Sunday, December 28, 2014

Sleepless in December

It's not the worst thing in the world, being sleepless in December. At least not when I've got vacation (no office to worry about in the morning), knitting and the fancy DAB- radio hubby and P gave me for Christmas. 

(I woke up around 3:30AM, and couldn't get back to sleep.. It's now 6AM - I think I'll swap to a stirchery soon, once this part of the pattern is complete.)

Saturday, December 27, 2014

SSCS 2014 - parcel received, opened - and starstruck!

SSCS 2014 - the 8th year running, and I've been a part of it since the beginning in 2007. I've gotten to know (and spy on) a lot of talented, crafty bloggers from all over the world. Many of whom I still follow through Feedly (the app/program I use to follow blogs). Each year I have tried my best to make something for my receiver that will not only be good enough, but something I'd like to receive myself. (Why stop at good enough anyway?) - and every year I've felt spoiled and starstruck (and more or less felt like the things I've made and sent are far from the quality and detailed perfection of the items I've received back). (But maybe this is a quilter's/crafter's thing - we're never as satisfied with our own work as we are with the works of others?)

Anyway, back to SSCS 2014. This year I was the lucky receiver of the parcel from Annette (Australia) and I feel like she's managed to find me spot on. I mean, first the ornament - with the mouse/rat, as shown in a previous post - and now this? A gorgeous knitting/project bag. And with a purple stitchery! (I love purple..) 

The main present, opened on December 24th.
Annette not only made me a gorgeous bag, but also a mug rug - a TARDIS mug rug! (How on earth did you know that I love Doctor Who? You've been spying, haven't you? ;-) ) And she very generously included a 2015 calendar with images of Australian wild flowers. (Those calendars are so nice, the pictures are just breathtaking!)

Details of the project/knitting bag stitchery.
Seeing as we're leaving for Trysil in a couple of days, I'm considering which knitting project to bring - in my new bag. I simply cannot wait to find a project to keep in it (not keep-keep, you know what I mean). 

Doctor Who/TARDIS mug rug!
And the mug rug? It'll be mine, my own - my precious.. I'd bring it to work (to keep it safe..) but with only four weeks remaining of my office life (for now) I think it'll stay at home so that I can use it here. (But I'm the only one who'll be allowed to use it. ;-) )

This year I was the lucky Santa for a first-timer, Lisa, who joined the swap for the first time. And this is what I sent to Lisa (I'm so glad she enjoyed the parcel) : 

A quilt/mat with houses (pattern from Norsk Quilteblad - I think I have to make more, the pattern was so fun to work with)
A small fabric basket for sewing supplies or threads 
A knitted cloth (the pattern was called Høstløv (Fall leaves), but with the colour combination of the yarn I think that Vårløv (Spring petals) would be a more suitable name)
A miniature advent calendar
Thimble with an image from Oslo
Nail file with norwegian flags
A tiny pin with a norwegian flag

Lisa's gifts, SSCS 2014.
The ornament I sent, was the woven heart basket - and I included a small star ornament (made of straw) too.

Thank you again, Annette - and thank you, Chookyblue, for once again arranging this wonderful swap. And thank you, Lisa, for joining SSCS 2014 for the first time (hopefully not the last), giving me the opportunity to read your blog and get to know you. 

It's simply not Christmas without SSCS!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Here comes the sun..

Suddenly, the world lit up in a magical soft glow. The sun made an appearance today. Unusual to be home at this hour, but that's Christmas vacation for you. :-)

We're getting packed and ready to go to the inlaws tomorrow. Staying there over Christmas - and then travelling north/east over the new year to see my side of the family. (All the Christmas presents are done - and ready for the car tomorrow.) 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Confused flowers?

This summer I planted some spanish margerites (spanske margeritter) on our balcony. I think they spent most of the summer and fall complaining about the heat, nearly dying and losing all their flowers.. Well, November came - and suddenly they started to grow!

