Tuesday, April 30, 2013


  Finally I took the time to make this:

A small handbag that fits the most important stuff in it: keys, wallet, phone, lipbalm, and a couple of cloth shopping bags (which I always take to the grocery store with me). Until now I´ve dragged along my big backpack everywhere. But now I can leave it in the car while I hop into the shop. And life is so much lighter!
This is the first one I have made, ever. Because it belongs to the Freedom Collection, I kept it very simple. I want the bag to remain an accessory, not become the center piece of the outfit.

The lining is actually the only decorative part. I used my last piece of Tilda´s crafty cotton I bought about four years ago. Even the smallest bits are useful, and worth saving for the future. Originally I thought about making the whole lining from the same fabric, but I didn´t have enough! So I figured using the same denim on the inside, as on the outside, would be the second best choise. And now, when finished, I can say that it looks more interesting this way!
This denim fabric came from my husband´s old jeans. He donates his old clothes to me, and I try to turn them into something else useful.

Simple and practical - like the Freedom wear overall - two snap buttons keep the bag closed. Minimalistic and a tad modern even, to my standards anyway...
  I was fooled by the supposedly small size of this bag at first. But when on a day-long trip with my son´s class last week, I noticed just how much stuff can actually fit in it! I had the usual: keys, phone, lipbalm, and wallet, plus extras: a banana, packet of tissues, makeup, camera, a brochure of a science park, and more keys. It was quite hard to find what I needed among all the clutter in the end!
  A handy little thing!

Monday, April 29, 2013


  We hit the road (went to a Children´s Fair) with these mock cardigans on last weekend, me and my little girl:

Paired with basic blue jeans, these cardigans look simply neat, warm, and comfortable. The color is once again subtle, giving room to the face with only a touch of nude makeup.

The knit fabric just screamed to be turned into a cardigan. For my girl´s version I only sew the buttons on down the center line of the front. No extra folds or anything, for her comfort. She likes to take naps sleeping on her stomach, and I wanted to leave the front as flat as possible.

For my own cardigan I made a fake folding line, and sew the buttons on it directly. Why bother with button holes if not necessary? This piece is so stretchy, that it slips on easily without opening the front anyway. For the buttons I chose a subtle color scheme, but wanted them to have some color. Nude and watery was the theme. Nothing too flashy, keeping the focus on the wearer´s face.

  The "boys" in our family came along to the fair too. My husband and our eight-year-old little gentleman wore matching vests too.
   Wearing matching clothes brought smiles on people´s faces, and we got positive feedback from complete strangers. It was delightful to see a sparkle in the other person´s eyes, when they noticed the little trick we were pulling. A simple way to make my surrounding life more positive and happy, which in return makes me more so too!

Sunday, April 28, 2013


  Yipee, snow has finally melted off (nearly all of it)! This weekend, at last, the snow gave way to a treasure of mine I got for Christmas; an old bicycle. I have waited for months to get it out of the garage, and place it leaning against a young oak tree in front of our house.

I´m told this bicycle dates back to the thirties. Little do I know, or care really  for the age that much, because all I care about is the beauty it holds. Holds and spreads to it´s surroundings, and it makes me happy.  =)

It took quite a long while before I could decide what kind of case to place in the back of the bike to put the flowers in. I ended up with this woven willow basket. A wooden old box would have been a classic, but it looked too masculine, and, frankly, gave me the impression of an old drunk, who would have carried his liquor bottles in the back of his bike... This basket full of violets is much prettier and more fresh-looking.

Nature is just now exposed from the snow, which staid on the ground for six months this winter. Too long, I say. But now, these violets bring us the promise of the upcoming summer, and just the thought of it makes me smile.

It feels like the bike is staring back at me...
More violets landed to sweeten our yard. Against the barren land and this rusty old pot, the flowers look exaggeratedly sweet and delicate.

Welcome Beltane!

