Tuesday, 31 July 2012

More Paper

The project I showed off yesterday was only one of quite a few different paper craft projects that I did over the weekend. I was clearly in a papery mood rather than a yarny mood!

As well as yesterday's Iron Man, I found another cute template on Gus Santome's site and made this little Darth Vader. The best part, you can take his helmet off, to reveal a grumpy Anakin underneath *laughs*

I was also in a bit of a doodling mood, so I created a couple of pieces of artwork on pages from an old book (not a valuable antique of course!)

"Suck The Marrow" is my family motto. It comes from the film Dead Poet's Society and is essentially an extension of Carpe Diem, urging you to really make the most out of life, experiences and opportunities. It's a sentiment I keep in mind when I get the chance to do something new, so I thought a framed reminder would be good *smiles*

As I enjoyed making that so much, I took another piece of the paper and doodled this little guy:

I'm very into doodling robots at the moment *laughs* The backing paper was some plain, pearly gold that I decided needed texture. I just embossed lots of straight and wavy lines on it and I think it came out really well.

I love the robot, I think the black and gold pen really works on the aged paper:

It was kinda tough, using book pages, as I have an aversion to destroying books in any way. But it worked so well that I'm glad I did.

It makes me laugh that I doodled and wrote on pages from a book entitled "Manners and Tone of Good Society" though *grins*

Monday, 30 July 2012

Paper Punk

I don't know if I've mentioned before, but I'm a huge fan of the blog Epbot. Recently Jen posted a DIY Shadowbox tutorial to display a paper figure. I really liked it, so I decided to have a go myself...

Using a template from Gus Santome, I made a little Iron Man figure (his site has some seriously cute paper templates, I made another which I'll show you tomorrow).

And then I set to work on creating a little display. Rather foolishly, I didn't take any in progress pictures at all - probably because I was having so much fun making that I forgot to document *laughs* So instead I'll give you a tour of the finished product ;)

Presenting my little steampunk(ish) Iron Man display *grins*

After attaching a little metal corner piece to his head, I decided that the box needed to match, so I customised in lots of different ways. First I sprayed a plain cream box with copper paint, then used a black ink pad to give it some more depth:

The texture on the box really helped, I think.

The background isn't too easy to see, but I stuck in some gears and some circles cut from antique book paper:

The gears are also replicated on the front of the box, as shown in the first picture. I decided the front needed something more, so I added a line of "rivets" (stick on pearls that I stained with copper ink)

I carried on the rivet theme onto Iron Man's chest, to tie him in a bit better! I followed Jen's lead and added some flames to the front of the box (I know Iron Man doesn't really have reddish coloured flames, but they fitted better into my colour scheme *laughs*)

I coloured the tops of the flames with copper, and I used spacers between them to stagger the depth.

Overall, I totally love how this came out. It took ages, but I think it's worth it *grins*

Saturday, 28 July 2012

To Dye For...

So, as I mentioned yesterday, boyfriend had a go at dyeing yarn *grins* He'd been quite impressed with my attempt  some time ago, and had suggested he might find it fun to have a go. So I bought undyed yarn at Knit Nation and ordered some more Kool Aid. We agreed that he could dye the yarn for my use, being somewhat reluctant to venture into the land of crazy coloured socks himself. Works for me ;)

We assembled our supplies:

I decided, having reviewed my sock yarn stash, that I was lacking in the green department, so we went with blue, green and yellow Kool Aid. I did order a purple one as well, in case a blue/purple combo might work, but we didn't use that in the end.

Boyfriend looked beautifully fetching in yellow rubber gloves and my cowprint apron *laughs* However, and I'm sorry to disappoint, to save his blushes there will be no photographic evidence of this. He did look cute though, especially while he was concentrating on dipping the yarn into different colours and being quite specific about what he wanted next ;)

Dyed and ready to go into the microwave to cure:

These colours are obviously a bit more saturated due to the yarn being wet. Also, being a wool/tencel blend, the yarn only adheres to the animal fibre and not to the tencel, so the final product looks a little different. However I was prepared for this, having dyed the same blend myself. I actually quite like the almost chalky quality of the colour. Next time I'll go for something a bit more vibrant though ;)

I took quite a few pictures of the finished skein (or hank if you prefer) to show off the subtle colour variations.

 Boyfriend has named his colourway "Seaweed of Endor" and is, I believe, really quite proud of it *smiles* I can't wait to knit with it and see how the colours combine, I love the icy blue sections particularly. Better get knitting socks fast!

Friday, 27 July 2012

Trying Not to Pun

Recently I was lucky to be offered some yarn to try out - from a company called Home Crafts .

Anyway, one of the yarns I had to try out was a skein of recycled sari silk.

I've never used sari silk before, as pretty as it is I have never had any idea to what to do with it, so I never bought any. But then I had some, and it was the perfect opportunity to try it out.

Because of all the amazing colours, I have noticed that sometimes projects using it can get a bit overwhelming. So I decided to pair it with some cream yarn that I had lurking in my stash and do something with stripes...

