Saturday, 31 December 2011

Looking back at 2011

Dear readers,
I hope you have enjoyed a joyful and relaxing Christmas. 
Perhaps you are sitting with your feet tucked under a blanket, devouring the book that Santa so perceptively knew you had longed to read... Perhaps you are thinking of that box of chocolates you now wish you had not finished so quickly... Or maybe you are taking stock of the year which is swiftly coming to an end, making plans and promises for the New Year ahead... a year which I hope will bring you everything you want and more.

As I am sitting here under my blanket, I think back for a moment on my blog year 2011. First I... and then... Oh, shall we take it from the beginning? Would you like to walk with me down Memory Lane for a moment? You might want to snuggle up and get comfortable... perhaps even reach for a new box of chocolates, because this may take some time. Are you ready? Here we go..


In January, I was again reminded of one of the big differences between living here in the UK, where already at the end of January I could start bringing home spring flowers, and living in my birth country Sweden, which  was kept 'hostage' by snow for many months after that.

The new year brought new ideas, and I played a little with 
twigs from the forest, some paint and some old cutlery.


More and more, I found myself seeing the world in pictures, 
and the desire to 'set little scenes' and play around with the camera grew larger.

Continuing to be trusty props partners, my garden bench and old 
stone wall became very familiar sights for my regular readers...


The tulip season brought even more colour to the Swenglish Home, and this photo was one of the first I became aware was circling around other blogs, Pinterest pin boards etc. It was also around this time I realised that the concept of 'mine and yours' varies a lot in meaning for different people, and I found my photos here and there on the internet, sometimes without any reference at all, and sometimes even with my name cropped out and the photo used as if it had been taken by someone else... An interesting insight and good reminder that the second we press 'Enter', our material is no longer protected as ours.... (although it should be pointed out that most people do state the source and respect the copyright laws).

An old fruit box from a skip was transformed to a box carrying some springy loveliness...

Inspired by spring and sunshine, the table was set for a spring lunch...

A work trip to Ankara in Turkey introduced some travel photos 
in the midst of the interior and garden themes in this blog.


Spring continued and the garden seemed to beg to be prettified, again and again...

And one day in April, this little scene was set to welcome a special visitor. One with a camera around his neck and many years of experience and talent behind it... The result of this visit will soon appear in a UK magazine, and I will tell you which and when as we approach the publishing date...

Swedish cinnamon rolls and fruit were presented on a cake stand I made 
at the beginning of the year from an old cup, old saucers and a door knob.  

A 'hanging garden' was created above another old, scruffy bench in the garden...

... and I kept wondering if I would ever find the time to actually just sit and relax 
in my created relaxing corners of the house and the garden...


In May, I was very proud to see some of my photos in Norwegian writer and photographer 
Franciska Munck-Johansen's book Sanselig Sommer (Summer For All the Senses).

The month of May is such a wonderful month, 
full of the hope of warmth and growth and the summer to come... 
And flowers - flowers everywhere!


With the summer months came a desire to spend more and more time outdoors, and many walks in and around my home town provided the material for the blog, which was, for a while, rather dominated by stone houses and cottage garden images...

And we continued to enjoy our neighbours' walnut tree stretching its 
branches so kindly into our garden and offering shade on a hot day...


July gave me a lovely reason to revisit a favourite garden, Abbey House and Gardens in Malmesbury, a k a The Naked Gardeners. The lovely reason? A visit from my dear blog friend Charlotte and her lovely family reminded me not only how much I would love a large rusty cauldron like this in my own garden, but also what an amazing community the interior and gardening blogs have to offer, and what gorgeous people you may meet here!

July was also the month when I was cajoled into going camping with the family again. 
We shared the farm camp site with some other happy campers...:

And with the camp site only a skip and a jump away from some of the most beautiful 
beaches in Cornwall, I had to admit the trip had not been such a bad idea, after all...

The beaches were so fabulous that even the oldest beach boy in 
the family had to be dragged away at the end of the day...

... and whilst dreaming of toes tickled by sand, 
one could always organise a bath in one's own garden...

... or continue to try out different decorations inside and out...

I got hooked on photographing figs, 
and 'purple' seemed to be a theme I would not easily let go of...

... well, blue-y purple counts too...?


August meant both holiday away and at home, the latter which was enjoyed through several 
walks around the surrounding countryside and villages, which I never seem to tire of...

Picking flowers by the road side and playing around with garden peas and other decorative 
vegetables were two favourite activities that continued to bring joy to this Swenglish soul...

...and my passion for purple seemed unstoppable...


