Monday, July 31, 2017

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!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

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 :)

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Vitosha, Yarema, 2017

In a sort of planned déjà vu today we hiked Yarema on Vitosha again and gathered some wild raspberries. Last year on the Saturday of IBO 2016 in Vietnam we also hiked Yarema, so today, waiting for the results, we decided to repeat the hike. Gaby is returning from England tomorrow night and I plan to welcome her back with her favourite cake with mascarpone, sour cream and fresh raspberries.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Terrace Cafe Puzzle

Yesterday I assembled another puzzle by Anatolian, which is becoming my favourite brand lately. A big puzzle on-line shop had a sale and I bought two puzzles by Sung Kim. When it comes to puzzles I really enjoy his paintings - appealing to the popular eye, without being too cheesy. I wouldn't hung his paintings on the wall, they are obviously haltura, but I find them perfect for puzzles - maybe because they are made to be turned into puzzles, and I much prefer assembling such pictures to puzzles made from photos or classic masterpieces.

Puzzle: Terrace Cafe, by Sung Kim
Brand: Anatolian, 1000 pcs.
Time to assemble: 1 day

This time I spread my puzzle mat on the bed and combined the assembly of the pieces with listening to lectures by Geoffrey West on scale and complexity. It all started with his talk with Sam Harris about his latest book From Cells to Cities, which intrigued me and I must have further listened to at least six or seven lectures of his I found on youtube on the topic. This was a Sunday well spent!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

IBO 2017 Coventry UK

This year for the second (and last) time Gaby takes part in the International Olympiad in Biology, held in Warwick University in Coventry, UK. The team started off early this morning. They all have been preparing for this Olympiad so thoroughly and conscientiously, I hope they manage to show their knowledge and skills to the fullest.

This year I have a small contribution to the team  - I made the accessories for the opening and closing ceremony - belts
coin necklaces

and forehead bands.

We bought the traditional bucks, coins, chains, motif bands and red satin bands and I assembled the accessories.

The forehead bands are also lined and adjustable with velcro.

Probably the most time-consuming but entertaining job - assembling the traditional triple coin necklaces out of chains, rings, coins and fasteners.These are meant for the closing ceremony.

Three sets of each for the three girls:

Printscreen shots from the life stream video of the opening ceremony. The team was lovely, they made me so proud! And a big bravo to the organizers, I loved the ceremony and the key speech by Nobel Prize Winner Sir Paul Nurse was so inspiring, it made me want to be a young scientist :)