Wednesday, 28 December 2011

The Hardware Triangle

Instead of spending the post-Christmas days in my studio as planned, I have spent way too many hours swapping between hardware. Old computer, current computer, tablet, drawing pad, old camera, newish camera, old phone, new phone, external hard drive, game console, and whatnots; and they all come with cords. Miles and miles of cords. New phones are fun, but oh man, it’s easy to get sucked into all the doodahs! I think I have phone and tablet under control now and have finally solved the email-answering-problems I have had since April. About time I’d say. Thank you iCloud!

I woke up early this morning thinking about some new class samples, and had an epiphany on how I could retrieve some un-transferable files from my old computer. And it worked. Then I remembered there were some problems transferring the pictures in the first place, so I started an incredible time consuming recovery process when the old computer was dug out anyway. What’s left now is to go through all the files and see what I want to keep. That should keep me busy for a while.

Not all hardware work is boring though; grandson and I built the LEGO fire station that he got for Christmas the other day, and I love building LEGO. Love it! Husband usually has dibs on putting them together with him being the residential engineer and all, but he stepped out for a while. You snooze, you lose.

The two of them did get to try out one of husband’s new hardware though. Big time fun at 1km/hour.

Other than that we have been setting the table, eating, clearing the table (pinnekj√łtt at Christmas Eve),

setting the table, eating, clearing the table (brunches),

unwrapping a sea of paper,

and yesterday daughter, grandson and I hit the sales. Not too crowded and lots of clothes at 50% off, so well worth a few hours. One of us found a way to entertain himself while we were waiting in line. Honestly I wouldn’t have minded keeping him company at that point.

Enjoy the rest of 2011; we will have family staying for New Year’s, so I’d better get my act together and touch something without a cord.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Merry Christmas

Tonight we celebrate Christmas in Norway (you can read more about some of our traditions here), and the house is all dressed up in old memories and a few new ones.

The paper cone Santa family from years ago when daughter was little

the nut bowl from my grandma’s house; well loved although a little chipped and burred and forever nut-free due to allergies in the family

the happily flag-bombed tree decorated with grandson; it looks perfectly Christmassy when the lights are lit

and our new little forest made last weekend from crepe paper, yarn, paper towels and glue.

I’m hoping to make a few more of these before Christmas is over. Does it ever happen to you that you’re enjoying making stuff for Christmas so much that you just want to keep on going?

Thanks for suggesting putting LED lights under the trees; I love how they look in the dark!

We will be hosting tonight’s Christmas dinner and Christmas Day brunch tomorrow. Our first guests; daughter, grandson and my in-laws, will be arriving at 5pm and it’s time to do the last minute grocery shopping, vacuum the carpet and iron the table cloth. The cloth and I played a little hide and seek yesterday before I realized I had actually put it away in the proper closet. Cheeky table cloth; who could have known!

It was 10 degrees Celsius and raining yesterday, so no more snow, but it doesn’t really matter, does it, at least we can move safely outside. Something else is missing here though. Oh right, I have forgotten the Christmas quilts. Now where did I put them...

My best wishes for the holidays to you all!

Friday, 23 December 2011

Stack the cards

I have read that fewer and fewer people send out physical Christmas cards each year, but I love this tradition. I hadn’t expected to find time to do cards at all this year, but I did, although way too late to send any internationally.

Tiny little quilts glued onto cardstock with double sided tape,

the little trees made from free cut triangles of tulle and couched yarn

and decorated with Promarkers and foam stars and with a little piece of fuzzy yarn taped to the back.

Cards from friends and family are showcased in the Julepost I made two years ago.


Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Right here, right now

I am totally happy.

The chocolate topping on our oatmeal cookies is cooling off,

the chocolate chip cookies (which I have made every year since 1989)

and chocolate cookies (see a pattern here?) are safely tucked away into their tins; half of them at my house, the rest of them at the young ones’.

I have unwrapped the tree that wouldn’t dry, and guess what – it finally did.

Made from scraps of yarn and glue, it’s see-through and very colourful although the evening light, or rather lack thereof, does not do it justice at all.

And most importantly – it’s snowing.

Right here, right now – life is good.

Monday, 19 December 2011

The week before Christmas

I am so glad I don’t have the everything-has-to-be-perfect-for-Christmas-gene. I have a quite laid back attitude about the holidays for which I am truly thankful. We will have food, we will have gifts, and we will have a table at which we can eat as soon as I clear off the debris from crafting fun and work stuff. No one will get handmade gifts this year which is fine, and if I get around to making and writing cards at all this year, there might be a few going in the mail by the end of the year.

My trip to Oslo and Lillehammer last week did not go exactly according to plan. There were a few hiccups I’d say. Oslo airport was closed due to an ice problem in the morning, and after 2 flight cancellations, loooots of waiting around at the airport and a few travelling challenges (think Steve Martin and John Candy road trip without the bed sharing scene), I was 6 hours delayed to Oslo and 4 hours late for the meeting that I have been working towards since February. There’s not much to do other than just going with the flow, is there, and thank goodness one of the people I was meeting stayed until we could finish up more than 3 hours past their office hours. I had 21 minutes to get from the meeting to the train to Lillehammer including a trip by tube and lots of running with two suitcases, my definitely non-small bag across my torso and a dangling briefcase over my shoulder (thank you Zumba classes of yesteryear). I managed to get onto the train as the doors were closing (imagine the looks I got from my fellow passengers when I happily laughed out loud, trying to catch my breath; so relieved to make it after such a day) and arrived at my parents’ late in the evening too wired to sleep at all.