With September came whispers of autumn, and also a lot of work involving trips away. The blog slowed down, again, and there were few opportunities to send blog love to my much appreciated readers... Here, a few hearts were carved to carry the message, and I hope that you all felt it!


I started October in one of my favourite cities, Istanbul, and returned to the UK high on baklava and impressions for all the senses. (Baklava is a sweet pastry, but the way I was downing them, you might have thought they were a more addictive substance!)

Autumn really settled in this month, and I had a hard time keeping up with the massive crop of various pumpkins the man in the house had grown this year. Not being a big fan of eating pumpkin myself, I did my best to use them in other ways...

The misty mornings, the yellowing leaves... even for a spring and 
summer lover like me, it was hard not to be seduced...

Castle Combe


Mother Nature - still my favourite artist of all times - continued to offer some stunning poetry...

...and still stuck with more pretty pumpkins than we could possibly consume,
I decided to make use of them in another way - an autumn table was laid....

... and then, to my surprise, I found it was already time to invite the first signs of Christmas...:


Being a keen advocate for the "Play With Your Food Movement" (no, I don't think there is such an organisation, at least not outside of my - sometimes rein-free - imagination), Brussels sprouts became the 'flavour' of the month of my blog, and these photos were taken for the Christmas issue of the Hungarian magazine A Mi Otthonunk. 

Having decided to attempt to toddle down new paths, 
I also announced the birth of my new company:

... hoping to be able to 'steal' some time from my other work 
to explore the possibilities here during 2012.


Little Christmas sweets and treats were prepared... and, 
I admit rather embarrassed, consumed loooong before Christmas actually arrived...:

... and the Brussels sprouts came back to haunt the blog again... and again... and again!

Well, there we are.
Many other things happened too of course,
in the unstyled and multidimensional world outside of the blog,
but these are some of the images and events I chose to share here..

This blog year has brought to me so much light and smiles from the blog world, where I have been met by an unwavering source of goodness and unselfish encouragement in you, my kind, kind readers. Your warmth and positive pats on a sometimes tired Swenglish shoulder has meant the world to me, and I only wish I could have cloned myself in order to visit you all and deliver hugs and words of gratitude in person. As it is, many of you have only seen me reach out a hand in collective thank you-s here, or at best, have felt my little heart-filled thoughts be carried by imaginary doves to wherever you are across the globe. I will make no New Year's resolutions that I will be able to post, visit or comment more next year, but I can promise you this: You inspire me and your inspire the world with your kindness. Thank you.

I hope 2012 will be your best year ever, 
and hope to see you here, in the parallel universe of blogs...!



  1. Wow, beautiful pictures, as always. ♥ Just having last piece of chocolate, maybe a glass of good wine in the evening and just let the New Year come ;)

    Wishing You very Happy New Year 2012! May all your hopes & dreams come true.

  2. Many many thanks for the continued inspiration - my home is improving thanks to your blog! Can I beg you to share the name of your Cornish Campsite? Happy New Year xxxx

    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. Tack för alla sagolikt vackra inlägg! Ett riktigt GOTT NYTT ÅR!!! Kram Johanna

  4. Imorron ska jag njuta av din vackra kavalkad - då kommer mitt modem att laddas upp - just nu ser jag bara några få av dina underbara bilder!

    Jag ser fram emot att få fortsätta följa dina härliga inlägg nästa år och önskar dej ett riktigt GOTT NYTT KREATIVT ÅR!

  5. Gott Nytt År och tack för alla fina bilder under året som gått/Kram

  6. Many thanks Helena for sharing this year of colours, ideas, and such a lovely way of life, so inspiring, with us.
    I wish you too, the best for 2012, a word came in my mind for it, "renewal"..."renouveau".

  7. Nyårskram från Australien♥
    ...hoppas du får en trevlig afton!

  8. Dear Helena, I have enjoyed it so much to see all your pictures again!!

    For 2011 I will remember you as the sprouts blogger, because you made this vegetable - I do not like to eat it at all!! - even attractive for me :). It was really a kind of art!

    I wish you a very special and inspiring new year ... I hope I will be able to visit your blog often, for many inspiration!

    Many hugs, Ingrid

  9. Wish you all the best for 2012!!!!!

    Love from Peet.

  10. Det var en fin kavalkad över ditt år, du är en mycket duktig fotograf. Önskar dig ett riktigt GOTT NYTT ÅR Helena, och tack för att du är en fin bloggvän.
    Varm kram

  11. Vakre Helena!! TAKK for all inspirasjon og dine helt speseilt vakre bilder!! Jeg er alltid litt nostalgisk på denne dagen...og gleder meg mest til den er over. Vet ikke helt hvorfor, tror jeg bare synes at livet suser altfor fort avsted og årets siste dag er derfor en påminnelse om det...
    Når det er sagt, skal være sammen med gode venner i kveld og det gleder jeg meg til!
    Håper dere har hatt en herlig jul hjemme i Sverige!!
    God nytt år til deg og guttene!!

