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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

My Little Walnut Pincushions ...

Hello my dear friends,

I am very excited today to share a little something that is special for me.

A few months ago I was approached by Katerina from the online magazine Alovak and asked if they could publish one of my older creations. Of course I said yes! (I was so buzzed about this!) It is so lovely being asked to be published and I am so grateful for Katerina reaching out to me and that is what I am sharing with all of you today!

Alovak is a online magazine it is from Minsk, Belarus.
It came to life in April 2015 and it is all about crafts and being creative in many different ways and this month they have just published their 9th issue.

This is what Katerina, who contacted me, told me about the thoughts behind Alovak ...

"We think that creativity should be present in the life of every person, regardless of his kind of activities and education. The aim of the project is to inspire readers to new achievements, to search for oneself and ones' own creative individuality. In the magazine you find interviews with talented people, original author's materials about creativity, master classes and useful advice of professionals, searching for inspiration."

You can read all issues of Alovak magazine for free, just click on the link under the cover photo above and it will take you there.

 Every issue of Alovak has a certain theme. The theme of the June 2017 issue is about walnuts and what you can do with them. My two little walnut pincushions from my "to put it in a nutshell" posts which I had made some years ago were chosen by the magazine for publishing. I hadn't made a tutorial back then when I actually made the little pincushions but I have now. You will find all the instructions either in the online issue of Alovak or below in this post, that you will need to make a little walnut shell pincushion. Oh, by the way, the word 'alovak' translated means "pencil".

I chose to work with walnut shells because they are such a beautiful little creation by Mother Nature. Of course they are also so very cute and just neat to work with too.

... and here is the how-to that I wrote for the magazine.

(This isn't one of my step by step tutorials with photographs but just a written tutorial. I am hoping it is written well enough for anyone to be able to create a little walnut shell pincushion.)

You will need the following to make one pincushion ...

~ A half of a walnut shell
~ 4 X 4 inches piece of fabric of your choice
~ Fibrefill
~ Needle and strong thread
~ Scissors
~ Crafting glue
~ A small piece of lace and trim
~ Something pretty to decorate your pincushion with

And additional for the hanging pincushion ...

~ A piece of seam binding and little metal ring

This is how you make the little pincushions ...

... cut a circle from your fabric, approx. 3 inches in diameter. Using your needle and thread, sew a running stitch about 1/4 inch away from the edge. (You are making a sort of fabric yo-yo that you need to stuff.) Now stuff your yo-yo with your fiberfill. You need to see how much stuffing will fit into your walnut shell. Once it fits and fills the shell firmly, pull the threads tight and then tie the threads in a knot and cut off the excess thread. Now glue your yo-yo into your shell. Next decorate your little pincushion to your heart's content with anything you like. Add lace or trim to it, or leave it plain if you wish. I love to add a small piece of old lace and a little piece of sparkle to mine.

If you wish to hang your little walnut shell pincushion, make a bow from a length of seam binding and place it aside. If you would like to use crinkled seam binding, I have a tutorial on how to make it on my tutorial page. Now thread another piece of your seam binding through your little metal ring and knot the ends. (The length of seam binding depends on how long you would like it too hang.) Using your craft glue, glue the seam binding with the knot onto the top of the shell and then glue the bow in front of it, covering the knot and make it look pretty.

And now you are done and have a lovely little walnut shell pincushion.
This is a neat little something to make for yourself, as sweet little gift or you can use it as a Christmas tree decoration even. It is up to you!

For anyone new to Todolwen ... I have over 30 free tutorials on my tutorial page and several for sale in my Etsy shop too. Why not pop over to both sites and take a look, you might just find something you would like to try out.

Thank you for taking the time to visit me here today at Todolwen. It is always so nice when you do.

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

Have a peaceful and creative day.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

A Little White Thistle Flower ...

Hello my dear friends,

after I made my little purple thistle flower pincushion, I knew I wanted to make a pincushion but with the very subtle colors like white, off-white, beige and grey and I have now done so and that is what I am sharing with all of you today.

I only had one more of the larger pocket watch casings that had the little "ring" at the top where I could thread the seam binding through to make a crochet watch chain. It also wasn't like the plain one I used with the purple thistle. This one had a train design engraved onto the backing. At first I was a little concerned that it wouldn't look nice but it was done, I do think it suits the little pincushion after all.
And here is my newest pocket watch pincushion.

I call it simply "A Little White Thistle".

It has turned out just as neat as my other thistle pincushion did ~ just take a look!

I hope you have enjoyed my newest little making. 

 This pincushion is already spoken for but I am going to be listing my purple thistle pincushion in my Etsy shop in the next few days if any of you might be interested. Right now I am working on a few new ideas and hopefully one of them will turn out the way I hope it would. What ever does works out  I will of course share with all of you, here on Todolwen.

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

Have a peaceful and creative day.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Have You Entered Your Name Yet? ...

Hello my dear friends,

have you entered your name yet?

There is still time to enter my "Christmas To Come" 2017 giveaway!

