Saturday, February 28, 2015

New Year’s Resolutions: 365 Illustrations

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As you can probably tell by the title of this post one of my new year’s resolutions for 2015 was (is) to do 365 illustrations.

I was inspired by a Elise Joy podcast where artist crystal moody told about her project to do an illustration a day in 2014. I was intrigued, but my mind instantly rebelled against having to do one everyday, it sounded like work and not fun at all. And while I wanted to draw more, I didn’t want to have to draw.

So instead of doing one everyday, I decided to do 365 ones. Which, while meaning an average of one everyday, also meant that I could skip days if I didn’t feel like it, and then on the days I would feel like it, I could draw 20 if I wanted.

This would also mean that I could never be behind (or ahead), except on the very last day of the year. And even if I didn’t do 365, I’d still probably crank out a decent amount, certainly more than if I didn’t do this resolution.

It’s been fun so far! I decided that the illustrations would have to be neither finished nor good, and I think that’s been a key to keeping it fun. I’ve been able to explore stuff I would not normally do, or didn’t even think I was interested in, without a fear of failure. You may have noticed a few on the blog already, mainly my profile picture in the sidebar, and the Valentine’s day one.

Above are the illustrations 7. and 8. I had a bit of a cat phase, which I, as a dedicated dog person, found bizarre. But I just went with it, and loved it.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

What I read in January

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I managed to read just two books in January: Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project and Happier at Home. Yep, just two books, by the same author, both books I’ve read before.

I didn’t really know what to read, and that always leads to re-reading with me. It is out of the question not to read at all. I must have something to read.

These two seemed to be right for the time as they deal with new years resolutions and new beginnings. I know some people see re-reading as pointless, but I find it comforting.

I don’t have much else to say except I really like both these books and am already looking forward to Gretchen Rubin's new book about habits.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Ballet bar

I think the best bit about owning your house is that if you wish you can put up a ballet bar. Or ask you father to put one up, anyway.

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Below is what the house looked before we bought it. I knew I wanted to have a ballet bar somewhere, if possible, and the only logical place was in the hallway in front of that oval mirror.

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The previous owner left us the mirror. I didn’t really care for it (it had an floral pattern on it, that really isn’t my style, and it’s too small for the space), but we decided to leave it so that we wouldn't have to fill the holes left behind by it and paint the whole wall.

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I asked my dad if he could put up a bar for me and we went on a hunt for the equipment. It was surprisingly hard to find the bar and the holders. Maybe people don’t usually build their own ballet bars. I know they sell ready made ballet bars, but those things are ridiculously expensive. We did finally manage to hunt some down, and ta-dah!

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Isn’t it nice? I was so happy. I have to say, dads are the best.

Then, about a month later, I happened to mention about not liking the mirror to Jake's grandparents and they said they had a large mirror they wanted to get rid off. Cue angels singing.

A few days later, they showed up with the mirror, took down the old one and put up the new one.

Doesn’t this look better for the space?

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I don’t think you can really tell from the picture how big the mirror is. It is huge.

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Jake’s grandparents liked the old mirror, took it with them, and everyone is happy.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Kitchen lamp

We have bit of a dark wood and white theme going on. Mainly because this house has dark floors and window frames, which we aren’t going to replace. And I like white.

I bought this lampshade a year ago at a thrift store for 4€. I really liked the flowerlike shape and thought of hanging it in our dining room. But never got around to doing it. Too technical for me.

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Last summer I did manage to paint it white. And then when we moved here and were a lamp short for the kitchen, my father got it up in a bout five minutes.

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I love it. It’s a bit old fashioned, I remember something like this from the eighties, but I also think it’s very pretty and the white makes it fresh. It also throws very lovely shadows on the walls and the ceiling when it’s on.

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And it goes with the theme.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Quick doorframe fix

When we were looking for a house we didn’t want a fixer upper. We aren’t that handy and didn’t want to have to do a lot. The house we ended up buying is in a good shape and doesn’t need anything major. But it does need a lot of little touch ups.

One of the first things I wanted to do, was to do something about the door frames. The previous owner had a dog and I guess it had scratched or gnawed on the frames, so that they were missing bits and the paint had chipped of.

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Ugh.

I opted for a quick fix and just painted over them with white paint.

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So much better. It’s not perfect, but unless you squat down to see, it’s not really that noticeable. The whole place looked instantly cleaner and brighter.

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I’d like to paint the whole doorframes and the doors at some point, but that’ll have to wait for the summer, when I can open the windows for ventilation. For now, this’ll do.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Happy laskiainen

That is, happy Shrove Tuesday! I know in some countries this is called the pancake day, but not here in Finland. In Finland it’s a day where you are supposed to go sledging and eat green pea soup.

I don’t even own a sledge, so I just went to ballet class. But I did make green pea soup.

The basic recipe is just peas and water and salt, but you can also add meat (ham is traditional, but I don’t like ham), carrots, onion and spices. The most important part however is after you put it on a plate - add a lot of mustard.

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A. Lot. Of. Mustard.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Cookie dough bars

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Jake’s parents came over for coffee on Saturday. I had decided to make blueberry quark pie, but then came over these cookie dough bars on Pinterest and just had to make them.

They were soooo good. By the time I thought of taking a picture they had been mostly devoured. I sent a few for Jake’s brothers and a few to friends and everyone raved about them. I’m pretty sure these go to the recipes I’ll be making over and over again.

Click here for the recipe. Instead of the peanut butter toping I just melted two chocolate bars, one milk and one white chocolate and made swirls.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Valentines day

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Sometimes I feel like Jake is allergic to all things fun. Real Christmas trees, baking with eggs and puppies… But I still love him.

Valentines day isn’t celebrated in Finland, but I wish you a happy one anyway.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Fixing my bike

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This is what it looks like when I try to fix my bike. It takes half of the living room (and some of the hallway). Lucky, we haven’t decorated much yet.

I’d never tried to fix a tire before I moved too far away from my dad for him to come and fix it… Thank god for YouTube for learning new things.

I have the worst luck with bikes. My tires have popped probably six times in the past year. First the front, then the back, then the front again, in an endless cycle. Jake has had one tire pop in that time. And he bikes everyday.

Finally, my parents felt sorry for me and ordered me new Kevlar tires. I’m really hoping they hold now. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Bazinga!

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Look at this mug Jake got me! The theme song of the Big Bang theory always make’s me feel nostalgic, because I started to watch the show at Jake's recommendation when we first started dating.

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