Tuesday, January 27, 2015

After Christmas Sale

I was going to post about this in early January, then thought it was already too late, then went to the grocery store yesterday and saw that they still have plenty of Christmas stuff for sale. So I guess it’s still current.

Most of my Christmas decorations, except the tree, have been bought after Christmas. It’s just so much cheaper that way. Everything is usually 50-70% off, sometimes even 90%.

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All of this has been bought either on sale after Christmas or second hand.

Obviously this is not a good tactic if you don’t have any decorations before Christmas (if you’ve just moved out on your own for example), but for adding to existing decorations it’s the best. I mostly stick to the silver-red-white-evergreens theme to keep everything cohesive.This year I bought:

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A fabric advent calendar. It’s light blue, so it doesn't’ really fit in with the theme, but I thought it was so cute. It was originally 25 €, and now just 12€. I've been wanting an advent calendar I can fill myself, and finally found a nice one.

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Two fake evergreen trees. I thought the looked pretty realistic. 2,50€ each.

I also got the two big silver baubles shown on the first picture, and the the two small wreath ornaments, for just a couple of euros.

And if you aren’t yet sick of Christmas foods, they are usually on sale too.

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Glögi for 50 cents a package! The expiration date was in march too, so I stocked up.

I’m usually ready to eat a bit healthier after the holidays, but Jake thinks it’s the best time to get candy, since it’s 50% off. Hence we also now have 7kg of Geisha chocolates.

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Oh no…

Thursday, January 8, 2015

2014

Ok, here are some very random highlights of 2014. I do realize a lot of these are things I bought, what can I say, I guess money can buy happiness after all, sometimes, If you spend it on things that you truly want.

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I bought a drawing tablet after thinking about it for about 15 years. And I’m so happy about it! I also got my very first illustration published! That was a big dream of mine, ever since I was a kid. And I don’t think I could have done it without the tablet. I’m really starting to think that there is something to making room in your life for the things you want, and they are more likely to come true.

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I got a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (as a freebie with our new TV, I’m sure Jake would count that TV instead as one of the highlights of the year). And I love it. I mainly read books on it at home. But since I got it I haven’t used my laptop once. The tablet is so much easier to take with me on travels.

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We got a crock pot, and making meals became so much more enjoyable. I love that thing. Granted, I mostly make minced meat soup, but I never did even that before we bought this.

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I went berry picking for the first time in probably ten years. This was on my new years resolution list. It was fun. And peaceful. And I really enjoyed it. I think this really means I’m getting old. But I plan to do it even more this year! This year my resolution is to fill at least one drawer in our freezer with blueberries.

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I bought my first ballet slippers, not pointe shoes, but just training slippers. Still it was another dream come true. I’ve wanted to try ballet since I was a little girl, but it wasn’t possible in the small town I grew up in. It’s nice to know that it’s never too late to make your dreams come true.

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We bought a house! This is the big one. I’ve never had any debt, so it was scary. But now it feels great. I didn’t think it’d feel that different having your own house, but it is completely different to renting. Just, so different. It is yours. Expect a lot of fixing up and decorating posts to come.

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My parents stayed at the new house for a week, striping wallpaper, painting, putting up lighting, window sills and ballet bars. “The active holiday” they called it. It made all the difference when we moved, because the house felt like already like home. THANK YOU!

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I went skiing for the first time since high school. I used to hate skiing. It was one of my least favorite sports at school. But skiing on a peaceful December day in the woods, with slowly falling snow, surrounded by quiet snow-covered trees, at my own pace, was pleasant. I plan on going again once the temperatures drop again.

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I got a new passport this year. A lot of times I think I look like just the way I looked when I was a little kid, and then I see pictures like these. From the left, my old passport photo, taken ten years ago, and the new one I got this year. Both pictures are pretty horrible, but I guess I have changed a bit after all.

The main thing in 2014 wass, that I think I figured myself out a bit more. What I like, what I don’t like, what I want, what I don’t want. I hope that continues this year.

Friday, January 2, 2015

One little word

I was listening to an Elise get’s crafty podcast about the concept of one little word, and without even really thinking about it a word popped in to my head. The idea of one little word is that instead of doing resolutions you choose one word for your year and let that guide you and be something you thrive towards. I’m still going to make resolutions, I like having goals, but I also decided to have a word for this year, since it so effortlessly presented itself.

