Santa Claus came through!

Some time in 1983 or thereabouts I got to phone Santa (with my Mom on the other phone listening in). My brother had gone first and read up a whole list of wishes for Christmas. I only had one.

”What do you wish for Christmas?” asked Santa.

I thought about it a long time, and decided to be completely honest.

”A dog, but I can’t get one because my dad is allergic”

I don’t think my Mom got as much inspiration for her Christmas shopping for me from that phone call that she’d hoped for! But I got to think about what it would have been like to have a dog for a short while, and dream about it.

Well, I have to tell you – Santa came through! It only took about 30 years, but here we are – a family with a dog, and not just any dog! The bestest dog in the whole world! And he’s got a fur that none of us are allergic to!

So what can I say, other than – thank you Santa!

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I forgot to add…!

We actually managed to raise about 460 euros at the fundraiser at Jordkällaren! Can you believe it? I actually got to contribute to the local Ukrainian aid, and with this much too! I can’t tell you how happy I am for those numbers, and all those cow and bunny friends who got new homes!

There are still a few paintings left for sale at Jordkällaren – I’m working on a new collection that will be for sale here in Pargas soon. You can reach me through my blog or just pop by, and I’ll also attend some local markets in the future (once I’m done renovating our garage! It turned out to be a much larger project than I had planned).

I’ll earmark some paintings for the Ukrainian Aid in the future as well, just in case people still want to donate.

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To be present

Some days it is difficult to stay mindful of the present.

Some days you feel grief, anger, anxiety or depression, but on those days I find it is even more important to stay present.

For me personally that has become much easier (not always easy! Just easier) since I really immersed myself in mindfulness training, especially by listening to the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh.

I’ve been listening to them on Youtube, but now I also listen to them through the Plum Village app, where I sometimes also do the meditations.

All the Plum village material is just so beneficial and such a great app, and completely free! It rivals all those subscription apps and everything in it is gold.

“I am home, I have arrived”

 

 

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The Season of Cozy

To be fair, this season starts early in the fall when the evenings get longer and you need more light hereabouts. But right now, this month is peak cozyness/hygge/mys/kos in our house!

We use all the blankets I’ve crocheted and amassed over the years. We actually sit by the fire almost every day and read or listen to audio books. We play board games and listen to records on our new record player. What a thrill to listen to music you haven’t heard since you were little! I think it’s mainly us adults in the house who love the old records, but boy do they add to the coziness a whole lot!

It’s the season in between seasons in our house, post-Christmas, but still with lots of candles being lit, and all of us traipsing around in our Christmas socks that my aunt gifts us every year (tack faster Gunborg jättemycket för dom superfina strumporna!)

The socks I got this Christmas are just so lovely and wonderful that I can’t bear wear them yet, so they get to be pretty decorations for a while!

I’ve been listening to Mike and Derek for a while, and they describe hygge pretty well in my opinion. Everyone should have a bit of that state of mind, at least for a while. Mindfulness at its best.

 

 

 

 

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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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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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Beautiful butts from Finland – släpp rumporna fria!

Look at all these beautiful female bodies just being themselves and enjoying nature and the environs here in Finland! I can’t tell you how much I love this concept and its execution – all the pictures in this post are taken by Daniela Franzell, and she has turned them into postcards that will surely bring joy and entertainment to all corners of the world.

 

There is something so freeing in the pictures. They tell a story of Finland that is not always seen in the media. They tell the story of real women.

Women in the woods, women bathing, women enjoying springtime. Women being women, clothing and make up stripped off.

Beautiful women, beautiful butts, Finland through Daniela’s eyes, pictures that go straight into my heart.

You can follow Daniela on Instagram. You can buy the postcards through her, or through Gullkrona Shop and in Gästhamnen in Pargas, our lovely small town.

Alltså jag älskar, älskar älskar Daniela Franzells vykort och bilder på vackra kvinnliga rumpor i alla möjliga situationer och miljöer i den härliga hålan Pargas som vi lever i!

Det finns nåt så glädejfyllt och äkta över bilderna. Som att stiga in i duschavdelningen på en simhall där man får vara sig själv med skavanker och allt, men ännu bättre för det här är ute i naturen.  Som att säga att här är vi och får ta plats precis som vi är, och det är bra!

Danielas Instagram hittar du här och hennes vykort säljs i bl a Gullkrona Shop och i Gästhamnen i Pargas, eller via direktkontakt via Instagram.

Jag längtar efter att få se vilka andra motiv hon tar fram, för en talang för att berätta en historia i en bild, det har hon minsann!

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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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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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