30 July 2007

The rain keeps on falling...

......and falling and falling! The weather has been really bad these past few days so I have spent most of my time indoors painting board. In the evenings I made pillow cases from the old ones I bought at the jumble sale. I sat in the kitchen sewing ( the only room with electricity and a lamp) and it had The Little House on the Prairie written all over it with me as Mrs Ingalls. Yesterday the weather finally became a little better so I took a walk in the forest nearby. I was glad I had my camera with me when I spotted this guy looking straight at me. The forest is a wildlife protection area and I hope to explore it further if just the rain will stop. So far this summer has been one giant rainfall…..

Swedish summer

The rain never stops and not the painting either...

New pillow cases made from the old ones . I scanned two old photos and printed them on t-shirt tranfers and ironed them on the fabric. I added some lace, fabric and small crochet table cloths. I plan to have them in our bedroom as soon as the painting is ready!

So glad I had my camera with me. I haven`t been so close to a fox before.
Is he a cutie or what ?

27 July 2007

A day off

Today I had a day off from renovation. I spent some time with a dear friend and we worked ourselves through some of the antique shops and jumble sales in Malmö. Friends are a blessing and this friend in particular! She is a constant source of inspiration for me and she can always make me see things in a different perspective. I bought a few small things to decorate my “cottage” with and also some old pillow cases and table-cloths that I plan to quilt or do some embroidery on. I love to find old things that I can use in a new way. Recycling can be fun!

During the day I was thinking about the scaps of old newspapers and wallpaper that I found when I was working on the wall. I wanted to use them for something but wasn’t sure of what. Then I came to think of all the keys we have lying about the house and decided to decorate a little key cupboard with my “findings”. I used decoupage – it seemed appropriate in a way since the wallpaper and newspapers was sitting in layers after layers on the wall……. I plan to hang the little cupboard next to the door when the renovation of the hall is finished. So now I can`t wait to get started on the hall itself! Two days in my own bed, central heating and hot water and spending some time with good friends has restored my sanity and I suddenly long for some renovation again !

I will keep you all posted!

My findings!

An old shelf and copper coffee kettle for my kitchen, an old apron to hang on the shelf and two candle sticks for our bedside tables -the bedside tables yet to be found. A big iron cauldron that I plan to plant flowers in and an old mirror for my bedroom. And alot of old pillow cases and table-cloths to do creative things with!

This is the little key cupboard. I painted it white and decorated the front with the scraps of wallpaper and old newspapers that I found. Do I need to tell you that painting things this size is just the right amount of painting for me ........

I had enough scraps of wallpaper left to decorate the inside as well.

25 July 2007

The second week ...

......of renovation came and went and with it any romantic ideas I might have had about “rebuilding” an old house. The rain has been coming down in buckets and it’s warmer outdoors than inside. My youngest daughter had her best friend visiting and my eldest buried herself under four blankets reading the latest ( and last) Harry Potter novel emerging only for dinners book in hand. We are still on schedule but the fun sort of went out of it - for me. The first week I mostly carried stuff around and was a general helper and had time to sit and watch the corn fields and sipping wine in between carrying board and shovel isolation. This week I had a task that was all my own ….After the bedroom floor was in place the roof and walls were to be painted. That, my friends were my assignment! Not much you may think but the roof is raw board and was to be cleaned with a steel brush and then painted. The cleaning alone took me two days and I had acing muscles I didn’t even know existed. I went from being a happy “house owner” to being the bitch from hell cleaning the roof with my steel brush and muttering to my self “this is what you have hired help for” A villa in the south of France suddenly seemed very tempting. Knowing that I had the walls to paint when the roof was finished didn’t make my mood any better either. But everyone else was working so hard that I felt really bad about complaining so I grinded my teeth and kept on….My husband, who is a kind and wise man read the smoke signals coming from the muttering dragon in the next room and called in the “helpers” and packed me of to town. So my sweet parents came with promises of having the walls painted in no time and I went to town to restore my sanity with a long hot, luxurious soak in the tub.

So this week I learned the hard way that I do so NOT like to paint! At least not anything bigger than a small table or chest of drawers found at a jumble sale. And tomorrow I just might do some felting, or embroidery or sewing or….

In the wee hours of the morning the bedroom floor was finished. And the next day my assignment was to start...

When you hit your hand on the raw board for the twentieth time the language isn`t beautiful...

No I didn`t get totaly looney and fled the country for a warmer continent. We celebrated my youngest daughters birthday with a quick trip to a nearby Zoo

Can you hear teeth grinding ?

We have thousands of baby toads in the garden and my daughter ( knowing that I love frogs) captured some of them trying to cheer me up while I was painting....

But cleaning walls and roof isn`t a total misery. I found some old wallpaper ans newspapers hidden under the wall and I just might try doing something creative with it....

21 July 2007

The first week of renovation

Creativity can be many things ….. Right now it’s mostly down to basic stuff like how to get the board for the bedroom floor from the yard to the house without breaking your back in the process or how to cook and do the dishes with very little amount of water. The first days of renovating have gone by so quickly and we have achieved a lot and are actually ahead of or our time plan. Which is good since shit eventually always happens. We have torn down the living room wall in order to get a much bigger room ( without the roof actually coming down over us), opened up for a second door in the bedroom and started on the bedroom flooring. The bedroom floor meant shoveling a lot of Leca isolation and carrying joist and floorboard and saving a toad who lived under a stone. . So who needs a gym in order to work out when you can renovate a house!

