Wednesday, December 28, 2011

My computer isn't working

My computer isn't working so I don't know when I'll be able to blog.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Instead of Gingerbread Cookies

I think every year since my son was old enough to help we've made gingerbread cookies and some kind of gingerbread house. As we still have some of last year's dough still in the freezer I suggested that we try something else, unless he wanted the cookies. I had seen a Gingerbread Scone recipe and told him about it and we decided to have them instead. I only used 1½ tsp of ginger (but might try the whole amount next time), left out the fruit, used regular brown sugar and left off the glaze. We had them for breakfast and they were quite good.

Do you make gingerbread cookies?

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Giveaway Winner

The random number generator picked number 11 who is Gill. Her comment was "My best tip would be to read the instructions thoroughly before you start!!" Great tip. It's too easy to assume that you know what you are suppose to do. Especially when I'm knitting or crocheting.

Congratulations Gill!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Small Simple Project Bag Giveaway (Now Closed)

Thanks for entering! The giveaway is now closed and the winner is Gill!

I keep meaning to make something for the Giveaway Day at Sew, Mama Sew! but never remember. There are always so many great giveaways that I recommend going over to check out the different categories. I still have one of these small project bags leftover so I thought I could offer this. It isn't lined but the edges are French seamed. It's about 25.5 cm wide and 35 cm from the top of the handle to the bottom.

I'm Canadian but I live in Finland. Over the years I've tried many crafts but now I usually just knit. I have a short monthly craft video podcast called Shirley's Salad Podcast.

What's the best (unusual) craft tip you'd like to share?

My giveaway is open to everyone but if there's no way to contact you then I won't be entering you into the giveaway! So please be sure to have your info somewhere if it isn't on your blog. Comments need to be on this post and should close on December 16, 2011 at 5 p.m. PST but I won't be awake then so I'll draw the winner randomly when I next get to the computer.

Season's Baking

When I asked my son what baking he'd like this year, he only mentioned two things. These Red Cherry Cookies and fruit cake. I've been making these cookies ever since 2005 and the only change I've made was to double the recipe. I bake them up and store them in the freezer.

I started using this fruitcake recipe in 2001. It's my own recipe and I've made a few changes over the years. I'd like to try something new, but knowing that we both like this recipe it's hard to risk a new one.

Do you make or eat fruitcake?

Friday, December 9, 2011

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Bit of Baking

I need to bring something with me tomorrow so I made a half batch of the Low-fat Low-cholesterol Oatmeal Drop Cookies. I used a whole egg for ½ of the recipe, ½ brown sugar and ½ white and left out the raisins as I hadn't written them down on the recipe. I wanted to make something with oil so that anyone with dairy/soy/nut problems could eat them.

I need room to freeze some Christmas cookies that I'm hoping to make this weekend. I had to go through the freezer to see what I could get rid of. I came across a few containers of rhubarb so I thought I'd make a rhubarb crisp. When I last made an apple crisp I upped the amount of oatmeal and liked it. So I used the same recipe. I can taste the rhubarb but it seems to have disappeared into the oatmeal!

Seeing that I was going to have the oven on I thought that I'd try to make some focaccia. I used half of the Blitz Bread: No-Fuss Focaccia recipe without the spices or powdered cheese (never even heard of powdered cheese before!). Unfortunately as soon as I took the towel off and saw that it hadn't risen I realized that I hadn't added any yeast! The oven was all ready ready so I just brushed it with olive oil and sprinkled on some salt, forgetting the rosemary that I had wanted. It turned out as one might expect. But it's not so bad that it isn't being eaten anyway.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Friday's Foto From Finland #20

Fall reality. Overcast and though this tree still has it's leaves, most trees don't. The grass is still quite green in places so it's not all dull.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


I didn't write that I've moved my podcasts over to their own site though I've left the podcasts up to that point on this blog too. I'll post the newest podcast date on the side bar.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday's Foto From Finland #18

What's fall without maple leaves changing colour?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday, September 2, 2011

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Podcast Episode 6: Started a Shawl

Show Notes

  • Rough Sea Shawl by Preita Salyer.
  • New stitch to me in this shawl: (K2togP1) = my interpretation is K2tog, leave these two stitches on the left needle. Bring the yarn from the back to the front between the two needles. Purl the 2 stitches tog and remove them from the left needle.
  • Cable and Lace Baby Blanket by Stephanie Ament
  • Granny Square
  • Repair mitt.
  • Punokset puikoille by Johanna Koski and Kristel Nyberg.
(Library Book. All opinions in the review are those of the blog author's.)

  • value added tax

Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday's Foto From Finland # 15

They flowered well but where are the radishes?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Podcast Episode 5: Blanket is Finished (Sort Of)

Show Notes

  • Cable and Lace Baby Blanket by Stephanie Ament (free pattern from Ravelry).
  • Vortex Shawl by Kristina McCurley (free pattern from Ravelry)
  • granny square
  • Virkattua by Katriina Leppänen and (photography by) Antti Huittinen
(Library Book. All opinions in the review are those of the blog author's.)


