Different winter colors

First the greasy breakfast, as it is customary in this household on this particular day, and then the walk.
Also very customary. Followed by espresso and homemade chocolates. And semi slumber in front of
'the Wire'.

Our walk turned out to be surprisingly colorful, on an otherwise grey day.
Right next to where we live, we have this little oasis: the campus garden of the university - the section
where they study horticulture, agriculture, landscaping and so on. It is open to the public, and filled
with strange old trees, all imaginable kinds of plants - and they have a vegetable garden, a herb garden
and one of the finest rose collections in Copenhagen. It is quite small, and tucked away - many people
don't know about it.

It is right here (Det Biovidenskabelige Fakultets Have)..... And here are some snapshots.


A peaceful sunday

- to you all. Some of you are having the big day today, and others, like us here in DK are resting
after yesterday (and assembling big enormous boxes of Lego, BRIO etc.).

We had a fine christmas day, and today we somehow managed to eat as much as we did yesterday -
but otherwise peace prevails, here in our little very, very privileged corner of the world.

I will take it easy for a few days, but otherwise this blog will probably follow me, and I it, into 2012.
And then, who knows?

I will just post this angel today - despite not being a very religious person.
But if not these days, then when?
It is an Ethiopian angel, and in Ethiopia they have lots of reasons to hope for actual interference by
angels. Anyway, they have a very firm belief in them, and christian churches in Ethiopia are adorned
with images of angels all over. But angels who have these strong, dark eyed features, and who look
wise and real, somehow. Not like the floaty, ephemeral creatures - mostly with averted eyes - that we
know from European tradition.
I'd go for an Ethiopian angel any day, even though they always seems to have the wings stuck at the
back of their heads, and not on their backs. But what do I know?

This little angel is painted by Gebrekristos Solomon Belachew, you can meet him here.


Heart for my baby

Our son is born in Ethiopia, and was adopted by us, when he was just 11 months old.
That in itself is a fairytale of sorts, that deserves to be told in another time and place -
but he is the sunshine of my life.

And of course he deserves his very own christmas heart.

You can have it too, right here.

Merry Christmas, everybody

And a good morning to you all! Everything here is peace and quiet, and it has actually been the first
quiet morning (which has turned into an afternoon...) in weeks and weeks. Every gift was wrapped
last night (and quite a few weren't bought until late yesterday afternoon)  - we sip coffee, and our
son has just opened his last extra fine luxury advent calendar gift: a Lego Duplo garbage truck.
All is bliss.

And on that note, I will start this day with a very appropriate little christmas scenery.
(I will return with the very last heart of the day, in a while.....)

But first:
Vilmas nativity, made by Vilma, 8 years.
Vilma and her sister Alma (9 years) are my special girls, and a few days ago, we visited their home
- and their christmas tree - at the 'Klippeklistre' session)


Just a couple of old fashioned hearts

If you are all as busy as I am today. I suggest we keep the workload to a minimum.
Some people have asked me, if I could post some more hearts with 'unusual' fringes, and here are
two of my favourite varieties: With just a few angles to the fringes, you end up with these fantastic
star-like patterns. And I thougt they went well with just some polka dots and plain color.
Come and get them here!

Do you like the stackable wooden candlesticks? My clever friends from Helgo made those.

Flaky - part three

Just a few blocks from here, some of my friends live.
And every year at christmas, they have this fine tradition: on one of the early weekends in the season
they get together and make paper flakes for this fantastic themed window. Every year it is the same -
and, of course, every year it is different!
So here it is - Stine and Eriks delicate tissue paper snowflake extravaganza!
To me, it is one of the more important local signs of christmas - and I keep an eager eye out for the
flakes from late november / early december - and if I think they are the least bit late, I will send them impatient emails.

It took me a while to do this post, as this window is so hard to show properly in a photograph....
Originally I wanted to take a picture at night, but that proved impossible, as reflections of the street
lights were all you could see. But I hope you get just hint of the fragile prettiness here....


We've got balls!

My friend and client Karina just dropped by for a meeting and a coffee.
She brought me these darling little snowballs, she made them from delicate paper yarn.

She is this cool textile designer, working in industrial materials such as steel, nylon and polyester,
but at this time of year she lets out her inner christmas nut, and makes lovely christmas things.

She also shows us her christmas tree on her blog - check it here....

Gingerbread heart

Maybe you have been thinking about baking cookies, just like me.
And maybe you just haven't gotten around to it yet. Just like me.
Despair not - here is a quick alternative:

The gingerbread christmas cookie heart. It's fresh from the oven right here.


The Star

Your project today is a star for your tree, naturally! This one is made from three or four 'hearts' -
which they aren't exactly, as you will see - you glue together, to form a starry paper hat, and it does
look kind of neat, I think.... I like my decorations flimsy and light, and I think some of the metal top ornaments are a bit too heavy sometimes.

Download your make-a-star kit here.

I never made this before, so in my little tutorial on page one, it says make four of the pointy hearts -
but actually, as I found out today, that two or three make a nice star as well, depending on how you
glue them together. Leave all the points free of glue, and fluff them a bit, to bring out the 'paper-ness'
of the finished star.

