Monday, December 08, 2014

Mrs Egeland Apologises

Dear Readers,

I’m writing to apologise for my absence. It mightn’t be over yet.

The last few months, I have been struggling with some personal issues, that I would love to share with you but I don’t know quite how without sounding like I’m whinging.

My health has worsened. To the point where I’m teetering on the edge of a total breakdown again, this time I’m emotionally stronger. But I’m not sure how long I will be able to last.

My creative impulses are still there but I’m not making anything new, I’m not writing hardly at all, what little creativity that is created is mediocre and not worth anyone’s attention. The new blog lies unused and unappreciated, as I am unable to cope with the level of stress creating a new form for this blog would entail.

The only really worthy creation is my novel, which is right in the middle of publication. Artwork and cover colours are really the only honest-to-good creation I am able to work on, and that is in conjunction with a layout artist and my editor, so my input is minimal.

Unfortunately, I can’t share that with you, not yet, because I’m anxious that the results be seen at their finish rather than half-way through.

Its closing in to the world’s biggest, most expensive festival, Christmas. Something I personal don’t celebrate, so I’m not even doing anything for that. I have a GREAT idea for a homemade decoration that could be customised for every occasion, but even that lies stagnant inside my head as I am too exhausted to even near my sewing machine.

Sometimes, there are moments in life when health, mental and physical have to take precedence over everything else. It seems that if I could just improve a little, I would have the impetus to get back to blogging, creating and sharing the results with you all.

At the moment though, I feel stuck in a rut. As if I had fallen down a deep pit and without a huge shift I can’t get out. No matter how hard I try to pull myself out, to call for help, to see the light I can’t. I merely wear my already worn body out.

So for now, you lovely readers will have to wait it out. I have hope to be able to show you my new book in the next few months.

Thanks for you patience,

Until next time,

Davita

Monday, October 13, 2014

Mrs Egeland Apologises

Yes, I have to apologise because I have neglected you all terribly. IMG_2040

I do have plenty of excuses though! I’ve had numerous visits from lovely, lovely, interesting people and I will have more visits this week. Yes October is a month of visits for me and I’m enjoying the company, however that, plus the fact that I got bitten by the inspiration bug just recently and have felt the desperate need to write fantasy fiction has left me little time to write tutorials or think of recipes to share with you all. IMG_2036

So I apologise! I will try hard to do better.

Mrs Egeland’s News

I have been trying to start a new blog page, which will be a slightly more improved version of this one, a tad more classy. However its taking a bit more time than I imagined, basically because I haven’t gotten around to posting the tutorial I have in mind, because I haven’t gotten around to doing the tutorial I have in mind. I will eventually get around to posting it and then I will post my new web address and say goodbye to my blogspot account.

In other news, my fantasy fiction novel is going into print. As of yet we have no bookshops on board but that I will keep you informed, and as soon as its available to buy I will let you know where you can get my debut novel. For more information and a story synopsis check out Mrs Egeland’s Other Projects, which you will find in the page list on the right side.

How Do I Make It Up To You?

Jolly good question! Would you settle for a sneak peek at my debut novel? Yes? No?

Well that’s what you getting, so I hope you can forgive me!

The Trials Begin

Eventually, when their bodies complained with every fiber, they stopped footsore and exhausted camping that night below the stars in a forest clearing. They pushed themselves to build a fire, collecting wood in the clearing itself, not daring to venture too far from the others. Eyes meeting and smiles exchanged as they nervously collected what little wood they could find, all of them, eager to sleep but aware that they were surrounded by the unknown. Soon the fire blazed with heat and light, giving an atmosphere of familiarity in the dark, unknowable night, drawing the travelling companions together and strengthening the ever-strengthening bond of friendship and family that the mark seemed to bring to them. The trees were dark and haunting compared to the warm fire, and animal sounds echoed eerily in the darkness like some signal to begin the hunt of our unsuspecting campers. But of course, it was no such thing.

“To be honest,” said Agatha with a little gulp of nervousness, “I’m a little…um… uncomfortable in this forest.”

“You mean that you’re scared!” sniggered Jorden.

“What’s troubling you my lady?” asked Loreliana patiently and calmly.

“Um… wild animals… monsters… thieves… murderers… etcetera etc,” said Agatha looking over her shoulder, every word coming out faster than the last.

“My lady, you needn’t worry about that. We’ll protect you and the fire is blazing; animals might be attracted to it but we scare them more than they do us, and ‘monsters’ are usually more frightened of the light than we are of them. Thieves and murderers, well, we only have the strength of Jorden and if they can overcome him, then we shall be in trouble. But I seriously doubt that there are any thieves and murderers who would want anything to do with us, we are after all just three seemingly poor travellers,” said Loreliana, “with little or no trappings of the rich.”

“What a mouse!” whispered Jorden, but shut up when he saw Loreliana raising her eyebrow at him and rolling her eyes, her seeming disapproval sent a stab at his heart.

“So, we’ve told you about where we came from, what about you? What made you decide to start on the road?” asked Jorden quickly changing the subject.

“My father was a local physician; he knew herb lore and anatomy. One day as he was on his rounds, checking on his patients in the village he noticed a woman was following him, she seemed like a beggar or something so he took no notice. Then that night someone knocked on his door, he wondered who it could be at such a late hour but he picked up his bag and opened the door, ready to leave if it was some kind of emergency. There at the door was a man, dirty and dressed in rags, he asked my father if he could come in. My father was a bit suspicious, but he couldn’t see any weapons on the man and so he let the man in. The man was my real father, he told my father that he and his wife, my real mother, had been watching him for a few days, saw how he treated people with illness and that they thought he must be a very clever and kind man. He told my father that they were both very ill and would die very soon, but that they had a small daughter, of a little more than three years old and would he be willing to take care of me? He told them that it was a very big decision and that he wanted a day to think about taking on such a big responsibility. The man seemed to agree and left him to think it over. The next day my father wasn’t so eager to take on a child, he was quite sure he couldn’t be a good father, but it seemed my real mother and father were dying faster than they appeared because the very next morning he found me on the doorstep, wrapped up in cloth with a note, telling him about my special gift and apologising that they had to leave me like that. My father told me he was worried that he wouldn’t be able to cope but soon he fell in love with me and was glad that my real parents had left me on his doorstep.” Said Loreliana.

“Wow, that’s a much better story than mine!” said Agatha looking at Jorden.

“Or mine,” said Jorden.

