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Friday, 6 March 2015

Un mot, des Titres - session 30

Ca y est! Je présente avec un peu de retard - cela devient une mauvaise habitude! - mon article sur ma lecture du mois dont le mot était: Couleur.

J'ai choisi pour l'occasion un livre pour enfants que j'ai découvert il y a quelques années de cela et que j'aime beaucoup:

Le Magicien des Couleurs, Arnold Lobel


Au début de l'histoire le monde de ce magicien est un monde en noir et blanc avec des nuances de gris:
Cela finit par ennuyer le magicien qui décide de descendre expérimenter dans sa cave. Un jour il obtient du bleu. Il peint sa propre maison en bleu et toute la ville le supplie de leur donner cette couleur aussi:
Finalement au bout d'un certain temps tout le monde devient triste, ce qui décide le magicien à essayer de trouver autre chose. Il trouve une autre couleur, tout est repeint en jaune, mais cela ne va pas non plus, puis il trouve le rouge qui finit par mettre tout le monde en colère. Je ne vais pas vous raconter la fin de ce livre mais vous la devinerez sans doute aisément.

Ce livre est très bien pour apprendre les couleurs aux enfants, ainsi que certaines émotions et la relation cause-conséquence. Je pense aussi qu'il est parfaitement adapté comme lecture d'apprentissage du français pour les adultes débutants car il n'est pas infantilisant. C'est un livre très sympatique et agréablement illustré que je vous conseille très vivement!

Au mois prochain pour un nouveau billet avec le mot: "peur" - le challenge est ouvert à tous, pour les francophones et francophiles qui me lisent: n'hésitez pas à aller sur le blog de Calypso, Aperto Libro

Monday, 16 February 2015

Crochet again and again!

It is becoming a real addiction! Worse than when I first got my smartphone I must say!! I crochet when I wake up, I crochet while T. is playing in his room, I crochet while he he sleeping, I crochet before falling asleep... Addicted, I told you!

Several things I have realised: I will not be making a full blanket with my Granny Squares. My current stock of wool isn't big enough and all the skeins are of different sizes, qualities and not all wool, some are poly-acrylic, cotton etc... I am not sure how the blanket would behave after being used, washed etc. So I will add 2 to my current 10, and will make to doll blankets for my children.

I will keep using my scraps and stock to make small things, but for more "serious" projects I am going to have to begin buying proper material. Oooooh the thought of it! I am getting goose-bumps ;)

Want to see what I have been making in  the last days?

Headwarmers based on this pattern from Frayed Knot: 
Since I have used a different size of both hook and wool, I obtained something slightly smaller which is perfect for N. She just loves it!
It was originally intended for me, this raspberry colour fits perfectly with my winter jacket. So I made it again, added two more stitches and therefore four ranks, and I got the perfect size :)
After showing my sisters, two of them have asked if they could also get one! One wants it thin like N.'s but long like mine, the other wants it long like N.'s and large like mine. One in red, one in green. Haven't done the red one just yet, but the green is ready to be shipped to Ireland!
It is longer than expected though, because I lost count of my ranks! I hope it will still fit though.
 I also decided to modify the button-hole a bit. I think it looks prettier like this.

Then if you remember, I was practicing flowers. Here are two that I put on hairclips for my nieces. Just for fun I have called them "The Elsa and Anna Hairclips". My nieces are big fan of "Frozen", so that should make their day when they receive them ;)

 Still while practicing, I was curious to see what it would look like to crochet around a small wooden figure for instance. My children really like those "flower children" and play a lot with them. Children definitely don't need very elaborate toys, do they? At least for now they seem to particularly like what I make! *happy mummy*

 T. was getting jealous of N.'s headwarmer and he wanted something for himself. So I chose the less girly colours I had: black and yellow! And started a bee-beanie with the instructions from Oombawka Design. Again, not exactly the right sizes (hook and wool), but I chose a larger size in order to make up for it. In the end I actually got the announced final size... I still need to figure out when it is really important to use the right hook ;)
 T. was so thrilled! He wears it all the time now. There is one thing I had not thought of though: these are the colours of our town and also of our local football club! So I do not get asked whether he is a little bee, but rather if he is a football fan! The boys at the Kindergarten went crazy this morning because of that. 

