Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Reusable vegetable bag

I was at the local grocery store and found there a reusable vegetable bag, which was made from a very thin fabric. It was sold as charity for the Red Cross/Red Crescent and I bought one (with beans).

I don't like to put the vegetables in the plastic bags they have in stores so I though this is the perfect thing to have when doing groceries. But one would not be enough. I had bought fabric for sheers for the kitchen long ago, but never made the sheers and I think I will not even like sheers there so I had some extra fabric. So I desided to make four reusable bags more.

The bags were fairly simple to make. I added a casing on top where I slipped in two thin bands with a safety pin.

With the two bands I can close the bag. Now all the five bags are in the shopping bag waiting to be used for the first time. Nice to get good use for the fabric I bought and I'm happy to use these reusable bags instead of new plastic bags everytime.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Crayfish party

Since 2006 our friends and us have gathered together on late summer on a cabin in southwest Finland to have a Crayfish party.

Usually we've had frozen Chinese crayfish and plenty of them but now we had Finnish crayfish only as starters. For the main course we had salmon. So yummy!

This year the weather was warm and we were able to have the dinner outside under a canopy.

What is eaten from the crayfish are the claws and the tail. And in between eating we sing drinking songs and have schnapps. Crayfish party is so much fun.

Friday, 26 August 2011

The book archive

Want to see something truly horrible?

There it is, isn't that horrible?

You remerber the old neighbour that moved away to a much smaller apartment? Well she showed us some books if there would be something that we would like, we took some books, mainly novels, but a very moderate amount. Then A visited her place again to check the books and I have no idea how but the end result was that A took all her books that she did not want to keep.

And there were a few books...

And some more...

So my decluttering of the office has been interrupted. You can understand I'm not that happy about these books, A is not planning to keep these books, that's for sure but this project of his, I have no intention to take part in this, has not seen much progress in the last month. My actions on simplifying have been annulled.

But to be fair I have plenty of unfinished projects too, I'm sure he'll do something to the books one day... hopefully.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Don't like it? Paint it!

Remember I got some books for my sister and a friend as a present few days ago? The other book was about knitting and the other was named Ekodeko, a Finnish book about making new things from old stuff. I flipped through the books ofcourse before I wrapped them (I always do that). In the later book I saw painted pot stands and I thought they were pretty cool.

A has had these pot stands forever and neither of us are that big fan of their looks, that's why the idea of painting them was suberb. I had left over paint from painting the kitchen wall, so I used that.

To tell you the truth the pot stands are still not that dry so I had to be really carefull when I took the pictures for you. But because of that I've not been able to actually test if the paint works. I have no idea what will happen if I put a burning hot pan on top of them. I don't know if the book said anything about the use after painting, I just flipped it through, remember? Would the pan stick to the paint, possibly melting it or burning it. I have no clue. I'll let you know once I've done some testing. But it was fun to paint those anyway, it's no biggie if the paint doesn't work.

Update: The paint on the pot stands work great, no melting or burning so far. 

Monday, 22 August 2011

Common Solomon's seal

Hihey! I got the plants I had been looking for the whole summer. I had them shipped from a nursery somewhere in middle Finland.

There is my post package, yeppee. I've not previously have live plants shipped to me, well I have ordered some bulbs and things but not green fresh plants. I was bit worried how those will survive the journey, but they looked great.

I don't know if you remember what my flower bench bed (edit. Heh. I did it again) looked like in the spring, I had it all cleaned up and no weeds were to be seen. Well, it's been neglegted since. I did sow some annual seeds there, but it did not turn out that good. I sowed two types of flowers but only the one with small white flowers grew, the other didn't grow at all and over time weeds just took over. 

In a way it was good that nothing really grew there, it was much easier to paint the terrace pilars when I didn't have to be carefull about the plants.

After reweeding I planted the Common Solomon's seal. I ordered four and planted them, that might be a bit too much but I'd rather have too much if one or two would die in winter, I doubt that will happen, but I want to make sure I don't have the same problem of getting new plants again next year.

Now I just have to wait to see how they get on with the growth.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Gift wrapping

My sister just had her birthday and a friend of mine is having a graduation party, so some gift wrapping needed to be done. 

