Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Exploring Barcelona p.4

And here is the last part of the Barcelona story. Previous parts can be found here: part 1, part 2 and part 3 about Sagrada Familia. I won't be talking a lot, just enjoy the sea and boats view with beautiful sky above.
Pictures below were taken from the roof of the old port building were Museum of the History of Catalonia (Museu D'Història De Catalunya) is located now. There is a nice restaurant with great views on the roof, where we enjoyed our cappuccino.
This is a picture of an ordinary street in the historical center of the city.
One of the cathedral hidden in the narrow streets of Gothic Quarter.
We also visited Picasso museum. He was born and worked in Barcelona. The museum is located in the old stone building. This is the yard inside it.
That's it for Barcelona trip! Thanks for joining.
Will be back soon with new stories from Italy, as we've recently been there. Yes, I was writing about Barcelona so long, that we've managed to have another journey already.

Exploring Barcelona p.3. Sagrada Familia

This is the third part of our Barcelona trip story. Previous two parts are here and here. This part is about the greatest Gaudi's creation - Sagrada Familia Cathedral. It's been building since 1882 and is expected to be completed by 2026. The reason of such a long building process is the financing - it is being built only on the anonymous donations.
We visited Basilika and the towers (entrance ticket costed us 18 euros per person). You also can buy a ticket online and avoid very long queues.
Sagrada Familia is really huge. I mean REALY big and beautiful.
This is how it looks in the panorama of the city (the picture was taken from the top of the hill in Park Güell).
The sculptures on the facade are gorgeous and very detailed.
Now let's go inside.
The ceilings are so high. People look like tiny ants here. Columns are of a different forms, textures and made of different materials. The main idea that Gaudi wanted to implement is to make them look like trees.
Just look at the ceilings, so graceful.
Now the mosaics.
They are also in progress, some windows have only simple glass. But those windows that already have the mosaics installed are stunning. The color mixture of lights creates a special atmosphere and feelings.
I felt very special inside, realizing all this huge work, that been done with stone to create such a monumental building, this is really very impressive. I would say that Sagrada Familia is the cathedral that impressed me the most among other cathedrals and churches I've seen. The project itself is very huge and complicated. Gaudi didn't like to use usual forms in his creations, no straight lines, no flat surfaces. He tried to reproduce natural shapes and forms with parabolic, hyperbolic, spiral lines and surfaces - and this is a very difficult task in construction, especially if using stone.
After our amazement calmed a little bit and we could breathe normally again, we went to the elevator that picked us to the towers of the Sagrada Familia. The towers are very tall, and those that are open to the public and finished are not the tallest. The tallest and largest tower will be in the middle and it is not done yet.
A great panoramic view of the city opens from the towers.
The construction is going all the time. The large cranes and technical buildings are installed on the roof. This looks impressive - a large crane at the large cathedral building it large and larger, higher and higher. There are a lot of workers, construction noise is heard everywhere, Sagrada Familia keeps growing.
And few more views.
Hope you enjoyed our Sagrada Familia journey. Sorry for so many photos, there were so many things I wanted to show you. This is definitely a much visit place in Barcelona.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Discovering Craftsy

Have you heard about Craftsy?
I've discovered this new community some time ago. It looks very nice, with lots of craft classes, patterns and so on. And a lot of them are free. You can buy or sell patterns, attend classes, etc. I have already tried a free Bag Making class - it shows how to make a reversible tote and a zipper pouch. I liked the quality of the video, detailed explanations, bunch of features like video notes, ability to ask questions, everything is on a high level.
I was surprised to know that they have no fees for sellers - no listings fees, no selling fees, no other fees, you don't need to renew your item in the list paying the fee every half of the year. Wow, that looks attractive! As far as their main activity is selling courses, yarn, etc., they've created that selling featured to get more people to their resource. And that works. I have already added my crochet heart earrings pattern to my Craftsy store. Another advantage of thier pattern store is that they handle the download process, so there is no headaches with emails and so on. People buy and download your pattern from the website. I think that's a good alternative to Etsy and other websites.
What do you think about it? Have you tried any courses or created your store?

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Crochet earrings with pom-poms

This earrings are my new spontaneous creation. I was walking by the jewelry furniture store, of course I entered and bought some cute details for future creations. When I came home I've already had a clear idea of this colorful ethnic earrings in my mind. And finally I've got an opportunity to use those super cute tiny pom-poms.

