Monday, 29 February 2016

DIY: crocheted hangers




Today I will share three easy patterns for crocheted hangers. I got the inspiration for this little DIY project from an old hanger that was beautifully decorated with blue cotton yarn (the one in the middle). I found eight bare wooden hangers from flea market that were waiting for some decoration. As it is spring and I have a strong need for bright new colors I picked three pastel/neon colors: two shades of green and raspberry. All pure cotton yarn.


***
So you will need:

a wooden hanger
a hook (1,75-2,5 mm is good)
cotton yarn 
scissors 
and a needle (to combine parts together).

In all the models you have to make two similar pieces that you put in from both sides of the hanger and combine in the middle. Fit the piece to your hanger and make as many rounds as you need. The small part that comes from the hanger and forms a hook is crocheted separately (=chain 16, crochet double crochet rounds so that the piece covers the part and you can sew it to a tube and sew to the bigger hanger part).

Model 1. Chain 4 and combine to a ring. Round 1. Chain 2 and crochet 10 double crochets to the ring and close the round with a slip stitch to the first double crochet in the round. Round 2. Chain 2 and crochet a double crochet in every stitch and every fourth stitch crochet two double crochets. In the end of the round you will have 14 stitches. Close the round as in the last round. Round 3. Now you can start the pattern. Chain 2 and crochet a double crochet in every of the following 8 stitches, then chain one and miss one stitch, after this crochet a double crochet in every following 4 stitches. Close the round. Repeat the round 3 as many times needed that the piece reaches the middle of the hanger. Make another piece but note that when making the pattern turn it to fit the opposite side! Round 3. so being: chain 2, crochet a double stitch in every following 3 stitches, chain 1 miss 1 and crochet a double stitch in every following 9 stitches. Close the round. Put in the parts to cover the hanger and combine.

Model 2. Chain 4 and combine to a ring. Round 1. Chain 2 and crochet 9 double crochets to the ring and close the round. Round 2. Chain 2 and *crochet a double crochet in the next stitch and 2 to the second* repeat. In the end of the round you will have 15 stitches. Close the round. **Round 3. Chain 2 and crochet one double crochet in every stitch. Close. Rounds 4. and 5. make as the round 3. Round 6. Chain 3 and crochet a double crochet to the second stitch. *Chain 1 and miss 1, crochet a double stitch to the following stitch.* Repeat. Close. Rounds 7. and 8. Go to the space between double crochets and chain 3. *Crochet a double crochet in space between double crochets and chain 1.* Repeat. Close the round. Repeat rounds 3.-8. to get the piece to wanted length.

Model 3. Chain 4 and combine to a ring. Round 1. Chain 2 and crochet 9 double crochets to the ring and close the round with a slip stitch to the first double crochet in the round. Rounds 2., 3. and 4. Chain 2 and crochet a double stitch in every stitch. Round 5., 6. and 7. Chain 1 and crochet a simple stitch in every following stitch. Close. Repeat the rounds 2.-7. This is a tighter model, but you can add stitches if needed by crocheting more double crochets to the ring or making round 2. as in the model 1 or 2.

***

I like to have these hangers in my corridor so that when ever a guest comes there is an extra hanger to give. It is even better that these crocheted hangers represent the whole DIY style of my apartment.

You can also make just one hanger for a beautiful garment you want to hang to your wall.

Sunny spring days to you all!

Sannu

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

DIY idea: Needle felted garland




This needle felted garland is a fun project because it includes different techniques and lots of color and some glitter.

***

You will need:

styrofoam hearts
wool rowing (in wanted colors)
felting needle

Marseilles-soap
and
warm water for felting the beads between the hearts

plus

golden crocheting yarn
and
1,75 mm hook > for crocheting wanted letters to the hearts

small nails

golden/ glittery beads

very thin crocheting yarn (to which you can string hearts and beads) and long thin needle.

1. Needle felt the styrofoam hearts. Add a thin layer of felt to the heart and stab the heart with the needle to attach the felt. Add felt little by little to get an even surface.

2. Make felted balls with soap and warm water. Take a little amount of felt and make it a tight bundle. Dip the bundle to warm water and add some soap. Start rolling the wool between your hands (like you´d make a bun). Don´t press too hard in the beginning.

3. Crochet letters of your choice. This could make a beautiful Happy Birthday garland too with more hearts. Crocheting the letters is not difficult because they don´t have to be so precise. Just chain some loops and shape the letter with second round using single crochets and slip stitches. You can also cut the letters from golden cardboard. Attach the letters by small nails (craft shops sell very small nails).

4. Then it is time to string the hearts and beads with thin crocheting yarn. I didn´t go through the hearts as I haven´t got a needle that long. I just sew first in from the other side of the heart and came out from the middle (at the wrong side) and then in and out from the other side.

5. Hang the garland with the yarn coming from both ends of the garland.

  ***




As I made this garland to my kitchen it inspired me to make rearrangements in the whole kitchen :) 




 The text is from Star Trek :) Every day is a kind of final frontier where no one has been before. So lets be bold with tomorrow.

