Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Giveaway winner, finally!


As I mentioned before, because of illness I had some very bad days before holidays.
I'm very sad that I wasn't able to collect all your contacts you sent for giveaway, but I just didn't feel well and I was surprised by the big amount of subscribers.

I got 137 people to participate. Wow!
Random.org picked a number 81 (how can I copy the photo here, anyone knows? first time I used it...) and the winner is Melanie R. from Canada.
I'll contact you this evening and ask for your address! 

Because of the late post I would like to double the bid: winner will get a pair of fingerless gloves with her neck warmer and of course, the color of neck warmer is up to her too. I'm ready to to everything personal!

I have some fun projects going on, I'll write about it in my first newsletter and I promise a lot of news ;)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


 Hi all!

There's still the winner of giveaway and I'm sorry for that.
I had some busy working days in Italy, with limited possibility to use Internet. Now I'm back, but I'm sick and it's hard for me to keep my eyes open and get off the bed.
I'll complete the list of participants as soon as possible, winner will be announced and parcel sent before Christmas!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Long creamy winter socks

I wanted to write more about the long socks I made last week, but happened that a day after I finished the pair, they were already sold. Probably a Christmas gift to someones wife or girlfriend :)
The plan was to make better photos before blogging, but now they're already on their way to US. 

I'm not a fan os sock-knitting, especially long socks. But I had a perfect wool for making them and I wanted to prove myself that I'm patient enough for completing both socks.

I have about about six or seven lonely knitted socks (and four mittens) in my craft basket, because somehow I lost motivation to make the second one. It was more fun to start new projects rather than doing the same thing twice.

The pattern is my own, a mix of previous designs. I probably make another pair (purple!), but a little different: less lacy, more cables.
Yarn: 100% wool, about 100 grams
Needles: 3,5mm bamboo
Length: 43cm

Next week I'll be in South-Italy, Bari. Already found an address of local yarn shop, would like to take my knitting needles with me (hours long waiting in airports), but it's mission impossible. The airport security always take them away as very dangerous whepon :) So I won't even bother this time...

Monday, November 30, 2009

Like kid in a candy shop

Wow, I have 50 followers!
It's a big compliment to me, I'm so happy you have found something that keeps you coming back. And please, leave comments, I love to know who you are and what you like :)

I feel like a small kid in a candy shop now. Just bought so many new yarns, the basket is filled. And more coming tomorrow!
Some of them are for custom orders, some for experimenting with new designs.

I have a basic policy to use only natural fibers.When I started knitting years ago, main criterion for yarn buying was cheap price. In last year it has changed: I value more quality than quantity and I want my designs to last longer than two washings.
You'll find no acrylic in my stock, mostly wool, merino wool, silk, alpaca, bamboo, cotton and mix of them.
Yep, acrylics are cheap, but loose shape quicker than natural materials and crunch under the fingers while knitting. I do make exeptions for some effect yarns, but usually artificial is outsider in our house.

Monday Moodboard: Purple

My mood is made by fleurfatale, wearaddiction, milloo and mysticfibers from Etsy European Street Team.

Let's face it: purple is a hot color at the moment. It wasn't one of my favorites until this summer, but then I discovered different shades of purple and find it very rich and ambitious color. If you haven't fell in love with purple, you should try: sometimes things surprise and you can find a cool new favorite.

More moodboards on FleurFatale's blog.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Little knitting

Do you remember my little niece? She has grown since you met her last time, the small lady is seven months old.

But it's not the only reason why I wanted to show her fresh photo, taken today when my brother and his family stop by.

It's about the cardigan too. I knitted it a while ago and already forgot I have it, but now, when I was reorganizing my craft boxes, I found it again.
Fits perfectly to little Kaisu (Kaisu is her name and means Cuddly in English. Not very popular name and first I thought my brother is joking, if he told the babies name, but now everyone is used to it), although there's enough space for growing too.