  12. So enjoyed my walk through the year with you.Just so full of beauty.Thank you for sharing your world.Have a Blessed New Year!~Amy

  13. Vilken fin sammanfattning av ditt år, fullt av fantastiska upplevelser och underbara bilder! Och så fick jag se bild från Castle Combe igen, min favoritby alla kategorier!
    Njutbart! Verkligen!
    Gott Nytt År!
    Agneta kram

  14. Underbart, härligt och inspirerande...så känns det att besöka dig här.
    Önskar dig världens finaste nyår,
    kram Lydia

  15. Vackra bilder och Ett Gott Nytt År!


  16. A very happy new year for you and your family♥

  17. Hope you have a wonderful New Year Helena. Just to let you know that I featured your beautiful blog on my blog yesterday. I just had to share it with my blogging friends.

    Have a lovely day,

  18. lovely, lovely, lovely! i am glad my lame irish country-internet-line made it through your great review. all the best for you, your family, your new company!

  19. Åh så mycket vackert det var samlat hos dig idag, årets sista dag :)
    Gott Slut och Gott Nytt År! :)

  20. It was a great where a good friend to me.....thanks for your

    Een heel goed en vooral gezond 2012 !!!.......

    Bedankt voor je liefde en steun van het afgelopen jaar......

    Het voelde als een warme deken......

    Liefs van

    ★ ┊    ★ ┊┊   ★ ┊  ★ ┊    
    ┊   ┊ ☆   ☆┊ ┊     ★┊  
      ★ ┊    ★ ┊ ★ ┊ ★ ┊
    ┊   ┊ ☆   ☆┊    ★┊ ☆ ☆ 
    ☆┊   ☆   ★ ┊    ★ ┊┊ ☆   
    ┊   ┊ ☆   ☆┊    ★┊★┊ ★
    ☆┊ ☆   ★ ┊    ★ ┊ ☆

    A very good and healthy 2012 !!!......

    Thank you for love and support of the past year........

    It felt like a warm blanket..........

    Love from

  21. Åh, vilken ljuvlig krönika! Får titta flera gånger för att ta in allt:).
    Önskar dig ett Gott Nytt År!
    Ses 2012.
    Kram Maria

  22. Best Wishes for 2012 Helena and keep taking those fabulous photographs....
    Julie x

  23. I'm glad that in 2011 I found your blog. I look forward to more of your beautiful photographs in 2012. Happy New Year from the westernmost island in Canada.

  24. Jag var bara tvungen att återvända hit och se alla dina underbara bilder - nu är modemet uppladdat och......!
    Åååååh, vilka bilder, vilken ambitiös kvalkad du har gjort! Jag njuter i fulla drag åt alla dina kreativa skapelser!
    Jag önskar dej återigen all lycka på nya året, och må ditt företag blomstra och prunka precis som dina bilder och kompositioner!

  25. Wow, what a post and what a lovely blog! I sure will return soon, now that I've found you.
    I wish you a wonderful, healthy, adventurous and funny 2012.
    Greetings from Switzerland
    Take care

  26. Hej Helena!
    Jag som pausat från bloggvärlden ett tag men nu gjort "come back" såg egentligen ditt inlägg redan igår, men eftersom jag förstod att det var ett inlägg utöver det vanliga, något att verkligen njuta av, så sparade jag det till idag.

    Uppkrupen i soffan med regnet smattrande mot våra fönster har jag nu verkligen fått njuta av din blogg, dina fantastiska foto och dina vackert skrivna och tänkvärda texter. Med din blogg bjuder du på otroligt mycket inspiration!

    Nu tog jag mig också tid att titta på flikarna som berättar lite om vad du jobbar med och jag blev både glad och imponerad när jag såg att du nu också driver ett företag inom styling och fotografi. Jag önskar dig all framgång med det och kan inte tänka mig annat än att det kommer att bli en succé.

    Jag önskar dig ett riktigt Gott Nytt År och ser fram emot nya kreativa inlägg på din blogg.
    Kram Maria

  27. What a lovely blog. Lucky me, because I found you. I will return soon and enjoy everything bit by bit.

  28. Thank you for this wonderful year trip through your photos, Helena!
    Some posts I had escaped, for this I thank you for this summary!
    I love your blog, it is very charming and has a relaxing atmosphere, I never get tired of seeing him!
    I wish you a happy new year full of new emotions and so many new successes!