O Tannenbaum

We got the tree. And now I think it looks so nice, it would be almost wrong to put anything on it...

As you can see, I have an alternative baum in the background, much more suited, I might add,
to actually hang decorations on. Those thick, stubbly fir or pine branches are hard to decorate, but
have no fear: We will get to that.

In fact I promise to return in a couple of hours with something quite essential for the tree.
Keep an eye on this space.

In the meantime, I want to show you Berit's tree.
Berit is a great lady in the family, who is a firm believer in both christmas and in adorning your house
with gusto at this time of year. She has the best trees.
She gets a very large tree (and is fortunate to have a living room with some ceiling height to it) and
puts every single bit of decoration the family has, small and large, old and new, on it.
Can you spot the Hama beads?

Personally, I tend to go for a smaller tree (this is a practical necessity) and a more bare look.
But glamorous over-the-top trees make me happy! Below are a few snaps of various trees -
The first one is from a Polish shopping mall, where you actually couldn't see the tree itself (although
I suppose it was in there, somewhere?) - and then one at the waterfront in Gamla Stan, Stockholm.
The last one, Rockefeller Centre, I didn't take myself - but spending christmas in New York seems
a lovely, romantic thing to do. Maybe someday?
I'll definitely take my ice skates, then.


Twirly Girly Hearts

These too are really easy to make - but you'll need some quick drying glue and a steady hand to glue
them onto the string. I have made the template with six hearts in all, that is three per string, but print
a bundle and make them with four or five folded hearts per string, that would look even greater.

This design too has a front (page one) and a back (page two) just like the trees the other day.
Do like this: Set your printer to print only page one, and make your number of prints. Turn them
over in the printer tray, and repeat - this time printing only page two. Have fun!

These twirly little dears can be downloaded here.


More old school christmas

One of my favourite bloggers, the great New Yorker lady Anna, from Door Sixteen, has posted this
sweet christmas gift for a couple of years now: an entire album af traditional Swedish christmas tunes.

Apparently this album was something they listened to in Annas childhood home every christmas, and
as a Scandinavian these songs are very familiar to me, and perhaps not that exotic.
But last december I downloaded her mp3 and listened to it constantly! I also love Annas story about
the singing along to a language one doesn't understand much of  - but see, read and download for
yourself, and get down to it with 'Räven raskar över isen' and other peppy, irresistable classics!


Image borrowed from Anna Dorfman at Door Sixteen. Thank you, Anna!

The granny doily heart

My maternal grandmother was very, very fond of doilies. They adorned every surface of her house -
in all the nice places, where such things as candlesticks and porcelain figurines were on display.
She would simply not place a decorative object anywhere, and not rest it on a doily of appropriate
size. They were also in between every one of the fine plates, the ones that came out for family visits.

My sister and I have inherited most of them, and I have to admit that they are in some box somewhere,
for two reasons: one is, that I have no idea what to do with them, because (and here is reason number
two), I also have such veneration for them - as she made most every one of them herself. With a tiny crochet hook, in the thinnest silky white yarn. And then they were starched with sugar and pressed flat
later on - and already in our childhood, her eyesight was no longer strong enough for these delicacies,
so she took to crocheting towels and napkins and acrylic ponchos in mad colors, for my sister and I.
She lived to be 97, and the last years she so missed her TV and her handywork, since the eyes and
ears couldn't keep up.

When I think of doilies, I think of her, managing a farm household, with pigs, chickens, a husband
and three children and - still - making time to make something like that.
And have special tableware.

When I was younger, I didn't quite have the appreciation for such things, but now I use those little
towels all the time. I'll probably even get around to using the doilies as well, some day.
I wonder what happned to the ponchos?

I made a grandmother heart for you today. Get it here.

However, I did have a whole lot of paper doilies lying around, and these I don't mind cutting up!
They too make pretty flakes, no?


A couple of days ago, I went to Malmö to do a bit of sightseeing and some, mainly selfish, shopping,
with my sister and my friend. And - as many of you know - Malmö is a bit of a shopping haven.

We had a very fine day, and ate a lot of memorable snacks, but just I couldn't get the shopping off
the ground. I ended up with three pairs of very utilitarian black woolly socks for myself.  
And the MUJI gift wrap with the little trees on, okay (the teeny tiny MUJI in the Malmö Åhléns,
is a great way for us MUJI-ites in Copenhagen, to have a little bit of the real thing, without having
to fly to London, Paris - or Tokyo).

For my son and my husband I found several nice things, of course. Sigh.

The heart of the day will be posted in a little while - have patience....


Klippeklistre The Sequel

We all had a terrific time, as Woody Allen would have put it, and the tree looked utterly glamorous
when we were done. The girls did most of the adorning, and since the tree was standing in front of a
garden door, they simply hung all of the finery on two thirds of the tree, leaving a third quite bare.
In that way, maximum impact was achieved. A refreshingly rational take, if you ask me.