Monday, April 21, 2014

Street art in the Swedens

hair bow

On our walk to dagis every day TWO and I take one of two different routes. One involves a shared walking/riding pathway. Recently, the path has had extra markings, one of which I think is a nod to Easter. 

rabbit cyclist

It makes the trip just that little bit nicer, knowing I will be seeing a pink bow and an orange rabbit on my walk. Especially considering they are at points of the trip that are uphill. I am a lazy bastard, and hills are my nemeses. Evil inclines making me work hard! *shakes fist*

In other news, we are attempting to toilet train TWO this Easter long weekend. We have discovered that as long as she is without anything on her lower half, she is more than capable to get herself to the toilet. The second that fabric of any kind is in contact however, we have accidents galore. Not sure how that is going to fly at dagis tomorrow. 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Crayon rolling

crayon roll inside

My newest go to gift for the toddler set has to be crayon/pencil rolls. I enjoy the process of choosing which of my scraps of fabric are going to be used. It's a bit like the principle I apply with the burp cloths I make for newborn babies. You don't need much fabric and end up with something functional and pretty. 

I made a whole bunch of them as gifts for three year olds on our trip back to Australia. But the one I wanted to show you today was for a friend's daughter, living in Seattle.

I bought the fabric initially as a remnant to make a wheat bag for my running buddy. I used what was left from that to make a knitting roll as part of a craft swap with my friend. There was just enough to make the matching crayon roll for her daughter. 

crayon roll rolled

I really enjoyed this one because I added a layer of fleece in the middle and quilted it together with some turquoise thread. 

crayon roll back

I am reliably informed that it gets a lot of use, especially when they are travelling. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Grateful three

When I was in the midst of post natal depression after the birth of the wee one, I used to try and get a list of three things I was grateful for together every day. It was a way to help remind myself that there were positive things in the world and that everything wasn't as bad as I imagined.

I'm not depressed anymore, huzzah!, but I am currently suffering from a cold that includes much snot and a sore throat. So I've decided to bring back the grateful three here.

1. The boy is back from four days away in Korea for work and I am no longer solo parenting.

2. My strawberry plants have flowers.

3. I finished a pair of socks that are made from leftover sock yarn that wasn't enough to make a whole pair of socks on their own. They are the kind of socks that just make you happy to look at. 

leftover socksleftover socks

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Swedish word/phrase of the week



Translation : sea squirts
Literal translation: sea pouches or sea scrotums

The wee one and I like to head to the seafarers museum after dagis sometimes. She calls it the fish museum because the ground floor contains an aquarium. I noticed this sign there a few weeks ago and was immediately struck by both the image and my understanding of the word "pung". 

I present to you another example of why my brain is a bit like that of a 14 year old. I see smut and silly jokes everywhere. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

When clearing out your crap from your parents, you find the darndest things

When we left Australia in 2009, it was only intended to be a 2 year trip. Some five years later, we are still in Sweden. We have even been granted permanent residency and are allowed to stay indefinitely. 

So what do you do when you are only going to be away for two years? You leave some useful stuff behind that doesn't fit in a suitcase. Right? 


So amongst the pots, pans, crockery, cutlery and linen left in boxes in the shed, I found a lot of my old sewn items and sewing supplies. Including a little pin book I made and the pinking shears I used to make it. Score! Both items fit in my luggage on the way back and will get some good use in the coming months I'm sure. 

Here is the pin book:

pin book

It features an applique dog made from fabric I used to make a 1939 dress. And inside it uses the same fabric I used to make PJ pants from and then subsequently dribble cloths for TWO when the PJs got a huge hole in them. That fabric has done some amazing things in the last 9 years.


It even had needles and pins still inside and they were still sharp and useful. Winner, winner, chicken dinner! 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Running headband for running buddy - SQUIRREL!


I mentioned a while ago in my running post that I started running again with a friend last year. Said friend wanted a headband to wear while she was running to keep her ears warm. 

