When I was look­ing for my files of origa­mi dia­grams in my par­ents’ base­ment the oth­er day, I found this water­colour that I made a long time ago.

If you click on the pic­ture you can see a larg­er image and read the poem that’s writ­ten on it. I’m sur­prised how much this looks like the paint­ings I’ve made in recent years. The colours, the cir­cle, the water.

I don’t remem­ber where I saw this poem, but I remem­ber being real­ly moved by it. And I con­tin­ued to be moved and encour­aged by it today, being remind­ed that I came out alive after all.

favourite things of the week!

I’ve been see­ing a lot of things that I like via the Crafty Crow late­ly. It’s a chil­dren’s craft col­lec­tive, so I guess it appeals to my inner child. Or the child who is actu­al­ly me. Any­way. I love these plas­ticine stamps from Filth Wiz­ardry!

Christ­mas cards idea, per­haps! I think it’s per­fect with those chunks of plas­ticine that’s got so many colours mixed in them that they’ve become real­ly dull and nobody wants to use them and they just sit sad­ly in the bot­tom of the tub, just want­i­ng to be squeezed… but dull no more! It can bring out hun­dreds and thou­sands of won­der­ful pic­tures! I love how the blog own­er says that the process is so tem­po­rary and unex­pect­ed (because plas­ticine is pli­able and the shape of the stamp changes after a few prints). And if you scroll down on the post you’ll see all the dif­fer­ent impres­sions made with dif­fer­ent objects! I’m sooo going to try this out when I get my hands on some plasticine!

I think after mak­ing some plas­ticine prints I would also want to make this bril­liant art­work dis­play wall-hang­ing from This and That.

And maybe not only art­work, but also post­cards and pho­tos, and greet­ing cards, and coast­ers from pubs, and oth­er clip­pings of inspi­ra­tion, and paper cutouts? Like these paper cutouts?

Per­haps these paper cutouts are best on win­dows and cof­fee tables — but aren’t they love­ly? The tem­plates are from Zak­ka Life. I love the oak and gink­go ones, which are pictured.

And along the theme of dis­play and dec­o­ra­tion, I stum­bled upon this bril­liant idea via Whip Up.

They’re book­shelves! Lit­er­al­ly! :D I’d love it sim­ply because it’s a pun. But I dou­bly love it because it’s old books! Imag­ine dis­play­ing cro­cheted mush­rooms hous­es on them! The instruc­tion is avail­able on Real Sim­ple.

And there you have it, a week of favourite things! What are your favourite things? Feel free to share by leav­ing a com­ment! Hap­py Wednesday!

weekend in poladroid montage

Since I haven’t done either for a while, thought I’d do both at the same time! :D

1. Trees turn­ing colours behind my par­ents’ backyard.

2. Nev­er had an elder­flower drink before. Very refreshing!

3. Encoun­tered a sad onion in Aurora.

4. Fall flow­ers behind bus shelter.

5. Moon­cake! :D The cro­cheted one tries its best to blend in…

6. Dark, heavy clouds sur­round us as we embark on the adven­ture to Aurora…

7. Pic­ture of per­son tak­ing pic­ture of a pic­ture frame.

8. Fall flow­ers in my par­ents’ front yard! :D

9. Before the week­end ends, more moon­cake! Now with pizza!

Hope your week­end was lovely!

a genuinely wacky experiment

I need­ed some brown cot­ton yarn for a project, but I did­n’t have any. All I had was the cream colour kind. So I thought, isn’t that like a blank can­vas for colour­ing? :D I found this real­ly help­ful list for dye­ing yarn with nat­ur­al mate­ri­als, and was thrilled to see that cof­fee grind was on the list.

“Don’t we have some espres­so that’s been in the freez­er for over 2 years?” exclaimed I.

“Just don’t use it all,” said Mike, a bit weary.


So I set out to brew 6 cups of real­ly, real­ly, real­ly strong espres­so, poured it into a mason jar, and dunked the ball of yarn in it.

