Wednesday 24 December 2014

Sweet Crafting

Last minute finishing touches before Christmas. I am so glad we were right on time to complete our first ever Gingerbread House before Christmas Eve. Oh, how much happiness and fun it was to work on this project.

Tuesday 23 December 2014

Surprise Mail

The Winter Sparkle ATC swap is almost over. Most of the cards have been completed and sent away to their final destinations. I am still waiting to hear from my partner if the card I made arrived. I hope it won't get lost somewhere on the way.

I was lucky last week to found something so sweet in my mailbox that arrived all the way from UK. A "whole street" of pretty, festive and very sparkly houses right in time for Christmas. I was Alison's at Patchwork Fairy secret partner and she made this card for me.

I love the way Alison captured the night sky with all the sparkly shiny stars. The way the tiny houses are decorated with a bit of silvery thread and all the shades of purple. It's such a lovely, winterly and happy card. Thank you very much, Alison!

The card is going to join my slowly growing gallery of ATCs. I like to keep them in my little sewing corner on small easels on the shelves among my fabric stash, buttons, ribbons, cute jars and all other pretty things. Every time I look at any of the cards, they make me smile and remind me about all the happy feelings I had while working on my ATCs, checking out the progress of all the participants and anticipating the arrival of my card and never knowing which one I would find in my mailbox.

It's been a great year of ATCs swapping organised by Ali at VeryBerryHandmade. So much to be inspired by, so much to learn and so many lovely and creative people to meet. Check out the gallery on Flickr to see it for yourself. Thank you very much, Ali! Larisa xox

Tuesday 9 December 2014

A Test Run

Remember my practice in free motion stitching? Those tiny pictures? Well, I turned a few of them into something small, very simple and as always very easy to make. Key rings with reverse applique.

Thursday 4 December 2014

Tutorial: Birdhouse Hanging Ornament

A cute hanging ornament with a reverse applique. These houses are so quick and easy to make and it's a lot of fun too. They would look lovely on a Christmas tree or hanging on a door knob, they even can be used as gift tags. If you would like to make one, here is a step-by-step tutorial for you.

Sunday 30 November 2014

Tutorial: Reverse Applique

Instead of using a Raw Edge reverse applique like on those placemats, I am using a reverse applique with nice and neat edges for a couple of new projects that I am working on at the moment. What I like about this technique is that the "window" that you see through is slightly raised (beveled) and you can even use a contrasting fabric that would poke out a bit around the edge. I took a few photos and put them in a simple step-by-step tutorial. Maybe you find it useful.

Thursday 27 November 2014

Winter Sparkle

The Artist Trading Card for the VeryBerryHandmade Swap, Winter Sparkle, is completed and ready to be sent away to its final destination. This time around I decided to try using a few different fabrics along with stamps, beards and sequence. And here is the result. A bit of sparkles, a bit of red, a bit of Christmas and plenty of white.

Tuesday 25 November 2014

Just a Sneak Peek: Building Blocks

Picture in a frame, in a frame and in a frame... That's how I am calling these simple symmetrical quilting blocks. I know I said that I am not a quilter but quilting is addictive. Really! It's like a kid's game of building blocks. Using blocks of different sizes and colours you can build a whole castle in a matter of minutes.

Monday 24 November 2014

ATC Swap Winter Sparkle

It's Artist Trading Card Swap time again! The last swap of the year kindly organised by Ali at VeryBerryHandmade. It's been a fun and creative year and I think it would be lovely to end the year with such a wonderful theme as Winter Sparkle.

Wednesday 19 November 2014

Cross-Stitch Linen Coasters

One more small tick on the list. Oh, it feels so good! Finally I finished a few sets of winterly coasters with yet another new cross-stitch pattern.

Sunday 16 November 2014

Christmas Gift Tags

Christmas is really just around the corner. It's hard to believe but the year is almost over and the last two months always fly by with an incredible speed. So I thought I better get started working not only on gifts but on some decorations as well. Today's project is - gift tags. I love making them!

Saturday 15 November 2014

Christmas Doesn't Have to be Red & Green

It can be any colour. Right? Dina at BossyMamma made no-sew napkin rings that I really liked. I was going to make them in red and green colours (like hers) but realised that I ran out of green felt.

