Thursday, June 27, 2013


  Minnie Mouse is a classic. She is a stylish little missy, and has remained that way for all these decades. Her dress has changed over time, but I´m adoring the red and white one with polka dots on it. It fits perfectly my Litha style, but instead of copying, I made my own, more modern, version of it. (Truth be told, I did not even look at one single picture of Minnie when designing this dress. It is all about the overall image and vibe in my head.)

Black, not white, dots on red. White polka dots are too bright for everyday wear, this way is more subtle. This dress is made with my newly discovered new favorite pattern, with which I have also made my Cozy Rosy Dress and The Little Blue Dress .

How a garment looks from the side profile is equally important than seeing it from the front or back. Many store-bought clothes do not fit me well when seen from this angle. A good reason to custom-sew my own! The shoes are ones I wear on a daily basis. I know high heels would look better in pictures, but since Nelland is all about the real world, I want to show things the way they really are.

A thin strip of embroidered cotton lace shows from beneath the hem bottom. This look is a modernized version of  that of Minnie Mouse´s, so I kept the petticoat and pantaloons department very small. But it is there, to soften and brighten up the look.

Not much jewellery is needed, only small white studs in my ears are enough. With this look I need to be extra careful not to look like something torn straight out of a comic book! The black leather bow on my head I have had for years, and it suits perfectly here. It brings to mind Ms. Mouse´s black ears. =)

The details in a close-up. A little goes a long way. Thanks to them, no necklace is needed.
Makeup is 1950´s style, like is the whole of my Litha collection. Eyes are lined with black liquid liner, and lips have a red coat on. Those are the main focus points. I used no blush, since I have a nice healthy tan on, which in itself gives enough color. The brows are defined with a little greyish brown, and made slightly heavier than usually. On the lids I used matte ivory on the inner corner, and medium brown on the outer corner, blending well. Black mascara on the eyelashes is a must, and can be applied somewhat heavier than normally, due to the eyeliner. This is a very classic makeup.

  I wish I could stay as stylish and ageless as Minnie Mouse, for the upcoming decades!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Friday, June 21, 2013


  It is Litha, a time for celebration! This is what we have indulged in today, as the main course of the meal:

Oven baked pancake with whipped cream and home-made apple sauce. My boy ate so much he started feeling a little sick.  =)

The recipe:

2 dl soy flour
4-6 dl gluten-free flour
1,2 liters soymilk
1 dl sugar
a pinch of salt
1 zucchini, grated finely

+  Mix all and pour into an oven tray lined with a baking sheet. Bake at 220 Celsius for about 40 min.
  Top with whipped (vegan) cream and apple sauce.

    This is not completely all bad for you, since it has the zucchini in it, and is low in fat. Cooking the batter in an oven needs no added fat, and I presume produces less carcinogens since it doesn´t burn. =)


Thursday, June 20, 2013


  This is for those cloudy, or rainy, but warm days of summer. When I feel a little mellow, but still enjoying the fact that it is summer, and there is no need for a cardigan, let alone a jacket!

A classic striped fabric, but with a bit more interesting color. Earthy blue and green flow freely in the contrast colored stripes, next to the grey ones. I admit, I did fall for it in the store, and then decided it has a place in my wardrobe.
The kimono sleeves again... With this striped pattern they give an, even bigger than usual, illusion of a wider set of shoulders (to balance out my lower half  =).

Forest green and sky blue play together in this shirt, just like they did in nature on the day of this photo shoot. An easy combo to pair with denim, the base material of my Freedom Collection.


  Nelland´s Litha collection is thoroughly inspired by the 1950´s. In this Biker Boy- look I´m getting the vibe from Marlon Brando and James Dean posing by their motorcycles. There is just something in their eyes saying that the world is here for them, and they are here to do and take what they want. An attitude I want to teach my son!

  My bad boy- outfit is spiced up by girly puff sleeved shirt, so it is more suitable for a modern woman. I don´t want to be a copy of a man, or something already done before. I always want to do my own thing, slightly different from the usual.

A very classic look, but with my own seasonings. The perfect off-white tee is where it all started. Hard to find, but this is my self-made version of it. I made it already last summer, when I found this gorgeous fabric. Last summer is when I came up with the thought of this look. Jeans are the second factor to this look. These ones I made of a lighter denim, so they are not as sweaty as usual. There are also no pockets, which gives the pants a more sophisticated, not so jeans-like look.

