Monday, August 31, 2009

sheep necklace

Being not only a Scorpio, but also a Sheep - if you believe in the traits that supposedly come with that, that's another issue I suppose -, hence this amazing little needle felted mutton necklace (!) was quite a must for perking up any gloomy Autumn day to come. Yes, anything, within reason, to chase away the blue feeling.

I'm not only sheep in sign I also think that these animals are quite, quite praiseworthy as they give us humans so much with their wool and their cute, friendly characters (as a vegetarian I of course shy away from the other 'unpleasantries' humans subject sheep to...).


I've been oogling, sighing over Motley Mutton's amazingly sweet and funny little creations for quite some time, languish for to call one of them my very own. And then suddenly this little fellow of a sheep spoke to me. About 55 mm in height she swings on a nylon cord, has the most adorable expression with a smiling face and I've named her - yes I have - Molly.

As tomorrow is the official, sigh, first day of Autumn in Sweden (September 1st) I believe it's quite befitting to have a little woolly friend accompany me in the morning. And every time I touch her wooly little comforting boy resting on my neck I just know I will feel all smiley and pleased for having another little furry friend in my life.


See more of Motley Mutton's talented,
quirky work in her Etsy shop ~

Sunday, August 30, 2009

the last summer weekend...


... has involved some awesomely endearing dog personalities, one,

and swimming lessons
good food
in good company
an astonishing amount of rainbows
nifty jumble sale findings in very rural settings
many a last harvest for the season

I'm just not quite ready to begin another week. Definitely not accepting the fact that this was the final, proper summer weekend this year. Melancholy seems such a inadequate word for describing the mood for today. Feeling September blue.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

a saturday waffle

I rarely eat waffles, other than certainly on the annual Swedish Waffle Day, but on those rare occasions that I do have an waffle I most always think 'as this is so good and simple to make why don't I make - serve - have it more often?'.

My personal Saturday won't involve a planned waffle intake, but if it was it would definitely be served with whipped cream and blueberry jam.


Have a lovely waffle-or-not Saturday ~

Friday, August 28, 2009

the comfort of carrots


Not only clever in looks,
yet another reason for
loving the dog is the fact that he finds such
comfort in carrots.

Happy weekend ~

Thursday, August 27, 2009

eating out - maltes mackor

Maltes Mackor (Malte's Sandwiches), one might think that the place is right here under the roof of undersigned, where sandwiches made are snoopervised in the most perfect way by one loaf dog extraordinaire. But it is not.

Alas, this hole-in-the-wall-eatery isn't even remotely in the vicinity of Stockholm, but can be found in Scanian town Ystad - yes, it is the town where the Henning Mankell's Wallander books take place - and they do serve some lovely coffee - although I had expected the latte art to be something extraordinary like a little bunny face, admittedly I was tad disappointed about the sad lack of that - other beverages, sandwiches, wraps and salads.


Unfortunately the menu only offers three far from exciting vegetarian options (cheese, brie and mozzarella sandwiches) so I doubt I'd be a very frequent guest if I lived nearby. However, the mozzarella (which I'm in general not all that fond of) and basilsauce sandwich was really delish. Fresh and flavourful. Between the greedy devouring of that I also think I heard that someone prefering to eat dead animal bits in the food said that was a pretty awesome sandwich too.


The chocolate muffin we shared for a simple lunch round off for the sweet tooth was also quite perfect in consistency and chocolatey flavour. Went very well with that perfect latte - smooth, creamy, full-bodied.

The outdoor seating consisted of fixed to the wall benches in the middle of a busy pedestrian shopping street. As much as I do enjoy people watching most any time I'm not all sure I like to have meals enjoyed quite as in flagrante as that though. But I am willing to give an extra plus for the endearing view of two adorable dogs, one grown and one pup on a bench, with two very much in awe dogsitter guys.


