Thursday, June 30, 2011

My shower buddy.

How I made my shower buddy.

I have been asked to make a post showing how I made my shower buddy, and here it is.
First of all I will recommend you to try pure Tunesian crocheting if you haven't done it before because it will be easier to understand the tecknique then.

I used 21 stitches for my buddy and the pattern need a amount of stitches dividable by 2 + 1.

In my pictures here I've used 11 stitches.

Row 1.
Chain 11.

Row 2.
Pick up 1 stitch in each chain, starting in second from hook.( that should give you 11 stitches on your hook)

Row 3.
Bring in new colour by chain 1 in first stitch.( this count as the first loop)
yarn over hook and draw through two loops (one of each colour) then chain 3 yarn over hook and draw through 2 loops -twice, chain 3 - repeat across.

In the photo below you can see the red "bars" 2 and 2 in pairs. These bars are going to be stitches in next row.

Row 4.
Now it's time to pick up stitches again. (same colour) Always start picking in second bar from hook. Be sure to work behind the 3 chain loops. Work across and count your stitches ( always count) you should have 11 stitches on hook.

Row 5.
Bring in first colour and chain 3. Yarn over hook and draw through 2 loops twice. Chain 3... go on across.

Row 6.
Pick up stitches again starting in second bar from hook.
Repeat row 3 to 6 untill you have the lenght you need.

You are actually crocheting two rows with each colour and always be aware that the "nubs" are made in between the nubs in the former row.

Well, Viki this was made especially for you. I hope you do understand this, if not feel free to ask.

Good luck to all of you.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A memory spread in my journal.

A good old friend of mine was visiting.

She was visiting some days or perhaps a week ago. We had some nice hours together. She is going to artschool in August and we talked a lot about that.
I'm quite exited for her and look forward to follow her development. This spread I made after her visit to be sure to remember our time together.
Not that great but important to me.

We've had this thunderstorm last 24 hours and it's going to continue today as well. I really don't like it but can't do anything about it. Now I'm off to my hairdresser.
Wish you all the best.

Monday, June 27, 2011

I'm still in there.

I have really surprised myself.

I'm quite proud to be able to tell you that I'm still working on my slow job. Now I'm more than half way through. I have to admit though that I'm sometimes doing just a couple of rows a day. But it is growing and that's the most important thing for me.
It's going to be my new shower buddy. It's going to schrub my back and if I have the currage I'll make one for my hand too to schrub the rest of me.
I use a hard linen yarn and with all the "nubs" I think it will be perfect for my use.
As I said in an earlier post I could probably have baught it but it's quite nice to have made it, especially since it's such a slow job.

Otherwise I'm sewing. Today I had to get out to buy me a new black pen. I stopped by at a yarnoutlet but left without buying anything. Yaaaay.

What have you been up to lately?
Wish you all the best.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Welcome to Utopia.

Hellooo friends.

I've been rather busy lately. My Monday sewing has become a habit and I've been sewing most of the week.
I'm seriously concidering to open my own webshop but I can't decide wether I believe in it or not. Anyone out there that have experience to share?
I'm concidering the Norwegian Epla. As far as I can see many of the shops don't have many sales, but then again it's easy to spot the pros.
Well I'll have to think it over once again. I have been making some leather purses (coin purses) and I actually sold one the other day. Today I've done some real fun recyceling. I've made some purses out of milkcartons, just to see if I could do it. And then to see if I could improve the result. That's always the pattern, can I and then can I do it easier.
Well I just wanted to pop in and say hello. I'll show you a spread I made some days ago. I just couldn't let that image pass. It's Utopia for sure.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wether I'm an artist ?

Are you an artist?

Lately I've been reading a lot around in blogland about calling oneself an artist or not.
Does it really matter?

Personally I prefer to be me, Laila, and that's enough. I don't claim to be an artist just as much as I don't claim the oposite either. I'm doing what I'm doing that's all.
The most important thing is that what I'm doing I'm doing it for me. If anyone else appreciate what I'm doing it's nice and can lead to even more inspiration but it's all about what's inside oneself. Isn't it?