They slept around the fire, and for Agatha’s sake Jorden kept watch, his sword in hand, ready to fend off anything that might strike. He sat there, alert for two hours looking in the direction of every peep, and slowly like the thief of time that it is, sleep crept upon him and stole his wakefulness. He crumbled like a well-loved teddy bear after five generations of care. He slept for mere moments but it was enough, an opportunity for a real life animal to come upon the camp, a brown bear, thin and starving. It smelled what little food they had and thought of it as an easy meal, a table set and all it needed do was sit and eat. It nosed into the camp, and its sniffling was what woke Jorden, his eyes flashed open and cried out at the bear who stood nearer him than the women, suddenly the bear swiped its heavy paw, like a glove filled with lead and threw Jorden’s body across the camp where he landed on a protruding rock. His body lay prostrated across the rock as it slowly and painfully slipped down into a crumpled heap. He waved his sword from the grassy floor with no real strength in the air, more like a call for help than any real threat. The growling and snorting of the angry bear as it stood on its back legs awoke Agatha and Loreliana from their sleep, and it thumped down from its position back on to all four legs. Loreliana screamed. Agatha jumped up and spun on the spot, facing the bear.

“A bear!” said Loreliana breathlessly, recovering from her first shock, as she began rising to her knees as slowly as possible. The bear watched as the two once lane figures rose and once more rose itself, until it was standing on its back legs, six or seven feet tall; roared once more, aggravated by its hunger and fearing this movement when it had expected none. Agatha’s hand automatically reached for the stone that hung over her heart, her life-long protector. Loreliana began to dance in front of the animal, hopping from one foot to the other doing her best to keep the bear uncertain and distract it from Jorden’s prone body as he passed out once more. The stone shone. Agatha wished in her heart that there was something more she could do, something that miraculously would automatically solve the problem and rid them of this danger. The stone shone even brighter, stronger. The more fear she felt, the stronger the light grew. She remembered her adopted father’s voice telling her how when he had found her she had screamed in anguish and that the stone had shone so bright that it almost blinded him. She realised that now, with a combination of wishing and pure terror, she might produce the same blinding light and almost with her every breath the light grew stronger, intensifying and burning till it was as strong as the light from the sun. All this took seconds to happen, and takes longer in the telling than its occurrence. Quickly the light from the stone was so bright that the bear, scared, shocked by this blinding light, turned tail and ran lumbering back into the forest and then as quickly as the light had shone it dwindled back to nothing. Agatha was frozen to the spot, blinded and shocked at the light that had come forth from the stone around her neck. Trying desperately to understand how her thoughts and feelings had produced it.

“Jorden!” cried Loreliana running to his aid, wiping the tears of fear from her eyes. She looked over his broken body, his right side bleeding from the gouged wound, that was long and thick like trenches into his flesh and he held his left side groaning in pain.

“My lady, I need your help!” cried Loreliana. She watched as Jorden bled excessively, his eyelids fluttering as he apparently slipped in and out of consciousness, she had to do something. Agatha was like a zombie, catatonic, stuck in the moment that she had frightened away the bear, filled with the fear of her own capabilities.

“AGATHA!” screamed Loreliana, in some vain attempt to return her to the present. “I need your help. Jorden is bleeding, and I need your help!” It was enough to snap her out of it. She blinked, shook her blonde head and soon was running to her aid.

“I’m sorry Jorden,” said Agatha running to his side. “I’m sorry Loreliana.”

“I need you to find something to use to put pressure on that wound,” said Loreliana firmly, it was the voice of experience and it held a magic tone of authority that could lead even generals. Loreliana carefully pushed on Jorden’s chest. He tensed and groaned in anguish.

“Sorry Jorden,” she said almost under her breath.

He nodded and frowned with the pain. His breath was light and his face contorted in agony at each breath.

“Jorden, do you feel sleepy at all?” asked Loreliana searching for the symptoms that would agree with her own diagnosis. His pale face nodded with a grimace. She leant her head next to his chest, listening to his beating heart and uneven breathing.

“Your ribs hurt don’t they? Tell me, got a headache?”

“No, just feel dizzy and I can hardly breathe,” replied Jorden wheezily

“All right Jorden, do you know any good folk songs?” said Loreliana in a soothing voice

“Here, what about this?” said Agatha, who after searching began ripping at her petticoats

“Perfect! My lady,” she said, her voice shaking ever so slightly. “Put pressure on the wound, cover it and press hard on it, to stop it bleeding.”

“No,” croaked Jorden, as pain from Agatha’s pressure suffused his face with pain once more.

“Sorry, but I need her to press on your wound!” said Loreliana worriedly.

“I meant, no I don’t know any songs,” he croaked painfully.

Loreliana smiled shaking her head mockingly her forced joviality covering her shaken nerves as she tried to bring tranquillity to the situation before her and said, with a “Well it’s good that I do!”

She started to sing,

In the days of the Queen of the sun,

There will be a company,

Together with one.

She will travel along the road

To the land where she belongs,

The land that calls for her aid.

She sang on, weaving melodies in the air, like an expert basket weaver. Somehow the song made Agatha and Jorden feel better. It made Agatha’s shock melt into nothing and Jorden’s physical pain ease. It was as if someone had stopped time and taken them to their mother’s lap, where she was crooning over them, tenderly stroking their heads. All of the bad feelings, even the ever constant homesickness disappeared like snow under the hot rays of the sun. She stopped singing a moment,

“Jorden, give me both of your hands,” said Loreliana quietly as if in some sanctified place.

She resumed singing, and her lilting song hovered in the air like some kind of incense, soothing the cares of the world, blanketing the clearing like a quilt. She pushed Jorden’s hand out flat with her palms and closed her eyes as she continued to sing the soothing lullaby.

“My caring angel,” he mumbled as Jorden felt his eyes grow heavier, filled with the sand of dreams and sleep invaded him, washing away the aches and pains in his injured body like hot water after a long day. He dreamt of green pasture, ripened wheat fields and heavily scented honeysuckle, of ripened orchards, of deep orange sunsets tickled with indigo clouds and the warm arms of his mother and the scent that pervaded her. He felt himself once more a child and he felt the caring hand stroke his head. He slept heavily and deeply.

“He’s strong, he’ll be well soon enough, my lady,” whispered Loreliana over Jorden’s sleeping body. “His bones will have by now knitted well enough and the wound…”

Agatha lifted the corner of the piece of cloth she had been holding over it that was tinted by the brown red stain of blood.

“Wow, its healed fast!” she gasped at the miraculous feat, removing the bloodstained pad.

“We shall have to stay here a little longer than we’d intended, my lady, but I should think he will be well enough to continue the journey the day after tomorrow,” said Loreliana still in the deep, quiet whisper that seemed to reach Agatha’s ear with ease.

“Did you do that?” asked Agatha

“Do what my lady?” asked Loreliana

“Make him heal so fast!” replied Agatha

“It is the body that heals. I merely gave some of my strength to his body, nothing more. That’s what enables the body to work harder and therefore heal faster,” said Loreliana modestly and matter-of-factly as she stifled a yawn.

