Thursday, 29 December 2016

New Year's resolution

There is only couple days left of this year so it is the time to look back, or rather forward with some resolutions. I usually don't make resolutions, not the usual "this year I will clean more" or "I will seriously start jogging and keep it up the whole year". I think we all know how those usually end... At least I have never been good at keeping them and don't know anyone who has. If you know, please tell me too. :D

I also like to look forward rather than back. Of course sometimes it is good to take a look back and see what we can learn, else it's useless. And as I'm writing it here, the resolution has everything to do with blogging. My blog is new, it isn't even a full year old so year 2016 has all been learning new and still is. Looking forward is pretty much the thing with this blog.
So what's the resolution then? Definitely it isn't "I will blog on regular bases, at least twice a week on certain days, post new tutorial every week and patterns every other week, take amazing photos and write long posts with SEO in mind". Would be enough to drive anyone running a diy blog crazy.

My new year's resolution is to go back to basics - to where everything started. I started this blog to have fun, to show what I have made, to meet and connect other bloggers, to share tips how to re-use old textiles.

Yes, forget the numbers. This is what it means:

  • Google analytics: I have had it set up from day 1, I wanted to know if anyone reads this blog and of course how the numbers would grow. I used to check it daily. Especially when I had done something to boost the numbers. How about forget it? Let it be, check every now and then and that's it. Much more room to breath when you can focus on writing the blog instead of the page views. I'm pretty sure the numbers will grow if you are good at what you are doing and if you are having fun with doing it.
  • Pinterest: If you are serious blogger and want to get as many hits from Pinterest as possible you pin daily, you pin day and night because people might be browsing on different time zones or just different time of the day. As serious blogger you are there visible all the time, else you are invisible. I think that sounds familiar to anyone who has been looking for getting more page views for their blog. But seriously, who has the time and energy to browse Pinterest all the time? Even with some program to schedule your pins you still need to use time for browsing. Forget how many pins you have made, how many times a day you visit Pinterest. Just browse when you feel like it and pin when you find something worth of pinning. Use the remaining time to be with your family.
  •  Blog posts: Again, we all have read at least one post about posting regularly, if possible as a new blogger once a day, if not, then at least every other day or, the very least, twice a week. Anything less and you won't be successful. Write a post of at least 2000 words, count your key words, make sure there is enough of them and they get the best scores in search results etc. How about make one good blog post instead of five mediocre, use normal language with good spelling, keeping in mind what you are writing about and to who you are writing to? Connect with other bloggers instead, forget the numbers, concentrate on quality!
When I started I read all those and much more and thought I should do that too if I'm to be taken as a real blogger. Not really because I would be monetizing this as soon as possible but because I usually want to make things properly. Quite soon it became obvious that those advises just won't work with a diy blog. You simply run out of time and energy sooner or later when you aren't using the time for the thing that drove you to start the blog - creating something new! Any other diy bloggers know what I'm talking about and that's really all that matters. I define myself as "real" blogger and that should be enough to anyone.

I have a long list of link up parties I would like to attend and I tried to attend all of them for a while but that just won't work. Some of them are on different time zone and even if I would attend them as soon as I open my eyes on the morning, I would be 400th something and would go quite unnoticed. I would never have time to browse through those 400-500 pics and find the ones I would like to comment. Just not worth of my time, I will keep the ones that are bit smaller and more fitting to my own schedule and even with those, only participate when I truly have something new to add and, the most important, when I'm absolutely sure that I will have time to go and comment other posts in that particular party. That's how I have met some great bloggers, I intend to keep it that way. Again, not the numbers, but the quality!

What is the shirt in the picture with my resolution? That's a shirt I made for my son for Christmas. My daughter had her preschool's Christmas festival and he needed new shirt. (Other options were to go as a knight or in a princess dress, I would have let him go in a princess dress but the world, or Finland, just isn't ready yet, not even if the boy in question is four years old and wants the dress because his biggest idol, his older sister, wears them and feels it is greatly unfair that he can't.) I had only one evening to make it and I knew I could make it if, and that's a very big IF, everything would go as planned. Do you know what? For once the moon was in the right position or the stars collided with each other in the right angle, I don't know, but everything did go as planned. The sewing machine was co-operative, I didn't make any stupid mistakes, no electricity black outs, nothing. I just made the shirt. That's what the blogging is at it's best; just focus on the making it, enjoy it and the result is just as planned!

Thank you for everyone who have been visiting my blog, saving my pins, liking my pictures in IG and Facebook and especially, commenting my blog posts! I have plenty of ideas and something ready that I will show to you when I have the time after the holidays. For now I wish you all happy, and more relaxed, New Year! Hope to see you next year too!

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Three upcycled heart ornaments

One heart template - three different heart ornaments for Christmas, upcycled of course! These three ornaments are easy and fast to do, as well as easily modified. Using the same ideas you can make decorations for almost any occasion just by changing the template and the colours.

