събота, 12 август 2017 г.

Cherni Vruh, 2017

Work, work, work, work. As usual, we are too busy in the summer. And in the evenings I'm too hot and too tired to knit or even to sew. So we hike on Saturdays, to fill in the batteries. Today we started again early and climbed Cherni Vruh on Vitosha from Aleko Hut to the North and then went down South-east to Kupena hut and back to Aleko hut. An energizing four and a half hours hike and this time we had Gaby with us to keep us company.

Moon over the moraines

On Cherni Vruh, Vitosha's highest (2290 m)

The plateau around the peak

Hummingbird moth

Peak Kupena

The jagged rocky walls of Goliam Rezen

The lone cypress tree

вторник, 8 август 2017 г.

Harbor Garden Puzzle

My second Sung Kim puzzle I bought from the sale. I thought I'd keep it for later, but we've been hit by the Lucifer heat wave and assembling puzzles seems the only one of my hobbies I can pursue while I'm slowly melting :)

Puzzle: Harbor Garden by Sung Kim
Brand: Anatolian, 1000 pcs.
Time to Assemble: 2 days

събота, 5 август 2017 г.

Vitosha, Kumata-Zlatnite

A very light and short hike on Vitosha from Zlatnite to Kumata - Edelweiss - Zlatnite. We started very, very early as Alex (a very rare exception) was with us and he wanted to hike in the cool of the morning. A few pictures of Vitosha in August:

четвъртък, 3 август 2017 г.

Homemade Eclairs

My first homemade eclairs. I'm a big fan of all varieties of pastry with custard filling, but I always thought eclairs were too time consuming and difficult to make at home. Well, it turns out they are pretty easy to make. Really.

For the pastry:
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sunflower oil
  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 eggs
Bring the water and oil mixture to a boil. Add the flour and stir vigorously, until the dough is smooth and comes away from the sides of the pan. Take the pan off the hot plate and let it cool. Then add the eggs one by one, stirring in each egg until the mixture is smooth.
Cover the baking tin with baking paper, take small heaps of dough with a spoon and place them on the baking tin, leaving enough distance between the dough spoons. Preheat the oven at 200C and bake the eclairs for 30 min. To my surprise they tripled their size:

For the custard filling:
  • 500 ml milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 5 tbsp flour
  • 8 tbsp sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 vanillas
Beat the eggs with the sugar until you get thick froth. Add 1/2 cup of water to the flour and stir. Boil the milk and add the flour and the beaten eggs. Stir energetically until the custard is ready. Take off the plate and add the two vanillas. Let the custard cool.

After the eclairs have cooled, cut them in half, fill in with the custard, spread some melted chocolate over and voila - homemade eclairs. Best served cooled with coffee or milk.
I made two plates in the morning and now they are all gone ...

понеделник, 31 юли 2017 г.

Raspberry Cake and Jam

It's been an emotional weekend here - the results of IBO 2017 are more than excellent for our modest team - gold for Dimitar, silver for Gaby and bronze for Maria, the best ever results for the Bulgarian Biology team. The contestants and teachers arrived last night and we had a small family celebration with a home-made raspberry cake:

The team in Warwick University before the award ceremony:
Silver medalists:

The team on arrival:

And more raspberries - we love raspberry jam!
My latest most favourite recipe:
  • 1000 g clean raspberries
  • 750 g sugar
  • 5 g apple pectin
  • 5 g citric acid
Clean the raspberries, cover them with the sugar and leave over night in the fridge. Add the apple pectin and cook at average heat for 45 min. Add the citric acid, cook for another 5 mn. Pour the jam in clean jars while boiling hot, close with the cap and turn over until the jars have cooled. No further treatment of the jars is necessary, store in a cool and dark place and consume within a year.

I love it with pancakes!

неделя, 30 юли 2017 г.

Coral Jeans Handbag

For me this summer is the summer of rediscovering sewing. I'm beginning to enjoy the planning, drafting, cutting, basting and finally sewing the pieces of textile to produce an item.
This is my second bag made of old jeans and I'm planning a third one and a small backpack. I'm on a roll :)

I made this bag for Gaby, using her old coral jeans. And I do mean old! - she was 5-6 years old, when she wore these. I tried to find a picture of hers in these jeans but I couldn't. But then we didn't have a digital camera and instead of thousands of pictures per year I only took max a hundred of the most interesting occurrences in our lives, so I've missed the jeans :)
Luckily, it was the fashion of very flared trousers and I had enough material for a bag and I'll probably use the rest of the textile for another project bag for my knitting. Or I might make a mixed color jeans hand bag, we'll see.

Some technical details: I drafted the pieces for the bag myself, it's easy: two rounded rectangles for the body of the bag, two rectangles for the bottom (it's made thick and double for durability), two triangles for the sides and a long rectangle for the handle. All of the jeans parts are reinforced with fusible.

For the decoration of the bag I took the original pockets of the jeans. The only new materials are the metal parts, the zipper, the fusible and the lining.

The bag is lined with ranforce cotton. It has one big pocket.

As a finishing detail I added the small brand label of the jeans. I'm really proud of how this bag turned out :)