Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Progressing with...

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...a new stool cover.

Yes, that is what my new diagonal crochet is all about. You might remember that I have two stools and have already dressed up one with this. The other one was badly in need of a cover. So I started this.

I could have chosen a granny for this one too but I wanted to try something different.

This is coming along beautifully. I wouldn't say my choice of colours is perfect. Everything in my house tends to get dirty and stained very quickly. So I chose these colours from my stash so as to not show dirt and stain very obviously.

Some time back I made these cookies, but forgot to post it. They are called Hamentaschen, a Jewish recipe. These cookies are made traditionally during a Jewish festival. I am not going into its details coz' I myself don't know. The only thing I know is...

...these cookies are filled with jam and tasted so yummy and jammy.

I filled some with mango jam and some with mixed fruit jam, but I didn't like the ones with mango jam. The recipe is from here.

Finally, before I say goodbye
 I would like to wish all my Indian readers a very ...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Halloween crochet

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So what if Halloween is not celebrated in India? In the name of Halloween I had fun creating these spooky creatures.

The patterns are from Lion Brand.

Lot of things are happening around me and is keeping me away from my computer. I am not spending much time visiting other blogs. Because of this I have missed many posts of my favourite bloggers. I am also not taking my camera out more often nowadays.

I am in much need of a push to make me return to my blogging self soon.

Want to have a sneak peek at what I am crocheting presently? Here it is...

You'll have to wait!

Monday, October 17, 2011

My cross stiches and answer to a few questions...

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Some of you had asked me how I repainted my old cabinet. So I made this post to explain to you what I did. An important thing to keep in mind before repainting an old wooden furniture is to NOT apply the new paint directly on top of the old paint. It won't adhere to it nicely.

The best thing to do is to strip the old paint. You can use a chemical paint remover. This will soften the paint and you can scrape it off. There is also a method called sanding.
(I didn't do the stripping part but instead I applied two coatings of primer)

After stripping the old paint, I applied white primer (have no idea what other colours are available). I gave two coatings of it. Allow at least 6 hours in between each coating.

Let the primer dry overnight. Then apply the paint.

I am not an expert in these things. I just told you what I did. You can google search for a detailed description of these procedures.

Remember the stack of cupcake cross stitch that I showed you in previous posts? It's finished and here it is...

These were done long time ago.

This one was done more recently but I didn't get it framed yet. This one was a kit from Anchor. I don't normally like kits. There is nothing challenging in it. This one was bought on an impulse.

That's it. Have a nice day.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Furniture makeover

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Hello everyone! Hope you are all having a wonderful week. I am delighted to see many new faces in my friends list and thanks a lot for showing your interest. For the past 2-3 days I really had a lot of fun repainting an old furniture.

This ugly piece of furniture lies in our balcony and was used to store old shoes, newspapers, etc. Long time back I had an idea to repaint it but when I told my husband he said that I don't have to spend my energy and money on it coz he was anyway going to throw it out. Now, that is not at all acceptable, not without at least trying to do something about it, but then I wasn't that interested, so I just left it alone.

Suddenly once again after seeing so many makeovers in the net I decided to give it a try. My kid got so excited and he even suggested some bizarre colours but half his excitement drained out when I picked up this off-white colour. I was planning to bring this furniture inside the house and I didn't want it to look outlandish.

There were many holes and gaps, but I didn't do anything about them. I can manage to become a painter but not a carpenter. Apart from fighting with me for the bigger paint brush that I had, my son too helped me. After completing the basic painting part I thought it would be more interesting if I painted some picture on it. You know, I simply love these saltbox house pictures and so I decided to paint a house and write a beautiful quote. 

Painting was easy though I was not able to draw straight lines, but writing was difficult. I wrote once. It looked bad, so I repainted on it. Waited for it to dry and wrote again. This time it came out okay but the letters were too small. I didn't want to paint over it again and wait for it to dry, so I left it as such.

I thoroughly enjoyed painting the picture and I couldn't just stop with one. I thought I would do two more small picture at the sides. So I drew this mushroom on one side at the top and a saltbox house at the other. Then my son wanted me to draw for him a barn with a tomato plant growing nearby. I agreed to draw the barn but not the tomato plant.

