Monthly Dinner: September 2014

October 20, 2014 § Leave a comment

Perhaps it was the cold temps, perhaps it was the fall flu season starting, but I’ve been functioning with less than a full battery pack for a while. On top of that, my laptop battery actually died. While the mechanical battery has been replaced, the human one is still putting at 42% efficiency. Hopefully the rest of the month will be better.

It’s taken me a long time to post September’s special dinner, but finally, here it is. For the 2014 special dinners, Mr. E suggested we should look at some of the less often used cookbooks in our household for inspiration. This time we chose Tastes of Anglo-Saxon England by Mary Savelli.

Sept 2014 Special Dinner

The starter was a hot root vegetable and cucumber soup. Yes, boiled cucumber! We used our own heritage cukes, supermarket onions plus local turnip and carrots. The soup also had a little beer in the broth. The mix was unusual, and improved from adding a little sour cream. The main course was fish cakes with buttered beets – yum! – and a dollop of sour cream, which Mr. E added to the recipe. As dessert Mr. E made baked apples stuffed with a mixture of pears, peach, honey, breadcrumbs, butter and cinnamon. To make it really rich, we topped it with a splash of thick cream. Ahh!

Sept 2014 Table

I decided to keep the table bare so that all of that gorgeous wood would show to its benefit. Bamboo placemats are in no way Anglo-Saxon, but I’m no purist, and they go nicely with the wood colors. Simple glasses and white bowls won’t detract from the fancier plates. A fast and free wild flower / leaf bouquet topped a cork hotpad.

Apart from the soup, which tasted a little funny to our modern palates, the dinner was great. Especially the dessert!

Fall Wreath

October 8, 2014 § Leave a comment

It’s indisputably fall. Time to get out my beautiful peeled willow wreath form.

Fall Wreath

I used a gorgeous golden ribbon, some rust red grosgrain and an orange chiffon ribbon from my stash. I love ribbons; I keep a random collection around for quick temporary projects like this.

Fall Wreath Closeup

The wreath is temporary because nothing is glued on; I keep reusing the same $3 wreath form every year. It’s simple and quick to pin the ribbons on and tie a bow on top, and the pins make for a fast dismantle when I want something different.

Fall Wreath in Window

I love the bright fall colors; the dropping temps take a little effort to get used to.



Monthly Photo: September 2014

October 2, 2014 § Leave a comment

You know those photo challenges that ask you to take one photo every month in exactly the same place, with exactly the same subject matter, angle, and all that? I thought it would be a really interesting project, so I decided to do that this year.

I’m taking a picture out of a second floor window towards the woods at midday on the last day of the month, every month, from January 2014 to December 2014. Here’s September 2014:

Sept 2014 Monthly Photo

Some fall color is showing in the woods already!

Paper Heart Garland

October 1, 2014 § Leave a comment

Isn’t this paper heart garland inventive?

Etsy Bookity Shakespeare Paper Heart Garland

Bookity on Etsy.

Upcycled Shakespeare text paper heart garland by Bookity on Etsy.

We don’t hang garlands in our house, because both Mr. E and I are allergic to dust. I really liked the technique Bookity used, though, so I tried it out with two cardstock hearts. I added color but reduced the layers for less bulk.

Dimensional Paper Hearts

I haven’t decided what to do with them yet.

Mini Project: Letter Opener Mat

September 26, 2014 § Leave a comment

I open my mail near the door where our paper recycling bin is. To keep the letter opener nearby, I placed it on the mantelpiece. To protect the surface, I made a small mat for my letter opener to sit on:

Letter Opener Mat

It’s a very good project to use up those fabric scraps. I’ve been on the lookout for small, fast projects like this mat. I could swear my scraps multiply when I’m not looking…!

Any other useful, quick scraps projects you can think of?

Third Time’s the Charm: The Weigela That Won’t Stop

September 24, 2014 § Leave a comment

Remember our re-blossoming weigela bush? It’s produced another(!) small cluster of flowers.

Weigela 3rd Blooming

May, July – and now September. I don’t have a green thumb to speak of, so I certainly can’t take the credit. It’s all mother nature. I’m amazed and delighted! It’s the weigela that keeps on giving!

This saintpaulia (African violet) is also going through a second bloom:

Saintpaulia Re-Blooming

Apparently you can have your saintpaulia bloom constantly. Maybe I should propagate a few new plants and give it a try…

Diamond-Pattern Wallpaper

September 16, 2014 § Leave a comment

This wallpaper makes my mouth water:


Harmony wallpaper by Ellos; image by Heidi Lehto.

Harmony wallpaper in black by Ellos; image by Heidi Lehto. The diamond pattern makes a surprisingly good-looking wallpaper. I especially like this blue version:

Ellos Harmony Blue Wallpaper

Harmony wallpaper. Ellos.

What’s not to love – my favorite blue combined with a watercolor-like effect. :)

And why does it make my mouth water? As us Scandinavians know well, this kind of diamond pattern in black & white is often used in salmiakki (salt liquorice) packaging, like this one below:

Fazer salmiakkipastillit


Curses! Now I’m craving a particular, chewy Halva salmiakki. Or super salmiakki by Fazer. Mmm…. Salmiakki is definitely one of those tastes of home that you can’t get in the States. Or if you can, it’s not the particular type you want at the moment, or you have to pay an arm and a leg for it. Gnnnh. Ohwell.


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