During Christmas break we saw the Disney movie “Frozen” with the girls, and since then the girls’ fascination with Elsa and her magical icy powers has been rather dominant at our house.

Elsa Frozen

Now, shrovetide was this past weekend, and Ronja explicitly wanted to go as Elsa. Initially I thought she could do better than choosing a Disney princess at the age of 9, but oh, well. The girls should go as what they want – and I do understand the fascination to some extend.

Fabric: I spent a lot of time searching for the right fabric. I have seen that some of you guys from the US have found fabric that look exactly like what she is wearing in the film, but I couldn’t find that in Denmark, and it was too expensive (for a costume) on eBay. (I believe you are pretty lucky to have something like Joann’s over there – unfortunately they don’t ship internationally. Bugger.) I ended up finding a lot of great stuff at the Danish webshop Stofstedet. The best find was the stretchy “shattered glass” fabric, which I first thought I’d use for the corset-like bodice, but ended up using for the skirt instead. US readers can find the same fabric here.

Elsa Costume

Skirt: I have seen many versions of the dress on the internet with a wide skirt, but Ronja didn’t want that, as it doesn’t look like that in the movie. I only got 50 cm of the fabric, but for my slim daughter, I was able to cut it in half lengthwise, measure it on her, and sew down the sides with my serger to create a skirt. Because of the stretch, I didn’t have to add elastic at the waist, it was enough to shape the skirt to fit. I made it a little wider at the bottom, using the triangles of fabric that I cut off at the waist because that part of the skirt is slimmer (get it?). I cut a slit up to above the knee – the fabric doesn’t fray at all, so no finishing necessary. To make sure it wouldn’t tear at the end of the slit, I glued on a circle of the fabric, and added a beaded snowflake sticker that I found at a craft store.

Elsa Costume - detail

That finished the skirt.

Top: For the top, I bought a white leotard, some turquoise sequin fabric that you can find pretty much at any fabric store, small rhinestones and some glue, and sequin ribbons for details. I got soft white tulle for the cape, and found a snowflake shaped punch and some shiny foil to add snowflakes to the cape.

Elsa Costume - detail

I sewed the bodice to the leotard after shaping it on Ronja, but making sure it wasn’t attached at the bottom, so that the skirt could go over the leotard, and under the sequin bodice. Before sewing the bodice in place on the back, I tucked the tulle under at the top edge of the bodice with lots of pleats. After that was all in place, I hand-sewed sequin ribbon to the top and bottom of the bodice, and attached loose strings of sequin ribbon to the back. I glued rhinestones to the free part of the leotard, and glued the snowflakes to the tulle. I actually had a diamond-like button to add at the center of the bodice, but Ronja didn’t want it, since the real Elsa doesn’t have one.

Elsa Costume - detail

Elsa Costume - back

I think we came close enough to the ideal.  :)

Elsa Frozen

Ronja loved it all the way. Apparently, it was exactly the way she wanted it. She didn’t want to have her face painted initially (“Elsa only wears ordinary make up”), but we had a test drive, and I added a few rhinestones to the face design as well – aaaaand she changed her mind. You will have to imagine that thick braid – Ronja just doesn’t have that kind of hair. Who does? We made a french braid that went around her head and ended at one side. I actually made stud earrings for her as well – I had more of the beaded snowflakes, so I glued two of them to some studs – et voilà. The necklace is actually a “Hangaround”, made by a friend of mine. It has been decorating the curly willow branches through Christmas (and a bit longer than that), and now I just realized it had one more purpose. Finally silver shoes from H&M and that was it.

Ronja as Elsa from Frozen

And Frida? She was happy as a clam as well. Since last year, she has wanted to wear the Indian costume that I made for Ronja, so that was settled. I only had to make new headgear for the costume, since we couldn’t find the one I made last year.

Frida as an Indian

Oh yes, and Mads made her an arrow quiver, because she really wanted that. :)

Frida as an Indian

I so enjoy making costumes, but even more than that, it makes my day seeing the girls having fun with them. The fact that they follow the process closely, and love to wear them when they are finished is worth it all.

Sisters

 


I know. I don’t show myself much in here, and I haven’t for a while. However, life is busy and good, and we always have a million things that we want to do. So why am I here?

I made a quilt. I call it my “Blue Path Quilt” – below you can see why. I hope. Please also notice how much help Mads is being back there. The quilts may be great, but they do not actually float freely in the air.

Blue Path Quilt

I designed the layout myself – there isn’t that much to it, but I still needed to figure out which fabrics to cut in the various sizes.

Blue Path Quilt design

If you wish, leave me a note with your e-mail, and I will send you the complete layout.

