Monday 29 November 2010

From Santa's work shop with love...

Dear readers,
In my last blog entry, I hinted that I was busy, busy, busy with creative tasks, and to those of you who may have wondered what could possibly have made me abandon blogging for a couple of weeks, I thought I'd invite you to a little peak of what the Swenglish home looked like yesterday...

Yesterday afternoon, our house was transformed into a 'one-off Christmas shop', where my hand-crafted items were offered to some of the ladies in the local community. It is always a little scary to do something like this, as I can't help but worry that people will think it is a little " look at me, look at what I can do" - in fact a little bit like blogging, which seen through a certain type of 'glasses', could appear "show-offy" in a way that was never intended. However, it turned out to be a very nice and sociable evening, and quite a few ladies left with smaller or larger bags and what looked like a happy shopping smile.

These photos were taken before it all kicked off, so you have to imagine the flickering candles and the scent and taste of the ginger biscuits (Swedish recipe, of course) offered to the browsers... 

This year I confess to have been a little trigger happy with letters and stamping, as well as using my photos in a number of ways - anything from covering match boxes to transferring them onto candles, wooden tags and, perhaps the rather obvious, making them into greeting cards. The confidence to use my photos so 'promiscuously', I have you blog readers to thank for, as your kind words about some of my photos have encouraged me to trust them to be good enough.

Fluffy fabric hearts were a 'best-seller' at my first craft sale two years ago, so there were several baskets bulging with cuddly hearts in various different fabrics.

In order to keep enough room for people to browse easily, the conservatory was also used to display the stock, particularly bulkier items like cushions, etc. 

... and in the land of tea drinkers, a perhaps obvious "best seller"...:

In this photo of the fabric and wooden bunting, an unusual detail is visible in the background... that white, fluffy stuff is not something we are terribly used to in this area, and funnily enough everybody seems to feel a need to talk to me, the "snow-experienced Swede", about its existence and effects... But I confess, I am enjoying the snow, every tiny scattering!

The Union Jack has been a grateful pattern in the last couple of years, and it is a trend that seems to be unwavering, as all my flag-patterned items disappeared faster that you can sing 'God Save the Queen'... 

So there we have it, a 'show-offily' modest or modestly 'show-offy' display of what has been taking up most...correction: ALL of my time in the past few weeks, and now, now I hope to return to a world I have missed, the blog comunity. A few times I have peered into some of your beautiful blogs, and have found Cosy with capital C, in the shape of Christmas and candles and warmth-inspiring decoration, despite outside temperatures hinting the opposite.

See you all soon!

Monday 15 November 2010

See you in December...

Dear fellow bloggers and blog readers,
As much as I hate to admit it, I am not as much of a Superwoman as I would like to be... I try to squeeze out 25 hours of each day and have many times tried to request eight days in one week, but alas, time is what it is and mine is full. At the moment it is full of nice and creative tasks, but with a big deadline in less than two weeks, I have to let something - however lovely - rest a little... This time it is blogging that will have to be put on hold, and I can assure you I will miss it and and I will miss you. 

See you back here in the beginning of December and until then, I give you these photos from two years ago. I was trying to arrange something that could become that year's Christmas card, but as the bottom right image looked more like an advert for a supplier of decorative zinc products, I settled for the one above - a hint of lovely zinc, but everything else from the best ever supplier of decorations: Mummy Nature herself.

All the best,

Tuesday 9 November 2010

Oh yes, welcome home...!

With the smell of gingerbread still in my hair, after yesterday's baking frenzy, I could no longer stop myself. Knowing fully well I ought to use every minute of today working, I was battling my conscience. Surely I could pace myself a little longer... Surely I could be a grown-up about it and wait to invite any more Christmas spirit into our house. Surely...?

But, when I saw my Christmas patience run out the door, with it...ran I! 'Hyacinths, I neeeed hyacinths', I chanted quietly to myself, as if it would somehow justify my excursion to the garden centre. And there they were, "my" little trio of allegedly white hyacinths, just waiting to be embraced by me, my Christmas longing and some cuddly moss. Together with a newly fluffed moss ball, they seemed to settle nicely on a side table in the kitchen.Welcome home, Yuletide flowers!

I would again like to thank everyone leaving kind comments here, despite my being so "invisible" in the blog world at the moment. I do pop in to see many of you, but my comments are few and far between. Thank you all and a special welcome to those of  you who are new readers!

Friday 5 November 2010

My little piece of paradise...

In one of my first blog entries, I showed images from my favourite room in the house, the open-plan kitchen-diner which was the result of a dusty extension last year. The room has since then reappeared in the blog many times, in detail or larger parts, as this is where the light is, where it is easier to photograph decorating details with the best chance of avoiding having to use a flash.

I am very grateful for this room, and not a day goes by when I don't think just that, how grateful I am that we were able to make our dreams happen. The man in the house would probably interrupt here and mutter something about it being my dreams, as I had a vision of the look and the atmosphere I wanted to create, and spent a lot of time designing it, planning the layout, sourcing the right material and conveying my ideas to our fantastic builder, all to ensure we got the right "feel" to our new room. The man in the house would, however, if pushed, most likely also confess that he too loves the room. But schhh, don't tell him I said so...

The beams are purely decorative and the wooden floor is an old reclaimed floor from a Victorian hospital, stained slightly darker and oiled. 

Some people might find the room a bit barren or too sparsely decorated, but I have found that I seem to need that calm and uncluttered backdrop to all the bustling life that takes place in this room. And, given that this house is the home of two young boys, most corners of this room usually host a number of crash-landed paper aeroplanes, lego constructions of grand magnificence and - let's not forget - food, either in the making, being eaten or being cleared away. It might not be classified as a living room by an estate agent, but that is indeed what is is, a very living room.

So, from my little corner of paradise, I wish you a lovely weekend!

Ps. Thank you for all your incredibly kind and encouraging comments on my last blog entry. This week has been very hectic and I have not been able to go for my normal stroll around the beautiful blog neighbourhood to see you all, but I will try to come and see you soon.