This Christmas I decided to try out my first gingerbread house.
I’ve done so many Christmas projects! A pom-pom wreath for the door, the decorations for the Christmas tree, advent calendars, there are a series of handmade Christmas adventures on the blog that you can check out and try. Right now I don’t really need anything else for my home since we spent so much time inside doors this year, I really wanted a handmade adventure to bring me the Christmas spirit that I usually absorb from these projects.So this Christmas I decided to try out my very first gingerbread house.
My intention was to make a small house. But when I started making it, I realized that this will be a proper sized one! To tell you the truth, this little experiment has dispelled many myths! The gingerbread house dough is very resistant and the gingerbread house icing, if done properly, is a very strong cement. It also is a decorative forgiving plaster that goes very well into the hands of an humble apprentice. Both make gingerbread houses much more resilient than you think!
Gingerbread house frosting
As I am not a fan of gingerbread houses full of candy and strong colors, I opted for the “basic” gingerbread house decorations. I just used icing that gives it a somewhat minimalist look. At least I did not want to venture into big juggling right on my first try … ah, but the maternal grandfather’s genetics that I preserve inside me (fantasy enthusiast) couldn’t resist adding at least a few windows glass using gelatin sheets… just to keep the cold outside!
Overall I am very proud if it and I assume that I will make more in the following years.
I wish you a different but merry Christmas, with the light that is missing in the streets emanating, this time, from the inside out.
2020 has bean a heck of a year for the whole world. I still remember thinking about my dreams for it, about this time last year. We always expect a new year to be “the one”. We don’t expect it to be foggy, windy, like a snowstorm that blind us.
From the fires in Australia, to the American elections. From the outbreaks against racism that I simply not understand in the context of the 21st century. Going through a global pandemic that will still have repercussions from now on, 2020 is the year that we will all remember. For the best and worst reasons, 2020 was an intense year.
The one thing that has helped me most to control some anxiety that comes from all these situations (I think we all know what that is at the moment) was to minimize everything. Minimize to the essential in all aspects of my daily life. Even 2020 Christmas will be under the “less is more” mood. From events to gifts, from decorations to advent calendars. At my home, everything is reduced to things with greater meaning. It is sad… but at the same time very, very pertinent.
That is why my 2020 Christmas postcards could not better represent the simplicity and, at the same time, this sensation of snowstorm that we have all felt recently. This year, more than ever, these cards unite hearts: mine and those with whom I will not be able to meet in person.
Tenho a certeza que já compraram aquela lindíssima meada de lã tingida à mão (ou mesmo fiada à mão), que encontraram num país diferente, numa feira de tricô que só acontece uma vez em cada milhão de anos, para a qual não têm nenhum projecto pensado, que custa “os olhos da cara” mas que não podem deixar levar porque “é a meada mais bonita que já viram em toda a vossa vida!”
E por isso mesmo ficou depois bem guardada na gaveta, à espera, tempos e tempos, daquele projeto tão especial que teima em não aparecer porque a quantidade de uma meada de lã não é um número assim tão flexível para um projeto que lhe faça juz. Eu sei que muitos de vocês se vão reconhecer: todos nós temos, por vezes, compras deste tipo!
Foi o que me aconteceu com a meada Halloween da CookstonCrafts em Aberdeen. As cores eram subtis, a lã era macia, e iria para sempre lembrar-me um país onde prometi regressar. Não sabia como, mas havia de transformá-la numa peça especial.
Há uns meses atrás dei-me de caras a usar uma parte muito especial do meu stash te lã, de tecidos, de materiais e, a meada de Halloween da CookstonCrafts foi uma das que me saltou para as mãos. Eu tinha de arranjar um projeto lindo para usar pelo menos a maior parte daquela meada e não me apetecia fazer nem meias nem luvas! Ainda por cima armei-me em esquisita! Se os meus critérios todos se traduzissem efectivamente em filtros de pesquisa, creio que a internet me mandava dar uma volta… Felizmente, ao que parece, eu não sou a única que tem estes impulsos e, no meio de tantas exigências consegui encontrar o projeto perfeito para a minha meada de lã! O xaile Storm é da designer Joji Locatelli e é o projeto perfeito para uma meada de lã filha única. Não me aborreçam com “outro xaile?” porque eu vou fazer xailes as vezes que me apetecer: além de os achar peças muito femininas, são extremamente práticos (podem ser usados com xaile, como cachecol, etc), dão carácter a um guarda-roupa e fazem lembrar as mães e avós que nos vinham consolar a meio da noite ao despertar de um pesadelo. Os xailes são extremamente românticos e contam histórias!
