Friday, November 30, 2007

It is only a short post for two reasons:

1. I am awfully tired. I have some pics to show you but I can't write a good post when I am so sleepy... I just can't type and think and keep my eyes open....

2. This is the first day of the Christmas Advent Swap and the lucky Aussie ladies opened their pressies but I still have to sleep one more so it is better to go to bed....

A longer - and hopefully more interesting - post is coming tomorrow......
Have a nice day!

Advent calendar 1. - Old one

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

First, dear Readers, I am so sorry to leave you without comments in the last few days.

As I am very busy with gifts (and they are still top secrets...) here is an old present. This was made 4 or 5 years ago to my stepfather. I found some fabric (used for the pockets) in a close shop, so I had to cut it into small pieces. I was a real beginner at that time, so it took me a while (I know it is very simple but that day I didn't have to much experience to help me...).

The red fabric was a very old one sitting under the bed in a box in my mum's flat. She used it for a skirt I think, but a piece was left in the box.

I wanted to embroider the numbers but at that time I found a new dye in my friend's hobby shop. It is called 'puffy dye' or something like that. You have to write the number you want, wait for some hours to dry then iron it from the wrong side of the fabric and when you heat, it becomes puffy. (I used the same dye on the fishy T-shirt).

It is a really simple design, but I hope it will give you a bit of Christmas feeling.... (Sorry for the picture, this is the best I have..... of course the original is red instead of pink...)

And I am back to this year's top secret sewing project (or at least to on e of them )...

Christmas carols

Sunday, November 25, 2007

I have special relationship with Christmas carols, I think.

First I have to say: I love carols. Unfortunately I live in a country where there are no Christmas carol singers and nearly all Christmas song is sad (except the children's songs of course).

When I was a high school student we made a small choir each Christmas. (Of course we had a really special teacher who helped in organizing things - thank you to her for that.) We learnt some (or a lot, I think quite a lot, yes) carols. We had singers, guitarists and some had bells, drums and rattles. before Christmas we went to the centre of the city (it is a capital, so quite big). We have a street there as all big city does. You know the one with lots of shops and tourists, fair before Christmas.

So we went there sang Christmas carols and collected money in a huge box. The money went to big and poor families with lots of children and not much money. But charity was only one side. On the other side we created a really good and special atmosphere in the street. People sang with us and some of them started to dance. It was the best part of Christmas for years to me. (I really didn't like Christmas for some reasons but this part was my favourite...)

When I started teaching I wanted to continue singing carols. I work with little ones so singing in the street at winter time for 4 or 5 hours is not a good idea. So we decided to create the special atmosphere in the school for the others. Advent mornings find us in the school hall next to the door singing Christmas carols. I have enthusiastic children each year who help me. They love Christmas carols like I do. I am always very happy when we sing together. It is wonderful!

Before Christmas I like listening to carols at home too. When I sew the pressies or bake the cakes I need some more special Christmas feeling which can be created by the carols.

Today I got a huge collection of Christmas carols of my B. (100 carols on 6 CDs!) I am very happy with it as I didn't have new songs this year so I listened to my only cassette (My CD player is still not working so the next - hopefully quick - step is to get it repaired.) . Now I have the opportunity to learn new carols and to hear the others sang by different singers. It was a huge surprise! Thank you for it, B!!

Busy nights with Christmas stuff

Saturday, November 24, 2007

I haven't written in the last two days... Actually I didn't have time to switch on my laptop....

I didn't have time for sleeping either...

My best friend has a souvenir shop with a lot of things in it. Before Christmas there is a lot to do. After work I helped her during the last two evenings and nights.

We unpacked lots of snowmen, Santa, candles, pencils, statues, lamps, notebooks, decoration, etc. We checked if they were damaged on the way or not, gave them price, put them on the shelves or re-wrapped and put back into categorised boxes. We did a lot, but still not finished. And she buys new stuff nearly all day, so it seems endless work now.