  29. Kjære Helena, godt nytt år til deg og dine og takk for all inspirasjon du gir oss! Klem Mette

  30. Your blog is so wonderfull !!!
    Happy new year

  31. Slående vackra bilder! Önskar dig ett härligt 2012! Kram Jackie

  32. MEN.... Helena vilken fin årskavalkad du gjort!!!! Jag njöt av varje bild. Och jag som fått se dina berömda mur och bänk i verkligheten också :-))) Vilken fantastiskt trevlig utflykt det var för oss att hälsa på dig och din söta familj. Och att du tog dig tid att visa runt i dina makalösa trakter.

    Jättesuperduperroligt att du tagit steget med företaget också. Heja!! Vi vill se mera Helen-stajl!! Tack för all inspiration och idéer du delar med dig av.

    Önskar dig och rara familjen allt gott 2012!
    Många och stora nyårsdagskramar till dig

  33. Hola Helena, bonito blog, me encanta todo,te deseo Feliz Año Nuevo, besos.

  34. Helena, thanks for sharing
    your pictures they are always beautiful
    I wish you a creative 2012 to take you much success, luck and love

  35. God fortsättning på ny året, ser fram emot fler underbart inspirerande bilder från dig!/Kram Christina

  36. Jag önskar dig ett riktigt gott nytt 2012.


  37. Vilken underbar summering för ditt år och även här på bloggen. Underbart inspirerande.

    God fortsättning
    Kram Anna

  38. Stunning photographs Helena. I am sure your new venture will take off in 2012. Have a happy and healthy new Year.
    Jo xx

  39. You have chosen some of my favourite photographs from your posts. I have a feeling this is going to be a wonderful year for you.xx

  40. It is always a joy to visit The Swenglish Home.

    Godt Nytt År

  41. Fantastisk flot opsummering af året,som du har lavet Helena!
    Jeg er ked af at jeg ikke har fået kommenteret så ofte, men jeg synes fortsat at du har en af de aller flotteste blogge "out there". Altid en fornøjelse at se hvad du har fundet på, og din evne til at blande forskellige stilarter på en stilfuld og lækker måde slår aldrig fejl. Godt gået! Jeg håber virkelig at du kommer til at lykkes med dit nystartede firma!
    Stor klem og alle de bedste ønsker for det nye år! Ina

  42. Du har den fineste bloggen jeg vet om, og du skriver på en utrolig god måte, god som i at en kan nesten få fred i sjelen av å lese! Takk for det :)

    Ha en finfin dag! :)

  43. Helena a beautiful home and person! Loved your photographic year! Alli B

  44. Darling Helena, I'm so grateful to have met your blog, your wonderful images and moreover YOU and your sweet friendship.
    I wish you a joyful 2012 and to go on with your amazing creativity!

  45. Helena,
    I came across your blog and I love your style and photography!!! I am sharing with my readers on a few of my new favorite UK blogs. Could I share a few of your pictures with a credit and link? Let me know!

  46. this blogging world is truly a magical gift, isn't it?

    i am grateful for you and seeing such beauty through your magical eyes. happy 2012 helena!

  47. Oh Helena these Images have taken my breath away! What a whirlwind of a year you have had, may 2012 be all that you Hope for!

    Happy New Year from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

  48. Stunning photos I've enjoyed revisiting. Thankyou for sharing them with us.

  49. I recently stumbled across your beautiful blog and have to say that I absolutely love it. Your photography skills are fabulous! I am a Brit living (again) in Antwerp, Belgium, having recently returned from Tokyo, Japan. I am finding it difficult to settle back in the suburbs and I am looking forward to spring (way too much rain at the moment). I love making a home (good job, this is our 12th in 26th years!) We bought the house we are living in now a year before we had to leave Belgium and did mad renovations. We had renters in (not a good idea) and now are having to start from scratch and further back because of it. I will enjoy watching your blog flourish and have to say that you live in a beautiful part of the world. We are originally from Yorkshire, but lived in Ross on Wye, Herefordshire where we had our daughter 16 years ago and travelled to that part of the country often. Keep up the great work. Hugs Angela x

  50. It is beautiful your photography! I'm beginning to understand that 'successful' blogs depends alot upon good photography. Alas, it is not my goal to take the best picture, but to live the best a picture can capture. I'm also glad you've invited color into your world, as I love the white on whites and shabby etc, but color is magical too! I will enjoy coming back here to view more and be inspired. blessings, Lady

  51. Kära Helena,

    Tack för ännu ett fantastiskt bloggår! Jag har nu suttit här och scrollat, läst och njutit av ditt år i både text och bild och som alltid slås jag inte bara av hur fantastiskt begåvad och duktig du är utan också hur otroligt varm, omtänksam och generös du är som människa. Du har ett stort, stort hjärta min vän!

