Tuesday 28 February 2012

Lazy Mondays

A Monday night tucked up warm and cosy at home. A take-out pizza for diner followed by a yummy tub of Ben and Jerry's. Dennis and I are gradually working our way back through the Sex and the City series and I'm truly loving it! I do love the occasional lazy Monday :-)
I'm feeling very VERY happy with myself as I've just finished the border to my Granny square project! I can not tell you just how super happy I am with it. I am really looking forward to sharing it with you very soon. However, I've promised myself that I am not allowed to share it until every last end has been sewn in. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it will be in the next week or so.
Last post Dennis briefly mentioned the work of Isabelle Kessedjian and I couldn't let it pass without sharing a couple of her beautiful products we have here at home.
Dennis stumbled across these beauties when he visited Le Havre (France) with his cruise ship.


It seemed like quite a big coincidence to find these in a shop, as Dennis and I had been admiring her work for a long time on Instagram.
I think the bags are so cute! We have one each. They sit on top of our yarn box, usually stuffed full with our current WIPS.

Dennis also bought this lovely little zip up coin pouch. It's just so sweet! I love it! Isabelle Kessedijian really has an amazing talent. It's really worth a visit to her fabulous blog for a daily dose of inspiration!
 We've been drinking our morning coffee out of the same dull Ikea glasses for quite some time and felt it was time for a change.
Off we went to the department store around the corner and picked up these happy mugs from the Dutch brand Blond Amsterdam. We both knew this brand from The Netherlands and were pleasantly surprised to find it being sold in Germany as well.

We love how positive they are with their adorable illustrations.
The first cup says 'Cake it Easy!' on the front and 'Make cake not war" on the back. How very very true!


 The second mug reads 'Happy days' on the front and 'Tough cookie' on the back.


The mugs came with a cheery label tied up with yummy yellow ribbon and a deep red apple.
They hang happily at home in our tiny little kitchen. Did we mention our kitchen is tiny? Judge for yourselves :-)

Matt and Dennis xxx

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Thursday 23 February 2012

Instagram Addict

Mobile phones are the best. And the fact that they're made for calling goes without saying. But let's focus on the camera aspect. I'm out and about a lot, and of course don't always carry my heavy camera with me. So my phone-camera is the perfect solution, I don't have to miss any beautiful moments! I quickly pop out my phone and take a picture.
In the window of a store in Hamburg
Taking pictures on your phone is fun and all, but there's so much more that you can do with it, right on your phone! I'm especially in LOVE with the Instagram app for iPhone. You can take a normal picture (in square format) and edit it right away.

The idea of the app is that your pictures end up looking really vintage! I've also uploaded a lot of other pictures to my phone to edit them with this app. The results are very interesting!

Oslo Harbor
There are many other apps you can use to edit pictures. In the next picture I went a little crazy with editing. One picture popping out of the other!

Me and my collegues at Geiranger Fjord, Norway

I also love taking pictures of trees! One click in Instagram, and they all look like this:

Trees in Hamburg
And now it gets a little bit crazy! I love Instagram so much, that I've crocheted some Instagram-inspired accessories. I found this tutorial on the blog of Isabelle Kessedjian, for an Instagram iPhone case. Isabelle also has a fantastic photo feed on Instagram! I went ahead and made one right away! It's supposed to resemble the logo that Instagram uses for their app. I think it's a brilliant tutorial and I love the result!

Now I could have stopped after this iPhone case. But I still had some yarn left in the same colors, and went ahead and improvised a needle cushion! Simple rows of single crochet, some stuffing, and VOILA: a needle cushion was born!

It was super easy to make! I had never seen a camera shaped needle cushion before and thought, why not?!

I'm very happy with my new functional and cute 'Insta-Products'. What's next? An Instagram blanket?

Dennis xxx
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Tuesday 21 February 2012

Love is..... Felt Hearts!

I remember it well. It was about a week ago when I logged in to Pinterest. I'm pretty new to the whole concept, and not following so many people yet, but there were some new pins posted by Lucy. One of them immediately stood out. There were so many colorful pictures on my screen, but somehow they all seemed black and white compared to this one. The pin linked to this wonderful tutorial! It's made by Revlie over at REVolution. I knew it right away... we had to make it!

Matt and I went to two different craft stores in town, to buy as many colors of felt that we could get our hands on. We were lucky that both stores sold different colors, so we were able to get a nice and varied palette of colorful happiness. Twenty-one beautiful sheets of felt.


The pattern doesn't link to a heart shape, but we found one on the lovely blog of Francine Clouden.
Here's a link to the page with the heart on it. At the bottom there's a PDF link to a heart cut out. We made a print at 40% to get the size we wanted for our hearts. 

