All posts filed under: DIY

DIY: Hanging staghorn fern

For years I’ve been hunting for this fern that you might have seen often in Instagram, Pinterest and blogs. Staghorn fern (Platycerium ssp.) is definitely not just a plant but also an interior item if you want to give your home that jungle hipster look. But the thing is that the staghorn ferns are not easy to find here in Finland. For so many years I never found them anywhere. This year I’ve seen a few but most of the times they are rather expensive or looking not that well. Then I visited my nearest garden shop and found smaller staghorn ferns just for 5 €!!! The first one I bought for my friend who have been searching for this plant also vigorously. And then today I went back and got myself one, too. Staghorn fern is a bit different when it comes to the care and soil that it needs. That’s why I made my fern more like kokedama. Staghorn ferns are natural to tropical and they live clinging to tree barks. So adding some …

DIY: Sprouting seeds

I can’t get enough of seeds at the moment. I know, I know, it’s the spring. Now I tried sprouting different seeds I found from our home: mustard seeds, lettuce seeds, peas, anything! Different sprouts taste different, for example, little mustard seedlings are so strong flavoured, perfect add to salads, on top of bread or decorative elements for a fancy dinner dish. Here’s some instructions for you to enjoy sprouting, too.   Juuri nyt en saa tarpeekseni kaikenlaisista siemenistä. Tiiän, tiiän, se on tää kevät. Kokeilin myös pitkästä aikaa versotusta kaikenlaisilla siemenillä, joita kotoa löytyi: sinapinsiemeniä, salaatin siemeniä, herneitä, mitä vain! Erilaiset versot ja idut maistuvat erilaisilta, esimerkiksi pienet sinapinsiementen versot maistuvat todella voimakkailta, täydellisiä salaatteihin, leivän päälle tai koristeeksi hienoihin illallisannoksiin. Tässä muutamia neuvoja versotukseen.    

DIY: Sowing seeds

Last year I got super-excited when we moved to a new apartment with huge balcony in March. Maybe someone remembers this post where I sowed lots of seeds for the upcoming balcony garden. Well, something that I learned from last summer is that “sow less seeds this spring”. Although I’m so waiting for the spring and summer to come just because I want to start my balcony garden again, I decided that I forbid myself of buying any new seeds this year. I actually donated away most of the seeds from last year. Here are the ones that I learned that are not a good idea for small spaces (and impatient gardener like myself): Brussels sprout, broccoli, zucchini, lettuce, flower seeds…  (Lettuce is perfect for small spaces but I noticed that it needs a lot of attention with watering and everything. It’s like an infant child among the teenagers and you just cannot leave it alone for a few hours.) The good ones: herbs like coriander, basil, mint, small tomato, black kale (or Lacinato kale) and komatsuna. So this …

DIY: Beeswax candles

  It never stops to amaze me how much wonderful things nature can give to us. This time it’s the beeswax, provided by the bees. It’s one of the world’s oldest ingredients for candles, cosmetics and so many other applications. I also love honey and I love the smell of these beeswax candles (reminds me of childhood visits to the Orthodox monasteries). These candles are just the perfect little Christmas presents because they are lovely, super-easy to make and I bet everyone appreciates that you made them yourself. I ordered beeswax sheets (size: 15 cm x 42,5 cm) from here but make sure you use your local beeswax (there’s lots of producers out there). I also ordered the candle wick with the right thickness (3×10) for my approximately  17-32 mm wide candles. That’s really important if you want your candles to burn evenly and nice. Here we go then: You’ll need one sheet of beeswax. Decide how tall candles do you want and measure the length of the candle wick. Put the wick on the other edge of the …

bulbs

DIY: Bulbs in a pot

There are so many lovely plants in this world that I’m in a big trouble when having just a balcony as my playground. How wonderful would it be to have a big garden all by myself, adding spring bulbs every year, every kind of bulb, every colour. Yes, bulbs. For a month now, it’s been a perfect time to plant your bulbs for the next spring: tulips, alliums, crocuses, hyacinths… I love them all! So much that I really wanted to try to grow them in my balcony boxes and pots. Now, I know the final result in the spring but one can hope. If you want to try growing tulips and other bulbs in pots, here are few tips: Plant bulbs more closer to each other than you would when putting them on a ground in a garden (but in a way that they are not touching each other). That makes your pots bloom full! Choose also different kinds of bulbs to make it look more interesting. Remember to make a good drainage with gravel. The …