Thursday, April 25, 2013


  Now this is fun! And new for me. My eight-year-old son made a list of all the mom-made foods he likes (and let me tell you, the list is troublingly short! He doesn´t like veggies at all, and now I´m trying to learn to compromise...  =). I will fulfill his wishes by cooking the foods on his darling little list for this Beltane. Maybe I´ll learn to enjoy new foods too!
  Truth be told, I´m very bad at always terrorizing meals with healthier ingredients than what the average recipe calls for. That I´m guilty of this time also, but he doesn´t need to know! For example, if he doesn´t realize I´ve grated a ton of carrots in the pancakes, it will not hurt him... =)

Home made whole grain spelt bread, my favorite. The recipe: 5 dl warm water, 11g/one bag dried yeast, whole grain spelt flour, 1 tsp seasalt, 2 Tbsp raw cane sugar, 1/2 dl olive oil. + Mix the yeast with some of the flour. Pour in the water, which should be slightly over lukewarm to assure the yeast will start working. Stir and add the salt and sugar. As you mix/knead, add flour until a good ball of dough is formed. I like the dough rather soft. Finally add the oil and mix thoroughly. Throw the dough into a bread loaf pan, let rise about 25 min, and bake in a 200 Celsius oven for about 30 min. (Slicing the bread is easier after it has cooled down some.) This is a guilt-free pleasure!


 1/2 liter green tea, plain
1 slice whole grain bread (preferrably home made) + 1tsp coconut butter
plain soy yogurt with honey

1/2 liter green tea, plain
Rotating the following, making the next after the previous is all gone:
1. whole grain pasta + minced soy "meat" + any veggie I happen to have + a splash of vegan cooking cream
2. whole grain semi-sweet cinnamon buns + berries
3. whole grain rice (often jasmin) with soy sauce and vegan butter + cucumber (the only veggie my son will eat raw)
4. soup made of potatoes, corn, onion, carrot, and vegan weenies
5. whole grain bread + vegan margarine + cucumber + vegan "salami"
6. pancakes (with of finely grated veggies in the batter) with honey
7. mashed potatoes with finely chopped wild edible greens in it + smoked tofu

1/2 liter herbal tea, plain
2 slices whole grain bread (home made) + 2 tsp coconut butter
kissel (a kind of a cold berry/fruit "soup")

1/2 liter hot chocolate (made with 1/2 water, 1/2 soymilk)
(oat porridge with soymilk and honey, if I´m hungry)

  My stomach likes steady mealtimes, to which I try to hold:
8-9 am breakfast
1-2 pm lunch
5 pm dinner
8 pm supper

  This eating plan is supposed to keep me in my current weight, or that is the goal anyway... The main/heaviest meal of the day is consumed at lunch, making sure the calories from it will be used up before bedtime. For lunch I eat as much as I want, but the other meals need to have an approximate idea of quantity beforehand to prevent getting fat. Getting fat happens slowly, unnoticed even, if not paid attention to actively. Our world is laden with highly processed quick treats lurking at every corner of our way, trying to lure us into grabbing "just this one, once". I find that having a proper set of mind beforehand, in form of an eating plan, helps keep my mind focused on the big picture during the day. It has worked so far - I´m still the same size I was in 20 years ago in my teens. =)

  Bon Appetít!

Monday, April 22, 2013


  Your home tells a lot about you, and reflects your personality. Whether you like it or not. It is interesting to go to somebody´s home for the first time! The owner and the home might not resemble each other at all, or they could be very similar. You can never tell beforehand.

  When I´m at home the whole day, I like to wear clothes that suit my home too. Something that blends in, and looks like it belongs there. Something like this dress I made:

This is a classic sheath dress, but made of an almost potato sack-like fabric! The style suits perfectly our country home, and is not too sensitive to small stains either - they just add charachter... =)

These earrings I made last year.

Despite it´s harsh look, this fabric hangs beautifully and is soft to touch. What a find. I kept the back simple, and the fit loose. Home clothes must be the most comfortable of all, or they will stay in the closet!

This is the only detail in the dress, and is the thing that makes it look sack-like . I cut out a piece of the fabric, stamped the writing on with fabric paint, and sew the piece on, adding decorative stitching by hand.

