My Strings

The Figurative and Literal Strings of My Life

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And then the rain came…

And with the rain I finished yet another project – my summer skirt no.2. Yeah for me and then again not so much as I won’t get to wear it with that great summer feel. Something came as swept away all the great sunny weather – left us damp and wet – but still kind of sultry. Weird but very Danish.

But I still really like my new skirt – and then I’ll have something to look forward to – when the weather hopefully very soon changes again – for the better, though this weather is somewhat better for my training – fewer hotness issues. Came back from my run on Monday – and in spite of an already very nice tan – I was white…from salt…not so nice.

Skirt 2 – is made of the brown fabric on the left with big green and turquoise sort of Hawaian flowers. This like the green fabric is cotton with print – only this has a bit of stretch to it. Normally I would never buy something with stretch – but the flowers was so amazing I just had to have that fabric and it was in the ‘scrap-pile’ in that fabric shop – meaning huge discount…who was I to withstand and say no. I was practically calling out to me…and yes I do have a soft spot for brown.

Other than going for a much chunkier zipper and moving it to the back of the skirt, I didn’t really change much. A little bit with the pleating in the back to accommodate the zipper as there are no back seam. In stead I cut down in the middle of the back section till about centimetre from where it was supposed to end. From there I cut a small slit diagonally from the middle out to how wide the zipper-opening was going to be. Then placed the zipper – basted and sewed it in place. I made the inner pleats of the skirt very close to the zipper – to hide it a bit.

Most often I add zippers by hand. Many of the dresses I make are with hidden seams. Also the need for hidden seams came quite necessary as I’ve somehow must have misplaced my zipper-foot for my sewing machine. And as I have a really old machine it just isn’t that easy to find the right parts.

Here you go – more badly presenting pictures of my things. Good thing though – I’ve found a dress-form I like – just need to pick it up – so hopefully I can present  the clothes just a little better. I know the best thing would be on myself – but the combination of an annoying camera-phobia and not long enough arms to take descent pictures of myself – I think the dress form is the way to go for the days when I can’t have help with photo documenting my strings.

Hope you enjoy.



Omelette Meets Lasagna

My days alone combined with warm weather – not a good combo when it comes to food. I love to cook – just not for me alone. That seems just pointless – thought I know it isn’t. And now with a marathon hanging over my head I really need to learn how to feed myself well even the days I eat alone.

Also – wow – so much to learn about how to put together the best diet to further my training and my overall well being so I can do my best at all times. For now though I taking it slow – one thing at the time – beginning with getting a running rutine in, building my strength, distance and stamina. This year I need at least 2 offical half marathons – hoping on 3. And at least 1 before the actual marathon i april – just to see how I run with a track and timeframe on long distance. I’ve run 2 half marathons already – though not as an offical competition.

Being a semi -vegetarian – meaning I still eat bird, fish, eggs and dairy. It’s not because I’m against eating meat – it’s just that pork makes me really sick and beef never really tasted that great in the first place – so why not leave it to the carnivors to enjoy…well…back to the point…being semi-veg means there is sometimes weeks between I actually have meat at all. And in this current heat – I just don’t feel like eating meat at all. Just too heavy – no matter what form it comes in. And cooking…well when it is just for me I can be a bit lazy at times – which on the other hand has ended up in several easy to fix kind of recipies.

Tonights dinner is a sort of veggie lasagna meets omelette. My initial idea was to make an omelette but in the oven instead of in a pan on the stove. And I love to mix it up with al kinds of things (just like I love mixing in a lasagna)…so I applyed this here as well – and building it it just started to remind me of a lasagna with all the layers minus all the cheasy parts – I wanted it to be lighter because of the warmth.

The basics of the dish

Tomato, tomatopuree, caroots, green peppers ( the non too spicy kind), garlic, eggs, salt, pepper, dill, lemonpepper, chiliflakes, muskat, sellerisalt and just a spalsh of taragon vinegar, milk and a mild smoked crem cheese- just for a hint of smokey taste – how much/little is up to taste and how many people you are cooking for.

