Thursday, November 28, 2013


  I love everything grain! Pasta, bread, rice, cakes, cookies... you name it. And I like to eat my favorite foods, preferably every day, without getting fat. =)
  The solution is to make and bake healthy versions of them. Life is for enjoyment and pleasure, and I want to live it to the fullest, and longest, possible!

  These cardamom buns have been my daily pleasure all through Samhain:

What a sight! This represents zen to me. Many people I know get the biggest satisfaction from eating meat, but this is my meat baby! These buns are the food I would choose to take with me to a deserted island.

Tea time is my favorite time of the day! In reality I usually eat two buns, but I didn´t want to seem greedy, and photographed only one on my plate... =) Herbal infusion or green tea with soymilk is a must with the buns. Ahhh...

Sugar sprinkled on top. Since I like sweet foods (a.k.a. sugar =) I cheat my brain by adding most of the sugar on top of the buns, instead in the dough. Tastebuds sense it better there, and thus give me more flavor for less sugar. I only add 1/3 tsp on top of each bun.

  Since I live in the real world, and have to do all the cooking and cleaning, and baby sitting myself, I don´t have excess time to spare on anything. The recipe for these buns is easy and as quick as possible. I have not yet seen anything as healthy as these on the market shelves, so there is no way around baking them myself. Plus I get the most nutrition out of the spelt grain by grinding it myself right before making the dough.

The recipe:

2 cups (5 dl )soymilk
0.4 oz (11 g ) dried yeast (handy to have in the cupboard)
1 quart (1 l ) whole grain spelt flour (the fresher the better!)
1 tsp seasalt
1 Tbsp cardamom
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1/4 cup (1/2 dl ) sugar ( I use organic white for maximum satisfaction )
1/4 cup (1/2 dl ) olive oil

+ Heat the milk until slightly over lukewarm. Add the yeast and some flour. Mix. Add the spices, salt, and sugar. Mix again. Then, little by little, add some flour until a nice firm-ish dough is formed. In the end add the oil and mix one last time. No need to let it rise at this time.
  Cut the dough into twelve equal sized clumps ( if you wish, twist and turn them into pieces of art ), and place on a baking tray. Cover with a cloth and set the oven for 420F (220C). Let the buns rise until the oven is set. Then apply some soymilk on them and sprinkle 1/3 tsp of sugar on top of each bun. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the tops are nicely browned.

Monday, November 25, 2013


  For the past two Samhains I have not been able to take part and fully enjoy this season of partying. Last year I was breastfeeding, and the year before pregnant. So now I´m totally excited about being able to buzz around again! And I needed another party top.
  This one I designed specifically for Samhain. For the wilder side of it, that is:

Silver sequins on silver fabric maximize sparkle and shine! Here I dressed down a bit by pairing it with jeans. (My handly little handbag I made of an old leather jacket, the same one I used to make a hat for me in the summer.)

With a top this glittery I don´t feel the need to add much accessories. "Diamonds" in my ears and wrist are enough, and repeat the sparkling effect of the top.
Here is a friend of mine sipping her super-cool flashing drink! Oh, how refreshing it is for a stay-at-home mom to have moments like these in her life!  =)

I had a dazzling night out wearing this!

  Honestly, this is the first ever garment I own that has sequins in it! I have always thought that sequins are only for Southern Belles in their beauty pageants, but apparently there is more to them. And the Southern Belles have always been right! And beautiful!

Thursday, November 21, 2013


  Throwing away perfectly good stuff is very difficult for me. If I can find a way around it, I will take it. Usually I donate my/our unused stuff to my Mom, who corageously tackles the lot, and sells it in a second hand shop. She can keep all the profit as a thank you for recycling. Thanks Mom!

  A little while ago I made myself the French Artist- outfit, and was left with a generous piece of knit fabric from the shirt. Today I took the time to turn it into this:

Tunics are a fabulous piece of clothing, for both girls and women! I hope their reign will last long. I envision my little girl wearing this with a pair of black leggings and a black bow in her hair (for ten seconds max. before she tears it off =).
Raglan sleeves are a nice change, and one day will excuse growing out of it better... =)

I trimmed the neckhole with a strip of another leftover piece (from my own Classic Grey Shirt). A proof that it is worth the while to store stuff (to a certain extent!).

