Favourite things of the week!

Hello… I have been buried in research and writing this week (literally, come check out my desk space), so I haven’t had time to craft… at all… ugh… feeling so dull and sad… :”(

But here are a few things that I’m keeping in mind once I have more time to make things! :D Crafting always makes me happy, even just the thought of it!

Check out this Filigree cardigan from Stitch Nation Yarn! Just spotted it on Ravelry today! This is definitely my next crochet project once I find yarn (and time)! Hmmm… what colour should I make it in?

And this pearl cluster pendant would create quite a pretty romantic feel with the filigree cardigan, you think? I saw this quite a while ago on Ruffles and Stuff.

Speaking of romantic feel, what about a plate of French macarons to complete the look? (Not to be confused with macaroons. Although a crocheted macaroon would probably look pretty interesting too) Well, these are definitely more cute than romantic. One look at them on Create! and I’m convinced that I need one in my plush family.

And what about macarons delivered in these handmade newspaper bags from What About Orange? They’re brilliant! I love craft ideas that use common materials around the house (an example of craft that uses odd uncommon materials is the rubber fish printing project from Martha Stewart Living. They’re definitely fascinating, but where on earth do you get life-like rubber fish forms? Anyway, I digress). Definitely an idea to keep on file for birthdays and Christmas! Perhaps I’ll make them in different languages! :D

AAAAAND finally, a question for you: which animation character is known for delivering small gifts?

… hmm…

Give up?

You mean, you don’t know?

You don’t know Totoro?

This is actually a Totoro desktop from Simple Desktops. Mike just discovered the website and was excited to find Totoro in the lineup of simple but awesome-looking desktops! I especially like desktops with lots of blank space, because I have lots of “unused desktop icons” (that’s what my computer calls them when it periodically sends me a pop-up note telling me to remove some of them). They’re not unused, just not used very frequently. I like having folders accessible. Anyway, I digress again… ugh… my brain is fried…

Anyway, here’s Totoro giving Satsuki and Mei a leaf parcel of acorns in his movie My Neighbor Totoro :D

Wishing you a lovely weekend and I hope you enjoy the small gifts of the everyday!

Weekend montage

1. rainy Saturday, 2. young cousins playing restaurant, 3. hurray! handmade strawberry shortcake! :D

4. The nicest kind of day, with blue sky and cool breeze, 5. lychee and yellow cherries at family gathering, 6. celebrating the absence of muggy weather

7. tuxedo strawberry (before shortcake was divided and devoured), 8. weeeee… 9. HK style milk tea, with fancy shaved ice! :D

Wishing you a wonderful week ahead!

Three!

Celebrating our third anniversary today (yay!), I thought I would share some of the crafty moments of our wedding…

Crocheted corsages! On the left is a picture my mom took, showing how they were worn with lime green ribbons (note the date stamp :D).

And the bead-and-wire boutonnieres with fabric leaves… I got the idea from an issue of Martha Stewart Wedding. I was looking to link the article on her website, in case anyone wants to use it, but I can’t seem to find it anywhere. I believe Mike still has his boutonniere, which is the one on the left with the pearls (I wore a pearl necklace).

The biggest craft project in the wedding was the top part of the dress. Don’t get me started on all the ordeals my mom and I went through trying to find a top that fits! (The skirt was no problem though, just needed to be shortened. I got it from The Bride’s Project, an organization I would highly recommend to any bride-to-be!) So eventually I just gave up and crocheted it, with a cream-colour cotton thread. It has pearl buttons on the back, and a sheer ribbon weaved around and tied at the back. I followed a pattern from an issue of Crochet Today, but again, I can’t seem to find it on the website anymore…

Everyday I feel so very blessed to be married to the most wonderful, creative, patient, supportive, and kindhearted man. Looking forward to many many more years together! :D

Chuck and Robin

Meet Chuck. He’s a sparrow.

He’s called Chuck because of the pattern on his chest, you see.

And now, let me introduce Robin.

Robin is a very friendly robin.

One day, Chuck and Robin ran into each other on their evening walk. (Here’s a worm’s eye view of their encounter…)

And they got into a long conversation about the best berry bushes in the neighbourhood. (Here’s a bird’s eye view of their conversation…)

They discovered that they have so much in common, they became BBF! (Best Bird Friends)

One LKF (Little known fact) about Chuck and Robin, is that they’re stuffed with this synthetic sponge material that I harvested from the packaging for a watch. The sponge material was made into a box shape originally, which I cut into bits.

I’m trying to avoid buying Polyester stuffing as much as possible, as I realize that there are lots of things around the house that can potentially be used as stuffing. I’ve been using the cotton balls that my parents used to sell in their convenient store over 10 years ago. What else could you use 10+ year-old cotton balls in an unsealed plastic bag for? They’re the perfect size for my small fridge magnets. And also the t-shirts that are too old and ratty for donating. I also plan to shred those and stuff plushes with them.

Last but not least, I made Chuck and Robin following this pattern on Roman Sock. Check out all the cute critters on the blog! Especially the Ultimate Squirrel. I’d love to make an Ultimate Squirrel one day…

Have a happy Tuesday!

