Saturday, December 31, 2011

Rudolph's roundup

Well, I think my big list of potential makes was a tad optimistic! An awful lot of my time (far more than I had originally anticipated) was spent knitting the rudolph jumper.

I'm not going to lie. It was a hard make. Perhaps not the best pattern to knit my first jumper from. That may be a little harsh though - the plain red bits were fairly straightforward, it was just knitting the reindeer that slowed me down. It wasn't until half way through I finally figured out how to strand properly, so inside the top half looks all neat and tidy, like this....

Whilst the bottom half looks a fine mess...

I had a few heart stopping moments though. When I reached the top of the antlers, I realised I'd forgotten to shape the armholes. The thought of having to frog 20 rows made me feel more than a little sick, and I didn't touch it for a week - I didn't want to make yet more mistakes by rushing into correcting it. And then when I knitted the neckband to join the front and back together the night before I was due to go back to my mum's, I realised that I couldn't fit it over my head, so there was no way it would fit over my brother in law's head. Rather than have to frog and reknit the neckband, mum had the genius idea of using buttons on the shoulder. This led to a last minute dash to a local knitting store with my mum (about 30 mins before it was due to close on Chistmas eve) to find some suitable buttons...

Still, it was suitably appreciated by the new owner, who modelled it with great aplomb. He even wore it down the pub on Christmas day (although, sadly no photos of that!).

OK, so there's no sleeves, but I think he carries it off! Plus, what else could his present be next year? I still seem to have quite a lot of red yarn left, so I put some of it to good use when wrapping.

I'm still loving the Christmas bunting though, and I might make some more bunting next year in the smaller size for the other shelves. Sadly the ribbon wreath didn't work out. I'm not sure if it was the type of ribbon I bought, or using a wire form rather than foam, but after adding about 20 bows, I realised it looked more like something to be used when dancing round the maypole, rather than a classy Christmas wreath. Next year, I'll attempt the felt flower wreath now that Adele has pointed me in the right direction of foam wreaths!

And while I keep thinking that's all I've made this Christmas, I also made a fair few make up bags and tote bags.

So, that's it for 2011.  See you all next year!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Round up of Christmas presents

Here is a little look at some homemade Christmas presents. Both the ones I made and gave away and the ones I got. For more inspiration check out my Pinterest board "Making Christmas Gifts 2011" and my blog Eddie's room.


A bag I made for my husband with embroidered (not by me) birds (he is a big bird fan)


A tray my husband and I decoupaged with maps for my little brother who is studying geography.


I made a couple of these porcupine pin cushions for my mother and sister using this wonderful tutorial from Prudent Baby


I made these Christmas stockings for my husband and myself using this free tutorial.


My sister made this vinyl record bowl for my husband. There is a free tutorial for this here.


She also made him this fab pencil case for his art pencils.


For me she made this pretty shawl which I can't wait to use.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

BEST 2 more days in 2011!!!

 2 more days in 2011!
Please finish unfinished things before 2012 comes!

I went to a concert with my sister yesterday.
The singer's name is Masaharu Fukuyama.
He is also an actor, song writer and entertainer.
My sister is a big fan of him and I started to listen to his songs.

During the concert, we saw a video looking back his 2011.
Of course, the video included the scenes of the East Japan Disasters on 311.
And what he did was also shown.
About 17,000 people at concert hall watched and  nodded, sharing the same feeling and emotions.
As one of them, many memories and emotions came up in my mind.

At the end of the year, there are many TV programs and events, looking back the year 2011.
Some scenes and facts are new.
Now we can hear the true voices of people who suffered.

I guess all the Japanese share the same feeling right now.

Japanese will never forget the year 2011.

My life was changed a lot this year.
At some points, I felt nothing moved on.
But when I looked back, my life was changed dramatically.

However, I didn't expect this change.
I was reluctant and not determined.
I was like drifting.

But when I was watching the sufferers doing their best, and people supporting them.
I thought I could do more!
I decided to be willing to give as much love, talents and whatever I can give as possible next year!

And I'll be more proud of myself as Japanese!

Japaneses are known as modest.
We don't boast of ourselves.
Although we get praise, we tend to refuse it.

For example,
If something bad happens, it is my fault.
If something good happens, it thanks to you.

I believe this is good but I guess we'll change in the future.

I like to boast of being a Jap`nese.
And I like to tell many people all over the world how wonderful Japan and Japanese are!
I believe Japan will change!

I also like to become a person who can move and touch people's feeling because I was moved and touched by many people who did their best during their hardship.