I also decorated two shopping windows. (They are not perfect as I don't know what are in the new boxes so I change the things when new favourites come out.) It is much fun, I love it. It is not so difficult, as my friend has good taste so I can't use ugly things (she doesn't have them in her shop).

Now I am late with my Christmas plans so I have to hurry.... And I must stop now as it is time to go back to the sewing machine....

Christmas gift last year

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I have some problems with blog these days:
1. I have to help my friend in her shop (not enough time to sew)
2. I can't really put pics about gifts on blog (I try to forbid all friends to visit this blog, but...hmmm... I am not sure... hopefully they are good enough :D)

But this is a picture about a last year Xmas pressie, so I dare to put it here. You know the pattern of a previous post (2 little bags) but you can change its style with different fabrics and different shape (double possibilities).

This was made for a friend who just loves everything blue and everything in connection with sea. This was the perfect fabric for her I think. I was very lucky to find this.

And now in this cold weather it is a bit of summer (for Aussie readers it is just in time, hihihi)

A simple day....

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

This was a simple Tuesday. Started like a usual one. Getting up early, going to work, in the afternoon running home, working a bit at home. It was quite late when I finished.

It looks like an awful weekday, but to tell you the truth it wasn't. I believe each day can be wonderful if you make it wonderful. Everything depends on you. When I start a day I always try to find the good thing in it. It is like a kind of motivation. Sometimes it is not so easy, but usually I can find something. And what is the connection with patchwork?

I know it is a blog about patchwork. I mean it wanted to be a blog about patchwork, but I write it, so I am in it. It is written by me, it shows me, so....hmm.... sometimes all my thoughts come out.... Usually I sew a lot in head. So my thoughts and sewing are in 'tight connection'. Unfortunately I have much more ideas than time. Half of my projects can be made only in my head. And I am quite lucky - I can enjoy travelling on a crowded bus or stranding in a queue because I can sew in head meanwhile. Can you see the connection? I hope the answer is yes.

So my motivation for today was patchwork and sewing again. I knew after finishing work I can go home and work on my Christmas projects. As I am a slow sewer I have to plan a lot. I always make lists (half of them must be cancelled at the end...sigh) and plans to use time the best. Sometimes I want to be quick, but the main point is to enjoy my hobby, so not the final result is the most important but the way.

Back to this day, I was right. I arrived home and could work on two Christmas projects. It was a good exchange for the tiring day. And what is the motivation for tomorrow? Maybe I can continue my projects... hmm? Isn't is a good idea?

It is not always true before Christmas as I want to finish the presents on time so I can't enjoy the way if I am not sure I can finish the gifts.

AAS (Aussie Advent Swap) 1. - Hurray!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Hurray! The most beautiful thing I can imagine! I arrived home - after a not-so-good day. I was tired and then....

I saw a huuuuuge box on my bed. My B was smiling 'You got this!'

This was the huge box I found. I ran to the bed and opened it! I saw the address so I knew it was my swap partner who sent me this box. I just wanted to check what was inside (OK, to tell you the truth I was really very curious).
So I opened the box quickly.

Sorry for the not so nice pic. That is what I saw. I decided to open the silver envelope. This is the beautiful card I have found:

I read it and became happier. Then my B asked me to go out. He put out the newspapers to look inside (I think he was also very curious.) then asked me to come in. He let me look at the pressies. When he picked out the newspaper we found lots of confetti... snowflakes, angels, stars...
And look how nice things I saw:

Unfortunately that is all I saw. I was a good girl so I put all the newspapers back and put the box in the living room. It is so hard to wait till the 1st Dec. But I will.... only 12 days... that can't be impossible... yes, I can do it!

Thank you stitched-up for the present! It made my day so happy!

My fishy T-shirt

Sunday, November 18, 2007

This is another old project again.

