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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

A Christmas tree

For about a year, I have been talking about how much I love fiddle leaf fig trees. This Christmas, my boyfriend decided he din't want to hear about it anymore. I walked into his apartment on Christmas Eve, to discover a 6 foot tall specimen, decorated with Christmas lights and ornaments! After my immediate reaction of, I-absolutely-adore-it, came the, uh-oh-where-do-I-put-it realization....

While my boyfriend holds on to it, I have spent the past couple of days figuring out what I can throw out and how to rearrange my apartment. I think I have a plan...stay tuned!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Tutorial: felted flowers

People "oooh" and "aaah" over my felted flower necklaces when they see them in person, but I can not seem to get them sold in my etsy shop. If I could only convey the tactile properties through the inter web, I sure I would not be able to make them fast enough! When I wear them out I get people coming up to me, wanting to look closer and touch. If you are interested in buying one, check out my shop: 

If you would like to try your hand at felting some flowers yourself, here is a tutorial for you!

What you will need:

wool fibers



sewing thread


small bead with hole

Let's begin:

Take a few wool fibers in your hand and sort of criss cross them around until you have a medium firm ball.

You need one bowl with soapy, hot water, and one with plain, cold water.

Carefully sink your fiber ball into the soapy water and try to maintain the ball shape as well as you can, buy cupping your hands and rolling it ever so lightly between your palms. When you have achieved a ball shape that is firm enough to hold out of the water, dunk it in the cold water for a few seconds, and roll it around.

Dunk back in the soapy water, until you have a nice squishy ball.
Rinse it in cold water and let it dry for a day or so. 

You are going to need sewing thread in whatever color you choose. I like to find a thread that blends with the color of the wool ball I will be working on.

Wax your  thread with beeswax, by pulling it through a couple of times. Thread it on a needle.

Secure the thread in the middle of the ball and run the needle straight as to create a pucker. Now go through the middle again, and tighten the thread. You will go round and round through the middle to create your petals. 

When you have your desired number of petals, secure the thread again and attach a bead in the center of your flower. 

...and that is how I create the felted flowers that I use for my necklaces.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

In Memory Of

I'm thinking of my friend today. Yesterday she took a plane home to spend time with her family over Christmas. This year her mom passed away, way too soon. She commissioned me to make some jewelry for her and her family to keep them reminded of her and each other. I think it's a beautiful idea and I hope she and her family have a peaceful Christmas with lots of bright memories of their beloved mother, daughter and wife. 

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Bring marzipan pigs to the holiday party

Most people do not think that pigs make very good host/hostess gifts. I beg to differ. 

If you know me, you know that I love sweets. The holidays are a perfect excuse for me to delve into the craft of candy making. My favorite sweet thing to make this time a year is marzipan. Marzipan is a very versatile almond and sugar paste that allows you to make figures, decorate your cake or use as filling for pastries and cakes. I usually make a separate batch for me and Lilian just  to have fun with -break out the food coloring and sprinkles of all sorts and kinds. we make christmas gnomes, mushrooms, fruits, veggies and little pigs.

Here is a great, simple recipe for marzipan, as well as a guide on how to craft our little pigs in chocolate mud.


200 g(7 oz) raw almonds

2 1/2 dl(1 cup) granulated sugar

1 egg white 

1 - 2 tbsp cold water

a few drops of almond and
vanilla extracts(optional)

3 -4 dl (1 1/3 - 1 1/2 cup) confectioners sugar

chocolate of your choice
to decorate


Blanch and skin almonds by dumping the almonds into a pot of boiling water. Let them boil for no more that 1 min, at which point you strain the liquid off. The almonds should now be easy to pop out of their skins. Let them dry on a kitchen- or paper towel for at least a few hours, preferably over night. 

Mix almonds and sugar together in a food processor until it all has the consistency of a fine powder. The finer the powder, the smoother your marsipan will be. I use a spice grinder for this purpose, and mix in small batches. That's because I do not own a food processor, but it works really well! 

From this point on, I use my hands to mix, but you can keep using your food processor, if you have one. Add egg white and a little bit of water and mix until you have hard paste. Mix in the powdered sugar, a little at a time, and keep mixing. Add more water if needed. 

Your marzipan should look like this when done:


Use a toothpick or back of a paintbrush to make eyes and nose.
Use a knife to make mouth.

Use a teaspoon to make the shape for the thigh.

Dip your pig in melted chocolate and place on parchment paper for the chocolate to cool completely. 
This is just one idea and the options are obviously endless! Bring out your creativity and come up with some delicious designs, or make these pigs just the way I make them. Box them up and take them to your next holiday party. You contribution is bound to be unique.

This is my Etsy shop:

Monday, December 14, 2015

Saint Lucia Day calls for Saffron Buns!

