fredag 30 september 2011

The friday Tutorial

Button bracelet

I have a large button collection and I try to use them in my creative work. Today I needed a bracelet to brighten up my work clothes so I made one from buttons.

You need wire, bent nose pliers and a flush cutter. …

….and buttons of course.

This is how you do it:
Measure your wrist, add a centimeter to your measurement and then cut a piece of wire in that length using the flush cutter. Bend one end of the wire into a hoop and the other end into a hook using the bent nose pliers. Wrap a thin piece of fabric around the wire to make it easier to attach the buttons. It also protects your skin from direct contact with the wire. I wet felted wool around mine but you can use any fabric you like.

Now for the fun part:
Start attaching buttons to the fabric using an ordinary sewing needle and tread. Place the buttons any way you like, add some pearls here and there if you want and maybe a pendant or other fun stuff you like to pimp your bracelet with. I used white buttons and pearls.

Wear it with pride!

Now I leave you for the weekend. Hope you have a creative one!

torsdag 29 september 2011

Not according to plan

Today was my day off. I had plans for this day. I was going to finish the FeltUnited project, take my camera for a walk in the woods in the beautiful autumn weather and if I still had time to spare I wanted to finish my granny square cowl too. Instead I woke up with the cold from hell! My head feels like it’s filled with cotton and is going to explode any minute and I am coughing and sneezing so badly.

I tried to do some felting anyway but every time I sneeze, which is about once every ten seconds, I send the locks of wool dancing to the floor and have to begin all over again. Now I am giving up and heading for the sofa. I sent my daughter to the shop for a serious amount of chocolate. An old romantic movie and some chocolate are bound to make me feel better.

Take care

onsdag 28 september 2011

Frantic felting

Yesterday evening it hit me big time, Saturday is October the 1: st, the We Felt United event and I wasn`t even started on my project yet. It was the same thing last year but then due to the fact that I didn’t know that such a thing existed until a few days before the event actually took place. This year everything would be so different, I would be so much more prepared… I even wrote it in my new years resolutions! It is not lack of ideas, oh no, it is lack of willpower. The better half of me ( the schoolmarm half) has been telling me for ages that I should get started but it’s like she is speaking klingon – I just don’t seem to understand what she is saying. I am so wasted!

After a bit of moaning I decided I had two options, quit the whole thing or get started. I opted for get started and I actually already had a sort of sketch in my head inspired by this book.

Since the event is worldwide I wanted to do something that was traditionally Swedish. The book is about old folklore grass crowns but what if you translated that into wool…..I could use locks of wool resembling grass ….I felt a deep surge of inspiration and hit the kitchen sink.

I needed two circular frames and decided to use wire that I covered with wool, felted in the sink and then gave a circular shape.  It turned out great and my head filled with ideas of all kind of stuff I could use the same technique for. I had to put them on hold though and get started on the “grass” which turned out to be both tedious and boring.

21 down and 39 to go...
I had made a quick calculation before I started that I needed about 50-60 felted “straws” and believe me, the only thing that kept me going was the thoughts on how I would pimp the finished crown with rowanberries, rose hips and scraps of metal…. I am not there yet….but I will keep you posted.

Take care

måndag 26 september 2011

Punk is still alive


I could try telling you that I worked very hard this weekend on an art installation called “the punk is still alive” but that would be a big nasty lie since it is me gluing the soles of my daughter’s flats…. Sometimes the weekends just come and go….

Take care

fredag 23 september 2011

The Friday Tutorial

Postcards with a twist stitch

I like to collect free postcards; you know the ones with a bit of commercial on them that you can pick for free in restaurants and shops. I collect them mostly because I like using them for mixed media, collage or just because their color, pattern or message appeals to me.

I like sending postcards too. I am a bit old fashioned I suppose but I think that there are too many emails and text mails in this world and way too little letters and cards. We get so used to receiving answers in an instant that we forget how lovely it is to sending something off and then have to long for the reply. I mean, how romantic is a love letter in your inbox compared to a white envelope in your letter box?

