Friday, December 22, 2006

Merry Christmas !

Wishing anyone who reads this a very Merry Christmas , and the warmest of wishes for a healthy and happy new year ! XXXX

From Chutney the sloppy cat too !

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Second Advent, Lucia and a Julbock (Xmas goat !)

Another busy week, Christmas market all weekend, fun, but exhausting at the same time.

My kitchen is full of candles and childrens Christmas crafts at the moment, probably a terrible fire hazzard ! Cosy though.

A good friend came and helped me make a traditional Julbock, or Christmas he- goat out of a wooden frame covered in spruce twigs. I think he looks great, if not a little fierce ! I think he may be meant to ward off evil, so he shouldn't look all too sweet !! Took a photo, he keeps getting blown over, we are having very strong winds.

On the 13th Dec´Sweden celebrates Lucia, she arrives early in the morning in a white shift with a red band around her waist, a crown of candles on her head and her maids, who have tinsel in their hair. It´s very beautiful, and they sing lovely songs. It is very magical ! My girls dressed up and went in to their Grandpa´s house to sing to him this morning. They took with them Lucia buns that we made yesterday, saffron bread formed into traditional shapes and decorated with raisons.

Before !

And after !!

On Friday this week I am going to talk to my daughter´s class ( eleven year olds ) about Christmas traditions in Britain ! I´ve been trying to work out what to say, making a word list in the shape of a stocking, and a word search. Cutting out pictures from my treasured Country Living Christmas magazines, ahhhh ! I´m really nervous about it, not knowing how much they will understand etc . Anyway, what´s the worst that could happen....I make a complete idiot of myself !!!? Roll on the weekend !!
Take care XXX

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Advent already !

November went by so fast, and suddenly December 1st was looming !

A few Christmases ago I was not well and had extra time on my hands, so in a flash of inspiration I made the girls advent calenders with pockets, to be filled with a small something for each day. Was that a mistake !!! Every year I have to shop around for cheap, cheerful things to fill these 48 pockets with ! But, the girls love it....and so do I really.

This weekend was my first Christmas fair this year. Held in a lovely old hall surrounded by old Swedish buildings. I stood in the baking heat with about thirty other crafts people selling all sorts of crafts, Christmas cheeses, cakes etc.

There were alot of visitors on the Saturday, not so many on Sunday, but all in all a success. Managed to sell a good few lavender bags, wheat bags, Christmas cards and painted bits and pieces. It was fun, although my smile muscle was aching on Sunday evening ! I was really lucky to have my eldest daughter with me to help out, take over for coffee breaks and loo visits etc.
Alot of people are complaining because we have no snow yet. This time last year we were deep in it ! I'm enjoying this mild weather, but I have to keep quiet about it !

Another one to go this weekend.

I love Christmas !!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Making Swedish Pepparkakor ( Christmas biscuits)

It's become a tradition that my girls and me meet up with some good friends and make Pepparkakor before Christmas. It's a sort of gingery biscuit, yummy, and a must for a Swedish Christmas. We'll see if ours last past the first Advent !!

As you can see among the shapes an Easter bunny has bounced it's way in...never mind, no rules that say there can't be a Christmas bunny !

We had a lovely time !

Fresh out of the oven, ready to decorate with some icing...if they survive that long !

My eldest daughter and I go to Falun Gong each week. It's a form of meditation from China. For some reason people are thrown into prisons and tortured for doing it in China, it's hard to understand why this should be. It promotes truth, goodness and patience, I guess it's the truth bit that doesn't go down so well ? Anyway, it's so calming, peaceful and lovely, we enjoy it.

The lotus flower is the symbol for Falun Gong and this week we learnt how to fold them out of paper.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Painting, sewing and singing !

I've been trying to paint Swedish winter windows. During Dec' and Jan' people have beautiful windows. Candles, decorative lamps, Christmas curtains and ornaments. Really brightens up the dark months.

These three aren't quite finished. Sorry it's rather blurry, must try to scan !!

The cats are a challenge. They would dissagree !! They are beautiful though, and they would

agree with that ! These aren't finished either, but I thought I'd show what I'm trying to do !!

Driving to my daughter's theatre class yesterday, the three of us ( my other daughter came too ) were singing along to "Don't you want me" by Human League. The days of" Old McDonald had a farm"...have gone !! Time goes fast when you've got children, make the most of every second !

