Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Doily finished!

This august I wanted an easy craft to do for my sister in law. I started a potholder, but I didn't liked how it looked, so I tried different doilies. At the end I choosed this one, it 's oval and it fits her cofee table.

I used a thick yarn, because I didn't want that fussy changing glasses even in holidays. I could have used a thin yarn, because I worked on it mostly at home after dinner. May be next time

Saturday, September 25, 2010

name tags

Yesterday arrived a gift: name tags. I've never had before and my husband thought it would have been nice. I was very happy and I tried right on, just iron the tag on the fabric and you can wash even in hot water.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

almost autumn

We have spent two days in Ala di Stura with a couple of friends and their two girls.

There's a river, woods, nice friends to talk with, in other words it is a perfect place to rest and enjoy life.

We played many board games and although we went looking for berries we found lots of mushrooms instead,  but we didn't dare to eat them.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

zoom day

On sunday we have been to Zoom, a park were to have a picnic, swim, and see many animals.

There was Silvestro, an old tiger that worked in a circus,

hungry african penguins (I didn't know that most of them do not live at south pole)

farm animals from all over the world, from pigs and donkey, to lama and dromedary and an african cow with an enormous pair of horns.

We even saw many raptors, such as an eagle, a condor, hawks and two owls.

If you live in Piedmont it's worth a visit: it has a picnic area and you can buy there some gluten free icecreams and chips, I'm not sure the restaurant offers gluten free meals.
Be careful, your kids will talk of the animals for many many days.

Monday, September 13, 2010

happy new year

To me, since I was 6, new year begins with the first day at school.
So best wishes to everybody!!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Baby Anna

Anna was born few days ago. We haven't seen her yet so I decided to make a little present for her, just to say welcome to this little bundle of joy.

I chose a japanese pattern from Ravelry and made two little alteration: simpler neck and different application, a pink flower instead of a bear.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Another kind neighbor gifted us with these prunes. This lady is almost 80 y.o. and her vegetable garden seems to come out from some book of the RHS. 
Each time I compare hers to ours I feel miserable. We have salads, carrots, tomatoes, zucchini and weeds. She has 2 m high tomatoes (once even won a competition for the taste) and her cabbages are so big you can easily imagine to find a baby under their leaves. No need to say she has no weeds at all.

Luckily for us she's so kind and so we can taste her prunes. She gave us a lot so I made this fool proof jam .


1 kg prunes (cut in small pieces and without stones)
500 g caster sugar
pectin (I use Fruttapec 2:1 Cameo)
Just mix the ingredients, bring to boil, boil 3 minutes, then put in clean and dry pots, close and sterilize in boiling water for 20 minutes.

Monday, August 9, 2010

BACK TO SCHOOL - pencil case

 It's almost back to school again. This year D1 asked for something special just for her. I made a pencil case I saw once in an old magazine.
We choose some fabric from my stash: the flowers one come from an old dress, the plain green from this Tuchini costume I made, and the striped one from a bag I made. The ribbon is the one I used to make flowers to pin to her hair on her first communion day.

I made 15 small pocketsand there are 2 cm between the vertical seams, so that you can put 2 pencil or a big crayon, depending on your need. 

To close you have to roll it and tie a bow

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Honey, I need one of those...

Have you heard it before? This time H needed some kind of sachet to store small items that float in his case. He stated it shouldn't be girlish.
I found some gingham fabric from previous crafts, it is in blue, green and red.

I cut eight pieces 11x8 cm, four in blue and four in green.  I put them together as in the picture

  Then added a gingham red lining and it's done

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Turning ten

I just can't believe: that small baby that was falling asleep only if I hold her hand has turned into a smart girl. I'm feeling somehow older too and I think that many of my gray hair comes from kids feeling sick in the middle of the night or falling from the stairs or entering home yelling "MUM, I NEED A DOCTOR".

This afternoon came H's sister and we looked at old pictures, were D was just a little baby to cuddle and we wore funny dresses. No need to say that the kids were laughing at us.

As usual I asked D which cake she preferred for her birthday, but I should have been wiser and offer just two or three different kinds. She came up with a super-special-four-layer-birthday-cake, so that, to keep my promise, I made this.

I baked two sponge cake, one diameter 24 cm and one 20 cm, and I sliced in two the smaller, cutting from one slice a circle diameter 15 cm. I sliced the larger and put a layer of custard. Then I covered everything with my


350 g white chocolate

480 g Philadelphia-like cheese

230 g butter (softened)

melt the chocolate in the microwave and stir together with cheese and butter.

For her "real" birthday she asked for a cake that It comes from a book she received last year, "Disney recipes: from animation to inspiration", were it is called "the mad hatter and march hare's cheesecake".

I didn't follow exactly the recipe, because I have to cook gluten free, so I made my personal version


200 g chocolate wafer

60 g butter softened

250 g mascarpone cheese

100 g strawberry jam

Crumble the wafer and mix with butter, put in a round mold and cook for 10 minutes in the oven (180°C). While it is cooling mix mascarpone and strawberry jam, then put on the pie crust and you are done.

