Crafty Discoveries in Utrecht

This week I have a few crafty tips for Utrecht. This beautiful little city is for sure worth a visit!!!

If you just have one afternoon then I recommend to walk along oudegracht. The a very nice little shops if you look for gifts like this or this and if you look for bead and jewelry supplies make sure you stop here.
Utrecht2If you can arrange, plan your visit at an early Saturday morning and visit the oldest fabric market in whole Netherlands, Lapjesmarkt. You can find fabrics in all colors, patterns and for all imaginable purposes. Just beautiful!!!
Utrecht1This weekend, I finally also managed to work on my next market project. But more of that in a few days. Have a good start into the week!

The Crafty Corner of DUBAI is in Zabeel Park!

I left for Dubai with very low expectations about creativity. But I happily find out that there is a little crafty market every Friday morning on Zabeel Park, the Ripe Food & Craft Market from 9 am to 2 pm, thank to my friends that live in Dubai for already 7 years.

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And said to be the last Crafty Market of the season, as long as Dubai is getting warm and warmer!

Since it was already almost 40 degrees, there were not a lot of stands – like it happens in the flea markets of Zurich in the middle of the winter when it is freeze cold!

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But I really enjoyed. I loved especially the stand of our friend’s friend who makes little cards with a special Japanese Origami-like technics.

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And 2BIRDS stand with middle-east inspired items produced by two Aussie birds who live in Dubai. The fluo-neon colors are really a trend everywhere now!

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Do you remember my necklaces of last summer? I should give it a try and make some new ones for the market of June…2015-05-01 12.52.42 2015-05-01 11.56.11

I fell in love with this Oriental hanger of necklaces. Don’t you think it is magic with the sun-rays that come in-between? Does anyone know where could I find one of them?

My opinion of Dubai and the middle east went definitively up. It is a sunny place full of contradictions and mystery. Very lively. But you must go a bit around to discover that the nature is amazing and even more spectacular than the city itself.

I’ll tell you more next time about our on and off road trip in Oman!

Happy week

Ale

Knitting on Planes

I am traveling again and my loyal companion are my wooden knitting needles (they are great,because you can take them along in the plane!!!). Thus, I follow up on my previous post “knitting on trains” by “knitting on planes” :-)
knittingonplains1The hair ribbons I started in fall are done. I managed to do four in the end, two adult size ones and two for babies. So many of my friends are currently pregnant, thus I think I have to make a few more baby ones.

knittingonplains2But first I want to tread myself with a pair of matching cuff. I should be able to finish them within one week of traveling. Knitting and looking down on the beautiful white mountains of Switzerland from the plane window while approaching Zurich where a lot of friend are waiting for me, I consider myself very, very fortunate!!!

Happy And Colorful Christmas!

Merry Christmas also from me!!!

christmas1As always, I have been busy with traveling till the last minute. My train ride from London to Edinburgh was perfect to prepare some instructions for the origami from my last post. Here you go…
christmas21. start from a square, fold it corner to corner to become a triangle and two corners to two corners to look like a rectangle
2. unfold it and create a diamond square that opens on one side
3. on the closed side fold the corners inwards on both sides that it becomes a dragon shape
4. cut the little triangles on the open side off
5. reorder the paper that the triangle has an open and a closed side again
6. on the open end fold all corners inwards that it becomes a diamond shape again (it should be eight corners you have to fold inwards.
7. unfold the whole structure and start forming the paper to become one part of your origami diamond later
8. create two of those and join them together with glue.
Done!
If anything is unclear, a more detailed instruction can be found here.
I really like those, as they can be used hanging or lying.
christmas3By choosing special colors, you can make  them look christmassy. Otherwise, I think they just look happy and colorful.

Thus, carry on celebrating happy and colorful Christmas!

Japan Tips

This is my Christmas post for Ale and for all crafty readers that fancy a trip to Japan …

