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Almost raw lunch

It started of with the idea of making some coleslaw since we had some cabbage from our coop (more on the coop soon) shopping. It ended up more like a lovely pink and orange salad with cabbage, beetroot, carot and apple. The dressing was also improvised with apple cider vinegar, hazelnut oil, honey, sea salt, … Continue reading

First attempt

Determined to put into practice my intention of improving my blog photography, I tried to document my last few knitting projects. Here are the various shots that I took with my iPad:

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1 – I tried to stay close to the window in order to get as much natural light as possible (on a gray morning in Paris) but I couldn’t get a shot without all the mess in the room (cables, furniture). This shot is ok, but not great.

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2 – I then moved closer to the book shelves, hoping that the background would look better. The result isn’t to exciting either because it’s still quite messy and there isn’t much light.

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3 – Turning the light on to compensate low winter light clearly isn’t an option. The image is really yellow and the shadows are very strong.

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4 – Moving back closer to the light, I tried something different, trying to give context to the image, sort of tell a story. So I piled up the last few things I knit (did you notice the baby theme ?) on the sofa. I like that there is some green/plant on the image, though I’m not to happy with the top left corner, with all the mess around the computer. Natural light is definitely a bonus though and the little booties don’t just look like random items of a cushion. It’s more like a nice little pile of baby clothes.

I think that an key element is to find the right place, or few places around our flat where I know there will be plenty of natural light and less mess. Not really sure yet where that’s going to be, but I have hope that in the next few weeks I’ll get a chance to experiment and explore, also using my digital camera.

 

A good picture

I was really happy with my christmas projects, especially the scarf/cape I made for my Mum. Naturally i thought I’d put it up on the blog with some explanations to make it. I was really close to doing that when I realised that the pictures I took of Mum wearing the scarf were all really bad. The light isn’t good, the item does really stand out and the pictures aren’t flattering for Mum.

Ok, so taking good pictures is a challenge and makes a huge difference between blogs that I want to read and blogs that I frankly don’t really look at. And it’s frustrating not being able to take a good shotSome argue the camera is key. Well I have a decent digital reflex, something that should allow to get interesting depth in the picture and frame things properly. I also have an iPad that can really do the trick. But still, my pictures aren’t so good.

So one of my goals for this blog, along with posting more projects (I’ve been quite productive lately), is to imporve the quality of my pictures so I can be proud not only of what I made but also of how I show it. There is plenty of inspiration and tips online, on A beautiful mess for example, where they give tips for lifestyle and outfit photography and more. For now, we’ll have to do with pictures the way they are, but I haven’t said my last word.

 

A good sewing machine

This is just a quick note. I haven’t posted anything here in a long time, haven’t been doing much DIY or not really bothered taking any good picture of my creations.

Tonight I worked on a christmas present for my mum. I’ll post some pictures soon, I’m so proud of this item.

It was the occasion for me to use my sewing machine, which I don’t get to do often enough. My machine is quite new, almost 2 years I think. It’s wonderful. It’s quiet, smooth, very simple to use and has lots of automatic options like button holes and sewing buttons. I’m amazed at how it makes the whole sewing experience way way more pleasant. Mind you, I always loved sewing, but it’s a bore when the machine doesn’t work properly, or is very loud and shakes the table around (my mum’s old one does that). My new-ish baby is perfect. I’m still learning how to use certain options and I love working out a new trick it can do.

The machine is out now, I really hope I’ll get to do more sewing in the next few months. I have a few projects lined up …

Head piece

Continuing with small wedding DIY projects, this is last night’s creation: a little head piece/bridcage/fascinator (I’m not always sure what the appropriate name is).

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Anyway, after long hours spend sewing feathers and removing thems, more long hours spent trying to sew a lovely piece of fabric – left over from my wedding dress (I know, it’s yellow !), multiple attempts to attach the veil to the fascinator, I finally succeeded in making something both simple and elegant, slightly retro looking and than I’d be happy to wear for more than  few minutes.