Note: This is not a waste because 1. the cof­fee is TWO years old and it’s been sit­ting in the freez­er the WHOLE time. I’ve been taught by experts that one should NEVER put cof­fee in the freez­er. So this cof­fee is basi­cal­ly ruined; 2. it’s for art! It’s nev­er a waste when it’s used for art; 3. we hard­ly ever drink cof­fee. Tea was also list­ed as a nat­ur­al dye but I would nev­er use tea to dye any­thing. Tea is for drink­ing. But we don’t real­ly drink cof­fee. Mike some­times tries to make a cap­puc­ci­no but our cof­fee machine does­n’t know how to make a prop­er cap­puc­ci­no. Trust me, I know [the­o­ret­i­cal­ly] how a prop­er cap­puc­ci­no is made; and 4. if one were to drink the 6 cups of real­ly, real­ly, real­ly strong espres­so one would stay awake for days, weeks, even months. It is not good. So it can only be used for dye­ing yarn.)

Any­way. I stared at the jar and wait­ed overnight. Very patiently.
(I must admit that I did open the jar to poke at it sev­er­al times, but resist­ed the urge to take all of it out.)

Final­ly, the next morn­ing, I took it out and rinsed it under the tap until the water ran clear.

After rins­ing real­ly quite a bit lighter than I hoped but it looked like the yarn had tak­en in the colour!  It looked like it worked! :D

And now, it need­ed to be air dried. So I wait­ed anoth­er day and night.

I could see that the colour was get­ting lighter as it dried… a bit worried.

But I went ahead with the project anyway.

And now, the moment of truth! How does it fare in cro­chet stitches?

Fab­u­lous. :D

It’s not as dark as I have imag­ined, but I love the mot­tled effects of dark­er and lighter brown. Plus, it smells like strong cof­fee! (I like the aro­ma of cof­fee, just don’t like to drink it because it makes me jittery.)

The project is a secret for now… will be revealed in a few months.…

When I vis­it­ed the nat­ur­al dyes arti­cle again I real­ized that, because I was so excit­ed to see that cof­fee grinds can dye yarn, I neglect­ed to read the part about soak­ing the yarn in colour fix­a­tives pri­or to dye­ing so the colour would set. In the case of cof­fee, I prob­a­bly should’ve used a vine­gar solu­tion, and the colour would prob­a­bly be more brown than straw-like, as it is now… Oh well! next time I know. And I think if I read more about it I could actu­al­ly go out and col­lect plants for dye­ing. That would be so much fun! But for now, it might be bet­ter if I try with stuff that are more read­i­ly avail­able. Like at the gro­cery store. So maybe I’ll try beet next :D I’ll let you know if there’s anoth­er wacky exper­i­ment at my house!

Have a fab­u­lous week­end everyone!

中秋節快樂! :D

(Hap­py Mid-Autumn Fes­ti­val! :D)

Yup! With the absence of real moon­cake and rab­bit lantern today, I’ve made cro­cheted ver­sions of them to celebrate!

For ref­er­ence, here’s the edi­ble kind of moon­cake. It has a pas­try shell, with lotus seed paste (the grey-ish part) and egg yolk (the yel­low part) inside. I’m look­ing for­ward to shar­ing these with my fam­i­ly this week­end! :D

But for now, here’s a cro­cheted slice o’moon­cake! :D

When I was a child my par­ents used to buy me lanterns to cel­e­brate Mid-Autumn Fes­ti­val, and the rab­bit lantern is a clas­sic one, prob­a­bly has to do with the leg­end of the Moon Rab­bit. I can’t find a pic­ture of a clas­sic rab­bit lantern, the Macau pavil­ion in the World Expo was the clos­est thing I could find.

And here’s the cro­cheted rab­bit lantern, com­plete with strings and a stick!

While the rab­bit lantern was more of a free-form exper­i­ment, I did jot down the pat­tern for the slice o’moon­cake :D

So, the ingredients!

Worsted weight yarn in brown, tan, and yellow

3.5mm cro­chet hook

Tapes­try needle


Top/Bottom of pas­try shell (make 2):

With brown.

Row 1: ch 2, 2 sc in sec­ond ch from hook, ch 1, turn.

Row 2: sc in first sc, 2 sc in next sc, ch 1, turn.

Row 3: sc in first sc, 2 sc in next sc, sc in next sc, ch 1, turn.

Row 4: sc in first sc, 2 sc in next sc, 1 sc in each of next 2 sc, leave a 12″ tail for sewing, fas­ten off.