The last quilt I made, was such a success in the family, that I wanted to make another one. I never posted a picture of the entire quilt, so here it goes. I am still really fond of it.

Squares quilt

The two quilts are about the same size which is 160 cm x 190 cm.

I actually had some pieces cut for the new quilt that I ended up not using, so I almost finished a smaller quilt for Frida’s bed as well. Still need to finish the quilting on that one though.

I really like making these. It’s the type of work that blends well into my days, even though I have weeks with no sewing at all. Starting the new quilt just at the beginning of the new year felt so good, because I haven’t really been sewing for a while. Nice. I will definitely be making more quilts – I may even up the stakes a bit, and try doing something a bit more complicated, but we’ll see. I made a Pinterest-board to gather pictures of quilts that inspire me.

AOH_MesseBanner_1_1

Today I spent half the day with my good friends Julie and Christina at AOH messen - a Danish craft fair with primary focus on sewing, knitting, crocheting etc. At the same event last year, even if I had a good time there, I felt like they were not really targeting the younger audience, which I am part of in this respect, whether you can believe that or not. This year was different, though. They had made an area called the Blogosphere, with lots of crafty bloggers willing to share what they knew and help people out. Awesome idea!

Julie and I had signed up for a crocheting workshop lead by Jeanette, which was fun. I will not be an expert crocheter any time soon, but if you are, check out her free patterns (in Danish) – she has an awesome, modern crochet style, that I really like.

Later we found Christina at a stamp workshop by Puk, and we joined them in making rubber stamps. This is something I could definitely see myself doing with the girls – it was fun, only as hard as you decide to make it, and it’s quite rewarding once you get to the part where you can stamp your own design on – well, anything.

Rubber stamp

This was my first go. The carving sets were sold out at the fair, so I ordered some online tonight – this is something I will enjoy exploring a little further. Always loved the stamps made by Craftpudding - however I don’t think she’s in business anymore, so now I’ll just have to use her work as a source of inspiration.

In the afternoon, Mads, Ronja and I went to the harbour to make sure Anna was well wrapped and cosy. We are totally looking forward to spring, and getting her back into the water. In the meantime, we had a beautiful sunny afternoon, and a gorgeous sunset driving home.


Morning rolls

If you’ve been around here long enough to remember back when we built our kitchen, you’re probably also aware, that I am not the gourmet behind the meals that are made here. I have never been very good at cooking – thankfully there are other things I have skills at. AND, I have a husband who is a great cook (are you listening, Mads?), so I am happy to leave the territory to him. Just realised, I don’t even have a blog post category that goes with me writing something about – well, anything food-ish, really – does it go well in “Family”?  :)

Baking, however – that is something I have enjoyed doing earlier, and it is coming back. Don’t worry, this is not turning into a foodblog – I wouldn’t presume – but for the past 6 months I have been baking morning rolls most weekends as well as trying out other types of bread. A month ago, we decided to get a kitchen machine. I had a look around on the internet, and looked at KitchenAid, Kenwood (my better half’s favourite), and a few others, but when a good friend recommended Ankarsrum, I was sold! Now, I am the type of person, that reads lots of reviews, but this machine is also just straight up beautiful, if you ask me. So,  I really wanted this one, and taking the matter into my own hands, I wrote to the company, asking if they were willing to make me a good deal if I told you guys a bit about it as well. Which I would probably have done anyway. One week later, this beauty arrived.

My AnkarsrumLogoReflection

I have been using this a bit now, and it just does what I want it to. I am probably not going to use the wide array of accessories (but you can have many, if you’re into that), because kneading dough really is my primary purpose for it. And while that may sound kind of limited, the machine has made my life easier. ;)

Ankarsrum (also known as Assistent) is different than other machines in the sense that it has a turning bowl instead of a turning hook. It is actually fascinating to watch the way the bowl is stretching the dough around the hook, and I imagine it comes quite close to kneading by hand. Also, since the hook is fixed, as opposed to it being thrown all over the place, it’s easy to add ingredients while it’s working. But hey, who am I to talk, I don’t have any frame of reference. I’m just really happy with it.

Here it is at work. For this weekend’s rolls I actually tried a new recipe for cold rise rolls, that I found over here on Ann-Christine’s blog - really easy, and really good. Oh yeah, and in Danish – sorry about that.

Kneading the doughKitchen
Morning rolls


I’m alone in the house, studying for my exam in change management on Wednesday. It’s quiet, which is a rare thing. Frida is at a friend’s birthday, and Mads and Ronja went shopping for some of the stuff that we need for this year’s summer vacation. We are going to the Swedish Archipelago (Skärgård) on the East side of Sweden – provided the weather allows us. I cannot wait. Four weeks of sailing, relaxing, enjoying the beautiful surroundings, bathing (hopefully), and eating icecream whenever we feel like it.

