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twenty five

April 6, 2016

25 It’s tradition to take one awkward birthday photo every year (here are 24, 23, 22 and 21). So here it is, this year’s awkward birthday portrait. It features my work uniform and – since I printed this at work – a simple 25 with the fancy BMW Plant Spartanburg letterhead.

Let’s hope 25 will bring lots of blog-worthy moments.

Cheers!

PS: Please excuse the blurriness, my roommate never took a photo with a DSLR prior to this one.

exploring knitting

baa-ble hat

January 16, 2016

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Hooray, I have a finished object to share!

Knitting the baa-ble hat by Donna Smith was pure joy. The pattern is a free download and it’s a quick knit. It took me a grand total of two days to finish it – plus another week until I was motivated to make the pompom.

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This hat is a great scrap project. I went deep stash diving and found some merino and some pure wool yarns scraps. Not having to buy yarn for a project is awesome buy now I have scraps from the scraps from old projects. Maybe I should knit a couple more of these to get rid off some of my scraps?

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I’m usually not a pompom-person (yeah, that is a thing.) but this hat just needed one. Admittedly, my pompom turned out to be very dense, thus heavy. It wobbles with each step but that’s the fun thing about pompoms, right? MBP_7324

Next on my list is stitching the brim together so I don’t have to fiddle with it every time I put on the hat. And I might add a fleece lining to make it even warmer.

Photographs: Pictures 2 and 4 were taken by my mom, who also modeled for pictures 1 and 3.

Location: All the pictures were taken during my recent trip to beautiful Munich. We went to the English Garden, which was empty and gorgeous. Munich in the winter is beautiful and the English Garden is no exception; the snow gave it a calm and peaceful atmosphere – quite the opposite from the busy and fun summer version of the park!

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gadgets sewing

fabric kindle cover

January 5, 2016

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It’s safe to say that I love books. I grew up in a family where reading was always encouraged and still today we often discuss books we’ve recently read. The smell of books, spending hours in bookstores flipping through books and sorting books by color… sigh. So of course I was rather skeptical when the eBook market emerged. The first eBook I bought was Catching Fire in 2012. I had just finished reading The Hunger Games and wanted to start the second book right away. Patience is not a virtue I possess so I downloaded the kindle version to my iPad – which up to that date I had only used for reading knitting charts and school stuff. To be honest, reading an eBook was not as terrible as I had anticipated. I have since upgraded to a kindle paperwhite because it lets you read in the sun. Plus it is much cheaper and smaller than the iPad, so I’m not too worried about taking it to places.

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While an iPad ‘feels’ like a quality product the kindle just felt and looked like a cheap made-in-China product. My solution? A cute, warm cover and case. Now it looks much more Marie-style. And it’s functional, too. You don’t have to take it out of the case for charging and the pocket can be used for dust protection when you don’t plan on using your kindle for awhile.

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I followed this tutorial though I changed the seam allowances to 1/4 inch (what can I say, I grew up in a quilter family) and used thick fusible interfacing for the corners so they offer more protection for my kindle. I’m the kind of person who spills water over a one-month old macbook and drops her phone from the nightstand every other night. So interfacing for extra protection is always good when I’m around.

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I’m very happy with the way this case turned out. It fits perfectly, the kindle seems to be well-protected so I can throw it in my handbag without worrying about it being damaged by keys or something. And isn’t the squirrel fabric the cutest? It’s from the “Faraway Forest” collection by Lizzie Mackay for Blend Fabrics. I got it in Washington DC last fall and I’m so happy I used it instead of just hoarding it for years – that’s what I usually do with fabrics I really, really like. The same principle also applies to yarn I really, really like.

welcome

we’ve moved!

January 4, 2016

Congratulations on making it to my new website!

I’m so glad you followed me over here.

There are still some minor things that need to be changed and added, so please be a little patient. If you find any bugs, feel free to shoot me a message: marie@froggeddesigns.com
In the meantime, feel free to check out my instagram account @froggeddesigns to see what I’m making :)

Uncategorized

2016 goals

January 1, 2016

The beginning of the new year usually involves writing a couple of goals on a sheet of paper and forgetting about them about a month into the year. This year, I’m using the Get To Work Book as my daily planner. I used the first project page to write down my goals so I won’t forget about them this year. I also use this page as a goal tracker.

There are three abstract goals and some specific personal and creative goals this year.

