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Monday, 31 October 2011

Chance encounters

In this modern day society people (at least here) no longer talk to strangers. They sit silently side by side and prentend to be uncomfortable in each others presence. That's why I'm always as pleasantly surprised when I meet a chatty stranger - like today. :)
I'd waiting for the campus bus for nearly an hour - three full buses had passed and said another one would come. Eventually it was just me and 18 others left that still had not spot - so a mini bus arrived to pick us up. I ended up sitting beside a foreign woman, whom I ended up talking to the whole way. It's amazing how much two people that don't know each other can have to say to each other! :) I'm happy I met her, you always learn something from these chance encounters. :) Especially if the person lives a very different life from you.
Also, because of that I don't mind the long wait.

And while I waited for the second bus, something magical happened... As the light at the bus stop flickered to life, and the crescent moon became visible from behind a shadowy cloud on the sky - the bell tower and the town hall began playing, and not just any melody: they played the Harry Potter theme song. :)

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Winterponcho and a recipe

First of all, I owe you something - I promised to tell about the Visuality Center. The problem is that it was a very big disappointment. :( It was big - that's true - with lots of fascinating new technology. The problem, however, was that the exhibition was small and the whole center was centered around the giant dome they showed amazing movies on. But...that's not what we got to watch. *sigh* We got to watch lectures by people we didn't know about things that were only moderately interesting - or would have been with better lecturers. A nervous school kid talking about X-ray, and an American war-crazy guy that talked about unmanned aircraft wasn't really my cup of tea...and the whole dome felt completely wasted on Powerpoints.
No, it was a huge disappointment. :(

That said, let's move onto more exciting subjects. :) I usually flip around on the net for inspiration, and that happened the other day. I was a bit sad because my autumn coat is getting too cold and my winter coats are too warm - leaving me with "normal" jackets... :(
That's when I found a solution! :D I found a cute picture with a girl wearing a long poncho, and this idea sparked:

It works perfect with my autumn coat, and it's warm. <3 So now I can still wear my coat! <3 It was so much fun to make that I decided to sell ponchos like this one on my Etsy. If I got this as a Christmas gift I'd be very happy, so I'm thinking I can't be the only one. ;)

I've half-decided to make a gingerbread dough today... It's November in two days, so it's not really TOO early. I love the scent of gingerbread spices. <3 So I'm sharing my best gingerbread cookie recipe with you.

Gingerbread Cookies
(About 200 cookies)

200 grams butter
2 1/2 deciliter (1 dl = 0,42 cup)
1 deciliter golden sirup
2 teaspoons cinnamon (ground)
1 teaspoon clove (ground)
2 teaspoons ginger (ground)
2 teaspoons food bicarbonate
1/2 deciliter water (to mix the bicarbonate with)
1 egg
8-9 deciliter flour (about 400 grams)

How to

First of all, put everything except flour, egg, water and bicarbonate in a sauce pan and put it to low head. You want all the ingredients to melt together (they smell wonderful <3)
When they have, let it cool slightly and take out a big bowl. Mix the bicarbonate with the water in a cup and then mix in with the spices. Now pour the whole thing over to the bowl, and mix in some flour and the egg (be careful when you mix in the egg - if the warm mixture is too hot it will be boiled). Mix in most of the flour. The dough will be sticky - it's supposed to be that way. :) If it gets dry you've mixed in too much flour.
Sprinkle a bit of flour on top, but a kitchen towel over it and put it in the fridge or a cool place over the night.

Take just a piece of the dough to start with - a handful is probably enough for you to handle at once! The dough can stay in the fridge for a couple of weeks - and even longer if you put it in a plastic bag - so it's not meant to be used all at once.
The dough will be hard and cool when you take it out (use a knife to cut yourself a piece.) If you can't wait for it to heat up (DON'T RUN IT IN THE MICROWAVE!!), you can just start working the dough with your hands until it gets soft. Sprinkle it with a little bit of flour as you work. When the dough is managable and doesn't "crack", roll it with a rolling pin until it's about 1 mm thick. Cut out shapes with a cookie cutter, and put them on a baking plate (remember to put a baking sheet on it). If the baking plate is cold, your cookies will turn out the best. :)
Bake them in the oven at 175 degrees Celsius (347 F) for 6-8 minutes depending on how thick and big they are. :) Keep an eye on them. If they turn too dark you've overdone it. Perfect gingerbread cookies are slightly soft as you take them out, but harden quickly in the air.
You can keep gingerbread cookies for years, but they are usually eaten before that! ;)

If you don't use up all dough and don't want to keep it in your fridge you can freeze it. ^.^ Just remember that you can't heat it the way you'd normally heat things (i.e. microwave).

