Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Anthropologie Inspired DIY - City Trinket Dish

 
 
When it comes to styles of home & furniture, I  am a huge fan of Anthropologie. Their offer resonates deeply with my bohemian spirit and I am a frequent visitor who invariably drools over their fantastic stuff, and seeks inspiration when the days are dragging and inspiration is scarce. Which leads me to their trinket dish.
The minute I saw it I wanted to make one for ourselves. Now, I might have as well order it, for such a piece is worth having - they collaborate with some  fantastic indie designers - but the drive to make something myself usually prevails, and I was determined to give this a try.
 
Now, bear in mind that I am not a professional sculptor, clay master or porcelain guru. Just a plain person who enjoys playing with clay. I don't have many required tools, but I have a desire to create as big as a house, so I took out my polymer clay, doodled city images, applied varnish, glued it and voila!
My trinket, or jewelry dish is done!
 
 
 
I drew and painted the houses on both sides and the dishes look quite adorable.

Working on the oval plate I thought that it might be interesting to make something whimsical for the center or the side of it, and use the plate to serve cheese, tomatoes and olives in it. Would be a phenomenal conversation starter, don't you think?




Monday, April 16, 2018

Instagram Love #artvsartist


There is a hash tag on instagram being quite popular at the moment that puts the spotlight on various artists and their art. It's called #artvsartist and I jumped onto the bandwagon as soon as I discovered it.
 
You know I love instragram and although I am not fervently posting I am there and take my dose of inspiration on daily basis. So, here is just a sprinkle of what artists I discovered (and fell in love with their "art") out of the plethora of talented people.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
a href="https://www.instagram.com/le_mouton_perche">le_mouton_perche
 
 


Friday, April 13, 2018

5 Weekend Projects to Try

 
Happy Friday to all that will enjoy the weekend!
 
I, on the contrary will be working, for it happens to be a working Saturday for us. And I cannot stress  enough how much I hate being deprived of my beloved Saturdays. 
It will also affect next week which will seem to just drag and drag and there'll be no end to it.
 
That means that all planned crafty projects will be put on hold, but that didn't stop me from finding some interesting DIYs. 
 
If you are lucky to be free for the weekend, do check up on these cute projets.
 
 
Have fun!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Framed Poem DIY - unique home decor

 
 
This is an idea I have long wanted to bring to life and boy, am I glad I finally did. It makes me immensely satisfied that it turned just as I imagined.

Having everything at hand made it an easy project to tackle too.

How to make a framed poem decorated with dried flowers

You need a photo frame, pressed and dried flowers, a poem you love (or find an interesting one on the internet) to print onto a colored sheet of paper and white glue.


 Print the poem first. My photo frame is for photos 4x6" (10x15 cm) so I adjusted the size prior to printing. I also printed it first to see what it would look like with the selection of flowers I chose for it and worked on the lines.
As you can see, the poem stretches down to the end. Play with it to get the most pleasant look meaning that you choose the font and toy with the lines.  
 
When you have the poem printed, work on the flower arrangement.
 
Using white glue, I applied it on the stem and just added some light touches of it onto the petals. Be careful or they might get ruined / turn into dust if more glue is applied. Position them as you previously visualized them and glue them onto the paper. Press lightly so they stick.
 
Insert into frame and you are done!
 
Initially I went for one of Emily Dickinson's poems, but later decided on this one by Atticus.
 
 
 

I plan to make several of these - I have tons of dried flowers and I am curious to try other colored paper / poem / flower combinations.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Insta love - photowall

 
 
Happy Monday all!
 
A day without reading is a day wasted and I completely agree.
 
Now, since the day has reached its peak, the rays have longed caressed the blooming nature, I am heading off to do some flower reading on ancient fortress's walls.
 
The amazing wall mural is by photowall taken from here.
 
Read my review of the wondrous wall mural here.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Spring Flower Brooch

 
 
 
Stitch by stitch, rounds dance and twirl and intertwine, grow and stretch and bloom to become unscented  cotton flowers, ticklers of the eyes, powerful balm for the soul.
 
