Friday, December 28, 2018

Back from Far Far Away

I've been rather quite the last month, and that nothing to do with the stressful time before Christmas, but rather with the fact that I escaped from that stressful time by taking a vacation a long way from home. It might not been my farthest vacation destination (that honour goes to New Zealand), but getting there took quite some time, as you actually can't fly there, but have to take a ship.
I still flew a long time, first to Buenos Aires, then further South to El Calafata in Patagonia, and then a little further South again to Ushuaia (the Southern most city in the world), to get on a ship (the Midnatsol) to cross the Drake Passage and finally reach my destination: Antarctica.
We saw icebergs

And Penguins

And whales

And has an alround fantastic time.

Monday, December 03, 2018

Boxy Bags and Books

I made two box bags (well, one is more of a pencilcase really, but the basic pattern is the same)
First bag is for holding my meds when I'm traveling. I used mostly white scraps and added a red cross in the last step. There is also a red cross on the other side of the bag. The starting fabric size is two times 20 x 20cm
The same pattern, but starting with 23 x 13cm gets this bag. Perfect size for pencils and other writing paraphenelia.
Next year's journal is covered in fabric. I saw a project like this on pinterest some time ago and put it on my 'have to make is one day' list. Finally, that day has come.
I made that travel journal for an upcoming trip. I used maps from an atlas I bought second hand to cover two pieces of cardboard.
The binding is a so-called accordion binding with six signatures (foldes stacks of paper). The advantage of this binding is that I still have room to add stuff to the book. The hinges and the closure is made with fake leather, which I did sew to the covers by hand.
Seriously, this is my favorite book binding project so far.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Paint, Paper and Paste

I've been playing with making paste paper.
First I used acrylic paint to paint a background.
Once the backgroundwas dry, I added a second layer of paint mixed with paste (I used plain wallpaper glue - next time maybe I'm trying something else)
Using a spatula made from cardboard or some other instrument I scrapped some of that paste away again, revealing the underlaying background.
 And then I let it dry again.
For my first attempts I'm very happy with the outcome.
It is a bit of a messy process, but it is also a lot of fun to do.
I also experimented with carving my own stamps.
I'm very much in love with that stamp (a made three papers based only one that one stamp so far). To add something extra, I used silver embossing powder on that last stamp layer.

Other then just playing with color (which is a goal in itself, because fun you know) I also have some other goal in mind. Which leads back to bookbinding.
The paper I used in this booklet is in fact money (5 Euro notes). They are lightly glued together on one side, so you can easily tear a note off anytime you want to pay for something.
I made two as presents.

Thursday, November 01, 2018

Binding Books

I love books and I love to craft, so it was inevitable that at one point I'd try my hands on book binding.
First technique I've tried my hands on was the Japanese binding.
Fun technique and I certainly will try it again, but the disadvantage is the book doesn't lay flat once opened. I'm using it as a sketchbook, so no big problem, but something to keep in mind.
Next technique is the more classic coptic binding, were you sew your pages through the fold and then glue the back to secure it. For the cover I used the last of my Rome fabric.
Last book (for now) is a leather bound journal I've made as a little surprise for my role playing group. I had fun figuring out in which way to print the pages inside so they can be read in the proper order once they are bound.
 For the spine I used a cross stitch binding. I very, very much love it.
I do have a few more ideas, so those won't be the last books I'm binding ...

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Go Flames!

