Seven Random Facts


Oh, this one made my day!This award was given to me by Sanctuary. Part of this award is telling seven random facts about oneself, and here they come:

1.I know how to milk a cow, but I don't know how to drive a car

2. I sing in a choir. I love the feeling when all the different sounds unite to become one sound and one piece of music. Singing in a choir shows how people can be so much more together than what they are alone.

3.My husband had to propose me twice. I'm so lucky he did and that I said 'yes'.

4.I'm afraid of flying,

5. but like traveling

6. I love notebooks. Even though I try to fill them with lists, things to remember and things that inspire me, I still keep on forgetting things like birthdays and addresses, because they are not among the things I write in my notebooks.

7.I'm a night owl and definitely a long-sleeper. Well, my blogging habit seems to make this tendency even worse and my daughters try to do the opposite. That makes me a sleep- deprived night owl.

There are no words of wisdom or thorough thinking captured in these seven facts, because the stomach flu has reached our house and there are a bit too many things in my mind at the moment. So I guess, you caught me off guard with these.

I will pass this award forward to
Arjen helmiä


The Sun came with colours

Purple, pink and glimmering white were the colours for today. I wish I would have been able to capture the purple hue which covered everything in the morning, but knowing my limits with camera, I concentrated in admiring the beauty of winter light. By sunset though I had to give my camera a go.

There's definitely gnome energy in our house. I made two of these hats in five minutes (and you can tell it, by the seams). This little gnome of mine has been decorating gingerbread and doing pipe cleaner hearts with beads, while mum has been , well, blogging. These ornaments will surely have their place in our Christmas tree.


Avoiding the inevitable

I should be busy making Christmas cards in order to get them posted on time, instead I'm posting about things I've been doing instead. To be exact I haven't finished or even started one single Christmas card. So if you have used to get a card from us this might be the first year when it doesn't happen.

Because I'm pretty sure Leevi doesn't read my blog, I can show you the tote I sew for him. I'm hoping to make a couple more of these for other kids on my list. Elsi's tote is the original, which I made last year. Elsi's tote has a lining, but the other one doesn't. The flax I used, is sturdy enough without lining and naturally easier to sew without.

The tote was on the list for Christmas, so that doesn't count as avoiding card making. But the apron I sew for Elsi was just for the fun of making it. I had an opportunity to use my bias tape maker for the first time and it was sooooo good and practical. So definitely a good buy. I hand-stitched the reindeer on the front to brighten my rather dark choice of fabrics. This fabric is the same flax as in the tote above. It's so nice fabric to work with that I decided to try it on children's clothing. Let's see how it will survive the stains and strains of every-day life with a three-year-old.


Finally a FO

Tunic sweater
Pattern: Suuri Käsityölehti 8/07
Yarn: Novita Kuura
Addi circular 7mm needle

I have been sporting this tunic sweater for about two weeks now, but always forgot to photo it in order to post about it. This fluffy texture of it makes me think about the very first sweater I knitted at school in 80's. My kids adore the feel of it and wearing it makes them want to cuddle even more in my lap. I think the sweater is OK even though I resemble Fred Flintstone in it. I left the armholes unfinished, because they are already wide enough for my shoulders. There should have been some rows of 2K2P, but I don't need anything extra flapping around my arms.

This pile of yarn below I hand-dyed with plants last summer in a course. Some of this lot I'm planning to knit into socks, because all my old ones are falling apart and my daughters are short on woolen socks aswell, but first I have some more Christmas presents to finish.


Crafting with kids

I strongly believe in encouraging creativity in kids by letting them have materials for art and crafts available and on the other hand having somebody to teach them what to do with those materials. Of course they would learn how to use scissors and glue when they go to day care or play school, but because I like crafting so much, I like to teach those things myself and I know this makes it easier for the teachers as well.

It makes me so happy, when my three- year-old wants to do some crafting, because for a long time, she didn't have so much interest in cutting, using glue, stamping etc. She gets frustrated very easily when she is not able to do things the way she wants them to be, so letting her experiment with different materials freely is usually better than having a real project to finish. However, these ornaments we managed to finish together without big drama, because I did the base as sturdy as possible and she got to decorate them. Like any girl of her age she worships glitter glue. I have hard time saving some glitter for my own projects. Well, the advent calender will contain a few shades of the glittery stuff for her.