Tomatoes, tomatopuree, carrots, green chilies, smoked cream cheese and dill – before adding the egg-mix

Layer it up finishing with the eggmix – and in the oven i goes. I gave it about 30-40 minutes in the oven – to allow the veggies to cook a little bit also so they’d still have some bite.

Fresh from the oven

Because of all the vegetables and the tomatopuree it is a bit watery (or rather tomatory…as the ‘water’ tastes and looks like tomatopuree) – but seems like most lasagas are at first – give it time to rest – or even make it one day in advance and it’ll come out perfect when reheated.

Tastes a LOT better than it looks at first glance

And as for all lasagnas all there need to be at its side is an easy summer salad – just a simple lettuce head – not iceberg but like looseleaf lettuce and a dressing my mom2 taught me.

1 dl milk

1 teaspon of sugar

Vinegar – enough – regular or with a mild taste of herbs

The mix of milk and vinegar gives a sweet, light taste – the sugar binds the dressing to the lettuce. Pour the milk into a bowl and add sugar – wisk hard to make the milk more puffy. Then you wisk in the vinegar until the milk goes off.  Stop pouring and wisk away till the mix is puffy again. Tear up the salad lightly and toss and mix it in the dressing. A perfect very light salad to give something green on the side.


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And then there was skirt…and Summer…

And luck is with Denmark in these days – warm weather, sunny all over – and already 20 degrees by 10 in the morning  – really interfearing with my training…but what the h…it is too good to complain – I love it.

View from my living room

Well, as it happened I didn’t stay completely away from my sewing project. Getting back from a day outside with all those focused marathoners it just didn’t sit right with me to just go flat on the lounger.

So I digged out some fabrics I’ve had earmarked for skirts since I bought them – and yes as with a lot of my fabric it was – ages ago. But never mind I plan on putting them to good use now.

I know I should try to finish Jacket No. 2 – but as I knew I probably would.- I got a bit tired of making two jackets in a row. And although the second jacket is almost finished – only missing buttonholes and buttons – it for now is hanging… waiting.  I hate buttonholes – not because I’m not good at them – I am…they’re just so incredibly boring to make. And I haven’t found any good buttons that’ll fit it either…so for now…back to a more summerlike thing – the making and adding to Jane’s summer wardrope – flowery skirts.

All of them with each their own kind of floral pattern. All three are cotton. And even though it is more or less the same pattern I’ll be using for all three – they’ll come out very different because of the different looks the present.

Flowery cotton fabrics

I decided to start with the green on. The green is cotton with print – a bit stiff at the get-go but that’ll vanish with wear. And I kind of like it to be a bit stiff – it will make the pleats in the back stand out more.

The pattern in itself is very simple – just a basic a-line skirt with a waist band. I extended the width of the skirt to allow for pleats in the back. I like the slight tornure it gives – especially with the stiffness of the fabric.

A trip through the overlocker for the side and lower seams – not the to ones – no need as they’ll be hidden in the waistband anyway. No need to invite bulkyness to the stomach area – I’ve got that covered all by myself.

As I wanted to make back pleats I went for an opening in the side seam so the zipperarea wouldn’t mess with the tornure. The pleats weren’t measured just made as I saw fit – they are about 1,5 cm i width. I sew in the zipper with a visible double seam. Added a hook/eye at the top – hemmed the bottom – and then there was skirt.

Snap on my way out to introduce my new skirt to the outside world

Nothing much to it – but still a nice little summer skirt suitable for all kinds occations. Like a trip to a spot of grass with a friend and some soft drinks…

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Welcome to the Haspa Marathon Hamburg 2012!

Lying on my sofa – looking at my not so becoming tanlines of a day spent in the great outdoors – and No sewing today at all!

Despite the title – alas – not yet. But not all that far away – then today 11 months from now – and hopefully at this time of the day – I’ll have had run my first marathon.

Welcome to the Haspa Marathon Hamburg 2012!….2013…21st of April.