Things are busy around here. The kids are always going places, Mads and I are busy with work and the thousand other things that we want to do. My Instagram has become my mini-blog, because finding the time for blogging is not as easy as it used to be. I have been able to find some time for sewing, though.

I made this summer dress for Frida.

Flower hexagon dress - modeled

Where are those pockets

Frida chose the fabric herself – this is and Erin McMorris design that I found long ago at Fabric.com. The pattern is from Ottobre 3/2013 – it is quite simple and has side seam pockets, which I rather like. As usual, the patterns are a bit wide for Frida, so I drafted a 104 width and a 110 length. The dress was an instant hit.

So a few weeks ago, I was wearing a long skirt, and Frida complained that she didn’t have one. I made her this tiered skirt.

Gypsy skirt for Frida

Gypsy skirt for Frida

For once, I didn’t have a pattern, and I am really not used to not using one. However, I wrote down the measurements I thought were right, and it worked out brilliantly. She loves it. When Ronja saw it, even she wanted one, so there we go – two gypsy skirts (which I think, is what they look like).

Gypsy skirts

I love them! Almost want  to make one for myself, but that would take quite a bit more fabric, I’m afraid… I may share the measurements on the blog, when I get around to it, if anyone is interested. Also these skirts can easily be modified into dresses, merely by adding shoulder straps. I would like to make a few, but we’ll see how much time I have.

On a different note, recently Mads achieved his goal of running Copenhagen Marathon! His time was 3:53:07, and I think he’s the coolest guy in the world! Ronja and I went there to cheer him along, and I believe it was almost as much of an experience for us as it was for Mads (ok – almost, right!). This video shows him passing the finish line – you need to click “MÅL” to the right. He passes to the left – do you see him? It just about rained the whole time – Ronja and I gave up on the umbrella we bought, because it was just raining to hard for it to help at all. So everyone was happy to get back to our warm, dry house when it was over.

           

Mads does all kinds of fun stuff at the moment. A few weeks ago, he went motorcycling with a couple of friends of his in northern Italy. For a week! I’m not going to say much about it, because I wasn’t there, but they had an amazing time (I heard).

1001846_10151507024623380_1957686521_n

Meanwhile, I was alone with the girls, which was kind of nice too. During the weekend we made a fire in the garden, made twistbread, read stories, and they slept in our tent in the garden, which was an experience for both of them.

Well, it’s raining. I should get Frida from the birthday party in 10 minutes, and I still need to study. This kind of procrastination isn’t all bad, though. :)


Climbing the old apple tree

I finished the pants above for Frida yesterday – apparently they work well for climbing trees!

I have had the star fabric for a while – I think I got it at Stof & Stil. The pattern is from Ottobre 4/2012, #19 called “Forest Path”. I chose this pattern because I wanted a bit more of a jeans look than with the average pattern for children’s pants, but I still wanted an elastic waist, which works well with Frida.

Starry pants - front     Starry pants - back

As always with Ottobre, I followed Frida’s measurements instead of her usual size, so I made a 104 even though she is usually a 110. The pants came together easily, and I really like the fit. However, if you do want to make them with elastics for the bottom hems, you should probably cut the legs a bit longer than the pattern says. I didn’t want elastics casings, and when I hemmed the pants, the length was just right – meaning, if I had made the casings, they would have been a bit short.

Starry pants

I will probably make another version of these pants – the fit is great for Frida, and in my opinion they are darn cute with the low back poskets and all the contrast topstitching.

I actually made Frida a summer dress today as well, but by the time I finished it, it was too dark for pictures, so I’ll show you soon.

Speaking of Frida, Thursday we went to the speech therapist for a follow-up on surgery, and it went so SO well! At home we haven’t noticed that much change in her speech, but when the speech therapist played us a recording from our last visit there before her surgery in January, it was quite clear that there is a remarkable difference, especially when it comes to nasalness. The speech therapist said that Frida made her day – that’s how positive the results of the surgery were. She even said we can expect improvement up to one full year after surgery. Next, check-up is in a year, and it is very unlikely that Frida will need another operation. So hopefully, this is it.

Which is great, because since the beginning of April, Frida has been going to after-school care full-time, which in Denmark is a much used way of letting children adjust to school before actually starting school in August. The next big step for Frida (school) is already happening, the surgery is over with and the results are better than we could have expected. Things are looking good for this little lady.