I have made it 2 years ago. I did Irish step dance at that time. Unfortunately I had an accident and my ankle is not perfect so I had some problem with it, and I stopped dancing. Since then I have knee problems as well but I so hate doctors I don't dare to visit them and show them my legs. I know I am stupid but I hope they will become better somehow without doctors and medicines. I do not have problems with playing basketball so I am for it now and I hope once I can go back to step dance.

Irish dancers use black clothes that is why I chose a simple black T-shirt from the nearest cheap sports shop.
One of my teacher was a fish-lover person so I decided to make a T-shirt with fishes. I am not very good at drawing so I found some pics about fishes. I draw them and not copied totally so finally they were a bit of my 'taste' and style.

It is a very simple design I used only white. The tricky part is that I used puffy dye so they bilge. (You have to wait for drying then iron it to become puffy.) The dye looks white but it is fluorescent. I looked quite funny in a dark room. It is simple but the contrast and the puffy fishes make it special so it became one of the favourites of my teacher. Unfortunately it is not so nice now after lots of washing. (The good thing is that you can take off the 'half gone' fish and draw another instead. I am not worried at all - I still have some of the dye so I can 'refresh' the T-shirt.)

Saturday post

Saturday, November 17, 2007

I spent the whole day with watching films. Friends came to us and we watched the 4 Harry Potter films on TV. It was a huge movie. Started around 11 o'clock in the morning and finished at 9 in the evening. We prepared food yesterday, so in the breaks (3 minutes between the films) we healed the soup, past, or made coffee or ate tiramisu. It was a huge and wonderful menu with good movies. I enjoyed to see the very beginning and the 4th film after each other.

While watching TV i knitted the puddings from the Handmade magazine I got from Juliet. Unfortunately some part were very good so I forgot to do the handwork, only watched the film. Today I have no finished project, it is just an UFO now. But hopefully tomorrow I can post it.

I think I had enough of TV so tomorrow more and more motivation for sewing. :D

Happy Friday!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Today was another 'reading day' for me as I still one more magazine to read plus I got a 'Happy Friday Present' from my friend, Pungi (the happy owner of the snowman in the pyjamas). This is the new book of my favourite Norwegian designer called 'Tildas hus'.

This was the best part of the day! I also got a beautiful Debbie Mumm fabric from my B which was another huge surprise... It is beautiful, blue, white and red with Santa and polar bears on it and of course beautiful snowflakes. Unfortunately I couldn't find a pic of the fabric, so I cannot show it right now.

So I have a lot to do now. I got inspiration so it is the time of the hand now.

I didn't have time to sew with so much reading but the weekend is coming so I can sew a bit. My 'to do list' is sooo long.

And little snowman, have a happy life with Pungi! (This was the day I saw my friend and gave her the snowman.)

Here is a picture about the book cover:

Nothing new ... but....

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Today I was so busy with reading my new mags (still have some articles left ...hurray) I didn't reach a needle. I know it is not good, but today was 'the day of sewing in head'.

So I show you a not-so-old project.

This is a tiny bag to put small things (like toothbrush, toothpaste, brush etc.) in it. The first one I made in a camp last summer. It was favourite project of the camp. It is very simple: maybe this was the reason. Nearly everyone - included me - made one. A lady made it bigger, gave handles and got a handbag at the end.

So one night (it was not the topic of the lessons so we made these during the evenings and nights) I decided to make one. I didn't have a zip so a kind lady gave me one as she had some extras. Luckily I had some extra fabric, so I could make the bag. Its shape turned very funny at the end as I sew a line different from the others (those lines in the corners made the two bags so different).

When we travelled in summer, I decided to make a little bag for my B. As he is an absolutely book-lover I was happy to find this fabric. It is brown so good for him and I added yellow fabric. I used water resistant fabric inside (it is very similar to that tablecloth which is made of plastic and you don't have to wash it only erase).

I still keep my things in plastic bags which is embarrassing of a quilter.... but at least my B has a place to keep his things while travelling. And mine? Ah, yes it is already cut out, but not sewn, still a UFO.

