Sunday, March 31, 2013


  Here is how I´ve decorated our home for Oestara:

The front porch. The bunny is totally cute and childish, and thus represents perfectly my idea of the season.

No Oestara without narcissus!
This year it is still very cold at Oestara, so I put this pot of narcissus inside a large lantern to keep it from freezing.
Also because of the cold weather these spruce twigs are still the only greens that can make it outside, so I had to hang eggs on them... Well, at least it is original, right?  =)

Entrance hall and my always favorite pair of old boots.

In all of it´s ugliness, this chick is adorable in it´s own way. It is of course made by my son at school, and I just don´t have the heart to not put it up for decor.

Bathroom needs it´s own touch. Narcissus actually has a mild scent to it, so it works as a light air freshener too.
Kitchen table.

Probably the most important, and classical, place to have decoration at. These chicks have sweetened my Oestaras for many years.

Even the spice basket got it´s own narcissus. Perfectly in harmony with Herbamare and chili powder. (Please ignore the fridge door! I HATE having anything on it, but we are still learning to cope with diabetes, and need to have some instructions at hand.)

We spend a lot of time in the living room too, so I added a touch of spring in there also.

  Happy and beautiful Oestara!

Thursday, March 28, 2013


  Like father like son. After making a vest for my husband for his birthday, I still had a piece of the fabric left over. I can´t throw a piece of perfectly good material away, so naturally I wanted to make a matching vest for our eight-year-old son. How cute they will look now, side by side, a big man and a mini-man!

This really is not the vest I made for my husband, this is a miniature version of it. But they look so much alike. I can´t wait to see them being worn!

This neckhole is trimmed casually with a strip of the fabric.

Just like in the father´s vest, this one has a row of buttons running down through the middle.

  I will give this vest to my son on my husband´s birthday. It will be a big surprise for the kid to receive a present, although it is not his birthday at all!
   Luckily our little girl is still so young that she will not understand how unfair it really is that she´s not getting anything, and her brother is...  =)

P.S. This vest is made with a basic t-shirt pattern. I simply left out the sleeves, cut the neckhole into a v-shape, and made the armholes 1cm wider. Totally easy!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


  My husband´s birthday is just around the corner. This year I decided to take a risk and put time and effort on making him a vest. He is so picky when it comes to clothes, that at times it frustrates me. So I do hope he´ll like this one:

A basic ribbed v-neck vest. It is easy to wear this over pretty much any shirt. My man usually prefers black, so I want to challenge him now. Personally I think he looks so much better with lighter colors. But hey, that´s just my opinion. I don´t wear any of the trashy-looking things he´d like me to wear either... Why is that, by the way, that men generally would like gals to wear such clothing overall? You know, tight mini dresses, tight jeans, and high heels. Especially while they walk around in loose and overly comfortable leisure wear themselves? So not fair, and I so like to go against the grain there! I think we women look our best when the impression of one´s sexuality is merely a hint, rather than having all out in the open.  Oops, but this was supposed to be about men´s clothing... Moving on.

I´m totally impressed by how I managed to make the v-neck hole so neat looking!
I added a row of random buttons to give the vest some contrast and detail. But again in very basic and subtle color, keeping the garment serious enough (blah, boring! Poor men, they can´t have fun with clothes. They always need to look serious to be taken seriously. Maybe the same applies to us women, but I just ignore the fact   =).

  Happy birthday honey!

Monday, March 25, 2013


  I found it!

  It was missing for nearly two years. So not typical for me to lose anything, let alone something as important as my wedding ring. The ring. The single one I have ever had. It represents both, engagement and marriage. (As a teen I decided to wear only one ring, I thought that would be more stylish.) And I have had it since I was eighteen (which, of course, is not that long ago... =). And  yes, with the same man.

  The first time I ever met my husband-to-be was an incredible coincindence. It´s a complicated story, which I will not get into right now... In addition, I was just about to move to New York for a while. Which I did, so  it was a miracle our relationship lasted through the difficult beginning overall. That was the time right before cellular phones and internet broke through, so we kept in touch by telephones and letters. Oh dear, I still remember how we had a set weekday and time when we would call each other. And I missed him so much! A mere boy, whom I´d only known for five months before heading to NY.

  And here we are now, so many more years later, and I still have that ring in my finger I got from him right before going to New York. When we got engaged that is. Seems unbelievable. Time and life around us has changed, but still we remain together. And happily so. We have been through thick and thin, grown up together, had kids, and all that. But I feel like I haven´t changed all that much, inside or out. Hopefully gotten a little wiser, but that´s all.

  It will be interesting to see what life shall bring upon us in the future. I have never taken it for granted that we shall be together for the rest of our lives. No one can guarantee that. We have to be active ourselves that we remain happy and respectful of each other. A good sense of humour, compromises, and putting our significant other first at times has taken us this far.

