We’re knitting, and loving it!

Both my younger kids got as a schoolwork assignment to knit something. The youngest got a yarn and knitting needles from school, but our middle child forgot to get hers when the schools closed so we solved that by using what we had at home. (We were too lazy to go back to the school and get yarn and needles. Plus I was sick)

That worked out perfectly with my plan this year – to use up the materials I already have at home, before buying new ones!

My daughter started knitting with some bamboo needles and some yarn that I had at home, in her favorite color as it turned out. And as it also turned out – Strömsö, the popular TV-program, started a knit along, with a very easy shawl as their first project! My daughter watched their videos and got started at once. Their videos are in both Swedish and Finnish and really easy to follow along.

We’ve gotten so many good knitting advice through Lee at Strömsö, who knits and takes questions in real time regularly on their Instagram page.

My daughter set to work and knitted and watched Youtube, and I also got eager to knit something, so we started watching her homework together and knitted. It was so much fun! We’ve gotten so much quality time out of sitting and knitting lately. And I’ve also been happy to be able to do something productive while lying in bed recuperating.

We watched the excellent documentary ”Blood, sweat and T-shirts” – available online on the Areena, only in Finnish unfortunately because it’s such a great documentary! We got to follow along with four young people who traveled to Asia to visit cotton farms, sweat shops and all parts of the production line for a simple cheap T-shirt. It made us vow to buy organic and fair trade as much as we can (fortunately we already buy most of our clothes second hand, which is also a good option).

I asked my daughter to bring me some needles and some yarn, and she found a white one which I made a scarf out of.

Then I got bitten by the knitting bug! I remember being slightly annoyed with knitting ”in the olden days” (i.e. pre this quarantine), but I think it was mainly because I got a bad back. But now something’s happened! I still can’t crochet too much without getting back aches, but I seem to be able to knit to my heart’s desire! Turns out I want to knit all the time, so I made this long scarf for my daughter:

Then my yarn almost ran out, so now I’m on the lookout for new yarn! which is so much fun. I’ve finally been able to use up all the yarn I had at my home, leftovers after doing a lot of crocheted blankets and other projects.

Luckily I still have some gray yarn left, so I’ll do a poncho or something, while waiting for my new yarn to arrive to the post office.

Turns out knitting is super fun when you’re back is not aching, when you have a knitting partner, when you’re watching some interesting TV, or just plain to relax. I’m so happy my kids got me to start knitting again!

P.S. My youngest son tried to see if he could make it a whole week without social media, so he’s been sitting in a comfy chair listening to audiobooks and knitting all week long! He is so diligent and really loves to just sit there and produce loop after loop, I’m so proud of him!

 

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Glutenfree chocolate cake with organic orange peel

We’ve eaten such good food recently! With the kids home all the time, all of us have been taking turns cooking and baking. And we try to have at least one cake a week. 

This cake is a favorite – glutenfree chocolate cake with oranges. Mmmm, tastes so good!

It’s always nice to set the table and light a candle before you have your cake – everyone needs a little bit of a party also on school days!

I don’t recall the exact recipe we used for this cake (or rather, my daughter did, since it was she who baked the cake), but our collection of mostly paleo and vegan recipes can be found here on Pinterest.

Have a lovely weekend!

 

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My blue snake-necklace

This necklace was so fun to make! I had already made a template for a snake-necklace, so I decided to make another one. I gathered all my turquoise beads and went to work. And it turned into a real statement necklace – you can’t help but feel pretty when you wear it, it has such a lovely weight and lots of bling!

The snake wraps around my neck a little bit more, but I needed a model so my daughter volunteered. The only drawback – now she’s in love with the necklace as well! (luckily I’ve got lots more to dangle in front of her, so I’ll get to keep this one to myself!)

 

 

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Time for some accountability!

One of the things that can help you stay motivated, even when times are rough, is having accountability. As in having an accountability partner (like I did at first when starting to meditate) and being accountable in other ways (like saying out loud you’re going to do something, just so you’ll feel accountable, like I do with my writing buddies).

So here goes – I need to do yoga twice a day from now on! I also need to keep meditating, doing a gratitude exercise twice daily, and keep putting self-care to the top of my list. You see, I kind of tend to ignore things like my body saying ”come on, dude, get a grip, I’m suffering here!”, even when I can feel bile rise in my throat from stress. But sooner or later my body wins over my tendency to ignore it, by simply becoming so filled with aches and simply stopping to work. As in when it gets really bad I can’t walk unsupported and can’t sit for longer than 20 minutes, and need help doing lots of things.

Which is not ideal.

So I’m choosing to really set myself a task – be good to yourself, and hold yourself accountable! Do to yourself as you do to others – you’re making them take care of themselves in all sorts of way, do that to yourself too!