“I should keep watch,” said Agatha, picking up Jorden’s sword.

“My lady, I think that you will have scared any dangerous animals off for miles around. I should imagine it is safe enough,” said Loreliana looking at Agatha’s tired face.

“Maybe you’re right, Loreliana,” said Agatha, clutching once more at the stone around her neck, she lay down near the burning embers of the fire. Loreliana, assuring herself of Jorden’s sleep, threw a few more pieces of wood on the fire, moved Jorden’s sword out of his hand and making sure it would be nearer her own position she also lay, positioning herself between the fire and Jorden, in case she needed to attend to him in the night, and they all slept undisturbed the rest of the night.

 

So Opinions?

So what do you think? Does it leave you wanting to read more? Please leave comments below.

Well, that’s all for now, I will post again on Wednesday, I promise.

Until next time

Davita

Friday, September 26, 2014

Creative Cookery: Warming Up With a Hot Drink

It’s the 26th of September and autumn has officially arrived in Norway. With it comes, the beautiful golden leaves falling, foggy mornings, and copious amounts of rain. Now when I say rain, I do not mean the heavy rain of the UK. No. Before I moved to Bergen I thought I knew rain, I was merely an interested amateur until I’d lived through a Bergen Autumn/Winter. Rain here comes in walls, like waterfalls from clouds, my husband occasionally describes it as “it’s raining elephants” and he is so right!

With the weather turning, everyone’s thought in the Northern hemisphere turns to warm drinks, hearty meals and woollen underwear.

So when, after asking my followers on Facebook for inspiration, I was asked for a recipe for a warm drink that was neither coffee or tea, I thought it was very apropos.

Three Hot Drinks

I started looking through my recipe books, and researching online for some candidates. The following three are what I found.

Pineapple and Ginger Punch

This recipe came from the reader’s digest page.

You will need:

  • 4 cups pineapple juice
  • 1 cup sliced fresh ginger (no need to peel)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 cinnamon stick, split lengthwise
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

In a medium saucepan, combine the pineapple juice, ginger, honey, cinnamon, cloves, and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Strain and serve warm.

Hot Butter Beer

I have never made this drink outside of the UK, and as you can probably guess it is a nod to the famous “Harry Potter”, even if you’ve never read the books, or seen the films this is a delicious if a decidedly sweet drink. Not for diabetics!

You will need for 4 servings:

  • 1 litre of cream soda fizzy drink
  • 2-3 tbsps butter
  • 2-3 tbsps brown sugar
  • 200ml single cream
  • 4-5 wether’s original butterscotch sweets.

Put the cream soda in a pan and boil. In a separate pan melt the sugar and butter together, stirring constantly, until the sugar has dissolved. Then making sure that the cream soda is still boiling, pour the sugar and butter mixture into the soda. Add the cream and the sweets, stirring constantly until the sweets have melted. Serve hot.

Mrs Egeland’s Note: For a night-cap add butterscotch schnappps.

And last but by no means least…

Chilli Hot Chocolate

It is a winter warmer, I promise, in spite of its name.

You will need for 4 servings:

  • 1 liter of milk
  • 40z of dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
  • 1-2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp chilli pepper.

In a saucepan warm the milk gently with the cinnamon and chilli pepper, until its almost boiling. Stir in the dark chocolate, over a medium heat, stirring constantly until the chocolate has completely melted. You can throw it into the blender and whizz it up now, if you want it to be frothy. Otherwise pour into cups and serve.

Mrs Egeland’s Note: The chilli should be barely tasted, and only leave a warm tingling in the back of the throat.

Keep warm and enjoy. Feel free to follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Don’t forget to subscribe.

Until next time

Davita

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Mrs Egeland Is Inspired

But unfortunately not to write a blog post.

9960_women-fantasy-art-elves-artwork-sakimichan-1920x1080-wallpaper_2560x1600You see I am a writer, an unpublished author and my novel is waiting to be published via Amazon e-books. You can read the “blurb” on the “Mrs Egeland’s Other Projects” page which you will find on the right.

I am so devoted to my characters that I had decided that I would write at least two more novels, one about the characters parents and another about the characters 1o years on. Except that getting my novel published has taken such a lot out of me, with drafts and the simple pressures of getting things done, that there has been no time or basically any inspiration to write.

I think as well that by deciding to write two more novels about the same set of people, or at least the same setting has stifled my inspiration.

Not so long ago I met a young woman, a sprite of creative spark, she’s a graphic artist who writes her own graphic novels. She’s young and full of vigour, she has her own style and generally a wonderful person. She is the sister-in-law of my friend, one of my best friends, a woman who has raw talent, seemingly unlimited patience and four beautiful children. This friend and her husband live in beautiful Kvinnherad, which is quite a distance from the city of Bergen and thankfully my husband and her husband are good friends. So we occasionally take a weekend and go visit, and that’s when this little sprite shows me all her drawings.

This time, on my way home, I tried to picture my little sprite as one of my characters, and I was inspired. Suddenly I could see her, her hair streaming out behind her, her arms outstretched with a piercing light shining behind her. I don’t know what this character is, or who, or even if she’s going to be in one of the books, but I know that she needs a story. She can’t just inhabit my mind, even if she is based on my friend, she must live in fiction.

As I said, I’m inspired, but not really to write blog posts.

I hope that I will soon be able to tell you where you can acquire my first novel, so that you can all read it and tell me what you think. I’d love to know, its nothing like this blog! However its the facets of a personality that makes it interesting. Creativity comes in all shapes and sizes, domestic and otherwise.

Until next time

Remember to subscribe and comment! Don’t forget you can follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

Davita

Monday, September 22, 2014

Mrs Egeland’s Latest Read Vol.II

It’s been a while since I last posted anything of this series, mostly because I haven’t read any book that I felt would be of interest to you all.

However, my mother was kind enough to send me a book that I think you will all be interested in. This might get deep and insightful, be warned.

HUNGRY by Crystal Renn

A Young Model’s Story of Appetite, Ambition and the Ultimate Embrace of Curves.

What the Blurb Says: Hungry charts the rise, fall and rise of Crystal Renn, offering a behind the scenes peek into the modelling industry, as well as a trenchant look at our weight obsessed culture. In this testament to the power of authenticity, Renn illustrates the ways in which the fashion industry is slowly changing and exposes the cold truths about size and sizeism. An inspiring and cautionary tale, Hungry will resonate with anyone who has battled society’s small-minded definitions of beauty.

I live in a country where I feel overweight, judged by others for not conforming to their national identity and surrounded by obsessive exercisers. That is my personal feelings on the matter! Part of that is my own feelings of insecurity, and nothing to do with the place I live.

