Tea shelf

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We needed an additional shelf in the kitchen to store tea and cereals for easy access. The best husband decided to build it himself since the available space was too small to fit a shelf from the shelf, so to speak.

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Why painting the shelf in white or a single color? Why not turning this into a colorful family effort?

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Well, that is what we ended up with: a colorful tea-shelf with a drogon…

2015.02.08.Winter.033s… flowers…

2015.02.08.Winter.035s… butterfly, snail and elephant ….

2015.02.08.Winter.036s… bird…

2015.02.08.Winter.029s… and a sleeping bear.

This is a contribution to Creadienstag.

This post first appeared on tamtamtiger.wordpress.com.

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Mouse

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I made a felt mouse. Inspired by the amazing felt animals at KleineViehcher and encouraged by the felting my son does at school, I tried my hands at a ball of wool and a felting needle. Out came this little fellow.

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The most difficult part was the tail. It is still a bit heavy for the little mouse. I guess mousy needs some friends and I more chances to practice.

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I will send this mousy now to say ‘Hi!’ at Creadienstag.

This post first appeared at tamtamtiger.wordpress.com.

Lace shawl

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Yeah! Finally! After almost two years of knitting I finished this lace shawl. I gave it as a gift to my mom. It was my first attempt at knitting lace. Thanks to the wealth of online tutorials I learned a few new stitches – I am usually a somewhat “wild” knitter and improvise usually a lot along the way. This was one rare occasion where I had to follow a detailed pattern – and I enjoyed it!

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What did not work out well for me was the edge of the shawl. It was to tight compared to the pattern and I should have knitted it more loose.

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And when finishing the shawl I overdid it there and finished it too loose. So the whole think is a bit out of shape and not the perfect triangle. But hey, it keeps my mom warm and toasty!

Yarn:  A lovely wool-silk-mohair mix (I can’t find the paper band anymore).

Needles: 3.5 mm

Pattern: Wiebkes Lieblingstuch but I did not add the border.

Would I do it again? I want to learn more lace to next time I will be another pattern.

This is a contribution to Creadienstag.

This post first appeared on tamtamtiger.wordpress.com.

School

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Much has happened during the past year: we welcomed a new baby, we moved to a new city, we changed jobs and our oldest started school. I am still adjusting to all while trying to keep up with everyday life.  Packing boxes and managing four men (two of which are still in diapers) did not leave much time to craft or post about it. But a few things I did make and with a new computer at hand I can finally present them here.

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Among the few things I did make were things for our oldest who started school this year. We enrolled our son into Waldorf-school for which he needed some special things. It feels good that he can take something with him to school which I made for him.

A crayon pouch roll for Stockmar wax crayons and blocks:

  • You’ll need: cut two pieces of cotton fabric ca. 30×40 cm, a piece of woven ribbon ca. 70 cm length.
  • Sew the two pieces of cotton fabric right-on-right-side, leaving a small opening. Turn it inside out.
  • Fold the ribbon into half. Pin the closed end into the opening of the fabric. Close the opening with a top stitch close to the edge.
  • Top stitch close to the edge all around.
  • Fold in the two long sides about 5 cm and iron into place.
  • To make the little pouched for the blocks and crayons measure alternating 3.5 cm (for the blocks) and 2.5 cm (for the crayons) and mark the places with pins. Sew along the markings and secure the edges well.
  • To be able to get out the blocks more easily I added a seam along the edge in a distance about 1.5 cm from the edge.

Calculation stones:

This was a wonderful family project. We went into the forest to collect a dry branch from a beech tree and cut off 24 slices. We sanded the pieces and rubbed them with olive oil. To hold them I made a small cotton bag. I like to use French seams in bags, but I didn’t find a better way to male opening for a draw-string other than attaching an extra piece of fabric for the tunnel. I applied some numbers for fun. This wooden pieces are used in school to teach the first steps arithmetic.

Pouch for a  flute:

The third piece was a pouch for his flute. In Waldorf-school all children start to play recorder in first grade. It is a special pentatonic wooden recorder which apparently is easier to play than a normal recorder because it has less holes.  The pouch is padded with some thick cotton molleton.

Still missing is a bag for his needlework…..

This post first appeared first on tamtamtiger.wordpress.com and is a contribution to Creadienstag.

baby boshi

 

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I wanted to make a boshi for some time now. Boshi (Japanese: hat) is a recent trend in Germany and stands for handmade (mainly crocheted) hats. The trend was started by two students and now you can see even big rough guys sitting quietly with a crochet hook.

Our newest family member was in acute need of a hat, so I had an excuse to try my hands on making a boshi. During our postpartum days, when I couldn’t do much more than lying in bed and cuddling with the new baby, this was a very welcome occupation.

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Here is my version of a baby boshi (head circumference ca. 34 cm):

Yarn: Debbie Bliss 50% cotton, 50% merino wool; crochet hook: 4mm

Start with 5 chain stitches, close them to a loop with a slip stitch. Into this loop make 8 half double stitches. In the next round double each stitch (16 half double stitches), and in the next round double them again (32 half double stitches). Then double every fifth stitch until you reach the desired circumference minus one cm (56 stitches). Continue with double half stitches until the you reach the desired hight of the hat. Finish with one round of double stitches.

