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Watercolour challenge: planes and letters

Watercolour challenge: planes and lettersSooo, we are still on the mission to fill kids room walls with pictures and Lukas is involved in this as always (even if I don’t ask him to).

This months watercolour challenge theme is planes! Obviously because Lukas loves planes! This boy builds the planes out of lego, pretends to be flying like a plane and flies every possible object like a plane. You got the picture. I felt I had to make the boys room plane themed.

I have been imagining to paint those pretty biplanes and then alphabet to go along with it. However (as always) things did not go to my plan. At least I have one artwork on the wall now (phew!). Watercolour challenge: planes and letters Watercolour challenge: planes and letters Watercolour challenge: planes and letters Watercolour challenge: planes and letters Watercolour challenge: planes and letters Watercolour challenge: planes and letters Watercolour challenge: planes and letters Watercolour challenge: planes and letters

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Make your own macrame inspired crochet wall art

Do you remember when I made watercolour and embroidery wall art? I did say I was not 100% sure if it went with our bedroom interior and I think I was right (although there is no right and wrong when it comes to deco they say). This artwork never grew on me and it was time to replace it to something else completely different.

Now I am currently loving macrame craft although I am clueless how it’s done. When you are too busy with other projects I think sometimes its best to use the skills you already have. In my case this means crochet. Don’t you think crochet looks visually similar to macrame? I think when it is done the right way it can look pretty close!

Few months ago I made the climbing plant trellis inspired by macrame. I loved the outcome (and some yarn left) so I decided to repeat the technique somewhere else (although it happened to be in the same room). What do you think?Make your own macrame inspired crochet wall art If you are loving this as much as I do then you can access the project here.Make your own macrame inspired crochet wall artThanks for letting me share my macrame love ;-)

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Mint sauce – Lithuanian style!

Mint sauce Lithuanian style recipe So I am in Lithuania waiting for Joni to come and join us here for my brothers wedding. My dad is very eager to impress Joni with his culinary skills and kept asking what Joni would really enjoy to have for dinner when he comes.

Me: I am not too sure, we like a lot of things.

My dad: But what he really really likes?

Me: Ok, ok. I think he would really enjoy a good steak (I would enjoy that too with lots of salad… hmm)

My dad: How about I make roast lamb?

Me: But steak is beef? (why did he even ask if he is planning to make what he likes?)

My dad: So Joni does not like lamb?

Me: He likes lamb too. We like it with mint sauce.

My dad: Ok if I make roast lamb will you make the mint sauce?

Me: Ok sure!

I go and start looking into making some mint sauce. We have plenty of mint in the garden (check), salt (check), apple cider vinegar (Lithuanians are against using vinegar so I decide to try and use lemon instead), sugar (since lemon is sharp in taste I decide to make it more mellow by using some honey that we have plenty of as my dad is a bee keeper).

When Joni arrives my dad start introducing what he is making for dinner.

My dad: here is mussels for starter and here are some beef steaks for dinner.

Me: ????

Me: I thought you are making roast lamb??

My dad: But you said Joni prefers steak??

Me: never mind! I am not going into it.

I make the mint sauce anyways because I am interested how it turns out with lemon and honey. Joni is surprised how close to taste it was. I think I prefer it to the original recipe, because I am Lithuanian after all. I prefer food without vinegar although I do think sometimes it is necessary. Are you interested too how it tastes? Recipe is below.

MINT SAUCE LITHUANIAN STYLE

  • 1 cup compressed mint leaves
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • pinch salt
  • boiling water
  • 2-4 tbsp lemon juice

1. Place mints, honey, salt and some boiling water and whizz it with the hand processor.Mint sauce Lithuanian style recipe 2. Cool the mint puree and add lemon juice to your taste.Mint sauce Lithuanian style recipe This sauce is not only to use with lamb (although it goes with the lamb best). It can be used in mushy peas, mixed with yogurt to be used with rich stews. Maybe in salad too methinks?Mint sauce Lithuanian style recipeThanks for letting me share, hope this post does not sound too silly.

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Important website privacy updates

Important website privacy updatesIf you been following my feed on Instagram/Facebook/Twitter you probably heard that we had massive issues with our website all last week, but thankfully we are back. Phew! Hopefully you can continue enjoying it without further disruptions ;-).

