Lunch Time!

Hello lovely people! Here I am with another recipe for you. πŸ™‚

Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β  Β  Β  Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β  Stuffed peppers!

We love them here in Serbia. And also in this household. They are pretty easy to make, they can sit in the fridge for three or four days, they can go into the freezer, and they taste soooo good!

People use all kinds of peppers for this dish, in most cases it’s bell peppers, but I like the ones you see here. So, use peppers that you like. πŸ™‚

Here is how I made them: I fried two chopped onions, medium size, in a little bit of oil, just till it became translucent, then I added one big shredded carrot and three thumb size pieces of chopped celeriac, fried that for a minute or two more, than added 500 grams of minced ( pork and wild boar) meat (again, your choice – pork, lamb, beef…) , one table spoon of paprika, and fried that for a couple more minutes.

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I took that off the heat, then added one cup of uncooked rice, salt and pepper, and combined well. Tip for you: add a bit more salt than you normally would because the rice and peppers need it also, not just the meat. πŸ™‚

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I washed peppers and took the stalks out ( by pressing the stalks into paprika ). Then, with a tea spoon I stuffed them with meat and rice, but not too much and not too dense, just lightly so that the rice could be cooked with enough space to expand. Tip for you: put the stuffing without pushing it with the spoon, just shake the paprika to set it.

I closed the openings with slices of tomato and put everything in a slightly greased baking dish or a pan.

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I added two cups of water into the pan and covered it tightly with tin foil. It went into the oven for about 45 minutes on 180 – 200 degrees Celsius, and after that my peppers looked like this:

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I then took the tin foil off and put the peppers back into the oven to bake until they looked like this (about twenty more minutes) :

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And that is the recipe for stuffed peppers, my way. You can also use the courgettes instead of peppers, as well as eggplant, although the taste will differ. But these are also yummy. So have fun, make a whole bunch of these beauties, and you won’t have to cook for another three days! πŸ™‚

Have a great day! πŸ™‚

We Love Kale!

Do you eat your vegetables? πŸ™‚

I love to have a lot of vegetables in every meal. I do love meat, but if you’d give me just a piece of meat on the plate, I don’t think I would be able to eat it. There has to be cooked vegetables with it, and a fresh salad of course. But I also think that not every meal has to have meat in it. There are many vegetarian options that are just delicious! Like this one!

You will need kale, of course.

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Chopped into small pieces.

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Chop onions and garlic, or leaks ad garlic, or all that together πŸ™‚ and fry them on a little bit of oil, just until they are softened.

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Then add kale and cook it for a short time, for about 4-5 minutes. You want it to be green and a little bit soft, and to take all those flavors form onions and garlic. Add carrots and seasoning.

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Then put it into a baking dish, sprinkle as much cheese on it as you like,

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and then pour a mix of eggs and milk over it. Or use cream and eggs, or yogurt and eggs…what ever you like. I used about 400 ml milk and three eggs because I wanted it to be less fatty. πŸ™‚

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Bake at about 200 C or 390 F until it’s golden.

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Yummy! πŸ™‚

You can also add other things to this dish, like bacon or small chunks of meat, or to keep it vegetarian you could add peppers, cooked rice, or potato. So many possibilities! I like to experiment and play with food. πŸ™‚ How about you?

 

 

The Easiest Bread Ever!

I wanted to share with you the easiest bread you’ll ever make. It takes about ten minutes to make the dough and there is no kneading involved!

Take a bowl and pour 400 to 500 ml of lukewarm water in it. Then add 10 grams of dried yeast (or fresh one), one table spoon of sugar, one tea spoon of salt, 4 or 5 table spoons of olive oil, and then the flour. Now, for this bread I used about one cup of rye flour, two cups of regular all purpose flour, and whole grain wheat flour. You can use which ever you like, it doesn’t make much difference, except the fact that whole grain is healthier. πŸ™‚

Start adding the flour to the water little by little (that means about a cup at a time). Nothing special about that, it’s just to make it easier for you to combine everything. You should have a very thick dough, so when it gets too hard to mix it with a spoon, but too sticky to knead it (which you won’t do, of course), it is done. And when I say “too hard to mix with the spoon” I mean it should be sticky but able to hold the spoon upright, like this:

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Trust me, there is no way you could do wrong here, less or more stickiness, it doesn’t matter. πŸ™‚

Then, take a baking dish of your choice, (I like to use my Grandmothers 30 cm in diameter baking pan), brush it with oil and pour the dough in.

