Monday, March 30, 2009

Making a Kusudama

As soon as I saw this on Folding Trees I knew it was my next project! You can find the tutorial on how to make the kusudama here (part 1)and here (part 2).

I used this pretty wrapping paper that you might remember from my little paper hand project. It worked really well for the kusudama because the back of the paper is a darker blue colour which you can see in the centre of each flower.

The tutorial doesn't specify what type of glue to use but you need something fast drying because you need to hold the paper in place until the glue dries. I used superglue, which was great because it dried so quickly but not so great for breathing in fumes :( and then there was the time I stuck my fingers together, um, make that three times. Argh!

In the tutorial beads are used to tie on the bottom. Instead I used some wooden buttons - you can see how I tied them on -just threaded the string through two of the holes and tied a knot above and below each button.

This project took a little while but was perfect for doing on the way to and from my mother-in-law's (much safer than knitting in the car!) and while we were sitting around there on Sunday (because just sitting around doing nothing much tends to drive me slightly insane!).

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Got a spare 3.3 million?

Last night we went out for a quick walk just as the light was fading. We headed to a little parcel of vacant land that we spied about a month ago. It's in a quiet little area close to where we live at the moment.

The light at this time is so beautiful.

We talked to a couple of locals and found out that the land belongs to the government but the land adjoining with four rundown (and badly built in the first place) houses on it is for sale...a cool 3.3 million Turkish Lira (very roughly 3 Million Australian dollars or 2 million US dollars).

Sure the places look pretty ramshackle (and apparently there is a condition on the land that you are only allowed to 'restore' them)

But the views!
At the moment we're just going to keep on dreaming!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

In the spirit of 'free-ness'...

I thought I would continue the theme of free things with a link to this great project called 'Feed Your Soul: the free art project'. The project is being organised by IndieFixx and has some cute little prints ready to download and many more in the works.

My favourites so far are this one by Mandy Sutcliff (from Belle and Boo)

And this one by Jessica Rose

I had a look at the upcoming schedule and am also looking forward to the contribution by Ryan Berkley (Berkley Illustration).

Yay! Free art!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Notepaper: A download for you

Yesterday morning I made some mini note cards - not too big, not too small. They are about 10cm high and 9cm wide. Just the right amount of space to tell someone you miss them, or you love them or to thank them very much.
I thought you might like to send some little notes too, or leave a list of jobs for your partner (hint, hint!) or put a note in your little one's lunch box. So here is a download for you. They print six to a page. Just click on the link below, click on download and print away!

Click here for the mini notes download.

This is the very first pdf download I am posting - so fingers crossed and let me know if you have any problems.
**edit: reposted now and you should now be able to print without having to deal with setting up an account or anything like that. Yay!**

Monday, March 23, 2009

Technical difficulties...

Due to technical difficulties Making Mondays will be 'Making Tuesdays' this week. (technical difficulties = a little boy who does not want to go to sleep!) See you tomorrow!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

It don't mean a thing...

...if it ain't got that swing!
I got inspired while at my local coffee place when they were playing a track that sampled this classic jazz piece.

This was the result - some cool little cats playing some swinging tunes on the roof top.

I am having a little trouble getting these pics for the net to look crisp and clear like the actual work (it's all a learning process I guess), but I wanted to give you a peek in the meantime.
What have you all been up to? Making anything at the moment? Spring cleaning? Having fun on the weekend? I would love to hear from you...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Minestrone for Spring

I love having a fresh tasting Minestrone in early spring, when the sun is starting to shine through but there is still a chill in the air. Minestrone comes from the part of Italian cooking called 'cucina povera' - the poor kitchen and it can vary a lot depending on the chef and what vegetables are in season. This is my Spring version.

Olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 leek, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
2 potatoes, chopped
3 ripe tomatoes chopped (you could use a can of tomatoes, but I use fresh tomatoes to keep the flavour a little lighter)
1 1/2 cups of water
2 1/2 cups of vegetable stock (I prefer the kind bought in liquid form, it is so much tastier, but here I am stuck with cubes)
1 cup of pasta
Spring onions, chopped -about a handful for soup and extra to serve.
Grated Parmesan (to serve)
It is also delicious and fresh tasting with basil stirred through it just before serving - I just couldn't get my hands on any.

Cook onion and garlic in large saucepan until onion softens. Add leek and carrot, cook for 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, potatoes, water and stock and bring to the boil. Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. Cook pasta. Stir pasta through soup. A few minutes before serving stir through spring onions. Serve with spring onions, parmesan and pepper on top. And of course some delicious thick pieces of bread.

Perfect after a morning working in the garden or running after a certain 16 month old at the park!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Making paper flowers for Spring

OK, so I am crazy in love (with the emphasis on crazy) with this weeks project - paper flowers in blossom branches made using the tutorial from Dozi Design. I knew that I had fallen head over heels when Senol caught me staring lovingly at it. Lol!

