Tuesday, 31 May 2011

The Sketchbook Challenge, May

The theme for May was “Can’t resist this!” and today I spent some happy hours in my studio armed with the usual junk mail, glue stick and markers. It did not turn out like the image which I had in my mind, but that’s part of the fun isn’t it.

I can’t resist colours and shapes and pillows and light and textures and patterns and space and movement and imagination and a few pieces of chocolate (although mine are low on sugar).
This morning my heart was full of spring and new beginnings and it shows in the colours. That’s another thing I can’t resist: letting little pieces of my soul seep into my work.-)

What I really have a hard time resisting is this little one.We were celebrating grandson’s 4th birthday last Tuesday with his friends from kindergarten at a gigantic indoor playground. 5 happy boys, full speed ahead with us grownups getting the workout of our lives trying to keep track of them. Then this man, a totally stranger, yanked grandson out of a tunnel while my daughter was standing right there, and dislocating grandson’s elbow doing so. So, while the rest of the boys continued having fun, the birthday boy spent the rest of his party at the ER getting his elbow reset.

I was so mad! Who would jerk any 4 year old by the arm, let alone someone they don’t even know! I tracked the man down, ready to give him a piece of my mind, but he was holding his little daughter on his arm. All I could do was politely tell him that he had injured our birthday boy who now was at the hospital in a lot of pain. No “I’m so sorry”, no “how is he doing”; I had to walk away, fuming with anger. Oh, how I wish I wasn’t so well mannered all the time.

The arm is doing just fine by the way and grandson seems totally un-traumatized by the incident; he’s such a brave little soul. I, however, am still furious with a stranger.

Monday, 30 May 2011

Safe prayers

I have been revisiting the prayer flags in our back yard lately.There is not much left of the bright happy splashes of colour from last summer, but the beauty is far from gone.
Whitened, softened, ragged, and twistedcompared to how they started out. You can read more about them here.
I had to exercise quite a bit of self control not straightening anything.I have no idea whether the ink has disappeared or not, but my prayers are still safely stitched in between the layers.
It has been one of Those weeks. I’m not much of an anniversary-celebrator, but some dates are etched into your life whether you like it or not. I’m happy to put another 356 days between us; now I can sleep properly again.

The weekend was brilliant; I had the whole house to myself and got lots of work done. I find such weekends revitalize me to no end; it’s good to be a bit egocentric every now and then isn’t it.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Giveaway Day Winner

Thank you so much to all of you who left a comment on the May Giveaway post! It has been so much fun to read all your comments and now I have a whole list of people to visit in the future. I would also like to welcome new readers and followers; I’m looking forward to meet you all!

It’s Thursday morning here in Norway and Random.org has helped me picking a winner. I’m so glad I was doing this randomly because I would have a hard time to pick anyone myself.The one who takes it all is
Anna AKA quiltmom who said
"Nina Lise,
Those fabrics are truly lovely and your saying about learning to dance in the rain is so very true. Someone is going to be one very lucky person when you draw their name. Thank you for your very generous gift.
Regards from Western Canada,

Congratulations, Anna; I’ll be sending you an email asking for your mail address and the prize will be in the mail by the 30th according to the giveaway guidelines. The pattern file will be emailed you as soon as you have chosen one.

To all the rest of you: thanks for stopping by and playing along!

I did not get much time to check out the giveaways, but I’m happy to say I have been working in my newly uncluttered studio, playing with scraps and watching (more like listening to) old movies on the ancient VCR. Restricting myself to work only on the list was no fun, so I’m giving myself a little slack and letting the creative juices flow freely every now and then.

Have a wonderful Thursday; I’ll be spending the day with my fellow Big & Strong-ers on the biannual Big & Strong day.

Monday, 23 May 2011

May Giveaway Day

It’s Giveaway Day at Sew Mama Sew again, so welcome to my blog, Mrs Moen, and thank you for stopping by. I am a Norwegian quilter, designer and teacher, and this is my third time participating in Sew Mama Sew’s Giveaway Day.

My prize is
one of my “Dance in the rain” quilts (machine appliqué on vintage linen cloth). This is my favourite saying by which I try to live each and every day

and these fabrics fresh from the shop:a butter- & dragonfly starwith a supporting cast of 4totalling approx 1 yard of fabric

and one of my pdf-patterns (English or Norwegian) by your choice.(From Mix & Match for Christmas pattern package)
(from Funky Fowl pattern package)

One winner takes it all!

So, for a chance to win you have to leave a comment to this post. Please make sure I have a way of contacting you if you should win. I will ship internationally.

The giveaway is open until May 25th and the winner will be randomly picked by
Random.org in the morning on the 26th (Norwegian time). Good luck to you all; I’m off to check out the other participants!

Sorry, the giveaway is now closed!

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Pay it forward rerun

I am afraid my Pay it forward update post might have been buried in all the problems with Blogger because I only received mail from BenteOO (thank you!).

Corrine; I’ve found your address, but Lynda and beth, please do send me a mail with your addresses so I have them on hand. You still don’t have to start worrying about what you’ll be making just yet because you have a whole year after you receive mine.

And; I would also like to thank Brenda properly for sending me the autograph pictures (sometimes my fingers move faster than my brain); thank you, that was so much fun!

Tomorrow is May Giveaway Day at Sew Mama Sew and I’m just getting my act together; will you be participating?

Friday, 20 May 2011

Mrs Moen autograph

Brenda from Scraps and strings sent me a fun email the other day writing:

“Did you ever live in Canada? I saw a vintage autograph quilt at a local show in Morden, Manitoba, Canada and your name is on it: Mrs. Moen. How cool is that? I'm sure this quilt is 60-70 years old, so I guess it isn't you, but I'm sending you a picture so you can check it out.”

