My visitors

Saturday, 31 December 2011

Art ?

Don't worry, the title isn't a real question. It is more of a joke. But I often wonder what is the definition of "Art" when I sometimes see so-called paintings which look more like children drawings... Could we all be considered as artists? 

Anyway, made this for a friend as a Christmas present:

Very simple: a white canvas, black acrylic paint, a golden permanent marker, a stencil (home-made in this case), a knitted cord, a thin flexible wire and some glue. 

I considered varnishing the canvas before fixing the CD and the cord, but several persons told me it looked good without... so be it!

What do you think of the result?

Friday, 30 December 2011

Christmas presents: more scoodies!

Ever since I discovered this blog explaining how to make scoodies (see my previous post here) I resolved to make some more as Christmas presents.
* Two for my niece and her mother, and for her father I made a scarf:
Mr.X does not want to be recognised

The scarf of the smaller scoodie (although not as small as I wanted it to be) is a lot shorter than the adult sized one. One simple reason: I think that for a small child running around, a knot under the chin is probably safer than turning the scarf around the neck several times and risking the child to step on the scarf if it undoes itself.

* One for one of my brothers:
The scarf piece again is different because at his school scarves are not allowed (apparently the children could strangle themselves and each other while playing...), so I made it shorter and closed it with Velcro® bands (allowing width adjustments). The buttons are just decoration. Red of course for it is his favourite colour!

* Another one for myself... can I consider it as a Christmas present? ... hmmm why not! I needed it to match the colour of my winter-jacket. The red one matches my autumn coat.

Winter is not very cold yet... Was it to allow me enough time to finish everything?

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Fingerless Gloves

Another experiment with knitted cords... Fingerless Gloves (the idea was taken from that book which I received for my birthday). One of my sisters is a big fan (or at least was two years ago...) of fingerless gloves, so I seized the occasion of Christmas to make her a pair. I just hope she does not find them too horrible. Even if she does not like them, they can be useful as Baby N. loves when one moves hands around while singing! So with those colours she will be over the moon.

At first they were plain but then I thought it would be nice to add a little something on top.

They are not completely identical, I tend to find the left one better shaped. So in the future I will need to improve the cylinder I used to make them (a piece of cardboard) and to be really careful to have the same thread tension everywhere.

Still not getting many feedbacks... What do you think of them?

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Keeping Baby warm outside - Part 2

I have been wanting for a while to make something warm and cosy for the push-chair in winter (although up to now we haven't really needed it). I started last month but with all my Christmas projects I just kind of left it aside... And then my mother-in-law came to help and in two afternoons it was done! I did about one third of the work, she did the other two thirds : the hardest bits!!
 A big thank you to her!!  
Vielen Dank H. für deine Hilfe!!!

Two layers of fleece and in between the thick cotton which I have been using for the coat extension as well as for the sleeping bag (by the way, that makes the sleeping bag pretty heavy!). Two large zippers and some time... Baby N. will hopefully be warm enough when the harsh cold and the snow come.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Keeping Baby warm outside - Part 1 bis

Baby N., my husband and I have been using the coat extension for a while now. It is nice, warm and cosy. One thing though: the top does let a lot of wind in and Baby N. does not like it. Here is my solution (sewn at lunchtime, tested and approved this afternoon already):

Two large press studs and the wind keeps out!

Friday, 16 December 2011

The Weird Octopus has a name!

The final decision was made today, we had to choose among those:
                Paul, Paula, Pauly, Octopus, Octopussy, Octopaul, Francoeur, Kleinchevelu...
Even Kraken was suggested by my husband!
But somehow none of those really satisfied me. And then this morning while talking with my mother, while Baby N. was talking to the octopus, came the name! Thanks Mum!

I am pleased to present you:

For those who would not know, that means sock. Her head being made of socks, it does make a bit of sense, it sounds nice, not too difficult to pronounce and OBVIOUSLY the eyes being flowers it IS a female octopus, therefore a feminine name suits perfectly.

We will just see how Baby N. will say it next year ;)

Labels & Textures Hedgehogs

Again hedgehogs? Yes! I like them very much much. They are adorable.

