this week’s awesome finds




First, I want to share with you this AWESOME installation that my sister pointed out to me, by Chicago artist Melissa Jay Craig. Why books as mushrooms, you ask? She says, “When I was a child, the first time I had the intriguing feeling that the planet carried messages (texts, if you will) for those who were curious enough to look, was when I came upon a group of Amanita Muscaria, huddled together in a dark, secret space under tall pines.” Isn’t it beautiful? Read more about the installation at This is Colossal.


Now, want to make your own mushroom installation? Here’s a lovely how-to using wine corks and magnets on At Home in Love.


These cacti are so very cute. From Craftberry Bush.


I don’t know much about beading, and I wanted to make a statement necklace to wear to a wedding with an old black sweater dress, so I was looking for tutorials, and I really like this one on tuts+, featuring different stones.


Tutorial for making these beautiful needle felted birds, by Joe & Cheryl.


Origami is one of my favourite things, and this is just adorable – diagrams for making the sushi AND the wooden platform they’re on, plus a treasure trove of origami diagrams from dinosaurs to flying squirrels to soft serve ice cream cones on Origami Club! :D


A beautiful wall hanging of moon phases, from Almost Makes Perfect.


A super fun strawberry cake tissue box cover by the awesome Twinkie Chan, using loop stitch! (my favourite!) From The Tissue Box Bakery.


If I have a cat, I would make him this cat tent. From Practically Functional.


Beautifully knitted broccoli florets by Ravelry designer Sara Elizabeth Kellner (check out her other patterns too! I especially love the queen bee). I love how the textures are made of purl and knit stitches. Pattern for sale on Ravelry.


Wishing you a week of delightful crafty adventures!








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It’s been a cold week around here! Could use some tropical sunshiny-ness right about now, in the middle of January. So I made these :D

Photo 2015-01-18, 7 21 34 PM

Made these using the pineapple from the old piña colada pattern, but using embroidery thread and a 2.35mm hook. I kid you not, I thought I smelled pineapples when I was crocheting this. Need to get some canned pineapples next time I’m at the grocery store…

I then attached jump rings (which I made by bending head pins, because I didn’t have large enough jump rings on hand) to the base of the leaves, then attached the pineapples to earring hooks.

Give this quick project a try and instantly add some sunshine to your day! :D

Have a great week, everyone!


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holiday crafting

I was waiting until the last presents were opened to post this :D And by the way, if you’re visiting because of the grown-up cardigan, thanks so much for dropping by! I don’t think I’ve ever had that many views in a day before. Thanks so much for checking out the pattern!

So, holiday crafting! This bonsai is a custom order. I’ve never made anything like this so it was all an experiment. I never really do preparatory sketches (or check gauge, or make swatches) but I actually drew a picture of how I wanted the branches to twist this way and that. It didn’t turn out looking like the picture at all after I inserted the sculpting wires, they seem to have a mind of their own? But I’m glad it worked out looking like a bonsai anyway :D

bonsai 1

And we even had a bonsai pot hidden away in our closet, waiting for years to be used for this of course! It was from a bonsai that didn’t live :( apparently few people can keep a bonsai alive for long – hence the need for a bonsai that never dies!

And I added a tiny gnome because I thought the bonsai looked a bit lonely. Here’s a close up of the gnome. It was crocheted with embroidery floss with a 2.3mm hook (2.3 is kind of an odd size for a crochet hook don’t you think? But that’s what it says on the hook… anyway, I digress).

bonsai 2

He’s kind of like a candy corn, except with eyes and a beard. Maybe I can even make a candy corn gnome in the fall… I like the gnome so much that I put him in the shop :D With a new and improved extra fuzzy beard. He is a pin :)

wee gnome

And then Mike requested a tiny yeti pin for his co-worker who is rather fond of yetis. So I thought I could use the same method as the tiny yeti, except with the thinnest yarn I have and the trusty 2.3mm hook…

Behold the tiniest yeti!

tiniest yeti

Doesn’t he look like he’s ready to give the most sincere hug? :D He’s in the shop as well. Both the gnome and the yeti are about an inch tall. My hand is in the pictures for scale.

