Friday, October 21, 2011

More September Roundup

I'm a bad blogger.  Bad, bad blogger.  I still have projects left over from September to post!  Eek!  Here we go...

 First we have the rude word plate I painted for my husband for father's day.  I took one of our vintage Crown Lynn Fiesta ware saucers and made up my own font and wrote a word he's been wanting on a plate for a while.  It is hung beside the very cool Super Fly plate made by OddOneOut and a random religious plate purchased with a bulk lot of items from Trademe.

 Next is the Flopsy Bunny hat for my niece, Sarah.  She's quite a personality and I think she kinda loved the funny floppy ears.  Modelled here by Lily who stuck out her rabbit teefs for the photo.

This Granny Strap D-Ring belt was made for another niece, Emma.  It was very helpful to get her waist measurement before starting so I could be sure it  wasn't complete guess work to get it right.  Finished in the nick of time while driving over to present the presents!  Whew :)

This bodum cover is actually still with me.  You see, Sarah and Emma's mum wanted a tea cozy for her birthday.  I started making one which said suitable for a 2-4cup teapot.  The bodum cover is made from 1/2 of one side of the tea cozy.  I'm not sure where I went wrong, but boy did I go wrong!  (Unless they meant it was to fit a 2-4 litre tea pot.)  This is for sale now at Oh, For Craft's Sake! online market for the bargain price of $20.  I will be hooking up another pattern for another tea cozy soon...

And one last super-sweet thing to share today.  This necklace was made by Lily and I together for a little friend's third birthday party.  Lily chose all the beads and I helped to string them onto some elastic cord.  After her mum explained what it was little Monique put the necklace on and didn't take it off all day!  Everyone who came commented on it and Lily was so proud :)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Crafty Daddy

I'm finally getting around to posting some photos of the big gift we made for our daughter's 5th birthday.  We took an underutilised storage area and made it into a fun, functional and colourful room for the girls.  My husband spent a lot of time painting, finishing off some unfinished bits, adding carpet, making shelving and a fold down blackboard table.  I made the colourful Asian curtains at the back of the room, and chose the teal blue for the curtains and bean bag.  Wall stickers and a TV/DVD player combo finished it all off.  It's a great little room and well loved already...and let's face it, the kids were already going in there before it was a play room so this is much better as we now know everything is safe and comfy for them.

 If you have an under-used space in your house, consider relinquishing it to the kids.  We really love that the kids now have a place to go and watch tv and spread out their toys without us having to hear and see everything!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Lala-what-sy? Oh I see...

So, our oldest daughter turned 5 yesterday!  Quite a milestone.  For her birthday, she wanted to go to "fancy pants" lunch at the Langham Hotel, which we did a few weeks ago.  Her mum had a skating party for her on Saturday as well.

What do you get a 5 year old for their birthday? Specifically when you've decided you're making it...  We asked a number of times what was the gift of choice for this birthday.  The Lalaloopsy doll came up a few times.  I had heard of these dolls through craftster before, because some clever person before me had crocheted their version and posted it up.  Another poster on ravelry shared a pattern for a Lalaloopsy style doll, so I set off from there.

I did some research and foudn that the pattern I was going to use for my doll was quite plain and didn't seem to have the same outfit or colouring as any of the "real" Lalaloopsy dolls.  After much deliberation on the Lalaloopsy website I decided I would make my doll to look like Berry Jars n Jam.

That's the original there - molded pink plastic hair, gingham dress and orange bows.  I can do that.  (well, not the molded plastic bit...)

And that's my copy.  Pink hair - check, "gingham" dress - check, orange bows - check!  She even has on white socks and knickers, how cute is that?

There was a bit of a panicy moment for me when we picked up our girl from her mum's.  She said, specifically, oh you don't have to buy me a Lalaloopsy doll anymore, Uncle Adrian got me one.  EEK!  But, turns out she loves my one, a lot.  I guess the 12 or so hours work that went into her was worth it.  Next stop, Marina Anchors??

