Tuesday, March 31, 2009

To Pimp A Netbook


Having become a proud owner of a netbook and being reasonably interested in making her feel safe and mine, all mine in a cute, protective yet by no means overdone blingish way I have been able to

A) find a really lovely netbook sleeve - on Etsy of course, Janine King designs, fabric being purple poppies, isn't it just a grand moodlifting thing?
B) attach a fantastic colour changing mouse to her so I don't have to bother with that ridiculous inbuilt thing - yes I know, to be excited by a colour changing mouse may not be either grown up nor hip, but it really is kind of quite cool...

C) Too make it a perfect protective threesome I'm now looking for a skin to protect the wee thing from all the fingerprints that seem to positively glue themselves to her - yes her and I have named her too, so what.

Preferably I'd like to make a skin (self-adhesive sticker) from one of my own photos, so far I've searched in vain for a company closer to home that offers that. Anyone who has any suggestions where to find netbook skins like that, other than the one company I've already found on the other side of the big pond?

Please note that I'm not interested in pottering with this on my own, I'm looking to upload the designated photo, crop it in a pleasing way, get the job professionally done, the finished and great looking product sent to me for a reasonable price.

Her name is Selma and yes, she'd very much like a protective skin of her own.


Trellis Cats Quarters


These ab fab cellar window trellises can be found in a picturesque neighbourhood of Stockholm where the streets, alleys and quarters have equally fab names like Kattrumpan (Cat rump), Kattryggen (Cat back), Kattfoten Mindre (Catfoot Lesser), Kattungen (Kitten), Kattörat (Cat ear), Kattgränd (Cat alley)... I haven't been able to find any information as to exactly why the neighbourhood prides itself with such lovely names though.


The name of the 600 meter long winding street in the south parts of inner city Stockholm where these trellises are situated is Bastugatan (Sauna street). The name derives from the fact that until the 17th century there were many "badstugor" (bath cottages) in this area, Badstu' became Bastu (which befittingly happens to mean "sauna"...) in the late 19th century.


The area, which is of great cultural and historical value and significance, is brimming with lovely architecture and quaint sightings and more than nice to stroll around in. The walking path on the steep cliffs called Monteliusgången also offers simply grand views over the city and its waters. Definitely a must stop and saunter whether in Stockholm on a quick or long visit or living here.

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Monday, March 30, 2009

The Blogger Aid Cookbook


If you want to know more about Blogger Aid and its cause to alleviate world hunger, go to the website and find out more.

Blogger Aid's current fundraiser is the planned cookbook, with recipes from all over the world, where 100% of the profit from the sales will be directed to School Meals, a program of The World Food Programme (WFP), the United Nations frontline agency. Last date for submit your recipes is March 31st - that is tomorrow... - read more about details here and the recipe style format here.

In my semi-usual procrastinating style I was tad late with my submission, it being the vegetarian dish above. Of which I can't reveal any details yet. Other than it is colourful and flavourful.

Eggs for Breakfast


Since Easter decorations most certainly aren't what they used to be - at least not if you actually care about the very probable pain and suffering that have preceded the feathers and down most of us use, in one way or other, in our homes and clothes - these colourful felted eggs is much more than a decent substitute to hang in the Easter twigs.

More about them and the other thingies I'll adorn my twigs with to come, for now, which egg do you prefer? Ms Dotty Bulgy with a blue ribbon in her hair or Mr Pinkie Stripey with orange headband?


Sunday, March 29, 2009

Summer Time Treats

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Today Sweden went into official Summer time (daylight saving time) - I do like sleep ins in the morning, but fine, longer, lighter evenings aren't half bad either - and just because we're now completely on the right side of the vernal equinox I thought it would be nice to make this post into a (visual) treat of ice cream and chocolate cake.

And just so you don't live in the illusion of me feasting my heart out in a more edible way this side of screen, these mouthwatering lovelies are actually... miniature jewellery! Quite amazing in their intricate details, don't you agree? See the layers of cake and mousse, the glossy chocolate glaze, the tiny strawberries with a wee heart inside on top.


And the ice cream texture, the strawberry bits and the wafer cones... Cute beyond words really. I have no idea how she creates all these intricate, realistic, miniature food pieces and dishes but oh, she does it so. very. well. See more of this wonderfully talented work at the PetitPlat Etsy shop

The three layer chocolate cake bobby pins are a treat for myself, just because the woolly hat wearing days are (almost) over and for those days a chocolate cake is not on the actual menu. The strawberry ice cream earrings are an upcoming birthday gift and I can't wait to see the recipient's reaction to her treat...

