diana in seoul and hong kong

Finally got all the 3 rolls of film from our Asia trip developed! They were taken with a Diana Mini in lomography style (a sort of extremely low-tech photography style, the Diana is basically a plastic toy camera with no electrical mechanism in it. Even the viewfinder isn’t accurate. One would never really know how the pictures will turn out — a fun kind of surprise). Here are some of my favourite shots :D

These are from the palace in Seoul, it was a rainy day when we visited, but cherry blossoms!

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I was just so amazed by how these stones have been on the ground for thousands of years.

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Pictures from the traditional Korean village turned out great! It was a really sunny day.

These are kimchi urns :D

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This one’s my favourite from all the rolls <3

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So in love with the architecture.

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And here’s a side street in Seoul we walked down to look for a market. Mopeds everywhere and no sidewalk :S quite an adventure.

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Hong Kong is similar, with more high-rise!

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Some sights from the streets. The sign says something about express bus stop, vegetable, fresh fish, chicken, eggs, whole sale market (reading from left to right, sentence reads vertically).

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Yarnbombed on Stone Slabs Street, a street with fairly steep decline paved with stone slabs and with vendor stalls on either sides of the street. I imagine the railings are necessary especially when it rains!

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Sai Kung Pier, in an old fishing village to the east of the city, vendors selling seafood from their boats.

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The village where I spent my childhood. The alleyway is still the same :)

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Leaving the village, pedestrian path and bike lane leading to an underpass.

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To the west of the city, we visited Tai-O, also a fishing village on Lantau Island, famous for its stilt houses, also known as “Venice of the East”.

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It was an overcast day, but this picture of the red bridge turned out so great :D

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And I love the light leaks in the beginning of the roll.

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We’ve been back for a while now, getting the pictures back lets me relive the trip a bit and for a moment I wish I were still there. But going on that trip also reminds me that I could approach my surroundings with the same curiosity and enthusiasm wherever I am. There’s much to explore and so much I haven’t seen just a few bus/subway rides away. So, the explorations continue, and more pictures to come! :D

Wishing you much joy in your adventures this week!

 

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hello summer!

Well, it’s not officially summer yet, but I think most Canadians see the Victoria Day long weekend as the first long weekend of summer, and we’ve actually got extra extra nice and warm weather this weekend after a rather cold spring, this weekend is such a gift! :D

We didn’t want to let such nice weekend slip away, so Mike suggested taking one of the Discovery Walks in Toronto. We picked the Humber River, marshes and Old Mill walk because it looked like there are a few different things to see even if we did only half of it (the entire trail involves about 2 hours of walking and it goes in a loop, but I’m not able to walk that long due to chronic foot pain >_< so we just did half the loop) and it’s close to public transit.

Parts of the trail was originally a trading trail used by First Nations peoples travelling between Lake Ontario and the Upper Great Lakes.

In case you’re interested in taking this trail, we took the Queensway bus from Keele Station and got off at Queensway and Kingsway South. We then walked north along Riverside Drive towards Old Mill, then hopped on the subway home from Old Mill station.

We first came across the Humber Marshes. We couldn’t quite get down the riverbank but we could look down from a hill. There were people practicing dragon boating! :D

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Then we pretty much just walked through a residential area. It was a nice walk through a neighbourhood with really nice houses, but I didn’t take any pictures…

At the north end of the trail we arrived at Etienne Brule Park. There was the Old Mill Bridge and people fishing…

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… and geese coming back to the north.

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It was a nice walk along the river.

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Then we stopped in the historic Old Mill Inn to look around…

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It’s called Old Mill because it is built near the site where the first sawmill in Toronto was built in the late 1700s. The property was built about 100 years ago, looks like an old tavern, but it was first opened as a tea garden :)

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Speaking of tea, Victoria Day weekend is the perfect time to play tea party with my dear childhood friend :D I’ve been wanting to go to the afternoon tea at Dufflet Beach for a long time, because it’s one of the more affordable places in Toronto and I’ve never had tea service like this before. Check out our spread!

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And the fancy table setting! I didn’t expect a table cloth! We each had copious amount of tea. I especially love this sweet tea timer.

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Close up of the sweet treats… and I was so glad that the scones were served with clotted cream :D

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It was a nice experience but my friend suggested that next time we could make our own afternoon tea :D Looking forward to more fun summer adventures!

Hope everyone has a great start to the week!

 

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this week’s awesome finds

Super adorable giant floppy rabbits, finger/arm knitting instructions from Flax & Twine.

 

I like the cabled collar. From Lion Brand Yarn. (registration required to access free pattern)

 

*squish* these remind me so much of Neko Atsume :D Free Ravelry download by Sarah Sloyer.

 

Check out these beautifully knitted fungi on BromeLeighad! The artist knits one kind of fungi every week in the 52 Forms of Fungi series.

