Month: February 2016

A squirrel parade

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I have a new toque! Living in Canada you’d think I have plenty of them, but while I have tons of scarves I actually only have one toque and that one is pretty worn out and definitely ready for retirement.

Initially I wanted it to match these mittens and was already half way done, but for some reason the broken seed stitch turned out really wide, making the toque way too big for my head. So, change of plans, some unravelling and a few squirrels – and here it is! I was also considering a pompom like Paul’s, but then decided against it because I wanted the little white diamonds at the top to stay visible.

Good thing there’s enough winter left with plenty of opportunities to wear it! 😛

A week of ham

We did it! We finally finished the leftovers from the humongous ham that we had with my parents just before Christmas!

It was a LOT. I knew that when I took the container out of the freezer, but still… I underestimated it 😛

Anyways, on day 1 we started with a nice red cabbage (aren’t they so pretty when cut in half?!) and some lovely taters… then had it again on day 2… and again on day 3. After that, the cabbage was gone, but not the ham.

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On day 4 we needed something different, ideally with a more subtle dose of ham. So I made a quiche with broccoli, said ham and a little chorizo. It turned out pretty good and we almost completely finished it. On the downside, we still had ham in the fridge.

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Day 5 was a pasta day! Shells in a creamy ricotta sauce with mushrooms, onions, spinach, peas and… ham, of course! And lots of freshly ground Parmesan which makes it impossible to actually see any of the ingredients in the picture 😛

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On day 6 we cheated and sneaked a fish day into our week’s menu.

And yesterday (day 7), making a big pot of lentil soup, we finally won the battle against the ham! Or almost… no more ham in the fridge, but at least one more soup supper to go… But with all the sausage that also fell into the soup, the ham is hardly noticeable anyways! 😀

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Bears in trees

Last Friday, Paul took a day off. He and the monster had fun together all morning, so I felt like I was really the one on leave! 😉 I had some great hours in the guest room/crafts room, and I really enjoyed making something in one stretch once again. No attacks from the monster and no praying that the nap might be a long one!

So here is the result, a baby blanket for Theodor, my cousin Lana’s second little mister who was born today! So exciting! Congratulations and all the best to the whole family!! 💛

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I chose a plain brown fabric for the back and modified the quilting pattern I previously used for our headboard cover trying to resemble woodgrain, which I thought was perfect with the forest theme. And I believe I’m getting a lot closer to making a REAL quilt one day! You know, one that requires putting together a ton of tiny little pieces. But let’s not get too excited here – one day…!

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“Bears in trees”, this was actually the name of the fabric as it appeared on my receipt and I just fell for it. It is one of the treasures I got at JoAnn’s in Boston last fall. I can’t wait for my next chance to dive through their amazing selection! Which will probably be in July, as I already found out there is one in Sault Sainte Marie, literally just over the bridge to the US!

I also made a matching card, using the same brown fabric and kinda copying the acorn motive (It’s hard to see in the photo, I know, but there’re also a bunch of squirrels between all these bears and owls, and each of them is holding an acorn…). And who says you can’t sew a card?! 😉 I ironed some fusible interfacing to the back of the fabric scraps to prevent the pieces from fraying, then embroidered a little face and stitched the pieces onto the card.

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Now I just need to pack the little parcel and send it on its way to Vienna! 🙂

A quilted headboard cover

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It’s finally done! This headboard cover that’s caused me so many headaches is finally done!!

But I should maybe start my story a bit earlier: Shortly after we moved into our house here in Ottawa, we got a new bed. While I instantly loved the simple wood frame, I hated the leather headboard it normally comes with. The happier I was to find out that both could be purchased separately. I was totally enthusiastic about making our own headboard cushion, ordered a mattress topper as a filler, cut it to size and even bought some fabric, then… Nothing. For over a year. Until I made this little zipper pouch for my Kobo in order to practice quilting and more specifically to try out that leafy lines pattern that I figured would be manageable with a regular sewing machine foot and wouldn’t require free motion quilting.

