The Fairy House of 2019

This has to be one of my favorite gingerbread houses! I made it two years ago, and I loved every minute of it!

I usually start planning my houses already the previous Christmas, but then when November hits I get a spur of the moment idea, and I do that instead. This was much easier and more fun to make than what I had previously planned.

I did a blog post about how I constructed this house, and I do think I have the templates for the house somewhere on my computer, but because of my eye issues I don’t use my computer visually that much – it takes a large toll on my health to even write this blog post. But if anyone wants the templates, write a comment and I’ll find them for you!

Truth is, it’s not that difficult to make if you know how to construct a simple house.

And when you know the basics, you can construct almost anything!

I love gingerbread houses, they’re one of my favorite hobbies, and I love them in all shapes and sizes – elaborate ones, simple ones, fancy exact ones, or sloppy childlike ones, like mine mostly are.

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Gratitude

These last years I’ve been focusing a lot on feeling gratitude. Sometimes it’s easier, sometimes harder, but it can usually always be found. It’s like a muscle that needs exercising and then when it’s up and running it only takes a little to maintain it.

According to the Huberman Lab podcast  feeling gratitude is one of the easiest, cheapest ways of taking care of your immune system, but some ways of feeling gratitude are more beneficial than others. The thing is to find a story to make you feel gratitude, and here is where I differ a bit with Huberman. He sort of thinks of only humans as persons.

When you extend personhood to animals, trees and all of nature, all of a sudden you are surrounded by persons and stories!

You can feel gratitude for the tree that you meet on your walk, for it growing so beautifully or make up a story about how it’s an old tree that has seen a lot, or a young tree that is trying to grow through a thicket, or a clump of trees, as if they are all siblings caring for each other. Mama trees watching out over their young and so on. You can feel gratitude for the squirrel you meet along the path, or the sun shining through frostbitten branches.

And you can feel gratitude at home.

The chair you sit on can be thanked, for the wood or steel or plastic that has made it, for the persons that have made it. For the person shipping it to you, for the one buying it for you.

You fork is made up of materials that have come from the ground, and has a story of its own. Everything has a story. Everything can be thanked.

Today I want to thank my blog and the people who have touched me through the blog.

I feel grateful for all who have commented during the years. For all who have given me preloved fabrics and items to use in my home, with no strings attached.

I am so grateful for the person who gifted me a fur coat that I thought I would use I a photo shoot (eye problems have prevented me from doing it yet, but you never know!). For the one who sent me a lovely green fabric that became cushion covers in the bedroom. For the one who gave me some small cups  back when we dreamed of having hens or fowls, in our before bunny-times. For the one who gifted me old sheets that have been much used in our house. For the one who sent me essential oils in the hopes it would help me with my health. For all the people who have given me preloved jewelry to craft new jewelry out of. For all who bought my book back in the day. For all who keep checking in even though I don’t write that much any longer.

For everyone who reads my words or look at my pictures, and perhaps get some inspiration in their own lives.

You all mean a lot to me, and I hope we can send lots of more gratitude out into the world.

 

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Christmas pine cone crafts

I love crafting with what nature gives us – you get a glimpse and a memory of the woods and forests while you craft, and afterward when you incorporate the decorations into your home. It’s a win-win in so many ways.

This pretty pine cone decoration was really easy to make, and adds so much flair- I glued strings to pine cones, and then glued some jingle bells and decorations on them, plus a lace ribbon. It jingle jangles whenever you walk past it, adding to the festive atmosphere.

Sometimes single pine cones are pretty enough to hang by themselves, perhaps enhanced by a glossy ribbon.

I’ve also been making mini-Christmas trees out of pine cones. I glued a pine cone onto a piece of wood. Painted the edges of the cone with white paint and then glued beads onto them. Plus a glittery star on top.

Makes for a nice little Christmas present for friends and neighbors.

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Pretty Pine-cone Decorations

I love creating things together with nature, and pine cones are the perfect medium! The trees have already gotten their use out of them, and now they get to become pretty decorations for Christmas.

 

Pine cone stars are easy to make, and so pretty!

You just glue together five pine cones (first dry them, if they’re freshly picked), and then decorate them plus add a string.

If you like a more natural look, you can simply glue yet another pretty pine cone at the center of the star.

Big pine cones make for big stars, perfect for decorating outdoors!

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Allt om Pepparkakshus – a page for us who adore gingerbread houses (in Swedish)

Immediately when Halloween is over, my fingers start itching for baking gingerbread cookies and houses. A few years back I realized I wanted to chat with people around this particular interest, so I set up a Facebook group – Allt om Pepparkakshus. And I love it! We’re not a big group, but everyone who is in it loves gingerbread houses and looking at pictures of gingerbread houses and there is so much knowledge in that group, it is amazing! I love it that I’m just a plain member (even though technically I’m admin) – I get so much new information and tips, from people who know way more than me, and so much inspiration!