Green November.
The past couple of years the fall and early winter here in Oslo have been strange seasons. Much warmer than normal - well, let's not discuss what's considered normal or not.. - and so the plants have continued to grow and bloom. I took the above picture on December 7th. I'm curious to see how the balcony will look later in winter - seeing as we were lucky and received some snow last night. Perhaps these spanish flowers prefer a cooler period to grow/bloom than I thought?

Roses, picture taken 14.12.2014.
On Sunday I had to stop and take a picture outside a retirements home close to our house. Not the best picture in the world, but you can clearly see the pink rosebuds. Now, this picture was taken on December 14th. Who'd think they'd see rosebuds like these in Oslo in December? Not me.. But it is enjoyable to see some colour in the otherwise quite gray and dull city life.

Christmas tree

We have a Christmas tree outside our building, just with lights, but it sure makes the area seem nicer and lighter these days. 

The lights were switched on on the first Sunday of Advent - and they will be lighting until after New Year. 

On the eve of the first Sunday in Advent
The evening of the lighting of the tree (aka the first Sunday in Advent) it was cold.. it was so cold that walking around the tree singing had to be done to some energetic songs so that people could get warm again. (Gløgg didn't really help much, I'm afraid..)

The next day.
The following days were warmer. Which is quite evident in the picture above. The grass is green - and on our balchony, the spanish margerits (spanske margeritter, the flower) have been green and growing - mid-december.. but in summer they almost died of the heat. Figures..

Light bulbe.
I tested some filters on my camera phone. One of the light bulbes on the tree was the lucky "victim". 
Quite interesting to see the result from the different filters. 

Black and white. 

Nice glow.

More blue'ish feeling?

Finally! Last night it started to snow! This morning the ground was covered, the roofs of the nearby buildings were white, and the cars parked along the street and in the parking lot were also covered in a soft, thin layer of snow. The whole world suddenly seems cosier, warmer and lighter - as if hope suddenly returned to the otherwise dark and gray world of November and December. 

The tree, photo taken 18.12.2014.

It sure beats rain and not seeing the sun for ages (or so it seems). The sun is absent today too, but the pureness of the snow helps lift the mood. 

The veiw from my office today, 18.12.2014.

There's even snow downtown. Not much, but enough to lighten the view. As you can see from the photo taken from my office window. Someone claimed yesterday that it would snow last night, and that it would stay until after Christmas Eve. I'm not quite sure it will, but we will enjoy it while it lasts.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

SSCS 2014 - parcel arrived!

The SSCS 2014 parcel arrived this weekend, all the way from Australia! (Unfortunately, a nasty stomach bug also arrived, leaving 2/3rds of this household off the radar for the past couple of days - thus no blogging until now..)
The "save for later" parcels - I'll be a good girl!
The ornament was opened right away - and I absolutely love it!

Gorgeous fabric on the back.
Love the rat/mouse!
I wonder if my Secret Santa knew that we used to keep pet rats a few years ago? I'd like to think of this cute, little critter as a Christmas rat - with a gingerbread man and a glittery parcel in each paw.

Thank you thank you thank you, wonderful and talented Anette - I'm eagerly awaiting Christmas Eve! (I've chosen to save the second little parcel until the 24th too.. even if I am curious.)

Testing the lights on the tree.
We (Peder and I) managed to decorate (and clean.. well, _I_ did the cleaning) on Sunday while hubby went climbing (indoor climbing wall). Took us about 3 hours - with the cleaning and negotiation around why we were not going to use the easter decorations (even though they were for hanging) - but the apartment is now nice and Christmas-y 

Our little, but well-decorated tree.

I'll see if I can't get some good photo light and share some snapshots from around our little home and our decorations later this week (more like closer to or during this weekend).

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Sneaking off..

I snuck off to get some quilting done while the boys were busy decorating gingerbread cookies. 

I knew I didn't have that much time, seeing as P doesn't have the biggest patience when it comes to.. well.. anything, but I managed to finish everything (just missing the binding). The last one was quilted with P in the room, complaining about the noise.. Djee.. No wonder I seldome get stuff done, having to wait for me-time.. 

One day I hope to have my own sewing room - beats having to use the living room.. I guess that is why I'm prone to knitting lately (not quite as noisy and makes less mess - most times, anyway)..