Friday, May 31, 2013


  Once again I had a leftover piece of fabric lying around, waiting to be useful. It was that from my Freedom Collection´s  t-shirt w/ a frill neckline. Here is what I made of it:

This dress is super easy to make, just slab two pieces together and neaten the edges. I might say that summery hot days have surprised me this year by arriving so early, so I´m not yet well prepared when it comes to my girl´s wardrobe. So I´m more than happy to slam this quick project together for her in no time!

This dress just screamed for a detail. But I wanted to keep it m, not breaking the harmony. And since I have a bag of these little bows in my drawer, why not use them? It adds a welcomed bit of girlyness to the dress.

The fabric is knit but airy and light. And very soft and comfortable.
  Bring on the warm summer days, we´re ready now!

P.S. You can find a similar (cheap) pattern for the dress here, if interested.

Thursday, May 30, 2013


  After making the outfit for a rainy day for Beltane, I still had a quite big piece of the fabric left. What else am I to do than make a matching outfit for my little girl?

 A classic combination of colors for Beltane in Nelland; green and pink. The pattern is simple with kimono-like sleeves. Since the fabric is full of holes, I used a double layer of it to keep from showing through. Quick and easy! (I need to say it again, that the green in the dress is brighter in real life. For some reason my camera has trouble catching it´s real hue.)

A little girl´s life should be happy and energetic. Therefore I couldn´t resist adding this bright pink bow. After all, she doesn´t have the opportunity to cheer up this outfit by jewelry and makeup, like I do mine. Not yet.
I neatened the hem by zig-zagging the edges while pulling the fabric to it´s limits. It makes a pretty ruffle, and a nice change.

  I find rainy days quite depressive actually. But since they are a part of life, and the nature needs them, I might as well adapt and make the most of them!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


  During hot days of summer I fancy some more fresh and light foods. And raw foods. Today was a hot day, and this is what I whipped up:

A smoothie made with nectarines and wild edible greens, plus cardamom & raisin bun. All on the healthier side of choices, of course. =)

A delicious way to eat my fruit and veg.

I simply love buns. But they take quite a bit of time to make, so the bread machine to the rescue it is! A device I got for a present many years ago. I don´t use it like all the time, but it is handy when I don´t have the time to bake "properly". I figure it is better to eat home made, whole wheat bun (no matter if it is made with a bread maker) instead the other option, which is store-bought, made with white flour, cow´s milk, and eggs, in any case. The more nutrients and less additives, the better.

The recipe for the summer smoothie:

any seasonal fruit/berry, as much as you want, combination or single (I used four small nectarines)
any desired flavouring, such as lime zest, cardamom, mint, ginger, etc. (I used none, but would have added mint, had I had any =)
wild edible greens/weeds (I threw in some willowherb)
(little honey if needed)

+ Combine all in a blender, adding enough water to reach the desired consistency.
  This smoothie can be either thick or thin, depending on preference and ingredients used.

The recipe for the bun:

3 dl soymilk
50 g vegan margarine
1 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 dl sugar
5 dl whole wheat flour
11g (1 bag) dried yeast
1 dl raisins

+ Pour in the wet ingredients, then the dry, except for the raisins. Start the machine using the regular/most common program. When the machine is nearly done kneading the dough, throw in the raisins. This will keep them from being mashed into bits.
  Enjoy the great aroma until you hear the "beep", which gives you the permission to start munching. As much as you want, this is not fattening. It has lots of fiber, so it will keep you full until you have used up the calories in it.

  After having this today, I immediately started thinking about other versions of the smoothie. More like flavoured waters, which have been so popular these past years. How about cucumber & lime flavoured water? Or strawberry & peach? The options are unlimited.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


  Today I let myself believe that summer is here. To stay. For three months. This is the reward of surviving through the winter. And I´m loving it!

Sunlight always makes me happy and energetic.

Can´t you just nearly smell the wonderful scent?!

Even the weeds are blooming and beautiful!

Hoping for a good apple year.

   If I believed in heaven, this is what it would be like in mine. I´m so glad I can enjoy this right here and now!

Thursday, May 23, 2013


  Sometimes it rains, even on Beltane. On those days I want to tone down my use of colors, and go with a more subtle choice.

