Sunday, 16 December 2012


Yay, another crochet project! Today I have been playing around with crocheting five pointed stars and thought I'd share the pattern I've ended up with. These are super quick to make, and perfect for the season. They'd look great as a Christmas ornament hanging on your tree, or as a garland, or as my friend just pointed out on my instagram, as a mobile! Or could you imagine how cute it'd be with a bunch of these all joined up as a giant starry blanket? Clearly, the possibilities are more or less endless. Get crocheting!

Directions: I used a size 3.5 mm needle for this, but I'm sure pretty much any size would work. Start off with six chains to form a foundation ring. On this ring, chain three, and then add fourteen treble crochet stitches to form the inner circle of the star. Then for each of the five star points, follow the steps below.

Step 1: Chain eight stitches, and double crochet a stitch into the sixth stitch from the circle (i.e. two from the hook). Try to make your eight chains a bit loose, so that you wont end up with squinty star points because one side is tighter and shorter than the other. Step 2: Do a half treble crochet stitch into the fifth stitch on the chain from the circle. Step 3: Do two treble crochet stitches in the fourth and third stitch from the circle. Step 4: Do two double treble crochet stitches in the second and first stitches in the chain from the circle.

And that's your star point done! Attach it three stitches from where you started it, and repeat for the remaining four star points. Secure your thread and you're done!

Wednesday, 5 December 2012


And I really need to get these guys finished if anyone's going to get their Christmas card in time!

Saturday, 1 December 2012


It started snowing yesterday! I've been in a super Christmassy mood ever since. Snow makes me so excited. Jumping-in-front-of-the-window and staring-with-my-mouth-open excited! I'm not sure I'll ever grow out of it. And since it's now finally the December, I've been told it is officially socially acceptable to have your Christmas decorations up. This also makes me very excited. I'm not gonna lie though, mine have already been up for a couple of days. I'm pretty sure I try to wait til the 1st of December every year, and I'm pretty sure I fail every year. This year, since I'm at my parents' house, I used the excuse that since it's a lot bigger than what I'm used to I'd probably be better off starting early.

I have also started with the Christmas presents. I'm not as intense as some people who were finished with all their Christmas shopping already halfway through November (seriously Kerry, how organized are you!), but seeing as I'm trying to make as many of my presents as possible this year, I needed a somewhat early start. I've pretty much been getting lost in all the different gift guides out there, like the ones on Everything Etsy, or Meet me at Mike's, or all the ideas floating around Pinterest. I've been knitting up a storm too, after being inspired by ideas from Pickles and the Purl bee, to name a few.

I'm also planning on giving out edible gifts this year though, so thought I'd be an idea to do a round up of those. I'm a fan of giving edible gifts to people who might usually be a bit difficult to get gifts for, and I like recipes for things that keep a while, and can be cut into bite-size pieces and stored in a jar. Fudge, caramels, truffles, even sauces--what's not to love? These are a few I've got bookmarked and plan on testing out:

Soft, chewy caramels from The Kitchn
Sweet and spicy peanut brittle from A Beautiful Mess
Chocolate nutella and sea salt fudge from Tasty Kitchen
Apple cider caramels from Smitten Kitchen
Chocolate mint truffles from BBC Good Food
Dark chocolate Earl Grey fudge sauce from Hummingbird On High
Salted caramel sauce from Brown Eyed Baker
Hokey Pokey (Honeycomb) from Nigella
Hazelnut and dark chocolate meringues from Posted Cake Crumbs
Chocolate hazelnut spread from Bon Appetit
Almond date truffles from Sprouted Kitchen
Peanut butter fudge from Sophie Dalh on BBC Food

...and that's probably a good place to stop before I start drooling everywhere. To the kitchen!

Friday, 23 November 2012


This is actually a project I finished off right before I left Glasgow, but couldn't find the time to blog about. Seeing as it pretty much starts to get dark around three in the afternoon now, I've been lighting candles to make the place feel a bit cozier. I'm one of these people who really like candles, but I always forget to burn them. So I decided to get into my candles a bit more by making these crochet jar lanterns. I love the cozy vibe they give, and how they look almost like little igloos for your candles. Did you ever make snow lanterns out of snowballs as a kid? These are a bit like the crochet version of that. Not to mention it's a super easy beginner's crochet project and can easily be finished while watching TV. Hello winter coziness!

Instructions for the pattern on the larger jar:

Steps 1: Using a size 5 needle, make a foundation chain of five stitches. Step 2: Work a slip stitch into the first chain to create a loop. Step 3: Work a chain of three stitches to act as your first treble, and then add two more trebles to form a cluster. Step 4: Work a chain of three stitches between each cluster all around your foundation loop. As my jars were quite narrow, I started out with three clusters, but if your jar is of the thicker variety then feel free to add another cluster.

Step 5: Start the next row by making a chain of three stitches to form your first treble. Step 6: Add two more trebles to the cluster, work a chain of three slip stitches, and then another cluster of three trebles. Step 7: Continue around the circle adding two clusters of three trebles into each space, and separating each cluster with three slip stitches. The result should roughly be able to cover the bottom of your jar. Step 8: Crochet the next rounds by adding a cluster of three trebles in each space, and separating with three slip stitches. Repeat this until your cover is long enough to fit your whole jar. My jar was quite tall, and I ended up doing thirteen rows like this. Once you're done, loop off, pull it on the jar and tighten.

Instructions for the pattern on the smaller jar:

Step 1: Start off in the same way as the first jar (steps 1 and 2) to form a foundation loop of five foundation chains. Work a chain of four stitches. Step 2: Work a treble into the foundation loop. Step 3: Continue the round by adding trebles to the foundation loop and separating them with a single slip stitch. In other words: treble, slip stitch, treble, slip stitch, etc. Again as my jar was quite narrow I did a round of six trebles. If your jar is a bit larger you might want to add another two. Step 4: Do the next row by doubling the amount of trebles. Work two trebles separated by a slip stitch into each space, so that you end up with twelve trebles in total, all separated by a slip stitch (or sixteen if you started out with eight trebles for your first row). This should roughly be the size of the bottom of your jar. Continue the rest of the lantern by crocheting a treble in each space and separating each treble by a slip stitch until it's long enough to cover your jar. Once you're done, loop off, pull it on the jar and tighten!

Now light some tea lights and pop 'em in!

Thursday, 22 November 2012


The past week has been pretty hectic, with my parents visiting from Spain, my masters graduation, and then eventually me moving countries back to my homeland! It's taking me a while to get settled in properly, so in the meantime, please feast your eyes on this rather silly photo of myself and Bo, wearing our matching Marius sweaters my mother kindly knitted for us.

Will get back to normal blogging soon!

Sunday, 11 November 2012


I was perusing Salvation Army's furniture section when I came across the above stool for only two quid. Two quid! I pay more for sandwiches!  Sure it was wobbly, but I figured a slick of paint and it'd be good as new. I happily snapped it up and threw it in the trunk of our car. A few hours later, as I was having a conversation with Graeme and trying out my new awesome new stool, it collapsed on me. I was mid-sentence when I suddenly found myself lying on the floor in a pile of red sticks, looking up at a shocked and bewildered Graeme. Laughter and diet-jokes ensued.

After closer inspection, it was clear that the stool was structurally unsound due to a bit of a design flaw, and it made a lot more sense why the thing had only been two pounds. The bars supporting the stool-legs were about a centimetre longer then they should be, meaning the legs had become twisted in an attempt to stay together and the screws had become rusty and crooked. This wasn't going to be as straight forward as I had hoped.

The stool then sat in a corner of our living room for a few weeks with its legs pointing in every direction, while I pondered how to approach the situation. Friends referred to it as "an abstract sculpture" and laughed when I told them I'd paid two whole pounds for a broken stool. Eventually, I decided to take the whole thing apart, rusty crooked screws and all and then attempt to reassemble it. After a bit of fiddling about with wood glue, our trusty drill and two licks of Dulux' Urban Obsession and the stool was reformed back to its former glory. I'm still a bit nervous about actually sitting on it though!

Friday, 9 November 2012


Here we go again with another project it'll take me forever and a day to finish. I've been playing about and making a few lino prints recently, but then I decided to go ahead and make a rather large and detailed one. You can see my monster face is coming along though, soon he'll be able to see with two eyes! Meanwhile, maybe I'll figure out what I should actually use him for once he's done. Printed tote bag? Pillow? T-shirt? Any other suggestions?

Wednesday, 7 November 2012


Last year, Graeme did a project as part of his course that involved drawing on plates. For this project, he used a porcelain marker to draw on glass. I've seen a lot of projects on pinterest where people use sharpie markers to draw on mugs and plates, but a downside of this is that it's not dishwasher safe. I kind of have this policy where I don't really invest in cutlery or crockery that's not dishwasher safe, because I'm not really a fan of doing dishes. I spent a significant sum buying a dishwasher, so I feel standing around doing dishes would be somewhat defying the point of that purchase. This marker however, promised to be dishwasher safe, so I decided to try it out.

We have a set of black plates and bowls, so I decided to go for some irregular polka dots to add a bit of a whimsical pattern to compliment the black plates. The whole process took about 5 minutes, as all you do is draw right onto the plate. No need to bake in the oven or any of that time consuming stuff.

Since my plate was from Poundland and the marker was leftover from one of Graeme's projects, this ended up being super cheap. Benefits of living with a graphic design student! I don't know about you, but my head is now buzzing with ideas though, so I'm going to have to go out and buy lots more plates and markers in different colours!

Monday, 5 November 2012


It's been almost a week and a half since our Halloween party when my beloved iPod touch went missing and there is still no sign of it. We've turned the flat upside down trying to find it, but it's no where to be found. It's funny how you can live so long without something, but then once you have it and then lose it it's a whole other story. For the first few days I felt so lost, not being to check my email whenever I wanted or use my apps. All of a sudden I had to turn on my computer if I wanted to google something. How was I supposed to go running without my running app? Or plan for the weekend without my weather app? How on earth did I ever manage to do anything at all before I ever had this gadget?

The app I missed the most though, was of course instagram. I wouldn't say I was ever an instagram addict, but I was still a pretty big fan. What I loved most about instagram is how you ended up taking so many photos you otherwise wouldn't have. Lots of little memories that otherwise would have been forgotten. And since you were taking so many pictures all the time, you ended up improving your photography skills so much. Graeme and I love our photo adventures, but we usually take our analog cameras with us. We have so many, both toy ones like the Lomography Fisheye and Dianas and an octomat, as well as old Olympus SLRs and Graeme's favourite Olympus Trip. But it's so much harder to improve your skills when you have to wait for film to get developed to find out what you're doing right and what you need to work on. We have digital cameras as well of course, but usually didn't think to bring them along. Sad as it sounds, my digital SLR has almost ended up being a camera mainly used for photographing projects, food and holidays. And that's no way to treat a digital SLR camera.

So I guess that's the good thing that has come out of my iPod going missing. Always a silver lining, right? For the past week and a half, I've made much more of an effort to bring my digital SLR with me to capture every day things and to improve my skills, and I definitely plan on keeping it up.

Happy Guy Fawks Day!

(Though I'll probably be investing in a smartphone once my contract runs out in February! Haha)

Friday, 2 November 2012


There's something funny about bruschetta. I mean, technically, it's just toast. But then it's so much more than just toast. Bruschetta can be served with so many different toppings, but tomato and basil is of course a classic. Juicy tomatoes and fresh chopped basil makes a ridiculously refreshing combo.

It's also ridiculously simple to make, not to mention quick! In retrospect, I'm not sure why it took me so long to make bruschetta in the first place. Great as an appetizer, but also great as an antipasti. I quite often like to make antipasti dishes for dinner, and I often struggle to come up with vegetarian ones to suit Graeme, so this will definitely be making it onto the menu more often. So easy, so tasty.

Balsamic tomato basil bruschetta recipe (makes 6 slices):
6 thick slices of Ciabatta (or similar)

2 tomatoes
40 g basil
1 clove of garlic
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
pinch of flaky sea salt
olive oil

Directions: First make the topping. Chop the tomatoes and basil and place in a bowl. Add sea salt, balsamic vinegar and one table spoon of olive oil. Mix it all together. Then, place the ciabatta slices on a baking tray and drizzle both sides with olive oil. Put in the oven for a couple minutes until brown. Take them out, flip them over, and toast the other side too. Once they're done, use a knife to crush the garlic clove, and then rub the garlic into the toast. Top with the tomato and basil mix, and serve! Yummies!

Thursday, 1 November 2012


The weather has been absolutely horrible recently, and the sun has started to set far too early for my liking. Rain, rain, wind, rain, darkness. The cold is setting in and the weatherman keeps threatening/promising snow, so I guess it's pretty safe to say that winter is here. To prepare myself for what lies ahead, I've started crocheting a blanket. A very summery, completely out of season blanket. Surely the colour scheme won't affect its warming abilities, right?

For the particular design I decided on, I have calculated that I need to make a minimum of 289 hexagons, consisting of 5 yellow, 5 orange, 5 pink, 5 dark pink, 5 blue and 264 white. So far I have made 58 hexagons, so only 231 left! Yay!

Who knows, chances are this won't be finished until next summer anyway!

Sunday, 28 October 2012


It didn't even occur to us to have a Halloween party this year. I mean, we had one last year and it was great, but seeing as we have a few other things going on right now, it wasn't the first thing on our minds. Then a friend asked if we were planning on having one again this year. Not really sure what are plans are for Halloween, we answered, but a seed was sown. Then a second friend asked. But what finally converted us was when we saw the Halloween aisle in the supermarket and our heads started buzzing with ideas, we got all excited and remembered how much fun it is to throw a party, and a decision was made.

Of course, I pretty much started with my decorations straight away. Hello cobwebs, cut-out bats and creepy pickled faces! Of course I needed to make some Halloween themed edibles as well, and after perusing the internet I came across a recipe for little skull day of the dead cookies on They looked pretty fun and relatively straight forward to make, so I decided to give them a bash.

I was pretty happy with the results and the taste of the cookies exceeded my expectations. I mean, I picked the recipe mainly because the cookies looked cool, but it's always a bit of a downer when the taste doesn't quite hold up and you're left with a visually pleasing but meh-tasting cookie. These went down a treat with the party guests though, and I'll definitely be making these again. I didn't end up changing anything with the recipe, so the recipe below is the same only in metric measurements.

 Day of the dead cookies (recipe from 101 cookbooks):

Vanilla dough:
250 g flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
115 g butter
200 g sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Chocolate dough:
125 g flour
60 g cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
115 g butter
90 g brown sugar
100 g sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions: Start with making the vanilla dough. Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and set aside. Beat butter and sugar until creamy and fluffy in another bowl, and then add the egg and vanilla extract. Once it's all combined, add in the flour. Roll the dough into a sausage, cover in cling film and leave in the fridge. In a new bowl, start the chocolate dough in the same way. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt in a bowl and set aside. Cream butter and sugars until fluffy, and add egg and vanilla. Once that's mixed in, combine the flour mix into the dough. Roll it into a sausage, cover in cling film and put in the fridge. This dough is a million times easier to work with when it's chilled (or even frozen), so leave it in the fridge for about two hours, or even over night if you have time.

The original recipe recommended shaping the dough and poking eye and mouth holes in the dough sausage before cutting, and then slicing using some floss or thread to prevent the cookies from losing their shape. However, I found that no matter how hard I tried, I ended up having to reshape the cookies post cutting, and I'd thus recommend just cutting normal cookie shapes, and then shaping them once assembled. That way you'd also avoid the issue of having a funny shaped vanilla cookie on top of a different funny shaped chocolate cookie. Don't try for perfection though, as the oddly shaped ones often turn out the creepiest! Bake for about 15 minutes in a preheated oven at 175 degrees Celsius. Makes about 36 cookies.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012


On Tuesdays, if I can, I head over to Say it Ain't Sew at Hillhead Bookclub. It's a wonderful little sewing group lead by the lovely and talented Miss Iona Barker. It's completely free and all materials are provided and if you're nearby and enjoy sewing, I definitely recommend you pop by. Each week we usually have a little project, and last time we made bows. They're easy to do and super cute, so I figured I'd make some more of them.

All you need for this project is scissors, needle and thread, and of course fabric of your choice. Pretty much any fabric will do, and you don't need a lot of it so this is great for using scrap bits of fabric you have leftover from a previous project.

Step 1: Cut a rectangle from your fabric. Since you're folding the fabric, your bow will roughly end up being half the size of the size of the fabric you cut. I made mine roughly 14.5 cm by 11.5 cm and ended up with a bow that measures roughly 7 cm across. Step 2: Fold the two longer edges in towards the middle. Step 3: Fold the shorter edges in towards the middle. Step 3: Stitch down the centre, connecting your two folds. You could skip this step if you want, but I find it makes the bowl a little more durable, as well as a little easier to handle for the next steps.

Step 5: Pinch together the fabric in the middle. Step 6: Make a couple stitches and wrap the thread around a couple times, and make a few more stitches to secure it. Step 7: Get a separate piece of fabric, and fold to fit. Step 8: Wrap the folded piece of fabric around the centre of the bow, and stitch to secure. Loop off to finish.

You can attach a bobby pin to the back and use for your hair, or you can sew a strap or an elastic to the back and wear as a bow tie. Christmas present for your dad, perhaps?

Monday, 22 October 2012


Lo and behold—kale! A vegetable of near mystical powers, crammed full of calcium and vitamin K and C and a bunch of other stuff that I have no idea what actually is but that I’ve been lead to believe is really good for you. It's a few months since I was in Dublin and came across a bag of vegan spicy kale crisps in a local shop. At first I found the taste a bit unusual, but then I realised I wanted more of the flavour. You know, when you've finished chewing and swallowed and the taste starts to fade, it’s like your mouth starts missing it and you have to have another bite? Anyway, before I knew it the whole bag was gone and I had to go get more. 

These crisps aren't exactly like the ones I had in Dublin, but my batch disappeared just as quickly. These are tossed with olive oil and seasoning and then baked in the oven until crisp. The seasoning is a salt mix I'm also somewhat obsessed with these days. The below measurements will give you far too much for your kale, but don't worry, it pretty much goes on everything. I've been putting it on boiled eggs, baked potatoes, roast vegetables, popcorn--it adds a lovely bit of tang to just about everything.

Chili and lime kale crisps recipe (method adapted from Smitten Kitchen):

200 g kale (I used curly kale, but I’m sure any kale would do)
olive oil
4 tbsp flaky sea salt
zest from 1 lime
1 tsp dried coriander
1 tsp hot chilli powder (more or less, depending on how spicy you like it)
sunflower seeds (optional)

Directions: Preheat oven to 150⁰ celcius. Zest your lime into a bowl. Add salt and stir until evenly distributed.  Add coriander and chillipowder and mix. Rinse kale and remove the stems. My kale was already chopped but if yours is in larger pieces, you might want to chop or tear these to a more bite friendly size. Put kale in a bowl and toss with a splash of olive oil and the salt mix. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil for easy clean up, and spread out a layer of kale. Leave in the oven for about 20 minutes. Take it out halfway through baking, stir and turn the tray around so the heat gets evenly distributed. Once baked, empty in a bowl and sprinkle on some sunflower seeds for extra crunch. 

Tuesday, 16 October 2012


Today is Graeme's birthday. For a very long time, he was very against having any sort of celebrations. I wasn't even allowed to bake him a cake. Of course, I did not agree with this anti-birthday rebellion. And seeing as I've been watching a lot of shows on the food network recently, I really wanted an excuse to bake a cake. So eventually, last night, he agreed to letting me bake him a chocolate coffee cake with a dark chocolate ganache, as he saw a recipe for it in my copy of Baked Explorations by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. A last minute emergency trip to the supermarket to buy the needed ingredients followed.

I ended up changing a couple things in the recipe though. For example, the recipe calls for shortening and corn syrup, two ingredients I'm not a massive fan of cooking with. Not that I even think I can get them here--do they sell this in the UK? I also struggled to find the ingredients needed for the coffee buttercream, and thus abandoned their recipe all together and used my usual and much simpler buttercream recipe. It's also supposed to be a three layer cake using 8 inch cake tins. The recipe tells you to get out your three 8 inch cake tins and bake all the cakes at once. I only have a 9 inch cake tin, and I only have one, so I decided to make it a two layered cake.