I had got a book each, books are super fun to wrap. In a way they are so easy to wrap but also there is a big surface to decorate on top. This time I used wall paper for wrapping, it's thick enough so even white wallpaper can be used without the person receiving it being able to see through to what's inside tha package. Also I used wall paper because the ones I have are pretty and the only gift wrapping paper I have is kind of Christmassy.

Then I did some experimenting. I found lace from my crafts stash and desided to use that. To the other gift I wanted quite different look and used origami butterfly and some string.

I think those turned out great, pretty but still simple. It feels good to give presents with nice wrapping.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Domestic travels

Finally last weekend I did go on a cabin vacation with my friends. Going to a cabin on summer is a mandatory thing all Finns do atleast once in a summer. My cabin retreat was way overdue.

We went to a friend's cabin in eastern Finland by the shore of lake Saimaa.

We did some boating, had BBQ and sauna. That's about all you ever need to do on a cabin.

Monday, 15 August 2011

How to soften crystallized honey

Honey tends to crystallize over time, some honey crystallizes faster than others and in stores there is also sold soft honey that stays that way for months or even years. But if you only have crystallized honey at home, it can be softened very easily.

Put the amount of honey you need in a jar, then place the jar in a pot that has some water in it. Bring the water to boil and stir the honey inside the jar a few times. You'll instantly notice the honey starts to soften.

Once the honey is soft remove the jar from the water, close the cap and remember to lick the spoon.

The honey will stay soft for a few weeks and then it starts to crystallize again. Then you can do the process again to make it soft, but my approach has been to soften only the amount of honey we will need in next two to three weeks.

And what do we do with the soft honey? Mainly we add it to natural yogurt that we usually eat for breakfast, also it's extremely good on top of goat cheese.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Poutch for sun sail

It's been raining everyday since last sunday. I removed the sun sail atleast for a few days, since it's not needed much at this weather and it will only get dirty hanging there. When I do take the sun sail down and then I fold it to a nice bundle it does not stay in that form for too long because the fabric is very slippery. That means that it needs to be tied together somehow or it needs to be kept in a bag of somesort.

I desided to go with the bag solution. Also I have my grandmother's serger on loan and I got it from maintenance a few weeks back, so I wanted to try it out. I had to thread the machine, since they took the threads out in the maintenance. Threading the machine was really difficult, not technically maybe, but all the places inside the machine are so small that even with my tiny fingers I could not do it. No wonder my grandmother who is over 80 and half blind and has rheumatism had some difficulty threading the machine. Have some tweezers near by when doing this job.

After I finally did manage to thread the machine I was ready for some sewing. I used the same fabric left from the sun sail project. I just folded the fabric and sewed the edges together. Then I slipped the sun sail in and clipped the corners to make the poutch more box type.

I left a flap on the opening end and added two eyelets to it.

I finished the egdes on the flap with my regular sewing machine and sewed on two strings to the pouch. Then it was done. I slipped in the sun sail and closed the flap using my own special sailor's knot, the bow.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Weird kitchen wall colour is gone

Yippee! The wall is no longer greenish blue. This is the fourth colour on the kitchen wall since we moved in, which was allmost three years ago. Originally it was white, I do like white, but the kitchen had no colour at all so it looked a bit bland. Then we painted it brown, it was fine for a while, but I got tired of it quite soon. Then I wanted more colour, for some reason I wanted something green, but A did not. Then we ended up in a compromise, the greenish blue.

I painted it, but noticed straight away that it was all wrong. It was too dark and conflicted with all the redish wood. Now we desided to go with yellow, cocoa butter yellow to be exact.

For some reason our camera did not like that wall colour and it only took pictures of blue wall. I tried to adjust the colours in that picture to make it look more of the colour it was in real life.

Here is the final result once again. What do you think?

Monday, 8 August 2011

Label removal tip

I'm a big fan of reusing jars and containers, but what I don't like are the labels that the jars and containers have. Have you noticed that in some jars the label removes so easy and in some it just stucks there and will not leave no matter how much you scrape and wash it.

Perhaps a year back I read from a local news paper that purified gasoline cleans out very well the glue residues from several materials. That tip has proven to be quite usefull. What I do is that I soak the jar in a soapy water until the label either falls out or is completely wet and soft. Then I remove the label by peeling it with my nails. Then I take piece of paper or cotton wool and dampen it with purified gasoline. Then I wipe the glue residue off the jar. The gasoline evaporates quite fast so you might need to add it a few times. When the glue is removed the jar feels slightly oily from the gasoline and it needs to be cleaned off with dishwashing liquid.

