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Cushion and chair cover galore

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Hey guys! Recently I’ve been a bit tied up with the house, with multiple projects going on and many ideas brewing so this week I have a few more home dec projects to share! Now I hadn’t made cushions covers in such a long time, probably years in fact, so I felt like it was time to finally make some new ones – especially now that I have a beautiful wooden bench around my dining room table to dress up.

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And while I was at it, why not make a couple more to replace the old ones in the living room, move the furniture around, sew a new chair cover, paint & reupholster my old bench and paint the backsplash in the kitchen (because it’s the same paint, you know…)? Ok, I admit it – I might have gone a tad bit overboard with the house stuff. But it looks absolutely gorgeous so I have absolutely no regrets! And with the new furniture now in, my dining room finally looks complete. Yes!!

All the fabrics I used for the cushions were 100% cotton, the chair cover is (I think) a linen or linen blend and the back of seems like a dark teal polyester/ nylon mix of sorts. The bench was reupholstered using some beautiful textured purple velvet I found for cheap at a local fabric store. So very happy to see it all come together!

Is it just me or if it feels like recently my blog has been turning into a design show? Next post, I promise, it will be all knitting and fiber and things!

Until then, cheers 🙂

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The travel bug

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As promised in my last post, I wanted to take a moment today to update you guys on my most recent adventures. As some of you might know, I just recently came back from an amazing trip out to Asia (again). I spent a whole week in Taiwan then a short 5 days in Tokyo and I had so much fun guys, this whole trip was insane!  Although I most certainly hate flying, the 20 hour trip there and back was absolutely worth it, as everywhere I went I  was fortunate enough to meet a mixture of old and new and friends who were kind enough to make me discover their area.

I cannot be thankful enough to all the kind people I met, and I can’t express just how grateful I am that they went out of their way to spend time with me, even if just for a little bit.

The first thanks goes to Fion-san, with whom I explored Taipei’s night markets, visited Ruifang, Jiufen and the cat village and tried my hand at painting kanjis on a giant paper lantern. You are such a kind soul! Thank you for helping me with the trains!

I also want to thank Mina, whom I met in Tokyo last spring, who drove me around Taichung on her scooter. Going around museums and markets with you was much fun!

A big thank you is also in order to my good friend Vincent,  with whom I rode a bike in the chaotic Taiwan traffic to the Chisingtan beach, had meaningful conversations on the world and society and explored Hualien’s night market (I feel I’m still soaked from all that rain!!! 😂)

The warmest thanks goes to Joana, who was kind enough to invite me out to eat with a bunch of her friends from around the world (Hi everyone!) and  with whom I experienced the craziness of Halloween in Shibuya. INSANITY!!!!

And finally thank you to Amano-san and Kuma-chan, who allowed me to taste delicious food and drinks and with whom I was blessed to see Tokyo Station and the breathtaking view of the city at night from above (42th floor, no less!). I appreciate all the laughs and the conversations, and I am thankful for your time and warm welcome.

Exploring Taiwan and Tokyo on my own was a lot of fun, I shopped around, rode trains, got my nails done, went for couple hikes, got a tattoo done (!), ate SO MUCH FOOD, and enjoyed a sunny day out in Asakusa before coming back home to Quebec.

Of course, I went fabric shopping but I’ll leave that up for another post.

Until next time, everyone XXX

Crushing hard!

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I’ve been back from Japan for about 10 days now, and I gotta tell you, I miss it so bad 

Everything from the sights and the sounds, the food, the feel of the air, the atmosphere, the people; I think I really crushed hard on Japan during those two short weeks and now that I’m back it’s really hitting me in the feels! Nevertheless though, I’ve been pretty busy here, at work and at home, as I slowly readjust to my everyday life.

What I want to share with you all today is a little project that I couldn’t share with you before leaving for Japan, and that would be this little cute Camilla baby Blanket.

Camilla Blanket

You see, one of my Japanese penpals, Eriko, is currently pregnant and since she was kind enough to spend two days showing me around Kyoto and Osaka, I wanted to bring her a little something special for her little-one-to-be. So a couple weeks before my trip, I started this cutie little blanket for her using the three skeins of Brown Sheep’s Cotton Fleece that I had on hand. Since I don’t know whether the baby is a boy or a girl, I figured a neutral blueish gray would be fine.

