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:

sisustuskarpanen_salmiakki_2

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

Fazer.

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.

Special Dinner: August 2014

September 12, 2014 § Leave a comment

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 August, we picked a collection of recipes from Louhisaari Manor in Askainen, Finland. The recipes and remedies were written down in the late 1700s to mid-1800s and read like family knowledge: there’s no need to share measurements or detailed information because everyone already knows exactly what size your pots and pans are. Mr. E had therefore to improvise a bit.

Aug 2014 Special Dinner

Mr. E made a simple omelet with salt, pepper, and parsley as a starter. The “trick” was to whip the eggs into a light froth before adding the rest of the ingredients. For the main course, Mr. E wanted to try a smoked geese recipe, but we’re not equipped for smoking, nor did we have access to geese. Instead, he picked two small Cornish game hens and roasted them on the grille outdoors. The hens were served with a simple cucumber-tomato salad, which wasn’t called for in the recipe, but which we wanted to add anyway for extra veggies. The cucumbers came from our yard.

Aug 2014 Salad

As dessert, Mr. E chose a flourless lemon cake. It’s made on an almond paste crust topped with cooked rice flavored with lemon and sugar. I’d rather call it a pie, I think. Whatever you call it, it tasted very good.

Aug 2014 Table

For the table, I picked our blue willow China because the pattern was popular in the 18th century, making it a perfect historical fit. I then chose coordinating dishes and textiles to go with the plates, and I think the combination looks really good, even if I say so myself. For an additional Finnish touch, I placed our Iittala annual bird 2012 as a minimalistic centerpiece.

It’s another keeper of a dinner! Mr. E said he’d like to try the lemon cake another time to tweak it even better. Well, I’m not one to say no to that! :)

Special Dinner: July 2014

September 8, 2014 § Leave a comment

For the 2014 special dinners, Mr. E suggested we should look at some of the less often used cookbooks in our household for inspiration. July’s dinner actually came from two cookbooks, not one: Pam Hoenig’s The Lodge Cast Iron Cookbook and Chocolate Ecstasy by Christine France.

Jul 2014 Special Dinner

As starter, we enjoyed a clam, corn and sausage chowder, made with fresh, local corn. Mr. E roasted the corn on the grill before cutting the kernels off to put in the chowder. I was pleasantly surprised at the resulting smoky flavor. The combination was delicious!

The chowder was followed by chicken with olives and artichokes. It was a paella or risotto-like dish with calamari olives and chicken from a local farm. Unfortunately, the olives rather overwhelmed all other flavors, but I’d imagine it would be very yummy with regular canned olives.

For dessert, Mr. E made a sumptuous black and white chocolate mousse. Smooth, rich and refrigerator-chilled perfection. Ahh!

Jul 2014 Table

I used a combination of colorful and white dishes and a yellow-orange Marimekko poppy runner for a simple yet summery table. (And forgot the napkins. D’oh!)

This dinner was fantastic! We’ll have to try the chowder in the winter with frozen corn to see whether it’ll come out as delicious as with fresh corn. I hope so!

And now that I’ve finally posted July’s special dinner (hello there, procrastination), it’s time to do August…

Monthly Photos Collected: The Second Third

September 4, 2014 § Leave a comment

Here is the second collage (of May, June, July, August) for my monthly photo project:

2014 Monthly Photos Mashup 2 of 3

Mostly very summery. The first third of the year is viewable here.

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