And I made these for Mike – they’re soot spirit hand warmers :D

soot warmers

I decided to make hand warmers for Mike because his hands get really cold in the winter, to the point where he has difficulties typing when he first gets into work in the morning. So I thought these would work great if he pops them in the microwave for 30 seconds before he heads out to subway to work in the morning and before he heads home from the office at night. There are many tutorials on the web showing how to make them (with rice inside). But because I have black flannel on hand I thought it would make really great soot spirits! They appear in My Neighbour Totoro and Spirited Away. Here’s a lovely video montage of them in action if you haven’t seen the movies already :D

Also made these for my friend’s shop, cat earrings and necklace!

Processed with VSCOcam with m5 preset

cat 3

I bought them from a local Etsy seller, Yum Yum Objects. The shop owner is super friendly, and the package was wrapped in book pages and pattern tissue, with extra cat beads! The cat beads are a beautiful translucent grey that have an iridescent quality to it in the light. And so of course I have to immediately make myself a necklace (and a pair of earrings) when the beads came in the mail! :D I’ve been wearing it for the past few days. So excited.

I also knitted and crocheted an assortment of scarfs/neckwarmers, a shawl, a hat, a few brooches and a loop stitch bathmat for various family members, but didn’t take pictures of them. Aaaand there’s one more gift that I haven’t yet mentioned because it will come with a pattern! So stay tuned! :D

Have a wonderful week everyone!


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a grown-up cardigan

I thought after the Totoro sweater I should make a dressier cardigan for more grown-up occasions like interviews and work.

And today, I’m going to attempt to translate my scribbles and diagrams into an actual pattern! Yes, my diagram of a rectangle, a trapezoid, and several numbers on a single piece of sticky note. I did jot down these things so I can write the pattern later, and I’m sure they made perfect sense then, but how did I expect myself to make sense of it months later? Please bear with me as I try to write a pattern that makes sense, and please drop me a note if you have any questions!

Here’s the cardigan :D


Because I made it in black (for dressiness, you see), I overexposed the photos a lot so you can see the details. I like shawl-style collars, they go well with most shirts. Except maybe collared shirts, but I don’t have many of those.

I added some simple details so it’s not just rows upon rows of double-crochet, which would be boring to look at and to make. Here’s the back…



Here’s a close up of the shawl-collar…


The construction is extremely simple. There’s hardly any shaping, just a bunch of rectangular shapes sewn together, and then crocheting along the front and neck to make the collar. So I imagine it would be pretty easy to modify by adding or subtracting stitches as needed.

I got this yarn from my mom, who got it from my grandma in Hong Kong. There was never any label on it. But I compared it with my other yarn and it looks closest to fingering weight. One way to increase the size of the cardigan would be to use a heavier yarn (sport, DK, or worsted with good drape) and larger hooks (5-6.5mm).

Edit: Since I’m seeing A LOT of traffic to this post lately (thanks so much for visiting everyone! I have never had that many views before and I think the site might have crashed for a bit…), I’m reposting here my reply to a visitor’s comment below about adding stitches to the foundation ch to increase the size of the cardigan – hope this helps! As usual please feel free to drop me a note if you have any questions!

“to add width to the sweater shouldn’t be difficult, as they are just rectangles. you can add more stitches to the foundation ch. it’s approximately 10 stitches for 2 inches, and the sweater i made is 32″ around. so for example, for a size 36″ sweater I would add 20 ch to the back, and 6 ch to each of the front left and front right pieces (the eyelet row needs an odd number of stitches). so you can add ch in multiples of 10 and split them between the back, front left and front right pieces according to the size you need. the same goes for the sleeves. my sleeves are 11″ around at the widest part. you can also do more increase rows in between so the cuff wouldn’t become too wide, maybe increase every other dc row throughout after the first 6 rows. hope this helps!”