I like this elegant mask from Live Craft Love.

 

More cats! And totally customizable. By Little Mee on Ravelry.

 

Capelet perfect for springtime, from Classic Elite Yarns.

 

Have a great weekend, everyone! :D

 

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library love

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Another reason to love and support the public library <3

I got this 3-D printed at the Toronto Reference Library! :D If you live in Toronto, the 3D printers are also available at the Fort York branch and the Scarborough Civic Centre branch.

Back in February I was feeling really blah and stressed out at work. So I decided to sign up for a course that has absolutely nothing to do with my job, which was the 3D printing certificate class at the library. Once people complete the class, they can book the 3D printers to use whenever they’re available. They charge a very reasonable 5 cents per minute for the use of the printer, and that was all. One can choose from many colours of plastic, and staff is there to help if anyone needs technical support.

I once saw someone wearing a 3D printed bracelet and I was really impressed, so I’ve always wanted to make one. But of course I have not idea how to design one! So I downloaded one I liked best from Thingiverse, called the Subdivision Bracelet.

I must be honest that, after 3 months, I don’t remember much from the certificate course so I had no clue what to do after downloading the file. Kind of embarrassing. Good thing Mike was there as well and he’s very techy. And the library staff were very cool with dropping us hints and reminders as we appeared to be cluelessly flipping through our notes trying to figure out what the next steps are and all the settings we should be adjusting.

Our first try didn’t go so well. For some unknown reason the printer stopped working properly. Not only did the kind library staff not charge me for the failed piece, they offered to try printing another for me the next morning on a different machine, and I’d just have to go and pick it up!

I think the staff were also wanting to take the opportunity to test out an intricate project on a new machine, but I thought they were super kind to offer!

And it worked! It took just over 2 hours to print and costs about $8. Here’s a different side of it.

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I understand the 3D printer as kind of like a very precise automated glue gun, which squeezes out thin lines of hot melted glue to build a form. You can see the lines of glue pretty clearly in the picture above, and under the super macro lens.

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And this is how it looks on an arm :)

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The surfaces are less smooth than I imagined, I think it can be improved by sanding, but I think I might be too lazy to do that :S I’m OK with the way it is.

I’m thinking of going back to make some Christmas gifts this year :D

Have a lovely weekend, everyone!

 

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long trek

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I finished this sweater in March and didn’t have a chance to take a picture of it until now. It’s the Tumult Sweater from the winter 2016 issue of Interweave Crochet.

It took a fairly long time. I started working on it over Christmas holiday. It’s quite a repetitive pattern so I got a bit bored, and put it down a few times, then working a few rows at a time throughout winter. A long trek.

But finally we’re here :) I like how it turned out. I think I used a thinner yarn than called for, tested it a few times and followed the stitch count for size large to get the sweater measurements to be size small. I like that it can look casual and it can be dressed up as well, with a flouncy skirt, twirling around the Maypole… Happy May! :D

 

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luna love

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Recently reminded of my fondness of Luna, adviser to the Sailor Moon and her friends. She has all her flaws, with her moments of panic, embarrassment, disappointment, fury, exhaustion, melt-down, uncertainty, even occasional meanness (in one episode she drew a picture to make fun of Usagi for becoming “fat” :S), but she always holds on to her purpose, and determination to fulfill her purpose. And she doesn’t take crap from people.

AND! She shows us that unpleasant moments can be quite comical! (in some ways)

Must have to do with our recent trip to Asia. We’ve in fact come across a lot of Sailor Moon merchandise while there. Wonder if Sailor Moon is popular again, in a nostalgic kind of way, or its popularity has always been consistent in South Korea and Hong Kong?

Anyway, didn’t buy anything Sailor Moon while on the trip, so I was searching on Etsy a couple days ago, and came across this perfectly Luna pin back button in this shop, I just HAD to get it :D

I need a feline mentor to demonstrate how to say no (there are more of these if you also feel like you need to say no more often). It’s making its way across the continent as I type :D In the meanwhile, I found a plastic Luna key ring somewhere at home, so I sawed the plastic ring part off its top and glued a pin back on it. Ta-da! My very own portable feline mentor.

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Have a very good weekend, everyone!

 

 

 

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HK love

This place will always be my home <3

But I haven’t been able to be there as much as I’d like in the past 20-some years. So, even though there’s so much to see and do and so much fun to be had, it always feels a bit emotional to visit. Childhood memories, and such.

We crossed the harbour between Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon Peninsula almost daily. Usually we take the MTR (subway), but realized that we can also take the Star Ferry, so we tried that one day. The Star Ferry has been in operation since 1888. It used to be much busier when the MTR wasn’t as extensive. I remember taking it every time we visited my grandparents, and it would make me sea sick (it still does :P). It’s an excellent way to take in the views of Victoria Harbour.

