the travelling Zumi

While trav­el­ling south for Christ­mas, I took some pic­tures with the Zumi. They had a lot more snow this year than we do in Toronto.

And now, it’s time, for a haiku:

Silent­ly it lays


Glit­ter­ing, swirling, it drifts


across miles between.


And along the way, love­ly frost­ed trees as well!




And this is our jour­ney back into the city — bumper-to-bumper on the high­way! And no snow, just rain. Wel­come to the city, it said.


But rain did not damp­en our hol­i­day spir­its and we had a great time trav­el­ling nonetheless :)

May the new year brings great adven­tures and new inspi­ra­tions! Best wish­es for 2011!

Christmas crafting, episode two!

Anoth­er exten­sive gift project this year was the set of cro­chet mus­tach­es, for my broth­er-in-law. And of course we tried them on our­selves before giv­ing them away, with our Euro­pean backdrop.

I fol­lowed the mus­tach­es, three ways pat­tern from Wun­derkam­mer. It was a real­ly fun pat­tern, and also a great way to learn shap­ing and sculp­tur­al forms in crochet.

Back in Sep­tem­ber I tried to dye some yarn with cof­fee — and this is the secret project! The cof­fee-stained mus­tache! :D

And all the mus­tach­es got tucked in a shad­ow box so when one isn’t play­ing dress-up they can also be enjoyed as an object d’art.

Christ­mas morn­ing just got more styl­ish! :D

I also made these fies­ta slip­pers for my sis­ter-in-law. They were made from the granny squares I was mak­ing dur­ing the make-along in Sep­tem­ber, fol­low­ing this pat­tern.

All in all I’m just thank­ful for the time and laugh­ters shared with fam­i­lies we don’t get to see very often.


Christmas crafting, episode one

One of my favourite things about Christ­mas is gift-giv­ing. More so than gift-receiv­ing. I like col­lect­ing clues about what peo­ple like through­out the year and come up with things to make for them. And I would start mak­ing them as ear­ly as the summer.

(Though I just real­ized, as we came home from vis­it­ing fam­i­lies, that the gifts I made in August are miss­ing, and I can’t remem­ber where I put them… I’m hop­ing they will turn up soon so I can give them away as Chi­nese New Year gifts.)

Any­hoo, this is one of the most exten­sive projects of the year. Not because it was com­pli­cat­ed, but because it was some­thing I’m not used to mak­ing and it took quite a while to finish.

Mike has been look­ing to buy an “indoor scarf” and so I thought I would make him one for Christ­mas. I found this light-weight plaid fab­ric in a small shop on Queen St. and fol­lowed this pat­tern for sewing a scarf.

The sewing part was rather easy, it was the fring­ing part that made me wor­ry I was­n’t going to have it fin­ished until Mike’s birth­day in the sum­mer. After 2 days of “remov­ing the width-threads from the end of the scarf,” as per the instruc­tion, I’ve got hard­ly an inch of fringe on one side of the scarf, and I need­ed 4 inch­es on both sides for knotting.

There must be a quick­er way of doing this, I thought. Even­tu­al­ly I fig­ured that I could just cut the end of the scarf into one-inch sections…

… and it would be eas­i­er to remove the hor­i­zon­tal threads…

I lost one or two ver­ti­cal threads in between because of the cut­ting but the fring­ing went by so much quick­er! Instead of days and weeks of work it took only 5 hours altogether.

And here’s Mike hap­pi­ly look­ing at his scarf :D

I left my cam­era at my par­ents’ dur­ing the mak­ing and pre­sent­ing of this gift, so I took all the pic­tures with my Zumi, which actu­al­ly makes the pic­tures more inter­est­ing, I think.

And oh my! As I took the bus today I’m remind­ed by the trans­fer slip that today is the 363th day of the year! So have a hap­py Wednes­day every­one, as we move for­ward to 2011!



Like the petals in our pockets
May we remem­ber who we are
Uncon­di­tion­al­ly cared for
By those who share our bro­ken hearts

The table is set
And all glass­es are full
The pieces go missing
May we still feel whole


Warm wish­es,

(The rest of the lyrics here)


Pocoyo hats!

Ever watched Pocoyo?

I caught it once while babysit­ting a few years back. I love the clay­ma­tion-like ani­ma­tion and the char­ac­ters and sto­ries are so incred­i­bly cute! (He has a blog too but it’s in Spanish.)

Any­way, I want­ed to make hats for my friends’ chil­dren and decid­ed to use this quick and easy pat­tern to make them. After two days of mad­ly cro­chet­ing here they are, on a make-shift snowy back­ground that is the back of my table cloth :D

The pat­tern was indeed quick and easy as it promised. I actu­al­ly made the infant one from start to fin­ish on a 1 hr. sub­way ride. I also skipped the ties at the end of the earflaps because in my expe­ri­ence the ties always get caught in the zip­per of my coat. And with­out the ties they remind me of Pocoy­o’s hat. See?

