Summer time here, yay! That means… my kids are home 24-7… trying to keep the girls busy and entertained is driving this mama crazy ;)
Oh well… I am trying to enjoy the vacations too (ahahah, *lol*)… not much time/subject for blogging…
Aren´t these two friends lovely? I crafted them for a very sweet friend of mine (and her BFF <3). The big teddy bear is crocheted with my own pattern and I added a little Swarovski heart crystal pendant to his ribbon lace. The little buddy was needle felted with wool felt and I built a little charm from it (and forgot to take a picture!).
Must say… I was obsessed with needle felting a month ago after making my daughter´s preschool staff thank-you gifts. The results are always so fuzzy! Uncontrollable wool wanting to go against the shape I want! Grrrrrrr.
(Little thank-you gifts: mobile charm with bear faces)
I was very happy to create all of these and it was double joyful to hear my sweet friend liked the teddy bear I sent her :).
(wish I could be as tall as you!! =^o^= )
Hope you are having happy Summer days!
April 15, 2011
Update on 27.04.2011: The box has been sold for $107,50! I am so happy it reached such price :). Thank you very much for everyone who got interested about it and specially, to the auction winner! The set is already on its way to WA ^_^!
As I posted here before, a group of bento lovers across the globe got together to raise funds for Japan. My fabulous fellow bento bloggers have been working hard keeping the Bento4Japan alive and at full steam.
The charity auctions on eBay have been terrific! Lots of bento boxes and gear had found new owners and I can only thank to the beautiful people´s generosity.
Everyone knows that I wanted to offer something to be auctioned for the cause. The problem is that I really can’t find anything suitable for the theme where I live. Bento gear is rare, most of my personal purchases were made online.
It is true I selected stuff from my own collection to offer in the Bento4Japan raffle (by the way! The winners had been picked already, just give us a little more time and we will announce them :). My contribution is already traveling to the lucky one!).
So I thought… would it be bad to offer something handmade? Inspired by my friends who always support and keep me going ahead, I decided to craft my offering for Bento4Japan ^__^.
Bento box food play set – eBay auction
I handcrafted this lovely take away style bento box meal, perfect for pretended play or for display. The items are about life-sized and hand stitched with love and care for details.
I really try my best to make things in a way they last but felt and yarn creations are not as plastic ones, they won´t probably last as much as they would have been made from another “long lasting” material.
This set will be a joy for your little one to serve you obento anytime! (And you can also sneak to the play and practice making your bento too ;))
Most of the items which belong to the box were featured in my previous post , with addition of these little ones:
So… without further ado, what is inside the box!
- 1 lettuce leaf
- 2 onigiris (rice balls)
- 1 shiozake piece (salted salmon)
- 1 lotus root (renkon) slice
- 1 kabocha (Japanese pumpkin) wedge
- 1 broccoli floret
- 1 shiitake mushroom
- 2 tamagoyaki (omelet) slices: spinach and traditional
- 1 carrot flower
- 1 edamame pod
- 1 cherry tomato with wooden pick
- 1 usagi ringo (apple bunny)
- 2 grapes
- 1 strawberry
- 1 orange slice
- 2 food cups (paper and felt polka dot)
- 1 pair of bamboo chopsticks – not disposable type
- 1 origami chopstick “envelope”
The full description of the materials and other important information can be read in the auction page for the bento box.
I hope this can raise some money. Remember, 100% of the proceeds will go to to GlobalGiving’s Japan Relief fund. If you win, be sure you are getting something made from the heart.
Please take a look, this is the auction page! Check out the other Bento4Japan auctions too ;).
April 13, 2011
Yes… I know, I haven’t posted in this blog for about a week. It hasn’t been intentional, but I have been lacking time to do so…
But hey! I am still here ;)
Aside from the normal chores… Today I show you what I’ve been doing lately, on late nights, children´s nap times and squeezed times of freedom: crafting… and creating. It is just madness, ideas keep popping in my mind all the time and I can’t keep on with them in normal levels.
Crafting what? Toy food! I must admit there´s a reason behind these … and I’ve been working on the items for about 2 weeks already.
Many alpha versions got kidnapped by my girls (also some beta ones…). I needed to repeat doing same stuff many times until I got a result that I found acceptable (HAHAHA, am I this weird).
