Sunday, September 17, 2017

BUILDING A HOME LIBRARY

For now these cabinets hold a random collection of things, but maybe someday they'll be filled with books!

I love reading. It's my absolutely favorite past time. I like it more than even crafting!


I used to do "what I read this month", but they sort of petered out. I never finish a book I don't like, but a lot of books are kind of just OK. I'm a bit picky when it comes to books. My definition of a good book (for me) is a book that I want re-read (again and again). So, while I finished the books, I never felt I had that much to say about most of them.

Also, a few years ago I Konmaried most of my books. I had several hundred that I'd collected over the years that, that I didn't want to re-read, so I got rid of them. And when I got new books I got them for my e-reader.

Then I got a baby (yes, everything revolves around the baby now), and I heard a lot about how important it is to have books at home and to see your parents reading, not just scrolling. So I've decided to buy physical copies of all the books I love, so that the Kiddo can see them and eventually read them. (This sounds a bit like brainwashing, but that's what parents are for, right?) 

And, of course, so I can read them, too! I've always secretly dreamed of a library like the one in Beauty and the Beast... But a small library of books I love would be fabulous.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

THRIFT HAUL #12

Some background: I love thrifting. Hah! 

try to just buy things we'll use. Sometimes I fail. 

And, as you are about to see, I love neutrals and natural materials.
Stokke Tripp Trapp cushion 3€. Jake wanted the best possible high chair for the Kiddo, which according to Google was the Tripp Trapp. It cost an arm and a leg and you had to buy the baby set separately, that was another arm. We decided to forgo the cushions to save at least some money, but a few days later I run into this perfect natural linen cushion set for a few euros!
Two small woven baskets 1,60€ and 1,40€. I keep buying these little baskets, and they are all empty. Maybe someday I'll put something in them, but for now they are just for decoration. #failing
Owl basket/wall hanging 0,50€. We don't actually have any art or anything really hanging on our walls, but we do now! I hung this by my bed. I think it's so cool in a very simple way.
 Small woven basket 2€. Yup. Empty.
Soda can holder 1,80€. These are actually really hard to find where I live and Jake drinks way too much soda, so we always have several cans floating around the fridge. I thought this might keep them somewhat corralled.
A rattan kids chair, 8€. I think i might have paid too much for this, but it was so cute! The Kiddo isn't at a stage where she can sit on a chair unattended yet, but I think when she does, it'll be fun to have one in her size.
Rattan fruit bowl, 1,80€. We didn't have a fruit bowl. This had a nice shape to it.
Two waste baskets, 2€ each. I can't decide which one I love more.

Over all, pretty useful things, right?

Sunday, September 3, 2017

SPARK JOY #1 MY FAVORITE MUGS

I really love the Konmari method (life-changing magic indeed), but while I could sing it's praises all day, I don't feel I have anything to say that hasn't been said a billion times already. So I thought, why not just share a few things that spark joy for me? 

So here are my favorite mugs. They are Emma Bridgewater owl mugs I bought in England and (obviously) I love them. No one else is allowed to use them and I always drink from one of these, resorting to other mugs only when these are in the wash. Another quirk is that I only drink coffee from them (a bit weird since they are English?), if I have tea I'll use something else. They are sturdy, the perfect size and cuuuute.

How about you, any favorite mugs?

Monday, August 28, 2017

BERRY SEASON

Oh August, my favorite month. The days are still warm, but the night are cool, and most importantly dark. I'm not a white nights person, we have blackout curtains on every window.

August means also that the berry season is here, and I love berries.

At this time last year I was heavily pregnant and couldn't go, so this year I made sure to get some berry picking in my life.
First, I went picking wild blueberries with a neighbor. Wild berries are abundant and free here in Finland. You just tramp into a forest and pick away.
This is the cleaning operation. Worst part are the spiders you accidentally pick up along the berries. I froze most of these for the winter.
We have a huge red currant bush on the yard and I've been collecting and freezing those too. Then a neighbor offered that I could pick their bushes as well, since they don't eat them. So, now we have a ton of red currants.
We planted a raspberry bush on the yard two years ago, last year it made about six berries, but this year we've gotten several dozen. I have high hopes for next year! Raspberries are my favorite.
The neighbor I went with to pick blueberries, went again and because I couldn't go, had picked me all these blueberries and raspberries!

So, now we're pretty much set for berries! At least, our freezer can't take anymore. And yes, I'm thinking about getting a bigger freezer.
With those left over, I've made two of these berry quark pies. So yummy.
And juice! I'd never before made juice. Made me feel like a real homesteader! Maybe next year I'll try my hand in making jam.

I might still go pick lingonberries once their season starts and try making lingonberry juice, but we'll see. Pretty happy with this so far!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

STAHM/BREASTFEEDING CAPSULE WARDROBE - SUMMER 2017

I thought I'd quickly post my summer capsule wardrobe, before the summer is over. And yes, this is my summer capsule. Yay, Finland!