Anyway, one the blog I was talking about the other day I also found the idea for the hedgehog. I liked it and, as per usual, thought I had to give it a go! Finally yesterday evening I took my boxes of fabric remains and my box of ribbons out of the shelf and got ready to make two hedgehogs. It is so quick to make! Within one hour I had the two in my hands, finished and I was washing them (by hand... no idea how they would like the washing-machine).

One if for ... someone ;) and the other is for Baby N. - she is only four months old and is still getting to know her weird octopus (this morning she chatted to it before eating it very heartily!), so I will not give it to her straight away. Instead I will wrap it and put it at the foot of our Christmas tree for her to open next week.

Pictures now? ... Ok if you insist, here they are:

Did you notice that it isn't just labels? I really like making things with various textures, babies usually love that, so one side is plain cotton and the other is made of three different fluffly fabrics. I bought a bag of 500gr of Plüschreste a couple of months ago. It is mainly small squares and scraps but it is perfect for that sort of things!
As for the labels, some are ribbons, some are shoe-laces, some are thin ropes etc. 

I cannot wait to see the reactions of the two soon-to-be-owners of those hedgehogs.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Weird Octopus

 Some weeks ago I came across a nice blog "En Direct de la Fabrique de Crevettes" and really liked this toy, so I decided to make one as well. I made it a bit different though. The head isn't round, the eyes are big and strange and it has not mouth!!

Two old socks sewn together to make the head, inside some wadding and a rattle. To cover the ugly seam in the middle: a small white ribbon (it also gives something soft and silky to touch). One eye is orange fleece, the other is green printed cotton with underneath a plastic paper to make a bit of noise. And 24 knitted cords of various sizes and colours for the leggs. Baby N. already loves grabbing them and trying to pull them apart!!

I have to thank my mother-in-law for helping me with the eyes, Baby N. being quite restless these days, I did not have much time to finish the toy.

NOW!! We are waiting for names' suggestions from all of you!

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Advent Calendar

For a few years already my mother-in-law has been sending us a home-made/filled Advent calendar. Two years ago, I did not give it back to her but filled it myself to give it to her so that she and my father-in-law could also get some small gifts. I, nevertheless, still wanted to have one for us so I made one (which actually remained unused last year). This year I filled it and gave it to my parents-in-law and they filled theirs for us. Every year therefore we will be swapping calendars. Does that make sense?

Anyway, here is the calendar I made (sewing was all done with the machine and the numbers are hand-embroidery):

Several comments:
* the wooden bar will eventually be painted Candy stick-style
* with the years small embroideries and decorations will appear on the white background
* the pockets are not really practical so maybe I should have a system to hold them closed

12 Days to go until Christmas!

Friday, 9 December 2011

Another sleeping bag

Baby N. needs a lot of layers to keep herself warm enough to sleep through the night, so I though I'd make her a warmer sleeping bag. I also chose to make it big enough to last more than a month. Final result is... let's say VERY big! I still need to finish fixing by hand the zipper at the bottom and to cut the threads. Then hopefully the marks I made on the fabric will disappear after washing (yeah... did draw the cutting lines on the wrong side but noticed only too late!).

I drew the pattern myself, using a piece of clothing which is currently a size too big and made it about 2cm bigger, not sure it was such a great idea but well, we will see how it goes when she sleeps in it. As for the sleeves, the end was actually too tight, so I made them open up to the elbow (when she will be tall enough to actually fill the length of the sleeve!).

I used fleece for the outside, a thick and heavy cotton for the inside which is covered again by a thinner cotton which makes it easier to place Baby in the sleeping bag and finally a 60cm long zipper to close the whole thing.

Enough babbling, here are the pictures:

Plenty of space to move the legs
At the moment the sleeves are too long...
Already thinking of the next one I will sew (I have an idea, maybe nice-looking, on how to place the zipper). It will be blue this time and maybe a tad smaller. 
Why already another one? Because I like washing everything as often as possible and I expect the thick cotton to dry quite slowly, therefore a second sleeping bag would be very useful.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Ideas for small presents?

