HAVE A WOOLLY JOLLY CHRISTMAS



This baby mobile from Klippan just makes me smile. 

IMAGE: PRODUCT IMAGE KLIPPAN YLLEFRABRIK

CORK IT UP


Sustainable, hand harvested, 100% natural, and with natural water repellant qualities. There is so much to love about cork. These coasters/small trivets from Formgatan are smoked to bring out the material's darker tones. For a list of Formgatan resellers look here

IMAGE: PRODUCT IMAGE DESIGNTORGET WEBSHOP

FRA BALLERUD


 

There is something particularly interesting about seeing old images of places one has loved or lived. Johannes Flintsoe (1787-1870) has decorated one of the most famous parlours in the Royal palace in Oslo, fugleværelset. (Her Majesty the queen gives a short presentation of the parlour if you click here.)

Johannes Flintose is also represented in the collections of Nasjonalmuseum, including this coloured drawing of a house on Ballerud, a five minute walk from where we live today. 

IMAGE: FRA BALLERUD, BY JOHANNES FLINTSOE, NASJONALMUSEUM OSLO

IN NEED OF A SOFTIE?

 

Elvang, a small Danish importer of Peruvian alpaca wool make the loveliest throws, pillows and scarves. And apparently also the sweetest little stuffed alpacas I have ever seen. 

IMAGE: PRODUCT IMAGE ELVANG AS WEBSHOP

MULTI FUNCTION SHOPPER



Perstorp AB is a Swedish business group producing industrial chemicals. In the 1950s one of the founders designed a shopper in plastic.  His grandchild put them back in production in 2006 and the Hinza bags are now considered a modern classic. I was hesitant about getting our family new plastic items, until I learned that the bags are extremely durable, and the plastic is recyclable. 

At first I wanted one to store and transport all the library books that we are reading at the speed of light during home isolation. After trying to sort our recycling storage today, I think we might need more than a book carrier. It takes me 15 minutes to walk to the nearest glass and metal recycling container. Perhaps a couple of these in the kitchen nook is the perfect solution? 

Available in several sizes and a wide range of colours, covers sold separately. 

IMAGE: PRODUCT IMAGE ROYALDESIGN.COM

STUEGRAN ANNO 1908

Karoline and Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson, 1908

Have you noticed the potted small wispy trees that are ubiquitous in the highly stylized, all white Scandi winter interiors (one example)? Karoline and Bjørnstjerene Bjørnson apparently had a fine specimen as well, as seen here in a photo from their living room at Aulestad in 1908. 

IMAGE: BY PHOTOGRAPHER ANDERS BEER WILSE, FROM THE COLLECTIONS OF THE NATIONAL LIBRARY OF NORWAY


MUSIC FOR NOVEMBER

Pick a new soundtrack for this gray Thursday: 

Vinterland by Laleh 

Stockholms klockor by Sarah Dawn Finer 

Nattunn is by Cajsa Stina Åkerström 

PEAR WITH ME

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In our kitchen, this condiment is to overripe pears what banana bread is to brown bananas. We use it as a substitute for the Swedish staple lingonberry jam or rowan berry jelly. If a recipe calls for apple sauce, this is a fun twist.  If I want less of a kick, I simply leave out the chili and ginger. 

I penned it down at least 17 years ago and attributed the original recipe to Per Dahlberg. Considering how many times we have used this recipe, we owe him a visit to his restaurant Gastro in Helsingborg. 

4 pears, peeled and diced
0,5 tbs butter
2 limefruits, juice only
1 tbs honey
0,5 red chili, thin slices 
1 tsp ginger, grated

Warm pears in butter, without browning. Add honey and stir. Add lime juice to taste. Cook gently until it becomes a lumpy puree. Add chili and ginger. 
Store in refrigerator. 

THE BREAD WINNER

 




There are few things more frustrating to me than items floating about our home without a purpose, rarely used. As a result, I have promised myself not to purchase something new unless I have a specific use or need for it. 

