Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Junk Mail and a Really Cool Surprise

Election Junk Mail

There's a Federal Election just around the corner... and day after day the letterbox is filled with voting paraphernalia. It's horrendous to think about just how much money must be wasted on this paperwork. I'm sure that ours is not the only household where those forms all find their way directly to the recycle bin...

Roller Blind Samples

But underneath today's glut of political nonsense, there were some fun surprises...

First of all were the samples I ordered for my new roller blinds. It always fascinates me how many different shades of WHITE there can be! And I'm so excited to finally be ready to order new blinds. When we first looked through this house EIGHT YEARS AGO... I declared that the window furnishings were hideous, and we agreed that they would be the first thing to change when we bought the place. Oh well. We'll get there eventually!

2014 Calendar

The other fun arrival was this Crochet Calendar for 2014. It's one of those pattern-a-day ones, where each time you turn over for the next date, you find a new pattern.

But here's the really cool part...

My "Callipo the Very Naughty Monkey" pattern is inside.

And he won FIRST PRIZE...

So I also have a cheque for US$500.


Prize Letter

Maybe I can buy those new blinds sooner than I thought...

Callipo the Very Naughty Monkey

Friday, August 9, 2013

Instead of a Bathroom Owl...

Dawn's Owls

First up, let me just say that none of these owls photographed today were made by me...

They are both based on my "Irsia the Bathroom Owl" pattern.

Remember I was saying that you don't HAVE to make the toilet lid cover... but instead use your imagination to turn it into something else.

This first one was made by Dawn - and I'm loving the blue orange combination of colours. I don't use them very often myself, mostly because I seem to forget how effectively they work together... but the blue background really allows the orange to go POP, and I love that. By Dawn's own admission, she doesn't always know what she's doing when it comes to colour choices - but she really got it SPOT ON with this one!

Dawn's owl isn't completely finished yet. I actually think it looks fabulous just the way it is, but don't tell her that - because I want to see what else she has up her sleeve.

Dawn's Owls

Now it's only been a week since I sent out the pattern and we already have our first finished entry! How fast was that?

This one is created by Kathy...

I would never have dreamed to do this, but Kathy combined her painting skills with her yarn skills - and designed a canvas background for the owl to perch in. They complement one another beautifully... and you would certainly never think that the original pattern was for a toilet cover, would you?


Some people are working with strips of fabric to crochet their owls, and are planning to create floor rugs with them. I've heard whispers about a plan for a baby blanket... and maybe even a bag. I love watching these things evolve!

If you're starting to think that you might join in the challenge with us - head on back to my original post for all the information you'll need. We'd love you to join in the fun!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

I should probably sharpen my pencil...


I might be creative in a number of other areas - but I'm the first to admit that sketching is REALLY not my thing...


But regardless of how average the drawings are - it often helps you process your thoughts, if you can just jot down your basic concepts...


No one else needs to see them. Unless you're going to be a fool like me, and blog about them for all the world to see!


Meanwhile, I'm just toying around with some ideas for something a little different than my usual style...


Monday, August 5, 2013

Winner Announced!

Staarrkatt 1

I've chosen a winner for the Bearskin Rug challenge...

My absolute favourite was this snowy white delight - made by Katt!

Now the Clever Katt gets to tell me what to design for the next knitting challenge - time to put the thinking cap on...

I did have a couple of other favourites though.

Like this Intellectual Soul, knitted by Col:


And this unfortunate one named Lucky... who came to his tragic end when struck by a motorbike, courtesy of Julie:

Shilo 1

Shilo 2

And my dear friend Leah, who insists she can't knit - came up with this delight, which she's aptly named "Pimp My Bear"


It never ceases to amaze me, how many DIFFERENT looking projects can be born from the SAME pattern. People are immensely creative!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Irsia the Bathroom Owl

Irsia the Bathroom Owl

I'll be completely honest with you here...

This challenge almost did my head in!

You know that I have these monthly challenges, right?

And whoever "wins" the challenge chooses what I should design next, right?

So I never quite know what I'll be asked to do...

Well, this month I was asked to design a TOILET LID COVER!

It turns out that these covers are actually popular in some parts of the world...

I sometimes forget that not everyone views things the same way as I do.

So I found it very, very hard to get my head around what I would do.

I would never dream of using one myself, and the last time I saw one in use here was back in the 1970s. But there are indeed places where people love and appreciate the covers. Especially in colder climates. And where people might use the closed toilet as a seat, for example while supervising young kids in the bath.

Meanwhile, I had two months to think about it - and even the day before the challenge was scheduled to start, I still hadn't made a thing!

Irsia the Bathroom Owl

Many, many times I though about tossing it all in - and declaring that another suggestion be made...

But that wouldn't really be in the spirit of these challenges, would it?

I knew that I had to rise to the occasion and create something special!

And so I did...

Irsia the bathroom owl

So - if you're loving the owl, but are put off by the toilet cover idea...


How about a wall hanging, or a blanket, a handbag or a cushion?

Or maybe you will use it as a toilet cover?

The pattern gives specific written instructions for the owl itself, and then talks you through how to tailor the rest of the cover to the shape of your lid.

If you want to join in the fun, send me an email or join us here on Ravelry.

Irsia the Bathroom Owl

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Almost ready...

The August Crochet Challenge is almost ready...

Irsia the Bathroom Owl

All will be revealed tomorrow!