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Thursday, 24 December 2015

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

God jul and merry Christmas from Glasgow! Hope everyone is having a lovely holiday!

Monday, 21 December 2015

HOME ALONE BINGO - PRINTABLE!

We’re leaving for Glasgow in a few days, where we’ll be celebrating Christmas with Graeme’s family. I’m very excited! A few of our friends are also planning on being there over the holidays, so we’re hoping to cram in a Christmas celebration with them too. Back when I lived in Glasgow, I lived in a flat with five others and we used to have an annual Christmas celebration together before we all went home to celebrate with our families. It usually involved a roast of some kind (complete with Christmas crackers and paper crowns), a secret Santa exchange and the ritual of everyone cramming together and watching Home Alone while we eating Christmas cookies and sweets. It sounds pretty simple, but it’s potentially one of my favorite Christmas traditions.


Our little Christmas tradition is sadly no longer an annual occurrence, now that we’re all grown up (ha!) and we all live quite far apart, scattered around the UK, Norway and (currently) El Salvador. But last year we all managed to get together in Manchester, which was all sorts of wonderful and the night ended with us making a human pyramid (as you do!). Sadly we won’t be the whole group this year though, so this will be more of a mini-celebration. And I’m not sure if there will be a secret Santa exchange this year, but there will definitely still be Home Alone. So to mix it up a little, I’ve made these Home Alone bingo sheets to make the viewing a little more exciting! There's 6 different sheets, and they consist of specific scenes and classic quotes from the movie. And obviously, there will be a prize for the winner! You can download them here, if you'd like to add a bit to your Home Alone viewing this year too. Cause Home Alone might just be the ultimate Christmas movie (closely followed by Elf?).

PS. I found so many fun Home Alone articles while I was researching to make this. Like this one where a doctor diagnoses Marv and Harry's injuries, and then obviously, this. Poor, traumatized Kevin.

Friday, 18 December 2015

ORANGE & DARK CHOCOLATE COOKIES


I don't really feel like I've done enough baking this Christmas. How are you doing with your Christmas baking this year? Somehow, I still haven't made gingerbread, even though all the ingredients have been sitting ready in my cupboard since about December 1st. How has this not happened yet? I don't know. And is it really Christmas without gingerbread? I'm not sure about that either yet. But one thing I have gotten around to making are these orange and dark chocolate cookies. I love the combination of dark chocolate and orange. And while I was in the process of baking them, Graeme came home from work and tried one before I had added the dark chocolate drizzle, and excitedly exclaimed "these taste like Christmas!" So maybe gingerbread won't be necessary this year?

I also got a bunch of cookies out of just one batch, so it kinda feels like I've put in more of an effort than I actually have. And that's never a bad thing in a month as busy as December! I used a pretty small cookie cutter (a super cute Christmas tree one I got in my Haribo advent calendar last year!), so I ended up with about 120 cookies! But they're dangerously tasty, so there's certainly not that many left anymore.

Orange cookies recipe:
300 g flour
200 g butter
100 g icing sugar
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp cinnamon
zest and juice of one orang

Dark chocolate drizzle:
100 g dark chocolate
50 g butter

Directions:
Mix all the cookie recipe ingredients together and let the dough chill for an hour. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Roll out the dough, stamp out the cookies, and bake for about 10 minutes until they just start to go brown. Take them out and let them cool.

For the drizzle, melt the chocolate and the butter, either in a bain marie or the microwave. Drizzle over the cookies, and leave it them out until the chocolate is set. Yummers.


Sunday, 13 December 2015

PHOTO BOOK: KOREA

I actually made this photo book forever ago. But as I was giving a copy to my sister for her birthday (which was last week!), I wanted to wait until after I gave it to her before I shared it on here. That's the thing when you've got projects you're excited about, but you're giving to someone--sometimes you have to wait a while before you can show it. But here we go!


My sister lived in South Korea for a while, and I was lucky enough to squeeze a visit in right before she moved back to Norway. I already posted some photos here that I took with my Diana F+, but I also took tons with my DSLR that I always intended to make a photo book out of. My photo book library is slowly but surely growing, and I love looking back at them.


