Thursday, June 26, 2014

Designing Decor: Project Balcony, Lighting It Up.

First of all I wanted to show you my finished blanket. IMG_1300[1]It started about a year ago, a friend of mine was crocheting a baby blanket for a friend who was expecting in a basket weave stitch and I was inspired. However my crocheting skills are rough to say the least so I decided to knit a basket weave blanket and so it began. Well now I’ve finished. I decided to only use the basket weave pattern around the edge with a cuff stitch all around the edge. Et voilĂ !

Back To The Tutorial

I’ve finally managed to get myself together and bring you a tutorial. The results of which will be making an appearance on my re-decorated balcony. The idea for this tutorial came whilst I was looking for inspiration on Pinterest. If you want to see all of the photos from my blog, and from this post including the photo that inspired me, please click here.

I wanted to recreate a candle holder, it had to have a nautical feel about it and I’m quite pleased with how it turned out.IMG_1318I haven’t finished exactly, I want to make one more, but here’s the two I’ve made so far.

So Let’s See How:

You are going to need:IMG_1302

  • Twine.
  • A jam jar or other jar.
  • Sticky tape
  • A glass, with a smaller mouth than the base of the jar.
  • A pair of scissors.

Cut a long piece of twine and make a circle. Don’t tie it off, wind the ends around the first circle of twine until the entire circle is twisted two pieces of twine. IMG_1303IMG_1304


So it looks something like this. And you should end up with something like this.IMG_1305

Next you might need a tube of cream or a slim cylinder to shape the first hoops. IMG_1306This is my second one and I have acquired an eye for the size, so I didn’t use a spacer on this one. 

So make a hoop, follow the twine, it will tell you which direction it wants to go in. Then tie a knot.

The first jar was a bit bigger than this one, so on the first jar I did 9 hoops to start with, but on this one I only needed 6. The great thing about this is if you find that you needed one or two less hoops you can unpick a few knots and take one of the hoops away and push the other hoops along to fill the gap. IMG_1308

So by now you should have something like this. Tie off the last one and make sure its secure. This is your first row. Now the real fun begins!

Turn your jar upside down and place your twine flower on top of the base. IMG_1309Then take a piece of sticky tape and tape it to the jar. Its a temporary fix to hold the twine in place while you continue making the hoops.

Lets make the next row. Cut another length of twine. Its hard to use a spacer here, at least I found it hard, so I just eyed it up. I made it about the same size as the row before.IMG_1310 I tied the twine to the middle of the first hoop. Every new hoop I stuck to the glass with sticky tape.

It just made it much easier to make the hoops more evenly sized. I also unstuck the tape and used it for the next row after that. IMG_1312

IMG_1314Tie off every hoop to the centre of the hoop of the row before and when you get to the end tie off like you did with the very first row. Because this jar is smaller I didn’t need more than three rows, on the first jar that was bigger I needed four rows. The third row I made so that it reached the shoulder of the jar, tying every new hoop to the hoop of the previous row. So now you have your last row, turn your jar the right way around.

UIMG_1316nstick the hoops from the jar and thread another piece of twine, long enough to tie around the jar mouth twice through the hoops of the top row. Tie off tight. I made a handle by braiding the twine together. I tied the twine braid to the twine around the jar mouth.

I put a tea-light candle inside it. Now its ready for my balcony, I’m really pleased with it.

I hope you like it and try it. If you’re in Norway and trying to source the twine, I bought mine at Stoff og Stil. It was only 19 kr.

Please comment and share any photos of your own attempts. Don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss out on any posts.

Until next time.


Monday, June 23, 2014

Mrs Egeland Talks Health

I’ve been trying the last few months to stay on my mission to inspire creativity. Then I was sitting on my couch, working up energy to finish my cleaning and it struck me that talking about my health, my homesickness and its physical symptoms may, just may, be helpful to someone else.

Please don’t worry, this isn’t going to be a pity post. This is a public service announcement, sort of.

Gilbert Syndrome, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Homesickness

Those are the three things I am currently suffering from. Gilbert Syndrome I have had since birth, its a genetic disorder that according to most western medicine doesn’t hurt, doesn’t cause ill health and doesn’t affect anything more than your bilirubin levels.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome… what to say about this? I had suffered from this ailment in my youth and unfortunately and apparently it has returned.

Homesickness, I have written quite a lot of pity posts about this in this blogs previous incarnation. Homesickness at any level is destructive and horrendous, its one of the hardest feelings to experience. Unfortunately without experiencing it many people find it difficult to understand and/or relate to. So if you are suffering from this, take comfort, though few around you may understand, you are not alone. You are allowed to feel the way you do, don’t feel guilty.

Surviving First Arrival Homesickness

When you first arrive some place new, a new home, a new country, a new town etc, its normal and natural that you may suffer from this kind of homesickness. It’s equally as horrible as the more advanced homesickness, but their is hope. There are things you can do, that may help you adjust to your new surroundings.

  • Get to know your new surroundings. Learn where the best shops are, find your new favourite place to get coffee. Enjoy discovering your new home.
  • Learn the language/culture of your new surroundings. If you have emigrated learn the language and the culture. If you have moved somewhere in your own country, learn the history of your new home.
  • Join groups or clubs, or take part in your religion. The point of this is to make friends, new friends that can help you integrate into your new culture. Making new friends will make your new surroundings feel less foreign.
  • Have regular contact with family and friends you have left behind. Keeping in touch is really important. When you move away from the place that’s familiar its easy to feel like you have lost your sense of self, having regular contact with parents or other family members and friends will help you stay centred.
  • Get on with life. I know this sounds obvious. You might think that I being ridiculous to point this out, that you have no choice put to go to work, or go to class. What I mean to say is that don’t put your life on hold, go out and socialise, don’t hide away and wallow in your pain. It will just make you negative and maudlin.

Try these suggestions and see how you gradually feel better. I have suffered from First Arrival Homesickness and all of these things helped me feel better. I hope that they will help you too.

Physical Symptoms of Long Term Homesickness

What I tell you next is what I am suffering from at the moment. Perhaps you too are struggling with Long Term Homesickness and have other physical symptoms that you have no explanation for.

As I said at the outset, I have GS and CFS. GS I am 100% sure of having and I’m suffering the symptoms of CFS. I spoke to my GP lately, and he took blood tests that I haven’t heard back about yet.

It was my GP that after a talk put forth the following theory.

My homesickness is making me physically ill. These are some of my symptoms:

  • Lethargy.
  • Fatigue.
  • Swollen glands in my neck and under my armpits.
  • General malaise.
  • Flu-like symptoms.
  • Lack of stamina. I can’t clean my small apartment without regular breaks, it should take me 45 mins to an hour to clean, instead it can take me an entire day.
  • Dull, mild headaches and dizzy spells.

Just to name a few, most of these can be pinned to the CFS, if that’s what it is. Which is why that’s what I thought I had, but what if it wasn’t CFS? What if that’s why after 5 months in Britain (my home country) I was feeling well again?

I’m becoming convinced that my physical health is suffering because of my homesickness. Perhaps its psychosomatic? Or perhaps the stress of living in a country I don’t feel at home in is doing damage to my already compromised condition? I have no answers to these questions, until I return to Britain permanently I can’t say whether my symptoms will improve.

All I can do is wait and hope that I will be able to return soon. In the meantime though I can share this in hopes that others will find it and find comfort and possibly explanations to their own sufferings.

I promise next post will be more light hearted.

Until then,