Behind the scenes at Strömsö – my daughter’s pictures

Last blog post on Strömsö, I promise! …but for those of you who still want to see more pictures from that lovely, lovely house, today I’ll show you the last pictures we took. Most shot by my daughter, who is turning into quite the photographer.

My daughter got to stroll around taking pictures while Elin and I sewed our bracelets. And I took every opportunity to shoot all the nooks and crannies – everything at Strömsö is just so interesting to look at!

I mean – just look at this corner of a room. So many interesting DIY:s!

And that quote printed on a tote bag.

I’ve been wanting to make some macramé for a long while. Haven’t gotten around to it yet, but perhaps one day.

Lots and lots of scarves for the host and guests to choose from when the need arises.

Look at those paint brushes!

And this mask!

I’ve got spoons like these in my garden!

Onions in a paper bag in the kitchen.

And that lovely, lovely table filled with goodies.

More interesting details.

My first large statement necklace.

And this white beaded monstrosity!

Lots of lovely material – I could have sat at that table and created for days!

Outside the sun was shining on a wintery landscape.

My B-necklace – this is my version of Anne Boleyn’s B-necklace.

My aqua snake snaking around jars of sequins and trays with beads.

I made this collar just because. I wanted to try out sewing flowers to lace, and it turned into this. 

One of my butterfly-necklaces.

Look – a camera! And that fireplace!

The bracelet Elin made.

My daughter wearing her new choker that she made herself during the show.

Look how lovely this tiny doll is!

And again the Strömsö-quote!

Thank you so much to the Strömsö-team! We were so happy that you asked us to participate, and we got so many fond memories from this trip.


RSS | Instagram | Pinterest | Facebook

Behind the scenes at Strömsö – part 3

Part 1

Part 2

The day of, we were greeted by sunshine and lovely winter weather. The Strömsö-house is to die for, inside and out!

And I love that they have this saying on the wall.

It was so exciting to get to be on a TV-show! We had butterflies all morning. We changed into our clothes for the shooting, and then we got to go to hair and makeup.

My daughter really enjoyed herself and took lots of pictures – she only recently got a smart phone and Instagram, so she was really eager to document everything!

It was also very fun to get the make up done by a professional! And Mari who did the make up was so nice!

All through the house, the staff was busy making the studio ready for the shooting.

We got to wander around and enjoy all the loveliness.

While the camera crew set up everything. The sun was shining straight through the big windows and french doors, so they had to add screens.

Lots and lots of cameras and lights and whatnots.

And that lovely, lovely kitchen – swoon!

They also took pictures for the article on their site.   

Mari made me feel so pretty!

She did my hair and makeup just the way I wanted it – I felt pampered and so well taken care of!

Then it was almost time for the shooting! My daughter wore one of my latest necklaces – a yellow one, that I made out of old bracelets, an old earring and assorted beads.

We got to watch in the kitchen as the crew set up the cameras and zoomed in on my DIY-jewelry – how cool is that?!

Then it was time for the filming.

I got to look behind the scenes in the room where they direct the show.

”Hi Nosipho!” – my daughter and Elin waved to me through the camera!

They shot Elin arranging jewelry and doing the ”menu” and all kinds of TV-technical stuff which all had their own terminology.

It was fun getting to watch close hand at what goes on behind the scenes of a TV-show. 

Then it was time to get going! We sat around the table, created our own jewelry and chatted.

It was so much fun! My daughter got to borrow my camera, and she took pictures of Elin and me sewing beads during the lunch hour.

And then we shot the final images, of the finished products, and the filming was done.

We changed into our traveling clothes (we went back home to Southern Finland the same evening), packed up all my stuff and off we went. 

It was such an amazing experience! The crew at Strömsö are so nice and accommodating, and this was such a fun adventure for both my daughter and I. You all took such good care of us, even when I got a splitting migraine headache in the middle of the filming <3 Hope to meet you all again someday!

You can watch the show online here.

Here’s the article about my DIY-jewelry

P.S. …and welcome all new readers, so nice to have you here! If you’re interested in seeing more up close pictures of my jewelry, I’ll be presenting them here on this blog in the near future.


