NYÅR FRÅN SKANSEN

The Swedish and Norwegian superstitions that were once part of New Year's Eve have dwindled into oblivion. Most Scandinavians attend a festive dinnerparty followed by fireworks. A TV-broadcast from the Skansen stage in Stockholm has become part of the modern Swedish tradition and can be viewed on SVT Play HERE.

Replacing ABBA's Happy New Year as my New Year's Eve anthem is this version of Sverige, (originally by Kent). With financial instability and extreme parties across the world winning supporters, it is not without anxiety that Europe greets 2013. The political climate in Sweden and Norway is also shifting.

Let us never forget that "the function of freedom is to free someone else" (Toni Morrison).



Happy New Year!

NOT REALLY UP FOR COOKING

Ingredients at home: Cod & Moose
Possible recipes:
Moose steak with honey & lingonberry (Rikard Näslin).
Moose roast beef with fancy on the side (Mat och Vänner). That's stretching justicia poética, I know.
Cod with horse radish and green apples (Mat och Vänner).
Cod tournedos with crayfish & horse radish (Fredrik Eriksson).
Needed: rocket fuel to stay awake past noon.

How trashy is it to eat frozen pizza on New Year's Eve? Just curious.

PUT IT OUT IN STYLE

Brandsläckare vit 6kg pulver 43A 2

The last couple of years fire extinguishers have been made to fit the Scandinavian white homes, and I for one applaud the effort. The likelihood that this one will be stuffed in a closet is smaller than that for its bright red siblings. 

A great hostessgift on New Year's Eve, or to new homeowners or your childrens' families. If they already own one, place the old one in the garage. Available at Ica Maxi Hem & Fritid (199 SEK).  
IMAGE: ICA MAXI WEBSHOP

NOTE TO SELF

Servetter Tulpan

Next year, stock up on paper napkins before the holidays. We went through our single package in no time during our 4 days of  Christmas, even though we used fabric ones as well. 
IMAGE: SVENSKT TENN

LET'S GET THINGS CLEAR

I love the look of acrylic. It looks great when done right. Nomess Copenhagen are doing it right.
IMAGE: LÄNNA MÖBLER WEBSHOP

LET THE LOOTINGS BEGIN

Yet another reason to have a Scandinavian tree robbing party a.k.a julgransplundring for your neighbours instead of a pre-christmas mingle:  post christmas all treats are on sale.

Stock up like the French: en masse.

O SUN WHERE ART THOU

The Arctic Cathedral, Tromso, Norway (8)

No, we're not depressed by the polar night yet, but it's sure difficult to wake up- and stay awake when this is the constant of a day's 24 hours. Every day the 4-year old wakes up and shouts: Is it morning? Because if we didn't tell him, how else would he know?
IMAGE: THE ARCTIC CATHEDRAL, TROMSÖ,  BY TOM VOOGHT VIA FLICKR

NO NEED TO ARGUE

Mugg 50 cl Ros/rosa Swedish Grace

Since I'm an herbal tea drinker of extraordinary proportions, I usually have a tea mug, ehm, make that a few forgotten tea mugs, placed around the house. Since this has been the season of insane colds my husband has taken to hot honey and ginger concoctions, resulting in a frequent " is this yours or mine" interrogations as we find white mugs around the house. This year I'll add a pink one to our Swedish Grace accumulations that will be all mine. 
IMAGE: RÖRSTRAND 

PLAN AHEAD

This price is unbeatable: 13 SEK (about 1,75 USD) each  on sale. Stock up with one for each window of your house/office/church/school etc (don't forget to grab a bunch of extra bulbs on sale). Adventsstake Ola available in white and red at Jula.

With prices this low I'd get one each for your kids, students, young women groups, etc. Let them decorate them as part of a christmas party or after school activity and take home for their own rooms. Very popular. Very easy to supervise. Very good. 
IMAGE: JULA WEBSHOP

CUTE LOOTERS

Julgransplundring

Julgransplundring, the mere fact that there isn't an English word for it says something about it's global popularity. Looting the tree for goodies and then throwing it out, by way of dancing around it, has been a Swedish tradition since at least the 17th century. The tradition remains strong with tree robbing festivities all over the country mid-January.

A christmas party after christmas? Wait, think about it. Kid-friendly, relaxed, the decorations already in place, no gift exchange needed and last but not least: budget-friendly.

The basics are easy: sweet treats for the children and some dancing.
The advanced curriculum involves some additional food, party games and smashing (and eating) gingerbread houses.