Back of pas­try shell (make 1):

With brown.

Row 1: ch 6, sc in sec­ond ch from hook, sc in each of next 4 sc, ch 1, turn.

Row 2–4: sc in each sc across in back loop only, ch 1, turn.

Row 5: sc in each sc across in back loop only, leav­ing a 12″ tail for sewing, fas­ten off.

the back, with the ridges! 

Lotus seed paste and egg yolk (make 2):

With tan.

Row 1: ch 6, sc in sec­ond ch from hook, sc in each of next 4 sc, ch 1, turn.

Row 2: sc in each sc across, ch 1, turn.

Row 3: sc in first sc, switch to yel­low yarn, sc in each of next 3 sc, switch to tan, sc in last sc, switch to yel­low, ch 1, turn.

Row 4: con­tin­ue with yel­low, 1 sc in each of next 4 sc, switch to tan, sc in last sc, switch to yel­low, ch 1, turn.

Row 5: con­tin­ue with yel­low, 1 sc in each sc across, leave a 12″ tail for sewing, fas­ten off.

yolk in the centre!


Sew top and bot­tom of the pas­try shell to the back pas­try shell, then sew the lotus seed paste and yolk pieces to the pas­try shell, leav­ing front (yolk/yellow) edges open, stuff, then sew front (yolk/yellow) seam close. Weave in ends.

Enjoy! :D

post no.100 and Saturday make-a-long!

Clam­a­to and spe­cial guest knit­ted Cel­ery Stalk are here to cel­e­brate gen­uine mud­pie’s 100th post! :D

Why clam­a­to, you ask? Mike and I actu­al­ly came up with the idea one evening walk­ing home from the gro­cery store, hav­ing bought a jug of clam­a­to juice. I was won­der­ing what to make after Piña Cola­da, and Mike thought Clam­a­to would be anoth­er excel­lent cock­tail to crochet!

So, I have been want­i­ng to cro­chet Clam­a­to for a while… and for the 100th post I thought adding cel­ery would form the num­ber “100”, with Cel­ery being 1 and Clam­a­to being the two 0’s. They tried, but num­bers aren’t their best suit, so they request­ed some Pho­to­shop help.

how do we look now? more like 100?

(I did­n’t make a vod­ka char­ac­ter, so they’re just a clam­a­to, not a caesar.)

I made them yes­ter­day while par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Make-a-Long host­ed by Leethal. I par­tic­i­pat­ed in the first Make-a-Long back in spring, about the time when I first start­ed gen­uine mud­pie, so I thought par­tic­i­pat­ing in it again would be the per­fect way to cel­e­brate post no.100!

So! The morn­ing of the Make-a-Long was pret­ty much spent try­ing to fig­ure out how to make Clam. Clam is not as sim­ple as he looks. Or maybe I just don’t know how to do this in an eas­i­er way. I found a love­ly lilac and a grey that seemed per­fect for a clam shell, and I want­ed to make ridges on his shell with slip stitch­es, all going in one direc­tion. That means all the rows had to be worked on the right side. It took a few tries to fig­ure this out, but it all worked at the end :D So, at around 11am-ish, I had the top and the bot­tom of Clam finished.

This is the back­side of the top shell. I had to car­ry the yarn across the piece a lot so it’s all thick with strands of yarn over­lap­ping (good thing Clam is only about an inch wide). It actu­al­ly kind of looks like the flesh inside a clam :P

I then quick­ly fin­ished Toma­to. After lunch Mike had a meet­ing so I decid­ed to go with him and knit in a near­by park, because I don’t go out much these days and change of scenery is refreshing.

I decid­ed to knit instead of cro­chet Cel­ery Stalk because I real­ized that the edges of knit­ted pieces (stock­inette stitch) tend to roll inward, and that’s just what  a cel­ery stalk looks like! :D

Vis­it­ed by one of many pigeons.

Then we went gro­cery shop­ping and bought clam­a­to juice :D along with oth­er gro­cery items. Mike kind of made-a-long by cook­ing meat­balls a la Jamie Oliv­er.


And then I attached the mag­nets on Clam­a­to and Cel­ery, and here they are on the fridge!

Young Toma­to and his sig­na­ture lop­sided smile.