I think it gives the colours a real opportunity to shine, rather than getting a bit muddled together. They really are beautiful - although I found the yarn really tough on the hands when I was working with it, so it's probably not something I would use again. I'm glad I have given it a go though - if only to know that I like to look at the skeins but don't want to buy any ;)

So, enough jabbering, do you want to see what I made?!

 A cute hat *smiles* It's not my usual style, but I actually really like it.

Fair disclaimer - I was sent this yarn as well as a few other skeins free of charge by Home Crafts, to make a project and blog about it as part of a crafting competition. I hadn't actually heard of the site before this, but they sell lots of crafty supplies that I now quite fancy buying. As this isn't a review as such, the usual "all opinions are my own and not something I was asked to say" isn't entirely relevant, but still true *laughs*

It's Friday, so you know what to do... Visit Tami'sNatural Suburbia and Wisdom Begins in Wonder. Have a great weekend :)

PS - it was tough coming up with a post title that didn't involve a pun based on the word Sari sounding like Sorry!

Thursday, 26 July 2012


I've seen a few people recommend the Blogsy app for blogging, so I thought I would give it a try *smiles*

I don't think I am likely to use it for long posts, as I can type much faster on an actual keyboard than on here, but it is a pretty good app. It seems to be easy to add and resize pictures, either from my iPad directly or from Flickr etc.

The picture above it actually the outcome of smashing a giant chuppa chupp lolly ;)

Essentially this post is just me playing around!


Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Um... Works Not In Progress Wednesday!

So, I have no progress to show this week!

This is partly because the weather is so gorgeous that knitting is the last thing on my mind ;) Finally having some sun has a great effect on my mood but a stalling effect on crafting. But I'm ok with this, I like the sun *laughs*

I have done a couple of repeats of my Starpower socks (naming credit to Vanessa *grins*) and that's pretty much it.

See, I'm even recycling the picture, because not enough has changed to warrant a new one *laughs* I do like this picture though, it really shows off the yarn and the pattern nicely.

The weather forecast is lovely for the rest of the week, so I don't imagine I'll get much more knitting done. I am reading a lot more though - sitting in the garden in the sun with a book is one of my favourite things *smiles*

To read about actual crafting progress, head on over to Tami's and Ginny's *smiles*

Friday, 20 July 2012

Aaargh, Snaaaaaaaaaaaaake!

Introducing Billy, the Snake.

This was a Nerd Wars project, but even if it hadn't been, I think I still would have worked on him exclusively until he was finished, just because he's so cute *laughs*

I was inspired by a few different patterns, but in the end I made this one up as I went along. He's knitted with random stashed acrylic yarn, with a flexible wire inside so he can be posed...

See, ready to strike ;)

The challenge that this project came under was inspiration from a book cover, tied into a different team. I found a book with the myth of Ophiuchus, a constellation that I love, who has a snake around him. Hence, snake *laughs*

The myth of Ophiuchus is pretty cool, he was a man who turned into a healer after seeing one snake take some herbs to a sick snake. The sick snake got better, so Ophiuchus used the same herbs to heal the sick. Only, the God Zeus wasn't too happy about it and struck Ophiuchus down, to prevent humans becoming immortal like the gods. But, to honour him, he put Ophiuchus in the stars as a constellation.

This is where the image of a snake round a staff to represent healing/hospitals comes from - although it is usually called the rod of Asclepius after the Greek version of Ophiuchus. Same guy, but Ophiuchus was the Roman version (side note, the caduceus, a staff with 2 snakes around it that is sometimes used to mean hospital, is actually a symbol of commerce but is often used incorrectly - not that this bugs me or anything *laughs*)

Anyway, enough of the lecture, back to my snake ;)

To show off the snake as attributed to the myth, cunning boyfriend lent a hand (literally) and posed for me...


It's Friday, so you know what to do... Visit Tami'sNatural Suburbia and Wisdom Begins in Wonder. Have a great weekend :)

Thursday, 19 July 2012


I think one of the reasons my knitting progress has slowed somewhat is due to my current inclination to play mindless games on my iphone/ipad when I need to wind down. So I thought I would post a quick overview of the timewasting activities I have been engaging in *laughs*

The first one I downloaded, after my brother insisted, was Fruit Ninja (or, as my mum likes to call it "that smashing fruits game" *smiles*)

Such a simple concept, swipe to split fruit, get more points for slicing combos and lose points for hitting bombs. Easy, brainless and an excellent way to de-stress.

Since then I have also downloaded

Same concept, only this time with zombies *laughs* Instead of bombs you have to avoid hitting the humans. Stupid and fun, just the right kind of thing ;)

Another one I can play for ages is Coin Dozer

It is exactly the same concept as the arcade machines filled with 2p pieces. Drop coins to try and push more coins (and prizes) off the end. Surprisingly addictive for such a pointless game!

I can spend hours trying to beat my high score on Temple Run...

You have to run along the temple walls, jumping over obstacles or ducking underneath them. And collecting coins. Another one that is such a simple concept but that I spend many hours playing *laughs*

I do have a couple of slightly more social games...

 If you play, my username is pinkundine (I'm easy to find, I have the same username pretty much everywhere *laughs*).

