Pencil, paper and ideas

Pencil And Square PaperI’ve been thinking about where this blog is going recently and I was doing a bit of blog-soul-searching.  When I started out back in August of 2006 I had no idea where I was going.  I grew older (and wiser)  and so has the blog.  It has evolved from a little bit of posting here and there to a place where I have a creative outlet.  I was considering starting a second blog for craft related posts only and after a lot of thought decided against it.  This is who I have become.  Trying to label my interests under different spaces would be the same as pretending to be two different people. I know what might interest me might not interest you but I can’t help it.  Part of the journey of growing up means learning self acceptance and understanding that sometimes even our closest friends will walk away when we change and grow apart.  It is not a sad thing but should be a beautiful thing, everyone has to move on sometime in their life.  I hope all of you who already enjoy and visit this blog stay even if what I write now is different than what I used to.

I am glad I got that off my chest.

My husband and I have an interesting habit.  We both love scribbling little notes, reminders and ideas on pieces of paper and notepads around the house.  Although his writings are different than mine and usually concern more serious things, rarely a caricature (he should have been an artist but he doesn’t really know it) and occasionally little notes he leaves for me.  I usually doodle ideas and inspirations.  I love writing down quotes I hear so I can look them up later.  I sometimes write down blog post ideas.  Sometimes even things I just randomly think I should know more about.

Needless to say we both love pencils, 2B old fashioned pencils.  When I was in school, I’d shave the paint off of them using a knife and either leave them bare or color them according to my own mood.

A couple of days ago I had this idea that I should make pencil toppers.

Let me correct that, I had this idea that kept popping up in my head driving everything else out.

So I drew a little kitty pencil topper.

Isn’t that cute?

Don’t you just love square paper?  I do.

After a little bit of experimenting and fiddling around I made a cat, bunny and a Chucky like pencil toppers.

Bunny and Cat crochet pencil toppers

Having decided to start selling the stuff that I design and make I thought to myself maybe I shouldn’t be sharing these patterns.  But my self answered back that that would be selfish and mean.  I mean at the end of the day I just do all this because I love doing it.

They also make really cute finger puppets if you have teeny tiny 2 year old fingers :-).

I have to be honest here.  I don’t like embroidering the eyes and faces on, because mainly I am really bad at it and need so much more practise.  But being someone who has decided to face all fears and obstacles even if that means embroidering cute smiles onto cute kitty cat pencil toppers then so be it.

Crafting really does bring out the fearless person in me.  :-))

Here is how you can make your own:

Things You will needYou will need:

  • A small amount of yarn  ( I used some sports yarn held in a double strand)
  • An appropriate hook (4.5 mm hook)
  • Tapestry needles
  • Scissors
  • A little bit of micro fill (I have a pillow that I steal from)

Notes: This is worked in a spiral, there will be no turning.  Also note that you have to repeat the stitches in between the asterisks.

There are two ways to start this off.

Round 1: Chain 2 and 6c in the second chain from the hook or by doing 6 sc in a magic circle.

First Row 6 sc

Round 2: *1 sc increase each sc *(12 scs)

Round 3: *1 sc increase next sc, 1sc in next sc* (18 scs)

Round 4 – 6 : *1 sc in each sc* (18 sc)

After row 6Round 7 : *1 invisible decrease, 1 sc in next stitch* (12 scs)

After row 9Round 8: 6 invisible decreases. You should now be left with six scs

Insert micro fill

Fill it up with the micro fill and sew it shut using the back loops only.

Round 9:  6 sc in the front loops.  This is the first round in the kneckSew shut through the back loops only

Round 7 and 8. 6 scs

Finish off and weave ends

3 More rows and you have a kneck

Embroider the face.Add the face

Make two ears.

Chain 2, 3sc in the second chain from the hook.  Turn and chain one.

*1 sc increase in each stitch* 12 stitches

Finish off and weave in ends

Sew on the ears

Make the ears

And voila! You have yourself a pencil topper.And we're done

For the bunny ears chain 6, turn and sc 5 in the chains.

And now I have some very cute companions for my pencils.  Who knows? They might even boost my creativity.

Play online Scrabble

One of my favorite games is Scrabble. I love discovering new words and kicking my competition’s ass all at the same time.
Play some online Scrabble.

Things to do in Kuwait

More than a year ago, when I moved to Kuwait, I wondered what could be done in Kuwait.  Last week my mother and sister were visiting for Eid and we discovered lots of interesting things that could be done.  Needless to say these activities were so much more fun because they were with me but I am sure you could still enjoy yourself on your own.

Marrakesh Decor was amazing

Marrakesh Decor was amazing

Dining out.  We went crazy trying different cuisines.  Our favorite was Wasabi a Sushi place, followed by Marrakesh a Moroccan place.  The rule was if you can’t pronounce it then you should order it.  We also had Indian and Chinese at Magha El Mahal.

Shopping, which I don’t usually enjoy was enjoyable this time.  I probably tried on dozens of different hats on my daughter and took funny pictures, so if you saw a crazy momy with a little baby girl with huge hats on her head that was probably me.

Color Me Mine selection of ceramics

Color Me Mine selection of ceramics

Pottery painting.  There’s a lovely little Color Me Mine cafe at Marina.  We spent 2 hours painting on ceramics, drinking coffee and generally having lots of fun.  I love doing Arts and Crafts but I am a bit painting challenged but it was not as difficult as I had expected.  My sister was the smartest one and chose a Mug that had a message on it so all she had to do was color it in.  My mother and I painted coasters which turned out to be harder because you have to use your imagination completely.

Fishes in the Aquarium

Fishes in the Aquarium

Aquarium and Imax:  I had already been to the Aquarium but not to the Imax shows. We went to two shows, one about Egyptian Mummies and another about Going to the moon.  They were amazing and the experience was really worth it.

The beach.  We all went to Nadi Ras el Ard and had a swim.  My sister got my daughter a huge yellow float with a little mini chair so she was so happy sitting in it in the water splashing around and kicking her feet like there was no tommorrow.

The musical fountain at Al Koot was also a wonderful show.  The weather was pleasant and we enjoyed the show.

We also went to the Moubarkeya Souk.  Lots of very interesting things were on sale and just the fun of browsing was enough, it is seriously worth a visit for a taste of a more authentic Kuwait.  You can buy copper items, bu5ur, silver and wooden boxes and so many different and interesting things.

There were other things which we wanted to do and see but didn’t have enough time.  We wanted to go ice skating and to the Zoo.  Next time insha2allah then.

Hope you all had a wonderful and interesting Eid too.

Yo-Yo Mania

Having access to a great public library when I was a kid allowed me to open doors and windows to worlds I never thought possible ( and the ability to read the whole Asterix series ).  One of those was Yo-yoing.  I love yo-yos and always have a couple in my desk drawer.  They are relaxing and a way to release stress and have fun at the same time.  I never managed to become a really great yo-yo-er but I managed to learn a few tricks.

But none as good as these.