Monday, 6 May 2013

moving -> come visit me!


I'm on a journey ... Not a real, physical one.

But, I'm doing something new. And I needed a new "home" for all of the good stuff.

is my new blog. Please come visit me :-)

Monday, 22 April 2013

Baby clothes + fabric paint = cute gift

This makes a cute and customizable gift for a baby.


You need:
Plastic sheet or plastic pocket (or use freezer paper if you prefer)
Fabric paint
Scissors or knife
Sponge and/or paint brush
Baby clothes (begin with washing them)

body4 body3 body2

Draw a picture (or find one on the internet + print it) and tranfer it to the plastic sheet with a pen. Cut it out with your scissors (I often use sharp nail scissors or embroidery scissors) and tape it to the fabric. I recommend putting an old newspaper (or similar) inside, to prevent the fabric paint from "bleeding" through.

Use a sponge and/or paint brush to apply the paint. After a little while you can remove the stencil (and if you want to you can rinse it under warm water to remove the paint and then use it again with other colors). Let it dry for a day (or according to the manufacturers instructions) and then iron it.

Ready to use, or give away :)

Thursday, 18 April 2013

On a rainy day :: Spring arrives

I woke up in the middle of the night and heard a familiar sound, yet it took me a while before I realised what it was: rain. We've had an extremely long winter and not until now spring is, slowly, arriving.

IMG_7829 IMG_7834 IMG_7836 IMG_7835

Those past few days the weather has changed every day. From sunny to very windy to rainy. The snow is melting, the streets are cleaned up, and we see spring flowers in bloom. There's still ice on the lake, but only the birds walk there now.

Today I have to leave the lights on. Outside are dark clouds and heavy rain. Annabel is asleep and I've had a chokladboll (chocolate ball) that Nora made yesterday evening and a cup of tea. During my pregnancy I hated tea (still I missed it), but now I drink several cups a day of different kinds of tea ;-)

Days like this one are cosy and nice in a certain way. I feel I don't really have to do anything; I can let myself just be. I read a bit, email with a friend, and feel sleepy - and it's just okay. It's actually perfect.


Tuesday, 16 April 2013

How to make neater stripes when knitting

I recently learnt something new at my knitting class.

IMG_7424 IMG_7425

I took the class with some of the mom's of Nora's friends. Our leader, Alice, is a sweet old lady who used to teach knitting, sewing etc at schools, but is now a retiree. We met at her house (and yes, she used to treat us with tea or coffee and cake) ever second week earlier this year.

She knows so much about knitting (and, as she said, the opportunities in knitting are endless, so she's still learning new things), she's like a living knitting encyclopedia.

When class begun I had already knitted half of the first sock, the one to the left. Alice taught me how to make the stripe look better: First and last row with the new color, only knit, no purl.

Really simple, and as you see it makes a huge difference and looks much more neat.

Shared at Frontier Dreams :)

Ps. Yes, it's 1 knit, 1 purl on the left sock and 2 knit, 2 purl on the right one. I had forgotten the first one at home when beginning the second one, and didn't remember correctly ...

Monday, 15 April 2013

What we've been doing

This is what my - our - life has been like lately.


Saturday, 13 April 2013

Photographing children: creating a calm background

I love to shoot pictures of my children and with newborns it's so easy (they don't run around! ;-) ). I wanted to share a few easy tips with you on how to improve your photos. Just simple things that doesn't require special equipment or skills.


I want to begin with talking about the importance of the background. As fun as it can be to see your piles of clothes, toys, furniture and cats in the background, it's most of the time disturbing your eye. A calm, simple background help us focus on the motif in the photo: the baby/child.

Do you want to know how I created this green background?

I put a blanket on our bed.

It's as simple as that :-)

You can try with different kinds of sheets, fabric, curtains, blankets etc. White is classic. Try pastels, patterns, gray, neons - It's fun, easy and inexpensive to play with backgrounds. Use what you have at home.