RSS | Instagram | Pinterest | Facebook

Behind the scenes at Strömsö – part 2

Part 1

So this is going to be another picture heavy blog post, but I figure – so many people are home now quarantining or just trying to stay away from huge crowds, and we need nice, fun things to think about. So I’m really going crazy with my pictures from Strömsö! (also: it was such an amazing trip, so I really enjoy talking about it!)

Looking through all my pictures from those two days, I get such a warm and fuzzy feeling! It was so much fun to be invited to be on the show, and the staff there are amazing and so warm and welcoming!

And the house – the house! So full of colors and patterns and lovely details!

I feel I didn’t have nearly enough time to take in all the loveliness, but luckily I still have my photos!

I got to place some of my jewelry on other things they created during ”our show”. 

Look at those chairs! And the rugs! And the lampshades!

Who wouldn’t want to sit there and just read a book and take in the atmosphere?

We had so much fun with these two lovely ladies! My friend Sandra and Elin, the host of the show! Lots of laughter during those two days!

And I was standing there, a bit stunned – it sort of looked like at home, a table filled with goodies that we would create upcycled jewelry from. But to do that on camera! Would I even manage to make something?! Lots of unnecessary questions ran through my mind – we were in such good hands at Strömsö!

Every nook is just so cozy and inviting.

And you kind of just want to start cooking in this kitchen!

I brought half a suitcase full of jewelry with me.

I still laugh when I see this picture! Look – that is my jewelry on that table! Things I’ve created out of other people’s rubbish, and old odd bits and pieces. And I get to talk about it on TV!

Elin and my daughter were also thinking about and planning what to create the next day. We had so much to choose from!

Look – my other snake necklace, right there on the table! (btw, I made a bracelet out of the pink necklace closest to the camera)

This is my kind of spread! I haven’t got much of a sweet-tooth, but I’ve got one for this kind of sweetness!

I love the combination of rustic, vintage things combined with like things from a fancy manor! We have similar candle sticks at our house, only not so big and impressive!

And look at this couch! It’s just perfect!

We had so much fun with Sandra and Elin <3

After visiting Strömsö we went home to Sandra and had such a lovely evening. And the next day it was off to Strömsö again, for the filming! More of that in an upcoming blog post – and here’s a link to the TV-show, which can be watched online.

Here’s the link to part 1 of our Strömsö-adventure

And Part 3

RSS | Instagram | Pinterest | Facebook

Behind the scenes at Strömsö – part 1

My daughter and I had such an amazing time at Strömsö!

We arrived the day before the shooting and went out to Strömsö to unload all my DIY jewelry, and to have a talk with Elin, the host of the show.

The Strömsö-house is amazing! It’s filled with so many lovely little details, like these eggs that I think were used for a recent program.

My daughter had a great time, Instagramming all those little details! (btw, my friend Sandra recently taught me how to use Instagram properly – I’m such a Luddite when it comes to IG, so now I’ve been having fun posting stories! 🙂 I had no idea what stories were – true story!)

The people at Strömsö had already staged the studio with a lot of DIY materials for us to play with.

It was a bit nerve-wracking looking at this table and thinking ”Tomorrow I’ll sit here and try to DIY on demand! What if I can’t make a pretty bracelet..?!” (I could, in fact I made two! But I was so nervous beforehand)

”It looks like at home!” said my daughter, and I agreed.

We often have piles of material like this lying around on tables in my room!

I got to place my jewelry among the materials, so that they would look pretty on the show.

The snake necklace is my favorite!

I brought along a couple of the crowns I’ve made.

And a lot of my fascinators!

Everything looked quite nice and inviting.

We were set to shoot in the large room in the middle of the Strömsö-house. You can see a glimpse of their kitchen through the large doors.

My jewelry all on display! I got butterflies at seeing them presented like this!

It did feel a bit daunting to be filmed while creating – usually I have total control over all aspects of what I show here on this blog and on Instagram! But I had to relinquish all control, and just try to go with the flow, which was a pretty amazing experience.

And I love, love, love strolling around the Strömsö house and looking at all the lovely colors and details!

Such an amazing house, and such an amazing creative team behind the show.

…the show’s on on Saturday & Sunday! I’m so excited!

Part 2


RSS | Instagram | Pinterest | Facebook

Decorating with my DIY:s

When we came back from Vasa and our trip to the TV-show Strömsö, I didn’t completely unpack everything. Instead I arranged some of my DIY-jewelry around the room!

