If porridge isn’t you thing…

Strawberry season is here and we had some fresh strawberries growing just outside our door I decided to surprise the girls in the morning with a yummy breakfast by using these lovely strawberries. My girls and I eat porridge nearly each morning. It usually isn’t anything fancy but if you got 2 minutes more time to make it you can really make it into something good.

Strawberry porridge

Strawberry porridgeTo make this porridge you only need is oatmeal, berries, salt and sugar. I first let the oatmeal cook for a while. I sliced up most of the strawberries and mixed them into the porridge. I let them soften up and bring a little color to the porridge. I seasoned the porridge with sugar and salt. A pinch of salt is enough so be careful. Put some fresh strawberries on top.

Strawberry porridge

So if porridge isn’t your thing, try it with some fresh berries and I’m sure it’ll go down.

- Alina


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Light blue bracelet

A few stones that I have purchased have come with a large hole diameter. Usually the hole is under 0.7 mm but this these light blue faceted agate stones had a hole with a diameter of 1mm. This is sometimes a problem but in this case it was great.

Light blue faceted agate stone braceletI had 1mm cotton cord that fit nicely with these quite fancy stones. The agate stones are 10mm and due to the large hole I was able to use with the cotton cord. I really like to mix these down to earth cotton cord with the fancy faceted stones.

Light blue faceted agate stone braceletI think the little round charm with the thought is lovely. I just order some more with other thoughts. I can’t wait to get them. This is odd for me that I like them since I’ve only lately started liking these but my mom has taught me that you can always change your mind. I added a light yellow swarovski crystal to the bracelet. The blue and the yellow really work nicely in this together.

Light blue faceted agate stone bracelet

Light blue faceted agate stone bracelet

So remember to live your dream.

- Alina

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Black currant and mint leaf juice

Black currant and mint leaf juiceThis has to be absolutely my favorite juice of all time. I did it last year for the first time and since then I have been anxiously waiting for the next summer.

Now that our summer holiday started and we have settled at our cottage, I got to making this wonderful juice. We are more accustomed to making juice out of apples, red and black currant berries so this was a lovely surprise last year. Leaves work as well!

I’ll share this fresh and mouth tingling recipe with you and I really do hope that if you have access to these leaves you will surely try it. It is a fun way to start the juice making season and so easy that anyone can do it.

Mint leavesYou are going to need mint and black currant leaves. Then only water, sugar and citric acid. The acid at least here in Finland can be found at drug stores. The citric acid looks just like sugar and is the culprit causing your lips to pucker up when taking a bite of a lemon or tasting unsweetened lemon juice.

Black currant leavesThis time you’ll get the recipe like this. Hope you can all read it but don’t be afraid to ask if you have trouble reading it.

Leaf juice recipeEven though the recipe says you get 2 1/2 litres of ready juice remember that you are actually getting a lot more since you can really water it down.

Black currant and mint leaf juiceBoletesThe day came to a perfect end when I found two boletes right in middle of our yard. The mushroom season is starting and these little two beauties were our first treats. I can’t wait but first I’ll enjoy our soon to be ready carrots and potatoes.

Have a wonderful evening. I’m off to making jewelry.

- Alina



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Jewelry for my little girls

During Christmas I made some heart decorations out of brown clay. I had some left over and sometime ago I took it out again. I let my girls play with it and they created some really cute shapes using all my cookie cutters. Unfortunately most of the shapes did not survive for long since the girls were a bit rough with them after the clay had dried but I did save two little hearts. Perfect I thought! we’ll make necklaces.

Clay heart covered with glitter necklace for kids All it needed was glue ( I used spray glue but I’m sure any glue will do), glitter, string and of course the hearts. The holes in the hearts I had poked with a straw before we let them dry.

Clay heart covered with glitter necklace for kids

Then I sprayed the glue and let the girls choose the glitters and let them just glitter away. Hint. When I use any kinds of sprays, I use a cardboard box. The four walls of the box really help in containing the spray.

Clay heart covered with glitter necklace for kids

I then added the string and that was it. Easy but so adorable. The girls loved them and what was even better was that they were able to also participate. That is always the best part!

Clay heart covered with glitter necklace for kidsHave a wonderful day.

- Alina


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Matching takes time

Time is always a strain on jewelry making. The spring has been a tough one since a ever lasting flu hit us and that took away all the energy. We also finally started our renovation at home and I had to evacuate me, the girls and my things to the cottage for weeks. Not a small move.

So finally I got all my things in order and can start concentrating again. One thing that takes a lot of time is the inspiration when making jewelry. I would love to mix different stones more but that takes so much time to find the perfect match. Luckly this time I somewhat managed to do this.

Agate necklaceAgate necklaceAgate necklaceThe necklace and the bracelet are both made of 10 mm faceted cracked agate stones which vary in color, grey faceted 6mm agate, white jade cubes, 10 mm matte champagne colored sea shell pearls and 8 mm aquamarine stones. I also added some silver cubes as well.

Agate braceletThe bracelet is actually one long strand that I just wrap around my wrist. I like it how the strand overlaps itself.

Agate bracelet

More to come hopefully soon but today I might need a nap instead of jewelry making. We have the chicken pox now since the flu is gone and the nights have been quite hectic. Family life as they say.

- Alina



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Chunky but down to earth

I created this chunky bracelet last saturday morning when I had an unexpected free morning from family life. What an odd feeling of being free to do whatever you want and at the same time being totally lost.

