Kom, helg!

Kom, vinter, med din vita ro,
kom, helg, med dina håvor!
Låt fattigfolk i fruset bo få del av dina gåvor!
Låt gammalfolk bli ungt på nytt
och minnas blott allt gott som flytt
och maka sig tillsamman i stilla glam och gamman.

Kom, jul -- må gamla hymner klart
av unga röster sjungas,
var själ blir lättad underbart,
som eljest hårt betungas av dagens ok
och aldrig ser en glimt av soln, förra hon går ner.
Nu soln ikring oss dansar
i ljus och och krus och kransar!

Kom, nyår, med ditt gryningsljus
och lär oss tro och hoppas!
Hörs ej en sunnans milda sus?
Snart nakna kvistar knoppas.
Kom, Ljusa Stjärna, med din glans,
kom Sankte Knut! En sista dans
kring gran i gårdens driva,
dær snart står vårens viva!


Swedish holiday poem "Kom, helg" by Karl-Erik Forsslund

JUL JUL STRÅLANDE JUL



I am particular about the timbre, height and phrasing of the soprano part in this piece, and had to search quite a bit before finding a performance where they are up to par. Malmö Akademiska Kör delivers this classic to perfection. Happy 3rd advent to all.

LET IT SPRAY LET IT SPRAY LET IT SPRAY


Plastic spray bottles are usually pastel or gharish neon colours. This one is neutral enough to be allowed to remain on the sink in between meal clean up for easy access throughout the day. Also available in clear and 2 other tints, from Clas Ohlson
IMAGE: PRODUCT IMAGE CLAS OHLSON

A MERRY TREE-O

PEM-SCH-S00137 Mann og kvinne foran juletre

It had been waiting in the yard for a good eleven days but the tree made it into the living room this week. In the beginning og December dad and oldest son had fun picking and choosing the tree while the youngest got busy downing 6 cups of gløgg and 11 ginger bread snaps... To each his own.
IMAGE: PERSPEKTIVET MUSEUM TROMSØ, VIA FLICKR

SEW SEW GOOD

I love a great shortcut. These unadorned aprons in gray chambray from Åhléns are perfect for embroidered personalization. A clever quote, a nordic star, a phrase the receiver has coined, or a simple monogram in a contrasting colour will make the gift thoughtful, useful and appreciated. In Sweden, most Åhléns stores open late until christmas eve.

Hurry hurry and you'll have time to finish one or two before Santa is supposed to arrive.
IMAGE: ÅHLENS.SE

DECEMBER 13


They were rolled into their characteristic S-shape well past midnight last night, but there was indeed a traditional Lucia table decked this morning complete with Adventsbarn, lussekatter, gingerbread cookies and hot chocolate with ham sandwiches on the side...

Ateljé Lyktan was established in 1934 and their electric Lucia line up from 1964 is considered a classic. Available from Byggfabriken.
IMAGE: PRODUCT IMAGE BYGGFABRIKEN WEBSHOP

WINTER

Straws and ice crystals

IMAGE: "Straws and ice crystals" by Trond Kristiansen. 
Published under creative commons license, click on link in image for full attribution and license.

SMALL OBJECT, BIG LIKES



A small painted block coloured glass cylinder from H&M Home is the best item in their whole range at the moment. Fill with candies, nuts or cookies and deliver as hostess gift.
IMAGE: PRODUCT IMAGE H&M HOME WEBSHOP 

TOASTY BUNS

Shorts Astrid i siden in Varmt underMamelucker Ull/Silke in Varmt under

Scandinavian winter is more enjoyable when you aren't freezing your behind off. These bloomers (!?) are made of silk or a silk and wool blend to keep you warm. Pair with wool tights or hosiery and you can even brave the streets in a skirt. From Calida and Twilfit. Available in Twilfit stores and online.
IMAGE: PRODUCT IMAGE TWILFIT 

THREE´S A CHARM



Cajsa Stina Åkerström is my queen in the singer-songwriter genre. Worth a listen even if you speak no Swedish at all. Vreden och stormen. Silje Nergaard rules the jazzpop genre. Chain of Days. Ingebjørg Bratland reminds me of Cajsa Stina but with less perfectionism and more folksy vocal ornamentation. Månesinn.
IMAGE: ITUNES.COM

DECEMBER BLUES

We are entering the second week in advent and Christmas is just a few weeks away, but I am not ready for the bright reds just yet. It seems as if I keep returning to a muted blue and green colour scheme this time of year. 
Throw pillows from Åhlens, Lexington and Svenskt Tenn. Glass jar from Iittala, Coasters from Svensk Tenn, Wooden teddy from Rosendahl, Brass napkin rings from Skultuna, Tea cup from Design House Stockholm, Plant from Plantasjen, Glass vase from Lyngby Porcelæn. 
IMAGE: PRESS OR PRODUCT IMAGES FROM ÅHLENS, LEXINGTON, SVENSKT TENN, IITTALA, ROSENDAHL, SKULTUNA, DESIGN HOUSE STOCKHOLM, PLANTASJEN, LYNGBY PORSELÆN. 

