Wednesday, July 16, 2014

LITHA FASHION COLLECTION

  Here it is, finally, the whole of my diy Litha wardrobe at a glance:

"The Biker Boy". (I ditched the original diy jeans because the fabric ended up stretching a lot in use. I have not yet had time to make another pair, so for now I settle for my pair of demi curve Levi´s.)


"Minnie Mouse".

"National Dress of Nelland".

"Nautical Polka Dots".

"The Pirate". The cropped pants look really wide here, which they are not quite so when worn.



  I call this mission accomplished! (For a perfectionist there is always room for little fixing here and there, but is important to keep evolving, for the better that is.)

Thursday, July 10, 2014

PERFECT SUMMER BITES

  After dinner today I went outside with my kids to hang out and enjoy an awesome, warm summer evening. First we headed backyard to see how the wild blueberries are coming. You know, if by any chance we could get a super-healthy dessert! Here´s what we found:

Loads of ripe blueberries! Yay!

The recipe: pick a handful and pour in to your mouth. Repeat for about twenty times. I like blueberries the most straight off the shrubs, with nothing added, eaten in the forest. They are true superfood.
  Then it was time to hit the kitchen garden. Another pleasant surprise was waiting for us:

Yum! The first strawberries have ripened too! I´m a lazy gardener, and have little interest in watering my plants. No surprise, not many things grow with never-seen-before success in my care. But strawberries are ones that do. And I love them!
The recipe: Pick a deep red strawberry, lift it up in sunlight, and take a big bite. Can summer taste any better?

  With my stomach full of perfect summer bites, I found yet another feast. But this one was for my eyes only:

Goutweed blooms so prettily in our yard. My daughter likes to smell all flowers now, so she was the first one to stick her nose in it. Only a month ago I was still collecting the small and tender leaves of goutweed into my smoothies, and now it continues to please me. I´m glad we have these natural "flower benches" in our yard. No effort, only joy.

So much beauty (and health) lies in weeds!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

LITHA FASHION: THE PIRATE

 The classic, positive, non-throat-cutting one that is. My pirate inspired outfit for Litha is definitely a must in my garderobe. It is a happy outfit, especially good for sunny days.

  This is no ode to the real pirates of today, or the past for that matter, but for the imaginary characters we´ve all read about and seen on screen since childhood. The ones that always seek glorious treasure chests, fight with swords, and make tales fun and exciting!


With a little imagination (or too much rum) I can just feel the ocean breeze in my face wearing this!  =)
Back to reality... The only trick in this outfit really is the cropped length of the pants. A pirate often strolls in shallow water, and she needs to keep her clothes dry.

Unlike in the design, I left out the white stripes at leg hems. They would have been too cartoon-ish in real life.
"Ahoy there! Any signs of riches yet?"

This look is all about pure classic style. Nothing more is needed.

Makeup is fresh and classicly feminine with the bright red lipgloss. Initially I wanted big golden "basketball wife´s" hoop earrings, but I have not yet found the perfect pair. So I opted for these happy bow earrings. Why not wear cool eucalyptus essential oil with them to set the right energetic mood for pirating?!
  My pirate look is a more friendly one that what is often seen on screen. After all, I do not want kids to run away screaming when they see me. I rather go for the kind seen in Pippi Longstocking in the South Seas (in 1974). What great summer fun!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

LITHA FASHION: NAUTICAL POLKA DOTS

  Nautical style is awesome for Litha! The bright white, red, and blue are so fresh when combined, that they tune in so well with the colors and energy of nature. Not that there´s an abundance of bright red outdoors this time of year, but nature is clad in it´s strongest, deepest, and brightest colors now. Just taking a look at the trees or grass is proof enough. What vibrant livelihood they possess!

  That vibe is my inspiration for the entire Litha collection, and is the primary energy behind this nautical styled outfit too:

Check out the whole story (with more pictures!) on my column, Nelland Living, on PaganPages.org.

Monday, June 30, 2014

SAVING MONEY ON TOWELS

  There are some things in life that I just take for granted. Things like the fact that my car runs, that there is always toilet paper in the closet, that the smoke alarm batteries have power, and that there are always enough clean towels at hand. You know, things that usually work without further effort, but when they don´t, it feels extremely annoying.