So for two years I have been trying to construct a situation where this basket is moved from the want-list  to the need-list. Perhaps my last resort is to misplace our current breadbasket. If you invite me to a pot luck in the near future, please ask me to bring bread rolls...  

IMAGE: PRODUCT IMAGE BRUKA DESIGN, USED WITH PERMISSION

#NOVENT

Have you come across the hashtag novent lately?  It´s a term coined by the mother of Alexandra Malmqvist Olsson for christmas and advent preparations and celebrations in November. The term captured a modern day practice so aptly that it has been submitted to the official Swedish word book. 

In the US, there is a different rhythm to the season, with Halloween; Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations about one month apart from each other. Three different celebrations, each with rather specific characteristics. 

In Sweden, All Saints Eve is a big family dinner or gathering, in connection with lighting candles on the graves of loved ones who have passed. So there is a natural progression from the lighting of candles in the dark night, via gray skies, fog, frost, the first snow (depending on where in the country you live), to the advent season in late november. Over the past twentyfive years the advent season, along with its supposed accoutrements, has gained in significance. No longer a mere count down to the Christmas holidays, it is now considered the official start of the Holiday season, with the consequence that November now is a season of holiday preparation. A form of count down to the original countdown...

A QUICK INTRODUCTION TO NORSE MYTHS

Oluf Olufsen Bagge - Yggdrasil, The Mundane Tree 1847 - full page


The Swedish History Museum, Historiska Museet, has published an audio guide with old Norse myths, translated to English. 

Listen in

IMAGE: ENGRAVED ILLUSTRATION FROM THE PROSE EDDA, BY OLUF OLFSEN BAGGE, PUBLISHED 1847 

OLD IS THE NEW MODERN






The oldest known flower pot in Sweden is a royal one from 1580. It was footed, with emerald green glaze, and bore a family crest. Sörmlandskrukan, though crafted from unrefined 10 000 year old Swedish clay, is its very opposite in terms of decor. Hand made by Ida Netterberg

IMAGE: PRODUCT IMAGE, DESIGNTORGET WEBSHOP

MAKING SCENTS OF IT ALL

 


I have been waiting for this collection to drop since I first heard about it three years ago. IKEA has teamed up with the founder of BYREDO, Ben Gorham, to launch a collection of scented candles aptly named osynlig, which means invisible in Swedish. Birch and juniper, fig and cypress, apricot blossom and bamboo, are among the many combinations available in IKEA stores from the 12th of November.

IMAGE: PRODUCT IMAGE, IKEA.COM

PIPPI OF TODAY


This year marks the 75th anniversary of the beloved character Pippi Longstocking from the books by Swedish author Astrid Lindgren. Together with Save the children, the Astrid Lindgren Company has initiated the Pippi of today campaign to earmark funds to support refugee girls.  

Millions of families are forced to leave their homes around the globe, and girls are especially vulnerable when on the move. Much like Pippi, they have to navigate new neighbourhoods and rely on their own strength to create a home, a family, and a future for themselves. 

Support the campaign with a christmas gift from the merchandise range available online at Astrid Lindgren butiken, or with a Pippi donation.

Elinzfotografi is the creator behind the wonderful print above called "Girl Power", available in three sizes from the webshop. Parts of the proceeds support the campaign. 

IMAGE: ELINZFOTOGRAFI, USED WITH PERMISSION 

KITCHEN FAVOURITE


Knitted kitchen towels are textural bliss. Ours is spread on the counter more or less permanently, for the daily stack of hand washed water bottles air drying before their next shift. 

My lovely neighbour in Tromsø knitted her kitchen textiles herself. I have a wash cloth by her that is a treasured favourite. If you have her skills, you can make your own. If you have my skills, you can shop one from Humdakin. (These have plenty of labels/hangers. I brought out the seam ripper and carefully removed the extras.) 
 
IMAGE: PRODUCT IMAGE HUMDAKIN WEB SHOP