Monday, 19 August 2013

Latvian Beading Patterns

Do you remember the Latvian knitting patterns I brought home last summer, after a visit in Riga? My knitting skills are still rather basic so I haven't gotten that far with them. I have however put the patterns to great use by reinterpreting them as bead weaving patterns.

So far I have done 2 patterns and I have gotten half-way with the first bracelet. I am totally charmed by the dark yet colorful style. The second one I am planning will also have a black background, together with some strong green and pink palette (see : below). I'll make sure to post pictures, once the bracelets are done.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Homemade sourdough bread

A couple of weeks ago I started my first ever sourdough. I had been planning it for a long while but I was always a bit afraid having never done it or seen it done before. Luckily, I found this great set of recipes for sourdough and for sourdough bread. And voila! I've been baking ever since. 

Dark sourdough bread is a staple of Danish cuisine and so husband is exceptionally happy to have fresh, seed-packed loaf twice a week. And the best part is, every time I bake, I can change the recipe, add something new, try new tastes. You can never get bored.

I strongly encourage you to try it at home. Home-baked bread tastes great, is healthier and makes your house a home. And it is much easier than it seems. Now, the recipes above are of course in Danish so check my quick translation below. But in case you are in need of more information there are many available recipes all over. For example check this one here. The ready sourdough should smell somewhat like beer or yoghurt. Not the most pleasant smell. 

Pumpkin seed and honey sourdough bread

Sunflower and sesame seed sourdough bread


  1. In a glass or ceramic jar with a lid  mix 1 dl rye flour, 1 dl wheat flour and 2 dl lukewarm water. You'll do best with organic and fresh ingredients. Leave it open for a couple of hours so that all the necessary  microorganisms can find their way into the mix. Close the lid and let it stand on the kitchen top overnight.

    This recipe doesn't use any helpers but some others suggest you add honey, beer, apples or yeast to speed up the process. 

  2. Until the sourdough is done, you will have to feed it once a day. Throw out half of the dough and add 0.5 dl rye flour, 0.5 wheat flour and 1 dl lukewarm water.  

    In about 3-4 days the dough will start smelling sour (like beer, yogurt and/or vinegar) and bubble on the surface. In my case it was actually much faster. Once it does that you can start throwing out even more of the dough so that only a few spoons are left at the bottom (and of course feeding it as before). 

    When the dough is entirely bubbly and smells really sour, it is ready. It will take about a week, maybe slightly longer. Now you can start baking. 

    If you are not planning to use the dough for a while, you can put it in a fridge. This way you will not have to feed it regularly.  Once you need to use it again, take it out of the fridge, feed it as per usual and give it 6-8 hours to ferment again. Then it is ready to use.


  1. This takes a bit of planning. In the evening mix:

    1,5 dl sourdough

    2 dl chopped rye grains
    2 dl chopped wheat grains
    4 dl water
    2 dl rye flour

    Leave the mixture overnight on the kitchen top. I always cover mine with a cloth to make sure no insects (or my cats) get inside. I know that rye and wheat grains can be hard to get in some countries, but you can always replace them with seeds of your choosing. I usually replace wheat grains with flax seed. But just in case you want to try rye and wheat grains, you can usually find it in health stores or online. In UK the grains are for example available here.
  2. The next morning add the following to the mixture:

    1 spsk malt syrup (I usually add soft, half-liquid honey instead)
    0,75-1 spoon of coarse salt
    1,5 dl wheat flour
    0,5 dl rye flour

    And put the mixture into the fridge for about 7-8h.
  3. After you come back from work or school take the dough out of the fridge and transfer it to a buttered form. Leave it on the kitchen board for about 3h so that it can rise.

    Warm up the oven to 200C (hot air) and bake the bread for about 1h 15m. Once it is done, take the bread out of the form and put on a rack so that it can cool down without getting soggy. 
And there you go. Your bread is all ready. Remember to add a lot of seeds, the hard ones in the first phase so that they can soak overnight, the soft once in the morning or just before putting it into the form. Enjoy!

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Beading weekend

I'm spending this weekend giving in to my heart's desires and beading away. It's partly due to a sale in the local craft store (khem, khem) and partly to a slight cold that makes it too hard to do anything else.

This first ocean-colored bracelet is now pretty much finished. It misses findings but other than that...

The blue necklace is thought as a mixed media piece. The white chain serves as a basis and the blue beads are the body. I am thinking of adding more white lace crochet to make the piece more airy and light. However, it is work in progress and I am not working of any pattern so I can't say what it will end up being.

Are you having a good weekend?