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Near the Star Ferry pier we could see the smiley Ferris wheel ^_^ We didn’t go on it though. It was very rainy that day.

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Aberdeen is one of the neighbourhoods where my family used to live. The Aberdeen harbour is home to many boat houses, and the many people who live in them.

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People could cross the harbour with the commuter boat, it costs $2.20 HKD (about $0.35 CAD) for the 3-minute journey. So of course we went for a ride :D It was also a nice way to look at the boat houses.

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The hotel we stayed at was very close to the North Point Pier. There were quite a few people fishing at the pier. This is one of my favourite pictures from the whole trip.

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Springtime is very foggy.

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Mike recently started reading Moomin comics and was very excited to find a Moomin Cafe :D We had lunch there one day. The server would bring over giant Moomin (and friends) plush to sit at the table with people.

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And we found not one, but TWO Studio Ghibli stores! (Donguri Republic at Harbour City and Times Square)

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We also found the BEST cat cafe ever!

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There were cats everywhere. Right beside me curled up in a chair, on top of the tables, inside the counter…

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Most are sleeping, but the ones wandering about were quite friendly :D

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And in the same neighbourhood I found a yarn store! (the red framed windows with the sweaters) Causeway Bay is the place to be! I bought some discounted acrylic but exercised quite a bit of self-control — there’s only so much space in the luggage and there are so much fun snacks to bring back!!

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Switching gears to see places outside of the city, we joined a boat tour to visit the volcanic rock region in the Hong Kong Geological Park, which consists of sea arches, sea caves, and hexagonal rock columns! The tour leaves from the Volcano Discovery Centre at Sai Kung Pier.

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Pictures don’t do these mountains justice, they are absolutely magnificent. Here is a sea arch!

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And some sea caves, and waterfalls!

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As well as fishing villages…

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And vendors selling seafood from their boats.

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Foggy days mean low clouds hanging in the middle of the mountains and this heavenly scene.

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Then we went to the opposite side of Hong Kong and visited Tai O, which is a fishing village on Lantau Island, with many stilt houses built on water.

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The small streets and houses are very different from that of the city.

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Residents making salt fish, shrimp paste and dried seafood.

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We took a boat tour to watch for the famed pink dolphins, but didn’t see any :( maybe next time.

Going back in time, we visited a museum of a 200 year-old restored Hakka walled village, called Sam Tung Uk.

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We visited partly because my sister and I have Hakka ancestry. Some of the things in the museum indeed remind me of what my grandparents used to have in their home, and still in the village where they live now, like the ancestral hall.

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Back in the city, we visited the historical Stone Slabs Street (aka Pottinger Street) in Central district. Some of the stone slabs are restored, and some are original I think. Vendors keep stalls on both sides of the street. I remember being there once when I was young, and it being a lot busier back then, but this is exciting nonetheless :D

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And guess what I found on these fabulous stone steps? A yarnbombed railing!

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Nearby there is a Starbucks dressed like an old times Hong Kong coffee house :D

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My sister took us to the Chinese University of Hong Kong, where she went to graduate school several years ago :D It might not be a place that most tourists would visit, but since it’s built on a mountain it’s actually a good hike, with lots of beautiful scenery, like this fountain near the top of the mountain, which seems to be built to blend with and interact with its surrounding views.

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The tiles make up the words, “spread wings and fly” :)

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And so we did, at the end of our trip, flew back to our other home in Toronto. But surely we will be back :)

I hope you enjoyed the photos! :D Because I have more! :D Mostly street photography using the Diana Mini. I’m still waiting to finish my last roll and for the rest to develop, but will pick some good ones to show you.

Have a good weekend, everyone!

 

 

 

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hello from Seoul! :D

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Long time no see everybody!! :D

Mike, my sister and I went on a trip to Seoul and Hong Kong earlier in the month :D We’re now home and feeling dizzy with jet lag, but we had such a good time! Thought I’d share some pictures of places we’ve been and loved, in case you’re thinking about visiting these cities as well and looking for ideas!

We caught the cherry blossoms while in Seoul, the picture above was taken at Gyeongbokgung Palace, largest of the five palaces in Seoul. The architecture at the palace is absolutely spectacular. It feels as though every tile, every beam, every brick is thoughtfully and meaningfully made and placed.

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The palace grounds also has some lovely ponds. We didn’t have time to visit all 5 palaces, and the ponds were the reason why I chose to go to this palace. It’s difficult to not get beautiful photos here.

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There were many people wearing hanbok (traditional Korean clothing) strolling about :)

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We also visited the Namsangol Hanok Village, Hanok meaning traditional Korean houses. The architecture of civilian houses is no less stunning than that of the palace. I love the neat, clean, simple aesthetic.

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At the Hanok Village we participated in a tea ceremony activity. We were served traditional Korean sweets as well :D They’re made of crispy rice. In the picture the museum docent is pouring the tea from the teapot to a tea bowl for the tea to cool down a bit, before pouring it into the teacups.