This little crafty project would be great to make with kids -it is so easy. It just involves drawing a swirl on some paper, cutting it out and then rolling up the swirl of paper.

Yashar is a little young to be wielding scissors just yet but he had a great time collecting the branches with us. The blossom petals were falling down on us like little snowflakes. It made my heart all tingly.

And Yashar loved being held up in the branches to give the blossom a closer inspection.
After making the flowers I just arranged them on little twiggy bits on the branches with a sneaky bit of blue tac when needed (not often). I think a long thin vase would be great for this but the jug (which I love) was all we had. I used paper that was slightly thicker than standard printer paper and that had a little bit of texture to it which I think this worked well. Once the blossom falls off I will put some smaller paper blossoms closer to the ends of the branches. Hello Spring!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Election time is here again...

The most popular campaigning method appears to be flags...everywhere! So fortunately the flag makers of Turkey need not worry about the current global financial crisis just yet. And what looks and sounds like a party bus - with loud Turkish music that makes you want to dance like you're in a Shakira film clip - definitely an essential campaigning tool.

And then there was the report on the news about the candidate that gave people new washing machines to 'win' their vote. Except the people he gave them to didn't have running water in their houses so they had to traipse through the snow and carry buckets of water back to their house to fill the machine (still beats washing by hand I guess).

I would like to say 'only in Turkey' but I have a feeling that's not quite true!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A little fishy...

The area we live in is packed with fish restaurants and has some little stalls by the side of the water where you can get some really fresh fish!

Fish are pretty popular as is fishing - the banks of the Bosphorus are usually packed with people from early in the morning until late at night -rain, hail or shine. These people are committed to their hobby!

We took Yashar to one of the little stalls on the weekend to get some fish for his dinner. He had a good look at the live fish in the tank and got pretty excited about it.

While we waited we watched the fishmonger scale and fillet our fish. I love their light fitting!

This guy pulled up on his motorbike while we were there - and ordered drive through style.

And we looked at all the birds flying around the boats behind the stall.

Not a bad way to wait for your fish!

Monday, March 9, 2009

I really enjoyed making this! It's a terrarium - I found the instructions over at SmoothPebble (via Maya*Made).

I bought a jar at the pazar (local market) with what would have to be the most ugly lid known to man, so I quickly covered it up with some linen. Then I used a little Eiffel Tower my sister brought me back from Paris and I cut some clouds out of an old milk container. I thought this would last better than paper because there is so much moisture in the terrarium.

Of course Yashar had lots of fun doing a bit of digging for this project. And then carefully putting the dirt into the jar for about 30 seconds before deciding to tip the rest of the dirt over his head!

I snapped a photo of him just before the 'incident'. I think this is his concentrating face!

I put it all together very late one night - which was lucky because if I wasn't so tired I could have spent hours on it. I am slowly coming to the realisation that I adore all things miniature - especially those totally overpriced miniature designer chairs you can buy in art gallery shops. I had thoughts of little flying birds and city skylines made out of time?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The search continues...

Not so long ago I told you about the ridiculous amount of hats I have been knitting for Yashar and my search for the ultimate knitted hat.

Along the way I made a hat using this pattern from SouleMama. This hat is really cute and quick to knit but I just couldn't seem to get it to fit right. :( I first made one that was too small and then made this blue one but it always seems to slip off. It kind of looked a little girlish too I think - and we can't have that! If I made it again I would use a thinner wool and it would probably be suited better to someone that didn't want to pull their hat off all the time!

Then I really thought I had found the one. I used the Thorpe/Topper pattern and it was so promising - a hat and scarf in one with lots of ear cover but... I am going to make it again with some modifications. Next time I will make the split for the scarf at the back of the neck a little lower, will make the ear flap parts come in closer around the face, will make the ribbed band around the top of the face a little longer and I think I will make the scarf parts longer. This one is a kind of weird length that means we usually end up tying it in a knot at the back. I will also try to find a nicer yarn next time -definitely something a bit thicker.

Then my mother in law made this and blew all of my hats out of the water! You might have seen this one in a few other photos I have posted here- I especially love the photo of Yashar wearing it in this post. I think this hat is so cute, the cream really suits Yashar and she also made a matching scarf with pompoms on each end.

But I am still continuing the search! Maybe by next winter I will find the ultimate hat??


Monday, March 2, 2009

I discovered this idea on Maya*made and all the instructions are here. Maya has a gorgeous blog with so many ideas ...I'm sure I will be making more of her projects soon! Some flowers were just what we needed - hello Spring! They didn't have any bulbs at our local nursery (wrong time of year I think) so we just grabbed some that had already started to grow and I used some linen I had in my stash to cover the tin and plastic containers we used.

Yashar had so much fun getting some extra dirt for these from the garden today - can't wait for the weather to really warm up. He is going to have so much fun!

And I think he is going to like watching them grow.