Crafts


Just some of the fun we’ve had in the snow Berlin has gotten over the past couple of days. What a treat it’s been for us to be on vacation during a snow storm!!

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Our thank you cards are done, thanks to Alexander and Alida. They just need to be sent, along with our Christmas card. Ok, correct that, January card. This happens every year, so I hope our friends and relatives aren’t too upset.

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Update: Sorry about the tiny thumbnail pictures. I just updated my version of WordPress and lots of things have changed, so now I’ve got to figure it all out. ugh In the meantime, just click on a picture to see it bigger.

The tension on my sewing machine has been giving me trouble since I bought it a year ago, which means I’ve been to the store where I bought it at least a dozen times since then. Last week when it started acting up again, the owner of the store told me to come in and sew which would enable him to see exactly what the machine was doing.
What do you think I did when I heard that? Without any further hesitation, I had Martin take the kids and I trotted, with my serger and supplies tucked safely in my bike trailer, down to my sewing store where I sat from 10 am to 4 pm and sewed. As you can imagine, I was in sewer-geek heaven. The owner of the store, and a woman who works there, were both around to help me and give me lots and lots of tips. I also learned a lot from just listening to how they dealt with customers and the tips they gave them. Does it get any better than that??
My machine acted just like a little kid-perfect in front of strangers. “Oh what an angel she is” and then when you get home they start throwing a huge tantrum. I went home with a very well-behaved machine, and I hope she keeps acting so well-behaved otherwise she’s getting another time-out!!
I’m planning on making some leather slippers after Christmas, so we’ll see how well my machine works with me on this.
These are the Baby Born clothes I finished while I was there. This doll has better clothes than I do!
dress
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I would like to show you one more fun little gadget I finally finished last night. This is a row counter which you can use when increasing rows. I got the idea from String or nothing and also found one at Knit Picks here. You start at the green end which means go, in my case the leaf. Then every two rows, or every knit row, it is moved to the next ring in the direction of red, which means stop, in my case the flower. Here is my version of the row counter.
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I don’t really like how the flower turned out but it’s a good start. I’m trying to figure out what I could use other than a chain because the chain links don’t fit on my bigger needles and I would like to use these for everything I knit. Any ideas?? Of course, one of these went into my mom’s package this morning which was then sent off. It should get there in time for your birthday, mom!!
Mom, here are the ornaments the kids picked out this year. You see, every year we go to the Christmas Market with the kids and they each pick out their own ornament for the tree, I kind of guide them to the good ones, and then we write their name and date on them. When they are older and have families they can take their ornaments for their own trees. These are little wooden ornaments from K├Ąthe Wohlfahrt and I love them. Last year my parents came to visit and I think my mom and I went to the Market every day at least once, which was so much fun! Next year my parents are coming again and we are going to do those markets again, you can count on it!
ornaments
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Alexander picked out the airplane and Alida the teddies on the sled.
Olive
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This is the book that Chris, my sister-in-law, sent in her package that we all just love. It is so funny!! Thank you again, Chris, for being so very thoughtful-thank you from all of us! Tomorrow we are making Santa pancakes.
I wish we could have been there for Conrad’s birthday party yesterday. I heard the sailboat cupcakes were soooo cute. Also in Conrad’s face. You need a blog, babe.

I apologize to all of you who have written comments in the last few days. I have not been able to find the time to answer right now, I’ve been quite busy, as you can imagine. Thank you all for writing!!!

I tried out my new stitch markers and I just love them, it is so fun knitting and knowing a chocolate candy is coming up. However, after about 10 minutes I got a bit hungry. After about 20 minutes I had my hand in the cookie jar, and my knitting was resting quietly on the couch. Hmmm That’s not really the point, now is it? That’s when I decided I needed a few ‘diet’ markers.
food
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Of course, after making a very good-for-you banana and apple marker, I made an ice cream cone and some slices of carrot cake! I just don’t think I was meant to be on a diet! Of course, any good group has a flower too, right?

