The Changing Seasons – February 2018

 

It´s the end of the month and thus time for the wonderful challenge The Changing Seasons invented by Max at Cardinal Guzman and now hosted by my dear friend Su at Zimmerbitch.

The month of February started for me with noticing that my passport was soon going to expire and I quickly went to the Citizens Registration Office to apply for a new one.

Although I´ve been in this building quite often before, I´ve never noticed this little window that has been integrated in one of the walls for no apparent reason except that it looks beautiful. And I think I only noticed it this time, because I was too early for my appointment. 😉

 

window Kopie

Window, Citizen Registration Office Berlin (Febr. 2018; edited with Snapseed)

 

The glowing bulb fixed to the wall behind the window could easily be mistaken for the moon, don´t you think? The walls are actually painted in a very dull beige, but with a little bit of editing magic, the whole thing looks infinitely better. 🙂

 

 

A few days later I came across another unusual sight – a tree in full foliage in the middle of winter!

 

tree

Tree covered with mistletoe (Febr. 2018; edited with Snapseed)

 

A closer look revealed that it wasn´t at all leaves I was seeing but bunches of mistletoe! I´m used to seeing one or two of these high up in a tree, but never before did I see so many of them on just one tree. My inner Getafix felt tempted to draw my little sickle and cut them down to brew my own magic potion. 😉

 

But instead of brewing I did some baking! Here´s  a picture of my very thin, buttery and crispy Sweet Potato Pie:

 

sweet potato pie

Sweet Potato Pie (Febr. 2018)

 

I really love these kind of pies, be it sweet potato or pumpkin, because you can eat them whether you feel like eating something sweet or savory.

Painting of the Month

Though I have to be careful how often I indulge in these sweet and buttery delicacies or I will soon look like one of these fellows, that I painted this month after rereading some of my favorite Beatrix Potter books…

 

walking pigs à la Potter

Pigs walking and talking – inspired by one of Beatrix Potters´drawings (water color and ink on paper; Febr. 2018)

 

On one of my after-dinner walks that hopefully will prevent me from turning into a little piggy ;), I was enchanted by the beautiful icing with which the frost has decorated plants and bushes.

 

frost on rosehips Kopie

Frost on rose hips (Febr. 2018; edited with Snapseed)

 

Making Body Butter

 

I´ve also noticed something else this winter – getting older seems to have a bad effect on my skin!! 😉 Never before did I have so much trouble with winter-tormented skin, especially my shins are killing me and I have scratched myself so badly one night that I woke up with blood under my fingernails in the morning, and a brand new scar on my left shin!

No matter how often I applied my body lotion, there was no improvement at all. So I had a look around (i.e. did some googling), and found that I was not the only one feeling awfully let down by my body lotion.

I tried applying generous amounts of coconut oil which did feel better at first, but didn’t really have the desired effect.

More googling followed and I found out that fats and oils need to be combined with each other in order to develop their healing effects.

For making my own body butter I use equal measures of four different kinds of butters and oils:

For example:   1/2 cup cocoa butter

1/2 cup shea butter

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup olive oil

 

IMG_7469 (1)

cocoa butter, shea butter, coconut oil and olive oil in a bowl (Febr. 2018)

(Make sure to use only organic and unrefined oils and butters, because they have the best effect!)

IMG_7471 (1)

Different colored oils and butters in a bowl (Febr. 2018)

 

Put it all in a glas bowl and let them melt on low heat in a bain-marie. Stir gently until all the fats are molten – this can take a while, especially cocoa butter needs a lot of time.

 

IMG_7477 (1)

Cocoa butter melts only very slowly, so be patient (Febr. 2018)

 

As soon as everything is molten, you can take away the bowl, pour the mixture in another bowl at room temperature and then put this for about 30 min in the freezer, or until the liquid has the consistency of mashed potatoes (it´s important that your finger can still leave a mark on it, so keep checking).

 

IMG_7478 (1)

The combined liquids ready to go in the freezer (Febr. 2018)

 

Then you need to whip it for a couple of minutes with a kitchen machine until the mixture becomes smooth and creamy.

Pour into a mason jar – et voilà! – You have made your very own body butter! Free of any conservatives, it will keep fresh at least a month in a dry, dark and cool place.

 

IMG_7480 (1)

Homemade body butter in a mason jar (Febr. 2018)

 

This body butter is absolutely perfect for dry skin! It soothes and nourishes at the same time, and can even help with eczema. Bye-bye body lotion! 😀

 

Knitting against the cold

 

And to protect my skin further from the cold, I regularly knit socks and the like. For the first time I´m using a super fine wool though for which I use very slim needles (2 mm).

