Thursday, January 31, 2013

Two Years Already ...

Hello my dear friends,

oh no ... I can't believe it ... I forgot it!!
... I forgot my 2 year blog anniversary on January 24th! 
( I am such a scatterbrain these days ~ really!)

It has been 2 years now that I have been blogging here at Todolwen and both of them were wonderful. I have gotten to know so some many lovely people out there in blogland and all over the world and I would like to thank all of you for 'holding my hand' on my journey. Also for all your lovely and kind words, for encouraging me when ever I needed it and for giving my advice when I needed it too.

'Thank you' to all of you from the bottom of my heart.

And what goes best with an anniversary ...

... a giveaway ...

... and everybody can take part!

But I am not there just yet with deciding what is going to be my giveaway gift ~ I need a little more time ... maybe a few days and then I will let you know. So don't leave a comment here just yet ~ save it and in a few days I will write my giveaway post to share with all of you lovely bloggers and that is where you may leave a comment if you wish to do so.

So ... y'all come back now and visit me here at Todolwen again!

I hope you are well and life is treating you kind my dear friends.

Have a peaceful and creative day,

Karen B.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Make Or Break ~ Literaly

Hello my dear friends,

I sometimes just can't help myself not to buy something ... like yesterday. I was out doing my out~of~house chores and decided to stop at one of our thrift stores and of course there was one thing that I just  had to buy. The reason for me buying it was that 'It was only $3.99!' I was saying to myself and it is a challenge to myself as well. Also on top of that, these things are expensive to buy and finding vintage/antique ones is getting harder all the time.

What did I buy? 

 ... this cloche.
Why is it a challenge? ... because I don't really like it the way it looks.

 I am sure some of you love this piece just they way it is but unfortunately I don't. I would prefer it much more if it had been plain glass without anything decor on it at all.
What do I hope for? ... that I will find a way to get the transfers off the glass without damaging or breaking the cloche.

I am not planning on working on this just yet, maybe this Spring time when it is a bit warmer and I will for sure get you up to date what happened next with this.

I hope you are well and live is treating you kind my dear friends.

Have a peaceful and creative day,

Karen B.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

My Little Part Of The Pink Scarf Project ..

Hello my dear friends,

I am finally finished with my next gifts for Vicki's ~ 2 Bags Full ~ 'Pink Scarf Project". I know I should have worked on this earlier but it seems with everything happening here with the renovations I didn't get to do so but now they are done.

  I had sent off my first scarf weeks ago right after it was finished. In the beginning I worked non~stop on my next ones and then nothing until these past days and the only thing I had to do is embellish them.

 At first I was only going to add some of my little crochet flowers but now I also added one of my new little 'flutter~bys'. I read that the symbolic meaning of the butterfly is ... the soul, lightness, celebration, transition and resurrection which is so perfect for this creation!

Not only have I finished the the first one ... 
... but the second one is completed too ~ not exactly the same but still scarf sisters. Very soon they will be on their way to sweet Vicki.
And last but not least ...
... this is one of our cats Alexia ~ she loves to be close to me almost all of the time.
This time she decided to sleep on my photo taking area just as I was going to take some new photos to share with you but I just couldn't make myself wake her up and move her away, so the photos will have to wait a little longer.
I hope you are well my dear friends and life is treating you kind.
Have a peaceful and creative day,
Karen B.

Monday, January 28, 2013

My Little Garden Visitors ...

Hello my dear friends,

I am sure that you all know by now how much I love the little wildlife that can be found in my backyard and that I just love sharing photos of it with all of you lovely bloggers and this is one of those posts.

It had been snowing here again over the past few days and with the snow we have little critters ~ furry and feathered ~ coming into our garden to find a little something to nibble on.

From a beautiful vibrant cardinal ...
...  to a little squirrel sitting and waiting in line ...
... until the little sparrow is done with his turn.
And this was our newest little feathered visitor ...
... a little woodpecker.
This is one of the reasons why I love our house and our back yard  ... even though we live in the city we have so many little visitors to our garden and I love that so much ~ Just like I love it when you lovely bloggers visit me here at Todolwen!
I hope you are well and life is treating you kind my dear friends.
Have a peaceful and creative day,
Karen B.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Missing Something ..

Hello my dear friends,

I was sitting in front of my laptop early yesterday morning looking at my Todolwen when I got the feeling that I am missing something and then it came to me ... I haven't got a blog button! 

Well ... the blog button thing needs to be fixed so with the help of my daughter Ashleigh, since I am not so good with these gadget things, Todolwen has now got a grab button since yesterday which is located on the right hand side of my blog page.