The earrings turned out pretty charming, very bright and warm, reminding about summer and sun during this cold rainy days.
Do you like the colors? Hope you do :)
Such earrings are really easy and quick to make. Just 4 rows of single crochet, joining different yarn each row. After that sew the pom-poms and beads to the 4th row.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Crochet red ball earrings

I started working on these earrings quite a long time ago. I've made the balls, bought the furniture and they were laying on the shelf for a while. Then one day I've come across them and decided to complete this work immediately. Here is how they turned out.
Here is the pattern for the crochet balls.
Take a bead and use it as a basis. Beads are especially good for earrings as they keep the form unlike soft fillers.

1 row: make a magic circle and 6 sc (single crochet) into it (6)
2 row: increase* in each stitch (12)
3 row: increase in each 2 stitch (18)
4 row: increase in each 3 stitch (24)
5 row: 1 sc in each stitch (24)
6 row: 1 sc in each stitch (24)
7 row: 1 sc in each stitch (24)
8 row: decrease** in each 3d stitch (18)
9 row: decrease in each 2nd stitch (12)
10 row: decrease in each stitch (6)
11 row: continue decreasing in each stitch to finish the ball without a hole. (0)

* increase means make 2 sc into one stitch
** decrease means merge 2 stitches

Enjoy making your earrings!

Crochet slavic bride and groom

Here are slavic bride and groom amigurumis - my recent creation for my lovely friend's wedding. Both bride and groom have light brown hair with red tint, that's why I used orange yarn to reproduce their hair.
Sorry for not the best quality photo, unfortunately I haven't enough time to wait for the proper light. We have constant rains here lately.
The deadline for this present was really tight, so I had to significantly simplify the scheme. The initial idea was much more rich and detailed. But I think I've managed to keep the symbolism and put my soul, good energy and best wishes into it. Hope it will bring only luck and happiness to it's new owners.
I used linen fabric to make their clothes, blue and pink yarn for belts and headbands, orange yarn for the hair and some synthetic filler to fill the heads. Amigurumis are about 10 centimeters high.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Amigurumi Viking Girl

Let me introduce you a little viking girl. I made this cute amigurumi for a good friend of mine, who moved to Sweden recently. She has a bright red hair with braids and a traditional viking hat with horns. She is wearing a fur coat with colorful buttons, that not only warms her, but also is her basis.
She likes looking out of the window waiting for her viking boy.
Despite braveness, courage and strength, that are usual characteristics for an average viking girl, she is also very graceful and tiny - she actually fits in my palm.
Just take a look at her gorgeous long hair.
So here she is - Viking Girl. Hope you enjoyed your acquaintance. See you later!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

African flower potholder

I've been in love with African flower pattern since I've first seen it. First I've tried a hexagon version of the African flower. The best step-by-step tutorial I've found was this one - it has a lot of photos and is written very well. After that I've discovered the square version of the African flower - tutorial here. I prefer the hexagon version, it looks prettier to me.
I was looking for a proper project to use this great pattern. It is to rich to be used as a motif in multi-hexagon projects, like blankets, bags, etc. It best of all plays as a main part of the item, being an accent of it, like in this project, but that's only my opinion.
So here it is - an African flower potholder. I've made it as a present for my grandmom's birthday. It can be used for holding hot things, as a cup or teapot coaster or just a table cloth to put a vase of flowers on.
The pattern is very easy. First make a six-leaved African flower using this tutorial. Then 5 rows of double crochet stitches (one dc in each stitch from the previous row on the sides of the hexagon, *1dc, sc, 1dc* in each corner of the hexagon). Last row is a shell edging - I've explained how to make it in this post.
Of course, as usual my little helper was helping me to take photos of the ready made potholder.
Hope you're doing good.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Exploring Barcelona p. 2

Continuing my story about our Barcelona trip.
Next day we visited Montjuïc mountain. It can be reached by Bus Turistic (red line) or by a telerific funicular, that goes high above the sea with great views. There are a lot of interesting places on Montjuïc. We visited Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, that is housed in a beautiful Palau Nacional, that was built for the exhibition in 1929.
A great view on the Plaça d'Espanya opens from the front yard of the museum. You can see Tibidabo mountain on the horizon and the Sagrat Sor cathedral on the top of it.
And there is a gorgeous cascade fountain in front of the castle.
It was a little bit rainy that day and the clouds looks stunning.
Also we visited Poble Espanyol - an open air museum, that shows examples of buildings from different parts of Spain.
There are a lot of workshops, where people make and sell a lot of handmade things: ceramics, jewelry, masks, clothes, etc.
See what we've found right on the street - an orange tree full of ripe oranges.
In the evening we went to one of the restaurants near out hotel. We ordered grilled seafood and fish dish and a bottle of red Rioja wine. Mmm, grilled baby octopuses, shrimps, lobsters, mussels and two kinds of fish. That was the most yummy dinner. Absolutely pleasant evening!
To be continued...