Since I’ve already bought the Camilla Pullover pattern in the past, I did not buy the actual Camilla Blanket pattern but instead used the instructions for the fan pattern from the pullover that I first converted to RS/WS instructions, repeated 4 times and added a garter stitch border on the top, bottom and edges.

The finished blanket is about stroller size, measuring about 30″X32″. Since I was using a Worsted weight yarn instead of Aran, I worked the blanket on 5 mm needles instead of the recommended 6.5 mm. I don’t work very often with needles over 4 mm, so I took advantage of this opportunity to try the Kollage square needle that I had received as a sample a couple years back but never got a chance to use. Although I was a bit skeptical at first, I must admit that I was actually quite pleased by the grip and the feel of those square needles, and it felt very natural to use. Actually, I enjoyed working with it so much I think I might seriously consider getting them in other sizes, or maybe even by the interchangeable set.

All the details, save for the actual fan motif, can be found on my project page so feel free to check it over if you’re interested.

Entrelac, anyone?

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I’ve had a lot of fun this summer/fall working on my first ever entrelac project, it’s a Tunisian Crochet blanket made with (too many yards!) of Bernat Maker Home Dec & Fashion in 3 different colors, and I simply LOVE (!) the result.

Entrelac Tunisian Crochet blanket

The pattern I used is Bernat’s Tunisian Entrelac Baby Blanket and I think it’s a great pattern for both, first time Tunisian crocheters and first time entrelac knitters, and there’s also a tutorial available to help you visualize what you gotta do, too. I made a slightly larger version of the blanket, reaching about 45″X50″ with 16 pattern repeats instead of 11, but otherwise followed the pattern pretty closely. Although I’m familiar with Tunisian crochet this was the first time I’ve ever done entrelac, and I’m quite glad I chose this pattern because it was a simple, easy and very fun to make.

This blanket is just so cute it’s to die for, and with the yarn I used the blanket is amazingly soft and squishy I could literally snuggle to it all day long. Plus, both cats approve because (as shown in the pictures) it was their favorite blanket before it was even finished.

Well that’s all for now folks, cheers 🙂

Spring revival

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Ok, 4 months is a long time. I have to admit, I really (REALLY) have been neglecting my blog… But then again I guess I’ve been neglecting a lot of things, because in those 4 months, I haven’t used my spinning wheel or my loom, only used my sewing machine for minor clothing repairs and barely made any progress on the WIPs I’ve had on the needles for months.

There could many different reasons behind this general disinterest I have been experiencing towards both crafting and the blog, but I think it’s mostly a mix of bad case of winter blues and a much needed break after completing such a big (and kind of stressful) project as a wedding dress. Add to that the fact that I also fell back into an old love of mine and picked up a couple good books to read, and there you have it – almost nothing to show for the last 4 months.

Actually, that’s not entirely true either because I DID finish one project since January, and that is the Star Anise hat that I started in December for my sister in law.

Anise hat

I also have a couple sweaters on the needles, namely here the Dessine-moi un mouton I showed you in July last year and the striped Snowflake I started early in January using some Berroco Folio I had in stash in color “tan” and “raspberry coulis”.

In other news, my honeybee and I also spent 4 days visiting Washington DC last month, and we had a blast! Although we were a bit late for the cherry blossoms, we still had a lot of fun visiting parks, memorials and monuments and visiting the US Capitol and the weather was just GORGEOUS the whole time we were there. For those interested, here’s a little photo recap of our fun-filled vacation in DC.

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So that’s it for now folks, and I surely hope next time won’t be in another 4 months! Cheers!

Lovingly yours…

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Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.
– Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights.

Pictures taken on Valentine’s Day, February 14th, 2016 by Jesse Schloff – http://www.jesseschloffphotography.com/

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Liebster award!

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Guys, I have been nominated by the lovely Becca from theknitted.com to the Liebser award. If you are not familiar with it, this award strives to bring light to small blogs and allow bloggers to connect and get to know each other better.

The process is very simple, the person who nominated you will ask 11 questions that you have to answer in a blog entry, then you have to nominate a few other bloggers who deserve a shout out. If you do not already follow Becca’s blog (and you should!), here’s a link to her liebster award’s blog entry.