I used:

Fingering weight yarn, about 1600 yards

4 mm hook

Stitch markers (or contrasting colour scrap yarn)


Bust 32″, length 21″, sleeve length (underarm to cuff) 17″


6 rows of 10 dc = 2″ x 2″



ch 83.

Row 1: dc in 4th ch from hook, dc in each ch across, turn.

Row 2: ch 3 (counts as a dc throughout), dc in each dc across, turn.

Rows 3-5: repeat row 2.

Row 6 (eyelet row): ch 4, skip first dc, dc in next dc, *ch 1, skip next dc, dc in next dc* repeat from * to * to end.

Row 7: ch 3, dc in first ch 1 sp, dc in next dc, *dc in ch 1 sp, dc in next dc* repeat from * to * to end.

For the rest of back:

Work in pattern so that there are 5 dc rows between eyelet rows, until there are 8 eyelet rows altogether, then work 5 more dc rows. There will be 53 rows altogether. Fasten off.

Right and left fronts (make 2)

ch 25.

Work in same pattern for back until there are 53 rows altogether. Fasten off.

Sleeves (make 2)

ch 41.

Work in rows 1-7 of back.

Row 8 (increase row): ch 3, 2 dc in next dc, dc in each dc until last dc, 2 dc in last dc, turn.

Rows 9-11: dc rows.

Row 12: eyelet row.

Row 13: dc row.

Repeat rows 8-13 four (4) more times. Basically, every second row after the eyelet row is an increase row.

Next: work 1 dc row, one increase row, one dc row, one eyelet row.

Next: *work 1 dc row, one increase row, one dc row, one increase row, one dc row*, one eyelet row. (Basically, every second and fourth rows after the eyelet row is an increase row.)

Next: repeat from * to *. Fasten off.


With right sides facing each other (wrong side facing you), sew shoulders together.

With right side facing itself, fold sleeve in half lengthwise, mark the center at the top edge of sleeve. With right sides facing each other, pin the center of top edge of sleeve to shoulder seam. Pin the rest of the top edge of sleeve along the front and back pieces. Sew sleeve to front and back. Repeat for the other sleeve.

Sew side and underarm/sleeve seams together.

Turn cardigan right side out.


With right side facing, attach yarn to lower left corner of cardigan front. ch 3.

Row 1: Evenly crochet a row of dc up the left front, 2 dc tog in the last stitch of the left front and the first stitch of the back, place marker, dc along the top edge of the back, 2 dc tog in the last stitch of the back and first stitch of the right front, place marker, and dc down the right front, turn.

(What seems to work for me to evenly crochet a row along the edges: up and down the front pieces, crocheting into the side of a the rows – dc into the middle of the dc, then dc into the joint between 2 rows. It’s not exactly 2 dc in each row, it’s fewer stitches than that. When working across the back pieces, just dc into each dc.)

Row 2: ch 3, *dc in each dc until the stitch before marker, 2 dc tog, move marker up a row*, repeat from * to * once more, dc in each dc to end, turn.

Row 3: repeat row 2. Remove all markers.

Row 4: eyelet row.

Rows 5-7: dc rows.

Row 8: eyelet row.

Repeat rows 5-8 three (3) more times. Work 3 more dc rows. Fasten off. Weave in ends.

And here we have it, a grown-up-looking cardigan :)



Happy new year everyone! :D

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an analogue Christmas

This Christmas I only took a few pictures with my phone, the rest I took with a Diana Mini (a film camera). I’m really enjoying not being able to immediately see what I’ve captured, and waiting to see the results, and ending up with significantly fewer photos. It all makes picture-taking a much more intentional activity for me.

