Monday, May 30, 2011

Vote and win!

I have a swap that I signed up for today and I am pretty nervous because the others who are in the swap are really good at what they do and even though there are only 4 of us, I really want to impress.
I have been brainstorming all day and I have so many ideas bubbling inside me that I cannot  pick one. I have decided to ask for help and have put up a poll to see what you think would be the best choice to knock the socks off my partner.

The swap is for a fairytale character amigurumi and I really want to do a human (female) form as opposed to a monster or something ,I played with the idea of Mike or Sully from monsters inc. but I want more of a challenge.The swap is for the end of next month, although I was hoping to get started asap.
These are my choices
  • Thumbalina in a purse that is a drawstring purse that resembles a flower when closed (remember that she was tiny so the purse will make it more apparent as thumbalina)
  • Cinderella was another idea I was 'toying' with (get it? lol) and to make it a bit more like Cinderelli, I want to do outfits, one all raggedy and the other a ballgown and to top it all off, removable glass-ish slippers.
  • Ariel crossed my mind as well and was thinking about making her the human type but also I want to make a tail that she can just slide her legs into.
  • Alice and Dinah is a classic and will work up quite quickly since she is all the craze at the moment.
  • I also like the idea of Belle in her yellow dress and as a bonus I am not too shabby at making roses so I think that would be a nice accompaniment
  • Rapunzal is the newest characture to hit the big screen and since I have not watched 'Tangled' yet, I think the only thing I can add is hair.. alot of hair.
  • And lastly, I was playing with the idea of Mulan, Tinkerbell, Snow white, Jasmine, Aroura,Little red riding hood and some others.
So now for the good part. Remember that Ribbon woven journal? It was in my last blog for those of you who just joined us. It is an A6, hand woven, ribbon journal that is lined and has 144 pages.  Well, I am going to make one customized journal to one lucky follower and all you have to do is:
  • sign up to follow my blog,
  • vote in the poll 
  • and leave a comment for this post of what you think will make the best amigurumi.
The winner will be drawn a week from today and if you are the winner then you will be contacted via the name you commented with. You will then be asked for your address and you favorite colours for the journal and it will be sent to your address. The winner will be chosen using and the journal will be posted a week from the day they were chosen. The prize will be sent via regular post with a track and trace number. Good Luck to all of you.

 The comment of each player is just a suggestion and while the winning choice of amigurumi will be made, might not be the one I choose to send to my partner.The prize stated above will be sent to the winner and the trace number will be emailed to their address. I cannot be held responsible if you do not collect your prize or if the address you gave is incorrect. If the winner does not respond with their address for two weeks since being chosen then a new draw will take place.

*edited to note*
Please note that to qualify for the prize you will have to leave a comment as well as voting because your vote is annonymous.Thank you.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Dreams of a diary.

For the longest time I had this vision in my head of covering a diary with ribbon and I never saw it through because I thought that it might just be one of those things that seem like a great idea in your head but not so in practice. Yesterday I heard of two deaths and was thinking about what I would like to leave behind when my time comes and since I do not have any children, I decided that I would like to be remembered as a person who always loved to create and try new things and decided that this was as good a time as any to try something which I had only day-dreamed about. I sat down today with oodles of ribbon, a little blank A5 journal and some double sided tape. This is what I came up with (please do not pay any heed to the work table)

Diary from the back

side view.

I cannot believe that I had never tried this before and even though it took quite a while to weave all the ribbon into something decent and a bit of a tedious job, the result in itself made it very worthwhile. The only thing that I would have done differently was to add a ribbon on either side to tie it closed but I will do this on my next attempt. I am thinking of offering a tutorial the next time I decide to make one of these, so that will be something to look out for.

The second project which I have been working on was a cute little box for my embroidery stash. Lynn B's offers a great free tutorial with excellent photo's and all credit is due to her for this stunning little 'stasher'. I followed the tutorial, pic for pic and was very happy with my box. I had never tried making something like this before but it was really easy to make and I was so surprised by how great it looks that I actually made another. The first box was not completely smooth sailing and all I can say is thank goodness for ribbon and glue, which hides many a number of sins. This was my first attempt:
Finally, I found a great project to use my little geisha cross stitch on.

side view of the box

Inside of the box.

I must say that my second box was much better and I was able to avoid most of the mistakes I experienced with the first box. Unfortunately the second box was only a few hours old when it was given away to a friend who fell in love with it and I never even took a pic before I passed it on. I used plain pink for the inner box and a pink with white polka dots for the outer cover and lined it with felt and it was really neat and a bit simpler than the first. I will definitely be making another and was thinking of making some with African 'shwe shwe' material for a nice ethnic spin.