Tuesday 11 November 2014

Friendly Hedgehog

It's been a while since I made any notebook covers. Projects like that marked the beginning of my stitching adventure a bit over a couple of years ago. Back at that time I made quite a few fabric covers with embroidery for notebooks and diaries as Christmas gifts. It feels lovely to go back to the same ideas with new skills learnt, with new techniques acquired and with more confidence than ever before.

Saturday 8 November 2014

The Second Biggest Project

Yay! It's finished. I am so happy that finally I found the way of putting all the economy blocks I made at the beginning of this year together. It's one of those projects that you are not sure about until the very last minute, when you put all the needles and scissors down, spread it in front of you and go... I love it! I really do! A baby quilt and a small pillow.

Monday 3 November 2014

Work in Progress: And a Few New Prints

Today I don't have much to write and show but rather I have a lot to work on. Quite a few unfinished but more than half way through projects. I got a bit carried away with jumping between them all and all the other things that needed to be done. Hopefully I can finish them all soon and tick them off my To-Do list, and move on to the next ones.

A new embroidery based on yet another recent sketch. I think it's rather sweet and I hope the final idea turns out well. Looking at this photo inspired a new idea that is going on my list... I just love that this magic To-Do list is never ending.

Wednesday 29 October 2014

Winterly Coasters

Bright red rowan berries covered with a cap of white sparkly snow. Isn't it a perfect sign of a late autumn or an early winter and the most magical thing ever? To me anyway. There is something wonderful and festive in a combination of white and red, rowan berries and snow.

Friday 24 October 2014

Pretty Houses

Come wander with me along this colourful street. A street full of pretty cozy houses with chimneys and street lanterns, with window sill flower boxes, with bright attics, flower pots and even cats.

Wednesday 22 October 2014

Fabric Stash: So Cute

I couldn't resist it. I got some new additions for my stash on my visit to a newly discovered fabric store recommended to me by Dina of Little by Little by Bossymamma all the way from UK. Thank you, Dina! :-)

I went to that store just to get some funky elastic but ended up with this lovely bundle. Tiny yellow acorns are from a collection Autumn Woods by Kate & Birdie for Moda Fabric. The cute hedgehogs are a part of Bluebird Park collection by Kate & Birdie also printed in Japan. And the third print is A Day in the Country Micro Check. Generally I would choose pinks or pastels unconsciously but this time around I was drawn to the simplicity and calmness of these prints and the cuteness of the hedgehogs.

The mushroom stamp I bought recently at a craft store and the hedgehog one is a lucky find while on our trip to Hong Kong in July. I already have a couple of ideas what to use these prints for, I just wish I had more time to hide away in my little sewing nook without any distractions for cooking, washing and useless things like that. I am looking forward to my back trip to that store where I saw much more cuteness. :-) Happy stashing everybody! Larisa xox

Monday 20 October 2014

Work in Progress: Not Much But...

... a couple of small comforting and quite interesting projects. Something that was inspired by quickly approaching Christmas and winter in Northern Hemisphere. An old drawing turned into a cross-stitch pattern and paired with one of the fabrics from Westminster range by Fabric Freedom (England), the print that was inspired by mill engravings of the 19th century.

Wednesday 15 October 2014

Flex Frame Pouch with Roses

Linen, pretty cotton with roses, lace and a tiny touch of embroidery. That's the recipe for the new flex frame pouch.

Saturday 11 October 2014

Practice. Practice. Practice.

That's the only way to get better at what you are doing. So today I have been busy doing exactly that. I really like free motion stitching but my hands are not steady enough for this type of "drawing" on fabric. So I've decided to practice a bit. Make something quite small.

Tuesday 7 October 2014

Pretty Pastels

Have you ever wanted to try something new but kept quite clear away from it because it seemed too complicated and difficult and time consuming? Well, that's how I perceived Dresden Plates. For a long time I felt intimidated by the number of blades/petals that needed to be stitched together and then quilted as well. I thought I would never have enough patience for something like that.

Thursday 2 October 2014

Delicate Forget-Me-Nots

The warmer days, the gentle sunshine, the spring flowers, the softness of new leaves, the purity of green colours and blue skies, the freshness of the spring air. Those were all the little things that influenced this delicate sewing set.

Sunday 28 September 2014

Please Meet Mr Squeak

He is all ready and even dressed up for the occasion. He is a lovely little fellow, very friendly and sweet and he loves dandelions. He finally found a new home that I think he is quite happy about.

