queen’s πŸ™‚ Anyway, I am not sure I’m going to use it for cutting bread or just for keeping my cooking books on it…

raadvad

Shop Opening

The time has come, my darlings, I have opened my shop πŸ™‚

I have been working on my Etsy account very diligently, and after listing my first 11 items, I am now officially open, hurray πŸ™‚ Let’s all prop some virtual champagne for the occasion, shall we?

Right now I only have children pants for sale, but I will keep you updated about everything new, wether you are interested or not πŸ˜›

I am very excited, a little bit proud and a tiny bit scared at the same time, and I am very-very curious if anyone ever going to buy anything from me… ha, that’s the spirit πŸ™‚

But anyway, if you have kids, grandchildren, if your best friend has kids, grandchildren, or if you are just interested in my new little shop, check it out!