So I just want to share with you a few of my favourites :D

Some of these are from the fall. Here we are, with friends at Nuit Blanche. Some major streets were closed for the “all-night art thing”, so we were able to take a leisurely stroll in the middle of the night down the middle of a streetcar track.



This was one of the Nuit Blanche installations at Fort York. Taken with long exposure, made more dramatic with light leaks. The lights moves from the canons down the hill. I wished I had recorded the sounds and music that went with it too. It was beautiful.



Kind of a confusing picture but I really like it. It was actually a double exposure of baby’s breath in a vase and me wearing a mushroom cap.



Here’s a better picture of me in the mushroom cap (found at Ikea! Best thing ever :D). One cannot be stressed out while wearing a mushroom cap and sipping tea.



The annual Santa Claus parade! We haven’t been for a few years but this year a friend was in the parade so we were hoping to wave at her from the sideline. Sadly, we missed her, with all the festivities going on and children running around. But I’ve got some multiply-exposed pictures to capture the (somewhat overwhelming) holiday cheers! (Because I was also running out of film, was trying to take in as much as possible :P) Here we have a couple of posing clowns…



and a princess in a giant skirt and a giant bonhomme de neige.



And rabbits! And tea party amidst the giant mushrooms!



And finally, Santa! With the band playing around him…



And we also went to the annual Christmas Market at the Distillery. Very magical with the lights. This one is my favourite shot from the market.



There was a very giant Christmas tree, but the pictures I took of the tree turned out rather dark because the Diana doesn’t have a very strong flash. So, tree with more string lights.



The cheerful crowd :D



In the building where all the artist studios are.



And some family time. Got to do some holiday yarn crafting with my cousin (who is 8, so I’m more like an aunt than a cousin…). Here are the pom pom pets we made, all lined up for a group photo :D (a granny rabbit, a panda and a pig)



Having some tea and trifle at grandma’s, a yearly tradition :) (I love how it captured the cream dispersing in the tea)



I just started another roll of film for new year and lunar new year – stay tuned for more Diana pictures! :D Until then, wishing you good health and much joy in 2015!


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holiday skirt

I made this sometimes in the fall, didn’t have a chance to wear it until the holidays :D

Photo 2014-12-27, 12 41 17 PM

The pattern was from this book. I added the button panel because I wasn’t sure the fabric would have enough stretch for the fitted waist opening to go over the hips. It turned out a bit big on me but I like that it looks woven. Here’s a closer look at my blue/light blue/brown colour pattern :)

Photo 2014-12-27, 11 37 30 AM

More posts on holiday crafting to come! Hope everyone has had a restful and joyous holiday season!



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sparkles sparkles sparkles

I don’t usually wear nail polish. I actually don’t own any nail polish before this. I don’t really like how it feels on my fingernails, if that makes sense… Though I do like seeing it on other people’s nails.

And it’s sparkly, and comes with built-in brushes! It’s the best craft material ever.

So! I had an idea to turn some humble buttons into sparkly earrings with nail polish. And it worked!

Photo 2014-12-18, 10 57 08 PM

Festive and sparkly but not too flashy, and VERY simple to make. Makes a nice last minute gift too :) It will take more than a minute though, the drying in between takes a bit of time. So I would do other things in between, like sleep, go to work, eat, watch TV, work on other crafts, etc. Do refrain from sitting there and watching it dry, like I did when I made the first pairs, because I just couldn’t wait to see how it would turn out! Nothing wrong with that. Except for the headache that the nail polish fumes gave me :S


I made a couple of pairs for the physical shop and some as gifts :)

I used:


Nail polish – a metallic opaque colour and some glittery varieties (I got these from the dollar store for $2 each)

Ordinary round buttons

Earring posts and backings

E6000 glue (or GOOP works well too, from my experience)

Gloss acrylic varnish (not pictured, because I don’t think you need it, I just have it on hand. It can be bought at art supplies stores and craft stores. I got mine at Michaels)

What I did:


Glue earring posts on buttons with E6000. Let it dry/cure overnight.


