söndag 30 december 2012

Couch surfer

I got a sort of hangover from christmas. The stomach flu is hitting lots of families right now and I got a long lasting one that have made me sick but not enough sick. I prefer the ones that lasts for a day and wipes you out completely but healthy at once when it's over. We have had lovely weather theese days.
 Here's Alfons skiing in the garden. I follow him on my own skiis and we are doing tracks between the raspberryhedge and the blackcurrants. I took a turn out on the meadow in the deep snow but only got 300 m before I felt sick again and had to turn back home.
It's very sad that the snow is melting right now :/. 

The pendant I'm wearing is a christmas gift from Johan. That was so cute of him, because I have wanted this amulet for a long time. It's a reiki sign; cho ku rei, that is used to secure and lock things. I use reiki healing frequently but not as much as I should. When I or anyone else in the family have difficulties to sleep I use reiki and this symbol to protect the house and my family. For me it's a powerful symbol.

I have braided in my wool dreads in my hair in this picture but they are almost invisible. I need to do more of them.

I have longed to sew and to do handstitching so I have started a new project. This fabric is painted with stencils and is basting stitched on a black fabric. I have started to backstitch around the edges of the prints and around the flower petals I've added black beads. When the embrodiery is finished I will cut out holes for the black fabric to bee seen through.
I will make a poncho of it. The pattern and technique comes from this book bought at Alabama Chanin
I love the mix between luxurious embroderies and comfortable cotton jersey. The clothes in this book are very beautiful and easy to make. The clothes are all hand sewn.
It is also possible to buy finished clothes at their website but the price's are enormous (wich is understandable when you know how much work it is). So by selling the book with patterns and free downloads for prints, kits for sewing etc they make their clothes available for everyone. Thats a clever buisness idea :)

As a concequence of the damn flu we will spend our New Years eve in a calm way. 
I'm looking forward to a new healthier year.

söndag 23 december 2012

Holiday Greetings

As you can see the sun is barely over the treetops in the middle of the day. I took these photos on friday when I took a day off. I was tired and stressed so I needed it. When I looked out of the window, this was the lovely view that met my eyes.
Its was amazing how the view could comfort me and give me energy for the rest o fthe day.
The garden is asleep under a cover of 50 cm of snow.
This is our christmas tree for the year. It turned bronze, silver and red and the theme is owls and sculls.
The owl below is a new one, it so darn cute and reminds me of the Owls of Gahoole.
I counted to seven owls in my tree.
I have also bought some scull ornaments. They look very evil so the friendly owls balance it off a bit.
Unfortunately I have become allergic to christmas...or the scents of if. It started with the alcohol free glögg (glüwein). That gives me migraine for three days. Quite a hangover, huh? Later I bought two hyacinth bulbs in white for my zinc cones. When they started to bloom I got really bad headache and nausea. Luckily I could have these bulbs left as they doesn't smell as much as the white ones.
I wish you all a lovely holiday and time to relax and spend some time with your family and friends.

torsdag 20 december 2012

Oskars birthday

 I have been so busy lately. Lots of work and some preparations for all the december birthdays in our family and christmas. I realized the other day that I'm very late and that the stress is affecting me badly :p. My eldest had his 13th birthday the other week. As a present for him I renovated his bedroom. He started with it this summer but he needed help to finish it. Hadn't got the energy until now.
New curtains, plants and a lantern gave it a modern and cozy look. 
I followed his instructions almost exactly when I renovated the room. At first I was very sceptical but along the way I worked ,I saw it would be a nice room for a boy :). This is how he wanted it: One white wall, two green in a colour he had chosen and the print M90 from the Swedish army uniform on the fourth wall.
I bought the original fabric from and put it up on the wall, easier and cheaper than a wallpaper or paint. I sew a cusion as well and that was trickier, didn't like to sew with the fabric at all.
The bedside table is a fake military gear box and was found at a local store.
The package on the bed contains a camouflage net, an US airforce tshirt and a Swedish Army gasmask from the 50's. The gas mask is a joke from my side. He watched the episode of Dr Who, season 1 that is called "Are you my mommy" and freaked out :D (like I did).
I also bought a military map, framed it and put it up on the white wall. I will look for more maps like these because they are very decorative. This corner will have a cosy armchair in the future.
 Heres a view of the writing desk. It would be nicer with a heavy old desk but I havent got the money to fix that now. I used the fabric on the chair and on a pinboard as well. There is a little piece left for other projects. As you can see the skirting boards are missing, like any other project it's always something that's missing to make a renovating project completed.
The pictures below shows how it looked this summer when Oskar worked hard with painting the ceiling. Yeah, he wanted grey and white stripes! Here is he removing the plastic carpet and pulling out needles from the wooden floors. Moa is very supportive.

