Orchidea Cross Stitch Bag

This project sure was a trip down memory lane, and a lovely one for that matter.
You see, when I was a little girl, I made a couple of these ↑ cross stitch cushions – they’ve adorned my parents’ couches for a long time. I think I was only 9 or 10 years old, and still vividly remember how I loved doing this.

I’ve been meaning to stitch another one of these for a long, long time, but give it a whole different twist this time around: use the cross stitch part to make a bag!
Now that I’ve finished my “Orchidea Bag” I can “cross” this off my creative list 😉
It goes without saying that the cross stitch part is pretty straightforward; no counting is necessary, your only worry is that your stitches all face the same direction.

This is exactly why this a very “mindful” project. Even though I really like any kind of creative challenge, for balancing’s sake it’s equally nice to work on a project that gets you in a carefree-just-do-flow, don’t you agree? Well, this is the one!

The only thing I dreaded, was machine sewing the cross stitch front to the fabric, but this turned out to be surprisingly easy, and was done in minutes.

The “Orchidea Bag” is my latest design for CraftKitchen, and you can find the tutorial on how to make your own here (Dutch), and here (English), or via the DIY/Tutorials-page on the blog.

Marianne xx

Follow-up Friday – The Happy Bag

maRRose - CCC --- Yarn Ends Bag-07Technically this is not a “Follow-up Friday”-project, simply because it was an in-between-I-got-sidetracked-kind of project. It only started less than a week ago ……

The real beginning was this project in blue, off-white and red: a corner-to-corner piece of crochet, where I use a counted cross stitch pattern (found on the internet, here).
maRRose - CCC - pixelated corner-to-corner-01I’ve done pixelated crochet before, as I’ve used the c-2-c-technique, but never in the same piece of work. You might remember my “pixelated cushion”, made using a counted cross stitch pattern, by crocheting tiny, one round, granny squares, joining them as I went.
maRRose - CCC pixelated cushion-01Having seen a lot of beautiful “corner-to-corner” crochet as of lately, I thought it would be fun to give it a go again, this time in combination with a cross stitch pattern.
If you want to try c-2-c crochet, you’ll find a great tutorial (video) here – even though it’s in Dutch, it’s so well explained visually, that I think anyone would be able to understand.
More tutorials can be found here, here and here.
maRRose - CCC --- Yarn Ends Bag-23I loved the aforementioned pattern. A google search request simply using the watermark on the pattern, “Hetti”, and the words “cross stitch patterns” luckily brought me to the designer’s website, and I’m so glad I landed there! What a talented maker she is, and a wonderful sharer too: there are a lot of lovely patterns for all of us to use for free.

I’m enjoying crocheting this “Dutch Delft Blue”-c-2-c, but it’s very time-consuming, and I can only work on it a couple of hours per sitting. However, I’m loving the simplicity of the stitch, liking the stitch definition, and while looking for a rather mindless crochet project to balance things out, a small light bulb went off. How about doing a second c-2-c project using my left over yarn? And so I did.
maRRose - CCC --- Yarn Ends Bag-30For a rather control-minded person, it was a bit of a challenge to stick to my own rule of not planning too-too much color wise this time around. Still, I could not resist a little color joke here and there, hence the red-white-and-blue of the Dutch flag, mixed with the royal orange…..:)
It was fun to crochet with a particular yarn, until the very end of it, and start with a new color, no matter whether this was in the middle of a row or not.
maRRose - CCC --- Yarn Ends Bag-32maRRose - CCC --- Yarn Ends Bag-24maRRose - CCC --- Yarn Ends Bag-12Seeing the many, many yarn ends was a bit daunting at first, but to tell you the truth: sewing them in proved to be a good exercise in the mindfullness-department ;), and it didn’t bother me at all.
maRRose - CCC --- Yarn Ends Bag-05Not having enough left-over yarn for a real big project, first I thought of turning this project into a cushion cover. But….. all of a sudden I remembered the leather bag handles that had been sitting in my craft room for too long! A bag it was!
maRRose - CCC --- Yarn Ends Bag-22maRRose - CCC --- Yarn Ends Bag-09I was so impatient to see whether it would look just as pretty as the picture I had in my head, that I kind of raced through the whole process. Which means this is another “ta-dah”-post, because the bag is all done, lining, pockets and all!
maRRose - CCC --- Yarn Ends Bag-26She’s a robust bag, more like a shopper actually, and I can’t help myself, but I’m totally in love……..
I can’t wait to take her with me on a special trip tomorrow!
maRRose - CCC --- Yarn Ends Bag-21Have a lovely weekend!
Marianne xx

Happy Flower Power Bag

maRRose - CCC: Happy Flower Power BagThe list of projects I want to make is endless ……
And although I do manage to tick things off that list, it’s still constantly growing due to the fabulous inspiration that I (and I’m sure you too) am surrounded with. Gorgeous blog posts, beautiful photos on Instagram, not to mention Pinterest as a never-ending source of creativity …..

Of course it’s not the real kind of “tough”, but still …… kinda tough to pick a project, FINISH it, and not be distracted by numerous projects that also scream: “make me, make me!”.

One of the things that has been on my have-to-make-list for a long time was this bag, made of an old pair of jeans. With a fast growing teenage son in da house, there was no lack of old jeans and a couple of weeks ago I finally set off to make my own!

If you google “how to make a bag of an old pair of jeans”, you’ll find these helpful DIYs/HOW TOs (45.000.000 hits …..). I was inspired by this particular one, and gave my own twist to it, which I will show you here.

In short: you cut off the legs, straighten the bottom part, sew front and back together.
maRRose - CCC: Happy Flower Power Bag

From the legs, you cut the handles, stitch them on the inside of the bag.

maRRose - CCC: Happy Flower Power Bag Measure out the lining, sew the inner bag together and hand stitch it into the bag.
maRRose - CCC: Happy Flower Power BagmaRRose - CCC: Happy Flower Power BagmaRRose - CCC: Happy Flower Power BagThat’s basically it – now the fun part starts: decorating your bag!
maRRose - CCC: Happy Flower Power Bag

Once the bag was sewn – an easy and quick task – I began to dress it up.
You know how I love crochet flowers ( remember the flowery tea cosy?), so these had to be appliquéd onto my bag, as well as a colorful heart here and there.
maRRose - CCC: crochet flowers

I love the fact that the original jeans pockets come in handy, to store a lipstick, a phone. I’ve added two pockets on the inside of the bag and used lovely Andrée’s idea to recycle two lonely crochet hexagons that were sitting somewhere in my craftroom.
06 maRRose - CCC: Happy Flower Power Bag In order to be able to properly close the bag, I crocheted some twenty chains, slip stitched back and sewed the loop onto the back of the bag; this way I can simply use the button of the jeans.
maRRose - CCC: Happy Flower Power Bag           maRRose - CCC: Happy Flower Power Bag          maRRose - CCC: Happy Flower Power Bag  maRRose - CCC: Happy Flower Power BagmaRRose - CCC: Happy Flower Power BagMy “Happy Flower Power Bag” was finished a week ago and taken on its first outing last Sunday! Many more expeditions are foreseen ……

Marianne xx