Monday, 1 September 2014

ADVENTURES IN SEWING: SHIFT DRESS


Lo and behold, I made a dress! This isn't actually the first time I sew a dress, but it's the first time I sew one from a pattern I made based on another dress. The original dress was a shift dress I bought a few years ago in Dublin at Forever 21. I loved it dearly, but as it was showing a bit of wear and tear I decided that it was time to let go.. at least almost. It seemed simple enough for me with my basic sewing skills to try to make my own version of it, so I grabbed my scissors, cut up the seams and made a pattern.

The original dress had ties for the back, but I decided to keep it simple and used a hook and eye clasp. I have so many other ideas now too, like maybe adding a scalloped hem at the bottom? Or changing the neck? Adding pockets? Or hello, peter pan collar? Ahh the possibilities are endless. Watch this space for more dresses!



Also, a special thanks to Graeme for taking the pictures haha. For someone who loves to take photos, I'm pretty camera-shy, and have really no idea how to even begin posing. I mean, what do you do with your face? Or all your limbs? Oh, the awkwardness. Either way, we had a good laugh taking these. And brace yourself--I finished off sewing a skirt yesterday too, so will probably do a post about that once I get organized enough to take a few awkward photos of that too!

Monday, 25 August 2014

DIANA F+ FISHEYE / BORE

Ahoy matey! Graeme and I passed our boat license exam last week. Step one of becoming Captain Hilde is complete.









































And on that note I thought I would share a couple of pictures from a roll of film I got developed recently. These were taken at a bit of a spontaneous trip to Bore beach one evening this summer, where I was about get ready for bed and was moaning about how we hadn't been to the beach in a while, so Graeme said "Ok, let's go! and off we went. These were shot with my trusty Diana F+, with 120 film and a fisheye lens.


Now all we need is a boat...

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

WHAT I'M WORKING ON: PLUM AND VANILLA LIQUEUR

More plums, plums, plums! There's been a few storms here recently and as I mentioned in my previous post, and afterwards my garden looked like a plum battlefield. Even with my parents stopping by and leaving the bags full, I still have al ot of plums to get rid of, so I thought I'd give making liqueur a go! I've used this recipe from Boozed & Infused, and just added a vanilla bean to it for some extra flavor. I'm planning on leaving it for 4 to 6 weeks, so I've marked my calendar! In the meantime, I've been searching for plum liqueur cocktails to try, so if you know any good ones, let me know!


I still have tons more plums too though haha. Graeme's dad's currently visiting, so might make a cake or a crumble or something. Anyone have any suggestions for what else I can use all these plums for?

Saturday, 16 August 2014

SKETCHES OF STAVANGER

So I bought a new sketchbook, and my intentions are to fill it with sketches of my nearby town, Stavanger. I love sketching, but I rarely sketch buildings and I feel like I really haven't figured out how to draw water yet, so I'm hoping I'll improve on the next 90-something pages! Thought I'd share a couple of my sketches so far. In order of appearance: Stavanger Bybru, the cathedral, and a scene from old Stavanger in progress. I'm think I'm looking forward to drawing old Stavanger in particular, I love all those tiny white houses and cobbled streets full of flower pots.



The sketchbook I'm using is a softback moleskin I bought in Copenhagen airport last time I was travelling (I seem to have a tendency to buy notebooks while travelling?). The pages are a little thinner than what I'm used to, so I'll only be filling one side of them with sketches. I was a bit annoyed at that at first, but I guess that will basically mean I'll only need to sketch half as many pictures as I originally thought, so maybe a blessing in disguise?

I have a friend visiting for the weekend (and once she leaves my father-in-law will be visiting for a week, exciting!), and am hosting brunch this morning so should probably get back to that! Hope you have a good weekend too!

Sunday, 10 August 2014

SPICED PLUM AND BLUEBERRY JAM

So all of a sudden, I'm ready for fall. It's started raining and thundering, I'm wearing a big chunky sweater, and the idea of some homemade jam on a bit of bread really appeals to me. This might seem a bit premature, but we've had a full on summer here since the beginning of May, and it feels like we should be in October by now. Incidentally, we also have a tree in the garden half full of ripe plums. A week ago, it was full of green, unripe plums, but during the week the southern half of the tree has become dotted with deep purple plums, fleshy and delicious. Cue the plum harvesting game, where we look like idiots trying to knock the plums off their branches, while Bo runs around our feet and catches all the ones we're too slow to get to before her. She's quick and small, and definitely has the advantage in this game.

Incidentally, we had a bit of a storm here this weekend, so last night was perfect for snuggling up with a blanket, having some toast and jam and watching the weather. And as a result of the storm, the garden is now covered in plums. Guess I'll be making a bit more of this?



Ingredients (for about two jars of jam):
750 g plums
150 g blueberries
500 g sugar
juice of 1 lemon
1 ts cinnamon
1 ts ground cardamom
1 ts nutmeg

Directions:
Remove the stones from the plums and cut them into bite-sized pieces. Add all the ingredients to a pot, bring to the boil and let it simmer for about half an hour, until reduced. It'll look quite thin still, but it'll thicken nicely once it cools. Transfer to sterilized jars.

And in case you're wondering, I had these on Nigella Lawson's irish oat rolls from Kitchen, which are also super delicious. Recommended!