We both are not very experienced in sewing, so it was a little fiddly and fidgety to sew these tiny hearts together, but after a couple we got the hang of it. We didn't have a big range of colors for sewing so we popped over to the craft store again, and bought a beautiful range of Embroidery Floss colors. It's crazy how many colors they sell, it must have been about 150!

We spent about 3 days sewing every morning and every evening, until we were satisfied with the amount of hearts. They were so satisfying to make! We loved the moment when you get to stuff them, as they become thick, squishy and even cuter!

The craft store also had a great range of wooden sticks, and we ended up going for the 4mm ones. We sawed them in many different lengths to get a random and varied looking 'forest'.

Attaching the cute hearts to the sticks turned out really easy with the help of a glue gun. The pattern called for glue dots, but we've never seen those here in Germany, not even in our gigantic craft store. The glue gun worked just fine however! 

And than we needed some jars and bottles. Luckily we hadn't brought any of our glass to the recycling yet, so we had plenty to choose from. We chose from a selection of juice bottles, jam jars and German sausage jars (I love German sausages!). We washed out our favorites and than it came to the exciting moment of filling them with the hearts! What a disappointment! All the hearts turned backwards and nothing stayed in it's place. 

Let's read the pattern again... There it was, you had to glue the sticks into the jars so they would stay in place. But gluing?
Matt came up with the most wonderful idea. Sand in the jars! And not just normal sand, colored sand! So off we went, back to the craft store (they really sell everything!), and we bought 6 colors of sand to match our hearts.

 Look at these gorgeous rainbowy shades! Don't they make you happy?
The sand worked like a charm. It made it very easy to adjust and arrange the hearts as much as we wanted.

How gorgeous do they look all clumped together! It was so much fun to play with all the possibilities. We had 28 hearts to play with (we've used some colors twice) and it gave us a lot of options.

But sometimes, the simplest arrangements can be the prettiest. So we went for a rainbow! Here's a final picture of our "Love is... Felt Hearts" forest.

What a great time we had working together on this fabulous project! It's a quick and easy project, and the end results are so very rewarding!

Matt & Dennis xxx
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Friday 17 February 2012

Hospital Knitting and Model for a day!

I'm back! I'm home!

I'm very excited to be out of the hospital. As you might have read, I was in the hospital for a tonsillectomy, and stayed for 6 days. The operation itself was a breeze as I was completely under, but I think nobody could have really warned me enough about the post-op pain. I won't go into too much detail, but I didn't know it was going to be this bad. I knew that having this surgery would come with a lot more pain as an adult, but I had no other choice, they had to go!

It's been 10 days now, and I'm finally able to enjoy most foods again. I'm still on top of my pain meds, but it's all very manageable by now! What really surprised me, was how very painful it was to have ice cream in the days after surgery. Everybody always says that that's the only good thing about having this procedure. The endless supply of ice cream! The first day after surgery I asked the nurses for an ice pop to relieve some of the pain, but boy was I wrong. It was stinging like crazy and making everything worse! I managed to finish it somehow, but only because I knew it could help recovery.

The only thing that made me forget the pain a little, besides my meds, was knitting!
Yes that's right, I took all my knitting needles and a lot of yarn with me. It was the perfect opportunity to finish some projects, and start new ones!

I would have my laptop positioned on my bed, watching my favorite TV Series (Will & Grace), and I would knit for hours and hours. I really gave my head as much distraction as possible! I had to follow the pattern, make my stitches, give some attention to the series I was watching, and all this together really made me less aware of the pain! It might sound crazy, but I knitted about 8-10 hours a day!

Like I mentioned in my other post about knitting, I'm very much enjoying the patterns of Stephen West. In the hospital I finally had some time to finish the Loxley hooded scarf I'd been working on.

So this is a little scary now, I've never really modeled any of my projects, but here we go. Matt & I had a good laugh shooting these shots. To pose or not pose? To smile or not to smile? We had a lot of fun and shot about a 100 pictures, but only these made the cut!  So here goes:

Here I'm wearing the Loxley (Hooded Scarf). Pattern can be found here: Loxley by Stephen West.

Here's a clear shot of the back of the hood! This one wasn't so hard to model ;-)

 Of course we needed a crazy one as well! 

This is the Windschief Hat. Pattern can be found here: Windschief by Stephen West
I feel like I should have chosen a yarn that's a little more sturdy, because it shapes a little too well around my ears, making them stand out a little. But it was still a very interesting pattern, and I love the textures in this hat!

