Tuesday, December 3, 2013


Unavoidably, Christmas time is all about gorging yourself on sweets. The richer the better, to keep those freezing temperatures in check. Growing an extra layer of fat, you know :) So in fact I thought it only appropriate to call this gorgeous ice-cream recipe (requiring NO ice-cream machine!) decadent. [A decadent person or group has low moral standards, definition given by Cambridge dictionaries online]. Indeed. Once you try it, you are lost. It’s creamy and somehow produces only an urge to have MORE! MORE! MORE!!!!!!!! It was really difficult to stop, honestly.
I modified the recipe slightly, after having read all the comments on the website. I whipped the cream first, until it was rather thick, but still soft, and then let the condensed milk treacle in, with the beaters still running (I dumped the whole 397 g can, by the way), and then whipped some more. And then off into the freezer, I popped my ice-cream in at about 2 PM, and in the evening it was already frozen. It gets harder, though, the more it freezes, and I found it helpful to let it thaw a bit (I put it in the fridge then, though) – some 15-20 minutes, and it’s easier to scoop. Many people complained about greasy residue in the mouth  - well, I didn’t have this! Perhaps the cream was just overbeaten, easy mistake, unfortunately, if you beat just a tiny bit too long. Or if you eat it straight from the freezer. I’ve just did this, and yes, it could be something in it. Ok, I’d better finish this post, otherwise I’ll gobble up the second container here and now. And then… and then… I’d better call the ambulance, considering the amount of fat and sugar rushed into my body. But oh my, so delicious!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Not More than That

Sometimes life is just so simple. All you need is yeast, flour, water, and oil. Well, ok, an oven, too. And you get two loaves of wonderfully smelling, delicious, crumb-so-soft bread. Pure and simple. If it only could stay like this forever.
And on my needles: a sweater, sturdy and down-to-earth. Pattern will be following soon.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Summer has looked in

Graz street_Blurred_PS
After so typically grey and rainy fall weather – bright sun-shiny day! More amazingly, I’ve managed to find a spot in the city center, that was not a building site (the whole city is just one giant building site in summer, usually).
When I look at this photo, a comment from another time, another life is coming back to me: Your pictures are very nice, but where are the people?

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Fall Is Coming…

…carrying Chinese lanterns. I love the color of these plants. Papery and heart-shaped, they are the ultimate fall signals – perhaps because of their Halloween-y shade?
Chinese lanterns collage

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Waffle Hat

After lots of knitting and testing and pondering and pacing around the room, I’ve finally published a hat  pattern! Honestly, I could never imagine that designing just a simple hat could be so complicated! Or is it just me? Anyway, I’m immensely proud of myself and have been patting myself on the shoulder so much that it hurts already. Note to self: stop patting yourself on the shoulder and go do some knitting. It’s too late anyway for housework :)
It was an eerie feeling to see my own design done by other people. But boy, so lovely they are! The pattern is now available for free download on Ravelry and on Craftsy, and now it's available for download directly from my blog. Enjoy!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Alpine Pastorale

This time I’ve decided to divert from my usual sewing/knitting related reports and to share something else. I have to throw in a disclaimer immediately: I am by no means a landscape photographer, and don’t even own a camera (of my dreams) more complicated than point and shoot one. But I tried to do my best.

Last week we went for a short vacation in the Austrian Alps. Life is a paradox: I am afraid of heights, an ancient fear that seems to gain strength with (I shudder as I write this) with age. The thing is, I can’t bear looking into what to me, personally, looks like an abyss. It can be even a flight of stairs. Imagine me climbing a small hill-sized mountain! But the view. Breathtaking. I love mountains, despite my ridiculous fear. They make me immensely philosophical – majestic, beautiful, covered with trees or just bare, sharp, wearing their permanent snowcaps. They make me feel how small we are, after all. We will be gone, but the mountains will stand, guarding. Somehow they give a feeling of safety, too (well, ok, from the sole).
Once we climbed as far up as 2200 meters (about 7000 feet), and, honestly, some parts were done on all fours by me, so terrified I was to stand upright on the narrow path. But when I was finally UP THERE, I was stunned. Landscape already more scarce, only short flowers and grass, wind howling in my ears. And I thought: astronauts say they feel God when they are in open space. For me it was enough to climb a small mountain.
Do you see what I mean?
But my favourite was a small lake, lying like a gem, almost turquoise. One day it was full of cow bells clinging. Pastoral. It was a moment out of time – it could be today, it could one hundred years ago.
Talk about photographers’s luck: a couple of day later we came back to exactly same place, but it was abandoned. Just a serene water mirror. With a lovely place to stand, watch and contemplate your nothingness:

