Dyed Easter eggs

I spontaneously decided to revive this blog! The last update is from 2016, which feels like ages ago 😱 I’m not sure why I decided to write in English rather than Swedish, but I guess I’ll just go on doing that.

Without further ado, here’s a little DIY: dyed Easter eggs! I was inspired by this blog post by Anna María and decided to go with red cabbage, which results in a pretty, blue colour. I used the outer leaves and the bottom part of the cabbage, i.e. the parts which I would normally discard. I chopped them and boiled them in water, with a tablespoon or so of vinegar, for 20-30 minutes.

My original plan was to submerge the eggs entirely in the liquid, but then I had another idea! Instead of straining away the cabbage leaves, I left them at the bottom of the pot, as a bed to place the eggs on top of. This way, the eggs would only be partly dyed. I let them sit there for a full day, sometimes turning them a little to create patterns on the eggs.

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Look at these beauties!

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It was only later that I realised that my boyfriend hates boiled eggs, and that I would have to eat all six by myself… Therefore I decided to make a classic Finnish sandwich spread, egg butter. It’s exactly what it sounds like: eggs and butter. Just mash some chilled boiled eggs coarsely with a fork and mix with room temp butter. Season with salt and pepper. I had some fresh dill and chives, so I threw that in as well.

Happy Easter!

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Minimalistic hand embroidery

 

You know when you come across a record that you love so much you just have to turn its cover design into a hand embroidery? I’m sure everybody’s felt that way. The record that gave me this impulse is Suede’s eponymous debut album from 1993. Go listen to it now! It’s brilliant and it has a really beautiful cover, adapted from a photograph by Tee Corinne.

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I did my own minimalistic adaptation of the picture and ended up with this! I’m SO happy with it.

Here’s how I did:

  1. I opened a picture of the album cover on my laptop and zoomed to an appropriate size.
  2. Then I taped a thin sheet of paper to my screen and drew the outlines onto it.
  3. After that, I pinned the paper to the back of a thin, white fabric (I used an old pillowcase) and redrew the same line onto that, putting it up against a window in daylight.
  4. Then I folded the fabric once to make it double, put it in a frame and started to embroider along the lines with black thread.
  5. When I was done, I cut off the edges of the fabric, leaving only a thin margin (~1 cm) that I glued to the insides of the frame.

(I think it’s a good idea to use a thin, folded fabric – if it’s too thick, it will be hard to get enough light through it to draw the pattern onto it, and if you don’t fold your thin fabric there’s a risk that the threads on the backside will be visible at the front. If you use a darker fabric you probably have to use a different technique for drawing the pattern.)

Happy embroidering to everybody!

Gardening 2016 pt 3: Harvest

In the first part of my little ‘Gardening 2016’ series, I wrote about how good I am at starting projects but also how bad I am at finishing them. Little did I know that was exactly what would happen to this blog… How ironic. However, my gardening – the context in which I mentioned my inability to stick to anything – seems not to have suffered the same fate, at least not this year. Hooray! As 1) I’m (apparently) back blogging, and 2) it’s September, the few of you who actually read this will now have the great honor of seeing what my efforts in the early spring have generated. Voilà:

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Tomatoes, chili, rosemary, mint, figs & grapes. The two last are actually grown by my neighbours and not myself, but they give me an opportunity to brag about the very non-Scandinavian microclimate in our courtyard :))))))

Spring inspired painting

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So April’s Monthly Makers theme is spring. Very challenging! I’ve spent the whole month trying to come up with something good – I had a thousand ideas that I wasn’t super exited about, so finally I just decided to sit down in front of a blank paper and start painting aimlessly. I don’t know about the result, but what a great feeling! Hands-on, stress relieving, etc. It struck me as I went that this is not the first time I paint without a plan – it’s how kids paint, isn’t it? Or how kids do just about anything. We should act like kids more often.

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So, how does this relate to spring? one may ask. Well, idk really. It’s just abstractly inspired by it. The colours are kinda springy, and I think the strokes look a little like flower petals fallen to the ground. As I said: probably not gonna hang this on my wall, but I definitely hope I’ll continue using aimless painting as a creative practice in its own right. I guess the end result shouldn’t always be in focus!

