Thursday, December 31, 2009

Twenty-Ten.

Happy New Year!

I know I haven't been the most reliable of bloggers during the second part of 2009, so thanks to all of you who still come by and check on me. I'll try to be better in 2010 (don't we all?). On the other hand - less blogging usually means I have more "real" work to do (which after all pays the bills) and I'm grateful for that, too.
2009 was - in all - a good year, I think. It was pretty hard until summer and became a little easier with each passing month (well - December is always stressful, but in a good way).
I'm grateful for my family, my husband, new clients (hooray!) and especially for my friends. I actually made quite a few new ones this year, which I hope will stay with me for a long time. And I'm grateful for friends who have been and still are a part of my life for so many years now. A special "thank you" goes out to my darling Tatiana. We have grown together a lot during this past year and she is absolutely one of the sweestest, most caring people I have ever met. (Psst...her shop in Berlin is almost open for business - if you are ever in the area, you have to visit her!)
Last but not least I'm grateful for and to you, for your comments which in themselves are always a huge encouragement and make the world feel less big, strange and scary.

I wish you and your families a happy, wonderful, healthy, colourful, amazing, exiting and overall sensational new year 2010.
See you soon!

Monday, December 14, 2009

waste not...

Today, I saved my favourite scented candle.

IMG_3471

A couple of weeks ago I splurged on a L'Occitane Cinnamon/Orange candle. The scent is devine but I was a little bummed when the candle burned out but almost half of the wax was still left! This probably happens because the container is too wide for the wick. Anyway. I removed the remaining wax from the container, broke it in little pieces and removed the old wick. I melted the wax in an old clean tin, removed a wick from a new tea candle (it was exactly the right length), placed it in the middle of my L'Occitane container and then pourred the molten wax back in. Tadaaah! Looks like new.
Sometimes it's the small crafts (if you can call it that) that are the most rewarding.

Friday, December 11, 2009

it's beginning to look a lot like christmas.

Christmas and christmas decor especially is always a big deal for me. If it was up to me, I would start decorating in early October. However, I try to wait until the first Sunday of Advent - and then the fun begins.
I like to make at least one new ornament every year (it is usually more...) and as a little present to you, I added the links to the tutorials for the things I made this year.

deer head
The deer head - I used black and white wrapping paper to match our interior so this fellow might stick around a little longer than just until the end of the holidays. You can find the tutorial here (I enlarged mine by 141%).

advent calendar
I made 24 drawstring bags in different sizes and steciled on the numbers. Boy, I almost cried when I was finally done! My husband gets to open the odd numbered ones, the even numbers are mine. Hurray!

Liberty fabric balls/baubles
These were supposed to hang on our non existent christmas tree and I will add loops to them at some point. I used Liberty fabric scraps (you can never have too much Liberty fabric around the house!) which worked perfectly because it's so thin. Make your own - here is how it is done.

Fröbel star
I made the Fröbel star last christmas and bought the little snowman last year around the same time in Copenhagen (oh, Copenhagen, how I love you).

crocheted chrismas bauble
The star anise scents the room a little without being too overpowering. I have to admit I hate the artificially scented cheap christmas potpourris they use in shops around the holidays. Somehow they make my throat itch and I usually flee when it gets too much. I have no tutorial on offer for the crocheted bauble, but you basically crochet around a small styrofoam ball and in about 10 minutes you are done.

spice rack
This is our spice rack (Can you spot me? I'm actually in this picture...tiny, tiny...). I attached baubles to all kinds of things and in uncommon places (like the rod of our shower curtain) all around the house so you can have a merry little christmas...everywhere.

Well, this is it. I hope you are enjoying the holiday season just as much as I do!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Labour of love.

My mother mother had an...well...impotant birthday a little over a week ago, so this year a special gift was called for...something lasting....something handmade.
I opted for a pattern by the French company Phildar after seeing a finished example on flickr. They have a huge range of contemporary crochet and knitting patterns (you can also order the supplies needed from their online shop, very convenient).

scarf for my mum

This thing is so hard to photograph! What I like most about the design is the fringe...look closely and you might spot pompoms, tassles, braids, knots and beads.

scarf for my mum

In all, it took about 2 1/2 months (on and off) to finish. A huge project for me, but I enjoyed making it... I'm usually a hit-and-run crafter and get easily bored when things take too long. If you are looking for a long-time project to crochet beside a friendly crackling fire, the "Keffieh" just might be for you.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

matryoshka mania.

To be honest - I was a little fed up with matryoshkas for a while. They kept popping up in every shop, on every tshirt... Now christmas is almost upon us and I realized I do like those little Russian nesting dolls after all...as holiday decoration...they have a special cozy charm...I don't like every matryoschka though...only the very special ones.

