Springtime!

Springtime is finally here, with the days growing longer and longer and plants bursting out of the soil.

We’re preparing the garden, cleaning the greenhouses and do all sort of spring chores that need doing, and that feel so good to be doing.

I’ve still got eye problems, but my goal is to despite that to try and post at least once a month – I’ve been crafting for Easter just because my fingers were itching to do so, but I haven’t unfortunately got enough ”eye time” as I’m starting to call it (minutes of the day when I can look at the computer  screen without getting a massive headache) to edit them in time for Easter.

There’s a season for everything, and for me that season right now is to enjoy nature, enjoy silence, enjoy boredom (not so easy!), enjoy still having all my kids at home (the oldest will turn 18 this summer!). Enjoy going for walks and see the seasons shift in nature, and see what I can learn from that.

There is something so calming about going back to the same place year after year and witness the shifts that occur year round. It’s as if we, the trees and nature and I, all go through the same cycle then, as if we have a connection. And connection is so important to have in this disconnected time.

Here’s hoping everyone is enjoying whatever season you’re having right now! It’s not always so easy, but sometimes you can find a pinch of joy in the smallest of things. In my case, in the fact that I have hand that can create and a mind that can take me places in my imagination. Those are my greatest gifts, and what sustain me when I cannot leave the house, cannot go out into the forests, cannot meet with friends, cannot read and escape that way, cannot get my body to behave the way I’d like it to. I make a small thing, paint an Easter Egg or an abstract painting, and all of a sudden it is springtime in my mind as well as outside!

 

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Caribbean Kokomo-party

One day I woke up with the song ”Kokomo” in my head, so I thought – let’s do a Caribbean cruise themed party!

We quarantined for the appropriate amount of time, and then we invited my parents for lunch. I had planned on making them cruise tickets, but my craft assistant went and did something else rather than hang with their mother! 🙂 (I still haven’t gotten used to not being able to use my eyes as much as I want to, but I’m getting there with the help of my kids most of the time!)

I made a long wreath out of leftover fake flowers and wreaths, and decorated the dining room with colorful fabrics.

The kids made a presentation about the Caribbean islands and the food there. My daughter made a most excellent meal –One Pan Caribbean Jerk Chicken with Pineapple-Coconut Rice – I cannot recommend this recipe enough, it was divine!

We also served gorgeous mocktails – Fruit Loops – a must have if you’re to pretend you’re on a cruise! These mocktails were so good, not too sugary.

It was lovely going to the Caribbean for a short while. We did this last spring too, as the pandemic got going – had themed dinners with the kids having a presentation of a particular country or region and then eating food from that region. It’s such a lovely experience, and I hope my kids will think back fondly on these dinners!

P.S. The bunnies got to have a party too!

 

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3 of the best things of 2020

A year ago we had no idea how the world was going to change, so the first one is from the Before Time when we thought 2020 would be just any year.

One of the best memories from the whole year, is when my daughter and I got to go on the TV show Strömsö. We had such a fun time and it was so exciting n exciting to see how the TV show was filmed, but what stayed with me most is the people behind the show. The make up artist who was so helpful and nice, when I got a severe allergic reaction to something. The director (I think? Or producer – we met so many people, I forget who did what)  of the show who was so accommodating and found me some ginger and chocolate candies when I got a migraine, the people manning the cameras sitting there casually looking as if this was just another day of the job making me too relax, the woman who buys all the props and amazing little knick knacks for the show who amazed me with her creativity. The man making awesome rye bread to treat his fellow co workers. Everyone who worked there – it is no wonder the show looks so great on TV! The people behind it are great.

I felt so relaxed when we were there being surrounded by these amazing people, that I got aforementioned migraine and my period! And of course, Elin, the host who is every bit as nice and accommodating as you’d think when watching the show – we love you, Elin!

It was such a great day, and I came away from it thinking that perhaps I would sew some new jewelry and d perhaps even make an exhibit with them and my pictures or even sell some of my jewelry at some point, but that didn’t happen because of health issues, and a certain pandemic.

The next big great thing happened in May when awesome Amanda started doing her Insider’s Studio – a place where you can learn n abstract art, hang out and get inspired and encouraged by other eager enthusiasts ranging from complete amateurs to professionals. And all are made to feel welcome! Insider’s studio has been such a boon to my mental health this whole year. Whenever I

I do all the classes, and most of the time I post something about them in the Facebook group or on Instagram, and I can feel myself growing as a person through it. It is also something I can do despite having eye problems, because I don’t need to wear glasses in order to do abstract paintings.

And thirdly, the one big happy memory  I’ll take with me from 2020 is all the dips in the ocean I’ve taken! I haven’t swum this much since I was a little kid, and even then I would usually stop going for dips in the sea by September. Now we’re going into the ice cold water even though it is  the middle of the winter, and I can’t really explain in words what it feels like or how amazing it feels afterward. It is like experience It is like going on a roller coaster and getting really, really relaxed at the end of it. The fun part is also doing this together with Niklas, and recently, most of our kids. It feels as if we’re accomplishing something enormously personal every time we take a dip in that cold water, and I feel closer to nature as a result.