Clam may seem like a cute and qui­et creature…

… until you squeeze his cheeks and he lets out a scary laugh!


And our spe­cial guest, Cel­ery in stock­inette! He’s here to remind me that knit­ting is not as scary as I thought. Well, at least sim­ple knit­ting anyway…

And then in the evening I worked on some fies­ta granny hexa­gons for anoth­er project. I love the colour combination!

All in all I had a won­der­ful crafty day. I’m thank­ful for the Make-a-Long, and a big thank you for vis­it­ing me on gen­uine mud­pie! Hope­ful­ly there will be hun­dreds more posts to come!

Have a great week everyone!

time capsule

A cou­ple of weeks ago I went to vis­it my par­ents, and my mom asked me to clean out some of my old stuff. I always avoid­ed clean­ing out old stuff because I don’t want to decide whether to throw some­thing out or not. I’ve been delay­ing it since I moved out of my par­ents’ house, and I feel bad for still tak­ing up so much space even though I no longer live there, so now I’m slow­ly get­ting into the process of dig­ging things out… And I’m hap­py to report that I’ve thrown out some things that I real­ly don’t need (like tried up tubes of poster paint from grade school and unfin­ished salt dough projects), and I’ve also tak­en home some real­ly inter­est­ing things that I’ve kept since I was a child but haven’t seen for ages and ages, to a point where I’ve for­got­ten that I have these things…

So, let me intro­duce… this is Mr. Rice Pad­dle, who was giv­en to me by my Gr.5/6 teacher. I need to fix his rice pad­dle because it’s kind of falling apart, but I think he’s a real­ly awe­some-look­ing oni­giri and one day I’m going to cro­chet one after him! (he’s also a bank and I actu­al­ly found hun­dreds of HK$ tucked inside him!)

And look! A tiny squir­rel! It was sit­ting in a box at the bot­tom of the draw­er, and I had to take her home because she has such a pre­cious expres­sion on her face, and the tiny blue bow… Plus, she looks per­fect with this acorn on our win­dowsill, even though she already has her own acorn. It was also a gift from my grade school teacher (in Hong Kong we got gifts for get­ting high marks in spelling tests, term tests, etc.).

And then there are things that I kept when I was a child, and actu­al­ly haven’t got­ten thrown out and made it across the ocean when we moved to Cana­da. Like this 20 cents coin here. I don’t know when I found it but I know I kept it because it has a hole at the top and I thought it would make a good neck­lace charm. But of course I nev­er made it into a neck­lace charm and it had been sit­ting in the bot­tom of my draw for­ev­er… until now! So, this is the side that says “20 cents”, which is equiv­a­lent to rough­ly $0.026 CAD.

And then on this side is a bauhinia flower. Along with this coin I also found a pur­ple bead that looked like a semi-pre­cious stone, prob­a­bly from a neck­lace that I took apart. So I thought they belong togeth­er, since bauhinia flow­ers are usu­al­ly purple-magenta-ish.

So, after I don’t know how many years this coin I saved for a neck­lace is final­ly made into a neck­lace! All it took was a cou­ple of jump rings. I also cleaned the coin with a bit of rub­bing alco­hol. :D I’m rather pleased with it.

And then I also found these beads I made in junior high, with the left­over fimo from a snow globe kit. I remem­ber buy­ing a book on fimo just to learn the tech­niques for mak­ing faux mille­fiori beads. Man, I don’t think I’d have the patience now…

These are tiny, and I don’t know what to do with those green beads yet, maybe com­bined them with oth­er things… But I thought the pur­ple one looks good on its own on a short chain. I actu­al­ly made a trip to the bead store to get gold-colour find­ings for these, but I got the wrong kind of head pins :( so I resort­ed to mak­ing my own head pin, with a spi­ral at the bot­tom and a loop at the top, like so:

And it looked like this, when I’ve short­ened the chain:

I also found this swirly heart, and Luna.

