Sunday, July 29, 2012

is crayfish the appetizer or the main course?

The question at least we have each year. (Writer's comment: For this post I was playing with my camera's function for shooting small objects with vivid colors - I like it!! Just too hard to get the focus in the right place :) :) )

When an appetizer, as it usually is during these more 'official' occasions, you are hungry and eat lots of toast and then when the main course is served you are full. When served as a main course it seems too little. Go figure.

Well - we usually serve the crayfish as main course, and this year made some heart shaped snacks for appetizer. 'laxröra' would the stuff be called in Swedish, would salmon spread be the right word to use in English? It is a classic in Scandinavia, our version made of good quality cold smoked salmon (cut small), chives, dill, creme fraische, Philadelphia cheese, Dijon mustard, fish eggs (not necessary), and black pepper. Another version we use too often is for meat lovers: cold smoked reindeer, chives, creme fraische, Philadelphia cheese, Dijon, and black pepper. Both are nice with Cayenne pepper, as well.

The recipe changes every time making it depending what is found in the fridge, so don't be afraid to try :).

Looks nice on the scallop shell and the rye bread, doesn't it?

rapujuhlat, alkupalat, kattausideat

Friday, July 27, 2012

Birch tree wreath turned crayfish party wreath

They are such funny looking creatures, aren't they :)? Felt like making a wreath the other day - I usually make at least 1 larger flower garland each summer, but this year haven't managed for some reason.

My hands were itching to make at least SOMETHING, so it became a wreath made of birch tree branches together with some red roses and white carnations. For the crayfish party I would add a few crayfishes - just because.

AHH - and I simply love when I write a post and then blogger decides not to save it, so here we go the second time...

And must admit - I cheat when making these. I am using an old base made of birch branches and tied with wire. I tie the fresh branches on top and secure with some jute twine. As I figure - these last only a few days, so why bother to spend hours on it each time?

A TIP TO HAVE THEM LAST THOSE FEW DAYS: Sink into a large bucket filled with water when not in use, easily triples their age. Just remember to remove the crayfish; if you don't, you'll know the next morning, why ;).

Making it made me happy, now looking at it makes me happy - so a good project overall :).

kranssi, rapujuhlat

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Crayfish party place cards

Sometimes it might feel hard to say, doesn't it? It is easier to write.  Well do :)!

We prepared place cards for each guest for the party table, and wrote small messages inside - you make me smile, you are my sunshine, I love our long chats, I love to travel with you...etc. If you invite them to your crayfish party, you've surely done something special together at some point, haven't you?

Of course with some guests it is too hard to pick what to write - I guess 'I love you and everything about you' would do in that case ;).

The scallop shells we are using for appetizer plates I've got some years back from my sister (my FAB sister, whom we are doing the crayfish party this year with) - her neighbor had been catching scallops in Norway, and the ladies, of course, got busy thinking more use to the shells. Beautiful, aren't they?

rapujuhlat, nimikortit, kampasimpukka

Monday, July 23, 2012

tell that you care - today

One is not getting younger, for sure. When still in the 30-range, getting there or slightly passed it, life seemed quite simple: you have an education of some sort, have a job, perhaps in a relationship, planning a life and kids and all that.

Now, nearing 40 - you start to question. Some call it the middle-life crisis, some call it spiritual awakening. Whatever - to me it is like - not yet!! Before it was friends' parents falling ill or very rarely a friend - now-a-days it is sad stories about someone's parent passing away, or people in your own 'gang' getting seriously ill.

When you face something such close by, or it hits you, you REALLY start thinking - many of those, who have gone through it and gotten better (thank God!) seem to change their life completely, or they themselves seem to change. They become softer, they laugh a lot more, they start doing things they want to do rather than what others expect them to do. Let the guard down somehow. They seem more sincere, somehow more honest to life.

I've thought - I don't want to wait 'til that happens to me personally, have had too many close-by's during the past year and a half. Friends, loved ones, family members.

Now is as good time as ever to be soft and child-like and do things you really want to do. Tell the people you love that you really care for them, and that they make you smile, and that they are important. 

Bring a little more love to life. And even more importantly - live a little more.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Crayfish season start

The season is finally here - from today noon time until end of October it is allowed to catch crayfish in Finland and in Sweden ;). It's been reported that the season might not be as good as previous years due to the cold spring (AND summer! writer's comment), but let's see.

I have a plane to catch, will continue more on the subject during days to come - despite whatever, let's make it a fab party this year, shall we ;)?

rapujuhlat, rapujuhlavinkit

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

it's raining it's pouring

Part II from yesterday...let's see if I manage to write this one, as well, before the life calls...<3

Pancakes always work for the kids. And a tent. So yesterday afternoon it became both, and we actually had a really good time despite the rain.  Kids' tent was made in a very sophisticated manner of 3 hay poles and couple of white sheets,  and the kids enjoyed a great deal (making it was another story, as my dear husband wasn't overly keen on the project after woken up from his afternoon nap and thought that I could be a little more supportive rather than asking, how come the whole thing fell apart while I ran inside to get some yarn...:D) making a mess inside with blueberries and 2 liters of juice...

Luckily our summer kitchen is covered, otherwise this summer would've been quite disasterous...will be taking some photos for you, when the weather it's just SAD...


The process of eating these pancakes took around, well - 2 minutes, and we even saw some fighting (seriously, it was like 17 pancakes for each kid..) over the last one - but - mission accomplished. The nothing-to-do whining stopped.

They didn't have any of their supper, but couldn't care less - it's summer time... :)

lettuja, kesäkeititö

it's blueberry time

Remember I said when we arrived to the summer house, that this summer I will learn to use a camera? Well, finally I thought to charge the thing (until now it's been my phone) and start using it.