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Wedding invitations

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Seven weeks to go before our big day. It’s about time (indeed) to send out invitations and rsvp to our guests. All of them received save-the-date cards back in the automn and a lot of our friends already confirmed. Still my baker and I want to have something a little more official, and a way to count or guests and get into more precise planning for food etc.

On the picture are the invitation in yellow, the rsvp card in bleu and the envelope. It took me some time to figure out not just what to write but how to present it, what sort of design we wanted and I could achieve on my own. And I’m really quite proud of the result, I think it’s amazing what you can achieve at home with a little patience and creativity. Also this was very inexpensive (about 25€ for the cards and envelopes, plus what it used of the printer’s cartridge).

The little garland design on the side are stamps I made with special rubber from a japanese store (could also be found online) and a few gouges. Making your own stamp is such an easy way of making cheap and very personal design.

I am particularly pleased with the result because these invitations are very us, and very much in the line of what our wedding is going to be: simple, colourful, homemade and pretty.

Go on crafty brides, make your own invitations, have fun and save money !

Experimenting with smoothies

Here are two recent recipies I made playing with nurtitious and delicious smoothies. I like giving them statement names, so here you are:

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Meet the BBBB (Black Breakfast Bad Boy): I find it’s very dark colour really exciting !

1/2 banana

1/2 courgette

1/2 small raw beetroot

1 handful of spinach

1 handful of frozen berries (fresh if you have of course)

1 apple (I like mine quite tart)

1/2 inch of fresh ginger

Zest and juice of 1 organic lime

Blend all ingredients, add supplements (maca + spiralina), adding water if necessary.

Ground 3 walnuts with a tsp of coconut flakes. Add topping to smoothie for a crumble-like effect.

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The Gass is Greener: This one is just pure creamy love.

1/2 avocado

1/3 courgette

2 handfuls of spinach

a pinch of turmeric

a pinch of paprika

a dash of tamari sauce

1 tbsp of hazelnut oil

Add water to blend. Top with wasabi sesame.

Note that this could work as a dip with less water, it’s sooo creamy !

ENJOY !

Wine glasses tags

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So I’m getting married to the best guy ever in less than 3 months. We decided to make everything ourselves, mostly for budget reasons but also because I’m a maker and it really makes sense to us this way.

Still for budget reasons we decided to rent plates and glasses from a local event planner. It’s cheap, but we can only rent a set per person (and a few extra). This means that people will have to keep their glasses throughout the evening.

But this never happens in real life, you go to a party, you leave your glass somewhere you think you’ll remember. Later you end up getting yourself a fresh glass because you can’t remember if yours is the one on the right or on the left, or if you did indeed leave it on the corner of that table.

Tonight’s project is an answer to this problem (which I think I’ll reproduce for future parties at home as well.
It’s a very simple idea, we’re simply going to give our guests little tags with their names on to keep track (hopefully) of their glasses (or at least one, let’s hope).

I made a stamp from japanese stamp rubber and stamped blue for water and red for wine (dead simple). I still have to make a seperate stamp for champagne and write the names of our guests when they confirm their presence.

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Do you think this will work ?

Vegan almond biscuits

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I am not a vegan but I am trying to find healthier options for myself, and I also really don’t like to waste anyfood when possible.

My friend from London is here so I made some almond milk for her today. Healthy treat. After blending the almonds with water, we filtered the ilk and saved the almond powder, thinking that we’d make something out of it. Later today, I threw together the amlond powder with a few other ingredients and made really nice biscuits. I used organic ingredients because some ingredients are just easier to find in organic shops, like raw almonds, coco oil or rice flour.

Here is the basic recepie, I’m sure it could be improved with spices or cacao powder or sesame seeds as my friend suggested):

200 g of almond powder (left from drained almond milk)

70 g of rice flour

80 g of coco oil (room temperature)

50 g of brown sugar

Vanilla

1 tbsp of water

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, adding to water  last to help create a rough sticky and crumbly dough. Roll small amounts of the preparation in the palm of your hand to make small balls. Flatten with a fork.

Bake for 10 to 12 min in pre-heated oven (180° – Th 6).

Leave to cool. Enjoy !