New Collection: Natural Linen Hardcover Notebooks



I'm so excited to show you my new mini-collection of notebooks! During summer I taught myself to make hardcover notebooks using fabric for Kliffa's new collection. I really enjoyed the process and was happy with the result so I couldn't wait to try using fabric for the notebooks in my own shop. So I went on a hunt for fabrics both in thrift shops and fabric stores and totally fell in love with all the natural linen basics. The soft feel, calm colors and defined texture of linen has inspired this new collection of books I made.



I call it a mini-collection because there are four color options available at the moment. Three of those four fabrics are thrifted, so the notebooks will be available in limited quantities. On the other hand, I am planning to expand the collection with more color options. If you have been following my work for a while, you might have noticed that I like my creations to be as friendly to the environment as possible, so I am all about recycled and repurposed materials. This means the collection will be expanding as I hunt for more natural linen beauties in the thrift store land.



You can find more information about the notebooks and purchase them in my Etsy shop. They are available with blank pages made of 100% recycled paper. To open a little secret, I am working on other page designs to be added in future, which might include lined pages as well as weekly planners for the next year ;) But more on that later.





Recipe: Buckwheat and Veggies

buckwheat and veggies recipe

Since childhood I didn't really like buckwheat. To be honest, I hated it. It is very popular in Russia, where I grew up, and all parents know it is very healthy. So my mom always tried to convince me to eat it, but didn't succeed much in it. When I moved away I kind of forgot about it, because it is not so popular here in Finland and I've never seen it served in places like university cafeterias. Until I moved in with my boyfriend at that time (now my husband). He loves buckwheat. But I couldn't even stand the smell of it, so he ate it when I was away.

And then I found out about raw buckwheat! I just saw it in a local health store and decided to buy it for my husband to try. The buckwheat I've seen before was brown and this one looked very light and greenish. I brought it home and thought, what if I give it a try? It may taste different than the brown one. And it did! I absolutely loved it.

buckwheat and veggies recipe

I already knew that buckwheat was supposed to be super healthy, but once I started eating it I also wanted to find out more about its health benefits. Apparently, the brown buckwheat I was used to is toasted while the green one is raw. If you want to know more about the difference, you can read this post. In addition, buckwheat is a protein-rich whole grain and is gluten free even though part of its name is "wheat". It has nothing to do with wheat actually, in fact is it a fruit seed, not a cereal. It also contains essential vitamins and minerals, such as B vitamins, folic acid, copper and zinc. Sounds amazing, I'm so happy I can finally eat it!

I have come up with this recipe after trying a similar combination with quinoa, that my friend made. I thought it must work with buckwheat too. I love it cause it is easy and fast to make, so I often have it for lunch, when I eat by myself and don't want to take too much time off work during day time.

buckwheat and veggies recipe



Buckwheat and Veggies (serves 2)

1 dl raw (green) buckwheat
3.5 dl water
1 zucchini
1/2 eggplant
1 large tomato
2 tablespoons coconut oil (or olive oil)
1-2 garlic cloves, crushed
sea salt, white and black pepper to taste
herbs de provence spice mix
flax and pumpkin seeds

1. Wash your buckwheat groats with cold water. Place in a small pot and add 3.5 dl of water. Bring to boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes (mixing from time to time) or until all of the water is absorbed.
2. Chop eggplant and zucchini into large pieces and tomato into smaller pieces.
3. Heat 2 tablespoons of coconut (or olive) oil on a large saucepan. Add garlic and pepper and fry for about 1 minute or until the garlic turns yellow.
4. Add eggplant, mix with garlic and pepper and add a little bit of water, so the spices don't burn. Close the lid and simmer for 1 minute.
5. Add zucchini and a bit more water if needed. Close the lid and simmer for 5 minutes, mixing every once in a while.
6. Add the tomato, herbs de provence spice mix and salt to taste. Mix, close the lid and simmer for 5 more minutes.
7. Turn off the heat and keep on the stove until ready. Add more salt and pepper if needed.
8. Mix in the buckwheat or serve separately. Sprinkle with flax and pumpkin seeds.




Sometimes when I am in a hurry I do a lazy version of this recipe: just throw the veggies into the same pot with buckwheat after it has been simmering for ten minutes. That way I don't have to use (and wash) the saucepan. It works quite well too, you just need to mix it much more and probably add some more water into the mix. But I think the recipe above lets the taste of the veggies come out much better.