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Wedding Gifts

My sister is getting married at the end of August. Unfortunately I can't attend and so I had to make the gifts I wanted to make and get them sent off. I knit this bread basket liner from 100% cotton. I was thinking of using linen and I found a linen/cotton blend but it could only be washed in 40 °C and the cotton in 60 °C. So I chose the cotton.

It's 192 rows long (including the cast on and bind off) and I knit a different wish into each row. The first being "May your bread always rise." and the last "May you cherish your new titles, husband and wife." Most of them I had to find from the internet as I couldn't come up with enough!

The second gift I made were two picnic placemats. They like to drive around and I thought that if they had to sit in the car to eat then they could use these on their laps. I had planned to either use the same pattern in different colours or different patterns in the same colours but I couldn't find any. Well I did find gingham styles but I thought I'd spend too much time on keeping the lines straight and with my horrible machine I didn't even want to think about it!

The napkin is folded and a third of it is inserted into the pocket. Then the cutlery is added.
The rest of the napkin is folded over the cutlery and slipped into the pocket.

After rolling the placemat up it is tied closed. If I went on picnics I'd make some for myself.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday, July 15, 2011

Friday's Foto From Finland #13

23.21 pm. I don't know why I like to look at the moon!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


I don't know why I used an exclamation point in the title as I'm not that fond of strawberries. But my son likes them ... so I bought a 5 kilo box. I rinsed them and while I was hulling them I divided them into different piles: large and medium large (for my son in case he comes to visit soon before I have to decide what to do with them), not very soft medium and small to freeze as is, soft for jam and what was left I chopped up to freeze (only one small container) and then those that were too soft I tested them to see if I needed to throw them away but I didn't find any. I was surprised how few had to be thrown away (because of weird things on them).

I usually only use 1 kilo for jam. This time I wanted to use up the jam sugar I had so I didn't have enough. The recipe calls for 2 parts strawberries to 1 part jam sugar and some water. I don't add water as there is always enough liquid. I had 2.8 parts strawberries to 1 part sugar. Looked good and seemed to be jelling. I can't be bothered to do the work for jarring them so I just freeze the jam. It's really easy and if you haven't tried making strawberry jam before I recommend trying a batch or two.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Friday's Foto From Finland #12

I know it's blurry but it was 23.07 pm and I had to zoom. Later another one joined this one but I didn't think I could get a picture.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Friday's Foto From Finland #11

Summer Art. Artist unknown because tag was missing.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Podcast Episode Four: Double Kalevala

Show Notes

  • Cable and Lace Baby Blanket by Stephanie Ament (free pattern from Ravelry). Still working on this.
  • Vortex Shawl by Kristina McCurley (free pattern from Ravelry)
  • Secret Knitting.
  • Freya Shawl by Renate Haeckler. Haven't decided if I'll frog it.
  • The Ardelle hat by Ellen Bartz.
  • Toe-up Socks (my pattern).
  • tea cozy
  • Kalevalaneuleet by Marja Ulvo and Elise Rajamäki
(Library Book. All opinions in the review are those of the blog author's.)


Friday, June 10, 2011

Friday's Foto From Finland #10

With everything being green it just looks like any other place.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

SMS Giveaway Win!

Sew Mama Sew blog has a Giveaway Day twice a year. There are hundreds of bloggers who host giveaways on their blogs and are listed on the Sew Mama Sew blog. I was lucky enough to win one of the giveaways this time. This great tote came in the mail today from Crafty Tokyo Mama. All the way from Japan. Of all countries! My son is taking beginner's Japanese courses this summer at university. I thought it was such a coincidence. Isn't the fabric awesome? Inside there's an elastic loop to hang things from. Janine also has an Etsy store called Crafty Tokyo Mama.

ETA: Oops! Crafty Tokyo Mama mentioned in her comment to this post that the loop is actually for wrapping around the bag after you've folded it up when it's not in use. Also when using a bag as a gift bag she has wrapped the loop around the bottom of the handles so you can't see what's in the bag. Great idea!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Socks Done at Last!

I finally finished my first toe-up socks. I started the first one last year, took bits from different socks and didn't take very good notes so it was a bit difficult to come up with an exact pair. But I doubt anyone will be looking at my feet. I used Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-off but I still don't find it very stretchy. Anyone have any tips?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Podcast Episode Three: Knitting Problems

Show Notes (I changed the name of the episode.)

  • Finish the Ardelle hat by Ellen Bartz.
  • lots of yarn
  • finished a project bag
(Library Book. All opinions in the review are those of the blog author's.)


Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday's Foto From Finland #9

I know dandilions are weeds but they are so colourful against the green grass.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Chunky Black Bean and Tomato Dip

Carla at The Year of the Vegan has starting testing for a new book. Today I made the Chunky Black Bean and Tomato Dip (though I used it as a spread). I almost never put fresh tomatoes in anything else but salads. So having them in this dip was an enjoyable change. The texture was good and I think I might try this in a wrap.

I tried our local stores but couldn't find any hot sauce any and it was needed for the recipe. So I looked up some recipes and made a 1/4 tsp version of my own. Some finely chopped chili from the freezer, a dash of salt and sugar and then some vinegar and water. I didn't notice it in the dip but I've never tried it so I don't know what it adds to the recipe. But maybe I'll put more chili next time.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Flowered Drawstring Project Bag

I was Raked some material on Ravelry because I wanted to make myself a few project bags. This is the first one. The material is quite sturdy and it is for me, so I didn't bother to line it.

The selvedges were quite wide so I used them for the drawstring channel because they would match the cream colour from the material.

I sewed the top edge from the wrong side and then folded under the other raw edge and topstitched it. Error Error. Fortunately I took a break at this point and when I came back I realized that I couldn't sew the channels to the edge because they would then be closed off once I did the side seams.

So I took them both off and redid them further from the edge, zigzaging and folding the ends under.

I wanted French seams so I sewed the side seams with wrong sides together.

Then I turned the bag wrong side out and sewed the side seams again.

I wanted a bit of a flat bottom so I marked and sewed a triangle at the corners. Once that was done I folded down the top edge twice and sewed around it. All that was left to do was pull the cord through the channel.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Friday's Foto From Finland #8

The snow's gone but it's going to rain!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Bit Early

My son usually makes the mead for May 1st but he won't be here then and you need to start about a week ahead, so I've made it this year. Only 2 litres so we can have some this weekend while he is here. Hopefully it will taste ok. I forgot that last year some of the bottles didn't fizz at all. Probably because I've been using the same bottles for years and the metal screw-on caps have loosened. If anyone would like the recipe just ask!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Podcast Episode Two: Twig Sunday

Show Notes

  • Cable and Lace Baby Blanket by Stephanie Ament (Ravelry link). Still working on this.
  • Toe-up Socks (my pattern). On the second sock.
  • Freya Shawl by Renate Haeckler (new stitch to me: S2K1PSSO) Hand-dyed yarn from Grannyg. Grannyg has a podcast that is now on hiatus because she has recently started an online magazine called Entangled.
  • Owl Cable Owl by Alicia Weisberg-Roberts (Ravelry link)
The Toy Society

Decide on what crown I want and finish the Ardelle hat by Ellen Bartz.

REVIEW: Myssystä sukkiin edited by Päivi Syrjänen
(Library Book. All opinions in the review are those of the blog author's.)


This is the rhyme that the witches say. There are different versions but this is the only one that I have heard.

Virvon varvon, (I don't think this means anything, but signals the witch is waving his/her wand.)
tuoreeks, (fresh), terveeks, (health)
tulevaks vuueks, (for the forthcoming year)
vitsa sulle, (twig for you)
palkka mulle! (reward for me!)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Vegan Bake Sale Cookbook

Look what came in the mail last week! Along with others who tested the recipes for this book I received a complementary copy from Carla of her Vegan Bake Sale Cookbook. It was definately strange seeing the recipes in bookform rather than on the blog! Not only were there a lot of recipes but tips on holding a bake sale, explanations on ingredients and using substitutions but plenty more useful information. I'd recommend that you get a hold of a copy and see what you think yourself!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Friday's Foto From Finland #7

Sunshine. Melting ice and snow.
(Just going on to the pond path.)

Friday, April 1, 2011

Happy Birthday to My Dear Son!

It was the first time I used this recipe for The Perfect Present Buttermilk Chocolate Cake Recipe that my sister recommended. It was really good.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Friday's Foto From Finland #6

So we got more snow. A few times. But the newest looks so neat in drifts.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


I entered a lot of giveaways during the One World One Heart event. I was really fortunate to win this fabulous necklace from Olwyn at die, adjust or migrate. She has one of the best blog names I've seen. I can wear the necklace with a ribbon so that all four strands are hanging down like in the picture or lift one of the strands around my neck and have the rest down. I'm really looking forward to wearing this great piece of artwork.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Podcast Episode One: About Me

Sorry if it is quiet! Hopefully you can turn your volume up.

Show Notes

  • Cable and Lace Baby Blanket by Stephanie Ament (Ravelry link). I added garter stitch borders and I'm using larger needles and making it bigger than a baby blanket.
  • Toe-up Socks (no pattern) with Koigu yarn that I won from Katie from the Electric Sheep podcast.
SEWING: Envelope Cushion Cover
(Correction: I meant that I measured a quarter of the length on each side of the middle of the cushion cover.)

REVIEW: Puikoissa by Anu Harkki
(Library Book. All opinions in the review are those of the blog author's.)