Today I’m starting off gingerbread season with some freehand houses (hopefully!) and some other gingerbread projects that I’ve been itching to do.

If you too love gingerbread houses and know how to write in Swedish, you’re very welcome to join our small community!

 

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The Heart of the House

I was quickly glancing through old photos (my eyes still hurt too much to be able to read or take pictures like I used to), and realized I’d forgotten to post these!

This is my happy place inside our house – ”my room”, a.k.a. the breakfast nook, the card playing spot, where we listen to opera and music, and do yoga. A room filled with music and laughter. And where I occasionally write and paint and do crafty stuff.

But it is my room in this sense – I get to leave piles of my stuff lying around, at least on this small table!

This is how the room looked like last year. It hasn’t really changed that much since – I’ve moved my yellow doll’s house, and made more space for my painting supplies.

Other than that, I’m pretty happy with what my space looks like. It is colorful and filled with interesting things to look at and it makes me want to sit here and work. I am very fortunate that we happened to have a nook in our house that could be converted into my office space <3

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My upcycled statement necklaces

There are some things I miss now that I have problems with my eye sight, and beside knitting, sewing beads is at the top of my list. It is just so calming to sit and sew, to see your creating grow beneath your hands, and also to know that you can produce these small art works from other people’s cast away jewelry!

I had planned on introducing the necklaces one by one, but now I’m just going to toss them all out here in one big post. Hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I do!

This butterfly necklace was once a bunch of bracelets and odd bits and pieces:

This brown one is my favorite, and the only one that I’ve worn more than once – I don’t get out much! I’m considering selling my pieces, but haven’t gotten far – I have no idea how to prize them. But this brown one feels so personal, so it will not go for sale. It’s, among other things, made out of old glass beads that I inherited from my great grandmother, and a bee broach that I particularly love. This one was just a fun thing I tried out – what if I drew a heart shape with wings? I love how pink and red and happy it is! Ooh, I forgot my B-necklace! This is also one I’ve worn on several occasions, inspired by Anne Boleyn’s B-necklace: And then the snakes! I’ve made two snake necklaces, and they both took some engineering to get to fit around the neck. And a lot of fiddling to sew. I loved every second of it! The green in this snake is just such a venomous green! I love it! My pretty blue butterfly! You were supposed to have so many friends to fly away with, but so far you’ve only got the one green one. But you were so fun to create!

So there you go! That’s a small peak into the assorted jewelry I’ve created during the years.

Making your own jewelry out of other people’s cast offs is such a fun hobby! You can create whatever you like and are only limited by if you can sew or not. And if it doesn’t turn out great, well, no worries – you haven’t spent a whole lot of money, and you’ve probably learned a lot in the process! Plus I find it is so relaxing. It’s one of the best feelings in the world, to have made something out of nothing. To be part of creating.

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Our life filled garden – and 3 books I love

The bees are buzzing in our garden like never before!

And it might be just that I’m more attuned to it, but I’m imagining that we have more wild life in general in our garden – so many birds and insects and other animals visit us.

They buzz and whir around in the greenhouse, and we have a much larger crop than usual.

I’ve been listening to a few books that have really stuck with me lately.

Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer

A really lovely take on Native American nature wisdom, especially about the Honorable Harvest, a great set of rules to live by.

The Hidden life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben

Meditative and lovely, gives me a whole new way of looking at trees.

Sand Talk by Tyson Yunkapurta

Written by an aboriginal author in the style of aboriginals, gave me a lot to think about and the way of approaching the subject was really, really interesting!

 

 

 

 

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Happy Midsummer!

Happy Midsummer, everyone! Today we’re celebrating the very old, probably ancient holiday which is still big here in Finland, and in Sweden (in Denmark they’ve forgotten their roots and are burning witches on Midsummer! That has nothing to do with our tradition – this is a celebration of fertility in its origin, and also somewhat how it’s still celebrated. It has nothing to do with witches, nothing.). There are really just two major holidays in our two countries – Christmas and Midsummer. And you used to do similar things on both holidays – dance ”ringdanser”, dancing in a huge ring around either a midsummer pole or the Christmas tree. Plus eating, lots of eating! (and boozing, but my family has sort of skipped that part)

It’s like nature knows there is something special with this holiday, because this is the time when our garden is at its most beautiful! So many flowers blooming, so many insects buzzing. And almost endless sun.

I hope you have a lovely Midsummer Eve, whether alone or in company – and that the warmth of the long tradition of greeting the sun and rejoicing in being alive and being part of nature can somehow seep into you too, wherever you are!

P.S. My DIY Midsummer pole in the first picture is a mix of Danish, Swedish and Finnish traditions! The pole itself and its shape is Swedish, the flags Danish and Finnish – it’s my own invention and not something you’d see IRL, but I love to mix all my ”heritages” in this way!

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