Yes, it's all black and grey (and one green thing). I like not having to do any extra thinking #breastfeedingbrain.

And yep, this is planned with breastfeeding in mind. All the tops are loose and easy to pull up to feed my baby (I were a breastfeeding top underneath).

And yes, this isn't many clothes. My life is mostly spend at home with my baby, going for a walk with the stroller, going to the grocery store or thrift stores with the baby. Simple, casual stuff.

So for this season in my life a simple, casual wardrobe is perfect.

TOPS:
Khaki green oversize jacket/shirt, grey 3/4 sleeve thin knit, grey wool sweater.
Grey hoodie with a zipper, black and white tribal cardigan, grey oversize hoodie.
Four dark grey and four light grey maternity tank tops with built in bra (which I wear non-stop, day and night), grey non-maternity tank top, black oversize dress.

BOTTOMS:
Black skinny jeans, black skinny jeggings, four pairs of black leggings.

ACCESSORIES:
Black moccasins (my left leg is a bit shorter than the right, in case you were wondering), black leather handbag (although I prefer to stuff everything in my pockets), black wool hat.

And that's it! I love having just a few things that work.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

CRAFT HAUL


It's kind of weird that I have a craft blog, yet have never done a craft haul.

I mainly just buy yarn here and there, and maybe needles or a hook in a new size as needed, but I don't really buy things in bulk.

Well, now I did.

An online shop I buy books from, Adlibris, was having a sale on their craft products and that was the first I realized they had craft products. 


I think I went slightly insane with the amount of yarn. But hey, it was 40% off. Also, for some reason, cotton yard is really hard to find around here. I guess with the weather being what it is, Finland is all about wool. This was really nice thick cotton yarn, perfect for amigurumis. Look at those colors! I'm just dying to make some play food for the Kiddo.
Look at that. That's box with 86 different colors of wool for needle felting. Eighty-six. I got really into needle felting after Christmas last year. So far I've just made a few white stars with the help of a cookie cutter, but I have plans for more.
And then some random stuff. I've always just used hairpins as round markers, and just lamented when stitches have slid off the end of a needle, but thought maybe it was time to invest in some actual tools. Maybe. So I got a row counter, a bag of stitch markers, needle stoppers, and a 40 cm and a 60 cm cables, you can supposedly use to convert any size needles into a circular needle. These weren't even expensive, just a few Euros. 

I hope these will make knitting and crocheting even more enjoyable!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Crocheted Camp Fire

Look at this crocheted camp fire! Isn't it cool?!

You can find the pattern HERE, buuuuuuuuuut it's in Dutch. So, er, anyone know anything about Dutch crochet terms? I tried Google Translate, but just can't figure it out.

I'd appreciate help so much! I desperately want to make this for my baby.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Amigurumi Cloud Troubleshooting

Hands down the most popular pattern on my blog is the pattern for the amigurumi cloud. It has probably more hits than the rest combined. It's also the pattern people seem to have most trouble with. And I get that. I wrote it the best I could, and couldn't really figure out how better to explain it. But I think I finally figured out a way to help! If you follow this guide, you'll just need to know the number of increases and decreases as marked at the beginning of each row of the pattern and you don't need to count the sc in between.

So here is a step by step guide to crocheting my amigurumi cloud pattern

Saturday, June 10, 2017

How to Make a Stroller Mobile

I made this simple stroller mobile and thought I'd share the process in case you (like me) have a stash of amigurumis lying around. If you don't, never fear! I have patterns for those linked as well.
Here's the mobile spread out. You could use any amigurumis for this, this is just what to my eye looked cute.
You'll need some amigurumis (I used cloudsbirds and a rainbow, click for the patterns), some sturdy cotton yarn (I don't recommend wool for this, because sometimes it can thin out and break, if you have elastic yarn, you could use that too), and two clips (mine are from an old pair of suspenders I got at second hand for 50 cents).
  1. Measure your stroller where you want to hang the mobile, your amigurumis will need to fill this space.
  2. Then the fun part, making amigurumis! I made cloudsbirds and a rainbow, but there are tons more free patterns on my blog and around the internet. I have links to some of my favorites on my amigurumi Pinterest board. Or use what you already have.
  3. Plan how you want to arrange your amigurumis, and measure them so that you have the right length for your stroller.
  4. Thread through the amigurumis. If your needle isn't crazy long you'll need to "come up for air", just push the needle out from the side, then push it back in at the exact same spot and thread on (the two upper pictures). When you reach the end just pull the yarn tight and it'll settle nicely inside the amigurumi. You'll also have to pay attention where you place the thread, too low and the amigurumis will flip over. Cut the yarn and leave a long tail.
  5. Take your clips and single crochet over the loop like you would in a magic ring. How many sc you crochet will depend on your clip.
  6. Take the yarn with the amigurumis and sew each end firmly into the middle stitches of the clips. Knot the yarn firmly and hide the ends on the backside.
  7. Clip on to your stroller out of the baby's reach.