I don't know what I can do now. I just decided!
That's my next year's resolution

At the end, I like to introduce the song of Masaharu Fukuyama.
The theme of this song is `KIZUNA' meaning `bonds or ties'.
KIZUNA is also the them of this year for all Japanese.

The title is `Kazoku ni narouyo' meaning `let's become a family'.
Although the song is Japanese, please enjoy the music!
Please have the BEST 2 more days in 2011!!!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Oliver + S Explorer Vest and a Knitting Needle Roll

Greetings, Crafty Christmas-ers!  I hope you all were able to finish up your projects before Christmas.  I completed my last Christmas gift on Christmas Eve morning thanks to a cold that decided to show up last week and knock me on my ass for a few days.

I made the Explorer Vest from Oliver + S' Little Things to Sew for my nephew.

Explorer Vest

I'm happy to report that he loves it!  He promptly shoved all of his spy gear into all of the pockets!

The pattern was really easy to follow.  I'm so excited to make more projects from the book.  More information can be found on my blog.

My last Christmas-y project was for my mom's birthday.  It is today and since she's getting back into knitting, I made her a roll to keep her knitting needles in.  I used the Tool Roll pattern from Lotta Jansdotter's Simple Sewing.  It was pretty easy to follow but I made a few modifications (more info on that can be found here).  Since I've been wanting one too, I made us matching needle rolls!  

Knitting Needle Roll

I don't know about you guys, but I am so happy that Christmas crafting is over!  I've had a great time reading about all of your crafting adventures.  Until next year!


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

New Year Greeting Cards

Soon after Christmas was over, we have to be ready for the New Year.
House cleaning, special-meals cooking, New Year decoration....etc.

I finally finished my New Year greeting cards.

The card includes my photo and pottery work.
Since they have a special stamp, all cards arrive on the New Year although they are mailed a week before.
Of course, there is the time limit and if it's too late, they will arrive after the New Year holiday is over.

Now it's very convenient we can make cards by computer.
Before I bought it, I did all hand-writing with some stamps.
I'll write messages and mail them.

These days, people send the New Year messages by mail.
But I still like to write to give special thanks of this year, and happiness and friendship of next year.

The animal of the year 2012 is Dragon!
We have 12 animals, Chinese zodiac.
Dragon is the only legendary animal of 12.
So the year 2012 is not usual.
Something we never expected will happen.
Good or Bad things are all up to your mind and heart.
Please always visualize whatever you really expect to happen!

This painting is done by Seiji Fujishiro.
I visited his show and we were free to take photos of his works.
I love his paintings and generosity.

I seem to work this New Year's eve and New Year.
Friends of my friend came to Japan and I'll guide them.
This is my first time to work at these days.
I had refused to work at New Year's eve and New Year because everything was unusual and I preferred spending with my family and friends.
Oh! I lose no time in doing something unusual!!
I'm excited at new experience!
Since it is the first time for them to visit Japan, I'll do my best to support them and enjoy together!!

For all of my friends,
Thank you very much for your friendship of this year especially during our hardship.
I wish you wonderful New Year holidays with your family and friends.
When I visit a temple or shrine at New Year, I'll pray for your happiness, health and whatever you wish for the year 2012!!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

I'm still technically not done, but...

If you can't tell by this post, I'm a procrastinator. Thought I'd recap what I was able to give out (and technically finish) these past couple days, though I'm still needing to finish a couple more gifts. I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday and that everyone enjoyed your amazing crafty gift goodness!

Another pleated clutch, with layered fabric

Ginger schnapps, in single size jars


Cockroach ornaments, based off of Very Purple Person's tutorial

Poorly self-drafted capes

Felt-applique t-shirt

Diaper clutch, again poorly self-drafted

Earthworm ornaments

Better late than never.....

Hi! This is Jonquil.  I hope everyone is enjoying a merry Yuletide!
        Here are what I have been busy with this season.  The three stockings with names are for the grandchildren, with the blue one for me & the green one for my daughter.  The ornaments are for the grandchildren.  I try to make ornaments every year so that when the grandchildren are old enough for their own tree, they will have enough ornaments to fill it.  Next year I should have the counted cross-stitch stockings done.  Two fronts are stitched with the third started.  Now for blocking & adding beads afterwards.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Christmas Eve!

Ok, now I am officially, really done Christmas.

I made up a batch of Martha Stewart's Vanilla Marshmallows and Peppermint Marshmallows, along with some Hot Chocolate to share with friends and family. They were pretty easy to make, though I was surprised by how different each recipe was! Of the two, I prefer the Vanilla Marshmallows. The Peppermint recipe makes a much fluffier marshmallow, more like meringue.

