Sunday, March 18, 2012

Spring Crafts on Acorn Pies

Spring is coming in Switzerland and it is time to do some spring crafts.  Some of them involve getting out in the woods, even though it is still chilly and there are only bits of green to be seen.  You can click on links to these crafts in the column to the right, or do a search if it is no longer spring on Acorn Pies.

Spring Printmaking
Make a Bow and Arrow
How to Make a Swedish Maypole
Make a Paper Boat
Make a Spring Skirt
Make a Comet Throw Toy

Get out in the puddles, the woods, the meadows and the playground, and have fun!  love, Beth

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Knitting Handpainted Yarns

 If you have been reading this blog for a while, you might remember the superwash merino wool yarns, some handspun, which my little boy and I hand painted.  It was so much fun, and safe enough for everyone to do, but when I created this yarn, I didn't know what I would knit with it.  There wasn't enough to make a sweater, and it didn't go with anything I had.

My mother gave me a beautiful turquoise ski jacket for my birthday this year, and as soon as I saw it, I realized that I had just the right yarn to use to make a hat to go with it!

 Now I am starting to browse the egg dye collections which they have here in Switzerland.  Spring is a great time to hand paint yarn because this is when the dyes are available, and soon it will be warm enough to work outside!  After Easter the prices on the dye packets will go down.  Stock up!  I would love to tell you how, but it's pretty improvisational!  Here is a link to my original posting about hand painted yarns....  Or just click on the title of this post.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Easter Crafts on Acorn Pies

Lent is here and it's time to do some spring crafts for Easter.  Look in the column to the right for links to:

Make a Little Willow Basket
Make a Mossy Felted Stone
Make a PomPom Bunny
Natural Egg Dyeing
An Easter Egg Decoration

More links to spring crafts will be coming soon.  May you have a blessed Easter Tide!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Winter in Switzerland

 Winter in Switzerland is snowy meadows, forests,

and villages.

Switzerland in winter is frost in your hair.

It's learning to snowshoe,

 and falling down sometimes.

It's unbelievably blue skies,

 skiing holidays,

 sledding on wooden sleds you can't steer,

 wearing hand knit hats,

 and walking somewhere which feels like the middle of the wilderness,

 even though it is just steps away from a restaurant.

 Switzerland winter is snow-covered chalets,

 throwing snowballs at your big brother,

 throwing snow boulders at your little brother,

 having a frosty drink from a fountain,

 snowy cobbles,

 and understanding why The Matterhorn is so special to the Swiss. 

 Winter in Switzerland is beautiful, and I love it.
Copyright 2012, Peg Howerton and Beth Curtin

Monday, March 5, 2012

A Chocolate Adventure!

 Oh, wonderful, wonderful day!!!!!  My mother and my son were visiting and I scheduled a chocolate workshop at the wonderful Durig's in Lausanne, my favorite chocolate shop!  My son is Nick Curtin, a chef.  Did you see him on Iron Chef this fall?  And my mother is the adorable Peggy.  Some new friends were also there.  I was so excited I was beside myself.  In this picture Nicholas, my friend Henriette, the amazing Swiss papercutter (more on her another day,) and I are all examining our plastic chocolate molds.  In front of us is a bowl of white chocolate, to be used to ornament our molds, with artist's brushes, before we add the dark or milk chocolate.  This is the first thing we did after putting on our aprons and washing our hands.

 In this picture Nicholas is adding dark chocolate to his cat mold, with the help of our teacher, Eric, the chocolate maker.  While our chocolate hardened in the refrigerator, Eric told us about how cacao is grown and processed.

 Durig's chocolate is bio and fair trade, incidentally, another reason to love their chocolate.

 These are some cacao seeds inside the cacao husks.

 In this picture my mother, Peggy, with the purple shirt, looks so excited.  She loves to learn, just like me.  Now I see where I get it!

 This is what the chocolate looks like when it arrives at Durig's.

 This is what some of it looks like after the chocolate makers have done their magic.  It is a beautiful shop and their chocolates taste amazing.
 I loved seeing some of the beautiful ingredients which they add to their chocolates, like these dried flowers.  We also got to smell the different types of vanilla and spices which they use.  The quality is superior.

 A second trip to the chocolate machine with the molds, a second cooling, and our chocolates were ready to unmold.  I think everyone was amazed that they had made such beautiful chocolates.  It's beautiful, Melissa!

 I was so proud I felt like I should be hired to help Durig's get ready for Easter.

Nicholas decided to give his chocolate cat to his girlfriend.  What fun!!!!!!  Amy, in the background with her husband Kurt, was celebrating her husband's birthday that day.

If you want to order some of Durig's delicious chocolates or sign up for an atelier, google