Thursday, December 26, 2013

SSCS 2013 - what I sent

I was so happy when the news came this fall that there would be another round of Secret Santa Christmas Swap! It's really become a tradition over the years, and I'vr grestly enjoyed getting to know bloggers and quilters from all over the world during this yearly swap, organised by the Elf Mother Chookyblue - and this year her Assistant Elf Googy Girl. 

Sneaking around a person's blog, planning and making a project, sending it off in good time for Christmas - and hoping the parcel will give some joy is really, really fun! (Although I guess some of us - ahem - can be a bit too sneaky from time to time..) 

This year my victim of sneakyness, and reciever of my parcel, was Cheryl, who writes the lovely blog (have a look at the projects she's been working on - they're amazing!). 

And this is what I sent to Cheryl : 

Both parcels in their wrapping..

The ornament (mini-stocking) and a folded star (I just learned how to fold these, and they are addictive!). 

And the wallhanging (a Tilda design) and the ornament together. 

I included a couple of more things (a reflective badge in the shape of a sheep with a traditional norwegian knitting pattern on it, and a tiny calendar). 

Thabks again, Chooky, for a great swap! It just wouldn't be Christmas without it! 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas! And thank you!!!

Merry Christmas! 

It's December 25th, and Christmas Day. Yesterday we had a great Christmas dinner, a visit from Santa himself, and a couple of his helpers (an elf girl and an elf dog). The kids were in awe (mildly spoken)! After dinner the presents were unwrapped and everybody were very happy (I've spent the morning today building a firetruck out of LEGO). 

Today's a lazy day. It's quite unusually warm outside, and raining cats&dogs.. But! I have a very special gift to enjoy! Just look at the gorgeous tablerunner my Secret Santa sent me! 

This year Simone ( from Australia was my Secret Santa, and she sent me a tablerunner with cute Christmas fabrics in the center, and with ornaments around the edge. 

I can't wait to come home and put it on our livingroom table!

Thank you so much, Simone! And thank you to Chooky and Googy-girl for arranging another Secret Santa Christmas Swap! 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


It's a short week until Christmas Eve, and the big night here in Norway (yes, we do open our presents on Christmas Eve instead of Christmas Day). I've got more or less all of the presents ready, two are missing gift wrap - and my SSCS-parcel is well hidden with the other presents.

I'm getting ready to head out to the office and get some work done today, but I thought I'd leave you with an amazing video I saw on Facebook the other day. This is an acoustic guitar-version of a song featured in a norwegian animated movie from the 70's. Quite amazing, I think.

I hope you enjoy it - and that you have a great day! (All the snow's rained away here, so it's back to being wet and dark again..)

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Travelling back in time..

Well, almost. :)

Tonight I've spent the evening with some guys who started their careers around the time I was born.

It's kind of interesting to go to a concert, not quite knowing what you're going to. Perhaps you've heard a couple of songs before, but not many.. considering that one of the biggest hits played tonight was from 1993 (when I was 12 years old). But seeing the bands play live was amazing! It didn't matter - at all - that I knew of just a few of their songs, it's the whole experience - going to the concert with friends, having a good time, singing along to the songs you know and nodding your head with the rhythm to those you don't know - that's what counts! And I had a really good time! (So good, in fact, that I'm sitting here, writing a blog post about it, at 1AM in the morning.)

Considering that both of these bands were Norwegian, I doubt they're very well known outside of Norway, but maybe some of you might've heard about them before.. I don't know.

The first band was Return. They played for about an hour and a half, going through most of their greatest hits, and even some songs that I knew (and could sing along to). Like this one :

Let's just say that the long hair is pretty much gone by now (except from on the guitarist.. who seemed very young to be playing in this band.. I'm thinking he might be quite new - but he was brilliant!).

The second band was Stage Dolls. Now, these I've heard a bit from before - like I said earlier, one of their songs was a really big hit back when I was about 12 years old - and I still remember the lyrics!

Sorry about the quality of these videos, but the music is still good. (Spotify is probably a better choice..)