PS - Another birthday gift post of the playroom we set up for Lily's birthday will come soon, as well as a post of the gift we made for her twin cousins.  And a post of what I made my husband for Father's Day.  Plus 3 more birthdays this month...wait, make that 4!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Birthday Bag

Our almost 2 year old loves playing with my old handbags and any money she can get her hands on.  When we were invited to a party for a friend turning 2, I had an idea for what to make.  This little crocheted bag with removable flower and Bank of Raya money fit the bill!  Now our little friend can carry around all her little treasures (but not too little, I didn't line the bag), jazz up her outfits with a brooch, and practice counting her money. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tea Towel Quilt

I've mentioned a special project I was making to celebrate my parents birthdays a couple of times on this blog now.  I finally finished it and it has made it's way all they way from little ol' NZ to Newfoundland where they live.  And guess what?  They LOVE it. 

I saw in a book some time ago, a really awesome batch with an amazing quilt.  The quilt was put together from vintage NZ tea towels and it was so cool.  I stored the idea away for a while wondering if I'd ever get to use it.  One day I saw a really great selection of NZ souvenir tea towels at great prices and thought about that quilt.  I was going to make one, albeit with new towels instead of vintage...

And here it is...

 Our munchkins loved this blanket and snuggled up in it pointing out all the different animals to each other.
 The back of the quilt was done in kiwiana print fabric with green/blue/red border.
The front of the blanket, 6 fun tea towels!

All in all, I had a pretty good time making this blanket.  There were a few "uh-oh" moments (like when I realised I didn't buy enough of the kiwiana fabric for the whole back and had to improvise the border) but in the end everything came together great.  And 2 packages of bias tape binding was just enough for the finishing touch!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

July has passed in a blur...

Well, July has been and gone.  I've been busy crocheting for my facebook page and felt shop as well as making my youngest a granny square "quilt".  I also had 2 birthdays to cater for that fell in July and I finished the big project that is finally on it's way to my parents to celebrate their birthdays which fell in June.

On to some photos:

Granny Square Quilt - Galah-inspired colour way of grey, pink, and white bordered in black.  Another of these has just been ordered through my facebook page :)

Bella Beanie - for my niece Bella, a classic beanie with scallop trim and hand embroidered horse patch.  Modelled here by the always lovely, Lily.

Flower Brooch - hot pink and lime flower brooch worked up for a co-workers birthday.  Palm sized!

Sorry, still not posting photos of my parent's item as they haven't confirmed that it's arrived yet.  Once they've got it, I'll let you in on my little secret.

As for August, it will be busy again...orders to fill, and at least 2 birthdays off the top of my head falling in August and another 3 in early September, plus then there's Father's Day!  I will try to keep up the posting a little more regularly so I don't end up with a backlog again!


Monday, June 13, 2011

Quiet Time of Year

It's been a bit quiet around the blog lately.  Not many gifts need giving at the moment, and the ones that do haven't yet reached their final destinations yet so no posts about that until they do!

That's not to say I haven't been a busy aunty crafting away...

In fact, I've started a new facebook page where you can now buy the things I make.  Either from stock of things that I have already made or by special order.  For now, it's all crochet goods.  You can search on facebook for Hooked or click on my logo:

That's it for today, but stay tuned for another update soon.  My niece's birthday on 1 July, and I might post up a teaser of those gifts that haven't reached their recipients just yet....

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Birthday Hat

A friend's little girl just had her first birthday.  They live all the way down in Arrowtown/Queenstown so along with a box of warm hand me downs, we sent this hat as a birthday gift. 
 I thought the 2 variegated yarns paired up nicely and gave a bit of a vintage feel, especially once I added the shell-like button. 
And this is an action shot of my daughter trying the hat on for size.  She's quite a bit bigger than the birthday girl so everything should be right-on sizing wise. 

