Showing posts from July, 2013


Blackbird singing in the dead of night take these broken wings and learn to fly all your life you were only waiting for this moment to arise Blackbird singing in the dead of night take these sunken eyes and learn to see all your life you were only waiting for this moment to be free Blackbird fly!

L in the garden

A little time for painting resulted in this portrait.
A poor photo of a painting of my darling 11 year old, who sat, so impatiently while I painted this quickly in the garden. I had my portrait painted when I was 11 so I thought I'd carry on the tradition.  Special K will also get the "honor" of being painted at that age too, on the cusp of "tweendom".  We had such a fun time together this vacation.  It will be a nice memory of our trip to Sweden.

5th wealthiest man is (flat)packin' it back to Sweden

IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad is moving back to Sweden after many long years in tax paradise Switzerland, where he will be taxed "accordingly based on his income."  Which I'm sure will be as close to null as he can get it as his son is now running the show.  Oh, and interestingly enough there is no longer any inheritance tax in Sweden!  You leave for just one lousy year and they go changing everything on you.  (Just kidding, actually I just learned that they changed this already in 2004 to stop exodus of major corporations such as IKEA from Sweden.)  Read more here,

Speaking of packing, I have some major packing to do tomorrow myself... taking my "pick och pack" and heading back home.  And I have lots of things, lots of luggage, and ideas plus a nice tan.  It's been a beautiful four weeks in Sweden.  I'm blessed to have such a great family here, and I will miss them, but I am so excited  to see my handsome hubby again.…


A beautiful flower from a darling shop - Botanica in Höllviken

So, I found on a shopping trip this pretty type of Hortensia, or Hydrangea, that I liked and a handprinted tablecloth by Bungalow at a nice little flower store.  I love those stores that combine fresh flowers with candles,cloths, nice scents and other pretty things don't you?  It becomes a total experience, especially if you add a nice coffee shop in the back. ;-)

Here is another picture of my new tablecloth. I need to stress new because I buy a lot of second-hand, but this time I sprung for this Indian print cloth with green and silver accents.  Green is in, and it goes nicely with the turquoise demi-tasse cups I snagged at *loppis* (flea market) recently as well.  I have a mint colored dress, freshly baked cookies, guests RSVP'ed and now I am really ready for my "I'll never turn 50" party to be held tomorrow!

New tablecloth from Bungalow



Allsång literally means "everyone sing" and it's a huge summer tradition in Sweden. It seems practically every night there's one advertised, or on TV like "Allsång på Skansen" and "Lotta på Liseberg".  See Lotta.  It's a great way to promote Swedish acts and to have some fun singing together, but the funny thing to me (as an American) is how everyone claps in unison, or only sings when given the O.K.  It's not like they're taking the chance to be on "Swedish Idol" or anything.  Everyone just nicely waits their turn until the host brings the microphone over, and then shyly and often off-key, they sing a little in it.  I could just see this tradition turning into a real diva festival in America.  Someone grabs the mic, and starts going all gospel on it or something.  Kinda want to do this myself.  :-) Anton Ewald was on the other night, he's a real cutie.  Insert "idol bild" (idol picture) here:
Maybe I'll be…


I love this town
We also had so much fun going into Copenhagen as a kid and I wanted to bring that same kind of excitement to my children so off we went into the big city.  As always we ended up on Ströget - the walking road in the middle of the old part of town - with its shops, restaurants, tourists, and attractions.  This time it seems like gold and silver living statues are all the rage.

I think we saw about 7 people in different garb along the way including a fakir sitting on thin air, a silver magistrate of some sort, a gold dwarf (child?) dressed in colonial clothing, and more.  Special K put a coin in one of their bowls and got a special high-five, and a picture.  I'll attach that later once I get back home, and I am able to sift through my camera and all the shots. Copenhagen is definately one of the most picturesque places I know so I have lots of shots to share!  Until then, take a look at these shots from the NY Times for an overview.  slideshow

We only had enou…

Hi from Helsingborg

Hi, taking a visit to Helsingborg to see my cousin and her family.  It's a beautiful town and so close to Denmark, it's just a quick ferry ride of about 20 minutes to Helsingör across the sound.  Time enough to down a cup of coffee and a "wienebröd" which is a real Danish pastry - the most delectable thing on earth!


So in America "football" is something totally different, but in the rest of the world it means soccer.  And we love it!  My son, master L plays it (with much aplomb I must say) and I enjoy watching.  Last night the Swedish women played Denmark in EM (see Women's EURO).  It was a fast game, lots of action, head shots and running.  (How do they do it? I get tired just watching.)
Pia Sundhage is the 53 year old coach and she helped Sweden win EM gold in 1984 as a player - the first official EM for women in Luton.  So much has happened in the last 30 years for women athletes, and I want to applaud them for their tenacity and their hard work.  Can you imagine when Pia first started she called herself *Pelle* and pretended to be a boy just so she could play soccer?
Although the game last night against Denmark ended in a tie (1-1) I think the real winner is womens sports in general and that filling the arena with viewers and getting the respect that they deserve is just the b…