On a side note, though..
Although I had a blast tonight, it still frustrates me how some people (not all.. but there's always some) come to a concert, pay lots of money - and then ends up drinking their minds away? When you're so drunk you can hardly walk up a flight of stairs, how on earth do you plan to get your butt home safely? And then you have the stupid drunks, like the guy who wanted to get one of my friends into a fight. Butt off! It's not his fault you're stupid, drunk and the bartender refused to sell you more beer, so that your girlfriend had to buy more for you (she shouldn't, in my mind, but what could I've done about it?). Needless to say, I'm not that happy about drunk people. I don't like being drunk - and I rarely drink very much. I can have a glass of wine or a drink every now and then - but that's it. I don't see the point in paying for a concert and then getting so drunk I'm not even sure where I end up the next morning - I'd rather be sober and enjoy the music. (Which is why I had one glass of very nice riesling at dinner - and drank soda for the rest of the evening.) 

Perhaps we should make some plans for next year, mom? According to the bands, they'll be back again next year (or, as the lead singer of Return said; first comes Stage Dolls - then Santa). ;)

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Guess what arrived on Sunday?


Mini and I dug out the reserve snow clothes (the other snow suit was still in the kindergarten, as Mini was home sick on Friday) and ventured out. Enjoy the pictures!


Only thirteen days left until Christmas Eve!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

SSCS - Parcel arrived!

There was a note from the mailman this morning, informing about a package too large for our mailbox. So off I went to the post office to pick up my parcel. (I kinda knew what it was, seeing as the note from the mailman was marked parcel from Australia, so I guess it had to be the SSCS-parcel.)

Wrapped in bright red - and with a bow in silvery white - were two parcels, one small one containing an ornament, and a large one still in it's wrapping (where it will stay for another 25 days..).

Adorable gingerbread ornament!

The ornament was an adorable little gingerbread man, stitched in purple on white background. It's really cute! And Mini's already stolen it a few times to play with.

Since our tree's not up yet (we're going to wait a few more weeks) you'll have to do with a photo taken by my laptop for the time being. 

Thank you so much, Simone, for the adorable ornament! And thank you to Chookyblue (and GoogyGirl) for organizing another round of Secret Santa Christmas Swap!

The countdown begins.. tomorrow!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Long-weekend in London

Last Saturday hubby and I travelled to London for a long-weekend (Saturday to Tuesday). Sunday we spent the whole day at a conference center (enormous building!) celebrating the 50th anniversary of the TV show Doctor Who (the day was truly amazing), and Monday was spent seeing parts of London and doing some shopping. Hubby suggested that we went to check out the Christmas fair/market in Hyde Park, and so we did.

A huge part of the park was turned into a kind of swiss/german alpen village, with rides and stalls, a skating ring and other activities. 

Alpen Hotel - lots of shining lights.
There were lights and Christmas characters all over the place, and Christmas music filled your ears.

Huge snowman in front of the ferris wheel
(pariserhjul, in Norwegian).

The snowman was waaay taller than hubby.
I think we spent a good few hours walking around in Hyde Park checking out the Christmas market. We picked up a few things for our selves, and even found a couple of Christmas presents.

Santa's head on display.

Stumbling upon the pirate's castle, we saw that it was a good thing Mini wasn't with us - we'd never been able to get him out of there..

The pirate castle.

Yarr.. the robot pirate.

Decorated bench. I liked the little squirrel carved into
the back of the bench.
There was even a ghost train!

Ghost Train of Christmas Past.
 After a while, the chill of the November morning started to be noticeable, and we stopped by one of the stalls to get something warm to drink. We had plenty of things to chose from, everything from viking mead (whatever that was..), glühwein, hot chocolate and egg nogg - but we ended up trying something none of us had ever tasted before - apple nogg with amaretto and whipped cream. (Basically, this was warm apple juice with a splash of liqueur in it, and with whipped cream on top.)

The apple nogg-cup.
After a couple of hours it seemed like we'd covered most of the market, and we decided to walk over to Oxford Street to get some more shopping done.

Troll in the Bavarian Village.