THE NORTH SEA

Laurits Tuxen - The North Sea in stormy weather. After sunset. Højen - Google Art Project

"The North Sea in Stormy Weather. After Sunset. Højen." by Danish painter Laurits Tuxen in 1909.
IMAGE: PUBLIC DOMAIN VIA GOOGLE ART PROJECT 

LET THERE BE LIGHT


For someone who loudly laments always throwing away those few last centimeters of a candle, this is a dream come true! A ceramic burner where you place remaining bits of candles and reuse them! Genius! One small step towards a more environmental friendly christmas and winter season. Available both in an indoor and outdoor version!

This is a German product, not Scandinavian, but it immediately received GiftOfTheYear status for me. Read more at Vinnaljus. Available at Norrgavel.
IMAGE: PRODUCT IMAGE NORRGAVEL 

WISH UPON A STAR



Some christmas wishes are extravagant and some are plain and cheap. This is the latter kind, but on my most wanted list all the same. Pot pads a.k.a protective mats in felt to pare stacked pots and pans from abrasion and noise. Available at Ica Hemma.
IMAGE: PRODUCT IMAGE ICA HEMMA

OCTOBER PLAYLIST

Listen to our October playlist on Spotify. You find it in the sidebar to the right, or just click here.

IF YOU HAVE IT - USE IT

PEM-LTH-00090 Høyrekvinners Landsmøte i Trondhjem i 1930

Photo of the Women's Association in the Norwegian Conservative Party of Tromsø in 1930. Women had been eligible to vote as equals to men in 1913 after thirty years of suffrage.

"That we have the vote means nothing. That we use it in the right way means everything."
 Lou Henry Hoover

IMAGE: PERSPEKTIVET MUSEUM, TROMSØ

OCTOBER

Yellow throw pillow from Åhlens, moss green pillow Svenskt Tenn, Plate from Rorstrand, Vase Iittala, Wooden bowls IKEA, Stuffed animal IKEA, Crassula plant IKEA.
IMAGES: PRODUCT IMAGES ÅHLENS, SVENSKT TENN, DESIGNONLINE, IKEA

SWEDISH MEATBALLS Á LA IKEA

There are probably as many recipes for Swedish meatballs as there are Swedes. I usually free style mine with ground beef, garlic, paprika, some cut oats and a dash of cream.

This weekend I am trying out the IKEA recipe that is taking over the world. I live 17 minutes away from IKEA, so it makes little sense, but who doesn't prefer homemade?

MEATBALLS:
250 gm minced beef
250 gm minced pork
1 egg
200 ml cream and water
2,5 tbs onion, finely chopped
50 ml unsweetened rusk flour (or breadcrumbs)
2 potatoes, boiled and cold
4-5 tbs butter or margarine
salt
white pepper
allspice

CREAM SAUCE:
100 ml cream (half and half)
200 ml water or beef stock
chinese soy sauce
1 tbs white flour
salt
white pepper

If you want a step-by-step instead of a ingredient list, check out the excellent instructions from I am a food blog at IKEA Swedish meatball recipe.

I LOVE MY HOMETOWN

IMG_9118
I miss hurrying along the winding cobbled streets of Old Town in fall.
IMAGE:  OLD TOWN BY SCANDINAVIAN CHRISTMAS

ITCHING TO STITCH


Korsstygnsbolaget gathers and publishes old embroidery patterns. I've been on the look out for a pattern that could be used on holiday pillows, and this is the latest candidate. I might need to change the colours to make it a better fit in our home but it's too bad because I quite like the folkloristic use of yellow, red and pastels in this one.
IMAGE: KORSSTYGNSBOLAGET, USED WITH PERMISSION 

POT LUCK


Few objects can blend well in a range of interior design styles and time periods, When I'm lucky enough to find one that would look great in rustic, classic and modern settings it goes straight to my wish list as well as my secret gift-list. This new favorite might host a small skinny fir tree this winter, then flowering bulbs in spring, and herbs during summer.

Ceramic urn in three sizes by Ernst Kirchsteiger available from Åhlens, Inreda.com, royaldesign.no and many other retailers.
IMAGE: PRODUCT IMAGE INREDA.COM 

SEASONAL DISORDER

Carl Larsson - Esbjörn

It's been an unusually warm fall. Oslo is enjoying a warm sunny day, the boys are outisde wearing t-shirts and shorts. You'd think it was the start of summer rather than beginning of winter. But rest assured, it'll be by our doorsteps before we know it.
IMAGE: Carl Larsson [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

WELCOME BACK FRIENDS

It's been a while.
It's nice to be back.

The world is still reeling from armed conflicts, civil wars, global warming and gloomy post-election prospects.

But informed opinions, commitment to aid initiatives and Christmas blogging are not mutually exclusive, so here we are.

Let me know what you want more of in this, our 6th (!) year.