Food - 4/5 (even if the menu of course lacked a whole lot from a vegetarian point of view)
Service - 3/5
Ambiance - 2/5
Value for money - 4/5 (easy, simple, fresh, tasty)

Maltes Mackor
Stora Östergatan 12
271 34 Ystad
+46 (0)411 101 30

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

perk-me-up-lime-greenish scarf


This is not a peculiar looking bun, but the end result of the green part of the two alluring cotton yarns previously procured.


I went for A) crochet, B) scarf (oh what a surprise), C) long (surprise no 2, not). I like the way the different green hues wave back and forth. Contemplating if I'll add something extra as a finishing touch at the ends, but I'm leaning towards just keep it simple and let the colours do the 'talking'.

And as, to me, the colours look so delightfully fresh Spring-Summerish and since Summer is very near (enter magna sob) end here I think I'll keep it for inauguration come next Spring...


And I mean, it's not as if I desperately lack neckpieces (my own making or otherwise) to wear, I still have the companion brownish piece to finish (soon) and then there's certainly that wonderful soy-wool yarn scarf to look forward to inaugurate come cooler (magna sob yet again) weather...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

the brief wondrous life of oscar wao

I had expected the praised and awardwinning "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao" by Junot Díaz to be something quite, quite different than it was. True, an original story, a story that makes one very grateful for one's own life, opportunities and country of birth, but still my main impression of it was that of annoyance. For various reasons.

The plethora of foul ghetto lingua, the lots and lots of Spanish phrases - my Spanish isn't what it used to be and even if it was I probably wouldn't understand half the expressions anyway - got in the way of the heartbreaking story.

A more befitting title would possibly be "The Misadventerous Life of Unfortunate Oscar Wao" since it was so very far from a wondrous life for poor Oscar, more a life of constant misfortune, misery and unrequited love. Not only for Oscar but his whole cursed family.

I found the glimpses into the life and history of the Dominican Republic, the Trujillo dictatorship and its ghastliness, to be the most interesting pieces of the book. Which once again makes me wonder what makes South America so seemingly proned to dictatorships.

Other than that - plus, I suspect, it being thoroughly worked through, an easy read and amongst all misery having an air of dry, sarcastic and witty humour -, a book so crudely revolving around carnal pleasures - a lot of it -, just isn't my idea of an interesting and mind evolving or, if that's what one's after at times, relaxing, lightweight read.

To me, just a curious novel with a disappointing end (that too) and no, not really a recommended read. I'm sure it appeals to some with that particular taste in books. I'm just not one of them.

the beet goes on with guest artist ~ lettuce by the sea


One can always rely on vegetables to make a pretty picture. These organic red beauties will be turned into something savoury for dinner tonight.

The lettuce was an unexpected encounter by the Scanian seaside a while back. A flirtatious, stunning in green, wavy outfit kind of fellow and a veritable ladies (as in bug) magnet he was.


Have a lovely vegetable Tuesday ~

Monday, August 24, 2009

proudly presenting ~ mister frisky froggy

Unfortunately there hasn't been a lot of hedgehog spotting this summer, the food disappears, but I haven't seen this year's model since that day.

But I'm pleased to announce that there's another wee guest in garden now, the non prickly but very warty kind, Mister Frisky Froggy that lives under the terrace.


He has been in close and not very friendly combat with one liquorice fellow - the chocolate inspector, to mention but one of many important tasks -, but he seemed alright when he stopped for a quick posing before he disappeared into his dwellings. Looking mighty cute, quite a showstopper in the realm of froggy matters I should think.

' here froggy froggy, wanna come out and play...?'

concrete rhubarb

I've been meaning to get one of these lovely looking concrete rhubarb leaf for years, but haven't manage to find one completely in my taste (price and look in a pleasing combo). Until now.


I suppose it's meant to be a bird bath, but as I prefer bird in my garden to be of the high flying, apple hook nibbling kind, I think it'll serve as a simple befitting garden installation. It also has a very important feature, if not visible to every visiting eye, it has been meticulously loaf dog approved.