Mother's Day

No, I didn't craft for myself for Mother's Day.  I helped my husband's daughter make some chocolates for her mum.  They were milk chocolate hearts filled with brandy soaked cherries. 

We then simply lined a purple Chinese takeaway style gift box with a napkin and placed them in.  Not sure how they tasted as we only made 12 and they all went in the box.  A very quick and easy project for sure!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

That's How I Roll - Birthday Embroidery

My husband's birthday was on Wednesday.  It is hard to surprise someone by making them something when you live in the same house and he works from home. 

I had this idea in mind for him for a while - I got it one day when he was looking at tshirts online and they had a similar print.  I purchased the hoop one day at Spotlight not sure what it would be used for, but thought of it when I was in my "must make my husband's birthday present" mode.  I had thought it was a darker blue, rather than teal, but didn't mind the colour when I looked as saw matching embroidery floss in my stash.  As for the fabric, I was going to use plain cream cotton but then found the white ripstop nylon which reminds me of parachutes and further ties into the aviation theme.

Unfortunately, my husband was attending a funeral on Tuesday, but it did give me some alone time to stitch this up.  As a bonus, my little girl napped for 2.5 hours which was long enough for me to get the main stitching done.

 And a close up of my stitches.  I'm no expert at embroidery and this was all free-handed, but I think it came out great.  Mainly backstitch, with satin stitch on the planes, and french knots for the wheels and punctuation.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Brother in law Birthday

A brother in law can be a notoriously hard person to choose a gift for.  This would definitely be true in my case, and more so since I had to choose something I could make.  Usually my husband picks the birthday gifts for his brothers but with my project this year, it was left up to me. 

The eldest of the brothers had his birthday about a week ago now, just before one of the biggest lotto draws in NZ history ($34 million which was going to be awarded even if no one matched all of the numbers) so, as an easy out, his present ended up being a lotto ticket.

A lotto ticket!?  You might be condemning me for this one - no I didn't make the lotto ticket.  I didn't even pick the numbers.  Instead, I thought up a crafty and fun way to package it.  Since he had the chance to win a fortune, I decided to crochet a fortune cookie to put the ticket inside and package that in a miniature Chinese takeaway box.

I didn't make the card, but it is a handmade card and it features a scooter.  Fitting since my brother in law rides a Vespa.

  I also made a chocolate courgette cake for after the birthday dinner.  It was absolutely moist and delicious and the kids had no idea there were vegetables in it!

Coming soon, my husband's birthday and Easter...dun dun dun...

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Baby Hat and Booties

My good friend Bianca is expecting her second baby within the next month.  She already has a little boy and the new baby is going to be a little girl.  It's always fun making teeny little things so I went ahead and crocheted a hat and slippers for the baby to be.

I started out with soft wool in a strong pink colour and began crocheting a pattern that I'd found online.  Unfortunately that pattern was working out way too small, even for a newborn, so I went ahead and free-styled it into something that I thought was a more realistic size.  The design is a very simple shell pattern which gives loads of texture.  For added interest, I made a contrasting stripe in charcoal grey.  The booties were entirely my own design, based on the hat.  They are grey with a grey and pink shell pattern on the top to match the hat.  No real pictures, just this one from my cell phone.

I hope they fit little Mila when she arrives!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Sea Side Scarf

Another one of the ladies in our family has had a birthday.  It was my mother in law, a woman with particular tastes and the means and inclination to get what she wants and needs.  Needless to say, I had to put on my thinking cap to come up with something that would be luxurious and within my means to make as I've been short on time lately.  Between my husband and I, we came up with making a scarf as the mother in law is often seen wearing one.  My husband chose the yarn (Stitch n Bitch Nations Bamboo Ewe in Eucalyptus) and I chose a classic "granny square" design with a short fringe.  

Lily, our 4 year old, named it The Sea Side Scarf because Dum, as we call my MIL, lives by the beach and the colour of the yarn is like the ocean.  Good name, I thought!  Here is the scarf all rolled up and ready to be wrapped.