A couple of years back I went on vacation in the Canadian Rockies. Before I went there, I flew to Calgary and spent a night there. The next morning, while I was walking around, I was quite astonished when I saw a fire truck pass by with a big banner on the front which said 'Go Flames!'
I later learned that the Calgary Flames are a professional ice hockey team based in Calgary that, at that time, was competing in the Stanley Cup.
Anyway, my last quilt finish is also called Flames, but has nothing to do with ice hockey or any sport at all.
The quilt is from Rebecca Bryan's book 'Modern Rainbow'. I pretty much followed the pattern exactly and love how it came out. Mostly I like how fresh it looks, with the clear colors and the grey sashing that binds everything together.
I did use a small roll of 2 1/2" stripes in rainbow colors I bought at the Quiltmanufactur in Frankfurt together with some fabric from my stash.
For the back I used another roll in solid colors together with a greyish fabric reclaimed from a duvet cover.
The quilt top was finished back in May, but the quilting took some time (mostly because I refused to quilt in the summer when it was so hot). First I did sew along the grey strips in the sashing using my walking foot then free motion quilted a feather into each diamond.
I love how the quilt turned out. It doesn't have a home yet (and no label ... need to make a label), but I'm sure I'll find a place for it in the end.

Sunday, October 07, 2018


I've been working on this afghan for quite a while. It was abandoned for more than a year, when I picked it up again last month.
Basically, it's brown, blue and off white yarn left over from all kind of projects in more or less similar weight. I crocheted a simple ripples pattern, picking the colors pretty much random, except that I tended to go light-dark-light-dark, just to show of the ripple pattern nicely.
I didn't run out of yarn so much as deciding that I'm done (though I did manage to plow through quite a bit of my stash yarn and the selection got a bit thin in the end)
The size is 155 x 170 cm, which I think is a pretty decent size.
I still need to give it a wash (which, considering how many different yarns are in there, will be by hand in the tub - oh joy)

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Bracelets and Giraffes

I'm pretty sure that the fave for bead wrap bracelets is long gone, but that didn't stop me from making one. And then another one. And then a third.
If I hadn't run out of leather cord, I would have kept going .... (I've still got plenty of beads)

It's been a while already when I made this little, adorable giraffe. I used air hardening modeling clay, which I worked around a glas tea light holder (so the plant doesn't get in direct contact with the clay)
It's a b-day present for my sister, who loves giraffes. Hope she likes it.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Dany Bag

Every woman needs more handbags.
Rigth? (well, I'm actually most of the time an easy going backpack person, but sometimes I do get urges ... you know)
This is Dany. I've bought the pattern a while back already, but only now got around to the sewing.
As you can see, I've used jeans (once again). I also used parts of an handwoven African blanket, which I had just gotten from my mom. As I have little use from blankets myself (looking over to the ton of quilts and knitted and crochets blankets I've made myself), I thought of another use for it.
The bag itself has a lot of great details.

I particulary like the way the shoulder strap (which is made from rope) is connected with the closure of one of the outside pockets.
Speaking of pockets. This bag has plenty. Two at the side, two (invisible ones) behind the front panel and one in the back. For the lining of those outside pockets I used the coolest marvel fabric with Thor and Daredevil and Captain America and Ironman and Black Widow and ...
Sadely, I didn't have enough of this fabric for the inside, but luckily I had a pretty cool alternative in this comic themed fabric, which I picked up in this little store in I-can't-remember town and of which I should have bought more of, because, dang it, I love it.
Ah, the inside also has a double pocket.
All in all, very happy with the bag. It was fiddly in parts and my sewing machine had to work though some really thick patches, but I do love the finished bag.
I'm even thinking about a second one (you know, I have this one fabric, that would look really great ...)

Sunday, September 16, 2018

More Jeans

The Jeans saga continues.
From the left overs of the picknick blanket (I had more than a hundred rectangles, but needed only about 91) I cut 3 x 6 1/2 inches stripes and made a shopping tote.
As just plain jeans got a bit boring, I hand stitched a star filled with flowers on each side. The stitching thread is all from an old box of thread I inherited some years back.
I also used two of the jeans back pockets for inside pockets, but sewed them in in such a way, that I actually got four pockets out of it.
For the linning I used an old pillow sheet I had left from when I used the duvet cover for the backing of a quilt.