* Lynn B if you are reading this , I hope I have done you proud and not made too many faux pa's. 

I hope you have been inspired to tackle a challenge that you have been contemplating or something which you have doubted will look right in practice, because I too did not think that I would be able to make either of the top 2 projects look half presentable and when push came to shove, I surprised myself and regret not trying it a long time ago. So, While I go get creative by making another box I will take the time to bid you adeaux  and till next time...Chow!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Beginning of a Book

The cross stitching Saga, from the makers of "AAArgh, I have to pull it all out" and the equally fetching sequel " I can't believe I have to pull it all out... Again!" This season do not miss the beginning of a new project, one woman, one mission and a whole lot of heart break. Coming now to a blogesphere near you.

A tad bit dramatic? yeah I know but cross stitching has really brought out the drama queen in me. There is very little that goes wrong that I cannot blame everything else for. Miscounted? blame the cat. Thread tangled? blame the bad lighting. Running out of thread? Husband has the t.v too loud. If the last one made you go "Huh?" then just trust me, it can be done.

I thought cross stitching was going to be a therapeutic way for me to relax and pass time but boy was I wrong. I have started a project that I had my heart set on from the get go, a masterpiece to define my creative stitching ability. A project that would cement my place in the stitching world as a feat worth proudly displaying. But so far all I have to show is a very wrinkled cotton canvas with three (out of twelve) unfinished shoes. Every time I hit I snag that is too big to compensate for I move on to the next aspect of the design. The only way I can see myself of not getting fed up and using my canvas as a floor wipe, and believe me I want to, is to keep myself busy with lots of small projects and that way when I tire of the one then I can just move onto the other. You can find a copy of the pattern that I am attempting at  (which offers free patterns for you to download ). The pattern is by Barabara Baatz Hillman ( a personal favourite of mine, love anything and everything she creates) and is a vintage shoe design that was almost as if it was custom made to suit me because it is so very me. I got the purse pattern too but that is another project for another time.

isn't it just to die for?

So my next project is lined up and a tad more ambitious than the first. I have my heart set on making a stitching book and since I have no pattern and am going of a tutorial (which you can find here here at the wonderful violarium along with the most stunning and inspiring picture gallery) with fabric that does not match that of the tutorials, I see myself with equal the amount of frustration as my first project. The only thing keeping me on track is my sense of the fact that I love a challenge and the part of me that has to see every project through (see my first blog entry for more on this) and the fact that I am announcing this project to the world via my blog kind of sets my projects in stone and is a sort of promise that I feel I must live up to.
As for the little stitcher's book, I will keep you updated on the progress as I go along and try to make a decent looking project (no promises) that I can share with all of you. Join me for the ride and lets see where this goes...Chow!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Pin cushions and Pouches.

I have been so inspired today that I had to just write it all down before I loose my momentum and what better place to share it than on my blog.

While scrolling through blogs and google pics, I started delving into pincushions and felt. I never knew I needed a pin cushion until I was sent one for a swap I had participated in and it was like a blessing I had never even considered. It makes sense though , and my mother will confirm this, that a pin cushion and Nasreen go together like icing and a cupcake. I cannot even try to count how many needles,scissors and  pins I have lost over the years. Some where out there (probably on lost sock island) is a cave just overflowing with run-away sewing implements that I have lost. The answer to my lost needle/pin problem was answered by a new friend that I have made who designed and crafted a needle book and pin cushion jar (a modified baby food jar filled with sewing goodies and a pincushion crafted to the lid) specially for me. So now this sorted my needles perfectly, but what about my scissors?
Well this was my solution:

Pink embroidery scissors pouch.
For so long now I wanted a cute little pair on scissors but with my track record I knew that it I was going to spend money on something that was going to be declared MIA in a week or two. This adorable (if I may say so myself) pouch has solved my dilemma and become a treasured addition to my sewing stash.  This is how I made it:
I made a template by tracing around my scissors and cut 2 pieces of felt out, sewed around the edges and added a button and a cute heart on the front. I was so pleased with my project that my heart sank when I inserted my little scissors and they slipped through the stitching, a problem hastily solved by inserting a little stuffing in the bottom of the pouch. Voila, a uber cute little embroidery scissors pouch. It has been almost a month and I still have my shears, which is an endeavor worthy of a medal in my case.

