Monday, July 31, 2006

vacation planning

I was going to post something crafty today, but I had a little set back with that project (more on that tomorrow) so I leave you with a few photos of the cats instead. I'm a bit worried how they will adjust to a new house soon, cats are such territorial creatures that I'm afraid it will take them quite a while to adapt. About the title of this post, I'm looking for suggestions for our vacation in September. Because of the house move (which for multiple reasons is now postponed till mid September) we hadn't really made any definite plans for this summer, as we usually do. So if you have any good suggestions as to where we might spend one week in September, preferably not too expensive and somewhere in Europe or close by, please let me know...

Yes, I did finish "Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell" - finally ! I must confess that the third part of the book was actually quite enjoyable, but the first part was so boring that I'm not sure if I can recommend this book or not. To compensate, I'm now reading some teen lit by Odette de Saint-Maurice (again, much recommended by X.), vintage copies bought by T. at the flea market and the first books in Portuguese I'm reading this year (is she a Portuguese writer ? the name misled me, but I couldn't find any non Portuguese references).

And no, I didn't forget about the magazine draw, ladies ... because there were quite a few people interested I decided to give away not one but two copies. The lucky winners are Adriana and Sandrine. Girls, please send me your addresses, and I'll mail out the magazines until the end of the week.

knitting inspiration:
♥ vanessa's cream corset pullover
♥ eunny's twisted switch sweater

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

more crafts books and magazines (and a little giveaway)

no crafty items to share today, I'm afraid ... I've been busy with house related stuff and sewing the hems of our new curtains seems to be the only craft related thing I'll be doing this week. The gas installation seems to be taking forever along with the rest of the things we need to finally make the move. We already have some budget estimates for that, by the way, and I had no idea that to hire a moving company would be so expensive.

Anyway, what I really wanted to share were a few books and magazines I got recently...

This Vogue Knitting book was a gift from several friends (thank you girls ! and I really enjoyed the pucca shower gel too, of course ;) because I won a little competition a few months back (with a lot of luck, I might add). It's an amazing knitting reference book, something that I'm sure I'll use a lot in the future.

Now this is another book I had on my wish list for quite some time, so a few weeks ago I decided to order it from amazon. I love this kind of crewel embroidery, and the designs in here are all so simple yet beautiful.

And remember these ?

My back issue order arrived, and although not as inspiring as Marie Claire Idées (I'm repeating myself, I know) there are a few cute projects I would love to try out.

For some reason I got duplicate copies, so I'm giving a copy of one of these away. If you're interested just leave a comment here, and I'll make a draw during the weekend. Just a small thank you to all (crafty or not) readers that pass by here once in a while. I know I don't always have the time to reply to the comments that are made here, but I just wanted to say that I do appreciate enormously every comment made, and after reading things like this, this and this, I feel even more grateful for all the positive things that blogging has brought me.

♥ for the Moomin lovers out there, check these out: the cutest handmade Little My doll (via loobylu)
♥ adorable mini beach bags and flip-flops


Friday, July 21, 2006

small shop update

Just a few more of the summer bags that I've worked on this week. The brown ones are all taken, but I've added some of the other to the shop, so if you're interested go check it out.

girls, I found my copy of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell this morning (was trying to calculate how many cardboard boxes I'd need for moving all those books when I spotted it way behind a bunch of other books), so I'm finally joining the read-along this weekend... and thanks for the gift yesterday, I loved it and I'll post a picture here soon.

wip friday

well, this is not exactly a WIP, it´s more like a pre-WIP actually .. these fabrics haven't even been cut yet, but they're the current selection for my first quilt. Yes, you heard me right, my first quilt. I must be crazy thinking I can pull this off, but after seeing all the amazing quilts here, here and here (just to give you a few examples) I decided I'd give it a try. Haven't decided on a pattern yet, I'm still thinking about what would go well with our bedroom setup (japanese style bed and all). Yesterday I borrowed the Denyse Schmidt book from T., and I'm leaning towards the hop, ski and a jump pattern, but I'm not so sure yet... any good suggestions ? I'd really appreciate it.

more wip friday photos here at the Flickr group

gimme your stuff

and you thought my swap posts were over, right ? sorry, but I have to share just one more ...
this wonderful package came from Anjali (the swap queen herself ;) whom I contacted for a trade through gimme your stuff (which in turn I learnt about via mariko)

I sent her a few Portuguese things, and in return this is what I got: japanese candies (Anjali has a 'Japanese Candy Friday' post every week - go check it out, it's so yummy !), a Japanese crafts magazine and a fashion magazine as well, an assortment of cute fabrics, and this fab old kimono which A. has already claimed for himself.