 I do hope to stay on this road for a long time. But I need to keep in mind that if one day there are more rocky roads than smooth rides, it might be best to take another path. This I consider an important rule, which also guides me towards cherishing our relationship, and not taking it for granted.

So what happened to the ring? I knew I had lost it while inside the house. But where?! A few days ago I dug out my old body exfoliating gloves. I love to scrub my skin, but hardly ever find the time for it. Obviously, since the last time I did so was that nearly two years ago! When I slipped the gloves on, I felt something hard in the tip of the ring finder. My wedding ring! Unbelievable. And just a few weeks ago I went through stuff in our bathroom, throwing away things I haven´t needed in a long time. I had those gloves in my hand, on their way to the trash, but then decided to give them another chance. If I could find the time to pamper myself sometime in the future. I´m so glad I did!

Thursday, March 21, 2013


  Clothes are my passion when it comes to sewing. But occasionally I have to give in and make something else I/we really need. This time it is a blanket for my growing baby (or I should say a toddler now, she´s turned one and walks around, instead of crawling).

  Up until recently my little girl has slept under a tiny blanket my mom once knit for her third baby-to-be, my little sister/brother, who unfortunately was never meant to be (my mom had two miscarriages at a rather late stage of pregnancy).  =(  But the blanket did end up being very useful after all - both of my babies have slept soundly under it´s warm care.

  Now it was time to conjure up a new, bigger blanket for napping. But I´m no knitter. And I have no patience to do patchwork either. But I love patched quilts. Here is my short-cut-solution:

The blanket in action!

This measures 120cm x 150cm, so it is big enough for my girl even in her teens. Reducing consumption is the key here - I´d hate to have her grow out of this in a few years. (Okay, and I´d hate to have to make a new one in a few years too. =)

The patches are purely decorative. The material is 100% cotton, which in use creases up and gives a nice contrast  next to the fleece base.

I left the edges raw, so the blanket looks more worn and loved.

I made a pattern for the letters by simply sketching them on a piece of paper. Then it was easy to make them in the same size.

  The recipe:

120cm x 150cm piece of thick fleece fabric
20cm x 20cm pieces of random cotton fabric

+ Design the outlook of your blanket. Cut out the decorational patches, letters, and other forms you want to use. Place them on the blanket, fixing their place until you are perfectly happy with it. Pin in place. Stitch close to the edges. (Don´t worry about the hanging strings of thread outside the stitching line, they will set in place after the first wash. Simply cut them short afterwards.) Fold in about 2-3cm edges around the whole blanket and pin in place. Stitch. This gives the blanket a nice finished up look, although otherwise not necessary.

  Happy naptime (a beauty sleep would not do me harm either...  =) !

Thursday, March 14, 2013


  Not the Playboy bunny girl! I´m way too conservative for that! (Although if worn without pants I´d get close, but without the boobs... =)

  Once again it all started with a plan, the sketch:

When planning, I let my imagination fly freely. I create what I like. I guess this is my version of the Easter Bunny, maybe mixed with a bit of that Playboy bunny theme after all...

Unlike in the sketch, I made this tunic of light grey fake fur. Couldn´t find white. But this is equally good. It was important to find a material that was stretchy enough and not too thick (sweaty). Also since the fabric is so warm, I opted for shorter sleeves.

It would have been so much fun to add a little round tail in the back of the skirt! But that would have crossed the line and turned the whole outfit into a costume. What a shame. Instead, I made this little bow in my hair. It is made of the same fabric as the bunny´s nose and ears, so it wraps the package up nicely. No earrings for this look, the bow is enough.

Makeup follows the color theme. Light grey on the inner corner of the eyes, medium grey on the outer. Generous dusting of fresh baby pink blush on the cheeks, and soft rosy pink lipstick applied lightly on the lips. Eyebrows and lashes defined, but done lightly to maintain a youthful look.

A close up of the bunny. I´m not sure if she´s missing an eye or, if she´s winking...

  I´m totally pleased with the way this outfit turned out. And as a bonus, it is comfortable and warm to wear!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


  Occasionally, when grocery shopping, I have caught myself being envious of older men´s shopping baskets. They only hold a few items - I wish my life could be so easy and simple! Why do I need to buy all this and that if they don´t? Okay, in reality they buy pre-prepared foods, which only need heating in the microwave oven, a loaf of bread, and beer. But why couldn´t my life still be more simple when it comes to food?
  I´ll try it out.
  This Oestara I plan to eat only 1-3 main ingredients in one meal.
  Like this:

 1/2 liter green tea
1 banana + a handful of nuts/seeds + berries (mixed, matched, chopped, mashed... anything goes)

1/2 liter water
Mon: pasta + onion + a veggie
Tue: beans + a veggie
Wed: home made bread + soup made with two main veggies
Thu: rice + a veggie
Fri: goat´s feta foccaccia
Sat: pancakes
Sun: mashed potatoes + tofu/fish + a veggie

1/2 liter green tea
muesli + soymilk

1/2 liter herbal tea + soymilk
dark chocolate

   I will use herbs and spices, and honey and such for flavour and seasoning. But only eat 1-3 actual food items. Each day I will ponder which food I crave the most, and choose to eat it. For example, do I want to make mushroom or tomato pasta on Monday?
  The amount of food is determined simply by appetite. If I crave it, I need it. This stuff, when kept home-made and clean of commercial sauces and ready-to-use mixes, is so healthy that I virtually can not overeat.

