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.
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!
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!Â 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?
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!
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
Top/Bottom of pastry shell (make 2):
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):
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.
Lotus seed paste and egg yolk (make 2):
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.
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.
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 PiÃ±a 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.
(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 whatÂ 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!
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
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
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 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…
a bit of worsted weight yellow, white, and orange yarn
a bit of brown embroidery thread for mouth
two black 4mm beads for eyes
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!