Now that my scissors pouch has lost its original appeal and has just become an item of stash, today my creativity was re ignited with this little cutie.

introducing my bottle cap pin cushion.
All credit is due to JenSergrest who featured the tutorial for this project on where you can find tons of free tutorials and how to's. Her pin cushions are much better than mine but since this was my first attempt, I am really impressed and when I have more time I will be making many more of these and embellish them a bit better. Ideally I would love to make a little set with a matching scissors case, bottle top pin cushion and (dare I try to make) a needle book.

Felt is such a notoriously blah material to use and many people shy away from it due to its rough texture and child-like quality but I promise you that it's uses are endless and a great material to use for fun projects. My haberdashery hardly sells any and the stuff they do have is stashed in a small corner of the shop that I usually have to dig out every time I shop there but it is worth it when you can churn out a little gem like the pin cushion or pouch. I implore you to give it a go and try something new, even if it only turns into a coaster, you will surprise yourself and how durable and easy it is to use plus with the colour intensity and funky tones, how could you not.

As I have waffled on quite a bit today I will love ya and perhaps leave ya with a little curiosity at how felt can work for you...Chow!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Blogs and Buddies. (part ten)

So we have come to the end of Blogs and Buddies and I must say that it has been a great experience. I have learned so much and grown as a blogger, seen so many types of blogs and styles that I would have never thought of. so without further ado, I shall wrap up my little escapade with the last and final blog.

Unionvale Mom's spot by: Cariann

I like this blog from the get go because it sent me straight into my kitchen to munch on some left overs, the recipes are too good and really simple for a newbie-in-the-kitchen like me. The blog is not only about recipes because it offers nifty hints and tips, reviews and giveaways. How cool is that?
Cariann is married and has two boys which she home schools. I have another friend who home schools her children and even thought the concept is a bit foreign to me, I applaud her in her efforts and really admire her for it. Funny how most of the home schooler's I have met are very crafty, I wonder if there is any connection there? That is probably something I will have to ask Cariann about and it won't be that hard to do as this blogger is very active in the social networking world with a link to her twitter and facebook accounts.
Reading on in her blog, I came across some pics of her adorable kiddies which is nice because it really gives a feel to the blog where you get to know her.

This is another blog that I will be continuing to follow and I look forward to reading all her future adventures and endeavors. is where you can find Cariann.

Thank you for taking this trip with me through all these exciting and new blogs and I look forward to sharing some new crafting ideas and attempts with you in future installments of 'This and That' but for now... Chow!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Blogs and Buddies. (part nine)

I have completed eight blogs so far and am on to my ninth blog. I always get a little sad when it comes to completing a task and for  most of my adolescent life I have been famous for not finishing things. This has nothing to do with loosing momentum or laziness, it is just that finality is so...(for lack of a better word) final! To think that something you have put so much time and attention into will soon come to an end saddens me. As an adult I try my darndest not to live up to the reputation I had as a child, of always forgetting things, not completing projects and being scatter brained but it is only now, after 29 years that I realize my bad traits had good intentions and I am at peace with that scatter brained kid I was not so long ago. I have forgiven her for all her down falls and found that just because I was scatterbrained it only meant that there was so much other stuff that got my attention and just because I did not complete every thing I started , it was only because leaving a loose end some where meant picking it up at anytime.

So with that being said , lets get onto another blog

Day nine: 'The journey and musings of a single county gal by Mindy

I love the way the name kind of puts things in perspective for the reader.This blogger very cleverly uses her blog as a platform to give blog reviews, book reviews offer give-away's and pretty much just general musings (which are always my favourite part of blogs). I love the part of the blog where she asks and answers  random questions about herself. these are fun and gives the reader a better sense of the writer. I lover her 'short and sweet' book reviews. This is another blog that I will definitely be following. is where you will find Mindy.

Join me next time for my last and final (pause to wipe hypothetical tear) blog review for 'Blogs and buddies', but for now... Chow!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Blogs and Buddies. (part eight)

Hello again from the craft-crazy blogger who is taking some time out to review some of my fellow swapping buddies on swap-bot, even though the due date was a week ago.

Day eight: i heart things and things by Danie.

I love the way this blog pretty much sums itself up in the heading. Straight away I got a feel for the writer and a sense of what she is all about. I specially loved the "re: Danie" tab as this lead straight to her bio which is usually my favourite part about reading a new blog for the first time.
Danie seems like a very fun person and a free spirit at that. Her blog is an online journal of just about everything that goes on in her life from her highs to her lows. I would also like to congratulate her on recently getting engaged and wish her all the best for her up-coming wedding.

 visit Danie at 

So for now I will love ya and leave ya ...Chow!