måndag 8 augusti 2016

Halloween inspiration

This night a heavy breeze of colder air visited us, it was one of the signs that announce the arrival of autumn. I had to close the window to shut the moaning that prohibited my sleep. Another sign has been rows of canada goose flying to the south. 

To be honest. I have really enjoyed this summer, enjoyed my long holiday so much that I will miss these warm days with abundance of vegetables and berries from the garden. Luckily, this crybaby has adopted the Halloween holiday and embraced it with a passion close to madness, wich makes autumn something to look forward to. 

So, to prepare both myself and you, I'll show you how I survive in this desert of Halloween decorations called Sweden: By doing it myself.
This particular box was made for an internet/blog/facebook friend of mine at a Halloween swap last year. She lives in the US and should therefore be spoilt with seasonal decorations. Please check out her fabulous blog for garden, teaching, gothic inspo.

First of all, I bring out all my supplies that could have a match to something autumn/Halloweenish. Creative caos, that is. 

I use the Vintage moth as a supplier of vintage pictures. The candy bags in the photo below is made in photoshop with images from the mentioned blog. I print on ordinary printer paper, folding, glueing and cutting the edge.
This is a tin that usually contains mint pastilles. The scull head covered the text perfectly.

It contains a pair of ear dangles made of clock hands and chandellier crystals.
This blurry photo below is an ornament that could even work in a Christmas tree. The bulb is an old light bulb were I removed everything but the glass bulb. It contains black glass glitter and is embellished with a flower.

I never throw candle stumps away, I re-melt them to new candles. The lantern in the photos below was made of a small jar, it is filled with fragrant and re melted candle stumps. The jar was decorated with ribbons, lace and images. An antique chandelier chrystal is hanging at the bottom secured by wire. The wire handle and the chain is also made by me.


Heres another ornament, flip and front side. It is made of a bake form, chandelier chrystal, old images, black glitter and orange ribbons.

Everything was neatly packed in a box that used to contain hair products but is now decorated with bats and lace.

Everything of these are actually very easy to do. It's just a matter of the right tools, glue, hoarding stuff and imagination. I don't like kitschy, cheap looking halloween decorations, I prefer the vintage/victorian look. Even if my supplies are almost for free, I put a lot of effort to make it look luxurious or as if it's antique.
I hope that I could give you some inspiration and tips what you can do of scraps. See you soon, I hope :-)

torsdag 28 juli 2016

Update. I'm just fine :-)

Thought that I should give you a short update of what I've been doing during this long absense. Well I've been working very hard that I had an emotional meltdown during the school exam, sitting on my office chair and just wept. I could keep myself together during the moments I had to show myself in front of students, parents and coworkers but couldn't bear the whole day.  It's not only students who have angst over grading.

This summer, my holiday last for 8 whole weeks. Imagine that!! It is very needed and I'm som worth it, as our hard working teenagers. Enough work talk.

We spent a whole week at the cottage. Fishing and eating pike (only me and Alfons ate it with apetite). Cycling trolley for 40 km (well I sat a lot of the time). Having days at the beach (I love that beach). And cheer on Gustav at the football cup. Got almost eaten up by gnats, mosquitoes and horseflies.

I had the opportunity to have my youngest son here for almost 5 weeks. He's a great company, but he has reached that age when parents are an embarrassement whatever they do. Still he says I'm his best friend. That sounds sweet but, yes he should say that to someone in his own age.

Now I have another three weeks by myself. Alone in my home and that is amazing. I have time and energy to be social (hellooo friends, I haven't seen in a year..) do things that need to be done..or not. do some foraging like picking berries and eating home grown vegetables, yum!. Sweating my days away in the heat. But most of all, I'm enjoying the silence and the opportunity to own my own thoughts.

Summer legs: I scratch myself in sleep of all mosquito bites.

I'm sorry if the page looks wonky but our internet died during a thunderstorm, so I'm finishing this post a few days late on my phone. 

fredag 29 april 2016

Work has absorbed me.