This book is also about a woman’s insecurity, that rightly or wrongly, intentionally or not was exploited so that she became an anorexic, exercise bulimic. She was told that she was beautiful but too fat, she had to lose weight and that coupled with her own obsessive personality sent her down a road of starvation and unhappiness. Thankfully she found the strength to eat, to learn to love her natural shape and to stop caring about thigh gap or no thigh gap. 

Its a tale of success, of the perils of the fashion industry and Crystal Renn’s journey from emaciated anorexic to a healthy and successful plus-sized model.

Lessons I Took From It

I think it teaches what we’ve really always known that natural is beautiful and if you are naturally thin then good for you and if you are naturally curvy then good for you too. No one should be forced to being something they’re not even if its themselves doing the forcing. Sometimes we forget that.

It also shows that the beauty industry can be ruthless and extremist.

I can identify with her story because although I have never been anorexic, I am not naturally thin and I have been pressured into thinking that that was wrong, that I should look like everyone else, that I should strive to have tiny thighs with a gap between them. That somehow, because I wasn’t skinny, because I enjoy eating and I don’t go on punishing workouts five days a week I was bad, unhealthy, unattractive. This world is full of judgements and that can get inside your head, even when you have been raised to love yourself and your body, and without diligent hard work to get those extreme ideals out of your head its hard to feel good about who you are, and what you look like.

Everyone should love who they are and what they look like! Its not a privilege of the beautiful, its a right of all mankind!

Well that’s my two pence worth.

Until next time,

Don’t forget to follow and subscribe.

Davita

Friday, September 19, 2014

Imaginative Cookery: Lazy Lentil Soup

It’s not often I make soup, in fact I can’t actually remember the last time I made soup before today.

I don’t often make soup because my darling hubby once said that soup wasn’t food, it was drink. So its relegated to starters or lunch on my own, that means that if I’m in a hurry I want to make something simple I don’t make soup, because that usually means making another dish besides.

But this week, I decided to do a cleanse and the best thing about lentil soup is, its great if your on a fast or detoxing or anything like that. Why? Because its liquid, so you can have it on a liquid fast, its totally vegetarian so its allowed on a green fast, its nourishing, full of vitamins and quite filling.

Also lentils are super easy to cook.

This is a even easier way to make lentil soup.

Lentil Soup, the Cheat’s way!

You will need:

  • 1 onion
  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 1 can of green lentils
  • 1 can of red lentils
  • 500ml of vegetable stock

Mrs Egeland’s Note: Lentils are so easy to cook that even if you can’t get canned lentils then dried will work just as well.

In a frying pan, warm a little olive oil and a teaspoon of butter. Dice the onion and fry it until clear. Add the chickpeas, and lentils and stir.

If you’ve got dried lentils, switch to a saucepan and add the vegetable stock, simmer until the lentils are tender which won’t be long. Then blend and reheat.

Otherwise, put your onion lentil mix in a blender. They should be well seasoned from the vegetable stock, but taste and season if you think it needs it. Once they’ve been blended and are smooth, turn the mixture into a saucepan and add the stock.

Stir, mixing the stock well into the mixture and heat.

Your done, serve, eat as much as you like without having to worry too much about the calories. Unfortunately I liked this soup so much that we finished before I remembered to photograph the results.

Pretty short post, huh?

Well I will do better next time. Enjoy the soup.

Don’t forget to subscribe and follow. Comment below, show me your skills with photos.

Until Next Time

Davita

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Inspiring Crafts From History: The Art of Letter-Writing

Today I was looking at StumbleUpon and I came across a blogger who had a recipe for Cocoa Smoothie, and she was lamenting the lack of letters we write these days.

She longed for the days when we communicated in a much simpler way. Before the advent of Facebook, mobile phones and emails. When you got more than bills, packages from eBay and junk mail in the post. When young lovers awaited love-letters, when mothers awaited letters from sons fighting in wars far away and letters didn’t have to mean dread or final demands.

It got me to thinking about that myself, and it inspired me to write to my mum. We both enjoy writing and receiving letters, we don’t always have the time and with Skype, sometimes there seems little point.

The Art Of The Letter

The art of the letter should be celebrated, it needs to be taught to the newer generations. We still have uses for the humble letter, quite often a good letter to a prospective employer can help you along, or a letter of query or complaint to a service provider may help you get information or even a rebate on a bill.

Letter writing skills can help write a professional looking email, so even though you may not need a “hard copy” for snail mail, you can still cultivate the art of letter writing for the 21st Century.

The beauty of a letter or even a card is that its easily available to be re-read as many times as the receiver wishes without having to search in your Inbox. I think letters can be comforting and encouraging things, and if I know of a friend that feels down I will send a card or letter to let them know they are not alone. To send some words of encouragement that will be there when I can’t be, say at 2:30 am.

Some Pointers For The Would-Be Letter Writer

Letters don’t need fancy stationary, and in fact the planer the better when it comes to a professional letter to a prospective employer, a letter requiring information or a letter of complaint.

IMG_2008[1]However, with a pencil or pen you can decorate a plan piece of paper, and make a letter more of an occasion when you write to a friend or loved one.

This is my humble example of decorating a sheet of paper, ready for a hand written letter.

There are many blogs and websites where you can find tips for writing in a professional context. When I did a search I even found a website that has free cover letters. I would recommend anyone wanting to write a letter to Google “How to write a letter” and going from there.

When writing to friends or family, I’d suggest putting the place of writing and the date in the right hand corner. A letter will begin differently for different purposes, so if your writing to a family member or close friend: Dear Jenny/Dear Mum. Ending “with love”, “best wishes” or something else equally affectionate.

If your writing to someone you don’t know well about a personal matter, like an invite or something like that: Dear Mr John Doe/Dear Mrs Joanna Bloggs. Ending with “Yours Sincerely”.

Address the envelope so that the address sits in the centre, sometimes its appropriate to put a senders address on the back of the envelope. I often do, that way the reader will know who sent it before they even open the letter.

Consider Writing A Letter

Whether its to a loved one or some other kind of letter, I hope that I have inspired you to write a letter. To acquire the skill of bygone days.

I’m sure the receiver will appreciate your effort. I know a love letter is always appreciated by the receiver. So listen you lads, if you want to charm a girl, a well written letter would be a good place to start.

Until Next Time

Don’t forget to subscribe, follow and comment.

Davita

Monday, September 15, 2014

Imaginative Cookery: Party Food

Its not often that I attend or even arrange a party, this time I am only one of some friends organising a baby shower for a dear friend of ours. Thank goodness! I have organised a baby shower single handed, I have to say it was quite stressful, and I have no wish to do it alone again.