I came across the fabulous M-CUPS™ a while ago and instantly wanted them very badly.
eastgbsertgbretgbr

edrgsertger
(pictures: worldwidefred.com)
Measuring cups and decoration all in one...genius. The cute café and shop in my neighbourhood Misses&Marbles ordered them for me (well, they ordered a couple more so you can have one, too) with what seems like the speed of light. The shop, the sweet owner and their scrumptious cakes are well worth a visit, so be sure to stop by when you are in Berlin.

Another matyroshka-favourite of mine is the blackboard nesting doll from Muji:
Bild1
(picture: muji.com)


Last but not least - these minimalist beauties from Handle&Spout. Beautiful.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

the gift making machine

Hi there,
I know it's been a while, but i was really, really busy with my "real" job and didn't get any crafting done...well until recently. My best friend just had her second child and i'm going to be the godmother - need i say more? What better opportunity to whip out my supplies...

Since the mom is very very fond of white-on-red ploka dots and mushrooms, I made this my theme...and here is what I came up with:

baby blanket for my godson...
I bought the reversable eco-fabric (which is super, super soft) a while back on the Dutch fabric market and made it into a blanket. I should have ironed it before I took the picture, but I was afraid the light would be gone by then...

rattle and pacifier chain
The big thing on the left is a rattle, the other a pacifier chain (which has a little bell in the mushroom's head).

Coming up next week is my mum's birthday and what I made for her was my other big project during the last couple of weeks...stay tuned (if you like).

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Sock Lion

Sorry, no - I didn't fall off the face of the earth, I'm just so busy with nonblog-related things.

I also got a special request for a sock lion...my first one...it was a lot of fun! I especially enjoyed crocheting the mane...a lot of tiny curls.

sock lion

sock lion

I hope you are all well. XO

Monday, June 08, 2009

The most adorable thing I've seen in a long time...

bathtime_18

bathtime_20
(Teeth taking a bath! All: My Milk Toof by Inhae)

Have your ever wondered where your milk teeth disappeared to after the tooth fairy took them? Well, so did artist Inhae and created a whole photostory blog in honor of these little teeth. My Milk Toof is so incredibly sweet, you might develop cavities in your molars.

*Link is fixed.* :)

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Liberty Mania continues...

front

insides

sides


By now it shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone that I love Liberty fabric...(I'm still working on my Liberty fabric hexagon cushion cover btw.) I don't know how I missed the Nike WMNS Dunk - Liberty Fabric Pack sneakers! I'm not a fan of high tops or blue shoe laces, but I love the concept. It's almost like a patchwork quilt for your feet.
Wouldn't it be fantastic if you could design you own sneakers using your favourite Liberty fabrics? Ahhh, one can dream.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Lolly's Laundry

Sorry...I've been mia so long I couldn't believe it myself. Spring is here in full force now and I'm craving new clothes. I went on a shopping spree last week and bought precisely...nothing. There was nothing remotely interesting or worth splurging on.
But online I found yet another cute Danish clothing brand...behold...Lolly's Laundry:

lolly1

lolly2

lolly3

8124b
(all: lolly's laundry)

Yes, I think I'd much rather do Lolly's Laundry than my own... Have you found any must-have spring items yet?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Freakishly busy.

3339007728_687a293438_o
(photo: tactodivino)

Sometimes there is only little to do, sometimes I don't really know where to start... These days it's actually the later. I'm very grateful for every job that comes my way, so I'm not complaining. When I'm not working, I get extremely nervous and start to doubt the meaning of my existence...sad, really. And with my husband out of town for a couple of weeks, I'm happy to have something to keep me busy so I won't miss him as much (we are usually joined at the hip).

I wanted to share this photo by tactodivino with you - isn't it beautiful? I don't know what materials she used for the necklace, it looks like string wrapped around...something. Felt?

So you see - there is always enough time for some eye candy.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Studio Violet Sale!

poster
(photo: studio violet)

One of my favourite blogs/shops/sources of inspiration Studio Violet (a colaboration of Camilla Engman and Elisabeth Dunker) is having a one week sale, starting today. Head on over, before everything is gone! Can't wait for their spring collection.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

tulips

tulips

I'm pretty busy today...a lot of writing and translating is waiting for me. This is what I'm looking at (when I manage to lift my eyes from the keyboard). Have a wonderful Tuesday.

Monday, March 16, 2009

pillow talk...

Liberty pillow...
(front)

Liberty pillow...
(...back...or the other way around...)