It all started with the spring cleaning (or a detox as I would like to call it). We were removing all the unused elements of the website. You know, all those bits that are no longer used or no longer serve their original purpose. Because of new privacy laws in Europe(GDPR) we mostly removed all the member areas such as forum and the profile parts. This is where all went wrong, when updating some plug-ins it broke everything which meant even we could not access the website. Of course it is fixed now which is why I am able to write this post. Yey!

So why did we have a member area on our site to begin with? All because of our dream to build a community site that would be a place to meet and share about crafts of all sorts. Sadly this did not quite work out. Mostly because we are not very good with website building and not crazy rich to pay someone to build it. Instead it became more like a personal blog and I would like to continue doing it as I love love doing it (totally honest here). So here we go, instead of figuring out how to comply with new laws it was much more easier (almost) just to remove these data collecting forms and remove all the members at the same time (about 35K in total).

So if you were signed up then do not worry, we no longer keep your details. You don’t need to take any further steps. Hope this did not disappoint you, I don’t think it should have as all the website content is available to you freely anyways.Important website privacy updatesOf course there is so much more to fix on this website, but I think this is a good start. Hope you have a lovely week everyone!

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How to make reusable food wraps (to replace cling film)

Reusable food wrap DIY (with wax and resin)The thing is that I always dreamed of living sustainably, even before it be became popular. Sometimes I succeeded and sometimes business just took over my life and I had to cut some corners. The bottom line is I passionately hate waste and I feel like my heart bleeds when I see stuff wasted when it could have had another life (hope I don’t sound like a hoarder, because I am definitely not!!).

When it comes to sustainable living I believe it comes to choosing the products that should also benefit us directly (not only the earth). You see I dislike wasting money too (or even seeing somebody else wasting theirs). Which is why I always look out for things I could make myself and save money that way. For instance, last week I made some reusable food cloths, because I thought it would be lovely not to use as much cling film. I know, I know, this is not our biggest household waste (nappies and baby wipes are), but you’ve got to begin somewhere! I researched quite a few recipes and methods, so trust me you are getting the best here! Although after making some wraps I had a few other ideas how to make it even easier and cheaper.

To make these reusable food wraps you will need:

  • 130g wax (I used some wax thats been given to me by my mother in law who keeps the bees)
  • 26g pine rosin (or any other tree resin)
  • 4tsp jojoba oil
  • about 5-7 squares of light, woven cotton
  • pinking shears
  • old pot
  • old paint brush (optional, you will only be using it just for this)
  • baking paper
  • iron with the ironing board

Reusable food wrap DIY (with wax and resin)First cut your fabric to size. I used pinking shears as this really helps to stop fabric from fraying

Put the wax, rosin, and oil into the pot and while stirring heat all the ingredients till melted. I think because I used not well filtered wax it had few black bits in it. It did not cause too many problems in the end result but it did leave a few black speckles on the cloth.Reusable food wrap DIY (with wax and resin)As you brush the wax mixture onto the fabric it hardens very very quickly. I think I was too generous with it (so be stingy). The excess wax created lots and lots of mess later. I felt like a brush is not necessary here as the wax hardened after few strokes. I think I will try just dipping the fabric straight into hot wax next time. I imagine that should give good coverage without the wax hardening onto the surface. But of course I could be wrong!Reusable food wrap DIY (with wax and resin)So here comes the mess I was talking about. In order to impregnate the fabric with the wax mixture completely, the fabric needs to be reheated. When I researched how to make reusable food wraps it seemed that one of the most popular methods to reheat the wax in the fabric is to stick it into the oven. That seemed a bit limited by oven size and I imagined it would be messy (plus the oven tray to clean up). I guess I failed to avoid the later! I used baking paper to sandwich the waxed cloth and heated the wax and the fabric once again by ironing it. In my case the excess wax spilled everywhere: the floor, another layer of baking sheets (I wasted whole roll!!), and the ironing board (thankfully not the iron itself). This wax mixture was very sticky to clean because of the resin (special ingredient to make the cloths clingy). Definitely NOT applying that much wax liquid on the fabric next time!!!Reusable food wrap DIY (with wax and resin) The cloth cools almost immediately and can be used a few minutes after making it.Reusable food wrap DIY (with wax and resin) As I mentioned before the resin mixed in with the wax makes the wrap slightly sticky against itself which is why you can use this exactly as you would use cling film.Reusable food wrap DIY (with wax and resin)Hope you found this very useful and you can learn from my mistakes.

