31 December 2007
29 December 2007
Confused about everything crafty out there? Not sure where to go and what to buy for your latest craft idea? Can’t find that kitsch pattern that everyone else is talking about? Well worry no more!
CraftGossip is all the latest news from real craft people telling you about the real stuff. We scour the net looking for the best craft ideas and projects and review them for you. We have divided this blog into many sub-blogs, covering topics ranging from knitting, crochet, bath and body, candle making, jewelry making, scrapbooking, sewing crafts, paper crafts, recycled crafts, kids crafts, needlework, painting, edible crafts, indie crafts and felting. Each of these sub-blogs are managed by their own dedicated editor, so you know that you are getting personalized attention. You can meet the editors here.
So we are doing the hard work. So you don’t have to.
Happy Crafting! “
Do go and pay them a visit!
28 December 2007
I wanted to use my long longed for creativity time well….The needle felting, the embroidery and the patch work can be done when ever I have a few moments over but the wet felting procedure has to be finished when begun so with time on my hands I decided to wet felt more than one piece. That way I could also have a few different projects to continue working on in the future. Boy am I smart!
Want to see how I spent my time?
Building the image
Pouring hot soap water over the wool
Gently felting the wool with cirkular movements
And now the embryo is done I have needle felting and embroidery still to do. I hope to get started to night ….. Oh joy!
Lots of Love to you all!
23 December 2007
I know that sometimes you wake up feeling a lot like a cactus. That it’s very hard to find a reason for getting up and is even harder finding a reason for being nice. Angry and in a foul mood you stand in front of the bathroom mirror grimacing to yourself. That’s when you should try smiling! Smile as big as you can although the corners of your mouth are drooping. Smile again and feel how something inside is thawing. It’s very hard to be angry and smile at the same time. Then go out in the world and smile at everyone you meet. Give a big smile to your family at the breakfast table, smile at the bus driver, the letterman and the old lady walking her dog. Smile at your colleagues, the cleaning lady and your boss. A smile stops your mind from being stony and your soul from freezing to ice. A smile is universal. All people smile the same way irrespective of race, color or religion. A smile is the shortest way between two people’s hearts.
And when you master the art of smiling it’s time to start practicing on your laughter. A laugh makes your whole body relax, frees endorphins and counteract stress. If you laugh at your self it makes you more humble and helps you not to take yourself too seriously. A laugh unites people and is the easiest way to reach someone’s heart.
I know it’s not always easy to smile, to laugh or to be nice. And there are days when we don’t succeed. But the most important thing is to carry on trying because under the surface there is something good in almost everyone you meet. With some you might have to search longer or deeper than with others but if you look really hard it’s there! You never know what the people around you are carrying in their emotional backpack. Somewhere deep inside is the playing child hidden. The one they where before life took a wrong turn. If you bear this in mind whenever you meet someone unfamiliar you will be surprised at what you will find. Prejudice and fear very often stops us from really seeing each other! So be curious of the people you meet.
03 December 2007
I try to make a new Advent candle holder each Christmas and this is was this year’s look like.
On Advent sunday we always put the outdoor lighting up. And every year it`s the same. We put all the stuff up before we acually check out if the lights work. And of course it never does. Work I mean! This year we decided to do just the opposite. With a help from a friend.
Another tradition on Advent Sunday is to drink Glögg. Glögg is similar to the Old English mulled wine or German Glühwein; each is just slight variations on a heart-warming winter drink.
Do you want the recipe? Here is two just for the fun of it:
Boil together in 1 pint of water: 15 whole cardamom seeds (peeled) 7 tsp. cloves 4 sticks of cinnamon the peel from 2 oranges (take out white)
HOW TO DO IT: ~ Boil for 20 minutes, cool and strain. Add 2 quarts of Claret wine (or a good Burgundy) and one quart of vodka. Add 2 cups sugar (or to your taste). When heating for serving, add a few raisins and an almond to the (each) cup.
1 bottle of red wine (cheap) 1/4 - 1/2 cup (0,5 - 1 dl) vodka (not spicy) 5 - 20 pcs. of cloves (whole cloves) 1 large teaspoon of cardamom seeds 2 - 4 pcs. (sticks) of cinnamon 1 - 2 pcs. of ginger Peels from half a lemon 1/2 - 1 cup of sugar 1 large teaspoon of vanilla sugar
HOW TO DO IT: Crush cinnamon and cardamom. Peel lemon. Put all spices + peels in a glass jar with the vodka. Cover. Leave over night. Strain the vodka, toss the spices. Mix the now spicy vodka with wine and sugars. Heat all ingredients in a large kettle until steaming hot. Do not boil! Stir and taste. If not sweet enough, add sugar. If too sweet, add vodka and wine. Serve with peeled almonds and raisins.
