Saturday, September 19, 2009

Flower Crochet Sandals

I know the summer is over now, but I thought these are some cool crochet sandals we can all aspire to make. Being a crochet beginner I can surely tell you that making crochet flowers is not at all difficult. The difficult part here would be, first of to find some inexpensive (or not) plain sandals that we can decorate...and then to find a way t attach the flowers to them so that the would look good and not move or fall at all, perhaps just wrapping the yarn around the straps would do. Creations by Eve (the designer of these cool sandals) sells them on etsy for aprox $30-42 us Dollars, she lives in Greece and shipping is obviously not included! My next project just might be to run out to kengsinton market and find myself some simple leather sandals to revamp.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Crochet Inspiration (In honor of Edith-my crochet teacher)

This is how it works for me: It is not so much that I like the actual knitting, drawing, cooking, or making anything for that matter, but the fact of the actual "high" that I get when I see something that inspires me and I want to create. I get a sudden need to make that something at that very second, and that is the motor that urges me to learn to do all things I know. Don't get me wrong, I do love the process, but the inspiration is what drives me the most. I stumbled upon this designer and fell in love with her ideas. Although I know little about crocheting, I now want to learn more. These hats are cool, cute and funky, and I really want to make one. Unfortunately she does not sell patterns but the actual items... and as you already know : I LIKE TO MAKE THINGS. These are great ideas and the colors she uses could serve us as inspiration for any knitting or crochet pattern. She goes by the name of Sparkleberry Crafts and sells her stuff on etsy.

Her hats are lovely and I don't think they are expensive at all. It will probably end up being more expensive to to make one than to buy one already made. But the pleasure and the satisfaction that you get when creating, making and crafting something with your own hands is priceless! (even if it turns out as a hanukkah stocking)

It's All About Presentation

You don't have to be a graphic designer to realize how much importance is given to the way things look in order for us to buy them, eat them or appreciate them . Last week it was my daughter Andrea's B-Day, she absolutely loves Godiva chocolates. I decided to goto Fairview Mall and buy her a gift card so she can buy those ridiculously expensive chocolate covered strawberries as a treat instead of having to beg me when we go to the mall.

They didn't have any gift cards so I opted for buying her a cute little box with a single chocolate in shape of a cake instead. It was not until I paid the bill that I realized that the one tiny single chocolate was ...uh I think about 7 dollars! Yikes! oh well, the lady had packed it already with a couple of more things that I had bought and so I felt bad returning it, and plus, I knew she was going to like it.

Her birthday came, we gave her all her presents, and the small birthday cake chocolate which was elegantly packed in a box that was probably worth more than the actual chocolate. When she opened the box she was absolutely delighted, she took the chocolate into her mouth and asked me to take a picture. She ate that single tiny chocolate in about 6 bites! and she savored each and every one of them. It was then I realized that the friggen chocolate was oh so worth buying. This is why, my friends, I thought of writing about the importance of how we present things. Andrea is a lousy eater, but... she will eat anything that I give to her in a "princess" (as she calls it) presentation. And the truth is that she is not the only one. We all like things better when they are presented nicely to us. We will even buy a tomato sauce that we have not tried yet, just because we liked the packaging.
So here I present to you some gift wrapping inspirations. What I like about these is that they are not expensive, some of them use simple brown paper and a marker, newspaper, buttons, fresh flowers and even pattern tissue paper. Go ahead and wrap with imagination and throw in some love while you are at it.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Knitting Light

I wish I would have thought of this one, but I didn't. Ilotlove did and called it Matt.
I think this design concept is fantastic!

The first thing I thought when Nathan showed me these pictures was : Doesn't the yarn burn with the heat of the light bulb?...the answer is NO. This hanging light is designed with a 12 meter cable, is meant to be moved and played with. It uses an environmentally-friendly energy-saving bulb (Lola will love this one), the light emits no heat thus is safe to hang and integrate into your home.

Although Matt seems to be machine knitted, I don't see why it could not be done by hand and even use thicker yarn for a funkier look. I am not sure I will venture onto making one for my home, but I will definitely keep this idea in mind for a future project. Who said light can't be knitted? Hope it serves you as an inspiration as well.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Mystical Pomegranate

Pomegranate season is here! ... It's been a couple of weeks since I started seeing pomegranates appear in the supermarket and it reminds me that Rosh Hashanah is just around the corner.
In the past, I never really paid much attention to this fruit. Removing the seeds seemed somewhat of a laborious task, and I only eat some once a year during the high holidays. It is only recently that I learned to appreciate Pomegranates and started using them in various dishes all year around. This mystical and exotic fruits' popularity has been growing significantly due to its high antioxidant content and related health benefits. The Pomegranate has long be heralded as one of the great healing fruits in many regions and belief systems. In Rosh Hashanah we eat pomegranates as a symbol of abundant goodness. Jewish tradition holds that a pomegranate has 613 seeds, representing the 613 mitzvot that we are supposed to keep. We eat pomegranates as a symbolic gesture in the hope that our merits will increase like the seeds of a pomegranate.
Although there is no doubt that it would not hurt to earn a few merits for my spiritual growth, I like Pomegranates not only because they are tangy, sweet and delicious but also because the ruby-red jem-like seeds makes all kinds of dishes look beautiful and flamboyant. No question about it... pomegranate is one of my favorite foods.