So far, so good. I expected this project to be challenging, but I did not expect it to be that hard! Part of it was simply the size of it. Manoeuvring that heavy thing through my sewing machine while it tried to jump off the table more than once… But the worst part was the fabric itself, quite a nightmare! So slippery! And I have never worked with anything before that would fray only half as badly. Literally, just by looking at it, the fabric would already disintegrate! 😛

I admit having cursed a few times but I’m glad that in the end I didn’t let myself get defeated. Although I’m sure that I’ll be more careful with my fabric choices in the future!

Snowed in…

It has been snowing here since this morning – we have about half a meter for now… and it’s still snowing… Good thing the fridge and freezer are not too empty, so we could survive a couple of days 😛

Being stuck inside we still wanted to have some fun and decided to bring the snow inside where it is a bit cozier. And the monster sure was curious about this weird, cold stuff!

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At the occasion, we also met Olaf who was so happy to have found some new friends and a new home. Unfortunately, he didn’t live very long… 😛

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Our little people

I am not an overly sentimental person, nor do I get attached to things all that easily. But there is an exception for everything. While tidying up and reorganizing the guest room, I recently found these little guys in one of the boxes filled with things that don’t quite have their spot but I also can’t throw away. They were our wedding cake topper and oh, I remember trying so hard to match our outfits and hairstyles when I made them!

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Paul’s actual bow tie wasn’t quite so huge on him though… 😛

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I’ve been looking out for a shadow box for a while but couldn’t find one with the right dimensions. So, as you can easily guess, we ended up making our own. 😉

During our last trip to Ikea we got a square picture frame and explanted the glass. And with some leftover maple from our highchair project Paul build a new, deeper frame and a little pedestal. It’s been glued together and the back has been painted to match our bedroom wall. However, with the low temperatures outside and in the workshop (aka our garage) spraying it with clear lacquer will have to wait until it warms up a bit. But until that happens (winters here can be long I’ve heard…), our little people might as well enjoy their new spot on the wall instead of waiting in a dark box!

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I hope you like this very special, now framed memory of ours! Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! 💛

A cozy bagels brunch

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We just had brunch with our dear friend Suzie. And while it was pretty freaking cold out there (yeah, Canadian winters…), we were enjoying some homemade bagels with creme cheese, salmon, lettuce, cucumber, jam, honey and other goodies. Mmhh, so yummy!! 🙂1602_Bagels_02And for those of you who are jealous now:

This is what you need:

  • 3 cups (500 g) flour
  • 1 1/4 cup (300 ml) warm water
  • 3 tsp yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • seeds (poppy, sesame, caraway, pumpkin, sunflower, …)

This is what you do:

Put the flour in a bowl and make a well in the middle. Pour in the water, add the yeast and sugar and stir in a few table spoons of the flour. Cover this pre-dough with a dish towel and let it sit at a warm and cozy spot for at least half an hour. Add the oil and salt, knead everything together and let the dough sit again until it has risen considerably, another hour or so. Divide into 8 portions and form little balls. Poke a hole in the middle of each ball and widen it to a diameter of about 5 cm. Let these rings rest again, until their shape is more bagel-like (about half an hour). Bring ~2 l of salt water (~2 tsp salt) to a boil in a big pot and let the bagels simmer for 30 s on each side. Brush some egg yolk on each bagel, then sprinkle them with the seeds of your choice and bake them at 370°F (190°C) for 15-20 min. Enjoy!

Going bananas!

It’s carnival in Germany, so I was looking for a suitable disguise for the monster. But then, thinking about it, there was really only one option! Not only does he love climbing up our curtains, he has also developed a really good grip for when he wants to stay on mom’s or dad’s arm… So I quickly made him some ears and a tail – and here we go!

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And even better: I just learned that Yannick’s outfit also matches the Chinese calendar. Happy monkey year everyone! 😀

Mini mittens

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Voilà a pair of tiny mittens that I made yesterday. So far I’ve simply used socks to keep the monster’s hands warm, but I found that a pair of thumbs would also be nice for once! As it turns out, these very thumbs do add a little moment to our get-ready-routine, but well… if it comes to worst, we can always fall back onto our socks solution 😛

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