This sketch was my guideline throughout the process. It always feels so great to see the final result!
This dog tag I got as a baby, when I lived in Sweden for a while with my family. I can say I have had it my whole life, and now I have composed a complete outfit around it!

The puffed sleeves are the trick to this outfit. They keep it girly, despite of all the masculine elements around.

Makeup is fifties-styled of course. Strongish eyebrows with a slightly exaggerated arch (but since my outfits and looks are for the real world, and not for photo shoots only, I keep them realistic  =). Light ivory eyeshadow on the inner 2/3 of the lid, and deep cool brown on the outer 1/3. In this look it is important to use black liquid eyeliner to define the eyes with. And black mascara of course. No blush to the cheeks to keep it more masculine. Also for the same reason I kept the lips rather pale, adding only baby pink lipgloss. The focus is on the eyes and brows, leaving the rest of the face more natural. This way I (try to) look pretty, yet quite natural for the 1950´s.

It is the hat that I´m particularly proud of! I made it from an old, second hand leather jacket I got from my mother-in-law last winter. The jacket itself was hideous, but it made a brilliant biker cap!

  I´m proud to carry on this look, not because I like motorcycles (which I really don´t, although we have a big one in our garage...), but for the attitude it represents. I want to keep alive my young, free, and happy spirit, and always believe my journey is taking me forward, to even a better stage of being.

Monday, June 17, 2013


  Raglan sleeve is a nice alternative to the ordinary one. Here is a basic t-shirt I made for my boy to wear this summer:

The material is supersoft cotton blend with lots of elastic in it. Initially it was meant for my girl, but since I have made so much stuff for her lately, I decided to pamper my boy with this treat. He likes classic looks, and prefers subtle, down to earth colors. This shirt definitely meets his standards. It will look nice in the fall too, when the weather cools down, with a long-sleeved shirt under it.

I used the reverse side of the fabric to make the letters. I simply sketched the letters with pencil on a piece of the fabric, and sew around the lines. Easy and gives an organic, handcrafted look.

I broke my double needle just as I was starting to stitch the neckline! Darn. So I had to come up with something else. There is no way I would let a piece of work to sit and wait until I go to the fabric store the next time to get a new needle! I want to finish it at once, and a minor obstuction, like a broken needle, will not stop me.

  Happy summer, dear son!

Sunday, June 16, 2013


"  I remember walking down the street with a large plastic basket in my hands. Passing by city windows, of which many showcased big and rough pieces of skinned carcasses, ribcages, skulls that still had the eyeballs in them, and spines with some meat strips hanging from them. Both from various animals, like pigs and horses, and humans.

  Okay, that´s new to me, but this is a modern time we live in after all. This is the future. And besides, it is great that all sources of food are used up well, with nothing thrown away. Absolutely, why not?!

  I was heading to a small "grind-o-mat". A grind-it-yoursel parlour, which offered big and powerful meat mincing machines for the public to use. Just like the good oldfashioned laundromat right next door.
  The grind-o-mat also sold pieces of meat quite cheap, but I didn´t need any, I had my own. I only needed to get it minced.

  The meat in my basket was colored considerably brighter red  than the average meat around. But hey, it came from a big-shot athlete, ice hockey player Teemu Selanne, and he must have more red blood cells than the average Joe. I poured the meat into the grinding machine and turned it on like so many times before. As it started to buzz and crunch, I was already imagining the wonderful taste of meatballs  in my mouth. Meat only needs a touch of salt and a good roast to become satisfying and all fulfilling... ahh.
  What now? My daydreaming of the upcoming meal was interrupted. The machine stopped suddenly. Why? Could I fix it? Okay I get it, the normal setting just wasn´t powerful enough! Of course. Phew. All I needed to do was to turn it on turbo boost, and the mincing would continue. And it did. Silly  me,  naturally Teemu Selanne´s meat is also tougher than the average. Why didn´t I think of that before? As the mincing continued, the color of the meat also changed to a lighter shade, as air was mixed into it. Everything was back to normal and average. 

  All right, job done. Now I´m all set and have food for the days to come. No worries, good life may continue."