DIY cloudy sky print

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Lots of clouds on this blog lately! I guess it kinda reflects the current weather here in Malmö. Or, more accurately, the general weather here in Malmö. Anyway, I did this print last summer but only recently took the time to put it in a proper frame. I used a really simple technique inspired by a picture which I pinned from here (the original source seems to be lost). Here’s what you need:

  • some good quality white paper
  • some thin but stable cardboard (for the stencil)
  • scissors
  • watercolours (I used these)
  • some kind of painting sponge (I used this)

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Here’s how you do it:

  1. Cut one of the edges of your cardboard so that it becomes uneven and kind of cloudlike.
  2. Blend your watercolours until you find the shade you want. I used black, white and dark blue and aimed for a dark, greyish blue.
  3. Start at the top of the paper. On the first round, place the stencil a little bit outside (above) the edge of the paper (as if the pattern would continue upwards) and start stamping along the upper edge of the stencil. The stencil will create a sharp lower edge underneath which the paper will stay white. Try to stamp lightly to make the upper edge as smooth and soft as possible. Make sure to cover the whole width of the paper along the stencil with paint, but don’t even it out too much – it looks better if the thickness of the paint varies a bit sideways.
  4. Work your way down successively, moving the stencil down but also a bit side to side, to that the same bumps won’t occur in the same place vertically.
  5. When you reach the bottom, finish off by putting the stencil a bit outside the lower edge of the paper (just as you did at the top) to make it look like the pattern continues.
  6. Let dry. Done!

Haha sorry for the messy description. The technique is probably clearer from the picture above.

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The print now lives in a black frame on our art wall. 🙂

Gardening 2016 pt 2: Replanting

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I’ve been procrastinating for weeks, but today I finally got around to the next step in this year’s gardening process: the first replanting. My tiny chilis and tomatoes finally got to move from their plastic tray into individual pots.

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They look happy so far!

As we’re running out of window space in the apartment, they now live in the stairs. Hope they’ll survive!

DIY cloud magnets

This month’s Monthly Makers theme was miniatures. I made clay magnets in the shape of tiny clouds!

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It was really easy – all you need is clay (I used this) and some small magnets (I used these), as well as some strong glue. I shaped small clouds out of the clay, dried them in the oven (read the instructions on the package) and glued the magnets onto the backs. Done!

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Now they live on the fridge next to our Copenhagen streetmap jigsaw puzzle. I probably haven’t used clay since I used to play with salt dough and play-doh as a child, but I’m definitely doing this again!

Gardening 2016 pt 1: Sowing

It’s that time of year; you know, when the weather still sucks but kinda gives you a tiny little hint saying it might not be winter forever. It’s a confusing time, because while hoping for spring really gets your mood up, realizing how far away it still is really kills that high… This February/March ambivalence always makes me want to sow seeds – watching them sprout and grow, knowing that you’ve planted them, is so rewarding. Like a premature miniature version of spring! What Scandinavian climate doesn’t give you, you have to create yourself.

I’m very good at starting new projects, and equally bad att finishing them (last week I had some kind of wake up call when I looked around me and saw two different ongoing knitting projects, one drawing, one unfinished hand embroidery project and a guitar, all of which had accumulated during two hours…). These personality traits are definitely problematic in combination with an interest in gardening, since that process spans over six months or so. It starts out great: I always have very high ambitions for my garden in the early spring, and the kick I get from watching the seeds sprout is very inspiring. But then I get tired of watering and replanting them all the time so I kind of… don’t. Which has the inevitable result that the plants either 1) produce little or no fruit, or 2) die. So this year I’ll try documenting the process here on the blog to see if it helps me keep it up!

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This morning, I sowed the first seeds this year: strawberry, tomato and chili. Wish me luck!

DIY plant hanger

Time for me to publish my contribution to February’s Monthly Makers theme: wood. I thought a lot about this and had several ideas, many of which I didn’t have time to finish (I do work on my thesis sometimes, you know), and some of which I couldn’t find the right material for. So I made a really easy thing, which is perhaps only remotely related to wood. Anyway, it’s something I’ve been meaning to do for a long time but just haven’t got around to (in fact I bought the material more than six months ago), so I’m happy it’s finally done! I like the idea of using these Monthly Makers challenges to craft stuff I actually want or need.

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So, here’s my new plant hanger which I made yesterday in less than half an hour! Remotely related to wood, as I said, but it has wooden beads. I’ve never made one of these before, but since it was super easy I’ll definitely be making more. All you need is some strong, non-elastic and quite thick thread/yarn (I used jutesnöre) and some wooden beads. I checked Pinterest for some inspiration but then I just tied the knots quite randomly. Just make sure to check they’re approximately even.

Despite being merely a detail, I really think the beads make a great difference to the outcome. In a way, they’re kind of the centerpiece.

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I placed it in our bathroom window, which is uncomfortably close to an opposite window in a staircase across the yard – very inconvenient if you’re getting naked in here, which, it being a bathroom, you often are. It’s currently hanging from the window handle until I’ve put up a hook in the ceiling. Then I’ll just be waiting for the plant to grow bigger so it can protect us from nosey neighbors.