Showing posts from May, 2013

Musings and Bäste Mormor

Thinking about things lead me down a crookedy memory path... I was working on this runner (lace doilies sewn together) and thinking about some of my favorite things which include doilies, lacy women's handiwork, under appreciated by many but if you look closely, you see the incredible work and care that went into making them.  I appreciate that.  I have many of these handmade items in my little Nordic Niche spot at a local store, we'll call it "the No-Name".
The No-Name is a group store, filled to the brim with memorabilia, and inexpensive tchotchkes.  I have a little bookcase with my Nordic treasures because that's the only space they have at the moment.  The women there are very nice and creative - the shoppers enjoy listening to golden oldies as they look for bargains - the system uses paper and pen, so in some ways it's the easiest way to enter the wonderful world of retail.  The problem is that I don't really want to offer bargains.  I love my little…

My future is coming on...

I don't know what this says about me but I'm really digging this track by Gorillaz called "Clint Eastwood".  It makes me think of a hazy, metaphorical circus with weird going-ons and dust balls flying by - sort of a doomsday prophecy in a desert landscape. (That's not really what they were thinking though, take a look at the YouTube video.)  Very strange and interesting.  Kind of like a dream I had recently where I had painted a painting of the apocalypse (!?) "what everyone is thinking about these days," I said in my dream. ( FYI, I am actually painting a series of spring flowers and flowering trees.)

And here's some more  information on the band from Wikipedia, "Gorillaz are an English musical and visual project created in 1998 by Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett. The project consists of Gorillaz itself and an extensive fictional universe depicting a "virtual band" of cartoon characters."   I'm going to put this on my Spotif…

Miss Organized c'est moi

Noreen, the appraiser, gave us a wonderful compliment a couple of days ago. She said " you win the most organized couple award".  HH (hubby) wanted to take full credit, but no, she did say both of us, and I truly deserve this moniker after spending all weekend cleaning, sorting, purging, packing, etc.  I cleared out my closet of all winter clothes, coats and boots leaving room for summer clothes and shoes.  It feels good to have everything organized.  Today I awarded myself by heading to "The Container Store", the mecca of organizing tools and tricks, and I left with a new piece of luggage for our trip to Sweden, a trash container, and an entry form to their trip to Cook Islands.  I have the luggage, the bathing suit, and the travel companion - let's go!
p.s. BTW, good tips on de-cluttering can be found here,

coconut cake

How is it that some people just seem to have a knack of making their baked goods look absolutely delicious?  Now having been in the advertising business I understand that food stylists have all kinds of tricks up their sleeves, and I wouldn't trust a bite of their beautiful dishes suspecting that they might taste like sawdust or something, but just average people.... I mean just look at this woman's cake,  She lives in Austria so I can't actually read her post but the pictures are making me drool.  Now look at my cake,
So I fell in love with a gorgeous recipe in "House Beautiful" (yes, the picture won me over) but how come my cake looks so frumpy and lopsided?  It must be genetic.  I remember my Swedish mother making American birthday cake for me and piling frosting into the fallen in hole in the middle.  Not that we kids minded of course.  ;-)  Well my cake may not as great but it taste…

Eurovision 2013 is tomorrow!

For those of you in the US who aren't familiar with Eurovision Music Festival that takes place this Saturday in Malmö here's a fun little intro by "Overthinking It" that I found on YouTube.  Check it out, it's very funny!

I loved watching Melodifestival (as it's called in Sweden) last year.  We were at a friend's house clustered around one of two television sets (it was an American family's home, natch) :-)  We all ate snacks, drank, and discussed the relative merits of the various acts - music, clothing, make-up, dance routines, etc. - it could get pretty catty at times.  Why do I love it?  Well like he says in the video, it's sometimes just so bizarre and individualized and fun.

This year Zlata Ognevich from the Ukraine is carried on stage by a giant dressed like a Valkyrian.  OK, the song is good, she's beautiful, and this idea is outrageous.  She's got my vote!  See how it works? You root for the home team, but everything is up for g…

Swedish genes

Are you an American of Swedish descent? If so how much do you know about your ancestors, such as where they are from, the customs, their names and language?  If you are similar to many Swedish Americans that I've spoken to then answer is not much.  This is sad I think and it makes me wonder why.  American Italians for example seem to keep their culture alive, Irish Americans know which village their family came from, but the Swedes often don't know.  I speculate that the Swedes decided that in the new land that they would try not to stick out.  Good old "lagom" (lagom description) crept in and although they couldn't keep the accents from their English I imagine that they wished it for their children   Also I suppose that life in the old country where they were starving was not something that they wished to reminisce upon. One man I talked to said that his grandfather refused to talk about his childhood near Umeå but let slip that he had lived with Samer (formerl…


Hej, wow what a weekend.  Still trying to catch up after all the dancing, drinking, Mother's Day-ing fun etc.  So forgive me please if I haven't posted in a while.  I have been gathering Swedish bits n' pieces from various media sources, such as the Abba museum opened in Stockholm!  ABBA Museum in USA Today

Also H+M has a new Conscious Exclusive line that I'm dying to see and try on.  The clothes are made from organic materials, recycled fabrics and new silk alternatives.  Didn't you know that H+M is Swedish?  Well, they are - formerly known as "Hennes & Mauritz" - it was always the place to get trendy designs.  Now it's a provider of elegant red carpet wear for people on a budget.  Guess I need to go, buy me some fun dresses, and keep hitting the town!

Happy May!

I can no longer say "Happy May Day" obviously, so a "Belated Happy May Day" to you all!  We had the best time strolling the streets of our little town with Master Luke's school, wishing people a good day and enjoying the sunshine.  Such a nice tradition!  Then the preschoolers joined the upper grades for songs and flowers in the beautiful park.  The simplest traditions are the best aren't they?  Just glad that I was there to help get flowers and join in on the fun.  Missed the "Sköna Maj" song though this year.  See this video if you'd like to hear it. The CD that my mother gave me didn't work so I had to sing it to myself while working on my mead.  Yes, mead, you didn't hear wrong.  I learned that this is a Swedish tradition for Valborgsmassoafton (the last day of April, see my other post for more info) so I had to try it out for myself.  The ladies and I are indulging tomorrow at a party at my fab friend's house.  I'll let y…

industrial chic in Sweden

Good morning.  I found this" loverly" site, and with due credit, wanted to share some industrial chic photos from Sweden with you,

Swedes are well know for their love of white and peaceful settings without too much clutter, but you may not have know that cement is a big trend over there.  People are making many of their own planters, bowls etc. to use inside and out. (See Panduro, Swedish largest hobby store, in English Panduro Hobby in UK for more hobby ideas.)  It's cool to see the use of concrete on these stairs:
And in this bathroom:
Miss Design, I'm loving your style and hope you don't mind me sharing with the States.  There is something so rustic and soothing about the cool colors, and use of the natural ingredients.  It makes me want to try out concrete and make something of our own.  Bird bath anyone?  :-)  Have a lovely weekend!