30 November 2010


Wire candle-ring
Christmas is all about candles for me, lots and lots of them and I like to pimp them a bit too. As my first december DIY I would like to show you how to make candle-rings out of wire. It is very easy and when my daughters were younger they made them by the dozen as Christmas presents.

You need: Wire, flush cutters, pearls and a candle for measureing.

1. Make a ring of wire that fits your candle.

2. Cut of a piece of wire and fasten it to the ring.

Tread a pearl on the wire and secure it on the ring.

Add another pearl in the same fashion.

3. Tread another but bigger pearl on your wire and this time make a "stem"

instead of placeing the pearl directly on the ring.

4. Secure the pearl by twisting the "stem"

5. Continue all the way around the ring,

alternate between pearls on a "stem" and pearls directly on the ring.

6. Bend the "stems" to an upright position.

7. Tadah, your candle-ring is done! Why not make a few more?


D-day tomorrow

I have not always been into crafts but I’ve always had a need to express myself in some way or other. In my younger days it was mostly through music or writing. I sang in different choirs, wrote poems, short stories and in letters-to-editor columns. For many years I dreamt of being a journalist until a terrible high school teacher put an end to my dreams by only focusing on the fact that I didn’t know my grammar well enough.

I don’t really know when my crafting started or how. Oh I knitted the odd sweater in the 80: ies and did some embroidery too and I even gave sewing my own clothes a try but I never really got hooked. Thinking back on it now I can’t really understand what I filled my time with before felting, metal craft and recycled stuff entered my life. It could have something to do with my kids being older and the fact that I actually have spare time nowadays …..

Maybe it isn’t all that interesting when it started but more importantly that it did. Without my crafting I would never have entered the world of Blogs nor had exhibitions – a whole new world opened up and has given me so much. My head is constantly spinning with ideas and the joy of working with an idea from start to finish and realizing that it turned out well is enormously inspiring. I believe that everyone can be creative and that everyone has a talent. It’s just that for some – like it was for me - this talent is hidden and yet to be explored.

Tomorrow I start my DIY X-MAS countdown and hope to be able to give you a new creative idea everyday until Christmas. If one of my DIY inspires you to give your own creativity a try, well then that would be my best Christmas present ever. If you do - I would be so happy if you leave me a comment, mail me a photo or send me a link to what you made. I promise to post it if you do.

See you all tomorrow!

29 November 2010

A wonderful gift

Today I received a package in the post. I opened it and was totally overwhelmed. It was the most beautiful vegetable dyed yarn and it was sent to me by the sister of a friend. The yarn was dyed over 20 years ago by her mother and it even had the tiny little labels left that said “ yellow leaves” and “dew-cup, grey yarn, 2nd coloring”.

I sat with them in my knee for a long while just looking at them and thinking about what plans and dreams she might have had for the yarn those 20 years ago. Then I went and fetched a wooden basket that used to belong to my mother in law. She was very fond of knitting and crafting too and I felt that the yarn would feel right at home in there. I will keep it on my worktable and will be inspired by the colors everyday.

It was such a wonderful gift and I was truly touched by the fact that she saved them all these years and even more by the kind gesture of giving them to me! I hope I can do them justice!

Thank you, thank you, thank you dear Margareta!

27 November 2010

Snow, Santa’s workshop and a X-MAS count down…

This week the south of Sweden had its first snow. Enormous amounts of the lovely white fluff and really cold weather too. I sat at my window watching the snow fall and not once did I think about how much I will hate the stuff if it’s still there come February. Not once did I dwell on how you almost freeze your butt of waiting for the buss or the foul language you use when sinking down to your armpits as you walk from the main road to the country house because you cant drive down. My heart was just filled with joy. I LOVE snow – now….

All of you that have followed my blog through the years know that I don`t just love snow I am a Christmas freak too. But if you happened to stumble in on my blog today you can read about it here, here and here if you like. December is my favorite time of the year when I am constantly high on Gingerbread cookie dough, chocolate, Glögg (hot red wine with cinnamon) and the smell of fir trees and candles. I have the Grinch on repeat on my DVD player although Jim Carrey in any other movie makes me itch ….but he is absolutely brilliant as the Grinch.