  When we bought our summer home three years ago, one of the first things I did was got us a nice matching set of towels there. Our daughter was already on her way then, so I knew to buy four matching towels.
  It all went fine at first, and the sauna looked cute with the tone-to-tone towels hanging there. But then after only a few months my husband someone lost two of the precious (and expensive and high-quality!) towels! Lost, forever! At first I was mad, but as a nice wife and an understanding person =) I kept it all in, and then only regretted to have spent all that money on something as silly as towels. Life is for living, not worshiping material...

  This summer I finally did something I have planned on doing for years already. I asked around my family and friends if they had any mismatch/unused bath towels to spare. I wound up with eight. Eight hideous, brightly colored, wildly printed bath towels, that nearly hurt my eyes to look at.
  I bought a pack of machine washable black dye, and loaded the washing machine with at least double the recommended weight of towels, and pressed "run".
 The end result? Beautiful evenly colored dark grey bath towels totally suitable for our summer cabin use!

Dark grey suits the surrounding nature so well here!

Towels are made of pure cotton, which absorbs the dye perfectly. The only parts left in their original color were sewing and embroidering threads in some of the towels.

The color is beautifully even and alike in all of the towels (only four are pictured, four are already in use =).

Some of the bath towels are relatively thin, but that just makes them dry faster in the sun!
  My total budget for the project ended up barely reaching 10 bucks, which was the cost of the dye. The towels were free of charge, and minimum money went on running the washing machine.
  Had I bought six more of the original towels, the cost would have been over 200 bucks! So I ended up saving 190,- in money, plus a lot more in saving the nature with not buying new things.

  I´m totally happy with this project, and can recommend it to everyone!

Friday, June 27, 2014

LITHA FASHION: NATIONAL DRESS OF NELLAND

  Although it is not the independence day of Nelland during Litha (don´t know when it is exactly... never thought of it really... on my birthday perhaps? =) I strongly feel I need a national dress as one of my outfits. Just to celebrate and honor summer. Like this:

A very traditional and old-fashioned look, but with updated twist. The skirt is short and the vest and blouse are sewn together, all for convenience´s sake of course. My clothes need to be easy to wear, or they will stay in the closet!
Here´s what I pictured it would look like before going shopping for fabrics.
The only major change from the original plan is the skirt. I could not find anything striped and stretchy with black and red on it. So I went for this dark brown with printed-on golden circles to form uneven vertical stripes. But it left me missing the red.
The skirt fabric is very thin jersey, so it drapes beautifully. The white cotton lace at the hem edge binds the top and bottom together style-wise, and brightens up the otherwise quite murky outfit. These beautiful red shoes add a needed red accent to the look.

Plus I found these cute little ladybug buttons from my stash. I could not resist applying a few to enhance redness. This tiny one sits at the neckhole in the back.
To be honest, I ran out of metal buttons here. Luckily I came to think of replacing them with two more ladybugs. They also make this outfit fun, which is important. Life should not be too serious, even for us grownups!

It may be too much, but I absolutely wanted to attach this tiny brooch to the chest. It was made for me by my son when he was about six or so. I still remember how we sat and waited for hours in a hospital during one of the check ups for his allergies, and to kill time he made me this ladybug. A real treasure to me!
  All in all my national dress is an awesome addition to my Litha Collection. If I saw someone wearing something like this on the street, I know it would cheer me up and bring a happy smile on my face. I hope it will do that to others too!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

MINTY CUCUMBER IN GIN COCKTAIL

  This is what I vacuumed inside me all through summer solstice party last weekend (well, perhaps slightly exaggerating... not all through  =).

Bombay Sapphire gin has been on my shopping list since last October, and only now I went and bought it. I have been planning for a recipe ever since. A tour on Google taught me that anything possible can be mixed with gin, so I explored my taste buds and came up with a recipe of my own.
Cucumber and mint give gin a refreshing kick.
The recipe (for one):

1 fl.oz. (1/3 dl) Bombay Sapphire gin
1/2 drop of essential mint oil
3-4 slices cucumber, slightly crushed to give more flavor
grapefruit soda pop
(crushed ice or ice cubes if desired)

+ Combine the first three ingredients, then fill up the glass with soda. (You can add ice cubes if you like, I find it only diluting great tastes.)

  This drink is sweet enough for my taste, and so easy to drink that I have to be careful with the quantities... =)