Christmas in November

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I just can't tell you how happy I am!

Today when I arrived home from work and opened the post box, I have found a yellow-brown envelope. I became so excited and pull it out and then I have found a white one as well!

I can't believe! Two presents one day!

The first one (the yellowish) came from the United Kingdom sent by Di. There were two mags in it, British Patchwork and Quilting Nov2007 and Popular Patchwork Oct2007. I have never heard about these mags, I don't know them.

The white envelope came from Australia sent by Juliet. There was Handmade Christmas edition in it. I got a Handmade once, but I got it 3 years ago I think.

It is a double happiness for me. I love getting presents (as most of us) and I feel the friendship and care of two online friends through these mags which is a real magic for me (sometimes I am surprised how much power internet has). I love magazines but I don't like mags written in 'unknown' languages. I know I can understand the pictures and 'how to' but I really love reading the articles and even all advertisements. Everything is interesting as they are from different countries. Here you can't find English mags but I don't understand German and Japanese ones, so these pressies are the best I can imagine. I got my last magazines from my father-in-law 1.5 years ago so I read them several times. There is a shelf in my sewing room for the mags I have. All are from Australia and I read them through again and again. I really enjoy them. Now I have three more to put to my favourite shelf, but first I have to read everything from the first letter to the very last one!

So this is all dear Reader for today as I go reading.... Hurray!!!!

Thank you Ladies, thank you so much again!

My newest friend

Monday, November 12, 2007

Let me introduce you my newest friend. Actually he is a wish of my best friend who is sick now with awful and long flu, hopefully she is staying in bed at the moment. I promised her when she was a good girl and stayed in bed drinking tea she would get a surprise. This is her surprise for today. Snowman who hopefully cures her, and make her healthy soon.

Actually that's how I looked like last week when I had something very similar. I had a huge red nose then (and it turned orange as I felt better and better), I wore pyjamas (orange ones of course unfortunately without these beautiful checked pattern) and I was not so cute as he but had more hair (luckily I still have more hair).

He is also a Tildas pattern from the Christmas book. I used simple cheap creamy (I am not sure how we call this colour... even using my mother tongue...but it is a mixture of white and yellow) cotton fabric and this checked one which I bought in summer on a sale. I am a bit sad now because I haven't bought enough. I have changed the nose and designed one for myself as I wanted to have it of fabric as well but the original design had something else. It is made of a little piece of very bright orange. For the eyes I used black DMC and made French knots.
He should have a piece of string on his hand as a hanger but I didn't have the perfect string so I skipped this problem.

I hope you like him... Ah and unfortunately we don't have snow.... It is raining outside....Grrrrr.... I don't like this cold rain let's push the 'snow button'!

The first snow this year!!!!!! Hurray!!!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

What a wonderful Sunday it was! We had the first snow this year! (Actually we are having the first snow but it is turning into rain unfortunately...)

I couldn't stop myself and I took lots of pictures. I would like to show them to you, dear Reader. I hope you like snow, too. How is it possible not to like snow?

OK, let me show the photos:

This is the beginning.... Show is in the air and water on the ground..... But this time snow was the stronger! Look at the next pic.

And this is my favourite friend who also loves snow. He is watching it from our bedroom:

And later we went to a mini 'snow walk'. Actually I am not a fan of walking, but snow totally changes my mind. I just love walking in snow!

Isn't it beautiful?These are the pics of our first 'snow walk', some plants around. They look amazing covered with snow!

This is one of my favourite trees. It is beautiful in the spring and with its burgundy leaves in summer and also in autumn. Finally you can see this gorgeous shape in winter.