Don't put the baby too close to the background, as you'll see all wrinkles etc on the fabric/blanket then. I shot with f/5 to make the background even more blurry, but if you've got a more simple camera you can see if you have a portrait setting on it (use to look like a head). Focus on the eyes to make them the most sharp part of the photo - you want to draw the attention to the eyes, as that's where people naturally look when they meet someone or see a photo of a person.

This is what it looked like "behind the scenes":


Sunday, 7 April 2013

My children's names

How did you choose name for your children?


Nora has been one of my favourite names for many, many years - long before I met Magnus, long before I even knew I wanted a family. I think I first fell in love with the name when I was ~10 years old and went to the theatre with my best friend to see Ibsens Et Dukkehjem (A Doll's House). Nora is the main charachter in the play.

Nora is also from a book I read and loved when I was young: Maria Gripe's "Agnes Cecilia - en sällsam historia" ("Agnes Cecilia" in English).

So when I met Magnus, I said that if we have a daughter, I want her name to be Nora. Actually, I said I want her name to be Nora Nenita. If he liked it. And he did ;)

Nenita is my middle name too, and my aunt's first name. It's spanish.


When I was pregnant with Annabel we decided Magnus was the one to choose a name. But when I mentioned Annabel, he fell in love with that name to ... and an Annabel it is. I suggested we'd take a middle name from his family, so her name is Annabel Eva - Eva from her grandma.

Annabel is a very uncommon name in Sweden, but it's not an unknown name. There's a song about Annabell Olsson that I think most of us have heard, at least when we were children. It's written by Lennart Hellsing who's written many popular Swedish songs, poems and books for children.

Here's the text, followed by a (terrible) google translation:

Annabell , Annabell,
Annabell Olsson,
hon sitter och drömmer,
när månen går opp.
Hon vandrar i trädgårn,
och luktar på blommor,
och sjunger bland liljor,
och rosendeknopp.

Annabell, Annabell,
Annabell Olsson,
hon torkar ej disken,
och bäddar som vi.
Hon väljer bland pärlor,
och trär dem på snoddar,
i siden och sammet,
hon dansar förbi.

Annabell, Annabell,
Annabell Olsson,
är inte som andra,
som bråkar och slåss.
Hon är en förtrollad,
prinsessa från sagan,
som råkat gå vilse,
och bor här bland oss.


Annabell, Annabell,
Annabell Olsson
she sits and dreams,
when the moon is up.
She walks in the garden,
and smell the flowers,
and sing among the lilies,
and rose bulbs.

Annabell, Annabell,
Annabell Olsson
she does not dry the dishes,
and make the beds as we do.
She chooses among pearls,
and threading them on strings,
in silk and velvet,
she dances past.

Annabell, Annabell,
Annabell Olsson
is not like others,
who argue and fight.
She is an enchanted,
princess from the fairy tale,
who get lost,
and live here among us.

You can hear the song on youtube, here.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

a girl

I've been silent and I guess you know why.

The 26th was Nora's birthday (5 years old!). We begun celebrating it the evening before, not knowing if we'd be at home on her birthday. In the morning we had cake and gave her gifts. In the evening we went to the hospital, and on the following morning (my mom's birthday, by the way), our little daugther was born.


This is Annabel, a few days old. We're so in love with her :-)

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

A silent week ...

One might think I'm having a baby, not updating the blog for a week.

Recieved: Roses, violets and periwinkle

But no. I've actually told the baby to wait a bit more. We catched a cold. I'm quite okay, but Nora has kept us awake many nights with fever and cough. She's a bit better today and slept quite well tonight.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

We made bookmarks

I wanted a simple and quick craft, so I decided to make a few bookmarks. Seconds later Nora joined me: "I want to make bookmarks, too!". She made one for grandma and one for herself. I made three and sent away all of them.

bokmärken bokmärken2 bokmärken3

It didn't take us many minutes to make them, but sometimes that's the best kind of craft.

Do you use bookmarks when reading? I often forgot to, but when I got a handmade one in August I started using it and since then there are bookmarks in about half of the books I'm reading (yes, I read many books at a time).

