Saturday, 29 March 2008
The Winner is ...
My little bearded helper picked this name from a basket. With a little patience we managed to get a picture to witness the process.
Congratulations to the winner, and to the rest of you: better luck next time.
Tidying up my stash
I could only take detail photos like these, because this is the only visible change in the room. Even I could not tell that the fabric mountains are a little smaller. The rest of my side of the room is still a mess. Imagine a teenager sharing a room with a toddler, and a mother who couldn't care less, and you get the general idea of my sewing room. At the other end lives the tidy nerd big brother who minds his own business and keeps his desk tidy. That is my husband's side. I love him very much and he must love me at least as much, because we can work there very peacefully.
I made some interesting finds digging through the archaeological layers of plastic bags. There were leftover blocks from old quilting projects and interesting, big pieces of fabric. This will make it a lot easier for me to keep my fabric diet.
I have spent too many hours reading interesting
blogs with the words "stash" and "scraps" and many new ideas are bouncing in my head. I feel like quilting something small that will be rady in no time, but I also would like to try out more ideas from my Japanese Patchwork book, and there are so many bags just waiting to be made. The first thing I ought to do is a lightweight bag for groceries. I always carry a used plastic bag in my shoulder bag (for international readers: Finnish groceries use thicker, big plastic bags which can be used for heavy shopping many, many times if you want to), but a fabric bag would be a better message against global warming. I found many interesting fabrics suitable for this purpose. Some of them were in the depths of the bin liner, a cupboard cleaning project of my sister who moved to a new house a couple of years ago and shifted her stash to my cellar.
Today at six o'clock my time I will write down the names for the giveaway and my son will pick up one. Chances to win the potholders are very good at the moment ;) so if you are interested there is still some time to participate by commenting on the post titled Giveaway!.
Friday, 28 March 2008
What happens when the country girl goes to town
And this is how Helsinki was yesterday, now that we finally did get the winter that didn't come when it was time.
Then I came to Järvenpää like every Thursday, and went to the fabric shop that is moving back to its old address further away, so I had to shop a little because next week it is too late: 3 m fabrics. And I haven't used any, because I have been busy doing real things and stitching the big quilt. I have also gained some weight, thanks to all the Mignon eggs. These are Easter eggs with 52 g nougat chocolate in a real egg shell. No little rings or toy surprises for me, I want the real thing: chocolate.
Tuesday, 25 March 2008
True to my principles the material is recycled, only the bias binding is new. Chenille, because it was fun to make. Potholders, because they are practical and necessary, and I'm a prosaic person.
You may have noticed the new badge on the right. I have found the perfect support group for me in Hanne's Quilt Corner . A fabric diet means to use more fabric than you buy. A perfect way to use the stash which threatens to cover my working area. Announcing the diet in public makes me at least consider every purchase even more closely. If I succeed, there will be many new quilts and children's books and toys, and the stash will not grow too much. I hope to emphasize the using, because it will result in finished projects. No fun in stopping to buy fabric and stopping to sew anything.
Sunday, 23 March 2008
Fat little Easter hen
Check it out here. And I had the Japanese book from her earlier. The flowers are from my elder son and her girlfriend and her parents who all were visiting us yesterday. I also got a chocolate Scrabble, but have not played it yet. It is a game that seems to be known all over the world but I have never even seen it before now.
Vintage Children's Book Illustrations, Sunday
This is the second book on Babar the elephant, told and illustrated by Jean de Brunhoff, printed by WSOY in 1949.
The rhinos think they see scary monsters and run away.
Saturday, 22 March 2008
Vintage Children's Book Illustrations, Saturday
I learned to read when I was about 5 years old. Of course I read the title of this book too. It made me ask "Mouse's House, what is it, it isn't anything?" My mother had always told the story in the book in Finnish, so I couldn't understand why the text made no sense to me.
The cat looked very mean! But the special thing about this book was that some of the figures had a textile surface, like the brown dog int the cover, this black cat and the duck in the last picture.
The duck is very stylish with her handbag.
Mouse's House by Kathryn and Byron Jackson, pictures by Richard Scarry, copyright 1949 by Simon and Shuster, Inc. and Artists and Writers Guild, Inc.
Thursday, 20 March 2008
Vintage children's book illustration, day 4
This beautiful picture is by Ota Janecek, copyright 1968 Artia Praha, and the book is Children's Paradise. Original poems are by Frantisek Halas and the Finnish translation by Aale Tynni. The book is full of beautiful aquarelles. Here is another one:
I always liked horses but didn't ride before i was 50. Then I had my first try safely with the teacher holding my horse by the halter strap. I tried it two more times, so now I have some riding experience!
This is one of my dearest books from my own childhood. I know almost all the verses by heart. My youngest son learnt his first words from this horse verse I kept "singing" (very poorly) to him. - My mother had a stuffed Bonzo dog just like this baby has:
This last picture is with my initial letter U and the name is Ulla, but it is not the little girl's name but the little lamb! I had this book probably at Easter 14.4.1954. The illustration is by Helga Sjöstedt, the book's name is Pikku-Marjan eläinkirja, or Little Mary's book of animals. Published by WSOY 1953.
Wednesday, 19 March 2008
Vintage children's book illustration week, 2
Vintage Childrens' Books
Moomin troll comes early in the morning with fresh milk through the dark and scary forest.
And it is getting lighter. He sees something he thinks is too odd to be their chimney.
It is the knot of hair of this Mymmeli girl who is crying because she has lost her little sister Myy. They have an adventure seeking for her.
And they finally come home to Mamma.
But the milk has gone sour. Mamma solves the problem and promises they will all drink juice from now on. The last hole in the book is so small that all the characters must stay in the book.