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That’s it! It took only ten minutes!

Another trick: if your kitchen is not very warm, or if you are in a bit of a hurry, here is what you can do, and that’s what I did today – turn on the light in your oven, and only the light! That will give enough warmth for the bread to rise quickly. Leave the bread in the oven to rise maybe half way (you don’t have to leave it to double in size which is usually the case with any type of dough), and THEN turn the oven on 190 C or about 370 F without taking the dough out of the oven. As the oven warms up the bread will rise even more. So you see, you make the dough, put it in the pan, put the pan in the oven, and that’s it. After about 40 minutes or when the bread is lovely and golden and smells like heaven, take it out and enjoy!

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I never ever cut fresh homemade bread with a knife. πŸ™‚

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A little bit of butter is a must.

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And while you wait for your bread to bake, you could have a wonderful healthy fruity snack.

Mix one apple and one banana in the food processor, with a juice of one lemon and one orange. Add honey to taste, pour into a bowl, add as much raisins as you like, and a Tbsp of pollen.

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Enjoy! πŸ™‚

One Greek One Serbian

I’m talking about food! πŸ™‚

One of my favorite Greek recipes is for a delicious cheese in olive oil. It’s simple and fast to make, you could store it in the fridge and use it in so many ways.

There are many ways to make this, but here is what I used:

Pepper, garlic, onion, bay leaf, chili peppers, and of course cheese. It’s important that the cheese is not soft, but I think Feta could work well too. I have here cow cheese. Goat cheese is the best. πŸ™‚

Cheese in olive oil

Simply cut the cheese in cubes, layer them in a jar with everything else in between, and pour olive oil to cover it well.Β  Put the lid on and let it sit in the fridge for a couple of days before using it, to let the cheese soak up all those lovely flavors.

Cheese in olive oil

Use it with anything – as a side dish, as an appetizer, in your sandwich, on pizza, on toast… And the best part is that when you eat the cheese, you get the most fantastic salad dressing ever! Try making different combinations – with herbs, with olives, etc.

The other dish, the most famous Serbian one, is “Prebranac”. People from all over the world who came to Serbia and tried it are all in love with this dish. But be prepared, it’s not a light one.Β  This is perfect for cold Autumn or Winter days when you want your belly warm, full and happy. πŸ™‚

If you want to feed an army, you will need one kilogram of white beans, and at least one kilogram (it’s better to have a bit more) of onions.

First, slice the onions

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And cook the beans

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Put the beans aside and fry the onions in oil (a generous amount of oil is needed, at least one cup), until they are soft.

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Then add 2 or 3 full table spoons of paprika and fry that for a short time, not over a minute,Β  just to warm up paprika and make it more fragrant. Be careful, if you burn paprika, the dish will taste horrible. Add salt and pepper to taste, having in mind that it will spread onto whole dish.

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Then take a baking dish, grease it, and put half of the drained beans first, then the onions, and finish with the second layer of beans.

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In the photo above you can see the unfinished second layer. Cover it all up with beans, and then take the water that you cooked beans in, and pour until it’s just covering everything.Β  Then put it in the oven at 220 degrees Celsius (I think it’s about 430 F) and bake until the water is almost completely evaporated. It shouldn’t take long.

You will have an amazing meal!

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And it’s always always served with cabbage salad. Just cabbage with olive oil, apple vinegar, salt and pepper.