Yesterday Lilian and I celebrated Saint Lucia Day. In Sweden, children get up early in the morning, put on white gowns and sing Lucia Day and Christmas songs for their parents. This is a tradition that is maintained by daycares and schools, where they practice together for months and invite parents to see their children sing in the Lucia procession. Parents sit down in a dark room, and the Lucia procession enters with candles(mostly faux, battery driven candles), singing the iconic Santa Lucia song. It is really a beautiful sight in the dark, Swedish early morning winter days!

Every year Lilian an I make Lussebullar - saffrony, sweet buns that Swedes bake only around Saint Lucia Day. Our version is a little bit different than the traditional buns, in that the texture is less bready and a bit more moist and pastry-like. 

Here is the recipe, taken from ALLT OM MAT:

(makes around 32 buns)

150 g (1 1/2 stick) butter
6 dl (2 5/8 cup) milk
1 g (0.04 oz) saffron
1 tbsp sugar
12 g (almost 2 envelopes) instant dry yeast
1 egg
1/2 tsp salt
18 dl (1100 g)(7 1/2 cup) pastry flour
125 g (1 stick + 1 tbsp) butter
1 1/2 dl (5/8 cup) sugar
2 tsp cardamom
1 whisked egg for brushing

To Finish:
melted butter
fine granulated sugar


Melt 150 g(1 1/2 stick) of butter in a pot. Add milk and let it get a little warmer than body temp. Grind sugar and saffron together with pestle and mortar, or use a spice grinder. Add it to the milk/butter mixture. Whisk 1 egg into the mixture. 

In a separate bowl, or in stand mixer, mix flour yeast and salt together. Add the saffron milk and  knead, first on low- than on medium speed, using dough hook. Let it run for about 5 min, or until the dough starts to loosen from sides and travel up the dough hook. You may need to add slightly more flour, or slightly more milk. The dough should feel elastic and not very sticky at this point.


Sprinkle a little bit of flour over the dough, cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let it rise for about 40 min. 

When your dough is almost done proofing, whisk 125 g (1 stick + 1 tbsp) of butter 1 1/2 dl (5/8 cup) sugar for a few minutes. Add cardamom. Add this to the dough and slowly mix together with the dough hook, making sure the butter is incorporated into the dough. At this point, Turn your oven on at 425 F(225 C).  

Pour onto floured surface and cut up into 30 - 40 pieces.

Shape into Lussekatter or buns. 


are both traditional shapes. 

If you want to, you can add raisins to your creations. With this particular recipe, I prefer to just make plain buns - the shapes do not come out as well with this much butter in the dough - but it is such a fun activity to do with your kids, and shaping the buns is the most fun part!  You can be super creative.

Let the buns proof on a parchment paper covered(or silicone sheet) cookie sheets for 20 min. Poke some raisins into the the dough, if you want to, and brush with whisked egg. You will have several cookie sheets of buns proofing, and it's ok if they proof for longer than 20 min. 

Bake on 425 F(225 C) in the middle of the over for about 12 min. Every oven is different, so keep any eye on your buns - they should be golden brown on top when they are ready. 

Let them cool on a rack for at least 15 min. When you are ready to serve them, brush the top with butter and dip in sugar. Serve with a cold glass of milk, or with a cup of coffee. 

These buns are not very complicated to make. It just takes a little bit of time. Perfect for a weekend activity with your kid!

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Sunday, November 29, 2015

Here is how you brew your own Swedish glogg with ingredients found in the US.

It is first Sunday of Advent. I wake up this morning and go outside to water my plants. The water feels icy cold on my fingers and I have decided that I need to start a new batch of Dunderglögg. 

Glögg is that Swedish spiced wine that you heat up and drink on cold winter days to warm you up from the inside and out. Here in the Bay Area we rarely have to worry about getting cold to the core, but you will find that this steamy holiday spiced libation doesn't need an excuse to be consumed. It is quite delicious and will be of great aid if you are having trouble getting in the spirit. 

Below you will find a recipe that I have adapted from the (in Sweden) famous "Två Dagars Dunderglögg" recipe. The reason I have tweaked the recipe is because the main ingredient - svagdricka - is impossible to find. At least in this part of the US. If you have an IKEA store anywhere close you can find my substitute, julmust, there. 

The recipe is very simple but very gratifying when you in 3-6 weeks, will be able to reap the fruits of your labor. The wine can be enjoyed in just a few weeks but will be even better next year, if you have some left that is...

(tweaked from "Två Dagars" recipe)

10 bottles (5 liters) of IKEA's Julmust

 2 packets(a little less) of active dry yeast (12g)

1 pound potatoes (about 1 1/2 russet baking potatoes)

4 inches of fresh ginger root

3 3/4 pounds sugar(almost a whole packet)

20g(0.7 oz) whole cardamom seeds

11g(0.4 oz) whole cloves

1 cinnamon stick

250 - 500g(1/2-1 lb) raisins


1 bucket or vessel - 3 gallon capacity

Plastic wrap

( OPTIONAL) Plastic pliable tubing. I found mine at the pet store. 
Intended for aquarium use about 1/4 inch diameter.