Chunky bracelet 2014-06-15-16.42.13Th bracelet consists of silver beads, tiger eye, picasso jasper, picture jasper smoky quartz and goldstone gemstones.

Chunky braceletChunky braceletChunky braceletI actually do love good chunky bracelets. I can’t wait to try other colors. Good night you all!

- Alina


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Rhubarb jam

I did post a picture of this jam last year but I do believe it is necessary again. There are two reasons for this. I really love this jam for it’s two ingredients, rhubarb and cardamom, and two, I did not give out the recipe last year.

Rhubarb jam RhubarbJamTitle(approx. 4 dl)

500 g rhubarb
4 dl jam sugar (that’s what it’s called in Finland)
1/2 dl water
1/2 tl cardamom

1. Peel the rhubarbs and shop the up into a kettle. Add the sugar, water and cardamom. Bring it to a boil and  peel the foam away.Let it boil until the rhubarbs are soft, approx. 10 mins.

Rhubarb jamThe cardamom makes this jam my favorite. Now all you need is vanilla ice cream.

- Alina


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Butterfly wing brooch

So this one I will say really out load: I am so proud of myself! For the past 2 months I’ve been scratching my head and pondering as well as thinking that was I crazy to take this project.

Last autumn I was asked to create a piece, specifically a brooch. The customer is finishing her doctoral studies and she wanted a jewelry piece that represented the theme she had studied in her thesis. The theme was butterflies.

So I did a bunch of sketches that I thought might work. This proved to be even harder since I had not made a brooch before. So after multiple sketches and studies in how to create a brooch, it was time to take action. I cut the wing from a 10×5 cm piece of sterling silver sheet which was 0.8 mm thick.

Sterling silver butterfly wing brooch

This is the actual pin back. I found multiple ways of making it but I ended up with this style. I really hope it will last since it was my first time creating it.

Sterling silver butterfly wing brooch

I decided to use the labradorite stones that ended up being perfect. I went through multiple stones that I thought might be good but in the end this great little faceted coin stone was it. At first the labradorite looks just grey but if you look at it more carefully in different angles you notice that it shifts colors from blue to green as well. Beautiful. I also wanted to attach the stone by using 0.3mm sterling silver wire and give it just little bit of a rough look. I thought it balanced out the smoothness of the wing.

Sterling silver butterfly wing broochSterling silver butterfly wing brooch

I had to take a picture me holding it so you could see the size of the brooch. I do think that my hands look ever so worn out especially when it is compared to the smooth background and the brooch. Oh well…that is what you get when you love to make things with your hands.

Sterling silver butterfly wing brooch Sterling silver butterfly wing broochThen into the bag with the card and it’s off. I think I’m going to miss it and that only means that I need to start sketching a new one. This time I think I’ll go for a pendant.

Sterling silver butterfly wing brooch Sterling silver butterfly wing broochMaybe I’ll just do another one. I had such fun.

- Alina


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The first treats of the summer

Once again I’m just baking away. I just couldn’t help myself since the very first rhubarbs are ready. I love love rhubarb and there are a few musts that have to be done straight away when you get your hands on some. First is just a basic kissel and then a pie.  Oh the pie! I do have to share this loveliness with you my readers.

This year I planted a rhubarb of my own in our backyard. I also wanted something else so I found a new currant berry bush. It wasn’t black, white nor red but it was pink. I can’t wait to see how these little pink currants look. I also planted some chive next to the rhubarb which is an excellent herb.

Back yard plants Rhubarb Rhubard

So the pie! Here we go.


Rhubarb pie

500 g rhubarb
1.5 dl brown sugar

200 g butter
3 dl plain flour
1 dl sugar
1.5 dl brown sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 200 celsius.
2. Rinse the rhubarbs and cut them into approx. 1.5 cm pieces. Mix the pieces with he brown sugar. Put them into an oven pan. Bake for 15 minutes or until the rhubarbs are soft.
3. Mix the butter, flour and sugar by using the pinching technique. Spread the mixture over the rhubarbs. Continue baking for approx. 30 minutes or until the dough is baked and brownish.
4. Serve with ice cream, whipped cream or vanilla sauce.

Rhubarb pieRhubarb pieIn the end all you need is a piece of raw rhubarb and sugar. Dip it and enjoy! That is the first taste of summer to me.

Rhubarb and sugar

- Alina


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Thank you gifts for the teachers

The time to thank my daughters teachers has once again come. Once in a while I still catch myself thinking that don’t you just love giving. For this thought I do have to thank my mother since it has always been a way of life for her.

I decided to keep it pretty simple this year but I’m happy with the outcome. Hope they liked it too. In all my daughter’s group has 5 teachers so I made each teacher a necklace that I slipped into the organza bags that I have.

Necklaces Pendants

I also bought some cute glass bottles that are great for the gift receiver to use again. I filled them up with our own red currant juice. Hint to you all juice makers. You can freeze the berries in big plastic bags and then make juice in smaller batches.

Red currant juice

Last but not least I made 5 cards based on the same sketch but I played around with he colors and my beloved wash tapes.

Thank you cardsThank you cardThank you cardThank you cardThank you cardThank you cardI just slipped the cards, the bottles and the jewelry into brown paper bags and tied a name tag to the bag. That was important since I was sure to get them all mixed up at the spring concert.

Gift bags ready to go

Hope they liked it since they really had earned them. Teachers’ work is so important to us parents that we must remember these wonderful people. Thank you to them!

- Alina




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