I happened to have a bit of knit fabric scraps from a pair of ottobre pants that I made for TWO and thought I could whip up a headband quickly. 

I was correct in my assumption and the headband came together really quickly. Just a tube sewn together really, a little bit smaller than her head measurement. To ensure that it was worn with enthusiasm, I added buttons with squirrels on them because she loves them as much as I do. 
squirrel buttons

Here I am, modelling the headband, back when my hair was pink. 

headband on Kate

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Knitted cushion cover

I have a bit of a cushion obsession. Our couch has far too many of them. But I like to have a vast number to choose from for various different scenarios. The different coverings give a different feel to each one. So last summer i bought some ridiculously chunky yarn in a lovely purple and went about making a cover for one of our cushions. 

I used a simple 2X2 rib and picked some large brown buttons to finish it off. 

I'm very happy with how it turned out. 

knitted cushion cover

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Green dream puerperium

undyed cardi


green dream

I have made what could be considered far too many of these cardigans. But I think that a go to newborn knit is something worth having. I love knitting this pattern. As you may have seen here, here and here.

This ended up being for a small girl born in early January. 

I love the buttons I chose. It took me the best part of twenty minutes in the fancy button shop in town to pick them. I had a very clear idea of what I wanted to have and finding that exact gleam in the buttons was hard work. Worth it though.

close up green dream

Saturday, April 05, 2014

FOMDAPs friendly ratatoullie

When we were back in Australia my Mum had a weight watchers ratatouille recipe that she adapted to be FODMAPs friendly for me. It was incredibly tasty and it has been something I have made again at home a couple of times. Best bit is that it improves over time and I've used it in different ways. The photo does not do it justice. So tasty!



2 capsicums/peppers, diced
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 eggplant, diced
3 or 4 large tomatoes, chopped or
1 punnet of cherry tomatoes, halved
haloumi*, sliced and pan fried
garlic oil
*Haloumi contains lactose, which is a FODMAP. A few slices can be okay for some, less so for others. If you are sensitive you have two options, either omit the haloumi or take some lactase enzyme before having this meal. I risked a few slices and was rewarded with mild bloating but not a huge reaction.

How to do it:

Preheat oven to 180C.

Dice all the vegetables and place them in a baking tray with the garlic oil and herbs.

Cover the tray with foil.

Put the baking tray in the oven and bake for between 1-3 hours, giving the tray a shake every now and again.

Just before you wish to serve, fry the haloumi until golden brown.

To serve, dish up some ratatouille and place haloumi on top.

I have used this ratatouille recipe as a base for vegetarian lasagne. I've added some more tomato to it to make a pasta sauce. It's been a versatile and delicious addition to our repertoire. 

Friday, April 04, 2014

Swedish word/phrase of the week


With all the delightful weather of late, I've been to the big garden warehouse near our home. I saw this and was immediately amused. 


Literal translation: moisture hose

Reason it made me laugh? 
Yeah, the use of fukt. I'm still actually 14 years old mentally speaking. And any Swedish word with fukt in it is inherently hilarious. Combining it with slang is just icing on the immature comedy cake. 

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Roads and robots

Last summer we went to Munich for a week to visit my exchange partner and her family. I went on exchange to Germany when I was fifteen and we are still in contact now, some 18 years later. 

She had just given birth to her second child, a little boy. I wanted to make something for him that was appropriate for summertime. So I made a couple of pairs of newborn sized big butt baby pants, which have become a staple of TWO's wardrobe.

I like them because of the wide leg as well as the ample bum space for our once cloth nappied child. 

I had leftover fabric from a pair I had already made for TWO, a brown corduroy with cars and roads on it. I also had enough leftover from my first Geranium dress that I had made for TWO. 

I think they're cute, yeah?

road and robots

Wednesday, April 02, 2014


boots and skirtsstrawberry picnic

The weather has been so delightful this last week. The wee one and I had a picnic outside dagis on Friday and just soaked up some of the sunshine and ate strawberries. 

Here is the evidence. FLOWERS!