The 18-months-old makes these crafting sessions even more challenging, because she still needs to taste everything. Oh yes, glittery glue has been found in her mouth many a times. But it's such a joy seeing her to mess with the tape, glue stickers with a full concentration or make her own drawings. A roll of tape can keep her busy quite a while.

I don't need my kids to be the first to learn anything and I don't need presentable pieces of art, but I hope to give them a possibility to learn the joy of making. If I'm lucky enough, when they are in their thirties they'll know what is their own way of creating and relaxing.


A busy week

This week I had not much time for writing posts. Today we had a 1st of Advent party with four very special and dear families. We were all together ten adults and nine children, so this week was all about cleaning, baking, decorating and making ice lanterns. However, I managed to finish the first six pouches for the advent calender, luckilly that is about as far as my 3-year-old can count so she doesn't mind even when those pouches keep on multiplying till they reach the number 24.


Ice and birds

The ever changing appearance of snow and ice was one of the things which made last weekend interesting weatherwise. Now I think the winter is really coming, because this is what I saw Saturday morning when going for a walk with kids.

When the birds which need open waters are heading south, I assume there's more snow and ice coming. Whooper Swan is one of my favourite birds, it's such a beauty and I like the idea of a monogamous bird. They certainly are not great singers, but I still like their whooping sound a lot. It's such a pleasure of seeing these birds so often nowadays knowing their history of almost getting killed to extinct.

In addition to admiring birds this weekend I finished the scarf for my mother-in-law. Luckily the one skein of Noro-yarn I bought was enough to knit a waist long scarf. The little felted brooch I made just for the fun of it. I have some scraps of felted wool from my earlier projects and they are perfect for these kinds of decorations. The kitchen towel for Christmas was inspired or rather a copy of these.
The quilted bit of the towel, was originally meant to be pockets into the advent calender, but I soon realized they were way too small, because seam allowances take a great part of them. I'm not so sure I'll be able to put together a new advent calender this year, but I don't fell like using the old one either.


Some favourite things

One of the things I had to learn while growing up in a farm house was how to make firewood. Now that I don't have to chop wood on daily basis, I quite like doing it. With a quality axe and right technique it's an enjoyable part of making a nice fire in the fireplace. Mastering this makes me feel like a powerful lady, hmm, strange but true.

The softer side to me enjoys greatly the scent and feel of pure, freshly changed vintage pillowcases. For a couple of years now I've been searching flea markets and charity shops for vintage pillow cases, preferably with a lace trimming. I've managed to find quite a few of them, but now they have started to fall apart one by one. I reckon that our washing machine is one to blame, it's just too powerful for those vintage beauties. Well, I use them till they fall apart and then I cut the lace out and use it somewhere else, because the lace seems to be much stronger than the pillowcase itself.

Pillowcases and fire in the fireplace are naturally at their best when enjoyed with the dim light of candles.


Rawmaterial happiness

The Crafts Fair 'Kädentaito 2007' in Pirkkahalli was once again an easy place to loose one's money, all the beautiful yarns, papers, stamps, beads etc. in one very crowded place. These yarns are meant for Christmas presents. This yarn from Noro is a luxury mixture of wool, silk and angora. As soon as I got home I started to knit a scarf for my mother-in-law out of it. Knitting this yarn is such a pleasure, it's very cooperative and I love the shifting colours in it. For the Wendy Fusion yarn I don't yet have a clear plan, but that colour combination is surely one I'm looking forward working with.

These merino felting wools and beads in watery colours I'm hoping to turn into a necklace or armband. I very much like the process of felting, but I rarely get into it, because it's so messy and needs quite a lot of time. Let's see whether I need the bias tape maker as much as I have thought I need it.


Grau in grau

In my opinion the German word 'grau' (for 'grey') is onomatopoetic for these short dark and grey November days. The English word 'grey' is much too light in its' sound. However, there is also beauty in grey, especially when covered with a hint of snow. A dash of white makes even asphalt look pretty.

