måndag 22 juni 2015

A late catchup

Wow! The year of 2015 has really been busy for me. I didn't had an idea of how much work a teacher does. Those said 45 hours per week are b-sht, it's far more and by the end of the school year every teacher are like cottonball heads, no brain just some fluffy mass above the neck. 
So first week of vacation has been spent in the sofa, tv, cheez doodles, wine, sleeping, a very little gardening....
There are lots of prejudices around this profession, one of those are about our long vacation. "Oh you lucky duck you get twice as long vacation as me" many use to say with this image in their head. ..
I would rather say, it looks more like this...
Just before the schools were closing, one of the towns landmarks, Oskars school was celebrating 100 years anniversary, with activities and open doors. It reminds of an old institution with the large windows and stonewalls, wich it, well, is..
A building so large it's not easy to get a photo of the complete thing...
 The stair up to the attic and the tower was locked up, wich for many former students was a one in the life time moment. Lots of rumours have been circling around about the attic no one was allowed to enter.
This paper bat had the year 1971 written on the back. Wonder what it's purpose once was as it sat on the wooden spiral staircase up to the tower.

In one of the ends of the attic behind a door with a sign, saying "renovation in progress, keep out" were an abandoned classroom with very old teaching stuff, large rolls of paper and black boards, a place were time has stopped (I guess the sign was a lie and a way to keep qurious ones out).
The old clock isn't as impressing as Hogwarts, but it's fascinating that this mechanism still runs the time. The wind up steel wire is unwined by a weight that is out of frame.

 Oskar is the third generation in the family who went to this school. It's a fascinating building, filled with stories. After working in the town for half a year I have become more aware of it's beauty and the old buildings. The house on this photo is called Elsborgs castle. It's not a castle per se, more of a nickname but once belonged to a noble man. Part of the house is from the middle ages. The second house on the photo below, the log barn is where Johan work. The rustic walls hides a super modern office with lots of technology. 

I have aged but I'm fine with that. With young people around I think it's more obvious for myself. I almost never do makeup anymore, only on special occation and if I have the time.

But I'll never quit buying clothes that I maybe won't use more than a handful of times. Hot topics Penny Dreadful collection is amazing. I bought the jacket and it's perfect!!

 My wishes is that the lost energy will emerge soon enough to enjoy the beautiful Swedish summer where the sun never sets. This photo was taken one hour before midnight on midsummers eve. Almost one hour darkness before the sun rise again so this photo could be taken one o clock at night as well.
Hopefully, seeing you again soon :-)

söndag 10 maj 2015

Silly and sad

It has been a very emotional weekend. On thursday morning when we were about to feed the bunnies, before heading to work we found empty cages. There were no trace of them at all and they were nowere to be seen. I walked around our and the neighbours garden to look for them as Johan reviewed the nights security camera shoots. By the side of the bike road I found a twig with Pooki-hair 1 feet above ground. It was a fox.
Johan confirmed, that the fox was there twice to get the bunnies. 
I'm so sad 
I'm not angry with the fox, I'm angry with myself because I should have prevented this. 
We have these wallpaper eaters left as company. 
 I drowned myself in work and as I usually tell you nowadays, I work a lot. We had becoming students visiting our school and they were supposed to do some fun activities like building a shield for a falling egg. Of course I couldn't resist trying myself and my co-chemistry teacher helped me to build a frame with pipes, tape and thread. Our construction was the only one that crashed the egg. Don't give this task to a chemistry teacher, leave it to the physics said the physics teacher. 
Trial and error. 
As the weekend arrived the mourning smacked me with a heavy fist. I had to replant my seedlings and had to go to the backyard and see those empty cages, I've been weeping the whole weekend.
You know when things like this happens. Lots of other shit comes to the surface, family issues that my work has forced me to surpress. I'm going to log out from fuckbook. Why should I read shit what others do and write shit about myself, the consequence is that they don't call or pay me a visit because they can see me on facebook (like that is some kind of reality). 

My dearest, loveliest. The nicest bunny that ever was. I miss her so...Rest in peace Wilma. 

söndag 3 maj 2015

A beltane with fires

The last day of april is one of the years celebrations that lasts from the pre christian time. It is also a day when students put on their caps (graduating students) and lots of young people get drunk. We use to visit a local bonfire  with fireworks and choir singing, but stayed at home this day to do some pet friendly fireworks. 
The photo below is from a few weeks ago when I had my yearly bonfire of garden scrap burnt. The ashes and coal makes perfect fertilizer for the veg garden.

Johan made the classical rascal trick; mixing sugar and potassium nitrate and lit it to fire. The heat of the reaction is very high and nitrous fumes is produced. Keep the kids away...

I made a smaller firework, actually in a test tube. This video below shows the result of it. I couldn't shoot the part when it started as I helt the tube in my hands and the crackling was a lot more violent than you can see here. A bit scary actually, I repeted in my head "please don't explode, don't explode".....

