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 :-)

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 :-)