Hate, hate, double hate.....

December is also my peak creativity wise. This year it’s more than ever so due to the fact that my workroom is now so much more organized. Being able to see all the stuff that I have is enormously inspiring, so inspiring that I have decided to give myself a challenge. You who know me know I like a good challenge too….
I have decided to make a DIY advent calendar starting on the first of December. Everyday until Christmas I will post a DIY and I will try to use as much of the material that I already have or try to recycle the stuff that I need but haven’t got.

Do you want a sneak peak ?

So tune in on December 1st for the 24 DIY X-MAS count down

Until then, take care

PS Yep, I am eating gingerbread cookie dough while writing this….

23 November 2010

Free your mind

I am like a squirrel.

OK so I don’t run around collecting nuts to store for the winter but I collect almost anything else that could come in handy for something creative. Fabric, buttons, wire, scraps of metal, tins, lace, sea shells, old china, pots, drift wood….Come to think of it I might have collected the odd nut or too. Walnut shells are beautiful and chestnuts too…You get the picture right?

The problem with this little “addiction” of mine is that my collection is huge and my workroom is really, really tiny. Lately my workroom has taken a turn for the worse and it came to a point when there was no floor space left and I had to take a direct jump from the door to my work table. More often than not this put a stop to my creativity.
This weekend I decided that I had had enough. Something had to be done and since “throwing away” wasn’t an option I started operation better storage! I emptied my room by carrying all my stuff into my eldest daughters’ room (luckily for her she wasn’t home) and then I went to IKEA and bought 3 new storage shelves and a serious amount of plastic boxes. Back home again I started to sort everything out in neat piles and putting it in boxes and containers. After about 4 hours of hard work I took a look around and saw that nothing much had happened. All my energy and good intensions went out the window and left me feeling like a deflated balloon. This is when you have a nervous breakdown or tell yourself to get a grip. I went for the “get a grip” combined with a glass of wine and a piece of chocolate. 3 hours later I was done!

I had shelves for my glass jars with buttons and my collection of vintage lace….

…All my wool and yarn sorted after color in plastic containers.

……my vintage tins and old china in one place

….and all my paper, pencils and paint has its own shelf too.

I could actually see the floor!!!!! Hurray!

All this has left me with an almost overpowering sense of creativity. My head is spinning with ideas and I can’t get home from work fast enough to sit down at my wonderfully empty worktable and get started.

Free your mind and the rest will follow!

Take care

21 November 2010

A Champagne DIY

Do you save the corks from the champagne bottles? But doesn’t really know what to do with them? I have the solution for you. In five easy steps you can start to build up your own little chair collection. A warning though – it’s addictive. So when you start to buy the bubbly just to get hold of the corks ……that’s when you have a problem.

Step 1
You need a cork and a flush cutter. It’s good to have a round nose pliers too if you want to bend corners.

Step 2
Cut of the wire at the bottom of the cork. Doing so you get four legs on your chair. Save the wire to use for the back.

Step 3
Bend the wire so that it looks like the back of a chair.

Step 4
Attach it to the cork and voila – you have a chair!

Step 5
Start building a collection!

Have fun!

11 November 2010

A pen & paper thing

I am not very good with pen & paper. Sketching was never my thing and I am a bit anxious when it comes to color. I tend “think” too much about the outcome instead of just letting my mind go and let the brush and color take its own course. This intimidates me and being overly careful sometimes stops creativity. Funny enough this never happens when it comes to wool, embroidery, fabric or other creative stuff.

I have come to the conclusion that it is a pen and paper thing! So I decided to try and trick myself out of the “pen & paper stage fright” by using fabric and fabric paint instead.

Do you know what? It felt a lot better. I managed to be more relaxed and not constantly debating with myself over which color to use or whether or not they matched. This is what I made. It may not be a giant leap for mankind but it is for me...

I even wiped my brush off randomly on other pieces of fabric and now I can use that too. Maybe for some embroidery or add some paper or decoupage or…

Am I easily fooled or what?

