Friday, August 31, 2007

My kind of vacation

Brief update alert!

It seems I can't sit still on a vacation. In between gardening and socializing, I've been busy with the knitting needles too. The bats above are just a taste of what I've been making and more will be shown off once I get home and get better internet access. Exciting times, eh?

Monday, August 20, 2007

Of sharks and muffins

My sweet little Horace got a mention in Lime & Violet's Daily Chum, along with some other sea creatures. This is the second time he's been mentioned in a blog, he's become a popular little shark! And good thing he is, for I am of the firm belief that the world needs more friendly, snuggly sharks.

I'll have the listing for a finished Horace up in a little bit, but in the mean time his pattern is already available in my Etsy shop.

In other news, I've been busy in the "kitchen" again. This time I experimented with bananas and raspberries in muffin form, making up a recipe based on the one for carrot muffins. The carrot one used to be my favourite muffin recipe, but this new one is an awfully strong challenger. They're just oh so moist, a quality I appreciate in muffins. Plus they've got raspberries! And bananas! And make a whole 18!

As usual, the less you mix the batter, the better they'll be.

Banana-Raspberry Muffins
(makes 18)

4 dl (~1 1/2 cups) flour
3 dl (~1 1/4 cups) sugar
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla sugar
100 g (~1/2 cup) melted butter
3 eggs
2 ripe bananas
100 g raspberries (that's about 1 1/2-2 dl or 2/3 cup)

Mix the dry ingredients together. Whisk the eggs, then add sliced bananas, raspberries and melted and somewhat cooled butter. Fold the wet ingredients into the flour mixture. Divide the batter into 18 muffin cups and bake for 20-25 minutes at 200°C (392°F).


Saturday, August 18, 2007

A day should have way more than 24 hours...

I got another Treasury! This time I went with a green theme, featuring some talented European artists and designers.

I have a busy weekend ahead of me, as we're leaving for a two week holiday soon. So much to get done first... I do hope I'll find some extra time here and there to finish up my current project before we go, though it didn't help that I already spent a big part of the morning frantically looking for the circular needles I need to finish it. In any case, I'll leave you with a little sneak peek. =)

Friday, August 17, 2007

A day of extremely fancy pizzas and fiery tango

Ahhhh, what a day yesterday. Starting with my armwarmers on the Etsy frontpage (*happy dance!*) and the sale of said armwarmers(*happy happy dance!*), then continuing with good food, drink, art and music during the Night of the Arts. The weather was rather awful, but we had a good time anyway and didn't get back until about midnight, at which point I crashed into bed immediately and slept like a rock (unlike my poor hubby, who still had a bit of work to do).

Hubby and I went to this very nice pizza place for dinner. Verrrrrry nice. My pizza toppings consisted of smoked reindeer, pickled onions, mushrooms, leipƤjuusto (I love the English name "Finnish squeaky cheese") and lingonberries.

It was truly the work of a mad pizza genius. So strange, yet so delicious. Genius!

Hubby's pizza certainly didn't pale in comparison, for his had spicy pork fillet strips, goat cheese, sundried tomatoes and pesto. Mmmmmmmmmm!

After plenty of wandering around art markets and galleries, the high point of the evening was listening to the fiery Argentinian tango of Astor Piazzolla, performed by Quinteto Fuego, while enjoying a cup of tea in the company of friends.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

A proud sister presents Llama inc.

So my brother has a band and said band was playing here in Turku a couple of months ago. Woohoo!

A friend of theirs has put together a video of footage shot that night and posted it on Youtube. Double woohoo!

As hubby and I were at their gig (of course), you can see a bit of us at one point in the video. Less of a woohoo. Fortunately you can't see much more than hair. ;)

Without further ado I present to you: Llama inc! Dear little brother plays the bass and does backing vocals.

PS. The band knows how to spell, the maker of the video just got "Presence" wrong. ;)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The ACEO series is finished!

The knitted seasons ACEO series is done! Today I listed 'Winter White' in my Etsy shop, which features a wintry landscape, complete with a snowman. Like the others, it was knitted from a cotton-acrylic blend.

My husband said the snowman looked like a stack of snowballs when I asked him what he thought, yet he wasn't able to guess that it was a snowman. Hmpf. Sometimes I don't know about that man. ;)

I'm quite pleased with the whole series. It turned out just as I had pictured (hard-to-decipher snowmen and all), plus there was all the fun I had playing around with cables and bobbles in a miniature format. I already have a few new projects planned (and one started), using similar imagery but with more practical applications. Stay tuned for those. Thank you Celeste and Karen for your suggestions!

Monday, August 13, 2007

The Tiniest Littlest Dragon

After all those posts on news about my shop and showing off fun stuff I received in the mail, I think it's time for something of my own design again.

Meet the latest of my tiny little creatures, a dragon called Percival! He is a whole 4.5 cm (1.75 in) tall, with a wingspan of 7 cm (2.75 in). He was made from acrylic yarn with a mix of knitting and crochet.

