A Bola Montessori

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The Montessori ball é a kind of object that I used to be curious about when I was a kid. I remember seeing a few kids playing around with it, but never understood the reason for its shape why it does what it does.
A few days ago I saw it again, three circles that together turn into a ball made of fabric, and my immediate thought was "I'm not good with sewing, but maybe I could make one out of crochet!". And with this idea in my head, I went through some of my crochet books and search on the basic shapes on how to create a triangle pyramid and how could I bind them to make the circles.

And this is how I set myself a Sunday challenge!

Unfortunately, it took me more than a day to make this project. My stuffing bag was lost somewhere in the attic and it was too dark to get it when I finished all the pieces. But if you are committed enough and don't have much to do around the house, just go for it!
One important thing about trying to complete these daily challenges: never forget to take small breaks to rest the hands, arms and shoulders; and it's always advised to make a few stretching exercises, just to keep those arms and back muscles healthy.

About Montessori

Before this ball, there was the Montessori Method, named before its creator Maria Montessori, Italian teacher and doctor (1870-1952). She dedicated her life to creating objects that would stimulate children's senses.
This ball was designed to grab the baby's attention by hanging it on top of the crib, in a height where they can touch it and kick it while they're still not able to walk. Kicking the ball makes them move their legs, exercise their muscles and become more aware of their capability to locomote.

With time, they will get strong enough to dismount the ball into 3 circles/rings, allowing them to explore its colors, the texture and even the willingness to try and put it back together.

For me, it just became my favorite anti-stress ball and I'm already thinking about making a few more to have around at the office.

Instagram: 4 accounts to follow

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I find Pinterest to be a great source of ideas and inspiration to full our creativity, but it's not the only source. Instagram has been also a fabulous deal for me, and I would like to share some accounts that caught my eye.

 
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@cherry.crochet
Sometimes I need to take a break from my cardigan project because all I see is grey yarn for hours in a row. I feel the need to look at bright colors. Kirsten from the Netherlands shares such colorful projects that when I feel blocked, I love to scroll through her photos and bring some joy to my eyes.

 
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@allaboutami
I believe she doesn't need presentations, we all know about Stephanie.
Featured in so many Simply Crochet magazine issues, bringing stunning and creative ideas to challenge our crochet skills, she also shares bits and pieces of her life in her Instagram account.
I enjoy watching her Insta stories, especially when she shares pictures of her workspace at home. It's soooo lovely and cute!

 
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@chiquiporkworld
Just look at those characters! I want to collect them all. This is the type of projects that I just can't try, I would simply buy these cuties for myself. And why not?
Which one would you buy?

 
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@geekirumi
Just like Karina states "Functionality meets cute.".
She creates small happy pieces of everything. From chubby bees to a smiley cactus, if you're hungry she also has 2 delicious slices of pizza. And did also mentioned cat like coasters?

What about you? What your favorite crochet Instagrammers? Share your list in the comments below and add yours too, if you have one. :)

Hooked on new colors!

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Times have been slow for my crochet work, due to my working schedule. But during my breaks, I like to sneak peek Pinterest and other websites for some inspiration. In the past months, I've been more and more into creating two to three specific projects to stick to a specific niche inside the vast world of crocheted goods, so I won't lose my focus on wanting to try everything I see. - Yes, I haven't got rid of this bad habit!

For me, it's quite easy for this to happen when you feel like you're still in the beginning of this wonderful journey that crochet is. You want to explore all the creative ideas it has to offer, you want to try out patterns until you find your own niche or style. In my case, I think I'm getting there, but I will let you know when I do. 
For now, I'm becoming comfortable with a few ideas and starting to create my own patterns, one step at a time, as this really takes time, patience and dedication. I've lost count of how many times I had to undo a row or several of them, and start over again because I wanted it to be as perfect as possible. - I know perfection isn't tangible, but we can always do our best to try, right?!

Anyway, this post was meant to share with you a bit of my thoughts and how things have been taking place around me.

The Pixel Bag - Crochet adventure

Pixel Project - Dot Bag (with lining)

So, one of the techniques my grandma taught me when I was little is the full square and the empty square. Basically, all I had to do was treble crochet stitches on every 3 stitches on a chain and so on. Sounds easy and it it is! 
Once you get used to counting to 3 for every single "move" you make on your crochet piece, it becomes automatic and fast.

In this case, I wanted to add a little challenge to myself... sewing! I kind of suck at that because I never actually practiced sewing, but for this one, I had no excuse since I was going to make my first top quality handbag. Leather handles, magnetic lock, and lining. It took longer than I thought, but I love the result I got and I'm already designing my next pattern. Maybe some cat face silhouettes!

For now, here are some pictures I took along the process!

Project details

For the handles, I used thin belts. You can find them on any clothing store for a very good price, or you can use a thick cotton cord, you choose the design! I had to buy a manual puncher to make the holes and used a thick linen yarn to sew everything together.
As for the magnetic snap fasteners, I bought them on Etsy a while ago. Here's the link, in case you want to purchase some yourself. Click here.

Because this bag is for my mom, I know how heavy the bag can get, and for this, I decided I should add a lining just to reinforce it and avoid the crochet stitches from getting all stretched up to the limit, and end up ripping them off with time and use, although I used mercerized cotton to make it resistant enough.
I bought a thick cotton fabric and chose a dotted one just to give it a little detail on the inside. As soon as I bought the fabric I realized I had to sew proper stitches around it for the first time in my life, and I knew it was going to be a long journey unless I'd buy one of those portable sewing machines just to help out with these little details.
As for stitching the lining to the bag, well that was all hand sewed with a lot of patience and stubbornness to make it perfect!

I hope you liked the bag! And feel free to drop me a comment below. I'm always open to suggestions!