Kids’ corner: Paper whales

So this time I have a little project you can make with you kids. We ended up making whales just out of blue and white paper.

whales

So this is what I needed:

whalesAnd then it was just time to cut,glue and draw. Just by looking at the next picture you get a good idea of what I did with the kids.

whaleswhaleswhaleswhaleswhaleswhaleswhaleswhales

And that’s it. Fun and easy.

-Alina

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Quark pie at it’s best

This pie was just wonderful. The main idea is the quark, yogurt and the fresh berries. I won’t start blabbering. Just try it.

Quark pieQuark pie

Recipe
150g butter
1dl muscovado sugar
3dl plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking power

Filling:
2dl cream
1/2 vanilla pod
200g quark
1dl sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 dl turkish yogurt
2 tablespoons powdered sugar

Decoration:
berrries, cookies, fruits etc.

  1. Melt the butter and and the muscovado sugar to it. Stir until the sugar has dissolved into the butter. Mix the plain flour and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the butter and sugar mixture. Create a ball of the dough and cover it with plastic wrap and put it into the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Heat the cream in a pan. Cut in half horizontally a vanilla pod and scrape the vanilla seeds into the pan with the cream. Heat on low heat for 5 minutes and then let it cool. Mix the quark, the sugar and the eggs into the cream.
  3. Turn the oven to 200 Celsius. Press the dough into the pie tray. Pour the quark mixture unto the dough. Bake the pie for approx. 30 minutes. Let the pie cool.
  4. Mix the yogurt and powdered sugar and spread it over the cooled pie. Then decorate the pie with the desired berries or fruits.

Quark pie

Enjoy!

-Alina

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Folder update

I have quite a lot of papers for crafts in the girls room and I’ve been working on clearing the shelves a bit. I had bought a couple of magazine files from Ikea that were just made out of white cardboard. I decided to bring some color to them by using my wash tapes.

magazine files updated

washi tapesmagazine files updated

I covered the ends of the files with washi tapes and then used colorful paper to cover the sides.

magazine files updatedThat was it but I do like how it brought some color to the all ready very colorful room. I was thinking that next time I’d like to cover the magazine files with some beautiful fabric if possible. Also if you do feel that the these are too colorful you can always just pick e.g. two washi tapes only to use.

IMG_1505

I hope to write soon. Just started working at a new place and that always takes a lot of your energy up. Pretty much in the evenings I’m only ready for bed. So hopefully I can get back to you readers soon.

-Alina

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Meringue thank you bags

This post is so late that is does not even matter at all. Let it be an inspiration to you all who like to tank your teachers during christmas and spring time.

I’ve been on a holiday for the past weeks and during that time I suddenly realized that winter is here soon and there are always a few things I automatically start planning like my daugther’s birthday, christmas presents and Christmas thanks yous to the teachers.

So just to let you know what I made for the teacher’s last spring. This is of course a thank you that you can recreate into Christmas colors easily.

I decided to give something sweet and small to the teachers. I made pastel colored meringues that I put into little plastic bags for which I created small tags. See the pictures to get an idea.

So first you make the meringues. Then you can go all crazy with what colors you have. If you want little stripes in the meringues then just don’t mix the food color into the mixture too much.

marengue marengue

Into the oven. Note that these little treats do not need a long time but make sure that the oven isn’t too hot since then they tend to turn more brownish then the actually lovely color you were planning for. I had my oven on 90 Celsius and the meringues were in the oven for about 1.5 hours.

marengue

How did I know when they were ready? Well the best way was just to try!

marengue

marengue

I put the meringues into the plastic bags. The bags I found on Ebay and they were handy due to the little tape strips at I could use to seal the bags.

marengue

What was left…

marengue

The tags I made using colorful papers. I stamped a picture of flowers and thank you sign.

thank you tagsthank you tags

I like to give the girls a basket from where they can hand them out from. I just can’t bare to put gift bags into plastic bags. Makes the whole time worthless. It has to be tip top till the end and I think the girls also like the basket rather then just a plastic bag.

marengue treat bags
marengue treat bags

So in the end I made some more meringues. I played around a bit more but I could not resist putting them into one of my mother’s fancy crystal bowls. They just fit.

marengue

marengue
If you haven’t tried to make meringues, do ahead. It isn’t as hard as some make it sounds.

-Alina

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Blueberries – Saturday mornings and afternoons

Blueberries remind me of my childhood and  mornings at my grandmother’s place. Sometimes in the morning we got fresh blueberries in milk and a little bit of sugar on top. The simplicity of this treat is clear but it is delicious. A perfect little morning treat to eat during Saturday mornings.

Blueberries with milkBlueberries with milk

So if you still have blueberries left after the morning why note bake a pie. Some of you might have the read the post on the rhubarb just a few weeks back. That’s when I shared a recipe for this wonderful rhubarb pie that I had baked. I decided to try the pie with some blueberries. The feedback I was getting from my family was that the pie is the best with blueberries so I do encourage you to try this. You can the link here to the rhubarb pie post with the recipe.