So, I had to make myself one too :D With an addi­tion­al row or two it fits me per­fect­ly. Plus, recent­ly I left my hat and mitts at a friend’s and won’t get them back till the new year, so I need a new hat. I also left my trusty pink cam­era at my par­ents’ (what’s with me leav­ing my stuff behind these days?) so I used Mike’s web­cam. (The group of hats pic­ture was tak­en with his super cam­era too! It cap­tures the red very nicely.)

Thank you for vis­it­ing gen­uine mud­pie this year! Wish­ing every­one a joy­ous, warm and peace­ful holiday!

¡Feliz Navi­dad!


city of pigeons

Yup. No finch­es at Finch Sta­tion. Just pigeons.


Pigeons wad­dles clos­er and clos­er to the cam­era, prob­a­bly thought I had food. Look at those red eyes! Red eyes!

Hap­py week­end everyone!


greetings from the tree! :D

Hey Jorge! Where’s the tree and what’s with the fire?

Well… we’ll get to that in a moment. But now, the orna­ments! :D

A yel­low fab­ric star that Mike made when he was 5 makes the tree top­per every year.


Meet Snow Bear! I made him at school 2 Christ­mases ago. We were sup­posed to make a sculp­ture for a role play exer­cise, and he’s made of a Sty­ro­foam cone and some corn and seeds, but I can’t bear to toss him away.


And next we have my favourite chip­munk in the tree. (Jorge: but isn’t there only one chip­munk in the tree…?) I saw him at Pot­tery Barn and just had to bring him home. I’m not one who shops at Pot­tery Barn ever, but I had a gift card! :D So it was meant to be. Actu­al­ly, I orig­i­nal­ly bought him for a secret San­ta gift but I mean, who could ever give away a chip­munk with ears made of pis­ta­chio shells?


And here’s my Mod­el Mag­ic snow­man, made from left­over Mod­el Mag­ic I saved from school. (With a grin­ning Bob the Toma­to talk­ing toy.)


One year I made many of these orna­ments with shards of glass from jars and bot­tles, which I smashed with a ham­mer :D I then sol­dered the edges and paint­ed on it with glass paint. I sold and gave away all the ones that I made through­out the years, and haven’t start­ed mak­ing them again because it involves so much time and work. But I still think it was a real­ly good idea. I real­ly like the organ­ic shape of the glass and the idea that it came from a bro­ken bottle.


Last year I took a work­shop in felt­ing. It was an orna­ment work­shop and we made a San­ta, a snow­man, and a pen­guin. I gave away the San­ta and the snow­man and kept Mr. Pen­guin. Mike quick­ly point­ed out how he bears a strik­ing resem­blance to the Lin­ux Pen­guin.

The work­shop instruc­tor kind­ly offered us extra felt to take home to prac­tice, so with the extra felt I made this mush­room. There are also an assort­ment of pine cones and plas­tic hol­lies in the tree from flo­ral arrange­ments that Mike’s office received. I’m thank­ful for his co-work­ers who asked him to take those home for me before throw­ing out the arrange­ments :D They make excel­lent tree dec­o­ra­tions because they come with a long wire stem, which are very easy to insert into the mass of plas­tic tree nee­dles and make the dec­o­ra­tions look like part of the tree.


Here’s my first attempt to make a cro­cheted acorn. He has a remov­able cap too. (Jorge: and we came from the same ball of yarn!)


New to the tree this year are my orna­ments from the dough adven­tures. Here’s the teapot one made from the cook­ie mold my friend kind­ly passed on to me.

And here comes the crazed rab­bit and his car­rot! :D


But the most spe­cial thing about the tree this year is the fire­place under the tree. Yes, a fire­place in an apartment!


Mike built this fire­place by run­ning this video on a gum­drop Mac he got for free on Craigslist. Isn’t he the most bril­liant? :D

It is a fire­place one can hug! (And it’s quite warm!)


Just so every­one can ful­ly appre­ci­ate this love­ly Mac fire with us I took a video with the Zumi! If you lis­ten care­ful­ly you’ll hear it crack­le like a real fire­place! :D



Warm wish­es to you and your family!

favourite things! the special ornament edition

I love orna­ments. It is my go-to craft when I don’t know what kind of gifts to make for some­one, and with cer­tain ones I hang them around the house on win­dows and plants all year long :D

So here are my favourite orna­ment tuto­ri­als from all around!