From the jeans saga, two more projects sprung forth *grin*
Potholders, yeah! (One can never have enough potholders, right)
The first pair are made from the cut off lower edges of the jeans (and are also bound using those edges)
The second pair are from smaller pieces which I cut into hexagons and sewed together (first time sewing Y-seams on the machine. It went surprisingly well (though not neccessary perfect))
Finally, a none jeans related teaser (though, do not fear, there is more jeans stuff in the works - you'd be surprised on how much fabric 11 pair of jeans yield). 
More on this next week.

Sunday, September 09, 2018

11 Jeans

Last weekend I had cut up 11 pairs of jeans (as mentioned). Most of the material went into a picknick blanket.
I cut the fabric up into 9 1/2 x 6 1/2 inch large patches then laid them out in a hopefully pleasing pattern. As I had about the same amount of blue fabric to white/gray fabric, I thought this pattern looked quite nice.
The blanket sewed up quickly and came out at a pretty good size of 155cm x 195cm.
I decided not to add any batting, but just to sew it against an old duvet cover. As I wanted the blanket to be as light and lofty as possible, I also decided not to quilt it, but simply tie bind it in the center of each block. 
It was the first time I used that technique, but I'm pleased to say that it went really quickly and I do love the feel of the finished blanket..
This was one of the fastest projects ever (especially for something this size) and I couldn't be any happier on the outcome.

Sunday, September 02, 2018

Rugs, Shawls and Pies

Over time, I accumulated quite a few pairs of old jeans, which were, for one reason or another, deemed not wearable anymore. Yesterday I cut up 11 pairs and started sewing. The biggest project, a large picknick blanket is not done yet, but I finished one project from the second cut (first cut was 6 1/2 inch wide stripes, and from the rest, if doable, I did cut 2.1/2 inch stripes. I also have a third cut, but more on that on another day)
I tooks those 2 1/2 inch stripes and simply wove them, then zigzaged them onto an old towel and got myself a new little rug (70 x 45cm) for my bedroom.
 I found a nice blue starry fabric for the binding (which I also zigzagged).
Last week, I also finished a crochet project. I got the yarn (a cotton/poly mix) at the Schwabsburger Wollfest last year, but never could quite decide what to make of it. I had started knitting something, but it didn't click. Then I switched over to crochet and voilá, a shawl was born. Bright and colorful and I love it (the pattern is called 'Dragon Belly', and it was super easy and quick to make)
And, just for fun, an apricot pie. Yummy!

Monday, August 13, 2018

More Red

My tomato harvest so far is pretty good (at least compared to last year) and I decided to conserve some of it. I admit though that I added some market bought tomatoes to the mix, just so I can have enough (and then I ended up buying more than I actually needed for one recipe, so I had to try something else)
The main batch is a oven baked tomato sauce, perfect for pizza, or to add to meat sauce for pasta, or rice. I did a batch last year and it lasted only until March or so, so I knew I had to make that one again. The tomatoes bake in the oven together with onions, garlic, rosemarie, thyme, honey and olive oil for 45 minutes before processing and pouring it in sterilized glasses.
The second sauce is actually a tomato chili chutney (with my own chilies *yeah*) which cooks for over two hours and came out plainly effing delicious (it the slightly darker sauce in three of the front glasses). Starting out with about the same amount of tomates as the first sauce in the end it's only half of it.
Last month I showed the Star Wars bag I've made for my head phones. Now I show the new one for the head phones as I decided that the SW bag is just a little bit too small. I simply tweeked the pattern a little bit and made a slightly larger bag, but the principle is still the same.
Preparing the fabric took longer that sewing the bag itself, but well worth it.
That is, I believe the sixth bag I made following the pattern.

Sunday, July 22, 2018


Mid March I planted some tomatoes for my balcony.
They started pretty small (you may remember).
 After four months, they are not that small anymore.
 One kind is stripey, which is really cute.
Tonight, I'm going to feast on tomatoes!

I also have a hibiscus plant on my balcony. The flowers look pretty cool, me thinks.
 Especially, when I pull out my marco lens.
Pretty, cool, indead.
Another cool picture from back in March, when I looked out of the window and saw this amazing sun rise (camera says it was at 8:10 AM).