I have been completely absorbed by my work. Even my studies has been put aside and I do as little as possible to finish them. The result is a bad student and a good teacher. 
I really love to work as a teacher. I'm going to tell you why.

  • I work with young people, their energy is amazing but some times they can be extremely tired. They live their life at 150%. My students are my battery power.
  • 99,5% of the students are amazing people. I really get mad at other adults accusing them for slacker lifestyle or lazyness. You only have to take a look at their schedule to realize how their days looks like. I try to know all my students, what they like, what they do in their sparetime, where they come from and maybe even their parents. Of course I let them to know me as well. If I have a bad day, I tell. I share chosen bits of my life (without exposing myself) so they can understand that I don't stand in a closet waiting for the next day to come. 
  • As a result of keeping the distance short, the relationship between students and teachers at the school is very friendly yet professional. Our office has become a bit of a hangout for some students, they like to sit by the table, studying close to their teachers or have a cup of coffee in the sofa. The drawback is that we sometimes need to walk somewhere else to talk about other students.
  • They learn me stuff. Sometimes we do laboratory tests that fail completely or try things I've never done and fail. From that we are all learning.
  • I have amazing colleagues. Except from a very few ones most are without prestige and share their thoughts, tips and tricks. It's very far from the engineering career I had before were some older men saw me as a threat or uncanny.
  • My bosses are great people. The principal is a caring person like to throw parties and put the students first. 
  • I work with one of my interests, chemistry. We have a lousy laboratory but I have to be inventive. The bonus classes I have is math wich I find very fun to teach.

  • I beleive that I'm a good teacher because I once were one of those students who didn't get it in math, didn't have any motivation from time to time and generally had difficulties. I can say that I understand them and they know that I mean it. I never call them lazy, I tell them that I know what they are going through (with hormones, lifesituations, anxiety, stress etc). I encourage them to ask questions. I even say "Great! :-)" when they say they don't get it, because I was once a student who didn't dare to speak up in class and ask questions to the teacher. 
  • I have a bunch of kids that I raise but don't have to pay for. I don't have to deal with the early teen problems but I can see them growing up to adults and that's fantastic.

  • I do lots of weird stuff sometimes and the content of my working bag can be mysterious. Sometimes I do silly things like in the photo above punching paper confetti for a students poster. I try to use different kinds of teaching methods and do practical and creative stuff.

So thats why you don't see me much. Time to get absorbed again.....

lördag 6 februari 2016

More planning

The Carpe Diem pages were a bit far from who I am and my style, so I made my own dividers and pockets for the calendar. The colourtheme is the same as for my work space; brown, black and white.
The first insert have a pocket with wallpaper scraps to use as decoration or notes.
The other side of the insert has some tiny post it notes. I love these tiny ones. I use them for my to-do stuff. When I have done them, I can just remove them from the calendar or, I can move them forward (the perfect procrastination). 
The first page of the calendar are just some glued together scraps. I had to add an owl. 

This is an example of a month divider. 

If I have the time, I will decorate every week. This will make work and studies more fun, right?
This is the Valentine week, apparently. 
You can see some of my classes here too, math and chemistry. But monday and tuesday will be spent at university and the seminars.
Some things are blurred for integrity.

Another non-planned week, with a vintage style

Some of the Carpe Diem pockets are left to be replaced later. I made a clever pop up pocket for eventual notes or to do lists, or any list.

fredag 29 januari 2016

My memory is on paper

My memory is made of teflon, it's a common disorder for people who are brain-workers. I forget meetings, reporting students on vacation, and all those small things I have to fix to make the world go round. A planner is essential for my daily life and I've concluded that google calendar doesn't work for me. 

To keep my stress level down, I use mini post it notes for "to do" tasks. I post them in my planner, and when I've finished each task I throw the notes away. I can also move the notes to another day if something more important comes up. That means I only have to focus on one day at a time, being present, carpe diem and shit like that...

