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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Little Christmas Eve

The house smells clean, the candles are lit, the tree is decorated and parcels are put gently underneath it. Astrid is asleep. We have seen “The Countess and the Butler” while eating gingerbread cookies and “Gløgg”. What is not done by now, will not be done.
It’s Christmas in Yonder.

Wishing everyone a very merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas decorations 2009

I said I was going to show some of this years Christmas decorations so here we go. Like last year I went for a red and white combination with a dash of nature.

These numbered lights I bought in January on sale. When I took up the Christmas decoration from the basement a couple of weeks ago, I found my forgotten candles. I didn’t know where to put them and placed them in the red bowl meaning to look for something more suitable, but then realized that I was more than happy with having them in the red bowl.

This one was inspired by several Christmas magazines and interior design blogs I have seen. Seems this year has been the big zinc year with houses made of zinc, pots and lanterns. I didn’t want to spend too much money on this years decorations so instead of buying a zinc box I used last years ginger cookie box. I added moss, pine cones and an old red glitter packaging bow from Ikea and *tadaaaa*, one more decoration done.

This Christmas collage is lifted from Ali Edwards' holiday project from 2006. I used some papers from my stash and some I bought brand new. Cut, mixed, and placed into a black frame. I love this collage idea and think I’m going to make three more, one for each season. It’s a simple way to make a change in our living room without having to spend too much money.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

busy bee

The weeks before Christmas usually fly by. This week flew by especially fast. I spent most of it away on a project management course. Interesting and fun. It will definitely be a good tool for my current job where I am developing a strategy to lessen the sick leave rate in the company where I work. Enough work.

The little time I have been home I spent with Astrid and knitting (after her bed time). I can’t show too much since this is a Christmas gift in the making. But it will keep two cute prince’s warm.

The pink ant string bag I made back in 2008, the night before we left for our grand 4 week long USA summer vacation. I have grown to love my little ant bag which is perfect for small knitting projects.

Next time I post I’ll show this years Christmas decoration.

Now I’m going to catch up with your postings, I missed you this week!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

december & advent

It was so much fun having you chiming in on the last post. Thank you! I’ll keep on showing moments from Yonder once in a while to keep a blog foot in reality.

1st Sunday of Advent passed by without posting and so did 1st of December. On Sunday I was busy opening boxes with Christmas decoration. By the time I finished taking out the decorations and decorating it was dark and not so good photo conditions.

The short days gives me a blog challenge since I like posts to be accompanied with flash free photos. In the coming months I will have to plan my posts in time and take photos during the weekend… not a good option since I prefer to blog spontaneously about what is most present in my mind.

P.S.The photo used for this post is one I took a few weeks ago of a winter still life we have in a corner of our flat. The linen strawberry is made by Sonia and one I won in a giveaway last month.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

moments in Yonder

Perhaps you have felt it… The feeling you get when you take a tour in blogland and see all the wonderful things that everyone else are doing… all the super duper women that just seem to do everything and do it perfect.

Some days it becomes overwhelming. Some days I need to take a minute and tell myself that everyone does not do everything at the same time. Some paint and draw, some sew, some knit, some bake, some decorate their house and some scrap. Seldom do they do all this at a time (although I have seen some that do).

So when I read Amy’s post “The trouble with Martha” I laughed with relief. She has pin pointed it…and she does it so well that next time I get the “oh my gosh I wish I could be as perfect as everyone else” feeling, I’ll just stop by that post and read it again until my heart starts beating in a normal relaxed rhythm.
In the spirit of moments I’m posting photos of moments that make up life in Yonder. These are photos of every day life imperfections – perfection the Yonder way.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Guilt free brunch

Every year I do the same. And I do it with the same kind of short term memory innocence and good intentions as the year before. In early fall (this year it was at the beginning of October) I make an optimistic list of what I will make for gifts and for whom. And every year in mid November it becomes clear that there is no way in h… Yonder that I will make it through the list. Sometimes I don’t even get started.

There is one change however… a change that came about a couple of years ago. I don’t feel guilty anymore; there are no attacks of bad conscience. I don’t stop doing other things because I have to make presents. I only make things the days I have some spare time.
Like today. I had spare time. I could choose between staying at home to finish knitting a baby hat or have brunch together with good friends and their family.
I chose brunch.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

looovin Bloglovin'

This week was busy. I haven't had the time neither to post or to visit you. That means I have some catching up to do. But with my new super tool it's easy piecy.

I have just discovered the amazing Bloglovin (a tool to manage all the blogs you heart). I realize that I’m probably the last or second last in blog world to find out about this very practical tool. Until now I have struggled to find time to read all my favourite blogs & to keep track of them. Well no more. I just log on to Bloglovin and there they are waiting for me, all the updates and everything that has been written and posted since last time I had time to sit down with a cupper and enjoy.