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

May I Proudly Present…


In moments of desperation I thought this post would never see the light of day (I’ve been writing the opening line for a few days in my head already). But sewing gods must have had mercy on me, and I did finish my Wiksten tank top! The very first adult garment, and rather wearable, in a slippery cotton/viscose blend. The most excellent choice for a beginner to sew a top for the first time. Really.

I took a lot of freedom with the pattern, though, including some amount of cutting off pieces. The neckline was too deep for me, and the armholes were flashing some parts of my attire I would like to stay hidden. But it was very easy to alter, in fact. I omitted French seams, too, due to the slippery fabric, and serged the seam allowances (but it frays like crazy, if I didn’t have a serger I would have had to turn to French seams, after all).

Before I say (or write, to me more exact) the next sentence, I want to assure that the pattern is very easy. But the most nightmarish part was THE HEM. In the end I got so desperate that I just cut it off in a straight line, that later on turned out not so straight, either, and the front side is shorter than the back, but it looks good, phew! But I found one very useful link on finishing curved edgings. To save some length, I serged the edge and made a single-fold hem. Here’s a close-up:


All in all, this is not a top I would wear on my night out due to many faults, but I was feeling proud of myself nonetheless and  even performed a mad dance around the fire (in my head, once again, to save the living room floor) :)

It’s a lovely pattern, and the top is wonderful, but if you are a beginner, I really recommend you to collect a bit of information on hemming curved edges before, it will definitely save you lots of headache!

Today I link to My Creative Space.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

In the Making

After some internet searching I’ve finally adapted a mitered granny square to get a really nice square ‘unholey’ granny square. Phew. So far so good. And I’ve played with the possibilities of a wall photo studio :)
Today I’m connecting to Our Creative Spaces.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Keep Calm and Swatch On

Gauge is a tricky matter in the knitting business. Everyone knows your should swatch before you start knitting, and many ignore it. I mean, gauge is written on the ball band, right? I confess, this was my philosophy oh so often. And I was mighty lucky, as I never had problems with sizes of the finished projects later. Nastier things happened, though. Like planning a project, finding a lovely stitch pattern, the suiting yarn in the color you love, designing a project and then… on finishing… realize… that the stitch/yarn/color combo JUST DOESN’T WORK. That sucks, doesn’t it? My previous knitting half-disasters left me with some lack of motivation to start something new, but a swatch was just a perfect size, you know. A great way to play around with yarn and some new stitches, and get a feeling if they are a match made in heaven. Or maybe not. Plus, I have several ideas kicking around in my head, but, alas, not enough time to commit to them right now. Once again, enter a swatch.
Swatch collage
Invigorating! And I had some fun with taping the swatches on the wall. A tabletop is not a very safe place with an active and curious-about-everything-Mummy-is-doing  2-year old :)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Sprinkle Cake

This is a cake I made for my son’s second birthday. The base is a simple sponge, there are so many recipes around that it doesn’t make sense to write one here. But what I wanted to be special is the cream. Not an easy task, as I didn’t want the cake to be too heavy and too sweet, and butter cream is oh so typical. I was very pleased by the result, light and still keeps the cake moist. Secret ingredient? Ricotta and banana-cherry filling between the layers!
Here is the recipe:
2-3 ripe bananas
a handful of cherries without pits, fresh or preserved, I didn’t use that many
30 g powder sugar (yes, that little! but don’t forget the bananas, and preserved cherries add sweetness, too)
500 g ricotta
125 g cream
Beat ricotta with the powder sugar well. Beat the cream and fold carefully into the ricotta/sugar mixture. That easy!
Assembling the cake:
Make a sponge base and cut it in two. Put one sponge layer on a plate. Cut bananas in half lengthwise and put them on the cake in rounds. Distribute the cherries around. Like this:
Cover with cream. Put the second sponge layer and distribute evenly the cream on the top and the sides (the amount was more than enough for everything!)