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We thought we didn’t have time to visit other palaces, because we were only there for 4 days, and palaces are huge! But found out that there is a relatively small palace in the centre of the city, which we would pass by anyway on our way to other attractions, so we went in. This is the Deoksugung Palace. It has newer additions with western influences, like the light fixture and wall decorations in the picture.

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It also has a couple of western style buildings, which I certainly did not expect to see in a Korean palace.

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Speaking of architecture, we visited the Dongdaemun Design Plaza, which houses some shops and exhibitions, as well as a museum of an excavation site of a number of dwellings that were built in the 1300s. This spaceship-like building is just incredible to look at, and to walk around and underneath.

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There is this beautiful stream that runs through the city called the Cheonggyecheon. It was a creek that got covered by transportation infrastructure in the 1950s, and then was uncovered and restored as a city green space in the 2000s.

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It was lovely to take a stroll along the stream. A bit of a resting spot from the busy streets on either side above. A lot of local residents sat on the rocks and ate lunch, hung out.

One of the staff at the hostel we stayed at recommended going to a market for traditional Korean snacks. So we went, but I can’t remember what the market is called >_<… it looks like it could have been the Gwangjang Market. Once stepped into the market I was at once amazed and overwhelmed, because it reminds me of Spirited Away with the people sitting at stalls and the light bulbs above head, and because I’m not so great with crowds.

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The staff recommended Korean fried pancakes, which we got, it was indeed delicious :D

And then through recommendations from a friend we went to the Insadong neighbourhood, where one could find arts and crafts of all kinds, and a kimchi museum! :D There are videos about how different kinds of kimchi are made, interactive displays where one could experience making kimchi Cooking Mama style, and very informative displays about the benefits of kimchi.

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In and around Insadong there are also a number of traditional Korean tea houses. We visited one with a beautiful courtyard.

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And got ourselves some green plum tea and shaved ice, with dried persimmons, dried red dates and red beans. We drink the tea with a spoon.

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We stayed at a lovely hostel called the Twin Rabbit. The staff are very friendly and helpful, the room is very clean, the rate is quite reasonable, and the breakfast area has a giant artificial tree which is super cute. It’s located in a university neighbourhood with lots of affordable eateries and hip shops and cafes, and some street arts and music too. Highly recommend it!

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Here I was trying to work on the crochet project I brought with me under the tree. I’m a bit sad to say that my project is not complete by the end of our trip, and I may have to take apart what I’ve done so far because the yarn isn’t working out the way I want… but that’s a different story for another time. Next stop, Hong Kong! Stay tuned for more photos! :D

 

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across the seas

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Hello from Seoul! :D

We are here for a few days to do some sightseeing before heading to Hong Kong. And in the week before I left I scrambled to finish 3 shawls and a hat for my grandparents and aunts. Didn’t have time to take a picture of them before I left, so here I am doing a make-shift photo shoot of the shawls and writing this at the guesthouse where we’re staying :D

The shawl in the picture above is made following the Lion Brand Yarn South Bay shawlette pattern, using Red Heart Unforgettabe yarn.

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This one is made using the Lion Brand Dorathea Wraplet pattern, with quite a few extra rows, using Caron Simply Soft. Kind of looks like wings :)

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And this was from the Tangier Wildflowers Shawl on Ravelry, also using Red Heart Unforgettable.

I think I will save the blogging till I get home, or keep it very brief, because Worldpress is very wonky on my phone. This is why I can’t even link to the pattern pages, and the pictures are tiny :S But the patterns should be pretty easy to find if you do a search on google or Ravelry, if you’re interested in checking them out :)

Hope everyone is having a good weekend!

 

 

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this week’s awesome finds

Spring is in the air! :D

These cookies are too beautiful to eat! From Flutter Magazine.

 

I must have posted these bunny nuggets before, but can’t help but have to post them again, they’re SO CUTE!! Look at their fluffy tails! By Rebecca Danger on Ravelry.

 

Love the texture of this stitch sampler neck warmer, and it’s knitted flat! :D By Fiona Kelly on Ravelry.

 

Want to hug these giant origami rabbits. From Oh Happy Day.

 

Perfect for transitional weather. By Nicki Hirsch. Scroll down for English crochet pattern.

 

These sweet flowers are made of nail polish! Great idea for a craft party don’t you think? :D From Wonderful DIY.

 

Spring chickens! :D From Potpebbles.

 

A glitter tumbler to brighten up your day :D From Studio DIY.

 

Happy spring! :D

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about genuine mudpie

Hello, my name is Trish. I live in Toronto. I like to make things (particularly with yarn). This is a place where I share my crafty endeavours and things that inspire me. Thank you for visiting! Would love to hear from you - feel free to leave a comment! :D

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