The making of a notebook

This post is dedicated to a dear friend of mine. She likes to write things down. Wherever she goes, whenever she comes across interesting tidbits of information or things that inspire her or a book title that seems intriguing, she would write it down. In bookstores, in the park, on the street, she takes notes, and she takes in all the loveliness that life has to offer. And so that inspired me to make a handy palm-sized notebook!

But before I go into the process of making it, I must say that I didn’t come up with this idea entirely on my own. Besides being inspired by my friend, I’ve also gotten this book-making idea from Flipflops and Applesauce. I merely built on the idea to create a notebook with more pages.

Anyhow, that’s how I did it:

I used lined 3-hole paper because that’s all I have at home, I suppose it would look more neat with plain lined paper, or plain unlined paper… but I didn’t mind having holes in my notebook :P
I took about 15 pieces of lined paper, divide into two stacks, and tore each stack in half. I then ended up with 4 stacks of 1/2 sheet paper, and I folded each stack in half, as pictured.

So then I ended up with 4 sections.

Then I took a thicker paper and tore it to size to fit the pages, for a book cover. Of course, one could also measure and cut the paper to size, but I prefer eye-balling, tearing with the ruler, and imperfections :) I think this paper was used to wrap ceramic wares when I bought them from a store.

I wanted to have a built-in ribbon bookmark, so before I stapled everything together, I attached a bit of pink raffia to the top edge of the book cover with some white glue.

After the glue is dried, I wrapped the cover around all 4 sections, with the bookmark sticking out at the top…

… and stapled the whole thing together. Mike happens to have a heavy-duty stapler from his school days, which is really handy for this project. But with a regular stapler one could also staple from the front of the cover, then staple from the back, and repeat, alternating sides with each staple, and staple very closely together down the fold side of the book. That should hold all the pages together.

Now this is the fun part — choosing a pretty paper to wrap around the spine! I like choosing from magazines because I can find lots of interesting and meaningful pictures that way. But I’ve also used origami paper. I imagine gift wrapping paper would be nice too! I tore the image to size — width doesn’t really matter but the height needs to be the same as the book’s height.

I folded the image in half lengthwise to create a crease, and then opened it up to apply glue (I used spray adhesive so the cover doesn’t buckle), and then wrapped it around the book’s spine.

And here we have it, a notebook!

With lots of pages to write in!

And I also made a garden-themed one…

… and an art journal with different kinds of paper in it! Will have to write about that art journal someday…

I think it definitely beats buying a $10 notebook at the bookstore!

Have a lovely weekend!

Adventures in resin

Hello there! Last week I went to the resin workshop at Wise Daughters Craft Market and it was totally fun! I carried home all these sparkly pieces and felt so rich :)

It is true that one could embed almost everything in resin. The flower pendant has those Nerds candy in it and also a valentine candy.

And these were the flowers I picked and pressed over Canada day weekend!

The instructor said to cover the flowers with Podge first before pouring resin over them, but I think I lathered on the Podge too liberally and they didn’t have enough time to dry before being forever sealed… so you can see blobs of Podge on the petals. I still have hope that it’s going to turn clear over time… just need to wait patiently…

But I was really thankful that the maple key one turned out perfectly :D I couldn’t attach a necklace backing on it because it’s clear, and I don’t have small enough drill bits, so I used an awl to poke a hole through the resin and made a loop with wire.

And it came with a BUG!!

The poor fellow probably fell in before the resin was set… Now forever immortalized.

Here are more fun ones… like a fish and a star fish…

… and one made with a bottle cap!

I actually didn’t make the one on the top left… It was a leftover background piece that the instructor made for us ahead of time. She asked if anyone wanted it at the end and I thought it would make a nice artsy-looking pendant.

Oooh, and last but not least, one that has a small bit of ground-covering type plant in it, and I was wearing it on the weekend.

It was tons and tons of fun and I’m so happy to finally get to use resin! Now I have to figure out where to get more of that stuff…

Happy Tuesday!

Weekend montage

1. Bright and sunny after thunderstorm, walking through park on the way home.

2. Spain’s the winner! Splashing celebration in the midst of Outdoor Art Expo.

3. And we walked by some echinaceas…

4. Churchill and seagull… :S

5. And we stopped to smell the lavenders.

6. We had a barbeque this afternoon with lots of leftover food! Tired of more hot dogs, we made it all into soup! Cut-up sausages plus remnants of the vegetable tray, and even red onion rings and tomato slices that didn’t get used for hamburgers! And I added macaroni. It’s actually quite good! The smokiness from the barbequed sausages made the soup interesting… and it made me feel very blessed to have food in abundance and family and friends to share it with.

Wishing you a great week ahead!

Finally, the Yeti!

I’ve finished the Yeti for several weeks now (“the Yeti” is the name of the jacket that I was crocheting, following the Copenhagen Jacket pattern. More about the Yeti story here), but the weather has just been been far too warm for me to want to take photos wearing it. But the humidity has finally gone down today and so did the temperature! And I could finally bear to wear it for a couple of minutes… and so here’s a picture of it, finished!

I think this is the longest I’ve ever spent on a project, it’s taken me close to a month! But I’m rather happy with it. I think I will like it even better in the fall, when the weather gets cool. It’s a bit stiff because of the vintage acrylic yarn I was using, but hopefully it gets a bit softer when  I wear it more.

And here’s a picture of it when I finished it several weeks ago, impersonating a Yeti.

Um. Anyway. Hope you’re having a great weekend! :D