Sunday, October 28, 2012

Shell edging & drawstrings with tassels

Hi there! It's time to share a little handmade project - knitted bolero with crochet decoration. My mother knitted it for herself and asked me to help her with crochet edging and some crochet accessories. I was looking for a proper edging pattern for a while and decided to stop on this simple one, that is called shell edging, to keep accent on the knitted pattern and not to overdo it.
If you'll decide to try it out, here are the instructions.

 How to crochet a shell edging: 

5dc in 3d chain from the hook
skip 2 chains
1sc into the next chain
skip 2 chains
5dc in the next chain
skip 2 chains
1sc in the next chain
Repeat actions between * until you reach the end of your pattern.

Another little details, that I've added to the bolero were crochet drawstrings with tassels at the ends. The drawstrings are just a single row of chain stitches. And the tassels are made according to this tutorial.
As for me it looks better now. What do you thinks?
Here it is on the happy owner.
Sending you best wishes for the upcoming week. See you soon.
♡ Ju 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Weekend baking - Cherry Pie

I like baking, especially on weekends, when I have enough time to come up with an idea of what and how I'd like to bake. This time it was a cherry pie. I had a lot of cherries, that needed to be used somehow. Pie is an awesome usage of cherries.
Here is a super easy, light and tasty summer cherry pie recipe.

1. Frozen puff dough.
2. Cherries.
3. Sugar.
4. Semolina.
5. Walnuts.

1. Unfreeze the puff dough and put it on the baking tray. Don't forget to put baking paper under it. I like using ready-made puff dough. It makes baking fast and easy. And it is light enough for summer baking.
2. Put a good layer of cherries. I removed cherry pits beforehand.
3. Strew with sugar and semolina to cover the cherries. Semolina will absorb extra cherry juice. You can use breadcrumbs for the same purpose.
4. Put walnuts on the top. You can use any other nuts, seeds or sprinkles you prefer.
5. Wrap the edges of the dough so that cherry juice couldn't flow out and burn.
6. Bake until the edges of the dough became golden and crusty. Actually, make sure the dough is cooked.
7. Make your favorite tea/coffee. In my case it was a mix of black tea with orange peel, sage, oregano and wild strawberry.
8. Enjoy the pie.
And have a nice day! ;)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Birthday girl

This week we had one more important event. Our little girl Feature became 1 year old on the 4th of July.
Yes, she was born on the US independence day (maybe that's why she is so independent :)).
This means that she has been living with us for 10.5 months. We took her as a 1.5 months old crazy kitten.
I boiled some chicken for her, which she enjoyed a lot. And in the evening she had a small cupcake with 1 candle. Also she's got this little noisy guy as a present.
She was a little bit scared of  the candle's flame - she is afraid of fire after burning the ends of her whiskers over our gas stove. She is a very curious girl and prefers to check everything by herself.
Anyway she was happy to eat some cream from the cupcake after that.
Time flies and our girl is a grown up now. We viewed our winter photos recently and realized that she became much thinner in summer. She molts a lot, her ears are almost bald, but it is still very hot for her, that's why she is always lying in a drafts if she can find any around the house. Here is her winter photo to compare the amount of hair.
She likes lying on my crafts box very much, that's why it is always covered with Feature's hair.
She also likes to play with my yarn. I need to pack and hide it really good and safe, unless I want to find my apartment covered with yarn when I come back. I've had such experience few times already. She always helps me to do any kind of house work or crafting. When I clean the apartment she follows me and checking if everything is clean enough. When I knit or crochet she lies nearby and checks if the yarn if good enough, usually by tasting and chewing it. When you make the bed, she also comes to help and checks if anybody had left under the blankets. Well, her help is obviously invaluable.
She is very playful and sometimes unruly, but our lives won't be so fun, exciting and challenging without her. Every day coming home you never know what waits you there :)
♥Happy Birthday Feature!♥
And have a nice day! ;)

Family gathering

Past week was a bit busy and full of events. On Saturday we were visiting my grandparents to celebrate granddad's birthday. It was a fabulous weekend spent with family in the shadowy garden near their lovely house. They live in a small town near Kiev. There are a few small ponds there with a beautiful nature around. The blue building at the opposite side of the pond is an old wooden local church. I like visiting this place, it's always pleasant and relaxing.
Grandma's garden is full of flowers as usual.
She planted a few room flowers for me.
So I have a new blue blooming violet in my little violet collection and a few more flowers, one of them is going to bloom soon.
My grandma grows a lot of useful stuff in her small garden. My favorite are herbs. She provides the whole family with herbs. I love to make different herbal teas and most of all I like to use homegrown herbs for them. Lavender, mint, sage, lemon balm, jasmine - all this comes from grandma's garden. The tea taste is especially good if herbs are prepared by yourself or by kind grandma's hands and it's a great pleasure to drink it during long winter evenings or on breakfast - it gives a lot of energy and good mood.
I am a great fan of spices as well. My favorite one is basil. It is the best seasoning for meat, but I love it so much, that I can add it to any other dishes, except desserts of course. Fortunately, you can also find basil in my grandma's garden. As well as cumin, coriander, parsley, dill, rucola and so on.
The main dish of the day was grilled salmon cooked on a mangal. We prefer meat when the weather is colder and fish is a good choice for summer.
Here is a picture of the previous family gathering, when we cooked meat - Shashlik. Looks smoky and yummy. My father cooks the best meat I've ever tried.
This week was extremely hot and we are all looking forward for divine rain or at least wind.
Hope you are having a great weekend! Will be back soon with more news. See ya.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Saint Petersburg. Peter and Paul Fortress.

