Showing posts from March, 2013

Happy Easter!

We went skiing this weekend, where we had a great time in the sun and somewhat slushy conditions. Hope you had a nice weekend too!

Nordic Niche has a new home

Big TACK (thanks) to Lone for allowing me to use extra office space at her home for Nordic Niche's new home.  I realized that I didn't have room for my stuff (let alone to breath) in my dining room and I had little idea what I had made, or planned to sell.  So, Lone to the rescue!  Now I had multiple bulletin boards, two dry erase boards, and space to store stuff!  An organized woman's dream come to true, am I right?  Here's Lone, my neighbor at our recent local "Multicultural evening" (she's Danish, I'm Swedish); and some pics from the event as well as a couple from the "new office".  It's so good to unpack my boxes and get to work.

Coffee in Sweden

Tittut! (Peek-a-bo in Swedish) A little owl from Skåne wants to brighten your day.  I was looking at The Local and read about an American cop living in Skåne in Sweden with his beautiful Swedish wife.  They are going to start a cafe in a converted pig barn near Kristianstad.  Love it!  The nature up there is phenomenal and I give them lots of credit for tacking this huge project.  Fika hos Lillan is the name of the cafe to be.  Good luck Ron and Jeanette!

Poppytalk and Easter

Hi, sharing my new favorite blog with you today.  Check out  Gorg hand crafted items that you can buy on etsy and other crafty online sites plus a great blog full of DIY ideas (that I don't have time to do, but can plan for in the future).  I was searching around for Easter DIY and found it.

Every year we dye eggs but I thought I'd try to do something a little different this year with decoupage perhaps or some patterns.  I typically make a funky looking forsythia tree that hubby likes to laugh at with hanging eggs and fluffy feathers.  It's a lovely Swedish tradition that ushers spring in even when it's minus 10 degrees Celsius outside, which according to my cousin Sanna it is right now in Southern Sweden. ( Ouch!  That's 14 degrees Fahrenheit).  Don't laugh though, Martha Stewart gets it too. See easter egg tree for a simple how-to.

Sewing is so time consuming

Hi everyone, sorry it's been awhile.  This Monday I completed a transfer project that I wanted to share with you using my new Fabricologie paper here.  I made pillows to donate to my son's school using a pattern I found here, easy pillow, and other places around the web and pinterest.  Pretty pleased with how they came out.  I like the transfers so much more than the plasticy ones I tried before, and the fabric I chose to place them on was special too.  I bought this rough woven fabric at the Boott Cotton Mill in Lowell, MA where believe or not they still make fabric using 8 of about 200 looms in this giant, noisy room.  We went there for a school trip and it was fascinating.  If you don't know much about the Industrial Revolution in America, well this is where it all started. The trolley was especially fun.  More information here, Lowell National Historical Park.  I'm going to make a trip back to pick up some more of the American made dishtowel fabric soon!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

The "dark side" of St. Patty's Day.  ;-)  Hope you have a fun weekend pretending that you're Irish if you're not.  We will.

Art is a microscope...

So excited I just received my new transfer paper.  I can paint and draw on this paper, and/or send it through the new inkjet printer I just bought (!) and then iron it on to a multitude of surfaces.  I'll mainly use it for fabrics, and the first project will be pillows for the Inn Street Montessori auction to be held on March 23rd.  Come on, come all! So, this weekend is set aside to play, and to sew.  Here's where I got the papers, transfer paper.  I am hoping to use it as a way to layer art.  I love that look, and I played around a little with it when I took a wonderful printing class at Massachusetts College of Art.  I still have some nice monotypes that I hope to be able to transfer images onto such as photos and prints using my new purchase.  We'll see how it goes!  Pictures to follow.

"Art is a microscope which the artist fixes on the secrets of his soul and shows to other people these secrets which are common to all."  - Leo Tolstoy

My latest work using tran…

IKEA scandal in Europe

There's something fishy going on at IKEA, or should I say "horsey"?  Now I know horse is considered food in many cultures, and I'm not getting on my high horse (sorry I couldn't resist) but it is not in my house!!  Just so wrong to sneak it into Swedish meatballs with the consumer, or even the seller, knowing.  If you believe the news not even IKEA knew what they were getting.  How about checking?  Gross!  Again, here's the take away to me - if it seems too cheap to be true there is a reason for that.  Yes selling en masse cuts prices, but it also cuts costs.  Don't think that substitutions aren't made, they are, and do you want that for your food?  A bookcase is one thing (Billy I love you) but food is another.  
I make my meatballs by hand (best Swedish meatball recipe below, ever!) and while there is cow and pig in there I can guarantee there's not a horse atom in sight.  Marcus-Samuelsson-Swedish-Meatballs Not that I've checked or anythin…