My newest brooch dressed in pearls, velvet and crochet lace because I wouldn't have it any other way.
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Bring Spring Into the Home

 
Whenever I start thinking of bringing spring into the home and adding a charming spring décor around the place, it is always flowers (normally!) that come first on my mind!
 
And although the season is literally killing me with pollen all around me,  (I've allergies),  I would attach a crate with upside down flowers on my ceiling in an instant. It does give the place a special feel. Like being in a  home of a forest nymph :)
 
 
Another great idea - and this can be done with artificial flowers so that the whole project lasts longer is to make a flower wreath / dream catcher. I am already working on some dream catchers for girls I hope would be able to show soon.
 
 
 
 
The simplest and the most effective idea is to take jars, vases, bottles, pots and buckets, spread them out through the house and put a small piece of heaven inside.
 



 

Monday, April 2, 2018

Insta love - petalshed



Happy Monday!

It is a wonderful and sunny day today and I can hear the birds chirping merrily out in the garden. 

Nature is slowly blooming, revealing a colorful and magnificent world beneath its spring wings. Such a world can also be found at Nattie Risdale's (petalshed) who makes the most fascinating crochet pieces.

I apologize for not being able to link up to her account to save my life. Blogger is having tantrums. Will try later.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Easter Discount in the Shop

 
Dear all,
 
we want to let you know that we are having an Easter discount. 15% off everything in our esty shop. Use code EASTER2018 or just click this link - the discount will be added immediately.
 
There are a couple of (physical) brooches, bracelets and necklaces along with  mountains of crochet patterns.
 
If you are still reconsidering your Easter décor, check out these easy egg cozies patterns.
 



1. Easter Egg Baskets
2. Tulip Egg Cozy
3. Easter Egg Basket
4. Damsel & Unicorn Cozies

 

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Romantic Crepe Easter Eggs DIY

 
 
 

Every year I like to change my tablescape for Easter and aside for the permanent decorations in the shape of bunnies, chicks and other Easter related stuff I try to freshen it up so this year was no exception.

What follows is a super messy activity which turns beautifully in the end, so if you are not afraid of a little mess, come join the ride.

To make the romantic pleated / folded crepe eggs you need:

* crepe paper in desired colors
* Styrofoam eggs (as many as you like)
* lace, tulle, ribbons, crochet flowers, catchy fabric, trinkets you have lying around....
* white paper glue (decoupage glue)


Cut a rectangle piece of paper (to fit your egg) and pleat it (fold it).Insert egg in the middle (spread the pleats there), close the ends to see if the size is right. My paper was a bit longer than necessary. Cut the excess. Unfold it again with the egg in the center.



Add glue on the egg and glue the sides first; next lift the sides again and glue them over the egg (upwards). Sprinkle it with cuteness. For this one I glued a dotted silk fabric and a tiny sateen flower.

To make the romantic crumpled crepe eggs:  



Cut a piece of crepe and crumple it. Add glue on the egg and glue the paper. It cannot be easier. Decorate it your way. Make many that will bring joy and cheer!

 

We are ready for Easter!

 

Monday, March 26, 2018

Easter on Instagram - insta love




Easter is at the reach of the hand!

As I grow older, I turn to memories of celebrating Easter when I was a little girl and I get flooded by rich images of anticipation, excitement and joy. I have managed to treasure that feel and I always let it run loose and skip wildly in joy as the day nears. Even now I am getting closer to my fifties.

So I went on an Easter hunt on instagram and made myself an inspiration board. Take a cup of tea and come enjoy it with me!

Inspiration sources:
mintlemonadecookies
infinyway
lardecoramado brit.silberann
casaebottegasaponi
felisianafeli finelivingconcierge
elvira_nemyrova

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Easter Fun Cozies: The Damsel & The Unicorn Pattern

 
 

Easter is a special time of the year and the most exciting for the children. So this Easter I decided to make some fun egg cozies that will make children feel like being in a fairytale.
 