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Have a great day! πŸ™‚

My Goulash

If you like delicious, heart and belly warming food, food that asks for a nice glass of wine with it (and in it, LOL!), then this is for you. πŸ™‚

As usual, I don’t have exact measurements for the ingredients, but as we say here in Serbia, the best food is made without the exact recipe. But I’ll try to give you some directions with the photos.

First you’ll need a bigger pot in which you’ll put about six or seven table spoons of oil and add one big onion, chopped. Fry that for a couple of minutes.

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Then add as much bacon as you like :), or about 300 – 400 grams, cut into small cubes. When bacon is fried a bit, add chopped carrots, leek, red and green pepper, and fry that again for a couple of minutes. I used about four peppers in total, one whole leek, two medium carrots…you get the point. You can put the amount you like. You can also add mushrooms into this dish, but I didn’t this time.

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The best goulash is made with two or, even better, three types of meet. I used beef, pork and wild boar, but if you don’t have wild boar you could use lamb, it is absolutely delicious in this dish.

So, I added about 500 grams of each meat, chopped into small pieces,

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and one glass of white wine, four bay leafs, ground pepper, salt, one big spoon of paprika, one chopped potato and chopped celery (root, about half a cup).

Put the lid on top, cook on medium heat, and forget about it for one to one and a half hours. After that time, the meat should be very soft when you pinch it. Or you could and should try it, check if it needs more seasoning, and you’re done. The amount I cooked was enough to serve about eight very hungry people, but since it’s a “strong” dish, you could serve it with potatoes, rice, or pasta, and then you have it for even more hungry mouths. πŸ™‚ But the great things is that you could cook a large amount, freeze portions,Β  and when you reheat it, no one will know it wasn’t cooked minutes ago. πŸ™‚

Of course, when the goulash is ready, add chopped garlic and parsley before you serve it.

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In my defense, I’ll say that we had guests and I needed this amount. πŸ™‚

They loved it! πŸ™‚

Busy Days

I have a writing block. For some reason, I get stuck every now and then, not being able to write in English, even though I have so much that I want to share with you. I don’t know how to start a blog post, I don’t know how to express my feelings. And it annoys me. A lot. But, that is the case right now, and all I can do is to try to make a few sentences and post the photos for you to see, and hope for this to go away until my next post. πŸ™‚

So, what have I been doing lately? Well, first it was my Birthday on September 18th. I made my self a lovely chocolate cake, and was quite pleased with my first sugar lace decoration ever! πŸ™‚

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Then I cooked and cooked as we had guests almost every day. Friends, my parents, hubby’s parents, lunch, dinner, breakfast, cooking, baking, oh it was so much fun! Yes, I mean it! It was fun! I love to cook, and with this Autumn atmosphere it feels even better! The weather was mostly sunny these days, a bit cold, leaves are just starting to change color, and that’s the only part of Autumn that I like. That is the time when I feel very homy and all I want to do is cook and bake. Not good for my figure though, I should be avoiding bread and cakes, but, oh dear, it is so hard! I should’ve taken photos of all the food I prepared as I know some of you would love to see how we eat here in Serbia. I promise I’ll start taking the camera with me to the kitchen. πŸ™‚

I received a heart warming mail, two gorgeous hand painted cards from Terri, my Internet friend who’s drawings and paintings are gorgeous and a constant inspiration for me.

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She was so kind to send me the cards that I loved the most, although I love everything she does, and I’m always jealous because I can’t paint like that. πŸ™‚ But look at those beauties! I’m going to frame the flower and have it on my bedroom wall, and the tree is going into my diary so that I can always have it with me. Thank you Terri for this wonderful gift!