I have a hard time deciding which I enjoy knitting more; cablework or tiny creatures. Each is challenging in their own way and require quite a bit of concentration. I may just have to go with both.

Oh, and one more thing. I got to use one of the raven stickers on a package for the first time today! Oh, the little joys in life.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Dinos! On a bike!

Today I have more fun things to show that the postman brought to me. It's dino buttons! Dinos on bikes!

As soon as I laid eyes on the cute little dino on Narchi's blog, I was in love. You may have guessed that I'm a dinosaur fan from previous dino posts on this blog, not to mention the amount of dinos in my shop. And really, can a dino get any cuter than this? So, you can imagine I got all giddy about a week ago when she told me I'd won three of these pins in her blog contest!

I have good news, for you too can get one (or several) of these fun pinback buttons for yourself from Narchi's Etsy shop. There are other dino-themed items available, such as stuffed dinosaurs for a good cause, but also many other designs. Go take a look, you won't be disappointed!

Friday, August 10, 2007

That was quick!

Yesterday I found out about a new site called indiepublic. It's a networking site for artists, designers, retailers, bloggers and fans of indie stuff. I signed up, filled out my profile and got a sale. That's right, I got a sale just a few minutes afterwards, because someone saw my avatar there and liked it. Awesome!

View my profile on Indiepublic

In other news, I finished that pair of fingerless gloves I mentioned earlier. I already have another pair planned, but it's just too damn hot to knit anything made of wool right now. I might try to make something fun with cables out of cotton instead.

(If you don't hear from me within the next few days, it'll be because I have melted into a puddle from this heat. Just so you know.)

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Raven stickers!

Look at what the postman brought today!

Yup, it's my very own stickers! Designed by my husband and made by the friendly and helpful BitsyCreations. Go visit her shop now, she's awesome!

Then go buy something from me so I can put these to good use, i.e. plaster them all over packages. ;)

Monday, August 06, 2007

Oh MY! *faints*

My monster hat is on the Etsy front page! And I'm in a whole three treasuries! Oh my! :D I've never been in three at once. Thank you revontulitikku, tortillagirl and BINAGEYER!

It's been an amazing few days as far as my little shop is concerned. Reaching 100 sales, front page feature, blog feature, treasuries... Thank you all, especially my wonderful customers!

But lest you think it's all fluff and bunnies, I have a confession to make. I have been cursed with evil cookies. Evil, evil cookies. Just look at how evil they are.

Sure, they may look like perfectly innocent big peanut-chocolate cookies, but do not be fooled. Before you know it you have eaten four of these tempting things and are suffering from an aching tummy. At that point you may try to say "no more!", but it will be in vain. Ten minutes later you'll find yourself munching on the fifth, despite your tummyache. Oh yes.

Such eeeevil oh-so-good cookies!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Time for a happy dance!

So yesterday I reached my 100th sale on Etsy, got featured in the PlushYou! blog and today I was included in a treasury by fellow Finnish Etsy seller revontulitikku. Oh my! It's time for a happy dance! A triple happy dance!

My 100th sold item was the knitting pattern for Salvador the Seahorse. I redid the photos for Salvador and am now much happier with how the listings look.

Now that I have my lightbox and a bit of extra time, I've been redoing a lot of my creature photos and plan to redo them all in a similar way to get a more unified look to the listings and my whole shop. It's a lot of work, but I think it'll be worth it.

Now if you'll excuse me, it's time to do that happy dance. Have a great weekend, all!

Friday, August 03, 2007

It's muffin time again!

So I made some muffins again, on hubby's request at about 11:30 pm last night. Oh, the things I do for that man. I decided on white chocolate muffins, but couldn't find a suitable recipe, so I made one up.

The idea here is to chop the white choco into quite big chunks (say 1x1 cm or about 1/2 x 1/2 in), so that they melt into white choco puddles inside the muffins. As usual, the less you mix the batter, the better.

White Chocolate Muffins

3 eggs
1 1/2 dl (2/3 cup) sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
100 g (~1/2 cup) melted butter
3 1/2 dl (~1 1/2 cups) flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla sugar
100 g (3 1/2 oz) roughly chopped white chocolate

Melt the butter, let it cool a bit. Whisk eggs and sugar, then add lemon juice and melted butter. Mix together flour, baking powder and vanilla sugar, then fold them to the wet ingredients. Fold in the roughly chopped white chocolate. Divide the batter into 12 muffin cups and bake for about 18 minutes at 175°C (~350°F). Let them cool down before serving.

Some kind of icing would be perfect for these, but I couldn't find anything that sounded right. Ideas or suggestions, anyone?

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Continuing the ACEO series

The knitted ACEO series is coming along nicely! Spring with its flowers and Autumn with grapes are now available in my Etsy shop. The only one left is Winter and that one should be ready for listing next week.

These have been fun to make, I must say. I do enjoy creating these images, but I've been considering making them into something with a more practical use. Small pouches or bags perhaps?

*ponders and plans*
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