Top

Archive | Winter

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.

0

Watercolour challenge: forest in snow

Forest in snow inspiration from our recent trip to Austrian Alps As you may have already noticed I enjoy taking challenges, and for a good reason! Challenges are good for achieving goals. Not all types of goals of course, but if you want to learn something or get to start doing something then this method is the best (at least in my experience). In the past I did Pinterest challenge to get myself to try more recipes from Pinterest (still doing it sometimes), then I did a photography challenge so I could learn to take better pictures, I did a sugar free diet in the form of a challenge (sort of) and a book reading quest for three years which worked a treat. Now my aim is to get myself painting more and this is why I came up with this watercolour challenge ;-).

Few weeks ago we went to ski to Austrian Alps and I loved the snow there (as well as occasional snow at home). Falling snow brought be joy and the whole experience was quite magical so I decided to put it all on the paper. But at the first glance snow is white, so how do I paint the white? Once I look through this first obstacle I realised snow came in different shades actually. Whats more, I liked seeing some bold colours in a pretty misty landscape such as people wearing bright outfits or a lift cabin like in the pic above.Forest in snow inspiration from our recent trip to Austrian Alps I began painting the forest landscape first. I thought if I do it using the classic watercolour method I should achieve the right texture quite easily. I tried dipping paper into water and then paint vogue outline of fir trees. I thought the paint would bleed and that way would create required texture. That did not work out even when I tried getting better paper and paint brushes. The fir trees just looked too plain for my liking. Eventually after much trial and error and some research I found that salt is best in creating this so much desired texture. Yey!!! Now I am quite pleased with my winter wonderland forest painting. Hope you can pardon my spelling, but I do love this quote. It’s exactly how I feel when I see snow!Forest in snow inspiration from our recent trip to Austrian Alps Forest in snow inspiration from our recent trip to Austrian AlpsThis is what I mean by many shades in the white snow. It was fun painting this as shading with watercolour is very pleasant. It works quite simple: the more water you add the lighter the colour. If you want the colours to bleed less then wait for it to dry more before applying another layer. Watercolour challenge: snow Forest in snow inspiration from our recent trip to Austrian AlpsPainting trees has always been my favourite thing to paint. Here I initially tried to create the branches by blowing on the drop of paint that was sitting already on the paper. Later I added more branches and snow by lightly brushing some tinted water on it. Watercolour challenge: forest in snow Forest in snow inspiration from our recent trip to Austrian AlpsLastly I was amazed of fir tree needles sticking out in the snow. This took quite a lot of attention on detail but it was all worth the try.Watercolour challenge: forest in snow Watercolour challenge: forest in snowHope I inspired you too to take a challenge or thought you something new about watercolour.

Rasa xoxo

1

Star advent calendar

Star advent calendar DIYI know, I know this might be a bit too late to make, but I really love how it decorated our house all Christmassy! I also like 1 candy a day diet very much, at least for now it’s not harming anyone. I got this idea from here (even if it looks completely different, my lightbulb lighted up as soon as I saw that raindrop decoration). Star advent calendar DIYSo, to make your own star advent calendar cut out star pieces out of felt material.Star advent calendar DIY1. Embroider the number of the day on one felt star piece. I found chain stitch is the best for that!

2. Join two felt star pieces together by using buttonhole stitch.

3. Once you finished stitching two star pieces together make sure not to cut the string. It will be useful late on!

4. In the back cut the star open so the candy could be inserted. You can finish the edge off with buttonhole stitch as well. Star advent calendar DIY Star advent calendar DIY Star advent calendar DIYOnce all 24 stars are made then get a wire hanger and wrap it with pine branches (or fir or spruce or even cypress and cedar). I used a string to keep the branches tight on the wire. Star advent calendar DIY Star advent calendar DIY Star advent calendar DIYLast thing to do is to tie all the stars onto the hanger ;-). Enjoy!Star advent calendar DIYHappy Christmas waiting!

Rasa xoxo

2

17 Christmas gift project ideas to start making now

17 wednesdays to go till ChristmasRecently one of our readers e-mailed me some wonderful pics of projects she completed, that she made for Christmas gifts. That prompted me to think about the gifts I am going to make this year. But how long before Christmas should you start making handmade gifts? Join our forum discussion! But for now, here are some ideas to get you started.