The problem with prefabricated templates is that they sometimes doesn't fit your needs. My teachers planner worked just fine, but I thought it was a little bit boring and limiting. After some good advices from my sister in law who also is a teacher, I bought a planner from Simple stories in A5 size. I liked it because of the pockets, the dotted lining and the size. But the main thing is that the ring opener is making you able to personalize it more.

I bought mine from Skaparlusten. I can highly recommend any swedish people who likes stationery this shop, because I got my parcel within two days. And she called me the day after I put my order because one of the items were out of stock. I told her to change it with something that fitted the rest of my order and she sent me the clips and inserts for the planner. 

I wanted my week plan to look more like a schedule than the horizontal one that came with the planner. Publisher is an excellent office based programme that is easy to use, making templates. I kept mine simple because I'm supposed to alter it for every week.
If someone is interested, I have this template in pdf-format to send to you. Note that you print it on A4, divide the paper in half and make your own holes fitting your planner. Oh and if you like, I can change the days to english or change the fonts, easy peasy.

måndag 25 januari 2016

Our city has it's own pet, an owl

Some of you know that I love owls. The symbolize wisdom, mysticism, but also darkness. In old times the sound of a howling owl ment a bad omen. 100 years ago you recieved bounty for shooting them. Today this typical owl, the eagle owl has been rescued from being endangered but is still very sensitive.
Our city and the mine has a couple of eagle owls as official pets, they also represents our town in bigger sport events. The couple have their nest on a cliff at the mine and they also have their own website with a webcam.  (site also in english)
I haven't bothered about these owls, until now. Many have seen and heard it around the market place and one of the owls has found a perfect perch on top of the church. 
Every evening around 6 o'clock it sits on the cross and howls.
One of your tasks on saturday was to find the owl, because I've never heard it before. The citys facebook group is a good place to check for their current location. So at 17, it sat on the cross, we went there to find it empty. We went to the mine because someone posted shortly after that the owl and his fiance was there, we heard nothing. A man we met, had walked around the mine and didn't see or hear one, so we went to the supermarket to buy groceries. When we came back to the car after shopping, the owl was back on the cross. We went back and there it was. Ho hoo!

It looks tiny. But someone with a better camera took this photo.
I think it's great that we have been able to have this couple in the middle of our city and that people really care about them. We stopped using fire crackers, they have their own fund and every year if they have chicks it's good news.

lördag 23 januari 2016

Lots of nail tips in this post!!

It has become a weekly routine to change nailvarnish. Sundays or saturdays are the days for this activity. You know already that I sit a lot, studying or working by the computor and thats a time I can combine with nail painting.

One design I've always wanted to achieve is the triangled "half moon". I tried with scotch tape, sticky notes etc. You can see my sticky note result at my pointing finger, really bad.
Then Johan came up with the brilliant idea that I should try his electrical tape because its very flexible. It worked great! Another tip is to cut the tape in a small triangle and not a square, that makes it even more flexible, but smaller piece to handle. My ring and pinkie finger nails are masked with the last tape.
I might have written this before but I would like to add some tips to my:
How to grow long nails
  • File your nails in a pointy shape. Specially if your nails tends to brake from the sides.
  • I know eat sleep and live well have influence on how your nails will look and you already know that.
  • I have noticed that my nails are breaking easier and are weaker, like my hair, as I become older and coming closer to the menopause (not there yet). So stay young noting the line above.
  • Use a nail polish remover that doesn't weaken your nails. I tried one acetone free that actually dilluted the plastic of my keyboard, it contained propylene carbonate. I use one now that contains ethyl acetate and it works fine.
  • After the polish remover, wash your hands and moisturize and re-grease them with a oil rich hand cream.
  • Use a protecting base coat, like the one in the photo below. Two layers.
  • Do your nail art and let the varnish dry completely befor another layer is applied.
  • Finish with a hard top coat that protects your design.
  • Don't hurry. I did and broke several nails while digging in my handbag for keys.