Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Happy Flower Crochet Mandala


happy flower crochet mandala a free tutorial by Red Haired Amazona

Why Happy Flowers? Because I've kind of convinced myself there are tulipy type flowers in rounds 6-7!

And they make me happy!


Would you like to make yourself some of these super easy peasy fast mandala/ doily thingos? Then let's get cracking!!

What do you need??

3.5mm crochet hook
A darning needle
Scissors
Yarn: Any brand of 8ply Cotton or  
 
Cotton Blend. I used Patons 8 ply Cotton Blend.

Colour A: Teal
Colour B: White
Colour C: Soft Pink
Colour D: Mid Pink
Colour E: Soft Green
Colour F: Yellow
Colour G: Purple

Special Stitches:

Beginning Popcorn:
Ch 3, yarn over, insert hook into the Ch2 space, YO, pull up the loop, YO, pull through 2 loops. There will still be 2 loops left on the hook. YO, insert yarn into the same Ch2 sp, YO, pull up a loop, YO, pull through 2 loops. There will now be 3 loops left on the hook. YO, insert hook into the same Ch2 sp, YO, pull up a loop, YO, pull through 2 loops. There will be 4 loops left on the hook. YO, pull through all 4 remaining loops.

4DC Popcorn:
YO, insert hook into next Ch2 sp, YO, pull up the loop, YO, pull through 2 loops. There will still be 2 loops left on the hook. YO, insert yarn into the same Ch2 sp, YO, pull up a loop, YO, pull through 2 loops. There will now be 3 loops left on the hook. YO, insert hook into the same Ch2 sp, YO, pull up a loop, YO, pull through 2 loops. There will be 4 loops left on the hook. YO, insert hook into same sp, YO, pull up a loop, YO pull through 2 loops. There will be 5 loops left on the hook. YO, pull through all 5 remaining loops.

Abbreviations

Beg: beginning
BLO: back loops only
Ch: chain
Dc: Double Crochet
Hdc: half double crochet
MR: Magic ring
Sc: single crochet
Sk: skip
Sl st: slip stitch
St: stitch

Let's get started!!

Super Dooper Tip: As you fasten off each colour, sew in your ends. Saves the big stitch up later on!

Round 1: Starting with Colour A, work 6sc into MR [6]

Round 1
R2: 2sc in each st. Fasten off and Join Colour B [12]

Round 2

R3: Ch 3 (counts as dc), dc in same st, then *(2dc in each st ) Repeat from *. Join with a sl st to top of beg Ch 3. Fasten off and join Colour C in between the 2 groups of 2dc. [24]

Round 3

R4: Ch2 (counts as hdc), hdc in same st, *Ch 1, sk next 2dc, 2hdc in same sp). Repeat from * to the end. Join with sl st to top of beg Ch2. Fasten off and join Colour D in a Ch1 sp. [24hdc & 12ch]

Round 4 Close up
Round 4

R5: Ch3 (counts as dc), 2dc in same sp, *(Ch1, 3dc in next Ch 1 sp) Repeat from * to the end. Join with a sl st to top of beg Ch3 and fasten off. Join colour E in a Ch1 sp. [36dc & 12ch]

Round 5
R6: In 1st Ch1 sp: (Ch3, dc, Ch 2, 2dc). Then in each Ch1 sp *(2dc, Ch 2, 2dc). Repeat from * to the end. Join with a sl st to top of beg Ch 3 & fasten off. Join Colour F in a Ch2 sp. [48dc & 24ch]

Round 6 close up


Round 6

R7:  Work Beginning Popcorn (see Special Stitches above), Ch5, then *(4DC Popcorn, Ch 5) Repeat from * to the end. Join with sl st in top of beg Ch3. Fasten off and Join Colour G. [12 Popcorns & 60ch]

***Tip: take care not to work your ch 5 too tightly or it will warp the work!!***
 
Round 7
 
R8: Ch1, then 6Sc in each Ch5 sp, 1sc in top of each popcorn. Sl st to beg ch. Fasten off and join Colour C into sc above a popcorn st. [84sc]

Round 8 Close up
Round 8

R9: Ch1, 2sc in same st, *(sc in each of the next 6sc, 2sc in same sc above the popcorn st of R7) Repeat from *. Join with a sl st to beg st, fasten off. Join Colour A. [96sc]

Round 9

R10: Ch1, sc in same st. Sk 3 st, Work shells as follows: *(dc, Ch1,dc, Ch1, dc, Ch1, dc, Ch1, dc, sk 3 st, sc, sk 3 st) Repeat from * around to the end. Fasten off. If you haven't sewn in your ends as you went along, do so now. [12 shells]

Round 10 Close up

Block and you're done!