1. RIBBON FLOWER BROOCH, perfect for all the girls out there!Ribbon flower brooch DIY2. SIMPLE TATTED BEAD NECKLACE, another good gift for pretty ladies like you ;-)tatted bead necklace DIY3. SCENTED RICE HEARTS, quick gift to anyone (I am sure you could pull out a manly scented heart if you made it in check fabric)scented rice hearts DIY4.  HEART SHAPED SOAP, make many in one go! citronella, lemon and orange soup DIY5. ENVELOPE BOOK POUCH, great for all of those book worms out there!Easy to make envelope pouch DIY6. KNITTED SOCKS! Who doesn’t need socks?knitting socks basics7. CABLE SWEATER, for someone really really special!Cable Sweater8. FABRIC COVERED DIARY, good way to help someone to start their new year organised (subtle way to hint) :).fabric covered diary DIY9. LOAFERS FOR HIM!Loafers for him DIY10. CROCHETING/KNITTING KIT WITH COOKIES, a great gift from baker to maker! Just wrap some yarn, crochet hook/knitting needles, printed project and some cookies!crocheting kit with cookies11. TRIANGLE CROCHETED INFINITY SCARF, is the most fun to make!Crocheted Infinity Scarf12. HOMEMADE CANDIES, yum :-bvanilla and peppercorn candy13. CUSTOM TEA BAGS, another one that is great for everyone (unless they don’t like tea of course!).gift teabags DIY14. KNITTED LOAFERS, it is easer than you think.Knit Loafers15. A BIRD PILLOW, or it can be a door stopper if you filled it with rice or some stones. Oh we so need a door stopper right now for all the fire doors in our new house!Stuffed bird DIY16. APRON, that’s a perfect gift from maker to baker (or cook)!Apron DIY17. A CAT PILLOW, great for travelers or those who love cats! BTW, it turns out that I am getting a cat for my birthday! Super excited!!!A Cat pillow DIYHappy Wednesday :)

Rasa xoxo

0

A healthier plum steamed pudding

a healthier plum steamed puddingAfter living with an englishman for over a month, I realised that a pudding is an important part of the meal. Joni’s favourites are figgy dowdy, plum duff and spotted dick (yes, that’s right, thats how they call their puddings). All of these puddings are steamed puddings and that’s what I am going to talk about today. Although steamed puddings are meant to be for winter, it is good to make them now to reflect on current weather! I replaced suet (pure animal fat, similar to shortening in america) with coconut oil and caster sugar with molasses sugar so this can be a healthier option. And you don’t need to have all the equipment! Here I demonstrated how to steam your pudding in a regular steamer using cereal bowl. Go on, try it ;-). a healthier plum steamed puddingPLUM STEAMED PUDDING

  • 55g self raising flour
  • 110 mixed dried fruit
  • 2 slices of bread with no crust, soaked in milk and drained
  • 55 molasses sugar
  • 50g coconut oil
  • 1/2tsp mixed spice
  • 115g plums, cored and chopped
  • half of an apple, pealed, cored and shredded
  • 2 tbsp orange marmalade
  • 2 tbsp vanilla rum (can be any you have, preferably dark rum)
  • 1 egg
  • 60ml milk
  • custard to serve

1. mix all the ingredients (except the curd) until all well combined.

2. to steam the pudding place the pudding mixture into the greased bowl (1.) and cover it with baking paper (2.). Place the bowl upside down in the steamer (3.). Steam the pudding for three hours (4.), replenish the water level if necessary. how to steam the pudding3. Place the pudding bowl upside down in the plate and slowly lift it up to release the pudding.a healthier plum steamed pudding a healthier plum steamed pudding4. Enjoy it while still warm with custard.a healthier plum steamed pudding a healthier plum steamed pudding a healthier plum steamed puddingIt’s comforting food all over, so indulge ;-)

Rasa xoxo

1

Winter flowers

Tissue paper flower DIY

I don’t know about you, but I have been missing flowers this Winter. I really can’t wait until the Spring comes so I can begin bringing random blossoms indoors. I made these tissue paper flowers last year for Mothers Day. Something to make while waiting for flowering season? Click here to find out how to make these colourful paper flowers :).

Happy Spring waiting :-)

Rasa

0

Eden Project

Eden Project

Visiting Eden Project in winter is great (especially when my boyfriend organised it)! When you feeling chilly and summer holidays seems so far away this is a perfect place to hang out :-). To visit Eden Project has been my dream for so many years! I was quite amazed by the structure of Biomes. Although it is warm enough in the Rain Forest Biome, we are hoping to visit it in summer when the plants outside are in full bloom. Hopefully you will enjoy this quick Eden Project tour and the pics will speak for themselves :-).

