Wednesday, December 27, 2006

the red tweed scarf

I hope you all had a great x-mas ! Mine was fun and festive, but also quite tiring. I could probably use a week off now to rest from it all ...
Well, since that's not possible at least I can finally start showing you some of this year's handmade gifts. I knew I wouldn't have time to make a lot of handmade items this time round, so I decided sometime ago that I would make less (in number), for the people who I knew would truly appreciate them, but more personal (and I hope more special).

One of the gifts I made was this scarf. It's based on the DSQ book pattern, and I've been wanting to make one since I first saw it. This was one project that I decided to make by the book (or almost) and I think the result is worth it. I love the combination of brown tweed, wool, herringbone and the red toned japanese fabrics. So much that I had to make a second one for myself.

Here's me trying to take a photo like the one on the book, but not quite so successful ...

I can't really show you many more gifts, since most of them haven't been given yet (later tonight) but here's a sneak preview:


o saco da madalena

(another special order)

depois do saco do Gaspar, um mais florido para a Madalena (também reversível)


Friday, December 22, 2006

feeling christmassy

This year was supposed to be the year where we'd host christmas eve dinner at our home. Unfortunately, as it happens, and due to circumstances beyond our control (like the probability that electricity will fail that night and such .. I blame the constructor, but that's another story), that won't happen. Instead, we'll have it at my uncle's, which will be just as nice, but I can't help but feel a tiny bit disappointed (although part of me is quite relieved I won't have to go mad with all the preparations that it entails). But I'm excited about it, as usual, because Christmas for us is always a big family event. I have a large family which seems to be growing every year with little ones, so it's also quite fun and noisy. And because we so rarely manage to get everyone together, I relish these occasions more each year that goes by. When I as a kid, it was all about the presents, we each even had to perform something (a song, a play) in order to get our own and looking back it was so much fun, but now as a grown up I just feel incredibly lucky we're still able to spend it together.

We were a bit late putting up our christmas decorations, and this year being the first one at this new house I insisted I had to make some. Just a couple of things, like these soft trees, inspired by Stephanie's, which I finally had the time to make. I made them in cream fleece and suede, and decorated them with felt and buttons - simple, but so gratifying.

Our tree in the corner of the living room, and I'm just so happy we now have a space for it (in the old apartment, the only space we had for it was in the kitchen). Can you spot Sushi trying to chew the branches ? At the rate she's going I think next year we'll probably have to get a new one ...

These snowmen came from Germany, picked up during last year and this year's trip.

... and this Santa from Zagreb

And an early gift to myself. I just couldn't resist getting this gorgeous Tord Boontje plate at a local store (at Area, if you're interested). It's called "Table stories" and it's part of a two set. And then this morning I just saw this post about Tord at decor8, I guess I'll have to put that book on my wishlist.

The plate looked a bit lonely, so I just had to indulge on some paper globe therapy too :)

Hope you'll all have a lovely holiday :) Tomorrow we're starting our round of Christmas lunches and dinners, so I'll be back Tuesday or later with hopefully some of those promised vacation photos. Take care, xoxo


Thursday, December 21, 2006

yarn ♥

Until we sort out the zillions of vacation photos and I can actually post some of them here, I thought I'd at least share some of the crafty shopping I did. Not much, since I wasn't really looking for anything special, and most of the shopping I did was x-mas related, but still I had to go back to this small yarn store I found in Mittenwald (Germany). This shop is conveniently located on the main pedestrian street, right in front of the Alpenrose, the guesthouse where we stayed in (and which we highly recommend, by the way). Last year I only got the yarn for this scarf, but this time I decided I needed some more.

So I got the same yarn again, but in green
(for another scarf, maybe ?)

Gorgeous Regia sock yarn and bamboo needles

And this cute, cute trim (I just love smurfs, don't you ?)

Tomorrow I'll try and post some photos of our x-mas decorations. Our new dining table is supposed to arrive tomorrow, just in time too, so we're finally getting our living room together (well, sort of .. we're still missing some lamps, and rugs, and cushions .. one step at a time, right ?)

Note: about the improvised labels I posted about yesterday, a little explanation ... these are stamped on fabric using Fabrico inkpads (which I got here). I experimented with a different cotton tape yesterday and the result is much better.


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

getting there (part 2)

more outgoing orders:
#227 :: #228 :: #229 :: #230 :: #231

#16, #17

Of course, with all this crafty activity I've run out of labels, so I had to improvise some. Inspired by Sally's, I came up with these. The tape I used is not the best for this, so I bought some new ones today and will try them out later, but so far I'm really liking this idea a lot.