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Ten things that make me smile, and something cool!

I decided to list ten things that put a smile on my face, and I'd love for you to do the same. <3 Also, I'm doing something cool today! :D There is a Visualizing Center where I live - a place that's sparked my curiousity ever since it got there, but I never got to visit it. Today though, we're going there with school. It's a place packed with technology and cool things, I'll tell you more about it after I've been there! <3

Ten things that make me smile

1. My beloved. There is nowhere else I'd rather be. <3

2. Lolita. When I'm down I find my comfort in dresses, lace and sweet Lolita things. <3

3. Bunnies. I love bunnies. <3 They are so soft and cuddly and sweet.
4. Happy music. Mainly j-pop, since they are so bouncy and sound so happy!
5. Princess Princess (an anime). It always cracks me up! <3
6. Generous people. Whether they are generous to me personally or someone else doesn't matter, hearing their stories make me smile. <3
7. The sea. I find comfort in the waves rolling to shore.
8. Rainbows, northern lights and stars. The magic of the Earth.
9. The first snowfall. I love the first snow. <3 Even if it doesn't last.
10. When people remember me. I never expect it, and it always makes me happy.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Curse of the world

Money. We can't live without it - and I hate that dependency. It's a curse on all of those who don't have it, and it invokes greed in those that do. If you don't have any money, you're doomed. I'm surprised we're not even forced to pay fines for breathing, since everything else costs. Do you want to go somewhere? Pay up. Do you want to eat? Pay up. Do you want to drink? Pay up! Do you want a roof over your head? Pay up!

I hate being poor... It's like wearing heavy shackles you can't get rid of. Yeah, you guessed right, I paid all the bills today. And curse the bloodsuckers to Mars or something. Somewhere they can't touch me or anyone else. The most ridiculous, useless bill of them all is the tv license. Yes, we have to pay a ridiculous amount of money if we OWN a tv. They don't care if it's used or not...
And they say it's because it pays for independent tv and radio. We'll I never listen to the radio, and I never watch the channels that have this 'independent' tv, since they never show anything interesting. If I want news I just read them online. So it's a useless weight on my shackles.
*sigh* And now our new teacher has decided that we are good students - and proceeds to whip us for it. Things aren't exactly looking up...

I wish people would buy things I've made, on Etsy and the webshop, just so I can breathe a little bit easier and sleep better. :(

Monday, 24 October 2011

A trip to Ikea and a new desk

While Ikea might not exactly be one of the more exclusive stores, it's a place that fits my wallet right now, and my desk was falling apart! So. We took a trip there yesterday, and got a new desk for me and some cooking utensils. The new desk is a sturdy thing, a common study desk - and the depressing colour black. I might paint it at a later time, but right now it is as it is.
With a new desk, a new layout of the furniture was due, and to be honest - it looks so much better now! We have been discussing moving the sofa and tv around too, so maybe we'll do that today. We'll see. :) Don't you love rearranging a bit too sometimes? It's quite lovely, I think. It makes the place feel new.

I'm trying to supress the urge to bake gingerbread's not even november yet!

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Home dress

I know there are a lot more part-time Lolitas out there than there are full-time Lolitas, but still, this post is dedicated to the full-timers. :) As you know, I'm a full time Lolita. The occassions I wear "normal" clothes are very few, and tend to only be if the weather is particularly frightful, or if I'm short on time for school.
That, of course, means that I wear Lolita at home as well. The home dresses are quite different from the 'out' dresses, though!
With home dresses, you don't want anything that is tight, or snug in the wrong places, so they aren't exactly like the out dresses. Consider the home dress the Lolita's version of a t.shirt and slacks. ;) I just recently made another home dress, and it looks like on the picture. I wear it with pink drawers with lots of lace, since it doesn't matter if the lace peeks or not. I don't wear a petticoat with it either.