    Vi kämpar båda med det där med att inte räcka till för våra bloggläsare. Att inte hinna besöka och kommentera som vi skulle önska. Att vilja mer än vad det finns tid för. Men du vet vad jag har sagt: inget dåligt samvete! Du har en fantastiskt vacker blogg som andas så mycket kreativitet, inspiration och värme. En blogg som tillför så otroligt mycket här i bloggvärlden. En röst som vi alla uppskattar så otroligt mycket. Så inget dåligt samvete vännen, vi finns här det vet du.

    Jag önskar dig ett fantastiskt spännade 2012 med kärlek, kreativitet, spännande möten och utmaningar och all lycka med ditt nya företag Helena.

    Kram Lotta

    Ps. Du har rätt, mina varma strumpor ÄR färgglada. Randiga. Lila och rosa. Kan du tänka dig? ;)

  52. Hej igen;) tyckte att din sammanfattning var så fin att jag kikade in igen;) Här hemma har jag fått lite vårkänslor efter att fått in en Rapsfjäril och kvistarna som jag hängde julpynt på har fått körsbärsblomster;) Så någon vidare vinterkänsla har vi inte i Stockholm i alla fall;) Kram Johanna

  53. Vilken kavalkad!! Alla sover här och jag kan verkligen sitta och njuta. Dessutom har jag tid att invända att bilderna ska dyka upp - vi har en saktfärdig uppkoppling som inte riktigt klarar teknologin ("den" lär ska vara ultrasnabb i marken utanför, men "vår" elektriker körde på med sitt gamla system som inte fungerar med den nya tekniken. Som kronan på verket gå et inte att dra om ledningarna utan mycket extra besvär tydligen) Jag läste först nu att Dina bilder blivit använda av andra, utan hänvisningr och i något fall ditt namn dessutom borttaget. Trist. Och märkligt beteende.
    Sigrid är väldigt förtjust i lila överhuvudtaget, så vi njuter en hel del av den färgen hemmavid också. Måste tillstå att jag tycker att hon har god smak...
    God fortsättning på det nya året och hälsa de Dina.

  54. Helena,
    You are such a talented photographer with a great eye for details . I love your stile and the warm atmosphere of your home . You definitely know how to make a statement . I enjoyed my visit here and I am inspired .Thank you .
    Have a bright and joyous year !

  55. Kære Helena.
    Gennem året har jeg læst tonsvis af smukke blogs, men din er og bliver den smukkeste af dem alle. Jeg elsker hvert et foto du viser. 1000 tak.
    Jeg ønsker et lyst og lykkeligt 2012 for dig og dine kære.
    knus Lone

  56. Käraste H, tittar in för att önska dig en god fortsättning.

    Tack för din Swengelska närvaro, i min Kameliavärld.

    All lycka, till dig och de dina.

  57. what a wonderful post und all the flowers and colours to each month
    i like it , excuse my english
    frauke of north Germany

  58. Sååååå många fantastiska roligt att du visar!!!! TACK TACK TACK för din FINA, GOA hälsning hos mig Helena, den värmde och uppskattades mycket...

    Jag önskar att du får ett nytt fantastiskt år!

    Varmaste kramar

  59. Underbar tillbakablick :-) så "fruktansvärt" ;-) vackra foton så man nästan inte vill sluta titta! Önskar jag hade en bråkdel av ditt kunnande... God fortsättning på det nya året!


  60. For en fantastisk tur ned memory lane! Det er så inspirerende og skjønt å titte inn til deg, Helena! Din kreativitet og stylingsans er helt utrolig -jeg er sikker på at din nye geskjeft vil stjele mye tid fra din nåværende jobb :*) Lykke til!!! Og jeg ønsker deg også et fantastisk nytt år! Håper 2012 vil gi deg mange gleder!

  61. Hi, Helena, it's my first visit to your blog and will sure to come again soon. What a beautiful home and very inspiring photos. I'm happy to be your newest follower.

  62. I just discovered your blog, and I wanted to let you know that I find your photographs very inspiring. You have a great sense of style, love your garden...and I love purple too :)
    Looking forward to your next blog post!

  63. HI, It's my first enyoyable visit to your blog! Such beautiful photos!
    Like all of your work whit the refined skill in details and the warm subtle touch of your home.

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