All you have to do is click on the button on my right sidebar and it will take you to my original post of my giveaway. You will be able to read all about it there, what it is about and why I do it.

 Leave a comment there and there only and your name will go into the draw.
Some time next month I will pick the winner.
So ... off you go now and good luck to all of you!

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

Have a peaceful and creative day.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

My Little Thistle Flower ...

Hello my dear friends,

remember this little embroidered thistle flower I just recently made?

I so love they way it looks, just so neat and different too. 

After making the little flower in white crochet thread, I couldn't resist dyeing some of the thread in a lovely shade of purple to give the little flower some color. Of course I couldn't resist making a pincushion that I could embellish with this sweet little embroidered flower. I used two different shades of strong thread for the stem and to hug and hold the pale purple blossom. Two small pieces of sari silk ribbon became the leaves. As always, seam binding was a must and I chose to use the one that is closest in color to the drop cloth, again one of my favorites. Seam binding also became the "chain" of this pocket watch pincushion. I crochet it and as the final touch I added a bow made of crinkled seam binding to the end and then it was done!

I made it very simple but very pretty in my eyes and that is what I am sharing with all of you today.

My "Little Thistle Flower".

I love it when things turn out the way I hope they would and this is for sure one of them.
 I think it might be one of my new favorites.

Did you know that the thistle flower stands for so many good things?! Like bravery, devotion, strength and determination and the thistle is also the national flower of Scotland, a beautiful place. And last but not least ... did you know that the thistle is a part of the sunflower family? Who would have known right?!

Hopefully today I will have the time to start working on another pincushion again with this little flower but this time, I am going with the way I made it the first time, a little white flower.

So if you have a little spare moments, then do come back some time again and see what I have been up too.

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

Have a peaceful and creative day.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

My Newest Pincushions ...

Hello my dear friends,

at last, I took a few photos that I am quite content with yesterday afternoon and now I am happy to share my newest creations, three pocket watch pincushions, with all of you. The pictures are a little lighter than they should be but that doesn't take away from how neat my newest makings have turned out. In reality the colors are a tiny bit more intense than they appear in the photos.

After dyeing more bits and pieces I just knew, I was going to make some more pincushions using them and I have enjoyed making these lovely pieces so much. They are all made with the same concept ... old linen, seam binding, a pieces from a vintage doily that have been hand dyed in some very lovely shades of colors and of course an old pocket watch casing. Each pincushion was given a vintage piece of sparkle that was perfect for it, as that final little touch.

And here they are, my newest pincushions!

I named the first one ...

... "Past Thyme"

It is made in different delicate  shades of green and is just so pretty.

The second one I named ...

... "Summer Thyme".

This one is made with some of my green and purple dyed bits and pieces and again I am quite happy with  it too.

And last but not least, my third and last pincushion that I am sharing with you today.

I named it ... "A Hue Of Purple".

It is made in shades of very light and delicate dyed purple lace, linen and seam binding.

There is just something about these delicate and very subtle colors that is taking hold of me right now, making me want to use more like them which I am sure, I will in the future.

I still have some other finished creations to share with all of you, I just have to find the time to write the post to go with them again. It seem that all sorts of other "things" keep me busy and away from doing so today. but maybe later on this evening I will be able to get it done, so fingers crossed.

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

Have a peaceful and creative day.

Monday, June 19, 2017

I Am Having Issues ...

Hello my dear friends,

it seems that I am having issues ... to be exact photography issues.
(Oh, I hate stupid little things like this that bother me so much!)

I have been busy and have new creations to share but for whatever reason, I am not able to take any photos that I am happy with to share with all of you. I must have taken maybe 200/300 photos these last 4 days and deleted them all again. Either it was too bright or too dark or I just couldn't get a clear and sharp enough picture or I just didn't like the look of them. Maybe I am just being way too picky, I don't really know. One thing I know, is that I am a little frustrated.

The crazy thing is, that if I take photographs from far away and outside they turn out amazing!
See the little chipmunk on our deck ... I took this picture from over 30 feet away and it turned out very nicely, so why can't I take a decent photo of something I have made?!

Talking about the little critter on my deck ... this little chipmunk had decided to become a "house guest" for a several days. It had somehow gotten into into our basement and made it it's home. I haven now caught the little critter and I am happy to tell you that I have successfully re-homed the it to the park down the road, near a creek that flows there first thing this morning. Now that is something to be quite happy about!

As they say, tomorrow is another day and hopefully I will have a post with some of my newest creations to share with all of you, so if you have a few spare moments, why not stop by and see what I have been up too.

Thank you for taking the time to visit me today, here at Todolwen. It is always so nice when you do.

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

Have a peaceful and creative day.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Doves In Our Tree ...

Hello my dear friends,

you all know of my love for the mourning doves that visit our garden and I have told you about them before and about how they have been nesting of and on in our blue spruce tree that is in the front of our house every year for three years now.

