Sunday, January 25

Fields of cotton wool and friends come by to visit


New Spring/Summer cotton wool arrrived at the shop, this is Bottone (I love that name)

Had a perfect first day at work again, after a week of vacation. Feels great to be back and especially with my new adopted substitute for ex-colleague Martine, Michéle. We have lots of fun and we can talk about the same things that are happening in our lives, like boyfriends, being dumped, falling in love, having crushes, music, videos, movies, clothes.. anyway, we're like on this same vibe (she's 23, I'm 35, makes sense doesn't it?), and I love working with her.


Michèle, my new colleague at the shop

I love it when people come over at the shop, it's a great way to share some detailed gossip and to show new arrivals.. Max and her friend came by to chat about the next party.. sweeeet!


Sweeeeeet!


And here are some pictures of the new Spring/Summer wool collection, more will arrive later this week, so I'll post more next time..


Santorini, Skiathos, Delos (available in different colors and effects)




Closer look at Santorini, Skiathos and Delos



Wonderful pale colored Duo Plus cotton




Also available in different colors



A very beautiful and shiny (but this picture isn't showing that) cotton wool Lucente




Lucente in different colors..


Here's a cool video!



Bye now, and remember : 'Springtime is only a rosebud away'

Friday, January 23

Vogue Complete Knitting stitches guide

I've had so much fun last night, spending some time with Julie and Dave, and on top of that Heinz gave me this great Vogue's Complete Knitting Stitches Guide by Anne Matthews. I love this book, all the stitches are inside, even if I'm not a knitter.



Vogue, Complete Guide Knitting Stitches by Anne Matthews




Over 450 different knitting stitches!


Example of a knitting stitch



I do like a man in a sweater :)



And some wonderful broderie


Woke up real early today, so got plenty of time to finish some projects.. back to the shop tomorrow after a week of vacation..




bye, and remember : 'Cobwebs on bakery signs'

Abacadabra buttons!


Abacadabra buttons! Who designs those things? I wish that the designer was mentioned on every back side of every button.. now it's like 'Artist Unknown' , which makes me wonder..


What a rainy day it was today here in Ostend, Belgium.. But I've made it to the fabric store without getting too wet. And what joy I found in that store! Buttons, the cutest and most adorable buttons I've seen in a very long time, and let me tell you, I've seen many buttons..


Also, that freakin' crosstitched parrot is finally finished, I've made some pictures on how to prepare your embroidery for further use in a project.


After the embroidery design is finished, wash it in some medium warm water and add some soap, I like to use shampoo, because when it's good for your hair, it's definetely good for your threads..



Be sure your water isn't too cold nor too hot




After washing it with the shampoo of your choice (but don't use anything for greasy hair though, normal shampoo works perfectly!)




lay your patch onto a towel and let it dry a bit..




Lay your patch on a towel and put a towel on top of it, and press with an iron.. (temperature for cotton will do nicely)




Et voila, the crosstitched design washed and neatly pressed..



Now you can add some buttons too,


I found these supercute buttons perfect for this project..



Speaking about buttons, look what I've found today at the fabric store here in Ostend, Belgium..


Telephone buttons!



Clock buttons!



Hello buttons!



Sweet tree buttons in pale pink!



Stars buttons!



One of my favorite buttons, EVER! Marble buttons!


I'm quite happy with the loot..

Bye now, and remember: 'A Spoon full of Buttons makes the day so much brighter!'

Thursday, January 22

Love, life and a parrot..




I'ts been a while since I've worked in the digital garden, and I must say it's become quite a jungle.

After a wild ride with life and love I've come to a point that I need to step a bit back, and relax more.. I'm sure many of you creative people out there have been overloaded with ideas and projects (referring again to a Craftypod episode on Craft Overload). And combine such a spirit with a broken heart and the end of working with a favorite colleague, et voila, ingredients for a big craft crash.. But all the while I kept on working.. never gave up the dream in which I still believe, the dream of creating your own world and inviting other people to join this world. Or better, to combine different worlds and make a bigger one.. There is no limit in our creative possibilities and there never will be.. I must have read this somewhere, it sounds so true..

Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is this, Facebook is great for networking, but is bad in cases of heartbreak..
and Blogging is the cure to craft crashes!

I'm making these dolls for a while now, seems sometimes they will never be finished, but it's so much work to make handstitched embroidery to use on their bodies that it takes hours and days, even weeks to complete even one patch.. Like this parrot for instance:


almost done.. *phew*



Finding the right fabric was quite difficult in this case, but I think I found the right design with these swatches of vintage furniture fabric. Woven, not printed!


And to start this new year with a new sketchbook I've got from my father, is always a good thing!


A soft beige semi leather covered Derwent journal.. a gift from my dad.



We were talking about drawing with ballpoints and preferably blue ones.. so I promised my dad that I would only use this for this sketchbook/journal..

I think I'm making my first drawing inside this gem of a journal tonight..

I'm also working on the video for singer Amalia Vermandere's debut CD, Wild Mild, a song called Playground. We've allready had so much fun making the video, that I couldn't resist posting a Making Of Video with Bloopers..



Bye now, and remember : Better to have lost in love, than never to have loved at all.. (*sniff*)

Saturday, January 10

Alice Through the Looking Glass

Listening to this audiobook from www.Librivox.org
clipped from librivox.org

Through the Looking-glass and What Alice Found There

by Lewis Carroll (1832-1898)

The sequel to “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” finds Alice back in Wonderland and a pawn in a surreal chess game. This weird and wonderful book includes the poems “Jabberwocky” and “The Walrus and the Carpenter,” a talking pudding, and that immortal line “Jam yesterday, jam tomorrow, but never jam today.” Lewis Carroll was the nom de plume of Charles Dodgson (1832-1890) an Anglican clergyman, photographer, and mathematician.

