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Archive for the ‘Childrens craft’ Category

Winter’s End

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Stunning skies of bright azure are Lady Winter’s farewell gift. The sun grows in its splendor, bright and brilliant with a hint of  warmth as it strengthens in the journey towards a new, softer season. Spring has not yet sprung, but it’s near-readiness is palpable.

It’s been a busy week. Little Emma turns 6 months today. This week she has started to roll over for the very first time. I am so incredibly proud, and so amazed at how quickly time is flying. She continues to be the most relaxed baby to  “roll” the earth:)

At the same time we are rediscovering the world through the eyes 4-year-old Isabel. Yesterday, she put on spectacles for the first time, following her first eye test a few weeks ago. I do believe that she has seen my face properly for the very first time this week. Imagine. It was a moving experience of loss and of joy.

As you see from the pictures, this week has also been a time for many beautiful winter walks. It’s still quite cool here; around three or four degrees, but the slight raise in temperature is noticeable. The mornings and evenings are lighter, the days are lengthening and the atmosphere is one of hope and new beginnings. We are also treated to beautiful sunsets over the sea.

in March and April we can see the Sun setting into the sea from our living-room window. This is my favourite time of the year to sit with a cup of tea in the evening and just gaze. I can sit there for hours. I promise to share some pictures in future blogs. The one below was just at the end of the sunset and so is a little dark.

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Here in Norway the 1st March is considered the first day of spring.  So: Happy Springtime!

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Tumbling tulips. I adore tulips. Aren’t they wonderful? A true harbinger of spring. I know that many have had tulips in their home since January, but I resist the temptation. I want the exquisite pleasure of seeing their bright beauty when I really am feeling that spring is in the air.

Isn’t it wonderful that we are on the precipice of the warmer, lighter half of the year? Do you feel your heart lightening, the spring in your step. the ever so slight relief of having made it through another winter? I am quite sure that survival instinct is ingrained in us all.

There has been little time for crafting this week, but I do have some projects on the go that I will share with you soon. I have some beautiful fabric which I am just itching to do something with….sneak peek….

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But I do have a recipe for you. This is an easy pasta recipe which pretty much uses store-cupboard ingredients. I put it together quickly when we spontaneously invited friends to dinner after ice-skating.

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Pasta with Bacon and Cheese Sauce

(Dedicated to Trond 🙂

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You will need:

500g pasta of your choice

2 tbsp. butter

2 heaped tablespoons flour

500ml milk

200g cheese of choice, grated

1 small tin sweetcorn

1 handful frozen peas

1 teaspoon of oregano

1 teaspoon paprika

fresh parsley to taste and for garnish (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste

1.  Boil water in a large pan and cook pasta according to instructions on packet

2.  Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Cut up bacon rashers into small pieces (I use scissors for ease) and fry until golden and almost crisp. Remove bacon from pan and set aside.

3. Turn down heat to medium. Stir flour into butter until combined. It’s supposed to be lumpy at this point. Heat for 1 minute.

4. Add milk; a little at a time, whisking the whole time to avoid lumps. Turn up the heat and bring to boil, whisking the whole time. When the sauce begins to boil; take off the heat. Add most of the cheese, reserving a little to sprinkle over the top of the dish when finished. Stir until the cheese melts and is combined into the sauce.

5. Place back on a low-medium heat. Add the bacon. Add sweetcorn and peas and warm through. Add oregano and paprika, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add fresh parsley at the end, if using.

6. Drain off the pasta, leaving 2-3 tbsp cooking water in the pan with the pasta. The starch in the cooking liquid will give your finished sauce a smoother, silky consistency. Pour the bacon sauce onto the pasta and stir to combine. Serve in bowls for maximum comfort eating. Sprinkle cheese and fresh parsley on top. Garlic bread would be a perfect accompaniment to this dish!

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Enjoy!  ‘Til next time…..

Marilyn x

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Hello there! 

The crafting world has been owl crazy for a while. And I love it! Here I share with you some lovely free crafts found online. Click on the pictures for the links to patterns. Some great bloggers out there!

Let me know what you think: which is your favorite? Which will you be making? To motivate myself (and yourselves) I will launch a craft-a-long with the most popular one!

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First up is crochet of course, since that is my craft du jour right now. This adorable crochet owl rattle is by Naomi from her blog Lovely little life. Looks like it can be made pretty quickly and would make a lovely gift. I’ll be making this for my little EL who is soon 6 months.

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Who wouldn’t want one of these? I adore beautiful crafts that are also useful. Owl tape measure cover from Tiny Apartment Crafts. So cute! Would make a great gift!

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Quirky little pillowbox owls from Kerry’s paper crafts. Great for giving a voucher, candies, a chocolate bar. Fun!

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Gorgeous felt owl ornaments from Jessica Levitt at Juicy bits. It seems I have a bit of a penchant for colourful owls with googly eyes!

And finally…….

(I don’t know if you would call this a craft, strictly speaking, but I am all for anything that makes mealtimes more fun and encourages young children to eat up! )

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….”what is that?? “, you’re thinking.

Well, I made  a version of this fun  open sandwich. The rather more prof looking original is by Jill from the blog Meet the Dubians. My sandwich, as well as my picture; is a far cry from the beautifully stylised picture on Jill’s blog. But I don’t really mind because I made it, in a huge hurry amidst a chaotic saturday afternoon. And little IK seemed to like it, especially once she figured out what it was.