Our dear friend is having a little girl quite soon, no doubt she will be a marvellous mother. We decided we wanted to give her a baby shower, and of course there had to be a lot of pink! We invited her friends and asked everyone to bring food as well as presents.

My Contributions

I thought I’d better make both a savoury dish and a sweet, because in my experience everyone tends to bring sweet and then there’s nothing else.

So I decided to make chicken vol-au-vant, an 80’s classic, although I have tweaked the recipe a little because I didn’t want to add white wine.

I cheated and bought pastry cases, I was planning on making them but time escaped me. So this is really just a recipe for the chicken filling.

Chicken Vol-Au-Vant Filling

  • 1 medium sized leek IMG_2003[1]
  • A handful of button mushrooms.
  • 1 tsp dried thyme.
  • Salt and pepper.
  • Butter.
  • 400-600 grs chicken fillet, diced
  • 4 tbsp cream cheese
  • Chicken stock
  • 1 tsp cornflour

Slice the leek and the mushrooms, and fry in a pan with some butter. When the mushrooms are cooked and the leek has separated add the diced chicken. Continue to fry, and cook the chicken. Add the cream cheese and add enough chicken stock to make a sauce with the cream cheese. Simmer for about 5 mins, or until the sauce thickens, add the thyme and cornflour at the end simmering for another 2 mins.

Fill your pastry cases and serve.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Taken from Muffins og Kaker, published by Spektrum.IMG_2002[1]

  • 6 tbsp butter or margarine
  • 100g sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 55g chocolate chips
  • 225g flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 25g good quality cocoa
For Frosting
  • 225g bar of white chocolate
  • 150g cream cheese

Preheat the oven to 200C. On a baking tray arrange 18 paper cupcake cases. In a bowl, mix butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, making sure to beat each egg in well to combine. Add the milk, and fold in the chocolate chips. Sift in the flour, baking powder and cocoa, folding them carefully into the mixture so as not to beat out the air. Fill the paper cases, and try to flatten out the tops of the cakes.

Bake in the oven for 20 mins, or until firm and well risen. Allow them to cool.

Mrs Egeland’s Note: I actually used a packet frosting this time around, it happened to be white chocolate flavour. The frosting here would have made a delicious alternative.

For the frosting, break the white chocolate into a heatproof bowl, and put the bowl over a saucepan of rolling boiling water, making sure that the water doesn’t actually touch the bowl or splash water into the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate has melted, white chocolate is always a bit delicate, so don’t hurry it. Allow to cool a little. In another bowl have the cream cheese, and whisk it until its softened. Add the melted chocolate. Decorate your cupcakes. Chill them in the fridge for an hour before serving, to firm up your frosting.

Delicious Food, Good Company

The party was a success. Everyone had made delicious food, and my small offerings was well received. There were gifts and I’m sure the little baby girl will be beautifully dressed for a long time to come.

Until Next Time

Davita

Friday, September 12, 2014

Daubling In Art: Mrs Egeland’s Artistic Rendering of Gagoy Beach

Now that’s a pretty mouthful of a title.

Darling readers,

I must apologise for my absence, working a 40 hour week tends to leave you creatively moribund. Its only now that I see the end of my month of full time work coming to its close that I have the creative juices to push through and bring you this post, which I will admit has been waiting in my mind for five weeks.

Pluggin’ A Fellow Blogger

Just a quick note, a dear friend of mine from about 8 years ago, not long after I’d started this blog I met Ms Sarah Brown whilst in Sweden and just recently we reconnected via social network Facebook. She has just recently taken the plunge and started her own blog, its deeper and more insightful than I would dare to write here. She talks of her own experiences and enlightens her readers with meaningful monologues. I hope you will go and check her out.

Back To Our Topic

As you all know, or would know if you’ve been keeping up with my blogs of late, I was away for a brief spell in Grecian island of Samos where I fell in love with the place. I looked high and low for a painting to bring home whilst I was there, but (and excuse the clichè) nothing spoke to me. So when we’d gotten home I looked through my photos and decided to try and paint something myself.

As you may have noticed from my last post in this series, I’m quite good at copying. I have and do paint or draw from my own imagination and they are not bad, but I’m not sure I would put them out on display.

Inspired By Nature

This is the photograph I was inspired by.

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The beautiful Grecian sea in those wonderful turquoise and aquamarine colours. Of course my painting had to be simplified somewhat, my style is too graphic for it to have translated without some simplification.

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So this is what I started with, a basic sketch with a painted sky.

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Then I started to wash in the sea, it took a little tweaking to get it as close as I could to the original photograph. At this point as was still unhappy, but I continued on anyway.

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So I filled in the mountains, added the white building, a tree and some beach furniture. However I’m still not quite satisfied with this, but unfortunately at this point I had to put down my brushes and leave it a few weeks.

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So this is the finished article, and I’m fairly pleased with myself, I think it reflects the colours you find in Greece and I can almost feel the sunshine. All I need now is a frame to hang it on the wall alongside the other pictures we’ve bought or collected on our travels.

But what do you think? Did I pull it off?

Give me your opinion in the comments and don’t forget to subscribe.

Until Next Time

Davita

Monday, August 18, 2014

Imaginative Cookery: Greek Cheese Pie

Dear Readers,

Sorry I’ve been away and occupied. I am trying to get my blogposts out more regularly, new routines with new jobs always take a little getting used to.

Anyway, in spite of the title of this blog, I’m not going to give you a recipe, because you see I’d feel a bit like a cheat.

Bar Flaky Pastry and Cheese

Whilst I was on vacation I ate quite a fair few pieces of this delicious pie, but since I had no idea what went into it bar flaky pastry and cheese I didn’t dare try to re-create my own recipe. I hadn’t the slightest idea where to begin or what cheese to use, so instead I went through my favourite resource for these things, Pinterest and found a recipe on another blog site.

The Shepherd and The Olive Tree had a authentic greek recipe for Tiropita, cheese pie and so I made that with the ingredients I could lay my hands on. Not an easy thing to do in Norway, at least not on this side of the country and certainly not if you don’t wish to increase your mortgage payments to pay for said ingredients. So I bought philo pastry sheets from one of the exotic food markets that have been sprouting up and around Bergen the last 10 years and made my way to Rema 1000 for the Ricotta cheese.

Pleased With The Result

After a week of gathering my ingredients I made it, and I was very pleased with the result. It tasted very like the pie we had eaten whilst abroad, of course with the exception that I had never made this pie before and my cheeses weren’t Greek.

photo

The filling was very yellow, unlike the pie we’d eaten on Samos, but I put this down to the eggs, as I’ve noticed that the yolks in Norwegian eggs are very yellow.

Weekend Recipe

I’ve still got quite a bit of pastry left over so I will try and make this again. It did take a while to bake, so I will probably keep it as a weekend recipe when my hubbie and I aren’t starving as soon as we get through the door and have the time to while away an hour waiting for dinner.