So, that's a little tour of the reasons I haven't been knitting as much lately. Mindless, pointless and addictive games ;)

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Deja Vu

Hmmm, my picture today is very much the same as last week *laughs* I haven't actually made much progress on anything really, but that is mainly because I started and finished a completely different project instead ;) I'll show that one off on Friday.

My socks have come along, they have heels now and I'm still loving them. Thanks for all the lovely comments last week - these are my first non bright and crazy hand knit socks, so I was relieved that everyone seemed to like them *laughs*

I think the only thing that differentiates this picture from last week is the fact that it also contains a book. It's Touching Darkness, the second in Scott Westerfield's Mignighters trilogy. I quite enjoyed the first one so I grabbed the second from the library yesterday.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Cookbook Challenge #15

Another weekend, another new recipe *grins* I'm glad we got back into doing this, it's a lot of fun trying out new things.

Today we have Pretzel Crusted Chicken with a honey mustard sauce.

Cunning boyfriend is a big fan of pretzels, so he was immediately intrigued by the idea. I've seen lots of different crunchy things used as a breading for chicken, so I could imagine it working.

The first stage, crushing the pretzels in a food processor, was fantastically noisy, but fun *laughs* And produced a pleasing crunchy dust...

After flouring, coating in egg and then the pretzel crumb, boyfriend declared the resulting goujons to be "dinosaur chicken"

After baking and serving with fine green beans we had this:

It was really tasty. The pretzels worked surprisingly well. I did overcook the chicken slightly, which wasn't ideal. Plus, we used chicken breast rather than thigh (boyfriend's preference) so it was quite a dry dish - the honey mustard sauce was definitely necessary and, luckily, tasted fantastic with the chicken.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Be Prolific*

I have a couple of small FOs to share today - both are Nerd Wars submissions and I have been practicing my crochet *smiles* As I tend to do little projects for Nerd Wars it seems like a good place to test out my crochet skills and see if I can improve them.

First up, I made a set of coasters. Not the most thrilling of projects, I know, but they came out exactly as intended and I'm really pleased with them!


I made a little bag/pouch. I made it up as I went along and it worked perfectly *grins*

So, small projects but definite improvements in my ability to crochet things and actually get the desired result. I'm calling it a win *laughs*

It's Friday, so you know what to do... Visit Tami'sNatural Suburbia and Wisdom Begins in Wonder. Have a great weekend :)    

*“Crochet is an accessible art that comes with a license to be prolific”. – Francine Toukou

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Cookbook Challenge #14

I know, I don't do one for ages then I do two in the same week *laughs* Clearly cunning boyfriend and I were feeling adventurous ;)

The latest recipe was paprika chicken with a little gem, corn and cucumber salad:

Looks good, doesn't it?

It was good, but not quite right. The marinade for the chicken contained lemon juice, garlic, paprika and oil, but for some reason I could barely taste the paprika. Next time, I would definitely include more!

The way the recipe cooks the corn was also slightly bizarre - you griddle corn cobs until they caramelise. Which is great, but didn't really cook the corn very well (according to the recipe, this stage only takes 5 minutes). Boyfriend came up with the plan to give them a quick blast in the microwave to make sure they were cooked, before griddling, which worked much better.

The other thing that was slightly wrong with this dish - it was so difficult to eat *laughs* Trying to get a bit of everything at once was a real challenge. So, although it was very tasty, it wasn't quite the success I'd have liked ;)

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Skinny Yarn

It seems like I am in a 4ply mood at the moment - all of the projects I have been focusing on this week are in sock yarn. Usually I like to have a range of weights, but although I have other projects in DK and Aran/Worsted, these three are the ones I have wanted to work on.

My Skinny Bugga socks, my cowl and boyfriend's patient second sock.

Most of the progress has been made on my socks, because the yarn is gorgeous and wonderful and I can't put it down *laughs* I have reached the point where I can start the heels already (one of the benefits of having tiny feet - no wonder I like knitting socks for myself and not anyone else!)

I love the range of colours in this yarn (colourway is Ghost Moth if you're interested):

The pattern is Starflower and is a simple slip stitch pattern. I'm enjoying branching out into socks that aren't plain all the way, and I think this really shows off the colours of the yarn. It's quite muted but really pretty. It is slightly strange to be making non-orange socks though *laughs*

I still don't have a name for these socks yet, so any suggestions welcome!

As ever, if you want more lovely knitting and yarn along content, head to Tami's and Ginny's *smiles*

Tuesday, 10 July 2012


It's been a while since I did a words post, so here are some of my latest favourites ;)

Lepid - pleasant or charming. Is it just me, or does the meaning not seem to fit the sound of the word? Maybe it's because it sounds like tepid, but it just doesn't sound right to me!

Intergern - to snarl back. One of those words that doesn't seem to need to exist, but I'm glad it does *laughs*

Menticide - brainwashing. Literally murder of the mind.

Bezoardic - used as an antidote, a remedy. Yet it sounds so much more serious and possibly anthropological.

Ramfeezled - worn out, exhausted. I totally love this one, so much more fun than saying "I'm tired" or "I'm knackered." Try it - "I'm ramfeezled"

And this one is for me... Grammatolatry - worship of letters or words *grins*