Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Time for an Update

I'm sure that you are all wondering what ever happen to the socks? And what about the garden? Anything going on there?

But first I want to share my reading. I read....War and Peace! All the 1440 pages, although my e-version did of course not have any pages and without it I could have never done it because I physically could not have carried it around with me like I do my e-reader. That said it was an easy read, it really was. Again Goodreads has a great review of the book, although unlike the reviewer I did like the first epilogue, but would also skip the second one (although I did read it just to be able to say that I read all of it).

I did enjoy the book although not nearly as much as Anna Karenina. I did realise reading the book, that when I was younger and reading books like crazy, the stories where about people older than me and what the characters where experiencing was something that might happen to me in the future. Now my life is at that point where the characters will end up at the end of the book. When did that happen?

I just started Elizabeth Gilbert's the Signature of All Things and my first thought only after one page was "she has had some much fun writing this!" and then I got a link somewhere to this interview and about the first thing she says is how much she enjoyed writing it! And then I stopped watching and will watch the rest after I have read the book. 

So that is all on the book department. Moving on to the socks. 

I did manage to finish them with dozen little errors. I already started a second pair with the different set of instructions, but the heel remains a mystery for me. I do not get it how I'm suppose to pick the amount of stitches from the sides the pattern calls for, so, again, I must do something wrong. I'm thinking of unraveling these and start again with yet another instruction. I want to be able to make socks with little effort watching TV at the same time (in fact that is what I'm doing now as well which might be part of the problem). I love woolen sock and wear them all the time and everybody I know likes them too, so it would be great to be able to do these and give as gifts.
The garden has been a disaster this year, nothing wants to grow except the jerusalem artichoke, which is a pretty plant I must say with is yellow flowers. We harvested it this Sunday. With child labor so readily available it was a piece of cake. 
Now I have to cook, puree and freeze them. But I want to grow other things as well. I thing I need to replace the soil entirely to get there. Better luck next year and I'm truly greatful that my family is in no way depending on my gardening skills for food.

Linking with Yarn along

And Keep Calm Craft on

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Baby Quilts and Strawberry Pirates

The cake dilemma - do you go for a taste or the looks? My oldest son turned 5 and has been for the past six months tormented with the question: pirate cake or strawberry cake? Luckily I could find fresh strawberries and a giant marsipain strawberry and this is how I solved the dilemma:


This one was so tastey that I did not have time to take more pictures before it was eaten. I made a standard cake with this recipe: 6 eggs, weihgt them, add 0.7 x the weight of the eggs sugar, beat until very firm, gently add the same amount of flour as you added sugar. Let bake in 175 degrees for 40-50 minutes.

For the filling I let frozen strawberries and raspberries to soften in the roomtemperature just so that I could puree them and mixed with 200ml suger. I filled the cake with the berry puree and whipped cream and let it stay in the fridge for a night. Whipped cream and strawberries to decorate and done! So simple and so tasty!

In September I did a last minute decision to make a baby quilt for my friends baby. Last minute because I started on the day the baby was born. I was inspired by Rachel's Pixie Churns quilt but after making five Churn Dash blocks I had no desire or time to make more of those. So the rest of the blocks are improve blocks made around scraps that I had from the Anna Maria Horner sleep sack. The are voile and I think it might be quite nice for the little baby fingers to feel the difference of textur.



Attempt to free motion quilt. It was fun but I do need some kind of quilting table from my machine. 


Monday, November 4, 2013

From Gold to Gray

In October I spent a week in Finland visiting family. I can't remember the last time I have been there in October and I was so glad to enjoy the last faces of the autumn foliage. All the red had already fallen but the golden still stayed. Combined with the October afternoon sun it was magical. Between running after kids and spending time in shopping malls I sneak out to the forest one afternoon and tried to catch some of the magic with my not so great phone camera. The results are quite bad but after some tweaking I still want to share them. The sun was so bright but the pictures are so hazy. Finnish artist Anna Emilia has some great picture from about the same time on her blog.

On the other side of the world Ara Jane has made a beautiful blog post of October that looks like the fall here in the Netherlands. What a lovely month it is! After the cold spring I wasn't expecting it at all. I thought that we would go straight back to the grey after summer so this has been a really lovely suprise! Now if I only could be able to find the beauty in November...

When I was dragging my children to a walk in the forest my oldest asked me why I always want to go there. I told her that I'm actually a troll that went to live with humans when I was a baby. She didn't believe me. But if that had been the case I would have lived around the big stone seen in the last picture.