With Brenda’s permission, here are the pictures, and indeed, there’s my name, neatly embroidered onto a Dresden plate with Mr Moen on another wedge (petal?).
Brenda asked whether Moen is a common Norwegian name, and there are 10.412 people named Moen in Norway. Moen (mo meaning heath or moor) was used in names for places and farms, and historically people would often take the name of their farm as a family name. So did my great-great-grandfather (maybe a couple of more great-s; I’ve lost track) whose name was Bjørnsen (son of Bjørn), but Bjørnsen got lost on the way through the generations.

There are also quite a few other Scandinavian names on the blocks like Eide, Knudson, Johnson, Larson and Olafson. Surnames ending with –sen were typical for Norway and Denmark, but I understand a lot of them were changed to –son when people were emigrating to the US.

My paternal grandmother was a keen genealogist and I’m a big fan of a radio show/podcast called Språkteigen which is about languages and names and the history behind words, so this was fun!

And; the Mrs in my blog name is sort of an anachronism, although Mrs. Moen would be my proper formal name. We don’t usually use mrs. or mr. here anymore (other than when ordering plane tickets online); it’s more like a tribute to all the Mrs-es before me, passing down long legs, will power of steel and the love of creating. Yeah, I owe them big time.-)

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Hurra for 17. mai

17. of May was as usual a bit of a blur without decent pictures to account for the day. There’s something about the excitement and all the people and everything being over within a blink of an eye giving you only two options: being in the moment or documenting it. Here I am, frantically looking for an umbrella before heading off in the morning.
The day was grey and the company nice. I was watching the parade with my family including my sister and friends of daughter’s. There were flags and banners and bands and kids in organized chaos, just like it’s supposed to. Due to some mix up the national anthem was not played in front of the retirement home where we have been singing “Ja, vi elsker” every 17. of May for close to 30 years, so that was a bit disappointing.

Daughter’s shawl
The embroidery on my sister’s bunad (the same kind I used to have)
We caught up with friends in the school yard after the parade, had lunch at my sister’s and brought grandson to the in-laws for dinner in the afternoon. He was totally worn out, poor little guy, and so was I. Great day indeed!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

"Allt blev ljust igen"

Welcome to my blog, Mrs Moen on the Norwegian national holiday! I am a quilt artist, designer and teacher living and messing up our house in Norway. This is my fourth time participating in the Blogger’s Quilt Festival over at Amy’s Creative Side.

I have chosen “Allt blev ljust igen” (everything got light again) (56”*80”) this time because it’s one of my all time favourite quilts.Add the fact that I have just washed it, and it was not raining for a few hours yesterday so I could get pictures and the choice was quite easy. The quilt is not really that special to look at; simple circles machine appliquéd onto squares and backed with fleece, and yet it carries lots of warm memories and hope for the future.

The quilt is an interpretation of the song “Varmt igen” (warm again) by the Swedish artist Peter Jöback (originally by Per Gessle), made back in 2005 for daughter’s 18th birthday. This song offered comfort at a time when we were waiting for life to get warmer and lighter and has been a favourite of mine ever since. You can listen to (and your eyes won’t hurt either) the song here.

Another side of the story is that the quilt did not really hit home with daughter’s, at the time, pink taste so it has been residing on our couch ever since I made her a new pink one. Somehow I couldn’t make warmth and light using pink; you need something cold to set off warmth, don’t you.(Fabric scraps from the coat I made for her for 17. of May when she was 3, from her dress, from the doll cloths I made, from other quilts I’ve made for her, fabrics bought by my parents while travelling; you get the picture)

I am very happy with the trade; yeah; I’m feeling all warm and fuzzy just looking at it.
You can see the rest of the online quilt show here
and to all my Norwegian friends: Hurra for 17. mai!

Monday, 16 May 2011

Task of the day, May 16

Like gazillions of other mothers and grandmothers around the country I am preparing for tomorrow. May 17th is our national holiday and we’ll get all dressed up and watch the children’s parade, talking to friends and family, eating good food and hoping for clear skies.

I have been ironing daughter’s bunad shirt like I have done since she was little. My mother in law made the shirt for her for her confirmation. Look at the collar; teeny tiny white stitches on white linen. Isn’t it just gorgeous! You’ll find more pictures of the bunad (lovingly embroidered by her mother aka me) here and here.

Saturday, 14 May 2011


Today is grandson’s 4th birthday and his mom has a crazy busy day organizing a children’s party with a family party following just a few hours later.

(Picture by daughter)

These two people hold a gigantic chunk of my heart.-)

Friday, 13 May 2011

A growing collection

I have been updating the Make a Boob blog in a few big chunks over a couple of months, but first I would like to pick your brains about something.

I heard from one lady who was seriously offended by the very existence of this project, and I have been thinking a lot about what or even if I would answer her. I feel very strongly that I will not defend, justify or apologize for my artistic work; someone will love it, others will hate it, and most people will probably be totally indifferent and that’s ok; I will make art any way I like. This is my blog about my work; there’s no democracy here and no one’s going to be voted off the island. Symbolic fabric boobs might not be everyone’s cup of tea; but a lot of women of all ages and walks of life love the idea. Make a Boob is for them; it’s really that simple. That being said; this project, including the name, was approved by the Norwegian Cancer Association up front. And don’t be fooled; while I might approach life with a touch of humor, I am always serious about my work.

I would love to hear your opinion; do you feel you need to defend your work, or should people simply just leave any offending page (web, magazine, book) and move on?

Anyway; these wonderful and generous Make a Boob contributions are from (click the names to go the posts at the Make a Boob blog)
Hobby & Terapi
Liv Ingunn
Liv Kirsten
Eva & Grete
Rogaland Quiltelag
A big Thank you to each and every one of you; your support and encouragement means the world to me!