If you're ever in London around the time before Christmas, we can both highly recommend the Christmas market/fair in Hyde Park. Although we were there in the morning, when there wasn't too many people there mostly other tourists and people with young children) it looked like it could be a fun place to come back to later in the evening - and all the lights would definitely have been impressive to see in all their glory at night (and not just in the sunny morning).

The Lover's Knot

I had the urge to read something new a few weeks ago, and ended up surfing BookDepository, an online bookstore which has, mildly speaking, an ENORMOUS collection of titles to browse. Using their search function, I typed in "quilt mysteries" in the search field and pressed "Enter". What came up, was a long list of books with either the word quilt in the title, or the words quilt or mysteries in the catalogue information (I'm a librarian, we like to browse catalogue key words).

Anyway, among these titles and cover pictures, there was one that kinda popped - and drew my attention, namely The Lover's Knot by Clare O'Donohue.

Picture borrowed from the interwebs.

The story begins as we are introduced to Nell Fitzgerald, a young woman living in New York, engaged to the love of her life - and about to get married. Or so she thinks..

The day we meet her, she's just received an engagement present from her grandmother, a quilt in a lover's knot pattern, but her joy is short-lived, as her fiancee soon reveals that he's having second thoughts, and calls off the wedding. Her apartment already being sold, she decides to take some time away from it all, and travels to the small, quiet town of Archers Rest, to spent some time with her grandmother. 

Soon Nell finds herself absorbed into her grandmother's work and life, the quilt shop Someday Quilts and the members of the quilting circle. However, the quiet town life is soon interrupted, as the body of a local handyman (and well-known flirt) is found murdered in the quilt shop, clutching a blood soaked antique quilt in his hand.  

Nell and the quilting circle are soon drawn deep into the investigation, as they piece together the pattern of clues and their quilts. Suddenly Nell finds herself torn between her ex-fiance - now murder suspect - and the handsome police chief. 

This was a really fun book to read - packed with suspense, romance, quilting and inspiration. I loved the way O'Donohue describes each character and the way you feel you know them after only reading about them in a short chapter or two. Each of the members in the quilting circle have their own styles and ways of doing things, each making quilts the way they prefer to - and this level of detail makes you feel like you really get to know each of the characters really well. 

I'm waiting to see if this series will continue along the same road as Jennifer Chiaverini's Elm Creek series, as I - for one - would love to see some of the quilts described in this book as finished quilts or patterns. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Frosty morning

Today was one of the first mornings this fall with subzero temperatures. A clear sky, full moon and stars sparkled together with the frost on cars, garbage sheds and lamp posts. 

I hope the pictures show a little glimse of the frosty norwegian morning, although they've taken with my Iphone. 

Have a nice day!

Sunset yesterday

I took this picture walking to the kindergarten yesterday - early sunset over the city. 

It's getting dark early these days - remember to wear reflective badges and bands (we call them reflekser in Norwegian).

Friday, November 15, 2013

Under the weather..

I've got a ton of things I want to do, and should have done, but for the past couple of weeks it's been hard to find the energy to get anything done. Long story short, I'm struggling with a cough which won't stop, resulting in a plague or cholera situation (choosing between two evils..). Coughing until I throw up - or drink a cough syrup with side effects (including nausea and drowsiness).. But! I've got my SSCS-parcel ready for wrapping and mailing, and a couple of projects on their way from ideas to products, so there's at least something happening.

I took a walk after work today, and saw that they've started to put up the Christmas decorations around downtown. Some of these have featured over the past couple of years - others are new this year. The twinkling lights (although about two weeks too early, according to my calendar) were lovely against the dark blue afternoon sky. It definitely makes the darker months of the year a little more manageable, and a lot less depressing. 

Stars on Glasmagasinet, as it has been for the past few years.

Disney'ish stars over Torggata, same as the previous years.

The old movie theatre which is now a huge bookstore, has
some new decorations this year. (I like the fact that they've
kept the old sign above the entrance.) 

Hope you all have your health with you.

Monday, November 04, 2013

The what now quilt?