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Watercolour challenge: toddler doodles

Toddler doodles turned into abstract artSo this month for my watercolour challenge I decided to collaborate with my own 2 year old toddler (Eek!!). I enjoyed watching Lukas do art so much that I thought it would be very cool to create some careless abstract art inspired by his doodles and fill our kids room walls with it. Isn’t that the greatest idea you ever heard? Well, not quite! Although it did not work out exactly how I imagined (no artwork on the walls yet), working with the toddler thought me one thing or two. Before I tell you all about it, shall I explain how we did go about it first? If you agree then read on to hear my full story below. For our first arty session I set out with all material I had in stock. Although I don’t have crazy amount of art material, it was still little too much. This was my first lesson on how to make art with the toddler. Never give too much choice or you will be overwhelmed or (what happened in our case) he will be obsessed with one art media. I started by painting large rainbow on the page and Lukas joined in as soon as he noticed me painting. He picked a brush and kept dipping it where ever he could find: acrylics and water paint. The result was as I was expecting although I am not sure about the colour combo here, it did not go with our house interior at all.  Because I noticed Lukas likes to spread a paint with the brush, I realised watercolour was too watery. This is why I mixed up few watercolours with white acrylic paint to get thicker paint. But that meant the colours ended up very pastel. If you like pastel colours than this is fine, but I was not a big fan of this as I LOOOOOVVEEE bold colours.Toddler doodles turned into abstract art Toddler doodles turned into abstract artBut why I did not like Lukas using water colour straight? Well… a 2 year old did not quite understand the concept of using it. To use watercolour you need to constantly dip your brush into water between colour change and before to moisten the paint as well. To fix this problem I tried to dilute some watercolour pigment in little water. Here it is, I made a palette that I though would work.  Toddler doodles turned into abstract artExcept, yellow soon got mixed with green, created lime colour and other colours got mixed up as well. Did I tell you how easily watercolour mixes? You get the image: lots of grey/brown paintings. The pic below was the least overdone (lol).

I also tried placing few drops of watercolour ready on paper. You can blow on those drops to create pretty lines and patterns (this is my fave painting technique!!!). However this did not work out with 2 year old, he just did not quite get what exactly I wanted him to do with the straw I gave him (although I gave him plenty of demonstrations). Toddler doodles turned into abstract art Eventually I let him scribble away with crayons. Toddler doodles turned into abstract art I used Lukas scribbles to make my own abstract art which I much preferred. However I realised that this does not go with our house or my style. Toddler doodles turned into abstract artThe artwork with alphabet is my fav, however it does not have so much input from Lukas. I am thinking maybe for my next watercolour challenge I should do something alphabet themed (I really really enjoyed painting letters). Will see ;-).Toddler doodles turned into abstract artHope you have been inspired ;-)

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Savoury pesto crepes (cheese filling is the best!!!)

Pesto crepes filled with cheese recipeTruth to be told I recently started to dislike mealtimes with my kiddies. Lukas has reached such a fussy age that I can’t predict if the food I make will meet his standards. Can anyone relate to this? And guess what, it’s not a gourmet food he is after. It’s pasta and pancakes that makes him really happy. Ok, we recently found out that he also likes curry, but I shall keep this story for another post. Ok? For now lets talk pancakes… hmmm

I came up with pesto crepes on one of those days when I wanted to keep lunch time casual. You see, sometimes Tomas goes for a nap in the middle of the day, which is why I started using this time to sort the meals out. I prep the dinner (often in slow cooker) and then me and Lukas casually lunch in the kitchen. I sit Lukas up on the counter while I fry some pancakes for him. I find this totally relaxing as I love nibbling on pancakes myself (with a cup of coffee on the side of course). This week I added pesto into the crepe batter which was a game changer. I started imagining how I could add different herbs next time as well  because it is so easy to make your own pesto using different kinds of bases (it can even be spinach!!). And most of all Lukas liked these “pancakes” equally as the plain ones. I made these savoury and filled it with cheese and tomato which was even better.