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Sunday Tulips


One this last Sunday of the month of March 2009 I do believe these sun foreboders are the appropriate thing to celebrate the soon to come first proper Spring month of - although capricious - April. Welcome ~


Saturday, March 28, 2009

Saturday Treat - Classic Burnt Almonds


The perfect Saturday sweet treat - feel like practising your Swedish then you say "lördagsgodis" lördag - Saturday's, godis - sweets, candy - just might be this traditional Swedish sweets called "brända mandlar" - burnt almonds.

These red, chewy ones are classic - as opposed to the other version, the caramelized ones often sold at Christmas fairs around Sweden, those are reasonably easy to make yourself, the classic aren't - but not all that easy to find of good quality. Lots of disgusting, too sugary, crystallized not nearly chewy enough ones sold in candy shops and at fairs, and I find myself rarely buying or eating them as a grown up since I quite prefer to dwell on childhood memories when all burnt almonds tasted heavenly and were a rare treat.

Edit - the burnt almond, that isn't really burnt but roasted is hidden inside the red coat which has a lovely chewy concistency of fudge.

recycled silverware bracelet


A wonderfully creative bracelet made from recycled old silverware with a centerpiece amazonite. The pattern on the handle is apparently (and befittingly) called Spring Charm and the bracelet is quirky, totally adorable, unpretentious yet with a twist, feminine but not too girly, cool and very comfortable to wear. This I say with personal insight since it's another smitten object from Etsy, the place being LTCreates jewelry, an inventive shop definitely worth checking out for unusual and recycled gifts for self or others ~


Friday, March 27, 2009

Soy Yarn Turned Scarf


It took a wee while longer than expected to turn the soy yarn into a presentable scarf, it took a lot of trial and errors before I could settle for the perfect needle size. Then it turned out I really needed one-two more skeins added to the initial three to get the perfect length/size for me. I settled for using just one of these two, so come autumn I will turn that non-used skein into some kind of headpiece instead (I hope it'll forgive me for the fact that it didn't get to join its siblings in scarf.)

As much as I like the end result, the irregular less than picture perfect shape, the over sized length I adore, my favourite pale grey furry woolly brim, the hues of purple, violet, white (although granted that doesn't show so well in the photos) I will adamantly save it for next winter - I mean it's suppose to be spring for real in a few days, welcome April -, I'm stoically resisting this tempting mix of soy-wool. Really.


Playing on the iPod, part II

As much as I thrive in the semi-chaos called my life I really do not like to have a lot of *unnecessary* music on the iPod. Songs I once adored may not still be something I keenly listen to very often. Hence the term "unnecessary" for these space requiring songs. Besides, it does disturb the flow when one has to (oh the difficult tasks in life) skip songs when one just need good, want-to-listen-to-whatever-mood-songs most of the time.

When one can't seem to sort out all the majorly important things in life, one can at least erase and cleanse the iPod. But the more one download-upload (which way is up and which way is down, that is the question) the more tiresome it gets to actually try and decide which ones should stay which should go, which ones should be swept away in much needed spring cleaning and which ones sit safe. Especially if that "one" that's in charge of the music library has a middle name spelled Procrastinator.

In awaiting of actual musical spring cleaning mood - admittedly I've been quite good at cleansing my bookshelves as lately, leaving room for new and improved books I actually like, love and adore and want at this time in life as opposed to what I read 10-20 years ago... - these are the artists - as songs would be too many to write blog about, some artists have loads of songs while others appear only once in a special song, hence the "1" - sharing the iPod space at the moment (as this will be a longish list, downsized is the text);

1 Giant Leap (1)
Adolphson & Falk
Aimee Mann
Alison Krauss (1)
Alison Moyet
Amy Winehouse
Ane Brun
Annie Lennox
Anouska Shankar (1)
Antony & the Johnsons
Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers (1)
Astrud Gilberto (1)
Bach (1)
The Beach Boys (1)
The Beautiful South
The Beloved (1)
Billy Mack (1)
Bo Kaspers Orkester
Bo Sundström & Frida Öhrn
Bryan Ferry
China Crisis
Chris Davis (1)
Chris Isaak
Chris Rea
Christina Aguilera (1)
Cock Robin
The Communards
Craig Armstrong
Darren Hayes (1)
David Shire (1)
Debbie Harry (1)
Deep Forest
Delerium (1)
Dina Carroll (1)
Dinah Washington (1)
Dolphin Boy (1)
Dominic Miller
Elton John (1)
Emmylou Harris (1)
Eric Clapton
Eric Gadd
Erik Satie
Eva Cassidy
Everything But the Girl
Fleetwood Mac
Frank Sinatra (1)
Gabrielle (1)
Ganga (1)
George Michael
Gillian Welch (1)
Girls Aloud (1)
Gotan Project (1)
Groove Armada (1)
Henri Salvador (1)
Human League
Israel Kamakawiwo'ole (1)
James Blunt
Jarabe de Palo (1)
Joni Mitchell
Julia Fordham
Katie Melua
K. D. Lang
Kelly Clarkson (1)
Kinobe (1)
Koop (1)
Lena Philipsson
Leonard Cohen
Lighthouse Family
Lisa Miskovsky (1)
Liv Widell (1)
Lois Clark (1)
Lynden David Hall (1)
Mark Tolga (1)
Maroon 5 (1)
Martin Stenmark
Mary J. Blige (1)
Mats Klingström
Morcheeba (1)
Music Sculptors
Myers (1)
Mylene Farmer (1)
Nora Jones
Oh Laura
Olivia Olson (1)
Oren Lavie
Otis Redding (1)
Paul Simon (1)
Paul Young
Pet Shop Boys
Pierre Belmond (1)
Presuntos Implicados
Puccini (1)
Ricky Martin
Robbie Williams (1)
Robert Miles
Ron Sexsmith (1)
Rosey (1)
Roxy Music
Sarah McLachlan
Shelby Lynne (1)
Simple Minds
Slow Train (1)
Soft Cell (1)
The Soggy Bottom Boys (1)
Sophie B. Hawkins
Stan Getz & João Gilberto (1)
Sugababes (1)

Syd Matters (1)
Tanita Tikaram
Teitur (1)
Toni Childs
Tracy Thorn
Ty Unwin & Joolz (1)
Vangelis (1)
Vincente Amigo (1)

William Orbit (1)

As this list may have hinted my (of course indeed very refined) taste in music, any artists/songs you think I should give a go? Any of the artists/songs above you love, any you're not too keen on?

For my most-listen-to-list, have a look here

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I Capture A Winter Castle, part II


Tureholm, Trosa, more here


Djursholm castle
, Danderyd municipality building, suburb Stockholm


Noors castle, outside Uppsala, private home


Salsta castle
, outside Uppsala, owned by the state, golf course, café, opened to the public in summers, and part of its...


... lovely views


Östanå castle, outside Norrtälje, more here


Ekolsund castle
, Enköping, conference facilities, more here and here


Örby castle
, Stockholm suburbs, Vietnam's embassy since the 1970ies


Sturehov castle
, Stockholm suburbs, more here, here and here


Margretelund castle, Stockholm suburbs, private home


Yxtaholm castle, outside Flen, conference facilities with a way prettier stable building than the actual castle



Stenhammar castle, outside Flen, owned by the state yet not opened to the public, neither garden nor castle

So, which might be your favourite castle amongst these?

Winter castles, part I here

Mini Delights

Five mini lip glosses in delectable hues with delicious names, wee (semi) surprise gift. Cerise, Fraise, Lychee, Pamplemousse, Marshmallow Electro, welcome mini delights in pink, you do look juicy swell ~


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Chrysanthemum Scarf


One might have guessed by now, that my favourite accessory, the one that will make (or break) any outfit is a shawl or a scarf. I'm not one to turn down a good handbag (which always is a must) or say no to pretty/comfortable footwear. And of course, headpieces and brooches, yes please. Quirky jewellery, that surely goes without saying. But this post will be about a scarf. A stunning piece of loveliness, this the soft, pale grey jersey scarf with a sweet print of chrysanthemums.

I'm smitten and just so pleased I stumbled over Angel D'Amico's shop on Etsy and decided on a must-investment for spring since the piece is even more lovely irl than on screen. I thought it would be made of chunkier jersey, which would have been great too, but it turned out to be light and delicateish and just perfect in its both feminine and yet . Also, extra plus for the sweet and unexpected whiffs of fresh laundry that was included with the scarf. Now, come spring no need for woolly shawls for real, please.


Rich Man's Ghetto


As much as I love my hometown I also find certain parts of it rather horrendous, be the reason the architecture, lack of cosiness and style, the atmosphere or the general inhabitants, sometimes it's just difficult to pinpoint exactly what makes the shoe not fit.


One great thing about Stockholm is that most everywhere in general one can see the sky and the grand views, there's room to breath and the city line isn't spoilt by skyscrapers. But alas builders and the city council have most certainly made their best these past few years to ruin these views and the city silhouette.


There are just too too many chunks of unappealing cement monstrosities appearing here, there and everywhere, high and low. Stockholm isn't a city of Berlin's size, these types of urban development building projects and architecture doesn't fit - and to be quite honest, I can't see anyone being completely content, compassionate and happy living in such charmless building blocks that shames the sky and the city.


One part of the city, or more like the near city suburbs, is Hammarby Sjöstad - which can be roughly translated into Hammer Village Lake City, and somehow that name says a lot when you translate and think about it... - with its, IMHO, basically only two redeeming features being 1) you can get to and, most importantly, from the place by a sweet no fees-ferry that takes a few minutes to cross Hammarby sjö (lake),


2) you can get to and, most importantly, from the place with the perfect sightseeing public transport the modern tram Tvärbanan.


Other than that, I find the whole place and its, by some, celebrated architecture and once upon a time new thinking completely and utterly depressing, somewhat ghost townish and more than a bit hostile. The occasional people you see around there either look like something semi-similar to the walking living dead or just plain unhappy sour faced. I can't recall ever having seen someone who looks delighted and happy about living, working, being in that neighbourhood.


The neighbourhood was considered the height of modernity when the Bo02 fair (annual housing-fairs held in Sweden, in new built or rebuilt areas), most of the place previously being a rundown industrial site. Myself I think the whole scene, with few architectural quirks exceptions, to be like a ginormous uncharming show room, with giant windowed apartments on display, cement box houses and not nearly enough privacy to neither live nor breath, a sad and typical rich man's ghetto. As much as architecture can impress, fill you with awe and giddiness, it most certainly can make you feel quite the opposite too. If you by chance might think it doesn't look half bad in these photos, that's just me desperately trying to make things looking tad bit appealing because I can't stand ugliness. Period.


More information and photos - and lots of interesting details such as inhabitant's surveys for example - in Swedish here and a bit in English here


The Waffle Day

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Hereby follows very important message; please note, today March 25th is the official Swedish Waffle Day (bless linguistics for that) - blueberry jam or applesauce, your choice ~

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Eating Out - Pussy Galore's Flying Circus, Copenhagen

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As I'm pretty sure I've mention a few - or possibly, just possibly more - times before, that Copenhagen is one of my city loves away from home. And you know how it is with favourite places, they tend to have favourite places within, for food, relaxation, culture, shopping, fun, just being away from home. Instead of looking for new venues you keep returning to these favourites because you know they do without a doubt got what you want. At least possibly till the next chef, or the next proprietor arrives, but that's another story not relevant to this post, I'm glad to say.

One eatery I gladly keep returning to almost every time I'm in or around Copenhagen is Pussy Galore's Flying Circus - website unfortunately under new construction, don't know why since I think it was kind of perfect as it was - a no frills, laid back, unpretentious restaurant, bar, café, hangout that serve food and drinks from hearty breakfasts in the morning to dinner and fancy drinks in the evening. I'm not too crazy about their indoor ambiance and decor style, but the outdoor area at the square St Hans Torv surrounded by busy streets is just the thing in the summers. Not exactly city center, but definitely worth the walk, drive, detour.

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I'm admittedly not a (veggie) burger kind of gal in general, the few good ones I've truly enjoyed can be counted on the fingers of one hand. Well made or not, it's just not my type of food. Simply too much of a fast food stigmata attached to them. And what's with all that bread? Having said that, let's stick to the veggie nut burger above which makes one's mouth water just by its looks (burger made with peanuts and chickpeas.) And those fries, don't they look like crispy golden delight?

The meal tastes just as great as it looks, the only obvious negative bit about the it being that its ridiculously over sized and even if I don't have any urges to finish all the food on my plate I just think it's completely wasteful with these huge servings.


They do serve these wonderful power juices too, heavenly bursting with fruits perk me uppers. And some totally sublime ice coffees. The desserts aren't half bad either, but since I'm always completely stuffed after half a serving of that nutty burger I've only had a piece of dessert once - and that's plain weird coming from me, the one who always consider top notch restaurants being those with a carefully prepared dessert menu - this rather unusual and very pretty chocolate pistachio cake with raspberry sauce and sesame seed crunchie.

And you have to agree that their warm elderflower cordial is darn pleasing to the eye (as well as the palate, trust me.) ~


Pussy Galore's Flying Circus
St Hans Torv 30
Copenhagen, Denmark

For another restaurant with great vegetarian food in Copenhagen, I suggest RizRaz
And for possibly the best ice latte in the world, head to Baresso

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