Just got the date from my mother today which was spent trapesing all over Copenhagen as some of her running buddies was going to run their first marathon in the Copenhagen Marathon 2012.

Yes my mom no.2 is the reason for all of this, the reason why I suddenly had to learn how to run (because apparently that is not just something you do) and worst of all I ad to learn how to actually find out how to LIKE to rum. Which turned out to be harder than to run a half-marathon. No – 1,5 years ago she announced  that WE were going to run a marathon before she turned 50 – which got me thinking I might have to start running if I was going to be able to obey that command.

Today was amazing – for the onlookers the weather was absolutely perfect. The first real warm day of the year – 26 degrees and I spent all of it outside getting startet on this years tan.

But the degrees making most of us happy was a bit hard on those that day was actually about – all the eager runners. From amateur sports runners to the elite runners – I think they gladly would have settled for 10+ degrees less on the barometer.

In spite of all the then there were those going the extra mile…like Tor with the exceptionel overflow taking picures from one end to the other – while participating, the buthchers celebrating the 125th anniversary for Danish Crown – one of them running the entire 42,195km in a cow suit in the 26 degrees (pheeew).

And then there were these three guys – the KUUL Team – ultra runners who run for charity. for this marathon they ran 174km – from one university hospital to another – the two hospitals in Denmark with research facilities and ward for kids with heart diseases. They started In Jutland, ran to the boat sailing them to Sealand – where they ran all night – coming in in time for the marathon start up this morning. Then they ran the marathon – and then the took 4km more to end up at the other hospital – inviting all to run the last few with them. How amazing is that?

This is the route they took through our city.


So now my planning and research starts for real. Shoes – important part – the ones I have not won’t make it till then – so I’ll have to have new ones – and in good time to break them in. Clothes…I’m sort of picky in that department – not because I want the expensive brand stuff – no not at all – my criteria are more specific – I hate to be desturbed by non-necessary things while running – like clothes not sitting quite right, itchy stuff…noisy stuff….So that’ll take some also.

Then there is food – might as well get into the habit right away – learn what will help me along better. Maybe some energy bars and the likes – as I really don’t like some of those gels they serve – what is it with sports-nutrition and energy-stuff and tutti-fruity-taste. It sucks – and I just can-‘t take it in. There must be something better out there.

And I’m comtemplating finding a running club – to boost motivation…

Don’t know if I can – but I sure will give it a try…

But for now – happy running and great legs to all of you out there already running the marathons. All power to you – I can’t wait to join you.


Job well done

Finally, I feel like saying.

But really from the time of finding fabric, to looking for the right pattern, to planning and cutting – and the finally sewing the jacket not much time have passed. It’s just I love the planning,fitting odds an end together in a new project, figuring out how to show ‘me’ in what I make. Adding my own little quirkyness into any and everything I make is essential to me – of course when I make things for other people I respect their need and wishes – but I also fnd a way to add myself. Even just by marking it with my label…or having fun with the interior of the garment…

I finished the first jacket yesterday morning  and also used it yesterday. It is perfect. And it feels so good not just to wear something new – though that is a good feel as well. But more the feeling of a job very well done – and well executed. And now actually having a jacket that fits me – and fits very well.

I decided to start with the pattern on the left ( – an old McCalls’s pattern I’ve had lying around for ages – just never really go around to making anything from it.


I wans’t really into the 3/4 sleeves so i drafted a new sleeve. Nothing much to it – just a longer plain sleeve as I want a plain kind of ‘can-be-worn-with-everyting-type’ jacket. Of course I didn’t leave it all alone – wouldn’t be me if I did – so I went for a crazier lining fabric – in a pretty burnt sienna colour with a sort of wavy tye-dye in a paler yellow.


Unfortunately, the picture doesn’t really do the pattern of the colour of the fabric any justice.

And on the outside I chose to add by hand some handmade lace I found two years ago on a mideval market to the empire band on the jacket. Just to add a touch of structure and difference to the jacket. The ends of the band i tucked and sew into one of the front darts. I like it that way – the band seems more integrated like that.