I also made two beaded row counter bracelets, one for me and one for my mom. Her birthday is the 31st of December, so I’m trying to get a package together. Mom, your package is getting bigger and bigger and later and later. It’ll be sent off soon, I promise!!
I’ve seen these bracelets before at various places, but I’ve never wanted to spend the money on one. After making the stitch markers, I realized I could probably pull off making these bracelets, too. Here they are:
beaded row counters
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You see, you count the individual rows with the little white beads and groups of ten rows with the big blue beads. You just push the beads through the white beaded ring toward the egg. So simple and so helpful. These were the best beads I could find, and I thought the egg looked the best on them.
I showed them to my friend Christina yesterday, and because she is also a knitter and a lousy row counter, she thought it was a great idea. Are you surprised we are on our way to the store today to get her some beads? I love getting others addicted to my silliness.

I’ve got a bit of a problem, I’ve been working on more stitch markers and I can’t stop. This is terribly addictive!! Here are a few that I’ve finished, and some that aren’t. (Once again it’s take advantage of the sunlight for pictures problem)
stitch markers
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stitch markers
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I can’t keep writing I’ve got to get back to my stitch markers. My mom’s package needs to be sent off and she’s getting one of each of these. I’ve got another thing I want to try to make for her, but that’ll be another day. Fimo, I’m coming.

Ok, so I’m a bit behind everyone else when it comes to IN blog things, but I’ve finally dove into the art of making stitch markers and I’m hooked. I originally saw these really fun stitch markers on A Sheep In Wools’ Clothing (scroll down to December 6) and just adored them. You can buy the so cool originals here, but they are a bit out of my price range. I was planning on waiting until January when I might have time to figure out the art of making them, but I just couldn’t resist starting now. I made a few last night thinking if I messed up it wouldn’t be a problem, and because no one knew I was trying this, I didn’t have to explain myself. Well here they are and I’m so pleased.
stitch markers
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Can you tell what they are supposed to be? I used Fimo to form the shapes, baked them until they were hard then bent the wires around a necklace closure.
stitch markers
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As soon as this is typed I’m off to make more. I think my mom would love them, so she’s getting a package with some in it.
Just so you know I finished bending the wires in after taking the pictures. We have so little sunlight nowadays that I rushed to get a picture in before all hope was lost. The wire ends are now nicely tucked in and I hope they won’t be catching on anyone’s yarn.

Just a bit of craftiness to show today. We’ve had snow in the apartment.
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Inspired by Soulemama we’ve been trying to make it a bit whiter inside than it has been outside lately. Maybe Santa will bring real snow when he comes.

Usually Alexander brings home pictures of rockets flying to Saturn (see the rings, mom) from kindergarten, so I was quite surprised when he pulled this one out of his cubby hole. He can’t read or write more than his name, but he knows the sounds of the letters, so this was his best attempt to write Alida, I love you. Alida grass. Why Alida grass you ask? I have no idea. I was pretty pleased that he wrote that for his sister. He also made a plane for me with a heart on it. My heart just melts!
I love youplane
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He also writes mam for mom. I think he gets confused between the two languages. In German I’m mama and in English mom.

So sorry about the quality of my pictures, we have very few hours of sunlight daylight nowadays and trying to take pictures at that time is very difficult to do. I’ve got to take the five minutes to do my thing when I can get them, not when I want them.

Have you pinned me yet???
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Look what came in the mail last week!
gifts
Judy, my sister from NJ, sent me this package full of Christmas goodies. There are presents for the kids, an awesome deep chocolate cake mix, a really cute pad and pencil which says Tidings of sushi and soy (we all love sushi so this is quite appropriate), and a book that the kids won’t put down. It’s a Christmas I spy book and we’ve been having fun looking for things every night. Thanks so much, Judy!!! Obviously, we won’t be opening the presents until Christmas, so we’ll be surprised to see what’s in them. Alexander is astounded that his present is bigger than Alida’s because he says he hasn’t been very good this year. I have to repeatedly tell him it’s from Judy and not Santa, but he wants to think Santa sent it. He’s also been trying to tell me everyday is Christmas, so we can open them now. Nice try, little man!
One more thing! Could you please put a pin on my map? It’s looking pretty bare and very sad!
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I’ve been working the last couple of days on little gifts for my friends, and because I had everything I needed to make them on hand, I didn’t need to spend tons of money.
Now, Christina, you need to stop reading this, and don’t put your mouse over the picture of the present. The rest of you can continue reading, the recipients of the other gifts either don’t read my blog or have no idea they are getting anything anyway, so read on and put your mouse over the picture to reveal my secret.


