31 December 2007

Happy New Year

May 2008 bring joy, laughter, love and happiness to you all!

29 December 2007

Oh my gosh.....

.....I`m speechless and honoured. The Craftgossip Blog Network has written an article about me. Linda Lanese the Craftgossip Felting editor wrote a comment on my blogg to say she`d written about my work and through that comment I found Craftgossip. And then I was hooked. I read and read and followed links to other artists ….. and suddenly two hours had passed. So what is the Craftgossip Blog Network? This is what it says on their homepage.

“About CraftGossip
Confused about everything crafty out there? Not sure where to go and what to buy for your latest craft idea? Can’t find that kitsch pattern that everyone else is talking about? Well worry no more!
CraftGossip is all the latest news from real craft people telling you about the real stuff. We scour the net looking for the best craft ideas and projects and review them for you. We have divided this blog into many sub-blogs, covering topics ranging from
knitting, crochet, bath and body, candle making, jewelry making, scrapbooking, sewing crafts, paper crafts, recycled crafts, kids crafts, needlework, painting, edible crafts, indie crafts and felting. Each of these sub-blogs are managed by their own dedicated editor, so you know that you are getting personalized attention. You can meet the editors here.
So we are doing the hard work. So you don’t have to.
Happy Crafting! “

Do go and pay them a visit!


28 December 2007

Finally some time to myself

With Christmas over and a few days off from work I finally had time to do some felting. I’d had a picture in the back of my head for along time inspired by a line in a book. It’s funny because I cant remember the rest of the book, it was probably just crap but that single line stuck like glue. In every corner of your heart let loves own flower grow. It made me think about the many different aspects of love. The love you feel for your children, your friends or the man in your life. How frail love is and how you must nourish and water the flower in order for it to grow. And I thought a lot about how there was a time in my life when my heart felt all dried up and how much I had to water it before a tiny little bulb developed, grew and finally blossomed. .

I wanted to use my long longed for creativity time well….The needle felting, the embroidery and the patch work can be done when ever I have a few moments over but the wet felting procedure has to be finished when begun so with time on my hands I decided to wet felt more than one piece. That way I could also have a few different projects to continue working on in the future. Boy am I smart!

Want to see how I spent my time?
Ready to go

Building the image

Pouring hot soap water over the wool

Gently felting the wool with cirkular movements

Working the wool in the zink . The harder you work it the thicker it will get. If you feel really adventourus you can throw it in the washing machine and then in the tumble dryer.....

The finished embryo.
When dry I can continue with needle felting and embroidery.

The rest of the felted pieces.
As you can all see I had a really happy afternoon. I think the wet felting part is the most challenging and therefore also the most fun. You never really know what the finished result will look like. I did four different pieces with a “heart theme” and on one I tried out a few silhouettes. I usually work best when I have a receiver for the piece that I’m working on so while I was working I decided that when finished one of the felted hearts is going to be a late Christmas present to a couple that are very dear to me. Their love is a constant source of joy, happiness and inspiration. I know they read my blog so I want tell you which one it is…..

And now the embryo is done I have needle felting and embroidery still to do. I hope to get started to night ….. Oh joy!

Lots of Love to you all!


23 December 2007

The art of being nice

Yesterday in the middle of a crowd of hectic Christmas shoppers two men started to fight over a parking lot. That got me thinking of the art of being nice. Isn’t that what Christmas is all about? What life is about in fact? What is happening with us people? I know that a “nice person” often is considered stupid, naïve or submissive but for me a nice person is someone who lives with empathy and ethics in his heart. A nice person is never stupid. No in fact he is very smart because he has understood that what we do for others we also do for ourselves.