PESTO CREPES

  • 200g flour
  • 2 eggs
  • pinch of sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp butter, melted (+ more for frying)
  • about 350ml water or milk
  • 4-6 tbsp pesto (doesn’t have to be basil pesto)

1. Place the flour into the bowl together with eggs, sugar, salt and butter. Whisk everything together into a dry mass. While whisking begin pouring the water gradually into the flour mass (not all in one go because you might not need it all). You are aiming for a batter consistency that easily drips down the whisk when held up but still leaves temporary traces when whisked. Pesto crepes filled with cheese recipe 2. Add pesto and mix again to combine.Pesto crepes filled with cheese recipe 3. You will need to fry pancakes in a well heated pan with a little butter. Pour one spoonful of batter into the pan and immediately start swirling round the pan to get a nice even layer. If you are having a cheese filling then add it at this stage as it needs to melt while the crepe is still frying. Pesto crepes filled with cheese recipe Just roll the crepe once the cheese is slightly melted.Pesto crepes filled with cheese recipe Best eaten warm!Casual lunch me and a toddler!Enjoy!

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Growing jasmine indoors + macrame style trellis diy

Macrame style indoor trellis diyI can’t remember when and how I came up with the idea of a climbing plant in our bedroom, but I am very pleased right now to actually have achieved this goal. I must admit I did not do much research when it comes to what climbing plant to get specifically though. It went something like this: I went to Homebase to get some paint, checked out their indoor plant selection, saw some jasmine plants heavily reduced (it was after their flowering season in March), looked up on Google on how to care for them and so on, liked the description so I thought worth it to have a go for £2 per plant. These plants need bright light with some direct light if possible (check), moist soil without being soggy (check) and natural season temperatures (check). Now I just hope I like the flowering scent when it comes next February…. should be lovely for the bedroom, surely!Macrame style indoor trellis diy I repotted the plants within a week of purchasing. Bingo! They don’t have to be fancy pots, don’t even need to have a drainage hole. Instead fill the pots with gravel, then soil and that should do the trick.Grow jasmine indoorsTo make one of the pots more exciting (it was a very basic pot). I used some masking tape for areas where I wanted the original colour to stay and create a pattern of my own. I used some Hammerite metal paint that was leftover from our shelf brackets, but you can use any other suitable spray paint too. I love how spray paint creates an even finish without those undesired brush marks.Quick planter refresh deco with spray paintNow, forgot to mention, when I used to dream about climbing plants indoors I always envisioned that two vines would meet over this wardrobe door. This is why I placed the jasmine plants right where they are (one either side of the door). Grow jasmine indoorsTo tell you the truth I have never been a fan of macrame deco, but after seeing so much inspiration on Instagram its hard not to fall in love with it. I obviously have no idea how to do macrame, but I am sure I will learn one day. I used my crochet skills this time to create an indoor trellis looking slightly like macrame art. Or could it be because I used classic cream white yarn that looks like cord?

To make this trellis you will need macramé rings (whatever size and amount you want), some yarn (preferably cotton or even cord, but I needed to use up wool so I used that) and a large crochet hook (used size 9mm).Macrame style indoor trellis diyTo begin with, have a plan how you would like the rings laid out. I wasted so much time trying to work this out on the fly while i crocheted them together. I had to undo it many times as I realised there were better ways to connect the rings. I began with single crochet on my first ring.Macrame style indoor trellis diyThe plan does not have to be complicated. All you need to do is draw the rings and draw the direction the crochet will flow round the ring and onto other rings to connect the rings together. You can see how I did it at the picture below. Macrame style indoor trellis diyBy the end I began using chain stitch on the areas where I skipped from one ring to another without connecting any other rings at the bottom. Macrame style indoor trellis diy Macrame style indoor trellis diy Macrame style indoor trellis diy I hung the trellis with nails, I thought this is the least damaging and sturdy at the same time. Macrame style indoor trellis diyMy poor jasmine plants have been waiting for their trellis for a month or so. This is why I did not even prune them straight away as I should. Hopefully I was not too late. Apparently you should prune jasmine as soon as they flowered to give a good chance for the flowers to develop next year (fingers crossed). As I was pruning I also removed dead vines as well as dried leaves.Grow jasmine indoors Macrame style indoor trellis diy I am so looking forward to see that trellis to fill up, will keep you posted how it goes.Macrame style indoor trellis diyHope I inspired you

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Easy salmon and nettle quiche + dairy free version too!

