Wednesday, December 18, 2013
There was a time when I could rememember the birthdays of every single kitten litter I'd brought up and sold (yes they recieved birthday cards too). That time is not now, because these days I'm not even good at remembering neither humans nor my cats birthdays apparently.
The fabulous Prosit sisters, Ztina and Zigne (my, according to some, feline lookalike and misery face when being a perfect accessory), were born on December 15 not 18 as I thought. Sorry gals, but you know I adore your sweet nature and tyke personalities anyway, right? Right.
Wish I had a newly taken picture of them both, 2 year old, but sadly no, the three months old equivalent will have to do.
Happy (belated) birthday to you both
and many many many more to come!
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Went to my third TedX Stockholm event last week. This time it was called "Embracing failure" and while, as usual, the quality of the speakers is very mixed it was a, also as usual, very enjoyable evening spent. Ideas worth spreading tend to do that.
The charming presenter Gustaf who always manages to say thought provoking things.
My favourite talk was the one by Mona Sahlin, former party leader of the social democrats and almost became the first female prime minister of Sweden (I know it's a disgrace that Sweden of all countries still 2013 has not had a female prime minister!). She held a very touching talk about life, feminism, politics, Nelson Mandela (who was the one who made her get in to politics in the first place) wasn't bothered about her less than perfect English and came off as very human and caring.
"Why is it so important to ask 'Where are you from?' instead of 'Who are you?'" - Mona Sahlin
The conclusion of sorts of the evening is that if we're always afraid of failing (and what is failure?) we'll never cath our dreams and goals. And that by failing (whatever that means) we learn, grow and become more complete as human beings.
"Almost all truly great people have gone through some sort of suffering" - Desmond Tutu
Monday, December 16, 2013
M has a habit of bringing the strangest things home from his business trips (which again and again makes me ponder the fact that, after all these years, he really doesn't know me at all, he just seems to think so).
Sometimes though, the strangest things are rather intriguing. Making you think about how many different occupations and talents that exist on this planet of ours. In China one apparently being writing names in all kinds of languages and lengths on a single rice grain.
Needless to say for a ridiculously low sum of money. At least a very short three letter word didn't take a lot of time to write. But still, a tiny symbol for what we in the Western world in general pay for goods made with a lot of hard work and skills in other parts of the world.
Say hallo to a rice grain named Pia.
Sunday, December 15, 2013
The East Asian Wagamama restaurant chain has one restaurant in Stockholm, nearby the Central Station. Haven't visited any Wagamamas abroad and I hadn't been to this one either until today (strangely enough, or perhaps not since I don't concider myself a huge fan of Asian food. Nevertheless I most always enjoy it when I eat it, I'm clearly not predictable not even for myself. Apart from sushi of course, which I find disgusting even if it's vegan). But I thoroughly enjoyed my visit and will certainly come back for more vegan delights!
Because a) this goma wakame salad with carrots and seaweed was simply heavenly! I adore simple food like this which is just jampacked with goodness and flavour (much like the carrot and coriander I stuffed my face with daily in Budapest last summer).
b) the ambiance and interior is really clean, fresh and relaxing.
c) the service is very friendly and SUPER swift, it only took a few minutes from order to getting all the food on table. One of the quickest meals out I've ever had and I didn't feel stressed, just entered hungry and left satisfied 40 minutes later.
d) a very decent amount of vegetarian/vegan alternatives on the menu.
e) very affordable prices.
f) and needless to say, very good fresh food of course. The main courses seem to be served overall in very generous portions. No risk of leaving the place hungry.
yasai gyoza - dumplings filled with grilled vegetables
yasai itame - vegetables and tofu with noodles in green curry
Food - 4/5
Service - 4/5
Ambiance - 3/5
Value for money - 5/5
Mon-Thur 11 am - 10 pm
Fri 11 am - 11 pm
Sat noon - 11 pm
Sun noon - 9 pm
Saturday, December 14, 2013
So these are the prettiest things I took home with me from the Christmas fairs last weekend;
~ a pair of fine aran knitted socks (infuriatingly cheap given the time and competence put into knitting them, but at least they end up on someone who truly appreciates the work's feet). I may knit magical socks myself but I've still to venture into the world of aran knitted ones.
(Although I've knitted some aran sweaters when in high school, ie ages and ages ago, but being true to myself when it comes to my knitted sweaters I never enjoyed wearing them. But when knitting the supersized red scarf I've tried aran knit again and I have to say I'd really love to make a proper garment in that style, a vest perhaps?)