I present to you the The Damsel & The Unicorn Pattern
The first cozy is the Damsel's hair (or wig as I like to call it) with its luxurious locks that along with the hat has a sprinkle of steampunk cuteness.
The unicorn is adorned with mini flowers and has an appealing "mane" at the back.
 
The patterns for both are not complicated at all and work up really fast. The Damsel's wig / cozy is made to serve as a prop -  cozy that you can put on an egg and take it off, so because the locks make it really heavy, I give instructions in the pattern how to make it fixed using a "headband" that you actually tie below the egg. If you want to use it year after year as a fixture, than you can glue it to an artificial (plastic, wooden or clay) egg.
 
The unicorn is lighter than the wig and does not require additional attachment.
Both cozies are meant to be used with XL size of eggs (73 grams+).
 
Finished measurements:  Damsel’s hair: 7 cm /2.8” across (locks excluded). Unicorn cap/ cozy: 6.5cm / 2.6” across.
Unicorn hair: 4.5 cm /1.8”.
 
Find it in my shops: etsy, ravelry, love knitting.
 
 

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Repurposing project: Chandelier Necklace

 
 
 
My grandma had a wonderful crystal beads necklace - even at the time it looked vintage and she claimed she had had it in her youth so it really was old when I was a child, but it was well preserved.
 
Sadly, I don't have it - my cousin inherited that piece, but I can vividly remember putting it on along with some of her "ball dresses" for our pretend plays.
 
The story of the chandelier necklace and the ball dresses
 
My maternal grandma was a professional seamstress and she could sew the most dazzling dresses. She loved telling us about dresses she made for her to wear at the balls and dances organized by what was called the Officer's Club which represented the most prominent building with many luxuriously furnished halls and rooms  adorned with enormous Czechoslovakian crystal chandeliers.
 
Albeit the name, the club was open for the elite, the representatives of the city class and other prominent people and a  membership card verified by certain chambers and acclaimed associations was the entry to the numerous balls, dances and recitals organized by various cultural, artistic and sport associations.
 
The balls were something we, the grandchildren - all girls - were most interested in. And grandma could weave the most magical stories of those parties spent dancing in sateen and tulle dresses, wearing her glass necklace under the luxurious chandeliers in the hall. Sigh....
 
Which brings me to my necklace.
So it happened that we had a huge chandelier, heavily adorned with big and small glass beads, and when my mother renovated her place she decided to get rid of it.
 
Of course, I couldn't let her throw all those wonderful glass beads away! I thought of grandma's necklace immediately!
 
There are about 50 of the small crystals- just a tiny portion shown here and a number of big ones which I didn't save all - took just about 10, for something I will dream of. I wanted to make a crochet necklace with the big ones - I made a crochet case for one but that project is UFO classified until further attempt. 
 
 
 
Finally I decided to put those beads to use and make myself a remembrance necklace - my chandelier necklace in honor of my beloved grandma. She is the one smiling from my photo album here. The design of the necklace is simple but the effect is wondrous.
 
Now, I am waiting for my ball to wear it to.
 
 

Monday, March 19, 2018

How Crochet Heals and the Magic of Mandalas by Kathryn Vercillo



 
Crochet is a craft that is easy to learn, relatively affordable and offers a lot of surprising benefits. Through my own personal experience journeying out of depression, along with research done into the topic, I’ve learned how crochet helps people with both mental health and physical health issues. In particular, I’ve seen how crocheting mandalas (circles) is a healing act.

A crochet mandala is a circle worked in the round. It can use very simple crochet stitches or it can be a more complex pattern. What makes it a mandala (not “just a circle”) is arguable but essentially it boils down to intention. When you crochet a circle with mindful intention, it holds the power of the mandala. Crochet mandalas are used as coasters, rugs, blankets, wall art and more but the act of crocheting a mandala is about the process of the work much more than it is about the final project.
 