Friday 26 September 2014

Just an Idea

While working on my latest embroidery, I kept thinking about all the short bits and pieces of embroidery floss I have accumulated in the box with the bobbins. You know, the ones that are not long enough to be wrap onto a bobbin but still not short enough to be thrown away. I just kept pushing them all into one small compartment of the box. Stitch by stitch I kept looking at this ball of "mess" and I kept thinking.

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Work in Progress: Squeak.. Squeak...

That's what on my work table at the moment. This tiny squeaky fellow suddenly appeared on my desk one sunny morning. He was looking for a new home to live in and I have an idea that I can't wait to share with you. Hopefully soon.

It's rather an unexpected project that started with a simple sketch. Even though I am terrified of mice in real life, I absolutely adore cute designs with them. Come back soon to see what it's going to be. Larisa xox

Monday 22 September 2014

Simple and Nice

Oh, I am so excited! I was asked to make something! Something for my Not So Little Boy. A new phone case. You might be wondering why such a small and simple thing makes me so excited? Well, there are a few reasons for that. First - I love making things for my family and friends, second - it's not easy to find a project to sew for a pre-teen boy, and third - he hardly asks for anything really (apart from an elastic strap for his lunch box last week).

Friday 19 September 2014

Lunch Box Straps

I have to admit - I like lunch boxes. Especially Japanese ones, that are colourful, have a few small compartments and are cute. Usually they are secured with an elastic strap or belt that doesn't come with the boxes.

Tuesday 16 September 2014

I Have Got Mail!

From Scotland this time! How fun is that! I had no idea what I would find inside the envelope, which one of the Artist's Trading Cards would make it all the way to Australia. To my greatest surprise the card turned out to be from Catherine of KnottedCotton, my secret partner for this round of VeryBerryHandmade Artist's Trading Card Swap. The theme for this swap was "Getting Away From It All" and Catherine made this beautiful card for me, a picture of the Bass Rock. You can read about it here and here. I absolutely love the simplicity of the scenery in this tiny card and the way Catherine created the sea. A few different shades of fabric stitched together on top of each other using threads of various colours. So creative! Thank you, Catherine, SO MUCH!

Monday 8 September 2014

Simplicity of Hand Sewing

A while ago I bought a wonderful book Sewn by Hand written by Susan Wasinger. What appeals to me in this book is that every single project is sewn entirely by hand. No sewing machine required, no precise seams, just the simplicity of hand stitches. The weather hasn't been great lately, wet and gloomy day and night, so it was a nice opportunity for me to work on a small project from this book. It's a baby bib. What gives this bib a very unique look is a simple running stitching and the frayed edges.

Thursday 4 September 2014

Sketching Away

I've been busy. Not with the usual fabrics and needles but rather with pencils and paper. I kept thinking of getting back to drawing but you know how it usually happens, one thing comes up first, then something else follows and they are all important things that require your time and attention, and at the end of the day there is no time or energy left just for you, for things that you wanted to do but didn't think were important. This time it was a chain of tiny events that finally got me back to my drawing notebook.

Monday 1 September 2014

Artist's Trading Card Swap "Getting Away From It All" Part Two

Yay! It's finished and ready to be send away. ATC number two that I completed for the swap organised by Ali of VeryBerryHandmade. The second card has been inspired by my passion for figure skating. Ice rink is a great "get away from it all" place for me. Ice rink is the place where my heart sings, where I can forget about anything, well, almost anything. It's the place where I feel like a little careless girl again.

Friday 29 August 2014

Artist's Trading Card Swap "Getting Away From It All"

As some of you might know, I am participating in Artist's Trading Card Swap organised by Ali of VeryBerryHandmade. This is the fourth swap, the third one for me and the theme this time around is "Getting Away From It All". When I got all the information regarding the swap and especially the theme, the first thing that I thought of was knitting. I knew exactly what I was going to make and I am quite happy that it looks almost, if not even better, like the idea I had on my mind.

Tuesday 26 August 2014

A Small Gift For Someone Special

An extra pair of hot pot holders is alway useful in the busy kitchen. Right? Especially if you enjoy cooking and baking, and having big family gatherings. Well, a very special Lady just celebrated her birthday and I made a small gift especially for her. Hope she likes it.

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Lacy Zipper + Pretty Fabric

What do you get when you put together a piece of pretty fabric and a lacy zipper? Of course a pretty little pencil case!