Sannu

Friday, 19 February 2016

Housekeeping philosophy from the 50´s


I have been thinking to write about this subject for quite a long. Namely housekeeping and appreciating (material) things you have. I am a realist and I don´t want to go back in time, there were lots of hardships and especially women had more norms to follow than nowadays.
Yet something we can learn that suits for modern environmentally conscious lifestyle.

Every week I struggle with cleaning and washing dishes that are normal everyday tasks. If I am being honest it is not about time, I have lots of time to take care of my home. I also have all the modern equipment that makes cleaning effective and quick. And I do enjoy when my home is clean and I can bring in fresh flowers and bake something nice for the weekend. Then what makes these tasks so boring and dull?

One of my best inspirational guides for cleaning is a housekeeping magazine from the 1950´s. If we pass the fact that mostly in that magazine there are women doing the cleaning tasks, we can find a good guidelines for a better housekeeping philosophy for both women and men. 1950´s housework was considered important and responsible. The one who took care of the home was responsible for all those material things that the family had accomplished (and of course the immaterial things like the atmosphere and well-being of the family members).  Is it so nowadays? Do I feel myself important and meaningful when I vacuum floors of sort laundry? Maybe not.

From the housekeeping magazine I have found lots of new ways to make the life cycle of furniture, textiles, clothes etc. a lot longer. I actually wonder if we have lost the capability to think that the things we purchase are for a lifetime? Everything is so temporary. If we buy new furniture, not to mention smaller things, do we think it as an investment that will last for the whole life or something till the next season? Maybe we will be happy with the same sofa for 10 years, but 50? Taking care of the things you are going to watch after decades inspires you to take better care of them.

Some might think this very old fashioned but it is a current problem that we have to learn to live with less new material if we want to have a planet that has something to do with the Earth that we now know. And yet the value of things has vanished. Most of us have enough money to buy constantly new in a manner that it is normal to waste perfectly good stuff. We are no longer proud if we have bought our furniture or kitchenware years ago and it is still good as new.

The fault is not completely ours. Not all products are high quality. Even if you are willing to pay more it does not lead to getting better products. But how much do we care if the things we purchase do not last as long as we expected or do we even expect them to last long? Sometimes I feel a bit unrealistic when I assume that I am buying for a lifetime. But it is important that we as customers want products that last and that we say it out loud. Then after that it is our duty to take care of our purchases. After a certain style has gone off fashion there are many ways to revamp or then you can give it to goodwill.

Here are some tips for sustainable housekeeping philosophy:

1. Your home reflects your own personal style. You can pick the trends that you feel inspired by. Don´t feel pressure to change just because someone tells you to.

2. Appreciate your housework. You are cleaning and mending things because you want them to last beautiful for years to come. Your home is not temporary.

3. If something gets spoiled or broken find out if there is still something you can do. When you buy a new one predict what could happen and protect it from possible harm. For example if you have mistakenly washed a cardigan in a hot temperature don´t make the same mistake twice but look for the instructions (your´s truly has made the mistake and learned from it :).

4. Be organized. Most of the time my home looks quite neat because I have a of habit keeping things organized. Pile your newspapers and magazines, put shoes in a row and clothes to the rack, carry your dishes to the sink and use baskets or boxes for all loose projects that are hanging around.

5. Put old things to the goodwill or sell them if you no longer want to keep them. Also if you want something new try secondhand shops, flea markets, antique shops, ask from friends and don´t forget all those DIY sites that tell you how to revamp the things you already have. Making yourself is also a good pastime that lets you to be creative.

6. Spend time in your home and enjoy all the things you have accomplished.

What are your thoughts about this? 
What kind of housekeeping philosophy do you follow? 

Sannu

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

The winter days in Lapland








Yesterday was just perfect what comes to weather. I took my camera out and photographed the whole long day. The pictures above are from the river Kemi and wooded hill called Ounasvaara. The amount of sun was so therapeutic after long dark mid-winter months. I even got some sun to my cheeks. It is miraculous how it is wintry and yet the sun is starting to warm. These kind of days are the best days of the year. And when you see these landscapes is it not easy to understand why I choose to live here in the north? That first picture from the river is from the beach that situates opposite the town centre. The Ounasvaara is about two kilometers from the centre and looks like you would be in real wilderness :) In the summers I use to go jogging to the Ounasvaara because the air is so fresh there. During the winter the jogging paths are skiing routes. The picture above is from swamp that is one of my favorite places in my home town. The swamp feels so ancient as the time would stop. That atmosphere takes all the worries of everyday life go away.

What is your favorite place? Do you enjoy going to nature or are you more of a city person?


Sannu

Monday, 15 February 2016

DIY: Flower fairy lights from soap bottles




It is snowing the third or fourth day in row. Cloudy days are also a bit dark and I feel a need to light little fairy lights to bring a touch of coming spring to my home. This year the first blossoms of spring come from the bathroom as these flowers are made of soap and shampoo bottles. If you are as lazy as I am you might already have some empty soap bottles on the bathroom sink so you don´t have to wait until the bottles are empty :) 


***
You will need: 

transparent shampoo/soap/dishwasher bottles
battery operated fairy lights that do not heat (!)
scissors
drilling machine
4mm drill
small nail
hammer
transparent elastic band

Cut the leaves and flowers following the pictures above. Hammer little holes to the leaves so that you can thread them to elastic band. Twine the elastic band with leaves to the wire. After you have cut a flower drill a hole in the middle and then cut the flower open as shown in the last picture. This way it is easy to place the flowers around the lights. Now you are ready!

