I’m working on my healthy eating posts, but as they take such a long time to write, here’s a jumble of some day to day shots.
I’m already looking forward to a quiet long weekend with hopefully some first spring gardening (please make my seeds arrive by then!) and reading. Always reading.
I’ve been buying second hand books, some old childhood favorites. Just finished reading the ‘Gulla’ Series, a swedish book series set in the late 19th century. I had this down for a girls book, but reading the whole series has made me realize it covers a range of topics, most prominently poverty, resourcefulness and class distinction. The author is Martha Sandwall-Bergström. The original swedish series goes by the name ‘Kulla-Gulla’ but it seems there’s an english translation where the name Gulla has been changed to Anna (‘Anna All Alone’ is one book in the series)
Found the perfect oat cakes recipe by experimenting. Like, healthy and yummy and filling and did I mention yummy? Recipe post coming soon!
I changed up the packaging of my prints and love the new look. More photos here!
What inspires you in your work? I talk about my photography style and inspiration as well as the challenges of running an Etsy shop in an interview on Katie’s blog: Do have a look and let me know what you think!
The tomatoes keep on coming.
I grew four varieties on our balcony this year. The sweet and tiny red one are easiest to grow in containers whereas the Green Zebras and Black Plums were a bit disappointing. The tastiest is a pink beef tomato from Spain, the seeds coming from the brother of a friend’s own garden. It produced only a few fruits but they were very good!
My mom grew them in her garden and when allowed to root deeply these grow into the hugest tomatoes ever.
She’s picking them to ripen indoors since the weather has turned cooler.
Speaking of cooler weather, I’ve picked up some knitting again that got cast aside in spring. This pea green cowl in seed stitch turned out to be almost done, it just needed joining and weaving in the ends.
The dress I’m wearing is years old and was originally a dark grey. I’ve always loved the fit but hated the color, so I decided to try dyeing it in the washing machine. It was that or putting it on the donation pile. The dyeing turned out to be the easiest thing ever! Here’s a before and after:
Now I can’t stop thinking what else I’d like to dye! I dyed an old blazer as well but unfortunately it didn’t take the color much. I should have looked at the fiber content first…still, it’s a bit better than before:
The fall sock knitting is progressing nicely too. A couple more nights and these should be done.
Recently I’ve been digging out old books again. Some of the books you read as a child always stay with you I guess and it’s lovely getting back into the old stories. Some of these are quite old and were actually handed down to me by my mother.
One of my favourites is a story about a young norwegian girl leaving the isolated area she grew up in to live and work in the city, going through many hardships but finally achieving not only a school diploma but also starting her own business. A simple but heartwarming story and quite modern considering it was published in the 1950’s and is set sometime in the 1930’s and 1940’s! In fact, there are only a few passages that clearly date the story (for example when the protagonist gets pregnant and everyone she announces it to insists on downing a bottle of bubbly with her!). Apparently these were only published in german and scandinavian languages, but if you can read either, look up the author Berte Bratt for the “Anne” trilogy.
Reading is complusive for me. Whether it be novels or non-fiction, books transport me to a different world, open up new possibilities and motivate me. A day on the couch with a book is a day well spent for me.
I believe education and learning is a central part of life and even after finishing my official education I am constantly learning and loving it. We’re planning on becoming more self-sufficient and healthy next year which involves growing our own vegetables. Besides the huge amount of free education on the internet through websites and blogs I do love having an actual book to get back to from time to time.
Here’s an overview of books I’ve recently read or am planning to read soon:
Clockwise from the left: Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls – I’m about a third through it, utterly fascinating read about a fiercely independent (horse)woman in the first half of the 20th century (the author`s grandmother), who always comes out on top no matter what. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. Simple and wonderful. Read it a couple of weeks ago and am still pondering over the meaning(s). Made from Scratch by Jenna Woginrich. Loved her stories of office-worker gone farmer. Definitely some great inspiration in there. This book more or less nudges you in the right direction instead of providing detailed descriptions. The Bountiful Container by McGee & Stuckey. The bible for any container gardener. Extremely detailed and helpful, even though very tailored to the US market. I actually spent weeks on this (and I usually finish a book in a day or two). If you only get one book on container gardening, this is it! Canning & Preserving with Ashley English. I am only a third through with this but I can already see that I won’t get much use out of it. Sadly, american canning practices seem to be too different from european ones (from different lids to different processes) to help me with my canning. It is a pretty book though and probably very helpful if you are in the US. Grow Great Grub by Gayla Trail. Beautiful book, lots of gorgeous pictures and inspiration. This will be a great supplement to the Bountiful Container, though it doesn’t contain enough information as a stand alone for me (that could just be me though, I like to be really thorough in my research before I try something). Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. What can I say, the Shakespeare fad hits me every couple of years. I’m a sucker for pretty words. The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls. Picked this up when I bought Half Broke Horses but ended up reading it first. Disturbing and fascinating (especially to me with a bit of background on childhood psychology through college). Definitely a must-read!
I’m always on the look-out for more great reading, so if you have any suggestions I’d love to hear them!
My copies of ‘Design-It-Yourself Clothes: Patternmaking Simplified’ by Cal Patch and ‘Water for Elephants’ by Sara Gruen arrived in the mail yesterday. I can’t wait to read either of those, so it’s going to be a rather quiet weekend.
Also my pretty vintage treadle has had to take a trip to the sewing machine doctor’s. Apparently there really is something not quite right with the upper tension (so it wasn’t just my mistake) and while fixing it the shop will give her a good clean as well and do all necessary adjustments and such. I know it’s in good hands but I really miss it already and it will be gone for about a week! I think my relationship with my material possessions is a bit unhealthy…it is certainly wrong to be so emotionally attached to a sewing machine, a notebook or a camera, right?
I should follow the cat’s example…the only thing they’re deeply emotionally attached to is food!