Friday 15 August 2014

Work in Progress: ATCs

Getting Away From it All... What comes to your mind? Holidays at your favourite destination, a quiet walk through morning woods, maybe a stroll along a beach at sunset or maybe for you getting away from everything is simply spending some time creating - sewing, knitting, drawing... or maybe simply being with your family?

Thursday 14 August 2014

It's ATC Swap Time!

How exciting! I just love the Artist Trading Cards swaps Ali at VeryBerryHandmade organises throughout the year. The theme for the last swap was "Spring". This time around it's "Getting Away From it All". A theme that you can really interpret in any way you like.

Sounds interesting? I think so. I am sure all the participants are going to come up with amazing and very creative cards. Some of the girls have already published photos of their "work in progress" and some finished cards. Don't be shy, check out the Flickr Group. It's truly inspiring and creative. I am getting really excited and can't wait to share my work in progress with you soon. Larisa xox

Friday 8 August 2014

Asked to Make

My not so Little Son got a present recently - a Boogie Board eWriter. It's a great tool for making notes, writing To-Do lists, making calculations or drawing sketches that you can easily save on your computer. Lucky boy! I might borrow it sometimes for some silly scribbling time. Well, the tablet came without a cover and for my greatest surprise, my son asked me to make him something. Yay!

Monday 4 August 2014

Making Little Pretty Things

That's what I was busy with before we left on our trip. Making little, hopefully useful, but definitely pretty things. I made stamped linen ribbons with pink and red running stitches. So easy to make but really satisfying, especially when you don't have much time but feel like crafting a bit. They are great for making tags or adding it as it is to any project.

Wednesday 30 July 2014

Flex Frame Pouch

Hello my friends! I am so glad to see you all here! It's been a while since my last post. We were away on a short and kind of unexpected trip overseas. The tickets had to be booked, the bags had to be packed, some gifts had to be bought in a matter of just a few days... All of that didn't leave any time for me to finish the posts I was working on. Now we are back, back to our usual routine. And I am back to sewing and blogging of course. Even though I love travelling, it feels great to be back home!

This little thing that I made before we left, came in very handy on our trip. A flex frame pouch for "my best friend" Mr Handbag Hook. Yes! It's something a friend of mine gave me years and years ago knowing that I don't like putting my handbag on a floor when we are out and about. What a simple and marvellous invention it is!

Wednesday 9 July 2014

Unexpected Inspirations

Do you think it's possible to find an inspiration for sewing in a loaf of bread? Is there really anything in bread that can inspire you?

Thursday 3 July 2014

Take-Along Play Folder

Remember the Little Princess? Who was staying temporarily in the white basket? Well, she's got a new home now! It's a take-along fabric play folder - a perfect place for her to live in. She is very happy now and can't wait to get going on some adventures.

Friday 27 June 2014

Strawberry Summer Tote

Remember this strawberry print? Well, here is something else I made using this berry pretty cotton. As I promised, it's the last project that was inspired by this fabric. For now anyway.

Sunday 22 June 2014

Everything Gets Used

I had a few failed attempts while working on Kiss Lock Coin Purse Tutorial. I used different types of interfacing and kept adjusting the pattern until I was happy with the final shape. So as a result of this creative process, I ended up with three unfinished little purses that I could not bring myself to throw away or cut for scraps. I kept thinking what I could do with them and after some time there was an "A-ha!" moment. Turn them into cute little hand bags of course!

Wednesday 18 June 2014

Sweet Dreams, Little Princess

I am making something girly. A take along play set. I am not sure yet exactly how the final version will look like but one thing I know for sure, it will have this Little Princess in it.

Saturday 14 June 2014

Humpty Dumpty...

...sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. Sounds familiar? A while ago I bought a single fat quarter of this pretty fabric with nursery rhyme characters. I just liked the subtle colours and simple drawings on it. I wish I bought more... oh, not again.

Wednesday 11 June 2014

Simple Solutions

We had a very rainy weekend a few weeks ago. Grey and gloomy, cold and v-e-r-y slow. So I saw it as a great opportunity to reorganise the shelves and scraps in my teeny weeny sewing space.

Sunday 8 June 2014

Tutorial: Kiss Lock Coin Purse

Here is a step by step tutorial for a kiss lock coin purse that was on my To-Do List for such a long time and took me forever to write. I have to say that I was working on it back in March, I was half way through when I fractured my wrist and couldn't find an inspiration to get back to it until just now. But finally it's finished and I hope you find this tutorial useful.