So ... what do you think? I love it!
So my dear friends, now I have a blog button that you can grab if you wish.
I hope you are well and life is treating you kind my dear friends.
Have a peaceful and creative day,
Karen B.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Something New To Try ..

Hello my dear friends,

as you can tell by my little crochet tutorials that I do like to crochet ~ not too much but I do like to make a few little bits here and there like my little flowers that I just love using in many of my creations. To do so I have 2 or 3 different cotton yarns and they are in white/off~white or ecru. Why no colors? Well, I don't crochet enough to justify buying different colored yarns really that in the end it would take me forever to use up if at all. So I have come up with a neat way of fixing my 'little need' for different colors.
Everybody I am sure has tea or coffee dyed their muslin or another fabric, doilies or something at one stage. I did and still do too. I even tried teas like raspberry to get a soft lilac color. (To my sadness it did fade away after a while and now needs fixing again.)
What to do? ... improvise of course!
I opened my pantry cupboard and there was the solution to my problem in the form of food coloring!
Yes, you did read right... a little box with 4 tiny bottles of yellow, red, blue and green food coloring. Now I needed test subjects so out came the yarn and with in 15 minutes I had a little gathering of  'Flutter~bys' together. Next step ... a small shallow glass, a bit of cold water, my food coloring and now let the magic begin.
Adding only a few drops of food coloring to a small amount of water, I let my little flutter friends sit in the colored water for a few minutes or so. It didn't take long at all and when I pulled the first ones out I was quite content with them I must say. OK now another color ~ love it!

 Really for pennies you can give your little flowers, violets and now butterflies too color that will only take a very short time to do. The only thing that takes a bit longer is the drying of them, which is done best laying on a piece of paper kitchen towel (beware they do bleed color when wet!) and that's all. One last little tip is ... the side that is facing down onto the kitchen towel is the one that will be the more colorful side. That is all you have to do!
So ... why not give it a try? 
The flutter~by on the bottom right hasn't been tea dyed.

Don't you think that my little flying critters looks so neat now with all their new color?

Even my little flowers take very nicely to their new pale color.
I have only tried two different colors so far but I will be trying more in the future. I hope this tip gave you a little new idea to work with.
It would be nice if you were to visit me sometime soon again.
I hope you are well and life is treating you kind my dear friends.
Have a peaceful and creative day,
Karen B.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Amazing Michaels Deals ..

Hello my dear friends,

 ... it's cold outside! Our temperatures are dropping here in southern Ontario and more snow is coming too. It was  -29 C at noon just before lunch time two days ago and the day before that it was just a  bit warmer but not by much.

But the weather did not keep me inside and away from finding great deals at Michaels ~ no it didn't. I really didn't think that I would find very much neither but I did and I saved so much money that it made my day. My bill should have come to over $143 but it only came to $32!!

I found all sorts of things like ... a new Martha Stewart glitter in an amazing apple green color, Tim Holtz label pulls, a complete Christmas stamp set and all other sorts of bits and pieces of crafty things and I am sure I will be able to use all of them this year round when creating new treasures.

Take a look ...
(I am sorry that some of the pictures aren't so good ~ it was a bad photo day for me)

This stamp set was an amazing deal ~ from $25 down to $2.50!

These berries were one of the last Christmas sale items I found.
Also a deal ... from $13.50 down to $1.35!

This is actually scrap booking fabric.

I bought these rather large clock hands for a special project.
I haven't worked out all the fine detail yet but I am sure I will get there some time.
These tags are one of Michaels new $1.50 bin (here in Canada) pieces and they come in all different shapes.
All I have to do is make sure I use all of these in some of my creations and don't forget I have them tucked away in a drawer (again). I must say it really is worth going out of your way a little some times even if you don't really feel like it. In this case I saved a lot of money.
I hope you are well my dear friends and life is treating you kind.
Have a peaceful and creative day,
Karen B. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

My Little 'Flutter~By' ~ A Tutorial

Hello my dear friends,

this past Sunday morning was not very nice when it came to the weather. We had quite a storm that started in the middle of the night which woke me up at 4.15 am and kept me up for a few hours. Fortunately everything went well the rest of the night/early morning but we still had high wind warnings all day. So... what does a girl do when there is no point heading outside? ... she makes a new tutorial to share with her lovely, sweet and thoughtful bloggers! And that is what I did.

I love my tiny crochet little flowers and my modest violets a lot because of their beauty and because they are so quick and easy to make and they can be used in so many ways. That's why I thought that it would be nice to create something little that will be perfect to pair up with either of them and that would be ... a little crochet butterfly. After a few tryouts and one of them went terribly wrong, I was happy with the look of the little flying fellow that I created and I was ready to share him with you and here he is ...
... my little 'Flutter~By'.
You will need the same things as if you were crocheting my tiny flower or the modest violet ...