Sunday, August 23, 2009

sunday philosophy not in club

:: Even if I have had a rather sweet weekend I wish it would be three days long instead of measly two. As last week progressed I noticed an increase in absentmindedness; I knew I had put some clean underwear somewhere 'clever' I just couldn't find them when I got dressed in the morning. When I got home I found them prancing on the stove.

Well, at least I don't think I'll ever get as absent minded as an ex-friend, she put the dirty equivalent in fridge. The ex- in friend has nothing to do with that bit of her personality though.

:: I recently read an interview with a HR person, she said that she always look for well-groomed people, and she'd never hire anyone with neglected feet. If you're not ready to take care of yourself, what does that say about your willingness to care for the job your hired to do? I presume she does look at people's feet in summer shoes, if not the interviews would be a rather awkward thing. But I really think she has a valid point and I wholeheartedly (and then some) agree with her on neglected feet. I truly loath cheese rind feet. Ugh.

:: Is it petty when a shop refuses to give a minor refund on a purchase that would have cost less if the salesperson had been informed about the marked down price?

It does kind of bugs me that on the one hand they were willing to give me an extra 10% off a purchase the day after, when I remarked that I thought it was *rather* unjust to not give returning customers in shop that extra 10% the webshoppers got. I had asked the exact same question in shop the previous day and the only reason I didn't get that extra % off was obviously that the salesperson didn't know. And when I asked again I got such a it's-so-difficult-to-give-a-refund-afterwards-drivel reply I couldn't believe it.

Yes a trifle, but also trifles can be such nuiscances.

:: I find it mind baffling, appalling and completely inconceivable that in a country so willing to pour money into the war machinery there can be such nasty and uneducated views and uproar about a national health insurance. Quite heartbreaking really.

:: Having said that I think it's rather endearing that someone in the same country's government energy department likes to-have the time to read about the world's best vanilla bun.

:: As much as I rather enjoyed the early mornings (says me, postergirl for night owl) public transportation system - and all the reading that could be done to-from-from-to - during the summer vacation months, that enjoyment has seized to exist. I really loath rush hours, rude people and I'm just so not a 9-5 person. I'm effective, I work hard, am a quick and eager learner, just so not 9-5.

:: I really, really, really want my hair to grow long-long again, the curious thing though is that the longer hair gets the more inclined I am to wear it up instead of down. Or perhaps it's just that during the warm season it's just so practical to wear it in ponytail, braid or bun and oh, all the lovely hairclips...

:: I find all the superfluos English phrases in otherwise Swedish narrated commercials, 'the diamond standard', 'because you're worth it', 'amazing' etc etc and so forth ridiculous beyond belief. Not only do the phrase rarely have something to do with the product they boosting, they utter the phrase in lingua Swenglish. And as far as I know we are still in Sweden, having a main language that we still speak on a daily basis.

:: Found a wee dead magpie lying on the bicycle road. It always pains me to see dead animals by the road like that, a little life lost - often just because people are in such a rush and can't be bothered to drive carefully - and who knows if there's a family who waits for its return home in vain. We put her/him in the trench, said a few words and put a flower beside him/her. I hope the little soul will find a new sweet home.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

kajsa's sunshine cookies


Just a little Saturday treat, in the shape of quite irresistible cookies. This simple oatmeal cookie loveliness comes from one mother-in-law, it's ridiculously easy to make and still, the end result doesn't always get as crunchy, chewy perfect as it should, go figure. But when it is perfect, it's just... instant satisfaction, perfection in a sunny cookie. (No, the chocolate plate sharers aren't much to write blog about.)

Kajsa's Sunshine Cookies ~

325 ml rolled oats
150 ml sugar (mascobado is nice)
100 g melted butter or rapeseed oil
1,5 tbsp plain syrup
1 tbsp cream or oats milk

Stir everything together in a bowl. Spread out thin and evenly on a baking sheet, bake in the middle of oven on 175 C for ~15 minutes. Slice in squares when still warm.