~ adorable linen hearts filled with lavender and embellished with needlefelted roses (two to keep, two to give away)
~ a simple fir tree wreath that needs a bit of sprucing up before it'll adorn my front door
~ a very cute fox collar (also infuriatingly cheap, both the aran socks and this one were bought from the same market stall as last year's cat scarf) which is quite inspirational in knitting style
~ a sweet pair of yarn ball earrings, no matter how befitting they are for knitting me they are indeed a gift for my mother. I think she'll love them. Well, she'd better, because otherwise I'll snatch them right back!
Earrings are made by Anitha Havaas, who is a friend of a friend, whom I met at the Vinterviken fair. She has also made the awesome pattern for the beautiful Stockholm mittens which you can buy at Ravelry. Such a great idea, to wear a little warming piece of Stockholm on your hands during winters!
Friday, December 13, 2013
My first batch of lussekatter baking was as usual overseen by bobbaloos - someone named Lucia Bun took his task seriously, because what else can you expect from someone born from a lussekatt vision?
Yes lussekatt-modeling can be tad dangerous too...
Happy Lucia one and all,
hope your day will be light and saffron bun-filled!
Want to bake your own lussekatt-buns? Recipe here.
(I will bake a vegan version asap,
if they turn out great I will post recipe here too.)
Previous posts on the Swedish tradition Lucia -
from 2006 - with a little Pia as Lucia in kindergarten
from 2007 - how to distinguish an authentic lussekatt
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Had plans for a new winter coat. A coat that would be of good quality, timeless, a classic that would last for many many seasons. It should be a red coat. Or possibly an orange or dark pink one. The fit should be flattering and with a feminine silhouette, A-line is fine too. I don't think I have unreasonable expectations or demands on the model, fit or look of said coat.
I still really don't, but so far I've searched in vain. Because most winter coats apparently suffer from one or other or all of these faults;
a) crap quality and poor craftsmanship
b) far too high price for bad quality
c) incredibly boring colours
d) incredibly boring and/or unflattering designs
and most of all
e) the coats are sewn for men/boys or women with very thin bodies, very broad shoulders, very long arms, invisible breasts and no hips at all.
I've looked in shops, I've searched online - but as much as I find it practical to order things online I really do prefer trying on garments like this before I purchase - so far in vain.
I actually ordered one online -
it wasn't a feminine coat, it was a classic, pretty duffel coat in a wonderful apple green hue and it was 60% sale and the price was rather awesome given the quality so I thought I'd give it a go. I'd love to have an apple green outer garment, I've had a dream of that for years but never stumbled over the perfect piece, so why not try. Even if my body type isn't the preferable one for a duffel model, it is a great and timeless piece on others, though not on me. But perhaps I was wrong, perhaps an apple green one would be perfect? -
it arrived today. It suffered poorly from the e) above. Or, well, it was actually a decent fit over shoulders and arms. Hips not at all. If it wasn't so infuriating it would be laughable. And besides, the apple green wasn't at all as apple green as it was on screen, more olive green. So not what I was looking for. Needless to say it will be returned.
I still hope my red (or orange or pink) dream coat is out there somewhere, to fit me perfectly and being a friendly winter companion for years to come. Somewhere it waits for our paths to cross. Hopefully it'll happen before winter is over. Because I really do need something lovely looking, kind, fun and possibly a bit quirky in a perfect fit to wrap its warming arms around me asap.
So for now, no coat. Well, at least not the perfect coat, just something wearable while waiting for the perfect coat to come my way.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
On this day which is International Animal Rights Day, we should all remember that all sentient beings ought to be treated with respect, kindness and compassion. Other animals other than humans is not put on this earth to be treated as consumables or wear and tear items.
I treated a pug named Malte to some extra TLC today.
What kind deed did you do for an animal today?
Monday, December 09, 2013
a couple of years ago i saw a supersized red wool scarf in a magazine, knitted in different patterns and i fell in immediate lust for a supersized red scarf.
the price for said (non handmade) scarf was a bit hefty, to say the least, so i felt it was a good idea to get bright red yarn and make my own similar scarf to bright and warm up winter days and outfits.
this is how far i've come on project supersized red scarf (with sploshes of magenta/bright pink, to lighten things up a bit more) really enjoy using different techniques and patterns like this, a great way to create a personal oddbird look.
i think it needs to be at least twice as long before it can be considered a finished project. but as it's a rather quick work and great to have in front of the telly i definitely see it finished before the end of the year ie no longer than three weeks from now.
it will be lovely to sport a supersized red, woolly scarf i'm sure!