The museum of Swedish cultural history has published 5 pamphlets with traditional songs for the occasion. Simple notation and dance instructions (in Swedish) are included. Available as free pdf documents HERE. Or "cheat" with this playlist on Youtube.

If you are less inclined to join in such follies, resort ro reading about Pippi Longstocking's treelooting party.
IMAGE: PHOTO BY GUSTAV ANDERSSON, FROM THE COLLECTIONS OF JÖNKÖPINGS LÄNS MUSEUM

SONJAS SANG

COOKING UP A STORM

Morberg lagar husmanskostSystrarna Eisenmans mingelmat : 565 snittar, snacks & smårätterAnnas mat

Yes, we've been through this before. It's a want, not a need per se. But dear husband, I would argue that I've improved in the kitchen the past 7 years (remember the exploded egg whilst engaged?) and great cookbooks have helped along the way. Perhaps we can consider these course literature?

Per Morberg, I'll admit it, his mannerisms disgusted me at first but now I'm a big fan. The Eisenman sisters have written a party food bible and it's been on my wishlist since it was released. Annas Mat is my all time number one cookbook, but the re-revisions and new editions annoy me. Some recipes are found in quite a few of her cookbooks. It makes me feel as though I'm paying for some chapters more than once. If this is the final version (with new recipes) I want it. Otherwise I'll stick with the ones I already own.

Preview of the books available at Adlibris, see links.
IMAGE: ADLIBRIS WEBSHOP

AF SWEDALA




One of the newcomers on the Swedish design market is af Swedala who combine folklore inspirations with an urban colour palette into family friendly home goods. I found them while hunting for new sheets, but their sizes didn't fit our bed. Instead, I fell in love with their beautifully wrapped soaps. Bonus points for the complimentary shipping (within Sweden) in their webshop.

View their latest catalogue here, but be warned, it may convince you (as it did me) that you've always wanted to live in a renovated barn, surrounded by children and great lamps.
IMAGE: PRESS IMAGE  BY PATRIK HAGBORG, USED WITH PERMISSION

PICKERS CHOOSERS

Kivi Ljuslykta Sand 6 cm iitta Kivi Ljuslykta Pomerans 6 cm iittal Kivi Ljuslykta Klar 6 cm iittala Kivi Ljuslykta Grå 6 cm Iittala Kivi Ljuslykta Purpur 8 cm iittala

New year's eve dinner is drawing closer. I'm still trying to find the right addition to my clear, sand and gray Kivis (1,3,4). I'm pretty confident about adding pomerans (2), but feel strangely drawn to the purple one (5) as well. All suggestions or opinions welcome, or I might spend the whole weekend watching that belans video over and over again.
IMAGE: IITTALA WEBSHOP

HEARTFELT

Purnorsk is a souvenir and designshop with Norwegian contemporary design. I fell in love with these silicone trivets/potholders shaped as Scandinavian waffles. A fun gift. Easy to mail as well. Made by Bark Bazar and available in 10 colours.
IMAGE: PUR NORSK

OLD SCHOOL

It's been more than a decade since we celebrated the arrival of the new millennium. Unbelievable. Today I penciled in the first notes and appointments for 2013 in my new day planner. Yup, I'm old school like that. The planning has yet not been digitilized in this household. 
IMAGE: PRESS IMAGE BOOKBINDERS DESIGN

RADIO: VINTER

Today is the first of eight programs called Vinter, a winter version of the popular radioformat Sommar, where an invited guest fills an hour of music and monologue. The programs are available online for 30 days and are then archived as podcasts for free downloads. (In Swedish only) 

GOD JUL

December morning in Tromsø IMAGE: TROMSÖ BY TERJE LEIN-MATHISEN VIA FLICKR

OH GOLDEN BAUM

Grantræet stor, guld
Inspired by the paper silhouettes of Hans Christian Andersen, Nordahl Andersen has produced a collection of Christmas decorations. I adore the trees available in 3 sizes.
IMAGE: ILUMS BOLIGHUS

GOOD MORNING!

An early christmas gift from my parents was this wake up light from Philips and it's revolutionized my winter mornings. Instead of twitching abruptly at the alarm signal, I am gently awakened by an (artificial) sunrise. Anyone who dislikes the darkness of winter mornings wants this gadget for christmas. 
IMAGE: PRESS IMAGE PHILIPS 

GUEST POSTING

On Tuesday I had the honour of participating in Oaxaborn's series about Scandinavian Christmas Interiors. Read the Q & A here.

Thank you Gina for your kind words and encouragement!