 

IMG_7574-01

Half a knitted sock (Febr. 2018)

 

Of course, with this kind of wool it takes ages to get it all done, but winter isn´t gone yet. On the contrary, temperatures are going to drop this week to -13 degrees Celsius!

 

IMG_7575-01

See how thin the needles are? (Febr. 2018)

 

 

IMG_7577-01

75% virgin wool and beautiful colors (Febr. 2018)

 

 

If you would like to join me and the others in this challenge, here are the guidelines:

 

The Changing Seasons Version One (photographic):

  • Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery that you feel represent your month
  • Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.
  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so that others can find them

The Changing Seasons Version Two (you choose the format):

  • Each month, post a photo, recipe, painting, drawing, video, whatever that you feel says something about your month
  • Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!
  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so others can find them.

 

Hope you had a lovely February and wish you all a beautiful March!

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

72 thoughts on “The Changing Seasons – February 2018

    • Thanks so much, Ivor! And here´s the recipe:

      For the Pastry:
      175g plain flour
      1/2 tsp salt
      6 tbsp cold butter
      3 tbsp coconut oil
      45-60 ml iced water

      Filling:

      450 g cooked or baked sweet potatoes
      250 ml whipping cream
      2 eggs
      115 g brown sugar
      1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
      1/2 tsp salt

      1) For the pastry, sift flour and salt into a bowl. Cut the butter and fat, mix with the flour until it resembles coarse crumbs. Bind with iced water.
      2) Roll out the dough an line a pie tin.
      3) Line the pastry with baling parchment and fill with bakings beans. Bake for 12 minutes (200 degrees Celsius). Remove paper and beans and bake until golden, 6-8 minutes more.
      4)Beat together sweet potatoes, cream, eggs, sugar, spices. Pour into the pastry case and bake until set, about 40 minutes.

      Bon appetit! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Ah altogether lovely, Sarah! ⚘ Your post has so many wonderful ideas and creative art pieces… thanks for that spark of inspiration! ❤ Yummy, your pies look delicious 😉 😃 You have been busy… have a great week! ☀️ 🎼

    Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for your generosity, Sarah… you know l’m only teasing!! I know the pastry chefs and cake shops in Australia are excellent and many are German!
        😉 Appreciate your kind wishes and will take every opportunity to enjoy sunny Summer… hugs and love. 😃 🐨 ☀️ 🎼 💕

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Looks like quite a productive month. It’s gone so quickly I can barely believe it. Love your drawing of the pigs and the knitted socks. That’s quite the project to make your own body lotion. I agree that coconut oil is not enough. Lets hope March is as productive. Great photos. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • It´s really been a productive month, quite contrary to January! The Body butter is really super, my mum loves it too, and I´ve sent also sent a sample to a friend who suffers from eczema and she loves it! Wish you a beautiful day and a creative month to come! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am so glad your body butter is helping. Thank you for sharing the recipe; I’ll try it when winter comes here.
    I do love your painting, and your frosted rosehips image is stunning 🙂
    As always, I am so impressed by your sock knitting. I was determined to try making a pair, but lost the will to live a bit just reading the pattern. The wool you’ve chosen is beautiful, and I know the finished socks will be gorgeous.
    I hope March is a happy, productive, creative time for you, with better (but still sock-wearing) weather. xxxxxxx 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Su! I actually posted the body butter part especially for you, since I wanted to sent you the recipe via email but have failed to do so lately (for which I apologize! Hope to write you soon though!). I also plan to use it during summer since you don´t feel greasy with it, it kind of soaks into your skin, leaving it with a muted kind of shimmer that looks incredibly healthy. It moisturizes really, really well, especially when you put it on slightly damp skin after a shower.
      If we find the time, I will teach you sock knitting when I come to visit you! 😀
      Have a beautiful day, Su! xxxxxxxxx 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you so much Sarah. The body butter sounds soooo good and I can’t wait to make some.
        I think sock-knitting will be an excellent evening activity, after we’ve been to beaches, gardens, mountains, galleries, etc. And eaten proper Kiwi fish and chips on the beach 🙂
        Hope you have a wonderful day (it’s the boy child’s birthday here, so I’m excited and a bit crazy anyway). xxxx 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow – you have a lot going on! I love that little window and I agree the light in the back does look like the moon. I’ve never tried body butter, but it sounds like that combo is better than regular lotions. When my kids were babies and toddlers, we were always battling eczema. And those socks look so nice. My mom is a knitter and she made me a pair of argyle socks once. Wish I still had them!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for your lovely comment! The body butter really does wonders on dry skin, I think I will never go back to buying body lotion again! Oh, I love argyle socks! Will need to try making some of those next!
      Have a lovely day! 🙂