Blueberry pie Blueberry pie

This pie is perfect for the Saturday coffee time. Have a wonderful weekend everyone.

-Alina

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Best ways to use rhubarb

There are two ways to use rhubarb at least. The first way is to eat it but also when you want to give a useful bouquet.

We were going to visit out dear friend and I had nothing to bring her. I knew she would be pleased to receive something that she could use so I decided to go for this unique bouquet. A kale and rhubarb bouquet straight from our garden.

Underneath are the supplies I used to create this oh so very simple bouquet. Not much as you can see.

What you need
To make the kraft paper have more age to it, which I myself prefer, is to crumble it into a ball and open it up. This way you get that nice texture to the paper.

Rhubarb and kale

Then just open up the kraft paper and wrap it around the rhubarb and kale and add some string.

Rhubarb and kale bouquet

I also attached a rhubarb pie recipe to the string. At least according to me I think it is the best rhubarb pie I’ve eaten and therefore I thought it was a fun little thing to add to the bouquet and share.

Rhubarb and kale bouquet



This is from the summer when I first made this rhubarb pie and fell in love with it. You can use the same pie ingredients with other e.g. berry.

rhubarb pie

The best rhubarb recipe

28 cm large dish
2 eggs
2 dl sugar
1 dl milk
1 dl cream
150g butter
1 1/2 dl baking powder
3 1/2 dl flour

Filling:
1/2 liters peeled and chopped rhubarb
50g soft butter
1 dl sugar
1 dl flour

Preheat the oven to 200 celcius. Grease the round dish. Mix the eggs and sugar well. Add the milk, cream and melted butter. Mix the flour with the baking flour and add the mixture to the egg and sugar mixture. Mix so that the dough is smooth.
Pour the mixture into the dish. Spread the chopped rhubarb pieces onto the mixture. Pick the butter, sugar and flour into a crumble like mixture and sprinkle on top of the rhubarbs. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes.

You can serve the pie with ice cream, whipped cream or vanilla sauce.

Rhubarb pie

Enjoy as I always say.

– Alina

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Sold at the fair

Here some pictures of the jewelry that I sold last week Sunday at the fair. I had all sorts of jewelry but these ones that you’ll see here are the multi strand or one strand stone bracelets.

Braclelet

4mm red coral bracelet

Braclelet

4mm red coral bracelet

Braclelet

Amazonite with swarovski bracelet

Braclelet

Amazonite with swarovski bracelet

Braclelet

Labradorite stone necklace

Braclelet

Labradorite stone bracelet

Braclelet

Different jades and wood bead bracelet

Braclelet

Different jades and wood bead bracelet

Braclelet

Different jades and wood bead bracelet

Braclelet

Wooden bead bracelet

Braclelet

Wooden bead bracelet

Braclelet

Agate, amazonite, crystal quartz and turqoise bracelet

Braclelet

Crystal quartz and jade bracelet

Braclelet

Carnelian and crystal quartz bracelet

Braclelet

Fire agate stone bracelet

Braclelet

Fire agate stone bracelet

Braclelet

Freshwater pearl bracelet

Braclelet

Freshwater pearl bracelet

Braclelet

Agate and swarovski bracelet

Braclelet

Agate and swarovski bracelet

Braclelet

Fire agate stone bracelet

Braclelet

Fire agate stone bracelet

Braclelet

Jade, agate, wood and citrine bracelet

Braclelet

Jade, agate, wood and citrine bracelet

Braclelet

4mm pink dyed jade bracelet

Braclelet

4mm pink dyed jade bracelet

That’s it. I’ve got loads more but this would have just turn into a too long post. I’ll get the rest posted soon for you. I hope you have a lovey day!.

-Alina

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Tutorial: Make your own business cards

I attended a small fair last weekend in the country side to sell some of my jewelry. I tend to think a lot about how I display them and what else do I need then just a table, exchange money and the jewelry. Before I have ordered some business cards from Thailand but this year I noticed I was out of these cards.

Of course, I had no time to order any from anywhere and I wasn’t even sure I wanted to pay the price they ask here in Finland for them so I decided why not make them myself.

I gave my daughter some water color paper and told her to just go crazy with colors. First we wet the paper pieces and then colored them with watercolors. If you do this make sure that the paper is thick enough and don’t worry about the paper going all wavy. After the papers had dried I put them under a pile of books for a few days to straighten them out.

Make your own business card

After the papers had straightened out I cut the papers into business card size. I used these parameters:  86 mm x 54 mm.

Make your own business cardMake your own business card

The edges of the cards were a bit rough which did not matter to me. This was due to my cutter being a bit old but I actually did want some edge to the cards. It made them more interesting. Make your own business cardMake your own business card

After the cards were all cut out I went through my stamps to see if I had anything I could us. I ended picking out a rough circle that I thought went quite well with my logo here in the blog. I did a few tests first to see what I exactly wanted and I just ended up writing my name in the middle of the card. Note, I had to test several black pens that I had to see what worked best with the watercolor paper.