The yarn is ordered from Ebay, from some kind of Chinese seller. Pure wool, extra soft and warm. Not like Estonian wool which is often itchy and uncomfortable. Chinese sheep have probably more sun and daylight than ours, it makes a difference :)

The jacket was knitted months ago, but knitting kept me busy today until midnight. Wanna know what I did? Still too early to tell, but I'll give you a hint with this photo:

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Charity fair in kindergarten

On Wednesday we had a charity fair in Oliver's kindergarten. It was a first time event, so nobody really knew how popular it will be and how many parents are ready to create something for selling. You can see the result on first photo, our groups table was filled with interesting things. Most of us made handmade items, some parents brought old toys and other stuff, teachers baked muffins and waffles.

I made some crocheted hats, a neck warmer and 2 pairs of knitted woolen sock for the fair. Socks were sold a day before the event and all items found a new owner :)

Guess what I bought? A jar of jam. And one more... And one more... And more and more and more. 6 jars in total, all with different tastes: cranberry, strawberry, apple, plum and others. Now you must understand that I'm crazy of jam :)

Cristmas giveaway

I would like to thank all my readers for being with me with a small giveaway. One lucky winner will receive a merino neck warmer, made from very soft merino wool and decorated with cables and two beautiful buttons.
From November 2009 I produce my handmade items under trademark Woolmint, the new website will be soon open!

There's only one rule for participating. 

No matter where in the world you live, you have a chance to win the neck warmer if you join my mailing list.
You will be the first one noticed if Woolmint has some special offers or new collection is coming out. You will receive a newsletter once a month with interesting topics to read.

Leave your e-mail address and name to the comments on this post.

Giveaway starts now and lasts until 3rd December. Winner will be picked from new e-mail subscribers and blog comments with e-mail by Random.org, I will contact the winner directly by e-mail and let everyone know in my blog who the lucky person is.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Craft house will be open on Friday!

I've been waiting for this for soo long!
We had an exclusive peak to our new craft house which will be officially open to guests on Friday.

There are more than ten open studios where visitors can see artists working and participate in different workshops. And they still have some rooms availible, which keep me thinking of my own studio too.. But I already have a full time job and at the moment I'm not ready to quit it.

One of my favorites is Raina's workroom, where she creates amazing hand felted pictures. Her favorites are landscapes and flowers, I fell in love with one blossom cherry tree picture. The big picture on the photo is made for exhibition.

Besides Raina you can meet a lot of interesting people with fascinating stories.
Eddi is the best known ceramist in town, former major Margus Rebane is making baskets from willow and newspapers.
The women are felting, knitting, making jewelry and leather items, there are textile artists, a doll house, carpet chamber and a lot more interesting.

On the first floor the gallery is selling applied art and crafts made in same house. Whenever you come to Pärnu, the place is really worth to visit. The address is Uus5, the house is open from Tue-Fri 11-17 and on Saturdays 11-15.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Black Friday sounds scary

I’m a bit scared of this Black Friday thing.

It’s first time I heard about this kind of shopping event, because it’s not in common in Europe, especially in Estonia.

We have had some sales here that drive people crazy. Lately a new shoe shop opened doors and offered for their 99 first clients any of the shoes for price less than $9. Means, grab a pair of $300 boots and if you’re in 99 first buyers, you will pay only $9.
After first 99 clients they had to close down again for cleaning the mess, because hundreds of people tried to grab a bargain.
But no one was insured, no one was dead.

Last year at least 3 people died in Black Friday events in US. One was Wal-Mart’s worker and two people in Toys R Us were shot and killed during an argument. It makes me chary. No matter how good the price is, it shouldn’t be the reason for hurting someone else.

That’s why I like the idea of Cyber Monday more. People buy online, sites may crash under big amount of visitors, but there’s no need for ambulance or coffin.

It seems that people forget the real meaning of Christmas. It shouldn’t be about shopping and great gifts. For our family it’s time of caring, commitment, attention and love.