The text is written in many different fonts to emphasize the meaning, and my mother did a wonderful job reading this to me when I was little. The text is translated from Swedish (Tove Jansson's mother tongue, although she was Finnish), and it is in modern rhyme. The illustration, naturally by Tove Jansson too, uses holes and cut pages to show what is coming and what has been left behind. I tried to take the pictures so that this can be seen. Like in the beginning you can see the sun through two holes, and then through one, with the hair knot, and finally you are on the same page as the sun. I still know the whole thext almost by heart. The book was first printed in 1952, and I got it when I was a little girl, a couple of years later.
Tuesday, 18 March 2008
About Unicef rag dolls
She is a typical Finnish girl with blond hair and blue eyes. She lives in Germany, like my sister, who has organized the international adoption of several of my dolls there. Yesterday I found the perfect place to give my yet to be made Unicef dolls. I was reading Kaija's blog and she had been visiting Tampere, my old home town where I was born and lived until the end of my studies. Tampere is a Unicef city 2008 (unfortunately that part of their website is not in English), and they have a big adoption event for the dolls later this year. The dolls will be auctioned, so there is more than the minimum fee of 20 euro to be expected for each doll. So now I have decided to make the final 9 dolls for that date, and celebrate being a "birth mum" for 50 dolls total.
Saturday, 15 March 2008
Why do I feel guilty if I use new fabrics?
I was heavily pregnant with our first child so I didn't want to start anything time-consuming. I cut 5-6 of my young husbands old shirts to make this doormat, and my mother-in-law helped me with the technical problems. Later I have woven several more carpets, but I still have no idea of how to start the whole process. It has in fact been necessary to save all used clothes for this purpose. The largest pieces of my Grandmother's Garden quilt for Kaija come from my mother's "carpet rags" box, like the light blue background around the flowery blocks.
The hand quilting is still fun, the progress is slow but almost steady. The sewing group will meet four more times, because next week will be Easter holiday. The weekend 19th to 20th April will be the exhibition showing the work of the different groups. I'll do my best to have this quilt ready to be shown there.
P.S. I use new fabrics for the immature babies' quilts and for many things I sew for sale, but if I use recycled material, it is a good sales argument.
Friday, 14 March 2008
Spring is here?
It turned out all right with a little ironing. The bumps caused by quilting went away. On the other side the buttons are white and there are six of them. In the original there were glass beads. The floral print is from the craft fair, the rest is linen from my stash.
Inside is a zippered pocket and a string with a clasp (?) for the key ring. (I don't know the correct Finnish word so it's difficult to find a translation!) The inside picture didn't show anything but red, so I won't show that.
Wednesday, 12 March 2008
Publishing my new book
The white pretty one is the one Karen made. The other round one has an elastic band to hold it on my wrist, but I never learnt to use it. My daughter made it for me as a schoolgirl. She later made the brown one with polka dots. It is very good to keep by the sewing machine: it's big and easy to hit even when not looking, and it stays on place because of the heavy filling. It is filled with used, curly wool yarn from not mendable mittens and socks. The last one is a Cathedral Window experiment by me.
This morning I finally finished the tactile book for advanced readers.
This one has a plot, as you can see on the cover.
Soon will be spring with first flowers and migrating birds.
Then comes summer with strawberries and an abundance of flowers and butterflies.
In autumn there will be mushrooms, and the leaves turn yellow, red and brown.
And then comes Christmas and winter with snow. And then you can start from the beginning, because after winter there will be spring.
Monday, 10 March 2008
Sunday lunch recipe
As I was so busy cleaning, I also needed to put something on the table after taking all my tactile book stuff (Yes, it has occupied our big dining table this long. We eat in the kitchen.) and my ironing to the bedroom. I chose this little runner I made a couple of years ago for Easter, which is this year very early, next week.
I'm experiencing serious difficulties with uploading the photos. I'll go and put some new laundry in the washing machine and hang the first load, and try again.
Yes, a break is always good. Five attempts before going to the cellar, and now on first attempt the pictures are here. This Easter flower is made with the paper-piecing method, where the patchwork is sewn with a paper pattern on the reverse, along the lines. This makes it easy to make small details correct and all blocks alike.
Thursday, 6 March 2008
Today is very windy and snow is falling. My husband is away for the day (usually he comes home for lunch), and so I have to take me by foot to the train. In this weather, and because it is slippery again, it will take about half an hour. Luckily I'm going to have a haircut, which is always nice, so it is not so bad after all. And I had a good start for my own time this morning when I came to the computer. I always check my e-mail first, and there was a message from Karen. I won one of the pincushions on her giveaway! I don't know which one I'll get, but I think they are both lovely.
Because I don't have any new pictures of my recent work, I show something I have made ages ago. This little "everyday angel" has a mouth and rosy cheeks, too, but my pictures are not always perfect. I wish you all a good day and a smile on your face.
Tuesday, 4 March 2008
My new book and new plans
There is only very little English text in the book, but the pictures are inspiring and beautiful, and there are drawn instructions in the "How to make" part of the book. I already started making one bag, or my version of it. I just had to start, because I bought this at the fair:
Monday, 3 March 2008
Report from the Handicraft Fair
Felted clothes and felted almost anything are very popular at the moment. There was also fine merino wool for sale. I only bought a little bag of curly wool in mixed colours for my husband. He said it was OK for his fly-tying. I have learned to choose mainly good colours for him. We share a hobby room, and if I'm not sewing at full speed with my machine, we can listen to music or just enjoy the peace. When he shows me his flies, I often ask and learn something about them as well. This helps me when I choose treasures for him when shopping for yarns or trimmings for my own needs.
And then there was one good and one 'usual' book seller. From the good one I bought a book-binding book for Kaija's birthday, and gave it to her in advance. (She brought me a book for my birthday in advance!) I'll show my book tomorrow.