Wednesday, December 17, 2014

All I want for Christmas...

Hello sweeties,

long time no see I know, I know but my awesome customers have been keeping me super busy these past two months! Well, it was about time to experience the holiday rush!

I've been browsing a lot through etsy these days and I've been making my list of things I want as Christmas presents! Wanna see what I bought?

1. Always stay on top! I cannot live without my diary/organizer! I can live without my phone but not without my diary! This year I bought it from NutsForPaper on etsy. The girls made it especially for me, with more pages at the start and the end of each month. They make awesome stuff and can help you find the diary you need! They can even put an income/outcome page in there too!


2. Stay beautiful! I love buying jewelry almost as much as I love making them! I needed something to match my dress for my sister's - in law wedding in a few days and this amazing jade bracelet from my friend Zina of EfZinCreations was it!



3. Stay cozy! I am slowly redecorating my living room and this pillow cover from InmyCloset is one of my favorite additions! It is just lovely!



4. Stay a woman. Now I wouldn't be a woman if I didn't carry a woman's bag would I? The best place on etsy to buy handmade bags is Milloo! A Greek shop filled with every woman's fantasy!!! I decided to have Kosta make me a leather bag in this design which I find absolutely amazing!!!



5. Stay smiling! Well the one thing that makes me smile no matter what is not a thing, it's my husband! So, I decided to make it even easier and I bought this amazing crochet pattern for a Viking hat from Mynkat (he loves Viking's history) and I am planning on making it for his present. I haven't started yet though :(.



and last but not least ...

Stay positive, stay together and stay happy! No need to purchase anything to do that, too!!!

What's on your Christmas list and where are you buying it from?

Smooch for now

Akamatra

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Woodland crochet - Guest post at DecorAsylum

Hello sweeties,

I've been working like crazy to fill orders but I found the time to hop on over to my friend's Dimitra gorgeous blog DecorAsylum and make a guest post there. I am making crochet acorns! Click here to learn more!




I got carried away and made more but that was quite ok with my friend Scrat!!!!


So the pattern in is Greek but I will update this post with the American terms sortly!

Have a great day all!

Akamatra

Monday, December 1, 2014

Hello December!

Hello sweeties,

I love this month, I really do, and despite of everything I KNOW this one is going to be FABULOUS!!! I refuse to believe otherwise and I close my eyes to everything that could ruin my mood!


So here goes the greatest December yet!!!

Smooch for now
Akamatra

Friday, November 28, 2014

Christmas blackboard gift tags - Free printable

Hello sweeties, 

I don’t really remember how I stumbled upon Dimitra’s blog, DecorAsylum. I do remember it was love at first sight though! You know the feeling you get when you meet someone and you click? That’s the feeling I got when I first read DecorAsylum posts. Later on I got to meet Dimitra during a trip to Nafplio and the clicks continued! I now think of her as one of my cyber-cool-friends and I am delighted that she is here today. 

It is a honor to have her as a guest blogger in Akamatra's. She was really cool to make and share with all you awesome gift tags for your Christmas presents! They are g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s!!!! Here she is:


Hello everyone! It's a real pleasure being here today. Not only because of Akamatra's beautiful blog but also because it's the best time of the year. I love Christmas but even more,  I adore the time just before the holidays; the time when you get to make all kind of festive preparations and plans, decorate the house and of course anticipate the coming of Christmas.
I am sure that you will agree with me: one of the best aspects of Christmas is gifts, both given and received. And since beautiful wrapping makes a gift even more pleasurable, I have prepared for you a set of Christmas gift tags, blackboard style.




So make yourself a cup of chocolate, get your wrapping supplies out, print the tags from here and let the holiday gift preparations begin! (Christmas soundtrack while working, optional).






After all, it doesn't take much to make beautifully packaged presents and a touch of nature alongside neutral colours is my choice for this Christmas.


So happy preparations everyone! After all....the weather outside is frightful  but the fire is so delightful and since we've no place to go, let it snow, let it snow and let's wrap some gifts!

My wishes for the best Christmas ever and a big smouts to you, Maro, Santa's little helper!
Dimitra

Dimitra is holding a series of guest posts over at her amazing blog DecorAsylum this holiday season. Hop on over there and feast your eyes with her Decor suggestions, and amazing DIYs! You will fall in love too, I am certain of it! Don't forget to wink at her by liking here facebook page.