But even if I’m not a big fan of shopping events, I’m tolerant to people who likes it. That’s why I’m offering some deals in my Etsy shop too.

Merino fingerless gloves have a special price and free worldwide shipping until the end of Cyber Monday.
And some other items are offered without shipping cost too.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Monday moodboard: fairy tale

My fairytale is made by fleurfatale, lapomme, star of the east and PamelaAngus.

"If you see the the magic in a fairy tale, you can face the future."

Here's a good article about fairy tales in modern advertising campaigns.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Monday Moodboard : Intimate

you make me so... by BlackWhitePrint 
tea and honey by honeyandjamphotos
purple passion amethyst by HighDesertDesign
autumn harvest incense cones by kimberquinn

The best things are those that
Have no words to describe them.... 

Last night was intimate and I've been feeling like this all day. Nothing else but someone important to me, a cup of hot peppermint tea and long talk beside the kitchen table. Glance, feelings, thoughts, discoveries.
I'm not in love, but he's someone I feel good with.
We all need a special person who's with us on the right moment and understands us even if we say nothing. Who holds hand and feels so secure.
I am an independent woman. I can change light-bulbs myself, I know how to hang wallpaper and I'm strong enough to carry my shopping bags to 3rd floor.
But there's one thing that can't be done all alone. It's a hug. It's the feeling when someone holds you, gives a small kiss to your forehead and says the world is full of surprises.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Feeling sad? Feeling creative?

I love getting mail, that's why I keep buying online.

Mum called today and said I have a parcel from Belgium. I knew immediately that postcards I ordered from Art have arrived.
They're even more pretty than I expected. So minimal, but very deep and full of emotions.

I keep repeating it, but Art is one of the best examples of crafts, product improvement and marketing.
First she stared on Etsy with felt necklaces, at least that's what I remember. Then came the totally fabulous 99 feelings project (see the 99 photos here, or watch the film) and I wish I could have all of them!
I'm so happy that she also made 99 feelings postcards and little copies of the big products, so everyone could have at least one special feeling.

Misty knows exactly how to make people happy. From communication to packaging, everything is perfect.
If you read tutorials from her blog, you understand how less you need for being creative.

All our EST friends already know her and can assure that all my words are true, but in case you haven't met Misty yet, go and find her on the web:

The blog
The site
The shop

I wanted to keep this post for the morning, but couldn't resist blogging now!

Monday moodboard

1) Rick Poppy Red Dupioni Raw Silk Wrap by bonzie
2) Spring Bracelet no86 by byMarianneS
3) Dasha Fascinator by PinMeUpCouture
4) Love is 2Maroon SL by cocoricooo

My moodboard could be red every day as I just like this color so much. It's one of the Cristmas colors too, so can't hurt to post it now, right?

See more moodboards (I wonder why I always want to write moonboard?) on fleurfatale's blog.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Etsy is back

If you look the right column of my blog, you can see that my Etsy shop is back. New designs hopefully coming soon, but some favorites from past winter are still available.

You're always welcome!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

One knitted, one to go

I must admit the sock on this photo doesn't look like a Karisma sock on the previous post.

But it happens all the time. I plan to knit by the pattern, but soon discover I should do some modifications.

The sock is a bit too big, but I don't have a heart to ravel it and start again. It took 3 days to finish one sock and I already have a plan how to make it smaller.
Already started second, after a few days I can show the full result.

* When I was writing this, my son woke up and came here with totally serious look on is face.
"Mommy, let's make an agreement that I won't go to nursery today," he said.
Too bad that mommy can't make an agreement not to go to work when she feels like she doesn't want :)

It's all about me!

What I love about SITS is a lot of different new blogging friends.
Today we met Karen and she's doing a "Confession Wednesday" today. The theme is "It's all about me".
I have a confession to make: I have some very strong habits and beliefs that I can't give up. And I want everything to be perfect.