( photo: dl.nu)
A word of caution though. Go easy on the drinking. A Glögg induced hangover is no laughing matter. Once, in my irresponsible (and wild) youth I overdid the Glögg drinking a bit and it took years before I could even smell the stuff. But now I`m back to enjoying a glass or two.
Speaking of poison are you wondering what happened to the rat at our country house? Well he is gone to meet his maker but unfortunately a lot of friends showed up for the funeral so we are back to square one…..So if you have any suggestions of how to get rid of them that doesn’t contain snakes ( sorry Angela) or other dangerous animals please let me know
02 December 2007
Last week I had a “Teddy Bear period” and made Teddy bears out of moss for a friend to sell in her shop. We gave all of them names and hope they will be adopted by kind people.
Right know I’m in an “angel period” and I’m making angels by the dozen. In all kind of shapes and materials. I am not religious but for me angels is a symbol of peace and warmth and peace and warmth sort of sums up the holiday spirit too. For me Christmas is about family and friends. I can do without a lot of things ( probably not the tree though) but there will be absolutely no Christmas spirit if I don’t get lot of opportunities to sit down with family and friends drinking glögg, eating gingerbreads and chocolate, (lots of chocolate) and talk until the wee hours of the morning.
There is one other thing that I can`t do without or else it’s not Christmas – I have to watch Grinchen. I am no fan of Jim Carrey’s other movies ( Ace Ventura makes me itch and get nervous) but I adore Grinchen. The film is about what really matters at Christmas. So late at night when everyone else is asleep and the house is quiet I light lots of candles, make myself a tray full of goodies and sit down to enjoy Grinchen! I especially like the part with " Hate, hate, double hate". If you haven`t seen it - Do!
18 November 2007
A lovely blog with a home decorating theme and lots and lots of shabby chic!
Beautiful photos and quiet words describing her life up north. Low key in a very nice way!
Janey does incredible and colorful drawings mostly in watercolor, ink and markers. I LOVE her cats! Go check them out!
Another blog full of inspiration if you like your home to be shabby chic!
17 November 2007
I have a confession to make. I am addicted to Christmas. And now is the best time…..when it’s still a few weeks away and you feel that you have all the time in the world to make this Christmas the best ever. I buy all the glossy Christmas Magazines and borrow tons of “do it yourself Christmas inspiration books” at the library and then I just sit there happily reading soaking up on the Christmas spirit. For me Christmas is the smell of fir, cinnamon, hyacinths, oranges and gingerbreads. Especially oranges. When I was a kid we had oranges in the shops only in December ( No, I’m not 95 going on 100) so now when you have them all year round it’s not really the same. But there are still moments when I feel the smell and it takes me right back to younger days….The best with Christmas is planning the decorations- both for the tree and the house. I usually do a lot of it myself and try to make something new every year. I’m not in to the overloaded, all pimped up kind of Christmas I’m more of a “less is more” girl and flowers, moss, candles and wire is important ingredients. When November comes my husband sighs and says that our house turns in to Santa’s workshop but he usually likes the finished result
The Christmas tree is a story of its own. To say I’m meticulous is a huge understatement. No one want’s to come with me and buy it anymore….Do you want to know why? Okey, here goes. . A few years back ( six in fact) I decided that we should cut down our own tree. I had this dream about us in a sleigh, snow slowly falling and hot chocolate in a thermos. That it was us in a Volvo with the rain falling was just a minor disappointment. I still sat in the car happily humming jingle bells….. So of we went to a wood outside town were a smart merchant had made good business out of stupid people like me hunting the Christmas spirit. One tree was uglier than the other. My daughters grew tired of the tree hunt first. They sat down on a fallen tree and asked me to come get them when I had found one. My husband joined them shortly after. After an hour and a half of “to short, to big, to wide, to thin, to ugly” the language started to get nasty. They threatened with leaving without me. I closed my eyes and chose one in random. My lumberjack of a husband quickly cut it down. Boy, was it ugly. No were like the Disney variety I was seeking….and I had to pay a fortune! At first no one dared to utter a word in the car but after a while my husband started to giggle and the daughters fell in and then I had to laugh too. My anger and disappointment….it was all so ridiculous. And nowadays this is a milestone in our Christmas memories and the daughters say oh yes, that was the year when we cut our own tree….
My longing for Christmas usually starts come end of October but I try to hold out until the end of November. But yesterday I couldn’t help myself I just HAD to buy a hyacinth and make a wire angel…..Hurray! Soon Christmas is here!
