Thursday, September 17, 2009

Cloth Napkins and a Dispenser

Every time we go out to eat to a diner, I lust after those napkin dispensers. They are so cute and practical. Well, the other day I found a dispenser at the flea market for 3€! Joy!

I’ve been using cloth napkins for over a year now. At first it was really hard, but now I’m so used to it, it seems really silly to buy disposable napkins. Money down the drain! It does cause some confusion when I have guests, and one friend calls them affectionally “pillow cases”. But they are ecological, cheap and easy. I made them from an old sheet, and wash them with towels, so they cause no extra laundry.

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Anyway, I stuffed the napkins into the dispenser. The patterns don’t really match, but, really, who cares! Now, I can easily take one when I need it without having to go look for one in the closet. Also, the dispenser is magnetic, so just add magnets and you can put on a grocery list or another important note. Love it!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Lunch Sack

I take my lunch to work almost everyday. It saves money and it’s a lot healthier than eating out.

So far, I’ve used one of those plastic produce bags from the supermarket to transport my lunch, but they are ugly, and bad for the environment. I’ve decided to start using my own fabric produce bags and so will not have those little plastic bags around the house anymore.

I run across this lunch sack tutorial at Skip to my Lou. I followed the instruction in everything except the measurements (I made it to mach my lunch boxes) and it was super easy!

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I think it looks cute and a bit old fashioned, in a good way! I have gotten quite a few comments about it at work, mostly positive, but also a “what the heck is that?!”. :D

I thought about making a some kind of closing mechanism for it, but run out of energy, and for now I’ll use the clip pictured. It works well because I use different sized boxes depending on what type of food I’m bringing, and with the clip I can adjust the size of the sack.

I was a bit worried how the sack would perform in practice, but it works really well! It’s easy to clean, it’ easy to find from the fridge at work (very important), and it’s roomy enough to fit all my lunch easily (soup, a sandwich and an apple, for example, all go in there).

I would like to make an insulated sack also, so I could take lunch to school too, as there is no fridge there where I can keep it during lectures. Luckily school doesn’t start for another month, so I have some time to procrastinate it!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Felt Moustaches

My cousin got married in June. I was one of her maid of honors, and I did some crafts for the wedding.

The most successful of which were these moustaches, I think.

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Here they are drying on my desk before the wedding.

At the wedding we had a photo booth type of thing, where the guests could take pictures of themselves wearing the moustaches. The pictures are quite hilarious! Sadly, I can’t post them all here, as I don’t have a permission, but here are my parents in action:

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We also had a guestbook, with space for pictures next to the guest’s signatures, well wishes etc. The moustache pictures and other pictures taken at the wedding are going to be glued in there. We already tested it out and it looks awesome! So much more colourful and personal than a regular guestbook.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Banana Cosy

What is this..?

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Why, it’ a knitted banana cosy!

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Yes, indeed. A knitted banana cosy. A knitted cosy for a banana. A cosy for a banana, knitted.

For this banana.

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This banana was in my bag yesterday, all day. It didn’t get eaten, as you can see, a lot of chocolate did, but that’s beside the point. The point is, the banana is still in one piece, thanks to the cosy.

It’s a bit brown, but it didn’t get pierced on a pen or something. And if it had, the cosy would have protected my bag.

Anyway, brown bananas are the best! The best I tell you.

I declare this experiment a success!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

My Brother Has a Blog

Well, apparently my whole family has decided to blog. I’m glad!

Meet my brother, Lari:

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Things I envy about him:

  • he has green eyes, when I got grey
  • his tall and slim, I’m short and stodgy
  • he speaks fluent Chinese, …I have nothing to say for myself

Lari studied at Fudan University in Shanghai, China for two years.

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He speaks excellent Chinese (according to actual Chinese people, I can’t understand him at all). He also has some really interesting stories to tell. He writes his blog in Finnish and Chinese, but also speaks very good English.

I visited him in China twice. First in the spring 2007 with my father and then on Christmas 2007 with both my parents.

This is me and my father and my mother at Fudan University.

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China is the only country outside Europe I’ve been to. Also Shanghai is the biggest city I’ve ever been to. Coming from Finland, population 5 million, the most sparsely populated country in the EU, it was super interesting.

Shanghai on the left and Tampere, where I live, on the right.

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It was so different, I had wonderful time there.

Nice people, great food, best and worst haircuts of my life…

I learned to play mah-jong. They had this automated mah-jong table at our hotel, so you didn’t have to arrange the tiles yourself.

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As a consequence, some nights we ended up playing till five in the morning… This combined with the fact that they were doing construction work at our hotel starting from seven o’clock each morning left me seriously sleep deprived. I also bought a mah-jong set for myself, but since to play it requires four people, I have only played it maybe three times.

This is the set a bought, from a sports store, which I thought was interesting.

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I have a lot of memories and photos from China, so I might tell more later on!

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Thursday, May 7, 2009

Juggling Balls

I made juggling balls for my brother as a Christmas gift last year. Then I decided that I would like to have ones for myself as well.

