Jul 29, 2013

Apricot jam with lavender

Apricot jam is my favourite and every year I make some for my family and friends, love to give them as a gift for Christmas, birthday or just for love. This year I decided to try something different. I still have some jars left from last year ( my son spent one semester on KTH Uni in Sweden and he is the biggest consumer of the jam), so I decided to add lavender flavour to jam. It turned out delicious, apricot and lavender go really well with each other. And next year I'll try to add rosemary, not to the whole quantity. Original taste is still something I love.

Recipe: Apricot jam with lavender


- apricots (I bought organic from a local farmer) - 4  kg (cca 2,8 kg after seeds are removed)
- 3 lemons
- 800g of sugar
- lavender flowers - about 8 flowers (be careful with lavender, the taste is strong)


Remove seeds, dice apricots (and put them in pot), add sugar and leave over night.

Decant juice in a separate pot and boil it for about 20 minutes.

In the meantime, peel the lemon (rub it if it is organic and save the peel), squeeze juice but save the rest and the seeds. Put this white part of lemon together with seeds in the gauze and add lavender flowers. Make a bundle (small bag) using cotton (kitchen) thread. 

Add apricots, bundle and lemon juice to pot with juice. Boil together for another about 15 minutes, then take the bag out. Chop up apricots with hand blender (mixing stick) and boil another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In the meantime, clean jars put in oven on 110° C to sterilize them. Remove jam from heat and fill jars, put them back in oven. At this point I turn off the oven and leave jars until the oven is cold. After that, cut  cellophane pieces, 'wash' them using vinegar, put on jars and put the lids.
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Jul 25, 2013

How to rotate photo in Blogger

Some time ago i was struggling with one photo - it appeared 'vertical' when viewing it but in Blogger it was 'horisontal'. It is still mystery for me why this happens, but I figured out how to solve this issue easy and quickly. I uploaded photo in Google Picassa (Google Photo albums now). You have feature to rotate photo (on the toolbar, next to 'More'). Just click it and the photo is rotated and saved. For the Blogger, choose  transfer from Picassa album.
Hope that some of you will find this tip useful, sometimes small hinbts could save a lot of time.

Photo after rotation in Picassa album

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Jul 17, 2013

New life of an old sofa

It is always dilemma: throw away things or try to renew them and give them new life. Is it worth of effort or is it easier to buy something new? I usually prefer to renew my furniture and make something original or personalized. This sofa is one of the pieces I am very proud of.

This is how it looked like. I bought new fabric and sew covers, added pillows and made completely new sofa for our summer house on the Adriatic sea coast - that's why I apply nautical touch.

Some additional photos I took:

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Jul 7, 2013

Decoupage with iron

Yesterday I was so desperate, but today I am thrilled. Few days ago decided to refurbish an old table using decoupage technique. It is  50 years old kitchen table,  in rather good condition, but the surface was covered with an old fashion plastic. It is the piece I will put on terase, in the garden, and buying special primer for plastic plus paint  of course, seemed too expensive. I thought that decoupaging would be cheaper and faster. So, I surfed a little bit to see available papers I could find here (didn't want to order on-line to wait for a few days for delivery). And here is the decoupage story.

Decoupage with ironing

Finally, I bought two types of paper: Easy decoupage paper (really excellent for work) and Decopatch one that gave me so much trouble. Additionally, just to mention, you will need special glue for decoupage, brushes and cotton rag.

I saw the flyer in the shop declaring it as an  thin but firm, the colors and patterns were beautiful and I bought it. What a disappointment! I needed paper suitable for larger surface, not small pieces to combine together.

This is the table before refurbishment.

Fortunately, based on previous experience, started to work on less visible part, using usual decoupage technique - glue the surface and put the paper on. And it was fiasco - so many wrinkles and bubbles, I scraped paper off the table. Decopatch paper was just like napkin - very fragile, susceptible to wrinkles.

What to do? To buy another paper or to try something else? I was so dissapointed but out of the desperation  remembered another technique - ironing.  And this turned out to be  fabulous.

Steps for decoupage ironing

Step 1: glue the surface and let it dry a little bit (for a couple of minutes) (before that I marked the line on the table to now where to put the paper).

Step 2: Put the paper on the glued surface, tap it with cotton rag or dry brush (I preffer cotton rag) and put baking paper on it. This paper is rather transparent enabling control over the napkin or Decopatch paper in this case.

Step 3: Warm the iron on the low temperature  and iron over the baking paper. Napkin will be glued without wrinkles - it was miracle for me, after the disappointment the day before.
After the first table side, improved technique - cut the smaller paper pieces (up to 20 cm long) to better control the gluing.

Step 4: Seal the paper with the transparent varnish (or special decoupage glue).

Hints: Never touch the napkin (or paper) with fingers - use dry brush or cotton rag.

Easy decoupage paper (the flowered one) was really very easy to glue. First, of course, soaked it in water and then dried with tissue paper, glue the surface and put it on. It didn't wrinkled and I could tune it easily.

The table is still not completely finished, some details are planned and I will blog how I painted it next week.

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Jul 3, 2013

Vertical garden journey - update

A month ago I started this project - set up a box to be my vertical garden and planted suculents. Last four weeks i was watering and spraying it and now it looks good, plants are in good condition, BUT I am so impatient, I would like to have a small 'jungle' immediately. So, need to continue nurish the garden and wait until the plants spread across the box.
See how I started in this post.
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