      Like

  5. I just love this post dear Sarah and that tip of body-cream…perfect! Fortunately, the last week of cold here in Germany and then Spring will arrive 🙂
    Wishing you a wonderful week, and sending a big hug, XxX

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What a productive month you had! I am entranced by that window …. it has the feel of Tim Burton’s animations to me. The mistletoe is something I am very used to …. I have never seen so much as I see in Cantal – trees that are more mistle than leaf are commonplace and I love them. The pie is a delight as are the pigs … little Piglng Bland is such a delight and I have The Berkshire Pig ready for framing when I make my next move 😉. Knitting and painting and photography and baking – what a recipe for a wonderful month and I wish you a March that begins to warm and lets the joy of Spring stream in through whatever windows you are looking xxxxxxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Fiona! How are you? Hope everything is tickets-boo? 😉
      I´m delighted that my picture reminded you of Tim Burton – he´s one of my heroes! Such a genius! Quite unique and unrivaled.
      I love mistletoe too! Sadly the things always grow so high up that you won´t be able to reach them even with a ladder. I really am in need of a druid 😉
      Wish you a wonderful day, a beautiful week and a splendid springy month to come and fill your heart with love and joy! Lots of love! xxxxxxxxxxxx

      Liked by 1 person

      • He is one of my idols – a passion shared with all my daughters. He lived very close to us in Oxfordshire with Helena when they were married. The house had previously been in her family and they bought it back. Occasionally we caught a glimpse and our week was made all the better! Mistletoe is definitely catchable in Cantal … sometimes it grows even on tiny trees meaning you don’t need a ladder at all! I am doing really well but so busy it is ridiculous. I have my second daughter who has returned from nearly 5 years in Malaysia staying with me. Let’s say it’s a question of keeping a butterfly still and focused on the next stage 😉 So much love to you, of course and I hope it isn’t too cold …. bitter here (all across France in fact) but I sense Spring brewing 😊 xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, how I would have loved to live next to those two and maybe get them even into talking about art etc.! She’s such an amazing actress and I think I drove my mum slightly crazy back when Beetlejuice came out because I watched it over and over again. 😉
        Did you see her performance in “Enid”?
        No wonder most Celtic druids hang around in France where it seems mistletoe is much easier to pick. 😉
        Oh wow! 5 years in Malaysia – and then she also arrived in winter here! That must be quite a change. It’s bitterly cold here, especially at night! Bbrrrr! ❄
        Have a wonderful evening with your daughter and keep warm! Love and hugs! Xxxxxxxxx

        Liked by 1 person

      • I did see ‘Enid’ …. stunning. I don’t think I have ever disliked anything she has done. She comes from a fascinating family and it shows! Beetlejuice is still one of my favourite ever films …. Yes, she picked a cold time to come back but is doing really well settling back into European ways. Hugs to you too and much love …. we are off to Marcolès in the morning which is going to be like a refridgerator so warm thoughts are gratefully received!!! xxxxxxxxx

        Liked by 1 person

      • I have a post that I should have finished weeks ago that I will publish next Monday …my excuse is that I need more photos of something specific there 😉 xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

        Liked by 1 person

  7. What a wonderfully varied post, Sarah. Were the little piggies going to market? The little window was lovely and as for that wool – a rainbow of colors. I use straight coconut oil on my skin but our climate is much less cold and more humid. Great recipe. K x

    Liked by 1 person

  8. What a post, Sarah. I can’t believe how much you got into one article. I had to renew my passport, too. A trip to the photographer, a trip to the Post Office (the easiest way here in America), wait a few months and I have my new one. It’s good for 7 years–hopefully will be my last!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Sarah, I love these roundup of the month posts and feel as if I’m tagging along with you. The window in the passport looks wonderful and full of magic. The knitted socks are delightful and the yarn is so bright and colourful. Beatrix Potter is one of my favourite children’s authors – though I often forget to name her. Your painting is lovely and full of life and chatter. Then the body cream!! This is incredible to me as I’ve never known anyone make their own cream – wow! I’m thoroughly impressed and so happy you’ve found a solution! Keep warm this coming week…the UK is bracing itself for this Arctic freeze too! hugs xxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Annika, thank you so much! It’s the 2nd post of this kind and I’m liking its round up quality every time more I think. It’s a wonderful way to notice how much one has accomplished to do during this time. And I’m so glad that Beatrix Potter is one of your favourites as well. 😉
      I would never have gone to all that trouble and make my own body butter if I had found a product to my liking! Though actually it’s not much of a trouble – the ingredients I’ve ordered will do for at least 4 batches all in all and the quality is priceless and incomparable. So much better than anything I’ve ever bought! Hugs! xxxxxxx