If I'm really satisfied with something I've done, does another opinion ruin my satisfaction? Does another opinion confirm that I'm not an artist? I don't think so.
What are the boundaries for calling something art? Who can decide that this is art and that is not?

I'll never forget something that happened when my son was 4-5 years old. He often brought home stuff, from kindergarden, that he had made there. Very often I framed his drawings and hung them on a wall to show him appreciation for what he had done.
More than one person noticed one of his drawings and asked me which artist that had made it. Once I told them, the interest was gone. That told me that it isn't always the artwork itself but the person that counts.

At the bottomline it's the artwork that is important, not wether the person is called an artist. Don't you agree?
I'm well aware of the facts that many people won't agree to this and that's fine with me. I would like to hear your opinions though.

This issue inspired me to make this spread as a comment.

Wish you all the best and have a creative day.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A spread in my journal.

Isn't it strange how one can feel a bit agressive first thing in the morning. Luckily a cup of coffee does help.
Sandra had not been working in her journal since she left three weeks ago. She is fully occupied with school and friends, besides it's a bit more easy here where all the supplies are at hers disposal. We did a bit of journaling this weekend too.
I have this birdbook for children so Sandra has been registrating every bird that flew in our garden as well this weekend.
Nice way to get her to know the differens of the different birds. Today she was very eager to go home because her mother had promised her a gift when she returned.
A little bird told me that she was going to get her own guitar, which will make her more than happy. She love to sing and music in general. A guitar was a very wise choice I believe.Hopefully she will learn to play it.

Wish you all the best.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Say hello to my new modelling girl.

Unfortuneatly the new skirt was too small for Sandra.

She loved the skirt and would be more than happy to use it but it was too small to her. It looked like it was sprayed on her so no way it could be hers.
I'll give it to one of the other girls in the family.

The "outfit" Sandra is showing in the photo below was one that I made her a couple of years ago. We were going to Spain and I made this for her to wear while going to and from beach, on top of her bathingsuit/bikini. She did and got a whole lot of attention because of it.

It's a bit small to her now but I think she can use it for that purpose this season too.
Can you see how she loves it in front of my camera?

Here you can see a closeup of the "skirt"
It's closed by buttons at one side. The top is small too but on top of her bathingsuit it's good enough one more season.

I'll have to vake her up now, it's breakfast time.
Have a joyful day everyone.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Do you often do slow crafts?

Boy, have I started a slooooooow job.

My endurance muscle really get to stretch these days. I've started to work on a really slow project. Most of all I wanted to throw it away yesterday but decided to stay in there and finish it.(I'm not good doing slow things)
How do you tackle very slow progressing project?

I'm doing this because of a strong desire to make something by my own hands and because of the great satisfaction to actually have done it. I'm sure it would have taken me less than 10 seconds to buy it and it would probably have been less expensive too.
But, most of the time it is relaxing, my thoughts flowing almost like a meditation. Then suddenly for a few seconds I can feel it all the way to my fingertips that I'm balanceing very close to the edge of sanety.(at least it feels that way) Then I have to laugh and relax again.
I have improved by age but still I'm most of a "quick doer". The fun part is that I'm never as satisfied as when I've finished a slooow job.
How do you do, never start such a project, most of all want to throw it away or do you really love it that way?
I'll give you a little sneak peak of what I'm doing. When finished or if I in a weak moment decide to throw it away I'll tell you what it was ment to be.

This is Tunesian crocheting +

I have in fact started another project too just to have a little variation. (to avoid insanety that is...hehehe) And, as if that wasn't enough I bought myself 6 new books to read yesterday. Filling up my summer ehh...?

Today I'm going to follow my Aunt to hospital. She had the eyemembrane removed and replaced from one of her eyes Wedensday and is going in for a control today. Coming Wedensday she will get the operation repeated on the other eye. When I spoke to her yesterday she was very pleased and said: you know there are so many nice things in plastic these days. She really was in a good mood. She has this "old peoples" weak eyes. And best of all, no pains involved.