Beautiful farmhouse for sale

One of my favorite masochistic activities while in Sweden is looking at all the beautiful houses for sale, drooling all over the paper, and wishing that I could buy one for a sweet summer place.  This one would be more like a summer palace but I would loooove to use one of the houses for an art studio.   You could take a look at the attached and do a little drooling too if you're so inclined.  (No one will see.) ;-)  I like this style of "länga" which is typical of Southern Sweden, and the straw roof is so charming.  It's from the 1600's and "only" costs about 1,048,882 American dollars. ;-)  If you buy it, tell Annika that Tina sent you.  She might remember me from last year when our boys were at the same school. And there's even a pool!  Dang, need to become a millionaire or win the lottery.  Feel free to send me cash and I'll invite you over. ;-)
Oh, and realt…

Knopp by Klong

"Knopp by Klong" - this is a serious blog post but I can't help poking fun at the names.  "Knopp" means bud and these beautifully designed pendant lamps remind one of fantastical flowers.  "Klong" is a name chosen by a design collective in Sweden to symbolize a sound and a timeless style of useful things.  (I am paraphrasing, more on their site here.
Ania Pauser, the 28 year old Swedish designer, came up with these lamps during her studies at Carl Malmsten where she experimented with perforated material and making something three dimensional out of something two dimensional.  I was seriously considering buring one of these lamps, they throw such beautiful shadows, but I don't think my budget allows for it at the time.  Another beautiful Swedish item to add to the wish list.

Loppis! Flea market in Sweden

So, today my "kära mor" (dear mother) woke me up and reminded me that I wanted to go to the Lions Loppis today in Vellinge.  Of course!  I jumped out of bed and ran out the door eager to get there before it was over at 10:00.  Normally I would have been there right at 9:00 pawing the ground with all the other prospective buyers but it was actually pretty relaxing strolling in at 9:30 and I still made some great buys! I got some beautiful Swedish textiles, a mid century vase, 12 turquoise and gold demi tasse cups and saucers (so cool!), and old tins to put things in for transfer to U.S.

Loving the turquoise!  I found a match I think in Sherwin Williams paint, Larchmere SW6751. It reminds me of my mother actually who has a turquoise back-splash in her kitchen and lots of blue on the walls of various shades.  She's an artist and I love this one of the three girls heading down to the water - cousins holding hands.  The sky today looked like the one overhead in this paintin…

Traditional Swedish Music with the Nykelharpa

Just like the accordian, and fiddle, the "Nyckelharpa" or key harp is a beautiful traditional Swedish instrument  that you might not be familiar with.  The description is below, but to listen to this beautiful piece by Emilia Amper (named "This Year's Artist" by Folkmusiksverige) which says it all.  So mystical and eerie in a way -- I love it.  Do you?  Emilia Amper plays "Ut i Mörka Natten" For more information I found that there is even a American Nyckelharpa association which you can check out here:  Nyckelharpa org

I told my daughter Special K I would get her one.  She's only 8.  Can you imagine how cute she would be playing one in her little Swedish dress?  Here's another beautiful folk music piece with Sissel, including a nykelharpa. If you are of Nordic descent, take a listen - it'll get the the Scandinavian blood flowing! Sissel "Koppången" from the "Nordisk Vinter Natt" CD. Sissel is a Norwegian treasure, http…


Wow!  I love clogs but these ladies take the cake.  So sad to hear that the blogger at "Every Clog Has its Day" is laying down her typepad and moving on, (see Every Clog Has Its Day).  I guess that they don't have room for any more clogs!

I am going to buy some soon though.  My mother bought a pair of super cool high heel clogs that I love for a little "slant" (amount) in Malmö, plus I am jonesing for a pair of boots to wear this winter, and of course the painted clogs are to die for.  Maybe another cute little pair for Special K?

Decisions, decisions.  Well as she so aptly said "Every clog has its day" so maybe I need several.  ;-)  CLOGS!

Guest blogger - Mr. Movie writes about *Before Sunrise*

I recently went on a Before Sunrise movie binge. I'd bought myself a double feature of Before Sunrise (1995) and Before Sunset (2004) knowing that Before Midnight was currently in theaters. So one night I watched my double feature back-to-back and the next night I went to see Before Midnight at a local cinema.

(Before Sunrise, 1995)

Before Sunrise is a Richard Linklater film starring Ethan Hawke as Jesse and Julie Delpy as Celine. They are in their early 20s and traveling on a train going from Budapest to Paris via Vienna. Jesse is an American with a Eurail pass and Celine is a Parisienne graduate student on her way back from visiting her grandmother. Jesse is due to fly back to the States the next morning from Vienna. The two of them strike up a conversation and Jesse persuades Celine to get off the train with him in Vienna and walk around the city together.

So yes, it's the simplest of plots, but the two of them have obvious chemistry and their conversations have a verisimili…

Femen Stages Protest at Stockholm Mosque

I don't know much about this organization but I applaud their sticking up for women's rights.  I know that this  news is already buzzing in the Arab world.  Does it help women there to know Femen cares about their rights, or do they find it offensive that they bared their bodies in protest and that they agree with the status quo? femen-stages-topless-protest-stockholm-mosque As with any issue I'm sure that there are Muslim women on both sides of the coin - some who feel that this is true, and others who do not. I am going to try to follow the feedback, but here's more info on Femen, the radical feminist group comprised mainly of young women from Ukraine.  Note nudity: on here.