  This dress is not sabbat-related, and can be worn year round. Because it is sleeveless, it is easily suited to any temperature, by varying the shirt worn underneath. Or worn by itself if it gets too hot in the summer.

  You can find a similar pattern to this sheath dress here. This type of pattern is extremely useful because it transforms into any style!

Thursday, April 18, 2013


  Now I´m going all wild about my Freedom Collection here! That´s all I´ve been sewing lately. Here is my latest creation:

A quite basic, horizontally striped, grey-and-white t-shirt. This shirt is soft, airy, and has a woolly feeling next to the skin. It weighs none and is virtually unnoticeable when on. It feels like a dream really. I paired it with the basic jeans again, a uniform of the modern woman.

The frill around the neckhole is the key to the whole outfit really. It adds a little femininity to my being. Without the frill, this shirt might as well have come from the men´s section! Nothing else is needed to catch the eye. Details too stark would only draw the attention to them, and not my fairly colored face. When I meet and talk to people, I want them to look at me, not a disturbingly protruding detail dangling from somewhere in me.
Makeup is minimal. Virtually only blush on the cheeks, mascara, and lipbalm is needed (that is the appearance, though in reality I also used foundation, filled the brows, and applied light- and dark brown eyeshadow). The idea is to look nearly bare-faced.

  For some odd reason, this outfit reminds me of the always-so-fabulous Gwyneth Paltrow. Classic, plain, and stylish. Not that I´m compairing myself to anyone, but it´s a positive feeling I get.
   ...Wait, now I got it! It is the color choises: blue jeans, grey, white, and black. Does the scale for everyday wear come any more classic than that? She is simply beautiful. Go Gwyneth!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


  In my opinion, the quality of life can be lifted up incredibly by recognizing little everyday details like this:

A cucumber I ate today. What a beauty!
First I ate it with my eyes, and then with my mouth. Beautiful and refreshing!

  The world is so full of negative news and information these days, that I grab any antidote I can find to keep my life enjoyable and happy!

Monday, April 15, 2013


 A dress is a must in my new Freedom-collection. I can´t always run around in only jeans, can I?

True to the basic line, this dress is a subtle light grey colour, which works well with only a hint of makeup. The fabric is thick, but stretchy, cotton jersey with faint off-white stripes in it. I can move freely in it, as I value comfort above all else. (And I fight against the common belief of comfort meaning ugly!  =) The boots I bought recently from El Naturalista, my #1 favorite shoe brand.
The neckhole is too low for my bony chest =).  My always favorite Trinny and Susannah taught us that "an empty neckhole is not attractive, it´s a disappointment!". So to fix the problem, I added a piece of fabric to fake a shirt underneath. It also makes the outfit look more complete.

To make the Freedom clothes less plain, I decided to add a feminine touch to each garment. Well, obviously, this particular one is a dress, but in addition I trimmed the hem with a length of cotton lace. I´ve learned that in our modern Western world, where women are supposed to be equal to men, we have lost a big part of our femininity. Why that is, I do not know really.  I believe women have a certain power over men, because we are different from them. Therefore I see power in looking and being different from men. Quoting Marilyn Monroe: "I don´t mind it being a man´s world, as long I can be a woman in it"!

Sunday, April 14, 2013


  "Freedom" for three practical reasons:
1. These clothes are worn on my days off (not work days).
2. These clothes look, at a glimpse, so ordinary that no one will begin to judge my appearance right away.
3. These clothes are colored so mildly, that they allow me to wear the minimum of makeup, I dare show my face on, in public.

  My main goal is still to make the perfect garderobe for work, but I need this collection now.
  Now is when I´m on maternity leave. You know, runningn errands with a kid hanging on my hip, which makes everything more difficult and so slow! I just can´t be sophisticated and look as fancy as I would like.
  So this collection is for my everyday shopping-, post office-, library-, having coffee with a friend-, etc. kind of things. Stuff I would normally do on weekends or other days off. My free days.