I am sewing wheat bags and still making elves. I'm having a hard time concentrating on one thing and finishing it off, as you can see !
Take care xxx

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Playing with ideas

I've been trying to sketch my cats, in various poses. I want to do a few Christmasy pictures of them, lying on wrapping paper,exploring a Santa hat etc. We shall see if I get many finished ones done before December. I thought I could have some in mounts dotted about at Christmas sales that I'm taking part in this year.

This one started as a pen sketch, but I added a few colour washes. I had at first planned to do a black pen sketch with just a wash of colour on the wrapping paper, but that looked rather empty, so I coloured it all in. I don't have a scanner so this was taken with my camera and looks rather pale !

The weather has gone very rainy, and rather dull. Further north they have snow. I'll be happy if the snow stays away for as long as possible !

Went to our village pub evening last night. It happens in the local hall once a month, it's nice. I miss the British pubs, being able to walk down to the local !

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Chutney with apples and Chutney the cat !

My apple chutney seems to have turned out ok ! I now have grand ideas of making loads to try and sell ( always trying to make money ! This time next year we'll be millionairs etc ) I also made mint sauce ( had loads of mint, it spread, as it does ) I love mint with lamb.

The cat Chutney didn't seem impressed ! He and Snuggles have just been eating, sleeping and sometimes hunting. I think they are eating in readiness for winter. Good idea !

It's hunting season here. Lots of blood thirsty men, and women, out looking for elks (poor things) to shoot, and deer. Lots of elk hiding behind trees and trying to keep a low profile ! It's not the time of year to go walking in the forrest in a fur coat anyway !

Here's a picture of some lovely wooden dolls. I help the 8 year olds class from our local school make them each autumn. They have a day making and doing things as they were done many years ago. This is at a local historical farm museum. It's always fun, and the kids appreciate it.

Monday, October 09, 2006


We are having those lovely bright, crisp autumn days, I wish they could last all winter ! The colours are beautiful, and we have apples in abundance ! There is something about this time of year that brings out the "earth mother" in me, pie making, chutney, bread, fruit drinks, I want to get it all done before the winter destroys it all !!

My watercolour classes have started up again, so I am once more walking around muttering in Swedish to myself in readiness for Wed' evenings and trying to explain how to lay a wash in Swedish !

I am busily trying to get things made for the Christmas markets, and (I hope) our barn project. I know the next few weeks will fly. I have had a go at a Shaker style, Swedish rag doll. Will change bits for the next one, but I'm quite pleased. She is wearing her Christmas best ! (the photo isn't so good I'm afraid )

Thursday, September 14, 2006


My goodness ! The summer has come and gone. I have been very bad and not written ANYTHING new on my blog spot !!
My excuse is that we have had such a wonderful summer that I haven't been indoors, days by the lake and in the garden. Bliss !! I will have lots of happy memories to think back on during the winter brrrr !!
As usual I haven't done as much painting as I planned. I'm currently working on views of the golden fields around our home. It's a beautiful time of year, harvest.
The cranes have arrived, to eat what they can find in the fields before heading off south. They are amazing, so big, and noisey !
We are working on a barn convertion, to be a farm shop / gallery. I hope it will work out ! I am packing loads of logs in 40 litre sacks to sell as !! We will also sell oats for horses and other bits and pieces from the farm. Crafts too will be on sale, mine and others. I'm felting lots of Swedish elves to sell in the shop and on ebay. My life is lots of little and big projects, and none of them seem to get finished !! Wishes and Blessings XXXXX

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Spring !!! Yipee

Yipee ! Spring has sprung ! More like summer really, jackets and cardigans last week and now it´s shorts and t shirts....amazing !
The trees and hedges have exploded into colour overnight it seems, a misery for hay fever sufferers. But wow, it lifts the spirits after the seemingly never ending winter we´ve had ! All the tractors are out and today I sat outside sketching....lovely !!!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

My first blog !

Oh err !!! My first blog. Have no idea what I´m doing, but here I go !
It´s been a rainy week here in my bit of Sweden, but mild. After the winter we´ve had with so much snow, I am enjoying the rain. I am constantly teased about being British and how I must be used to rain ! But, I must admit that I like the rain and have looked forward to it this winter. Far too much of the cold white stuff for my liking !!
Haven´t done much painting this week, more sewing. I´m making wheat warmers to sell. I am trying to design a simple print to screen print onto the linen fabric that I am using for the warmers.
I hold an Art class once a week. It´s a challenge, especially this week as I tried to explain perspectiv in Swedish, they listened politely, but I´m not sure if they understood !!
Well, that´s my first blog ! And a picture of my bit of Sweden with the "white stuff". See youX