Sunday, May 31, 2009

Little house in the woods

I spent yesterday on the back of a big motorcycle, a mixture of spinetingling joy and small golden flecks of danger. It is actually pure insanity. Trusting someone to drive around 150 km/h on two wheels where you are only protected by a few bits of leather and some strategically placed bits of hard plastic here and there. Oh, and a helmet, of course. Perfect use of a day:)

We drove on small, windy roads on the other side of the border (Sweden), and came over a small farm that had been abondoned for a while. There is such a strange sense of beauty and loss in houses falling down. Peeking out from behind the trees.... Come in, come in, I dare you:) When I see houses like this, I am thorn between the wish to restore it or to let nature reclaim it. I love the colour and texture of the worn out planks in the walls.
Wonder when this was last used:)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Spiraling up

Beautiful weather today, and I was literally sick of being inside, so me and a friend took a local sightseeing trip, playing tourists at home. In the neighbouring city, Drammen, they have a spiraling tunnel inside one of the mountain. 3,65 meters high and 9 meters wide it winds in 11 loops up 200 meter above sea level. It was originally started as a quarry to get stones to make roads in Drammen, and then in 1961 it was opened for the public. It is beautiful up there:)

You can see far both ways.

Down in the city they have recently redone a huge area over the river, and built this beautiful walk bridge over it.
Back on the farm - hehe - this is how nine flowers look like before the hexagons are sewn together. I am getting there:)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Norge, mitt Norge

I guess everyone loves their own flag:) For me, the Norwegian flag goes perfectly with the colour of nature in spring. Today is our Constitutional Day, and everyone is celebrating, except me. I have a bad cold and am spending the day on the couch, watching old 60's english crime on DVD. Oh joy...

May 17th 1814 was the date our forefathers signed the constitution. Our independence did not last long, as we soon afterwards were forced to enter into a union with Sweden (this after having been under Danish rule for hundreds of years). Norway is actually a very young state, we celebrated our 100 years in 2005.

May 17th is a very big day here, with children being the center of attention. We all have the day off, all schools have big children's parades and all the icecream and soda they can eat. It was not a perfect May 17th unless you were sick from eating too much icecream. So contrary to other countries - no armies, no state officials and no politics (usually:))

So no matter how the weather is, we are all outside most of the day. Last year in Oslo it was cold and almost snowy, today it is a beautiful summer day outside.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Baby steps

I haven't done anything on my Baby Jane since Christmas, what with the two big quilts and all. But now when they are done and delivered, I started digging through my piles and found my applique prepared blocks. I did six in two days:)
From top left:
A 3, Hunter's moon
E 1, Aunt Exie's Phlox
B 3, Mirror image
F 13, Tour de France
B 12, Starflower
H 12, Hannah Lou's Hearts
The official name of my Baby Jane is probably going to be: Babysteps to Happiness:) Suitable in these days...

Monday, May 11, 2009


Seeing how the trees and flowers are exploding outside these days, I am sooo happy I am not allergic to pollen of any sorts. I just react to certain strong smells, like Lilly of the valley and Lilacs. The first one is no problem, the second is a huge one as that particular sort of trees are all in abundance around here I live. A week or so with closed windows. Oh well.

I went for a walk today and found this explosion of flowers. I have no idea what it is, but it fascinated me.
Look how the flowers are crowding the branch! Amazing how they all fit.
Back at the farm, I have now found back some old UFO's and considering their worthiness of being finished. I started sewing together some of my blocks in english paperpiecing that I had done. I was once thinking about making it into a quilt for my own sofa. As I have not yet made myself a quilt.... I am using all the Japanese fabrics I got for my sister-in-laws quilt last May. I may actually finish this one, one time...

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Hedda's garden delivered!

Hedda's garden is now finished and delivered. Lovely, beautiful Hedda, my godchild, has been celebrated by us all today.
This is the final product:)
'Stars to make you dream, flowers to make you bloom.' Congratulations, Hedda.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Signs of spring

I have just finished Heddas Garden, but since I don't want to spoil the surprise I will not publish the final picture until after Sunday - the big day. She will be confirmed on Sunday, which most kids at 15 chose to do here in Norway.

I also promised her mother I would be using my bunad - the national costume. I have not worn it for at least 10 years, so I had to dig it out and look it over. And I started looking at the craftmanship of the whole thing. My aunt embroidered it for me, and she is just an incredible artist with the needle.
This is the shawl, silk on silk. Look at the details! I could not do it. She is so neat in her sewing.
My bunad is from Østfold, from where my family can be traced back a few hundred years or so. It is a simple one compared to many in Norway, but it has its specialities, among others a Mourning Rose which makes it suitable to be worn for funerals. I wore mine for the first time at the funeral for my grandfather.
This is the silver we use. I wish I had the specific history of these things, why they were chosen and were the originals comes from. All bunads in Norway are reconstructed from pieces found in each different county.

The airing of the bunads are a typical signs of spring in Norway. This month is filled with confirmations, weddings and May 17th, the day of our constitutions. When I got confirmed about 30 years ago, only one of the girls in my class had a bunad. Today almost all of them have one. And most of them wear them on May 17th. I love the fact that the bunad has become a thing that most people wants to have and use.
So even if I haven't used mine for 10 years (it is incredibly heavy and warm, all made of wool and linen and not very flattering:)) I do appreciate the work my aunt did on this one for me so many years ago. It is a piece of art and a piece of heritage. And you always have something to wear for big days:) I will try to get you a picture of the whole thing this Sunday.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Personality test

I am up to my neck in white dustbunnies and fluff from a batting that is NOT good! My whole apartment is dusty after just two days of machine quilting! Argh. To get into the appropriate zen state of mind needed to finish:) - I went through my pictures from my last weekend in the woods. And I realised that I had a personality test among them:

Taking your dog for a walk, you arrive at a crossing. Which road would you take? This one?
Straight forward, the end of the road clearly in sight. Or this one?
Curvy and bendy, not knowing what is behind the next curve?
I found that walking the straight road, while good enough when accompanied with my aunt and uncle and we could talk and talk, was incredibly booooring when it was just me and Tika. She doesn't hold her end of the conversation very well.
I grew up on a farm next to a big forest and spent my childhood roaming around in them, finding new paths, going off into the darkness... no wonder I am afraid of the dark:)
Conclusion on the personality test? I, for myself, prefer not knowing what is around the corner. Because you never know, do you? It could be a fairy tale castle, or the pond of the water troll:)
So though my stomack is in a twist not knowing what my future is at the moment, I will remind myself of the curvy forest path.
This particular forest path had this at the end of it. Beautiful.
I love spring, the colours of the green. The blueness of the sky. I passed this white stone church on my way, and had to take some pictures.
Look at the stone wall! Amazing workmanship.
I'll be back! in a few days with the final conclusion of Heddas Garden:)