Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Blue sun printing

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This is one of those projects I saw on pinterest and wanted to try ever since - you need paper that is sensitive to light, and sunshine, and then you get some magical results. Basically, working with it is a mixture of art and a really neat science experiment, so, what´s not to like?

I had little trouble finding the paper in Germany - much less than I expected - searching for solar-papier on amazon go me quick and very affordable results.

The paper came, delivered in dark plastic:

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It is not super sensitive - you don´t need complete dark to work with it. I had my kids find the stuff they wanted to place on it before, so it wouldn´t have to be exposed too long, but you don´t have to hurry placing the leaves or toys or whatever you take on the paper - if you do it inside.

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We worked in the kitchen, placing the sheets of paper on a frame we used instead of a tray, so we could carry them out to the balcony into the sunlight.

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I think my favourite is Miro´s playmobil artwork:
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When you start, the paper is all blue, but after some minutes out in the sun, it turns completely white - except, of course, for the parts covered with stuff.  One trouble though is wind - leaves or lace are swiftly blown away, so you get no proper print. I´ve read about covering the paper with glass, but I didn´t have one at hand, so... we just tried shielding our paper from wind the best we could.

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Sometimes more, sometimes less succesfull.

As soon as your paper is completely white, you can rinse it in clear cold water.
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The image will first dissolve, and later, when it´s dry, reappear. Really cool :)
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Right now, these prints are still hanging from our ceiling, looking awesome, but I could totally see fragments of them used on greeting cards or in mixed media art pieces. And we´ve still got some paper left :)


If you haven´t seen this perfect video, do yourself the favour of watching it, at least to the point when the clothes start raining - it will make you happy for the rest of the day :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Easy cozy hooded sweaters

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I´ve been making these sweaters now for I don´t know how long - it´s always the same, basic pattern, and you can change it however you want to - leave the sleeves to make a vest, make it longer and slightly slimmer to create a dress for a girl, applicate all you want... I really love it. 

So, since I lost the pattern, I picked an old sweater from Mehmet, folded it, and roughly traced around it for the seam allowance. It was late and dark, but it looked like this: 
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After I´d cut it from fabric, it looked like this, and I went to bed happily: 
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Usually, I take fleece, but this time I found some fleece-lined thick, rich jersey fabric, with a surface smooth enough to allow me to iron-on the shark print.

So the next morning, I lined the pocket with bias tape (so it doesn´t fringe):
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If you add the pocket before you assemble the whole thing, that makes it much easier.

And then you proceed the way you like it - since I made sleeves consisting of two parts each, I first attached the front sleeves to the front, then the back sleeves to the back, and then assembled the two sides, sewing down from the shoulder to the wrist, and from the other side of the wrist, via the armpit, down to the bottom. (I hope that makes sense.)

I added some elastic in the hood, attached the hood,

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and had my sons pose for me:

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 Yeah, hemming the sleeves too would certainly make sense.

They are wearing them right now, though - it suddenly turned quite cold over here, and they´re having swimming class today :)

Music for the day:

As much as I´m tempted to go with that "Sweater Weather" song, I´m more in the mood for some smooth JM :) If you don´t just listen, but watch the video, you get to see a nice guitar being built, too!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Dear Scotland,

I´d have wished you independence.

Two years ago, I found the idea of an independent scotland ridiculous, outrageous and unbelievable, but then we had an awesome scotsman in our home who totally convinced me otherwise.

I was anxious for the results, and excited to see how an independent Scotland would change Europe. A peaceful separation of a two countries I grew up taking as a granted union felt refreshing, and I - as everybody else, I guess - imagined the watershed-effect for countries in a similar situation - Catalunya, Belgium, Wales - would we become a different Europe? 
I wished all the best for the Yes-side, because I liked the dedicated, but overall constructive way of the debate, and I stayed up late and got up early to see the results. 

Well, maybe a Union with Britain is not so bad after all.

Here´s some consoling music:

5 minute hat from an old sweater

Ronja had this blue, knitted sweater that she´d long outgrown but still regularly wore, despite the arms being to short, so I snitched it from her.

I didn´t want to throw it away, though, because I could see why she loved it - it had some nice, elaborated knitting patterns.

So I made a hat from it:

I simply cut out a shape roughly resembling a hat and sew it together. 

