Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Interiour Inspiration

Since it's still too cold around here to be outside much, I've been mostly pottering around at home during my free time. Reading blogs, library books, drinking tea and watching sentimental movies (like this and this, love both of them!)

And, since I don't have much else to show for my time, I thought I'd share some of the great stuff that inspired me this week.

First, there was this post on decor8 about little decorating projects for the home that can be achieved easily and mostly without any cost, simply by arranging and re-arranging little corners of one's home. My favourite of the 20 inspirational pics was number 5 and you can see my (by far not as great as the original) version above.

Another favourite on the net this week has been this post. Such beautiful pictures and such a great and simple project. And you really don't need a messy baby to justify making one! ;-)

I was really lucky at the library to find three great books on decorating, all in tune with the simple and thrifty philosophy expressed in the decor8 post.

The first one is by Emily Chalmers. I love all the books she collaborated on with Ali Hanan and Debi Treloar I've read so far. Cheap Chic is really inspiring and gives a lot of ideas to transform one's home with simple projects and ideas.

A pot of paint can make all the difference.

Bored with your bookshelf? Sort by colour.

Why not make your fabric collection a feature of your home?

Make the most of your pretty tableware and beautiful packaging.

Nail a favourite print on a frame for instant and unusual artwork.

The second book I borrowed is Thrifty Chic by Liz Bauwens and Alexandra Campbell. The photographs by Simon Brown are beautiful. This book is giving ideas and instructions how to create beautiful interiours room by room.

A lot of them are low or no-cost, like this pretty display of pebbles.

Or this cheerful flower arrangement.

Or how about the collection of bottles to decorate a window?

Why not display your button collection in an unusual but practical way?

Last but not least I borrowed a book recently published in Finnish. It was originally published by the makers of VT Wonen magazine from The Netherlands.

The Finnish title means "enjoy your home". The book is full of pretty photographs, tips about decorating, floor plans and colour palettes. And how gorgeous is that cover?!

A simple yet immensely effective colour scheme.

A laid-back but festive table setting for a birthday party.

I hope you liked my little tour of the things that have been keeping me smiling this week! I'll leave you with a little clip (with English subtitles) from Finnish comedy series Studio Julmahuvi capturing the Finnish Soul during winter.

Business as usual ... ;-)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Mojo and Moaning

I'm still waiting for the materials for the Alice quilt and also for my mojo to return. Anyway, I should be doing something else than sewing, namely writing thank-you-cards for our wedding. Yes, I know ... We're VERY late! Our pictures FINALLY arrived last week, our photographer has been in and out of hospital and we had to wait quite some time for them. I bought baby pink and lime-green envelopes and small lime-green postcards to glue them on. This long and cold winter made me go for a springtime theme. I'm not sure about the lime coloured cards in retrospect, they give our faces in the black-and-white photographs a nice greenish tinge ... :-P

Also the stamps are going with the hopeful spring theme.

And look at the flowers J. got me for Valentine's! A perfect match! :-) These really cheer me up! I have to say that I'm feeling like this a lot lately:

At least it has been sunny the last couple of weeks, but still, I feel like this winter has been lasting forever! It's not all bad, though. Here are some pics I took on a walk we took to Seurasaari open-air museum last Sunday:

The bridge leading to the Seurasaari island. You can see people skiing and walking on the frozen sea.

A view from the bridge.

A typical traditional Finnish fence.

The roof of one of the houses re-built on Seurasaari.


There used to be Dutch-style windmills in 19th century rural Finland, too.

A neo-gothic summer garden house.

We took a shortcut over the ice to Hietaniemi.

The Prime Minister's residence Kesäranta ("summer shore").

So, I guess I should watch Groundhog Day, write the cards and think about the positive sides of winter!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Candy Store progress

tape measure

The sewing won on Friday and I finished the Candy Store quilt top! (Has there ever been a more perfect tape measure/project match, by the way? I got this one as a gift from a friend of mine last year. :-))

Candy Store top

I only used four blocks of the Alice fabric, because I wanted to keep it simple. The centre diamonds are going to be embroidered with different motifs, so I thought it's nicer to keep the whimsy to a minimum.

Alice and Sparrow detail

Sweet little sparrow. There a sparrows nesting under the roof of my father's house every year. They are so beautiful.

Alice and Rabbit detail

Alice and the Rabbit.

King detail

King and guard.

Alice and Cat detail

Alice and Chesire Cat.

Candy Store border detail

I decided against the Westfalenstoffe fabric for the border and went with this toned down black and white one. I think it provides a better frame for the fabrics used.

Candy Store detail

I love the little details in the fabrics. Lots to spy for a little one. And big ones, too ...

birdie detail

Now I have to draw up the motifs for the centre diamond panels. I will use the fabrics as inspiration for these. I'm waiting for the backing fabric and batting to arrive, so there's time to plan the drawings. This should be fun!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Alice in the Candy Store

The last couple of weeks have been quite busy for me, I've been working a lot and warding off a cold, so craftiness took the backseat for a while. This week I'm getting back my mojo and started a new project. We were asked if we'd like to become godparents to our friends' little girl, so I decided I wanted to make a small quilt for her to give on her Christening. I ordered an Alice-themed Fat-Quarter Custom Bundle from fabricworm and I love the fabrics in it! They have such a knack for putting together the loveliest sets! The colours are red, beige, grey, black and a bit of white.

It also includes two of the Alice fabrics by Kokka, you can see my favourite detail in the first picture above. I decided to make the Candy Store quilt from Material Obsession and (not counting the 16 centre plain squares!) the Bundle gave me enough fabric to cut the squares and triangles for the quilt top with some scraps to spare. Here and here are great pics of versions of Candy Store on flickr. (I dare you to do a flickr search on Material Obsession! You might get an awesomeness attack!!!)

I thought along the lines of the fabric above for the border and binding. I love all the classic Westfalenstoffe fabrics! Their design is timeless and they remind me of my first experiments with patchwork when I was 11. But let's see how the blocks come together, first ...

I already put together some of the Broken Dishes blocks. For the quilting of the 16 central panels I'm planning to draw up some Alice-themed motifs to underline the theme of the quilt. I'm really confident that this could become a really cute quilt. If only I finish it ...

Today, I have the whole day off and I'm torn between sewing and going to the National Museum. They have an exhibition on doll houses there right now and I'd really like to see it. Let's see ... Maybe I can have my candy and eat it, too? I'll let you know!