For more inspiration head to My Creative Space here

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Think outside the frame

Watching children play is fascinating. But especially if you are a creative person (or call yourself one), being a part of a child’s imaginative play reminds us how little we know about creativity. Actually, I prefer another word choice: how much we have forgotten since we were children.
I mean: give a kid a bunch of bread sticks and you get a piece of art. At least to me it’s one.

Joining in with My Creative Space today. 

Nobody is Perfect

I say it straight away to avoid unnecessary misunderstandings,  I have nothing against Facebook, Twitter and whatever else exists (to me it looks like every day something else pops up, doesn’t it?), but I’m keeping my social engagement to a minimum, for a number of reasons, lack of time is one, inability to understand how the b…y thing is working is another. But this post is not about the disfunctionality of all those networks, along their disadvantages (which I’m sure they have!) they are invaluable for … I don’t know exactly, you name it, you do it so much better than me :)
What I really want to talk about here is how being on Ravelry, Facebook, Flickr and so on and so forth changes us. I’ve been on Ravelry for some years already, and I love to knit, but recently I’ve noticed I am planning projects JUST so that I can take a pretty picture and publish it there. The practicality, or, my gosh, such a ridiculous question, DO I really need this scarf? have slightly lost the importance they enjoyed before. Perhaps someone will notice and write a nice comment (not bad per se!). This has proved anyway a great jumpstart for me, a push I needed after years I spent without the needles and mulling over the next project in my head. But reality can be a tough lady, you know. Or I have problems with seeing things in my head properly, because sometimes they turn out rather different from the image in my head. And here it all starts… If the project turns out photogenic, I can still make a picture of it and hang it out on Ravelry. And then every time I look at my project page, I feel like a fraud – people surely think I’m enjoying this thing and wear it every single day, but the truth is, it is lying at the very bottom of my knitting basket and I have to reknit it before I can wear it. IF I will be able to wear it at all. Sometimes I’m really wondering, am I all alone in that dimension of the knitting universe?
So today I’ve been working on my son’s sweater (a nice photo is already on Ravelry and even got a sweet comment from the designer, yippee!). I reworked the collar, the arms and the edge. Now I am anxious that the sewn edge I’ve did on the collar will make it too tight and the sweater will not fit comfortable over the 2-year old’s huge noggin and, of course, he will not wear it. The collar was the central issue, by the way. Then I have a wonderful Abigail Cardi, that I wore only once. But the number of time I already reworked the collar band is considerable higher. Today I’ve frogged it once again. One more try is to come. Pathetic, I know.
So I’ve decided to keep to socks, for the time being. Playing safe, you know. Heal the wounds and ponder what I should knit next.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Color Obsession_Yellow

Spring is in the air (at least in the Northern hemisphere), and though poor Germans are all covered in snow, we are enjoying rather mild weather, and whatever snow fell recently it has already almost melted away. For me spring will always be of two colors: green and yellow. Sometimes a splash of orange. But yellow and green are a must.
The table runner and two pillows are made with IKEA fabric, their fabric is my favorite when it comes to making home decor! The backs of the pillows are just simple solid color cotton. DSCN2862
And daffodils! I don’t have a garden, and buying potted ones are rather a waste of money for me anyway, as I have to throw them away as they don’t bloom anymore.
And what are your spring colors?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Those Who Can’t…

fake it! Or, at least, get a ready-made version. Today I sat down to have some coffee, happy that my boy was rather content to play by himself. Also, at this age of his it’s not potentially dangerous anymore for me to have a cup on the table and even arrange it on some kind of … well… something nice. I even splurged on some biscuits. And just before the first sip of my coffee I glanced down on my pretty arrangement and it struck me: my mug rug was a heat pad from IKEA (in fact, bought straight away to serve as a mug rug!), my butter biscuits from a supermarket contained, oh jeez, 13% butter, and my coffee was of the instant variety. One thing was genuine, though: my pleasure.
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