This weekend is for Sandra again and I'm so exited to see if she has made some more spreads in her journal. I'll let you know, if she allows me to.

Have a lovely weekend everyone.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A small handmade gift.

What to give to people that have all they need?

I'm always looking for things to make that can be given as small gifts. Now I will share with you some ideas I've found and that is not too complicated to make.
I assume that people all over the world know what to find behind a door with a heart on it.Today I'll show you some hearts that I've made for that purpose. Originally the idea came from a Norwegian craft magazine many years ago.

This is how it looks when done.

I started to draw my heart onto the felt which has glue on one side and then ironed it to the background fabric. I was planning to use velvet but couldn't find that in my piles. (uha)

Cut it out and turn the edges at the back and fasten them. Use an invisible thread. I used the red one just to show you how to.

Now it's time to mark the outlines of what's going to be ones embroidery. As you see I prefer to use a well used bar of soap. (anyone else that still uses bars?) The more they are used the thinner the edges and then they are easy to draw with. The reason I use soap instead of regulare tailor chalk is that the soap don't leave any marks while the chalk does.
I do BTW use to smoothen some of my threads before handsewing and then iron them before use. That prevent the thread from twisting. You can see the marks on my bar. Not the embroidery threads though.

And then the fun begins. Use what colours and stitches you want. On this I used two needles, one for the embroidery thread and one to fasten that thread.

This is how it looked at the back. I don't mind at all how it looks there because I'm going to cover it up.

Time for the shapeform again. Draw, cut and fasten to the heart. Last thing to do is to make the small loope. And then you have made yourself a small or bigger looheart.

The red heart is made slightly different. I didn't use the stiff felt in it. Just some acrylics and then I zig-zaged it together. I dont feel that it's finished, looks a bit dull to me but I'll see.

Well that's how we can make a handmade gift and be able to adjust the colours to the recievers taste. ENJOY!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

This type of crafting is typical for Jæren.

Jæren is the part of Norway in which I live.

I have often wanted that there should have been more crafting types related to my particular part of the country. Sadly there are very few things and that is a result of the mild winters.
The farmers in Jæren could work outdoors even during winter and that's partly the reason why we don't have much traditional crafting from around here.

There are a couple of things though that are known as typical from Jæren. One thing known all over Norway is the Jærstol. It's a chair and it's still beeing produced. One other thing is slippers made of rush/reed, called sivsko or sævsko as we pronounce it.

Jærstolen the chair.

Originally the seat and back was made of rush/reed. Today they use a kind of grass imported from Denmark. In the photo below you can see an old and a new one. The old one don't have the originale seat and back.
The new one without arms are one of my kitchen chairs.

The slippers- sævskoene.

Many many years ago I learnt the tecnique, how to make these shoes. They are very warm to wear. I made a pair for myself but sadly the rush/reed (I don't know which word to use) was not of a high quality. That depends on the weather the weeks before harvesting the rush/reed. June is the month for harvesting and then the rush/reed have to lay stright out and dry properly. When it is going to be used one have to let it soak in water so it becomes flexible again. Today I don't have the equipment but I could probably buy it. The shoes in the photos below are made by my mom. Each of her grandchildren were allowed to use them as long as they fitted. Mom gave them to me because they sort of fell apart. That's why I have sewed some leather on the "back" as you can see.

I think that children between 2 and 4 years could use these so they are very small.
Where else in the world do these items exist?

BTW, when I wrote my post yesterday I was wondering if there is a word describing grandmother/father that at the same time tells which side of the family they represent. We have such kind of words in Norway and I think there must be in english too. Anyone??

Monday, June 13, 2011

Where I'm from.

I am from the large kitchen table, from Møllers Tran and a slice of bread with butter and sugar on top of it.
I am from the house with the RED entrance floor, in the middle of nature with the mountain behind and the forest and ocean in front and from early summer mornings at the porch slowly awaken to the beautiful song of birds.
I am from the rowan trees warped by the wind, early spring primroses, humming humblebees and the beautiful white birch, the foxgloves and a slow running creek.