And the last one: just a piece of ground..... I didn't want to step on it and destroy it....
I nearly forgot this one: The first snowman this year...It has no nose and eyes yet but I saw some children around. :D

T's birthday party

Yesterday I had a very busy day. It started after a horrible Friday with awful headache, the whole day spent in bed, a bit of a sleep each time, horrible evening and worse night (when I couldn't sleep just heard the terrible wind outside). So I got up on Saturday with much better 'conditions'. I went to the supermarket for lots of ingredients as my friend, T. had his 30th birthday on Thursday and we decided to make him a surprise party this weekend. (The boys had a football match together and then a friend organised a 'rubber-sumo' party for T. We all had a mini sumo match with him. Then we went to a restaurant, ate a lot and finally we went to another friends' house to have a glass of wine, water, tea or juice and talked for hours. I think it was a lovely night and I hope T agrees.)

I was responsible for the cake. T. is a funny guy interested in astronomy, space and strange things like that. I decided to make him 5 small cakes. I couldn't decide if UFOs or planets would be better so I started to make UFOs with caramel rounds around. I called his younger brother and found out he loved coconut cream cakes. I was not sure if everyone liked it too, so I made 2 coconuts and 3 chocolate cakes.

I started to make them in the morning and I was in a big hurry at the end, so I didn't have time to make good photos about them. The only one I have was made on the party. I put it here and I hope the friends will post me better ones later, so then i can edit this post and add some more.

The chocolate cream is my mum's recipe, I love her cakes so it seemed a good choice. The coconut cream was in a good recipe book which I got from my B years ago on a birthday. It had not enough coconut in it I thought so I put 3 times as much as it was written. Luckily everyone liked it :D (Ah, yes and I put some extra vanilla paste in it. Shhhhhh!) The caramel rounds caused lots of problems at the end. And they all broke on the way :(, but friend were so nice to eat them happily.

Finally here is the only photo I mentioned:

Christmas time - or at least sewing starts

Thursday, November 8, 2007

This is time to start sewing for Christmas.... I mean it is a bit late... but still.... So today I spent some time on making Christmas projects.

I can't show anything as 3 dolls are half made, but I can show you a little angel (to start Christmas time with) which I learned a month ago.

It is made of felt. The pattern is simple, arms (one piece), legs (one piece also), head (of 2 pieces) and hair. Ah, and the dress of course (made of one piece also).

There is some batting inside. I used simple thread for sewing and DMC for the eyes and mouth. I am not totally satisfied with the hair so I am going to try some new shapes.... later...

It is funny as the angel is quite funny without hair, and it is like 'sun' with hair.... hopefully I can make other designs as well when I will be able to get some more kinds of felt. She (or this one is a 'he' mostly) is nearly finished but as you see I had some more work on the neck...

I thought he was funny this way, the bold one, but put a hair on, and got the 'sunny' one. Look:


The most stressful part of patchwork - the block

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Maybe most of the patch workers disagree with me (or most but all of them) but for me making a block a really stressful thing. Especially when making a quilt together with other people.

You have to be very precise for that which is not easy for me. In doll making 2 mm here or there mostly doesn't cause problem, just change the character of a doll a bit. But 2 mm can make a whole block wrong.

But yesterday and today I was working on a block. One of the internet friends decided to make a quilt together for charity. They collect money for a young girl. I was not brave enough to sign on the list, but I have started to make the block and I put my name in only at the end...

I was so frightened my hands trembled, even cutting a lint next to the ruler was a problem... (Yes, I am mad.... for sure...) Finally I had the block of the maple... And guess what! It is the given size! It was a real surprise for me, I could make it 30x30cm.
I had to use autumn colours, so I chose this green. All of us used cream for the back fabric and for the background. I stitched it a bit.

Here it is (I know it is something really simple, but was not easy for me to make...):

A long weekend away....

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

We were lucky and after changing the workdays in the whole country, we had a long weekend (4 days) free. We had a nice short holiday in August with friends where we decided to make a new mini holiday for ourselves and spend these days (only 3 days at the end) in the countryside together.