My own attempt to beautify my November days took the form of heart-shaped wreath. I made it out of birch branches tied together with wire, then I carefully forced it into heart-shape and tied the loose ends together. I decorated it with a piece of vintage lace and a glassy heart. For Christmas I could change those for something red for instance. The wreath is not hanging on the door, but next to it, for two reasons: these modern doors don't take that easily nails into their surface, and I hate it when somebody rapidly opens the door and the wreath falls down. Well, I hope the wreath welcomes our visitors from the side of the door as well as it would have done hanging on the middle of the main door.


A hat that fits us all

It seems our teddy-bear got a new hat. I crocheted this one from Wednesday to Thursday.The hat was originally meant for Elsi, but she found it "itchy". I'm thinking of making a lining of fleece into it in order to reduce that itchy-factor. I think the white yarn is 'Novita Nalle' (it was an old bun, so I can't be sure) and the violet one is 'Novita Wool'. I didn't have a pattern and crocheted one tire of additions too many and so the cap fits me as well. I could wear this one, but according to my husband I should not.

We lit the first sling of lights in Elsi's bedroom and I gave the girls two balls from the Christmas decorations box as a preview. I'm so happy they share my enthusiasm for Christmas season.


A purse to match the bag

This little purse should have been an easy project to accompany the bag i made a few days ago, but somehow I always seem to get into trouble with zippers. I just hate it when the lining gets stuck with the zipper and this pair does it constantly, so maybe I should do some ripping apart. I used bias tape inside to make the seams invisible, but that was not without problems either....this many layers of fabric would have called for a thicker needle in my sewing machine, but I hate changing needles. The blue fabrics are from PurlSoho, and the lace is from a vintage pillow case.

The knitting magazine underneath the purse is from 1952 and I found it today on the flea market. There are really nice projects for kids, but the introductions are for people who really know their way with knitting needles, so instead of making a whole project out of this magazine, I think I'll end up experimenting with the patterns. For example, there was a nice leaf motif that caught my eye, and I consisted only of purls and knits.


Cinnamon and chocolate

Today, once again I was baking. And if you have read any of my earlier posts, you might have guessed even without the photo, that my baking involves chocolate. Today I made a cinnamon biscuit cake, filled with whipped cream and topped with melted milk chocolate.
I got the recipe from a good friend of mine, Anu, and she agreed with me putting it in here saying she had gotten the recipe from a friend, aswell.

200g margariinia tai voita
200g sokeria
1 muna
200g vehnäjauhoja
1 tl leivinjauhetta
3tl kanelia

Vaahdota pehmeä margariini ja sokeri. Lisää kananmuna. Sekoita vehnäjauhot, leivinjauhe ja kaneli keskenään ja sekoita tämä seos vaahtoon. Tee kaksi samankokoista pyöreää levyä tai kuten minä, levitä tasaisesti pellille ja jaa kahtia/kolmeen osaan heti paistamisen jälkeen.

Paista 200C n.10-15 min.

Vaahdota väliin parhaaksi katsomasi määrä kermaa tai kevytvispiä. Levitä päälle sulattamasi suklaa. Minä oion mutkia ja sulatan suklaan surutta mikrossa, lisää sulatuksessa pieni nokare voita lisäkiiltoa antamaan.

Kokeile omalla vastuulla, mutta ainakin meillä tulokset ovat tällä ohjeella olleet oikein mukavia. Kakku paranee vähän vetäydyttyään, koska keksilevyt imevät kermaa itseensä.


Red and white finds

My visit to the local charity shop last Saturday was a lucky one. I found this old red curtain with primroses (now a piece of it has turned into the bag shown in the picture above), vintage table runners with roses and about two metres of stretchy 70's fabric. All of these I'm planning to use in sewing.

This tunic t-shirt I'm wearing cost me 80 cents. It's really a children's nightdress, I was planning to give it for Elsi, but as I managed to squeeze myself into it, I decided to keep it myself as a t-shirt. This nightie feels so familiar that I must ask my mother whether I had one like this in the 70's.

I'm not completely happy with this bag. It looks OK when stuffed with things, but left empty it folds not so nicely. I wanted to leave the opening large enough for bigger books and this results the folding effect. I'm happy, though, with the applique birds and with the lovely fabric. Using a pattern of some kind could solve a couple of my bag making problems.