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!