Sunday, February 27, 2011

Felted flower brooch in peach orange

I continue experimenting with coloring. My favorite coloring solution these days is KoolAid that comes in a few bright colors. I've created my flower brooch hand felting white wool and coloring it with orange KoolAid. The color is very intense and beautiful! Because I color every layer of the brooch separately I can control the process and apply as much color as I think is necessary for each layer. The idea is to apply maximum color to the center of each layer leaving the edges uncolored. It adds volume to the flower and makes every brooch look different and unique. On top of that the brooch smells of oranges and makes me think of spring and summer! felted flower peach brooch

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Hand crafting at home

Hand crafting is a great way to relieve stress and to spend some time creating unique and beautiful art pieces. The result usually looks amazing and all the relatives and friends end up catching the same crafting bug. Be it crocheting, felting, beading or yarn hand spunning it will all make you happy and feel a real artists and craftsman.

We all have spare supplies of buttons, glass and plastic beads, yarn and threads in our homes. They are stuck somewhere in the basement or deep inside our closets.
I encourage you to go and find them! You will be amazed by all the treasures you find in your house!
turquoise felted brooch with a button
When I was small I loved to sort my mom's buttons she inherited from her granny. They were so shiny and colorful, of different shapes and sizes! I loved the glass buttons the most. In the sun the light would go through them and make everything around shine! Look for a few glass beads and buttons in your house! You might find some vintage pieces that are priceless!
glass amber necklace
After you dig out all the treasures it's time to start crafting. Every person is different. Some like the feel and touch of yarn and fiber and, thus, enjoy knitting, crocheting and yarn spinning. Some like vivid and bright colors of beads and are eager to spend hours beading and wire wrapping. It's actually fun to try everything possible craft and technique as you never know what you fall in love with at the end.
The result of hand crafting will always be unique and rewarding. It's such a joy to end up with a beautiful necklace or a cool hand knitted scarf.
green olive leaf necklace
I beg you not to waste your spare time at home! An hour or two of crocheting and beading will make you feel better! I promise!:)
I was myself inspired by an example of Ira Rott who has recently made her first hand spun yarn. It's an exciting process you should definitely try! It’s next on my personal list of home crafting techniques.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Bright red felted necklace for spring and summer

I love bright colors! They make our life spicy and vivid. I've created my bright red necklace of hand felted beads. It's ideal for spring and summer. Juicy berry color will go well with any vacation dress. It will match the colors of spring bloom and summer flowers well!red hand felted necklace in berry

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sponge Cake with custard and fruits on top

I would like to share a recipe for a very easy, yummy and beautiful sponge cake with custard and fruits.

For the sponge cake you will need:
- a few kiwis
- a pack of strawberries
- a pack of Dr. Oetker's organic custard
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1 cup of flower

I start with mixing eggs, sugar and flour together. Since my recipe is an easy one I don't complicate the process by mixing eggs with sugar first and later carefully adding flour. I mix everything right away. You won't get a pie 5 inches tall but you'll still get a nice cake! It takes good 15 minutes to mix everything up well. The goal is to double or triple the original volume of the mixture.

I bake the mix for around 30 minutes at 365F and when the pie is ready I let it cool and cut it horizontally in half. While my mix is in the oven I cut fruits and prepare Dr. Oetker's custard.

After the pie is cool and cut I pour warm custard on one half, cover it with the second half, pour the rest of the custard on top and nicely arrange pieces of fruits on the very top. After 30 minutes our cake is ready! Bon Appetite!

TonyaUtkina happy and yummy creations

For those who like baking I would like to share a link to a recipe of a pizza with anchovies and blue cheese . I recently came across the recipe on a blog of Lana living in Argentina. I've never bakes anything like that before. It sounded super yummy and will be my next baking project!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Bright tangerine summer swing earrings

I believe that summer is all about bright and vivid colors. I created my new hand felted earrings of wool in tangerine, carrot and ginger colors. Deep blue beads serve as additional decoration and metal chain let my beads swing freely around the owner's neck. The earrings are of that happy orange color that lifts one's attitudes and helps a person live happily through a day!
blue and tangerine summer earrings

Thursday, February 17, 2011

San Diego as a New Year vacation destination

I've been to the West Coast just once and loved it. The way people live and work there is somehow different from the way people go about their business in the East Coast. I just recently came across beautiful vacation pictures of the East Coast by IrinaPhotography. It sounds like a great tradition to go on a family trip to San Diego around New Years. What a fun way to start a new year!

IrinaPhotography coastal picture

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Etsy Front Page treasury

I just ran into a post by Katrinshine about Etsy Front Page. Her Cream Leather Earrings were featured on Etsy Front Page yesterday. Congrats to Katrin!