I am from Gundersens and Nedrebøs from grandma Lava and Ingeborg who both was strong, brave, tender and loving, wifes, mothers and grandmothers.
I am from a less growing and more educated family, from a change in time and life.
I am from the observers and the crafters.
I am from a not religious family who strongly care for life before death, who care for other people, for nature and for ourselves.
I am from farmers, fishermen and entrepreneurs. From a little quiet place in the countryside. From the cream-cake loving and meat eating people.
I am from the mom who couldn't get a plane ticket and therefore hired a taxi to drive her home,( 600 kilometers) and who paid "one arm and two legs" for that trip, and together with her I've spent hours laughing at that story, and from grandpa that each morning greeted me with a large glas filled with 50/50 milk and cream and a huge lollipop.("that kid is so skinny we'll have to do something")
I am from a long line of ancestors many of them with strong and exiting storys, I'm searching the storys and will write them down for coming generations.
That's where I'm from.
Where are you from? Template here.

This was fun doing, I've spent several hours thinking back to my childhood. A lot of memories came foreward. Give it a try.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Quick done.

Two of my ongoing projects are done.

It was quick done to finish off two of my projects. The first one became a two sided cushion. This is all about using stuff that I already have in my stash and that's why my cushion have two different sides.
When the crocheting was done(the squares) I felt I needed some more and added a border of white. I started with a bright red border(as in the cushion it self)but that didn't look good. When I added the white one I felt some light were added to the final result. I'm quite happy with this one and I think I'll give it to my husband to rest his head on. Usually he needs to rest his head after work so this will be his for that purpose.

This was planned to be a cushion too.

When I first started this I thought of making a cushion. When I sewed it together yesterday I saw that NO WAY is this going to be a cushion. But wouldn't it be nice as a skirt to one of the small girls in the family? It's crocheted in cottonyarn so it will be easy to wash. I'll give Sandra the possibility to choose first. She is so old now that it is possible she won't use it. I'll ask her.
I promise a photo of her wearing it if she accept.

That's all for now, I'm headed to enjoy some sunshine.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Time to finish a couple of things.

Yesterday I did some tidying in my yarnbox.

Earlier this year I decided to not buy any new stuff before I had used a big lot of what I already have. During my job yesterday I came across these things and decided they need to be finished. So, my weekend will be spent doing excactly that. Perhaps I'll come out with some nice gifts. Who knows.

How about you, do you have any half finished things lying around or are you all the clever type that finishes off every project you start?

I do enjoy seeing my piles decrease though and my yarnbox is much slimmer now than some months ago. Yayyyyyy!!!!
And, I'm feeling so clever to stand by my aims.(he he he)
The weather is nice too so perhaps I will sit outside with my work.
I wish you all a nice and relaxing weekend.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Some more journalpages.

I painted over some text.

Although this is my learning journal I chose to paint over some text that just ruined the page. I'm still not sure if that was the best thing to do but it was so irritating that I couldn't resist.
I'll definitly remember this issue so I think it was ok to paint over it.


It's nearly midsummer and we still have cold weather. Every day I read of people complaining because it's too hot, if we could mix we could all be happy. As you see this page is about summer and spotlighting all the good stuff about it.

The other page just happened, but the stamp gave me the idea. I have some letters from back then.( 1926-1929) A Norwegian girl that lived in Chicago and worked as maid for a couple there. She talks about how everything was in a hurry in The US compared to back home. So many years ago and the same issue was discussed as is today. I think she would have been overwhlmed if she was alive today.

And that led me to this page. My husband is a collector and he has almost every Norwegian stamp made. They are so beautiful. Pure art.
In this page there are only old ones exept one.

The last page was made because I needed to try that very old paper and feel if I could use it. Just an experiment.

Wish you all the best.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Me and my sewingmachine.

Just a little tablecloth.

