It is time for a DIY on the blog. It’s not that I haven’t done any crafting, painting or diying lately. It just didn’t end up on the blog.
But I made this french knitted fall necklace and I am already in love with this style and I anticipate a few more coming.
As a kid I was doing this craft for hours. I was the queen of french knitted robes. All my stuffed animals had leashes, I made little pouches, coasters and what not. And I remember I always got frustrated of limited possibilities. Only robes… boring.
But lately I had the urge to do this craft again and what can I say. Hooked. Just like back then. I have quite a few wool sausages laying around already. I have more some ideas of what else to make.
But today I want to show you my blue necklace I made. (The how to of french knitting can be watched best on YouTube.)
I always wondered how it looks when you end up knitting beads into the robes. Well I tried and it is fairly simple.
I stringed a bunch of star beads onto my thread before I started knitting. If you know approximately how many beads you will be needing it is easier because you can just do this before starting. Otherwise you would have to unravel your entire ball of thread.
Then I just placed them randomly and kept knitting as if they weren’t there. However I only used 3 out of my 4 thingies (what is it called? Teeth? Lips? You know what I mean). I think otherwise it would have been a bit tight.
In the end I just tied my three robes together. Added a chain and glued it all into the end piece. And done I was. Now I will add this to RUMS. Will I see you there?
I have a confession to make: I am not big into Easter decorations at all. Heck I don’t even own Easter decorations. Usually it’s just a pot of flowers and that’s about it.
I grew up with a one simple decoration. Every year we would cut some birch twigs and put them in a huge vase. On Saturday before Easter we would then hang easter eggs to decorate. And as I grew up in a area in Germany where there is a minority called Sorbs living, most of our eggs where made in their traditional way – at least that’s how I remember.
Since last year I was having the urge to give this craft another try. I remember we did it as kids but the eggs probably looked horrible. Maybe I can find some on this year’s Easter bouquet.
The sorbs have four different techniques for decorating their easter eggs but I only know how to do the wax batik technique. Wax is applied with special quills to the eggs shell and in various usually very detailed and complicated patterns. Then it is dyed. Different colors can be achieved by dying in many different steps and in-between applying more wax.
To make Sorbian Easter Eggs with the wax batik technique a bit of preparation required though.
I recommend doing this technique on blown out eggs. It is time consuming and it would be sad to have them broken on Easter morning. However it’s up to you but make sure to boil them before starting to craft. Usually the eggs have stamps on them that need to go. With a bit of soap and a brush or sponge you usually get it off. You could also use nail polish remover but you really need to wash the eggs carefully afterwards otherwise the dye will not stick.
Feathers are your drawing or better stamping tool for this craft. It’s important to get feather from the wings and goose feathers* are recommended. Then you cut of most of the thin hairlike thingies left and right of the bone of the feather until you have only the tip left. (Sorry not sure how that is called in English but you hopefully know what I mean.) Now you cut your shape. (I just read that a cutter is better suited than scissors… Well next time…) For basic patterns you would need a triangle, a drop, diamond and a arrow shape. The dots are made with the heads of a pin.
In the picture below you can see what kind of (traditional) shapes can be made with those basic tools:
Once you have the quills you need the wax. It is important to use a mixture of regular candle wax and bees wax. The bees wax makes it more flexible to apply and also easier to get off as it melts faster. You also need a tinplate spoon. I used mine out of New Years Eve lead-pouring kit. Then set up you station by curving the spoon in a 90° angle and pushing it into a flower pot. Place a tea light underneath and add a bit of wax to the spoon. Now you are ready to go.
How to do Sorbian Easter Eggs.
Your first egg will probably look horrible. Its ok because it’s to learn how the quill works. It is important to work fast and with a steady hand. Not always easy.
Put your quill to the wax and make sure its fully soaked (first time) or fully melted (after already using it). You can see tiny little bubbles.
Now press the quill to the shell and remove immediately. I found it to be practical to remove the tip by slightly moving it towards your body (always making sure you don’t mess up the pattern). If you let the quill rest too long the wax will melt and then you have to jerk the quill away and usually this results in tiny wax drops all over the egg shell.
When you are done with your pattern you can dye your egg. Use only cold dye otherwise the wax will melt. If you are planning to do a two colored egg you only need to have it in the dye a very short time. Otherwise the difference is hard to see.
The following picture shows the steps for a simple wax batik egg with only one dyeing:
1. your cleaned egg // 2. wax is applied // 3. after dyeing // 4. after wax is removed
And here you can see the steps for a two colored egg.
1. your cleaned egg // 2. first coat of wax applied // 3. after first dyeing // 4. second coat of wax applied on dyed surface // 5. after second dyeing // 6. after wax is removed
You get the idea. You can go with multiple dyeing rounds when your pattern requires it. My brain however can only think ahead two rounds.
4. Once you are done with your egg you can start to remove the wax. We used to do it over an gas flame but this time we put the eggs in the oven. Preheat oven to 50°C/120°F, put paper towels on your grate or baking pan and add eggs for about 3 minutes. Wipe of melted wax with an old rag. Tada and you just made your first Sorbian Easter Egg.
How to do patterns.
This is the hard part, something coming with practice I guess. However I found it useful to divide up your egg by either going in a circle from top to bottom or by making a line at the thickest part of the egg. This gives some direction to help with the symmetry. And symmetry is key when it comes to Sorbian eggs. For more complicated patterns I thought it was easier starting from the middle and working your way out of the pattern. I saw online that some people predraw the patterns with a pencil. I don’t understand how this works as you can’t get it of once the wax is covering it. Maybe after dying but that requires the dye covers the rest of the predrawing. Well you figure it out and let me know.