This one would be great to make with kids! And I love the rhine­stone eye!
(From All about you)


Per­fect gift for that spe­cial some­one who believes that every­thing is bet­ter with bacon. XD
(From Sere­meres)


My friend point­ed me to this blog and I found this super cute snow­man, which would make an adorable orna­ment! Also check out the pom pom owl tutorial!
(From maed­chen­mitherz)

And while brows­ing around on maed­chen­mitherz (it is such a love­ly blog with such fresh and cute ideas!) I found this! :D

This is not an orna­ment, but I must share a pic­ture — it is just bril­liant! The eyes are actu­al­ly but­ton clo­sures! It has instant­ly jumped to the top of my list of projects! :D


These mush­rooms come from the book Fa la la la Felt, the pub­lish­er is shar­ing a tuto­r­i­al from the book for these love­ly mush­rooms! Aren’t they the cutest? I need them on my tree.
(From The Long Thread)

And while brows­ing on The Long Thread, I saw this absolute­ly adorable snowflake necklace…

… made of shrink plas­tic! An orna­ment for the neck! My neck! And so as I typed this I hur­ried to my craft cor­ner to check if I still had shrink plas­tic — and to my relief there is still half a sheet! YES! This, my friend, is also at the top of my project list.


Anoth­er orna­ment involv­ing one of my favourite things — acorns! An acorn cap nest, and the eggs are paint­ed soy beans! :D My tree also needs this.
(From Twig and Toad­stool)


Who would ever be able to tell that this ele­gant orna­ment was once a juice can?
(From michele made me)

And check out these wreath orna­ments made from the hum­ble loo roll!

AND the egg car­ton flow­ers! The pine cone-like one in the front row is sim­ply gor­geous, it will make an excel­lent ornament!

And look at these beau­ti­ful win­ter lanterns!

They’re just breath-taking!

So, clear­ly I’m com­plete­ly side­tracked at this point (read­ing craft blogs is like going down a rab­bit hole!) and this post is no longer just about orna­ments. But now I have enough on my project list to last until next Christ­mas :D And I hope you find inspi­ra­tions in the tuto­ri­als I gath­ered here as well!

Tomor­row I hope to share with you the assort­ment of orna­ments on my tree! Stay tuned! :D


wish list…

For the very first time I have a true wish list with one item on it — this book! 100 Felt Mascots!

I actu­al­ly saw this at a book­store while in Hong Kong. A how-to book for mak­ing real­ly cute cell­phone charms. It was trans­lat­ed into Chi­nese and I read it cov­er to cov­er twice and could not put it down. It is so. Ridicu­lous­ly. Cute. But I decid­ed to buy anoth­er more prac­ti­cal book at the time (sewing clothes with­out draw­ing pat­terns! I’m not very good at sewing, so it’s a good learn­ing book) and thought, I’ll think about it more and if I real­ly want the 100 Mas­cots I’ll come back for it — the book­store was just around the cor­ner from the flat we stayed at. But I for­got! There were so many things to do and places to see and peo­ple to vis­it, I for­got about the book! And now it’s too late! *kicks self*

Yes­ter­day I stum­bled upon it again on Chub­by Hob­by and I love it even more :’(
Then I found a Flickr set with lots of pic­tures of the book and felt so hap­py to see all the famil­iar faces of the tofu and pud­ding and radish­es again, but it is noth­ing like hold­ing the pages of the book…

Oh well. It will remain a wish until I see the book in per­son again.

In the mean­while, see­ing images of the book again has inspired a craft, but that deserves a post of its own. So stay tuned! :D

favourite snowpeople of the season

Hel­lo! Was going to write a “favourite things of the week” post, but real­ized that most of the favourite things I came across late­ly had to do with snow­peo­ple, and that it is snow­ing here on gen­uine mud­pie, I fig­ure it’d be fit­ting to write a “favourite snow­peo­ple” post! :D

Melt­ed and ready to eat! Mua­ha­ha­ha… I vote this best cook­ie of the season!
(from the dec­o­rat­ed cook­ie)

These are not nec­es­sar­i­ly snow­peo­ple, but I thought they look close enough. There’s won­der­ful detailed instruc­tion to make them with felt and also with marsh­mal­lows! :D
(from Gin­ger­bread Snowflakes)


I saw this in the mag­a­zine a cou­ple of years ago and I’ve always loved how bril­liant yet sim­ple it is. I’ve got to admit, it’s a good thing. A sug­ar snow globe! Instruc­tions to build snow­man and oth­er fun char­ac­ters with bam­boo skew­ers and gum­drops! My favourite are the mushrooms.
(from Martha Stew­art Liv­ing)

And final­ly, from my favourite movies of all time, My Neigh­bor Totoro — in the end­ing sequence the Totoros find a snow Totoro built by Sat­su­ki and Mei!

Watch the full end­ing sequence here if you have a moment, it’s real­ly cute! In Japan­ese with Eng­lish sub­ti­tles! (I was nev­er a big fan of the dubbed Eng­lish version) And if you haven’t seen the movie I’d high­ly rec­om­mend it!

Have a great week ahead!