Speaking of bedroom walls, I’ve decided to do another recycling project, using different sizes of styrofoam (because those were the only pieces I had) and paper from an old book and a music sheet. It started like this:

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I glued the papers onto the styrofoam, actually the papersΒ  were glued to each other as the styrofoam didn’t want to “accept” the glue, and then when it dried, I painted the whole thing with some white paint watered down a bit, and at the end with shimmery finish. So I got a lovely jewelry holder:

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I hope that you can see the papers coming through a bit. Here is the one for my necklaces:

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The problem with my walls is that they are made out of concrete. And if I’d want to put something on my wall, I would need a special drilling tool for that, which I don’t have, and to call someone (and pay for it) to come and drill a hole or two every time I want to hang a picture or something else is pain in the… πŸ™‚ So I glue things on the wall with double sided tape. Good thing with my jewelry holders is that they are light and easy to glue to the wall. I will show you the whole wall once I have all the photos and pictures on it, glued of course. LOL!

Oh, my writing block is subsiding! :))

Anyway, I have some Art Journal pages to show you also, from different journals.

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Have a wonderful day! πŸ™‚

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Finally Something New

It’s not that I didn’t have any inspiration lately to make things. I blame Stephen King for writing amazing books! LOL! All I want to do is read! And to be honest, I’m thinking more about the holiday (still three weeks away) than anything else. Books and holiday. They are perfect when combined, but I’ll have to wait a bit more. πŸ™‚

When I finally manage to put the book away (it’s “Under the dome” right now), I do ‘do’ something. I make healthy food, sprouting beans for a soup,

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sprouting wheat for bread and cookies,

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making “all kinds of vegetables in the same pot” meals with steamed rice,

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I made my self a pair of earrings (sorry for the bad photo) with paper beads, fabric and paint,

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some fabric and paper tags,

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and I finally finished this fabric journal, with my handmade paper inside and watercolor paper.

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Also, two souvenir type of journals for the shop here in Belgrade. They are titled Belgrade of course. πŸ™‚

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They sell very well, so the shop owner asked me if I could make two this time, one masculine and one girly. πŸ™‚

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I am quite pleased with both of them.

Now, if only I could weave more and read less. The yarn is calling me, but the book…it’s sooo good! πŸ™‚

Eating Healthy

It was about time to make some changes in my diet.Lately I’ve been eating lots of bread and pastry, cakes and chocolate, and fruit. Ok, fruit IS healthy, but bread and sweets, not that much. So, I had to do something about that.

My husband and I don’t eat too much meat, and except the fact that he would eat pasta every day (if I’d let him,LOL), we do eat vegetables quite a lot. But I tend to eat a lot of bread with every meal, and something sweet after lunch, and again maybe in the evening…But I love to cook, I love to bake, I love to try out new recipes, so it turns out we always have something “belly unfriendly” in our home. So I decided to stop making cakes for a while. And of course, I won’t be buying any. Instead, I’ll eat even more fruit, especially dried fruit when I feel the need for sweets.As for the bread, I’ll make healthy whole grain bread. Without butter. (That will be tough.) It’s not that I need any major weight loss (in my opinion), but it would be nice to loose a kilo or two, just as a precaution.

So, what we had for lunch today was a healthy, delicious meal, a salad actually, but a kind of salad that will make you feel full. Here is how I made it:

Slice courgettes and bake or grill them.

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While you’re doing that, take a bowl and start adding sliced onion,

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cucumber,

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radishes,

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and the courgettes cut into small chunks.

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For the dressing:

one tsp Dijon mustard, one tsp mayonnaise, about a tsp of dried oregano, and a little bit of ground pepper.

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And of course some olive oil and vinegar.

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Pour that over your salad, mix, put it on your plate and add some crumbled cheese on top. Yummy!

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I used to be more careful about what I eat, and if you’ve heard about a book written by Harvey and Marilyn Diamond, called “Fit for life”, you’ll know what I’m talking about. I’ve never liked dieting, starving, or not eating some types of food, so that book was (many years ago) a kind of a revelation for me. I felt good, and lost weight, all that while eating everything. Well, they don’t recommend eating cakes, but in small quantities that didn’t hurt me. πŸ™‚ Now, I am not a medical doctor, and I’m not saying you should try that diet program, but for me it was great. And as the years passed, I slowly started to eat more and more “badly”, which also started to show in my clothes size. But more importantly, now I don’t feel I have the energy as I used to. That’s why I need to make some changes. Yes I will have a cinnamon roll now and then, or an ice cream, but no more lasagna followed by chocolate every two days. πŸ™‚ Will I get back on track, I don’t know. I’ll keep you posted. πŸ™‚

Lunch Time!