My word is going to be

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Clean might seem like an odd choice, it did seem so to me at first, even though I chose it myself. But in the podcast Elise and Ali Edwards suggested going to a thesaurus and read about the meanings of the word. And as I read I thought yes, this is what I want from this year:

blank
bright
clear
elegant
fresh
graceful
hygienic
immaculate
neat
orderly
pure
simple
spotless
tidy
unblemished
washed

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

September–December Books

Reads

And here are all the rest of the books I’ve read this year lumped in together. By my account I’ve read 55 books this year. That’s not bad. It’s been fun keeping tract of these. If I hadn’t, I’d probably think, oh, I guess I read a couple of books. I’m thinking of adding a few words of review to these, but only if I have something to say. Let's test this out.

Amy Poehler: Yes Please I’ve read a few books by comedians and this was one of the few I actually liked. This and the one by Jim Gaffigan.

J. K. Rowling: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Re-reading is the best reading.

Bruce Feiler: The Secrets of Happy Families

J. R. R. Tolkien: Silmarillion I think i should get a medal for reading through this. I can’t understand how something so interesting can be so boring. Also, I never knew Lúthien was so badass. Riding around on her giant wolf, beating everyone up.

Tieman Robert: The Disney Treasures

J. K. Rowling: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban The thing about re-reading.

Robert Calbraith: Silkworm I kind of like these. I guess it’s the private eye aspect. I love Sherlock Holmes and Pushing Daisies.

Terry Pratchett: Unseen Academicals I actually listened to this, and I did not care for the way the reader was doing the voices at all. I kept thinking I might like the book better, if I weren’t so annoyed with the way the characters were talking.

Heli Lahdenranta, Ulla-Maija Lähteenmäki: K niin kuin koti – 10 kotia, tyyliä ja näkökulmaa Decorating books are weird, because they are lovely to look at, but still I never seem to get anything out of them.

Brigid Schulte: Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time

Terry Pratchett: Raising Steam Terry Pratchett’s was the first book I read in English, back when I was a teenager. I’ll always think of them fondly. This was good, but I like his mid career stuff better. And I hope he’ll still write one about the witches. They’ll always be my favorite.

J. K. Rowling: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire I love Harry Potter.

Monday, December 22, 2014

We’ve moved!

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I haven’t been updating lately because… We bought a house in November! Well, one end of a row house, but it is all ours! It’s been pretty great to fix your own home after living in rentals all my adult life. But it’s also been pretty hectic! I’ll try to post more pictures after Christmas, but here’s a sneak peek at our wintery back yard.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Cushion Cover from a Flannel Shirt

flannels

Here’s an easy autumn decor idea: flannel cushion covers from old button-up shirts. All you need is an old shirt, scissors, and a sewing machine (or thread and a needle).

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Firstly,you will need a men's flannel shirt. Men's, because they are usually larger (the larger the better) and won’t have those dart things to shape them. Mine is from the thrift store. There was an offer for 3 shirts for 1€.

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Take it apart along the side and shoulder seams, remove the pocket, and the arms and the collar. You are left with the front piece with the buttons (button them up) and the back piece.

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Place an old cushion cover (for the cushion you want to cover) on top of the front piece, pin it in place and cut along the edges leaving a small allowance all around. The allowance will depend on how much space you have along the sides, mine was only about 0,5 cm, but if you have more space you can have a bigger allowance. Repeat with the other piece. If you have wiggle room, you can try to match up the pattern, but mine was a pretty tight fit, so I decided not to worry about it.

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Place the pieces against each other right sides facing, pin together and sew along the edges. Don’t leave any openings.

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Finish the edges with a zigzag stitch to keep them from fraying. Unbutton the buttons and turn the cover right side out.

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Insert your pillow through the button up part, close the buttons and voila! you are done!

Cosy flannel cushions.

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This was such an easy and cheap project. One cover cost about 33 cents. And I really like the result. I think I’ll keep my eyes open for more plaid shirts!

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Pattern for a Granny Square Blanket

I’ve made two granny square blankets

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an ombre grey one

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and a black one.

For those who asked, here’s a pattern. Each square represents one granny square. The black one is the same, except all grey squares are done on black.

blanket pattern