Thursday, January 28, 2010

house doctor "Everyday 2010"

How could I have missed this? The pdf catalogue for the new house doctor collection "Everyday 2010" is online! is always. The perfect mix of old and new.

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Great tutorial site: BYM Selbermacher.

Are you as obsessed with tutorials as I am? One site I keep coming back to for years is the craft section of called "Selbermacher".
They have free tutorials for numerous "fresh" projects and usually you don't need to buy a truckload of expensive supplies to make them. Look...

...a tea pot trivet from felted beads...

...and they even have a diy version of Ingo Maurer's famous (and insanely expensive) "Zettel'z" pendant light.

Two things I'm definitely going to make in the near future...

... no-sew shopping bag...

...and these fantastic zipper flowers.

(pictures: all

The site is in German, but the tutorials are well illustrated with pictures so you'll be able to figure out what's going on.

Friday, January 22, 2010

If the shoe fits...

...don't throw away the box.
(Or: "The why I rarely post tutorials-tutorial". Or: "Recycling craft no.1").


I couldn't write a crochet or knitting tutorial if my life depended on it and I'm in constant awe of people who can (especially when they offer charts for different sizes as well - it seems like rocket science to me). I tried, believe me. That's why I usually describe what I did and not even that works most of the time as most of my projects are trial and error.

Well - making gift boxes from old shoe boxes is quite another thing. I've made a ton over the years to hold everything from sewing notions to make-up items or cookie cutters. it goes.

You will need:
- old cardboard box
- wrapping paper (I even used newspaper once)
- scissors/cutting knife
- pencil
- ruler
- cutting mat
- plastic bag
- brush
- mod podge (dries quicker) OR wall paper paste (makes a smoother surface but can distort your box if you use too much)

How to:
Take the measurements of your box. Make a pattern according to this drawing (I hope you can read everything...)


You will - of course - need two. But you figured that out already. One for the lid, one for the bottom.
The rectangle in the middle should be exactly as big as your box (theoretically speaking you could trace around it, if you are very accurate), the sides should measure twice the height of your box or lid, plus about 1 cm for the tab. Really - don't forget the tabs! And even more important: don't forget the tabs on the sides! Cut out. Cut two rectangles that are slightly smaller than your lid/box.

Place your paper pattern on the plastic bag, left side facing up. Now either smother pattern in wall paper paste OR brush mod podge on the box. Carefully place box on the pattern, make sure to center it and match up the corners. Carefully lift sides of paper cut-out, the ones with the side tabs first. Try to smooth out bubbles while you are working. Fold and smooth tabs around the corners, fold the paper carefully over the sides. Smooth, smooth, smooth paper into corners and around the edges. Do the same with the other sides. Paste/glue rectangle to the bottom, covering the long tabs. Use your fingers to smooth out any wrinkles you might find. Note - some wrinkles will magically disappear when the box is completely dry. Some don't... So try to get out as many as you can while the paste/glue is still wet.
Let the box dry completely before you put on the lid (overnight is best).


Tadaaahhh! - that's it. Give yourself a pat on the back. Make more.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Originally uploaded by The Small Object
This vintage quilt that Sarah of "The Small Object" fame found, would fit right into our appartment. This is exactly our colour scheme (which developed purely by accident). Georgeous. I think I have a little quilt envy. You absolutely have to check out the fantastic pillows she made to go with it, too.

Cuddle, cuddle.

About a week ago I finally made something I wanted to sew for a long time...a hot water bottle cozy. Previously I made one from an old and holey cashmere sweater, but it was too thin and didn't keep its shape. This one is nice and cuddly, more like a warm pillow.

One side looks like this...
hot water bottle cozy/back

...and the other looks like this.
hot water bottle cozy/front

('s a bit crumpled because I already slept on it. Oh - and I had to turn the pictures from horizontal to vertical, or they wouldn't have fitted into the blog does look a bit strange, just in case you were probably weren't.)

I roughly followed this tutorial, but made a few changes, like adding another layer of fabric. And my random quilting is not nearly as neat as this...not even close!
What I liked about the concept of this cover is that it is sleek and - most important of all - the top with the stopper (is that the right word?) is covered. I think it looks nicer and you can't open the stopper thingie by accident (if you have children - we don't, but you never know - this could be especially important).

Sunday, January 17, 2010

"Drawings" by Naoko Ogawa

I love each and every one of the necklaces from Japanese designer Naoko Ogawa's "Drawing" collection. "Drawing" as in drawing on the body with jewelry - and the pieces really look like that. Lovely.





(photos: all

I tried - I couldn't pick a favourite...and there are even more than the ones pictured here.

Friday, January 15, 2010

In spite of are allowed to smile.


Sometimes you see a product and you just have to laugh out loud...this is what happened when I saw the "Blossom&Bill" tray by ISAK, a company specializing in Scandinavian home accessories. They offer kitchen ware, prints, wallpaper and clothing - among other things - all designed to make your day a little brighter.

Even in the aftermath of a tragedy like Haiti, I am a firm believer that smiling, laughing and "carrying on" is not frivolous like some people and bloggers try to make you believe. It is more important that ever.

If you have the means, please make a donation to help the people in Haiti. In Germany, the quickest and easiest way to donate is probably by sending a text to "Aktion Deutschland hilft", more details here. I'm pretty sure there are similar organisations in other countries as well, Design for Mankind has put together an extensive list.

And as my husband said - never forget to be nice and kind to the people surrounding you. There is suffering (whatever form or shape it may take) everywhere and present every day, even if it is not in the news.

Christmas leftovers.

The crochet garland...

This garland was supposed to be part of my christmas décor, but it wasn't finished in time. The colours are not very christmassy, so I put it up anyway, even so I stowed away everything else.
I even tried to incorporate it in my new blog header (still a work in progress). :)

If you want to make your own (for a child's room or to get a super early head start on this year's christmas crafting)- I used paperballs here as well (same base as the flowers - and thank you for all the sweet comments btw!).

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Waiting for spring.

I don't know about you, but as much as I love snow...enough is enough. I long for colour and flowers, I don't want wet trouser legs up to my knees whenever I go out. So there...I made my own little spring. All it took was wool, paper balls, a crochet hook and twigs.

crochet flowers

Easy peasy. Best of all - they will never fade.

P.S.: Crochet around a paper ball, try to keep track of the hole in the ball while you are working (that's where you insert the stem). Bind off, hide the end of your thread, put a dot of glue on the end of your twig, stick it in the ball - and you are done!