First outfit post eva' for MPG

Thanks Mindi for providing me with the inspiration to post my first outfit post ever!  Mindi asked me to help out at her super-awesome, highly-hip interior design/architecture firm which enticed to try to assemble an outfit rather than pulling on my nicely worn 501's.  OK, please don't laugh, but I really don't ever get the chance to do this in my other work, so I thought it was worth it. (And this even though she told me she works in casual attire).  Well my outfit may not be up to snuff (hey, I warned you in my last post about fashion) but the job will be.  I am excited to help out however I can and looking forward to learning a lot.  Check out MPG home design and you'll see what I mean about my gorgeous, creative and very fashionable friend.  Thanks Mindi, you inspire me!

Modern day kurbits

from The kurbits is an invented, fantastical symbol of vegetal fertility based on a gourd or pumpkin of biblical legend, principally used for ornamentation in Swedish folk art and on painted furniture and domestic objects. Very popular between 1720 and 1870, particularly in Dalarna and southern Norrland, the paintings and murals have mostly biblical motifs, such as "The Triumphant Entrance of The Queens of Sheba to Jerusalem", and the people and buildings depicted are as locally fashionable at the time of painting. They were done by itinerant painters, mainly from Dalarna, who specialized in the style and whose signatures are to be found in many localities.Today it is still used for decorating tourist memorabilia from Dalarna.

You won Melodifestival!

Well OK, maybe not you but Robin Stjernberg did with his song "You" beating the cross dressing Yohio by 30 points today, winning 166 to 133 at the Swedish Melodi festival final.  Yohio does something called Visual Kei, a subset of Japanese rock where they wear androgenous clothing.  (David Bowie inspired?)  Yohio looks full out like a girl but plays guitar like Jimi Hendrix so although technically Robin won with "You", I think we'll hear more from Yohio in the future.  Check out this link for the whole scoop and music videos from the two singers.  You go!
Swedish melodifestival winner

gunpowder and women

"Med krut och kvinnor ska man umgås varsamt." - Danish saying. It means something like "One should be extra cautious with gunpowder and women." Just thought it was funny.  Have a Happy International Women's Day!  We can do it all.

Rosa Ljung: mid-century sculptress

Today's item from my blossoming "Nordic Niche" collection is this very cool vase.  It was designed by Rosa Ljung, who lived and worked in Helsingborg, Sweden.  She was born January 28, 1917 and worked at Torekovs Keramik AB, and Deco in Helsingbord from 1967-1973.  Her work is highly admired and collected in Sweden.  She died in 1983. I've taken a picture of it in use next to my much beloved copy of D'Aulaire's "Norse Gods and Giants" because the figurine's head reminds me of Freya, the Norse goddess of love and fertility. Here's another picture below. Jonathan Adler (born 1966 in NJ, USA) has something similar on his table in the book "The Iconic Interior: Private Spaces of Leading Artists, Architects and Designers" by Dominic Bradbury.  Turns out he's a trained ceramist and that the pieces which look like two heads on the table (see below) are his design. (I did not know that.)  He does make beautiful things. http://www.jona…

more mead!

I had such an interesting weekend meeting Medieval swordsmen, checking out studio spaces and houses, and playing "fishy, fishy cross my ocean!"  I definitely have a mile wide curious streak - to me there's nothing better than learning something new, meeting weird people or poking around other people's places.  Hubby and I are researching the housing stock in our local town to see if we can get more space to stretch out.  So fun to see how folks decorate and design their homes!  I also am trying to find a space for my business, Nordic Niche.  There's a range of choices everything from a real retail store to working from home with variations in-between such as consignment space, art gallery with split, studio with small retail space, and even a big old open mill with broads-men in the basement (sword fighting school.)  Oh the Viking in me loved that one!  Speaking of which, turns out they sell mead in Londonderry, NH.  I am intrigued.  Skål!


So I, like many women I know, love fashion.  What does that actually mean these days in the time of motherhood, frugality and teaching?  Well it basically means that I love fashion on the inside, but that it doesn't very often show on the outside.  I like looking good but often if I match my socks, and my clothes are clean, I find that I'm doing good.
That said there are some things that I do on a pretty regular basis: cleaning out my closet (helpful link here; vintage shopping; and sometimes even sewing.  (tulip skirt tutorial to follow.)  I've been trying to develop a cool style but unfortunately for me my favorite store is in Sweden.   See Lindex where the clothes are cute, fit me well and have nice bi-annual sales.  Come to America please Lindex!
Would I like to have a body that looks good in anything that I throw on?  Yes!  Or  boatload of money so that I could buy fab fashions right off the runway?  Y…