This collar gets to hang on a candle stick and look pretty.

And the old clock got a temporary makeover involving lots of lots of pearls and beads.

I can’t believe how many pieces of jewelry I’ve made during the years! They really seem to add up, and look gorgeous when strewn out all over the table. These slippers need to do some more walking too – like straight into a photo shoot. But that’s a story for another day!


RSS | Instagram | Pinterest | Facebook

DIY Butterfly necklace

I just start beading and beading and beading… And one day all of a sudden a necklace is done!

This butterfly necklace is made out of an old bracelet, old glass beads that I’ve kept since I was little, and odd beads that I found rummaging around my drawers.

I started by drawing the shape of a butterfly on some green felt fabric. I drew where I wanted the yellow parts. After sewing all the yellow beads in place, it didn’t look enough ”buttefly:ey” to me, so I added some purple beads and a blue sparkly something.

It sparkles and feels substantial, like it’s a proper necklace when you wear it.

P.S. I also made the head-wrap that my daughter wears in the pictures. Sometimes we wear matching head-wraps – the best hairstyle when you’re hair is not really co operating and you still want to look pretty! (this usually happens to me, not my daughter! She always looks beautiful)


RSS | Instagram | Pinterest | Facebook

DIY jewelry – pink statement necklace

Welcome new readers!

Since many probably are here to take a closer look at my DIY jewelry, I thought I’d take some new pictures of them and present them here on the blog.

Featured above is the first necklace I made using upcycled materials and lots and lots of beading. I needed a necklace for a wedding, and since I had become allergic to all kinds of metals, I decided to make a necklace from scratch.

I drew out a shape on newspaper and cut it out from felt. And then I sewed hundreds of little beads onto the felt. The central bronze-colored rosette is an old brooch that I repurposed in this fashioned, along with a pretty button that had similar features.

It’s quite a heavy necklace to wear, but that only adds to the festive feeling when you wear it. And it sits so great around the neck and onto your bosom! I lined it with suede from an old jacket. Upcycling at its best!


RSS | Instagram | Pinterest | Facebook

DIY Storage in my home

I often get asked: ”How do you store all your materials for your DIY:s?”

The short answer is: I store it a bit here and there!

The longer answer: It depends on what I store, and what it looks like. Unfinished projects I tend to store around the room (i.e. my study), like this unfinished blanket that gets to sit and be pretty in a large glass jar.

I look for storage items when going to flea markets, like the bowls in the picture above. I store buttons and beads in those.

More buttons in an old glass jar that I got more than 20 years ago. And a crystal bowl containing my hair pins.

I try to see how I can make the environs both functional and beautiful at the same time, so I tend to store things out in the open quite a lot.

Think candy shop, or pretty craft shop or something. I bought the clear containers when a DIY-store went bankrupt and sold off most of their things for nearly nothing.

I also have drawers full of DIY-things, like this drawer above filled with stuff I use to make my recycled bracelets and necklaces.

The drawers are filled with the stuff. I think of them as my treasure chests!

I try to create environments with lots of customized storage, like this old TV-table that we bought second hand and repurposed for my room. I use free fruit crates to store pieces of lace and old flowers.

I just throw the materials in the crates any which way.

Then when I’m creating something out of the pieces, I lay them out on the table and sort them according to color or materials.

The trick is to use the things, in that way you know what you have where. Sometimes I forget what I have in a particular drawer, but then it gets to be a nice surprise and usually sparks some bit of my imagination and creative nerve.

I also collect pretty jars and cans and store things in them, like paper flowers, cutouts, smaller decorations.

I store a lot of knitting needles, feathers and flowers in the window behind my desk.

I had a lot of chips-cans years ago that I glued pretty paper onto.

I store rulers and stuff like that in those behind the computer screen.

To the right on my desk I always have a stack of books. Books I’m reading through, books I need to reference and the pink bag contains stuff from my purse that I don’t need at the moment, but that I can always collect at a moments notice (like membership cards to shops or unimportant stuff like that).

The large turquoise cupboard contains a lot of materials. I try to arrange them so that they look inviting when I take a peak into the cupboard.

I store my DIY jewelry in an old box. It feels awesome to open the lid, like opening a treasure chest!