I served this with sausages and a light salad. It went well and was filling enough for us not to have wanted another carb alongside it. With any luck my attempts will improve and I will get confident enough to serve this to friends, I think it would make a great picnic or party dish.

Mrs Egeland’s Other News

I have become an honorary auntie. It seems that a lot of my friends are pregnant at the same time and have had or are having children in the very near future. I just want to congratulate all of my dear friends who are expecting or have had their bundle of joy.

Until next time

Davita

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Mrs Egeland’s Chaos

Hello lovelies,

I would like to apologise for my sudden disappearance. The problem is that I suddenly find myself employed, and its taken up a lot my time and leaving me the weekend to write three posts for your enjoyment. By the time I get to the weekend, I’m a bit sapped for inspiration, and so last week I didn’t post at all. I will try to remedy this, and hopefully once I’m fully in the swing of things I will be fired up to write interesting posts on my art, food and all the other wonderful things you can find here.

In the meantime, don’t forget to subscribe so as not to miss out on my new posts, and why not read a few of my older posts and see what you think? Please comment below, I will respond eagerly as fast as I can.

Until next time

Davita

Monday, August 04, 2014

Mrs Egeland’s Every Day Survival Kit

Hey there, I know that I said that I would show you my painting today, and that it wouldn’t be just another recipe. The thing is I didn’t get time to even start painting this weekend, so instead I decided to show you my everyday survival kit

You Never Know

Ever since I was about 13 or 14 years old and my dad bought the SAS survival handbook I have been interested in knowing how to survive in difficult situations and lets face it life is full of those. I suppose you might call it a case of be-prepared mentality.

I have been alive and in this world for 32 years and my life hasn’t been what you might call typical of someone my age. I have reached the conclusion that most people don’t reach until their 50’s that life is un-plan-able. That the majority of things that happen to you are random acts of coincidence that you never even thought of let alone planned.

Sure you can plan a wedding, a baby or moving house even, those things are the things that you are in control of. You can plan to have further education and getting a degree, but you can’t plan having a career afterwards, at least not anymore, because that doesn’t rely solely on your ability to learn a new skill.

What I’m saying is that in this day and age we have to forever be prepared for those things that we don’t plan, good or bad that come into our lives without warning or notice.

A Lady’s Survival Kit

That’s why I carry a survival kit almost everywhere I go, and I’d like to show you what a woman can carry in her handbag without it being in anyway commando/bear grylls.

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This is my survival wallet, its handmade from some material I had. I always have material of some sort around the house. It has press-studs instead of a zip, just recently I had to customise it again to get some new kit in it.

 

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This! Its a Life Straw, or a portable water refiner that you can drink with. Its lightweight and easy to use. You simply put it in the water you are about to drink and suck like a regular straw. Always handy when you’re not sure if the water your drinking is safe.

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My basic first aid kit: Its not going to help you splint a broken limb or sew up a wound, but with its plasters, sterile padding, wipes, painkillers and anti-histamine it will help you on a trip into the woods, camping or wearing a new pair of shoes.

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Basic supplies: This is very basic, with this I can eat a few extra calories in a extreme survival situation and start a fire. It includes moist towellettes, tabasco sauce and fire lighting material. I would probably be able to survive two days on this while I was waiting to be rescued.

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Nature doesn’t stop just because you’re stuck somewhere without a toilet. A girl has to be prepared for any unexpected moments, no matter where she is. Hairbrush and lipbalm are psychological survival aids. A woman always feels better with tidy hair, loose strands of which make excellent kindling, lipbalm can help with dry lips but also help as an accelerant along with the anti-bac hand lotion.

IMG_1945 Your teeth and mouth are very important and linked to general good health, keeping teeth clean helps no only physically but psychologically. Sewing kit could be used to make things or even sew up wounds. My foldable cup is handy in any situation and these heat producing pads are excellent when trying to stay warm.

I forgot to photograph but also in my kit is a pack of cards, because boredom and worry are the worst things to have to combat whilst in any survival situation.

I depend on my survival kit, its helped with cuts, emergencies and sometimes entertaining small children. I try not to leave the house without it. It even helped me help a lady with a small child who had cut himself quite badly on some glass in the road, thanks to my kit I was able to offer a sterile pad and some plasters.

I hope you enjoyed seeing my survival kit, maybe it will make you consider building your own.

Don’t forget to subscribe and comment below.

Until next time

Davita

Friday, August 01, 2014

Imaginative Cookery: Baked Aubergine With Feta Cheese.

Well dearest readers, I know that I have been giving you quite a few recipes recently. I blame it on my short visit to Greece and the inspiration from all the delicious food we ate there. Which is where I got this delicious recipe.

Let Me Set The Scene

IMG_1596[1]It was our last night in Greece, the air was balmy and the sunset was beautiful with dusky pinks and deep oranges that reflected in the petrol blue coloured sea. We looked over the rooftops towards the sea, listening to the little town settle down for the night. We sat in a rustic little restaurant called Oinomageireion- The Relishes of Urany up in Vathy, at the best table, thanks to Manolis Sp. Kypraios who had a in with the owner. It was the best night we could have had to end a lovely introduction to the magnificent culture of Greece. We drank local wine, and even sampled some of the local Ouzo.

Then we were served our starter of Baked Aubergine with Feta Cheese.

IMG_1598It was delicious and I knew then I had to try and re-create it. This makes enough for two people as a side dish.

You will need:

  • A large Aubergine/Eggplant
  • Olive oil
  • 2 cloves of Garlic
  • 40 grs of Feta Cheese.

Preheat the oven to about 200ºC in a fan assisted oven. If you have a regular oven, I’d try a little hotter, or baking this a little longer.

IMG_1924Slice the aubergine/eggplant in half lengthwise. Peel and slice the garlic and scatter this over the two aubergine/eggplant halves. Douse with olive oil.

Put in the middle of the oven and bake for about 20-30 minutes, until the skin of the aubergine/eggplant looks a little wrinkled and the top is golden.

Dice the feta cheese and scatter this over the top of the aubergine/eggplant halves and serve.

Re-Creating Memories

It wasn’t exactly the same as the delicious aubergine/eggplant we had at the restaurant, but it did bring back all those lovely memories. I will be making this again!

It goes really well with chicken! Its a great side dish, and I think if you wrapped this in foil it would work great on the barbecue!

I do have one more recipe I’m dying to try from my vacation, but I will leave that until next week. It’s a little heavy on the calories, and I will make it for the weekend.

I promise Monday I will post you a look at my artwork, also inspired by Greece, sorry!

Don’t forget to subscribe and comment below! I’d really love to hear if you tried it and how it went!

