Being a maker

The other day, I read an Instagram post by Mirta from Modern Botanics sharing some personal thoughts, worries and feelings we do not usually see on carefully curated Instagram photos. This post started a really interesting conversation which led to 2 other blog posts by 2 lovely girls, Kathy and Tempy sharing their struggle, thoughts and concerns on being a maker. You can read Kathy here and Tempy here.

I read all the three posts and I felt I could relate to them. I share the same thoughts, concerns and doubts since I make a lot of stuff with my hands despite the fact that I do not own a shop. At least, not yet! My thoughts focus on the pre-opening of a shop stage.

To tell you the truth I have mostly questions and fears in my head concerning the opening of an online shop, rather than facts or beliefs. Despite the fact that opening a shop is an idea that popped in my head 2-3 years ago, I haven’t opened one yet because I am not sure, I doubt, I am afraid.

I am not sure that there might be people out there to find interest in what I make. And that is why I always seem to postpone it. I fear that I will not always have the inspiration to make something truly beautiful, honest, something from the heart, something that people would want to give money for. I fear that I will not be able to improve myself, to go further or even escape all of my fears about “making” and end up abandoning the effort soon. I am afraid that there are oh-so-many brilliant makers out there, so why would someone choose me?

Making for me is like a physical need. Through the years this need developed to a more conscious practice that also helps me feel self-sufficient, dreaming of a homestead living. Nature is my biggest inspiration and also a haven. I really admire the simplicity, elegance and wisdom of nature. Besides, a walk by the seaside or in the woods has always a calming effect when the doubts get really deep and painful!

So, what is the solution to all of this?

Believe in yourself. Believe in what you make. Believe that you, as a customer, would buy the things you make. Meaning that you make things you love and not just produce like a machine. Find your path, find your voice.

But, anyhow all these need time and constant effort. Right? Maybe it’s a process in which you get improved and learn through experience. I suppose that the answers come slowly while you keep making and keep living. You live and learn and change. Maybe we have to admit and accept that there will be ups and downs, self-doubts, comparisons etc. and maybe in this whirlwind we have to try to see the things more positively and instead of comparing ourselves to others, start getting inspired by others! Maybe we have to free ourselves from the “have-tos” and just make. Let it unfold. Let it be and let it lead us wherever! That’s probably the best way to explore ourselves and the making process. Maybe there are no “have-tos”. Maybe it’s just “what I do by instinct, by love, by need” and realize “who I really am, what I really care about”. And so I make. And that’s the source. And of course, it’s not easy at all.

Like Tempy beautifully said, put one foot in front of the other. And keep going.

So, what do you struggle with? Did you ever had difficulties in deciding what to make, how to make it, what your target group might like to see from you? How did you find your way in the making world? What worked for you? What were your priorities? How did you find your voice? And how can you be consistent towards your making and the people who follow and buy your work? How can you be out there regularly and make new things regularly?

Please feel free to take part in the discussion and share your thoughts, your questions, your way, your point of view! It would be great to take this dialogue a step further!

~Thank you~

Life around here / pt. 3

It’s actually, “food around here”! Hahaha! With some flowers, and more food! And my beloved port!

Well, this was an amazing stormy day, like a break from sunshine. That morning I ran some errands and then headed to the port, sat down and enjoyed the salty sea water that wind brought on my face. It was nice.

pasta with tomato, mushrooms and… vodka! Gooood

coffee with flowers. pressed and fresh ones!

a Sunday morning with some traditional cream pie with sugar and cinnamon on top. I can sell my soul for that ❤ mmm..

a nice rice and lentils salad I made that same Sunday. So yummy and so easy! With many many more things in like scallion, olives, carrots, tuna, lemon juice and tahini. You have to make it!

Falafel. This was the first time we made it. Not on the pan but in the oven. It was totally better this way! We are definitely going to make it again! I think I need to make it NOW!

A cute cozy mug I made for a friend along with some other b-day gifts 🙂

noodles *_*

an evening salad! remember I told you about salads? 😉

some tea bags I hand stitched lately to send away in a nice package**

Sorry for the food overload, but apparently things were mostly about food lately over here. (I am so hungry right now!) It’s interesting what makes you grab your phone and just  *click*! I am also waiting for some yarn to arrive since I ran out again and my fingers are already itchy!

So what are you up to? Hope you friends are good, eating well, drinking well, sleeping well, because these are the most important daily things, right?

 

~Bye, bye ~ Bisous, bisous!

web wandering and coffee sipping / pt. 9

Hello Friends! Coming in with a couple DIYs and three recipes that you might find interesting!

Clockwise: Book Stand · Carrot, coconut & chia energy balls · January superfood salad · Knit Planter Cover · Fresh juice

I have a big thing with salads. My family calls me a salad expert! Well, ok I am not typically an expert, I just looooooove making salads and sometimes I prefer them as a lunch. I really really like this mix-everything-up kinda thing! 😉 And they can be super healthy, there are so many options.. you can mix some fruit or nuts in or even make a nice sauce and spice things up a bit. And of course I always enjoy blending some fruit with avocado or yogurt and honey and make a delicious smoothie for breakfast! Improvise and blend! Also, great way to enter fruit in your diet if you are not a fruit person like me..! And for the makers, a cozy knit cover for your green friends and a wooden book stand for your favorite literature! Make a cup of coffee and dive in the making world!

