Saturday, April 28, 2012


  Each sabbat holds it´s unique beauty elements. Some are harder to find than others, but at Beltane beauty is so obvious and it sprouts up everywhere I look in nature.
  This is what I´m enjoying at the moment:

All this in my backyard! Some are so beautiful that if there were no cameras to capture the sight, I couldn´t believe it in November...
  New species of flowers rise up from the bare ground here and there, one after another. This is probably the most beautiful sabbat of all. What a wonderful time of the year!
  Common hepatica blooms only for a short period of time, and it is relatively hard to spot. I think that´s what makes it so wonderful to see. These little wonders totally bring happiness to my life. It´s the little things in life that matter (and add up to an enjoyable life).

  Welcome Beltane!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


  A week ago I would not have believed I would be starting my wild edibles season today! It has been so chilly lately, but apparently the couple of warmer days we had here worked wonders in nature. I harvested my first wild edibles this morning! Yipee!

  The first edible plant, that I recognize, has lifted it´s little head up from the ground; goutweed .

Morning dew was still around when I went to collect the sprouting leaves. How is that for freshness?

The leaves look somewhat different from each other, and I had to be careful not to collect anything but goutweed.

Sprouts this young are very tender and can be eaten as a whole, stems and all.

The leaves are still so small and close to the bare ground, that they need a good wash before eating. There were quite some bit of sand in them.

Nettles are still too small for gathering, but I reckon they´ll be the next in my menu.

Today´s crops went straight into my breakfast!

  I´ve had a mission in the past few years to learn one new edible weed per summer. Gout´s weed I discovered last year. It has proven to be easy to add and eat, since it´s flavor is relatively mild. Plus it is easily available, because it is a persistent weed which is hard to get rid of.

  Sergei Boutenko is a widely recognized wizard of wild edibles, and a good source of further information if you´re interested.

  Bon appetít!

Saturday, April 21, 2012


  This is pretty much the last chance to place Oestara decoration outside the house! The sabbat is coming to it´s end, but we´ve had such cold weather that it has been impossible to do so earlier. And I do enjoy seeing all these blooming bulbs finally out there! Beltane is approaching, but unless the weather warms up rapidly, there is no business planting the next flowers anytime soon either. I need to go with the flow of nature outside, respecting it´s pace. Here´s a glimpse of what sweetens my world outside in my yard these days:

At the porch. These old milk jugs stand here year round. All it took now was to place some narcissus in the middle of the spruce branches I put there for winter. Voilá! Spring is finally here.

It is so chilly that the buds open really slowly.

These babies are last year´s narcissus bulbs I stuck in the ground. I´m happy to see they´ve survived the winter and are raising their heads now!

Now I´m not one of those people who have a green thumb... So to see these little sprouts pushing their way through last summer´s leaves is a miracle to me. =)

Narcissus isn´t the only one waking up. Apparently my lady´s mantle hasn´t died either. Yipee!

In addition to these lovely real plants I sometimes use...

... these fake ones to make impossible possible. This wreath hangs on the garage door, and is usually only seen from a distance. I thought it would be nice to repeat the same look here, as is in the rest of the yard. I wanted to keep this simple, so it would look as natural as possible.

When fake and real are combined, the result is usually excellent. Both accentuate each other.

To hide the chopped off ends, I added dried hey for cover.

  It is funny how year after year I always am as eagerly excited about spring as before. It never stops delighting me with its coming. I wonder if that will change after I´m fifty, sixty, or seventy... I hope not. Getting excited about life and the changes in nature around us is an indication of a person´s livelihood. My grandfather was always watching and writing down marks about the changes in nature, and he lived a happy and long life. I want to be like that until the end too.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


  I got a few pieces of old hospital clothing from a friend some time ago. She works there, and noticed that a big pile of old worn out t-shirts and pants (or more like long johns) were thrown into the garbage bin. They were all clean and had no holes or anything disgusting in them, so she thought to salvage them from doom. And I was lucky to get some of that treasure.

  At first I had no clue what I would make of them, but later on realized that they were perfect undergarment material! Now that I´m breastfeeding, I like to wear a tank top underneath my nightgown at night. Naturally I don´t own enough tank tops from before the baby arrived, so I really needed some more. What a better way to recycle those old hospital rags (and yes, they were hideous!) than turn them into tank tops? Stuff that I really need right now!

I used a pattern from an ordinary t-shirt, and left out the sleeves. These shirts really don´t need to be perfect, they just need to keep me warm and protect the "delicate parts" of a nursing mother.  =)

To save time, I left all of the edges raw. There is no need to put effort in perfecting them, because they won´t show anyway. No one will see them but me. And if my husband does get a glimpse, that will not likely scare him either. Not after seeing me give birth, twice!

The material is very soft against my skin. After all, it has been brutally washed in hot for who knows how many hundred times.

This brown shirt is the only one that has any lint, and even that it very soft.

Funny that these colors all happen to go well in my Oestara palette.

  I´m totally happy with these tank tops, even though I didn´t finish them off up to perfection. They serve their purpose 100% as they are. Sometimes it is important to sort out priorities. For me, at the moment, it is important to take care of my own well-being as well, and give myself some rest whenever I can. "Sleeping" the nights with a newborn is quite tiring...  But giving up sewing, cooking, and crafts is out of the question!  =)

Monday, April 16, 2012


  Dressing for the occasion is important. No matter how stylish you are, it can be very embarrassing to wear something totally unsuitable for the occasion you are taking part in. Casual wear to the grocery store, relaxed to the summer cabin, smart to a birthday party, etc.
  Now that I´m on maternity leave I´ve decided to make it an occasion to just stay at home. I don´t want to look like a worn out dish rag, even when only staying at home the whole day. The solution is a Home collection from Nelland! I will be testing different types of clothes to find out the nicest and most practical ones. The very first discovery I made are these pieces of "jewellery" I made as a starting point to my collection:

A "wooden" water bucket, a fork, a rolling pin... all familiar kitchenware, turned into something new!