Also, feel free to adjust the times you cook the veggies. If you like them super soft, cook them for longer time. If you want them a bit crunchy, reduce the cooking time. I like my eggplant soft and zucchinis a bit crunchy, that it why I add eggplant first.

What do you think about buckwheat? Do you eat it often? Have you given raw buckwheat a try?

I hope you enjoy this recipe! Let me know how you like it!

Free Printable: Tribal Postcards



Today I'd like to share something I made especially for you! It's a set of post cards that you can download for yourself to print and post to your friends and pen pals. I designed this pattern quite a while ago, but this time I decided to freshen it up with the colors I was inspired by today. You can print them two sided with the postcard back, or, if you don't have heavy paper, you can skip the back side and print them on standard paper to use for making cute notes or as cheat cards for your next presentation. You can find the instructions on how to print them with the download links below.



INSTRUCTIONS

1. Download the PDFs: HERE for the colorful cards and HERE for the black and white ones
2. Print them out, two-sided, scaled to 100%, on heavy paper or card stock
3. Cut the cards out along the trim marks (you can connect the trim marks with a ruler and a pencil if you are cutting with scissors)
4. Write something super sweet on the back and post them to your friends!



Don't forget to show me how you use them, I'd love to see your results. Share the links to your blog posts in the comments or tag your instagram pictures with #paperplanestationery.

NOTE: Feel free to use my PDFs for any kind of personal projects. Please, do not modify the files and do not sell your print outs. Thank you!

Lately on Instagram



It's been a while since I posted my last Instagram round up. It has been ignored a bit during my busy summer time. Recently I've gotten back onto taking pictures of my everyday life and I am happy to share these bits with you again. The picture above shows the coast area that is very close to our neighborhood. We are lucky to be living so close to the sea now. I love taking walks and bike rides along the coast (and snapping pictures of boats), especially on nice sunny days.



1. My cat and I love the view from the windows in our apartment. Looks like we live in a forest when actually there is a really busy road right behind those trees.
2. Here is the road I mentioned. Can you guess which of these houses is the one we live in?
3. A tiny notebook in the making.
4. One of the notebooks I made for Kliffa Fashion.
5. Collections.
6. A glimpse at my process of making another Kliffa notebook.
7. Pretty excited about the minimalistic look of this new pattern for Paper Plane Stationery.
8. Some more notebooks for Kliffa Fashion (yes, that's what I spent most of my time doing last month).
9. Have been especially inspired with natural linen fabrics, so a new mini-collection of hard-cover notebooks is coming in the shop soon!

FOLLOW ME ON INSTAGRAM

Smoothie of the Month: Green Smoothie

green smoothie recipe

September has started and it's time for another smoothie recipe! This has truly been a smoothie of the past month for me, as I have been drinking green smoothies almost every morning. And that's what I'm planning to do all the time now! It feels so good to start a day with a glass full of freshness, vitamins and energy. It's also been an easy way for me to make consuming greens and veggies a habit. I try to eat fresh salads every day, but I often skip it, as sometimes our meals are pretty full of other things. Now I can be sure I consume a bunch of greens as well as some fresh fruit every day. Somehow it even makes me more motivated have some salad later during the day.

There are loads of recipes for green smoothies out there. If you like trying out different combinations I totally recommend you following @simplegreensmoothies on instagram, they share new recipes every day. As for me, I like my smoothie very green. I love when it "tastes green". Sometimes I just mix all the green veggies and fruit I can find in the fridge. But this is my classic go-to recipe. I also added a couple of options of what you can add to mix up the taste if you are not a big fan of greens. But I promise you, even if you find the taste of greens weird in your smoothie at first, you'll get used to it very fast and you'll love it!

green smoothie ingredients



Green Smoothie (serves two):

1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or any other non-dairy milk)
1/2 cup cucumber
1 green apple (Granny Smith)
handful of spinach
handful of kale
2 teaspoons chia seeds
2 teaspoons maple syrup

Optional:
1/2 avocado (for extra calories)
or
couple slices of mango or pineapple, fresh or canned (for a more fruity taste)

Mix chia seeds with a little bit of water. Let them soak while you are preparing the rest of the ingredients (at least for 5 minutes), mixing from time to time with a spoon. Place the rest of the ingredients into a blender. Add soaked chia seeds and mix until smooth. Pour into a glass, sprinkle with chia and flax seeds and enjoy!