I real­ly don’t remem­ber when I made the swirly heart, but I prob­a­bly made it with fimo. I also don’t remem­ber where Luna came from, but I do remem­ber her being my favourite char­ac­ter from the Sailor Moon series, fol­lowed by Sailor Mars. Though I would have to say that my least favourite car­toon char­ac­ter of all time is actu­al­ly Sailor Moon her­self. Her whin­ing drove me crazy, espe­cial­ly in the North Amer­i­can ver­sion. I was also rather upset that in the N. A. ver­sion Luna was giv­en this real­ly scratchy old-witchy voice — her voice is sup­posed to be bright and ener­gized and cute like her char­ac­ter! The North Amer­i­can peo­ple got it all wrong… *shakes fist*

Any­way, I digress. I attached jump rings to both and put them on a chain for the pho­to but I actu­al­ly don’t know what to do with them yet. So they’re going back into their cap­sule — which is a heart-shaped box lined with red vel­vety mate­r­i­al on the inside and cov­ered in seashells on the out­side. I’ve had it since as far as I could remem­ber, but I’ve only recent­ly tak­en it home from my par­ents’ recently.

And speak­ing of the pas­sage of time, the next post will be my 100th post on this blog!! :D So! To cel­e­brate, I will be spend­ing the 100th post on the things I will make for Leethal’s 2nd Make-Along this Sat­ur­day. I par­tic­i­pat­ed in the first Make-Along back in spring, about the time when I start­ed this blog, so I’m real­ly excit­ed that the 2nd Make-Along is hap­pen­ing around the time of the 100th post! :D I will be cro­chet­ing things that have to do with the num­ber 100, and if you’re inter­est­ed in set­ting aside some cre­ative time this week­end please join me and oth­er crafters in the Make-Along! :D

favourite things of the week!

This week I came across these sweet pear orna­ments from lil fish stu­dio… per­fect for a Christ­mas tree! Now I just need to find a partridge…

Found par­tridge! Well, very cool-look­ing birds any­way. Made from paper mâché by that artist woman! And step-by-step instruc­tions on how to make them too!

See? This is a par­tridge. Our paper mâché friend looks pret­ty much like it, does­n’t it? Um, maybe I’ll need to make my paper mâché par­tridge with a small­er head and a big­ger, more pear-like body…

While I keep find­ing great ideas for Christ­mas (and I find them all year long), I do agree that Sep­tem­ber is a bit too ear­ly to start work­ing on them… so, here’s a won­der­ful­ly sim­ple yet amaz­ing­ly styl­ish fall project — A fab­ric scarf from mer mag!

I love cro­chet­ing cowls and wear­ing indoor scarves, because they make me look old­er :P But this time a year it might be a bit warm to wear a wool­ly thing round one’s neck… This scarf is made of light-weight fab­ric so it’s per­fect for fall :D I also real­ly like this because it’s sewn into a ring, like a cowl, so I won’t have to wor­ry about how to styl­ish­ly drape the ends of the scarf, which I always had trou­bles with, because I’m not so much a styl­ish per­son. So! Need to make a trip to the fab­ric store soon! :D

And then I recent­ly came across these gor­geous cro­cheted mush­rooms on Wun­derkam­mer, aren’t they cool? The pat­terns for mak­ing them are for sale!

And final­ly — love these fall flow­ers sit­ting on our din­ing table! :D

I love fall flow­ers in gen­er­al, but these are espe­cial­ly lov­able because Mike brought them home for me today :D

Hap­py Wednesday!


Yes­ter­day I had to change my head­er pic­ture because I wrote a new page, and with the old head­er pic­ture the tab for the new page did­n’t show up very well. I real­ly liked the old head­er pic­ture, and was sad that I had to replace it. After I took it off I real­ized that I nev­er talked about the paint­ing that the head­er was made from, so I thought I should write a few words on it.

It was a spon­ta­neous doo­dle with water­colour I made last win­ter. Some­one showed me a book about cave draw­ings, and appar­ent­ly in cave draw­ings water was depict­ed as many cir­cles linked togeth­er. I thought it was such an inter­est­ing way to inter­pret the nature of water, so I tried paint­ing it with water­colour. To me there’s also a sense of con­nec­tion and com­mu­ni­ty. It’s one of my favourites. Maybe it will come back on the head­er once I fig­ure out how to relo­cate the tabs for the pages…

The cur­rent head­er pic­ture comes from Water Phoenix, anoth­er one of my favourite paint­ings. I’ve writ­ten about it here. I’ve noticed a recur­ring water theme in my paint­ings, and I pret­ty much only paint with water­colour nowa­days… it’s strange, this recur­ring water theme, because I can’t swim and am ter­ri­fied of deep water…