Friday´s foccaccia recipe: 2 1/2 dl water, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 Tbsp honey, 5 g dry yeast, approx. 5 dl whole grain spelt flour, 2 Tbsp olive oil. +In lukewarm water add salt, honey, yeast and some flour. Mix. Keep adding flour until a dough forms. At the end add in the oil. Place on baking sheet and roll out with a rolling pin to make a flat bread, like a pizza base. Cover with a cloth while you chop the toppings. This time I used cherry tomatoes along with the goat´s feta. Brush some olive oil on the bread, sprinkle your toppings, and finish off with little seasalt. Bake at 200 Celsius for about 30 min. Eat as much as you want (I ate half in one meal).

Friday, March 8, 2013


  My baby girl´s first birthday is coming soon! And the little princess needs something to wear for the big event. Here is what I made for her:

I´m learning to use pink... The material is wonderfully stretchy, breathable, and light. The guests will want to hold her in their lap, so I want to make sure she won´t roast!

We´ll have a bunny-themed party, but I could not find anything bunny to go with the dress! So I had to take the second best option available - cupcakes. These are buttons, which I simply sew on the dress. I think they give a nice three-dimensional touch, and are deliciously adorable.

She does have enough hair to wear this bow! My son did not at this age (but I wasn´t going to make him wear bows in his hair then either =).  I made this bow from a length of ribbon, which I folded and then sew by hand on a hair clip.

  It feels wrong to buy, or even make, an outfit for a single event. To be worn only once. This dress multi-tasks as an everyday wear after the birthday party  is over. I will cut down the amount of cupcakes (if not remove them all), and voilá, an easy-to-wear casual dress is born!

Monday, March 4, 2013


  At this time of year I always start yearning for fresh foods. Root veggies have seen their best days by now, and to be honest, I´m up to my ears full of them.
  So what could be better than digging into my dear old freezer again, and pull out the bags of wild edible greens I collected last Beltane?! They are full of nature´s own vitamins and minerals, just the way it was meant to be, without man´s interference. Perfect.

In this drink I used goutweed as the green.

  The recipe:

a handful of greens (preferably wild edible)
10 cm piece of cucumber, unpeeled
1/2 lemon or 1 lime, juiced

+ Blend all in a blender, on the highest speed, until luquefied. Add water to reach 1/2 liter (2 cups).

  When I have this with lunch, I can skip the (sometimes boring) chewing of salad.  =)

Saturday, March 2, 2013


  A leftover piece of fabric had laid in in my dresser for, hmm, let me count... five years. I found it some weeks ago, placed it next to my sewing machine, and decided I would make use of it. Like this:

Everything in this dress I found in my dresser drawers. I love not having to buy anything, and in the end being perfectly happy with the result!
Pink goes so well with dark brown! Pink stitching on brown gives the dress some detail and binds the colors together.
I did not have dark brown buttons, but black is so close, I bet nobody will notice... The buttons were the only other detail I wanted to add. The dress will be worn with a shirt and tights underneath it, so too many details in the dress would make the whole too busy.

  Buy Nothing Day. What a great idea! But why only once a year? I try to buy nothing for at least 2-3 days a week. I find it liberating. Saves time for other stuff. Like digging through my dresser drawers in hopes of finding a treasure, like this pink fabric.
  Other free stuff I like to do: playing with my kids, hugging my husband (sometimes he tries to dodge my attempts, and when I chase him around the house we both get a little exercise!), going for a walk/bike riding with my son, gathering food from the wild, swimming... I even enjoy gardening in the summer.

  It is easy to rely on external means of entertainment, like going to the movies, shopping, eating out, golfing, etc. You get the point. There is a place for them, but in excess is dulling.  I find it important to use my own brain too. Whipping up entertainment out of nothing, and for free. That way I stay appreciative of the small joys in life. The ones that make up most of my life anyway.  =)


Friday, March 1, 2013


  When it comes to hair, I´m all for the classics (and the easier to maintain, the better =).  What´s more classic than a good old bob?

Apparently it is never too late to learn new things; for the very first time in my life I blow dried my hair!
I bought a dryer with a rotating brush to ease the job. I would never have the talent (and patience!) to use a regular dryer and a brush.
So anyway, I´m quite pleased with the way my hair turned out.
Oh, and it is worth mentioning that this is the day after washing and drying!

  P.S. My old, long, hair is now neatly braided, in an envelope and ready to be mailed to Locks of Love. Hopefully one day it will make a child, somewhere, feeling happy again! I´m just glad to help.