**

Bisous, bisous!

 

Motivated by simplicity and nature

 

…and the need to always create a warm and cozy ambience everywhere I am. 🙂 Processed with VSCO

I really love being in a warm, welcome and super cozy nest. And I love simplicity, it makes me feel free, cozy and so happy! And I also believe that nature is the master of simplicity and beauty. The textures, the colors, the shapes, the lines.. All so elegant, peaceful, magical!

These things inspire me and everything I do. They keep me motivated. And I appreciate that!

Last week my hands drove me to a new craft and new ideas and I decided to make them happen, because… this is how it goes! You have to let it unfold! Right? 🙂 There ‘ve been a few months since I started considering of opening a little shop of mine. I know it will be difficult at the beginning but I’ll make an effort. An honest effort. I know there are many rules, to-dos, how-tos etc. that I’ll have to cope with. But most times I probably won’t; I cannot.. All these have-tos usually ruin the freedom of creating. Well, many thoughts around this subject, it’s still an idea and I don’t know if I am going to make it happen soon enough. But I am thinking of it more, lately. The secret is to keep it simple and happy and soul soothing, keep it away from rules and do it because it makes me feel happy.

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We’ll see how it goes and if I take this big step, I ‘ll let you know! Thank you friends/friend! Happy rest of the week ***

Herringbone Cowl

When my brother asked for a knitted cowl as a Christmas present, we decided that the herringbone stitch would be a really nice choice!

It gives you great texture in both wrong and right side. On the wrong side you end up with a lovely ribbed pattern and on the right..well, you got herringbone! You cannot really tell with the yarn I chose, because the grey-black color hides the diagonal texture a bit. But it’s ok! We are both happy with the result.

This stitch was a pain at first, I mean until I figured out I needed at least 2 numbers bigger needles and a reaaaaaaally loose knitting! Loose!! This is the key in order to see it take shape! But it’s totally worth it! You end up with a very delicate and sophisticated texture. Great for male and female too!

***

Bisous!

My holidays.

Aaahh.. My very first 2016 blog post! I hope you are fine while reading it! I hope you welcomed 2016 with the best way possible! For me it was fine. Some work, some knitting, a lot of treats, friend dates and of course some soul-searching dates again. Because, they didn’t actually stop. Ever.

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simple decorations *

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A simple and yummy avocado, chocolate mousse we made! Yum!

 

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A break between knitting and fabric dyeing!

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nature’s poetry and human’s poetry

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Visiting my most favorite part of my city ❤

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Knitting!

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and knitting (with gingerbread cake!)

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and knitting

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and making some Christmas cards

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and couldn’t send them away afterwards!

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Christmas treats with my new Christmas mug!

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more Christmas treats and dates with friends

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a lovely place I found while dating with friends!

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Christmas trees!

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and more Christmas trees (..or bushes!)

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a cozy moment

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a weaving for a friend 🙂

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and a package I received from a dear stranger!

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which contained all the beauty in the world!

 

I hope for love, inner peace, health and serenity during this new year! Breathe and be inspired and motivated, friends!

Bisous ***

web wandering and coffee sipping / pt. 8

Web wandering and coffee sipping. . .
or tea drinking or sometimes munching just before lunch or at the evening. Either way, it’s always a pleasure!

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Clockwise:  Homemade Chai Syrup  ·  Art Deco Hat  ·  Rope Bowl  ·  Staying Warm  ·  Handwoven Rug

Already November and despite the good autumnal temperatures over here, I suppose that it might be getting colder and colder in northern places. So, the above lovely and inspirational projects are all we need to get cozy, snug and creative for winter!

A cup of a lovely warm chai by the window, an amazing in texture and color knit project that dear Melody from Mandarine’s is going to share pretty soon, a sewing project that I bet you ‘ve seen again but it’s always a great idea, cute ways to stay warm this winter in body and soul and a warm and inviting interior from Wood & Wool Stool to inspire you to weave your own rug. Why not?

***

Stay cozy and warm friends!

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~ Bisous ~

Life around here / pt. 2

Most of my time spent at home, is filled with jazz from the radio. It’s a cup of coffee, jazz music and some handicrafts like knitting, crocheting, carving or sewing or whatever else I like! Nice, comforting mornings and evenings. I really enjoy it. So yes, lately it’s been quite calm with this jazz ritual of mine, a lot of DIYing and a happy smile after that and many lovely stomach treats! Some routine health issues too, like a sore throat and a terrible cough that made me suffer for a long time but it’s all gone now.

pancakes for breakfast. (with a lot of praline mmm)

my wonderful botanical print fabric

a blue moment. recently I discovered that blue is a basic color in my color palette!

amazing potato soup with ginger and curry. amazing amazing!

a high contrast evening treat! *_*

I first saw this crocheted cloud on Mirta’s blog used as a coaster. It was so lovely and immediately inspired me to make one too! Mirta is always an inspiration and a lovely person I met on Instagram! You should check her out. The pattern can be found here!

pizza!! I always appreciate homemade pizza! And I can never have enough..