Keep calm craft on ... :-)

Monday, 11 March 2013

Creative writing :: 8 ways to get unstuck ::

No matter if you're writing articles for a magazine or poetry for your own pleasure, you've definetely got stuck some time. Maybe you don't write at all nowadays, except for to do lists and grocery lists along with scrambling down one or another appointment in your schedule. How to get back into a more creative writing habit? I have some tips for you.


1. Write lists. They are easy, no preassure writing, and very fun to do. They are fun when becuase you make them fun. You can list your favourite ice creams, your cousins (and sort them by age), your daily habits - or 10 things you would do if you were a superhero, places you want to visit, famous people you'd like to have lunch with etc.

2. Cut out a picture from a magazine, glue it on a piece of paper and start writing about what is happening, or what just happened, or what will happen next. Do not think too much - write what comes to mind. No one will read it anyway; the purpose is to start writing again.

3. Describe something or someone. It can be a person, something that just happened, a place, your lunch. Use your senses but choose only one and write down all words that comes to mind. If you choose smell, then write down all the smells that describe the situation/person.

4. Write a letter. Pick a friend or relative, or find someone online, and write a letter telling them about your day, your thoughts, or maybe about what they mean to you. A Kindness Letter, where you tell them all what you like about them, is always appreciated :-)


5. Choose a theme. It can be anything. If it's hard to choose, pick a newspaper and write about the theme of the first headline. Or choose something classic, like Love, Inner Peace, War or Family. Then set your alarm clock to something between 3 and 10 minutes. 10 is an absolute maximum, I would recommend you to go for 3-5 minutes. And then write! Don't think about spelling or grammar or even if someone would be able to understand what you've written. Just let your mind flow and write, write, write. Write as if your life was dependant on it. And stop when you hear the alarm. Yes, stop.

6. Write diary. Do the classic "today I ...", or more experimental kinds like exploring different sides of yourself. Do it a daily chore for a limited time (you might even get a new habit here) during a few minutes a day.


7. Continue a sentece. Pick the first - or last - sentence in a book (preferably one you haven't read) and continue it. Write only one page. No more, no less.

8. Write a classic fairy tale. But only with main points or mindmapping. From the beginning to the end.

Do you have any tips on how to get unstuck? Please share them in the comments below :)

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Gratitude Sunday

It's March. It's the first month of spring. But it feel like spring only in the middle of the day, when the sun is warming. The nights have been colder than usual: -20 degress Celsius tonight (-4 F). Despite the cold weather, there are so many things to be grateful for this week. I'm joining Wooly Moss Roots in Gratitude Sunday.

IMG_1054 IMG_1072 IMG_1075

- The first spring flowers outside our house. Snowdrops and winter aconite.
- The end of the pregnancy is coming closer: soon our baby is here!
- I've been outside, sitting in the sun, twice this week! All in all I've haven't been outside this many hours since two good days I had in the beginning of August. Yeseterday we went to the lake with my mom and her cohabitant/boyfriend (what do you say in English?). People were iceskating and skiing on the lake. I sat on a chair and just relaxed.
- I've been sewing and I've finished a couple of things I was working on. Feels good.

Photos above are from Sunday by the lake :) Me relaxing in the sun, Nora eating sausage, and Nora + Magnus + my mom walking on the ice.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Spring, sun and fir cone animals

For the first time since I don't know when, I've been outside for more than 15 minutes. It was W-O-N-D-E-R-F-U-L!

IMG_7534 IMG_7536 IMG_7538 IMG_7546 IMG_7547 IMG_7549 IMG_7558 IMG_7559

The morning was cold but beautiful. It was -9 degrees Celcius (F = 15.8), but it soon rose and after lunch it was warm and nice in the sun. Snow was melting and Nora and I were bored inside our flat. I asked her if we should go out. You should have seen her expression - I haven't suggested going out for many, many months because of pain and the cold weather. Of course I can't walk or play, but at least it was warm enough to sit in the sun while Nora played.

We made fir cone animals and played with them.