These are little needle cases made from felt. I wasn’t ever a big fan of felt, but after making so many puppets for our puppet theater with it, I kind of like it. I found the pattern for these here . I thought it would be cute for a little gift, and then I just kept going and found more people I could give these to. Of course, Alida wanted a ‘baby’ house, so I made one for us. I embroidered the house itself by hand, and used my machine to write Merry Christmas to cover my knots. My finger hurts but I love how they turned out. The picture really doesn’t do these justice, they are quite cute. For some reason I can’t make two mouseovers, that’s when the picture changes when your mouse is over the picture, in one post, so I’ve taken a close-up of a house and put it in the next post.
Now I’ve got to get working on the rest of the presents. Isn’t this fun? I love to make presents for Christmas.

Update: I can’t seem to get two mouseovers to work, so I’m putting in the picture of the details under the first present, just click on it to see the detailed picture. I’ve put the picture from above under the second present, so you can see it better. Mom, I’m making yours right after I finishing typing this!
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Here are my Socktober traffic stoppers finally done. (that’s Alexander’s car they are stopping)
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I did manage to get the stripes lined up although I ran into a pesky knot in the yarn on one sock. I really like the way the navy blue goes into periwinkle blue which is one color I just can’t get enough of. For my records I used Regia Cotton Tip & Top Color #44077 on a size 2 us-2 3/4 mm needle. I made a size 41/42 and cast on 64 stitches. They are a bit big but let’s see how they wash up. 41% superwash new wool, 34% cotton and 25% polyamide.
Look at this. sock blockerI found a great way to make a sock blocker out of a coat hanger. I found it here. I love the idea of using this to take pictures of my socks. For my next pair I’m planning on trying to knit from the toe up on two circulars.
For those of you out there that love Halloween and this time of the year as much as we do, here is a fun little craft idea to make with some old black socks, some black pipe cleaners and black and white foam stuff-sorry, I don’t know the English name for it.
bats
Here are some bats that fly around our apartment at this time of the year. They usually sleep on the chandelier and are quite peaceful. The kids and I made these last year after seeing them on TV and they now are turning into a must have the week before Halloween.

I just wanted to show you a little of what we’ve been playing with lately. Click on a picture to make it bigger. alexander and the theateralida theateromaalida with puppetstheater This is a puppet theater I made to fit in the kids’ room door last year. I had meant to add more fun detail to it, but before I could the kids had taken it and bagan playing, so I didn’t really ever look back. For the puppets I took wooden spoons and lots of felt, glue, paint and yarn to make the figures which you can either hold by the end of the spoon or you can put your hands in and work like regular hand puppets. red riding hoodWe played with this a bit last year, however I was more the one who did the shows rather than the kids. After coming back from vacation, the kids are finding all the toys that they hadn’t played with in a long time and this is one of them. Now that Alida’s older she’s getting so much more invovled, and now it’s my turn to sit back and watch the show. Here is the complete cast of characters I made:
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Yes, I did go a bit overboard but you can’t really have a good puppet show without lots of characters.
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Aren’t these faces great? I thought they came out really well for such a novice like me.
sad clownhappy clown This is one of Alida’s favorites, sometimes this clown is sad and sometimes he’s happy.

Thank you all for your birthday wishes! Please don’t forget to put in your opinion about knitting needles in the comments of the last post, if you have one, thanks. More knitting news later, we’re off to the playground.