Until next time

Davita

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Imaginative Cookery: Frappe, Coldbrew Coffee.

Darlings! Firstly a few updates, I realised the other day that I had neglected to post the photo of the completed handbag that Ms Ester kindly gave a tutorial for, so here you go:

IMG_20130424_093201Secondly, I’ve been listening to a lot of music on Skype lately, and I thought it was only right to share some of my tunes. If you want to see what Mrs Egeland is listening to right now, you will find the link here, or in the link box titled My Favourite and Most Used Sites. I will try and keep it updated, so please follow to see what the “ole gal” enjoys tapping her foot to.

Getting To Cold-Brew Frappe

I told you last time that my travels were inspiring, and that is where this came from. I’m sure everyone has tried Frappe’s, heck, let’s just go ahead and thank Starbucks here.

I have, been a frequent consumer of iced coffee from the above mentioned coffee company and others, but whilst I was in Greece I drank a few from generic coffee bars and restaurants. It was there that I had a Frappe this way for the first time. Of course, my recipe is based on trial and error as I couldn’t get the secret out of our very gracious barkeep at the hotel. So its not quite perfect, but well, when that has that every stopped me from sharing!

You Will Need To Start 12 Hours Ahead

Unfortunately, that’s true. Cold brewing is easy but time consuming, however you can cheat by simply making instant coffee with cold water and stirring vigorously.

IMG_1911If though you are a purist then you won’t mind the wait. So the trick to cold brewing coffee is a couple of table spoons of whatever ground coffee you have available in a jug, jar or large container with cold water overnight. I had espresso coffee so I used that to make my cold-brewed coffee yesterday evening, and this is the result.

  • Cold-brewed coffee
  • 1/2 cup milk of your choice
  • 4 average sized ice cubes or 8 smaller sized ice cubes.

IMG_1914So now you have your cold brewed coffee, filter it and pour yourself a glass, leaving enough room for your milk.

I used my old filter coffee machine filter with a paper coffee filter to filter my coffee.

 

 

In a blender, take your ice cubes and milk and blitz them until they are about the consistency of a smoothie or thick milkshake. Add more ice if your milk isn’t thick enough.

Now you can spoon your icy milk into your cold brew coffee. I tried to pour it, big mistake! It splashed across my kitchen!

Enjoy!

IMG_1917In Greece the milk sat separately above the coffee, well I have no idea how they did that, but I will keep perfecting and keep you posted. This isn’t sweetened and if you want to sweeten it you might want to try a little condensed milk in with your regular milk. Of course you could just forget all about the milk and add vanilla ice cream instead, which of course is delicious and fattening. I might do that at the weekend, but for now, just as the weather here in Bergen has cooled a little I’ll stick with my icy milk.

Noticed my cute new blue candle holders? See, Greece inspired me in more ways than one.

Don’t forget to subscribe and please comment. Tell me what you think? Did you try it?

Until next time

Davita

Monday, July 28, 2014

Imaginative Cookery: A Snack or Breakfast from Greece.

IMG_1666Hello lovelies, well it’s official, I am back from my vacations. It was good to get away and relax, and its been a very inspiring vacation. Let’s hope my renewed energies bring their own reward, and help push on the other important projects like this blog for example and my novel.

The weather here in Norway has been surprisingly beautiful this year. Its been the best, warmest summer so far in 30 years, apparently. Even today, with its overcast chill, and steely coloured sky its 18º Celsius. 

Today, I have a mission, because after almost three weeks away, I have a lot of laundry to do. So it seems inevitable that, that is what I will be doing today. But I also have to find homes for some of our acquisitions, like the three little blue candle holders I bought because they reminded me of Greece, or the vintage wooden rolling pin and an equally lovely vintage table mincer that we found in a second hand shop on our travels. 

Well, well, but I didn’t come here to write about all of that. I wanted to share my newest breakfast recipe with you. You see, spending all that time in the beautiful Greek sunshine, with their delicious Greek food made me come home and want to try to recreate some of the recipes, to recreate the sensation of those lovely Grecian days.

Sometimes the most delicious things are the simplest to make. Unfortunately I don’t have photos of the finish product, or in fact all the ingredients. But you guys don’t need a step by step photographic how to. You are all smart enough to understand what I write.

So Here’s What You’ll Need!IMG_1907

  • Greek or Greek style yogurt.
  • Walnuts, chopped.
  • Fresh fruit of your choice.
  • Honey.

Whilst we were in Greece we bought some delicious local honey, which is dark and sweet. I use it on my breakfast, probably not exactly low fat but certainly delicious.

In your breakfast bowl put the fresh fruit of your choice, I cheated a little here because I haven’t had time as yet to go to the supermarket and we had tinned peaches in the cupboard so I used those.

Then spoon over the Greek, or Greek style yogurt. Its never going to as good as the yogurt in Greece, simply because of the atmosphere.

Sprinkle the chopped nuts over the yogurt and then drizzle honey over the top and enjoy.

Your Done!

I’m not sure how low calorie this is. I think though that eating fresh fruit, nuts and yogurt every morning is a healthy habit to start, and maybe honey isn’t the most slimming extra but well ask any beekeeper how to rid yourself of hay fever and they will tell you to eat the honey made of the pollen of the plant you are allergic too. Something to remember as well as the other health benefits that honey has.

I hope you enjoy it. I think its delicious!

Until next time

Davita

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Creative Style: Summer Nail Design

So my time of rest and relaxation has inspired me to some creativity. The sunshine has inspired some summery nail art and choice of colours, which is why I tried this nail design.

To be honest I would have liked to do it in the colours associated with Greece, blue, white and turquoise except I haven’t had time to buy the colours I am missing, so this is what I came up with. So tell me what you think. This designs takes a while to dry, due to the amount of coats of colour and the top coat, so make sure you have plenty of time to do nothing while it dries.

So Here’s How It Goes

You will need:IMG_1607

  • A base coat
  • A white coloured varnish
  • A fuscia or bright pink coloured varnish
  • A blue or steel coloured metallic varnish
  • A top coat

 

This Is How Its DoneIMG_1610

  1. You know how I feel, start with clean hands and nails. File and shape the nails before you begin. Then paint your nails with a base coat.
  2. Once your base coat is dry, paint your nails with two coats of the white colour. Don’t forget to clean up the nail base and sides if you spill as you go. Let that dry
  3. IMG_1612Now you going to make a geometric design. With one sweep of the pink colour, from the base of the nail, diagonally to the opposite side of the top of the nail. so you end up with a pink triangle over half of your nail. You want this to be two coats, so that the colour really sings. Allow to dry.
  4. Once that is dry do one coat of top coat. This will harden the colours without effecting the metallic.
  5. IMG_1616Make another triangle of colour, this time, a smaller triangle on top of the pink colour. The bottom corner of this triangle should touch the white, or come as close as you can to it at least.
  6. Do one more coat over the metallic.
  7. Sit and wait for it to dry, about 40 mins to touch dry and maybe a little over an hour till its completely set.

