Monday, November 16, 2009

My Seventies Bathroom

The Seventies are back in many ways. Aren’t we crafters terribly into crocheting granny squares and such? Bell bottoms and block soles have been back and gone again but are not yet totally ridiculous. Or some arty underground fashionable people stick to them deliberately. Yet it’s the design period everybody says to hate. Those horrible colour combo’s, the giant wavy and floral motifs, free-form clothing designs… They’re absolutely not done anymore. I agree.

Yet I’m glad the cold black and whites of the Eighties have past as well. The Nineties brought colour back in, but still with too much modern straightness and chrome to my taste.

I like to mix up all styles and these days it’s absolutely allowed. Carefully dosed elements of styles we wouldn’t want to have full-on can add a fun quirky touch to your home. For me some of the Seventies ideas are absolutely the ones I love to hate. And the curbs provide me with a wide choice of style and design of all ages.

It all started in 2005 when my artist friend wowed at seeing a photograph of my mom in her home with her curtains in the back. They are a wavy motif in dark brown, beige and white and she still has them by the way. Then I knew what I wanted with my new bathroom in my freshly renovated apartment.

I remembered I still had a large piece of a curtain sample from my mom in the same style. Digging it up I found she had even already sewed the tunnel and bottom seam in. I really forgot what she had used it for, or planned to but maybe never did. So all I had to do was hang it up. The ceiling high window needed something long and narrow and this just fitted!

The egg yellow and terra brown are not colours of my first choice, but they make sense. Coming from my living room in natural wood, cream white, pale beige, wine red, soft orange and some black (Eighties leftovers of my own) you turn a corner to my half open kitchen which is in a soft yellow, cream and the same pale beige. Then at the end of this area in neutral colours comes my bathroom. Following the scheme the more pronounced yellows and browns are a welcome contrast with the reds in the living room. And I don’t live there you know, I just go there to do what I have to do.

Leaving the cold white tiles and dull granite floor intact the curbs provided me with just the additional elements to add to the colour and style.

First I found a handcrafted TP and magazine holder. I just love it how this is clearly a hobbyist's or craft class product, it must be totally unique! The brown and yellow match perfectly with the curtain, the orange makes a link with the orange (doors) in my living room.

Same counts for the giant artificial flowers. My curtains in the living are in the same red.

I keep some smaller shower supplies out of the way and organized in this hilarious soup terrine.

Then to finish it off I found a yellow lamp shade. The fixture I still had laying about from another find or second hand buy. The simple iron model is timeless and it may not be so old, but it's just the right colour.

Talking about lamps, to end I want to say something about lighting. A befriended eco-blog suggested followers to write a post about cutting down on lighting at home. The idea was to start using fewer Watts and shutting off lights where you don’t need them, but I think it’s even better to switch to CFL (energy saving) bulbs on top of that. Now I have used those for at least twenty years already. That’s how long they have been around!!!

I never use any of the strong 100W (or the CFL equivalents of those) bulbs anyway. I really hate how they flood the room with sharp light. When I need extra light for e.g. crafting I prefer to use a desk or table lamp locally. Main lamps in living room or kitchen are the CFL equivalents of 60W of the old incandescent bulbs, places where you need even less like hallway or bedroom I have no more than 40W. Actually in my yellow bathroom lamp there’s only the equivalent of a 20W. What more do you need there? For make-up I have a local extra light by the mirror.

Apart from the energy they save I love it that you only have to change CFL’s once every 6-10 years. Isn’t that extremely convenient?

But on top think this: a CFL of ‘60W’ actually uses only 11, ‘40W’equals 8!! Only please remember, once died out you can’t throw them in the bin, they contain mercury so you have to bring them to the recycling depot or a shop or collection point near you.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

My Dress Dummy II And A Free Scarf Pattern

I still had to show you a better picture of my dress dummy.

Now before I give you the secrets of this lovely scarf let me tell you how I fixed the foot of the dummy. Well very simple: with a cast out old floor fan foot and an aluminium rod, probably a curtain rod. Stuck the rod in the foot and placed the dummy over it (she has a hole underneath, rod sticks through the whole body). Done!

The scarf is crocheted in a bow or net stitch consisting of 5 chains per bow, but you can vary that number as long as it's uneven. The stitch is most commonly used for triangular shawls or net bags, so I thought I'd do something different.

For this scarf I used the small batch of mohair yarn I bought at the Queen's Day Market in 2005. I used a hook number 3,5 (mm) or D (US). With ten bows per row I got a width of about 20 cm or 7.85''. But you can make this design in any gauge you like, make a swatch if you want to measure out the width exactly. The beads are plastic with large holes. A present from a friend who emptied her attic when she moved abroad.

ch: chain stitch
sc: single crochet

Ch 40 (or any number devidable by 4) + 5. Make a sc in ch 37 (so skipping 3 from the beginning point). * Ch 5, sc in the next 4th st. Repeat from * till end of row. * Turn the work, ch 5, sc under the middle ch of the previous bow. Repeat from *. Make as long as you like. Crochet one row with 3 ch (only first bow is still 5) instead of 5 to make a straight edge. Cast off and work in loose ends.

Fringes: thread 10 (or equal to the number of bows in each row) beads on your yarn. Start to work from the sc of the last row, * ch 10, pull up one bead, ch 1 around it, ch 10, sc in the next sc. Repeat from *. End in (not under, to keep it better in place) middle ch of the 5 ch bow). Repeat on other side. Note that you're working from the upside down here and your ending is in ch number 40 of your starting chain.

The non-crafty among you can purchase the scarf in my Etsy shop.