Best enjoyed when the chewiness has settled ie not straight from the oven, though the temptation is overwhelming if the sweet tooth decides to call right there and then. Now, go forth and bake ~


Friday, August 21, 2009

weekending goodness

Usually not one to make a big fuss about the weekend - small celebrations and appreciations every day is more my style - but come today, I found myself really tired, worn, lacking in concentration in desperate need for some r&r. Hence thank goodness it's this Friday!

The weather has sadly and suddenly turned rather autumnish, still being August I find it heartbreaking really. As much as I am looking forward inaugurating my new-on-great-sale-versatile-gorgeous-piece-of-autumn-spring-even-winter-if-it's-a-mild-one-coat *phew*, I so do not want summer to end this sudden, this early. I hope for many lovely Indian summer days to come!

But in honour of the next to last proper summer weekend I have a perfect (as always) plan -

If weather permitted not only to have divine sleep-ins, but ride the bike, visit the other two lovely new local cafés in this rural suburb - I'm very nearly over the moon about the curious fact that suddenly we're blessed with not only one, or two, but three new, quite different from each other waterholes within bike, walking, driving range. Think globally, act locally, they clearly need support and I'm game. Yes of course they'll have their own blog posts to come... - spending time with the loaf and the furries, finish a few books, knitting, watching movies, window washing and hopefully make a few stitches with the sewing machine... Just about everything one can jam into a weekend without it feeling crowded and busy. I hope.

I did start the weekend today with a bike ride and a nice lunchish thing at the third local waterhole, so I can at least tick a couple of my planned-weekend-boxes.


~ have a lovely weekend out there ~

with greetings from garry


So pleased that as far as my little eye can spy, touch wood, fingers crossed, the question of shortage in the best-non-flavoured-tea department is a non issue in this household. M has a very kind and understanding colleague who keeps the cups of Yorkshire Tea flowing for this truly, deeply grateful undersigned.

So cheers, Garry, thank you plethora,
may the tea force be with you ~


Thursday, August 20, 2009

linen and old lace


I love linen, I love old lace, this is the offspring from a meeting between some wonderful linen fabric - the shop had about 100 different colours (at least it seemed like that to colour enthralled me).


I had to settle for a selected eight, the task was beyond difficult and I still think life was cruel and unfair that day (in a very i-country way) - I procured in springtime and a selected lace from a big bag of delightful old bits and pieces of lace my grandmother once upon a time had made.


(There are still loads of them left in bag and I have some sweet ideas for a few of them, the rest will have to bide their perfect time.) Yes, I'm slowly, slowly beginning to warm up as far as the wilful sewing machine goes.


I have decided these summery garlands will cheer me up come dark, gloomy, wintry days... But let's not go there yet, pretty please!


the danger of too much reading

cph bookstore

Still undeterred and far from discouraged by the danger
that too much reading can turn one into a circus freak.

Besides, perhaps such a convenient teacup shelf might be useful?

Sign found outside book & curiosity shop in Copenhagen, Denmark. A city clearly offering so much more than fruitbikes.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

44 scotland street

Pretty much from the first page I knew I would embrace this book rather as much as the beloved 'Sunday Philosophy Club'-series by Alexander McCall Smith - as opposed to his very less than pleasing short stories and the imho overrated 'No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency'-series.

The book is a compilation of a previously published serialised novels in 'The Scotsman' newspaper about the quirky characters living at 44 Scotland Street, their friends, acquaintances and no less eccentric characters surrounding them. As usual, the story seemingly simple, mundane and slow but really brimming with subtle humour and insightful wittiness. Every chapter with a final twist or amusuing conclusion.

To mention but a few of the more or very less than likable but still very enjoyable characters;

Pat, the 20 year old in her second gap year just moved in sharing apartment with the immensely narcissistic, shallow Bruce, age 24.

Bruce who works as a not very gifted surveyor, has a very particular haircut and perhaps loves his men's hair goo a bit too much.

Domenica, the philosophizing anthropologist with a custard coloured Mercedes Benz and a particular fondness for tunnel explorations under Edinburgh.