This looks great with my tan, such as it is. I’m English, the typical English Rose type and so tanning takes a long time and a lot of sunscreen. Anyway, I like it, I hope you do too. Please subscribe and I’d love to read your comments and see any photos of your nail designs.

Well until next time,

Davita

Monday, July 21, 2014

Mrs Egeland’s Greek Holiday

IMG_1405[1]ΣΑΜΟΣ or Samos, the Greek island where the Apostle Paul visited amongst many that’s mentioned in Acts 20:15. An island of authentic Greek charm, this is no Disney-fied Greece of the type you might find on other islands. This is where the Greek come to relax, visit at your peril, the people are charming and the scenery is breath-taking. It’s easy to fall in love with this place. It mightn’t be as prettied up as Santorini or Mykonos, but it has charm with its varied architecture of multiple eras, its lush green environment and turquoise sea. We were Greek virgins (so to speak, we had never been to Greece before) we had travelled often to the noisy dusty chaos that is Southern Spain, that dirty little mischief, but we had never experienced the tranquillity of the Greeks, the sophistication of an ancient civilisation and the easy relaxation that the grace of Greece naturally brings.

Gagou Beach

IMG_1425[1]We arrived at our hotel, Samos Bay Beach hotel and quickly acclimatised to the easy routine of breakfast, coffee on the balcony of the Sunset bar and the subsequent lazy days of lying in the sun, swimming in the beautiful Aegean sea and walking around Samos Town. IMG_1429[1]The staff at the Samos Bay Beach hotel were gracious, hospitable, kind and very helpful. My tip. relax, get to know the staff. There’s no need to hurry, no rush, no stress, these people aim to give you the best experience they can, let them. They are very good at their jobs. Smile, say hello. You will find that they will reciprocate.

Capriccio Gelateria

IMG_1536[1]Whilst walking around Samos Town we found an Italian Gelateria, the ice cream was some of the best I have ever tasted and we soon found ourselves gravitating to the little gelateria every evening. My favourite? Two balls of ice cream in a cone or a cup, one ball of cioccolate bitter and one of menta. That’s dark chocolate and mint to the rest of us… IMG_1603[1]It’s like After Eights ice cream. The cioccolate bitter tastes like Italian chocolate mousse, rich, heavy, and chocolatey. The menta is creamy and minty fresh. The owners of the Capriccio Gelateria are Italian and have lived in Greece for 16 years, Luciano and Laura Cottura. All their ice cream is homemade, in a sterilised room above the shop, they all have delicious sorbets if you don’t want or can’t eat ice cream. Their daughter Barbara is a talented baker and makes fantastic cake creations. All in all, a gourmet family!

Samos Travel Services

We decided, once we’d arrived in Samos, that we wanted to make the effort to visit Patmos. To see where the Apostle John, the last and youngest of Jesus’ apostles was directed to write the book of Revelation. It was a moving experience for me, to know that I was standing in the same place as the Apostle John had stood before me. But enough of that!

IMG_1594[1]What I really wanted to mention was the great service we got from Samos Travel Services. Manolis Sp. Kypraios arranged our trip to Patmos and since we were the only two for that tour that particular day with him, he generously picked us up in his car from our hotel and escorted us to Pythagoras port where we could board the boat to Patmos. He was clever, witty and very kind. Upon our return to Pythagoras port, he picked us up to return us to our hotel and showed us the old town of Vathy and recommended an excellent Greek restaurant.

Oinomageireion, The relishes of Urany

That’s the name of the amazing restaurant Manolis recommended. We went there for our last meal in Samos on our last day. The food was superb, its a family run business. Grandma is head chef, Grandpa, father and son run front of house. We had a marvellous view over Samos, watching the sun go down with a glass of local white wine, ouzo, local bread and traditional Greek dishes. IMG_1598[1]IMG_1599[1]IMG_1602[1]

All in all, it was one of the most delightful holidays we’ve ever had, and my only regret was that we didn’t stay longer. We’ve made friends and will be returning to this beautiful island of Samos.

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Until next time

Davita

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Domestic Divines: Ms Ester’s Handbag Tutorial

So I am back for a while and look what a gift we’ve been given. Aren’t you a lucky lot! The fabulous Ms Ester, whom I interviewed here, has kindly given me and therefore you a wonderful tutorial. Translated by me, Mrs Egeland.
Sometimes we have to take little things from home to one place or another, and we can never find how to do that. This project is especially made for those situations, when you have to transport all those little things we need to hand in a cute and fun little bag, that allows to enjoy moments of entertainment and leisure time.
Its so easy that you can make in a moment and enjoy it for longer. You will find that once you’ve made one, you won’t be able to stop. It makes for an original gift for friends, and surely you won’t only enjoy making it but by giving it as a gift you’ll also be making others happy. 
 

Here’s The How To

Materials:
  • Cardboard
  • 2 fabrics for the exterior 30x22 cm and for the handles 4x33
  • 2 fabrics for the interior 30x22 cm
  • Fabric for the applique decoration
  • 2 waddings 30x22 cm
Step 1: We cut the fabric and the handles.
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Step 2: We draw two shapes on the cardboard. 
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Step 3: We cut out the pattern with paper scissors and then use it to cut out the same shapes from Visofix paper that is sticks on one side.
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Step 4: Next we cut the pattern out of a different fabric from the exterior fabric. We sew this to the exterior fabric to decorate it. I used a blanket stitch so that the heart wouldn’t fray.
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Step 5: We sew the straps for the handles. Turn them right way around and iron them.
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Step 6: Now we start assembling our little bag. To do that we put the wadding, next the exterior fabric the right way up and one of the handles, on top of that the lining fabric the wrong way up. We sew the top. We do the same with other part of the bag.
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Step 7: Now we open the two parts, right with right, so that the linings are together in one half, and we sew the edge leaving a part of the lining open, in this way we can use it to turn the little bag the right way around. We sew a triangle in the four corners and cut the rest of the fabric, to make the shape of the bag more squared off. 
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Step 8: Turn the little bag the right way around, and sew with opening in the lining with invisible stitch.
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And now the adorable little bag is finished. I hope you enjoy it and that you enjoy sewing it.
 

Mrs Egeland’s Final Thank You

That is a wonderful tutorial and I’m sure that everyone will enjoy making it. Thank you so very much Ms Ester!
Don’t forget, dear readers, to subscribe and comment. We’d love to see photos of your bags.
Until next time,
Davita