The post made me go and check my recent appearings on the front page. It turns out I was recently featured as well. A totally amazing treasury by Ayca in pale blue, sky and turquoise colors made it to Etsy's main page! The February Line 5 collection absolutely deserves its 30 minutes of fame!
February Line 5
Thank you Ayca for featuring me in your beautiful collection!

Yellow wool hand felted acorns

Yellow is such a happy and positive color. I plan on creating more items in yellow as spring and summer are approaching. Pale and dull shades of winter dive way to vivid and bright colors and hues of warm sunny days! Let's celebrate spring and summer with lemon yellows!yellow felted wool acorns

Saturday, February 12, 2011

How to color wool with KoolAid

A few of my friends recently told me that they are experimenting with different artificial colorings easily available in grocery stores. What we all are looking for is a coloring that would be inexpensive, reliable and not too harmful. The new favorite in the felting community is KoolAid that could be found in any grocery store in US. I bought a few small packs of different colors to try it out.
To experiment with KoolAid coloring we will need to create wool felted beads first. To read about how to create ones you can go to my previous post on how to create wool acorns.
felted wool acorns
To make colored water I added powder from KoolAid packs to water in a few small plastic containers. As a result I got five containers with brightly colored water. I added approximately a tea spoon of powder to every container. Then I put each of my five beads into a separate container and let the beads suck in the colored water.
lemon summer felted necklace
It makes sense to heat containers with water and beads in a microwave for color to fully penetrate the beads. I microwaved my containers for approximately 3 minutes. I didn't want to boil my beads but might experiment with boiling next time.
red berry felted wool earrings
The result is pretty impressive. All of my five beads turned out to be colored differently. The most intensive, bright and beautiful color turned out to be orange. Yellow bead was not that intensely colored but I really like the light lemon color of the bead. The cherry color turned out to be very intense and vivid as well. In general all the beads have vivid and bright colors as a result of coloring. They smell of oranges, lemons and cherries!
It's definitely worth experimenting with this powder as theoretically one could mix different colors and get some interesting results. My only advice is to wear rubber gloves as it will be very hard to get the color off your hands once it gets there!

This post describes my personal experience with a particular product.
Please be careful trying to replicate the experiment!!!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Spring Post Cards Exchange

One of our Russian Artists team members Albina Manning came up with a great idea of a spring post cards exchange. All participating team members exchanged mailing addresses and will now mail three spring post cards to three Russian Artists team members.
TonyaUtkina earrings
The idea of the post card exchange is to celebrate spring and to do something nice to a fellow team member. Everything is done anonymously and nobody knows where the post card will come from. As our team members are scattered all over the world I won't be surprised to see a post card arriving from Australia or Israel for example.
TonyaUtkina necklaces
I decided to create my three post cards myself. I love flowers and there are always fresh flowers at my home. It's just a matter of spending some time taking pictures and turning them into postcards. I'm into hand made business myself and love items created by someone's hands rather than mass produced in hundreds of copies.
CityCrochet felted items
I'm super excited to get my three spring post cards from secret senders. I simply love that post card exchange idea! Thank you Albina!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Felted flower pin in wine and fuchsia

Felted flower brooches and pins are my favorites. I create them in my spare time when my kids go to beg at night. They don't take too long to create and yet such brooches can completely change the way one looks. If you wear a neutral or gray colored sweater to work one day and add a brightly colored felted flower brooch to the very same sweater the next day your colleagues will notice the difference! Brooches are wonderful accessories and they make a huge difference in the way one looks!
red fuchsia flower brooch felted

Monday, February 7, 2011

Crocheted flower brooch in blue

I stopped by a supplies store last week and picked up some really cool yarn in blue and its different shades and hues. The yarn is very pleasant to touch, soft and stylish. As a result I crocheted a flower brooch in blue with white hand felted bead in the middle. It looks great of lightly colored outfits. The brooch can be worn on outdoor coats as it's rather durable. fiber flower brooch in blue

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Spring necklace in lime yellow and blue

I totally fell in love with felting yarn of that bright yellow lime color. It radiates so much positive energy and besides is a perfect color for spring and summer. To contrast bright lemon I added dark blue beads. Those two colors look beautiful together. The necklace will go well with bright spring dresses!
summmer necklace in lime

Crocheted earrings in white and beige

I've created white crocheted earrings as my last nod to this season's winter. Cold weather and chilly winds are still around but we are inevitably approaching spring with its burst of colors, warm sun and positive attitudes.
Although I'm really looking to the spring season, winter has its own beauty. I'm celebrating it now while white landscapes are still around.
crocheted white earrings CityCrochet