Just to mention… my girls really adore when I make toy food. They kept asking me every second “is it ready?” ” can we take it now” “are you going to end the onigiri today”. To the extreme they arranged a little box and left it by my side, demanding “here mama, you can put the ready ones”.
….wondering if they are spoiled little ladies… >_<
You will notice that most of the foods have a Japanese-style tendency (*hint* *hint*)…
Japanese nimono anyone?
Lotus root, carrots, shiitake, broccoli…
Pan fried shiozake (salted salmon)
Traditional tamagoyaki and spinach filled one
Little fruit cup
Apple bunny (usagi ringo), grapes, strawberry and an orange wedge
These were really fun to craft ( ok.. ok.. I had some nervous breakdowns during the process :P ). I liked the results… there´s room for improvement but I am very happy anyways :).
(Hope you like them too!)
March 15, 2011
It has been hard not to think all the time about the tragedy that struck Japan. I´ve been following the news since Friday, glued to the computer screen. I watch the NHK streaming online but my Japanese language skills are limited to understand everything (wishing I could be with my mother and my father, they would help me out with that)
So I kept my streaming on and read @makiwi updates on twitter to know the news. Makiko Itoh is the owner of Just Bento and Just Hungry, an extraordinary person who has been translating non-stop the Japanese news for us. She says doing that helps her to cope with the situation, but I say, her efforts help us in another bigger dimension we wouldn’t be capable to describe and to thank her in any way.
My warm thoughts are still for people in Japan. Be brave. It will be a long journey to rebuild the country and heal the deep wounds. We are still thinking of you. Friends, hang in there, know we wish you the best, from our ♥’s.
I´ve been trying to write a post about subjects this blog is about. It doesn’t feel right somehow. It doesn’t feel right to mention we are sick here for almost three weeks in a row (3yo, 5yo and I with flu, fever and cough). It is so small problem, can´t be compared to what´s going on.
I had a long talk with my mother yesterday. Seeing her (via skype) and chatting with her brought peace to my heart. She also reaffirmed our relatives are fine and safe in Japan. She made me see how blessed we are and how we must value the precious things in life, no matter how smallest they might look like.
Quite comforting and cheering up thoughts .
So.. there is one thing I want to share today. It is small. But it cheered me up and brought me a smile.
I got a message on Friday from a friend who lives in Brazil. She wanted to let me know that at least one thing was good amongst that chaotic sad day: a gift I sent her far ago finally reached the destination.
It was a handmade gift, with a story. Last year I sent this friend a package of goodies, including an amigurumi bear. I crafted it thinking about her, a big fan of Japanese sweets.
Anyways, this exact bear never arrived there. My package did… very spoiled. It was a rainy season in Brazil and there were floods here and there. Still, can’t justify the condition the package was delivered her: wet, full of mold, with worms. Sealed in a
trash plastic bag. Yes, to cry. I got extremely sad. Some things could be saved but she never found the bear I made her.
I promised myself I would craft a copy of that bear and send it again. It was taking long to hear from her about the mail. I can’t be that unlucky, can I?
So there he is, the bear. Actually, it is the bear I made the first time. I made pictures of the new one, but I forgot to put memory in my camera when doing so. Yes, laugh, I can be absentminded sometimes too. :/
The new bear was assembled as a keychain. This one, was a mobile charm. I tried to make them exactly the same, so there aren’t much differences from this one in the picture.
I know is silly it enlightened my day.
February 12, 2011
Last year a sweet friend of mine asked me if i could craft a small charm to a little dude she knows that is fanatic for anything octopus. She saw one felt octopus in my Flickr sets and requested if I could create something similar.
I tried to make a little tako (that´s what I call him :), octopus in Japanese) using the crochet amigurumi technique. I think he became really cute ^_^.
And for some extra treats, I also crafted two bunnies (celebrating 2011, the year of the Rabbit) to my friend´s lovely daughter and her best friend. I hope they enjoy them as much as I enjoyed making the little buddies!
Please check out my friend´s lovely blog too! Chantale writes about the adventures of her sweet daughter as well as darling discoveries in the world of childhood and design. It is pure delight !
January 3, 2011
New Year, new post! Yay!
I will start this year by sharing what I’ve crafted for the girls as their Christmas gifts ^_^. I think it was a bit mad project once I decided to make it at the last responsible moment. Yep, the idea was in my mind for long but I only started making it couple of days before Christmas (ahahaha, didn’t I tell you I am _that_ type of lazy person?)