Easy salmon and nettle quiche recipe + dairy free version So finally I made something using stinging nettles. I’ve wanted to do this for so long because in spring time we have plenty of them in the garden. I heard that you can use this “weed” in place of spinach, so I was eager to try it out. I instinctively thought quiche is where it could work best. I usually match salmon with broccoli, but nettle seems to work really well too.

Generally I like foraging and sometimes taste different plants if I am not sure if they are what I think they are(I don’t recommend doing it though as you might consume poisonous plants by accident). However I rarely bring it home and make something out of it. While in Devon I found some wild garlic leaves, which was really exciting, and I wish I had brought some of that  home.

One more thing I would like to add is that I recently started trying out recipes dairy free. We currently testing whether Tomas eczema is related to a possible milk allergy and while I hope he isn’t allergic I am secretly enjoying the challenge. So I also made the quiche in a dairy free version too! It turned out very close to regular quiche, yey! If you would like to try these quiches then scroll down for the recipe.Easy salmon and nettle quiche recipe + dairy free version EASY SALMON AND NETTLE QUICHE

Its easy because you don’t need to blind bake the pastry ;-)

(for the pastry)

  • 90g softened butter (replace it with sunflower spread for dairy free version)
  • 1tsp sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • 180g plain flour
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ice-cold water (you will find you don’t need this for dairy free version)

(for the filling)

  • 180g hot-smoked salmon fillets, flaked
  • a handful of stinging nettle leaves (pick young leaves from the plant that’s not flowering yet)
  • 4 eggs plus 2 egg yolk (save the whites to brush the pastry)
  • 300g creme fraiche (I used oatly creme fraiche and single cream mix for dairy free version)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • pepper

1. To make the pastry place all the ingredients (except the water) into the mixer. While mixing for few minuted gradually and slowly add water till it sticks into a ball. Wrap the dough in cling film and refrigerate for an hour or till when you are ready to use it.Easy salmon and nettle quiche recipe + dairy free version The dairy free version came out more moist (which is why you probably don’t need to add water into it) and did not solidify in the fridge.Easy salmon and nettle quiche recipe + dairy free version 2. Remove the pastry from the fridge 30min before using. Roll out the pastry between 2 sheets of baking paper to avoid until it is 5 mm thick. Line the baking tin or quiche dish with the pastry, brush it with egg white. Scatter salmon and nettle leaves in the pastry case. Refrigerate while preparing the egg mixture.Easy salmon and nettle quiche recipe + dairy free version 3. To make the egg mixture lightly beat the eggs in a bowl, add the creme fraiche (and cream if using) and seasoning and continue to beat until mixed well. Easy salmon and nettle quiche recipe + dairy free version 4. Pour the egg mix into the pastry case. Bake the quiche for 30-45min in 180C preheated oven or until the filling is golden brown and set.Easy salmon and nettle quiche recipe + dairy free version Can you guess which quiche is in the pics? I will give you a clue, it has oat milk in it! Yes, there were not many differences between these two quiches other that the texture and slight taste differences. Joni preferred the dairy one, I liked both. Tomas loved non-dairy one for all I care.Easy salmon and nettle quiche recipe + dairy free versionHope you like it too!

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How to make a baby mobile

Jumping bunny baby mobile diy No no, I am not expecting again! This baby mobile I made last week is for my new nephew Alexi. Although I do think this is a perfect project when you expecting… hmm. Think of all that time you have when the baby is not out yet (only kidding there is always another one near by to pester you about his needs lol).