 
 
A simple meditative crochet circle pattern is perfect for making a mandala. Repetition of simple stitches in crochet offers a range of benefits. First of all, you can make this type of mandala even if you have just learned how to crochet. The repetition eases you into a mode of relaxation, which offers the benefits of stress reduction and rejuvenation. Those benefits help with all sorts of health conditions from depression to relief from chronic illness. The repetition of working stitches is also believed to release serotonin, which improves mood, boosts the immune system and reduces sensations of pain.

These benefits are achieved with all types of repetitive crochet and their power may be magnified by working in the round. Many cultures and belief systems emphasize the inherent healing power of the circle. Jung, who worked with the unconscious, said that mandalas symbolized wholeness. Susan F. Fincher, who has done extensive work with mandala art therapy, notes that working with them helps orient us in the world; there’s a biological and psychological component to this. The circle connects us to the rest of the universe, which gives us a sense of place in the world, increases feelings of well-being and improves our quality of life. We may not realize that these benefits are happening as we crochet a mandala but there could be unconscious powers at work.


 
I didn’t start crocheting mandalas just because they got trendy, although that’s a perfectly fine reason to do so. I started crocheting them after I learned of the death of crochet designer Marinke Slump in 2015. I had previously interviewed her about how crochet had helped her with social anxiety and depression related to her diagnosis of Aspergers’ syndrome and was devastated to learn that a relapse of depression had led to her death by suicide. Marinke was one of the first contemporary designers crocheting mandala patterns, and I chose one and worked it repetitively in the weeks following her death. It was a means of feeling connected to her and to my craft while doing something that didn’t require focus (because I already knew the double crochet stitches and simple increases used in the project).

I created the Mandalas for Marinke project in response to her death. I accepted submissions of crochet mandalas from over 300 people who shared their stories about depression, suicide and crocheting to heal. The project consisted of near-daily blog posts for over a year sharing these mandalas, stories and information about mental health. In 2017, there were two different exhibits of the mandalas in Southern California. I also released a book that offers a curated selection of the project. 
 
 
 

Here are a few of the things that contributors shared that further illuminate the healing power of crochet:

Crochet helps keep my depression episodes at bay, I know many crocheters and knitters have mental health issues. The work we do and the community we belong to help keep us focused and positive (as much as we can be). At least it does for me.” – Andrea K

“My crafting has at certain points in my life been the only things to get me out of bed to face a new day.” – Lisa Mazzarano

“Depression takes the colour, sense, meaning and worth from people's lives. A long time ago, I was in a similar place. With help and healing I was able to get through, but there are days when the darkness feels to close for comfort, mainly days when I am in pain from my fibromyalgia. Crochet gives me something to focus on and although it can never cure the condition I have, it gives me a sense of peace and accomplishment. That's what gets me through the painful days.” – Nikki

“Crochet got me out of bed last year. Crochet broke through my pain threshold of sitting more than 15 minutes. Crochet brought joy back. I can't do everything I want to do in the body I live in. I give thanks every day I can crochet!" – Flo

"I am a retired Psychologist. While I have not had any personal experiences with mental health/ depression/ suicide, I worked in the mental health field for many years. I had several clients commit suicide during my tenure. Depression cannot withstand activity so the more activity and concentration expended to read patterns, follow directions, and create something beautiful from a hook and yarn, the more fulfilling and better your self-concept and self-esteem becomes.” – Alice Dolamore

Crochet heals us. It’s undeniable. It relieves symptoms of depression and anxiety, contributes to overall improved quality of life, boosts self-esteem, reduces stress and offers us an outlet for any stress or issues with mood. Crocheting mandalas can be especially helpful because of the natural healing properties of working with circles. Be kind to yourself; crochet.

 



This is a guest post by Kathryn Vercillo, blogger at Crochet Concupiscence and author of several books including Crochet Saved My Life and Mandalas for Marinke. Support her work with micro donations through Patreon.
 
My collaboration with Kathryn goes way back and I am immensely happy to have her as my guest today. Thank you so much Kathryn!!
 
If you want to see my contribution for the Mandalas for Marinke project, the free mandala pattern is here.