Learning shapes

A nice way to add a bit of secret learning to a fun craft session with the kids is this:

Learning shapes

I gave my daughters some scissors and colorful papers where I had drawn different shapes and let them cut them out.

Learning shapes I then gave them a picture I had drawn and told them to build this house using the shapes they had cut out and a glue stick.

Learning shapes

They managed well. The chimney caused a bit of confusion but no worries. During this cutting and gluing I kept talking about the shapes and sizes. Since my girls do not speak fluent English they were actually quite eager to learn these shapes in English as well. So in the end we used both languages.

When they had finished their houses I gave them some free play time with the left over papers and glue. I’m sure this was the part they enjoyed the most. Let their inner artist out.

Inner artist at play

 

This little craft session is easy to set up and quick to do. Everyone with kids usually has a glue stick, pen, scissors, plain white paper and colored paper at home, so there are no excuses to why we could not do this. So get up and go do some crafts with your kids. They will surely enjoy the moment.

– Alina

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Leather feather

As some of you may have noticed I like to use leather in my jewelry. Last week I was trying to arrange my craft room and I bumped into a large box full of scraps of leather. My mother (luckly) has always saved all kinds of craft materials. Even this box has been in my family for ages just waiting for it to be used.

Leather scraps

Feathers have been popping up everywhere and I really wanted to create some sort of leather feather. I know that the template that I used for these feathers is not the best but as the first leather template I was happy. I’m sure I would have gotten something better if I had not just cut free hand but I was really wanting to get something done quickly.

Leather feather

So these little feathers ended up in this necklace. I used botswana agate, jade and crystal quartz stone and a little cute charm.

Leather feather necklace Leather feather necklace Leather feather necklace

 

I have to sketch a bit next time to get exactly the right feather.

– Alina

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Ginger beer

I’ve only had bad ginger beer. I guess the reason for this is because it isn’t that common here in Finland and therefore the chances of getting good homemade ginger beer is small.

I was going through my recipes last week and I came across this ginger beer recipe. Seemed easy enough and I decide to see if it was just something that I did not like or had I just had bad ginger beer. Note that this includes lemon. I do not know if it is common to use it in ginger beer but I liked the outcome.

Ginger beerGinger beer with lemon

Approx. 3 litres

  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 – 2 1/2 table spoon of grated ginger (I put 1 1/2)
  • 1 1/2 dl lemon juice (2-3 lemons)
  • 2 1/2 dl sugar
  • 3 raisins
  • 2 1/2 liter water
  • 10 g fresh yeast or 5 g dried yeast

1. Grate the lemon zest into a large pan. Peel the ginger and grate as much as you want into the pan. Add the lemon juice, sugar and raisins. Add 1 liter of hand warm water into the pan and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the yeast and the rest of the water.

2. Cover the pan with cellophane and leave in the warm for 4-6 hours. Mix a couple of times.

3. When the raisins and the lees have risen the beer is ready to be sieved. Pour the beer through a sieve and a funnel into a clean bottle. If you do not own a funnel then pour the the beer first into a jug and then into the bottles. Fill the bottles so that there is approx. 7 cm space between the beer and the cork.

4. Add a raisin to each bottle. You can keep track of how the carbonic acid is forming by watching the raisins. When the raisin have risen then enough carbonic acid has formed. Screw the corks on tightly and leave them on the table over night.

5. In the morning screw open the corks so the excess acid gets out. Put the bottles into the fridge. The taste of the ginger beer will smooth out and the acidity  will be emphasized. It will be at it’s best after two days. It will last up to 2 weeks in the fridge.

And for you finnish readers….

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A few notes. they do say that you can watch the raisin raise. This did not happen to me and I thought the beer was ruined. I moved the bottles into the fridge and waited for two days. Still the raisin did not raise. Luckly I did not throw out the drink since the raisin rose when I opened up the bottles and it tasted just fine.

The other thing that I will do differently next time is to use fresh yeast. I’ve always been a bit skeptical of dry yeast and I think that if I had used fresh yeast I would have gotten a bit more acidity. Maybe…

But I’ll use this during out Mayday parties this year. It is a great partner with our trditional Sima drink which I’ll share with you when May arrives.

– Alina

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Spring colors in ceramic beads

I ordered some ceramic beads and I noticed that I was clearing waiting for spring. I left out all the autumn and winter colors.

Ceramic beadsCeramic beadsCeramic beads Ceramic beads Ceramic beadsI created a few bracelets from the beads. I did not get to the yellow yet but that will come soon. I used metal findings and nude colored waxed cotton cord with the ceramic beads.