...sorry, couldn't resist the pun. I finished making my Liberty fabric pillow and for once everything worked out as planned. Even putting in the zipper didn't take more than one try. It's plump and cuddly. And since March is Mending Month at Craft Magazine - I did my bit and recycled/upcycled two old flat down pillow inserts and made them into a single new fluffy one. Somehow that makes me enjoy this little pillow even more.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Adding modern flair to your room - on a limited budget.

We’re all trying to pinch pennies these days, and this causing some people to think about scaling back efforts to modernize their décor - which is understandable given that a lot of designer modern furniture pieces can be quite expensive. The good news is there are ways to create a contemporary theme without having to spend much, so let's take a look at a couple of ways how you can redesign on a budget.
A great way to spruce up your décor is to invest in a designer piece you really love. One striking item can upgrade a whole room. A friend told me about his new designer espresso machine yesterday, saying: "It really makes an impact - the whole kitchen looks like new...like a make-over by just changing one little thing!" ...it also makes great coffee.

Fatboy-Marimekko-Unikko-Cobalt-Beanbag~img~FTB~FTB1018_l
The Fatboy Marimekko Unikko Cobalt Beanbag would definitely make a statement in a modern interior. It features Marimekkos bold classic floral patterning (one of my favourites), is comfy and even has an easy-to-clean nylon exterior. It's also extremly versatile... At 70” x 55” it is large and stable enough to act as a cost-effective alternative to a chair or couch. You can even use it as a makeshift bed!

DwellStudio-Chocolate-Dots-Boudoir-Pillow~img~DWL~DWL1039_l

(photos: allmodern.com)

Pillows are an inexpensive and effective way to change or complement the look of a room. You can play with moods and even change your pillow covers according to the season. While there are plenty of options out there, I like the Chocolate Dots Pillow by Dwell Studio for its playful appearance and its complimentary color patterning...it also reminds me of milk and cookies, which is always a good thing. (It would be cute in a contemporary nursery, too.)

Other inexpensive ways to spruce up your room include candle holders, wall art and vases. Remember - sometimes the smallest accessories can go a long way in changing the theme of a room. And they can easily be changed if you grow tired of a particular look.

More Liberty love.

bobbypinsliberty

I'm seriously becoming addicted to Liberty fabrics. So versatile. I wish I could cover every surface with it, so I started by making bobby pins.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Kontur...

"kontur" normann copenhagen
(photo: normann-copenhagen.com)

...is the name of this pretty vase designed by Mette Kargo Hvid for Normann Copenhagen. Even so it looks like china, it's actually made from silicone. Absolutely love this, it's so delicate. It would probably make a cute penholder, too. Or maybe I could store my powder brushes in it...hm...might be pretty in a bathroom as well...ah, endless possibilities!

I bought the "Grass" vase by the same brand when I was in Copenhagen in December and now that spring seems to have sprung I can finally unpack it.

spring

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(Photo "sunshine" by sitasoup on flickr.)

Today finally feels like spring over here in Berlin. I woke up with a start in the middle on the night - I thought I heard steps in the hall (really creepy when you know you are home alone) - but it was in fact heavy rain pounding on our skylights. But this morning is supersunny, so I have to get outside fast.

To celebrate spring (or to lure it out at last) I changed the blog design. I'm not sure about the header and I have no idea why I can't erase the bullet point next to "my flickr" (I've tried everything) but so far I'm pleased. I'll probably change the font colors too if I can figure out how. Basically I just want it to look less cluttered. Thanks to Tatiana who patiently explained some html basics to me, you can now click on the header and get straight back to the home page and not to my flickr account. Hooray!

Update: font changed, font colors changed...getting there bit by bit.

Friday, March 06, 2009

What a hoot!

Seriously - how cute is this owl?

80765ada
(lionbrand.com)

I'll definitely add her to my ever growing to-craft-list. This would make an awesome gift for a new baby (you could also add a rattle with the stuffing).
Get the free pattern here.

Have a nice weekend!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Barbie & Ken & Karl Lagerfeld

I have a confession to make - when I was little, I was a Barbie addict. I had a lot of Barbies (and Skippers, Todds,...), a horse, a bike and an afghan hound. All Barbie-sized of course. I also owned a Ken doll, but I was never really into him, he looked a bit dorky and had an ape-like grin. His dark blue velvet tux with the burgundy neckcloth only made matters worse (not even talking about his yellow painted on hair or the flesh colored undies).
Luckily, model Baptiste Giabiconi looks much cuter as Barbies date.
Starting Monday, Barbie and Ken will be on display at the Colette boutique in Paris, dressed by the one and only Karl Lagerfeld.
He was extremely busy: Barbie will model dresses, jeans, swimsuits and of course - a Chanel suit.

barbie & ken by karl lagerfeld
Barbie...and Mini-Karl.

barbie & ken by karl lagerfeld
...chatting up Barbie at Ascot.


barbie & ken by karl lagerfeld
"The dress is fab, but darling...the hair!"

barbie & ken by karl lagerfeld
...and they lived happily ever after.