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Where shall I start? Looks like you are having a wonderful February! I will start with food(no surprise there), haha. Your sweet potato pie looks so delightful and delicious Sarah…I’m so tempted to make one! The body butter sounds amazing too and it’s so commendable that you made one by yourself…that is amazing!
    The tree with all its mistletoe makes for such a pretty picture….I’m sure Getafix would have been proud had you chopped some mistletoe off for him;)
    Hugs and much love:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Divya! Thanks so much for your lovely words! I was surprised myself how packed February seemed have to been, these kind of posts are really a nice thing to bring to mind all, or well, part of the things one has done in a month.
      And I bet your sweet potato pie would look infinitely more better than mine!! 😀
      And I knew when I wrote about it, that Getafix would catch your eye 😉
      Have a magical week and a beautiful March! Lots of love! xxxxx

      Liked by 1 person

  11. My, you have been busy this winter! Thanks for the body butter recipe – that’s handy to know! Patience waiting for it all to melt would be difficult for me but I’m up for the challenge 😉 I like the Beatrix Potter-inspired drawing too. I want to see the newly released “Peter Rabbit” movie! HUGS

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Thank you for the catch-up, Sarah! It’s certainly been quite a month!
    It’s wonderful that a potentially bleuch! visit to renew your passport was brightened with the discovery of that whimsical window! A good reminder that there are treasures to be discovered if only we took the time to look!

    That tree looks like it’s decorated with pompoms! It is so adorable!

    Hope your skin is feeling better with that creamy unctuous body butter! It does look good …

    Those are such teeny tiny knitting needles – and very fun coloured socks! Enjoy wearing them!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for your comment, Ju-Lyn! And your so right about the tiny treasures of beauty that can be discovered if we only take the time to look at them. 🙂
      And I love your description of the tree being decorated with pompons!! 😀 Go mistletoe! 😉
      The body butter really is sensational, especially in cold and dry weather. I assume that one wouldn’t need it at all where you´re living? What with the climate being warm and humid.
      I tell you – those tiny knitting needles are quite something! It really needs ages to get anything done with them (I´ve just finished the heel) and I can´t imagine that there are people out there knitting whole jumpers with that kind of needles!!! As big as my love for knitting is, that´s a territory I will be happy not to explore 😉

      Have a fantastic weekend, my friend! ❤

      Like

      • Ever since I started the photography course on WordPress, I am finding little things which I would never have seen before, so I am getting such a kick out of it!

        You’re right, it is so warm and humid here, deep moisturising isn’t a priority – in fact, it’s the opposite. We still need to moisturise, but with creams which are lighter and don’t linger. Any ideas?

        You are so funny! It would take ages to do a whole sweater!!! But the stitches are so fine and pretty …. hope you get to enjoy your socks soon!

        Liked by 1 person

  13. What a lovely ramble through the end of the season, Sarah. Thanks for the lotion recipe. I NEED that! I use coconut oil, but you’re right that it doesn’t quite do the trick. Love your photos of the world outside and that fascinating little window that looks like a magic portal into another world. Enjoy your knitting project and I hope the weather begins to warm for you. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Love this Sarah. what a great February! I shall look at the challenge and participate, but I haven’t really done that much over the last couple of months! Hope you are well and have a fab weekend as always 🙂 xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Gill! It´s a great challenge, and as Su (the host) says, there´s no obligation to participate each month. Just see what you come up with and pingback to her post. 🙂 Hope you´re well and wish you a wonderful weekend too! 🙂 xx

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Wow, I love everything about this post, Sarah. You have definitely been busy creating. The body butter sounds wonderful, your pie looks delicious, the knitting looks warm, and your painting is wonderful and adorable! Thanks for the pie recipe, too. I may just have to give it a try! 🙂 Have a lovely weekend! ❤🎂🥧😊

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to Iris@poetsmith Cancel reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s