My second attempt with this yarn to turn it into socks, but I can’t. It’s not that the pattern is difficult. It’s just that I don’t want to knit socks right now or during winter anyway.. I cannot enjoy it. I cannot keep it going. So I stopped.. Maybe it’s not the right time or maybe I am not a sock person. No, I am lying – I am a huge cozy – warmth – hot beverages – wool blankets – knits and socks person! It’s just not the right time!

I crocheted a little basket the other day, using t-shirt yarn. Now I can keep my coloring markers neat!

So how was life for you lately? Did you do anything that keeps your heart warm? Did you make anything with your own hands? I would love to see! Keep smiling friends **

~Bisous~

Botanical Print Tote ~ Sewing

I love nature. It’s the epitome of simplicity and beauty, an endless source of inspiration! And when it comes to handicrafts I love everything related to nature. Textures, colors, prints, shapes, anything. That’s why I loved this piece of fabric from the moment I saw it. And I immediately imagined how it would look like as a tote. And I did it, I made one!

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In the above pictures you can see both sides with the different prints! I love it so so so much!! And once again I am so excited with how it turned out!

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It’s about 43×49 cm in size (yes I know it’s big, I wanted it big!) and for the handles, I decided to use interfacing to make them stiffer and more stable.  I reeaaaally like how the print looks in the handles despite the folded fabric! It’s like there are branches all over!

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Woohooooo! I adore it! ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ I craave for more of this fabric too!

~ Bisous Friends! ~
Please tell me if you like it or if I ruined your appetite with all this tote love ;P

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PS. It’s so big I can use it as a cover when it rains!

~ *** ~

Knit Ribbed Beanie ~ pattern

The other day, I decided to make a beanie for a male friend. He asked for a simple ribbed beanie in a dark grey color. I wasn’t very surprised ’cause guys generally prefer plain patterns and muted colors! So that was kind of a piece of cake for me. Nice, relaxing afternoons with a fun knitting project.
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Τις προάλλες, αποφάσισα να πλέξω ένα σκουφί για έναν φίλο μου. Το ζήτησε απλό, σε ριγωτή πλέξη και σκούρο γκρι χρώμα. Δεν με πολυξάφνιασε η επιλογή του, γιατί τα αγόρια συνήθως προτιμούν τα απλά και ουδέτερα σχέδια και χρώματα! Παιχνιδάκι λοιπόν.. Ήρεμα χαλαρωτικά απογεύματα με πλέξιμο!

These are the steps I followed:
~ for a 56cm circumference you cast on 120 stitches
then you knit in K3 P1 ribbing until the body measures 17cm
when it comes to decreasing, the pattern you follow is this:
K1 K2tog P1
K2 P1 x 3rows
K2tog P1
K1 P1 x 3rows [60 stitches left]
K2tog [30 stitches]
K1 K2tog [20 stitches]
K2tog [10 stitches]
Cut tail of yarn and end your beanie!
***
Τα βήματα είναι τα εξής:
Για ένα κεφάλι με περίμετρο 56εκ. περίπου, πλέκουμε 120 πόντους
Έπειτα πλέκεις σε — 3 Καλή, 1 Ανάποδη — μέχρι το σώμα του σκουφιού να φτάσει τα 17εκ. περίπου
Όταν έρθει η ώρα να μειώσεις, ακολουθείς τα παρακάτω βήματα:
1 Καλή, 2 πόντοι μαζί Καλή, 1 Ανάποδη
2 Κ, 1 Α για 3 γύρους
2 π.μ.Κ, 1 Α
1 Κ, 1 Α για 3 γύρους [μένουν 60 πόντοι]
2 π.μ.Κ [30 πόντοι]
1 Κ, 2 π.μ.Κ [20 πόντοι]
2 π.μ.Κ [10 πόντοι]
Και κλείνεις το σκουφί σου!

At the decreasing point I had some difficulties. So I ended up casting on another beanie to make some knit testing and see how many plain rows I need and how I want my decreasing rows to be in order to have a nice, symmetrical hat!
***
Κατά τη μείωση, αντιμετώπισα κάποιες σπαζοκεφαλιές και κατέληξα να κάνω τεστ σε άλλες βελόνες ώστε να αποφασίσω πόσες απλές σειρές χρειάζομαι και πώς θέλω τις μειώσεις μου για να έχω στο τέλος ένα ωραίο και συμμετρικό σκουφί!

And that’s it! Pretty easy and a nice gift for the boys!
***
Έτοιμοο!

Have a lovely weekend friends!

~Bisous Bisous~