This year, I want to let go of things I don’t need, unhealthy relationships that held me back and high expectations I set for myself. This sounds dramatic but the past months were tough and instead of doing ‘what’s right’ I need to do what’s right for me.
Be happy is my mantra for the new year. I want to focus on the positive things and do what makes me happy. Very abstract as well but I have a blog post planned explaining this one.
Last but not least, I want to create more. Creating is what makes me happy and gives me a creative balance to school / work. But this does not only relate to crafts, but also to friendships. I’m moving from my hometown in Germany to South Carolina soon and I want to make an effort to meet lots of new people there and create many new memories.

Apart from these three main goals, I have six personal goals I want to accomplish.

Visit five new states. I love traveling and living in the states for eight months is a great opportunity to visit some new states. South Carolina will obviously be one of them but I’m also excited to explore some more Southern states. Hawaii would be awesome but for now that’s just a dream, not a plan 😉

Use my big camera more often. Photography is one of my passions but having a smartphone and being and instagram addict (@froggeddesigns) does not encourage using a DSLR often. I just got a new lens so in addition to my trusty 50mm prime lens, I now also own a 24-85mm zoom lens. This will justify bringing my camera much more often and it will be great for documenting my travels.

Read / listen to 12 books. I read a couple of pages every evening but the list of books I completed reading last year is small. Listening to audio books when I sew or take a walk has become a habit that will hopefully make this goal an easy one.

Keep up with my 5 year diary. Sam got me hooked on this one and I love it. I use this some lines a day version and I love it. It is a pretty big format but I love that there aren’t any lines so you can also draw in it.

Make more money than I spend. My basic goal with this one is to have some savings when I finish school. I’m very lucky to have parents who support me while I’m in school but I want to be able to support myself when I finish school. Running a small business and doing an internship that pays well certainly helps with this one.

70k steps a week. I’ve had my fitbit for 18 months now and I love it. Walking 10k steps is unrealistic for me because I usually have some very active days and some “stay at home and sew all day” days. But reaching 70k steps per week should be doable.


This year’s creative goals are very yarn-heavy because I’ll be spending eight months abroad and I’m not sure whether I’ll have a sewing machine at my disposal or not.

 

Knit three sweaters. I love knitting (and wearing) sweaters but I often opt for plain vanilla socks because they’re easier to carry in my handbag. There are hundreds of sweater patterns in my revelry favorites and on my pinterest sweater board. There’s also plenty of sweater-quantities of yarn in my stash. Now I just need to take the time to cast on a cozy sweater or two.

 

Make more clothes than I buy. There aren’t many clothes that I need to buy (a new pair of jeans and a trench coat have been on my list for years) so this one should be doable. I’m also excited to sew some things that have been on my to-do list for years.

 

Sew a quilt or two. Do I really have to explain this one?

 

Learn more about the textile industry. I’d love to tour a spinning mill and learn about raising sheep / alpacas. Learning about ethically produced clothes and about the fabric industry would be awesome, too. Learning where the fabrics / yarns / fibers we buy come from and how they are produced will hopefully lead to smarter buying decisions and focusing on quality vs. quantity.

 

Learn three new knitting techniques. I feel like I always use the same techniques I learned years ago. The only new technique I learned last year was brioche knitting (thank you, Stephen West.). I’m excited to try some new techniques – fair isle is on my list. And knitting socks on circular needles, two at a time. If you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them!

 

Learn three new spinning techniques. This one will be easy since there is still so much to learn about spinning consist yarn. I’m looking forward to learning new drawing techniques and try different plying methods.
 
Take a class. The point here is to learn something new. Maybe woodworking. Or a pottery class. Or calligraphy. Or weaving… so many ideas!
 
Destash yarn. I’m at a point where I own more yarn than I can use up in the next decade. I want to use yarn I love and find a new home for the yarn I’m not excited about anymore.
 
Knit a pair of socks per month. After using up all my sock yarn stash a couple years ago and spending the last two years knitting scrap socks, I bought a bunch of Opal sock yarn off eBay. Time to reduce that sock yarn stash again.
New website. After paying horrendous DaWanda fees last year, I want to create (with some help of friends / my sister) a website that includes my shop and my blog. This shall be interesting since I don’t know much about coding. Maybe I should take a CSS class?
 
Blog once a week. This goal is supposed to help me accomplish my other goals. Needing to come up with content for this blog at least once a week will encourage me to create something / take pictures to have something to share. Also, I love my little blog and I don’t care that it’s supposedly a “dying medium”. I enjoy reading and writing blogs so I just do what makes me happy :)

 

2016, here we go!