I know that sometimes you wake up feeling a lot like a cactus. That it’s very hard to find a reason for getting up and is even harder finding a reason for being nice. Angry and in a foul mood you stand in front of the bathroom mirror grimacing to yourself. That’s when you should try smiling! Smile as big as you can although the corners of your mouth are drooping. Smile again and feel how something inside is thawing. It’s very hard to be angry and smile at the same time. Then go out in the world and smile at everyone you meet. Give a big smile to your family at the breakfast table, smile at the bus driver, the letterman and the old lady walking her dog. Smile at your colleagues, the cleaning lady and your boss. A smile stops your mind from being stony and your soul from freezing to ice. A smile is universal. All people smile the same way irrespective of race, color or religion. A smile is the shortest way between two people’s hearts.

And when you master the art of smiling it’s time to start practicing on your laughter. A laugh makes your whole body relax, frees endorphins and counteract stress. If you laugh at your self it makes you more humble and helps you not to take yourself too seriously. A laugh unites people and is the easiest way to reach someone’s heart.

I know it’s not always easy to smile, to laugh or to be nice. And there are days when we don’t succeed. But the most important thing is to carry on trying because under the surface there is something good in almost everyone you meet. With some you might have to search longer or deeper than with others but if you look really hard it’s there! You never know what the people around you are carrying in their emotional backpack. Somewhere deep inside is the playing child hidden. The one they where before life took a wrong turn. If you bear this in mind whenever you meet someone unfamiliar you will be surprised at what you will find. Prejudice and fear very often stops us from really seeing each other! So be curious of the people you meet.

Life is short and love is frail. You never know what life has awaiting for you round the corner. So why not give a huge smile to the people you meet and practice the art of being nice.

I wish you all a joyful and happy holiday!

03 December 2007


Yesterday we lit the first advent candle. Unbelievable how fast time flies. Only three weeks left before Christmas is here and not a present is bought. The letterbox is filled with leaflets and junk mail everyday. All of them with the same message – buy, buy, buy! But I refuse to be stressed. . I decided years ago to try not to be like my mom who stood in the kitchen on Christmas eve totally stressed out and crying. We always celebrate Christmas at my house and along with the invitation is a list of what food to bring. My daughters makes small gifts for everyone because I think it’s important not only to receive but also to give but we grownups don’t give each other any presents. And my birthday is on the 26:th so I get presents anyway. Ha, ha! So on the whole it’s a stress free Christmas for everyone involved.

I try to make a new Advent candle holder each Christmas and this is was this year’s look like.

On Advent sunday we always put the outdoor lighting up. And every year it`s the same. We put all the stuff up before we acually check out if the lights work. And of course it never does. Work I mean! This year we decided to do just the opposite. With a help from a friend.

Another tradition on Advent Sunday is to drink Glögg. Glögg is similar to the Old English mulled wine or German Glühwein; each is just slight variations on a heart-warming winter drink.

Do you want the recipe? Here is two just for the fun of it:


Boil together in 1 pint of water: 15 whole cardamom seeds (peeled) 7 tsp. cloves 4 sticks of cinnamon the peel from 2 oranges (take out white)

HOW TO DO IT: ~ Boil for 20 minutes, cool and strain. Add 2 quarts of Claret wine (or a good Burgundy) and one quart of vodka. Add 2 cups sugar (or to your taste). When heating for serving, add a few raisins and an almond to the (each) cup.


1 bottle of red wine (cheap) 1/4 - 1/2 cup (0,5 - 1 dl) vodka (not spicy) 5 - 20 pcs. of cloves (whole cloves) 1 large teaspoon of cardamom seeds 2 - 4 pcs. (sticks) of cinnamon 1 - 2 pcs. of ginger Peels from half a lemon 1/2 - 1 cup of sugar 1 large teaspoon of vanilla sugar

HOW TO DO IT: Crush cinnamon and cardamom. Peel lemon. Put all spices + peels in a glass jar with the vodka. Cover. Leave over night. Strain the vodka, toss the spices. Mix the now spicy vodka with wine and sugars. Heat all ingredients in a large kettle until steaming hot. Do not boil! Stir and taste. If not sweet enough, add sugar. If too sweet, add vodka and wine. Serve with peeled almonds and raisins.

