Practising Hand-Lettering

Apparently hand-lettering is ‘in’ right now. I am not used to being interested in stuff that is ‘in’, usually stuff I like is considered very uncool. But right now I have been caught by a hype with my doodling and hand lettering.

We recently went on a holiday to Spain and I drew the names of all the cities we visited. I will use these drawings when I make a photo album of the holiday, but I do not know yet in what way.

plaatsnamen

It was only after I made these that I noticed that all the towns we visited had names that ended in an ‘a’.

Advertisements
Posted in Doodle | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Book Thoughts: Sting in the Tale, by Dave Goulson

In 2013 I read the, for me, impressive number of 45 books. I already know that for 2014 I will get nowhere near this number, since so far this year I have only read three. The last one is the book I mentioned a while ago, ‘A Sting in the Tale’, by Dave Goulson.

P1020426_small

I loved this book, for a number of reasons:

  1. I love natural history books and tv-shows, so the theme was right up my alley. I find it fascinating to read about how these creatures live and go about their daily work.
  2. It is very readable, offering a good mix of facts and anecdotes. This mix reminded me of ‘A short history of nearly everything’, by Bill Bryson.
  3. I am trained as a scientist, so I found it fascinating to read about the methods that are required to conduct research into bumblebees.
  4. I learnt a lot about the ecosystem that I live in and the importance of having a real garden, instead of a paved one.

So, this comes highly recommended if you have an interest in natural history, gardening and/or scientific research methods.

My main take-away from this book is that conservation is something that all of us can contribute to, even with a small garden, or a container garden. It feels very good to be able to actually do something about the conservation of these insects.

Posted in Books, Garden | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Even the Seed Pods Are Beautiful

Remember the orange poppies from this post? I recently cut out some of the seed pods because, although they are very lovely, we don’t want our entire garden to be filled by them. The seed pods themselves are beautiful as well, so I put them in a vase and have enjoyed looking at them during the day.

P1010857_cropped P1010863_cropped P1010871_cropped P1010885

Posted in Garden, Home | Tagged , | Leave a comment

On Developing a Baking Habit

I have always loved baking: cakes, cookies, apple pie etc. But I never seem to get around to it. I first blamed it on the lack of a decent oven, then on a lack of time, I was always able to find an excuse.

After thinking about it some more I realized that I put off baking because I am not organized for it. It is not in my habit. It seems a hassle when you want to bake something, you first have to figure out a recipe, then you have to buy ingredients and then you carve out an hour to make your cake, put it in the oven, etc. It can easily become a half-day project if you tackle it like this

So I have thought out a three step action plan to get into the baking habit:
1. Gather recipes that I want to try.
2. Make sure I have the ingredients on hand to make a few of these recipes.
3. Fit baking into my weekend. It totally makes sense to me to bake on the weekend, when we are mostly at home to eat it, or visiting family and then I can bring it.

I have already solved step one. I recently rediscovered a book that I had bought a long time ago, but never used, which has a ton of recipes that I would love to try. I guess that’s why I bought it in the first place. So I intend to slowly bake my way through this book. I am slowly collecting the ingredients.

P1010735_cropped

And last weekend I made something from this book. It required just four ingredients: frozen puff pastry, pesto, cherry tomatoes and goat’s cheese. The result was pronounced delicious by both of us. It feels a bit like I cheated because the pastry was store bought, but still I have made my first step towards a baking habit.

P1010842

P1010846_cropped

Posted in Kitchen | Tagged | Leave a comment

T-shirt Copy in Progress

I am a T-shirt girl. I have a closet full of t-shirts in different materials, cuts, and colors. I sometimes wear blouses if I want to dress somewhat more formally, but my natural preference is a nice t-shirt with a thin, knit cardigan.P1010903I do have favorites. And these favorites get worn (and washed) a lot. So the favorites tend to wear out. And this time I found it hard to say goodbye, so I decided to copy the t-shirt. I go to a sewing class every week, so I did this with my sewing teacher. But you can find tons of tutorials online. This one resembles how I approached it. The new shirt is not yet finished, but I am hopeful it will become a favorite too.P1010899P1010896

Posted in Sewing | Tagged | Leave a comment

Not everything I make works out

Not everything I make works out.

P1010745I soaked some chickpeas over the weekend, intending to make hummus, but I did not get around to it. After being in the water for two days they had developed some fungus and I had to throw them out.

I recently made a cake out of these eggs, but let it bake in the oven for too long. The cake was very dry and nothing like it was supposed to be.P1010574_cropped

I have about 50 percent success rate with my sewing projects. Some of the garments I make I never wear. Others I wear all the time.

The stuff that does not work out usually does not make it onto this blog. But it exists. I have to make stuff that does not work out, to get to the good stuff. Things I love to eat, display around the house, or wear only exist because I also make duds. Very often these fails are disappointments. I am considering sharing more of them here as part of learning to accept that not everything I make works out.

Posted in Life | Leave a comment

From Poncho to Pillow

P1010726_cropped P1010734_small

One of my first knitting projects was a poncho. Made out of novelty-like yarn, it was warm, but too short for my upper body and my neck was always cold while wearing it, so I never used it.

The poncho spent 8+ years in a closet. It has memories attached to it so I could never get rid of it. Last year I cleaned out some cupboards, like I want to do more often, and decided that I would give the poncho a new life as a pillow.

So I seamed up the sides to make it into a square, trimmed the sides and secured the edges with bias tape and hand-sewed the bottom and the top closed. Now I have a pillow that I love and goes well with our living room!

Posted in Home | Tagged , , | Leave a comment