This tends to be the messiest part of my study – to the right of my computer. Here I store things I use daily, like my phone and my ipad, pens and notebooks.

I try to make use of every available space, including this little nook beside the bathroom wall that we turned into a small bookshelf. It contains see-through containers with beads, buttons, corks, feathers, birds… what have you.

My desk was a bit too short, so we extended it with this piece that we found at a flea market. I still haven’t gotten around to painting its surface yet! But someday, perhaps… In the meanwhile, it houses my printer, some boring looking paper and other things that aren’t pretty to look at (like my heat gun)

This little cupboard used to be a bedside table. It holds a lot of things: candles, Christmas items, decorative things for the garden.

And then there’s this white storage, that used to store our kids’ clothes and books when we lived in Copenhagen. It holds the majority of my materials: knick-knacks that I haven’t yet figured out what to do with, seeds for the garden, different kinds of glues, my sewing kit.

So there you have it! A little peak into how I store my materials.

My simple rules are:

  1. Find storage wherever you can
  2. If you don’t have concealed storage, try to store items in plain view in bowls, jars and cans. Think candy shop. Think storage in plain sight.
  3. Think outside the box: Are you sure you’ve actually used up all available storage in your home? Where can you cram in some storage? Does that thing really need to be in that particular place? How are you using your space? Is there somewhere you’re not really using, that could be used for storage instead? I do this for all our rooms in the whole house, including thinking about space in 3D terms, like hanging baskets and storage underneath the ceilings or by the floorboards.
  4. Go through your items regularly so you don’t forget what you have, and so that you end up using them instead of just hoarding…! This is useful for everything you own. Do you really need that particular thing or are you holding onto it for no particular reason? If so, donate it to someone else who might put it into use.
  5. Above all: have fun! If you’re happy with the way things are organized in your home, then try to enjoy it! And if you’re not, go back to the previous numbers on this list.

P.S. And yes, it is easier to store things when you live in a big house! But I managed to have nearly all this material in our old tiny apartment too – it just took a lot of creative thinking about where and what to store!

RSS | Instagram | Pinterest | Facebook

Back home from a trip to Vasa, and Strömsö!

Sometimes when you start something, you have no idea where it will lead. Just that what you’re doing is something that’s fun for you, that you enjoy and that somehow makes the world a little bit of a better place.

I started making my own jewelry some years ago, just because I wanted to create something I could wear despite my allergy to all kinds of metals. And then it sort of bloomed, turned into portraits of my daughter, this whole fantasy world called Pargasia, some newspaper articles and now yesterday my daughter and I were interviewed on a TV-show called Strömsö!

It was so much fun and I got to sit and make two bracelets out of pieces of lace, buttons, sequins and beads, but I didn’t talk as much about the specifics of the process. More about the philosophy around creating and creating with your children. I think I have lots more to say on the subject, but today I’m just so fatigued so I’ll leave that for another day!

I’ll post more photos of my jewelry and my creative process here on this blog, so stay tuned if you want a closer look! The necklace in the picture above is the one I wore on the TV-show yesterday. For me, sewing beads is so relaxing, and I love to create something out of nothing, or even something out of other people’s throw away knick-knacks! Upcycling and creating – my favorite pastimes combined!

A few years back I dyed some lace pink. It also got featured on the TV-show, but by now it’s finished and embellished with so many beads and flowers!

It was a bit of a challenge to create something on demand, so to speak! Usually I get to take everything at my own leisure. I lay out pieces of lace, beads and assorted decorations and then I sort of get a feel for what I want to create.

It will be nerve-wracking watching myself on TV, if I can work up the nerve to do it! But I’ll definitely post more articles here about my jewelry, just in case someone else wants to turn trash into treasures. Wearable upcycling, that is so fulfilling to create!


RSS | Instagram | Pinterest | Facebook

DIY Heart-shaped wreath

This flowery wreath adds a bit of springtime to the Valentine’s celebration.

I started with a heart-shaped foundation made out of metallic wire(you can buy ready-made, or make your own just by twisting together wires).

Then I added lots of flowers and leaves from old candle rings and bits of odd flowers I’ve picked up here and there.

A pink bird topped it all off.

Flowery and springtime:y, and heart-shaped. And so easy and fun to do!



RSS | Instagram | Pinterest | Facebook