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Archive for the ‘Interior’ 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!
 

Fat, fluffy flakes of snow are falling gently outside my window, covering everything in spinned cotton of the purest white. The hint of spring that I felt in the air at the end of last week is a distant memory. Mother nature reminds us that it is still winter, we are not quite there yet.

 

But that’s ok. Because here inside its warm and cosy. The fire is lit, I have had a delicious and healthy breakfast (natural yogurt and berries with oats on top): and little 5 month old Emma Louise is gurgling happily to herself. Life is good.

 

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The view from our living room window is just amazing now. The sky and sea and lake are all beautiful tone-on-tone shades of grey. From the pales white of the snow to the deep blue grey of the sea, which reflects the dark, moody clouds that offer the promise of more snow to come. Last night I peeked out the window in the middle of the night, as I often do when I am up feeding little Emma. There winds were blowing a gale and the huge hailstones were flying through the air horizontally. They completely covered the rooftops and the ground. Today; all is calm. The mood of the nature around me is reflective. Slightly melancholic. Interspersed with sudden smiles of bright sunshine.

 

How are you today?

 

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I wanted to send you an image of the lovely bright colourful roses that I treated myself to recently. (Well, I say treated myself, but it was hubby that actually paid for our groceries yesterday, so I guess he bought me flowers!).
In the midst of all the thoughtful greys and winter whites displayed outside, these are just pure sunshine and they lift my spirits no end.

 

I was going to go for my usual choice of pastel pink roses, but little Isabel, my four-year old daughter, wanted me to get the bright orange ones. I am not such a big fan of bright orange, unless its autumn!  But then we saw these, a bright colourful mix, and a compromise was achieved! As I said, I usually go for pastels but I think these look lovely and they have really brightened up my kitchen, and my day. Seems that dear little Isabel has impeccable taste! Want a closer look?

 

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I am slowly getting away from my urge to have everything in pastell-y colours; from my home decor to my clothing. This is partly to do with some of the great colourful craft blogs out there. If I need a colour fix, I have several bloggers I follow that never fail to deliver: French Sucrette at le monde de Sucrette, with her great colourful crochet blankets; the warm and inspiring home of the famous and talented Lucy at Attic 24. These two bloggers are also avid Crocheteers and use their craft to create bright and colourful homes that are just adorable. So, inspired by them, I am bringing in the brights with my spring  fling blanket and rainbow of roses.

 

I still love shabby chic though. For those of you that love romantic homes you need go no further than to Olivia’s. I have no idea how I am going to merge my adoration of slightly vintage romantic style with my new love of cosy country colour and an anything-goes palette. Any thoughts or ideas? Any blog recommendations for either style  would be greatly appreciated!

 

What I must admit, I’e gone off on a bit a tangent. I was actualy going to tell you about techniques I am using to have a more organized life. Oh, and show you the crocheted baby booties I’ve finished…..

But little Emma needs to be loved up , so I’ll have to get back to you in a new post.

Have a beautiful day!

Marilyn x

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Hello friends! Thanks for stopping by!

I adore pretty ribbons and I have plenty, but I must confess that I never know what to do with them. They look lovely and colourful stored in their little glass jars, but I want to put them to good use, without necessarily having to break out the sewing machine (there’s not always time for that ’round here!)

Well last week I went out to buy some binding for a dress I am planning to sew, and I came back with a good few metres of pretty ribbons and binding that I just didn’t need. I couldn’t resist! Besides I just know that I will use them some day, right?!

And then, I was looking at my plain white ikea lamp and wandering how I could spruce it up a bit. And then it dawned on me! I could add one of my pretty new ribbons.

Now I am a commitment-o-phob when it comes to craft. I can’t stick to just one craft. Its crochet one week, sewing the next, with a bit of papercraft thrown in. And with each craft I have several projects going at one time and thousands of plans for many more. And I am completely in love with the craft du jour and completely convinced that this time I will stay faithful. For ever. I love crochet and I will never, ever knit again. Until, oh, maybe two days later; when a lovely pattern for a knitted hat catches my wondering eye….:)

Well the same applies to interior. One f the reasons I love white is because it provides a blank canvas for whatever mood I am in. I like to change the look of my home according to the season and holiday. So back to my lamp. I couldn’t face the thought of glueing the pretty floral ribbon to my lampshade. oh no. Way too permanent. What if I got bored with it? What would I do at Christmas where the look is red and cosy and wintry? So what did I do? I tied the ribbon to the lamp. The top and the bottom. The knots are hidden on the side of the lamp that faces the wall.Easy peasy lemon squeezy. Admittedly its a bit roughly done and needs adjusting slightly. But I don’t care. I now have a pretty little ribbon on display without feeling all tied down. 🙂

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Anyone else have a problem staying faithful to their craft? 🙂 What are you working on now, and what is tempting you even more??:)

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I have developed a love for all things crochet. I am actually originally a knitter, and as current trend dictates, you are supposed to love either crochet or knitting and not both. Knitters have been known to crochet in secret so as not to tar their reputation, or have any fellow knitter doubt their dedication to the craft. A real knitter may even feel that they are being slightly unfaithful in picking up a crochet hook, even if it is just to pick up a dropped stitch. One feels that one is cheating.

What drew me to crochet was the fact that it can lend fantastic structure to garments. When perusing baby booty patterns, those that I liked the best were the booties that actually stood up on their own, as opposed to the ones that lay flat in the way that socks do. Invariably this affect seemed to be achieved through crochet. So I bit the bullet and dug out my slightly dusty crochet hooks. And this was the start of my current love affair with all thing crochet.

Though I feel slightly guilty admitting it, I do believe that crochet has a few advantages when compared to knitting. This is what I have found during my moonlight crocheting….

  1. Its faster. You get results quicker. I am a mother to a baby and a pre-schooler. Time is of the essence. And almost instant gratification suits me down to the ground.
  2. Its faster! This means that if you a making clothing for the little ones you actually get to finish them before they have outgrown them.
  3. You can’t see mistakes as easily. In the grand scheme of things, a stitch made from split yarn is barely noticeable in a piece of crochet, compared to knitting. This means less ripping back, which also saves time.
  4. You use one hook, instead of two (or even five!) needles. One less piece of equipment to keep track of!
  5. Lacework is a doddle and is much quicker and easier to follow
  6. You can get a really dense piece of fabric with crochet, without necessarily using chunky yarn
  7. It lends well to structures and more tailored pieces, without having to rely on complicated pattern

So anyway, I am happily crocheting away on several projects while my knitting is slowly collecting dust. (sorry). And one of these projects, my biggest project to date, is what I am calling my spring fling blanket.  Its based on a ripple pattern as found on one of my favourite blogs Attic 24. And the colours that I have chosen are inspired by spring. I love white furniture and I have a white sofa (mad, I know, with two young children) But lately I have been feeling that everything is a bit too white, and I would like to inject some colour for the spring and summer months. What a I love about this blanket is that the pattern is so easy, once you have compleated the first two or three rows, you’re away in a wonderful repetative reel. It crochets up quickly, you can decide the colours depending on whatever mood you are in, and you don’t have to keep check the pattern. So when i am watching tv and need something uncomplicated, or when I only have a moment and need a quick crochet fix, this is my go to. Its m comfort blanket. I urge you to make one too!

Are you a knitter or a crocheter? What are you working on at the moment? Feel free to leave a comment, I would love to hear from you!

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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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