So there you have it. The three funnest memories from last year, sprinkle all treasures that I all when I contemplate each of these activities I get such a warm and fuzzy feeling

 

P.S. Because of my eye issues, I can’t blog as often as I’d like to – this blog post took me a week to write and to prepare the photos for. But hopefully I’ll get out one blog post a month! My phone has been a huge help lately, I can read a little bit on it and look through pictures, so I’m mostly on Instagram these days.

 

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DIY Reusable Gift Bags

This year we’re ditching all the Christmas wrapping papers and are ”wrapping” our gifts in these – our new mini-Santa’s bags!

I bought some cheap red cloth, and old table cloths and runners and sewed them into bags. It was a real fun project, easy to sew and so satisfying to use up all the lovely red ribbons I’ve collected through the years! Some of the ribbons, or strings, are from ”condolence cards” (I don’t know the translation, when someone dies, you buy a large card and the proceedings go to a charity). A very nice way to make something new and meaningful out of something pretty and already meaningful.

Most of the gifts are already waiting beneath the tree. And it looks so pretty with all those red parcels underneath!

Next year I’m going to make reusable tags too. (But first I’ll have to get my eye sight back on par – I made these bags in early 2020 fortunately! )

 

 

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Hälsningar i pepparkaketid!

Vilket år det har varit! Ett omvälvande år för de flesta, och ett väldigt märkligt år för mig. På grund av diverse hälsogrejer har jag inte kunnat blogga eller fotografera, och har det svårt med att skriva, men jag ville ändå dela med mig av mitt pepparkakshus från ifjol så jag tog min husnisse till hjälp 🙂

Det här huset var en fröjd att göra!

Det var både lätt att tillverka och såg alldeles fantastiskt ut. Vi tog huset på en tur till skogen och gjorde en liten photoshoot, och det var bara så mysigt och drypande av julkänsla att det inte var klokt!

Vill du göra din variant av älvhuset så kolla det här inlägget

Har du frågor gällande pepparkakshus eller pepparkaksbakandet, så kolla forumet Allt om Pepparkakshus på Facebook (jag är admin). Där samlas alla som är intresserade av pepparkakshus, både proffs och amatörer, alla är varmt välkomna!

P.S. Du hittar också en massa pepparkakshusinlägg här på min blogg under taggen pepparkakshusskola.

P.P.S. Jag hänger mest på Instagram nuförtiden, har svårt att läsa någonting alls, men ibland lyckas jag kolla på några bilder.  Nytt för i år är att jag har börjat måla abstrakta motiv, och det är bara så avkopplande! Där hittar du också en bild på årets pepparkakshhus, ett litet trevåningshus som jag gjorde utan mall och tyvärr inte kommer att lägga upp instruktioner på… Det är ett sånt år i år – mina ögonmuskler behöver vila efter att ha överarbetat i femton års tid, så jag försöker vara snäll mot dem och låta dem få just den vila de behöver. Som tur är finns det ljudböcker och  julmusik och lugna skogspromenader!

Hello again!

That break I took this summer turned into a long blog break! And I’m unfortunately only popping by just to tell you all that I’m still here, I’m still crafting (a bit), photographing (very little), writing (also just the least amount I can), gardening (a lot!), out walking (too little for my taste), swimming (much more than usual!), and above all – being mindful and taking care of my health!

Because that’s the theme for my 2020 – getting healthy! The pandemic happened to coincide with my long time medication not being produced any longer, so I got to really search my soul and my mind and try to find strategies to cope despite having all sorts of health issue as a result.

But I’m still here, and I’m happier than ever, even if a bit too ache:y from day to day, but the mood is great – I love being the mom of three teenagers, and I love my new hobby – painting abstract cows! (through Amanda Evanston – check out her website for the most awesome painting lessons!) The best thing? I can paint even though my eyes aren’t cooperating with me.

Because this is the main reason for my changing life: the medication stopping plus other factors have made changes to my eyesight. I can’t see properly up close and I have to limit how much I read and write every day. Scrolling is especially difficult, which might account for me being in such a good mood, now that I think about it! I can’t doomscroll like the rest of the world. Unfortunately, this also means I have to write most of this text without watching the screen, so it takes a little bit more effort nowadays to write just about anything (especially online messages – they’re the worst to write). So this will probably be the last post for a while until my eyes get used to my reading glasses.

Therefore I’m leaving you for a while – hopefully not too long! With a lot of pictures I already had edited and resized before my eyesight went haywire. It’s a mixed bunch, but it’s the best I can at the moment – I can press click on the camera, but I can’t see if the picture I’ve taken is good or edit it. But I’m in a good mood as I said, because I have my painting and audiobooks and my kids who help me so much! <3

P.S. Instagram is a bit easier for me to use at the moment, so I’m sometimes posting there!

Pre-haircut me – if you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen that I cut off all my hair!

 

 

 

 

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