***

I have noticed that there is more traffic on my site. It is nice to see that you people can find my blog! If you are interested to follow my blog you can add yourself to my bloglovin´or google followers. It would also be nice to hear about you in the comment box.

I have made the site easier to navigate by adding pages where you can read about me and find all DIY tutorials in the same place. There are also labels on the right sidebar.

I have been planning lots of new projects to share here in my blog and I hope to see You here again :)

Best of wishes Sannu

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Bake Cupcakes for the Valentine´s Day


Tomorrow is the Valentine´s Day and today I was baking cupcakes. On Valentines it is nice to bake something cute and sweet. It is good to have one day per year when you can devote yourself to pastel colors, hearts, flowers, cliche romantic movies and sweets. If you are not spending the day with your nearest and dearest for some reason it is still a day to remember your true best friend, you yourself.




Cardamon double chocolate cupcakes:

200g butter
2dl sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cardamom
3dl wheat flour
1-2 tbsp milk

Filling and icing (to nine cupcakes):

200g cream cheese
100g white chocolate
100g milk chocolate
Food gel colours
Candy or some other decorations

1. Beat the butter and sugar together with mixer. Add one egg per time.

2. Mix dry ingredients together  in a separate bowl and add to the butter, sugar and egg mix. 

3. Add some milk so that it is easier to divide the pastry to the baking moulds. 

4. Bake in 200 Celsius temperature for about 15 minutes. 

***

When the cupcakes have cooled down use apple drill to make a hole in the middle. 

The filling is easy to make: just mix 100g cream cheese to 100g melted milk chocolate. Use pastry bag to fill the cupcakes. Mix the icing in the similar way using melted white chocolate. If you like, add some gel color to the mix. It is easier to get even texture if you use mixer. Decorate the cupcakes using different colored icings and candy.


This makes 16-18 cupcakes. Icing is for nine cakes, because I tend to put some cupcakes to the freezer. That way I won´t get an urge to eat more than I actually feel like just because of best before is coming.



Sannu

Monday, 8 February 2016

Early Bird Easter DIY: Decorate a table chandelier


This table chandelier is an easy and quick DIY project. Remember how I made flowers from a tin can? Now I made five small and five big flowers and put them together. I did not paint flowers because I wanted to show the recycled material. Instead of that I spray painted a Christmas chandelier that I bought from the January sale. Then I just added some beads.


The eggs are another idea from recycled material. I made these couple of years ago and still like them. You can use old news papers or loose pages from broken book.





How to attach the flowers and before picture of the chandelier. Here is a link to the post where I show how to cut flowers. In this project the only difference is that I cut squares from the tin and then formed them to circles to cut flowers.

Some might think it is early for a project like this but if you are up to making decorations yourself it is perfect time to start collecting ideas. You still have plenty of time to collect material from sales and flea markets, enjoy DIY projects and make a few extra pieces for a gift. 

Have an inspirational start for the week!

Sannu

Saturday, 6 February 2016

A quilted blanket with bold colors




I really enjoy quilting because it is one of the best ways to use small pieces of fabric. I have also noticed that combining old and new fabrics makes pieces to show their best. If I would pick just one of these fabrics that I used and sew it to a bedspread it would not look as good as this no matter how beautiful the fabric would be.




In my opinion these kind of handicrafts do not go off fashion as quickly as single fabric prints might go.  When you combine fabrics from different eras there is no date for the end product. When I read about quilting models I was surprised how modern the blankets from the 1800´s look like, I would have dated black and white graphical blankets to the 1980´s :) 



Even though this blanket is a real mix of colors and patterns all of them seem to be from the same color family. I chose to use colors that can already be found in my apartment. I tamed the colors with grey that is almost black. 



For cutting the pieces to your work you will need a quilters ruler, a cutter and a mat.  These make quilting so much easier as you can get straight lines with one move. In my project the center pieces were 20 cm *20 cm. And stripes 4,5 cm. Measurements include 0,75 cm seams. You don´t have to measure the length of the stripe as you circle the square one side at the time cutting of the leftovers. 



Quilt blocks. I added one round of dark grey before combining the blocks with another shade of grey.


After combining the blocks I added 20 cm thick stripes to both ends and 4,5 cm to the sides.
Then I made the layers placing top, batting and basic cotton fabric one on the other. Then I used small knots to tie the layers together. I also made decorative stitches to the squares. Then I went all the side edges with sewing machine´s zig zag stitch before finishing with ribbon.

After taking these photographs I went to a flea market and found two pillow cases that match perfectly to this blanket. Sometimes the right things just come to you :)

Best wishes Sannu

ps. Do you have experiences with quilting?  How did you like it?