Before I Go

I don’t know how to travel light. I always carry a million things with me, “just in case I need them”. And I’m not talking about clothes or shoes. I’m talking about my favorite coffee mug, my favorite coffee :)  (we are not hotel people, we are camping people), all kinds of lotions and medicine, books and more books, journals and pens, etc.

This year we decided it would be easier for us to rent a tent in Greece instead of going with a caravan or our tent. Long story. But I hope it will be a good vacation. And I also hope the weather will be good as this whole summer was pretty messed up – we had rain almost every day. We’ll see.

Anyway, I wanted to show you some of my latest works. The ones I managed to photograph. :)

I made a journal with fabric cover made from scraps.

Journal

I like how it looks and how it feels in my hands. :) All those fabric pieces that I’ve stitched together, each having it’s own story and now making a cover for a journal that will hold another story. Wonderful.  And it is quite big – 25×20 cm.

Journal

Here is the back:

Journal

I wanted something different this time, so I made a velcro closure. It’s something that I’ll definitely do again.

Journal

Mixed papers inside, of course, because it’s more interesting that way. :)

Journal

I usually get inspired by the upcoming trip and make a travel journal that represents that destination in some way (even if I’m the only one who can see that, lol!) but this time I didn’t think of Greece, the sea and the sun while I was making it.

Journal

But all these fabric pieces with wavy stitching do remind me of waves, and the colors are those of the Sun and the sand. Not to mention the heart on the cover. It definitely represents my love for Greece. :) So, I guess this journal had it’s own ideas that lead me while I was making it. I do like to think that way.

Another thing I wanted to show you is a woven project, my waffle weave towels. Now, those are some serious ‘seaside’ colors LOL, but they are not going to Greece with me!

Handwoven towels

I’m still not sure if I’m going to keep them or give them as a gift. I must say they would look beautiful in my bathroom. :)

Handwoven towels

Have a great day everyone!

Crochet and Things

I have been a bit lazy as far as my blogging goes, but I’ve done so much in the studio. Still, not many photos were taken, and I blame the weather for that. :) It’s too dark and gloomy, it rains almost every day, and that doesn’t inspire me to photograph. But I will do my best to show you everything I’ve done, before I go on vacation, which is approaching! Yay! Ten more days till swimming in Greece! :)

Anyway, here are my two crochet projects, finished and beautiful.

Crochet

The yellow edged throw is for my bedroom. I used a lovely soft cotton fabric and I crochet the edge to make it the size I wanted, but also to add a bit of color to it.

Crochet

Crochet

The pink one I made for a friend’s daughter.

Crochet

She loved it. That made me happy. :)

I also finished making another pile of handmade paper, which means that my studio is a little bit more tidy after I recycled a ton of junk. Now I have these beauties to play with!

Handmade paper

Handmade paper

I made some tea and coffee dyed paper:

Handmade paper

And my favorite “alphabet” paper:

Handmade paper

I just love those letters and numbers coming through!

Handmade paper

Have a great day! :)

I Painted Something!

I don’t paint. I don’t think I know how to do that. The mess I make in my Art Journal is (I think) just a mess, my way to feel free and to do what ever I want. But for some reason, about a month ago I felt the need to paint and I knew exactly what I wanted. Texture, color, and more texture.

Texture

Texture

Texture

These look lovely on the wall. :)

Texture

And there is one more!

Texture

Texture

I just had to paint these. It felt like they had to come out of my head, and now  that they did, I feel great!

Still think I can’t paint though.

But I am happy with these paintings.

Crazy.

Handwoven

I finished weaving two table runners, and they look beautiful! The pattern is very complex and takes quite a bit of time to weave but the end result is gorgeous.

This one will stay in my home as it was done for this particular dresser.

table runner

I haven’t done it in a very long time, even though it is one of my favorite patterns. It feels good to weave something complicated from time to time. :)

table runner

I wove another one in a honey color with cotton/viscose yarn, and this one is going to travel to a dear friend of mine as a gift. :)

table runner

Honey and sunshine. :)

table runner

Have a great day! :)

Mincemeat Pie

Here in Serbia all pies are made with filo pastry. It’s not that we don’t know how to make an American style pie (I love those pies!), :) but if you ask for a pie here, this is what you’ll get – weather it is sweet or salty, with cheese or meat, or with fruit, it is always made with filo pastry. And we have lost of different types of filo pastry. Some are paper thin and they are used for making Baklava, some are pretty thick and used for Gibanica. The main recipes are the same, but everybody here has their own tweaks. Some pies are made by rolling the pastry, some by putting the pastry flat in the baking pan. For Burek for example, it’s needed to make the pastry from scratch, which is something a very few people know how to do (except professional bakers of course).That’s why we buy Burek in the bakery. :)

And we are mad about our pies. They are great for breakfast, lunch or dinner, pretty easy to make and serve to a crowd of people or to bring to a party or a picnic, great when warm and fresh but also the next day.

And here is how I make my mincemeat pie. :)

For a big pie (serves ten to twelve people easily!) I used 1 kilogram of filo pastry, not too thin of course.

filo pastry

For the filling I used 800 grams of minced meat (pork or beef , or a mix), about four big onions, two cloves of garlic, two medium potatoes, salt and pepper.