And because I hadn't made my gimme your stuff list yet, here it goes:

My offers:
- Portuguese fabrics and trims
- Portuguese yarn
- European crafts/fashion magazines
- Some portuguese food items (examples: fruit jam (pumpkin, tomato, etc.), traditional tinned sardines or tuna, squid, codfish), fennel candy)
- Tea (leafed or tea bags) and coffee beans
- Other interesting food or drink items (can't remember what exactly, but you get the idea)
- Soap, incense
- Handmade items (just browse my shop to see what I make)

What I'd love to have:
- Foreign candy, chocolate and other interesting food items (for example, unusual spices)
- Fabrics, trims, notions, yarn (I use all that on my crafts)
- Nice smelling incense and soap
- Tea (any kind, we love tea !)
- Japanese or French crafts magazines
- Cookbooks
- And I shouldn't really add this, but any interesting books to add to my already huge TBR are also welcome
- Any cute kawaii items
- Rubber stamps
- Fridge magnets to add to our collection (preferably from your hometown)


Tuesday, July 18, 2006

big swap post .. thank you girls :)

Last month was a huge swap month for me. Beside the regular swap, I also made a lot of personal ones, so while I was away a lot of packages arrived at the house full of awesome things... So this post is to show everything off, and to say a big Thank You to all the girls who sent me these wonderful things .. girls, you're all amazing :)

from Jessica

I sent Jessica some Lili&Lala items and a few Portuguese fabrics, and in return she sent me such gorgeous fabrics and other goodies

from Lisa

I sent Lisa some Portuguese bamboo yarn for her to try out and my first quilted bag (which she enjoyed, so I'm really happy !) and she sent me some sock yarn (love the koigu !) and this lovely tea (the tin ... isn't it cute?)

from Vanessa

as part of the magazine swap, hosted by Adriana. Vanessa is a very talented knitter (just look at this sweater, isn't it amazing ?) and she sent me two great magazines that I can't wait to start browsing.

from Siow Chin

Siow Chin said she'd like to try a few Portuguese chitas, so I offered to send her some ... and in return she sent me another lovely japanese sewing book and this women's sewing magazine (check her blog for photos of this latest one)

something more I brought from Brazil, my personal swap from Glá, this delicious quilted bag, featuring both Sushi and Amélie ;)

and finally, from Vydia, my July color-iffic-swaporama package :) Vydia was an excellent secret pal and she spoiled me rotten. Just look at all the things she sent ...

1. Amélie looking curiously at the wrapped items ...

2. the whole lot

3. delicious food items .. yummy .. especially looking forward to the Goan fish curry !

4. detail of notebook and handmade cards

5. Sushi trying to get to the organic catnip


Monday, July 17, 2006

never let me go

I haven't made a book post in a long, long time, but I thought that this one deserved to be mentioned. X. had already recommended it (and happy b-day once more :), but I was bit hesitant because I had read this other book by the same author and can't say I enjoyed it that much. But when I found a copy available at the airport I thought I'd give it a try ... like C., I've been having a really weak year bookwise. Besides this very good fantasy trilogy recommended by T. and Case Histories (by Kate Atkinson), I can't say that I truly enjoyed any other books this year so far. So it was totally unexpected that this would grip me so much. And that final twist, I could clearly see it coming but still it was somewhat of a knockout. So if you have the chance to read it, please do .. it's good, I promise.

And while I'm on the subject of books, did I lend you by any chance my copy of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell ? If I did, please let me know. I've looked for it *everywhere* in the house ...I promised the girls I'd join the read-along but without finding my copy it's going to be difficult (and something tells me that if I don't read it now with so much encouragement I'll never finish it)

Sunday, July 16, 2006

cherry blossom shirt

finished this last night, just in time for the deadline of the sewalong .. I had planned to sew another top like these, but when I saw this shirt pattern I knew it would be perfect for this cream cherry blossom fabric. It's from the magazine Patrones #245 (june edition).

It's my first shirt ever, so I learnt a lot while sewing it. The collar especially was kind of tricky, and I wasn't ready for machine sewing the button holes so I hand sew them and it took me *forever*.


Thursday, July 13, 2006

can you tell that I ♥ japanese crafts books?

well, don't we all ? just wish they weren't so expensive and hard to get ... so my trip to S. Paulo definitely was worth it, if only because I could indulge myself in buying these treats. It was such a difficult choice but in the end I picked these three ...

Dolls & Dolls (by Ondori)
ISBN 4-277-55316-8

Features the most adorable dolls by Kyoko Yoneyama. I think this is probably my favourite one ...

ISBN 4-579-11043-9

This sewing book has lovely simple patterns - I had actually ordered it from YesAsia a few months ago, but almost a month later they cancelled my order and said the book wasn't available anymore, so you can imagine how happy I was to have found a copy in S. Paulo.

ISBN 4-529-02086-X

And finally, I couldn't resist this cute embroidery book. I've meaning to start some simple embroidering for a while now, and this book is just the right thing to inspire me to do it.