Anyhow if you would like to make a baby mobile then you will need something to hang on it. I prefer soft mini animals or shapes and this time I chose these crochet jumping bunnies (because that was the theme), but you can hang on it anything else suitable such as this knitted bird or this felt bird.Jumping bunny baby mobile diy Jumping bunny baby mobile diy To make the baby mobile you will need a hoop (around 12 inches), some thread (strong enough to handle hanging weight), some mini jingle bells (or beads) and 5 jumping bunnies (or any other mini stuffed animal or shapes).Jumping bunny baby mobile diy Attach five threads to the hoop together with the jingle bells.Jumping bunny baby mobile diy Join all five threads leaving lots of space on top for hanging (you might want to hang it onto the ceiling).Jumping bunny baby mobile diy Hang the mobile and carefully attach all the bunnies onto each thread at the bottom while trying to keep it all level (its very challenging I know!).Jumping bunny baby mobile diy Ta-da!!Jumping bunny baby mobile diy Jumping bunny baby mobile diyHope your baby likes this mobile although I believe it is more for mummy to enjoy ;-)

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Kids art Easter biscuits

Kids art Easter cookies diyHands up who is really really looking forward to Easter! We do! Me and kids are in Devon with the grandparents already and we are pretty much ready here (its easy when you are not hosting).

Me and Lukas has been drawing and painting lots recently so I initially thought we will do good old Lithuanian tradition and paint some eggs, but then I decided against it when I thought of shortbread biscuits… hmmm! I thought if I make the biscuits into egg shape then it will be like painting eggs but on the flat surface rather than the round surface (a little less messy I thought). Plus, I thought this is a very good opportunity to try out more of natural food colouring :-).Kids art Easter cookies DIYKIDS ART EASTER BISCUITS

(for biscuits)

  • 240g butter, softened
  • 200g sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 500g flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 4tbsp milk

(for the “paint”)

  • 4tbsp icing sugar, sifted
  • water
  • 1tsp beetroot powder for pink
  • 1/2tsp turmeric powder for yellow
  • 1tsp matcha powder for green

1. Place all the biscuits ingredients into the mixer and switch it on for few min till everything turns into nice soft dough. At this point you can wrap the dough and place it in the fridge for the next day or freezer for whenever you need it in the future.

2. Flour the surface and the rolling pin and roll the dough about 7 mm thick. Using biscuit cutter or a cup/glass cut the circles in the dough. Once the circles are out of the dough roll it once more again (only one way) to make an oval shape.

Kids art Easter biscuits DIY 3. You can involve your kid at this point. Lukas was treating the dough as he would the play-dough.

4. Place all the dough shapes into lined baking tray and bake them in C200 preheated oven for 10min.Kids art Easter biscuits DIY 5. Meanwhile make the “paint”! gradually add water into the icing sugar until you are happy with the consistency. Split the icing into four cups so you can make up few different colours. Add each colouring to the separate cup and mix. Kids art Easter biscuits DIY 5. Initially I showed Lukas how to brush the “paint” onto biscuits…Kids art Easter biscuits DIY but soon after he realised it is so much more fun to drizzle and splatter the paint over the biscuits. I totally agree, these remind me of Jackson Pollock paintings.Kids art Easter biscuits DIY Kids art Easter biscuits DIY Kids art Easter biscuits DIYHave a very lovely Easter everyone xx

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Watercolour challenge: jungle

Watercolour challenge: inspired by jungle To be completely honest it was very hard to come back to painting but once I started I really felt piece and joy. I felt inspired by the plants that I saw on our holiday in Dominican Republic. Tropical climate plants are so so pretty!!! I am inspired to have some of them at my home some day, but for now they can at least live on my walls.