This is chicken (nothing more suspicious =).

  This is the dream I had some nights ago. But it makes no sense!
  Why would I, a person who has last eaten meat in 1992, would have a dream like this?  Is it the way my subconcious celebrates my twenty-year anniversary of not eating meat? It must be.

  Besides the meat, ice hockey or any other sports is a turn down to me. I don´t watch, follow, coach, or do any myself.
  And what comes to Teemu Selanne, I don´t drool after him either (although I´m sure many women do!). I met him a couple of years ago at work, but that´s it. He seemed like any other experienced professional in their field. No big deal.
  Surely I only wish all the best for Mr.Selanne! No harm meant by this dream. =)

  Funny thing, our subconcious mind. Sometimes mine works in the most mysterious of ways, showing me dreams so absurd, I could never come up with them while awake.
  I´m glad man has not (yet) found a way to explain the subconcious, so it can continue to surprise us in our sleep!

Friday, June 14, 2013


  Yeah right, like I could resist making one for my little girl! There were just two big enough strips of the floral jersey left from my own Cozy Rosy Dress to make this one:

A sweet (and super easy to make) summer look for a one-year-old. For free, made of scratch. How great is that?
Kimono sleeves again, my favorite for their easiness.
A little ruffle to the hem... Looks adorable in a little girl´s dress, but which I left out from my own - it would have made the garment too costume-like.
  I love to go out and play with our Cozy Rosy Dresses on, and we both also have summery straw hats that we wear on hot sunny days. I don´t care if anybody else sees us in matching outfits. What brings me satisfaction is that I myself enjoy the idea. =)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


  Don´t hate your weeds, eat them!

  Here is one way of doing it:

Grab a bunch of wild edible weeds. This is what I had for breakfast this morning; lamb´s quarters. Yes, the whole bouquet. The taste is so mild and pleasant, that it can be eaten like common lettuce. Depending on what weed is in season, adjust the quantity to your taste buds (the level of bitterness varies quite a lot depending on the weed you choose). 

Chop the weed up finely, and add in enough plain (soy) yogurt to make a spread. Season with salt & pepper, chili, and your favorite herb. Mix and spread on whole-grain toast. Top with a sliced veggie. Yummy and healthy.

I eat as much as I want without guilt. Often that is four slices per morning.

  This breakfast is simply good. For you, your wallet, and the environment!


  There is a timeless attraction to floral printed dresses. A sight more rarely seen these modern days.

  One of my ultimate visions of the perfect summer day is a fancy, but relaxed, tea party in a  beautiful British garden. Ladies of all ages sipping from their tiny cups (some may have added in something stronger than tea...) and indulging in cakes and bisquits. Babbling along cheerfully, giggling, and playing card or chess, while checking out the men in their own flock. The sun is shining, but it is comfortably cool in the shade of big trees and roses.

  That is where I got my inspiration to make my cozy rosy dress for homewear. An outfit to be worn at home in the summer, for as long as the garden (or the weeds in it =) are in bloom.

This is probably the most feminine garment I have ever owned! But in the safety of my home I feel comfortable  stretching my limits...

This is definitely a non-makeup look. I never wear makeup when at home the whole day.

The material is light, soft, and fluid viscose. Comfortable enough even for a nightgown.
It fits well. The side profile always tells the truth about fitting. This pattern is super nice because it has a seam right down the center front and -back, which allows an easy adjustment to custom-fit me.
This is such a classic look, that I had to be careful keeping it suitable to our time. Had I added ruffles and lace, it would have ended up costume-like.

It is so cozy, that it feels almost criminal to wear this at daytime! Normally sleepwear is supposed to be like this - like you don´t have anything on at all.

There is a sewn-in petticoat in this dress also. Made from fabric I found cheap some time ago, and bought a bunch. I always go for sewn-in petticoats instead of a separate, they stay so much better in place.

  This dress belongs to my Pure Home- collection because it is at home in a garden. Not in a mall, office, or bank. Wearing it there would feel weird, and I misplaced. But now I´m so happy skipping around my home and garden, Nelland, with this beauty on!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


  Time to start welcoming Litha! What a better way to tune in than with food? 

  At summer it is easier to eat light. I´m taking advantage of that by ripping my diet off of excess fat. As Dr.John McDougall puts it "The fat you eat is the fat you wear". He just makes sense. And I feel more energetic eating less fat.