So now it´s Evas cozy winter hat :)  


Monday, September 15, 2014

Fig tarts

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These are super easy and yummy and fast to make.

You need
  • Ready made dough, a kind you like
  • Figs, obviously - one for each serving
  • Goat cheese
  • Bacon
  • Honey to drizzle over them
All you need to do is spread the dough in your dishes, put cheese in it, cut the figs into quarters and nicely arrange them on top of the cheese, add the bacon (or leave it, to make it veggie), and put them in the oven for 15 minutes.

When they come out, you sprinkle them with honey.

Enjoy :)

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Something new.

Friday morning, I volunteered in an old peoples home.

I´m the local story teling lady, but usually, I read for kids, teens, and, sometimes, adults. I´ve never read for people with dementia.

A friend of mine works in an old peoples home, so she asked me whether I´d like to read to her folks, and sure, why not? When I´m old, and my eyes are to weak to read by myself, I sure want someone to come and read me my Stephen King. But at first, I wanted to get to know them, so I could choose the literature appropriate - what would they like to hear, what would be interesting, but not too challenging, how long is their attention span, those were questions I wanted to explore first. So my friend suggested I come first to volunteer, to get to know my audience, which I then did :)

My audience is in severe need of some upcheering. We made plum cake together, and most of them are really, really far gone and need a lot of assistance, or very, very depressed, or both. Unlike a school, an old peoples home is, despite all the efforts of the great staff, still a depressing place, let´s not pretend otherwise.

So I´m coming back, next month, to start telling some good old german fairy tales. Stuff they know from their childhood. And I won´t be just reading. We´re making a show out of it, bringing requisites to touch and taste, and we´re going for a very interactive reading, and I´m excited for that.

Then, Friday afternoon, Miro won the fourth price in a baking contest.

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His cake looked like the earth, and he made it all by himself, decorating and and baking and all - he even burned himself in the process. His price was a 20 Euro voucher for the local restaurant, and he is very, very proud.

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I made a cake, too - I was reading that day anyway, so I decided to bake the book I would be reading.

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Our local library held the baking contest, and I was reading there, anyway,and I love love love playing with fondant and marzipan. I also loved to take this baking contest as an excuse to finally get myself these food-coloring sharpies I´d always wanted to try :)

See? I told you I wanted to celebrate my housewifey-ness. Is that a word? 

Saturday morning, we went off to a horse racing track.

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Again, something I´ve never done before, and something that never really was on my radar - neither am I much of a horse lover, nor a sports fan. I do like trying new things, though, so when Tim suggested it, I was excited - what an awesome, creative idea for a weekend outing!

We rode all the way by bike - 34 kilometres all together. I had expected to see a lot more crazy hats, but they were non - not on heads, though you could buy some. 
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Tim even placed some bets - for the exorbitant sum of one Euro for each child - and Mehmet won 60 cents to reinvest in sweets. He also got a horseshoe, which he´s keeping for the day he´ll open his farm. 

And then, Saturday, night, I served some wine.
South African Chardonay and Shiraz.

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Actually, I never, ever drink any alcohol at all, but my best friend had decided to throw a house concert with a wine tasting, and I loved helping her out. I walked through the room and chatted with everybody and refilled their glasses, while telling them about cinnamon and honey like flavour - though I acknowledged that I didn´t taste the stuff myself - but I had thoroughly read the description :)

The house concert itself was sweet, as well - a group of five ladies singing really great accappella.

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Their humor wasn´t for me, but I loved the idea of hosting a house concert, and I´m pondering about how to organize that.

So that was my very busy weekend with lots of firsts, and lots of new experiences.

Now I deserve to sit on the sofa and treating myself with some warm, lovely, very September-like potato-pumpkin soup.
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The girls from my friend´s living room :)

Friday, September 12, 2014

My gorgeous

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Eva and her best friend recently did a photoshoot, and I´m loving the results!

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Eva found an advertisment on the door of a public toilet - seriously. Exchange your toilet coupon for a free photoshooting - one photo for free, the rest you have to buy. And of course she was eager to do it, and I agreed, because the photographer seemed nice and I liked her unusual approach on gaining new customers. I also liked that Eva decided to do it together with her best friend - I still have pictures of those two with matching permanent marker smears on their 3 year old faces. And I loved how they did each others make up - again and again - and picked clothes and giggled. Very sweet :)


Since this is an Eva-post - let´s go with this one :)