Bertie, the precocious 5 year old who just wants to live the life of average train loving five year old, but instead is pushed into all sorts of activities by his pretentious mother Irene. He no longer wish to play the saxophone or learn Italian and thus has to go to therapy. Irene hopes that the famous therapist will eventually write a book about Bertie called 'A Remarkably Talented Boy and his Problems in Adjusting to a Mediocre Society'.

Matthew, the proprietor of the 'Something Special' art gallery which doesn't make any real money (where Pat works) but who nearly discovers a Peploe or is it a Vettriano? Ian Rankin plays a hot tub part in the nearly discovery.

The witty portrait painter Angus (who is currently living under threats from the Free Presbyterian church) with his flirty, stinky dog Cyril. Cyril has a gold tooth and likes his beer and women.

Needless to say really, I'm pleased there are now four more books in the series waiting to be devoured by undersigned. In a hopefully not too far future.

More of my views on books by Alexander McCall Smith -
Folk Tales from Africa: The Girl Who Married a Lion
Friends, Lovers, Chocolate
The Right Attitude To Rain
Heavenly Date and Other Flirtations
The Kalahari Typing School for Men
The Full Cupboard of Life
Careful Use of Compliments
The 2½ Pillars of Wisdom
In the Company of Cheerful Ladies
Blue shoes and Happiness

fruitbike copenhagen


I thought this was such a brilliant idea in the realm of street food, an assortment of fresh fruit in a cup on a warm summer day. Found in Copenhagen (where else). I wonder if the idea will be implemented in Stockholm come next summer...?

And even if I might have the best bike in the world, I'm only interested in pedaling it, not peddling from it. I will however volunteer for eating the fruit.

Do you have a fruitbiker in your city?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

smart dog tuesday


Just because he's such a clever looking loafie, because he smells so newly bathed in vanilla scented bubbles, because he's looks so irresistibly fluffy adorable.

Monday, August 17, 2009

ants in pants in poppy field


Oh how one suffer for arts. These attempts in capturing the perfect peaceful poppy field - something we don't see up here around Stockholm latitudes - turned into a war with minuscule beings named ants. What I first thought was just a wayward grass straw turned out to be a veritable ant fight. And one really can't blame the ants for fighting back since they were under a lady-sitting-in-ant-hill-attack.


Before I realized just how ant bad my photographic location was (before the screaming and running and the violently flapping of arms and legs) I did manage to capture a few photos I'm reasonably pleased with. As for 'the perfect poppy field' intention and the end result, well, I only blame the ants for not letting me sit there in peace long enough. Of course.


Happy ant-free Monday!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

tin dress earrings


These adorable upcycled earrings can only be described as ingenuity in recycling personified. And you really don't have to be formerly known (thank goodness and touch wood) as the tin can woman in order to be completely smitten by their perky sweetness. Two tiny dresses, made from once was a tin, dangling on a coat hanger. These well-made earrings definitely fall into the preferable category 'even cuter irl than in picture'.

A colourful plethora of recycled tin mini dresses
you'll find at shixie on Etsy


Saturday, August 15, 2009

castle garden cat walk


The other week our paths crossed with this couple walking their kitkat kitty (a Norwegian Forrest cat I presume) in a tranquil, late afternoon castle garden. I think it was a rather awesome sight.

When I moved into my own apartment many years ago and got my two first mine all mine cats I did try and walk them in leash. They weren't very appreciative. And I don't have the patience to coax, so that was that. Now there's a free roaming garden and leash is for dog only. But when I see people walking their well behaved and curious cats like this it always makes me go very oh and ah.

Seems like one of those perfectly sweet and relaxing things to do on a peaceful Saturday.


Friday, August 14, 2009

in the best of both worlds


Sometimes one needs a gentle reminder of the fact that one lives in a place that in many ways offers the best of both peaceful, rural idyllicness (in my vocabulary there most certainly is such a word) and modern comfort facilities (at least in parts well executed) with easy access to city life and joys.

~ :: Happy weekend :: ~
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