I thought I could share with you two nice recipes. Easy to make, although not very fast, but then again not like a “whole day cooking” kinda recipes. πŸ™‚

First there is the “Hunter’s stake” or “Hunter’s schnitzel” – well, as close as I could translate that. You will need beef or pork, cut and beat to make thin pieces. Then dip them in flour.

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Fry in oil on moderate to high heat until they are golden brown ( that should be quite fast).

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When all the steaks are fried, put them in a pot, adding salt and pepper and lots of chopped garlic and parsley between the layers of meat.

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Add about half (or as much as you like) of glass of white wine, put the lid on and let that simmer for ten to fifteen minutes.

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Then add water to almost cover the meat, put the lid on and let it simmer on medium to low heat for as much as it takes for the meat to be tender and wonderful. But I guess it should take anywhere from half to one hour. Also, you will see in the next photo how the flour makes a gorgeous sauce.

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Unfortunately, I don’t have any more photos because this meal was eaten so fast, I forgot to photograph our plates. But believe me, if you like meat, you will love this. Serve it with mashed potatoes and enjoy. πŸ™‚

While the meat was on the stove, I made some dog biscuits, because I want my dog to eat healthy food, not the store bought “filled with chemicals” stuff. πŸ™‚ Here is something like the recipe, I don’t have the exact measurements:

Two eggs and a big spoon of lard (you could use butter too). Mix that a bit,

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Add about two table spoons of ground flax seeds and about a cup of oat flakes.

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You could add yogurt ( half of cup) or sour cream, or white cheese, or any cheese, or all that actually, and then add flour until the dough is firm, but not too firm, just until it’s not sticking to your hands. You should have something like this:

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You could even add chopped bacon or minced meat, but in that case store the biscuits in the fridge after they are baked or in the freezer if you have a lot of them.

Make any shape you like. I like them like this:

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Bake at 200 degrees (Celsius) for about 20 minutes, or until they are light brown in color.

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A happy customer:

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And because my husband loved Meda’s biscuits, I then had to make a batch for him too. I did the same thing as already described, just added pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds (as my hubby requested), and voila! Another happy face! πŸ™‚

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The only difference between Meda’s and our biscuits is salt. I don’t put it in Meda’s food, and I even forgot to put it in our biscuits this time, but because I added sour cream and cheese to the mix, the salt wasn’t needed at all. πŸ™‚

Have a great day!

This and That

Some days I work like crazy, and then some days it’s more cooking and cleaning and doing other boring stuff than making art. Although, cooking for me is hardly ever boring. πŸ™‚

Today I made a healthy bread, with whole wheat flour, rye flour, olive oil, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and flax seeds. It doesn’t look very pretty, but it sure is healthy and tasty. πŸ™‚

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Then I finally photographed a book I made almost three weeks ago.

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It has corrugated cardboard for covers which was decoupaged, painted, glittered just s tiny bit πŸ™‚ , lace, fabric, and it has a leather binding. Inside are many pages of different papers, something I like very much.

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Then there is some work in progress:

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This journal still needs signatures to be sewn in, but the cover is mostly done. I think. πŸ™‚

I also played with fabric scraps, making some kind of collage that I’m still not sure what I’ll do with. The photo looks a bit blurry, but actually it’s organza on top that makes it look like that.

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We had a great time with my relatives this weekend. My cousin celebrated his Daughter’s first birthday, and it was a wonderful opportunity for all of us to get together and dance and sing, which we love to do. πŸ™‚

Birthday girl:

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Me and my hubby:

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Daddy and I, dancing πŸ™‚

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My Mom and Dad:

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Have a wonderful day everybody! πŸ™‚