Eden Project Eden Project, Rain Forest Eden Project, Rain Forest Eden Project Eden Project Eden Project Eden Project Eden Project Eden Project Eden Project

Happy Wednesday!

Rasa xoxo

1

Christmas spirit

Glitter Bird Decoration

Last week I have made these glitter bird decorations which did look super cute with the rest of the decorations :-). I suppose everyone is sorted with their decorations so I don’t suggest changing everything completely! But if you do want extra christmas spirit and would love to make those then click here!

glitter bird decoration

glitter bird decoration

Merry Christmass!

Rasa :)

1

Christmas waiting starts now!

Advent Calendar houses

Hey! Its officially winter as we enter into December :). I have been making advent calendar today as it’s also a first day when we start counting days until Christmas :). Yey!

To make yours just cut out a house template here, customise it by using colourful markers, add a day number and fold it on the dashed lines.

making paper house envelope

Stick double sided tape on the back and join both sides to form an envelope.

making paper house envelope

Insert a biscuit or a little treat for each day :).

making paper house envelope

Staple a string on top as well as sealing the envelope. Now it is ready to hang!

making paper house envelope

If you enjoy cookies then you should defiantly check out our bakery site. Sale on biscuits will start tomorrow ;).

Friendly Nettle Bakery

Happy Christmas waiting!

Rasa

0

Real christmas tree is here!

Christmas tree to be decorated

Hey all! I have bought my christmas tree as I dreamed this year. Do you think that’s too early? I am really excited and can’t wait until I start decorating it! Decoration ideas will follow soon ;).

Christmas tree to be decorated

Happy weekend!

Rasa :)

0

DIY Christmas tree

last year's tree

Danish Christmas(PICTURE ABOVE) Although I have made my mind to get a real Christmas tree this year I still adore the idea of DIY tree. Last year I decorated few twigs that was quite original I thought at that time… until I saw these!

(PICTURE ON THE LEFT) Love this simple idea, a tree made out of Christmas lights :). Visit Planete Deco for more.

(PICTURE BELLOW) And how about a tree made out of cardboard? It might be not the prettiest thing, but I can see so much potential in this, just think about decorating it! Go to Instructables to download your christmas tree template!

Cardboardtree.LARGE

Not into the boxed one? Then here is the prettier one from etsy!

Cardboardtree

This one is my favourite so far. Go to Handmade Charlotte for useful DIY instructions.

Beaded-christmas-tree

I had a thought of making something like this last year! I guess Pejper (sweedish bloggers) got it first.

wooden tree

And the last but not least here is an idea for yarn “tree”! I love it’s functionality. Visit My Poppet for DIY instructions.

close-up-string-tree

I hope you are inspired!

Rasa xoxo

1

Christmas decorations at Petersham Nurseries

Christmas decorations from Petersham Nurseries

I mentioned Petersham Nurseries before, it’s our favourite place in London right now! Recently Vicki have paid another visit there and came back with the beautiful Christmas decoration pictures. How can you not be inspired, even if holidays seems still far away? I already started thinking on how to make something similar for my craft projects…. I especially love these “ribbons” made out of scrap fabric!

Christmas decorations from Petersham Nurseries

Christmas decorations from Petersham Nurseries

I love this etched glass detail on silver baubles!

Christmas decorations from Petersham Nurseries

Christmas decorations from Petersham Nurseries

This bird hanging decoration is Vicki’s favourite! Seems simple to make, yet quite impressive.

Christmas decorations from Petersham Nurseries

I am quite obsessed with woodland theme this year! So these are perfect for that ;)

Christmas decorations from Petersham Nurseries

Christmas decorations from Petersham Nurseries

Big thanks to Vicki for these pretty pictures, visit her Pinterest page for more inspiration!

Rasa :)

1

Are you feeling Christmasy yet?

I love Christmas! Everything about it! I especially love baking and decorating. Have you done your Christmas decorating yet? I am sure you did! I have seen so many of my friends on Facebook putting all these wonderful pics of their homes which kind of put me under pressure. Because me as always never on time with this. And this is not because I have lack of inspiration, this is because I always run out of time. So here we go, I finally unloaded what was in my head already all made (including baking) and ready to go….

I even knitted this bird shape hanging decoration and if you remember last year’s post on Christmas decoration,this is exactly the pattern I used.

This bird decoration is not only for Christmas (it is for keeps ;). The knitting pattern for it is here!

Happy Christmas decorating!

Rasa xox

0