fredag, november 27, 2015

Christmas decorations

Time flies... I've been in Finland for a week. When I left we had the first snowfall of the season, and while in Finland they had their first too. Lots of lovely white stuff.

When I got back home all the snow was gone, and I dare say it will by now have melted in Finland too. But the snow did something... it made me realise that Christmas is coming. And not just that, it put me in Christmas mood.

So despite the grey rainy weather today, I've brought out some of the Christmas decorations. It will be the first Sunday of Advent soon enough anyhow. So out came the angels. And the Christmas potpourri.

The first hyacinths have been bought. Oh how I do love hyacinths. The green shoots, the promise of lovely things to come. And finally the delightful scent of the flower itself.

One new ornament has also been bought... in memoriam.

And finally... the familiar Christmas stockings. Soon to be found hanging from the bed post.

How about you, have you started pulling out the decorations yet? Or is it a tad early...?

søndag, november 15, 2015


Lately I've found myself being drawn to all things vintage. Well, maybe not 'all things' vintage, but I do seem to crave a certain vintage look and feel, even though I don't necessarily know how to go about achieving it.

I thought a good place to start was with a patchwork project. And even though none of the fabrics chosen are genuine vintage, I do think when put together they do have that vintage-y feel I'm looking for.

You are forgiven for thinking 'there she goes again...' I know, I've only just started to stitch a patchwork quilt in tweeds and denims. One I in fact do rather like.

But what is a girl to do when inspiration strikes? I just had to give this one a go. So far so good. I do rather this one too. Now I've got two very different (even though the diamond template is the same) works in progress. Works I can alternate with depending on my mood and inclination.

Of course this means that no quilt is going to be finished any time soon. Not to worry, that's nothing new. My quilts usually take years to finish anyhow...

To answer your questions, IN THIS POST you can see how my hand stitching is done. Of course the same method applies to diamond shapes as well.

tirsdag, november 10, 2015

Chest of drawers

We live in a small house, where storage space is limited. In many ways I rather prefer it, as it stops me from acquiring unnecessary stuff. But on the other hand, it can be a bit of a challenge.

We live in a country with four very different seasons, which all require appropriate and different clothing. Most of the out of season clothes are stored up in the attic. Yet there's more clothing than what I can comfortably fit in our bedroom cupboards.

A solution to this predicament was to be found in our barn (as often seems to be the case in regards to furniture needed). A lovely old chest of drawers. And a spare room.

The other day we hauled this heavy piece of furniture indoors, and after a bit of a wash and a scrub it was ready for my scarfs, summer tops and other out of season clothes.

The spare room is small, and I worried the 'new' chest of drawers would take too much space. But as it is vacant most of the time it works. I am toying with the idea of painting it with grey chalk paint. To make it lighter, so to speak. We'll see...

Apologies for the grainy photos. Grey days... grainy pics.

By the way... do you happen to remember this entry about the nude painting and my young nephew? Well, he's a sport doesn't mind sharing 'his' room with the new girl (nor does he seem to mind the feminine decor). Good man!

lørdag, november 07, 2015

Warm feet

I did it! I knit a pair of socks. In record time, that is. For me anyway. Usually my makes take me months, even years to finish. These socks took me a couple of nights.

What is even more surprising is that I really enjoyed the process. It was fun. I loved working with the colourful yarn. And I loved seeing the work grow so quickly.

This time round I even attempted slip stitch heels, which make for sturdier and stronger socks. Which I again hope will last me longer than my previous pair did.

Now that this pair is done I believe it will not be the last one. I'm sure I can dig out more left over bits of yarn from my stash and make another pair. While the going is good...

onsdag, november 04, 2015

Grey days

The short November days tend to be grey. That seems to be the case this year too. To brighten up the oh so dull days I've hung up the fairy lights in the kitchen windows.

I'm not in a festive mood yet, and do not plan to be for quite some time, but I find it hard to resist a string of fairy lights and the lovely mood they create on a grey day. Not to mention a dark evening.

On days like this I drink tea. Now I do drink tea every day of the year, regardless the weather. But these days call for a few extra mugs of the comforting drink. I wonder whether the queen takes milk with hers?

Despite the grey weather I've been busy in the garden, and I'm happy to report it is more or less ready for winter.

When cutting back the perennials I didn't have the heart to throw these asters into the compost bin. I dare say they'll be the last flowers I pick from the garden this year.

With the grey comes usually the cold. So far this autumn has been a mild one, but I know the cold will come, sooner or later. When it does, I like to be prepared.

I've gone through my (meagre) wool stash and found some more odds and ends (left over from this project. And the wool I had to buy for this one) and have started to knit a pair of socks.

I've only ever knit one pair and it took me forever. Or so it felt. I did master the turning of the heel in the end, but that is nearly five years ago. Something I've forgotten how to do by now. But I'll give them a go. I know my feet will be grateful.

fredag, oktober 30, 2015

Tweed and denim

At Christmas of 2013 Santa brought me these lovely tweed fabrics from Ireland. Since then I've thought long and hard (long being the operative word here, as it truly has taken me nearly two years to decide!) what to make out of them.

Not quite true, as I always knew I'd make a patchwork quilt of sorts. But what sort of fabrics should I add to the pile and what kind of pattern to use. Then one day, when cleaning and sorting stuff in my studio, I happened to put a pile of old jeans on top of the tweed fabrics.

The two very different materials looked rather pleasing together. Now my love of blue denim is rather well documented here in my blog. There's the denim chair. The denim scrap quilt. And the denim love quilt. And the denim cushion. Eureka! Now also a tweed and denim quilt.

The next question was what sort of pattern. Both the tweed and the denim are heavy weight fabrics, and I just couldn't see myself sewing them with the machine and opening up the seams with an iron (I always open the seams rather than pressing them to one side). So hand stitching was the answer. Again.

When hand stitching I use paper templates, and these are limited to two: hexagons and diamonds. As my most recent hand stitching project (still to be finished...) utilises hexagons I thought I'd bring out the diamond templates this time round.

Hand stitching these fabrics is no picnic (they are indeed thick and I'm no good with a thimble), but if I persevere I just might end up with something I like. This is only a start, but it does give an idea what to expect.

Truth be told I'm not 100% sure... But I'll give it a go. You might see a finished tweed and denim quilt some time in the distant future (very distant). Or not. Remains to be seen.

mandag, oktober 26, 2015

October garden

The wonderful autumn we are having this year continues, day after day, week after week, it seems. No complaints here. The best October ever.

It is a joy to potter about the garden when the days are sunny and mild. I've started cutting back the borders. Many gardeners leave this job till spring, but I prefer to tidy up the garden before winter... I like to start the new gardening year in spring with a clean slate, so to speak.

I have a little helper with me. She follows me (and my wheelbarrow) faithfully as I work my way around the garden. Always with a ball in her mouth. No doubt she would rather play than work. I throw the ball every now and then, which seems to keep her amused.

The raised beds in the potager are empty by now, save for one which still has some parsley growing (I'm hoping to make another batch of dynamite before winter). We've added some sheep manure into the beds, which will be worked into the soil come spring.

Autumn is not the time I tend to enjoy the most in my garden, when yet another season is over, and all there is to do is clean up the mess. This year it's been different though. Every day has been a joy. Long may it last.