  I made this outfit exactly for those wet days:

The tunic is new. The pants and shoes I have had for years, so I was able to custom-make the top for them. Handy! The colors in the tunic are actually brighter than they appear in this picture (I don´t know why the camera couldn´t capture them), but still very calm. When combined with brighter green, like earrings and makeup, it comes alive in a new way. Besides the rainy days, this outfit is perfect for the first third of Beltane (in my time perspective approx. mid-April on), because the nature then is still colorless, waiting for greens to lift their heads.

I always have a plan for Sabbat-related clothing. This time I had the material before I sketched it, so it was easy to do. I love adding the makeup to the sketch. At this point I rarely have the jewelry yet, I usually make the clothes first, and then see what to do with the accessories.
The fabric is swimsuit-like, slippery, and fluid. It has holes in it, so ,as a conservative person, I added a built-in nude sleeveless shirt under it. Which, by the way, I made of an old petticoat I had in my stash. Makeup is also brighter in real-life than in this picture, but you can see it well in the sketch. The eyes are bright green with eyeshadow, while the rest of the face is kept nude.

A tiny detail I just had to add! A frog pin I have had for years. This kind of neckhole doesn´t leave room for necklace, but a crawling frog, which at the same time holds the drooping fabric better in place, works well in it´s tinyness. And brings up smiles on people´s faces when they notice it. =)
I have a weird love of frogs! We have toads in our yard, and I find them absolutely cute. It makes the lawn mowing harder though. I pick up every single one I can find and move them to a safer place.Once, in my teens, I accidentally mowed over a fully grown frog. The blades chopped off some parts of the poor little frog, but it didn´t die. How sad, and unfair for him! So I had to kill it properly, and end it´s suffering. And am still clearly traumatized by it...

  This tunic is the first in it´s kind I have made. I changed the front piece to this "waterfall" necklined version. Otherwise the pattern is the same I have used before, like for the Easter Bunny or the Cottage Look . My favorite tunic shape, a t-shirt combined to a mini skirt. With most tunics the waistline is completely hidden, creating a sack effect. I like the hourglass figure in a woman, and I think that is the key to looking feminine. You know, what separates us from men. Let´s embrace it!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


  A healthy, non-fattening version of it, naturally... =)
  Eat as much as you desire, no need to feel guilty!

I figure I use up all of the energy I eat for breakfast during the day. So there is no need to hold myself back for seconds, or thirds.

Initially I meant to serve the pie with a dollop of plain soy yogurt and a swirl of honey, but I found that my son had eaten all of our yogurt! So I had to improvise. This one is topped with home-made apple sauce and shreads of coconut. Really yummy like this too.

  Rhubarb is the first produce from my garden (if you don´t count the stinging nettle, which manages to grow there  every year =).  I don´t mind the sour taste, it just needs a little something to tame it. Some sweetener and soy products do the trick.

  The recipe:

5 dl whole grain wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp soy flour
3 Tbsp water
1 dl sugar
2 dl orange juice
2 dl oat bran
on top: about 5 dl chopped rhubarb and sugar

+ Mix the dry ingredients. Mix the wet ingredients. Combine the two mixtures. Spread on a baking sheet covered oven tray, and sprinkle the rhubarb and little sugar on top.
  Bake at 200 Celsius for about 30 minutes.
  Serve with plain soy yogurt and honey on top.

  Have an energetic day!

Thursday, May 16, 2013


  This little dress is just made to be worn by the beautiful, deep blue sea, glistening in sunlight.

The dress simply matches with the scenery, and creates harmony to the eye.

Dancing out of joy! I´m on a mini-holiday, a long weekend at our summer cabin. The place is magical. The perfect getaway.

The modest person in me told me to make the neckhole smaller than in the original pattern. I did that by adding a piece of the same fabric as the dress itself, but using the reverse side to create contrast. An easy little trick to use for those of us, who don´t own a fabric factory, ready to spit out any kind of material we would like... A little lace and decorative, mismatch, off-white buttons to give the garment femininity and steer it away from the usual marine-look.

White stitches give the dress a subtle contrast, and brightens it up.

This fabric was a real find. It is stretchy yet firm, warm, soft, and very breathable (and can tolerate hard wear and hot washes, as I have noticed with my little girl´s pants that I made from the leftover piece of this fabric =).

