Friday, February 17, 2012

My Creative Space_Colour Friday

To animate myself to blog, I've decided to make a colour post every Friday - the colours that are around a lot at the moment, or catch my attention for that or another reason.

Here are the colours of this Friday - orange, several shades of green, yellow - all bright and summery. The crochet squares will eventually (and hopefully, soon) morph into a pillow cover, a companion to this one. The rolled up orange-green creation is a ripple blanket, pattern by the lovely Lucy of Attic 24.

Why the toys, you ask? Well, my (normally) favourite colours are blues, greys and dark greens, even in summer, actually, I have several dark blue and brown summer dresses and pants. I can even wear black in summer! Such colours are great for combining with some white or some brights - you don't need a lot to stand out. And being a colour freak, as I've said before in this post, I have to 'balance out' the brights by some neutrals or dark shades, otherwise it's like chalk screeching on a blackboard (not the nicest sound on earth, don't you think?)

But enter the baby - and other colour preferences! My boy is a spring child, and all those oranges, greens and yellows just say SPRING all over. I didn't want any baby blue for him from the beginning (we were gifted enough of blue things, anyway), and  I much preferred green as a baby colour. But some thinking over why this colour choice actually stuck brought me finally to the toy box. Presto!

Oh, I've forgotten to mention that tiny turquoise triangle on the needles. It's a dishcloth-wannabe. I think I'm hooked (feels like a terrible word since it's knitted) on homemade dishcloths. I've always been skeptical about handmade dishcloths. Yes, they are environment- and budget friendly, but that's basically all, I thought. Inspiration struck when I realized that I don't have any more storebought cloths and somehow I always returned empty-handed (at least without cloths) from my shopping (crafty gods's doing?) So instead I remembered to buy some dishcloth cotton. I've already made one, and it's superb! It does the job so much better! And of course, you can recycle them many more times than those from the supermarket. You know, budget-friendly.

And here's someone caught ... what should I say... red-yarned? This is what happens when you have stray yarn lying around and mummy's blogging...

I wish you a Friday in your favourite colours!

A whole bunch of creative people is just a click away.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Soup for the Soul

Cold weather continues, and I'm happy to contemplate the street from the other side of the window. The cat agrees, too:

But on the positive side, this is a perfect soup weather.  Imagine sitting by the fireplace (a dream of mine, that hasn't come true yet), a pair of woolen hand-knit socks on your feet (I still have to complete the second sock), a bowl of hot steaming soup in front of you... Wait a minute, at least the last thing is doable!

So, for those of you who are freezing as well, here's what I've done:
I've chopped an onion and sauteed it in vegetable oil (I prefer olive oil). In the meanwhile, I've shredded the carrots and cut the sellery.

Then I've added them to the pot with some broth and let them simmer a bit, so that they get slightly softer, but not completely cooked.
I've shredded one large zucchini and cut a bell pepper, and put all that into the pot, to simmer further, until the veggies were done.

That's all! Now cut a chunk of bread, sit down by the fire and savour the steamy goodness...

Buon appetite!

Friday, February 10, 2012

My Creative Space_I'm dreaming of a green summer...


Just to prolong the illusion of summer (we are experiencing below zero temperatures here): simple pasta with cherry tomatoes. Of course, if you are experiencing summer right now (you lucky bastard, who ever you are), it's the perfect dish, as tomatoes are ripe and sweet. If not, be content with anemic ones from the supermarket :)

Anyway, it's an instant gratification cooking. In fact, there's not much actual COOKING involved - you just have to boil water for the pasta, throw it in and try not to forget to take it out in time, to keep it al dente. And while it's getting ready, just cut the tomatoes in half if they are rather big, and leave the tiny baby ones whole. Put a package of ricotta cheese in a bowl, season with salt and pepper, add some spoonfuls of pasta water just to make it a bit more saucy, and mix in the tomatoes. When your pasta is ready, mix it with the sauce and you are ready to savour it! I've used the green fetuccine, for some colour play, but short pasta is actually more convenient to mix here...

Even more creativity is set loose here.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

My Creative Space_Colour Therapy

We've finally got snow here, after quite many sunny and snowless days. And even though I grew up in a climate giving you -30°C winters, I'm not a fan of cold and am pretty content with the climate I have in my current place of residence. So, while outside it was looking like this:

I was working on this:

A crochet pillow cover, in cool cotton and bright summer colours. My boy loves to fall down on big soft pillows, especially face down, and I've realized that there are not that many covers to change. In fact, there's only one (before the pillow was just for decoration, simply lying around, and one cover was more than enough, who knew it would get such a workout?).  I've added some neutral, to calm down my inner colour freak, but you've got to start somewhere, right? All those colour really make me think of summer (oh, summer, where are thee?) and all the good edible things associated with it. The back will be fabric, with a zipper, I have some IKEA red and green fabric with funny hippos.

The only thing that bugs me about this cover, is the fugly 'seam' running on one side, typical of those granny squares. Mine is not even straight... Unfortunatelly, I've came across the granny square crocheted from the corner a bit too late, and didn't want to rip it all out. But if you are bothered by the seam, spoiling all your granny beauty, check this out and start making grannies from the corner!

And when I got some 15 minutes of quite time (it was more, in fact, but the other 45 min were used for something else), I've picked up this:

Have you ever read Gerald Durrell? If not, I highly recommend it, especially for children! His writing is highly entertaining and well-structured, it's simply a pleasure to read! Anyway, taking place at heat-infused and fragrant Corfu, this book will certainly make you forget about all the cold and snow outside. I've read some of his books as a teenager, and now want to relive those long gone days of my life, I guess... Now, where's that chocolate I've stashed away?????

More creative spaces you find here.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Baby Baking

Recently I've got a new thing to mull over in my head, depriving myself of sleep: what to cook for my 11-month old son, so that he gets all the necessary nutrients, vitaminsm protein (30 g per day), carbs, vegetables, fruit... Don't forget fluids, please! And how on earth do I prepare a big batch of soup to freeze in small containers? I mean, preparation per se is not a problem, it's getting the perfect 30 g protein-100 g vegies - 25 g RAW WEIGHT rice/pasta-ratio for a big pot of soup that keeps me awake at night! I think I even dreamed of it later on... I think I should follow Scarlett O'Hara's example and leave thinking about many things until tomorrow.

But yesterday I did some satisfying baking for my little boy. He loves bread, and even though I give him some store-bought bread occasionally, my motherly conscience whispers in a tiny voice about salt and many other bad-for-babies things, concealed inside. I have already baked bread for him before, but it has to be cut in pieces, which involves sharp knives, better to be avoided when the baby is around (do I sound paranoid enough to you?) Finger Food! popped in my mind. And an idea was born. It's very simple, actually: you just take a regular bread dough (I will not go there now), roll it out thinly, cut out circles and put an apple slice on one half. Fold the circle in half, press the edges and bake.

What you get is not just bread, but bread with concealed vitamins :) Mommy's happy.

The apple thingies turned out really delicious and juicy, they made a wonderful  baby breakfast this morning.

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