*This blog post is also part of an advent calendar by Finnish crafting blogs so the text will be in both languages.*

Tervetuloa Käsityöblogien joulukalenterin luukkuun nro 14! Tein kolme erilaista sydänkoristetta jouluksi käyttämällä kaikissa samaa sydänmuotoa. Nämä toki kierrätysmateriaalista. Näitä on helppo  ja nopea tehdä, ja ovatpa vielä helposti muokattavissakin. Samalla idealla saa ihan erilaisia koristeita kun vain vaihtaa kuviota ja värejä.

Best fabric for these is something that is a bit thicker, felt would be the best but I don't see any reason why you couldn't make these with denim or leather for example! Just as long as the fabric isn't elastic or very thin. I used old woolen jacket that I found from a recycling center. The jacket was from those days when the clothes were good quality and produced somewhere near. This jacket was actually made in Finland and the fabric was mainly wool, only few percents polyamid. Fabric was good, model was outdated, good for making some Christmas decorations!

Näihin koristeisiin sopii parhaiten kankaaksi jokin paksumpi, huopa on toki paras vaihtoehto, mutta käy muukin toki, esim. farkku tai nahka suorastaan erinomaisesti! Pääasia, että kangas ei ole kovin joustavaa tai ohutta. Minä käytin näihin kierrätyspisteestä löytämääni villaista jakkua. Jakku oli vanha, Suomessa valmistettu ja laadukkaan oloista kangasta. Malli oli kuitenkin jo vanha ja tuskin sille muutakaan käyttöä olisi ollut. Kangas oli suurimmaksi osaksi villaa, jokunen prosentti polyamidia.

For the first one you need three red hearts and 6 white hearts, lace or something similar. Pin lace on both sides of the red hearts. Sew in middle and when starting remember to leave long tails as those are used to hang the ornament. After sewing over the first heart, don't stop but continue sewing pulling the heart gently back, add the second heart, sew over and again on top of nothing for desired length and add the last one. Again, leave long tails. *Please note that if you are using new electric sewing machine, sewing without fabric isn't necessarily good idea. Use for example tearable paper instead. Old mechanic sewing machines should be fine.*

Ensimmäiseen koristeeseen tarvitset kolme punaista sydäntä ja 6 valkoista, pienempää sydäntä pitsistä tms. Neulaa valkoiset sydämet molemmin puolin punaisia sydämiä. Ompele suoraan keskeltä ylhäältä alas varmistaen, että takana oleva pitsisydän pysyy paikoillaan. Aloittaessasi varmista, että jätät aloituslangat pitkiksi, niitä voi käyttää koristeen ripustamiseen. Ommeltuasi ensimmäisen sydämen, älä lopeta vaan jatka ompelua tyhjän päällä vetäen ensimmäistä sydäntä varovasti, lisää toinen sydän, ompele taas tyhjän päällä halutun matkaa ja lisää viimeinen. Jätä lopuksi pitkät langat.
*Huom. Uusilla elektronisilla koneilla kannattaa olla varovainen tyhjän päällä ompelun kanssa. Käytä vaikka pois revittävää paperia alla. Vanhoilla mekaanisilla ei pitäisi olla ongelmaa.*

Fasten two beads after the last heart. Pull the needle through both and pull back only through the bigger one. Make a knot and pull again through the bigger one, cut the thread. First one ready!

Kiinnitä lopuksi kaksi helmeä, yksi isompi ja yksi pienempi. Pujota neula ensin molempien läpi, sitten takaisin ainoastaan isomman läpi. Tee solmu ja pujota jälleen isomman läpi, katkaise lanka. Ensimmäinen valmis!

For the second one you need four red hearts. Start by sewing together in the middle first two.

Toiseen tarvitset neljä sydäntä. Aloita ompelemalla kaksi yhteen keskeltä.

Fold the heart so that the stitches are hidden.

Taita sydän niin, että ommel jää piiloon.

Add two more hearts, one on top, one on the bottom. Sew in the middle.

Lisää kaksi sydäntä, toinen alle, toinen päälle. Ompele keskeltä.

Fasten the hanging thread.

Kiinnitä ripustusnaru.

For the last one you need two red hearts, one piece of filling and a ribbon. Sandwich the pieces together, leaving the ribbon between the layers.

Viimeiseen tarvitset kaksi punaista sydäntä ja palan täytettä sekä nauhan. Yhdistä kappaleet päällekkäin jättäen nauhan kerrosten väliin.

Sew around and you are done.

Ompele ympäriltä ja olet valmis!

Käy katsomassa muutkin kalenterin luukut Käsityöblogit ryhmästä! Eilisen luukun löydät blogista Jotain uutta, vanhaa, käsintehtyä ja kaunista ja huomisen luukun blogista Söpölandia.Mukavaa joulun odotusta!