For the band I used a contrast color and, using chain stitches, made one long chain, which I wove into the double stitches of the back half of the hat. I made a second short chain with small loops on either side which I wove through the double stitches of the front half of the hat. The long ends of the long chain I thread through the loops of the short chain. This allows to adjust the width of the hat a little bit when binding the hat.

This is my contribution to Creadienstag and Made4Boys.

This post appeared first on tamtamtiger.wordpress.com.

Turnbeutel

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I just don’t know any proper translation of the German word Turnbeutel. Does “gymnastic bag” capture it? Or “sports bag”? Anyway, our older son started school this month and needed a bag for his gymnastic shoes, labeled with name and proper to hang.

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So I got this nice fabric at the local fabric store, cut out a piece big enough to hold the shoes, labeled it with a piece of my printing experiments, and closed it with French seams. What I couldn’t figure out is how to do the top seam such that I can pull though a cord, with those French seams in place. So I decided to add an extra stripe of fabric to the top of the bag. For this I cut out two pieces, each 10 cm wide and the length equal to the width of the bag + seam allowance. I joined the two pieces at the narrow ends, but only about 2.5 cm at the edges such that there is an opening in the middle. I then fixed the seam allowance to either side on the seam and opening, folded the stripe (now a loop) in half along the  length and attached it to the top of the bag. I then pulled two cords though the openings on both sides. The cord I made from leftover yarn from my socks.

Pattern: Self-drafted.

Fabric: “Zoo” from Westfalenstoffe, bought at a local fabric store.

This is my contrition to Creadienstag.

Apron and name tags

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The summer is over and we are adjusting back to normality. My older son turned six last week and will start preschool tomorrow. I am still worried whether I made the right decision to put him into preschool instead of first grade, but I guess only time will tell If it was right or wrong.

For preschool my son needed an apron, because they will paint and bake and cook a lot there. So I bought some water repellent cotton (the fabric is usually meant to be used as table cloths) and lots of bias binding. I decided to bind the apron in the neck because I feel that the loop around the neck is always too long,  but it still needs to go over the head easily.

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Also, because everything for preschool needs to be labeled, I carved a name stamp from an eraser and used textile paint to print some name tags on some scrap pieces of cotton fabric. The inspiration for carving stamps I got from Geninne’s wonderful Art Blog, and the idea to stamp name tags for school items I was inspired by Masha-macht-mit.

Pattern: I took the pattern from a child’s apron we have at home.  I just extended the top and bottom a bit to make it longer.

Fabric: Water repellent fabric from a local fabric store and bias binding.

Stamp carving: I used an eraser from Staedtler, a kitchen knife and fabric paint.

This is my contribution to Creadienstag and Made4BOYS!

Amish Puzzle Ball

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When I saw this ball on aenni’s wonderful blog recently, I immediately new I had to try to make one. Especially since I am a mathematically trained person with a love for all things geometrical I had to have one of those little geometrical wonders in my own hands. And so I decided to make one for my cousin’s new baby girl using a soft cotton from my stash. I followed aenie’s link to a very good video tutorial of this crochet pattern by Dedri Uys (oh, and you should see Dedri’s amanis!). Originally, this ball is made by the Amish using scraps of fabric. But I really like the crochet version because it is so nice to grab – perfect for little hands. I did not use different colors for the different parts as suggested by the pattern, partly because my stash is very limited on soft cotton yarn (and I wanted to start immediately!), and mainly because I really like the combination of purple and orange shades of this ball of cotton I had. I think the changing colors of the yarn did produce some soft defining lines after all and I really like how it all came together in the end.

I sent the ball to my cousin wrapped into packaging paper which I found in my mom’s basement and which we decorated using our favorite printing technique. This made it a hand-made, stash-busting, up-cycled gift from heart.

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Pattern: Amish puzzle ball, following this video tutorial.

Yarn: 100% cotton from my stash, bought a few years ago at a nice yarn store in Montclaire, NJ.

Needles: crochet hook 3.5 mm

Filling: 100% wool (healing wool)

Would I do it again? Oh yes! The only downside of the pattern is that one has to constantly attentively count…  Next time I will not turn the little hats inside out.

This is my contribution to Creadienstag!

This blog-post first appeared on tamtamtiger.wordpress.com.

Potato stamps

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Oh, this is so much fun! My boy wanted to do some printing and tried to make a stamp from wood and foam, but it didn’t really work out. Then I remembered the potato stamps from my childhood and we carved a few potatoes. Even Papa joined in and we happily stamped away with our potatoes and watercolors…. The stamped paper we used as gift wrapping paper.

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The advantage of using potatoes is that the material is relatively cheap and we can just compost the not so nice ones. However, the disadvantage of potato stamps is that we have to toss all your stamps at the end of the day, also the ones we would like to keep. So, I guess, next time we will try to make real stamps!

This is my contribution to Creadienstag!