Here's a close up of one end. As you see, you'll probably need to thread the yarn a lot higher across the amigurumi than you'd think.
I'm not an baby safety expert, I used mine as just a mobile to be looked at. But if you do hang this so that the baby can play with it, please don't leave your kid unattended with it.
 And here it is hanging in our stroller.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

How to Crochet an Amigurumi Tooth Fairy Pillow

So, my baby just cut her first two teeth, so she isn't going to be loosing any anytime soon. (At least, I hope not.) And we don't really have a concept of a tooth fairy in Finland. But you see this cute stuff from other cultures (on Pinterest, mostly) and I'm a sucker for cute stuff. And you know I love amigurumi.
I started this blog to have a place to post my amigurumi patterns to, then my interest sort of waned. And how many stuffed animals can a person make and never use? The answer is of course as many as she likes. But, yeah,  I was trying to be an adult and I stopped.

Cue baby, and I'm like bring all the amigurumi!
So, here's a pattern for an amigurumi tooth, which can be used as a tooth fairy pillow (i.e. put a tooth in the pocket in the back, and see it magically turn into money during the night. Only works for children, I've heard.)
I used wool/polyamide mix yarn called 7veljestä, and an EU size 1,75 hook, but I crochet loosely, so if you crochet tightly, maybe use a bigger hook.
Amigurumi Tooth Pattern

Make a magic ring
  1. Sc 6 times in the magic ring (6).
  2. Sc inc around (12).
  3. Sc in the next 5, sc inc twice, sc in the next 5 (14).
  4. Sc around (14).
  5. Sc in the next 6, sc inc twice, sc in the next 6 (16).
  6. Sc around (16).
  7. Sc in the next 7, sc inc twice, sc in the next 7 (18).
  8. Sc around.
  9. Sc in the next 8, sc inc twice, sc in the next 8 (20).
  10. Sc around.
  11. Sc in the next 9, sc inc twice, sc in the next 9 (22).
  12. Sc around.
  13. Sc in the next 10, sc inc twice, sc in the next 10 (24).
  14. Sc around. 
  15. Sc in the next 11, sc inc twice, sc in the next 11 (26).
  16. Sc around.
  17. Sc in the next 12, sc inc twice, sc in the next 12 (28).
Finish off leaving a long tail (this is for sewing "the crotch" i.e. where the roots meet, shut later). Stuff.

Make another root the same way, but don't finish off. Mark this spot, from now on this will be the beginning and ending of the rounds. Join the two roots by crocheting where you left of on the first root.

18. Sc around (56).
19. Sc around (56). Around here is a good place to sew shut the small hole where you joined the roots together, later on it'll be more difficult.
20. Sc around (56).
21. Sc around (56).
22. Sc around (56).
23. Sc in the next 7 stitches in the back loop only, sc in the next 42, sc in the next 7 stitches in the back loop only (56).
24. Sc around (56).
25. Sc around (56).
26. Sc around (56).
27. Sc around (56).
28. Sc around (56).
29. Sc around (56).
30. Sc around (56).
31. Sc around (56).
32. Sc around (56). I recommend you start stuffing now, because as you decrease the hole will get smaller and stuffing more difficult.
33. Sc in the next 10, sc dec three times, sc in the next 24, sc dec three times, sc in the next 10 (50).
34. Sc in the next 9, sc dec three times, sc in the next 20, sc dec three times, sc in the next 9 (44).
35. Sc dec around (22).
36. Sc dec around (11).
37. Keep sc dec until you have a very small hole, then sew the hole shut and finish off leaving a long tail.

Thread the yarn on a sturdy needle and push it through the top of the tooth in to "the crotch" and back again, molding the top of the tooth as you like. Knot between the roots and hide the yarn inside the tooth.

Flip the tooth over. On the back where you on round 23 crocheted in the back loops only there are the front loops visible.
Sc across (14), turn. Repeat for 9 rows. Finish off. Sew to sides of the flap onto the tooth.
Embroider on a face. I went with blue eyes because black felt too much like cavities, but you can embroider on any face you like, of course!

You are done!

Saturday, June 3, 2017

DIY Felt Antlers

I've seen quite a few faux taxidermy decorations for kids rooms, but they are usually heads, which even if they are faux, still creep me out. 

Then I came across this tutorial for felt antlers by Mereta from One Mushroom and thought that it was the coolest thing ever! Felt antlers! For some reason I'd never thought of that.
There was no actual pattern for these (or if there was I missed it), just a tutorial, so I made the antlers slightly too big and heavy for the plate, but I think they are still pretty cool. The tutorial didn't mention how to hang them either and with a slightly heavier build, I'm not sure what will be the best way.
I love working with felt, because there is no fraying. Just cut and sew. The whole thing is hand sewn, but it didn't take that long. And once you get going hand sewing is kind of meditative. 
The best thing is of course that no animals were harmed in making of these!
These are definitely going to my kids room, once we have one for her. And once I figure out a way to hang them. Any ideas?
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