Perfectly clean bottles of your choice


Peel and slice potatoes and ginger root. 
Dissolve the yeast in a small amount of julmust in a bucket or bowl. 
Add the rest of the julmust and all other ingredients.
Mix well.
Cover the bucket or bowl with plastic wrap and poke a few holes in it.
Let sit in room temperature for 3-6 weeks without stirring. It is important to not touch the mixture during this time, as you will disturb the brewing process. 

After 3-6 weeks, very carefully bottle the wine using your tube. Stick one end into the bucket, but keep the end close to the surface. You do not want any of the sediment and lees to be transferred into the bottle and cloud your beautiful glögg. Suck carefully on the other end of the tube until the glögg comes through. Stick the end you just sucked, into a bottle and fill it up.

Heres a link on how to do it:

If you don't have a tube, don't worry! You can bottle your glögg by any method you fancy - just make sure you don't get the sediment into your bottles.


Coarsly chop almonds and mix with raisins.

Pour desired amount of glögg into a sauce pan and carefully heat it. You do NOT want it to simmer or boil, or you will burn off the alcohol. 

Pour the glögg into a mug and add a small amount of the almond and raisin mix. Enjoy just on its own, or with a slice of banana- or gingerbread.  

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Monday, November 23, 2015

The Pirate Bag

This year for Halloween, Lilian wanted to be a pirate. Specifically the "girl pirate"(Penelope Cruz' character) in "Pirates Of The Caribbean". It was a fairly easy costume to make. Especially compared to the Tim Burton "Alice In Wonderland" dress from last year that I slaved and swore over for a week. This one was done in a couple of evenings! I made some bling out of polymer clay and painted it gold, a super easy peasant blouse in cotton voile and some accessories for a cheapo hat from Walgreens. The hands down coolest piece of the whole outfit had to be the pirate bag, though.

On a trip to discount fabrics in Berkeley, I found a super soft and distressed looking piece of leather for $13. Thin and soft enough to cut with scissors. I created a super simple design with just three pieces of leather, and a strap. There was even enough leather left to make one more bag, if I were to be so inclined! I stitched it together in a rustic looking way, with the seams showing, and attached the strap made with two pieces of leather glued together using leather glue. I punched some holes in the strap and used an old shoe buckle for adjusting the length.

Lilian ended up loving it, and it even doubled as a trick-or-treat bag for the loot of the evening. I think this bag has done its duty in pirate adventures, and will have to live out the rest of its days as a handbag for me. 

Cheese And Charcuterie

Lilian had the best idea for dinner tonight: cheese and charcuterie. We went to Trader Joe's and found  a delectable assortment of Italian cold cuts and a big hunk of Saint André cheese. We picked one of the brave tomatoes still dangling from the vines in our yard and added my homemade goat cheese and some grapes. There you go: instant feast!

Lilian's favorite was the capocollo and I gobbled up all the prosciutto...
In a couple of days she will be off to Hawaii with her dad for a week. I will miss that lovely child and her bright ideas!

C'mon over to my etsy shop and have a look:

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

After Fair Replenishing

Last weekend, I had a fair. I packed all my stuff up, unpacked my stuff at the venue, packed it up again, and then finally unpacked it when I got back home. Doing fairs is A LOT of work, both before and after. Replenishing is what I have been doing since the weekend. Endless variations of hoops!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A Logo At Last

Ahhh....I finally got around to making a logo for my company. I am quite pleased with the result, if I may say so myself!

I sent it off to have it made in to a stamp for my gift boxes and bags. Can't wait to get it and start stamping away!cgfh

Monday, November 9, 2015

How I Made A Fancy Finger Knitted Silk Scarf

A few years ago I did a job as a pattern maker for a clothing collection. I showed some samples of my finger knitting to the designer, who in turn contracted me for some of the knitwear part. I ended up using scraps from the collection to finger knit a stole, shawl and some fingerless gloves. Today, I dug up some old scraps and decided to guide you all through the process of making a fancy neck warmer.

The first thing you want to do is make sure you have enough fabric for your project. The neck warmer will be pretty heavy.
Cut the fabric into 2 inch strips and sew them together into a loooong ribbon. If you run out, you can add ribbon as you go.

Make a loop at the end of the ribbon and fold fabric in half lengthwise as you go.

Keep making loops until you have a length that reaches around your neck, and a little bit more. Start knitting with your fingers, making sure that the raw edges are hidden as much as possible.

Drop the stitches onto your thumb. When your thumb gets full, pull it out and pick up the last two stitches in the row. Keep going back and forth, knitting one row purl, one row knit. When you have about 4 to 5 inches width, cast off.

Secure ends by sewing them to the backside of the neck warmer. 

Sew on 2 ribbons of choice in place of the ends.

And your fancy finger knitted neck warmer is finished!

To tie the scarf around your neck, simply pull the ribbons(one at a time) through two different spots of the loosely knitted fabric. Tie into a bow.

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