I had a grand idea to buy one of those proper cameras, but then someone close by had the wisdom to tell me that I will not have the patience (as I tend to press the ON button on my Canon IXUS and then take the photo) to use it, so don't bother. And and and - guess what? Even the little IXUS has quite many functionalities, when you press the func. set button :).

The hardest parts (my dear professional camera user friends, who are many, pls. feel free to comment ;)) @ this stage of my learning seem to be:

1. have the camera straight (impossible)
2. have whatever you are shooting in the middle of the picture (impossible)
3. have some space around the thing so that the STUFF (wrong coloured and wrong kind and simply STUFF) doesn't come into the picture (completely impossible)
4. to think of the numerous details you would need to think of to have it done proper (like your kids clothing, the spots on the table OR the floor, naaaaa....)
5. Have the white WHITE. GRRRRRR!!!!

Well, it's rainy and while the pancake dough was sitting before the actual frying of the pancakes, I took a few photos. If you are in Finland and listening to the the rain, hopefully these road-side daisies get a smile on your face :).

mustikka-aika, päivänkakkara, valokuvauksen opettelu (ei valokuvaus ;))

Friday, July 13, 2012

Life is beautiful

What are you dreaming of? Do you have it figured out where you want to be in 5 years, in 10 years, in 20 years? What are the things you want to accomplish by then? What are the places you want to visit? What are the experiences you want to have, the real 'musts'?

While balancing constantly between family life and work, and even though I am having a dream job and doing everything I always wished for, sometimes you just tend to be too busy to enjoy any of it. Having had kind of a nomad -childhood, followed by nomad life, you are adding a very restless soul to that equation - there are so many things undone, go and do them!!

This July and August Weranna's will be dreaming and asking, what is your dream? What is it you want to do? What makes you blossom? What makes you smile? We'll be organizing crayfish parties spiced up with romance, we'll be travelling, and we'll be fulfilling our dreams - at least by building inspiring mood boards on the wall. 

Life IS beautiful.

DIY flower planters - made of old shoes!

These I saw in Kenkävero, as well, a week ago when going around in the handicraft fair...aren't they fab??

I have mine now 'cooking' - let's see if the old recipe worked - taking sour milk and moss, putting them into the blender and sprinkling the shake on top of the shoes.

birch branch inspiration

Last week I was driving from our summer house to Mikkeli Music Festival, and was wondering, what on earth is happening at Kenkävero, a vicarage just outside of the city!! Never seen so many people at once there!

So in the next round-about, I turned around and went to check. It was the annual handicraft fair, which I had been completely unaware of! Well, as you know, it gets a BIT cold in Finland during the winter, so everything that happens in this country, happens during the summer. Which means that there are multiple things happening each weekend around the country...

So many beautiful things - especially these door decorations and pot holders, to mention a couple, made of birch branches by Päivi Saikkonen were magnificent!!

We might come up with something together for Weranna's Christmas selection, who knows...:)

Käsityöt, käsityöideat, koivunoksa

Friday, July 6, 2012

Crochet sausages

Fender cover

You know those not-so-nice-to-the-eye plastic fenders? Last summer I figured they need some clothing, like they had in the old days! My dear sister was laughing so hard at my efforts last summer to sit down and crochet away, while our 1-year-old was busy trying to get hurt somewhere around the yard. She was convinced they will NEVER be finished. Well  -she didn't know that mom would be coming for a visit... ;)

Fender cover

I looks like a silly, laced sausage in these pictures :D, but really, they turned out super nice :). I promise you - you buy a roll of the thick 100% cotton  fishing thread (kalastajalanka in Finnish), (this one is 15-ply made with 3,5 crochet hook) and crochet away - even sitting in your boat enjoying the sun!

Simple double crochet stitches, and for the larger fenders here I needed 60 rounds to complete. Just remember to adjust it tight onto the fender so it doesn't stretch and get all sloppy when the fender gets wet.

Fender cover

Fender cover
lepuuttaja, lepuuttajasuoja, virkkaus

Monday, July 2, 2012

Herb table inspiration

Got me a herb-table - made by my father-in-law <3. It is just gorgeous! Someone was wondering a couple of weeks ago, what kind of shop-keeper are you? Always talking about self-made and upcycled and inherited treasures.

What can I say? If you buy something, do it with good conscience. But especially for the summer house - there is so much you can make yourself or have custom made by locals. Or then you do like me - ask, very very kindly, from someone extremely handy - or ask your Mom ;)).

But this herb table and it's contents - it is a perfect sample of the values us kids were raised with, spending long summers with our stay-at-home-mom and her parents at our seaside summer place in western Finland:

DIY, if you can - you always get better quality and exactly what you want:

DIY Herb table

Herb table which can be dismantled

This one - the pieces are numbered, you can dismantle it and store it away for winter. I promise you - this baby will last for generations :).

Whatever you make or buy, it needs to be practical: knowing her daughter, mom has used 6 self-watering planters in this one. No, not the prettiest, for sure, but very handy. 

This one made me hysterical (it screams MOM!!) - she buys lettuce in the small planters, you know, if she hasn't got any from her own garden yet. Then she sticks the remains to the ground, and it actually starts producing more lettuce...NEVER throw anything away you can reuse :) :)!

The signs here come with blackboard, available from Weranna's HERE. A small hint for outdoor use: Use those kid's crayons which you've stacked away because they are hard to get off - rain don't do anything.

I am now so happy with my little garden - it even has some flower. A little flower does always good :).

Keittiöpuutarha, yrttipöytä, yrttipöydän teko-ohje