Showing posts from June, 2013

Svenskt Tenn

So, I keep reading and hearing about Svenskt Tenn (more here Svenskt Tenn) and lucky me turns out that there is an exhibit at Katrineholm going on now!  Will head in there next week too -- file it under another "gotta see"-
In advance of the exhibit I am trying to learn a little more -- Estrid Ericson (1894 - 1981) started the boutique "Svenskt Tenn" in Stockholm in 1924 and 10 years later recruited Josef Frank (1885 - 1967) as designer when he left Austria during World War II and moved to Sweden.  Estrid and Josef Frank worked together until his death, and shared a similar esthetic and ideas about design.  He was perhaps most well-known for his exciting fabrics (again with the textiles huh?) and here are a few: Josef Frank was a visiting professor at the NewSchool for Social Research in New York from 1941-1946. Field manuals and botanical dictionaries that he purchased during his stay inspired many of the patterns he designed during that period. Windows is comprise…

Öppna Landskap by Ulf Lundell

This song moves me to tears.  It's by Ulf Lundell, and is considered the unofficial national anthem of Sweden.  He sings, " I feel most at home in open landscapes, I wish to live close to the sea."* The quality of the live video above isn't the best (taken at Skansen in 2009), but if you like the song, please try this link on YouTube for another listen, beautiful pictures of the countryside (sunny, unlike today) and a good translation: Öppna Landskap Song and Translation
* OK, so I'm not a professional translator, but that's basically it :-)

the love of textiles

There's an interesting exhibit at Malmö Form and Design Center - a must-see place for anyone in Malmö, Sweden.  First of all because of its in a gorgeous old 16th century house and courtyard located in the center of town near great shopping, restaurants, bars and more; secondly due to the amazing range of interesting exhibits that always give me something to think about; and last but not least, oh no not least at all!... consistently good coffee and fika bröd (a little yummy nosh to go with).  Oh, and it's free. Gotta like that. ;-) Check out  They get about 200,000 visitors annually and it's a great place to see what's happening in Scandinavian design.  One of the current exhibits sounds cool, 'loves' in textile.  I'll see it soon and let you know! If I can, I'll also drag the kids to this exhibit, this time in an old castle with a moat and everything at Malmö Museum, called "Mode utan midje" (fash…

Midsummer Myths

This is the thing about Midsummer -- the days are long and it lasts.  I wrote about the Midsummer Day celebration in Skanör yesterday.  Today I found this in the local Metro and thought it was too good not to share.  I will do my best to translate.  It's about the ways to find your true love on the mythical summer solstice, so stash it away for next year in case you didn't get lucky this year.  I hope that you are able to use at least one of these tips! This is the link for you Swedish-speakers out there find love Midummers eve (in Swedish).
Put 7 types of flowers under your pillow and dream about your future spouse.  Or give someone else the job so you have time to mingle with more interesting prospects.Eat a salted herring end first, and go to sleep without drinking water.  The person who offers you water in your dream will be your future spouse.  Can work just as well with salty licorice.Jump over 7 gates and you'll meet your partner-to-be.  Try to avoid the countryside…

Happy Midsummer!

Writing this in beautiful Sweden where the night is still light at 11:00 pm, and the sound of revelry lies faintly on the strong summer breeze.  We went to a traditional Swedish Midsommar celebration with dancing around the may pole, and band of 4 playing accordians and fiddles to picnicers in the grass today. Master L. felt too grown-up to dance, but I was happy to have his 8 year old sister's hand to hold onto and swing to the traditional music.  Here's a link to an article I really enjoyed about one person's memories of a Swedish Midsummer written by Danielle Pergament in the New York Times travel edition on May 10th.  She does a lovely job of explaining how we celebrate this special holiday, A Midsummer's Day Dream in Sweden.
But for those of you who can't make it to Sweden here's a list of some festivals back home in the States.  The featured one is in Gerry NY, and it is in July so you haven't missed it! Swedish festival.

One day later: I'm addi…

Living la Vida Lagom - Report Card

Well school is winding down, the kids are getting their report cards so I figure it's time for mine.  So how am I doing "living la vida lagom"? ("Lagom" means "just right" in Swedish, with a a little spice.)  Let's start with the positives shall we?
Got a part-time job doing something I love (thank you Mindi)Volunteered at school (the incredible Inn Street)Learned a lot about starting my own business "Nordic Niche" (free at Enterprise Center)Created an office space for said business (you're the best Lone!)Blogged my heart out on all things silly and Swedish (amazingly readers, it's growing!) Now for the negatives:
I didn't live "lagom", I lived "American" - rushing, hurrying, busy, getting stuff doneFell off the exercise wagon because I overdid it and hurt my kneeDidn't actually make any money with new business idea ... not sure where to go with this Have readers but not sure that they like my post, do y…

Swedish Mora Clock and more

So into this look now:  Swedish vintage, romantic, white, pretty, etc.  Do you like it?  The killer is the Mora Clock.  Made originally in Dalarna these timepieces can go for thousands of dollars, but the care that went into creating them, and the craftmanship makes it all worthwhile.