Have you been making green smoothies? I want to know your favorite combinations!

Make Your Own Yarn from Old T-shirts



I love to crochet! It is so meditative and relaxing. Plus if you crochet while watching one of your guilty pleasure TV shows you don't feel as guilty, cause you're creating something at the same time. For me it's been online classes rather than TV shows lately, but you get the idea :)

Recently I've been really into crocheting with chunky yarns. I love it when you can see the stitch detail so well in the finished products. And I love to hold a huge solid crochet hook in my hand, it really makes me feel I'm working on something large and important. Crocheting with chunky yarn is also much faster than with regular yarns. Of course, I enjoy the process, but I also love to see the finished product in just a couple of hours!



If you are a knitter or crocheter you know what I'm talking about when I say this hobby is pricey. Yarns can get quite expensive, especially when made of natural and organic materials. And chunky types of yarn are often even more expensive than regular ones. So I found a way to make amazing chunky yarns myself and repurpose something old at the same time! I'll show you how. It's super easy!


MATERIALS

For this project you will need old t-shirts and it is important to choose the ones that don't have any seams on the sides. It is also good if they have no printed design or just a small one that occupies the top part of the t-shirt. I used a couple of my husband's old tees and bought a couple on a flee market. When you have a choice, grab the ones of larger sizes, you'll get more yarn from them. I got some XXL tees from the flee market and got larger yarn balls from them than from my skinny husband's old t-shirts.


INSTRUCTIONS



1. Cut the hem off from the bottom of the t-shirt.

2&3. Start cutting around the bottom keeping 1 - 1.5 cm (around 1/2 inch) from the edge. Don't worry if you don't cut perfectly straight, your cut won't be seen after you do the next step. Try to keep the width approximately same along the way, so your "yarn" will the the same thickness throughout.

4. You can do this step after you finish cutting, but I prefer to do it as I go. Stretch the "yarn" with your hands until it curls in. This step lets it look more like yarn rather than a ribbon, plus it adds length.

5. Cut off when you reach a sleeve (or printed design if there's one on your t-shirt).

6. Roll your yarn into a ball and you're done! Get you hook or needles out!


I hope you will try this out and I'd love to see your results!


Etsy Finds: Vegan Leather




I don't use real leather. But I love the look of leather bags and shoes. So I am always searching for places that sell sustainable vegan leather products. It's a difficult process, because most common places sell real leather and if they have some faux leather options it's usually cheap plastic stuff, which is not very good for the planet either. So for the shoes I found several companies online that specialize only on sustainable vegan leather. And for the pretty bags I like to shop the handmade world. Well, to be honest, I mostly shop flea markets for bags and clothing, but occasionally I like to treat myself with handmade goodies. So I created this small collection for you with my picks from some of my favorite shops on Etsy that use vegan leather. Hope you enjoy! And let me know your favorite places to shop for vegan leather goodies!



1. Wristlet clutch from Razolly
2. Vegan leather tote from Pitti Vintage
3. Fringe crossbody bag from Milk and Honey
4. Three color crossbody bag from Moje
5. Metallic foldover clutch from Corals and Nuts

UK Tour Photos



It's been a while since we came back from the UK, but I promised to share the photos with you, so here you go! Since we were on tour with our music project (its a duo, just me and my husband) we tried to pack as light as possible. We have to carry all our music equipment with us, which is quite heavy, so I usually don't take my camera on trips like that. Luckily my iPhone is not as big as my DSLR and it's pretty good for taking pictures.



We loved our trip even though we didn't get to see as much of the cities as we could have if we just went on a vacation. First we came to London and spent couple of days there. We left with a feeling that we definitely want to come back and spend more time there. It is a huge city and there is so much to see and we had time only for a small part of it. We stayed in Nunhead, a really nice little area of London with cute houses and lots of old cars.



On our first day in London we saw all the basic places you have to see when you go there. On the second day we got to shop for the stuff we love. So here's a photo of me chilling in the park with a bag full of new records and a new issue of Kinfolk magazine. Oh, and my husband finally met a dog he kinda likes (he doesn't like dogs most of the time). The dog lived in the house where we stayed and he was the sweetest!



