tisdag 18 augusti 2015

Styling my workspace

I got a new office. Yay! It's still a shared office but I have the fortune to sit with very nice people. We have our own entrance and a felt carpet that lower all sounds.
I use my Spooky box club bag to work, because the perfect size, sturdy and fabulous fabric.
My "dorm" goes in the colours of birch, grey, white and black and those are the colours I chosed to pimp my notebooks and calendar with. The seashellprints are made by Haeckel. If you google search the name you will find lots of amazing and detailed drawings of natural forms.

A teacher needs a calendar for all sorts of events. I tried a few weeks last year without one and missed a few appointments before I learned my lesson.

Maybe I will show you a photo of my office later.
This was supposed to be a long post with lots of photos of nature, bathing, planes, a festival etc. But I didn't have the energy to bother you with old news. The end of the summer was either way amazing. 
Now I look forward to an amazing semester with lots of new teenagers to meet.

tisdag 4 augusti 2015

Artful experience

Last week of my 7 weeks long vacation got more eventful than the rest. In the end, I became restless, bored and confused, so me and the boys went to my birth town to visit my mom and my siblings a few days. For once we went a little touristic. 

If you ever visit Dalarna in Sweden and pass by a small town called Avesta you should visit these two following places if you have the time. 
First, the European bison park. Yes there is actually a natural existing variety of the bison in Europe. It was nearly extinction in the beginning of the 1900's but the owner of the steel plant built a park for bison breeding for rescue and at the same time the bison became the mascot for the steel products. 
Today there are 3000 oxes and a European wildlife programme has planted a new herd of 20 individuals in the Carpatic mountains i Romania. 
This bull were very curious and came forward to check us out. It was a little scary to have a wooden fence and one electrical wire between us, something that this fella would easily break through. Up to 1000 kg are the heaviest ones.

Another one that has become big. My 15 year old has now grown beyond me and his father and is very energetic and tired at the same time (like most teens).

In my opinion the best attraction in Avesta is "Verket" were a huge art exhibition take place every summer. Verket is the old steel plant owned by the bison man. It's a beautiful old industrial building and it has most of it caracter left. The building and the exhibition creates toghether a inscrutable and rough atmosphere. Very little light fixtures are used and at some spots you walk in dark rooms only lit by uplit art.

Bea Szenfeld with her 3D paper fashion stands in the entrance. She's a fashion designer and artist that made outfits for Lady Gaga and Björk, for instance.
I love this heavy paper flower collar.
The mill is built of slagstone from the steel process.
Jan Stenmark again! He had a contribution with some of the original collages and the weird humour that I love. 
Translation: While the poster hung in the kitchen, she said nothing at all - but now, she suddenly tells me I'm sick.
In one of the halls were an amazing installation of glass art by Kjell Engman. The exhibition is called The White wife. The room is very dark only lit by the glass figures and surrounded by musical compositions by the artist.

A white figure is hovering over the pipes of the blast furnace.
Icy jaws of glass...
A row of bottles containing dancing figures with a face hiding behind it....Wait thats not part of the setup! It's a visitor, Alfons. 

A row of coal barrels in furnace hall. 

Along with the art, there's also an historical exhibition telling a little about the steel process in the mill. The man on the second row, on the left corner with a heavy beard, is my grandmothers uncle. Her father also worked at the plant but is not on this photo. The boys look like they are around ten years, same age as Alfons.

In the dark stands a small figure, looking at the huge photo.

 A row of empty children. This is made by Hanna Vihriälä and is called "More boys are born after the war".
This is whats coming up in my mind:"Are you my mommy?"

  In the end of the hall of the rolling mill stands a large organ that starts to play as you approach it. I didn't try but the music it plays should interact with the visitor by a mat and a microphone connected to the organ. We ran out of time one and half hour wasn't enough. I could have walked around here for hours.


 The entrance of the mill. The building is very large and stretches out with several halls behind this one. The complete process of steel, from ore to finished steel was once represented in this building. I highly recommend you a visit.

I finish with a photo of my mothers grapes, a lot bigger than mine.



torsdag 30 juli 2015

Just some random things...

As the summer passed by the hermit has become more socially interested in people and restless wich is usually positive things. But I have also become really stupid, not using the brain, does this. According to my brother who's spouse also is a teacher, this is very common. 
Today was worst: We went to an water park and I started to put my bathing suit outside in. Thankfully I started to complain to Moa (the bonus daughter) that it was very ugly and made her look at it and pointed the mistake out. Then she remarked that the key tag should be on the arm instead of the leg, for easier entrance. When I was about to go home a heavy shower made me wet when I ran to get the car. A large puddle hid a pit that made me fall and I got completely soaked including everything I was carrying. Back home I offered Moa microwaved cinnamon bun dough (it should have been baked in the owen) and when making coffe I noticed that I had made coffe on yesterdays grounds without even noticing a difference in taste.

Other days were more successful. We bought a new sofa, at last. I had a vision of a victorian antique one with lots of wood carvings and velvet, but this option was more practical, must admit that.
I made deliscious macarons for the bonus kids birthday (same birthday, different ages).
We visited an ostrich farm and I snatched me some lovely feathers that I will dye.