What I especially like about Bloglovin is that it lets me see the actual blog. I am sure there are lots of other blog readers/feeders. Since I have only used this one I am curious:

Which blog readers do you have experiences with and which one do you prefer & why?

P.S. So happy you like the new header! Thank you for all the positive feedback!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

autumn treasurehunting

Today I want to share the thrift I did at our local flea market (one that is done two times every year at our neighbouring school). Together with an old lady that was looking for small buttons I searched meticulously through a zip loc bag that was filled to its rims with buttons in all kinds of varieties. I ended up with these buttons and this little cute box to put them in. Nothing big, just enough to satisfy my urge for some autumn treasure hunting.

Did you notice the change of blog header? For the longest time I have wanted to do something with the design and look on my blog. I am not quite where I want to be yet, but a minor change will satisfy me for now.

Monday, November 02, 2009

more warm wool

I finished another wool sweater for Astrid with some very affordable baby wool from Gjestal. I used this pattern because I wanted a sweater with a long and warm neck so that Astrid will be warm even if she doesn’t wear a scarf. I like the pattern, it's an easy knit. However next time I think I will leave on more stitches for the neck (at least if I use this yarn), because when closing the buttons in the back it is a tiny bit tight. For this one I’ll just close the two first buttons and leave the third open.

Wish you all a good week!

Monday, October 26, 2009

remembering october

It is hard to believe that it is already a year since our little princess arrived into our lives. October will always be special to me because of this. I still remember the view from our hospital room facing a brick building surrounded by trees… how the golden yellow leaves contrasted with the red brick wall and the blue sky…how the leaves the day we checked in were almost all blown away or fallen down during the three days we spent at the hospital…how one year was reaching its end and our daughter just beginning her life.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

go red

On Saturday Rani passed on a colour challenge on her blog. Her colour was orange. I have chosen red. My favourite colour is green, but it seems read is sneaking into my house without me noticing it until now. What is you favourite colour? If you’d like to take the challenge: Go green, then pick a colour to pass on.

PS. I’d love to know if you took the challenge so I can see you photos.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

a break in the routine

It is one more day until this week’s weekend. However on Sunday I said I would tell you about last weekends highlight, and so I will.

We went to Sweden for the weekend where we had rented a summer cabin (actually it was more like a house) in a small beautiful fishing village by the name Fjällbakka. For anyone into Swedish crime writers Fjällbacka is the hometown of Camilla Läckberg. She has written several (I think it’s six) crime novels that all take place on the Swedish west coast included her hometown. I had never read any of her books. To be honest I had never heard of her. But when my neighbour L heard that I was going to Fjällbacka she went straight into her flat, took out a book from her bookshelf and said I absolutely had to read it while I were in Fjällbacka. So I did. As soon as Astrid were to bed, the fireplace was lit and my lovely mr. Yonder treated me with a cup of tea I opened the first page. Meaning no knitting, cross-stitching or embroidery was done.

We enjoyed the weekend with sauna, a slow walk by the harbour in Grebbestad (neighbouring village), and eating fish and selfish soup.Nothing extravagant, but everyday life coziness and the perfect getaway to make a change in our ordinary routine.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

fabric coated buttons & cocido madrileño

Hi everyone! This has been a busy week. So many things to do in so little time. As you can see I went for fabric covered buttons and I must say I like the result, a bit colour to contrast the grey. I also knitted her a hat in the same yarn.

Last week I decided I had to pick up the phone and call friends I had not spoken with for months (although it only seemed like weeks). The phone calls resulted in a dinner invitation, two baby clothes exchanges and a visit to a restaurant together with my nice neighbours. The highlight of the week was without doubt our visit to my friend E who invited us for deliciously made “Cocido Mardileño”.

Cocido mardileño is a garbanzo (chickpea) stew from Madrid. There are of course as many recipes as there are households in Spain but it is usually prepared with potatoes, carrots, hen or chicken, bacon, fresh unsmoked chorizo (pork sausage), morcilla (blood sausage), and pork ham or beef spine to enhance the stock. It is usually served in two stages. First you eat the broth, and then you eat the chickpeas and meats. Historically it used to be a favourite among manual workers and I think it still is popular. Its heartiness makes it the perfect dish for fall and winter.

We had already digged in our second round when it occurred to me that I should have taken a photo. In stead you will have to do with this photo or this taken of a cocido madrileño aficionado.

I’ll tell you about this weekends highlight in a day or two.

Ravelry link

Thursday, October 01, 2009

winter wool

I have also begun making a list of all the things I need to make to give away for Christmas. I know summer has barely said goodbye, but if I don’t begin now I will not be able to finish before the packages need to be sent. This year I think I’ll make woollen hats and neck warmers. They are fairly easy to make, only take 1-2 skeins and are practical. We loooove practical. Do you have plans of making things for Christmas gifts? If so - what? Perhaps you can inspire everyone reading this post to make something different from they planned, including me.