Stick the earrings on a piece of foam (I used a new kitchen sponge). Paint on first coat with opaque colour. Carefully put on a good, thick layer without it spilling over the edge. The nail polish will sink into the button holes and dents will appear, so just put on more thick coats after the each coat is dry to the touch (about half an hour), until the dents disappear.


And now put on thick coats of the sparkly colours. I did 3-4 coats, waiting about half an hour between each coat, building up a bit of a dome shape, like so…


I finished off by painting a thin coat of gloss acrylic varnish around the sides of the buttons and a little over the top, just in case the nail polish peels off the buttons, like it would on fingernails… but I don’t actually think it would peel off with such thick layers of polish. But just in case.

And ta-da!


Simple, right? And wouldn’t it look awesome with different shapes buttons, and different colours of glittery nail polish? I’ve seen some that comes with star-shaped glitters! If you do give it a try, I would love to hear how it goes!

Wishing you a very happy weekend!


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this week’s awesome finds

’tis the season for (quick) handmade gifts! :D

Ok, maybe this one isn’t so quick… but I love the simplicity of garter stitch. And the accompanying necklace is probably a quick-make! From


This is so very beautiful. And looks to be quite easy to make in large batches (probably also works with store bought gingerbread and cake, for people who don’t bake, like me. I know, it’s not the same as homemade gingerbread and cake, but some of us just aren’t great at baking). I especially love the ones with the gingerbread animals. From My Name is Yeh.


Also in a jar – delicious soup! Just add water! Who doesn’t like warm soup in the winter? From She Uncovered.


I think this is pretty hilarious, in a very festive kind of way. From Sugar & Cloth.


For the macaron lovers in your life. (good thing the macaron lover in my life doesn’t read my blog :P) I imagine using Model Magic would make it feel very much like a real macaron. From Adventures in Fashion.


These handmade hand warmers stay warm about 20 minutes, perfect for waiting for the bus on wintry mornings. And unlike the dollar store variety they’re reusable and therefore friendlier to the environment. From My Craftily Ever After.


Glittery gumdrops, so cheerful, and extra fancy when they’re homemade. From Bakerella.


I think these magnetic tin snow globes are genius. From A Girl & a Boy.

Happy holiday crafting!! :D





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totoro sweater!

My very own Totoro sweater! :D

Totoro sweater


I made up my own basic raglan sweater pattern and then adapted the knit Totoro chart from this beautiful mitten pattern. I had to take out a few rows in the chart because the hdc’s are taller than knit stitches.

Of course I had to do a levitating shoot for this! (If you hadn’t seen the film My Neighbour Totoro, you can catch a glimpse of Totoro flying in this lovely montage)



I’m making another one for my sister, so that will give me a chance to write down and test out the pattern for the raglan sweater. One can then incorporate any knit, crochet or cross stitch chart, like this owl chart.

Have a happy Friday and weekend! And happy thanksgiving! I’m grateful for your visit today – thank you for journeying with me on my crafty adventures!

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’tis the season to be cozy

I made a pair of mittens for a friend :D

cozy 1

They’re convertible! :D

cozy 2

Great for using the phone while outdoors :)

I’m sharing my pattern here so you can make a pair too if you like, and so I can return to this pattern when I need to make another pair :P

They’re very quick to make, because the yarn is thick. Each took me a couple of hours in front of the TV.

The pattern is for the mittens only. The butterfly applique is made following this beautiful pattern. I thought they look nice without being too flashy with the subtle blue/grey/teal tones. The yarn I used for the butterflies is a discontinued sock yarn by Mary Maxim.

I used:

Bulky weight yarn (I used Bernat Alpaca in “Ebony”, it’s very soft)

6.5 mm and 6 mm hook


It fits my hand, which has an 8″ circumference at the widest part of my palm (including thumb)


Mitten is crocheted in the round, but turning at the end of every round, except when working on the thumb.

