After school this afternoon, we're heading to a little wooden cabin in the mountains, to stay with some friends for the weekend. I'm looking forward to seeing a new slice of Norway, and feeling the quiet of the forest. I hope you have a peaceful weekend.
Apparently, in folklore, the yarrow plant is supposed to help you find out who your true love is. If you place some of the dried plant in a sachet under your pillow, you will dream of that person. My grandmother would definitely dream of my grandfather, who died 5 years ago from a heart attack. They had a very intense and loving relationship, and she talks about him every day.
Inspired by both my grandmother and the yarrow plant, which still seems to be going strong in our garden and other unkempt places in our neighbourhood, I made this gocco print in brown and navy ink. My mum asked if i'd print the invitations for my grandmother's 80th birthday party which is coming up. I'm sad that I won't be in NZ to attend, but I suppose these cards can be my small contribution.
* finding some flowers on my walk to match the bag i was making for this week's shop update. oh, i do like clover.
* admiring this leaf-skeleton and its map-like qualities.
* remembering about 'peanut brownie' biscuits, a childhood favourite of mine. And then making them, and then eating them. In case you'd like to, as well:
125 g butter, softened 3/4 cup sugar 1 egg 1 and a 1/2 cups plain flour 1 tsp baking powder pinch of salt 3 Tb cocoa 1 cup peanuts (or other nuts), roasted.
Cream butter and sugar until light. Add egg and beat well, until mixture is smooth and glossy. Sift in flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa and mix well. Lastly add cooled nuts. Drop small spoonfuls of the mixture onto a greased baking tray and bake at 180 degrees C for about 15 mins.
Over the weekend we went walking in the forest, and saw lots of mushrooms, oak trees and some tyttebær branches, which were all things that I guess Keira would cram in her coat pockets, if she had them. (I forgot to add them to the autumn coat I made her.) So I did some Norwegian-Wood-inspired embroidery onto some pale green linen, then sewed it up into a little satchel for K. For collecting important things while out on her daily expeditions.
I took a solo trip to Oslo this weekend. My train left quite early in the morning, so I watched the sun come up across the countryside. As much as I love travelling with Tom and the little ones, there's something very nice about taking a train on one's own and having time to gaze endlessly out the window and appreciate the open space; the mixture of field and forest.
And once I got into the city, I was met by my friend Emily, who had kindly invited me to check out a loppemarked (flea market) with her. I am always grateful for her company in Oslo- not only do we talk about crafts and blogging and life in Norway- she is an expert on the train system and everything that Oslo has to offer- so it's always such fun to hang out with her.
We found so many great things at the market, but I mostly bought fabric- and it's lucky that I had E's help- because she had a much better eye than me, and then let me buy the fabric that she found (she said she didn't need it- but I think she was being kind.) Here are a few of the pieces I scored- there's a bit more in the wash- but I think these are my favourites. I don't think i would ever find textiles like these in NZ- they feel very Scandinavian to me.
This is a roll of amazing raw linen E found (and let me have)- it seems very old and is quite stiff and rough- I'm not sure what I'll do with it yet.
And then, when it was time to go home again, E gave me a gift to open on the train- some embroidery threads, fabric and one of her beautifully made babushka dolls. Thanks, Emily.
Made some new cushion covers today, for cheering/comforting purposes. We rent our house and some of the furniture, including these beige sofas, so i like to put covers over the cushions. Mostly because the children are always throwing them around, taking them outside, building 'huts' with them, etc, and also, because they're beige. I made the cover on the left from some butter-coloured vintage fabric, and the one on the right has some patches of yellow Liberty lawn appliqued on. Some friends from London came to stay on the weekend, and brought me a present of some Liberty cottons. Can you think of anything nicer?
And here are some for the other sofa. Made from some linen pieces in my scrap basket, and a big hand-knitted-lace mat. I'm pleased to have found a use for that. And to see some afternoon sun shining through.
I woke up today with a decision to try to enjoy the general greyness of our outdoor surroundings, and embrace the cooler weather, because after all, it's not like I can change it. So I did a shop update this morning (including these autumn-y pieces), and then K and I spent some time in the garden- picking up all the edible fruit we could find, and tidying up a bit. It really is lovely out there and there is something comforting about the autumn sunshine when it's shining down on our patch of lawn and the graveyard beyond that.
I've decided it's too grey and gloomy today to take pictures of the work i've been doing, so I wasted an hour playing around on the internet instead. Including making this imaginary shopping trip at polyvore. Some days are just like that, aren't they?
A friend of mine had a new baby girl last week- so over the weekend I worked on this little piece of nursery-wall-art for her. Just in time to frame and post off to her this morning. I did some more free-form embroidery (I'm starting to dream about doing this all the time now- it's such a good way to spend time I think) in light pink, grey and green, on some white, vintage linen. I like those colours together, and was particularly inspired by a Norwegian children's book I flicked through last time I was at the library. The illustrations were very simple, and collaged together from bits of coloured paper. I'm going back to the library today to see if I can find it again.
... a new wool coat for little K. I made this last week, but haven't had a sunny day on which to take a picture yet, so I'm sorry these aren't the best. I've wanted to make a proper coat for a long while, but haven't been able to find the right fabric here in our little town. But then one day last week I was looking through my wardobe for something and found a long, brown woollen dress that I bought at Insidious Fix but never wore much. (Probably because I bought it when I was a bit thinner... but never mind.) So I felt quite justified in cutting it into this practical little jacket. With green cotton lining, a curved hem (to be slightly longer at the back) and a cosy hood. Definitely inspired, I think, by Bonnie of Lone Moose, and her lovely jackets.
I pretty much made up the pattern as I went along, but consulted Voor Nop for directions on how to attach the hood (she has a jacket pattern here.) There were a few stressful moments sewing the lining in, because it is a woven cotton, and the outer of the jacket is wool jersey. But it all turned out ok in the end. I hand-stitched the sleeve openings and made some little 'buttons' (which are really brown felt flowers that i appliqued some of the lining fabric onto), which i stitched over big plastic snaps.
The best thing is- Keira likes it, so it will do until we reach our snowsuit-wearing weather. Which I'm afraid to say, doesn't seem so far away.