We started on Thursday and had lunch together in a nice restaurant. it was quite adventurous as the first restaurant where we met was full so we had to find another one. But we travelled separately so we had to organize the whole thing again. Finally we had lunch at 3.30 (poor O., a friend of mine was starving even at 1 o'clock).
We were fifteen, thirteen 'adults' (we are said to be adults compare to our ages, but in fact...khm... old teenagers maybe?) and two sweet kids (friends' sons).

We arrived to our accommodation quite late. We saw the sunset on our way:

The place we stayed in was beautiful. This was the view of the terrace:

We ate a lot. We had wonderful food there. Thanks for the chef! Here is a dessert:

It is autumn here, but I have found some beautiful plants. The first one is one of my favourites. It has the nicest colour on Earth (orange), but its name in my language is a bit sad, we call it 'Smelly'(tagates patula):

Here is a close-up of a bush we saw next to the road.

And this is a pine tree. I loved its leaves. They look funny:

The idea of this picture came from a friend. We visited the castle of an Earl. In its beautiful garden there was a lake with lots of fish inside. We made a picture about the plants and their shadows on the water. I really like it. :

Another plant next to the road on a wall. Colours of autumn:

The last picture is the view of another castle. The lake and a forest. Isn't it beautiful?

It was a lovely weekend. Thanks guys for organizing it! I enjoyed it very much, I hope you feel the same. Unfortunately I didn't make pics in the spa which was also fun. When is the next one?

In bed without sewing...

Monday, November 5, 2007

Today I had lots of time as I am sick, but I didn't sew a stitch as I was sleeping all day.... I hate it....

But, good news: yesterday we had a friend here from Germany.... We (my B and me) got two boxes of wonderful chocolate. (Actually one box is full of marzipan what I love)....
I am so proud I have never had a real wooden box of chocolate...
So here are the pictures:

(for chocolate lover readers /like Jo/: jump in any time to have a piece of these but be quick, they are really nice ... hihi... or let me know how to send them through internet for you)
Here is the box:

Hmmmm... I am opening the box. Isn't it exciting??? Aren't you curious? (I was...)

And finally I have opened it and I saw them.... yummiiiiiii

And here is the marzipan collection.... Oooops, I was too slow..... a piece of marzipan disappeared somehow... (who ate it?...:D)

Patch? Witch!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Ah, this was a good weekend in the countryside with friends. This is a late post for the weekend.
The doll of October was a witch. We had a given picture and we had to make a witch based on it.

Here is my witch. I made some pictures while working so if you want to follow my work and make one doll, here is some help.

This is my own design (but not the picture what I got, I don't know its origin). The head, neck and body is cut of one piece (I wanted her to be able to hold her head, so I cut those of one piece and used a lot of filling in the neck.)
I had a lot of trouble with the arms and legs... They are very thin so it was not easy to turn them out.
Here is the doll....

As you see she is not a huge doll (about 15 cm). When I make a doll it is always the last step to make her face so she had to wait a lot more.....
As I am not a professional designer I used the doll to design her clothes so they are the right size.

The next step was the double dress. The patterned one with long sleeves, and the checked one without sleeves.
For the first one I used a blouse which I found in a second hand shop. Unfortunately it was not my size, but I loved the fabric, so I washed and ironed it at used a small part for this tiny dress.
For the other dress I needed a ribbon with pumpkins on. So I learned the 'needle painting' technique and tried to make my best (I posted about it before).

After the dresses it was time to make the hat. I used black plush for it. I needle painted the ribbon (I only had white satin ribbon but I needed purple) and finally I added some beads.

Her hair is made of knitting thread, and I embroidered her face. This is her half made hair:

Finally I made her tiny shoes and the broom. For the broom I used branches and those orange something (once I got a bunch of flowers from my friend and this was the decoration I was sure it was good for something but didn't know what. I got the answer when wanted something for the broom.). I stack them with glue gun.
And here is my witch (I know I am not good at taking photos, but hopefully I can improve my knowledge.)