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. :)

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I actually filled them with quotes and poems. :)

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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.

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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.

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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!

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

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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!

Paper Fun

Hello lovely people! Today I want to share with you my journal pages, and also a fun recycling project.

First, the pages from my art journal.

Inchies found a new home in my “Handmade paper journal”. :)

Inchies

This journal is almost finished, just two or three pages left. I like how this spread turned out, with most of my inchies in one place.

I also stapled some old doodles in this journal. There were too many loose pages lying around and now they are all nice and tidy in one journal.

Doodles

Doodles

Mandala

A quote collage page:

J page

This next page is about the floods, and the word means “Hope”:

J page

And now my recycling project! How do you like these earrings? :)

Earrings

They were made out of magazines. You could use newspapers or any kind of paper – old books for example. Just take a magazine and without ripping out the pages, start gluing the pages together. Add glue (white school glue) with a brush to the whole page, then put another page on top of it, press it down and try to smooth it out as much as you can, then repeat the process until you have enough pages, about two or three millimeters thick.

This next photo is not very good but you can see that the paper looks pretty flat.

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It is easy to cut it while it’s still a bit wet, although it will also be easy to cut when it’s dry but then you won’t be able to manipulate it much. So, cut your template out of any kind of paper and trace it down on your glued magazine, cut your shape, then bend it if you wish.

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Let it dry. It’s best to leave it over night. After that, you will need a fine sanding paper to smooth out the edges, and acrylic paint of your choice. Here’s what I’ve done:

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As you can see, in some of the earrings paper has some wrinkles, and I actually like that! They have a nice texture which you can enhance with paint if you wish.

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To finish them, add a coat or two of varnish or any kind of glossy finish, maybe even a bit of sparkle, and you can have something like this:

Earrings

Earrings

Earrings

Earrings

Earrings

You could make all kinds of things with this technique – pendants, beads if you use thicker paper, bracelets, even small plates. So many possibilities! And even though it takes a bit of time, it’s very easy and very inexpensive. So if you have time to play, or you need to take your mind of some problem (as it was the case with me), try this. :)

Have a great day!

 

And The Winner Is…

Hi friends! I don’t want to keep you waiting anymore, so here is the winner of my giveaway!

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Congratulations Deb! Your prize will be on it’s way in a day or two. :)

Thank you all for participating! I hope to have another giveaway soon. It’s so much fun!

I also want to share with you a new journal. Simple off white velvet covers, hand and machine stitched, with lace and a little bit of glittery fabric paint.

Journal

Journal

It has mixed papers inside, and it’s perfect for drawing, sketching, writing…

Journal

Journal

I didn’t add too much to the covers, this time I wanted a simple design. The velvet is so nice to touch that I couldn’t cover it too much. :)

Journal

In this last photo you can see a little bit of that shimmer, although it’s so much more beautiful ‘in real life’.

Journal

Update on spring cleaning odyssey: we are finishing painting the walls, which means that my windows are still dirty, but we are slowly getting to where we want to be. It’s all upside down kind of work, we should have painted the walls first and then switched the rooms and then cleaned everything up, but since the studio walls don’t need to be painted, it’s ok. Now we have only living room to paint, then I have to clean the windows, and then I will be able to show you how it all looks. But I am so tired! Not that I work and clean all the time, I also make all kinds of things, but it’s non stop doing something! And today I had to keep it slow. I just couldn’t do anything anymore. But tomorrow is a new day and more work! :)

Thank you once again for visiting my blog and for your lovely comments. I love hearing from you! Have a wonderful day/night!