Embracing my inner Scandinavian

Hello everyone and greetings from not a wet Yorkshire but a very white one!

We have finally had the snow that we have been expecting for a week and so there are lots of very excited children out on sledges and heading up to the local reservoir where there is a wonderful slope for them to whizz down.

I however will be staying indoors and practising the Danish concept of hygge which I am getting very good at these days.

Roughly translated as cosiness it involves candles, fleecy blankets, doing nice things to keep yourself cheerful in the dark winter days and possibly mulled wine as well. That sounds like a plan!

We visited Denmark earlier this year and even though it was quite light in the evenings by then we loved all the lights in the Tivoli gardens.

Tivoli Gardens lights

In Norway this Christmas the streets were full of light, not only Christmas lights but also oil lamps outside the shops, lights in windows etc. It really makes a difference when it starts getting dark at 3pm and it is cold.

I have also been able to start knitting again! I have not knitted for nearly 6 months due to the problems with tendonitis in my wrist and though I have been really enjoying my embroidery have had an urge to knit again.

It does seem very much a winter thing and I am working on some more of Julie of Little Cotton Rabbits animals at the moment.

I have previously knitted lots of these gorgeous creatures and several extra dresses for them and this time I am trying some of the other animals.

I have just bought some gorgeously fluffy white wool from my friend Lydia at Spun  for my first mouse, just look at the cuteness of Julie’s boy mouse and those little ears in her pattern!

Boy Mouse LCR

I am planning at least one mouse in a ballerina costume, no-one can resist this little wrap around cardigan from one of Julie’s free added patterns.

ballet_bunny_LCR

I have just bought the cat pattern as I realised that I didn’t have this one and love the plaid dress that she is wearing!

Girl cat - LCR

These are all Julie’s pictures of finished items from the patterns I have bought, I am just showing them to you to inspire you.

I have also been inspired by seeing all the Norwegian knitting in the Folk Museum so I want to make some little dresses with Scandinavian patterns on.

I love all the Christmas stockings I did a few years ago so am thinking of using some of these pictures for inspiration, there are some lovely free motifs from this site.

Norwegian motifs

I know that I have said this before but Julie really is a genius and her animals are wonderful, if you haven’t ever visited her blog please go and see all the lovely animals she has made, guaranteed to bring hygge to your life!

I think you should really buy her patterns as well as that is double happiness, knitting them and the pleasure when people get them.

I love looking though her Etsy shop at all the designs she has sold getting ideas for colour combinations.

So a happy day ahead for me, I will be doing some catching up of TV watching as well. I am going to watch the first couple of episodes of Jericho this afternoon as that looks very good and then there are the double delights of Walking the Himalayas and Call the Midwife tonight!

Have a lovely hygge time yourselves and see you all again soon, thanks for visiting.

Norwegian Embroidery

Hello again

One of my favourite parts of the Oslo Folk Museum of course was the exhibition of traditional folk costume, the bunad, and some wonderful examples of the embroidery including Hardanger, a traditional type of whitework from Norway.

Norway Folk Museum embroidery 3

There were examples of wool embroidery on costumes and accessories.

Norway Folk Museum embroidery 2

Norway Folk Museum embroidery 5

These baby’s caps were a combination of wool and redwork embroidery.

Norway Folk Museum embroidery 4

There was also blackwork, excuse the fuzziness of the picture below but I wanted to show you amount of stitching on this beautiful head dress.

Norway Folk Museum embroidery 6

Norway Folk Museum embroidery 1

We also saw a bridal outfit like this one below and lots of the beautiful jewellery that is worn with the costume.

Norway Telemark Bridal Crown -small

Norway Folk Museum embroidery 7

There are more beautiful images of Norwegian bridal crowns here , it really struck me how much the head dresses and the silver jewellery resembled the Miao Chinese folk costume that I saw when I went to the Ethnicities Museum in Beijing.

Miao Chinese Folk Costume

We saw quite a few people wearing their traditional costume on Christmas Eve in Oslo, particularly in the cathedral where we went for the afternoon service.

This website has got lots of photos of people wearing their bunads at an event held at the Folk Museum in 2012.

They were also on sale in one of the department stores, with packs of ready prepared shirt material and embroidery patterns.

I was also very pleased as many years ago when we visited Sweden I bought some beautiful metal clasps that I have used for medieval costume. I only have this one left.

Norway cloak clasps 1

But I discovered that they are used in the bodice of the bunad so was able to buy some more sets, I now have two each of these beauties.

Norway cloak clasps 2

I have been doing a bit of research and thanks to Pinterest have found so much inspiration for Scandinavian embroidery. There are some gorgeous designs here

And if you want more information and pictures about the wool embroidery this is an excellent source looking at costumes from Northern Norway.

Well I will leave you know and get on with some actual embroidery rather than just adding to my to do pile! Will be back soon with the last of my Norwegian loveliness posts.

Have a lovely rest of the weekend and thanks for visiting.

 

Norwegian Loveliness

Hello everyone and a belated Happy New Year!