~ a crochet hook ~ I used a 1 mm hook 
~ crochet yarn that is right for the strength size for the size of hook
~ scissors
~ a black marker (I will show  you what for further down)
...that's all!

The little butterfly is very easy to make and it is again only one row.
 I have given you the instructions in the written form and again as a chart so you may pick which one you prefer to use. 

And this is how you make the little critter ...

... make a magic ring leaving a little tail, it will be needed later.

Now crochet the following into the ring ...

... 6 chain stitches, 1 double treble, 2 treble, 1 double crochet, 3 chain stitches, one slip stitch ...

next ...
3 chain stitches, 1 double crochet, 1 treble, 4 chain stitches, 1 slip stitch ...

now ...
4 chain stitches, 1 treble, 1 double crochet, 3 chain stitches, 1 slip stitch ...

and finally ...
3 chain stitches, 1 double crochet, 2 treble, 1 double treble, 6 chain stitches, 1 slip stitch ...
and that is it!!

Leaving a thread 'tail' for pulling ~ cut your thread now. 
 Take both of your thread 'tails' and pull them very tight to make the butterfly form.
Then tie a knot in the thread 'tails' and pull very tightly again ...
... then cut them off short leaving about half an inch. These are now your little critter's antennae.

This is a neat little butterfly ~ just over the size of a penny.
And this is where a black marker might come in handy.
If you prefer your little flutter~by to have black antennae ...  
... then using your marker, very carefully dye them black but make sure you don't get too close to the body so that you don't accidentally mark it.

And that's all that's to it ... you are done! 
I decided to use a small earring as the butterflies body, but you can use anything you would like really or leave it just as it is. I hope you have enjoyed my latest tutorial ~ it was really neat to make it!
It is so nice when you stop by here at Todowlen and visit me, so maybe I will see you here soon again.
I hope you are well my dear friends and life is treating you kind.
Have a peaceful and creative day,
Karen B.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Last Treasures Of The Old Year

Hello my dear friends,

I don't know why it has taken me a while to get this post together. I think it was because I had to search for most of my last year treasures in my studio where they were already hiding away with all my other supplies.

I didn't go crazy this time. I just bought some things that I knew I was going to be able to work with for this coming Christmas. I actually can't believe I am already thinking about Christmas 2013 when Christmas 2012 was only a few weeks or so ago! I think it must be a crafter thing ~ right?!
I already have a really neat idea for these Christmas tree boxes ~ they were a last find at Michaels.
And these wire garlands are another last minute find.
Gold and silver metal pendants are a must for me!
And then I found snowflakes ... lots of snowflakes glistening in white, gold and silver ...
looking so pretty large and small!
And last but not least ...
... little vintage Monopoly houses made from wood.
 These will be perfect for a new Christmas idea that I already have.
Finding treasures is such a rewarding little past time. If it's one treasure or many I am always very pleased with the outcome. Now I will just have to wait about 10 months or so, so I can start creating with them (sigh).
One nice thing about it is that this could be a reason for you to return and visit me again ...
here at Todolwen but saying that ... why not pop by tomorrow and see what I have been up to these past few days.
I hope you are well and life is treating you kind my dear friends.
Have a peaceful and creative day,
Karen B.

Monday, January 21, 2013

My Little 'White Bliss' ..

Hello my dear friends,

today I would like to share my newest creation with you. I get such a buzz when I have a new idea and it turns out exactly the way I thought it would.
I don't know if you remember these ...

... antique Christmas tree candle holders from Germany.
 Unfortunately Christmas has passed and I never got to make a little creation for the wonderful season out of one of these but I wanted to use one of these just differently now and then I knew what I was going to do.
Out came my little red book and the idea for my newest creation was born ...
...and my crochet hook wasn't far away either.
It didn't take very long and it was completed my newest pincushion!
I have never made a white on white creation so this was the perfect time to try it out and it turned out so nice. Enough talking now ... here are some photos so you can see what I have created.
My little 'White Bliss".
I was planning on adding a white bow made from Hug Snug but it would have covered up most of the beautiful detail of the candle holder.

The really neat thing is that you can take the top part of from the holder and it can stand on it's own. 

I love this little piece so much.
 I actually already have a different idea for another one of these candle holders and this time it is a Christmas creation so I won't be showing you it just yet when it is completed ~ it might become a 'Christmas in July' creation?!
It would be nice for you to visit me here at Todolwen again some time.
I hope you are well and life is treating you kind.
Have a peaceful and creative day,
Karen B.