Pattern is written for the right mitt. Pattern for the left mitt is the same as the right one except for rows 11 and 18, instruction for these rows are in (parenthesis).


With larger hook, ch 23, sl st in first ch to form a ring, being careful not to twist the chain.

Row 1: ch 1 (does not count as a st), sc in each ch around, sl st in first sc, ch 1, turn (23 sc).

Row 2 – 10: sc in each sc around, sl st in first sc, ch 1, turn.

Row 11 (thumb opening): sc in first sc, ch 4, skip 4 sc, sc in next sc, sc in each sc around, sl st in first sc, ch 1, turn.

(Left mitt, row 11: sc in each sc until there are 5 sc left in the round, ch 4, skip 4 sc, sc in last sc, sl st in first sc, ch 1, turn.)

Row 12: sc in each sc until 4 ch space, sc in each of the 4 ch, sc in last sc, sl st in first sc, ch 1, turn.

Row 13 – 17: sc in each sc around, sl st in first sc, ch 1, turn.

Row 18 (begin mitten top): sc in first sc, sc in each of next 9 sc in the back loop only, ch 12, sl st in first sc, ch 1, turn.

(Left mitt, row 18: sc in first sc, sc in each of the next 9 sc in the front loop only, ch 12, sl st in first sc, ch 1, turn.)

Row 19: sc in each of the next 12 ch, sc in each sc across, sl st in first sc, ch 1, turn (23 sc).

Row 20 – 26: sc in each sc around, sl st in first sc, ch 1, turn.

Row 21: sc in first sc, 2 sc tog, *sc in next 4 sc, 2 sc tog*, repeat from * to * around until there are fewer than 4 sc left in round, sc in remaining stitches, sl st in first sc, ch 1, turn.

Row 22: repeat row 20 (work even)

Row 23: sc in first sc, 2 sc tog, *sc in next 3 sc, 2 sc tog*, repeat from * to * around until there are fewer than 3 sc left in round, sc in remaining stitches, sl st in first sc, ch 1, turn.

Row 24: sc in first sc, 2 sc tog, *sc in next 2 sc, 2 sc tog*, repeat from * to * around, sc in last 2 sc, sl st in first sc, ch 1, turn.

Row 25: sc in first sc, 2 sc tog around, sl st in first sc. Press mitten top flat so that the working loop is in the top right corner. Crocheting through both layers of work, sl st across the last row of mitten top. Fasten off.

Reattach yarn to the stitch next to the beginning ch for mitten top.

Row 26: ch 1, 2 sc tog, sc in each sc until stitch just before the beginning ch for the mitten top, 2 sc tog, sc in the remaining loop of each sc (the other loop of each sc in this part is attached to the mitten top) to end, sl st in first 2 sc tog, ch 1, turn (21 sc).

Row 27 – 32: repeat row 20 (work even for 6 rows). (In retrospect I thought maybe I made this part a bit too tall. Maybe 5 rows are enough.)

Fasten off.


Attach yarn to a stitch in thumb opening.

Row 1: ch 1, sc in each sc. When you come across the side of the row on either side of the thumb opening, insert hook into the side of the row, draw up a loop, insert hook into next sc, draw up a loop, yo and pull through all loops on hook. There are 8 sc around the thumb. ch 1, do not turn.

Row 2-6: work even for 5 rows.

Row 7: 2 sc tog 4 times. Press thumb flat so that the working loop on hook is on the top right corner of thumb. Working through both layers of thumb, sl st in next 2 sc, fasten off.


Attach yarn at the bottom of the mitt.

With smaller hook, ch 3, dc in next st, dc in each st around, sl st in top of beginning ch 3, fasten off.

Weave in all ends.


cozy 3

I hope the pattern is clear! If there’s anything unclear please feel free to post a comment, your question(s) will probably be helpful to others too!

Bye for now :) Stay cozy!


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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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