And Lily couldn't let it go without modelling  the scarf for everyone to see.

My Ravelry post about this scarf is here.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Bianca's Birthday!

My friend Bianca had a birthday last weekend and in good girlfriend fashion, I gave her a fun gift of something she might not get for herself. 

I made her a mesh cowl from a bamboo/wool blend yarn in a beautiful rich pink colour.  My husband actually picked the yarn and I think it was a great choice and suited Bianca much better than it suits me in this photo.

And a photo of it packaged up before it was wrapped.
 I made a little care label on a piece of pretty scrap booking paper so she'd know what the fibre was and how to keep it looking mint.  I think the colour is better represented in the first photo :)

My Ravelry post about this cowl is here.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Baby Dragon

At the beginning of the week we got an invitation to a first birthday party.  I got the text when I was out shopping and made my way to the toy aisle to see what I might get.  I looked around for about 15 minutes and had pretty much made up my mind when I remembered my handmade gift pledge for the year.  I left the toy aisle and headed home. 
This week I started back to work for the first time in about 16 months.  I was feeling really busy and not sure what I could make for this little boy's birthday.  A book I took out of the library a few weeks ago helped though, and last night I started making a crocheted dragon stuffie.  This morning before the party, I had enough time to finish him off and wrap him up.  Hopefully it is well received by the birthday boy (we don't know if he liked it because he didn't open his presents at the party).
I do know that Lily liked it!

What do you think?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Another gift down!

One of my nieces has her birthday a few days after mine; this year she turned 12.  She is really into horses and plays field hockey but at first I wasn't sure what to make for her. 

I searched my favourite craft site using the simple search phrase horse and came up with all sorts of inspiration.  Crochet head covers for her horse, a beanie with a mane and ears made to look like a horse, machine appliqu├ęs on a tshirt or bag, etc.  One of my favourite inspirations was a pieced quilt pattern.  I am not much of a quilter so I didn't know what I would do with this great image:

In the end, I drew the design out on a letter sized piece of paper and let it stew a while.  Then I added a mane and tail for more interest.  Finally, after much thought and a little research on what favourite colours the birthday girl liked, I decided to put the picture to canvas, then down the side of the canvas I wrote a birthday message. 

 All done!  And looking pretty cool if I do say so myself.  Thanks to my husband for helping out getting enough layers of paint on there to make it look nice and opaque over the black. 

Monday, January 17, 2011

Skull Tree

Here is what became of the paper mache skulls my husband and I made...

You can click to see the photo a bit bigger.  We simply coloured the dried tissue paper mache with felt tip pens in creative sugar skull styles.  They are arranged on dry branches in a big Mexican jug we picked up on clearance at an importer.  I could see this becoming a permanent display!

The large skeleton man is called Gomez and he was purchased as is, we just gave him some flowers and a shrine to hold.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

First Crafts of the Year

Mine is one of the first birthdays of the year in our family.  So, what does one make for themselves as a birthday present?  I've been working on Vicki Howell's Helena crochet sweater in a natural/pink/gold variegated yarn.  I'm about 1/8 of the way through.  This is my first piece of crocheted clothing for myself and I'm excited.  Here is a photo of the completed project from the book:
I'm not sure whether or not I'll add an embellishment like you see on the blue one, but I'm thinking not.  The yarn is pretty fancy on it's own...

I'm also having a birthday party this weekend.  Yes, I am over 30 and still like to have a birthday party - they are fun for the kids.  And for me.  This year I'm going for a Day of the Dead/Dia de los Muertes vibe.  Last night my husband and I spent about an hour and a half doing paper mache.  I saw a cute idea on the Martha Stewart website (don't judge me, you know she has great ideas) and decided to try it out.  The Glowing Skull Halloween Decorations are pretty cool, I really like how tape is used to create the skull shape from a regular balloon.  We're not going to do the cut outs and LED lights, but draw sugar skull faces on them and perhaps hang them from the roof :)