Last year I started following a blog and this article made me want to try making lovely felt characters. Even the English friend who came to visit last year just before Christmas gave it a try. They are so sweet and make perfect little presents and/or fillings for the Advent calendar!

Madame is wearing pearls and Monsieur a bow-tie

 Want to know the trick for the shapes? My ikea biscuit forms!!!

More Christmas Decorations

Three days late here is finally our "Adventskranz". My mother-in-law and I only managed yesterday to find the time to meet up and make our "Kränze". Here is mine:

 This year the candles are white and of different sizes (this way at the end of Advent they will all be roughly the same size). Last year they were deep red, but white also looks very nice.

For my first Christmas in Germany after my wedding I made a couple of things:

A cloth to put under the Adventskranz or just in the middle of the table as decoration

A table cloth
Those two aren't on the table yet as I need to clear away my sewing-machine but soon I will finish setting-up everything for Christmas. The last thing will be the Christmas tree but we do not have much space left with all the baby stuff... Let's see!
One thing I will definitely not be making this year is this:

We need to open and close often the small second part of our door for the pram, so having this sort of decoration would be quite annoying as it would sprinkle needles all the time!

Monday, 28 November 2011

Keeping Baby warm outside - Part 1

Winter is still not really there, but it is slowly getting colder. My husband and I recently bought a new baby-carrier which is much better for our poor shoulders and back (it has a strap around the hips like hiking backpacks), the only thing is that with Baby N. in the carrier I cannot close my coat. One can buy an already-made sort of coat extension, but they are quite expensive. So I thought "I have a sewing-machine, a bit of time... Let's get on with making one then!"
Three different fabrics: two layers of thin fleece (I didn't have thicker black fleece), one layer of thick cotton and one layer of laminate (click here). A small cord, two cord-stoppers, a YKK 5VS zipper compatible with the zippers of our winter jackets. Two to three hours of work (split on two days) and here is the result:

I have been using it for about a week now and I can say that it is quite warm. Baby N. will need to wear her warmer clothes when it get properly cold, but for now she is fine with less layers. We do keep each other warm!

Christmas Decorations

Advent has begun, Christmas markets are open, incense is burning in our house, decorations are up (even Baby N. has decorations on her rocker and likes them very much), Christmas music is playing, Stollen, Domino Steine and other yummy things on the table... Ooooh it really is one of my favourite parts of the year! 
Snow and great cold are not there yet but I am NOT complaining as I find winter rather long and dark and cold here...

My husband also took part in yesterday's activity of decorating the flat by building our star like every year now and by assembling a wooden decoration which is not bigger than an adult hand (To give a better idea of the size: the metal in the middle is a sewing needle!). Enough talk, let's see the pics:

 I wish you all a lovely Advent!

Mobiles again

In previous posts I presented some mobiles which I have made to decorate our home (see here and here) but I had forgotten last year to take pictures of my Christmas mobile. Yesterday was the First Sunday of Advent, I decorated the flat for the Christmas season and seized the occasion to finally take a picture of it:

I must say that the original idea was not mine, I tried to copy my Grand-mother's angel mobile. I personalised it a bit by choosing silver colour rather than golden and by having them on several levels rather on one curved stick. 

Last year was first Christmas away from my parents' home and it felt very strange, making this mobile made me feel a bit better: it was a bit of my childhood. Who knows, maybe in twenty years or so my daughter will do the same and we will have a third version of this mobile!

Saturday, 5 November 2011


As I have said in a previous post, I bought many different fleece blankets in order to make various projects and I presented you with this link:
I finally got round to make my first one. Since the tutorial is very clear on this other blog, I will not show the different steps of the sewing process, just the final result. I have tested the "scoodie" for the first time today and must say that I am pleased, very pleased with it! It can be worn loose when the weather is just a bit chilly, or tighter when it gets colder and windier. It also looks rather nice and is completely reversible.

One thing I need to say: the computer automatically printed the pattern on a different scale! It was 94% of the original size but I prefer it this way since I do not intend to wear anything underneath.
Now the pictures: