Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Flowers of the Spring



The Easter holidays went quite quickly this year. I watched lots of movies, ate chocolate eggs and made some flower arrangements. I also lighted last candles for this spring. Now there is so much light in the evenings that candles don´t show.


I have been planning to craft something from the insides of the chocolate Easter eggs (you know those plastic thingies). Lets see what I will create :)

Best wishes

Sannu

Friday, 25 March 2016

Last minute DIY for Easter: Eggcups.


Easter is here! With this little last minute DIY project I want to wish you all Happy Easter :)
You will need wooden eggcups (I found mine from a flea market with just few cents), acrylic paint, scissors or a punch (a punch if you want lace effect), paper and a small sponge. 



Cut a border from a piece of paper using scissors (triangles) or a punch (lace). Place the border to the eggcup using a small piece of tape. Sponge acrylic paint all over the surface. Remove gently the border. Let the work dry. You can add some varnish so that the paint will last water. I made mine for decorative purpose only so I have no need to wash these.



Happy Easter!

Sannu

Sunday, 20 March 2016

About the Finnish Easter Witch Tradition




Today it is Palm Sunday and Easter is coming so soon! In Finland we have this tradition that reminds a little bit of Halloween trick or treating. On Palm Sunday kids go from door to door dressed up as witches. They have beautifully decorated Easter twigs that they wave and wish good year and health. This is called virpoa (verb). When they give Easter twigs they get chocolate eggs or other treats. Originally it was not just kids who wished good year. People used to bless each other with Easter twigs wishing health, good luck with the year´s crop and well being for (farm) animals. Why then kids are dressed up as witches? If I have understood correctly the witch tradition is actually other tradition that has been combined with this habit to virpoa. When Christ was in his grave all the bad spirits and creatures like witches could do their tricks. Nowadays Easter witches are cute and a bit shabby creatures and they wish all the good for people.

(I made these little Easter witch dolls this weekend for decoration. Heads are made from modelling material that you can buy from crafts store. I painted the heads with acrylic colors. I sew the dresses and aprons. Then I combined the heads to the costumes and made a stand inside the dress.) 

Wishing You all good health, well being and luck with your projects this year! :)

Sannu

Monday, 14 March 2016

10 Ways to Decorate Easter Eggs





The Creative Night Shift proudly presents: 10 (Glamorous) Ways to Decorate Your Easter Eggs! If you have followed my two week journey trying to get this finished, you might sigh: Finally! :D It´s not that I would lack inspiration doing this. Quite the opposite. I just always came with new and new ideas how to make better and better so that I have found it difficult to stop. Now I think I have enough Easter eggs for this year. I would say this is not a minimalists guide to Easter decorating. But note that you can choose the colors you prefer. So that if you like you can use for example black and white and silver ending up with completely different result. My leading idea was to use pink, blue (or turquoise)  and golden glitter. This has also been the red line when I made this display on my chest of drawers. BUT lets start with the eggs!


You can use plain hen eggs or plastic ones. Painting is easier with real eggs as the acrylic paint attaches better. When making an egg cozy by knitting or crocheting I would use plastic egg so that it won´t broke. When using real eggs remember to empty the eggs first.

***
1. Glitter Egg



This is one of the easiest way to decorate eggs. Apply glue all over the surface. Sprinkle glitter to the egg. Use a plate or a box to collect loose glitter. Let the egg dry. 

2. Dot Egg


Use puncher to make dots from a wrapping paper. Paint the egg using acrylic color. Decorate with the dots.

 The picture below leads us to the following idea.

3. Flower Decoupage Egg (I call this Marie Antoinette :)


 Choose a napkin that has small motifs to cut. Cut some motifs and separate the picture layer from the white layers. If the motif is too transparent leave one white layer.


 Paint the egg with acrylic color. Mix glue and some water. Using a brush apply some glue mixture to the place you are going to put the motif. Place the motif and apply some more glue mixture to the top of the motif. Attach all the motifs in a similar manner. Let the work dry.


Using a small brush border the motifs and paint some spirals and S-shaped curls between the motifs. As you can see from the picture you don´t need to be a master painter to do this. Just relax and create :) 

Below is a picture of an egg that has been painted the same way but with different color. Looks very different? Doesn´t it?



4. Feather Egg


 Apply some glue to the middle of the feather. Sprinkle golden glitter to the glue. Paint the egg using acrylic color and glue the feathers.


5. Painted Ornamental Egg



Use acrylic colors. Paint the egg with the color you choose. The use a very small brush and white color. Divide the egg to eight sectors by sketching like in you see in the picture above.


Combine the lines.


Paint five circles to every sector.



Change to golden paint. In every other sector paint the outside of the circles with golden paint and in the other sectors paint the circles (use flat brush). If needed make the white lines stronger and paint some small dots inside the circles.


6. Traditional Easter Egg


Decorate the egg with peel of stickers. Use a sponge to apply the paint. Remove the stickers (those areas are left white).

7. Knitted Egg



Use size 3 needles and cotton yarn. Cast 9. 
1.When knitting the first round divide the stitches to three needles. "Knit 3, increase one" "" repeat. >12 sts.
2. Knit.
3. "Knit 4, increase one" "" repeat. > 15 sts.
4. Knit.
5. "Knit 5, increase one" "" repeat. > 18 sts.
6. Knit.
7. " Knit 3, increase one" "" repeat. > 24 sts.
8. Knit.
9. "Knit 4, increase one" "" repeat. > 30 sts.
10. Knit.
11. "Knit 10, increase one" "" repeat. > 33 sts.
12.-24. Knit.
Put the egg inside the cozy!!!
25. "Knit 9, 2tog" "" repeat. > 30 sts.
26. "Knit 3, 2tog" ""repeat. > 24 sts.
27. "Knit 2, 2tog" ""repeat. > 18 sts.
28. Knit.
29. "Knit 1, 2tog" ""repeat. > 12 sts.
30 Knit.
31. "2tog" ""repeat.
32. Knit one, put back to the needle from which you are knitting. Pull over all the other loops.

End the yarn left overs. If you want you can decorate the egg using loop stitches.

8. Hearts and stripes <3


Use double sided glue paper. Cut hearts or stripes. Paint the eggs using acrylic colors. Attach the motifs. Remove also the other side of the glue paper and sprinkle the motifs with glitter.


9. Decoupage and glitter.


Cut four sectors from decoupage paper (or a napkin) and apply them to the egg using glue and water mixture. Cut stripes from glue paper and glitterize the seams of the sectors.


10. Crocheted Egg


Use crochet needle 1,75 mm and thin crocheting yarn.

Chain 5 and combine to a ring with slip stitch.

1. 12 double crochets to the ring.
2. Crochet 2 double crochets to every stitch.
3. Crochet 2 double crochets to every other stitch and one to others.
4. Crochet a double crochet in every stitch.
5. 2 double crochets in every third stitch, one to others. 
6.-8. Crochet a double crochet in every stitch.
9. Using single crochets: "crochet 2, 2tog" "" repeat.
10.  Crochet a double crochet in every stitch.
11.Using single crochets: "crochet 1, 2tog" "" repeat.
12. Crochet a double crochet in every stitch.
13. Using single crochets: "2tog" ""repeat.
Pull the yarn through the stitches that are left. End the yarns.

+ some other ideas



If you can´t find perfect branches from the nature, use Japanese saw to form one masterpiece from a pile of branches! 



Combine the branches by drill. No one will notice this little DIY part if you spray paint the whole thing with golden spray paint :)







Hope you got some inspiration and ideas for the coming Easter. 

Wishing you all a good start for the week!

Sannu

By the way, did you notice that I am on twitter nowadays? How inspiring it is to follow all you creative people and share the common passion for DIY, crafts, colors, interior design and baking! I am so exited. I have already found many new people and blogs to follow. Are you on twitter?

Friday, 11 March 2016

Baking with 30´s recipes


I love collecting old cookbooks and baking pamphlets. Still it is quite rarely that I try some new recipe. Now I have been thinking to try two recipes from every book I own. It will take years to achieve this goal, but it will make a nice hobby. First two recipes I decided to try are from "Nuoren emännän herkkuleivosopas" (name of the book could be translated Young housewife's manual to delicious cakes, or something like that :). Book is from 1931 and the recipes are from the archives of princess Obolenski.  I tried Sträussel-cake and brown sugar chocolate-cake. Both cakes were quite sweet for my taste but very good treats with coffee. I think the point in the 1930´s was to make sweet and luxurious cakes and cookies for coffee or tea table. If I have understood correctly people didn´t use to eat candy that much and pastries took that place. For example in the chocolate cake recipe it is guided to use 1 and a half chocolate bars which means 50 grams! (try to find chocolate bar that small nowadays :) Also the amounts of baking powder were amazing, next time I have to try these with smaller amounts and see if the result is as good as now. The brown sugar chocolate-cake was maybe the highest cake I have ever made and the consistence was very good and easy to slice into layers. I learned that mixing both baking powder and soda plus some eggs makes best base for layer cakes.



***
Brown sugar chocolate-cake

4 1/2 dl flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 dl butter
4 dl brown sugar ( I used 2 dl normal sugar and 2 dl farin sugar)
2 eggs
1 dl piimä-drink (dictionary translates piimä as  a type of cultured milk 
typical for Nordic countries, I think you could also use sour cream)
1 dl boiling water
1 tsp soda
50 g dark chocolate
1 tsp vanilla

Mix the flour, baking powder and salt. Beat butter and 2 dl sugar ( or the farin sugar) so that it is white and fluffy. Beat 2 dl sugar and eggs to foam and add to the butter mix. Mix properly and add half of the dry ingredients, piimä and then rest of the dry ingredients (right picture below). When adding ingredients use every time mixer to keep the fluffy consistence. Put soda, hot water and chocolate into a bowl and stir to even paste. Add the paste to the mix. Add vanilla. (left picture below) Pour the mix into a floured baking mold and bake in 175 Celsius degrees for about on hour (you can add some temperature in the later half of the baking).
When the cake is cold it is easy to slice onto layers. In the recipe there is butter and sugar filling but as the cake itself is very sweet I made a following filling.

2 dl cream
1 dl cream cheese
some sugar

Beat the cream, add cream cheese and sugar. Fill the cake and decorate as you choose.
***



***
Old fashioned Sträussel-cake

500 g flour
175 g butter
6 tsp baking powder
100 g sugar
1/4 L cream
2 eggs

Sträussel-mix

200 g butter
200 g sugar
3 tsp vanilla
4 tsp baking powder
5 g cinnamon
250 g flour
juice from 1 lemon

First we will make the dough. Beat butter and sugar well, add eggs, flour & baking powder mix and finally cream. Use mixer at the beginning and when the paste gets thicker work with hands. Work the mix into even and beautiful dough. Roll the dough to 1/2 cm thin above a baking paper. Lift the dough with the baking paper to baking tray. 

Now make the Sträusse-mix. Melt the butter and add sugar, vanilla and lemon juice. Remember to still all the time while adding ingredients. Mix the flour, baking powder and cinnamon and add to the mix to butter.  Spread the Sträussel-mix on the dough to an even layer.

Bake in the oven in 215 Celsius degrees for about 15 minutes. Cut into squares and decorate with icing sugar.
***



To the end a little sneak peak from my coming Easter Egg Decorating Tips post. As I said in the former post I have been working with this for a week (and now two weeks :). There will be ideas how to paint, decoupage, knit, crochet and glitter your Easter Eggs this year. Hopefully I get this ready till the weekend so that you have enough time to try these ideas before Easter. Though egg painting and decorating is also a nice activity for the Easter holidays.


Have a good start for the weekend! 

Best wishes

Sannu