Follow-up Friday – The Mandala Cushion

maRRose - CCC --- Mandala Cushion-02It wasn’t until this very morning – when I started organizing last week’s photos – that I realized how full, but fun a week this was.

maRRose - CCC - Mila the Wonderdog-53Filled with nature – lovely, but also very wet walks with Mila, filled with lots of crafting – always a good thing in my book, and filled with moderating the “Craft as Therapy”-account over on Instagram – at least as good as hands-on crafting.maRRose - CCC - Spring 2016-14maRRose - CCC - Spring 2016-13And how nice to be having a midweek extra day off – thank you King Willem Alexander for celebrating your birthday with all of us Dutch ;)!
maRRose - CCC --- Kingsday 2016-04

Apart from all this, I did finish a project, and I’m happy being able to share my latest cushion, the “Mandala Cushion Cover”.maRRose - CCC --- Mandala Cushion-05 maRRose - CCC --- Mandala Cushion-07

The mandala itself was crocheted following a pattern in Haafner’s “Mandalas to Crochet” book (more on that here).
I made it bigger to fit my 45 cm circular insert, just playing with stitches, and ending up crocheting 6 rounds with black, and a last one in blue.maRRose - CCC --- Mandala Cushion-06maRRose - CCC --- Mandala Cushion-04I then sewed the blue cover, added a zipper (!), and hand stitched the crochet part onto the blue cushion cover.
I love how it turned out ….. It’s for sale and I’ve listed it in my Etsy shop, link here.maRRose - CCC --- Mandala Cushion-09 maRRose - CCC --- Mandala Cushion-01

By moderating the Craft as Therapy-account, you not only pick and post people’s gorgeous work (that they share under #craftastherapy), but you get to choose a theme for that very week also. Looking at my rather gigantuas pile of test-squares, left over flowers and the like, I picked “craftastherapy_bitsandbobs” as the theme for “my” week, asking people to share their creative orphans with us. And, gosh, this turned into such a lovely gallery!maRRose - CCC --- Craft as Therapy-130

I added a little extra challenge to this whole “bits & bobs”-business, by seeing whether I could turn some of my unused crochet pieces into something new. I think my plan is going to work, but I’m still in the process of finishing……maRRose - CCC --- make-up bag-11Other than that I have added three more squares to the “Rustic Lace Square”-blanket, and have a small army of squares (9) lined up to be joined as well. All that’s left is color positioning and the last joining round on these, after which row 7/12 will be ready too, and I’ll be up to 77/132 squares, woohoo!maRRose - CCC - Rustic Lace Squares-30maRRose - CCC - Rustic Lace Squares-31

I wish you all a lovely weekend – I’m off crafting …….:)
Marianne xx

Follow-up Friday

Happy Friday to all of you! The past week was a mixed bag of ups and downs (just like life in general, wouldn’t you say?), but luckily the “ups” outweighed the “downs”, so all’s good.

A big, rather personal, “up” was my mother turning 85 years old on Tuesday. She invited our small family for a celebratory “rijsttafel”-dinner in our favorite Indonesian restaurant, “Djago”. We just had a delightful time, enjoying each other’s company, as well as the excellent food.
maRRose - CCC - Lien's Birthday - 85 maRRose - CCC - Lien's Birthday - 85-02Another “up” was the sunny spring weather that mother nature finally sent us – first outdoor crocheting of the season was a fact, hurray!maRRose - CCC - Spring 2016-05You know how much I love my daily walks with Mila the Wonderdog, but seeing nature wake up at this time of year, is definitely a bonus. Oh, and speaking of our beloved Mila: she turned 1 on April 12th.maRRose - CCC - Mila the Wonderdog-50

As I told you last Tuesday, I’ve picked up my “Rustic Lace Square”-blanket again; very happy to report I’ve made great progress. Twelve more squares were added to the 54 that I was up to this past Sunday.
maRRose - CCC - Rustic Lace Squares-25maRRose - CCC - Rustic Lace Squares-24 maRRose - CCC - Rustic Lace Squares-26At that time I thought I needed a total of 143 squares, but after doing some proper measuring&calculating this morning, I think 132 squares will be enough, which means: I’m half way through – yay!!
I “just” need to keep the momentum going …….maRRose - CCC - Rustic Lace Squares-28