( photo: dl.nu)

A word of caution though. Go easy on the drinking. A Glögg induced hangover is no laughing matter. Once, in my irresponsible (and wild) youth I overdid the Glögg drinking a bit and it took years before I could even smell the stuff. But now I`m back to enjoying a glass or two.

Speaking of poison are you wondering what happened to the rat at our country house? Well he is gone to meet his maker but unfortunately a lot of friends showed up for the funeral so we are back to square one…..So if you have any suggestions of how to get rid of them that doesn’t contain snakes ( sorry Angela) or other dangerous animals please let me know

02 December 2007

Busy times in Santas workshop

My husband says my workroom looks like Santas workshop and always enters with a Hoo, hoo , hoo. He`s a funny guy my husband eh ? You can hardly see my computer for all the lace, wire, pearls, finished and unfinished objects lying about. And I spend long happy hours in there making presents and Christmas cards and decorations for my home.

Last week I had a “Teddy Bear period” and made Teddy bears out of moss for a friend to sell in her shop. We gave all of them names and hope they will be adopted by kind people.

Please, please adopt me and take good care of me!

Right know I’m in an “angel period” and I’m making angels by the dozen. In all kind of shapes and materials. I am not religious but for me angels is a symbol of peace and warmth and peace and warmth sort of sums up the holiday spirit too. For me Christmas is about family and friends. I can do without a lot of things ( probably not the tree though) but there will be absolutely no Christmas spirit if I don’t get lot of opportunities to sit down with family and friends drinking glögg, eating gingerbreads and chocolate, (lots of chocolate) and talk until the wee hours of the morning.

There is one other thing that I can`t do without or else it’s not Christmas – I have to watch Grinchen. I am no fan of Jim Carrey’s other movies ( Ace Ventura makes me itch and get nervous) but I adore Grinchen. The film is about what really matters at Christmas. So late at night when everyone else is asleep and the house is quiet I light lots of candles, make myself a tray full of goodies and sit down to enjoy Grinchen! I especially like the part with " Hate, hate, double hate". If you haven`t seen it - Do!
The Grinch, the Grinch.....he has stolen Christmas.....

18 November 2007

Handmade proudly presents.....

……four new blogs on my link list! Pay them a visit and you will return full of inspiration.

A lovely blog with a home decorating theme and lots and lots of shabby chic!

Anna Stilla
Beautiful photos and quiet words describing her life up north. Low key in a very nice way!

Janey`s journey
Janey does incredible and colorful drawings mostly in watercolor, ink and markers. I LOVE her cats! Go check them out!

Modern Country
Another blog full of inspiration if you like your home to be shabby chic!

17 November 2007

X-mas spirit....

I have a confession to make. I am addicted to Christmas. And now is the best time…..when it’s still a few weeks away and you feel that you have all the time in the world to make this Christmas the best ever. I buy all the glossy Christmas Magazines and borrow tons of “do it yourself Christmas inspiration books” at the library and then I just sit there happily reading soaking up on the Christmas spirit. For me Christmas is the smell of fir, cinnamon, hyacinths, oranges and gingerbreads. Especially oranges. When I was a kid we had oranges in the shops only in December ( No, I’m not 95 going on 100) so now when you have them all year round it’s not really the same. But there are still moments when I feel the smell and it takes me right back to younger days….The best with Christmas is planning the decorations- both for the tree and the house. I usually do a lot of it myself and try to make something new every year. I’m not in to the overloaded, all pimped up kind of Christmas I’m more of a “less is more” girl and flowers, moss, candles and wire is important ingredients. When November comes my husband sighs and says that our house turns in to Santa’s workshop but he usually likes the finished result