I always think it's so funny when people say "when I was little we could play with anything. We made animals out of cones. But children today ..." and then they say what they think "children today" only do (and that more often include a screen than cones and sticks and twigs). In some ways they might be right, but what I think is so fun when they say it is that they can be 20 or they can be 80. People said so also when I was little (and I disagreed because I've always been playing with nature finds). And, I actually don't think there's any time when everyone made and played with cone animal.

Most important of all: if children always sit in front of a screen and never play in nature, well, who's fault is it? Instead of complaining about what children do and don't, take them outside and play with them!

It's now soon evening and Nora and Magnus have made a broccoli- & feta cheese pie which is in the oven at the moment. Friday is the day when Nora decide the menu and cook with one of us. This year she's so far chosen to make this pie 95% of all Fridays (I think we've had one exception or so ...). I love the idea of including her in the planning, shopping and cooking - but I honestly don't like eating the same pie every single Friday ;-) But then, on the other hand, she doesn't always like what I cook on, let's say, a Monday.

And I feel like my batteries were loaded a bit in the sun and the fresh air. I so needed it. Spring, please come! And baby, too!

Shared at Friday's Nature Table :-)

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Snow is melting and I am happy

IMG_7528 IMG_7527 IMG_7526 IMG_7524 IMG_7523 IMG_7522 IMG_7521 IMG_7520

I said I was labile. Today I'm, strangely enough (because of a bad night and pain), in a good mood. Even happy. The sun is shining and even if it was a cold morning, now the sun is warming and snow is melting. Blue sky. I believe birds are singing, somewhere (I can't hear any from inside the house). I'm almost singing myself: It's a wonderful, wonderful day. I don't even understand why.

My craft room, the sunniest one in the flat, is a mess. The rest of the house too. And today I don't care.

Tonight I'll go to knitting class and begin my second sock in the red self striping yarn. I didn't go there last time, because of too much pain (and tiredness), but today I really feel like knitting and chatting :)

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

not a dance on roses


It's 14 days until the baby is due (but I suspect it might wait until Easter) and I'm the most labile mom ever. At least it feels so. I try to control myself, but it's so difficult. And afterwards I feel ashamed of myself.

I don't want to pretend pregnancy is a dance on roses. 

For me it isn't, at all. But I have good days and bad days, good moments and bad moments. One thing is for sure: I'm normally a very stable person, so my behaviour now isn't easy for any of us. I try to explain to Nora why I am this way now (those times when I can't control myself and over react or say something I immediately regret), I apologize to my husband, and they're both understanding. But still, we all want this baby to arrive soon, and me to go back to my normal self.

Like this morning. Nora said she didn't want the slippers I made her, despite that she choose yarn, color and asked me to make butterflies. She said it calmly, it was just "a matter of fact", but I felt like crying. Or cutting the slippers in small pieces. Or telling her that I would never, ever knit anything for her. I didn't do any of that, luckily, but it took me three hours before I stopped feeling like someone had died (or worse). I over react. I understand what it comes from: 9 months of hyperemesis followed by pelvic girdle pain. And all those hormones, I guess.

Luckily I have some alone time today and can pull myself together. Magnus is at work and Nora is out in the nature with her friends, her backpack full of pancakes and fruits and carrot and hot chocolate. I will now watch a video on painting, have some leftovers for lunch, then work for a little while before picking her up and heading home again.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Dragons & dinosaurs

IMG_7504 IMG_7505 IMG_7508 IMG_7510 IMG_7515

Our favourite craft is of the more eco friendly kind. We love to use the things we otherwise throw away/recycle to create new things. I have a box in which we collect stuff to craft and build and play with. We're never allowed to save more "crap" than what can fit into the box, which is a good rule (or else we'd save too many "might be useful one day"-things). Nora often go to that box and says she's about to make one or another thing.

The other day she said "let's make dragons". So we did. I have to help her with the glue gun (it's too hot for her to handle), but else than that she makes most of it by herself. I love to see her creative ideas and how she uses the material to build something new. I made the big dragon, she made the small and much cooler one :)

Shared at KCCO today.
Related Posts with Thumbnails