After London we went to York. Really liked that cute old town with its red brick buildings. It was full of yellow bikes at the time we went there, because they were preparing to host Tour de France. The bikes were everywhere: on the streets, in the shop windows. They even hung a couple on the walls of a cathedral.



I even got to stop by Cath Kidston store and drool over all their pretty bags, fabrics and dishes. After York we went to Preston and Birmingham, but I didn't get to snap any pictures there, cause we didn't walk around much.



The last stop before heading back to London was Lincoln. That place was our favorite! The town is super cute and we played the best show there. The place we played at was amazing and the people there were the sweetest!

Hope you enjoyed these little snapshots from our trip!

10 Random Facts About Me



I was rewriting my About page and thought it might be fun to share 10 random facts about me with you. I know, it's a bit cliché, but to be honest I love reading posts like that about my favorite bloggers. When I read those lists about other people I always think that there are so many things that are interesting, unique, fun and weird about them and I'm so boring I'd never come up with all those things that are special about me. But once I started writing all those stories popped into my head. I was surprised to remember all this. So here you go!


10 RANDOM FACTS ABOUT ME

1. I’ve been living in Finland for 9 years and I still can’t speak the language properly. I understand a lot, but I can’t say much. I am very embarrassed of this fact. But it’s a really hard language!

2. No one believes I’m Russian when they see me.

3. I am vegan. For ethical reasons, but I’m also convinced that it’s a very healthy diet.

4. I love to ride my bicycle. During the summer I use it instead of public transport. Oh, and I don’t like cars!

5. I am neither a dog nor a cat person, I love all pets. But my husband is definitely a cat person. He hates dogs. So we have a cat. I love her, but I still want a dog so bad!

6. I don’t like coffee and I can’t live without green tea.

7. I love cooking, but for some reason I don’t cook very often. My husband cooks most of the time and he is really good at it!

8. I met my husband in a band. We both played in the same band, but we haven’t really talked for a year or two, cause we both are very shy people and we kinda liked each other. But since we started talking we’ve been together all the time.

9. Unlike any other woman I know I am trying to gain weight rather than lose weight. Don’t worry, I don’t suffer from an eating disorder. I’ve just always been underweight no matter what (and how much) I eat.

10. I am a city girl, but there are days when I dream about living in a small wooden house in a forest near a lake with a huge garden full of flowers and veggies.


Now it's your turn! I want to know fun facts about you! Please, share links to your posts or write your stories in the comments!


Smoothie of the Month: Mango & Ginger



So I was thinking what are the things I really like that have never been shared on my blog? One of the first things that came to my mind was food. I've never shared any recipes here even though I love to cook (sometimes)! And one of the things I'm crazy about is smoothies. They are so easy to make and the combinations are endless! The way I usually make them is basically throwing whatever fruits and veggies we have at home that I think might go together into the blender. Recently I've been trying to pick some favorite combinations and try to remember them so I can repeat some of the best smoothies I end up making. So I thought it would be fun to share some of those smoothie recipes with you guys in this new blog series.

Mango and ginger is one of my favorite combinations I've tried so far. It is unbelievably delicious! Here is a really simple recipe with a small amount of quite basic ingredients. But if you are as crazy about ginger as I am I promise you'll love it!





Mango Ginger Smoothie (serves two):

2 bananas
1 dl orange juice
1 fresh orange (or 1 more dl of orange juice)
2 cm ginger root
2 dl mango purée


Peel bananas and orange. Keep two slices of orange for decoration. Mix everything in a blender. Pour into glasses and decorate with slices of orange.



One thing about living Finland, is that it is sometimes hard to find good ripe fruit in the shops. Apples, pears and oranges are quite good, but once you need something more "exotic" like mangoes, it gets really hard to find the one that actually tastes good. So for my smoothies I usually use mango purée for a richer mango taste. If you live in a country where mangoes are delicious, go ahead and substitute the purée with a fresh mango!

I also encourage you to experiment with the amount of ginger you put in your smoothie. I have an average amount in the recipe (about 2 cm), but sometimes I like it more spicy and other times more soft.

I hope you try this recipe! Are you a fan of smoothies too? I'd love to know your favorite combinations!