A FAMILY TREET

Adventskalender 2012. Mandag 24. desember
Our christmas tree has been in the house about a week now. I know, I know, it was too soon, but it has been wonderful to turn on its lights these dark and chilly midwinter mornings.
IMAGE: PHOTOGRAPHER CHRISTIAN HANSEN, PERSPEKTIVET MUSEUM, TROMS

SAY CHEESE!


Ostkupa Sagaform


Swedish hard cheeses are exported even to Guide Michelin restaurants in France, and is one of the few foods I truly miss. What I don't miss is the sticky plastic bags and cyran wraps every morning as you prepare breakfast. Someone at Sagaform must have been equally fed up and voilá: a simple design in oak and acrylic. Thank you.
IMAGE: SAGAFORM VIA TOREBRINGS

EVERY HOME A COTTAGE

AdventskatalogAdventskatalogAdventskatalog

If you enjoy Scandinavian casual country style you'll love Norwegian retail company Home & Cottage. For wonderful early advent and winter inspiration have a peek at their latest catalogue.
IMAGE: HOME&COTTAGE

IN THE BLEAK MIDWINTER

Brøstadbotn (Edited)

Brøstadbotn last week.
IMAGE: A.NILSSEN PHOTOGRAPHY 

MAYBE MAYA

Turns out that although the linen closet spills over with table linens (and although a gray one is already on the wishlist) I feel a strong desire to acquire a red table cloth for christmas. I blame this beauty of beauties, Maya from Himla, in 100% linen.
IMAGE: LÄNNA MÖBLER

OH LITTLE TOWN OF GINGERBREAD

Pepparkaksformar city jul 4-pack

This is a great alternative for those who feel that the making of a gingerbread house requires too much parental supervision. Bake cookies and let the kiddies loose with bags of frosting, candy and streusel. Lay flat on a big platter or make a little cottage by attaching to gingerbread bases with melted sugar after kids have gone to bed. Pepparkaksformar City from ICA MAXI. 
IMAGE: PRODUCT IMAGE ICA MAXI WEB SHOP

WET YOUR APP-ETITE


Two great (free) apps to guide you through the flavours of Swedish christmas foods (in Swedish):

Create your Swedish christmas menu at Scan.
A wonderful looking cookbook and audio guide at Milda (though I'm a paper and pen kinda gal myself so I ordered a free printed copy here).
IMAGE: PRESS IMAGES HKSCAN

SERIOUS OFF-SEASON POTENTIAL

This is the best non-designer/high street brand adventsstake this year. You need to see beyond this boring image by imagining some moss, pinecones, florals or tiny toadstools. Would look equally great in a country setting and an urban home.The beauty of this one is that it can be filled with oasis and used during the rest of the year as centerpiece, something few christmas items can pull off...
Half price off in the webshop right now.  
IMAGE: PRESS IMAGE HEMTEX

LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL

The gingerbread dough is in the fridge, a big pile of candy chosen by the 4 year old in the cupboard.  His participation would certainly be enhanced if he didn't have to wrestle with his mom's rolling pin every time he bakes. This one is from Leilas general store
IMAGE: LEILAS GENERAL STORE, WEBSHOP

VÄLKOMMEN DU GODA MED LJUSET HIT

Lucia på Danderyds gymnasium 2013

Any concert with Helen Sjöholm and Benny Andersson is a wouldn't-miss-it-for-the-world to me, and nothing beats a Lucia processional in December. THIS IS WHERE you watch it and THIS is what you eat while watching (the rap performance is a good bathroom break... no further comments).
IMAGE: LUCIA AT DANDERYDS GYMNASIUM, PHOTOS BY NIKLAS PARK

GOOD THINKING

I can count the number of times I've shopped at Hemtex in my lifetime on one hand. But then they go and do something like this, and make me want to run to their stores. A limited edition collaboration with Design House Stockholm resulting in designer items on the cheap. Vase Bubblan is available in 2 sizes and 4 nuances.
IMAGE: PRESS IMAGE HEMTEX

BEST GIFT SHOP!

DesaixPlommonAmalienborg

Source mass produced items for the home, give them random names and sell cheap in droves. You'd think it was a sibling to IKEA, but stylewise Oscar & Clothilde is far from it. Their items lack the genuine history of antiques, but the buyers have a knack for finding the "next to best" at good prices. Free shipping (Sweden)  in their webshop. Well worth a browsing, particularly if you're looking for a gift with personality to it.
Shown here: Bowl Plommon,  Box Amalienborg, Cup and saucer Desaix.
IMAGE: PRODUCT IMAGES OSCAR & CLOTHILDE

WATCH THE CEREMONIES


Watch the live webcasts HERE or HERE (schedule on the same page) or on SVT HERE.
IMAGE:PRESS IMAGE NOBELSTIFTELSEN, BY FRIDA WESTHOLM

FEEL LIKE BANQUETTING MUCH?