Caught having second servings!

1/2 liter green tea + soymilk
whole grain bread with yogurt-weed-spread (grab a cupful of edible weeds from the garden, mince them and add enough plain soy yogurt to form a spread. Season with an herb, salt and pepper, and chili.) and sliced veggies on top

1/2 liter water
1. Kissel/flavoured water and cardamom bun/bread
2. Potatoe salad (including new small potatoes, finely chopped pickles, mustard, plain yogurt, lemon juice, salt & pepper, and chives) with cold-smoked tofu
3. Summer soup (new potatoes, chopped carrots and cauliflower, peas and corn, a veggie bouillon and soymilk included in the broth, topped with fresh parsley) with rice cakes
4. Green salad with dill dressing (plain soy yogurt, dill, garlic, salt & pepper, and lemon juice) and whole grain bread
5.  Non-grilled veggies (marinate your favorite chopped veggies, like mushrooms, broccoli, and summer squash in a store-bought marinade overnight) with corn and vegan weenies
6. Fresh cabbage soup (fresh new cabbage, onion, garlic, carrots, veggie bouillon, salt & pepper, bay leaf, and fresh parsley) with whole grain bread
7. Italian salad (cooked macaroni, finely chopped bell pepper, peas, corn kernels, tomatoe puré, plain soy yogurt, salt & pepper, pickles, topped with chives. This is good both warm and cold.)

Italian salad for lunch.

1/2 liter green tea + soymilk
oat porridge + soymilk + salt + jam

1/2 liter hot cocoa (2dl soymilk, 3 Tbsp prepared cocoa powder, 3dl hot water)
rice cakes
(if more hungry, include a big fresh vegetable salad with your favorite dressing in moderation)

When testing this plan, I accidentally lost weight. So what this does is gives me more room to eat desserts like chocolate pudding and candy. Sweet!

Sunday, June 9, 2013


  Happy birthday to the greatest Mom in the world - mine!

 She wished I get her a t-shirt for present. A t-shirt that I thought would suit her and her style. She is in her fifties, but her weakness is everything girly and fairytale-like cuteness. Often I wish she would tone down and streamline her style a bit, to bring it to the 21st century. =) But that´s just my opinion, and more than anything I´m so happy that she does have a style overall (not a quality that can be taken for granted...).

  My mom also sews occasionally for herself. Her most recent creation is a navy blue skirt with two white stripes running across the hemline. I decided to make a t-shirt to suit her new skirt. Like this:

Polka dots and puff sleeves are perfect for her! Like me, my Mother is also a pear-shape, and I know this model fits her body well.

My daughter is lucky, she got yet another "leftover dress"! When I gave my Mom the present, my daughter was already wearing her dress. What a surprise it was to my Mom to find that they could now wear matching outfits. She became a little emotional even. I love her!

This dress is an awesome wear at our summer cabin.
Contrast stitching brightens the garments up and makes them look more finished up.

I had just enough of this zig zag string in my stash to make it run all the way around the hem.

The puffed sleeves add volume to the shoulders balancing out the lower half. A huge feminine bottom runs in our family on my Mom´s side like a curse. We do our best to cope with it...

  In the present I gave to my Mom, was also a sepia-colored photograph of her and my kids hugging each other. They all had perfectly happy smiles on their faces and pure love just oozed from them. (Great, now I´m getting emotional... I´ve become such a cry baby after having my kids!   =)

Friday, June 7, 2013


  Freedom Collection needed a second outfit for hot weather. I can´t go running errands two days in a row wearing the same outfit, can I?  =)
  Shorts and a basic t-shirt is the solution. Very American to me.

The t-shirt is made of cotton jersey with tiny little "delicate" figures printed on it. The pattern I used to make the shirt is my favorite kind: kimono-sleeved. It consists only of two pieces, front and back. No need to insert separate sleeves. Quick and easy The shorts I have not made myself. I only cut off the legs from the old, carrot-shaped jeans. I was already throwing them away, because I had not worn them in a long time, when I realized that they actually sit well on me at the top. It was worth the try to turn them into shorts. Glad I did!
At summer I feel the most carefree I ever do during the course of the year. It is warm and light, the nature is alive and bursting with energy. People come out from their homes and get into their gardens, stroll in parks eating ice cream, having pick-nicks, wear colorful clothing, and seem happier than ever. I´m so enjoying this time of year!