   The best accessory to go with this dress is warm sunlight!

  P.S. This dress is made using the same pattern as The Little Grey Dress in my Freedom- collection.When I find a good, fitting, pattern, I stick to it tightly. One pattern turns into numerous different looks by choosing different fabrics and accessories.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


  The secret to a successful everyday wear of skirts and dresses is pantaloons. I never knew this when growing up, so I found skirts difficult and unpractical. What a waste of time!

  These days I always wear pantaloons underneath all of my dresses and skirts. They can be ankle- or knee-length, depending on the temperature outside.

  The word itself, pantaloon, could be translated to modern English by saying "leggings". I never wear leggings as pants (I think they look like long johns =), so I refer to pantaloons when worn underneath a dress/skirt. They are an old invention, but to me this modern version came about ten years ago. And it opened a whole new world of dressing to me.

  These pantaloons are the latest ones I have made, for my Pure Nelland- collection:

This picture is an exception to my very strict rule of never showing myself in public in leggings alone! I just want to show what the pants are like as a whole. They end right at the most narrow part of my knee. The pants are made of swimwear-like fabric, and are very stretchy to all directions. Thus extremely comfortable. I find I´m fond of fabrics with print or pattern on it, and I was glad to find this one.

Even at home it can be risky not having pantaloons on. Here I am picking wild greens in our back yard. Can you see the risk, what if I didn´t have the pants on...? I want to protect the neighbors from an obscene sight.

Innocent, but very dangerous business without modesty pants! Oh, and yes, modest I am!

Even something as simple as ordinary relaxing would be a problem without pantaloons. Or sitting on a chair, if your dress was on the shorter side. Or getting out of a car. Or lacing up shoes. Or picking up a dime from the ground... The list is endless.

   So as you can see, the modern pantaloons wipe away all of  my worries about wearing dresses and skirts!

Monday, May 13, 2013


  When at our summer cabin, I want to wear clothes that suit the life there the best. Naturally. Both the scenery, and activities.
  The cabin is located on a tiny island right off the coast. I´ve always been fascinated by the sea, and felt at ease and at home when by it. Now I´m incredibly lucky to own a little hideaway place right in it´s arms.
  The most important thing to do, when spending time at the cabin, is to relax. Do anything that takes my thoughts off the usual everyday life at home (which I love too, but a change is always welcome). Often it includes boating, swimming of course, eating out (literally =), sitting and just adoring the scenery, some yard work I choose to do, and playing with my kids. Minimum cooking and cleaning, please!

  To be able to concentrate in all the fun, I need clothes that give me a peace of mind. Clothes that allow me to move around freely, not even noticing I´m wearing them. Clothes that look like they belong there, and add to the beauty of nature there. It took a while to understand what the ideal beauty of that place meant to me, but now it has clarified. I want to create a feeling of the old(er) times, when men and women rowed around in small wooden boats, fishing for living. Like my great-grandfather did (okay, he had a motor in his boat, but still =).

  This outfit is the first one I have made in the spirit of our marvelous getaway place, a cabin  by the sea:

A sleeveless tunic with leggings. Sleeveless because then it is easy to match with any temperature. Either wear it alone like this, or add a cardigan over it if chilly. The top is attatched to the mini skirt in order of the skirt to stay in place (I find regular skirts nice, but difficult to wear because they tend to twist around). Leggings are easy to wear, they don´t drag in the ground when I walk with flip-flops on, or flutter in the wind.

A cotton lace finishes the look in the hem. I wanted to add a bit of delicate femininity, although I don´t find there being a lot of room for it in this collection.
The top part I made from a sports fabric, which removes any excess moisture from the skin. I trimmed the neck- and sleeve holes with the reverse side of the same fabric. And buttons again, of course, add slight detail.
Pssst... don´t tell anyone, but here´s my little secret: I choose not to wear a bra when relaxing at sea. It feels so liberating! A true holiday. Also I want to comfort my fellow sisters with itsy bitsy boobs, that we are lucky not having to carry that load around with us! I know some women who even have to sleep with a bra on. I´m not sure I could tolerate that... Small boobs have never been a problem to me, on the contrary! I love the freedom they give me when moving, and in my opinion having a small chest also makes one´s overall appearance more youthful. So worry not sisters, we are beautiful regardless of our cup size!
It is breathtaking to wake up to this view.
This sailing ship cruises regularly in the waters of our cabin. It is a replica of an old ship, and was built using traditional old methods. A true pleaser to the eye. (My non-impressive-snapshot-camera couldn´t zoom in closer to it, sorry.  =)

This cute little fellow lives under the rocks at our shore.