Este xaile é leve, deliberadamente feito com agulhas grandes para o recomendado e com pontos abertos que permitem criar alguma transparência, algum interesse visual e aquele carácter romântico. Acho que ficou uma combinação cinco estrelas com a minha meada da CookstonCrafts! Depois de o bloquear ele ficou com 180cm de comprimento e cerca de 60cm de largura, o tamanho ideal para mim!
I’m sure you also already bought that beautiful skein of hand-dyed (or even hand-spun) yarn, that you found in a different country, at a knitting fair that only happens once in a million years, for which you have no project yet although it cost you the earth, but that you can not let go because “it is the most beautiful skein you have ever seen in your entire life!”
And for that very reason it was well kept in the drawer, waiting, times and times, for that very, very special project that never comes because the quantity of a single skein of wool is not such a flexible number for for you to be able to choose a thing. I know that many of you will recognize: we all have made that kind of purchases!
That’s what happened to me with a skein of Halloween by from CookstonCrafts in Aberdeen. The colors were subtle, the wool was soft, and it would forever remind me of a country where I promised to return. I didn’t know how, but I would make it into a special piece!
A few months ago I started using a very special part of my wool stash, my fabrics stash, and other special materials. The only skein I had of Halloween by CookstonCrafts as one of the ones that jumped into my hands. I had to come up with a beautiful project to use, at least, most of that skein and I didn’t feel like making socks or gloves! Yeah, on top of that, I was picky, right?! If my criteria were all effectively translated into search filters, I believe that the internet would told me to get lost! Fortunately, it seems, I am not the only one who has these impulses and, in the midst of so many demands, I managed to find the perfect pattern for my beautiful skein! The shawl Storm is from the designer Joji Locatelli and is the perfect design for an “only child” skein of wool. Don’t bother me with that “another shawl?” because I will make shawls as often as I feel like: besides finding them very feminine pieces, they are extremely practical (they can be used as shawls, as a scarf, etc.), they give character to a wardrobe and reminds us of our mothers and grandmothers who came to rescue us in the middle of the night when we woke up from a nightmare! Shawls are extremely romantic and tell stories!
This shawl is light, deliberately made with large needles and with that open stitches that allow to create some transparency, some visual interest and that romantic character. I think it was a five star combination with my skein by CookstonCrafts. After blocking it it is 180 cm long and about 60 cm wide, the ideal size for me!
A minha afilhada D. passou dois dos seus primeiros meses em isolamento social por causa da pandemia de COVID-19. Estava ansiosa por sair cá para fora mas, com o tempo a aquecer, andava à procura do seu primeiro chapéu! Como estava tudo fechado, eu pus as mãos na massa e, numa noite, fiz-lhe um bonnet, o meu modelo de chapéu favorito para os mais pequenos. Além de protegerem a cabeça do sol, protegem o pescoço e os olhos. Também protegem do vento, permitem atar sem apertar o maxilar e não incomodam a dormir. Para a D. usei um tecido azul liso e outro com passarinhos coloridos pelo que o chapéu é facilmente usado com todas as cores sem pesar constantemente no habitual cor de rosa. São ambos 100% algodão, um aspeto essencial para promover a respiração da pele. Além disso é reversível!
She needed a hat!
My goddaughter D. spent two of her first months in social isolation because of the COVID-19 pandemic. She was looking forward to going outside, but with the warm weather, she was looking for her first hat! Since everything was closed, one night, I got my hands to make her a bonnet, my favorite hat model for the little ones. In addition to protecting the head from the sun, bonnets protect the neck and eyes. They also protect from the wind, allow you to tie without tightening the baby jaw and can be wear while sleeping. For D. I used a plain blue fabric and another fabric with colorful birds, so the hat is easily used with all the colors. Plus I ran away from the usual baby pink color. Both fabrics are 100% cotton, an essential aspect to promote skin breathing. It is also reversible!