I found some great printable tags Here &Here that dressed up my simple paper bag, and cellophane wrapping! I got clothes pins at the dollar store to keep the bags closed tight.

Now... I have to finish wrapping everything! You can read more about my Christmas gifts over on my blog, Ohhh Lulu.

It's been a pleasure seeing all of the beautiful and creative gifts that everyone has made this year! Merry Christmas everyone!

Merry Moustachmas!

Here's a last minute Christmas gift that always makes me smile!  Chocolate moustaches! 

Chocolate moustache on a lollipop stick
Just melt some milk chocolate in a microwave/ban marie/chocolate fondue melter whatever your melting procedure of choice and once melted add a few drops of orange flavouring and then pour into a mould of your choice (I got this mould online posted to me by a friend in America as they wouldn't deliver to the UK, but think there are now sellers of this mould over here), set aside to cool and then transfer to the fridge for a few hours or overnight and then wrap prettily!  No one who receives something like this can resist pulling funny poses before devouring them!  Here's the proof!

Got to keep those moustache ends twirled!

Sneaky looks

Big smile!  Well, Moustache!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!!

For my friends all over the world,

I wish all of you a Merry Christmas filled with love and peace!
Please enjoy the Christmas Parade at Tokyo Disneyland.
Never forget the mind and heart you had in your childhood.
Your childlike heart brings you fresh perspectives and ideas!
I hope I can see you again with fresh discoveries!

What I ended up making for Christmas

Hi everyone,

I've seen some lovely homemade gifts on this site, and have been so inspired!  Sadly my Christmas gift planning was a complete fail.  I didn’t make any of the things I planned to make, but did end up making something I wasn’t really planning to make at all.  Thanks to a comment from Marie I decided to make a pair of boxers for my boyfriend.  I used Kwik Sew pattern 1672 and am totally chuffed about how well they have turned out. 

Not least the amazing fluke pattern matching at the centre front, it’s (almost perfect).

I also made some embroidered gift tags, partially inspired by this purl bee tutorial, although I made the tags bigger and embroidered the names on instead of using card.

I hope everyone elses Christmas making plans went well.  Happy holidays everyone!!!

Noomi Rapace Wallpapers, and Pictures

Sherlock Holmes actress Noomi Rapace Wallpaper 1280 x 800

 Noomi Rapace Picture

 Noomi Rapace

 Noomi Rapace in BAFTA Awards

Friday, December 23, 2011

10000 People sing Beethoven Symphony No 9 together♪

Today, Dec. 23rd is our Emperor's 78th birthday.
If you are interested in this, please check this Press Conference on the occasion of His Majesty's Birthday (2011)
Although Christmas isn't a national holiday,  Emperor's birthday is a national holiday.
Luckily, Christmas is on weekend. Office workers can get 3-days off.

At the end of the year, we watch many special programs on TV.
Most programs this year are related to the Great East Japan Earthquake on 11th March.
I sometimes forget it happened this year.
But it is not the past yet for people living in that area.
At the same time, I really thank the fact I can see the old year out and the new year in with my family at safe home.

Today, I was watching a TV program, `10000 People sing Beethoven Symphony No 9 together.'
I can't find its YouTube yet.
When I find it, I like to introduce it here.

This below video is from last year, 2010.
The conductor is always Yutaka Sado. I like him.
The singer was Ayaka Hirahara. She sang this year too.
She is one of my favorite singers.

At the same setting, 10000 people sang Beethoven Symphony No 9 together.
It was amazing!!!
While I was watching it today, I remember LOTS OF THINGS both good and bad which happened this year.
Especially,  the Great East Japan Earthquake on 11th March is the prime memory.
I guess people in that program felt the same feeling and they sang, sweat and shed tears.
We, Japanese can never forget this year, 2011.
This year's memory will be inscribed in our heart and thought forever.

The singer of the below video is Ayaka Hirahara.
I'll post it here not to forget the day...

Thursday, December 22, 2011

the winter solstice and new moon

Today, Dec. 22nd is the winter solstice.
The length of daytime is the shortest and it's getting longer day by day from tomorrow.

The shortest daytime means the longest nighttime, which is the length of darkness is the longest.
Some of you might have to face your ugly and immature parts you hate.
And you are trapped in bad delusion and think the world around you negatively.

It is said that people who are spiritually awakening are affected by natural cycle like moon cycle and planet retrograde.

Therefore, if you feel negative, it might be due to the winter solstice.
Then now it's over and you can feel better.

In addition to that, the last new moon this year is on Dec. 25th.
Soon after the date is changed, it is the full moon at 3:06am,

The darkness is over at the winter solstice and the new beginning starts at the new moon.

Enjoy the new start!