Trying to look seriously at the ground. That's how it's done right?

This is the Botanic Hat. Pattern can be found here: Botanic Hat by Stephen West.
It's a very nice pattern, and the great thing about this hat is: It's reversible! There's no wrong side with this hat! The pattern is very clever, especially because both sides have a very different look! Judge for yourselves!

I do love black & white!

And this is what it looks like if you wear it inside out, or ouside in, or...?

And a again, randomly looking to the side.

I've had so much fun knitting these patterns and can recommend them to everyone! They're fun to make, very wearable, and look amazing! I guess staying in the hospital wasn't such a bad thing after all!

It's been really nice reading all the lovely and warm messages from all of you! It really made me happy whilst being in the hospital. Thank you all very much!

Dennis xxx
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Wednesday 15 February 2012

Happy Valentines Day!!!

I know that it can be a little tacky and a tad over the top, but I couldn't let today pass without wishing you all a very Happy Valentines Day!
Here's a little crocheted love heart to you, from Dennis and I......

Now If soppy lovey dovey stuff makes you feel a little queasy........I'd stop reading this post :-)
I just wanted to take a little moment to give my favourite person in the whole wide world a little love and attention!
Here goes!!!! This post is for Dennis xxx

 Have a very HAPPY day full of LOVE!! Matt xx
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Thursday 9 February 2012

Cute And Quick Projects.

Hey there lovely people!! I Hope you are all having a splendid week? 
I'm having a very chilled and leisurely week. Dennis and I had planned on having a little week away from Hamburg. We were thinking of heading to London to see a couple of West End shows and catch up with friends. Unfortunately things didnt go to plan....

After many sore throats over the past few months Dennis finally had his tonsils taken out. 
He went into Hospital yesterday morning and had his tonsils removed nice and fast. He's doing just fine. He cant speak very loud and is a little sore from the operation. But on the plus side, I think hes secretly loving the endless supply of ice lollies he keeps getting from the nurses!

With Dennis in Hospital and a week off from work, I have lots of time to do all sorts of lovely things. I've been strolling around town, I've visited Dennis, had my singing lesson, gone to the gym and I've been able to spend some good quality time on my favourite thing......my projects!

Last week I shared with you my fab new yarn. I'm so very pleased with it!

The first little project I had in mind was to cover a plain bolster pillow in something tremendous! I've been experimenting with many ideas. I initially planned on covering the pillow with lots of little squares. I gave little squares a try but wasn't convinced. I tried lines of double crochet, changing colour for each round, but wasn't satisfied! I finally settled on a delicious ripple! I used the neat ripple pattern by Lucy at Attic24. This Rico Baby Classic dk works up a treat and is so lovely and soft when rippled up!

For the ends of my bolster pillow I made a flat circle by using the beginnings of Crocheted bag pattern  also by Lucy at Attic24.

I joined the ripple around the pillow, connecting it with a simple whip stitch.

I then did three rounds of double crochets onto the sides of the ripple. I double crocheted in plain white and added a delicate piece of lace ribbon to finish it off. Finally I connected my circular ends to the double crochets, once again using a whip stitch.

Im so proud of how neat it all joined together and just LOVE the lace ribbon running through the double crochets!
Are you ready to see it in all of its BEAUTIFUL BOLSTER GLORY!......

Without meaning to, this turned into my Attic24 Pillow. Two of Lucy's lovely patterns made into one scrummy pillow! The cupcakes were pretty tasty also! :-)

My next little project was to make a cute cosy for my little teapot. I bought some gorgeous Wolle Rodel's Baby wool purposely for this project.

I gave the wool a try and it was really lovely to work with. I just wasn't happy with the colours I had picked out! I wanted something much brighter. I raided our yarn stash and discovered some lovely and bright creative cotton that Dennis had bought a few weeks ago.

It's so vibrant and fits perfectly with our egg cups!
Do you want to see what I came up with?

A bright and cheery outfit for our scuffed up little teapot.

 Just looking at these pictures makes me feel happy!

I made two identical squares consisting of lines of single crochet. I decreased as I got to the top of the square so the cosy fits the contours of the teapot.
I stitched the squares together at three of the four corners. I added a little popper to the fourth, so that I can take the cosy off of the the teapot when  needed.
To finish it of I added a cute little crochet flower in my favourite of the colours.

Now I'm not sure if this really works as a tea cosy? I think It's meant to insulate the teapot? Either way its a feast for the eyes......never mind if the tea gets cold!
These were two nice and quick projects to give me a break from my mountain of granny squares! However, I must get back to them! I have A LOT of ends that need sewing in!!!

Matt xxx
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