Happy Flower Crochet Mandala - a free tutorial by Red Haired Amazona

Happy Flower Crochet Mandala - a free tutorial by Red Haired Amazona

Friday, 20 May 2016

A Very Merry Eurovision

WARNING: The following blog post contains pictures of shirtless world leaders, a shirtless Chris Hemsworth and a Belarusians bum. If any of these are likely to offend, then proceed at your own risk.

Holy absent Blogger Batman, it's been ages since I jumped in here.


Ahem, no Batman. Not this time....

I kind of wore myself out a little bit.

You see, the last time I posted, I finished my Stevie Bird video. It's not a Spielberg production by any means. I don't have expensive equipment and my laptop really struggles with video editing software. But the time it took was quite exhausting. I was also working on several mandalas and hoping to make Youtube videos of those tutorials as well. And I still will. But in between working in my normal place of employment, being a mum etc, I kind of ended up with a little bit of burn out. And caught a nasty cold which whacked me out for a good week or two.

So I thought I'd pop my head in and tell you what I've been up to.

I'm not going to show you any photos of me being sick.  No one needs to see that. My skin looks blotchy, my sumptuous long firey locks are piled up in a messy bun and my nose was red from the sandpaper scoring of a million tissues.

I have been working on my Yarnbombed Stag. Just making lots of little leaves and mushrooms so far! He's very much inspired by Lucy's Winter wreath...


Trust me. He's NOWHERE near finished yet!



As mentioned above in the post title, we also celebrated our favourite time of the year: Eurovision!!!


I love Eurovision like a child loves Christmas. BFF the Blonde Bombshell and I spend most of the year counting down to this magical weekend of kitsch and Europop being broadcast from Stockholm, Sweden who won last year with Mans Zermolows song 'Heroes'.

Being down here at the bottom of the world where we walk upside and the toilets spin the right way, the semi finals were on at 4am Thursday and Friday mornings, and the grand final was on at 4am Sunday morning.  I wasn't able to get up then so I blocked out social and newsy media over the whole weekend to watch the delayed telecasts in the evenings. 

Semi final 2 was telecast on Saturday night. The BB and I headed over to our lovely friend Elises and celebrated her 30th birthday in style with Dumplings, Eurovision and all the Eurovision drinking games.

Eurovision Drinking Game works like this... Fireworks: drink! Man in a hoop/ burning piano/ Polish butter churning maid with boobs out: drink! Firecannons: drink! Petra mentions ABBA: drink! Anything Euro-kitsch: drink!!!

Australia was in again this year with former X Factor winner Dami Im singing her song 'Sounds of Silence' starting in Semi Final 2.

I must admit I was a Dami Doubter at first.  I felt her Big Pop Ballad might get lost among all the other Big Pop Ballads.

But then I warmed up to it, and after hearing her sing in the semi final, decided she sounded fantastilicious. Yes, that's a real word. It in the dictionary.

And she came 2nd! Amazeballs!

Have you seen it?
Here it is if you'd like to watch...



So many people ask why Australia has for the last 2 years, been allowed to enter the Eurovision song contest?
 
Because entry is allowed to countries who have a TV broadcast service which is a member of the European Broadcast Union. SBS Australia who have broadcast Eurovision in Australia for the past 30 years is a member. This is why invitations are extended to non Europeans countries such as Australia and Israel. Despite its distance from Europe, we are such massive fans (and member of the EBU) that Jon Ola Sands extended his gracious hand across the kajillions of kilometres to Kangarooland. Love you Jon!

On the grand final night, the BB and my Bear came round for Swedish Kottbullar (meatballs), mashed potatoes and gravy (all from Ikea).  Poor Bear was starting to get sick from a head cold so he didn't last through the votes being tallied and took himself off to bed.



Nom nom nom!



This year to welcome the US to Eurovision telecasts, Justin Timberlake performed. It was a bit weird watching old JT. Don't get me wrong. I don't mind JT. He looks like my brother in law. But seeing American Pop in a EuroPop concert was weird. And this coming from an Australian who was proud of an Aussie entrant in the 61st Eurovision Song Contest!