Make your own business card

Then the cards were ready. I also wrote in the back my blog’s address as well as my email if somebody wanted to contact me. Then the cards were ready to be slipped into the organza bags I had for the jewelry.

Make your own business cardMake your own business cardI just love the outcome and I do feel the represent me and my jewelry. This was an easy and quick way to get cheap but nice looking business cards.

-Alina

 

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Summer holiday

This is the first time in five years that I’m on my summer holiday. Before that I was just home with the kids but this year is different and I’m so much aware of the kids and how much they need time off without tight schedules and routines.

On thing that I have been concentrating on is my garden at the cottage. I have peas salads, spinach, dill, parsley, thyme, turnips, black root, beans, zucchinis and cucumbers etc. growing. I’m actually quite proud of it this year since I’ve been able to keep it clean from weeds.

My husband also built be some garden boxes into the city so I could have some fresh salad on the table everyday.

Otherwise it has been just blueberry and strawberry picking, summer evenings and nights, rain, driving around Finland, swimming, boat trips and laughing with friends. It was a wonderful holiday without any schedules and just spending time with my family. I added some picture from the summer to give you a glimps.

Garden box

Garden boxGarden GardenGardenGardenGarden

GardenMy own saladStrawberry pickingStrawberriesEating outsideBlueberry pickingTurnipsNew potatoes with dill and onion sproutsSummer evenings

Looking at these picture I did notice that I think we mainly concentrated on food. But how can you not, since it is the time of the year we get fresh ingredients straight from the ground. When you live in a country where you are at the mercy of the cold weather you do start appreciating what you can get during the summer.

I’ve got some fun things coming up tomorrow. Have a great Friday everyone

-Alina

 

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Tipping the Swiss roll

So I took a break from the blog….I was on my summer holiday and I decided to concentrate on it more then the screen of my computer. Work started this week after four wonderful holiday weeks and now the computers open again.

Eating good things during the summer is the best. Of course I mostly did munch on all things green that I have been able to find from my garden but occasionally I got a bit carried away and concentrated on the sweet side.

This lovely cake was the under dog or how do you say it. I was so surpirsed how good it was and I was told multiple times that it was one of the best cakes that I had made. I love the idea of it since it is actually a Swiss role but turned upside down and the surpirse comes when you cut into it. The layers are all flipped.

Cake

I used blueberries and blackberries that I had bought from the store as well as rhubarb from my garden. I cut the rhubarb approx. into 1- 2 cm pieces and boiled them in sugar water just enough for them to get soft. The rhubarb stems were young stem which means that you do not need to peel them and this way I was able to keep the redish color on them. I love the color combo going on. It suited the party we wee at since it was a cake for adults and not children. The dark blues, yellows and reds and the deep dark chocolate color do remind me of sophistication.

cake

Here you can see the layers going vertically and horizontally. How fun is that!

Cake

Swiss Role tipped recipe

CRUST
8 eggs
2 dl sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla sugar
1 1/2 dl dark cacao powder
1 dl cornstarch
1 dl white flour
2 teaspoons baking powder

IN ADDITION
approx. 1/2 dl sugar

FILLING
300 g room warm butter
4,5 dl powdered sugar
6 room warm egg yolks
1,5 tablespoons vanilla sugar
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice

FROSTING
0,5 dl whipped cream
3 tablespoons powdered sugar

DECORATION
anything you want e.g. berries, fruits, candy etc.

1. Whip the eggs and the sugar into a light and airy foam (approx. 5 mins with mixer). Mix the dry ingredients and add them to the foam through a sieve. Mix quickly with a wooden fork.
2. Spread the dough on to two baking trays which have been covered with baking paper. Bake each individually for approx. 7 minutes.
3. Sprinkle sugar on two clean baking sheets. Flip the baked crusts on the sugar sprinkled sheets and remove the baking sheets that were in the oven. Spread towels (preferable light cotton towels) on top of the crusts and roll the lightly to cool down.
4. Make the filling. Mix the butter and the powdered sugar into a flexible mixture. add the egg yolks and the vanilla sugar. Mix into a fluffy and light mixture. Flavor the mixture with the lemon zest and the juice.
5. Open the crusts and clean the edges. Cut the two crust into even sizes.
6. Spread the filling on top of the crusts. Put all the cut out crust in one long line and start rolling. Do not worry about the crust being uneven or if it cracks.
7. Wrap the cake first tighly with baking paper and then in foil. Turn the roll on it’s side so that it looks like a cake now. Put it into the fridge to settle for at least an hour beforing serving.
8. Whip the cream and flavor with powdered sugar. Spread the cream on top of the cake. Decorate just before serving.CakeEnjoy!

I’ve got another version coming up of this cake soon. I can’t wait to start decorating it and to see how it turns out. And trust me this isn’t the only treat I got coming.

– Alina

 

 

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