Just recently I had shared in a post on how the dove couple had laid an egg just over 7 weeks ago but after weeks of nesting, it turned out that the egg had no baby in it. A few days later I removed the egg from the nest and to surprise the doves started to nest again almost right away. It didn't take long and there was a new egg laying in the nest and I was again excited. For weeks after, I had kept an eye on the tree and the happenings in the nest but I never got too close in fear of scaring the doves. On June 1st as I again took a very careful look at the nest and to my surprise I caught a glimpse of a baby dove! Three years and five eggs later and finally a baby dove has hatched but I didn't celebrate right away ... so many things could still go wrong. One of them is that we have too many cats in the neighborhood that are let outside and left to do what ever they want to do which includes killing wildlife which upsets me a lot. I am a cat owner too and my cats stay inside. It is safer for them and for the wildlife too.

But back to my good news again now ...

Every day I would look at the nest for a very short moment, just to make sure all was well. I didn't cut my front lawn for weeks so I wouldn't disturb the nesting birds and scare them away from their chick. I took notes of when what happened in the tree and waited patiently for the baby to make it's first appearance away from the blue spruce and a few days ago that day had finally arrived!

I was on my way to take a photo on my first rose of the year and had my camera with me which I am so happy about, when I found the little feathered critter, now a fledgling sitting on our driveway.

And this is it! ...

... Our sweet little mourning dove!

I spooked it a little and it went into hiding but I didn't see where. I didn't want to look for it so I wouldn't make things worse but Mom and Dad dove wanted to be close to it, so they started to look for it right away.

They even looked ...

... inside our house even!

They also looked ...

... inside the tree ...

... and searched the surrounding areas too.

After a while they came onto the back deck to get a drink of cool water ...

... and then flew off again to search for their baby again.

For the rest of the day I kept watching out for any signs of the doves and their baby.  Later on in the day at last, there they were! Baby and all on our deck. Needless to say that I spent a lot of time at the windows ...

... watching the little dove and everything that was going on.

I was so fortunate to actually ...

... see the little dove as it was being fed by one of it's parents and also capture a photo of it too.

Just look at this lovely and sweet little bird baby ...

... it took years for it to happen but at last a baby dove is here!

Over the next several hours I also was watched the adult doves teach their offspring how to fly. At first only a few feet, then from tree to tree, from our deck to the fence and back and in the end then from one end of our yard to the other. I can't tell you how wonderful it was to be able to watch all of this. My heart is still filled with so much joy! That was the last time I saw the new little dove and the adult ones too. I am hoping that they are all well and that their baby will grow to be a "big bird" and maybe one day come back to our yard again.

The nest in our blue spruce is once again empty but ...

... maybe next year we will have a little miracle happen in it again.

And last but not least and before I forget ...

... this is my first rose of the year ~  simply lovely.

It is so nice that you took the time and stopped by to visit me here at Todolwen and I would love for you to return some time again.

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

Have a a peaceful and creative day.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Trying Something New And Different ...

Hello my dear friends,

whilst waiting for my newest dyed bits and pieces to dry a few days ago, I just couldn't sit around, doing nothing and wait. No, I had to keep myself busy. I had recently found a short tutorial on Pinterest on how to make what is called a 3 D embroidery. This tutorial was about making a tassel flower. I think they call it a tassel flower because you start making it as if you were to make a tassel. I personally think it looks like the flower of a thistle plant and I liked it's look so much, that I just had to try it out. 

I wanted it to look simple but pretty so I chose white crochet thread, strong sewing thread and my favorite ... drop cloth for this project. I also wanted it to be small, as small as I could make it. My first attempt is now done and I am quite content with the outcome. It took me a little longer than I thought it would in the beginning because the loops of thread would slip out of my fingers and I would have to start over again and wind them up but in the end I did it!

And this is my first little thistle flower ...

I am not quite there just yet with my rough edges and uneven stitches but with a little more practice, I am sure that in the end I will be very happy with it. I am already thinking of what I am going to make where I can use this little lovely flower ... any thoughts? One thing I do know is that I am excited to make more of these neat blooming pretties.

And last but not least ...

... this morning the little cottontail bunny was visiting our garden again and I was able to get a few new photos of the little furry critter. You can already see that it has grown since the last time I shared pictures of it.

The little critter sat in the morning sun, keeping an eye out for anything that moved and then went back home again after a while. It's short visit sure did brighten my morning a lot more than it already was.

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

Have a peaceful and creative day.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

More Fabric Dyeing ...

Hello my dear friends,

my newest dyed pieces are now done and dry and that is what I am sharing with you today.

I not only dyed some more of my old linen but I also cut up a vintage doily and added let the pieces to the color baths. I tried to get them to match the seam binding I had done.

Subtle and delicate shades ...

... of colors. 
Oh, the pretty things I am going to make with these!

Now they are ready for me to work with and there is no doubt in my mind that I will be making more pincushions again. I don't think I have made that many lately but that is about to change. I am also working on a few other little things these days. It is just so nice to be creative right now. I am enjoying myself so much and I want to make the most of it. As always, I will share what ever I create with all of you here on Todolwen.

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

Have a peaceful and