As you can see in the corner, the walls were very greasy and ugly. It's nothing more than fair that the eldest with the ugliest room will have it renovated first. 

The last christmas presents will be purchased this evening and wrapped. Tonight I will pickup my newly become teenager and a bunch of friends at a disco for a safe transport home. I guess there will be lots of late nights like this in the future.

torsdag 13 december 2012

Sankta lucia

So today is one of Swedens celebration of the darkest day of the year. When I'm searching for information about this celebration, it's a bit confusing. It is said that it has nothing to do with the Sicilian saint Lucia as I have been told, not that much anyway. It is a mix between pre-christian and christian rites. In the old Julian calender, the 13th december was the darkest day of the year and from that day until christmas the risk of being attacked by evil entities was larges. That was fought with light and singing. It was called Lussi.

Some traditions says that young people walked from house to house to sing Staffan-songs (about a horse farm worker) and beg for treats. Thats the guys with the star decorated cones in the background.
Lucia is the girl that brings the light with candles and often waking up the people in the house with singing and treats like gingerbreads and saffron buns "Lusse-bulle".

File:Luciafirande på Koberg i Västergötland 1848. Fritz von Dardel - Nordiska Museet - NMA.0033692.jpg
      source Lucia 1848

So its like any other swedish traditions, a mix between several old and new ones. The picture above describes the modern lucia wich was developed during the late 19th century. Its a very beautiful event when the long row of people with candles enter a dark room singing Santa Lucia (but in a Swedish version) . Other songs are the Staffan song, Lusse lelle, and other christian christmas songs.

Lots of schools are celebrating this. But this year Alfons school choosed to not arrange it at all, because of lack of resources (what on earth is happening at that school?..) I have to wait until sunday, when we will see lucia at the youngest kids swim school. A swimming lucia with white dressed children with candles around the pool is also nice.

Update: I got a link from a friend. This is a beautiful way to celebrate, all allone in the forest.

Something that is not so nice about the tradition is the selection of the lucia. Either the teacher selected lucia and it was always the tallest girl with long blond hair or the teachers favourite. Or they had an election at school and it was the popular girl who won. As I was short and had dark hair I was never lucia. Until Highschool when my classmates forced me to put on the crown and wake up our math teacher with singing and cookies. It was fun. Today, thank good they are more nice to young people. They raffle by those who wants.

torsdag 6 december 2012

Gothidays 2012, Day Six: Not a Santa hat but a Fez

Almost the last post of Gothidays, sigh. It was so fun to do this and an excellent challenge!
Instead of removing everything in the home from Halloween decorations, I have used some for the Christmas decorations. The dead mossy twigs from our garden hegde (yeah this is how the hegde look like around the garden :/) have changed ornaments. First I sprayed the twigs with laquer and drizzled a mix of mica flakes and glass glitter over them to get a frosty glittery feeling, not visible though. The black bow was changed to a white and new ornaments is hung.

Candy cones, crosses and hearts in the white, beige and black colour theme.

On the mantelpiece a skull with a fez is placed (from my silly hat collection). And liqueur glasses with tea candles are lit.
Johan have a part in this decoration as well. At night a glowing light in changing colours is lighting up the scull from the inside.

