Toadstool Amigurumi 

This one is my personal favourite. Apart from being so cute and fairy tale like, it’s a pattern that’s entirely my own. In fact, it is so made up that every time I repeat it, it comes out different. However, that’s what I like about craft. It should always be different. We are not machines, and once a certain horizon is explored, we can see new heights to climb. If you crochet, then you know we are counting like crazy calculators, but every count is inspired. 

It still feels like a news craft, by merely switching yarn colour. So, why not brown toadstool. I think I will also try them in yellow and orange next.

As far as technique goes, if you are a fellow crocheter,  you’ll be pleased to hear that each toadstool is made in one go. Start with a magic circle of 6 st, increase either to 8 st, or 10, repeat couple rounds, increase again, repeat, till you reach 24 st. That depends on how tall and wide you want it. Then reduce to 18, 12, 6. Change to white yarn for the leg, and again, improvise. I increased 6 st to 8 to give it an extra curve. 

One of the toadstool Amigurumis lives with my best friend.

The other ones went to Christmas fair, and never came back. Maybe it’s time to replenish my stock. 

I make it, but I love who loves it. As much as I do, she hates to see them go. 

Round pedestal dining table remake

It’s a crazy revelation to me, but my last blog was almost one year ago! And that is not at all due to the fact that I haven’t done any craft – on the contrary, it’s been a busy year. It is definitely time to clean up my phone photo gallery and post some of the recent dos up.

One that I’ve been waiting to share is my dining table remake. It is nothing original, but a great experience for me, with all its failures and lessons. It turned out great, fits right in, and if furniture were pets, this one found its human family. 

Here it is in our old apartment in the kitchen. The dining nook off the kitchen was tiny, so having six chairs out was not optimal. Yet still, a beautiful and cosy table serving it’s purpose.

Here it is in our new abode. Having a bit more space, we have it permanently extended. However, as we have a breakfast table in the kitchen, we keep two remaining chairs there (and a bench).

It was not always easy. At times, we rubbed each other the wrong way (literally), but it was love from first sight, really. 

I first saw it on our local “Buy, Sell, Swap” site, for as little as 50 euro. It looked worn, tired, the soft seats stained and aged, but not dead yet. It could live another life. 

I did the usual. Cleaned it, sanded the flat surfaces (which took a long time!), and painted it white. I think I used a white satin something. I asked for durable and washable wood paint at my local DIY shop. It was a good call. Several layers were required, so I’d use roller first, then fill in the gaps with a brush.

For the table top at first I thought I’d do a stain and a white wash. However,  that didn’t work as I probably did not sand well, and some of the old varnish caused the stain to get absorbed differently. I had to sand it all over again. Also, the wood grain on the extention slabs was going in a different direction to the rest of the table, so second time round I decided against the white wash and just leave it stained. I believe it was the walnut shade.

The chairs were also a boggle. I bought some material to reupholster the old seats. I thought about getting something waterproof, but then I wasn’t sure how comfy that would be in our hot humid climate. I bought some black and white gingham plaid material from Ikea.

Sure, it looked great, worthy of a before and after shot, however, not very practical. After a few days in our house, white became grey, and as it was upholstered, it was not easy to wash. In fact, impossible to wash. Something had to be done. 

Just so happened that our plumber was in fact a carpenter, so he was more than happy to work on a different seat, and cut out wooden seats. After staining, the chair seats looked great.

Once the paint was completely dry, I went over the edges with my sander to give it that rustic farm house look. Every finger print and imperfection tend to really stand out on white furniture, but with worn out edges,  it’s not half as bad. 

It turned out beautiful! With more room around it, one can really appreciate the pedestal leg and Art Deco curves on the chairs. Love the end result! 

As true as ever, make it and love it!

Christmas Bunting – Christmas pudding, Ice Cream and Gingerbread hearts

What a blast I am having with crochet. I just can’t get enough! And it turns out that the more you do something, the more ideas you have for more of this something!

I’ve played around with crocheting some Bunting,  and I love it! I love the amount of detail it provides, yet repetitive patterns keep it all nice and uniform. What’s not to love!

And now that Christmas is just around the corner, it is on my mind A LOT. And what’s on my mind is usually reflected in my crochet. 🙂 (That explains all the Ice Creams and Doughnuts!)

image

This is how I start. I have an idea and I make a lot of unfinished parts. There is the benefit of specialisation, but since I don’t know what end result looks like, it could be a win or a fail. In fact, I have a few started projects that never got completely finished,  because the picture in my head did not match the reality… that’s the issue with crochet… It is very slow…

But the more I practice, the more I am able to see how yarn will behave. I love that!

Here is that finished little pudding!

image

And even cuter as a bundle!

image

And even cuter on a plate!

image

You are so cute, I want to eat you!!!

image

Christmas bunting, so cute! I love Bunting,  and garlands, and Christmas and food! Put it together into Christmas pudding Bunting!

I’ve made some other ones a while ago, too.

Pineapple…

image

And Gingerbread hearts…

image

And Ice cream…

image

All of these are for sale at my Etsy shop!

Watercolour experimenting

Wonderfully (as in miraculously), I had a quiet afternoon. Rare, but happens. My husband and kids took a day out to let mummy have a quiet day. After a lot of cleaning, washing, hanging, ironing, piling, the list goes on, I still had time for some painting. I am not an artist, but something inside me felt like it wanted to get out, and the medium for it was a fine brush and some honey-based watercolours.
SAM_3507The deer silhouette was inspired by a colouring page of Bambi and his mummy, but I’ve edited faces a little to look a lot less like those famous two.  I’ve also practiced painting little flowers. Then I decided on the wreath shape and penciled in the flowers that went with my forest theme. I will use other flower ideas for something else, I am sure.Collages12The final result was good enough, although it is quite evident that I am not an artist. Need a lot more practice. I find that some lightness is missing in my work – I tend to overwork it. I need to learn to get it right the first time. Must not give up!

painting

McDalova?

My name is Olga. That’s probably as Russian as it gets. My last name is McDowall. That’ probably as Scottish as it gets.

I am a Belarus national married to a Scott. The result? -Follow my blog to find out how it is to be me. 🙂

My parents have left Belarus, the landlocked quiet country, taking me and my two siblings with them on an adventure that so many years ago still makes me feel special. Definitely more on that later.

On our way to destiny

I am surrounded by all kinds of talent in my life: my jewellery making mum, do-it-all dad, interior designer for a sister, photographer and trend-setter brother-in-law, artsy co-worker and two little angels that inspire the driest of imaginations… All this deserves to be brought to the world!