The Christmas tree is a story of its own. To say I’m meticulous is a huge understatement. No one want’s to come with me and buy it anymore….Do you want to know why? Okey, here goes. . A few years back ( six in fact) I decided that we should cut down our own tree. I had this dream about us in a sleigh, snow slowly falling and hot chocolate in a thermos. That it was us in a Volvo with the rain falling was just a minor disappointment. I still sat in the car happily humming jingle bells….. So of we went to a wood outside town were a smart merchant had made good business out of stupid people like me hunting the Christmas spirit. One tree was uglier than the other. My daughters grew tired of the tree hunt first. They sat down on a fallen tree and asked me to come get them when I had found one. My husband joined them shortly after. After an hour and a half of “to short, to big, to wide, to thin, to ugly” the language started to get nasty. They threatened with leaving without me. I closed my eyes and chose one in random. My lumberjack of a husband quickly cut it down. Boy, was it ugly. No were like the Disney variety I was seeking….and I had to pay a fortune! At first no one dared to utter a word in the car but after a while my husband started to giggle and the daughters fell in and then I had to laugh too. My anger and disappointment….it was all so ridiculous. And nowadays this is a milestone in our Christmas memories and the daughters say oh yes, that was the year when we cut our own tree….

But still no one want’s to come with me and buy one. I wonder why?

My longing for Christmas usually starts come end of October but I try to hold out until the end of November. But yesterday I couldn’t help myself I just HAD to buy a hyacinth and make a wire angel…..Hurray! Soon Christmas is here!

I made the wire angel out of just one piece.....bending and bending.
A challenge but great fun!

04 November 2007

Where is the fairy god mother…..

….. and the freaking mice when you need them? There I was lying on all four scrubbing the floor with soft soap feeling exactly like Cinderella and not a single bibidi bobidi boo was heard. I just had to keep on scrubbing muttering to my self that this fairy stuff is highly overrated if you ask me. And the ball at the castle? Well not much of that to look forward to either. Must be due to the fact that we haven’t got any letterbox yet and the king’s men had nowhere to put the invitation! Anyway the finished result was worth every teeth grinding minute of scrubbing. The floor was so smooth and the room smelled wonderful. Did I mention that I really should be ashamed of myself for complaining? No? Well you see my own prince charming did most of the really hard stuff (like sandpaper down the whole floor….after building the inner roof) and not once did he ask around for a fairy god mother …… or talking mice! Who needs a ball at the castle with a husband like that!

Bibidi bobidi boo....

Speaking of mice. The rat problem still isn’t solved but I bought rat poison and placed up on the attic so hopefully we are getting there. I also rat secured the kitchen by putting anything edible in cupboards’ and glass jars. While cleaning out the kitchen I found a package of hard bread that the rat had been eating on and that confirmed my suspicions that we are dealing with a giant mutant rat with beaver size teeth. I felt a bit bad about the poison though. I am an animal lover and I would much rather leave him a note asking him politely to leave but somehow I think that a note just wouldn’t do the trick here. My dear blogfriend Angela in Australia recommended a carpet snake. Maybe I can hire hers on a monthly basis? Well Angela, thanks but no thanks. Snakes make a good second on my most NOT wanted list. So poison it will have to be.

Giant teeth....

Besides scrubbing and poisoning rats I had a lovely vacation. I tried a few different wire work techniques’ and made an angel and a “Victorian bird feeder” to hang in my garden.

Wire work Angel

Victorian Bird feeder

I took long early morning walks on my own just enjoying the fact that it’s a beautiful world and that I’m alive and well and privileged to live in the middle of it. If you slow down your pace there are a lot of life’s small miracles to discover. Did you know that you can see the sky in a dew drop if you look closely enough?

Morning mist over the fields

Dew on a spiders nest in the purple cabbage

The sky in a dew drop

Slow down and take time to enjoy life`s small miracles !

30 October 2007

How to make a teddy bear out of moss

One of my bloggfriends asked me how I made the teddy bear. So please be welcome to the teddy bear making lesson! I wish you good luck and hope you have fun while doing it! ( I always have....)

You need: chicken-wire, thin steel wire, cutting nippers (pliers) and moss. I sometimes use ordinary sewing thread instead of wire because it is easier to work with and not so visible as wire is. If the moss seems dry then spray it lightly with water and put it in a plastic bag over night.