Take a look at this one, on auction now at Bukowski's Market.  I'm going to get myself in trouble if I spend too much time on that site.  :-)  And for the handy more mora here.  For more information on the real deal check this out here, it was a cottage industry laid to rest - synd.  (too bad)

Here's some nice picture to put you in a happy weekend state of mind from a Swedish blog that I like by Creations by Lis.  This store is on my list of go-sees in Sweden.  It's in Helsingborg.  Let me know how you like it, maybe I'll get some nice shabby chic things for the States.  Happy Friday!

Arrr! Vikings party too

I'm going to Scandinavia soon, and I'm looking into all the wonderful things I'd like to do while I am there. Of course being of Swedish descent, I always try to fit in something Viking-related with the kids.  We're not heading over Iceland this weekend, otherwise this might be just the ticket (hey, you had me at "Hafnarfjordur", what a great name!)

Iceland's Viking Festival takes place inmid-June every yearand is 6 days in length, no matter what theweather in Icelandmay be.  For an exact event schedule of the Viking Festival in Hafnarfjordur, check out Hafnarfjörður 6/14 - 17.  It's held just south of Reykavik at a Viking village, here

Some good reading before heading over might include this site, Viking Myths, which talks about the myths and misconceptions about Vikings.  Did you know for example, that "Viking" was used as a verb, not a noun? The "Viking Myths Norse Mythology" site says that:

"Viking is not something you are, b…

Wedding bells for Princess Madeleine of Sweden

Princess Madeleine of Sweden married her eh-hem, not prince, but Anglo-American financier Chris O'Neill today in a beautiful ceremony, and it's killing me that I couldn't watch it live!  The svtplay link wasn't working although even handsome hubby tried to help so we had to content ourselves with watching this you tube video of their engagement announcement again, royal engagement video, and the spoofs which made me giggle.  ("Tihi") Madeleine is a beautiful bride and I wish her all the happiness with Chris.  And isn't this Valentino gown a good choice?  Very princess appropriate if you ask me.  Chris said that he was a little nervous, probably because he was afraid to be asked to speak Swedish again.  ;-)  Maybe he was hung-over too, as he actually had three bachelor parties, one in Florida, one in Italy and one in Sweden.  Not too shabby.  Read more here if you wish, US Mag.  And as promised here's a clip from the big event.

Beautiful Madeleine is …

Happy Swedish National Day!

Actually the Swedish National Day is on June 6th but I'm going to celebrate none-the-less.  Why not?  It's Friday, reason enough to celebrate. :-)  National Day is a good excuse to eat Swedish pastries too.  (Actually most days are good days to do that.)  Here's a little link to some great cafes in Sweden. cafes in Sweden I might make some kaffebröd this weekend.  Here's a simple recipe if you'd like to try it too.  The kids and I love it, yum, but in lieu of delcious Swedish pastries I guess a doughnut is going to have to do, speaking of which, Happy Doughnut Day!  (Yet another reason to celebrate.)  Here's where you can get a free one today. Yay, free doughnuts!

Ramona Morningbird

Lately when I had the chance to talk with Hopi, another of my entrepreneurial inspirations, about her successful foray into selling on-line I jumped at the chance! See Ramona Morningbird.  Here's why: she's a creative business woman who's tapped into a successful niche; she's a mom with three children (one is almost 3 months old!) - how does she do it?; she has an enormous garden and is the best camper I know, she's very nice and she's got a very cool background.

She's basically doing what I would like to do at a younger age, with more children, and she's making it work.   Her parents were hippies and they named her Ramona Morningbird hence the business' name.  She sells utilitarian treasures with the industrial look (which is so hot) and she started on Etsy on 2012 where Fab found her and recruited her for sales on the web, like the one going on now.  Ramona Morningbird on FAB!
Here's what she says on-line I love the excitement of a great find…

Funny Tech Words in Svenska and Riots in Husby

OK, this one is for all you technical wizards out there (read it, HH!) good for a chuckle on a Tuesday afternoon.  Did you know that Swedes have come up with the best sniglets for technology ever?  (A sniglet, coined by Rich Hall, is any word that should be in the dictionary but isn't.)  I like this one -ogooglebar, which translates to "ungoogleable."  You'll see what I mean when you pop over to this site  I just hope that you don't experience any nakenchock.:-) See funny tech sniglets

On a serious note, let's talk about what happened in Husby and other Stockholm suburbs.  It's ironic just as America is becoming aware of Swedish politics and benefits, that many people who live in Sweden are experiencing cut-backs and diminishing of social services.  Sweden takes in more refugees than many other countries and provides social services that are unparalleled but unfortunately it's still hard in these days of prosperity to enter the Swedish system, get a go…

MPG Home Design

Hi all, as I said I am writing a little series on women entrepreneurs who inspire me to keep on keepin' on with my dreams and plans.  They help me in so many ways, and in this case even gave me a job where I can learn from the best!  Mindi, architect and interior design maven of MPG Home Design, is a huge supporter of women, creativity, networking, and new ideas.  She's also the owner of a fast-growing interior design firm in Newbury, MA where I have the honor to help and learn from her.  I hope that you will check out her site to see some of her work, and get inspired
We had a fantastic soiree a while back at her fun, laid-back, well-designed (natch) barn.  There were about 60 women enjoying Watch City's beer (try their new custom craft for your own event, see, nice wines, foods, desserts, and even lemon mead by moi.  
I set up a little Swedish display of some of my hand-made ornaments.  It was a fun nig…