Today I wanted to send a postcard for a friend and decided to pimp one of my freebies by adding embroidery. I used the same method as my mother did when I was just a little kid and wanted to do a bit of sewing. I drew a cross-stitch pattern to the postcard, made tiny little holes with a needle and then made the cross-stitch following the pattern and the tiny holes.

It was dead easy and fun and it gave the card an extra dimension by adding some texture to it. The great thing about it is that you can use any card, add whatever pattern you want and how much or how little embroidery as you like too. Maybe just a tiny stitch here and there so that you hardly notice it or a big black moustache on a beautiful woman….the possibilities are endless.

Now I leave you for the weekend – hope you have a creative one!

torsdag 22 september 2011

Orange is the new black

I have written about my wardrobe before and the fact that it mostly consists of the happy color of black and how I promised myself that from now on I would add a spot of color to my life. Since then I have bought myself a green raincoat, made an orange dress and a bright blue shawl. I am also making a granny square cowl in bright colors that is coming along nicely…..

I have cravings ( but not yet courage) for a pair of  wool panty hose in very (extremely) bright orange with purple dots. I also want a pair of Doc Martens in red patent leather but since I bought a pair last year - in black of course I will have to settle for those. I could have colored shoe strings though….

Last week I was at my hairdresser and together we decided that it was high time to add touch of color to my hair too. So what color did a go for? Orange of course!

Nice eh? Even my teenage daughters where impressed – more with my sudden color courage I think than with the actual color!

Take care

onsdag 21 september 2011

A letter of importance

I finished  my embroidery a while ago but today I sent it off to the Embroideries Campaign joining their fight against female genital mutilation. Textile crafting has traditionally been seen as a domestic and almost exclusively female hobby or pastime. That’s why I think it’s brilliant use embroidery to fight this horrible abuse on women. As I threw the letter down the mail box I truly felt that this was a letter of importance. Or to be precise, its content was.

This embroidery is about empowerment, about taking a stand and making a statement.

About using embroidery in a subversive way!

If you want to make your own embroidery of a vulva and join the campaign you send it here:

Take care

måndag 19 september 2011

The Creative Manifesto

For me creativity is all about joy! The feeling I get inside when a fabric, yarn, tin can or color scheme gets my creativity going and I light up like a 100 watt bulb inside. The urge to get started at once and the happiness and contentment I feel when creating something with my own hands. You may think that you are not creative, arts & crafts teachers has a lot to answer for here, but it’s my firm belief that everyone can be creative and that everyone has a talent but for some this talent is hidden and yet to explore. By searching for the things that make you truly happy, the things you enjoy reading, watching, making or participate in you are most likely to stumble over that hidden talent of yours. But creativity is also about courage. You have to put trust in yourself and dare to follow where your creativity might take you.

So this weekend I decided that in the furure I would like to dedicate this blog to creativity, making a creative manifesto and through my posts I hope to inspire you to try out something creative of your own.

The Creative Manifesto
Try to do something creative everyday even if it’s just doodling while talking on the phone.

Be curious and open to try stuff outside your comfort zone you might like it! If you don’t like it you can always be joyful over the fact that you don’t have to do it again!

Enjoy the moment!

Making with your hands is empowering.

Surround yourself with people that boost your confidence and takes joy in your creations.

Surround yourself with objects that spark your imagination and gives fuel to you creativity. It might be books, fabric, color, yarn, thrash, buttons, paper, your stamp collection or whatever. It doesn’t matter what it is as long as it gets your heart beating and your mind spinning with ideas. Creativity & craft is what you make it!

Try to make a creative space, how ever tiny, where you can let yourself go.

Don’t discourage yourself by thinking that you haven’t got the time. The old Greeks might have said that that “No great thing is created suddenly” but that doesn’t necessarily mean that something created in seconds can’t be darn good!

Making handmade items allow you to turn your back on many of the mass-produced items you can find in the shopping malls. If you use recycled stuff you do the environment a favour too.

Allow yourself to make mistakes. The most fun part isn’t always a perfect result it is the laughs you had while getting there.

Look at what others create but only for inspiration and not for comparison. Don’t try to be like someone else, envy will only get you down.

Say yes to the adventure of creativity!

“Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.”
Mary Lou Cook

fredag 16 september 2011

The Friday tutorial

Creations in moss

Moss is a fantastic material for creating all kind of lovely things for the autumn. I very often use it for wreaths and flower arrangements but also to make bigger objects like teddy bears, a cat and a tiny armchair. When I make bigger stuff I drape the moss over wire netting almost like a piece of fabric. You can also drape it directly over other objects like an old chair for example.

The cat on the photo has a story of its own. I made it as a gift for my mum and while I made it I wept most of the time. I had lost one of my dear cat companions during the summer and missed him terribly. When I gave the moss cat to my mother she said "Oh , he looks just like Nasse" so without knowing it I think a put a bit of his soul into the moss creation. I have to confess that I weep a bit while writing this too....I still miss him so much.

I made a tutorial for how to make a Teddy Bear in moss a few years back. The technique for making other objects is the same. The only thing you need is moss, wire netting, wire and ordinary sewing tread.

Believe me, once you get the hang of it you want to make all kind of creations!

To follow the tutorial - read here

Hope you have a lovely and creative weekend

torsdag 15 september 2011

How do they do it?

All these fashion bloggers and the teenage pouting today’s outfit bloggers how on earth do they do it? Manage to capture themselves on film that is, without looking an complete and utter fool? My dress in the newly found orange fabric was done and I wanted to show it to you. I only meant to cut out the pieces yesterday evening but couldn’t stop once I was started so I ended up finishing the whole dress. It sounds far more ambitious than it was…It’s an A-line, 60: ies kind of pattern and dead easy to make. Anyway, this morning I wanted to take a photo of me wearing it.

I tried my daughter’s bedroom mirror.....


....then the hallway mirror


OK so I am centered. But where is my face?

Finally I gave up and asked my youngest daughter for help before we both rushed of to school and work.

Spot on!

Thanks Emma!

…..but I still wonder how they do it!

Take care

onsdag 14 september 2011

Eye candy

I bought this yarn for next to nothing at the Salvation Army and have kept it lying in a bowl on my work table ever since. It’s my eye candy! Color sparks my creativity. Yesterday I sat looking at the color explosion and before I knew what had happened I felt a strong urge to start making granny squares. I couldn’t quite remember how to do a granny square, crochet isn`t really my forte but when in need google. I found this great Swedish homepage with a very pedagogical tutorial.

I bet you can’t guess what I am making? Yep another shawl! But this time it’s not going to be a triangular one but a tube kind of thing. I think it’s called a cowl. I got the idea here.

As I was going through my yarn collection I also found a piece of fabric that I had forgotten I had (that happens to me a lot) so now I am going to make a dress too.

I think that will keep me busy the next couple of days.

Take care

tisdag 13 september 2011

Yep it’s yet another shawl

I love colors but when I open my wardrobe it mostly consists of the happy color of … I think it’s mostly due to the fact that I am a plus sized woman and was always told from an early age that black made you look slimmer. It also makes you look like you work in an undertaker business but I had to figure that one out for myself. It took awhile to do so. I felt secure in my black clothes and in the beginning color made me feel kind of vulnerable.

I decided to take the I will wear more color pledge and try to wear something colorful everyday. I haven’t thrown all my black clothes away though I just try to mix them with some color. Like a shawl! Since I am a compulsive shawl knitter it gives me lots and lots of opportunities to tell myself that I need to knit yet another one….

This is my latest, a bright blue with green crocheted border and tiny crocheted flowers in scarlet and orange. Knitted in a cotton and linen mix. Here I am wearing it with my new raincoat. The long sought after raincoat.

With colors like that I will be singing in the rain.

Take care

PS Are you interested in a colorful shawl of your own? Maybe I can knit one for you. Just drop me a line and we can discuss colors and a suitable prize tag.

måndag 12 september 2011

Let the sunshine in

I made a wreath from sunflowers and elder berries to hang over my dining room table. The black berries made the yellow even more yellow, like having the sun shining from your ceiling.