Some examples:
* In March, when I renovated the kitchen, I bought a whole bunch of new napkins, because old ones didn't mach the wall color any more.
* I iron bed sheets every evening, because I can't fall asleep if the bed is messed up.
* I only wear white socks while running.
* Everything has to be at their place. I don't like if the milk is on the 2nd refrigerator's shelf when it supposed to be on the first.
* I'm always on time. I can't stand if people are late. If the meeting is 3 pm, then it's 3 pm, not five minutes after 3 pm.
* I have a coffee addiction. I drink 2 cups every morning and a lot of coffee during the day. I know it's not healthy, but I can't resist.
* I like to surprise people. I make gifts even if there's no reason. But you have to be careful while making gifts to male friends, because they can accidentally think that you're in love with them :) (been there, done that).

Confession Wednesday Button

Monday, November 2, 2009

Karisma socks

Originally it was a knitting blog. In fact, is still is.

I took my needles out after a long time and bought new yarn: red and white wool for my new long socks.
I found a pattern from Garnstudio and on the photo you can see my progress, started this morning.

Multicolor designs is not something I like much. It takes forever to knit them, but the result is worth it hopefully.

They will look like this:

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sunday Citar

Fresh Mommy has a great tradition to post every Sunday one favorite quote. Mine is a bit longer, but I try to live by it every single day:

"Most of what I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sandpile at Sunday school. These are the things I learned:
Share everything.

Play fair.

Don't hit people.

Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.

Don't take things that aren't yours.

Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody.

Wash your hands before you eat. Flush.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.

Live a balanced life - learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.

Take a nap every afternoon.
When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together.

Be aware of wonder.

Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation. Ecology and politics and equality and sane living. Take any one of those items and extrapolate it into sophisticated adult terms and apply it to your family life or your work or your government or your world and it holds true and clear and firm. Think what a better world it would be if we all - the whole world - had cookies and milk about three o'clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap. Or if all governments had as a basic policy to always put things back where they found them and to clean up their own mess. And it is true, no matter how old you are - when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together."

Robert Fulghum, American writer.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

For those who like running

I started new blog about my running passion.
Yes: Ann, who has been hating running for past 23 years will run her first marathon in September 2010.

If you don't believe (because I don't sometimes), you can keep an eye on me :)

Race for Life - my journey to first marathon in September 2010.

How I messed up my relationship with customer

Recently I read Jack Mitchell’s book “Hug your customers”. I like it, but then I didn’t know I need the new ideas I got from the book, so soon.

Anyway, I want to share my expensive, but precious lesson with you.

Some time ago a lady from US ordered a shrug from me. Everything was fine: I completed the custom order, shipped the parcel to her and thought it’s done.

Suddenly my life at work and home went crazy, other things and people besides knitting needed my attention. I decided to stop knitting for a while and focus on more important cases. I don’t want to stop on it for longer, but it’s not important in this story too.

Big was my surprise when I found two months later e-mails from disappointed client, who didn’t receive her shrug, and Paypal, who tried to resolve the complaint. As I didn’t answer on time, Paypal froze my account.

Lesson 1 learned:
For Paypal, always use e-mail address you read regularly! I had the address mostly for junk mails and it was a mistake! From 600 non-important letters I didn’t find the few I needed.

As it was never happened to me before, I thought parcels wouldn’t get lost.

Lesson 2 learned:
They do get lost. Rarely, but they do! Keep all the checks and be sure your client gets what she ordered.

I contacted immediately Paypal and the client. With Paypal it was harder case, but the client was incredibly understanding.
Despite of time passed, she still wanted the shrug, I made another and sent to her with few free gifts (a shawl and handmade chocolate).
A week later she got it, informed Paypal and they opened my account.

And what is the best thing about this story? Client was happy, satisfied and fully surprised by the free gifts. That’s what “Hug your customers” is all about: cross over their expectations and surprise them (positively).

