Tuesday, 29 July 2014

PHOTO BOOK: THAT TIME DFA1979 TOOK US TO CALIFORNIA

So I finally organized myself enough to complete a photo book from mine and Graeme's holiday in California a few years ago. Yeah, you read that right, it's actually been 3 years since we went on this holiday, and I haven't gotten around to making the book until now. But alas, it's finally here and I thought I'd share a few pages!


It's a funny story actually, how we ended up going to California in the first place. We were living in Scotland and I was browsing festivals and looking at the Coachella line-up, and was so excited about it that I called up Graeme and suggested we go. The conversation went something along the lines of this:

"Ok, so there's this festival with the most amazing line-up. SO many awesome bands are playing," I say and list half the line-up, and finish with "...and Death From Above." There's a silence on the other end of the line. Graeme and I are both huge DFA fans, and at the time, they were split up and had been for years (he saw them in Edinburgh many years ago, and still rubs it in my face). "Ok, that's actually sounding really good," he finally says, "But I bet it's expensive. How much?" "It's not that bad actually, only 269 dollars," I answer in my most enthusiastic voice. "No, that's not actually that bad... wait, what? Dollars? What do you mean? Hilde, where is this fesival?"


And while he was very skeptical at first, he ended up agreeing to go, with Death From Above 1979 being the winning argument (hence the title of the photo book). We ended up renting a car in LA and driving up to San Fransisco, where we stayed at a friend's house and I got to meet up with some old high school friends, before driving back to LA to pick up my friend from the airport who decided to join us at Coachella as she was flying from Nepal to El Salvador and stopping in LAX anyway. We then headed to the festival and stayed at a 5 star resort in Palm Springs. It was a pretty awesome holiday (especially considering it was a bit of a spontaneous one and very little planning went into itwe bought my friend's ticket on the day of the festival from some Scottish guy we met there, and the only reason we ended up at the resort in Palm Springs was because camping got sold out so quickly and my friend's mom had a hotel time share), so I'm happy to finally have this photo book made. Now, maybe I should go look at other random festival line-ups around the world and book something again? I hear Fuji Rock is supposed to be pretty good...?



On a different note, we're now back from our holiday in Spain! We had a fantastic time, and I took loads of pictures so I'll post a couple of those soon. Have several rolls of film to develop! I also managed to get myself sick though, so I'm currently spending my evening on the couch with my duvet, watching David Attenborough and eating Graeme's homemade chicken soup. It's the best medicine!

Thursday, 24 July 2014

BLUEBERRY & ELDERFLOWER DRIZZLE BARS

I bought a blueberry bush full of berries this summer, and immediately had grand plans of cooking with my future blueberry harvest. Unfortunately, I'm not the best gardener, so sadly these blueberry and elderflower drizzle bars were not made with blueberries from my own garden. I'm definitely improving my gardening skills though, and it's now been a very long time since I actually killed a plant (not counting the very sad looking coriander plant that's currently sitting on my kitchen window sill, not sure there's much hope for that one).

My garden actually had a blueberry bush in it before, but one day my mother dug it up and moved it to my parents' cottage. I can't really objectit's their garden after all, but the fruit bearing plants in the garden are my favorite, so I was very excited about buying a new blueberry bush to replace it. I headed to my local garden center, bought a bush full of soon-to-be berries, dug a hole and plunked it in. It looked great. For a couple of days. Then the leaves started shrivelling up and going brown. My soon-to-be berries fell off. My blueberry bush looked about as unhappy as a blueberry bush can be, and the chances of it yielding any berries at all this year seemed to grow smaller by the minute. I asked my green thumbed mother about it, who told me I probably should have let the bush soak in a bucket of water, so that it was properly watered before I planted it. All I could do now was keep watering it and hoping it settled in and didn't die. And while my poor blueberry bush was looking like it might not survive at all for a long time, I am very happy to say that is now almost completely green and looking much happier! It's even still got a couple of berries on it, though not really enough to cook anything with (it had three, then I came along and now it has two).  Now I am very much looking forward to making these blueberry and elderflower drizzle bars with blueberries from my own garden next year. Alternatively, I might need to drag Graeme to the mountains for some blueberry picking once the season starts.