Last alteration was taking a bit of the shoulders. I’m not that tall but because of various sports I have quite wide shoulders for my size and height – but somehow jackets patterns are alway made with 1980s wide shoulders. It wasn’t pretty then – whatever makes them think it is pretty and wanted now. I just don’t sport any interest in appearing to have manly shoulders.

Other than those minor alterations – nothing much to i – and removing som cathair from the wool – remains from when I had a cat. She loooved pure wool. She would go all woozy whenever I worked with wool (which was and is most of the time). There was no stopping her – purring, rolling, stretching all over. Finally I had to hide my wool fabrics when I wasn’t working with them and close her out with two doors when I was – and two door because she definitely wasn’t a fan of doors – so she would start to scream and scould at the door – not pleasant to listen to….I miss her..

Well, next jacket is in the machine – and I also FINALLY got around to making a pattern for a cape – which I have wanted to make for such a long time. Capes are another great accessory – and great for Spring and Fall in Denmark. You just can’t trust that weather…


Uh…Mama is in love…

My kitchen-world just got so much bigger…I bought Christine Ingrams’ book ‘World Encyclopedia of Cooking Ingredients.


I saw it at a friends place a little while ago – and thought it would be a nice addition to my cookbook collection. So I went on a search for it. Amazon didn’t have it themselves and the sellers they refered to where rather expensive…so google google google and voila – there it was just £5.11 – and my resistance was dissolved.

And then yesterday it came. Picked it up on my way to the laudromat – and spent a hour just browsing my new heavenly book. Oddly to get so worked up over an encyclopedia – but this one is above…and I not just talking about the lovely smell of a new book…

No, really. Christine Ingram works her way through all kinds of vegetables, fruits, spices, meat, poultry, herbs and and and giving a short description and sugestions for use, storage and buying – not to mention opening up to finding alternatives – by describing taste, so good when venturing into new territory.

And for many of the things and informations – well, yes I already know – but then there are the more special products. And since I love to cook – and very seldom cook Danish – this is a goldmine. It get a bit redundant when the persons at the supermarket and like places stare at me like I’m weird because I ask for asafoetida or even just fenugreek.

Is is mainly spices and vegetables which is the problem. Slowly I’m working my way through my city combing to find who has my spices. Not too fond of buying them over the internet – can’t check the date on them that way. Special vegetables are a bit harder to come by here. But slowly Denmark is opening up to the more exotic variaties – which is great. But for now it is a substitute-adventure to cook e.g. Indian, Vietnamese or Thai

Really make me want…wish for more of her books…


On a roll…or something

Two new projects on the go.

This losing weight business is really hard in more ways than just losing the weight. That has almost been the easiest part – wierd thing to say – don’t get me wrong losing the d…… kilos was not all fun and glory.

But clothes-wise I thought I had it all planned. I had kept a lot of clothes from my way up in weight – so I planned to wear these on the way down as well. Good plan – only I hadn’t taken my own little devious mind into account in the brilliant plan. It is still playng trix on me – as I know it always will – so I should have known better and kept my mind under control.

‘Cause what it ended up with was that when I finally talked myself into having a go at the scales – I had lost 15 kg in abouth 5 months. Nothing criminal at all – except all the clothes I had looked forward to wearing on my way down…well…most of it was too big (luckyly for a good friend and the nearby second hand shop).

This also meant that all of my coats and jackets were too big – so I set out made a new jacket. Loved it – and just the other day I found out I’d actually worn it to pieces. Day of mourning – oh my…and then vanity struck – and even though the huge hole is under one arm and can’t been seen – the vain little me just can’t show myself it it…

So tadaaa…need to make a new one and I ended up not being able to settle on just one pattern – ended up with two: Made som alternations so they fit better what I had in mind and then I went rumaging through my chest of fabric goodies…and found some hand-wowen black wool – very nice. Perhaps not as spring- or summer friendly as it could have been…but…there are room for more than one, two…three…jackets.

Jackets are great accessories – so now I’ve cut two.