It seems like a very long time since I was here and while sorting out my pictures from Norway had to create a new folder, Blog pics 2016. I wonder what lovely things this folder will hold by the end of the year.

I hope that you all had a very good festive season, we did and have thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Oslo with lots of museums to see.

I am so glad that my family enjoy the same things that I do and it was great to spend so much time with Mum and the kids.

And we had snow! We got there and it was warm and sunny and all the snow had melted and then it snowed on the last day which made it all very white and pretty. I love this pic of the kids walking through the Palace park in the snow.

Norway Kids in snow

As well as the wonderful Folk Museum, which was my favourite one, we saw Viking boats that had been recovered from ship burials, the Polar explorer ship Fram that took Amundsen on his successful expedition and the Kon-Tiki and Ra rafts that Thor Heyerdal sailed in.

We did go on a boat trip as well round the little islands in the Oslo fjords one sunny morning, I would love to back to Norway in the summer one day and spend more time visiting the beaches and small islands.

Norway Boat Trip

The Folk Museum has many houses that have been brought from all over Norway and  been rebuilt there , a lot of them are open and furnished and it is just the kind of social history that we love.

I have another post lined up for you with pictures of the insides of my favourite houses, and some embroidery of course, but these are a few of the beautiful buildings.

Norway Folk Museum houses

Norway Folk Museum houses 2

This was the wonderfully painted inside of a little red guest house with a built-in bed.

Norway Folk Museum houses 3

Norway Folk Museum houses 4

Norway Folk Museum houses 5

I love the carving on these houses and storage barns, life must have been so hard for the farmers in rural Norway and it was touching to see that care that they took in decorating with painted chalk designs and ‘lace’ curtains made from newspaper as it was cheaper than fabric.

You can see why Norwegian immigrants to the USA were so successful in their settling of the mid-west being used to the harsh conditions at home. I found the wonderful picture below from this museum website of settlers at their prairie home.

Norwegian immigrants house

I was amazed to learn that one-third of Norway’s population, 800,000 people, emigrated during 1825 to 1925 mainly due to rural poverty in Norway and the chance for a better life overseas. I expect there was a lot of quilting going on both sides of the Atlantic for warmth and comfort in these houses.

My favourite building was a 13th century stave church, it was an amazing construction, reminiscent of a Viking ship with the decoration on the roof.

Norway Stave church

Norway Stave church 2

Norway Stave church 3

Later in another museum we saw some wonderful carved doors and crosses from other stave churches.

Norway Stave church cross

Norway Stave church door 1

Norway Stave church door 2

You know how much I love doors and that is an amazing door by any standards!

The rest of Oslo was also full of gorgeous buildings from the early 20th century with decorative roof turrets and ironwork.

Norway City Centre

Norway City Centre

Norway City Centre 3

Our hotel also dated from this period, it was called Cochs Pensionat and as well as being in a great location at the side of the Palace park within easy walking distance to the city it was also near lots of bars, shops and supermarkets which was great as we had a little kitchenette in our room.

Norway Hotel

This is a very similar room to ours and it was great to be able to have breakfast and a couple of meals in as well as a lovely lazy Christmas day watching films and playing games.

Norway hotel room

A very good choice again, well done Expedia for such efficient booking of accommodation, what would I do without you!

Now it is back to normal, watching the rain from my sofa and crafting while watching TV, not that I am complaining it is as always, a lovely way to spend the weekend.

I must do a catch up post on things done in 2015 and goals for 2016 post. One thing is for sure that I have done far less quilt blocks than I should have but more embroidery so it is all good!

Take care and thanks for visiting, see you soon for more Norwegian loveliness!

Christmas Creativity

Well that was a lovely weekend, my last one of sitting making ornaments for a while, not that the fact that it is nearly Christmas will stop me as I often make them into January ready for next year.

It is hard to stop when I am on a roll and I love just sitting in the craft room surrounded by all of my boxes of fabric, ribbons and beads deciding what would look good together.

Xmas baubles Dec 2015 3

These very cute bells are some I ordered from an Ebay seller, Rinoohead, earlier in the year and look very nice pinned onto baubles.

Xmas baubles Dec 2015 4

Next weekend we have family here celebrating Christmas a bit early then we are off to Oslo and when we come back from there I am off to Spain for New Year.

I am really looking forward to three weeks holiday and lots time with my lovely family :-)

I will leave you with a couple of pictures of the collection of quilted baubles that I have made for my friends, I will be giving these away this week when we have our pre-Christmas catch-up.

Tutorial for these is here if you fancy any last minute festive makes, they are quick to do and very relaxing.

Xmas baubles Dec 2015

Xmas baubles Dec 2015 2

I hope that you all have a lovely Christmas and New Year, thanks so much for visiting my blog and for all your kind comments and likes. Best wishes for the festive season and I will see you all in 2016!

The last of the flock, for now…..