Thanks so much for being here today Dimitra! We'll meet again soon for new adventures ;)

Have a great weekend everyone!

Smooch for now
Akamatra

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Santa's helper hat - Crochet pattern

Hello sweeties,

I am pretty sure most of you know how much I love Christmas! I mean I am a good old cynic most of the year but I become a downright romantic when the holiday
season approaches! I don't really know what's wrong with me and I don't want to find out!

I love almost everything about Christmas! I become a child all over again and have so much fun! Most of all I love making presents for my loved ones! A few days back I finished the presents for my nephew and nieces and all my favorite kids. I made them crochet owl hats.
I felt like a Santa's helper at that time! That's why I decided this year I should look like one too!



So, I made me a Santa's helper hat! Yeap! I've officially lost it! Not only that, I am going to share with you my crochet pattern so you can too become a Santa's helper!!!! That will be so fun! We can start a "Become a Santa's helper" revolution, lol!!!

Anyway, here is the pattern. Be advised! This is the first ever crochet pattern I created out of my head. I've tested it and it works fine but if you
find something off please let me know! It is really very easy, any beginner can rock it!

The size of a small adult or a kid. You can easily adjust the pattern for a smaller hat if you calculate the increases and the end number of double crochets.
I will be adding other sizes to this pattern later on so stay tuned!

You need to know the following stitches: Magic ring, ch (chain), hdc (half double crochet), dc (double crochet), sl (slip stitch), sc (single crochet).

I used a 4.5 hook and acrylic yarns in red, white and green.

This pattern is worked on rounds. Since there will be many changes of color, in order to keep the lines straight change your thread before making the slip stitch that ends each round. Take a look at the following photos for help.

Change your color from red to white at your last stitch.



Make the slip stitch with the new color (white).


Start your new round with two chains.



Here you go:

Round 1: magic ring, ch2, 6 hdc in ring, sl to close, ch 2
Round 2: 2dc around, sl to close, ch 2
Round 3: 1dc in same stitch, dc around (15dc), sl to close, ch 2
Rounds 4-18: these rounds are essentially the same ---> dc around, sl to close, ch 2,
I just written them one by one to make easier the color changes for the beginners.

Round 4: dc around, change color to red, sl to close, ch 2
Round 5: dc around, sl to close, ch 2
Round 6: dc around, change color to white, sl to close, ch 2
Round 7: dc around, sl to close, ch 2
Round 8: dc around, change color to red, sl to close, ch 2
Round 9: dc around, sl to close, ch 2
Round 10: dc around, change color to white, sl to close, ch 2
Round 11: dc around, sl to close, ch 2
Round 12: dc around, change color to green, sl to close, ch 2
Round 13: dc around, sl to close, ch 2
Round 14: dc around, change color to white, sl to close, ch 2
Round 15: dc around, sl to close, ch 2
Round 16: dc around, change color to red, sl to close, ch 2
Round 17: dc around, sl to close, ch 2
Round 18: dc around, change color to white, sl to close, ch 2
Round 19: dc in the same stitch, *dc in the next 3 stitches, 2dc in the next stitch* repeat from *, sl to close, (19dc) chain 2
Round 20: dc around, change color to red, sl to close, ch 2
Round 21: repeat R19 (24dc)
Round 22: dc around, change color to white, sl to close, ch 2
Round 23: repeat R19 (31dc)
Round 24: dc around, change color to green, sl to close, ch 2
Round 25: repeat R19 (39dc)
Round 26: dc around, change color to white, sl to close, ch 2
Round 27: repeat R19 (49dc)
Round 28: dc around, change color to red, sl to close, ch 2
Round 29: repeat R19 (62dc)
Rounds 30-35: dc around, change to appropriate color, sl to close, ch 2
Round 36: sc around, sl to close.


Wave in and secure the ends. When I changed colors I didn't cut my thread and in the end I had very little waving to do (always a boring part for me).

Now take your green yarn and make a pom pom! It is very easy using some cardboard paper and a pair of scissors. If you don't know how here's an easy and fun tutorial by my friend Dimitra. She uses a great way to pump up the volume of the pom pom with a secret (and brilliant) tool!




Now all you have to do is wear the hat and your best smile and you are officially in Santa's helper mood!




Almost forgot! I came up with a little rhyme while making this pattern!