Take care

söndag 11 september 2011

It runs in the family

This weekend it was time for the annual family crayfish party. This is a tradition that runs 30 years back in my family and consists of silly games, silly hats, silly songs and a huge amount of crayfish and aquavit. you can read more about it here and see a lot more silly hats of mine here  .
We always start out with the games – dart, air gun and throwing tennis balls at a target. It’s the same games every year but the line-up varies. This year it was the old & young against the middle-aged or to be precise my daughters, grandma and grandpa in one team fighting hard against me, my husband, sister and brother in law. Cheating is not allowed but it is OK ( and expected ) to harass the other team.
The old & young won!

The old & young

Fighting spirit runs in the family too

After the games are finished we put on the silly hats and get started on the crayfish. Eating, singing and having fun all night long.


Beautiful girl but silly hat

When darkness fell I had a perfect opportunity to try out the outdoor chandelier I made this summer. It worked beautifully!

Here it is hanging indoors but is meant to hang outdoors.

The candles flickering in the night. So, so beautiful!

I fell asleep that evening filled with joy and gratitude over my family and thinking that life is good!   

Take care

fredag 9 september 2011

Thoughts from the sofa

I have been home sick these past few days and have had to put creativity on hold. I have mostly been lying on the sofa doing nothing. As I was lying there I started to think about creative things. Not so much in terms of “how about you get out of that sofa and start doing something” as to which course I would like my creativity to take and how I could best make time in a busy schedule for doing so.

The exhibition I had last summer taught me that I am not an “exhibition kind of gal”. It is important for me that my creative doings have a goal but I much rather create something for someone than create it for showing it at an exhibition. Or selling the stuff. I really suck at selling! Coming to terms with that felt very nice and almost relieving so that is one thing I know for sure that I won’t be pursuing any time soon.

After dozing of for a while I started thinking about creative stuff again and remembered my list of New Year resolutions. I don’t usually give any resolutions but did this year and I remembered that I had them written down somewhere. I thought it would be fun to see how far I had gotten on the list but had to search for quite a while before I dug it out from under a pile of paper....says something about how often I have been looking at it eh?

OK here goes

Not buy any new yarn - ooops! I think I broke that one already at the january sales..

Focus on making creative stuff using recycled materials now that’s better. I have done alot of that this summer! Way to go Jeanette

Embellish my blue velvet “Mao” jacket with some free embroidery- oh I had forgotten about that one! What a great idea now that me and my friends creative evenings starts again in the autumn. I was wondering what my new autumn project would be. Tadah, problem solved!

Learn how to knit socks – well only the heel actually. I know the rest - done! My dear friend Anna taught me. But the socks ain`t finished yet.....Better do that before the MAO jacket. Boooring! Hm, this list isn`t all that fun anymore.

Do at least one wood carving project using my knifes - I started on that only a few weeks ago. Great fun. Will definitely do some more! Give the chain saw a try, making a statue kind of thing - nope. Haven`t done that yet. But hope to in the autumn..... Be better prepared for FeltUnited in october - yikes! That is only in a couple of weeks time...This has to be my first priority....Boy am I lucky that I found that list!

Feeling tired again. Think I have to take another nap. Hopefully I feel better tomorrow. Then I really must start on the felting project. Take care

måndag 5 september 2011

Criminal behavior

Yesterdays walk in the gardens at Katrinetorp was a feast for the eye. All the flowers were in their most vibrant colors celebrating the last days of summer before the long gray period that are soon waiting ahead. I walked around for hours forgetting the time completely surrendering to the beauty of it all.

As I was walking among the flowers the capsules and seed-cases caught my eye and I am ashamed to say this but that’s not the only thing they did. Catching my eye that is. By some mysterious urge out of my control my hand starting to reach out picking a capsule here and a seed-case there and letting them disappear down my pockets, carefully looking over my shoulder to see if I was noticed by anyone.

In the evening as I was sitting at my work table carefully sorting the seeds and putting them in tiny little envelopes with name and date in neat letters I said to myself “OMG, I am a seed stealing criminal!” Is that a punishable offence? Will I have two years of hard labor in a quarry with not a flower in sight? Together with other convicts gone astray by their love of flowers and a need to see if they could cultivate them from seeds themselves… Who ever though that love of flowers could escalate to a criminal behavior. Not me, that’s for sure!

So a word of warning to all you flower lovers out there before you know it the capsule picking bug can hit you – big time!

Take care