Turnbeutel

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I just don’t know any proper translation of the German word Turnbeutel. Does “gymnastic bag” capture it? Or “sports bag”? Anyway, our older son started school this month and needed a bag for his gymnastic shoes, labeled with name and proper to hang.

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So I got this nice fabric at the local fabric store, cut out a piece big enough to hold the shoes, labeled it with a piece of my printing experiments, and closed it with French seams. What I couldn’t figure out is how to do the top seam such that I can pull though a cord, with those French seams in place. So I decided to add an extra stripe of fabric to the top of the bag. For this I cut out two pieces, each 10 cm wide and the length equal to the width of the bag + seam allowance. I joined the two pieces at the narrow ends, but only about 2.5 cm at the edges such that there is an opening in the middle. I then fixed the seam allowance to either side on the seam and opening, folded the stripe (now a loop) in half along the  length and attached it to the top of the bag. I then pulled two cords though the openings on both sides. The cord I made from leftover yarn from my socks.

Pattern: Self-drafted.

Fabric: “Zoo” from Westfalenstoffe, bought at a local fabric store.

This is my contrition to Creadienstag.

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Pilaf

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This is a very tasty rice dish with nuts and raisins. One of the kind where I barely manage to cook enough. Even if we have leftovers they magically disapear before I know it. The combination of hearty vegetables and rice with the sweet fruitiness of the raisins is really delicious. I found the recipe here as a vegetarian dish (this recipe was actually meant to stimulate vegetarian cooking, so I feel a bit guilty to present it here as a meaty dish. But what shall I say – this is so delicious!). This recipe should feed four people – but be aware, it might never be enough!

  • olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 glass (ca. 350 ml) brown basmati rice(*)
  • 2 glasses water
  • oil for frying
  • 300g chicken or turkey meat
  • 2 gloves garlic
  • 3-4 carrots
  • 1 leek
  • 1/3-1/2 celery root
  • hand full dried apricots
  • hand full cashew nuts
  • fresh cilantro or parsley
  • sour cream
  1. Wash rice and fry it in some olive oil together with cumin seeds, cardamom and cloves until crisp but not brown in a large pot. Steer frequently. Add  water, bring to boil and let simmer on small to medium heat.
  2. Heat frying oil in skillet, cut meat into cubes, sprinkle with salt and pepper and fry on hight heat until golden brown on all sides. Add meat to rice.
  3. Heat olive oil in skillet (I do everything in the same skillet), add finely chopped garlic, sprinkled with salt and pepper, and saute until the garlic starts to brown.
  4. Add cubed carrots, cubed celery and sliced leek to the skillet. Saute everything for 5-10 minutes on medium heat. Add all to the rice.
  5. Add raisins and nuts.
  6. Let simmer on small heat until all liquid is absorbed (depending on the rice it can take 30 min to 1 hour).
  7. Sprinkle with chopped fresh cilantro or parsley and top with sour cream.

(*) instead of brown basmati rice I recently found a rice-grain mixture at my local organic food store. This makes the dish a bit more hearty and is utterly delicious!

Guten Appetit!

Apron and name tags

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The summer is over and we are adjusting back to normality. My older son turned six last week and will start preschool tomorrow. I am still worried whether I made the right decision to put him into preschool instead of first grade, but I guess only time will tell If it was right or wrong.

For preschool my son needed an apron, because they will paint and bake and cook a lot there. So I bought some water repellent cotton (the fabric is usually meant to be used as table cloths) and lots of bias binding. I decided to bind the apron in the neck because I feel that the loop around the neck is always too long,  but it still needs to go over the head easily.

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Also, because everything for preschool needs to be labeled, I carved a name stamp from an eraser and used textile paint to print some name tags on some scrap pieces of cotton fabric. The inspiration for carving stamps I got from Geninne’s wonderful Art Blog, and the idea to stamp name tags for school items I was inspired by Masha-macht-mit.

Pattern: I took the pattern from a child’s apron we have at home.  I just extended the top and bottom a bit to make it longer.

Fabric: Water repellent fabric from a local fabric store and bias binding.

Stamp carving: I used an eraser from Staedtler, a kitchen knife and fabric paint.

This is my contribution to Creadienstag and Made4BOYS!

Precious harlequin

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This is a precious little harlequin from my childhood. It is ca 30 cm high (plus hat)  and was crocheted by my very gifted great-aunt who passed away a few years ago. Although my mom kept it mostly save from me and gave it to me only occasionally, it got some stains over the years. Otherwise it is still in excellent condition and is now a beloved (occasional) companion to my children. I love it because of its great craftsmanship – look at this delicate collar! – and it is a wonderful memory of this much loved aunt.

Precious is a small series about some precious little things. They are precious to me because of who made them, how they are made and/or which story they tell.