Hello everyone

I have a feeling of Groundhog day as I sit on my sofa watching the rain come down on another Saturday, the good news is that I have nothing to do today except work on the last of my Christmas ornaments and watch my latest Netflix series so all is wonderful  :-)

I am feeling very mellow as all Christmas gifts have been sorted and I pity the poor people who have got to do their shopping this weekend in the rain and the cold!

Firstly I must tell you the result of the giveaway, the winner chosen by the tried and trusted random number generator method and is Textiledreamer.

Please could you message me at alisonmryan@yahoo.co.uk with your address and I will send your goodies to you.

As well as the last of the quilted ornaments I have been stitching up a little gift for one of my relatives.

My cousins all have young children and I love making things for them, especially as most of them have unusual names so I like to make personalised things.

This little bag is for my cousin’s daughter who is five and loves anything art related so I have some creative things to fill it with, as well as some Frozen goodies as she is still a big fan of the movie.

Avive's birdie bag

The actual bag was from the Quilt Festival in the summer, won on the fund-raising bag tombola and the design is another version of Jenny of Elefantz’s   Button Bird.

Avive's birdie bag 2

I have used some new rayon threads for this, I love using silk but thought rayon might be better for a bag as it will get more wear than a picture. I have also enjoyed perfecting my lazy daisy stitches.

Avive's birdie bag 3

I obtained these threads as a bundle from an Ebay seller, The Shopping Window who have lots of beautiful threads and ribbons for sale, I got 75 gorgeous colours like these so can’t wait to use more of them in future projects.

Rayon threads

OK off to make more ornaments now, will post some pictures of the final ones later in the week. Have a lovely weekend and thanks for visiting.

 

 

Birds of a feather

Hello everyone

It is a rare sunny day in Yorkshire with blue skies which is lovely.

I am in a very happy mood as well as I have been sorting out the last few details for our holiday to Oslo for Christmas :-) Very excited as we haven’t been away at Christmas for a few years and it will be very festive with snow and everything!

I have been a very busy bee over the weekend finishing some more Christmas ornaments and a little treat for my craft room, all of them featuring bird designs from the lovely Jenny of Elefantz. Am currently in progress with another version of this beautiful one as well in the smaller version.

This is the Button Bird design, adapted as you can clearly see that there is no button! I decided to do more of the lovely lazy daisy stitches instead now I have got the hang of them and also added beads to the tail.

Bird stitching Dec

I was wondering how to frame it and then remembered that I had an old embroidery hoop that had lost its ability to tighten properly so wrapped that in matching ribbon and ta da.

I think it looks lovely and will be the first of Jenny’s projects to get put up in the craft room.The hanging with the three embroideries that I blogged about previously is still a WIP as I plan to paper piece a border for it.

Bird stitching Dec 2

Bird stitching Dec 3

The threads are a combination of the variegated Perle thread that I bought at Harrogate and some of my Silk Mill purples and I think they look great together.

Bird stitching Dec 4

The next project is from one of Jenny’s previous Stitchery Clubs and is one that I have sewn before but this time decided to applique the wing which gave me a chance to practise buttonhole stitch.

This is the Makower fabric that I bought from my local haberdashers a while ago and I thought a little pillow finish would be something different to do. This is one of a pair of special gifts for relatives.

Jenny stitching Dec 3

Jenny stitching Dec 4

This last one is also from the last Stitchery Club set and is part of the bunting, I still have plans to make the whole of the bunting, but realistically that will have to be an after Christmas project, so this is just a little adaptation as a hanging.

Jenny stitching Dec

Jenny stitching Dec 2

Have the rest of the other bird to work on this evening with the end of a very exciting boxed set, have been watching Wayward Pines and it has been very good.

I do love some nice televisual entertainment and a bit of good crafting to keep me amused during the dark nights. Happy times :-)

Hope you are all having a good week so far and have something nice to snuggle up with on these cold nights. Take care and thanks for visiting and don’t forget to like my giveaway post, I will be drawing names for that on at that weekend.

Exploding lightbulbs and other excitements

Hello everyone

This week it is my 8th blogaversary and this is also my 500th post – how exciting :-)

I was going to post this a little earlier in the evening but was distracted by an incident where I went into the kitchen to fetch more wine, turned on the lights and there was a very loud bang accompanied by a shower of glass.

Turned out that a lightbulb had exploded, taking with it the glass surround on that part of the light fitting. So a little bit of a clean up ensued and I will remove the remains of bulb and fitting in daylight tomorrow.

Anyway more of the real excitement, 8 years of lovely blog activity and 500 posts, mainly about my fabric fettlings so I am celebrating in traditional style with a giveaway.

Xmas fabric oct 15 1

This will be not only for some ornaments maybe something like the ones in the picture below but also since it is a double celebration some Christmas fabric as well, maybe even some of the lovely Makower stash.

To enter just like this post. I will close the giveaway next Friday the 11th to give time to put the winning gifts in the post.

Patchwork Xmas Hearts

I will return later on with an update on the latest batch of ornament finishes, meanwhile stay safe and avoid home accidents! Thanks for visiting.