Peter and Paul Fortress - citadel of Saint Petersburg founded by Peter the Great and designed by Domeniko Trezzini at the beginning of XVIII century. The day was sunny, windy and actually very cold with short rains sometimes. We had a short excursion with a guide around the main sights of the fortress. We didn't see others because we were absolutely cold by that time.
Walking across the Ioann's Bridge
we entered the fortress through the Ioann's Gate
Then passed through Peter's Gate with a big two headed eagle on it.
Walked along the stone alleys between straight rows of old buildings heading to the Peter and Paul Cathedral - the highest building in Saint Petersburg. It's height is 122.5 meters.
Peter and Paul Cathedral from the inside.
Almost all Russian emperors are buried in Peter and Paul Cathedral.
In separate room remains of the Nicholas II and his family are buried.
This is the Ployed House, where Peter the Great was working on his boats.
The courtyard of the fortress - central square.
After that we headed to the Trubetskoy Bastion Prison, where a lot of Decembrists and other political prisoners were imprisoned. One of the single prison wards is on the picture below. Actually it is quite wide. I think nowadays single prison wards are much smaller. Anyway, we can only imagine how hard it was for prisoners to be here.
It was a high security prison, one of the best prisons in that time, that actually means that it it was the worst for the prisoners.
One of the Bastions.
Passing the Nevskiye Gate we appear on the embankment of the river Neva.
Sunny day and beautiful river views.
We liked Peter and Paul fortress. It's quite big and there are a lot of sights. For example, we also visited the Museum of Saint Petersburg History - a great museum with a lot of interesting items, that tell the history of this beautiful city.
Well, here ends our little Saint Petersburg journey. We still haven't seen a lot of it's sights. The places that I've told you about are make only a small percent of St Petersburg places of interest. It is a really wonderful city and I hope I'll come back here once.
See previous post about our St Petersburg vacation here: Moscow part, the city of Saint Petersburg, State Hermitage Museum, Petergof, Tsarskoye Selo.

Saint Petersburg vacation. Tsarskoye Selo.

Tsarskoye Selo (Tsar's Village) is located in a small town Pushkin near Saint Petersburg. It is famous of the Catherine's Palace and a huge park with ponds, bridges and other buildings. Catherine's Palace is the center of ensemble - a beautiful representation of Russian baroque. It was designed and built by genius architect of the XVIII century Rastrelli and is one of his best creations. Unfortunately, during the World War II a big part of the palace was destroyed and now is reconstructed due to original layouts.
Pushkin town is named after the great Russian poet Aleksandr Pushkin, who spent his youth and actually started writing poems here.
The Palace itself looks beautiful, painted in soft blue and white colors, richly decorated with gold, columns and statues.
Inside the Palace we appeared in the atmosphere of XVIII century. The Big Hall is on the picture below. This is the main hall of the palace with area of 860 square meters. A lot of mirrors and windows, gold and glass - makes the hall visually larger. The painting on the ceiling is huge and cover it all - I even can't imagine how much work and efforts was needed to create such decoration. It is amazing and worthy of respect.
All other rooms are decorated with the same richness and elegance. On the picture below is one of the dinning rooms with an example of table decoration.
Ceiling in each room are separate masterpieces. Looks gorgeous.
Another smaller dinning rooms where Russian emperors had dinners with nobility.
Antique tableware, wonderful fruits and flowers decoration.
Reproduction of Catherine's favorite dress made of (!)paper.
Richly decorated interiors.
Dinning room in ancient greek style in light green color.
Catherine's bedroom.
A snapshot from the famous and mysterious Amber Room, which was considered an Eighth wonder of the world. In 2003 it was finally reconstructed from the drawings and schemes. Unfortunately, initial Amber Room was lost at the beginning of the World War II after it was stolen by German forces during palace occupation. There are a lot of different versions of where might it be now, but the most realistic are that it is neither destroyed already or stores in private collections wherever in the world. Eight tonnes of amber were used for the new Amber Room. It is a beautiful masterpiece, carefully recreated by modern artists.
Out of the palace we got into a beautiful big park with a lot of nice alleys.
The Grot.
The Hermitage.
The Dutch Admiralty.
Monument representing Peter Bruegel's painting "The Blind Leading the Blind".
The Turkish bath and the Marble Bridge on the back.
Another view of the Turkish bath with 25 meters high Chesme Column on the background.
The park includes numerous ponds. The water in them is so calm and smooth, that everything is reflected in them creating a beautiful landscapes and views.
The Siberian Marble Bridge and it's reflection - a pleasure for eyes.
There are a lot of other buildings of different purpose on the territory of the park. Concert hall on the picture below.
Creaky arbor in Chinese style.
Cameron Gallery from the back.
Hermitage kitchen.
Those were the most interesting and good looking photos from our visit to Tsarskoye Selo. This place is very peaceful, quiet and relaxing, far from busy crowded city. It might have been a real resort for Russian emperors - beautiful nature and architecture makes Tsarskoye Selo a perfect place to rest, take a break from busy life and soak good mood and energy from nature.
We enjoyed our visit very much. Hope you enjoyed it as well.
Previous post about our Saint Petersburg vacation can be found here: Moscow part, the city of Saint Petersburg, State Hermitage Museum, Petergof.
Will be back soon with the final part of Saint Petersburg beauties.