So, any­way, about the new page about the use of the patterns/tutorials on this blog… A cou­ple of days ago I thought I should grouped all of the pat­terns that I’ve post­ed under one cat­e­go­ry so that they’re eas­i­er to access. While doing that I real­ized I’ve post­ed 7 pat­terns already. I’ve nev­er real­ly thought about the issues of copy­right or what­ev­er; I like to share pat­terns because cro­chet­ing cute things makes me hap­py and I thought oth­er peo­ple might feel the same. Besides, the pat­terns I post aren’t com­pli­cat­ed; they did­n’t take long to “design”, if I can even call it that, and many peo­ple can prob­a­bly fig­ure them out just by look­ing at fin­ished prod­ucts. Also, I don’t plan to make a prof­it out of the things I make any time soon. How­ev­er, I might in the future. Actu­al­ly, it’s always been one of my dreams to make things full-time, but I’m in the midst of pur­su­ing some­thing else at the moment and I don’t think now is the right time to try and make a busi­ness out of this… any­way, I just like to cro­chet, but I thought after 7 pat­terns it’s prob­a­bly time to put cer­tain para­me­ters around my work so that I can still use them in a dif­fer­ent way in the future. I hope the “con­di­tions” that I put around the use of my work aren’t too restrict­ing. I’m so very grate­ful for all the feed­back and kind words peo­ple have sent me on this blog and on Rav­el­ry, and I’m always thrilled to see pic­tures of cre­ations made with pat­terns I wrote.

And I’m always, always, always thank­ful that you’re vis­it­ing. Have a great week! :D

The making of a candy corn


The tem­per­a­ture out­side is get­ting cold­er and the leaves are swirling in the wind… per­fect time to make a can­dy corn to cel­e­brate the glo­ri­ous fall weath­er! (Fall is my favourite sea­son, fol­lowed by spring.)

A quick search on Rav­el­ry yield­ed numer­ous cro­chet pat­terns for can­dy corn, but I could­n’t find a tiny one. So I thought I’d make one up and add my pat­tern to the can­dy bowl too! :D

Per­haps a pic­ture with my thumb and fin­ger would give you an idea about the size of this can­dy corn…

Any­hoo, here’s what I did…

I used:
a bit of worsted weight yel­low, white, and orange yarn
3.5mm hook
a bit of brown embroi­dery thread for mouth
two black 4mm beads for eyes
sewing needle

First, with yel­low yarn…

Row 1: ch 4, sc in 2nd ch from hook, [sc in next ch], 3 sc in next ch, sc in the oppo­site side of pre­vi­ous stitch in square brack­et (the piece will be turned upside down), 1 sc in the same ch as the first sc, sl st in first sc. (8 st around, begin­ning ch 1 counts as a stitch)

Row 2: ch 1, sc in each st around, sl st in beg ch 1. (8 st around)

Row 3: ch 1, sc in each st around, sl st in beg ch 1. (8 st around)

Then, change to orange yarn…

Row 4: ch 1, sc in each st around, sl st in beg ch 1. (8 st around)

Row 5: ch 1, sc in each st around, sl st in beg ch 1. (8 st around)

Row 6: ch 1, sc tog over next 2 st, 1 sc in each of next 2 st, sc tog over next 2 st, sc in next sc, sl st in begin­ning ch 1.

Final­ly, change to white yarn…

Row 7: ch 1, sc in each st around, sl st in beg ch 1. (6 st around)

Row 8: ch 1, sc in each st around, sl st in beg ch 1. (6 st around) Leav­ing a 6″ tail, fas­ten off.

Stuff can­dy corn. Weav­ing tail through stitch­es at open­ing, pull tight and tie off. Weave in ends.

When I sewed on the eyes and embroi­dered the mouth, I left the knots and tail ends at the back, because I was going to attach a pin onto the back and it would hide all the tail ends.


Ready to take over the world! One can­dy corn at a time! Yarrrrrn.

Um. Any­way. Please let me know if you do try mak­ing this, and feel free to drop me a note if you see any mis­take or need clarification!

Have a sweet week­end every­one! :D