  I know from experience that this fabric is really, really warm, so now my one-year-old is well set once the terrible freezing weather arrives (it is exceptional that it has not already).

P.S. The pattern I used for this tunic is from here.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


  Isn´t it enough occasion, loving somebody, to give them a present? I sure think so. Love is the most valuable gift of all, and it can´t be bought, but in second comes time and effort put on making others happy.

  Yesterday I spent every bit of my "spare" time to make these little gifts to the three most important people in my life:

To keep my family warm; gloves and a beanie. Earlier I drew the outline of my kids´ hands on a piece of  paper to make the pattern for these gloves. My husband, on the other hand, has such "warm blood" in his vains, that he rarely wears gloves, so I opted for a beanie for him.

I had a scrap piece of thick, black fleece stashed away to make these (I hope it does not make it all sound flat now! In my opinion it only adds to the value of things if they are made of recycled material!). The designs are simple and plain (just like my love =) and thus easy to wear. This button is the only detail. Especially with men, simplicity goes a long way (and I´m not referring to their emotional capacity now... =).

  For no special reason, just because I love you!

Monday, November 18, 2013


  How could I resist this true classic?! The look just begged to be included in my Samhain Collection, in all of it´s black-and-whiteness. So here it is, my version of the good old French artist look (with a couple of twists of my own of course =):

Stiped shirt, black pants and a beret. But the shirt is grey(not black)-and-white and has kimono sleeves, and the pants are made of thick fleece to keep me warm in this cold weather, and I´m having fun with the jewellery. I want life to be playful, not too serious, and I try to shine that spirit around me. What´s better than being surrounded by a positive bubble?
The design. I always exaggerate when drawing the makeup, so I´ll later understand what I was going for. I´d never put this much red on my face for real...
The shirt is also made of super warm knit fabric, so I need not wear anything else under it. Simplicity is bliss.

The jewellery is so delicious that, I can´t help telling I got it from here. A small shop of four women, who make these by hand.
Makeup repeats the black-and-white theme. Grey eyeshadow is the main focus, but it is enlivened up by a hint of bright red blush and a touch of red lipstick. Thin layers are enough for daytime wear, and are easier to maintain through the day.

  Sadly these pictures were not taken in France itself, but in Stockholm, the capital of Sweden. I took a short trip there with my awesome friends recently. Great shopping (although I mainly bought loads and loads of puffed rice cereal to bring back home to my son, who loves them. For some reason the cereal is not available here... =( , beautiful Old Town, and friendly people. I tasted some hand-made chocolate coated marshmallows there in a small bakery shop, and was in heaven! Definitely worth going back for.
  Go Sweden!

  Speaking of France, aren´t they just pretty much the most stylish people on Earth? To be honest, I´ve never been to France, but the French people (women)  I´ve met, all have oozed this femininity, confidence, and delicacy to them. Hopefully one day I´ll have the chance to go visit there.
  Go France too!

P.S. Thank you, Manna, for taking these pics!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


  This time of year is full of small parties here and there. I think it is to distract our minds from the, seemingly, neverending darkness outside. We sure need something to cheer us up!

  Some time ago I went clubbing with my sister. But it had been so long since my last time, that I realized I had nothing proper to wear! Clubbing has not been in my top-ten list of things to do these past years...
  So I had to sew something for myself. Like this:

This is one of my trusted patterns; a waterfall necklined shirt. The original design came with sleeves, but leaving them out turned it into the perfect little party top. When I marched in to the store to buy fabric, I only had one thing in mind: bling-bling. But as usually, they did not have quite what I had thought of, so I had to settle for this light pink with silver dusting on it. Originally I was heading for something wilder, but this turned out well, and quite stylish I might add!

My sister is somewhere in there, dancing the night away...
...while I am more of a couch potatoe, and like to sit and sip without disturbance. That´s luxurious for me, being a mother of two young kids.

    Last Beltane I made a tunic using this same pattern. It is so great when you find a pattern that fits you well (perfect probably does not even exist...)! You can do so many things with just one pattern, that the list of varieties is endless. Actually only your imagination sets the limits. I wonder where I will go next...