I am a little Santa's helper in a Santa's helper hat! 
Are you ready to become one of Santa's helpers too?
Take your hook and yarn and needle, now it's not the time to chat,
double stitching and crocheting and you'll be one of the crew!

Boy I love this time of the year!!!
Smooches!!!!

Akamatra

Monday, November 17, 2014

Crochet owl hats for kids - Christmas gifts for 2014

Hello sweeties!



Two years ago I made a crochet hat for a friend's girl who was having a difficult time. Then I started crocheting hats for the kids of my nearby school along with many of my fabulous friends. Last year I made a bunch of crochet Minion mittens for my newborn nephew and my friends' kids. So, it is safe to say that it has become a tradition giving away crochet cuteness during the Christmas season. 


Recently, I found this amazingly cute owl pattern here and decided that this is going to be my Christmas gift to all my beloved kids this year! So I wrote the names down (I didn't really mind who was naughty and who was nice) and started to crochet! Thankfully I decided to start early since I knew that I will be busy with my shop and with the preparations of my sister's in law wedding ( I am the official wedding planner after all ;) ). 


This was a large project and a copious one too. I made 15 hats total. That's a lot of crochet!!! What kept me going was the faces of my nephew, nieces and friends' kids! I know they are going to like those hats and that fueled my determination to finish them.



Sarah's pattern is very well written and easy to follow even if you are new at crocheting. She is super cool to share her pattern for all sizes too! Please visit her blog here she has amazing things for you to see and make!
The only thing I did different than Sarah were the eyes. I only had one nice pair of black buttons at a convenient size and since the hats are for small children mostly I decided to make the eyes without buttons.


I made three different versions of the eyes. In the one shown in the photo above I made the round eye in white as Sarah says but without changing color. Then I took my needle and saw these eyes with black thread. It is very easy to do.


For the version shown above I made the white circle first and then a smaller black one (Magic ring and 10hdc) and saw them one above the other.


Lastly for the version shown in this photo I did what Sarah did but the first color was not the accent color but black.

I love them all! Which do you prefer?

Smooch for now!

Akamatra

Friday, November 14, 2014

Mood of the day and a giveaway winner

Hello sweeties,

it's that time of the year again! November! Where my days start and end with Christmas on my mind. Christmas orders, Christmas shopping, Christmas preparations, Christmas decor for our home, Christmas everything! Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas! It is just one of the busiest times for me, that's all. You may hear me say I am tired but I am loving it regardless!

So this is the mood for today and the rest of the weeks till Christmas and New Year!



What's yours?

Also, here is the winner of my hand embroidered pendant from here. There were 15 comments and I used random.org to find the lucky winner.


SpoonStories is the lucky girl!!! I will contact you soon dear for the details!

Smooch for now

Akamatra

Monday, November 3, 2014

Embroidered pendant - DIY Jewelry with a button

Hello sweeties,

last week I stumbled upon a facebook contest about making something with a button. I love buttons! I use a variety of them for my creations and I have a box filled with those colorful little things!

I decided to take part to the contest with something new! I made an embroidered pendant with a purple rhinestone button. Here's a quick photo tutorial if you'd like to make something similar!

You'll need:
A small piece of linen fabric
A brass hoop or other circle to stabilize the fabric
Threads and needle
Jump rings
Beads
Scissors
Tongs
and ...buttons!


Place the fabric over the hoop and do a simple stitch near the hoop. It should look like this when it is finished.


Turn it over and cut the excess fabric.


Then take the button and the treads and use your imagination to make a design on the mini fabric hoop. This time I went for an abstract theme.


Using the tongs add a jump ring on the top of the hoop.


I added four more jump rings with small beads on the lower side of the hoop.


Add your chain and you are done!

That was quick wasn't it? I am pretty sure anyone can do it. I also glued a piece of leather in the back side of the pendant to hide the cut fabric. You can also use felt if you don't have leather.


I think it turned out quite good! If any of you wants the pendant I am going to give it away with a dainty gold plaited chain. Just comment below and I'll draw a random comment to send it to in a week's time!

Smooch for now
Akamatra

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Map decor ideas - Around the globe

Hello sweeties,

As, I am flipping through photos of our recent trip to Rome and Naples and writing my (long awaited I know I know) post about it, I stumbled upon some amazing maps on the net.