Do you have any home dresses, and what do they look like? :)

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Lolita nightwear

This has been on my mind for a while now. Sewing good nightwear - and finding a suitable fabric for them - is really difficult. For lolita, a lot of the popular sleeping wear fabrics don't work. And then there's the nightcap... In old days, ladies wore nightcaps - and after watching a show of 'How clean is your house?' when they spoke about dirty pillows, I think they were right in wearing them. But how to make a nightcap that isn't uncomfortable, and doesn't need to be tied beneath the chin?
It's tricky.
(Hats in general is interesting but tricky, whether it's a bonnet or a nightcap. I found an interesting webpage with Victorian hats if you are curious: Victorian hats)

I also found this cute picture. I have no idea who drew it, but it made me pick up the question about nightwear and nightcaps again.

Her skirt is of course way too short, but the detail I like about it is the face and - yes - the nightcap. It's very cute. :) The older models were very interesting, since they were sewn to 'gather up' the hair too, and not only sit on the head like this model does. Cute versus practical... *sigh*

Friday, 21 October 2011

Exam and cake

Today was the exam, and I'm happy - it feels like I did good. :D It won't be the end of the world if the feeling is too optimistic, but if I've interpreted the problems correctly I should have a passing grade. :) You never know those things until after of course, but I'd like to think I passed.
My beloved greeted me with cake afterwards! :D A pink Napoleon cake. <3 (If you don't know what I Napoleon cake is, think of a cake with pastry instead of sponge cake, with cream and vanilla cream inside, topped off with pink glace.) It was very tasty. <3

And now then? To be honest, I'm not sure. I could of course look at the course book for C++ (the course starts on tuesday). Or maybe I should just relax, take a well-earned break until monday, and look at the C++ book then instead. Hm... Oh well! We'll see. :)

Meanwhile...I'll make some cute Christmas ornaments for the fair. :)

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Exam and apple crumble

Tomorrow it is. A big computer exam, where most of the problems are things I need to code... I've been studying hard for this, so I feel oddly at peace right now. I know that I couldn't possibly have studied any more than I have, so if I don't pass this time around I can at least be proud of my effort.
That said, I'll probably be so nervous tomorrow morning I won't be able to eat breakfast... *laugh* It will go as it will, nothing to fret about, really.
I made an apple crumble today, with the fine, red apples I got from the grocery store. That with vanilla ice cream - yum! <3 I finished my autumn coat as well, though while it's water proof it's not as warm as I expected it to be. A pity. Oh well, at least it looks cute. :)
I got an invitation to stand at the museum's Christmas fair today, and I think I will. It was fun last year, even though it was a bit could. This time I'll be better prepared. I've got plans to decorate the stand and bring extra blankets and a foldable chair. And hot chocolate. Lots of hot chocolate. I've realised that's a must if you're going to stand outside for five hours. But it's all part of the charm. <3

(Picture from

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Oral exam and black velvet

Today I had an oral exam on my code, and I've been so nervous I couldn't really sleep tonight. It was compensated by the most beautiful sunrise I've seen in a very long time. <3 It kind of said 'it's going to be fine' to me.
That said, it didn't really keep me from being a jitter of nerves! So, what do a Lolita do when really nervous about something? I don't know about you, but I find comfort in my Lolita-things... The clothes, the beads, the fabrics... So I made a little black velvet bow for my hair. I know...I know, it's a little bit silly, but I wear Lolita because I love it - because it makes me happy. So it felt like the natural choice.
The oral exam - well I very nearly got there late. The bus had problems and got out on the road a bit late, and I barely got to the exam in time - it was really a matter of seconds, even though I ran the last bit. And I never run unless it's absolutely necessary! *laughter*
The exam itself was not very hard, I passed it, but I was trembling the entire time. Isn't that silly? I'm happy it's over.
I'm not off the hook yet though. Tonight I'm reading up on data types. Not a lot and not very complicated, thank goodness! I'm thinking about how to comfort myself on the friday test. I wonder if they allow candy during the test? I mean, it's not like I'd write any cheats on my candy wrappers...