Sunsets are always a humbling sight.

  The nature here is so strongly dominated with the presence of water, that the colors of nature don´t seem to change that much during the course of the year. Therefore the same colors in clothes go well here year-round. Blue, grey, and white. Handy!

Friday, May 10, 2013


  We are starting our summer cabin season this weekend! That means minimal cooking for two days, yipee. =)

  It is tempting to buy unhealthy takeaway lunches and dinners on the go, but I whipped up this easy and cheap main course in advance:

Whole grain jasim rice with a sauce made of whatever veggies I happened to have in the fridge.

This not only will keep me away from the nutrient-low takeaway foods in stores, but also keep me satisfied, and prevent weight gain. Me like!

  If there´s one thing I´ve learned from having a diabetic kid in the house is, that carbohydrates are the main source of energy for our bodies. They are used up first, and only then come protein and fat.
  I´ve never been a fan of extra protein, so I´m more than happy to shove complex carbs and veggies in me when hungry! This lunch does the trick for me.

  The recipe for the sauce:

veggies, any kind you have in handy, and in any combo you like (this time I used four tomatoes, a green onion with the white parts too, and a big bunch of dandelion leaves)
vegetable broth
corn starch mixed with little water

+ Chop the veggies roughly, put in a kettle with the broth and simmer until soft(ish). Puré in a food processor, adding some milk. Place back in the kettle, and thicken with the starch. If too thick, add more milk.

  This is a lovely recipe because you can really use any veggies you like. Last time I made this with summer squash, green onion, and goatweed. Delicious that way too.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


  Today was the first summery day of Beltane. Now I believe summer is just around the corner!

I´m no sunbather, but after such a long winter like this past one, I couldn´t resist throwing my clothes off to get some sunlight!  I´m in my veggie garden. Since I can enjoy the weather virtually naked there, perhaps the seeds I´m going to plant this year wouldn´t freeze themselves either...Clearly time to do a little sowing shortly.

The temperature rose up to 18 Celsius, and when it wasn´t blowing, it felt like a hot summer day!

The first flowers have awoken in nature. Lovely.

It seems there is life in my strawberry patch as well. Yipee!

Rhubarb is also lifting it´s head. Shouldn´t be long before I can collect the first stalks!


  There were still little pieces of the old fleece jacket and pajama pants left! A little does seem to go a long way...
  But now I managed to use it all up by making my girl these little accessories:

A basic bonnet made of fleece. I left the seams on the outside for her comfort.

To tie it under the chin, I used a short strip of elastic band. I sew it on on one side, and on the other I placed a snap button. To cover up the ugly snap on, I sew a large button over it. Now the dressing on is easy, yet looking at it is still easy. =)

Since this bonnet is for a girl, it needed a girly touch. What would be better than a good old bow? This time made of leftover cotton lace, and topped off with a button.

Another angle of the bonnet, to get a better idea.

My favorite mittens! These are something I have not managed to find at stores. Fleece beats knit mittens big time! Sand and other dirt can´t get through, plus these babies keep the wind out too. To make them, I simply drew the outline of my little girl´s hand on a piece of paper, added 1cm seam allowance, and cut them out. I stitched the mittens as close to the edge as I could (not 1cm from the edge), to leave more space for hands. Voilá! Done.

There is no need to decorate the mittens in any way. They will be dirty from the first minute when in use. =) When paired with the bonnet, it makes a pretty little set. I managed to make three pairs of mittens from the leftover fleece.
  The summer is on the way (or actually started already, since it´s Beltane), but there are always those chilly days when it either rains or blows, and that´s what I had in mind when making these mittens and bonnet. Plus we will start our summer cabin season shortly, and it is always cool at sea. I expect her to need these accessories up until June.