Lesson 3 learned:
Clean up your own mess. Even if time is passed, it’s possible to get a good solution. People understand you, if you talk honestly, explain the situation and show your will to resolve things.

What’s surprising is that she wants to order more from me. I didn’t expect it, but because of the positive outcome she is ready to work with me in the future.

You know, yesterday I got the e-mail from her and I almost started to cry for happiness.
And now I’m going to buy yarn for knitting her next jacket.

If you haven't, read "hug your customers".
The key rule is simple: be friendly, understanding and never think something is obvious.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

More dresses from Flickr

1. Vintage Red VOGUE knit dress, 2. Vogue Knit.1 dress, 3. 60s navy knit mod striped dress, 4. long grey sweater dress, 5. gray knitted dress with pattern of flowers, 6. Yellow dresses for Veronika & Kamila, 7. Summer Knit Dress - French Connection, 8. knitted dress, 9. knitted dress

Here are some more dresses from Flickr users.

I don't have my own works to show, but I'm starting to get along with knitting again...

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Flickr favorites: Sunday morning green

Computer and I are not friends. I just discovered how to make Flickr mosaics, although everyone else knows it.

Here's my first, inspired by green.

1. fresh green, 2. "Strong coffee", 3. Has the cat got your tongue ?, 4. forrest lane, 5. Tiramisu Galore, 6. High Fashion in Green 2, 7. Matrix: Stay off the freeway, 8. Musical Chairs, 9. Poison

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Fall 2009 must-have: Knit dress

A lot of world famous designers feature one item very prominently- a knit dress is a must-have for fall 2009!
Here are some examples. My favorite is Kenzo dress and don't forget their fantastic knitted hats! You can see a lot if knitted hats in their 2009 ready-to-wear collection.
But knitting your own dress is even cooler than buying it from a fashion store ;)



Alexander McQueen:

Monday, July 20, 2009

Creative Estonia: Hatbar elegant hats

I would like to introduce you a woman who I know for years. Marge Iilane is sweet Estonian lady who I met some years ago because her fancy hobby- felting. She did, and probably still does, gorgeous felted items under label FancyFelt.
Marge is one of most elegant and friendliest people I've seen in my life. Because of this elegance I wasn't very surprised when the local newspaper wrote about her new hobby and work- making hats under label HatBar.

It's impressive that she got her millinery skills from UK and the teacher was famous Mrs. Rose Cory, who is Royal Milliner!

She doesn't sell her hats online, but from her webpage it's possible to ask a custom order and she will make & ship it all over the world.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Preparing for fall/winter season

Last few months have been a long (and quite lonesome) journey for me. A lot have happened and is still happening.

Some time ago I lost my motivation to work after I find out that another person is coping and selling my designs. It turned me off and this work didn't seem worth doing any more, because why I should spend my time, energy and money for creating something interesting, if someone just comes and steals it?

And besides that I had lot of other things going on- my "real" job takes all my time, all weekends I've spend as clubbing photographer and it was impossible to find time for picking up my knitting needles.

But 2 weeks ago I met my new employer and he inspired me to find my inner passion again. And it is definitely knitting! He made me understand that only I can make important decisions. It's all about myself and no one else can't take away my dreams.

So I stopped finding excuses for doing nothing. I stopped whining about lack of time and started doing things. And everything finally seems so easy!
I'm doing my best for finishing some unfinished things and also prepare new designs for upcoming fall/winter season. Yes, they can copy everything I do, but I will do it better! Because I put my heart and soul into my works.

I know I've been bad to everyone who read this blog. But here are my greatest apologies and I won't leave you alone any more.

Important notes:

* All my European Street Team friends- I really miss you! I've been reading Star's blog and know what's going on. But I still miss you!
* If you like soul music, then buy Seal's new CD "Live Soul". I've been listening it for last 3 days and I fell in love.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Do you have a sock? Then make a monkey!

