Sunday, 25 March 2018

BIBS & TEETHERS BABYSHOWER GIFT SETS


My poor sewing machine had been sitting collecting dust for far too long, so for my third project I needed something to get my sewing mojo back. Lucky for me, I also have a few friends who are expecting babies pretty soon. Perfect opportunity to sew a couple of baby-sized projects, no?


So I brewed myself a pot of tea, put on some music and started sewing. I used these free patterns from See Kate Sewprobably my favorite sewing blog. I bought the fabric from a local shop, some terry cloth for the backing, and wooden rings I found on Amazon. I didn't want the terry cloth to be too thick and bulky, so I just used some thin towelscheap and cheerful!


This was such a fun and simple sewing project, and I love how they turned out. It's a perfect way to use up old scraps of fabric too, which I kinda wish I had thought of before I went out and bought fabric. I still have leftovers from when I made this skirt and this dress, and how cute would that be, a black gingham set and a pink floral set? Note to self: remember to check your craft stash before you hit up the craft shop haha.

The wooden rings were part of a 20 pack though, which means I have quite a few rings left. I'll definitely be making more of these, but probably not a full 20 sets haha. Does anyone have any suggestions for something else I can use the wooden rings for? A wall hanging perhaps? Or a plant hanger?

Monday, 19 March 2018

ATHENS PHOTO BOOK



I was just about to start this post about this photo book I made from our trip to Athens "last year", until I realized we actually went in 2016 which is not last year at all, it's almost two years ago already. How did that happen?








This was actually Oscar's first holiday abroad, and his first time on a plane! He was just three months at the time and the flight went swimmingly, he just fed and slept for the whole time. It's a whole other story now when he actually has to be entertained for the whole flight (looking forward to that trans-Atlantic flight we're venturing on in a couple of weeks...!) And oh my, the Greeks certainly love babies. He was doted on wherever we went, with strangers of all ages coming up to coo over him and kiss his feet. He was like a tiny celebrity.





We had an awesome trip. As it was our first time travelling with our kiddo, we were a little unsure of how everything would go. We actually ended up spending a bit more on the hotel than we normally do when we travel, just in case everything went to hell and we'd be stranded at our hotel the whole time. Thankfully that didn't end up being the case! We visited the Acropolis and Parthenon, Temple of Olympian Zeus, Ancient Agora, the Panathenaic Stadiumthere is just so much to see in Athens, so many historic sites so many beautiful neighborhoods to walk through, and not to mention so much delicious food. I mean, just look at me casually feeding Oscar on some old beautiful street in Plaka in the photo above. If only every breastfeeding session was that idyllic! Ha!

We also celebrated our first wedding anniversary while in Athens, and went out for a meal in Kolonaki, which is what Oscar is all dressed up for below (I also tried to snap a family photo for the occasion before we went out, which ended in hilarity as Oscar decided to spit up mid-photo haha! Ah, parenthood is so glamorous.). Our plan was to celebrate with a nice steak dinner, but what the waiter brought us was definitely not steak. "Umm, sorry, we ordered the steak?" I asked. "Yes," said the waiter. "This is steak. Baby steak." Ah! Haha. Not quite what we had in mind, but tasty all the same.




For this album, I used Blurb's option of a softcover rather than a hardcover. Most of the photo books I have made so far, I have had printed in a plain hardcover with a dust jacket, and then I've just removed the dust jacket and kept them with plain covers. The 2017 album was actually the first album where I used the hardcover imagewrap option, and I was really happy with the result and definitely plan on using it again. I'm not actually as impressed with the softcover option though, and I find it a bit annoying that you can't get anything printed on the spine if you go for a softcover. My plain hardcover albums don't have anything printed on their spines either, so if anyone knows a good DIY for this that still looks neat, let me know! Or should I just get everything reprinted as hardcovers with imagewraps? (Kidding! I think. Haha)

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

CURRENTLY IN MARCH



wondering where in the world spring is? We spent the weekend at my parents cabin at the southern coast of Norway, and while it might look like spring in the above photo, but it was practically a snowstorm by the time we left.

watching Queer Eye! And a lot of movies. We recently got a new projector for our downstairs living room, and man, it's such an upgrade. Yay for movie nights!