The questions I received from her are the following:

1. How did you decide on the name of your blog?

Well, my first name is Stephanie, and Effie has been one of my nicknames since high school, so it was just (really) a no-brainer. I didn’t put much thought into it, I just thought it sounded nice and went with it!

2. Describe your blog in 5 words or less!

I hope people find it FUN, COLORFUL, LIGHT and JOYFUL – am I asking too much?

3. What is your favorite knitting technique or style?

Now I don’t really think I have a favorite knitting technique, but I certainly DO have techniques I DON’T like! Although I do sew garments, pillows, drapes and such, I hate sewing knits. So every time it’s possible, I prefer to go for a seamless pattern or alter the pattern to knit it seamlessly rather than going through the seaming process. Call it lazy – I guess it’s somewhat of a pet peeve of mine, but the less finishing I have to do when I finish a project, the better.

4. Are you a morning person or a night owl?

Hm, neither one, actually. I have to admit that I am not fully functional in the morning before 8 or 9, depending on the night I had, but I never really get up past 10. And I can’t go to bed at night before 9 or 10, but then again I can’t stay up until 3 either. So all in all, I’m really neither a morning person nor a night owl, I think I’m more of an afternoon person – and that’s when I’m the most productive. I’d say my most productive hours are between 11 AM and 7 PM.

5. Assuming money wasn’t a problem, what is one thing you would love to do?

I would love to travel the world. I like going places, connecting with people and discover new things. I want to see more, and I want to learn more about the world and I think travelling gives you more than you could ever get from a book or a documentary on a foreign place.

6. What is an item you can’t live without?

As sad as it may sound, my phone. I use it to keep track of my progress on Ravelry, follow knitting patterns on the go, take pictures of my knits, share stories on my blog, etc.and it also helps me keep in touch with my honeybee who lives far away through Skype and text messaging.

7. Who is your favorite knitting designer?

I have a soft spot for the elegant but simple designs of Melanie Berg (Mairlynd). She has the most exquisite shawl patterns, and simple but elegant sweater and cardigan patterns.

8. Do you like learning new knitting techniques?

I LOVE learning new things! I just recently tried working stuff two-at-a-time (like socks and sleeves and stuff) on a magic loop and I love it – it’s such a time saver!

9. What is your big knitting goal of 2016?

I want to knit more from stash and use the yummy handspuns I have. It’s a goal I’ve set myself the past two years, and I think it’s made me realize that yarn is no good sitting on a shelf. I bought it because I loved it, it’s pointless to idolize it from afar and be too scared to use it for something. “Waiting for the perfect project” doesn’t always work – sometimes you won’t see the perfect match until you try something, and then you’ll be so glad you did.

10. What’s your favorite book you’ve read recently?

Honestly, I haven’t read much recently. I’ve been so busy with work and stuff that I simply haven’t had a chance to open a book, except for my go-to read-a-few-pages-and-reminisce book Alice’s adventures in wonderland and through the looking glass. I know for sure though that my next book is going to be “Faim” from Quebec writer Patrick Senecal, that my mom so nicely offered to me for Christmas.

11. What was your dream job as a kid?

As far as I can remember, I think I wanted to become a signer, or a actress. Pretty far from my actual job as a city planner, but I’m ok with that. How would you know at 5 that you have bad stage fright?

So now as tradition would have it, I would like to nominate 5 other bloggers, so they can in turn reveal a little more about themselves and nominate other deserving bloggers. I hereby nominate:

The questions I am asking you guys are the following:

  1. What’s your favorite blog to follow, and why?
  2. Apart from blogging and knitting, what do you like to do in your spare time?
  3. What other crafts do you know or would like to learn?
  4. Do you  prefer to knit following a pattern or create your own?
  5. Did you take up any new year resolutions?
  6. What’s your go-to knitting project for instant gratification?
  7. What was your dream job as a kid?
  8. What is the last thing you learnt as a knitter?
  9. What makes you smile in the morning?
  10. Who’s your favorite person to knit for?
  11. How many WIPs do you currently have on the needles?

Thank you all for participating, it’s great to get to know each other in the blogging world, and I hope I can make some of you discover a new blog to love/follow.