  This is the beginning:

Featuring my new favorite shirt and a pair of basic jeans (which are Levi´s curve id, not self made).

On free days it is possible to fool around, as I did with my hair now. After washing it, I braided it in small braids to make waves. Not straight-from-the-salon, but fun nonetheless! That´s what life is (or should be) about.

  Starting now, I will have no difficulties choosing an outfit when hitting the local grocery store weekly. Freedom, here I come!  =)

Thursday, April 11, 2013


  I´m sure this will become it, in all of it´s versatility. So plain, yet a little feminine, breathable, and cozy. Easy to slip under a dress, short-sleeved shirt, vest, or simply wear by itself paired with jeans (and nude-colored bra of course, I´m a modest person...  =).

Like mother like daughter. The kid´s size came as a bonus from the leftover pieces. I can but love making children´s clothes, they are so easy!

I freaking love this fabric! Although I don´t even know what it consists of, it feels just perfect against my skin. I fell for the fabric when I saw it at the shop, and just had to get it. I knew immediately what to use it for. The shop is a two hours´ drive from my house, and I only go there like twice/thrice a year. But each time I do, I come out with a huge bag filled with amazing(ly cheap!) fabrics.
The neckhole is trimmed delicately, simply by turning in a 1cm seam allowance and sewing it on with a twin needle. This way it remains light, and underneath another garment merely complements the other rather than draws attention to itself.

  I can already see myself wearing this shirt with multiple different outfits. Can´t wait for tomorrow - I´m gonna wear this baby for sure!
  And the girl´s shirt, I must point out, is also perfect under the vest/dresses I make for my cutie.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


  Nearly, because these contain sugar. Everything else is super-healthy with no added fat. These cookies feature my recent love for the classic combination of ginger and lemon. I can´t seem to get enough of it!

I love sweet food. I went to a restaurant the other day to have only a dessert with hot chocolate. Why waste time and money on a main course if, what I really want comes after it?  =)
  The recipe:

1 tsp psyllium
2 Tbsp water
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger, finely grated
1 lemon, zest of
1 banana, mashed
1 Tbsp lemon juice
a little water as needed

+ Mix water and psyllium. Let sit while you mix the dry ingredients in another bowl. To the psyllium, add the banana, lemon juice & zest, and ginger. Mix well with a spoon, and add the dry ingredients. If the dough is too dry, add a little bit of water to it. You should be able to flatten it without breaking. You´ll notice what is enough.
  Form into cookies either by scooping a spoonful onto a baking sheet and flattening it, or by rolling the dough with a rolling pin and cutting with cookie cutters into the desired shape.
  Bake in oven at 375F/190C for about 10min.

  Enjoy nearly guilt-free with your afternoon tea/coffee! I sure did, and both of my kids loved them too.

  This recipe is my own, gluten-free, version of the original Banana-Maple Oatmeal Cookies.

Thursday, April 4, 2013


  When we bought our nearly 200-year-old house many years ago, it came with some items that had belonged to the previous owners. Nothing valuable, but important to the property altogether. Like this old aluminum kettle.
  Instead of throwing it away I turned it into something useful:

A unique kitchen wall clock. I simply drilled a hole through the center of the bottom, and placed the pointers and clock machinery in place (which sounds fancy but is very simple). Sets are sold in craft stores for a low cost. That´s it.
The clock is the center piece of this kitchen wall, and by itself would have been too small and plain. So I placed it in an old wooden box my grandpa had made long ago, and added a couple of vintage glass bottles on the side. The lanterns are new, but go nicely with the spirit of our kitchen.
The little studs marking hours are actually tiny old nails. My son was exploring the old kitchen log walls the other day, and found these slightly protruding from the surface. What else does an eight-year-old do that grab a tool to pull them out? I again could not throw them away, and after a couple of days pondering where to put them, decided on placing them here. There are only five of them - all the more unique, right?

  Now this old kettle has the privilege of reminding us how time goes by. It is up to us to decide what to do with it...