Yesterday I kind of quit as a cleaner and cook at home. And my kids were all just – you do you, Mom, we’ve got it! It seems all these years of working on a team spirit in this household has really paid off. They are in fact complaining less than usual, and help out with so many chores, that for the first time since my body started battling my spirit (almost 17 years ago when I gave birth to my oldest child) I’m feeling I can actually relax and take care of myself and just sit in the greenhouse and knit while the rest of the family is taking care of the rest. And of me.

They get me sandwiches and water, they let me play opera at full volume at times 🙂 (not really! But I have to test my new surround system, and what better way to do that than to play ”Ride of the Valkyries” or ”In the Hall of the Mountain King”?)

Sure, there are still tensions. But on the whole, I think my kids are old enough, and mature enough to understand that I need to take care of my body and spirit now. And to help me with that.

I feel like I’ve got all the essentials covered at the moment. I live in a lovely house with a garden that can sustain us quite a bit, especially now that we’re expanding the cultivation beds (or whatever they’re called). My kids are doing reasonably well with their distance schooling. My husband Niklas is starting to complain less, and is re-building the smaller green house which is awesome. My meds stopped being produced about a month and a half back, and at first I thought it was a disaster. I was really depressed for a day or so, and had to write a short story, just to get out of that mood. Then I started a new program, The Pain Fix Protocol, that amazingly came out just that very day! So I’m doing something every day to try to beat the aches and pains of my body. I’m also doing the Christmas gift to my family – a yoga program by the amazing Lucas Rockwood. His Hip-opening challenge was really great for Niklas, Noel and I, and we’re doing it for the second (or third?) time now. We’ll do his back-bend challenge in May, which I’m really looking forward to!

My only thing on the bucket list right now – to go for a walk to my favorite place, the nature reserve about a kilometer from our house. I went the last time about a month ago, and this is what it looked like back then:

I was so happy when I saw the first anemones back then! 😀

Our small town is just so pretty.

I love how the sun falls through the trees.

And the paths – they’re so lovely to walk on.

I love seeing how nature gets to really just have its own way in this protected area.

And the trees stretching toward the waters!

Blue and purple flowers sticking up through all the brown.

I love finding natural tunnels like this one through the branches of a row of trees!

And the sun shining on everything!

The water was really high up this winter, so the sand from the nearby beach shifted and drifted further off and made for a really interesting beach front.

I love walking barefooted here!

The sound of the waves hitting the beach. And the white ”gees” on the waves!

And children playing in the woods. You can sometimes hear their voices, and see traces of their play.

 

P.S. Here’s a post I wrote (in Swedish, but Mr Google can probably translate it for you!) I wrote about what it was like living in constant pain. There were 2 hard parts for me: 1. the pain, of course but also 2. the fact that most people who saw me just assumed I was lazy or a shrew or a bad wife or something, for asking my husband to do things for me. Not all handicaps are visible! …it also reminds me I need to take more selfies! I haven’t been in many pictures for a long while, and I definitely don’t look as glamorous as I did in that old post!

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We need flowers!

Spring is starting to come to my parts of the world, but it couldn’t spring fast enough so I made a whole bunch of flowers out of paper.

The yellow and blue ones got to share space with some birch branches for a while.

Look how pretty with all those patterns in the paper! And the green surrounding the brown – I love it!

I made a bouquet for my parents for when they got home from Spain, along with a big golden bow.

I’ve been saving these tissue papers for so long for a special project, and this was the perfect opportunity to splurge and use up all my pretty papers!

My daughter made a card to go along with the bouquet, along with the almost obligatory present in these odd times…! (Niklas also made banana bread yesterday, we’re supertrendy!)

The large purple and yellow bouquet remained at home, where it sat on the table in the hallway during all of Easter.

All these lovelies have moved upstairs since to another prominent spot.

And if you want to make similar flowers for yourself or others to enjoy – here’s the post where I show how I make these flowers.

 

 

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You can’t have Easter without a Påskris!

…or well, you can, but where’s the fun in that?! (read all about our Påskris-tradition here)

This year I made a teeny tiny påskris, with extra feathers, and extra colorful.

And I sort of volunteered the whole family to craft with me! We all needed a break and with the weather not cooperating it was much more fun to sit inside around the table and craft together. Turns out, everyone wanted to do some Hama-beads crafts, so we ended up with an egg, a witch without her hat, a bunny hopping along, and a chicken. All in all not too bad! Especially as I found these two little bunnies that can hop along the table and just be cute and/or annoying!

This year’s Påskris is embellished with these tiny yellow birds! I love it so much, it’s like instant joy and Easter in our house!

 

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Happy Snowday!

Adding to the weirdness, we finally got winter this season! …or rather, the winter season decided to come and visit us during spring!

It’s not too bad, since it meant my kids wanting to be outside having snow ball fights! They would have wanted to go skiing, but our skis are at my parents’ place, and they’re self-quarantining for a while yet, so we just let the kids do whatever else they could outside in the snow.

That turned out to be snowmen! First this one tiny one, then a whole family (which I forgot to photograph)

The positive thing about being bored – you sometimes become more creative!

Happy Snowday/Wednesday to all of you out there!

 

 

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