04 November 2007
Speaking of mice. The rat problem still isn’t solved but I bought rat poison and placed up on the attic so hopefully we are getting there. I also rat secured the kitchen by putting anything edible in cupboards’ and glass jars. While cleaning out the kitchen I found a package of hard bread that the rat had been eating on and that confirmed my suspicions that we are dealing with a giant mutant rat with beaver size teeth. I felt a bit bad about the poison though. I am an animal lover and I would much rather leave him a note asking him politely to leave but somehow I think that a note just wouldn’t do the trick here. My dear blogfriend Angela in Australia recommended a carpet snake. Maybe I can hire hers on a monthly basis? Well Angela, thanks but no thanks. Snakes make a good second on my most NOT wanted list. So poison it will have to be.
Besides scrubbing and poisoning rats I had a lovely vacation. I tried a few different wire work techniques’ and made an angel and a “Victorian bird feeder” to hang in my garden.
Victorian Bird feeder
Morning mist over the fields
30 October 2007
You need: chicken-wire, thin steel wire, cutting nippers (pliers) and moss. I sometimes use ordinary sewing thread instead of wire because it is easier to work with and not so visible as wire is. If the moss seems dry then spray it lightly with water and put it in a plastic bag over night.
To make the bears arms you roll the second piece of chicken-wire into a smaller and more firm cylinder. Mark where you want the arms on the body and cut two holes in the netting with the pliers. Pull the cylinder through the holes and the bear has arms. If the arms seems unstable fasten them to the body with wire.
Now the skeleton is finished and you can start covering it with moss.
I usually start with the head and work my way down. I fix the moss with very thin wire or with thread. To make the nose you first cover the head with moss and then add a second piece of moss and shape it into a nose. Put it on top of the "face" and fix it with wire. When I pick moss in the woods ( you are allowed to do that in Sweden) I try to find large but rather thin pieces of moss. Then I can sort of drape the moss over the netting like a piece of fabric. With moss that grow on stones you can usually remove the whole piece without it breaking.
If you want the bear to have a more Winnie the Pooh look about him you can make his tummy bigger by adding layers of moss in the same way that you shaped the nose. When your bear is all covered with moss you give him a finishing touch by bending his arms and legs in the position you want. If you want him sitting down, standing up or maybe hold something in his arms. The good thing about chicken-wire is that it’s so flexible.
29 October 2007
As a matter of fact I already started with the creative stuff yesterday. And I combined it with a nature walk! I collected moss in the woods. It was beautiful in the woods. The sun was shining and the colors were spectacular. Moss is my favorite material. It`s great for making all kind of outdoor decorations. You can get it for free and it’s so easy to work with that you can create almost anything with it. I love the texture of moss, its color and its fairy tail quality…I even have a t-shirt with a “moss saying” on it rolling stones don’t grow moss! The saying is quite fitting for me since I never slow down long enough for any moss to get growing….
During my walk I came upon a flock of roe deer grazing. Unfortunately I scared them before I could get a real good shot with my camera. They looked like ping-pong balls flying through the air. Back home I made a mobile, a chair and a teddy bear out of moss! So the answer to this posts first question is .....MOSS! I made two circles with wire and covered them with moss. The leaves are made of rusty sheet iron.
21 October 2007
That’s when the idea of wrist warmers took form. As you could read in my earlier posts it continued to be just an idea for some time ….. but today I finally got started.
My dear blogfriend Jane in San Diego asked me “what the heck is a wrist warmer?” and I suppose a wrist warmer isn’t a key item in a California wardrobe but in the Swedish “artic” climate it’s a very nice thing to have….
I made these out of wool decorated with vintage lace, old handkerchiefs , beads and embroidery. You can wear them to keep warm, as an “accessory” or for the mere beauty of it…… I hope to do some in black wool and maybe some green ones too. I plan to sell them at our annual Christmas fair. Do you think I will get any buyers?
16 October 2007
14 October 2007
I`m going to have a stall at the annual Christmas fair and this year I’m determined to start in time not having to work around the clock to get everything finished. But already on Tuesday evening I had to put the sewing machine aside. Our fireplace was delivered (in pieces) and we had to drive down to the house and get it indoors.
so beautiful with the autumn colors and back home we sat silently watching the spectacular sunset.
Who needs a television when you can watch the sun set through your living room window? Not me anyway. We are longing for our fireplace though. The house was so cold that we had to sleep in long johns…..We woke up on Sunday morning
to frosty fields and a clear blue sky. The garden is full of different birds and this thrush, Rödvingetrast usually lives in the northern Sweden but probably stopped by on his way to a warmer winter climate.
I worked hard outdoors all day but also managed to finish decorating my hallway.
Well not really finished - I want another mirror, an old and shabby chick one but haven’t found one yet so this one will have to do for a while. I’m especially satisfied with the Hydrangea their color of purple, pink and blue matching the blue of the table.