I also made a few more not so explosive experiments to show the kids, I guess you understand that we had as much fun as them. I absolutely love my job as a science teacher :-D

Tonic lit by an UV-pocket lamp. 

I love every season but one of my favourite is the return of May. Everything bursts in green and the delicate springflowers are the one we love most. 
The ash tree is full with budding flowers.

Around the foot of our tree is a small patch of wild anemones, these are very precious.

The most lovely scent of all spring flowers comes from the porcelain hyacinte (directly translated). Why isn't bottled in a perfume??

My pillow of primroses is coming to bloom.

Yellow star grows like weed in my vegetable garden

Soon to be rubarb pie.

Last but not least. Congratulations to Emma from Little Gothic Horrors for winning the candle in my giveaway. I have to find a proper box to ship it in. If you haven't read her blog I can highly redommend it to you, it's filled with lots of lovely, spooky and kooky posts.

torsdag 26 mars 2015

Tutorial: Make your own candles and a Giveaway

For you dear readers who has kept on reading my blog inspite of boring and delayed posts I will have a giveaway this post, to thank you all. 
First I would like to share a tutorial with you of how to make candles. 
I guess that you have already noticed that I'm interested in non-polluting issues? I don't like to waste things that can be reused at least once before throwing away  leaving it in the recycling bin.

Make your own block candles. 
What you need:
cotton yarn (for chrocheting, any colour will do)
empty beer cans or pringle tubes etc
adhesive putty
a stick, twig, pen (of that sort)
rests of candles, parraffine or stearine
a saucepan and an empty can
(one of my burning beer can candles)

The yarn is for the wick. You can choose to twine it double or you can braid it. I chosed to braid it this time because the double twined is a bit too thin (dependes on the thickness of the yarn of course). It takes time but it's worth a little patience. You can also buy premade candlewick but then you pay for something you propably already have. 

Pinch a hole in the center of the bottom of the beer can and tuck the wick through the hole, maybe you need to use a chrocheting hook to pull the wick through (I did). Tie a knot at the bottom and secure the hole and knot with lots of putty. 

Hold the wick straight and pull a stick through the braid or tie the braid around it. You need to keep the wick in the centre.

Melt your remnants from old candles but remove the coaled wick first. For a beer candle you need approx. 400 g of material. Heat water in the saucepan on the stove and put a can with stearine in the water to melt.
When everything is melted pour it in your mold (beer can) but leave a little.
As you can see on the photo above, I have used socks to isolate the can. This was an useless experiment. I wanted to prevent pipe forming during cooling but it didn't work.
After a couple of hours, a pipe is forming in the middle. It is neccessary to melt more stearine and to fill it up. If you don't, the wick won't longer be centered and instead, you have a hole in the middle. 
It's important that you work on a sturdy surface like a kitchen bench the putty can leak hot stearine.

Leave the candle to cool over night and peel off the can. Don't throw aluminum in your ordinary waste bin. Metal and especially aluminum is very energy saving to recycle. 
This is how one of my candles turned out (below). It is made of remnants from halloween candles.
Next tutorial is a glass jar candle and also the one I will share to one of my readers...
Use an old holder from a tea candle and press the hole open with a metal pin (or something). Pull the wick through and press the hole tight again with a plier. Glue the holder to the center of the bottom of a glass jar with hot glue.

 Here's another tip I can give you: old tea light holders are made in aluminum but the wick holder is made of steel. If you put those in the recycling bin you need to separate the wick holder from the aluminum, otherwise the aluminum will follow the steel holder with the magnetic separator and end up as fumes in the air (not very good, right ?). 

Ok, well. Center the wick in the same fashion as the beer candle and do the same procedure. 

If you have some oilscents you like, you can add a few drops to the molten stearine before pouring it in you mold. 
The giveaway
Voilá. Here it is my own recycled jar candle, offered for you as a give away. I embellished the jar with some prints and scraps. 
The oil scent is all natural oils, citrus and ylang-ylang for example.
To join the giveaway you only have to leave a comment and tell me that your'e in. Leave your e-mail adress or tell me how to contact you in other ways.
Take care precious ones!!

The giveaway will be open 2,5 weeks from now, and it is worldwide of course :-)

fredag 6 mars 2015

Sports holiday hangover

I'm not sure if Sweden is unique in the way that we have a school holiday called "sports vacation" one week every February, maybe you could tell me? Well, this year school was closed for two weeks in this town due to the World Championships in skiing. I also had 1,5 week of duty as a teacher but worked two days as a volunteer at the event. 
My favourite knitted wool hat to keep my brain warm from the snow slush. 