My husband and I are still on speaking terms and together with the daughters and my parents we are a great working team – The Swedish Extreme Home Makeovers !!! And we are doing it without backup from Ty and Sears !!!! No one is shouting “move the truck, move the truck”… yet. ” It’s more in the terms of “ watch out the wall is coming down” and hysterical laughter when you are covered in dust and dirt! … In other words much more fun in real life than the TV version.

Who needs a gym ? Not me anyway !

My husband has worked the soles right off his trainers....

One member of the great family team shoveling isolation.

Saved by the bell.....before he was crushed by a joist!

Recycling - the torn down wall is mending holes in the driveway

And in the early mornings when the roe deer is wandering through the nearby fields or in the evening when everything is so quiet you can hear your own heart beat then I’m close to tears and have to pinch my arm in order to convince myself that all this, that I have dreamt of for so long in fact has come true.

16 July 2007

May I present my new project ....

This is my new project and where I’m going to spend my coming three weeks of vacation! As you can see it gives me a lot of opportunities for being creative!! .Unfortunately patience isn’t one of my strongest virtues. In my world we are already finished and I can start the much more fun part of interior decorating and going to jumble sales. My husband on the other hand is a very careful and patient man and this is sometimes a source for "minor" conflicts. I want to do things fast and tend to be a wee bit careless and my husband ….well he is just the opposite! And when things aren’t going fast enough I get a strange urge to hunt someone down with my sledgehammer….

As you can all understand this will be a lovely and peaceful vacation!

Nothing a little white paint and some antique furniture can`t fix right ?

This is the old stable and barn where I plan to have my "work room" .

Welcome inside...

.......Not quite ready yet as you can see !
And it smells a bit of Eau de Cow !

This is how I plan it to be........in ten years time !

This however is where I will sit every evening after a long day of hard work watching the wind in the corn fields and sipping a glas of wine! Life could be a lot worse don`t you think ?

I hope to keep you posted on the progress here at my blog. I wish you all a wonderful summer !

07 July 2007

Double Daylily

Lin painted this beautiful Daylily in watercolor and I found the colors so beautiful that I tried to felt it. First I wet felted the background and then needle felted the flowers and leafs. It was difficult to get the flowers right.... Lin did a much better job of it than me. But I had fun doing it !

Thank`s for the inspiration Lin !

05 July 2007


I can’t draw and sketch but I have always wanted to. During the years I have tried from time to time but haven’t really come to terms with it. My twin sister is great at it and maybe that`s the problem. We always competed as kids and I wanted to be just as good as she was. And when I wasn’t - well it just wasn’t any fun…. I have watercolors, oil and acrylic and a lot of canvas. Empty canvas. When I sit down to work nothing comes out. I sit and stare at the empty piece of paper or canvas and I am paralyzed. The paper gets bigger and bigger and more and more white….and it feels impossible even to draw a single line across the paper.

I read Andrea`s sketchblog, Janeville and View from the oak blogs and their work is fabulous! Inspired by them I decided to do something about my paper and canvas paranoia. I bought some white silk and a special ink to paint on the silk with. And do you know what ? It was fun! Mostly because I couldn’t control the process! The color sort of floated out on the fabric on it`s own. It was doodles – but what the heck! I was actually drawing something. So now I just might try on a piece of paper too! I said might…..

And watching my doodles I had to try and wet felt one as well……

03 July 2007

Birdbath in cement

I´ve been working so much in soft materials lately so I felt like getting my hands dirty for once. My garden is lacking a birdbath - it’s lacking birds too come to think of it. Must be my cats…. Anyway I decided to make a birdbath out of cement.

Welcome to tag along!

You need cement mix, water, two bowls, sand, olive oil and a big leaf.

Fill one of the bowls with sand. Pile the sand up in the middle so that you get a “mountain” shape. If you want more of a bowl-shaped birdbath you have to make the pile of sand rather high.

Put the leaf on top of the sand and form the shape you want. Pile the sand up higher if you are not satisfied with the shape. You can use any leaf you want. I used rhubarb. Put some olive oil on top of the leaf and it will be easier to remove when the cement is dry.

Put cement mix in the other bowl, add water and stir thoroughly. The cement should have a crumbly consistency.

Cover the leaf in cement. Tap it with your hands ( use gloves ) in order to remove air bubbles. Cover the bowl in a plastic bag and let it dry. It takes approximately 48 hours to dry but it vary from cement mix to cement mix. Spray the cement lightly with water once or twice during the drying process.

The finished result. Now I just have to wait for the birds …..

02 July 2007

Brambly Hedge

When my daughters’ were young they had a favorite series of books that they always wanted me to read for their bedtime story, The Brambly Hedge books by Jill Barklem. It was wonderful stories and even more wonderful drawings. Today we got to talk about the books and about how we made up our own stories about the small mice at Brambley Hedge whenever we took a walk in the woods or in the park. We even had a special place that we called Brambley Hedge because it looked exactly like the drawings in the books. We still read the books now and then especially on dark autumn evenings and I hope to read it to my grandchildren some day.
Thinking about Bramlbly Hedge made me do this little mouse. And of course she’s reading a book….
Do you want to visit Brambly Hedge too ? http://www.bramblyhedge.co.uk/

01 July 2007

Inspired by nature....

Nature, whether it is in my garden or in the wild is a constant source of inspiration to me. These "paintings" has a wet felted background and needle felted flowers and some embroideries...

Red rose

White rose

Field of poppies