And visited the holy spring to dip toes and drink icy cold water. This spring supports two cities with water. 
The vegetable garden is a mess because of bad weather. But I succeded to grow cuttings from my grape wine and to get small grapes too. I've been handing out the plants to friends and family and have two left to plant. Easy peasy.
 I got beautiful flowers from a friend at visit. I want that lily!! The name is something with chocolate.
I hope your summer has been great. Mine is not completely over yet. I have a couple of weeks before work begins. I really loved to have a long summer vacation and look forward to my work even more now.

torsdag 16 juli 2015

Spooky box and a garden visit

Today I'm going to write about a very inspirational garden visit and a purchase I made from Spooky box club... First the box. The idea of UK based Spooky box club is that you get one box every month filled with different kinds of knick knacks. It is always gothically inclined but each month have a different theme. A part of the fee goes to a chosen aid organization.

I choosed not to subscribe but to buy one of the older boxes. One reason is that I buy one that I like ( you can find box openings on youtube) and that I don't have enough money to spend every month (have a family to run for godness sake!). 
Soo..the box I chosed was the January, Bat in a box one. I really liked it and it is well worth it's money. 

First and foremost I got this lovely and sturdy bag with batprint. The quality is very good and I finally have a good looking bag to carry my chromebook and books in for work;  here comes the Gothic teacher!
Another nice thing I used right away was this lovely moon pendant. 

I can't resist neatly package, like purple tissuepaper, black grossgrain ribbon, striped paper bags and cute saché bags for jewelery. I reuse them for crafting.
Top photo shows a spooky box club sticker, wall stickers with bats (oohhh, love it), a bat badge and an awesome bat broch (click the photo for better view).

The package also contained a banner with cool text, graveyard and bat stickers that fits perfectly for the nails ( amazing!) and a lollipop. 
I can highly recommend Spooky box club.

I went for a garden trip with a dear friend of mine last week. We went to Hildasholm in Leksand wich is an hour away.  The house and garden belonged to the private doctor of queen Victoria (same period as brittish king Edward) or rather his wife. The house and garden is a mix of neo renaissance, England and Italian gardens. 
We bought a house tour were the guide talked about the wealthy life of that times celebrities; wich was quite boring because the seemed to have too much time to spend on leisure.

The garden on the other hand is very interesting because it's smacked with topiary for northern climate. Very inspirational. I would love to try to cut a fir tree like the ones in the photo above.
The garden has many "rooms" and paths and hidden corners.
 It has also lots of statues. Don't blink!!
I found a drain pipe formed as a dragon with bat ears, that was so neat.
The garden stretches out in a djungle like canyon, were fallen trees were cut to sculptures. 
 So Swedish readers are recommended to visit the garden, but maybe not the house. They sell baskets with lovely fika (coffe and buiscits) that you can bring and sit werever you want eat. 

torsdag 9 juli 2015

Vacation zombie

I really thought I was going to post more often and read blogs during the summer. Well hello, late as usual with keeping this porthole open. 
My introvertion has struck me after a year with talking and interacting with humans continuosly. The days goes by in complete silence and it feels very comforting. 
A few trips has been achieved though as we live in an area for summer tourism.  There are lot's of things to do here if you like. Me and Alfons took a fika (coffe and some cookies or icecream) at Staberg Mansion and garden one day. The garden is a baroque vegetable garden with fish ponds. The white house on the photo below is the "new" mansion built in the early 19 hundreds.


Alfons is taking a leap in front of the old mansion built in the 17 hundreds. He's such a great company and he likes coffe.

Johan and I visited an "art/comic" exhibition. I can't label Jan Stenmark because he is represented in both cultural papers and comic magazines. 
One picture of a collage, often made of paperclips from old magazines and comics with one sentence written underneath. The collage and the words form a really twisted sense of humour that makes you laugh and when you think deeper it's a little sad or dark. The exhibition is called "the laughter that choked".

"Bosse Lindblom stood by the boiler house and wondered if he was before or after its time"

" What a luck, some may think, that death arrives and free you from not living your life"

My flower garden starts to look better this year. I bought seeds to add some black and dark purple colours to the flower beds. This is one of them, not knowing what it's called in english.
I also have maroon coloured clover.
This columbine is actually darker than this photo shows.
As a contrast to the dark flowers some light ones are necessary. This peony Maxima is amazing. The scent reminds me of the old soaps that my grandfather used to have in his bathroom.
A pink allium that taste like garlic.
I will hopefully be another step closer to my gothic garden.
I have spent two weeks alone in the house and during that time I have cleaned it thoroughly. Johan lend a truck for me to fill with junk from two years of  renovating and hoarding. It's something releiving to make that errand to the recyling station. Yep, everything in the truck is recycled, like we do in Sweden.
I sleep a lot, 10-12 hours per night and that is visible, the dark circles under the eyes are gone. I also take long brunches every morning watching series on netflix.

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 :-)