Blueberry & Elderflower Drizzle Bars:
2 large eggs
175 g caster sugar
150 g butter, melted
250 g flour
1 tsp baking powder
75 ml milk
zest of 1 lemon
175 g blueberries (plus extra for serving)
Elderflower syrup

Direction: Pre-heat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius. Mix together eggs, sugar and butter in a bowl until combined and fluffy. Fold in the flour and baking powder, and mix in the milk, lemon zest and blueberries. Spread the batter in a greased 20x20 cm tin, and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Once it's done, poke holes in the top with a fork and drizzle the syrup over. Let it soak in and cool completely. Cut into squares, and serve with extra blueberries and a dusting of powdered sugar or some whipped cream if you have it.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

ORIGAMI CLUTCH BAG

You can never really have enough clutch bags, can you? This is one of those projects I've had in my head for ages, yet somehow never found the time to make. It's my first time sewing a bag, so I think part of the reason I kept putting it off was because I was worried I was going to mess it up. But I'm so glad I finally got around to it last weekend, as I'm really happy with the end result. Here's how I made it:



Supplies: you will need fabric, clip buttons, and a strap. For my fabric, I used leftover charcoal wool as well as a red polka dot cotton for the lining. I recommend using a thick fabric here if you can, so that your clutch bag gets a bit of structure and doesn't end up being too floppy. For the strap, I used a chain from an old bag I no longer use. A belt would be really cool to use here (and I reckon a brown leather belt would have worked really well will my charcoal wool here actually). 



First, cut out two squares from your fabric, measuring 45 x 45 cm. Pin right sides together, and sew around, leaving a gap of around 5 cm. Cut off the corners, turn it inside out and hand stitch the gap. You should end up with what basically looks like an empty pillow cover. Now for the folding bit. I struggled to take pictures of this, as the contrast between my fabrics made everything go all white if I focused on the wool, or made the wool go super dark if I focused on the inner lining (clearly I need to go out and practice with my SLR more). So instead, I made a diagram in Illustrator to show how to fold the bag (clearly I also need to practice my Illustrator skills moreI swore like a sailor while drawing this, and had to stop halfway through for a cake and ice cream break).



(A) Start with the inner lining facing upwards.  (B) Fold diagonally in half, though make sure you can see a couple cm of the bottom half to prevent the inner lining from showing when the clutch bag is closed (in other words: not quite half). (C) Fold in the sides, so that the top and bottom halves are of equal length. (D) Stitch along the top of the fold, to make sure it stays in place. (E) Fold down the top fold, pin in place and stitch it up. (F) Attach the strap and sew in place the clip buttons. Yay, clutch bag done!


Have you sewed a clutch before? I love adding homemade items to my wardrobe. Let me know if you try making one of these!

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

HAPPY HOUR: BASIL & LIME KYOTO


I'm in Spain! We left early in the morning yesterday and flew to Alicante, where we're staying in a sailboat for a night before we're meeting some friends at the train station and going up to Benicassim for the Benicssim Festival! After the festival, we plan on hiring a car and spending a week at my parents summer house near Murcia. So I am well and truly in holiday mode today! I still have a few blog posts that I'll be posting while I'm away though, and I figured I'd start with this lovely cocktail I've been enjoying this summer.



I've pretty much decided that this is my summer cocktail of 2014 (with rhubarb and strawberry gin smash being a close second!). I've never been much of a gin drinker before, perhaps because I once as a teenager sneaked a bit of my parents' Beefeater and mixed it with orange juice and was pretty horrified at the result. But recently I was in a bar in Oslo and got served a Kyoto and my perspective on gin changed completely. I'd never had one of these before, but I loved it immediately. It's fruity and fresh, but not overly sweet like some fruity cocktails can be. It's light and summery, and the taste of gin isn't too overpowering. So when a friend of mine came over from London to visit for the weekend, I put in an order of a bottle of Hendricks from the duty free.


Basil & Lime Kyoto (is this the easier recipe to remember or what?):
10 ml simple syrup
20 ml passion fruit syrup
30 ml freshly squeezed lime juice
40 ml gin
Soda water
Basil leaves
Ice

Directions: Fill your cocktail shaker with ice and all ingredients bar the soda water. Shake for a good 10 seconds, then pour into a long glass. Top with soda water, and throw in a lime wedge. Enjoy!


Saturday, 12 July 2014

LA SARDINA // HAUSVIK

Hi, remember me? I've been on a bit of a blogging hiatus this summer. It wasn't really intentional. It started out with a pretty busy schedule with work and weekends away and other stuff going on, and then with all this amazing weather we've been having, it was nice to not think about trying to fit blogging in as well. Because let's be honest, this whole blogging thing can be pretty time consuming. And who wants to sit inside on their laptop when it's so gorgeous and sunny outside? I live on the west coast of Norway, and we don't really get a whole lot of days like this over here after all. But then after a while it kind of dawned on me that it's been forever since I had any projects on the go. As Graeme's here now (he came and surprised me on my front door a week early... with no return ticket to the UK! :D), so we've been on a few photo adventures recently.

The film is currently being developed, so I'm hoping to be able to share of those photos soon. In the meantime, I thought I'd share a few photos from a roll of film that has been sitting in my fridge for a while and I recently got developed. So flashback to last summer, when Graeme's friend came to visit and we headed to my parents' cottage at the south of Norway for a bit of fishing. These were all taken with the Lomography La Sardinia, with regular 35mm film. It's been a while since we've been there now, so we'll have to make a trip down soon!





On a completely different note, Graeme is currently working on a new design for my blog! So stay tuned!