On my endless search for interesting and exotic edible ideas, I found this incredible recipe that contains some of my favorite ingredients: Pistachios and Pomegranate. (From "Turquoise" by Greg and Lucy Malouf)

  • 3/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup pitted green olives, washed and coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup unsalted shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 2 small shallots, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 red serrano chile, seeded and finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon shredded flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon walnut oil
  • -- Splash of pomegranate molasses
  • -- Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • -- Sea salt
  • -- Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions: Preheat the oven to 350°. Scatter the walnuts onto a jelly-roll pan and roast for 5-10 minutes until a deep golden brown. Pour the nuts into a tea towel and rub well to remove as much skin as possible. Chop the walnuts coarsely and toss in a sieve to remove any remaining skin and dust.

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and toss gently. Leave to stand for 5 minutes or so before serving, to allow the flavors to meld.

Knitting for Mona

Lola finished her bag in time to take it to Mona. Not only that, but she took her knitting fever to London and had her niece knitting as well. Checo sent the long awaited pics for me to post on the Knitting Club.

Welcome home comadre and congratulations on this your first finished project!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

My Favorite Face Cleanser

Rituals Tri-Dosha Cleanser:
I met Andrea Olivera last summer after one of the yoga teachers at Yivamukti mentioned there was an amazing woman who offered indian head massage courses.The course was too much for Patty and I, so we decided to get an actual massage instead of learning how to do it to others. Long story short, I became good friends with this incredibly talented woman who was just starting to lounge her own natural beauty line. I ended up designing all labels and brochure for her, but never tried any of the products...I was too busy trying to get the work done in time!
When I finished printing and all, Andrea gave me a few of the products to try.
I absolutely loved her stuff, the tri dosha cleanser, the liquid nectar and the renewal cream leave your face feeling incredible.I promissed to make this blog of things I love, and since washing my face is one of the first things I do when I wake up, I could not help but think of this cleanser as one of my favorite things!

Mini Gift Box

This cute little bird box is made out of cardboard. I designed the layout in photoshop and then printed it in my computer. It is only 1 3/4" wide. Perfect for a pair of earrings, a charm or a small chocolate.
The one with the owl is a little envelope I used to put a vintage necklace I bought for Odette's B-Day.
She loves owls...and siete, is the magical number seven.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

My First Official Project Finished

Thank you Edith so so much for helping me sort out the slipper pattern. As it turned out I finished one slipper. Odette tried it on and half of her big toe was sticking out of the crochet pattern. I then decided not to crochet the other foot and opted to give it a better use. As of now it is hanging on Odette's post it wall with a cute little babushka in it. She re-named it "the "hanukah stocking" and has gotten her hopes up to find something in it for hanukahs eve.

Since I did not finish the other slipper, this one cannot be considered a finished project. How-e-ver it did serve me as an experience for learning how to read crochet patterns. So the infamous white bobble purse will be considered my first official finished project for The Knitting Club.

The Knitting Club

Thanks to my lovely daughter, this blog has finally commenced, it is really not because I watched Julie and Julia and I am not sure how long this will last, or how often I will post...and unlike Julie, I truly have no plan what-so-ever.

And the truth was told: Thanks to Lola's insistence on me joining the "knitting club", avant-garde knitting (as Odette has so elegantly put it) has become my recent obsession of choice. Thus the name for this my first blog: KNITTING BIRD. The knitting club (El club de las Tejedoras)is what we call ourselves. A group of women that get together twice a month to enjoy food, good company and laughs...some of us knit, others crochet, others are trying to get inspired, but we always bring home-made goodies and occasional visitors to the club. All I can say is that Thursdays have become a day of inspiration, laughter and creativity. This summer my best friend Patty knitted a couple of amazing bags during her visit to Toronto. Some of the girls did not get to see how they turned out, so I decided to email everyone the pictures. After this, my daughter Odette urged me to write a blog in which I can post all of our latest creations, food and all.
As Patty's bags were the fist to be photographed, it is only fair I post them here as the first official finished project of El Club de las Tejedoras.

My comadre Lola Child's amazing Provence setting is also posted as our first official photographed meal.

I want me a hanukkah stocking

I took the liberty to post the first blog. My mom made a cute little crochet stocking which to be perfectly honest is kind of impractical since your toes stick out of the holes. But who said that these are meant to be worn? We thought the best use for these would be to transform them into fun "hannukkah stockings". But what are these so called hannukka stockings? you might ask your self. Well. Ever heard of Christmas Stockings? Lets just say these are revolutionary stockings. All you have to do is hang them on your wall, put some goodies in them, and voilá!