Finished! In Finland the purified gasoline can be bought from the pharmacy. I have been thingking of using just regular gasoline for the purpose, I'm intriqued if that would work as well. Do you have any other tips on how to remove the labels from containers?

Friday, 5 August 2011

Electric work - part two

It's been amazingly cold here on nights this week, also the nights are getting dark again. This has made me think of fall lately. I would not actually like to think of fall, I feel like the summer has passed so fast that I did not even notice it. There has not been many regular summer activities, I have not been to a single festival, I have not been to the beach, I have not been to a single wedding or batchelor(ette) party. Nor have I been sailing or spent time at someones cabin. Perhaps that is why I feel like the summer just disappeared. But it's only August, I can catch up, I could atleast go to a beach.

Well because fall came to my mind I thought I could atleast prepare for the season. On fall and winter the livingroom window becomes a mirror, it's so dark outside and so bright inside that you cannot see anything but yourself from the window. I think by adding a light outside the mirror effect of the window will disappear and the livingroom too would feel larger and more connected to the outdoors. Last year I had bought a spotlight to light up a thuja just outside the livingroom. The light had a leg that you could just stick to the ground, so I did that. Then winter came and the light was covered up by snow. It has a halogen light bulb, so it heats up, but not as much that it could have melted all the snow from the top. It would have needed to be on all the time for it to remain uncovered. So I needed to rethink it's placement. Also the lamp had a very short cord.

In order to lengthen the cord of the lamp I needed to change it completely. Ofcourse I could have added an extension cord, but it makes an unatractive bulge. I told about the problems I had with finding the correct size cable, the hole and seal for the cord in the lamp was very small and in the end I did not get the exact correct diameter so I had to shave off some of the rubber from the cord. It's not probably considered safe, but I was very carefull not to shave off so much that the wires would show and the shaved part went inside the lamp so it does not need to withstand elements as much as the rest of the cord.

When the lamp was reassembled, I attached it to the beam on the terrace and run the cord through a small gap of the conservatory roof supporting beams. Then I run the cord against the roof beams to see how much cord is actually needed. I cut the cord and added a plug to the end.

It seems that cords for outdoors use are only sold in black, at least here. The place where the cord runs is very visible, also the place I wanted to put it needed some touch up with paint, so I desided to paint the whole thing with cord and everything. If I do want to remove the lamp, I'd need to paint the area again, but I assume I'm not going to move the cord or lamp anytime soon.

Here is the view through the livingroom window without the light on and with the light on.

Do you see a difference there? I think there is a huge difference, it's not maybe too visible when all the lights are on inside but in that situation I don't think much any light outside will stand out.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Electric work - part one

Sometimes things just don't go as they should. Sometimes things don't go well at all. I needed certain cable and a plug to the end. I searched and googled for half a day and could not find anything. I needed cable of size 3G1,0mm which had diameter of 7mm. There was plenty of cable available in size 3G1,5mm or if they were the right size they were too short. Then I visited two stores and bought one cable with plug, but at home I noticed it's diameter was too large. Also I noticed that there was huge difference in the diameter even in the same "size" cables.

I did some reseaching again through the internet and then desided to go visit one more store. I found what I needed, the cable was bit too wide but desided that will do. Then I noticed I had forgot my wallet home. Poop! After some cursing I drove home to get the wallet and then returned to the store. Such a useless afternoon! But all in all I did get about what I wanted and I can work with it.

I was hoping the whole project would have been finished by now, but no. I expect it to be finished by friday, check the part two post then.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Painting the terrace - again

Again, and now it's done fully. There are a few touch up's to do inside the conservatory (what would you call that class room of ours? Conservatory does sound a bit too posh). But all in all the major part of the terrace is now painted.

This is what we had before.

You might remenber we painted the pergola on the other side of the terrace a while ago, but the conservatory side of the terrace was still unfinished. The grid on the right side of the last picture can be removed and I took it out to sand and paint it.

I used the belt grinder for the grid, but sanded the rest of the terrace beams by hand because the grinder is heavy as hell. After the sanding I washed all surfaces and then had a good nights sleep. Next day everything was dry and ready for the first coat of paint. And then second coat of paint. It looks so good now, I'm so happy!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...