Since I visited a couple of places while I was in Korea, I decided to divide the book up in "chapters" after the places I visited; Geoje, the DMZ, Seoul, Busan and Oedo, with a title page for each (like the one below). I usually put my photo books together in a random order based on aesthetics, but this book ended up following the natural chronological order of my trip, it seemed a bit tidier that way. As per usual, I went with a photo book from Blurb. I love how easy these are to make, and so far I haven't been disappointed with the result. Here's a few of my favorite pages (in no particular order)!

I love the last one, with my sister and her crazy hair in the wind!

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

OUR ANNUAL CHRISTMAS BEER TASTING

Juleøl, or Christmas beer, is a long-standing tradition in Norway. It's actually one of the oldest Christmas traditions, stretching as far back as to the Vikings who toasted to the Norse gods, and it was such an important tradition that when Christianity took over the Church adapted it and gave it a new symbolic meaning so that the tradition continued.


Graeme and I have our own annual Christmas beer tradition though, where we get a selection of Christmas beers and do a blind tasting, score the beers and declare a winner. But since I'm pregnant this year, a Christmas beer tasting was obviously not in the cards for me. And an evening where Graeme does all the tasting while I sit there going "so?! What was that one like?" sounded a bit lame. So instead of scrapping our tradition all together, we decided we'd expand it a bit and invited a couple of friends to join us! (Which in turn lead to some hilarity as we invited people before we announced our pregnancy, and had one guest in particular who was very concerned that the evening wasn't going to happen after all when he found out I was pregnant.)


So for our tasting, we asked each guest to bring two varieties of Christmas beer, about 500 - 750 ml of each. Graeme made and printed some scorecards, complete with a space for comments (they always seem to get better as we go haha). You can download these here if you'd like to host a similar night yourself! We kept the food simple and served a cheeseboard, but made sure to serve some Christmas cookies too, as a lot of these beers are quite dark and sweet with hints of coffee, chocolate and vanilla, and thus team up well with sweet cakes.

As for which one was this year's winner? Lucky for me, I have a leftover unopened bottle that doesn't expire until 2017. ;)

Thursday, 3 December 2015

NOVEMBER IN INSTAGRAMS


December is here! Are you ready? I'm definitely not. But I'm very excited about the upcoming month! November has been cold and dark, so much so that I've actually barely been on instagram (I think that first photo pretty much sums up a huge chunk of my month haha), so this is a super short "in instagrams" post! I'm also noticing that the few photos I did take this month were mainly food related haha. Then there was of course also the news I shared in my last post.

Plans for December include hosting a Christmas beer tasting night, going to Glasgow for the holidays, and hopefully visiting Julebyen Egersund! I've been meaning to visit the Christmas market in Egersund for about three years now, so it's way overdue. I'm also debating back and forth if I should make another December album, like the one I did last year. I had already decided I definitely wasn't going to, that I was gonna skip this year and come back strong next year. One issue I had was that I had a terrible printer, so printing out every picture was a nightmare and I only ended up being happy with about half of them.  And a major problem last year was actually taking enough pictures, as I work full time and pretty much only get daylight on the weekend (which won't be a problem next year as I'll most likely be on maternity leave). But then the other day I dug out last year's album and it kinda made me want to make another one, and I've been obsessing a little over it ever since and making plans in my head. And now I have a much, much better printer... ah, decisions!

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

IT'S A....!

Unless you know me personally, this might come as a bit of a surprise, but Graeme and I are expecting an addition to our little family this spring! This week we had our 18 week scan where we found out that there's a little dude in there! We are both super excited. It's funny, I was already totally convinced it was a boy, turns out I was right! And now that we have an actual picture of the little guy, this whole thing is feeling a gazillion times more real!

Sunday, 15 November 2015

WEEKEND KNITS: BABY HAT

One of Graeme's friends is expecting a baby in January, and I've been meaning to knit something for their baby for a while. So when my plans got cancelled this Friday, it seemed like a good time to pick up my knitting needles. I brewed myself a pot of tea, stuck on a movie and snuggled up on the couch with the dog. In the end, it really wasn't a bad way to spend a Friday.