 One thing led to another and finally I ended up with many cute pictures painted on it.

I wanted to paint more but I was afraid that I might overdo it, so I stopped.

I really love the way it looks now. It's adorable. Don't you agree?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Crochet cupcake

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Is there anyone out there who dosen't like cupcakes? I don't think so.
I am a huge fan of cupcakes. Although I have baked a few different varieties of cakes I haven't baked cupcakes, but I love cupcake patterns, I love to paint cupcakes, love to cross-stitch cupcakes and, of course, I loved crocheting this cute cupcake.

Can you see the ridges in the body of the cupcake as in real cupcake liners? I crocheted into the back loops of the stitches only to achieve this and I thought I might as well make a tutorial for those of you who are not familiar with this particular crocheting technique.

For this cupcake I first made a round to form the base. Then I made the sides separately and joined them together, stuffed the cupcake and finally sewed the top.

How to crochet into back loops only 

1. First make a number of chains according to the length that you desire. Then make a row of single crochet. (Please excuse the quality of photos).

2. If you are using different colours you can attach another colour. Then you have to work into the back loops of the stitches.

First let me show you what is a back loop and what is a front loop.

In this picture you can see clearly which is a back loop and which is a front loop. Normally we work into both the loops together but to form ridges you have to work into the back loops only.

You can see that I have worked the next row in white into the back loops only.

You can see how the pattern has formed. I made two rows using pink and one row using white and the white yarn was lot thicker than the pink yarn. The second row of each pink stripe was worked as a normal single crochet without working into the back loops.

After reaching the desired length to correspond to the circumference of the circle I sewed them both together as shown. 

Now the body of the cupcake is formed. Then I made the top.

To make the dome shaped top, make 4 ch and join to form a ring.
Make 3 ch and 11 dc into the ring.
3 ch, 1 dc in same place, 2 dc each in all the stitches (24 dc). Join.
3 ch, 1 dc in same place, *1 dc in next stitch, 2 dc in next. Repeat from *. Join.
3 ch, 1 dc in each stitch. Join.
3 ch, 1 dc in same place, *1 dc in next stitch, 2 dc in next. Repeat from *. Join.
3 ch, 1 dc in each dc. Join.

Make a shell edging by skipping 2 st, make 7 dc into next st, skip 2 st, make 7 dc into next stitch, repeat.  Do the stuffing and sew the top to the body of cupcake.

Make a small flower and sew it to the top of the cupcake. This serves as my pincushion now.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

A remade pillow cover

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Do you remember my rose tablecloth? I made it long time back. I think it was my first serious yarn project. I never actually used it. All these years it was safe in storage (except for the occasion when I took it out to photograph it) and I had almost forgotten about its existence. It is such a lovely piece of work and I wanted to display it. So I decided to remake it into pillow covers.

For the front I used the rose squares and for the back I used plain squares.

I used some matching pink buttons for closure and I am extremely happy with the results. I have a few more squares left, should think about something.

I had a couple of requests from my readers. There was a request to teach the basics of cross stitching from Jess. Though it is easy to do I don't consider myself good enough. So, Jess, click this link here to learn the basics of cross stitching.

Another was from Emily asking for the vibrant 3 pillow cover pattern.  It is the same granny ripple pattern, only the ripples are softer.

 In the tutorial I had made 3 sets of dc clusters between each peak and valley but for the pillow I made only 2 sets so that the ripples are not very deep. By decreasing or increasing the number of dc cluster sets between each peak and valley you can make the ripples soft or deep. I guess that helped.

This table rose is from my balcony garden. I am not always lucky with plants, especially flowering plants. Whatever few plants that we have are mostly nonflowering ones. I had planted this one a few months back and all these days there was not even a single bloom. Everyday I used to go to the balcony to see if there was any flower. There always seemed to be lots of buds but dunno why, they never bloomed. I got so frustrated after waiting so many days for a single bloom that I even thought of throwing it out. Then all of a sudden, without any warning, came this bright pink beauty and it really took my breath away. I am happy at least I will have one flowering plant to look at and enjoy everyday. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. 
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