Take care

09 November 2010

A most important book

On the 15 of May 2009 I lost my dear friend Sven, his fight against severe cancer finally over. I was devastated and for a long time I felt like my life lost its bearing. Sven was one of those rare friends, a once in a life time friend and although I had only known him for two years when he died he had become a very important part of my life. When I met him he had just received his diagnosis. Through him and his enormous will to live I learned that life is a precious thing that never should be taken for granted but also that nothing is impossible and that there is always hope.

Sven was a brilliant consultant working mostly with non profit organizations and in his last year he wrote a manuscript for a book about “How to keep the movement moving”. It was a book about the need for good leadership in the non profit organizations in order to have a continuous development of the cause instead of a more preserving attitude. He managed to finish the manuscript before he died but sadly he never got to see the book in print.

Yesterday I received a package in the post. I opened it and started to cry. In it was a book, a most important book – Sven’s book. I made myself a cup of tea, sat down in my sofa and started reading. In that moment, reading his words I missed him so terribly it felt like my heart would break. Oh how I wished that he was there with me us discussing the chapters or arguing a point.

I know he would have been very happy and proud over how the book turned out and I like to think that somehow, somewhere he knows!

Take care

07 November 2010

Trial & error

I read somewhere that you could color wool with food coloring. Today I gave it a go since there is nothing like a bit of creative trial and error on a lazy Sunday afternoon. In my opinion this mostly became an error.

Looks more like someone (me) spilt a glass of red wine over it than the brilliant red I was after. Don’t know if I didn’t let it soak long enough in the vinegar or if I had too little of the food color.

The wool was supposed to soak in vinegar and tepid water for at least half an hour before adding the color but it might just have been a tad less….me being a woman with absolutely no patience. I will just have to give it another try. Maybe I will make a pillow case out of this one, adding some applications, Babushkas I think and some embroidery. I have this thing about Babushkas at the moment.

But now a glass of wine I think….

Take care

PS I bought this seriously pink alpacka fleece "comforter" today so at least I got something with the right color.

03 November 2010

The Butterfly project

1944 my father and his family tried to fled the war. They were captured by the Russians and my father and his older brother were sent to a prison camp in Siberia. He spent one month in a freight train under terrible conditions and many of his fellow prisoners never reached the destination. He was released a year later when the war ended and had then miraculously survived dysentery, starvation and hard labour in an extremely cold climate. He was 15 years old and weighed only 35 kilos.

My father started to tell us about his childhood when we were only young and his history became an important part of my childhood as well. He and I have told my children together and I hope that they will tell their own children one day. Because we can forgive but never forget. By remembering we can try to fight the dangers of hatred, prejudice and apathy that still darken the world. Now more than ever it seams!

Or as Ghandi so brilliantly put it:

Be the change you want to see in the world

Today I read about the Butterfly project.
It is hosted by the Holocaust Museum Houston in Texas, USA. The museum is dedicated to remembering the innocent victims of holocaust and other genocides and honoring the survivors’ legacy.

In the Butterfly project they remember the 1,500 000 innocent children who perished as a result of the Holocaust by collecting 1,5 million handmade butterflies. In spring 2013 these butterflies will become an exhibition and already people all over the world has contributed with 600 000 butterflies.

I am going to make one too. I am going to make it to honor both the victims and my father who survived. Because the surviving children has had to live with their memories ever since.

Do you want to send a Butterfly too?

Read the instructions here and send it to:

Holocaust Museum Houston
c/o Butterfly Project
Education Department
5401 Caroline St.
Houston, TX 77004

The deadline for butterflies to be received at the museum has now been established as June 30, 2012

Take care

02 November 2010

Trick or felt

My daughter is not all that in to wool. She likes sheep it’s not that but she has never really understood the fun in spending an entire day wet felting. It’s more or less a day lost in her opinion. But she just might be coming around….

Last weekend she had this Halloween Party thing going. She was planning to go as a sexy devil but was in lack of a pair of red devils horns. So what did her creative mum do? Wet felt them of course.

My husband wants a new skiing helmet for Fathers Day. Maybe I can felt that too. He, he…

Take care