This picture is from my kitchen. And in the kitchen I spend a lot of time in during the day. I think these pieces suit the rustic country look of our house, inside and out,  perfectly.

Little bows bring sophistication to the otherwise very peasant style.

These type of items are easily found at practically any craft store. Just use your imagination when designing your pieces!

  This is a good place to start expanding my vision of an ideal look for homing! A pretty home deserves pretty inhabitants too.  =)

Friday, April 13, 2012


  The sprouts are alive! I planted some garden cress seeds a few days ago, and now they have grown and are ready to be eaten.

This soil-less system does seem to work. You can see the roots sticking through the mesh bottom into the water container. Now there is no risk of chipping my tooth, because there are no rocks or sand.

As with all seeds, each of these grow at their own pace. Once I´ve harvested the early ones, there are still more to rise up later on. Handy!

Don´t they just look delicious? The taste is bitter and strong, so I use these sprouts merely as seasoning on top of my food.

  I can but admire the wonder of life. It´s still amazing to me how it is possible that a small, dry, seed can turn into a lush sprout and a veggie. Garden cress is also said to have health benefits

  These will definitely go in my lunch salad today! Yum.

Monday, April 9, 2012


  This year I will go with the minimal amount of outfits I can survive with, because I´m still in between shapes and sizes. I gave birth to a good-sized baby only three weeks ago, so my body is still shrinking back to it´s normal self (and oh boy, do I hope to achieve that state once more...). So in order to minimize the amount of wrong sized clothes in the future I will settle for only a few now, until I´m back in business.
  I do need to wear something though, and here is my first look from my Oestara collection 2012:

This tunic is a model suitable for breast feeding mothers. The neck hole is made so that you can easily pop out the milk jugs and start feeding your baby without uncovering your whole stomach. I made this tunic when still pregnant, so I wasn´t able to try it on beforehand. But it turned out okay, and I am happy with it. The 3/4 length sleeves are especially handy.

The tunic is also loose enough around the belly to fit me from right after delivery to until I´m back to my normal size. That´s a small green step for the environment´s sake, not buying many different garments that I will only use for a short time. I will surf through Oestara with this one.

To me Oestara is about childish fun and play, and I want it to show in my outfits. Here I have combined bright-colored wooden beads with turtle earrings. The world is so full of sad and bad news, there has to be a place for cheerful details in it too!
  Make up is as important of a factor as clothes, accessories, and hair, when putting together an outfit. Here I used shimmering pale yellow and darkish purple eyeshadow for the eyes, rosy pink blush for the cheeks, and glittering purple lipgloss to finish the look. I always feel like a different person when I wear make up. Although I don´t consider ever wearing that much of it, it always makes such a huge difference. Or maybe it is all in my head, but as long as it makes me feel more confident and good about myself to face the world, who cares!  =)

  Bright colors like green, yellow, and lilac, are the core of my Oestara palette. Combined with grey they can make stylish looks to carry me through any occasion. Only this year, most of my so called "occasions" are home-based. There aren´t that many places to go to with a newborn. But luckily I have many friends and family who come and see us here at home, and it is nice to dress to the occasion (Oestara-look) for them too. Everybody appreciates a neat appearance and fun company!


Friday, April 6, 2012


  Sometimes it is healthy to exaggerate the role of my imaginary, ideal, world. Like today, when I looked out of the bedroom window, I saw this:

Piles of new snow! Yes, there is a place for it in the cycle of the year, but it is not now. By now I´d rather see warm and golden sunlight, melting all this snow away!

No matter how pretty the individual snowflakes are, I´m ready to kiss them goodbye until the next winter!

  Maybe I´ll just stay inside and wait for a nicer weather to arrive... eating healthy food and not-so-healthy desserts... Laying my eyes on the beautiful Oestara decoration inside the house instead. 
  What is comforting in all this is, that I know we´re inevitably heading towards the warm days of summer. Sometimes I´m just too eager, I suppose...  =)

Thursday, April 5, 2012


  It is amazing how much time it takes to feed a rapidly growing newborn! I feel like half of my time, day and night, go on having my boob in my baby´s mouth. Oh well, it will pass. I really need to enjoy these days while she´s still so tiny!

  Finally I found some time to start sprouting, like I do every Oestara. This year I found a nifty looking gadget, that is supposed to enable me to sprout without soil. I´ve always grown little sprouts/shoots in soil, the old-fashioned way, so I´m experimenting this new method now.

There is a container underneath for water, and on top is a grate for the seeds.

It sounds reasonable to grow sprouts without soil - the plants are eaten while so little that they would hardly have had time to grow roots and absorb nutrients from the soil underneath anyway. Seeds do contain enough nutrients and energy for the plant to get started.

These little seeds are garden cress.

  By this time of year, I´m so fed up with commercially grown salads and lettuces I buy from the store, that I really need a change in my salad menu. Baby sprouts offer a great variety and addition to my usual recipes. Besides garden cress I often grow pea and sunflower sprouts. I have even tried buckwheat a few times. It tasted great but I found it somewhat messy to pick out the shells, and the sprouts molded pretty fast.We´ll see how buckwheat turns out in this new tray system.

  I use sprouts in my usual foods like green smoothies and salads of course. But I also like to chop them up and sprinkle over pasta or bread. They go pretty much with anything, well except chocolate maybe...

  Sprouting is definitely an area I will continue to learn, by mistake undoubtedly.  =)  It is fun to see the miracle of life happening in my kitchen, and it feels like a head start to the coming summer season!