Friday, 27 January 2012

Kim's scarf

Motivated by my post on the Knitted Ruffle Scarf, my good friend Kim from Basel battled against the odds, or rather several wool shops who were out of stock of this particular yarn, couldn't even get it from their suppliers and had a waiting list for it as long as your knitting needles. Not a woman to be deterred, Kim was given a tip by a local market trader, procured the yarn and whipped this up more or less in the course of an evening:
Kim's scarf
I think it's fabulous and the colours are lovely. Well done Kim!
Have a great weekend!

Friday, 20 January 2012

Recycled tin can

What do you do with a bored daughter, off school with a bit of a cold? Yep, make something. One (washed and dried!) tin can, some denim and some wool and voilà (don't know why I thought I needed a French word there...):
recycled tin can crafts
I'd had this idea in my mind for a while as a solution to this:
This is much more pleasing:
It was really quick and easy and best of all used things we already had. First of all I measured the circumference of the tin, allowing for a bit of an overlap and also the height of the tin from just under the top "lip" to just above the bottom "lip". I transferred these measurements onto the back of my denim and cut out with pinking shears, allowing 1cm extra on one of the short sides
Then turned back that extra 1cm, top stitched it and added the button using a bit of the wool.
I stuck the denim to the tin using everyday white glue, then to finish I glued and wound the wool round the top and bottom of the tin, so hiding the edges of the denim.
recycled tin can
After recycling my tin, I found loads of inspiration and instructions (duhh-why do I do things the wrong way round?) about recycling tin cans. You can find some ideas here. Have a great weekend!

Friday, 13 January 2012

Knitted Ruffle Scarf

When my 11-year old daughter told me they were knitting scarves at school, I expected her to bring home the standard long oblong of knitting, odd stich dropped etc. I didn't expect her to bring home this:

knitted ruffle scarf

Isn't it fabulous? And I was lucky enough to receive this as my Christmas present this year. You knit with a "ribbon" or "mesh" yarn, only 8-10 stiches, big needles, garter stitch all the way. There's a simple tutorial for this kind of yarn here:

Although I am not a knitter, I decided I would like to try my hand at this as it seemed fairly easy and so we made a couple more scarves for Christmas presents - they are really quick to make, literally a few nights whilst watching TV (photos are a bit naf, sorry, but you get the idea!!)


This yarn had integrated pompoms (!) and was called "Rocio" from Katia.

There's a tutorial for this yarn here:

And this black, grey and white one was made using a yarn called "Rete" from Lana Grossa.

There are lots of different ribbon or mesh yarns around, but you'll find instructions on the yarn label or, of course, from your local wool shop! Get those needles out!

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Christmas Cards

I love Christmas cards - getting them, displaying them and then RECYCLING them - more of that in a mo'. There was a time when I used to make most of my Christmas cards - unfortunately a lack of motivation and inspiration has prevailed of late. Until....two of my Swiss neighbours sent beautiful hand-made cards and I was encouraged to reciprocate. I didn't have any special supplies, but this is what I came up with:
And now to the recycling bit - I always think Christmas cards are too nice just to throw away, so I make labels out of them. Very quick and very easy. Start by cutting out the main pictures from the front of the cards like this:
Then grab a few supplies like this:
Add scissors and some glue and in about 60 seconds you can come up with this:
Alternatively grab a pair of fancy scissors and cut round the main picture like this (10 seconds!):
Back soon!

Monday, 9 January 2012

A Truly Inspirational Christmas Wreath

Happy New Year! 2011 whizzed by for me with more or less no blogging. Shame on me, but in my defense, teaching and translations plus all the usual family stuff meant that I did nothing on the creative front, so nothing to show on the blog. By the end of November I still had an Easter wreath on the front door, for goodness sake, much to the amusement of various visitors who pointed it out as if I didn't know. Grrr! Yes, I felt I'd totally lost it on the creative front, no inspiration, no motivation and certainly no confidence to make anything. In an attempt to at least put the door thing right I decided to buy a Christmas door wreath this year (shock, horror). I went to Meier's Bluemehüsli, just down the road in Wiesendangen - from the outside it looks like a farm shop, but is full of floral and non-floral decorations for the home and garden. The weird thing is, there is no staff, other than those who are arranging new stock. So you can wander round at leisure and, when you have chosen your item, you put your money in a very sophisticated machine, which also gives change and a receipt if needed. Don't things get stolen, I hear you ask? Maybe, but this is Switzerland, after all....Anyway, this is what I found.
The star background is made of bits of old "repurposed" wood probably glued together and then sprayed with white glittery paint. I just love the colours and all the details and the best bit is - I can use it again next year. I did manage to end 2011 with a couple of creations - more about those later this week. It's good to be back!


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