  • Gutenberg e-text
  • Zip file of the entire book (98 MB)
  • 01 - Looking Glass House - 00:21:23
    [mp3@64kbps - 10.2MB]
    [mp3@128kbps - 20.5MB]
    [ogg vorbis - 10.3MB]
  • 02 - The Garden of Live Flowers - 00:19:57
    [mp3@64kbps - 9.5MB]
    [mp3@128kbps - 19.1MB]
    [ogg vorbis - 10.4MB]
  • 03 - Looking-Glass Insects - 00:20:08
    [mp3@64kbps - 9.6MB]
    [mp3@128kbps - 19.3MB]
    [ogg vorbis - 10.7MB]
  • Hedgie Glitter

    You'll need some glitter of course, some glitter glue (I used Gutterman, but any other brand will do) and an old toothbrush (preferably one that has been used by yourself)



    Glitter, glitter glue and a toothbrush




    Add some glitterglue onto the toothbrush like you would when using toothpaste, really!



    Apply the glue onto the part of the crosstitched piece gently but quite firmly pressing the glue inside the threads.




    Sprinkle loads of glitter over the area you put the glue on.



    Wait for it to dry (like two hours is perfect) and remove the excess glitter.. brush slightly with soft towel and you've got yourself some glittering hedgehog, or something else.. whatever!

    Pirato Parroti scarf in fushia (and two colored striped buttons too)


    Pirato Parroti scarf in fushia collage
    A Spoon Full of Button by digibudi




    I've finished some scarfs today, here's the first one, it's for a new digibudi doll called Pirato Parroti.



    Fushia scarf crochet with cotton and finished with two colorful striped buttons and a button hole.




    The Pirato Parroti scarf in fushia can be easily adjusted with the help of two colorful striped buttons in two sizes.





    Accessories your digibudi doll with a customized Pirato Parroti scarf in fushia (although other colors will be available as soon as some tiny production issues are resolved..)




    Crosstitching the parrot design unto the Aïda 11ct fabric to be part of the new doll.



    Next post is all about hedgehogs with glitters!



    Sub Tutorial on how to use the Actions menu in PhotoShop

    If you have a group of photos that is photographed as a series, like when making step by step tutorials on how to's, it's easy to optimize your pictures fast and easy with the Actions menu in Photoshop. I've made a tutorial on how to use this menu.




    First of all, open a picture from your picture folder in Photoshop,
    Copy the background image as a safety when making mistakes.







    If it isn't allready open, open the Actions menu by choosing it inside the windows tab.







    Now you have the Actions menu open, click on the little button in the center of the red circle shown in this picture.







    You've just made a new set, inside this set we will put actions, so it's very practical to name your set with a list of these actions. Click OK when you're done.






    Now we're creating our first action, click on the 'create new action button' , center of red circle in this picture.





    Name your action, in this case 'Levels, UnsharpMask, Size'


    I'm gonna first level the picture so the shadows and lights are optimized, I'm gonna use a filter called 'Unsharp Mask' to enhance the details inside the picture, and after that I'm gonna resize the picture to a web friendly 500px width.

    You can also choose a color, this is helpful when working with more than one action inside your set. In this case I've recorded all my actions inside one action.






    Now the fun part starts.. inside the 'Actions menu' click on the 'record actions' button, the little red dot. After you've done that Photoshop will record every click of your mousebutton! Isn't that cool or what!? So, next click on the 'Adjustment layers' button and choose 'Levels'..






    Move the right level and middle level slightly until your picture is optimized.
    I like to slightly move the right triangle to the left, the higher the curve the more pixel information is available, if you move the triangle too much to the left, there will be loss on pixel information to the right.. so it's all a matter of finding a satisfying ballance. Midtones (middle triangle) and Hightones (right triangle) are usually the only levels that need to be optimized.
    Click OK..







    Now click on your background copy so we can apply the Unsharp Mask filter, you don't want that filter unto the Levels Adjustment layer, that would be stupid..







    Next choose 'Filters > Sharpen > Unsharp Mask
    This is my favorite filter in PS, it takes all the detail of a picture and makes it so much sharper.. It's very useful in pictures with metal, glass, hair, detailed structures like macro pictures of fabric and food.. Anyway, it's pure candy!





    Inside the 'Unsharp Mask' menu, slide the triangles until there is a nice ballance of quality and detail. I've put in my favorite data for Amount and Radius, Treshold I'd like to leave unchanged, because that's messing it up a bit too much.. It's tempting though..





    Because changing and optimizing pictures must be done with the largest image file size possible, we're now going to resize the picture so we can use it for the web. Choose Image > Image Size





    I like to use 500px width for all my blog pictures.. Check if the resize proportions are well set, and click OK!


    Now you're almost done with your Action Hero Queste..




    Inside your 'Action menu' click on the 'Stop button' next to the 'Record button'.





    Now open another picture from your picture series..




    Go inside the 'Actions menu' and click on the first action listed inside your set




    Press the 'Play button' at the bottom of the 'Actions menu'.. et voila! Your Action set will be automatically repeat each step you took in this tutorial.




    For safety, during the replay of the action you have to confirm a layer copy.. you can always change that during the first steps of recording your actions.. But I like to have a bit of control..



    This concludes the tutorial on how to use the Actions menu inside Photoshop..

    Back to my hedgehog, he's all covered in glitter at this moment, here's a sneak preview of the second part of the tutorial on making a patchwork pencil case.. or something like that.. :)



    How to glitter your crosstitch design without messing it up..


    Bye now, and in the meantime, a Spoon Full of Buttons to everyone!