So after some present unwrapping, a birthday breakfast trip to Tribeca and a bit of thrift shopping, my cake baking commenced. The process pretty much took me all day and when I was done the sun had set hours ago, hence why the photo of the final product isn't the greatest.

Monday, 15 October 2012


I love surprises. What I love even more, is when Past Hilde surprises Future Hilde. Past Hilde knows Future Hilde so well. And today, Past Hilde had arranged a very exciting surprise for Future Hilde, and pre-ordered Hilda and the Bird Parade by Luke Pearson. Don't you love it when you pre-order something, forget all about it and then the postman delivers it and you get all excited again?

I'm a huge fan of Luke Pearsson's graphic novels. He's done quite a few different ones, but my favorites are the Hilda-series and I have them all, Hildafolk, Hilda and the Midnight Giant and now Hilda and the Bird Parade. I'll admit--when I first bought Hildafolk, I bought it mainly because of the name of the character, and the fact that it was about a girl who ran around in the mountains and drew rocks and hung out with trolls and stuff. I mean, that's basically what I spent my childhood doing in Norway. More or less, anyway. Not to mention how Hilda has a little friend called Twig--it's Bo, hello! But I absolutely love the style of the drawings too. The style and charactures reminds me a lot of Moomin by Tove Jansson, which was a favorite of mine as a child. And I love how Luke Pearson uses colour too, keeping to a palette and using different shades within it.

I can't wait to enjoy this on the couch, wrapped up in a blanket with a hot cup of tea! And I really hope Luke Pearson keeps making these, so Past Hilde can surprise Future Hilde again!

Tuesday, 9 October 2012


So if you haven't already heard of Movember, you should probably read up on that right now. It's an absolutely brilliant movement where moustaches are grown in order to raise awareness and funds for means health and in particular prostate and testicular cancer. Facial hair and charity, what's not to love?

This year Graeme's been involved and designed the Good Ship Mo, a limited edition t-shirt for Movember. It's printed on organic white cotton, each t-shirt sold raises 5 pounds for the cause. Make sure you get yours in time before they run out!

Monday, 8 October 2012


For the past couple of days, I've had my nose buried in a book. First, I finally finished off Life of Pi. It was one of those books I'd been meaning to read for ages, and I'm so glad I finally did. This sparked an urge to just sit and read for hours and hours, which is exactly what happened when I picked up The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  I've been quite into my crime novels recently, after my mom bought me a Jo Nesbø book and I ended up reading a couple of them. She's always eager to remind me of my roots and pretty enthusiastic when it comes to just about anything Norwegian.

But as much as I've been enjoying my reading, a girl's got to eat, and this has been my lunch of choice as of late. Traditionally a breakfast, but tastes just as good any other time of the day! I've seen some pretty different ways of making huevos racheros, and I guess this is how I prefer to make them--folded over so they look a bit like a tex mex version of an omelette. I guess it pretty much is the tex mex version of an omelette. The salsa isn't a hot one, but it certainly is refreshing. Alternatively, if you want some extra heat you could always add a chopped chilli. And why shouldn't you be adding tequila to your lunch menu?

Tequila Salsa recipe:
1 beef tomato
1/2 red onion
40 g coriander
juice of 1 lemon
flaky sea salt
splash of tequila

Directions: Chop up the tomato and the red onion. Chop up the coriander and mix it all in a bowl. Add the lemon juice, season with salt and add a splash of tequila. The idea isn't to overpower the salsa with tequila, just add a bit of extra flavour.

Huevos Rancheros recipe (per person):
1 tortilla
1 egg
some grated cheddar
sweetcorn (optional)
jalapeños (optional)

Directions: In an oiled pan, heat one side of the tortilla. Once it's browned a little, flip the tortilla over. Add the cheese and crack the egg on top. If you want to add any extras, add them before the egg cooks. Since I like to fold my tortillas over like an omelette, I tend to try to keep my egg and filling to one side of the tortilla. Once the egg is near cooked, flip the whole thing over. Don't worry if everything goes all over the place, it's supposed to look messy and you can just scoop in any escaped filling at the end. The folded tortilla will hide all evidence.

Serve with the salsa, and potentially some refried beans, sour cream or guacamole. Sadly I'm allergic to avacados, so no guacamole for me!