Both recipes are simple, but high in fat, so now I think I'm going to eat only vegetables for some day.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Blossom for dinner

Mr P is one of our neighbors, he is in his seventies and has a wonderful garden. Our kids are fond of him and sometimes help him to look after his hen. Last evening D1 run home and asked if I would like some zucchini blossom from mr P. I was really glad and looking forward to have for dinner those wonderful fried blossom, may be stuffed with some ricotta cheese, parmesan, nutmeg and an egg.
Then the kids run in the kitchen with a bucket full, I mean FULL, of zucchini blossom. They were more than an hundred!
I love them, I love cooking for my family, but I didn't intend spend 2 hours fring all those blossom. What else could I do? I ended up with this


40 zucchini blossom
4 or 5 eggs
3 + 1 tablespoon of parmesan
some millk

First of all lightly wash the blossoms, trim the stems and remove the pistils
Beat everything together, sprinkle with a spoon of parmesan and put in the oven at 180°C for about 20 minutes, till it has a golden surface.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

bags bags bags

Before our holidays I had great fun sewing some bags for friends, but I had so many things to prepare, that I took almost no picture. I regret, because they were beautiful and some people asked one.

I made two Estelle bag, but I have pictures ony of this one.

Than I made a mother-and-daughter duo, two totes for summer. In both cases I used Ikea fabric and I lined them with a cotton ecru fabric. Handles are in grosgrain.

I'm planning to do some more sewing in the future, maybe some summer dress for the kids or other bags. H set up a sewing place for me, so that I don't have to put away everything when it's dinner time. I have even a radio. It has been a great gift!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Summer time : France

We have never been to Aix-en-Provence before. I was impressed by the bright colors of nature and houses. Lilac as lavander, gold and brown as sunflowers, green as grass, red, blue. No wonder that Cezanne, who was born here, decided to be a painter

The center of Aix is the old town (vieille ville), it's a small-enough area to explore by foot, but there's way too much to see: Cezanne lived and worked here, sometimes it seems you can even see him in one of those cafe or old-looking shops.

We have been at the flower market that is held at the Place de l'Hotel de Ville and had a walk in this town full of fountains. We visited also the Muséum d'Histoire Naturel (Museum of Natural History). It has a collection of dinosaur bones and dinosaur eggs which were the joy of the kids.

The next day we went to Roussilon, a small village located in the heart of the Massif des ochres. We visited the Conservatoire des ocres, the old Mathieu factory. The 5-hectare site washing ochres have kept the character of this industry and it's a beautiful trip to do with kids, but only if you can stand the color of their clothes at the end...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Summer time : Italy

There's a really hot weather this summer, but luckily we spent a few days in Liguria with friends. I felt really rich, because I got up early as usual and by 7.30 am I was enjoying a walk alone in the brisk morning.

No shouting, no loud music, just a few people walking by the sea.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Since last time...

... we had some good time. I spent some time sewing, some time looking after my old mother, some time cooking and driving kids to volley and swimming and lots of small things that piled up to my cheek.

In brief ...

there came Easter and spring and mother's day;
(my easter cake from Good Housekeeping, wild cyclamen, kids' artwork with lego, coloring eggs, our neighbor cherry)

we went to Rome, Orvieto and Marmore's fall;
(duomo di Orvieto column, villa Borghese park, fontana di Trevi, H blowing an ancient horn at the Colosseo, Orvieto house, mosaic at the Colosseo, H at piazza di Spagna, Marmore falls, San Pietro, mosaic in duomo di Orvieto, kids at the fontana di Trevi, inside Colosseo, fontana dei satiri in Rome)

there had been some volley matches and school end play;
(school end play at the kindergarten and at the primary school, mini volley)

we worked and H had a small injury;
(S and H with peas from our garden, pieces from the brushcutter H is trying to fix, H tuning our piano, H's aching ankle)

and finally the reason of my sewing, the first holy communion of our daughters. They chose the model and I made the dresses; they are completely different and show their personality. The first is in white satin with lilac tulle ans ribbon, ankle long: I found some difficulties in cutting and sewing satin because of its slippery. The second has a wide skirt with eight sunray pleats (spicchi soleil in italian) and has no sleeves, that's why D wears a shrug.
In the picture you can see also the other kids, two teachers and the priest, on the left can you guess who is the little boy who wants to be "as sleek as daddy"? He asked even for a striped tie!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Happy Father's Day

In Italy Father's Day is always on March 19th. And yes, we have a cat.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

S for sun, spring and shirts

Even if it isn't officially started, spring is almost here. We enjoy some sunny afternoon and the kids can play again outside without looking like Bibendum, the Michelin man.
Along with spring come the desire for new clothes. S asked for a shirt like daddy's and I had a wonderful idea (do know that dangerous feeling?): why not use an old H's shirt? Now I say never again! I finished it to keep my promise, but it tooked me three times the time I would have needed if I started from new fabric, and I'm not satisfied with the result.

For me I made this gray shirt: I used a Burda model, while the fabric comes from IKEA (yes, the furniture shop). I liked the print, but it's a bit too stiff for the model, so I look as if I were pregnant.
No problem, I didn't sew since long ago, before the kids, and I intend these two shirts as a kind of training to refresh my sewing skills. Maybe I'll have some other wonderful ideas...