Cut two pieces of chicken-wire with the pliers. One piece is going to be the actual body of the teddy bear and the other piece is the arms. You can make the teddy bears any size you like but if you make them too large the head sort of gets to heavy and it’s difficult to get them to sit up straight. The largest I’ve made was 70 cm in all but mostly I make them 40-50 cm tall.

Start making the body by shaping the largest piece of chicken wire in to a cylinder shape. Let the two ends of the netting meet in the back and “sew” 2/3 of the cylinder together with wire ( this makes the head and body of the bear)but leave the last 1/3 open. (this is going to be the legs). Now you cut 1/3 of the front side of the bear open too and you have two legs. To make the legs more stable you can shape them by “pressing” the netting together. Now you have a cylinder with two legs. Then shape the head, ears and the neck by pressing the netting together.

To make the bears arms you roll the second piece of chicken-wire into a smaller and more firm cylinder. Mark where you want the arms on the body and cut two holes in the netting with the pliers. Pull the cylinder through the holes and the bear has arms. If the arms seems unstable fasten them to the body with wire.

Now the skeleton is finished and you can start covering it with moss.

I usually start with the head and work my way down. I fix the moss with very thin wire or with thread. To make the nose you first cover the head with moss and then add a second piece of moss and shape it into a nose. Put it on top of the "face" and fix it with wire. When I pick moss in the woods ( you are allowed to do that in Sweden) I try to find large but rather thin pieces of moss. Then I can sort of drape the moss over the netting like a piece of fabric. With moss that grow on stones you can usually remove the whole piece without it breaking.

If you want the bear to have a more Winnie the Pooh look about him you can make his tummy bigger by adding layers of moss in the same way that you shaped the nose. When your bear is all covered with moss you give him a finishing touch by bending his arms and legs in the position you want. If you want him sitting down, standing up or maybe hold something in his arms. The good thing about chicken-wire is that it’s so flexible.

The finished result.

I sometimes sell my teddy bears. Then I usually give them a name and put “adoption papers” on a ribbon around their neck. Usually it’s quite hard to part with them because every bear you make gets its own personality.

29 October 2007

Fireplace, moss and unwelcome house guests

Do you know what this is made of ? Read on and you will see!

The fireplace is finally in place. The long johns will have to be in use for a while yet though since the inner roof still isn’t quite finished and the heat goes right up the attic instead. But we are getting there…. Me and my husband have a weeks vacation and the daughters have autumn holiday so a lot of roof “making” can be done….. And hopefully a lot of creative stuff and nature walks as well.

As a matter of fact I already started with the creative stuff yesterday. And I combined it with a nature walk! I collected moss in the woods. It was beautiful in the woods. The sun was shining and the colors were spectacular. Moss is my favorite material. It`s great for making all kind of outdoor decorations. You can get it for free and it’s so easy to work with that you can create almost anything with it. I love the texture of moss, its color and its fairy tail quality…I even have a t-shirt with a “moss saying” on it rolling stones don’t grow moss! The saying is quite fitting for me since I never slow down long enough for any moss to get growing….

During my walk I came upon a flock of roe deer grazing. Unfortunately I scared them before I could get a real good shot with my camera. They looked like ping-pong balls flying through the air. Back home I made a mobile, a chair and a teddy bear out of moss! So the answer to this posts first question is .....MOSS! I made two circles with wire and covered them with moss. The leaves are made of rusty sheet iron.

An old jumble sale chair covered with moss.

Teddy bear
Body made of chicken-wire then covered with moss.
So what about the unwelcome house guest? Do you remember I told you about us finding a rat’s nest when we laid the new flooring in the hallway? Well let me tell you this, the owner is back and boy is he looking for somewhere else to camp for the winter. Last night we heard him on the attic and by the sound of him we are talking mayor size rat here! More like beaver size rat stomping about seriously pissed off and looking for a new nest.! I googled rats and believe me the reading wasn’t fun. A rat can have 800 – 1000 young ones in a year! And that’s just the one rat. What if he likes our house so much he invites his relatives as well? Yuck. I can barely think about it. I might be an animal lover but I hhhate rats! Tomorrow I’ll be phoning the pesticide company!