I also loaded a few free pattern ebooks on my Kindle. And on the weekend I made dreamcatchers. They take no time to make! For the second one, N. asked to have a go. She helped me through the 2nd round, but she soon gave up. I guess 3,5yo is still a little young to manipulate the hook easily.

Last night I wanted to make a cocoon for the children's dolls and started improvising. It went really well until I realised that I actually did not have enough of the nice thick wool. So I finished it with a much thinner and angora like black wool. I like how the colours and textures contrast, but I now have a sort of "empty-your-pockets" bowl for which I have no use and nobody in my family seem to want it... Maybe I'll try to sell it ;)

 And finally, I finished just before lunch a doll cocoon from Cre8tion Crochet. I again used the material I have so: thin wool and small crochet. I wanted it to be a test for a real size version that I will make for my sister who is a professional photographer. It is rather easy to make and the result is stunning! I cannot wait to make it bigger!

 T. was standing next to me during the last 10 ranks, asking if it was for "Claude" (the doll), if I was soon done. At the moment I am writing, he is napping with "Claude" in his cocoon. I am sure he will show it first thing to his sister when she comes back from the Kindergarten!! 

I am done for today. Going back to my sewing-machine now and to my hook later on ;) I will very soon have more to post! I actually still have a lot to write about, some stuff was done around Christmas time, but time is lacking and I sometimes find it difficult to keep writing, sewing, crochetting as well as house-chores, taking care of the children... I just hope the few readers that I have will not hold a grudge against me for not being more regular on this blog.

Carnival costumes

Tomorrow is "Fasching" (carnival)! My daughter, N., needs a costume for the Kindergarten. At first it took her a while to know what she wanted to be, but in the end I managed to make her stop on the butterfly-idea ;)
 With cardboard, felt and elastic bands I made the wings, the hairband is covered with a spool-knitted string and the antennas are made of pipe cleaners. I was quite happy to find out I had matching-ish colours!
It was a fairly quickly made costume and we are looking forward to her wearing it tomorrow!

Her brother, T., does not go to the Kindergarten and therefore does not require a costume, but I thought it rather unfair to only work for N., so I made him (in less than 4 hours!) a dinosaur costume!!
 I worked without pattern, just from ideas picked/seen on Pinterest. The cape with hood is less then a full circle and attached with a velcro band. For the hood part, I traced my pattern around one of T.'s current jacket hoods. The "spikes" are made of fleece (two layers). It was quick, it was easy, it was fun! After discovering the costume, N. also asked if she could have such a tail, but so far she hasn't asked again. So I'll just wait a bit before making another one!

Then I decided to make something for myself as well. I have always loved dressing up so I really could not let the occasion pass ;)
Mine will be a little more permanent.
Four years ago my mother-in-law had given me fabric + bust part from an old Dirnl dress (you know the bavarian style dresses?). Four years ago I had made a very quick transformation to have a medieval-ish looking costume to gain free entrance to a castle fest day:
 
I had not touched it since. This time I thought I'd make it better looking. White satin like fabric from old bedlinen, white stretchy velvet like fabric from my stock accompanied the original brown fabric.
First the skirt
My little helper. He loved putting needles in the fabrics!
I made an awful mess with the zipper, trying to make it invisible!
 Then I added sleeves. The bust part was far too open at the back, one could really see my bra which is something I really feel uncomfortable with.
I also made myself a mini-crown from a toilet roll with golden paint and an elastic band:
 I added a veil for good measure and good (?) looks. And here is the final result:
It is a little tight at the waist, I will need to loose a little bit of weight in the next years if I want to be able to wear it again. The sleeves are a tad short, so next year I will probably add a little bit of lace or something.

On the whole I am pleased with all three costumes and I find it almost a shame that the Kindergarten has not invited parents and sibblings to their party ;)

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Granny squares

Here is something I never thought would happen: I am hooked on crochet! I have finally managed to get it and my thumb is now very sore.Yesterday I crochetted four or five basic flowers, two flowers around wooden characters, two granny squares and today I made three more granny squares.


Mouette from "Gentil Coquelicot Mesdames" (see link in my favourite blogs) sent me a link on how to make Granny Squares. The pattern is beautiful and the explainations are extremely clear. Just following them to the letter allowed me to succeed right away! I will definitely check out more patterns on that blog! 






But from now on I will limit myself to one square a day ;) my fingers will thank me! My goal is to collect the squares and get enough for a colourful blanket :)