Me and my husband are looking for a really large map to hang on our living room. The idea is to have a big map to cover a whole wall and pin (or glue, or hang) photos of the places we've visited together. We have thought of many ways to do this but haven't decided yet.

I would definitely use a gold colored map for this project, like the one from Vicky from ArtFilesVicky on etsy.

photo from here

I like this idea of Ashley from this amazing blog from Texas. 

photo from here
I would use different frames for out house since we don't really like black but this is very close to what I would like to do (if we decide to go with this format).


I also love this map. It is great for a dining room decor too, if you have one that is!

photo by DominiqueBlackmore

I like the idea of using pins to denote the places we've been, but I am not sure if the paper of the map can withhold a large number of pins without threading away. I love what Amanda from witandwistle made with a silver map.

photo from here

I also love this watercolor world map made by MapMapMaps on etsy. 

photo from here

If we decide not to use our photos after all, I am really in favor of a world map wallpaper. I love this one from rebelwalls.com.

photo from here
If you are looking for more wonderful ideas for using maps for decor, visit Dimitra's blog DecorAsylum here. She's gothered a great selection of ideas!


Smooch for now!

Akamatra

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Mr Penguin - Stuffed animal sewing pattern

Hello sweeties
Since my hubby has a somewhat relentless love about stuffed animals a while back I decided to surprise him by making him a stuffed penguin. It was a massive hit!!! He loved so much he kept making it talk like happy feet and tickle me with it every day. We still have laughs with Mr. Penguin!



It was really easy to make Mr. Penguin and I was able to take some photos while doing it (although it was late and the light is artificial, so pardon me if they seem a bit dark) so here is an outline of the procedure in case you need to make one!

Felt, artificial velour or corduroy in black, white and orange
Scissors
Sewing machine and/or needle and thread
Stuffing material

For Mr Penguin’s exterior I used some samples of soft artificial velour I had lying around but you can use felt or corduroy too.





For the interior of Mr. Penguin’s body I used my stash of fabric and threads scraps. I decided long ago to keep all the small scraps of fabric and all the trimmings of thread from my crochet and sewing to use them as fillers for my stuffed animals. I have a large bag of it. It is actually a good filling medium since I don’t like artificial ones and I trust my cotton threads and fabrics more. Plus it is great recycling too!



I never use a pattern when I made my stuffed animals but I did make one later on for the purposes of this tutorial. This is my first effort for a digitized pattern so please forgive any glitches! Please allow 1.5cm seam allowance where I mention it since the pattern does not include it.







You can download the pattern in a pdf form from here.



Cut your fabric according to the instructions on the pattern.

Lay your pieces and pin them appropriately. I actually played around a lot with Mr. Penguin’s eyes! I wanted to give him a goofy expression and I ended up liking his crossed eyes better, lol!






First take one of the large body pieces of black fabric and pin the white belly, the white round of the eye and then the black irises. Sew them in place with your sewing machine.




Then pair the nose and the feet pieces (back sides facing) and sew them with a 0.5cm seam. These pieces are too small to sew inside out and flip so make sure your seam is as good as you can.



Sew the nose in place.
Pair the hands (good sides facing) and sew them leaving enough of the back of the feet not sewn to turn them to their good side. Turn them inside out and fill them with filling material.
Now it’s time to sew the body.
Take the black piece of the body that will become Mr. Penguin’s back (meaning the black piece of fabric that you didn’t sew the belly and the eyes) and lay with its wrong side facing you. Place the hands and pin them in place. Then place and pin the feet. 

Take the front of Mr. Penguin and pair it with its back (good sides facing) and sew with your sewing machine.
You want to leave an opening between the feet in order to flip it inside out when you are done. I forgot about it until I reached the head that’s why I used that side to fill Mr. Penguin. Don’t do that, if you want your hand sewing not shown so much in your new friend’s head!



Flip it inside out and then fill it with your filling material.
Then sew the opening by hand.
You are done!
Mr. Penguin is ready to dance!!!






I hope you’ll find this tutorial useful. Please note that the pattern given here is somewhat approximate. I would urge you to use it as a rough guide and make any adjustments you seem fit.

This pattern is free for every use you want (I actually hate it when I find a pattern online and there are so many restrictions on it it’s not even funny) so give it a try! Just don’t pass it on as your own please. It did take me the better part of a week to make this post, so please show a bit of respect ;)



Smooch for now

Akamatra
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