I came across a blog called Spirit Cloth and was so inspired that I late one evening sat down by my sewingmachine and made a test sampler. The next day (in daylight) I liked what I saw and decided to make some more. If I at that point had known that this should end up as a little tablecloth I would have made it on one piece of fabric. But I didn't. I thought of making a pillowcase but then again everything I test seem to end up as pillowcases. Why not a tablecloth I thought.

When I should photograph this I had to lay it on the floor and there was this mirror near by. This weekend I had to help someone to adjust the lenght of a galadress, that's why the mirror was placed there.
Well, when I noticed it I saw that my cloth could have been nice if I dubbled the lenght too.

Today it's raining here and they forecast rain the whole week. Just as I started to get used to summer temperatures.
Wish you all the best and I hope you have better weather than we have right now.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

I've had some lovely days.

Come join me for a bike ride.

My very good childhood friend has been visiting home this weekend and we have had our daily bikerides each morning. It's very nice to meet, talk and share a bike trip early mornings. Mostly sunshine, birds singing and good friends sharing moments.

This is my way out of town.

Ten minutes trip and this is my view.

I grew up very close to this mountain.

And, there she is. From here we ride together.

We had to stop many times to enjoy the views. Here are our bikes.

My friend, EM, insisted on photographing me so here I am.

This is a very nice place to pass on our way. Almost like a fairytale.

And a mom and her ducklings showed up this morning too.

A beautiful view from one of our rests.

This shows where we are returning into town.

Stright ahead this is the view.

Hope you have enjoyed the trip. In four weeks time she will be back and hopefully we get another possibillity to meet and bike together.

Friday, June 3, 2011

I couldn't help reacting.

Adds get me to react.

I couldn't help myself yesterday. All those fantastic products that are going to keep us young forever. Every fifth day ( at least it feels that way) there are a new product and this one is far better than the former ones. It goes for skin, all round beauty, hair, teeth and the Lord knows what.
I can remember when my son was a little boy he asked me all the time why we didn't buy this and that stuff because as he said: it works they said so.(tv) Of course I told him what I ment and today he react just like me.
How do you react to these things?

By the way, "Seljords-ormen" is the Norwegian answer to Scotlands "Nessie" in Loch Ness.

Today we have summer here so I,ve been out doing things for a while.
Wish you all the best.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Journaling, I'm hooked.

Blogger problems

Let me say that I've had and have some problems with blogger lately. It's a known issue and they are working to fix it. I hope it will be fixed in a hurry. Amongst other things it's impossible to leave comments in certain blogs and that irritates me a whole lot.

Just something I made.

This spread has learnt me a whole lot. Left side I made a background that came out so well that I'll just have to keep it as it is.
What did I do? I did a little, had lots of luck and got some great new ideas.
The right side was at the beginning something near plain orange. I mixed my own black and stamped the circles. (that black is just so soft) Then I wanted to try my crayons and see which of them that would leave some visible colour against this background. Red/dark pinks was the best. I tried a bit collage but still felt something missing. The black "stripes" made it, and I'm pleased.

This journaling thing has been a joyable journey for me and it's fun to look back and remember the scary feelings when I first started. I had absolutely no experience with this kind of thing. I do wonder where it will take me. I'm learning new things all the way or perhaps it's more correct to say experiencing new things.
I love it when my pages are unused and I can start using all these lovely colours. That's so inspiring, just to look at all the colours make me smile.

No doubt I get a lot of inspiration from all of you too and I'm thankful for that, but I still feel it's most exiting to learn by doing and make my own experiences. Of course I have a long way to go but it doesn't bother me as long as it's so joyful. To be able to create my own unique backgrounds/expression is far more satisfying than to copy others.

On the photo below you see my background in a close up. Just to show you the layers. This was a page with several photos in it before I painted my gesso on. This time I used just a thin layer of gesso. I used white and a little brown acrylic paint over the dried gesso. On top of the acrylics I used green( a couple of shades) crayons and that's it. The originale photos are visible through the layers and give this creation a whole different kind of depht. That tells me to try some dark squares on a white page before anything else to kind of build a "body". All of you probably knew all of this before but it's interesting to me to learn it by doing.

Wish you all the best.