DIY: Eucalyptus wreaths

It’s definitely a sign of long polar nights coming when the only moments to photograph give you a bit blue photos. But that’s okay, I think. And blue goes well with the star of these photos: Eucalyptus. This year I wanted my winter wreaths to be natural, simple and almost grey so eucalyptus was the choice! I bought a few branches so I could try different things. Buying single branches is very affordable and the other stuff you need are also quite cheap: cotton/hemp/linen string and metal string. To make a round wreath I just made a simple circle with the metal string. I cut the eucalyptus branch in little pieces and started to roll them around the circle. You can also add little metal string pieces to keep the branches in form. And then just add as much as you like. The other “wreath” is just a branch hanging with cotton string. So simple and beautiful! The eucalyptus dries up nicely in a warm and airy space so you can just hang your fresh …

Jamming

I think one sign of getting old is when you start to preserve everything in the autumn time. Doing different kinds of jams, jellies, pickles, juices… And I love it! By now I’ve made red currant juice, gooseberry chutney and red currant and coconut jam, delicious. And of course every jar and bottle has to look beautiful, too. Why not do all this? There’s a long long winter coming and I’m loving the thought of having lovely summery jam on top of my yogurt breakfast in January. RECIPE FOR THE MOST PERFECT RED CURRANT AND COCONUT JAM 3 litres of fresh red currants, cleaned 2 dl of coconut milk 3 dl (or to your taste) jam sugar Add your red currants and coconut milk into a kettle and bring it boil. Boil in lower heat for 10-15 minutes until the red currants are soft. Then strain the mixture or if you want more texture just blend it roughly in blender. You should have that smooth jam base and then put it back into the kettle. …

sheep skin

DIY: Multicolored sheep skin

Natural materials are the greatest just because they usually work the best whatever use you have for them. Like the fur: the real sheep fur/skin/wool is so warm that nothing really beats it. So when I got the chance to buy the unused little pieces of sheep skin (40€/kg) from the local sheep farm, I was delighted and saw the wonderful opportunity to make a bigger multicolored sheep skin, perfect butt warmer for the cold autumn and winter pique-niques or just a nice interior element for our home. I chose three different sized, brown pieces. They actually fit together perfectly which was nice surprise. I had strong cotton thread to sew the pieces together. I was really pleased with myself because I got beautiful sheep skin really cheap and I know that it will be in good use for the rest of my life. Luonnonmateriaalit ovat kyllä mahtavinta ikinä, koska yleensä ne ovat edelleen käyttötarkoituksesta riippumatta paras valinta. Kuten turkis: oikea lampaas turkki/talja/villa on niin lämmin, että mikään ei kyllä voita sitä. Joten kun eteeni …

blueberry mush, mustikkapöperö

Karelian blueberry mush / Mustikkapöperö

Okay, here’s something that is very dear to me, something from my cultural roots and something full of memories. In Finnish it’s called ‘mustikkapöperö‘ which is translated blueberry mush. It’s a traditional Karelian seasonal dish (a dessert or breakfast, I think…). My grandmother was the one to teach me how to make mustikkapöperö when I was a kid. It was luxurious, as it still is, because it was such a rare delight. It’s only made when there’s fresh wild blueberries in the forest so this time of year is the only time to eat it (curse the ones who do it with FROZEN blueberries. NO NO NO). The forests have been full of blueberries this summer and of course I had to go and pick some for the winter and make some of this suspicious looking but oh so delicious treat. Basically it’s just fresh blueberries and another weird Finnish ingredient: ‘talkkunajauho‘. It’s a flour made of roasted oats. It’s quite bitter so you have to be careful with it but there’s no mustikkapöperö without it. …

red willow

Bending willow

I found this gorgeous red willow and I just had to make something out of it. This is the perfect time to collect willow as its buds haven’t still burst to grow (in Finland always ask the permission of the land owner to cut the willow or then buy willow rods for weaving from your local supplier). I didn’t have any idea what I would make but it turned out to be a taller stand for flowers. The stand also helps creeper plants to hold up. I think later I will put the stand in a pot, plant creeper below and some flowers on top. I started the weaving process by selecting the thickest branches, took an uneven amount of them and tied them together with thin branch. With uneven number the weaving goes along nicely. After that I held the bunch up to start the weaving with thinner branches going by turns in front and back of the branches. Then just keep going until you have the height that you want. Cut the ugly …