I am preparing for winter by knitting one wool garment after another. Not for me of course but for my little princess. She needs warm clothes for her outdoor time in the kinder garden (day care). Fresh off my needless is a hat in extra fine merino wool. It is meant to accompany a grey jacket I finished last week. I haven’t posted photos of the jacket yet because I want to sew on the buttons first, but can’t decide which buttons to use: wooden buttons or fabric coated buttons? We'll see.

Someone else who is looking for inspiration for homemade Christmas presents is Sonia over at Cozy Homemaking. She has been doing a week long giveaway and I have been the lucky, lucky winner of day four. Take a look to see what super cute gifts await me. Yuppy!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Dinners & chocolate cake

Today was busy. I have spent hours in the kitchen making dinner for almost the rest of the week. First I made elk meatballs with thyme, onion and white pepper. Then I made salmon fish burgers with wasabi powder, spring onion and soy sauce. I rounded up my stay in the kitchen by baking a chocolate cake. Mr. Yonder has been asking for chocolate cake since last week when he saw me baking this cake with mini marshmallows and pink sugar. After a long day I’m going to sit down in my favourite chair with a big glass of cold milk and a chunky piece of dark chocolate cake.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Finally finished

I began this jacket back in March/April as an intermission from all the pink cross stitching I was doing for a blanket to Astrid (a project that has been hibernating since then). This turquoise jacket was already finished a month ago when my mother helped me with the crochet border. It took me another month to sew on the wooden buttons, and now: tadaaa finally finished. It is super soft and warm. I almost wish I had one myself.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Backyard bear & oyster party

Saturday was a gift. With its blue skies, sun and warm weather it felt like a last visit from summer. We spent the day together with friends at a backyard party with oysters, beers and chunky homemade sausages. Several of Oslo’s micro breweries had small stands were you could have a taste of their golden beverage and the. Famous 50’s loving drink mixer and cook book writer Jan Vardøen released his new cook book “Tøff mat – pølser og øl” (Tough food – sausages and beer), and bar Aku Aku released their Lemongrass ale. The day was topped by jazz music from “Oslo Radio Orkester” and a cowboy selling flowers from his Ranger XLT.

Friday, September 11, 2009

woollen hat week

It is difficult to take good pictures when light is low and your model is a ten month old exploring baby, but ohhh so much fun. I could take pictures of her all day long.

Knitting is taking more of my creative time lately. When I at last sit down at nine thirty after finishing my “to do list” of the day I find it is easier to knit than to cross stitch. I don’t need to count or double check patterns. As long as I have knitted a couple of rounds and have made myself familiar with the project I’m set to go and knit one round after the other. This week the rounds turned into this woollen hat made of leftover yarn from a jacket my mom knitted to Astrid (the one she is wearing). The woollen hat pattern is from Gro's blog and is so easy and fun that I have already begun on a second one.

Have a wonderful Friday night everyone!

Ravelry link

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Soft landing

Here are some photos of the accomplished blanket. I struggled to find the right angle and enough light for the photos. In the end I decided to post the photos that I have just like they are, because if not this post would not have been written in yet another week. The backside of the blanket (no photo I'm afraid) is an old flannel sheet I bought in one of Oslo’s second hand markets this spring. I found three pink flannel sheets in mint condition – I love a good thrift.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

mille bolle blu

Since Astrid began kinder garden I have had more time. She comes home completely exhausted with all the activities and impressions. I make her dinner (She is a good eater and so far there is nothing she doesn’t like - knock on wood). We play for a while, I read her a book or two and she begins to touch her earlobe which is a safe sign that it is time for bed. After a short stop in the bathroom for a quick wash up and some tooth brushing it is off to bed. In less than a minute she has stretched her arms above her head, sneaked her left foot outside of the cover and fallen asleep.

This has freed time for some crafting. I am knitting again. And I sense an urge to stitch pink crosses. It is weak, but growing. In the meantime let me show you what I began stitching earlier this summer before went on holiday. Once again it is a motive by Hiroko Ishii, but his time I altered the design a tiny bit by making some of the balloons in fabric instead of stitching them. I haven’t taken a photo of the final result yet, but I will.

Monday, August 17, 2009

chocolate & raspberry on a rainy saturday

Hope you had a nice weekend everyone. I surely did. Saturday turned out rainy. It poured down for hours and hours so I enjoyed spending it indoors baking a chocolate cake for a friend’s party.

Nigella’s old fashioned chocolate cake with my own raspberry whipped cream twist. Resist it if you can. I couldn’t.

I also began a new mini embroidery project. The motives are from Hiroko Ishii one of my favourite embroidery illustrators. Wish I could draw like her, but I can’t. Luckily she keeps on making these incredibly cute illustrations for everyone to embroider.