Hubs and I bought a very nice Finnish Animals Stories book and … I wanted to make finger puppets from the main characters (the brown bear and the fox) to be given together with it. I also crafted some other characters, inspired by books we had already. Girls could use the tales they’ve heard previously in addition to the new ones (or invent their own ^_^)
Introducing my finger puppets, I made a short comic page from three stories. :)
…And how the bear lost its tail
Original title of the story “Karhun kalanpyynti” (The bear went fishing) – from the book “Suomen Lasten Eläinsadut” (Finnish Children´s Animal stories).
Waking up from its winter sleep, the bear came by a fox eating some fishes. The hungry bear asked:
- Oh wow, you have plenty of fish! I can eat some of yours if you don’t mind! Where did you get them?
The fox, annoyed by the fact the bear was big and afraid it would eat all the fishes quickly answered:
- I went fishing in the farmer´s ice hole (avanto in Finnish). I used my tail as fishing equipment and because the sky was so clear and full of stars, the fishes were enough hungry they just bit my beautiful tail fur and in the morning, I had fishes all over it!
The bear believed in the story (it still had a long tail) and headed to the ice hole on the frozen lake. He sat by the hole and put his tail in it, according to what the fox instructed.The sky was all clear and the cold weather, very severe.
After a while, the bear felt some pinching in its tail. The surface of the hole was getting all frozen but the bear was happy believing it was the fishes grabbing his tail.
In the morning, the deceiving fox went to sneak a look at the bear sitting on the lake. “Yes, he is stuck!” and rushed to the farmer´s house screaming “There´s a bear messing your ice hole, ohoi! A bear is messing your ice hole!”
Meanwhile, the bear was getting bored about sitting on the lake. He tried to move the tail but it was so numb it felt very heavy. “I must sit a bit more, my catch is indeed big!”
Suddenly some huge noise could be heard from the lake shore. The farmer and his family, carrying huge sticks started to beat the bear out from their avanto. The bear tried hard to pull itself free, so hard its tail snapped and remained in the frozen ice hole. The terrified bear ran to the forest but his tail stayed behind.
Since then, the bear doesn’t have tail at all ^_^.
The bear tail is attached to the bear with magnets :).
Three wishes (Kolme toivomusta)
From the book “Iloiset eläinsadut” (original book “Richard Scarry´s Animal Nursery Tales”). The original story is also known as “The Sausage nose”
Once upon a time there was a very poor woodcutter. He lived with his wife in a very humble cottage in the woods.
One day while working, he whined how nice it would be if he could have anything he wanted, once he had nothing at all.
A fairy, listening to that, appeared to the man and granted him three wishes.
- I make three wishes come true! But use them wisely or you end up a fool!
Happily, the man hurried home to tell the news to his wife. They couldn’t think what they could wish first so they decided to have supper and think better later.
Seeing not much to eat on the table besides soup, the man sighed “Wish we could have a big fat sausage for dinner instead”. In a blink of an eye, the sausage appeared on their dinner table.
His wife got really angry: “You foolish man! Look now! Our first wish gone because of a stupid sausage!”
The man, annoyed by all the nagging shouted “Wish that sausage was stuck to your nose!”. And the sausage got stuck to his wife´s nose and they couldn´t get it off…
“We still have one wish to make… we need to think wise”.
“There´s no thinking here! I don´t want to live with the sausage on my nose forever!”
So the man wished the sausage to be gone from his wife´s nose.
The sausage was gone, so their three wishes.
The sausage is removable with the help of magnets too.
The Gingerbread Man
Because it was Christmas and my girls like this tale a lot, I made characters for this story too.
I think most of you know how the tale goes, if not check here. However, this version in my comics is based from the short story included in ”Iloiset eläinsadut” (original book “Richard Scarry´s Animal Nursery Tales”).
In the very end, when the gingerbread man is running away from the city people, he ends up by the riverbank, where a fox offers help as a ferry to cross the river. After tricking the gingerbread “not to get wet” by getting him nearer and nearer his mouth, the gingerbread man finds himself eaten mid-stream. ^_^
The girls didn’t give much attention to my present during the Christmas gift sharing but in the same night, before going to bed, they played with the finger puppets and created their “own” stories. ^_^
Have a great year my friends!