When I joined Etsy 2 years ago and saw first time in my life sock moneys, they seemed so weird. They still do, but in a very cute way :)

Anyway, some days ago I made a search and discovered that the sock monkey is a lot more than just a toy. It has a history! And very long one... Wikipedia has a long story about it.

In European Street Team we have our own sock monkey maker Strumpfkunst from Germany.I borrowed the photo from her, hoe Strump doesn't mind :) She does make more cute sock animals that you can find from her shop or from her blog.

Of course you can try to make your own sock monkey, but if you have so less experienced like me, maybe it's smarter to buy the first one.
I've never seen in Estonia original sock monkey socks with the red heel, but it's probably possible to get them from other European countries. And in US it defenitely is no problem!

Youtube has a lot of video tutorials about making a monkey and making the right cuts.
For example:
How to make leg cuts
How to cut monkey arms
How to cut snout

I admit I've been very conservative artist and I don't experiment much with different materials and styles. I love knitting and crocheting, even sewing a bit, but that's all.
But as a mother to 3 year old boy I need to stay creative and learn new things too. Maybe sometime in the future you will see my first sock monkey that won't look as great as Strump's for sure!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

My newborn niece new photos

They're finally home from the hospital and the small girl is even cuter. And look at the hair! So long and dark.
We visited my brother's family today and the baby was still sleeping most of the time. And she is much more tinier than Oliver was- weights only 3000 grams.

Every time I see a baby like this I wish I had one too.
They got the dress from last post also and my sister-in-law likes it. It's too big at the moment, but should be perfect for upcoming summer.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Latest projects

The dress is made for my newborn niece. Her 4 year old sister already has one similar to this from past summer.
I would like to make more of the dresses for selling also. Do you think it's a good idea and what kind of colors combination would you like?
I'm thinking of yellow/green, pink/green, but I'm ready to try more.

The shrug is not a new thing. It was finished some months ago, now I just have a cute photo I wanted to share with you :)

You have seen similar tops in my blog before too, but this is a bit different.
The story is funny too. I went to local yarn shop and bought the cotton yarns for this project. 5 balls, because it's usually enough and if I need more, I can always go and get it.
I was choosing the color very carefully, but after I had knitted half of the top, I discovered that the colors are totally different! 2 balls were light beige and 3 balls light brown. I didn't see it in the shop.
First I wanted to unravel it, but I think 2 colors looks maybe even more interesting than one? I had to change the border pattern too, so it would make sense in different shades.

Now I'm dreaming of a dress with similar pattern...

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Selfish post

I did some new photos with my model today and some people already think it's me on the photos. No, I'm not. I'm bigger and darker and I love being behind the camera, not in front of it.
So here's an exception. The model wanted to hold the camera too, and I had to pose. I'm not good at it ;)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Smallest and cutest :)

Look what we have!
This is my brother's newborn daughter, less than 2 days old cute girl. We visited them in the hospital, little one is sleeping most of the time.
All our children have long dark hair when they born, so this cutie is definitely ours :)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Something sweet

My real job, being a journalist and half-time photographer, takes me to different interesting places.
Today I visited a school where children are making marzipan figures. It's amazing how many cute and beautiful things can be made this way. I'm not sure I have enough talent for creating something like this myself, but after half and hour with second grade students I'm willing to try.

Friday, April 3, 2009

More cinnamon pasties

This is my knitting basket. I don't have another basket that could hold more than 70 pasties and I had to take my yarns out.

There is a reason why I baked so much today. I will take most of them to my brother who will be home with his two children this weekend- 6 year old Daniel and 4 year old Deivi.
Their mother and his wife has to go to hospital and on Monday morning their third child, a little beautiful girl, will be born.
So I thought they need something good to eat while they're home without the mother.

At the moment I'm auntie to 4 children, on Monday there will be one more. Besides Deivi and Daniel my sister has also 2 children- Joosep who is 14 and Annabeth who was born last year.

The smallest, Annabeth, will be my hat and dress model this spring if I will find time to finish all things I've planned. Isn't she cute?