Which admittedly took a little longer then I had anticipated. I do believe the word  frog was mentioned first. I pretended not to hear….. 

Have a hoot this weekend!

Marilyn x

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My interior style is sort of modern country. I am a bit girly, and love white combined with pastels like pale pink and duck egg blue. I love simple, slightly whimsical patterns such as roses on pale backgrounds, pastel stripes, polka dots, birds and butterflies. I adore wicker baskets, flowers and interior inspired by nature, and I like white combined with silver/chrome. Here are a few of my favorite things from my home.

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Do you see that blue spotty drawstring bag in the picture? It vas very simple to sew. I’m so happy to have made something that is pretty and useful at the same time, and that fits right in with my decor. If anyone is interested I will post up a pattern on my blog. An easy and practical project that can be embellished any way you like.  There will definitely be more drawstring purses to sew in the future.

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First up I must mention the incredible weather we have had …. amazing amounts of Snow. I am a British girl living on the South West coast of Norway, and whilst I am used to the odd smattering of snow a couple of times in January, I have never encountered anything like this. On 12.12.12 it *Snowed*; with a capital S. Big juicy flakes that floated down like falling feathers. Almost 50cm deep snow, the kinda weather that closes motorways and prevents one from being able to open one’s front door.  Even my fellow Norwegian countrymen weren’t quite sure what to make of it, as the whole of my region came to a complete standstill. This amount of snow is just amazing to me. Beautiful, and very humbling as nature takes over, disrupts our daily lives,  and reminds us that  there are some things that we just can’t control.

This sort of weather is very social. Our neighbours, who we normally only get to chat with in the warmer summer months, we out shovelling back to snow, helping cars that got stuck, clearing the driveways of the older residents, and coming together in the spirit of community and shared wonder.It was heartwarming to see.

And Snow is so much fun, especially when you are only 4! Isabel, my oldest daughter,  had great fun helping Daddy make a tunnel through the snow in the garden….

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The snow came quickly, almost overnight, and what followed the next day was blizzards and  and some of the most dramatic weather I have  ever seen.  The  news reporter recommended everyone to stay indoors.  And what does one do with a bored four-year old that has been shut indoors all day? Crafts of course! So without further ado, here comes my first craft project of this blog.This one is a christmas craft for children…and the young at heart. 🙂

Have a ‘Rice’ Christmas – Christmas card craft.

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This is a children’s craft, which involves making cute holiday cards with rice. It’s very easy, with fun results and perfect for younger children. Isabel, who gets bored easily, spent an engaging couple of hours making three of these, and wanted  to do more the next day 🙂  I borrowed this craft idea from a brilliant children’s craft blog called The Crafty Crow, and thought it would work well as a home-made christmas card.

You will need :

  • Rice (preferably in a tupperware box so you can stow it away ’til next time)
  • All purpose craft glue (the liquid kind,not the ‘stick’ kind)
  • Card (coloured card provides a nice contrast)
  • buttons, beads, or similar to decorate the tree with
  • A pen to draw the trunk with
  • green food colouring (optional)

On the crafty crow blog, plain white rice is used. I myself had a little ‘aha’ moment and dyed the rice green with food colouring…..though this doesn’t show up well in the photograph. Snowy tree or green tree, it’s up to you.

1.Place rice in a bowl or tupperware box; add about a teaspoon of green food colouring if you are going for a green christmas tree. Stir well until all rice is covered. Add more for a deeper green colour if desired.
2.Fold over a piece of card

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3. On the front, draw the outline of a tree with the glue. Fill in with more glue using a brush or whatever you have on hand…we used pipe cleaners that could easily be discarded afterwards.

4. Tip plenty rice onto the glue, much more than you need to cover the tree image. Wait  a couple of seconds and then pat lightly with the palm of your hand.  Tip off the extra rice back into the bowl and you will find you have a lovely, ricey, tree image! You can decorate your tree by gluing on buttons, beads, scrapbook stickers, use your imagination. Draw a tree trunk and allow to dry.

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Ta daaaaaaa!

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As well as crafting, another passion of mine is food and cooking. And absolutely, the best thing to eat on a cold snowy day is a hot bowl of homemade soup. Perfect after shovelling snow! So, only too happy to oblige and needing to use up some left over chicken in the fridge, i set to work and made Chicken and Sweetcorn Soup. This recipe is adapted from one published on the BBC Good Food website. Its the quickest and easiest homemade soup ever, made from leftovers and store-cupboard ingredients.

Chinese Chicken and Sweetcorn soup

Yummy scrummy, easy peasy chinese chicken soup

Yummy scrummy, easy peasy chinese chicken soup

You will need:

200g chicken breast
1 large tin sweetcorn
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger, or 2 tsp. ground ginger spice
700ml chicken stock
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1tbsp lemon juice
1 egg
Soy sauce to taste

Brown the chicken in a saucepan, then add the garlic, ginger and sweetcorn: saute gently for 2-3 minutes. Mix cornstarch into a little of the stick to make a paste, and stir into the chicken mixture. Add chicken stock and stir well. Bring to the boil and then simmer for about 10-15 minutes.
Mix together lemon juice and beaten egg. Pour into soup, stirring gently, to form strands. Season to taste with soy sauce, and enjoy. Great with prawn crackers if you have them!

That’s it for today’s post. Comments are most welcome, I’d love to hear from you. Let me know if you are going to try the rice card, or the chinese style soup!

Marilyn xx

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