Since 1901, the Nobel Prizes have been presented to Laureates at ceremonies on the anniversary of Alfred Nobel's death, the 10th of December. The official webpage of the Nobel foundation is wonderfully comprehensive, with everything from educational games to science documentaries to live webcasts of the awards.

Most commissions for the banquet,  from Swedish suppliers, are available commercially as well. A bit on the pricey side for every day use, but great souvenirs for the design oriented. Beats a plastic viking helmet.

Table linen Nobel from Klässbols by Ingrid Dessau
Tableware Nobel from Rörstrand by Karin Björkqvist
Silverware Nobel from Gense by Gunnar Cyrén
Stemware Nobel from Orrefors by Gunnar Cyrén

Other ways to sample the event: Visit the Nobel Museum. Take a virtual tour of the City Hall. Enjoy the Nobel menu of previous anno at The City hall restaurant, Stadshuskällaren. Your cheat sheet to the event from Sweden.se
IMAGE: GENSE.SE

CAN'T BE NORMAL

Stockholm

I think it's ridiculous to be homesick, and pathetic to be nostalgic. Let's live in the here and now and dig where we stand! Unless you come from Stockholm, of course. Then we understand the agony of separation.  I was there just two months ago and yet I'm feeling tugs at my heart when I see images of it. Is there a diagnosis for people like me? Can this be cured?
IMAGE: MORRI_GAN VIA FLICKR 

INDISKA


Indiska has done it again. When it comes to christmas collections in the budget category, they reign supreme in 2012. I visited their newly opened store in our town yesterday and saw no less than 6 themes (Vibrant, Embellished, Romantic, Ethnic, Scandinavian, Folklore) with plenty of decorative and useful items that worked well in all of those 5 settings. A new webshop that ships to the EU and Norway opened this year and is well worth a visit. INDIA+SWEDEN=LOVE
IMAGE: INDISKA'S FACEBOOKPAGE

DASHING THROUGH THE SNOW

pic1

We have a darling little sleigh that's now on its third generation of delighted children, but if it were to give up its breath this Danish version would be a fancy replacement. Available from Inreda.com.
IMAGE: INREDA.COM

MOM VS. LIGHTNING MCQUEEN

Here's a little confession: we hang christmas stockings on the 25th. There's nothing remotely Scandinavian about it, but since both my husband and I have had family members "over there" who sent stockings when we were kids it's been part of our respective families' traditions. There's something about treats in small packages that are really enticing!

The knitted versions from our childhood are looking dated to say the least, and these from Svenskt Tenn look fabulous. To an adult Scandi-blogger that is. I doubt that my son will be pleased to find one of these on Christmas Day. This eyesore is more likely to spell success in our home. Sigh.
IMAGE: SVENSKT TENN

GETTING HUNGRY

PEM-MGI-00025 Flensing av hval på Skorøya

Speaking of whales, I really like the taste of whale, but sadly my husband isn't as much of an enthusiast. I'm already longing for next year's barbecue season. Good thing there's plenty of whale in the area this season. If you're coming for a visit you'll know what's on the menu!
IMAGE: MAGNUS GIÄVER 1888, PERSPEKTIVET MUSEUM

HEAVY FEET



When I think of wooden clogs I always think of my aunt. During the late eighties she walked around in stonewashed jean skirts and clogs on most days I came to visit. They seemed like slippers to her. 

When you live in a climate where flip flops aren't an option, clogs are the quickest alternative for when you just need to get to the mailbox, trash can, or the basement. These are from Norrgavel and have tickled my fancy, though I'm not ready to embrace the bleached denim skirts yet. 
IMAGE: PRESS IMAGE NORRGAVEL 

AALTO GETS THE CHRISTMAS TREATMENT

aaltomossa

ADVENTSBARN

Adventsbarn Stjärngosse 17 cm RörstAdventsbarn Lucia 11 cm RörstrandAdventsbarn Tomte 12,5 cm RörstrandAdventsbarn Tärna 10,5 cm Rörstrand

The best thing about approaching the 2nd Sunday in advent and Lucia is being able to unwrap these darlings. Adventsbarn by Lisa Larson.
IMAGE: PRODUCT IMAGES, TOREBRINGS