Sunday, November 10, 2013


  In the November issue of PaganPages I made the perfect neck warmer and hat to survive through the cold Samhain weather.

Check it out!

  Let´s stay warm!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


  When I was pregnant with my first child, ten years ago, I was tipped off by a co-worker that there are such things as mills to grind your own grain with at home. That way you could get your flour full of the vitamins and minerals the grain includes naturally, without oxidation destroying any of it. Of course I got excited and bought one.
  A few months later my son was born, and I soon learned that I´d have to use the mill to grind only gluten-free grains. He was diagnosed with allergy to gluten. No problem. I then happily let my mill sing with buckwheat, millet, rice, and quinoa. All was fine, and I felt good knowing I was feeding my young child with the most nutritious type of grain there is: fresh.
  Until last January, when he was diagnosed with diabetes (as if his food allergies weren´t enough...). From then on I have gradually moved towards store-bought gluten-free flour mixes, because they contain psyllium and xanthan, both natural gelling agents, which lower then carbohydrate content of the baked goods. And I realized that my son cares more for cooked grains, like pasta and rice, than baked ones.
  I made a radical decision about my grain mill: I´d contaminate it with gluten! Now I have another little one to take care of too (who´s not allergic to anything... yet...), and she likes baked goodies a lot. Bread is one of her favorite foods. She too deserves the best nutritional content of grains, and now it is her turn (and mommy enjoys it just as much).
  Here we go:

My daughter loves everything food. Tasting, mixing, packing, stacking, crumbling, you name it. She´s always around when somebody is in the kitchen, and she´s always ready to eat. =) Probably the only minus to the mill is it´s loud noise (actually it is not the mill itself, but the grain being crushed. Oat is soft and keeps less noise than the hard kernels of rice).

In go the kernels...

... and out comes the 100% whole grain flour. Voilá!

Look how precious and cute these little spelt kernels are! And so filling, energy giving, and nutritious. Awesome!

  A couple of weeks ago I drove to the nearest-by organic farmer, that I know of, who grows grains and bought my first "test" batch of spelt (15 kg / 33 lbs) and rolled oats (3 kg / 6.6 lbs). My oh my... I´m blown away by the taste and texture of both. The porridge I have made with their oat is like 70% more tasty than the usual store-bought stuff. Unbelievable.

  And the mill grinds on. After all these ten long years, it still runs like a dream. I wish it long, useful life, with us for decades more to come!

Sunday, November 3, 2013


  Playing with different styles and looks is so much fun! What better suits Samhain than the gothic look?
   I´m creating a real world wardrobe for myself, one that I can go to work with, so I tone down the images in my head to bring to and suit my everyday life. When walking down the street, I do not want to look like I´ve just ran off of a theater stage!
  Here is my gothic outfit, in the casual and easy-to-wear way:

Black is the base color of course, but instead of going all black (which we have all seen so many times), I opted for grey leather for the shirt (faux leather that is). I already have one all-black outfit in my Samhain collection, and besides, this way the whole is more interesting. For that same reason I chose pants instead of the obvious dress/skirt. In our visual world today, my eye enjoys a breath of fresh air, or a small challenge, among the usual jeans-and-t-shirt look.
The sketch. Black and grey combined with dark purple. In my mind purple is the color of wisdom and power (not saying I possess either!) in the mythical world. Just the perfect illusion.
If the leather had been black, I would have ended up looking too much like Lady Domina. That´s no way for me to present myself, anywhere! I´m a good girl...

A detail of the neckhole. I used the same ribbon/lace to decorate the leg hems too. It adds a nice, combining, touch to the top and bottom.
A better view of the faux leather fabric. I kept the sleeves short for better circulation of fresh air.

A nifty little detail to keep me safe in these dark Samhain days (and seemingly endless evenings!), a reflective band circling around the leg hem. If for some reason I should forget my other reflectors home, I´m hoping these will keep me visible and not get hit by a car.

The same reflective band without a flashlight.

  This outfit is even festive enough to go to parties in. Early winter is the time of year that is always busy with parties here and there. I think I´m gonna show up in one of them wearing my new Goth outfit!