I was a bit unsure of what to knit as I know they're already getting a baby blanket from someone, but I eventually settled on this little set from Pickles. I'm not sure I'll be knitting the cardigan, but I think I'll definitely have to knit those little booties as well, they are far too cute. They've chosen to leave the gender a surprise, so my original plan was to knit something a bit more gender neutral. But girls can wear blue right? I'm wearing blue right now, and I'm a girl. Plus, I think they're going for a bit of an underwater theme in the nursery, so this should fit right in, surely. Not to mention it could obviously just as well end up being a boy. (..maybe I should just cross my fingers that it's a boy haha)


Isn't it tiny though? I actually got a bit worried about the size halfway through, and had to stop and consult Google to make sure I wasn't making it too small. And to be honest, I think it might actually be a bit on the larger size as the yarn is pretty stretchy, but that's fine, the kid will grow. I used leftover yarn from when I knitted this blanket (for a different baby), Drops' Baby Merino in petrol. The whole thing (minus the bobble) was knit in an evening, so I'm definitely making one of these again!

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

ASHLEY G'S PAINT. PLAN.PLAY

I always struggle a bit during autumn and winter. I didn't really notice it as much when I lived nearer the equator and there was less of a difference in the seasons, but now that I live in Norway I certainly do. The days are shorter and colder and the evenings are dark and windy, and my creativity totally suffers. It was the same when I lived in Scotland too, and if you look at my old sketchbooks they all seem to follow the same pattern: I draw lots in the beginning of the year, and then around October I draw less and less, and sometimes seem to give up all together. It's not until late January it tends to pick up again, when spring is more in sight and I get a sudden burst of creativity. But right now, it's like I've gone into hibernation. And I'm not a big fan of it either, as I'm usually at my happiest when I'm making stuff and being creative.



So to encourage myself to stay creative during these cold months, I've been working on Ashley G's Paint.Plan.Play course. I love her style and the patterns she creates, and how they always look so playful and fun. And it's been really fun doing her course too. Quite often when I'm drawing in my sketchbook, I get a bit too scared of making mistakes, which can be quite limiting. So I've been enjoying that in this course, it's all about just experimenting and trying out new techniques and not caring. Whatever I make that I don't like, I throw out. It's quite liberating.

So far, most of what I've made has just ended up in my sketchbook (keeping my somewhat terrifying 10 min self portrait company, ha!), but I'm excited to think of what kind of projects I can use my patterns for. I used one of my pages to decorate the cover of a mix cd I made for a friend (and yes, I promise I will post this to you soon, you know who you are!), and I've been toying with the idea of using some of the patterns for some future fabric-based projects. In the meantime, I'll just keep experimenting and trying to combat this anti-creative season!

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

OCTOBER IN INSTAGRAMS


I had a hard time not just posting pictures from our trip to Prague here. We had an awesome time (and took loads of pictures!) but hey, this is "October in Instagrams", not "Our trip to Prague in Instagrams" (if you'd like to see more, you can check out my account @hildeandhercamera). Autumn is here in full, which means lots of colorful leaves everywhere, and cozy nights at home in front of the fire place (making s'mores!) after cold and wet dog walks that sometimes end in dog showers—look at that poor dog's face! I also had a quick work trip to Oslo (hence the mandatory wing photo haha) where I managed to squeeze in a coffee date with a friend. And then of course there was Prague. Such a beautiful city. We had the best time, and we'd love to go back.

Plans for November include making Christmas cards, working on some photo books and hopefully squeezing in a trip to the cabin. I'm also thinking of starting another knitting project, but haven't quite decided what yet. What are your plans?

Sunday, 18 October 2015

DIY PINATA BANNER

This banner was actually one of our wedding decorations, but I also used it to surprise Graeme on the morning of his birthday yesterday! It was a bit of a time consuming project, so I'm very happy that I got to use it more than once already (and totally saving it for potential use later haha). And who knows, maybe I can use the letters again to spell something different? What anagrams can I get out of "Graeme & Hilde"....?

I had so many ideas for wedding-related DIY projects, and one of these ideas was a Graeme & Hilde banner as a decoration at our venue. We also set up a DIY photo booth complete with homemade props and temporary tattoos designed by one of Graeme’s friends, made our own favors and a super simple guest book (which was such a last minute idea, I was literally printing out, cutting and gluing in photos in the book the morning of the wedding haha). The banner was one of the more time consuming projects though, but I’m really happy with how it turned out so I thought I’d share how I made it. My original plan was actually to make a gold one using gold wrapping paper, but after trying that out and deciding it didn't look nice enough, I decided to take it more in a piñata direction.