reading Pax by Sarah Pennypacker, which will be my 10th book this year. I've set myself a goodreads goal to read 24 books in 2018, and so far I am very much on track.

planning a big road trip in a couple of weeks! An old friend of mine is getting married in Austin, and as I like to make mountains out of molehills we are now road tripping from from Houston to Los Angeles, via Austin, Marfa, Las Cruces, Tucson, Sonoran Desert, Flagstaff (with a trip up to Grand Canyon), Las Vegas, Joshua Tree and Palm Springs. Because if you're already making the transatlantic flight with your toddler, you might as well take full advantage, right? Travel tips and suggestions are very welcome!

getting a pretty good gym routine, and feeling pretty good about it.

remembering that four years ago, I was in Korea. I'm basically getting daily reminders on my Facebook and Google photos, and I can't believe that was four years ago already!

enjoying Strikketerapi.

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

GRAEME & OSCAR'S MATCHING HATS


Graeme's always complaining that I never knit him anything. It takes a lot of time and not to mention yarn to knit men's sweaters though (hence why kiddo knit is so much fun), so instead of anything too big and complicated I decided to knit him a hat. The pattern is the Hipster hat from Petite Knit.

My plan was to knit it out of some leftover Drops Baby Merino I had from a baby blanket I made last year for a friend's baby (sorry--no post or photo, I just knitted it and sent it away). I have a lot of leftover yarn sitting around with no future aspects and this seemed like a pretty good project for that. But wouldn't you know, I ran out of yarn juuuust as I was about to finish and had to go out and buy another skein. In other words, instead of getting rid of leftover yarn, I ended up with more yarn than what I started with. Facepalm.


The answer to this was obviously to knit a matching hat for Oscar as well. I've seen a lot of patterns for "mommy and me" matching dresses and outfits, so I figured a "daddy and me" set of matching hats would be pretty cute? I used the same pattern as the one for Graeme, and just modified it a bit to fit a child. Luckily, Graeme is one of those who embraces these things, and would love to match his outfit with Oscar on a daily basis if he could haha.

I still have more yarn than what I started out with though!


Thursday, 1 March 2018

SWEATER WITH LONG STITCHES

How terrible is that name for a sweater? I'll admit, it's my own weird translation, but that's what the pattern is called in Norwegian--sweater with long stitches. If I were naming it, I would have named it something like stripy beach sweater, or summer stripy sweater or something to that effect. As you might guess from that, this is a little off season as I plan on wearing this in summer.

So here's a bit of irony for you: this pattern is by a local yarn producer, Sandnes Garn (yes, I live in Sandnes) and you can download it for free here. However, the yarn it calls for, Sandnes Garn Kitten Mohair, is out of production. I'm sure I could have found another replacement yarn to knit it in, but I actually managed to track down some Kitten Mohair online form an online yarn shop in the UK that specializes in Scandinavian knitting. So here I am, importing my towns exports haha. I actually got a pretty good discount on it too!



As for the finished product--I think the shoulders turned out a bit weird? I haven't seen any photos of what they're meant to look like, and the pattern was a bit vague, so I'm not sure I did them right. Maybe I was supposed to continue the long stitch stripe pattern. I also feel it's a relatively small sweater for what's supposed to be an oversized L? I'm excited to start wearing it once it gets a little warmer though! I'm thinking it'll look really nice with a pair of distressed denim shorts (aka my favorite shorts), or maybe even layered over a denim button down?

I also have about 8 skeins of Kitten Mohair in black now (what was I thinking buying black yarn?), any suggestions what I should knit with that?



Friday, 23 February 2018

2017 PHOTO ALBUM







In 2016, I made a giant (actually, it was really quite small) album for the whole year. It can be pretty time consuming to make these albums, but breaking it up and basically updating it each month helped a lot. I also chose to only use photos from Instagram, which made the process a lot quicker too, as the sorting out the photos, organizing and editing is already done. But for my 2017 album, I decided to simplify it even further and made a photo book based. I used Blurb as a) they're my go to for photo albums, b) they were one of the few companies that could print up to 440 page books and c) they have a program that connects directly with Instagram. There's a couple of limitations as to what you can do format wise using this tool, like how you can't edit the layouts or do two-page photo spreads, but for my simple plan of having one photo per page it was pretty perfect. I updated the album monthly and it probably took me about five minutes each time. 