I made the pattern myself, but here are very good instructions, if you would like to make ones for yourself.

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They are not actually round, but a bit square. This, I find, actually makes them easier to catch. Mine are stuffed with linen seed, but you could use any other grain as well.

I don’t know why they all look a different size in these pictures. I used the same pattern on all, and measured the stuffing. Odd.

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Now, I can’t actually juggle, yet. I can manage maybe 5 throws, before the balls escape me. But I’m trying!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Shopping Bag

Here in Finland, when you go grocery shopping, the plastic bags are not free, you have to pay for them. It gets expensive after a while if you have to buy a new bag each time, and for garbage bags it’s cheaper to buy a whole roll of them.

You can buy fabric bags in stores, they are cheap, 2€ I think, but they are of non-dyed cotton and not very pretty. So, I decided to make one for myself.

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I keep it in my handbag, and you can see I fished it out from there for this photo. It’s bit dusty and wrinkled, but at least you get a realistic picture of what it actually looks like in use…

It’s smoke-blue linen (almost the same colour as the wall…), with some sequins for embellishment.

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On a side note, in Finland, you bag your own groceries, there is no-one to do it for you. We’re big on self-service… It caused great confusion when I tried to do it in China.

Friday, April 24, 2009

On Flea Markets

Some people (well, one anyway) have wondered how I always seem to find something from the flea markets. But the thing is, I don’t. A lot of times I go in, wonder around for an hour and come out having bought nothing.

Sometimes you just go to the flea market and find nothing.

Then again, sometimes you find loads of things, or you find just one thing. That’s how it goes.

The key is to go often, and just look around with an open mind. You probably wont find those black pumps you need today, but chances are you will run in to them eventually. Here are some things I’ve found helpful:

  • Keep a list of things you need or collect (for me: teaspoons, Arabia-bread plates, fabric, shoes…) and always check them out.
  • Look under piles. Most people don’t bother, so there are sometimes really great pieces of fabric or jewellery under some uninteresting stuff.
  • Don’t get too fixated on your list. You can run in to some great things, you had not thought of or never heard of before.
  • Take cash with you. Preferably coins or small notes. Flea markets are quite cheap and I think paying with unnecessary large notes is kind of rude. You’ll just be robbing them of all their change.
  • Like said, go often. There is (usually) just one of each item in flea markets, so don’t miss it.
  • Also, you have to make some fast decisions, that item is not likely going to be there tomorrow anymore. However, don’t be too rash, you might end up with a lot of unnecessary stuff. I know I have. So get to know yourself, what you need and what you will actually use and get enjoyment out of.
  • Don’t get discouraged if you don’t find anything. And don’t buy something just so you wouldn’t have to leave empty handed. If there is nothing this time. It just means you saved some money for the time you do find something great!

Here are some things I’ve found lately

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

My Mother Has a Blog

So, my mother decided to start a blog. Check it out if you want to know where I get my passion for crafts from…

I have several things she’s made. The pictures are horrible, I’m sorry.

Chair covers.

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Stained glass dragonfly.

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She’s writing in Finnish, but there are a lot of pictures.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Vampire Cupcakes

Not crochet, these are real baked cupcakes.
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I made these about a year ago. Yes, I'm resorting to using old projects.
I can't remember where I saw them first, or where I got the recipe, sorry. But Google gives plenty of results if you want to try.
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This was my first time trying cream cheese frosting, and I have to say I didn't like it at all... It tasted so greasy. So I haven't tried to make them again.
I wonder if these would work out with whipped cream, which is more commonly used on cakes and such in Finland. I like whipped cream! It might slide off, though.
At least, they look pretty cool, I think.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Monkeys

I'm still waiting for sun to come back, so that I could take pictures.

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Here are some doodles from my sketch book (as scanning doesn't require natural light). I wish I was skilled enough to make amigurumis like these. Maybe someday.

I found this cool program you can make a signature with. It would look cool too, if I had handwritten it and not used a mouse...

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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Origami Cranes

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I really like making origami cranes. It's somehow very calming. I have a large stack of white square note paper I got from my friends father, so every time I feel a bit stressed or have a few minutes of spare time (when I'm waiting for WoW to load, for example...) I just grab one and start to fold.

I have a problem though. What to do with the cranes? At the moment they are sitting willy-nilly on my windowsill.

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Monday, January 5, 2009

Amigurumi Pear

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I still can't believe I haven't posted this. Maybe I just can't find it in my archives? You see, I made this last summer as can be seen in the sunny picture. I meant to post this then, but apparently forgot... Well, here it is!

It's made following the excellent pattern by Crochetroo. She has a lot of free patterns on her site. I've made her fan bookmark too.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year!

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I'm determined to update more this year, but since I'm really busy with uni and work, there might be more links to patterns of others and fewer new patterns of my own. I'll be still working on new patterns, but on a bit slower pace. I hope you stop by nonetheless!

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