Yep, that's the title of this post. The what-now quilt? What did you say? Seriously?

I was reading through the feeds in Feedly, and saw that one of the blogs I read regularly, Capricorn Quilts, had posted about a Sunbonnet Sue'ish book, and I had to look twice at the picture.. actually, I had to show hubby the picture - and then I had to take another look at it. I mean.. wouldn't you've done the same?

Have you ever seen anything like this?

Picture from
There's a full quilt in the same theme - a murdering Sunbonnet Sue.. I just thought that was too funny, and it made me smile, on a Monday which has been more stressful and busy than I'd like to remember..

Here's to Monday being almost over - and Tuesday's almost here!

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Happy Halloween

Well, October has passed and we've reached November. 

On my walk downtown today (had an appointment with my hairdresser) I noticed that someone had added to one of the statues on the fairytale bridge (eventyrbrua).. and put a carved pumpkin on the princess' head! 

The pictures are, unfortunetly, a little dark, but the sun was so wonderfully bright and the sky so cheerfully blue, ot was the best I could do. 

Enjoy the weekend!

Friday, October 18, 2013

My project from the knitting class..

Just thought I'd show you a small glimse of my project from Tuesday's knitting class - "Icelandic Sunrise". I started my project in a soft gray color, but the picture is a little dark.. 



This past week has been too full of events and work and stress and not enough time to think.. It's been superbusy at work, leading to feelings of not getting things done, and leaving work in the afternoons with heaps of things having to wait for the next day. It's been like that for the past four days - but, finally! Today I was able to get every little thing on my list done, and some extra stuff that came during the day, and I have an almost clean slate awaiting my return to the office Monday morning (the only things left on the list, are things I'm going to do Monday morning (like, call and nag people for not replying to my emails and such. (It sucks, but it needs to be done.)

Anyway, besides work being a major factor of stress this past week, there was work to be done - both in our community (I don't know a better word for "borettslag") and in the kindergarden Mini goes to (every fall and spring there's an evening where the parents help out, tidying, cleaning, painting and doing other work around the kindergarden - and the same is done around our buildings, even planting and fixing the outdoor furniture - everything done to make things more cosy both at home and in the kindergarden). Now, this time the timing kinda sucked again, seeing as both events fell on the same afternoon. So we had to split up. Hubby went to the kindergarden, and Mini and I helped out at home, until he was "fourteen degrees tired" and wanted to go back inside.

But Tuesday was an evening spent in the light of creativity.. I had signed up for a class taught by Pickles (a yarn shop, both physical store and web shop, who also make a lot of patterns themselves), a two-hour knitting class where we learned a technique they called "Icelandic Sunrise". It took some time figuring out how to make the stitches come together in the kind of sun'ish pattern, but when I finally did, it was really fun! There were 10 people in the class - 9 women/girls and one guy. He'd joined with his friend, a girl from Australia (and he knitted!). There was a lady who'd travelled from a place called Moelven, a couple of hours outside of Oslo, and even a lady from Tønsberg (which is also a couple of hours drive away) - both of them came to Oslo just to join the class that one afternoon. (According to our teacher, we were the most quiet and concentrated class she'd ever taught, which I guess says something about the complexity of figuring out the technique..) I'm definitely joining another class in the future, if anything interesting comes up!

Alas, it's Friday. Well, not alas.. far from it.. More TGIF!!! We're a tired and quiet little mini-family tonight. Mini wanted to go to bed quite early and is already sleeping, and I think it's going to be a quiet evening for the remaining two of us too.. Poor Mini, barely wanted to watch children's TV tonight (barnetv) - but I enjoyed it - there was even an episode of Professor Balthazar! :)

Hope you enjoyed watching some Professor Balthazar and that you have a nice and quiet Friday evening, wherever you are.

Btw, did you have any favorite children's show/TV that you enjoyed growing up?

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Still beautiful

We're still enjoying some amazingly warm and beautiful autumn days here in Oslo. Although the mornings and nights are quite chilly, the days and afternoons have been nice most days (except from Thursday, which came with this fall's first mornings of heavy rain). 