And whoa, I love this album. I love the fact all our favorite photos are in physical print and that you can just sit and look through them. I've probably already spent way longer than I should have flipping through it, and there's just so many pages that instantly make me smile. It contains our whole year, and everything from everday photos around the house to photos from our travels. And I absolutely love comparing the photos at the start of the year with the end of the year and seeing how much Oscar has grown. He's gone from being a baby to a kid, and it's so awesome. I mean, when I was taking photos for this post, I ended up ear-marking 48 favorite pages that I just had to include. I manage to narrow it down a bit further than that, but sorry, this is still a pretty photo-heavy post haha (which meant that Blogger crashed about a million times when I was trying to post this haha).



However, first a bit of a disclaimer: the album you see here is actually my second attempt at a 2017 album, as I just wasn't happy with the first album that got printed. The photos came out blurry and grainy and I just wasn't happy with the quality of it at all. Such a bummer. I ended up contacting Blurb customer services to complain, and I was really just hoping for a refund (as obviously an album of this size cost a few bob!). Mainly though, I was just so sad that I'd been looking forward to flipping through the album for a year, and expectations just did not meet reality. I know, this is an album based on photos from Instagram which automatically reduces the quality, but I guess I was just expecting that a program specifically made for making albums from Instagram photos would either somehow magically take that into account, or at least produce some sort of warning as you're making the book that the quality isn't good enough (as that's normally what happens with their other software). Anyway, I did not get a refund. I was told they'd give me a free reprint, but that I'd have to go through and probably use the original photos for the quality I was looking for, and I'd have to reorder within a month. AKA, sort through thousands of photos (probably not even an exaggeration haha) and organize and edit them--exactly the part of the process I was hoping to avoid. I don't even think I have all the originals anymore, nor did I have any idea how I'd find the time to do this. Eventually I decided to go through the album and just change the layout of each page, hoping that might help. Instead of full-page photos I opted for one large photo on each page. I figured that as they were covering the cost of a second album, I might as well give it a shot. And I'm so glad I did, as the second album is exactly what I had in mind the first time around. Lesson learnt.




The finish album is my biggest photo book yet, 360 pages total. It's divided into twelve chapters for each month, and at the end I did a quick written summary of the year at a glance so that the album will still make sense to me 20 years from now. The photos are not necessarily in chronological order beyond being in the right month--chronology is not a priority for me. I used photos from both mine and Graeme's Instagram account, and kept the whole book super simple and uniform. As a change from my previous photo books, I chose a printed hardcover this time, and I'll probably do that again for future albums too.

And, yes, duh, of course--I have already started the 2018 album. And I'm already very, very excited.

Saturday, 17 February 2018

FOX COSTUME

Last week they had a day of dress up in Oscar's nursery for Fastelavens, and on that occasion we decided to dress him up as Mikkel Rev from Dyrene i Hakkebakkeskogen. Graeme sourced the clothes, while I sat down and made a fox tail and a set of fox ears.

If you have no idea what I'm talking about: Mikkel Rev is a much loved character from the stories of Norwegian author Thorbjørn Egner. I grew up with these stories myself, and they've recently had a bit of a revival as they've been made into a stop motion animation (looks like it's also been translated into quite a few languages?). It's really cute and Oscar is a big fan. (He also has a fox teddy which is his favorite, and was actually the original inspiration behind the whole fox costume idea.)


Now, of course we could have just bought the costume online, but I thought it was kinda pricey and mainly, where's the fun in that? So after doing a bit of research around pinterest and the web, I decided to make the tail out of yarn. It's a pretty simple technique, where you essentially just make a bunch of yarn tassels and then brush them out to make the yarn look more like fur. I was a bit sceptical of how it was gonna end up looking, but I'm so happy with the result and it was so much fun to make haha. I mean how cute is that little fox butt? I used the same brushing technique for the ears and then used a ton of hairspray to make them a bit sturdier and sewed them onto the hat. Hey presto, there's your fox.

Wonder what other animal costumes I could make using this technique? Or maybe Oscar will be going as Fantastic Mr. Fox for next Halloween? Haha

And lastly, of course, a couple of photos of the costume in action: