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.