Where Norway's been showing off it's nature in shades of green all summer, autumn now shines in a rainbow of colors, raging from shades of green, yellow, orange, red-brown and brown. 

Above are some of the pictures I've taken on my walks to the kindergarden in the afternoons. The last picture I took just minutes ago. It!'s the church closest to us (Sofienberg kirke) and right next to it is a large playground. Mini is currently rocking the swingset, and there's about 50 or more kids here (from 0 to 10-12'ish playing (their parents are here too, of course). 

I haven't finished much lately - working on mostly secret or longtime-projects - but I'm almost finished with a knitted vest for Mini. Though it needs a wash when it's done, as we had a hot chocolate-incident with it last weekend.. 

The vest is in a grassy green color wool, nice and soft - and looks beautiful against the yellowy-orange colors outside the window (where it was drying). 

Are you enjoying autumn where you are?

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Gotta love that autumn feeling..

The boys are off swimming, and I've had a good housecleaning-hour while they've been away (well, they're still out, but I'm having a break now). The floors are cleaned, the apartment is aired, and most of my summer clothes have been put away for this year (no need for shorts any more). 

I took some pictures earlier this week, while walking from the subway up to Plutt's kindergarden. It's been amazing this week : a little crispy chill in the air in the mornings, but later in the day the sun warms up everything and the sky is clear and blue. (Of course, this had to change when the weekend came, and yesterday saw rain for most of the morning - but the afternoon was wonderful and warm again). 

Plutt's been very interested in the changes in nature lately, and does a nice speech about how all the leaves change color - some green, some yellow, some orange and some brown - and then fall off the trees. 

The colors of autumn.

Clear blue sky over the nearby park.

A little blurry, the sun shines on the left side,
but still beautiful.

These past few weeks have been amazingly busy and short. Well, they seem short, when all I've done is work and sleep, but I'm finally starting to get on top of things at work, and am able to get some more things done in the afternoons.

This morning I had to leave my knitting to dry, as Plutt managed to spill an almost full cup of cocoa over the knitting (still on the needles) and the yarn. Well, I guess I was going to wash it after finishing it after all, but didn't plan to have it covered in cocoa first.. Luckily, the yarn is in a deep grass green, and not white (as the previous project was) so it shouldn't show afterwards.

It's finally October, and I can light all the candles I want without complaints (not that Hubby complains..)! Not only is it dark outside (and extra cosy with the burning candles) but the building is a little chilly, and hasn't quite adapted to the sudden cooler temperatures yet. The candles do give off a little warmth..

Well, I ought to continue my fixing of stuff while the boys are out.

Are you enjoying the autumn so far?

Thursday, October 03, 2013


I just had to edit the title of my last post.. September meeting? Duh.. *facepalm*

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

October quilt guild meeting

Tonight was the October meeting in the quilt guild (Tåsen quiltelag) and there were guests! MaurTua had come to visit, and had brought along tons of inspiration, stories of how they worked - and, of course, part of their shop. (Yes, I did buy something..)

What's so special about this shop - and the ladies behind it - is that they specialize in reuse of old fabric, and mostly old shirts. It was very inspirational to hear them tell stories behind quilts they'd made, selecting fabric, trying to use every useful bit and piece of shirts, curtains and old bed linen. 

This quilt consist mainly of the labels from the back of the neck of old shirts.

Stripes from different colored shirts.

I loved the orange shirt used in this small quilt.

A larger version of the small quilt.

Notice the dresden plate in the corners?

The pattern for this little dress with the crochet top piece has been very
here in Norway this summer.



Left-overs from the stars in the previous picture.

Even more leftovers (blocks this time).

And another one.

Not just old shirts, but also mixed with "modern" quilt fabric
and traditional blocks.

Useful for both picnics in the summer - and setting the Christmas table!

Mugrugs with a twist (I loved the idea).

I have a charm pack-size pack of fabric from MaurTua (which I got back in March), and I have to say that after tonight, I really feel inspired to create something from it.. I just need some time to think.. and sew..

Anyone else got "startitis"?