21 October 2007

Vintage lace........and wrist warmers

I love old lace. I already have a lot but I’m always on the lookout for more in antique shops, jumble sales and vintage shops. I bought my first piece of lace when I was 18 years old in a vintage shop in California. And after that I was hooked…..Some years later I visited the States again and went back but needless to say the shop wasn’t there anymore. During the years my “collection” of lace has grown mostly due to the fact that I never do anything with it. A few weeks ago I decided it was time to start creating something with it, the amount of lace risking taking over my work room…..

That’s when the idea of wrist warmers took form. As you could read in my earlier posts it continued to be just an idea for some time ….. but today I finally got started.

My dear blogfriend Jane in San Diego asked me “what the heck is a wrist warmer?” and I suppose a wrist warmer isn’t a key item in a California wardrobe but in the Swedish “artic” climate it’s a very nice thing to have….
So dear Jane this is a wrist warmer !

I made these out of wool decorated with vintage lace, old handkerchiefs , beads and embroidery. You can wear them to keep warm, as an “accessory” or for the mere beauty of it…… I hope to do some in black wool and maybe some green ones too. I plan to sell them at our annual Christmas fair. Do you think I will get any buyers?

16 October 2007

Birthday cake

My dear friend and colleague needed a birthday cake to use in an exhibition. It was to stand in room temperature for several days. What to do? Then she had a splendid idea. Why not wet felt one! Now there was a challenge I couldn`t refuse. Of course I had to try and here you can see the result.
Needless to say no wrist warmers were done today either…. But I’m getting there!

14 October 2007

Wrist warmers

I don’t know what’s happening with time but one thing is certain it flies…. I mean it was only just Monday morning and now it’s Sunday evening and what on earth happened to the days in between? As you understand it has been a hectic week both at work and at home. On Monday I started making vintage wrist warmers.

I`m going to have a stall at the annual Christmas fair and this year I’m determined to start in time not having to work around the clock to get everything finished. But already on Tuesday evening I had to put the sewing machine aside. Our fireplace was delivered (in pieces) and we had to drive down to the house and get it indoors.

All the 250 kg of it!!!! It took a while but I won’t have to do any work out this week I can tell you! The builders are coming in two weeks to put it all together.
On Wednesday evening I had just started sewing when my husband came home and looked like a study of guilt….after a long story about how he had needed a new screwdriver but had found this fantastic bargain on his way out…..he finally got to the point. Can you believe this? He went to buy a screwdriver and came out with

......THIS !!!!! Jeez. It’s like I would go to the shop to get a pair of socks and come out with the entire Dior collection! So of we went again but this time to put his new “toy” in the garage. It was pitching black when we got there and I was hungry and in a foul mood but my heart just melted at the sight of him driving round and round the flag pole with an expression of pure joy on his face. Thursday evening came and went and on Friday I went for a drink after work with a friend and one thing led to another and no wrist warmers were made.
On Saturday we took our eldest daughter to visit a school she plans to go to. It`s a boarding school called Bollerup were she plans to study science and horsemanship. Saturday evening and Sunday we spent at the house. We took an evening walk in the woods

so beautiful with the autumn colors and back home we sat silently watching the spectacular sunset.

Who needs a television when you can watch the sun set through your living room window? Not me anyway. We are longing for our fireplace though. The house was so cold that we had to sleep in long johns…..We woke up on Sunday morning

to frosty fields and a clear blue sky. The garden is full of different birds and this thrush, Rödvingetrast usually lives in the northern Sweden but probably stopped by on his way to a warmer winter climate.

I worked hard outdoors all day but also managed to finish decorating my hallway.

Well not really finished - I want another mirror, an old and shabby chick one but haven’t found one yet so this one will have to do for a while. I’m especially satisfied with the Hydrangea their color of purple, pink and blue matching the blue of the table.

And now I’m back home again. A whole week has gone by and no wrist warmers made! Better luck next week eh?