To make this banner, start by cutting out the cardboard letters. Print out the letters you're going to make on printer paper, tape them onto cardboard, and use a craft knife to cut them out. I used the font Homestead which you can download here. Once all your letters are cut, adhere the tissue paper. Start at the bottom of each letter, first covering the bottoms with two layers of paper, and then work your way up. I found that the easiest way was to cut long strips of tissue paper, gluing directly onto the cardboard and then cutting to size as you go along. Curves and corners can be tricky, but it really doesn't have to be perfect. Once all your letters are done, lie them face down and attach the string. I kept it simple and just taped it on the back.






Adhering the tissue paper is easily the most time consuming part, and the part where you might start to question a few things. I definitely questioned my sanity at points, and wondered why I started the project in the first place when I had so many other things to do. And why Graeme and I don’t have cute (short) nicknames for each other; it’d be so much more efficient. But once I was done with the whole banner, it all made sense. It looked pretty awesome at our wedding, and I’m sure I'll end up reusing them again. I mean, who doesn’t love a good banner?


Ps. Needless to say, everyone will be getting their Christmas presents wrapped in gold wrapping paper this year!

Pss. The top and bottom photos are by our wedding photographer, Desiree Mostad.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

THE CUTER BOOK

I've probably mentioned this before, but when I lived in Glasgow, I used to go to a sewing class on Tuesday afternoons called Say It Ain't Sew led by the wonderful Iona Barker. It's a beginner's class open to anyone, and every week you tackle a little sewing project. And when we visited Scotland last Easter, I managed to squeeze in a little Say It Ain't Sew time! As it was Easter, the project of the day was of course to sew little bunnies, and Iona brought this book, The Cuter Book from Aranzi Aronzo. I made the Haha Bunny and added some googly eyes, and I also got a chance to look through the rest of the book though, and pretty much had to have it. And voila! It is now in my craft book collection.


It's crammed full of super cute little felt animals to sew, and I have so many ideas of things I want to make out of the patterns in this book. I have a few friends who are expecting babies soon, and how cute would a mobile made out of the Birdies or the Munkys be? Or as an applique detail on a dress for my niece? I've been meaning to make her one out of the leftover fabric from when I made this dress (and how cute will we be when we're matching haha). Or, even better, blowing up the patterns and making actual sized teddy bears? Have you guys acquired any good craft books recently?


Saturday, 3 October 2015

SEPTEMBER IN INSTAGRAMS

Woosh, September is gone! How did that happen? And crap, it's less than two weeks til Graeme's birthday and I have no idea what to get him yet. Suggestions!?

September highlights include the opening of Nuart Festival 2015, celebrating our first month of marriage, and a lovely weekend at my parents cabin at the South of Norway, where we visited Farsund and had some ice cream in the sunshine. We also bought a New car this month, and obviously had to mark that occasion with some ice cream too. I don't think I ate enough ice cream this summer, so I'm clearly making up for it this autumn.

Plans for October include harvesting the apples and the plums in the garden, cooking lots of roasts like this and this, baking these (need to test out that creme brûlée burner we got for our wedding!), starting my Christmas present making and a weekend trip to Prague! Travel tips are very welcome!

Monday, 28 September 2015

DIANA F+ / BLACK & WHITE

I love black and white film. There's just something so classic about them. Graeme got me some rolls of black and white film for Christmas last year, and I recently got a couple of them developed. These were all taken with my trusty Diana F+, on Kodak Professional Black and White 120 film. Some were taken in Stavanger on a sunny day this spring, and some were taken in our closest dog park in winter, right after it had snowed. You'll notice Bo's wearing her GoPro harness in one of them, as it's from the time we made this film.

The quality isn't the best though, as I had to scan them myself after a bit of an argument at the photo developer's. After nine weeks in the lab (and me calling several times to find out what was happening with my photos), they let me know that scanning my photos and putting them on a disc was too much extra labor to them due to the format and the fact that I'd used a toy camera. So I ended up taking the prints and scanning them myself at home. I really need to find a photo developer that still handles analog film and not just digital. I currently have several exposed films in the fridge that I'm a bit hesitant to go get developed!