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Rainy days - the cute way

Remember the post I had way back about being cute while it's raining? :) Back then the subject was wellingtons, and today it's rain ponchos. Maybe you've come across them somewhere - in all the colours of the rainbow and more, and maybe you've seen why they are good - and if not you'll know soon. :)

Umbrellas are lovely, yes they are, and they come in beautiful designs - but they're not all that good at keeping you dry, and if it's windy - well... Whenever I'm walking with an umbrella if it's a bit windy, I'm always worried that my bag will get wet. I solved that by buying a rain poncho, you know the kind - with a hood. Of course, it's pink! Anyway, my point here is that while an umbrella - even a folded one - takes a lot of space and can't handle any rain, a rain poncho is a very good accessory to tuck away into your back. It can usually be folded flat, weigh very little and since it's soft there's never any risk of it breaking - unless it's cut. The hoods are also usually big, so they won't ruin the hairdo.

But keeping a plastic bag with a poncho inside it isn't very charming, so I made a little bag for mine. :) Nobody likes to get wet (usually), and I'm no exeption. So I keep my poncho in my bag if disaster strikes and I end up in the rain. :)

Monday, 17 October 2011

Icecream bag and a new haircut

Five days left to the big test, and I've been studying using a technique I've learned. :) Focused reading for an hour, then a break, rinse and repeat. ;) So far it's worked great, I'm not as exhausted as I was before, and I feel I'm actually learning something.
That, and I have some time during the breaks to rest my brain and do something else. So I've been sewing a little. I made this adorable bag (which I'm keeping for myself *giggles*) with icecreams on it after watching a couple of episodes of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. (Amazing series by the way, very funny!)
Also, I cut bangs again. It's been a while since I had bangs, since my hair is naturally curly it tends to be a bit...wild if it's short. So I decided to give it another shot, this time using styling mousse.
So far, so good. <3 It's not completely even since my dearest cut a bit askew, but my hair grows so fast it'll be in a nick. :) It's cute either way. <3

What do you think? Should I make more and put up on Etsy? :) I'm considering getting red and green fabric and make some Christmas bags.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Are you preparing for X-mas?

Since I live in a country where we have shorter and darker days in winter and usually snow on Christmas, I guess it comes naturally to love the season. :) I've always loved this holiday - and not because I'm Christian, because I'm not, so that's not my reason for celebrating. No, I love it because of the atmosphere. <3

I love it when the days get shorter, and people set up chandeliers in their windows and decorate the bushes and trees with just enough holiday lights for them to resemble the starlit skies, but not bright enough to light up. It looks as if the stars have fallen down into the gardens, and it's so pretty. <3
I love getting up in the morning, drink a hot cup of chocolate and revel in the scent of cinnamon, ginger and saffron. When people sing carols and every store is bustling with life, of people tenderly wrapping presents the best they can. When white snow covers everything, and as the first rays of sunlight strike the trees; they resemble crystal trees from a faraway magical land.
I love the many tiny, porcelain santas sitting in every corner of the house, and all the curtains and table cloths go in the classic colors; red, green and snowy white. I love lighting candles, drinking milk and eat gingerbread cookies while preparing for the great Christmas feast - just as in the old times. :)
The great feast is typical Swedish I think (I don't know). We don't have any turkey-dinner like many other countries, Sweden has no such tradition. No, we make a Christmas smorgasbord equivalent (do you recognise that word? :) It's originally Swedish!) with so much food it lasts for days and days, with all the dishes we love. Every Christmas table looks essentially the same, give or take a few dishes for every family.
I love building up for that feast, stuffing away food in the freezer until it's so full nothing else can go in there... *laugh*

But I've derailed a bit. :) What I was going to talk about was embroidery. I've found an old magazine with really old, Victorian cross stitch patterns! <3 They're really pretty, and they represent that old, beautiful Christmas we don't have anymore - with handmade toys, rocking horses, porcelain dolls, snow globes and toy trains, far away from cheap plastic toys and awful, singing plastic trees or santas.
I'm going to embroider every pattern in there, and I'm going to be very, very happy. <3

Monday, 10 October 2011

Autumn pastime

Lately I have a had very little free time because of studies, but I've started to allow myself to relax now. Yesterday I told myself not to think about studies at all, to let my head rest (which I did, more or less...except for an hour in the evening...).
So what to do now? Autumn is my favourite season, even though you can't really have picnics or pick flowers. I love to take strolls in town and in the nearby forest, and to sit down in the sofa with blankets and hot chocolate with a book, or why not a knitting project?
I bought very nice yarn the other day. It's a deep red colour, so dark it's almost maroon. I have some loose plans to knit another cardigan - although I've started at three and only finished one... But it's fun to knit! <3