Ceramic bead braceletCeramic bead bracelet Ceramic bead bracelet Ceramic bead braceletCeramic bead braceletCeramic bead braceletI think I’ll order some more of these beautiful beads after the yellow bracelet is done.

– Alina

 

 

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Wear your heart around your neck

Aren’t just simple and long necklace wonderful? I had this 25 mm sized foil lined heart bead that found a home at the end of a crystal quartz necklace. I just love the simple look of this necklace and I’m happy that I didn’t just use chain which would have been the easy way.

Heart necklaceheart necklace

Hope to find a home for all these beauties as well.

Foil-lined beads

Looks like candy.

– Alina

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Remember to give at least a little treat to your loved ones. Everyone loves to be remembered

Chocolate muffins with frosting- Alina

 

 

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Where does inspiration come from?

Have you heard of WeWork yet? It is a co-working company that provides platforms for creators. I love the idea how they provide these space that surely connect and inspire people. To find out more, check out their site. This of course made me think of my work space and what inspires me in it.

Wordspace

In the end it wasn’t the space but it’s the materials that inspire me.

I took some picture of what I love but I keep catching myself thinking that why didn’t I take a picture of this and that. But here is a little glimpse into what inspires me in this room.

hg IMG_0gf IMG_0734 IMG_0732 IMG_0731 IMG_0728 IMG_0725 IMG_0721 IMG_0709 IMG_0712 IMG_0714 IMG_0715 IMG_0716 IMG_0717 IMG_0718 IMG_0669 IMG_0672 Kuva-fr

It is the material I have collected  that is surely a big inspiration to me but in the end it is my little girls who help me find the joy in things and the inspiration.

the girls

P.S. Next big thing is to clean up the space and build it up again. Need more storage….

– Alina

 

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Cinnamon Muffins

I know, Christmas is over but one flavor I will not let go off even in the summer. I love cinnamon. Just before the most hectic Christmas times there was a piece in the news here that cinnamon has been forbidden in Finnish day cares because it is apparently poisonous. Don’t be alarmed like everyone else. If I understood correctly, you must consume a large amount of cinnamon for it to be poisonous. So as a mother I will still keep using it and giving it to my kids. And as a tribute to this wonderful spice I made some cinnamon muffins.

cinnamon muffins

You can find the the recipe here in Finnish. I loved the cupcake dough actually and will surely use it again as the base for another cupcake recipe. If you want it in english just send me a comment.

Cinnamon muffinsThe frosting on these cinnamon cupcakes did not work but you do get the idea. Something went wrong with the mixture and in the end we had to throw it away. I did try the frosting again and I finally did get some sort of an result. I’m still learning. the problem is that I can’t keep making muffins all the time. This isn’t the healthiest of hobbies.

Chocolate muffins with frosting

I really like the food to look good as well. It isn’t enough for me that it tastes good. Got to work on this…

– Alina

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Fairies are home

I had a string of little lights which I hadn’t used since I actually did not like the color of the lights. They are a little too orange like for my taste around Christmas and there for I don’t seem to find a place for them.

But I’ve sometimes mentioned that things need time and this was one of those. The lights found a home. Fairy homes.

Fairy lightsSo the idea started when I did these little houses with my girls. They are made from toilet paper rolls, carton (the roofs), pastel colored paints and glitter.

Fairy house from toilet paper rollsAfter craft time we had  made a bunch of these little houses and for some time they sat on a shelve. I thought the colors of these houses were lovely and I just did not want to throw them away yet. I cut a whole at the top of the roof and through the whole I pushed the lights through. In some cases if I had cut the hole a little too big I had to put a little piece of tape  to keep the lights in place.

Making fairy house lights

When I was done I turned the lights on and voilá the fairy houses lit up. I love the fact that it seems like someone is home.

IMG_0748IMG_0743

Fairy lights

Now the next challenge is to find a place to put them.

– Alina

 

 

 

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Dress = bag

Jean bag made from a little girls dressMy eldest daughter has found the world of sewing and she asked me if I could find a bag for her that she could use to carry all her sewing materials.

One evening I was going through their clothes and putting away the small ones and I found a small dress made of jean fabric. That is when it hit me.

Some of the girls clothes I save for sentimental reasons but this dress wasn’t one of them. I noticed that it would work perfectly as a bag. It would just need a bit of tweaking.

All I needed to do was to stitch the hem….

Jean bag made from a little girls dress

And  stitch the button on…

Jean bag made from a little girls dress

That was it. No need to have any skills in sewing. (One of the many skills that I still really want to learn!)Jean bag made from a little girls dress

 

Quite cute. I think I’ll still want to decorate it a bit but I’ll leave that for next time.

– Alina

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