As usual I started with the method in mind I wanted to try. This time I wanted to try watercolour combined with the wax crayons. I remember first time I fell in love with the watercolour is when my Finish art teacher showed me how crayons makes paper waterproof and when watercolour is painted on top of it, the wax of crayon blocks from colouring (mixing with) the drawing leaving the colour it was but colouring all around it instead. This technique really fascinated me back then which is why I wanted to try it out again. In the painting above I drew the core lines with the crayon and painted leafs on top of it. I was pretty pleased with the outcome. The lines kept its sharp green shade!Watercolour challenge: inspired by jungle Watercolour challenge: inspired by jungleThe plant in the pic above have been my favourite so far! Although I don’t feel I depicted it well in my painting…Watercolour challenge: inspired by jungle Painting this curly leaf plant was quite fun! I love making repetitive patterns and painting these wiggly lines been real pleasure.Watercolour challenge: inspired by jungle Watercolour challenge: inspired by jungle Watercolour challenge: inspired by jungle To add some colour (not only paint in green) I tried painting this pink flower. I feel this was not my best painting so far. And look at all this mess I made in my watercolour palette! I wonder if other artist end up like that. Although I have seen other people just using water colour from the little tubes and mixing palette on separate piece of paper. I wonder if it is worth investing in fresh collection of water paint, hmm…Watercolour challenge: inspired by jungle Watercolour challenge: inspired by jungle For my next botanical painting I decided to use pencil instead (and rub it off after), that way I thought I will improve my shading technique. I divided the leaf into different segments that are “coloured in” separately and therefore shading is visible (hopefully). This painting took 2-3 hours, but it was so so worth it. I am in love!Watercolour challenge: inspired by jungle Watercolour challenge: inspired by jungle Finally this was a quick painting, I used pencil to mark the stalk of the fern and leaf in watercolour. I don’t know why, but this is my another favourite, so simple but so beautiful at the same time!Watercolour challenge: inspired by jungleThanks for letting me share my experiences here re my new found passion :-)

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Make your own triangle garlands

Triangle garland DIYAs a follow up from a previous post here is what we had as a decoration for Tomas’s birthday last month. These triangle garlands fitted really well with our “cheerful, exciting and bold” theme. If you would like to make these for your next party (does not have to be kids party at all) then you are in luck, I am sharing how I made mine (along with the struggles I had too). Triangle garland DIY So first I cut some card/paper into triangles. I used the same technique to cut it as I used to make confetti just on a bigger scale of course! I was not bothered about being precise, the important thing is to be fast as there are quite a lot of them to cut in order to make an impact. Having done this myself however I do not recommend choosing different thickness paper/card (will tell you why later). Triangle garland DIY Next up is stitching all the triangles together and this is where I struggled the most. You see the different thickness paper/card can really confuse the sewing machine (unless my machine is not very good… hmm). It stitched either tight or loose or was cutting the thread in the middle of the job, it was really really frustrating for me. So if you can avoid it, please do! I think this project could be relatively quick otherwise.Triangle garland DIY Triangle garland DIY And there we are, its done! I hung mine from the light fitting in the centre to different corners of the room. I am sure you can hang from corner to corner too!Triangle garland DIYHope I inspired you xx

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Natural frosting birthday cake

Spiced honey cake with turmeric soft cheese frosting & plum jam filling Few weeks ago we celebrated Tomas birthday, which is why I baked the cake. Anyone who knows me I like the cakes with minimum frosting, made with natural ingredients and most of all I like good flavours. This cake ticks all the boxes for me!!

When I was thinking of Tomas birthday party theme I was thinking of something cheerful, exciting and bold (exactly how I would imagine Tomas when he grows up). This is why I thought bright yellow frosting on the cake would be ideal. But what natural colouring could I use for a bright yellow? I did not need to think for too long, I suddenly remembered the power of turmeric that is vibrant with not much taste to it. The flavour of the cake followed of course. I thought what goes better with turmeric then other spices such as cinnamon, clove and nutmeg. I was completely right, when testing the cake I realised everything just work really well together. I used plum jam to neutralise the taste of richness which also turned out a very good choice.

Hope I got you seduced to try to bake this cake yourself. You will find the recipe below ;-).Spiced honey cake with turmeric soft cheese frosting & plum jam filling HONEY SPICED CAKE WITH TURMERIC FROSTING AND PLUM JAM FILLING

(for the cake)

  • 200g butter
  • 100g light brown sugar
  • 100g dark brown sugar
  • 170g honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 260ml milk
  • 325g flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3tsp baking powder
  • 3tsp mixed spice
  • finelly grated zest of 2 oranges

(for the frosting)

  • 150g softened butter
  • 150g soft cheese
  • 150g icing sugar, plus a bit more for white frosting
  • 1tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 jar plum jam

1. Over the hob melt the butter together with sugars and honey till everything is incorporated and the sugar is dissolved.