The pattern in a close-up. Funny thing is, this fabric actually reminds me of my aunt in the late 80´s. It has always been the same thing with this type of fabric pattern, small floral. I don´t even remember if it was something she wore back then, or if it was the curtains or pillow covers in her place. Hmm... Poor her, she is forever defined as the "petite flower print"- lady to me. And she has well moved on from those days, and is looking as good and young as ever!
  At first I hesitated to take this color, light beige, into my Freedom Collection. But then I decided it can be one of the basic colors among the rest: blue denim, black, white, and grey. Beige goes well on sunny days, where grey is better for cloudy/rainy weather.  And I look as good as I can, bare-faced, in light beige.

  The length of the shorts really push my limits. But then again, boundaries are made to be pushed, or even broken! And often we are the ones setting them for ourselves...

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


  Some weeks ago I was asked to start writing a monthly column for PaganPages.Org, an e-magazine for pagans. I was, and still am, totally excited!

  And now it is exciting to tell you that my first article is out! You can read the very first issue of Nelland Living, the introduction, here.

Happy days!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


  My Freedom-collection needed a summer dress for hot weather.
  Here is what I made, turning rags to fashion (ragshion) by using my husband´s old jeans:

Top and lower half are from two different pairs of jeans. I cut the inner leg seams of the jeans open, folded the fabric in half and placed my patterns over it. Easy. The original seams are not aligned and not centered here, to highlight the repurposed look.

A pocket is always useful. This is the original from the jeans. It is handy to throw in the car keys and shopping list.
The back is plain, with only a center seam running down it. This dress is so short, that my modern pantaloons are a definite must! Also, to add comfort, I placed a sewn-in petticoat. It shows from underneath to add length too. This was as long a hemline as I could make using just 1 1/2 pairs of jeans (which was all I had). And that´s actually pretty cool. Otherwise I would not have made a dress this short (shame on me and my conservativeness  =)!

  Now, when looking at the dress, it seems unbelievable that it was actually men´s jeans only a couple of days ago. I´m so glad I tried this project out!

Sunday, June 2, 2013


  This is the first year I have rhubarb in my garden, and I´m taking full advantage of it!

  Today was another hot day, and I literally had no appetite. But a girl has got to eat, so I made this for an easy-to-eat lunch:

Rhubarb kissel and summer squash scones. (As you can see, there is not much rhubarb left in the ground =)

Rhubarb is excellent for kissel. It dilutes in the juice and becomes mild, but still keeping it´s signiture tanginess.

Can I praise these scones more than I already have in this blog? My forever favorite bread. 100% healthy and tasty and quick and easy, and turns into so many different tastes and uses. This time accompanied by summer squash. No butter or spread needed, these babies are soft and slightly salty, and ready-to-eat from the oven.

The recipe for rhubarb kissel:

1/2 liter rhubarb, peeled and chopped
1 dl water
1 liter juice, your favorite kind (I used rhubarb & strawberry, low-calorie version)
5 Tbsp potato starch

+ Bring the rhubab and 1 dl water into a boil in a kettle. Let simmer for about 5-10 min, until the rhubarb has softened and is breaking into pieces.
  Add in the juice, but saving a little to mix the potato starch in for later, and bring to a boil again. As soon as the rhubarb mixture boils, pour in the potato starch and juice mixture slowly, stirring well while you pour. Mix and wait until the kyssel has bubbled a few times, then remove from heat and let cool. (You can sprinkle some sugar on top to prevent from crusting, but I never do. I try to omit "useless" sugar, and save it for a real need.)

The recipe for summer squash scones:

4 dl gluten-free flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 dl water (or as needed to make an easy-to-spread dough)
1 summer squash, shredded finely

+ Mix the dry, then add the wet ingredients. Place on a baking sheet layered oven tray, forming 9 flat scones. Bake at 225 Celsius for 15-20 min.
  Quick and easy, just the way I like it!

  If you are hoping to lose weight or keep from gaining any, I can recommend this. The foods contain relatively few calories to their quantity/size, so they will fill you up, but not make you fat.