I seem to be running behind in 2016… First we missed the strawberry season, then the bluberry season passed even before I thought about it. Now Mid-Autumn (one of my favourite Chinese festivals!) is just around the corner and I haven’t baked a single mooncake! Usually by this time I’d have gone through at least 3 batches of mooncake making sessions and getting a bit mooncaked-out!
But to begin with this post, I’ll show another watercolour I did…
A birthday card (in Finnish)! It was HK’s birthday while back and I decided to try a watercolour card.
I tried out a ‘window’ cut out on the card and I really like the effect! The envelope is painted to mimic the flap (through which mail is posted) on the doors in apartments here.
Much earlier this week, L got up to some mischief.. His first relatively serious damage accident… Somehow he managed to get his hands on one of my nail polish vials, opened it, attempted to paint his toenail and decided to do an abstract splatter instead… On the carpet. After which he came to me and said “uh oh”… I was pretty puzzled and then I saw his toe and thought he was bleeding/hurt. Then I smelt the polish.. You should’ve seen my face when realisation dawned on me and I rushed to see where the deed was done! It took only a couple of hours of hard scrubbing with a bottle of nail polish remover and days of airing. Now there is a blushing stain on the carpet, which I’m hoping, against the odds, will fade out in time.
Apart from keeping up with L, I’ve been doing a bit of sewing. I borrowed L’s toys for weights and he sometimes tries to steal them back.😄
This is the latest sewing FO in a beautiful red velvet.
It is a little bolero! The blue dress is not quite completed yet.. I need to do something about the hem, which isn’t falling as I would like, but it is a rather fascinating (at least to me) project that I intend to try out on other fabrics as well.
So, this bolero… I made up the pattern myself. It took a couple of tries on tissue paper before I found the fit I liked. It is a relatively straightforward construction with quite a few darts thrown in to give it a tailored look. On the front there are bust and shoulder darts, on the back there are shoulder and lower darts, though I ended up having to extend the shoulder darts rather extensively when I found out that it was turning out too wide for my liking. I made the sleeves extra long so it covers down to my knuckles. I intend to wear this bolero well into Winter so I thought longer sleeves will extend it’s season.
As I intend to use this bolero frequently, I wanted it relatively simple, given that velvet is such a dressy fabric. So the only embellishment was this button.
This bolero is almost fully lined.. It was one of my first time sewing lining rather than just adding facings (apart from the Winter coat I sewed last Winter, but that was different because it was a reversible coat, so I just made 2 of the same coat, in different fabrics, and sewed them back to back.) so it was a very interesting project indeed!
For the lining I used a silk fabric I’ve salvaged out of an old silk nightshirt I’ve acquired. The silk was rather sad and faded so I dyed it (same time I dyed the yarn in the previous post!) and then cut it up for this bolero. Because the silk is not stretchy (and the velvet is), I made sure to add more ease to the silk version, but not too much, so it will fit well. I said ‘almost’ fully lined because I did not have enough fabric to line the sleeves completely – it was lined halfway and tacked down (so the lining won’t try to turn out when I take the bolero off!). I found that there is an advantage to this unorthodox semi-lining though… Because the lining is not completely ‘bagged’, I could easily flip to the wrong sides (for fixing, for example) through the sleeves!
I really love this silk lining.. It is nice and slippery, which makes wearing/taking off the bolero so easy. The sheen of the silk also looks pretty amazing, but hidden like a delicious little secret.😀 Imagine how glorious it will be to use a beautiful printed silk as lining for a dress or jacket!
That said, it was one of my first times working with slippery silk too and yikes, slippery silk is slippery! I tried cutting 2 layers at the same time.. Big mistake! Thank goodness I left plenty of excess room for ‘seam allowance and ease’. And thank goodness this was an upcycled silk fabric so I didn’t have to stress too much if it didn’t work out in the end.
I did not manage to get any modeled pic of this bolero yet because both M and L had fallen ill. Yep, Autumn is indeed here.
But on the positive side, Autumn is a motivation to do homely projects, such as growing mung bean sprouts. So easy, though removing the shells take a bit of time, even with the submerge-in-water trick!
Both HK and I were inspired by HH to make little vine garlands using this vine that is all over the forest floor here. I’ve forgotten the name of the vine (again) but really like the look of it!
We spent the weekend in the countryside where M and I did a bit of woodwork (before M fell sick). It had been a while since we can both get out and do some woodwork together!
Autumn also means ruska – greenery changing into autumn colours.
All 3 leaves from the same plant. I’m anticipating the full bloom of ruska. It is like the last vibrant explosion of colour before everything fades to long nights and candlelight.
Neon green moss. I would never have believed that such a neon green is a naturally occurring colour back when I lived in Singapore. But apparently it is.😀
It is lingonberry season. I have already made a big batch of lingonberry jam, but we are not doing much else with lingonberries apart from that. Neither M nor I are particularly fond of lingonberries because they have a rather sharp and tart taste.
While I was out today, I spotted a tiny little frog the size of my thumb!
A mossy mature forest. The forest floor is littered with mushrooms, but most of them are unknown to me. The bolete season seems pretty much over by now, which is just as well because I have a big stash of dried ones already.
The boletes I came across are quite old (and therefore, thoroughly worm infested) so I didn’t even bother to pick any. But check out this big one!
Unidentified mushroom that looks very poisonous!
Pretty bracket fungus with rings.
The boletes may be out of season, but the woolly milkcap is in full season. The forest was covered with these and I could barely finish picking all in a small area.
You can see where it got its name from… The cap looks really woolly.😀
It is easy to spot and identify, which makes collecting it so much fun! This mushroom is not considered edible in most places but it is one of the most common wild mushroom collected for cooking in Finland. The sap is poisonous when raw but it becomes edible after rinsing and parboiling. The skin on my finger actually got a bit tender and irritated from simply picking these mushrooms today. Note to self – wear a glove when picking woolly milkcaps in future!
The loot from the second trip into the forest today…
… Which also yielded some oversized chanterelles!
Unknown mushroom with pretty bands.
Of course, no proper autumn mushroom-hunting trip is complete without some snapshots of the deadly toadstool!
Another one. They are so pretty and striking with that tomato red and white speckles that look like chopped almonds sprinkled onto a delicious little dessert! Unforunately highly poisonous.
HH’s little apple tree has started producing apples. Fresh apples do have that special flowery fragrance that I’ve never tasted in store-bought (and thus older) apples.
This was my loot of woolly milkcap! I had to turn back because the bucket was simply overflowing. I actually dropped a couple on my way back, because the bucket was so full.😄
And that is the end of this mushroomy post! This week I hope to finish writing up that long overdue pattern, make some mooncakes, do some more sewing and knitting on top of preparation for the upcoming move and looking after the sick boys… Something tells me I’ll be really busy… Have Autumn arrived where you live? What are your favourite Autumn activities/events?