Chop the onions and fry them in a pan where you added about half a cup of oil. You will need that much oil because this pie needs it but also because you won’t be using it much later in the process. So, after the onions are softened, add chopped garlic and meat. Try to break up the meat so it’s not lumpy. Then add grated potatoes and fry for a three or four more minutes, until it’s all combined.

filling

Then add salt, and you will need to add a bit more than you like, because the pastry isn’t salted and also the eggs and milk you will add at the end (you will see later) will be unsalted too, so you will have to make up for that. And one of the most important things when making this pie is to add at least one, maybe one and a half tea spoons of ground pepper. You need it to be not overwhelming, but to taste the pepper when the pie is done.

I start by oiling the baking pan and then putting three sheets of pastry with just a little bit of sprinkled oil between them.

filo pastry

As you can see, I didn’t want them to be completely flat because this way I get a better texture when the pie is done.

Then I take the filling and add a little bit of it here and there.

the pie

Then add two more sheets of pastry, or three if it’s very thin,

the pie

and repeat the process until you use all your filling and pastry, but leave three sheets for the top!

Now to finish the pie: whisk lightly five eggs with a fork, add about 200 ml of milk and 200 ml of yogurt, or just milk, or just yogurt, or yogurt with sparkling water. :) I used all three – water, milk and yogurt. But you can use what you have on hand. Then pour that over your pie and (very important!) cut the pie to allow it to soak that milk and eggs a little.

the pie

Leave it for ten or fifteen minutes, and then bake at about 190 C (375 F) until it’s nice and golden on top. :)

You may have to adjust the temperature of your oven because every oven is different; another useful information- you can make the pie several hours before baking (or make it in the evening to have it the next day), just don’t add eggs and milk until it’s ready to go into the oven. If you make it the night before, wrap it in foil and put it in the fridge.

Most people like the edges, I like the soft middle part. :)

the pie

It’s rich and it needs beer or wine! LOL!

the pie

It is SO good! I had to make it big this time because we had guests and I wanted to serve them something delicious but also to serve them just one thing, and this pie is really enough on it’s own. You don’t need anything else with it, except maybe a salad. And yogurt for the kids. :)

That’s how we eat here in Serbia, and in my home. Not all I cook or bake is “strong” like this pie, but we do love our traditional food with lots of flavors.

I hope you like this recipe and I hope you will try making this pie. You will love it!

Have a great day! :)

This and That

I have two new books to show you! I made them for a swap themed “Mini book of proverbs”. I have been obsessed with texture lately, as you can see here. :)

V1 155

V1 157

I actually filled them with quotes and poems. :)

V1 159

V1 160

V1 161

V1 146

V1 148

V1 151

I added pressed leaves and flowers to this one. The combination of flowers and the colors I used (homemade alcohol inks and acrylic paint) reminds me of fairies and enchanted forests.

V1 152

V1 153

Another thing I have to share with you is my new recycling project. Actually, two projects! The first one is the scrappy yarn I’ve been slowly making for quite some time now.

V1 167

Every now and then I take my bag of yarn scraps and while watching listening to TV, I tie them into a new ball of yarn. It’s a slow process, but kind of meditating. I even separated cotton from viscose, black from white, and all those chunky woolly bits were tied together to make that crazy big ball of “everything else”. :)

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So I decided to use some of that lovely crazy yarn (the off white cotton to be precise) , and on top of that I recycled and old bed sheet to weave this rug!

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Look at all those knots coming through and giving a nice texture to the rug! That’s what I wanted to achieve!

V1 179

They are a bit shy now but they will come out even more after I wash it.

V1 177

I am happy with my new rug! :) Imagine the possibilities with that scrappy yarn, not only in weaving but also in knitting and crocheting! Oohhh, so many ideas are coming to my mind!

Have a great weekend everyone!

 

My Messy Heaven

As promised, here are the photos of my studio! It’s clean and tidy and will probably never look this nice again. :)

My studio

This is my Heaven, my space to weave, make books, paint, drill and glue and repair things, sew; also add an office to that and you get the idea. :) That’s why I can’t organize it any better than this.

On the other side of the room is my sewing and office space. Office space is shared with hubby, but he is getting slowly pushed out of the room completely, LOL! He works on his laptop computer anyway, so he doesn’t need this desk anymore. :) My computer is terribly out of date, but I don’t care.

My studio

As you can see in the first photo, I keep an old T shirt at hand to clean my brushes on it. And I managed to turn a computer desk into something more functional. You can’t see it on the right (the chair is in the way, sorry), but the CD rack now holds sanding papers. Very useful!

I also have a “primitive” but functional pressing station :) in one corner, by the bags filled with recycling materials.

My studio

Some of the gifts I received from dear friends are always with me to inspire me and to warm my heart. I wish I could have everything I received over the years on display, but unfortunately it’s not possible.

My studio

My studio

My studio

My studio

A poem I love…

My studio

My art and travel journals, completed:

My studio

And the ones I’m currently working in:

My studio

Boxes with beads:

My studio

My jewelry nicely displayed and not entangled in the bowl anymore. :)

My studio

And my old friend, the one who opened the door of the art world to me, the loom!

My studio

I am so happy with the studio! It’s not the prettiest studio in the world, and yes I do need to change that curtain :), but it’s mine and I am having so much fun here!

Now you know where I do what I do. :)

Have a wonderful day!