Not usually a sports nerd but as the Swedish team took lots of medals and the event taking place in my town it was irresistable to avoid. One of my students was also competing in ski jumping.
The photos below shows the ski jumping arena with lots of drunk and crazy Norwegians waving their flags (took even more medals). Two Gripen planes passing by and a backstage photo taken from my booth selling food. 

The community tried to take advantage of all the visitors and do something cultural down town. Grafitti walls, food market, and ice statues (melting away) et cetera. 
You can see at the photo in the middle wich one who is an indoor person and who is the outdoor one. 

I promised earlier to take more photos of the buildings in my town. I love the details of this house.

Alfons was for once ready to try downhill skiing and we went to the local slope. First visit for me. Ok, we have mountains. BUT they are not Alpine mountains as a visiting polititian from the Capital claimed. Wonder if she slept on her Geography class at primary school. 
View from the top. 

It went great. As he listened carefully at my instructions, he managed the skiis only after one round.
I'm a sucker for nice views. Here's view of our beautiful lake Runn that is very popular for skating. 

 The sports vacation was too short for recovering from a hectic semester. Like most teachers I was cursed by the flu a couple of days (no time to be sick, except on holidays). My ambition was to do more than I had time to. I did take some time to paint though, wich I usually never have time for, sadly because it's very calming.  Johan says I painted his coworker. 

 Well well see each other next vacation...Easter maybe?

fredag 20 februari 2015

Jewellery organising

For a while a great deal of irritation has been launched every morning I wanted to choose a jewellery for my outfit. I ended up picking those laying on top and never using earrings because they are always scattered.
So this is a project that has been in progress for a long while. The towel holder was found at a flea market without a rod and no paint. The only thing I did was to paint it and carve a twig fitting the holes for the rod.
The bracelet stands are all handmade by myself. The bottom is a part of a mug holder. With glue, a drill and a screwdriver it was more easier than it look like. The padding under the fabric is glued on with hot glue. 
 I also made a little drawer from three Glossy boxes and their lids to store more jewellery. This is a great tutorial if you have those boxes (or three of another kind).
The necklace bust is made of a lamp foot and a bust made of plaster strips.
The little pink box on the right is a upcycled box from an electronics supplyer. It is wrapped in wallpaper and decorated with old clock gears and a small mounting. 
I will add boxes and a earring holder later. 

 Our town has changed and got a sudden world wide focus due to the World championships in skiing. It's the first time I'm visiting an event like this as I'm not very interested in watching sports. But wow, it was amazing so many happy people and all the yelling and waving flags. The photo below only shows a half of the audience. 
 Lots of people stood in the snow along the track as well. 

It's a big event around the championship as well with lots of sponsors showing their products. SAAB showed their warplane Gripen and Alfons tried the cockpit of it,(looks claustrophobic in my opinion).

With sturdy boots and skirts in layers you don't have to freeze. 

tisdag 3 februari 2015

Work and winter

First of all, I would like to show you a photo of my university were I study. This is in Karlstad 160 km from where I live. Thankfully I have a friend to stay with when I visit. This is the back entrance of the uni but I loved the contrast between the gloomy morninglight and the light from the buildings. I'm supposed to practice as a teacher at my own work this term, but I'm working as a professional already. 

Next photo is the view from my office window. You can see the bus stop, train tracks and the mist rising from the lake.

If I turn my head 90 degrees, this is the other view. Isn't this fantastic? I call it our Eagles nest and we are 5 teachers sharing office. I censure photos from the inside to keep you in false expectations of a clean and organised place. From this angle you can see the river that divide our town in half. The brown building on the other side is the theater and cultural center. The white building is actually where the other half of our schools reside. The old building with the tower is the senior elementary school were my two oldest kids are going. If you would be able to turn your head right you would see the shopping street. 

I've been working at the school for, wow, it's already 5 months!! I think the job is great so far. I really like to work with these young people, they give me lots of energy but sometimes makes me drained. It's a challenging work but it is so much more rewarding and useful than the other jobs I had. I work too much though and have very little sparetime, but that's a teachers life.

I have to show you the soap making laboration we had a few weeks ago. I wanted to show them how easy it is to work with chemistry at home and make something useful. The samples on the photo contains, orange, lavender, cacao, honey and tobacco.

Following photos was shot this weekend. Another half week is gone and it's still snowing...I have heard many complaining about the snow, but I love it! I even like to shovel it!

This is my tired, red nosed shoveling self. As you obviously can see and probably already know, I don't aspire to be a fashion blog.

 I have to shovel the bunnies pen's to prevent them from running away. 

Can you believe my Wilma has reached the decent age of 7,5 years? I have never own a bunny that old. She is in great condition too. 

 This is how my apple garden looks like for the moment. Lots of the fluffy white stuff covering it.

 There is just a little more than one week until we will have the Skii world championship in our town. That means that the schools are shutting down for two whole weeks (instead of one). I will work as a volonteer a few days, but I also hope to have som sparetime for once.