But Aussies GET Eurovision. We love the kitsch. We love all chanting, "Europe stop voting NOW!"

eurovision
photo courtesy of eurovisionworld.com

We loved the fact the singer Ivan from Belarus wanted to perform naked with a wolf. I almost cried when he didn't get through to the Grand Final!


eurovision 2016 Belarus Ivan
Does this Wolf make my butt look big?
Photo courtesy of thelowdownunder.com

One of my all time favourite acts from Eurovisions past was Lordi, the Orc-like entry from Finland who won in 2006.

Nothing better than when the Zombie Apocalypse comes to Eurovision. Thanks Finland!
Photo courtesy of spindlemagazine.com

Sadly Eurovision has less kitschy, crazy acts these days. But we love it as it still celebrates its kookiness. Well done to this years Swedish hosts Petra Mede and Mans Zermolow! Your Oscars style parody songs were hilarious!

red haired amazona
Mans Zermolow with his shirt unbuttoned. You're very welcome. Oh, and Petra.
photo courtesy of buzzfeed.com

 And ***CONGRATULATIONS*** to the Ukraine for winning with such an amazing song and pissing off Pooty Putin big time! I did think the Russian song was very good and had mind blowing special effects though.

But can you imagine if Australia won? My goodness that would really give Pooty an excuse to doubly boycott Eurovision 2017!

But (roll eyes) we're all used to that. Pooty threatens to boycott Eurovision almost every year. Russia threatened to boycott the 2014 contest because Conchita the bearded lady from Austria was entering. Then when Conchita did win, they threatened to boycott the 2015 contest which was held in Conchita-land (Austria). 


photo courtesy of zimbio.com

And Russia and Pooty have already threatened to boycott next year because Ukraine won. Because #politiks #thinkstheworldhateshim #poorpooty #alwayssaytheyregoingtoboycottbutshowupanyway

Just remember folks, They always say they're going to boycott, but they always show up anyway... thank goodness. We still love to see your songs Russia. Don't boycott. Come and have fun singing with us!

If Australia won, being geographically closer to Antarctica than Europe, we would have to hold our Eurovision in the runner ups' country (probably Ukraine).
Hence the double Pooty boycott.
And because we lurve the Gays and the Bearded Ladies. Us Aussies love our annual Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras in Sydney where the LGBTI community strut their fabo stuff through the streets of Sydney to exploding rainbow glitter cannons.

But Pooty doesn't. And let's not forget when a certain former Australian Prime Minister threatened to 'shirt front' Pooty.....



Ugh. Sorry about that. Now for a totally unrelated shirtless Chris Hemsworth picture to wipe that nastiness from our eyes and minds....

Oh God thank you Chris Hemsworth! Girls, I totally understand if you don't want to scroll back up. Or down.
Back to Pooty and Eurovision...
What was I saying? Oh Pooty and if Australia won Eurovision!

Pooty would be peeved.

Cripes! He might even try and annex Darwin in retaliation! And wrestle a croc to show off his manly strength and spray tanned manboobs! (Personally I'd rather scroll back up to Hemsworths manboobs.)


Dear Pooty,

Please don't try and wrestle our crocs. They have very big teeth and will kill you. If they don't succeed, the drop bears most certainly will.

*hugs*
Red Haired Amazona

ps: Please stop taking things that don't belong to you. Like Crimea. Just put it back where you found it and I promise to stop posting Pooty memes. Like this one:



I hope you all got to experience the wonder of Eurovision.

Nice chatting with you again!

Now if you don't mind, I think the Kremlin are trying to bust down my front door.....

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Stevie Bird Video Tutorial


One of my most popular patterns is my sweet little Stevie Bird. The original written pattern can be found here.



Isn't she cute?



I love her!

She is so quick to make and happily sits on a shelf being cute, or having a stack of pins shoved in her head!


I have just finished making a video tutorial showing you how to make her. And it's available now!

I have made the video two ways. You can choose to watch the tutorial all in one big hit with the complete video. It's just under 2 hours long.


For those of you who like to watch shorter vids because of internet speed or ADHD, I have also uploaded the tutorial in 3 separate videos: Part 1: The Body, Part 2: The head, back & tail and Part 3: the wings!




Just for fun, if you do watch the tutorials, I have popped in an occasional stop motion animation, so look out for those!

If you do make a sweet little Stevie Bird, I would LOVE to see your finished birdies! So feel free to post a photo on my Facie page, tag me on Instagram (@red.haired.amazona.crochets) or email me balibelibear@gmail.com