2. Add the rest of the cake ingredients and mix again to combine everything well.Spiced honey cake with turmeric soft cheese frosting & plum jam filling 3. Split the cake mixture into two ready tins (same size, springform are the best). Bake in 150C preheated oven for 1h and 15min.Spiced honey cake with turmeric soft cheese frosting & plum jam filling 4. Sandwich the cake with some plum jam. My tip is to put the cake upside down so the top is completely flat (really felpful when you do frosting).Spiced honey cake with turmeric soft cheese frosting & plum jam filling 5. To make the frosting place all the ingredients except turmeric into the mixer and let it run for few minutes. Put few table spoons of frosting aside for the white frosting. Add turmeric and let the mixer do its job one more time.  Spiced honey cake with turmeric soft cheese frosting & plum jam filling 6. Next job is to apply the frosting. I always add almost all the frosting on top to begin with and then push it down gently to the sides and then I work with frosting palette knife to the top again (I make the frosting thin for a reason so it flows easily). Once the base frosting is done I recommend to place the cake into the fridge so it sets.Spiced honey cake with turmeric soft cheese frosting & plum jam filling 7. Meanwhile add more icing sugar to the frosting left on the side. Continue adding the sugar till you are satisfied with the stiffness of the cream. Transfer white frosting into the piping bag with large round nozzle attached. Carefully pipe your decorations on the cake.Spiced honey cake with turmeric soft cheese frosting & plum jam filling 8. Finally decorate with any cake toppers. I used water balloons to make these mini balloon cake toppers which made the cake look very fun like I expected :-).Spiced honey cake with turmeric soft cheese frosting & plum jam filling Spiced honey cake with turmeric soft cheese frosting & plum jam filling Hope you like it too!!

Rasa xoxo

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Hey I am back! (my feedback on phone free month)

Our holiday in Dominican Republic Last month I said I would ditch my phone for a month (well… almost) and here we are I did it and now I am back to tell you all about it (if you care to listen). It was indeed what I was expecting, freedom like you could not believe! Even now when I am back using social media I started thinking how to minimalise the use of it (and I am not even back on Facebook properly!!)

I started my little experiment when we were on our do-nothing-all-day-every-day holiday in the Dominican Republic. I removed the most distracting apps from my phone such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and WhatsApp and instantly I did not know what to do with myself. I still kept checking my phone although there was nothing to browse other than s few text messages that I occasionally get. I started reading more and only after few weeks I realised that I stopped checking my phone so much. I originally wanted to switch my smart phone completely to a basic phone, but I soon realised there is no need and besides there were a few complications around doing that (such as a transfer of contacts from one phone to another). I also really really needed my map app as I would really get lost without it.Our holiday in Dominican Republic Our holiday in Dominican Republic Our holiday in Dominican Republic As soon as we were back from our holidays I threw myself into preparations for Tomas birthday and DIY projects to make progress with our new kitchen. It was a breath of fresh air not to be distracted by any notifications from my phone. Although there were a few occasions where I needed certain information and I had to go into Facebook messenger just to get the right address or to get a recipe from Pinterest. And there was one time when I misplaced my phone when I was about to leave the house and I knew I needed to keep in contact with Joni that day (so it was quite panicky). But other than that it was a very productive month. Our kitchen/diner in progress Garlands for Tomas birthday I was hoping because of my phone free month that I will spend more quality time with my kids, but to be honest I was too busy getting things done (sadly). I did however occasionally involve Lukas in home decorating such as covering ugly plastered wall with this lovely painting (he is still so proud of it when he sees it hanging on the wall!). Kids art On the final days of the month things got little challenging. Tomas got ill straight after his birthday party, but that does not stop me from saying that February was productive and clear in focus just because I was less distracted by my phone. I started reading my bible and even started thinking more about opening my dream cafe earlier then expected…

However I have one advice to anyone thinking of ditching their phone for a month. Do let everybody know that you are doing this. You would be surprised to know how many people tried to contact me through iMessage or WhatsApp. Even though I posted here about my intensions, this obviously did not reach everybody.Snowy day and last piece of Tomas birthday cakeHope I inspired you and I hope you will enjoy your phone free month if you are going for it some time this year.

Rasa xoxo.

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