Japan0During the last years, I visited Japan several times. I have traveled from the far south (Mijakojima) to the far north (Rishiri & Rebun) and spent three month in Tokyo for work. In fact it was during these three month that Ale and me got to know each other via internet.
Now Ale is about to travel to Japan and I though I prepare a little post summarizing some of my insider tips.
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My absolute favorite parts of Tokyo are Shimokitazawa and Koenji. Shimokitazawa is great to forage for second hand cloth, cute accessorise and Japanese craftiness. Koenji is perfect to enjoy some yakitori (see food section) and a beer in one of the many street shops and just watch the people. A very nice music club can be found in Ropongi, which is however a bit touristy otherwise. In general, just drift trough the city and speak with the locals!
Japan2Of course you can always find a hotel (this one is a really nicely located one in Tokyo). If you want to treat yourself with a comfortable but more traditional accommodation choose a RYOKAN (this one is the nicest I know, close to Mt Aso with private onsen and an amazing japanese bbq for dinner). If you travel with children book a MISHUKU. These are budget versions of ryokans and often you will be treated just as part of the family of your host. The cheapest option are youth hostels. And I have to say, I have never experienced so nice youth hostels elsewhere. Often they also offer double rooms and they are the best location for travel advice (a very nice youth hostel chain that can be found in Kyoto, Hiroshima, Osaka,… is J-Hopper).
Japan3Oh well, food in Japan is amazing!!! I will restrict myself here to my top five:
RAMEN – japanese noddle soup (if you ask yourself, what can be special about a noodle soup watch the “ramen-western” tampopo!!!)
SUSHI – sushi in japan are not comparable with sushi elsewhere!
OKONOMIYAKI – japanese cabbage pancake; the best food at a cold day or after a long hike!!!
YAKITORI – chicken (or other meat/vegetables) on a skewer prepared on the bbq. Perfect match with a japanese beer.
A Japanese food speciality for the crafty souls among us are BENTO boxes. Check out the blogs littlemissbento or kawaiifood and you will find amazing works of art!!!

Japan4Japan has to offer a lot and in fact the north is a whole different world than the south. If you have time, travel to the north and hike on the remote islands of Hokaiido, Rishiri & Rebun. Afterwards fly to the far southern islands of Okinawa like Mijakojima and enjoy the crystal clear and warm ocean. You wont belive it is the same country! Whil visitin Japan, you have to see at least one volcano. Fuji is the obvious one, which is however usually very crowded. A good alternative is Mt Aso (and there you can then also check out the best ryokan I know, which I mentioned above). If you just want to escape Tokyo for a day, rent a car and drive along the west coast of the peninsula Izu. On a clear day you will have a stunning view of Fuji from there.
All right I guess I could go on forever, but this is no travelers blog. Here one and two more links to crafty blogs with some more tips. And maybe also our readers have some more tips for Ale?

I am already looking forward to read Ale’s post, about her Japanese discoveries!!!

P.S. Instructions for the origami ornaments will follow in the next post :-)

Relax and Crochet in the Alps with One Sheepish Girl

We were looking for a warm place to go to spend some days of relax but the flights were already a little too expensive from Zürich. Then we decided to go closer. We ended up in a town on a valley (Valtellina) in the Italian Alps, Bormio-Valdisotto, where either of us has been before.
Immerse in the autumn colors, in a cosy apartment with warm hosts and a delicious Valtellina breakfast; a bike, some boots for walking, some balls of thread, a couple of hooks and a bunch of Ideas for crochet. What more do you need?

And just before taking the car and leave, I checked my mailbox and I couldn’t be more delighted to see that I’ve already got the book of Meredith Crawford of Onescheepishgirl.comCrochet with One Sheepish Girl“!

(mine is from Amazon.com)

Here is the link of the amazing and welcoming B&B in Valdisotto, Casa Sofia, where very kind hosts and great homemade fresh cakes have been spoiling us.

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imageIt is a book full of projects for wearing, living and giving (as she says).

Here I share with you some of my favorite pages.

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imageI am now looking for a wool that can fit with this scarf above.

I like the book, and I like Meredith, her blog style and her tastes for the colors. And I am especially very grateful that she is the one that made me discover crochet as a modern art-craft!

I used her embroidery chain stitch on crochet technics to write the letter on the top of this kid’s beanie.

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“Enjoy and be confident with your creativity!” (Meredith Crawford)

Happy Monday!

Ale

Celebrate Foolishness

While waiting for my train to work one morning this week, I overheard two of my little uncovered creatures…
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And yes, I have to give them a point there, this week was miserable! So I thought the world could use some cheering up…

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The world looks so much more cheerful since I walk around with some clown nose in my pocket :-)

If the christmasmarket will not happen, (Ale and me tried to reserve a stand at the Heiliger Bim Bam, but it looks like it is already sold out. :-() I am thinking to put some of my street-art-tool-boxes for sale on Ales DaWanda store. Or does anybody know about other small and crafty Christmas markets around Zuerich?

I hope my little uncovered creatures will jolly me along this weekend as I am moving the first half of my belongings from Putney to Stretham.

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Never stop being a bit foolish :-)