My parents and I took the bus into town on Tuesday and I tried to take a few pictures of the main street.

Lillehammer is such a beautiful town, and even prettier in the winter, but now it was windy and rainy and icy.

It’s still beautiful though.

I got safely back home in the evening after eating lunch with my sister, spending a few hours with my nephews, having dinner with my parents, a cab that did not show up on time, another train ride, more waiting at an airport, and finally a bumpy flight home. I haven’t really felt the urge to do much after that, other than spending time with my family, attending a couple of Christmas parties (one involving Santa, the other lasting from 5:30 pm to 2 am which is a long time making small talk with people you don’t know no matter how nice they are and how delicious the food is).

I have been making Christmas decorations with grandson, but that’s not really doing anything, just pure enjoyment.
I love these!

And our fragile paper trees made with crepe paper ribbons and wood glue!

Oh man, what a mess that was; my fingers are still blue. I diluted the glue way too much and after 30 hours the glue is still leaking from one of the other trees.

And of course I have been knitting in the evenings, but that really doesn’t count, does it. This winter appears to be all about neck- and arm/leg warmers. The neck warmers have a kind of Victorian appearance, but they are super stretchy and comfy.

If only winter would come back; I want snow for Christmas.

I had a few lovely surprises this week as well, like this gorgeous artwork from my friend Sherry in the UK. Isn’t she just beautiful!

And husband came home from a trip to China and I found another mystery box on the table in the morning.

This time he brought home a beautiful crystal bottle which is painted on the inside; a gift from one of his suppliers.

Tomorrow is baking day; daughter and I will make our favourite Christmas cookies which is always fun. Maybe I’ll get around to making more gluey mess trees after that; I have a few other ideas I would love to try out.

Happy holiday preparations!

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Sew In # 11

I had to cheat a little for last night’s Friday Night Sew In as I was invited out for dinner in the evening, but instead I spent a couple of hours in the afternoon adding the last touches to a few projects:

- adding a little hand stitching, and a rubber band and a button to my iPad cover,

- finishing the blanket stitching on the wool project,

- adding a few embellishments

- and weaving in the thread in my new woollen ensemble; leg warmers, wrist warmers and a neck warmer in grey Smart yarn.

I am particularly happy with the neck warmer, but it looks like I won’t be testing it our any time soon. We had a storm the other day, and the rain has washed away all the lovely snow.

Have a wonderful weekend! I’ll be spending it wrapping up my work assignment and our Christmas presents; I’ll be travelling eastwards on Monday for a meeting and use the opportunity to visit my family at Lillehammer at the same time, bringing all their presents along.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011


Greetings from Winter wonderland! After the warmest November in 150 years, winter’s finally here, properly greeted by enthusiastic young ones who think snow is the best thing ever. I have to say I find snow rather pretty and don’t mind it at all now that I have brand new non-slippery winter boots to keep me safe and lots of wool and knitted garments to keep me warm.

Needing a rest from the knitting obsession, I have been working on a little piece of needlework which now is in the process of being stretched back into shape. I had totally forgotten how time consuming needlepoint is, and it’s just as easy to get hooked on as knitting.

I have also tried my hand at needle felting for the first time ever,

and it was fun although slower than I expected. I love how it looks on the back with the fibres travelling through,

and the pearl cotton stitching around the edge.

The weekend was spent in good company. Husband has been on a business trip so grandson and I ruled the house all by ourselves. One of the good things about our grandma-time-schedule is that actually I take every other weekend off and lower my shoulders and have fun no matter what else is happening. We finally finished our mixed media garlands which we started a few weeks ago. Talk about test of patience. First we painted ugly scrapbook papers on both sides, then cut the shapes, and then decorated the circles with paint on both sides. It took quite a while as we had to leave everything to dry between each step, so by the time they were ready to be attached to the string, one of us ran out of patience.

On Saturday we added circles from aqua cardstock, decorated them with stickers, and stapled everything onto fuzzy yarn. We had enough circles for 4 garlands; two for me, one for daughter and one as a gift, plus a little one for grandson’s room. Sorry about the pictures, there’s about a one hour’s window to get proper lighting and if you miss it, this is what you get.

We also built the world’s biggest PlusPlus ferry for our little PlusPlus “cars” which we have been constructing and reconstructing for a year and a half now. Neither of us gets tired of them; I still love playing with the simple geometric shapes and gorgeous colours.

My local craft store is next to a thrift store, so I pop in now and then just to have a look (read old table cloths and interesting curtains). This piece of thrifted art caught my eye the other day and I couldn’t resist buying it.

I find the image a bit unsettling, but I love the hand stitching.

I was hoping to be able to remove the fabric from the frame, but it is firmly glued onto the base. Maybe I’ll paint the frame or something sometime in the future.

Got to go to bed; have a wonderful week!