Only a few more days until Christmas. Are you all done on your shopping list? Or did you plan on doing lots of handmade gifts this year? If so you might enjoy my round-up of last minute DIY Christmas gifts (click on the pictures for the full post and tutorial).
1. Homemade Tea
I am a big sucker for chai teas. Mostly they are way too sweet for my taste. You are with me? Make your own.
But then on the other hand there is nothing better than a hot cup of green tea for breakfast, no?
2. Baking goods
Do you love baking? Do you have friends who love baking? Why not make them a little baking kit with lots of supplies?
3. Star Hair Accessory
Making hair accessories is actually quite simple. Here is a sparkling one.
4. Tea Cup Cozies
Just a fun litte way to spruce up a cup. Perfect for any home lover and foodie.
5. Velvet Bracelets
Too lazy to be doing your DIY. How about buying DIY like those gorgeous holiday bracelets.
6. Homemade Candles
If this isn’t the season for candles I don’t know. How about making your own and being creative in form and smell and look?
7. Hand Stamped Napkins
During holidays we get all fancy and in my house it’s all about cloth napkins to get this festive feel. Here is how I made my dad some for last Christmas.
8. Colorful T-Shirt
It looks a bit summery but this tutorial also works on sweaters. Maybe with a reindeer? (only in German)
9. Cake Pop Ttuffles
For people who have everything it can be so complicated to find a gift. Or maybe you just need a little hostess gift for the Christmas party? Well here you go. (only in German)
10. Fabric covered Bracelet
A girl can never have enough bracelets, right? And specially when they are made of fabric or leather matching the favorite shirt!
Well so much for the round-up. Now its your turn the get started. Will you share if you do a project? I would love to see your version.
Saturday mornings are quiet around here. We sleep in and wake up when we feel like it. Mostly I am up way earlier than Mr. ♥ and its my time to write blog posts, take pictures or just think.
Last week was exhausting (I fell asleep at the couch twice) but yet filled with happy moments.
It started of with a nice get together at my parents house and my mom went crazy on baking cookies. Since I haven’t come around to it this year it was great and we even got a little bag to take home. Dad also introduced me to whiskey.
Of course every morning I am excited to open my DIY advent calendar by my fellow blogging friends and it’s just so amazing. All those ideas. Lets have a look what I found:
#6 some fabric tags by Undine | undiversell #7 was my number and I packed my Lettering Christmas Cards and was given this red crochet heart key chain. Unfortunately I don’t know by who.
#8 3D paper tags with heart by Michaela | michaelavoit #9 a hazelnut necklace (I love it!) makes one feel like Cinderella and sugar for my tea and a DIY bookmark by Madeleine | dekorausch
#10 Christmas ornament made by Steffi | hauptsachemeer #11 tomato herb pesto kit by Miri
#12 a tiny wooden house ensemble with candle and star by Karin | fadenspielundfingerwerk. I am so in love with this one. It made it to my winter wonderland on the window sill and I will light it tonight when it gets dark.
I also had some nice lunches this week. And a lunch can make so happy, no?
Traditional Käsespätzle and a Reuben Sandwich.
And then there was St. Nicholas last weekend. I was part of the #DIYnikolauswichteln Annett hosted on her blog. My secret santa was Verena blogging on hamburgvoninnen. Unfortunately the package only arrived on Wednesday. One happy moment for sure. Look at all the goodies!
Thank you Verena I really enjoy them all. The stars will make it to my Christmas Tree, the Gingerbread man however will not live to see Christmas Eve. The pompoms complete my little winter wonder land on my window sill and the notebook waits for its calling. And the rum cake… well I still need breakfast.
My week was spoiled with little gifts of people I don’t know. And that is the real happiness right here. In a world where lot of terrible things happen, where often you wonder what will become of mankind those little gestures to people you do not know can make all the different. I believe in it but I often forget.
Wishing you a wonderful advent weekend and i will hop over and see what Denise has been up to.
it’s been a while since I wrote down my happiness and shared it – not that there was’t any happiness lately. Its just been busy and my mind doesn’t seem to be very motivated. But today I am back.
As I said in my Advent Wish List I want to take a few minutes daily and just be, relaxe and don’t do anything. So far I am doing pretty good. I drink my cup of coffee in the morning by lightening my candle on the advent wreath and enjoy the silence. Then I open my DIY advent calendar.
I haven’t mentioned this calendar here on the blog and that is a shame. A bunch of people from the internet who do not know each other started to swap gifts and in the end everyone has a full 24 little packages to open until Christmas. Are you curious what was in my first 5 doors?
I am so impressed how everyone of us comes up with an unique idea and spreads so much love, joy and happiness to unknown people. Its really fun.
I also spent a wonderful time with friends last Sunday and I had some time to craft. It feels so good to be doing crafts and I always wonder why I do not incorporate more of this time into my day. (Might there be a goal for 2016 developing?!)
I am also pretty excited to host my first give away but at the time really scared: what if no one wants to have it… If you are into goal making and fun calendars or a sucker for notebooks you might want to check it out.
For now I will enjoy my tea, clean up a bit, wrap the first presents and then we will rummage a bit in the apartment to make it ready for the holidays. What are you up to this weekend?