You might remember this little thing in black and white?maRRose - CCC --- geo blanket-01 maRRose - CCC --- geo blanket-04I’ve worked on that on and off over the last few weeks, having enough pieces to assembly them in either a cushion cover, or maybe a bag? What do you think?
In a little “Rustic Lace Square”-lull, I played around a bit, which resulted in this colorful surface crochet – fun to do!maRRose - CCC --- geometric crochet black and white-01 maRRose - CCC --- geometric crochet black and white-03

And lastly there’s Haafner’s test-mandala, that I’ve been meaning to turn into a cushion cover. How about finding this perfect matching blue in my stash? I’m looking forward to finishing it.maRRose - CCC --- Mandala Haafner-10 maRRose - CCC --- Mandalas-28While going through my stuff/stash, I also found this long lost Instagram pouch – made almost 3 years ago, following this free pattern by “Haak & Smaak”.maRRose - CCC --- Instagram pouch

In between all this, I’ve been working hard on my May-project for CraftKitchen, while my second one – a diy to make cute little treasury boxes – went live on the CK-site yesterday – busy, but exciting times!
The tutorial (in Dutch ànd English) will be available here on Monday.
maRRose - CCC - CK-schatdoosjes-66Wishing you a wonderful weekend,
Marianne xx

“Mandalas to Crochet”

maRRose - CCC --- Mandala Haafner-09When I found Haafner’s beautiful blog for the first time, my heart skipped a beat……
I had just re-entered the world of crochet, and although I was not a very experienced crocheter at that time, I instantly knew I was looking at an extremely talented crocheter’s work.

Not only is Haafner’s crochet immaculate, her designs/patterns and use of colors are one of a kind as well.
I loved making her “Popcorn Blanket”, my “Baby blanket Justine” – it’s fascinating to see how the squares form a pattern-within-the-pattern once they’re joined.maRRose - CCC --- Babyblanket Justine-14

We connected via Instagram, and I was thrilled to read last Summer that she was writing a crochet book!
Even more thrilled when back in October of last year, she asked Andrée and me for some book advice, and I was able to test run one of her gorgeous patterns – an honor, really.maRRose - CCC --- Mandala Haafner-11maRRose - CCC --- Mandala Haafner-08

And then last Friday “Mandalas to Crochet” landed on my doormat …….
What a wonderful-wonderful book! I can’t help myself: I love everything about it!
The patterns are – no surprise – beautiful and unique, and there’s an attention to detail that I’ve rarely seen before.
I don’t know how she did it, but the patterns are concise, yet very easy to follow, and all patterns have fab charts also. Photography throughout the book is ace, and the section “Before you Begin” is so informative, every crocheter can benefit from the tips&tricks Haafner gives here.
Last but not least: I love how she has incorporated seven gorgeous and different projects that all use a particular mandala pattern from the book.

The book is already published – in English – in the UK and South-Africa, will soon be out in the USA, and a Dutch translation is underway.

maRRose - CCC --- Mandala Haafner-03aThe big mandala in grey/blue/black/off white was the project I made last October; I’ll probably add some more rounds and turn it into a cushion cover.

maRRose - CCC --- Mandala Haafner-12Yesterday I made the small one, which is a little present for one of my nieces. A collector of fine bone china tea cups, I hope she’ll like this recent lucky thrift store find, that now has a matching coaster.
maRRose - CCC --- Mandala Haafner-07 maRRose - CCC --- Mandala Haafner-06Love,
Marianne xx

Treasury Tuesday

maRRose - CCC --- Treasury Tuesday, Crochet-Mandalas-04Yesterday the crochet community was struck by some very sad news …..
The colorful, unique and so very talented “one of a kind” Marinke/Wink passed away last Friday – may she have found peace at last.

I’m at a loss for words, so I decided to dedicate this “Treasury Tuesday” to her and everything she meant for us crafters. Her being amongst many other things the designing queen of mandalas, I’ve found some beautiful ones to honor her.

My favorites this week, are Marinke’s own gorgeous designs, and you can find the patterns here.
maRRose - CCC --- Treasury Tuesday, Crochet-Mandalas-01 maRRose - CCC --- Treasury Tuesday, Crochet-Mandalas-02 maRRose - CCC --- Treasury Tuesday, Crochet-Mandalas-03Love,
Marianne xx

PS: The lovely Kathryn / Crochetconcupiscence has already set up a truly wonderful project in memory of Marinke / Wink; if you’re interested, here‘s the link to the detailed information