 It's not a traditional christmas decoration but it has all the colours right?

onsdag 5 december 2012

Gothidays 2012, Day Five and a Bat Fit Challenge

When I read the Professors new blogpost in the Gothidays theme I was actually going to show some of my other spooky holiday decorations. But since this also is a challenge in Bat fit I simply couldn't resist writing about my health status and view on the christmas food.

The picture below illustrates the typical dinner table for a christmas celebration. And the picture is actually saying the truth. Swedes are tucking in all these foods during a loong dinner that starts at noon and ending by late evening at christmas eve (yes we are celebrating the eve day).

So what to do..... well I have to eat decorations!! And people look at me strangely when I'm fuzzing about the non existent vegetables. I'm not a big fan of the christmas table and that over eating frenzie. I like to enjoy one of theese dishes at a time and add vegetables. I have simply refused to cook a dinner like that one above to my family, I'm not a slave in the kitchen even if I enjoy cooking and baking.

So a little update... Since I have been ill for a while, I haven't been able to do the exercise and do the cooking at home, I have been exhausted. But I'm better now and started to eat vitamin D to compensate the lack of light, I recommend it! It makes you more lighter on the inside. I have started to eat more raw food. Breakfast and lunch is mostly raw and vegan. I'm trying to cut down on the dairy products and meat and a bit on the carbs.
I can see a slight difference in weight and less hunger feelings. But we have christmas holidays coming and me and Oskars birthdays do I have to try to balance this. Next year will be another bat fit year for me, I have plans :)

The veggies on the pictures comes from my own garden the summer 2012 

The best thing with winter is the snow! I love skiing both cross country and downhill. I love to showel snow and help the kids to build snow castles, snow men and snow piles. I enjoy the cold air. The nature is beautiful this time of year. Who wants to sit indoors when it's so much fun to do outside?

måndag 3 december 2012

Modest decorations. Gothidays 2012 day three

I realized yesterday when I decorated my home that I don't use or have much decorations in my home. I can't overdo it and I can't use things I don't like, like kitschy santas, figures of straw and bright red pointsetta cloths. One thing I always do is my own Advent candle tray. This year, I used a silver tray and white moss. I have made the numbers with iron thread and a few pearls and the ribbons are old letter ribbons.
I choiced to go for a quick fix for the door this year. A friend of mine had bought a grave wreath for her door for only 2,5 € at the supermarket. I went to look for one myself and came home with this one. You simply lay it in front of the grave stone. I sprayed it with snow spray and added a shabby hemp rope to it and hung it on the door. 
I'm a bit embarrased to show the door. I painted the porch the first summer we moved in but haven't painted the door yet.

I have started to look for nice boquets in the supermarket for fair prices and this time a twig of white lilies came with me home. This is how the mirror table in the hallway look like now. The table cloth is a art noveau cloth that I have embroderied myself. I almost cannot imagine myself doing this with all those stiches! A praying madonna stands under the glass dome.

Time for gingerbreads

I have joined the curious Professors Gothidays theme. As a person who feels physically sick when hearing christmas songs and hate the sight of a jolly santa, I can feel related to this theme. 

It's like everyone has danced the snow dance, because suddenly it came lots of snow. I have been busy with showeling the yard and building a high snowpile for the kids. This night became very cold, we got -25 degrees C. 
We baked gingerbread yesterday, it took almost the whole day. Here's Alfons baking.

I think gingerbreads need icing. The cakes are decorated with lots of different colours. As you can see the christmas theme is blended with some Halloween cutters.

The kitchen looks like when Pippi Longstocking is baking, exept the dough on the floor.

The stepdaughter made a calendar, one cookie for every day until christmas :)

The recipe gives hundreds of cookies but I know they will be eaten up. We have two birthdays to celebrate this month.
I have made the recipe myself it has more spices and molass than the common recipe.

Next post will be about my decorations at home. Until then, have a lovely day.