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

I'm getting there

some orders dispatched ...

#218 :: #219 :: #220 :: #221 :: #222 :: #223 :: #224 :: #225 :: #226

I'm starting to feel a little more relieved, now that these are done .. the second batch will be tackled later today, so I think I might actually make it till Christmas. The x-mas tree and gift wrapping were all done this weekend too, which is another task done, so maybe this year I'll have a relaxed holiday after all. What about you ? All your x-mas shopping done yet ?


Monday, December 18, 2006

more japanese crafts books

More japanese crafts books from YesAsia, an early x-mas gift to myself (that site is just too tempting, and bad for my wallet)

ISBN: 4529043045
Idées vol4, which features a lot of cute embroidery.
My favorites: just look at the slippers ... or the bookcover .. or the handbag .. all amazing.

ISBN: 4579110935
Another sewing book by Machiko Kayaki. This one has some cute patterns, I love the milk maid dress (check out the one made by Mariko here), the apron dresses and tops. All for next year's summer.

ISBN: 4579110714
Pattern magic, a very original sewing book, filled with unusual designs.


Thursday, December 14, 2006

catching up with mail

I've been really bad with showing my most recent swaps, so in an attempt to catch up with that, I thought I'd post about mail goodies today.

This first one came from Sher, another gimme your stuff swap, and it was full of the most amazing bits (just check that fabric pile). I so enjoyed everything she sent me.

Next, the lovely and talented Mariko really spoiled me with her packages. She sent me the cutest fabrics, loads of candies, yummy dark chocolate (yes, it's half gone already .. what can I say ? we love dark chocolate), a fantastic knitting magazine, goodies from her recent trip to Japan and not one but three lipglosses that I'm planning to use all winter long (hershey's chocolate, burt's bees raspberry and japanese cherry ... humm, all so delicious).

And of course, you probably know this already, but Mariko and Kelly opened superbuzzy, their own online fabric store, sometime ago, but only recently did I have the chance to make an order. They have the most amazing fabrics and other bits for sale, and I just couldn't resist these ones below (don't you just love the hedgehogs one ?)

And finally, a purchase from eBay, several japanese fabric pieces which I absolutely adore, and will probably use very sparingly.

Very good mail indeed :)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

crafty bits

look who I found comfortably installed on my studio desk the other day ...

She loves to sit there, and even when it's total chaos and there are piles of fabrics everywhere, she manages to find a spot to lie down.

Slowly I'm working my way through the remaining orders and other bits. I finished this bookcover yesterday, and hopefully the rest will follow during the next days.

And these pouches were finished sometime ago.

Thanks for the comments on the last post. Sushi indeed likes to eat the strangest things. She loves to open biscuit packages, likes eating certain types of cake, but her real obsessions are - believe it or not - bananas (she goes wild), peanut butter, melons and cantaloupes (see Sue, yours was not the only one), mango (not any kind, though, just the juiciest and sweetest ones), strawberries, smoked salmon, olive oil and yogurt (even soy yogurt). Amélie, on the other hand, doesn't really go for any of that, but she loves vegetable soup ...


Sunday, December 10, 2006

it feels good to be home

I love traveling, I really do, but there's nothing like sleeping in your own bed after some time away, don't you think ? Especially since we were dead tired after our flight back was delayed for over 3 hours (actually, our flight to Milan was also delayed for a few hours, so I guess that's the price we sometimes pay for flying low cost ?)

Apart from that, the vacation was lovely. The weather was not too bad (even a bit disappointed because it didn't snow) and I came back with the certainty that I'll have to return again for another visit. Slovenia and Croatia were as beautiful as I had been told, and if I ever manage to sort out the hundreds of photos we took, I'll share a few here soon. Here's a small list of my favorite places and things from the trip:

* visiting the Plitvicka Jezera National Park (Croatia). This has to be one of the most beautiful places I've ever been to.
* listening to the sea organ in Zadar (X, I didn't get to see the sunset from here, it was raining, but I loved it anyway)
* Dubrovnik ... my favorite city in Croatia. The perfect place for a short vacation, I think. I did watch the sunset here from the city walls, and it was amazing.
* staying at the Alpenrose guesthouse in Mittenwald (Germany), a picture perfect postcard village north of Innsbruck. It was our second time here, and it's as lovely as I remembered it.
* shopping in Zagreb (Croatia) and Trento (northern Italy)
* wandering around the streets of Ljubljana (Slovenia)
* browsing the Christmas markets in Innsbruck (Austria)

I baked the scones above for our breakfast this morning, but guess who I caught trying to grab one of them ?

Oh well, I can't blame her, they were actually quite good :)