christmas is here again, stand up and cheer again…

January 31, 2011 § Leave a comment

I know, I know, Christmas is over, right?!

Okay, so it’s a New Year and I am doing my best to keep up with my homework. The string around my finger seems to be working, and I am ready to provide you with yet another crafty update! Yet, this one is special, it is actually a post I started putting together around Christmas but never was able to finish and now that I can, I am reluctant to highlight all the Christmas stuff and press delete…so I am including it. It is just a little paragraph about Christmas baking, so I hope you don’t mind! (If you do, then just skip the next paragraph)

The Christmas carnage has yet to be subdued. Not only have I been crafting, I have been baking! Baking is my second love after crafting, maybe because it is similar in many respects. If I am not diligent with my timing I will burn a dozen cookies: if I am not diligent with my glue gun I will burn fingers. Both very painful events. Shortbread and gingerbread were among the Christmas cookies I laboured over for hours. Giving me plenty of time to mull over the use of the word `bread` in both those cookie names and wonder as to how exactly such a discrepancy was made.

I have decided to finally take the time and deliver on my promise to post some DIY related project pages. The first will be for the eco headbands made from unwanted neck-ties. Call it a New Year gift from me to you. If you are interested in making the leap to making crafts for yourself, then you will be interested in something as simple and fashionable as this.

The DIY will be posted under the projects category for now until I accumulate enough to warrant making a DIY category. Here is the link.


Getting nerdy up in heah!

January 25, 2011 § 5 Comments

Every Tuesday after work I make the epic hour long trek to Mister Donuts. After a long, cold journey it is such a comfort to see the warm lights inside Mister Donuts gleaming in the darkness. Pushing the open button, the first door to this glorious world of donuts slides open. I put my umbrella, a constant companion, obediently into one of the metal squares of the umbrella holder before being welcomed in by the automatic opening of the second door. Ah, the smell of deep fried dough and exorbitant amounts of icing hang in the air. I find Lindsay already knitting in a corner by a four person table. We take up a lot of room. I plunk my book bag down and all unnecessary items of clothing before returning to the donut display to make my selection unburdened by winter wear. We exchange slightly imbittered remarks, usually about the weather; I evaluate her choice of donuts and then make my way to the display.

The donut display is a thing of beauty. In true Japanese fashion, row upon row of donuts display culinary works of art. There are the old stand-bys; the old fashioned, the chocolate dipped, the tofu donuts. Then there are the special, limited time only donuts; donuts dipped in chocolate, cut in half to sandwich a whip-cream patty then stuck with a silver star topped paper stick like a glorious, mutant club sandwich. There are animal shaped donuts with hidden whip-cream middles smiling at you with their chocolate fondant mouths as if to say “I don’t mind if you eat my face”. All of these fine specimens are displayed in a glorious tribute to the astounding Japanese ability to take sweets and turn them into works of art…and if you aren’t careful those works of art are going to put you into a sugar coma for the remainder of the evening.

And so, after much contemplation over which lucky donuts will be chosen that evening, placing them delicately on my tray so as not to disturb the perfectly formed donut bits, I pay the lady and head to my seat for a night of knitting.

Lindsay is working on a balaclava-thing and as of tonight I am almost finished the bear baby hat project I started last week! Wanna see?

I just need to do the ears now! But I must pick up another skein of yarn before I can start working on them. There is a little worry in me about the hat fitting, because I have no idea how big I should be making this thing. I made a toque for a friends baby once and it was too small, so I guess I am just a bit nervous and I live so far away that not much can be done if it is indeed too small. Buuut, I am reassured that this baby will not be born until later and so there is a very good chance it will fit this toque for a period of time, be it only a month or so, I can’t say in my unprofessional opinion.

Some have mentioned that our knitting is a little nerdy. Getting together on week nights to work on our projects and chat, may be seen by some as less than exciting. I mean, let’s face it, it’s nothing like the adrenaline rush of careening down a snowy slope strapped to a board, but it does have its small rewards. Holding up a project after finally finishing and knowing that you made every stitch is an accomplishment worth working towards. Of course, let’s not forget about the company either. It all makes the walk through sleet and snow worth it. And so the project continues…

going for the crafty touchdown

January 22, 2011 § 2 Comments

Listening to: The Go! Team, Buy Nothing Day

So, let’s see…what’s on the craft table now? No excuses, we all know that dogs don’t like the taste of homework, so even though I have no esthetically pleasing pictures to accompany this post I will post none the less.

Having just tucked in the last of the loose ends on my last scarf project I have decided to move on to a new and interesting challenge. My sister has asked me to try my hand at making a little bear toque. If you have been following previous posts, you will remember that I made a cat hat, well two, for halloween. Considering that that project was more complicated, I figure this one should be doable. The only thing is that instead of combining knitting and crocheting (like I did with the cat hat) I am going for more continuity and trying to do it all in crochet…I am a little worried about this.

I have never crocheted this kind of toque before. Yes, I have crocheted beret type hats, but this one is beanie style and I have only ever knitted a beanie style toque. I anticipate probably having to attempt this project more than once before it looks right. Not my favourite way of doing things. But I am comforted by the fact that crocheting is (in my books) much more intuitive than knitting. On the table is a crocheted toque with two round ears sticking out the top. So sharpen up your lady skills (ie. intuition, you know ’cause that’s lady stuff) and sit down with some new music album or tv series and let the creativity begin!

Not a bad pep-talk, eh? Well, maybe it wouldn’t inspire me to score a winning touchdown and chalk another one up for the underdog, but it will serve my purposes well enough. I will be getting to that then. Aaaaaand, break!

lions and tigers and rabbits, oh my!

January 12, 2011 § 2 Comments

Sooo…how many excuses can I come up with as to why I have been absolutely AWOL for about a month? Bad blogger! Bad.

Well, my excellent procrastinating skills may have delayed my posting anything new, but my appetite for crafting has not faltered. My usual diet of knitting has now been supplemented with my new favourite accessory craft – oragami. In an earlier post I showed one of my first oragami brooches, a bird. These brooches are made using beautiful fabric from my neighbourhood craft store, lots of fabric starch, and a glue gun. I have been making several different bird species mostly; hawk, swan, sparrow. But recently I made one of my new favourites, a rabbit…maybe bunny sounds cuter. But either way, it is in honor of the new year. Sadly, this baby has already been gifted BUT I took a picture so I could share it with you.

It was made in honor of the new year of the rabbit. Here in Japan they are everywhere. So it may be a little late, the middle of January, but here’s to a new year of crafting, of rabbits or bunnies, and NOT procrastinating. Cheers.


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