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Shooting stars

Tonight something exciting will happen, something that we don't see often - a meteor rain, or, as is more popular and more romantic; a rain of shooting stars.
It's expected before 23 pm here in Sweden, so I know what I'm going to do. I'm going to watch the Northern Star and wait for the magic to happen. <3 We have the perfect view from our living room.
You know how they say that if you see a shooting star, make a wish? :) Don't forget to make your own wishes tonight! <3 Let us just hope the sky will be clear tonight!

Friday, 7 October 2011

Harry Potter fever

I've mentioned Harry Potter many times before, and now that the days are getting shorter and we are drawing nearer to Halloween, the release of Pottermore, and last - to not say the least - the release of the very last Harry Potter movie on DVD.
When the movie hits the stores, we've decided to have a Harry Potter marathon, and watch all the movies. :D And eat a BIG dinner in best Great Hall-fashion with all the best goodies. <3 It's going to be great! :D

"I open at the close" J.K.Rowling

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Sunny, cold morning

I just love those very first, crisp mornings that follow after the first cold nights in autumn. When the trees shed heaps of dry leaves in a single night, and you go shuffling through that bright coloured fantasy world. I really love it. <3 I love the sound of leaves as you walk through them, buried well over the ankles. :)
It is really pretty outside now. <3 A perfect day for Harry Potter and a cup of hot chocolate. :D And studies of course!
I'm meeting with my project partner at the campus in a couple of hours, we're planning to pretty much finish up today. At least that's the plan. :) The difficult bit is finished, so now it's linking the whole thing together left. The only thing I'm a bit concerned about is how to make a search window, but I suppose we'll simply combine html with our data warehouse. But now I'm speaking nonsense for you! I'm sorry about that. ;)

Still waiting for the zipper to the velvet skirt. It's lying here looking a bit lonely. I'm guessing I'll have the zippers soon! :) I also need to try the Mary Jane-shoe pattern I made. But I don't know when I'll have time for that... The big test is the 21st of October, and since I've found my inner Hermione (studying is fun when you like the subject!) I'll probably be spending most of my time studying for that. ;)
After the big test, we'll be moving on from Python to C++. That should be interesting...and scary...

(Picture from Pixdaus)

Monday, 3 October 2011

A doll's eyes

Yesterday I started fitting the eyes for the doll, and today I finished doing that. :) So now her eyes are even, she has eyelids and the eyes themselves are closely fitted. I wasn't sure what size would be best, but these are 20 mm, and they appear to be a perfect fit. :) I bought a pair of 18 mm too, but they just don't look as good on her. They make her appear a bit frightened! *laughs*

As you can see, I've given the surface of her face a work-over too, since it wasn't completely even. I also fixed around her mouth. Some shadow of something made her look a bit pouty, but now she's mischievous instead. *facepalm*
I have a plan about her skin, but it isn't perfect yet and I don't want to ruin her. My plan is to pain her with a thin layer of latex mixed with a tiny bit of skin-coloured pigment. It would make her water proof and give a nice friction to her joints, so in theory it's a good idea. It would also make her seem more alive if I can pull it off. Right now though, it feels like I might be better off painting her with latex and then airbrushing her, but I've never airbrushed before.
Ah, decisions, decisions. XD I'll come up with a good plan eventually. Either way I'm too busy with school right now to have time to work on a doll.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

New router and study techniques

As some of you know we had a router that was breaking down, so internet was more than a little unstable... But yesterday we installed the new one! :D And its' design made it possible to remove a lot of flexes lying about, so it looks much better now. <3
And it's working great! :D

Also, the netbook is no longer plagued by Windows 7 starter, it now has Linux instead. ^.^ So now my studying will be a lot smoother. <3 And I get time to get used to Emacs, because like it or not - that's what we're going to use for school and most importantly on the tests. Phew! I've been working in it all morning and so far it hasn't trolled me once... *giggles* any of you have any good study tips for tests? I never really learned to study since school was too easy. ^.^;; And now I really need to do that, so my technique is a bit lacking. I've tried reading and writing down important pointers, but it takes forever. x.x Is it the way to go?