(photos: colette.fr)

The exhibition will start on March 9th and last until the 28th....my 6 year old self would probably hijack a plane just to get there.

IMM Cologne

A little while ago, my friends Ilona, Pamela and I visited the IMM Cologne, a furniture and interior design fair. While we enjoyed the whole show, I think the [d³] design talents exhibition was our absolute favourite.


felt puzzle sofa
This was really pretty...the sofa is covered with pieces made from felt that can be attached to each other to form a larger structure. If you are a fan of jigsaw puzzles you can basically cover your whole appartment in felt...make a couch cover for an old sofa and just keep on putting pieces together to make a rug...

cable reel lamp
Genius - a cable reel lamp. How come nobody ever thought of this before?

fold away stool
The origami stool is the solution to all your tiny appartment troubles...after inviting all your friends over to dinner, just flatten them (the stools, not the friends) again and hang them on your wall until your next party. Also doubles as a work of art.


At another venue they showed an exhibition by young designers which was absolutely stunning. They were asked to create a room made entirely from cardboard (well and glue, obviously...)

the cardboard room

glue stick lamp
The picture is a little fuzzy...this lamp was actually made from hot glue sticks attached to a lightbulb.

I would have loved to take more pictures, but the light wasn't great and sometimes you were just not allowed to. Hopefully many of the designs shown at the [d³] design talentsshow will go into production...I especially had my eye on an armchair made from old clothes tied together by what looked like straps that moving companies use. Sounds terrible, but it was actually quite pretty.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

works in progress.

I'm feeling like a little Victorian lady these days. Sewing by hand and hand quilting are my crafts of choice while listening to audiobooks on my ipod...well maybe not so Victorian after all.... I'm currently working on two pillow cases at the same time using all my Liberty lawn fabric scraps. Everything might look a little too busy right now, but somehow all the patterns come together nicely in the end. Our appartment is mostly furnished in black and white, and patchwork pillows add just the right amount of color.

hexagon paper piecing
I've paper-pieced (is that even a verb?) what felt like a million hexagons to make a round pillow case for a round cushion (duh). I ended up making the pillow itself as well because round pillows are nowhere to be found these days. In Berlin. Can you believe it?

hand quilted liberty fabric
I quilted the front and back of the rectangular pillow case by hand with different colors of embroidery thread. Never thought I would enjoy this as much as I did. To top it all off and make it even more colorful I'll add an applique to one side. Ha!

hand quilted liberty fabric
I love this absolutely crazy pattern...not even sure if these are flowers. It looks like the fabric designer was on recreational drugs while drawing this.


We already have a fair amount of pillows, when we sit on the couch only our heads remain visible. But is there really such a thing as too many pillows?

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Remember...

...this? I'm sure she found it here. :)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

bread love.

Many moons ago, when I was an au-pair in NYC for a year, my mother called me to ask if there was anything she could send me from Germany that I missed in the Big Apple. I missed my family terribly, but they were obviously too large to fit in a package, so I opted for the next best thing on my list: bread. German sourdough or wholegrain bread. I never thought I would miss real bread as much as I did that year. My guest family lived on Wonderbread. I named it "I wonder why they call it bread?!", as it was clearly made from rubber foam. Once in a while my host mother bought a loaf of sourdough bread in a swanky bakery on Upper Eastside. For about 8 dollars. ..but only when they were entertaining and had a very, very fancy dinner. I was almost crying with gratitude when I unpacked several boxes of bread mix and real pumpernickel a couple of weeks later that my mother had sent to me. Needless to say I kept it all to myself.
I could never survive on a no-carb diet. My love of bread goes waaaay back. So yesterday I finally made a bread bag (very much inspired by this tutorial, but I used the oilcloth on the outside and lined it with cotton. It is closed with velcro so all the little crumbs stay in the bag - yay!).
I made a bread bag

We eat a lot of bread, but the last bit always goes stale or dry and using a new plastic bag every time is not good for mother earth.
Are you hungry yet?

While you are having a little snack, I suggest checking out Bjorkes beautiful blog bybjor. She's from the Netherlands, a BoligLiv fan just like me (my master plan is to get you all to subscribe so they will never, ever cancel this fantastic magazine, ha!) and she also has an etsy shop where she sells jewelry made from vintage buttons.

Followers