Thursday, March 31, 2011

post root-filling red treats


Today was finally the day of the long since booked dentist appointment - I would have prefered to go earlier than this, but he broke his leg in a very unfortunate way and have been on sick leave for a couple of months - after a couple of weeks of tooth-ache. What was supposed to have been a simple fixing of a couple of chipped teeth (stress-tension caused too) instead became a root-filling due to inflammation caused by an internal crack due to stress.

I have never ever had any teeth-problems, just the odd simple filling now and then. This past year has really been a rollercoster of worries and stress (which I don't always recognize as that I suppose) and this is such a painful and unfortunate outcome. Just him mentioning root-filling after looking at the x-rays... jeez. And then "you don't need anasthezia, I don't think you'll feel a thing".

Well, I did. I have to say that it was really much less painful than the drilling of a regular tooth-hole, but the lying with my mooth open for an hour with some weird gauntry and the suctions, not being able to swallow or move. Not the nicest of hours spent. The filling is only temporary, I've got anotehr appointment in a couple of weeks, plus another one for those fillings I was supposed to have done today. This will be costly (goodbye tax-refund). Plus I will be needing an acrylic splint. Great. Not.

It would be wrong to say the month of March 2011 ended top-notch.


But after that nuiscance of an ordeal I treated myself to two red things. Most probably not anything I actually need, but at this point I don't really care. They appealed to me, I got them, they are red. And get bobbaloo thumbs up.

A pair of miniature Swedish clogs (for hanging on the wall) and a pair of Dalahorse earrings. Leonard and Jojo were very eager to try those clogs out. Vroom, they might possibly be the bobbaloo equivalent to a sportscar. And looking at their excitment over my red investments (treats) it kind of seemed a tad less of an icky day.


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

explosion view amigurumi

february 5, 2011 - a new sheep on the block

On the far too little time I've had lately to be yarn creative I have been concentrating on finishing some woolly project on order. Come warmer weather I'm really looking forward to cotton yarns, taking up fabrics and sewing a bit more (we are not the bestest friends sewing machine and I, no) and the rekindle with jewellery making. Before that, the tying up of woolly yarn ends.

But amidst all this I have been making some more amigurumi, one is a bigger grey thing - which was actually the first amigurumi project I bought a pattern kit for some years ago, but never got aorund to making until now. And after following other patterns and making my own stuff I can safely say that this pattern wasn't very well-written, so I'm glad I didn't begin with that anyway.


I'm also thinking I like my amigurumis smaller than this. I will probably make a friend for this grey thing (can you guess what it is?), because it isn't easy to be a giant among Lilliputians, but other than that, not my cup of tea. And neither are of course the smallest of creatures. I have only come halfway with the assembling, it's quite tricky to get it looking alright and seemingly millions of pieces to get adjusted in the right place, at the right angle.


The other thing is a pink matter (can you guess the specie?), when she's all finished she'll move in with Little Heart Bunny bringing her very own perky psychedelic mushroom. And together they'll have the bestest of tea parties with Princess cakes and semla galore. Happy days will be.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

tuesday thoughts

Today is a day of random thoughts in blog. The kind of thoughts where one is not really enough for a post, but they still nag and need to be put down. Very random, very much so.

:: I got a newsletter updating me on my two adopted orangutangs - you can adopt too, read more about BOS important work here and in Swedish here. This is really a fantastic, caring gift, a gift that keeps on giving, for heart, soul and mind - one made me smile, the other one made me cry. Damn humans, damn palm oil for the heartbreaking orangutang situation.

:: I was so sad to hear the news about polar bear Knut's sudden demise. The movie that captured his last moments in life was really awful, in many ways. I don't approve of keeping animals in captive in zoos and circuses and it's of course a saddening life story from beginning to end. Poor, sweet being. Another casuality of this cruel world.

:: Earlier this week some 12 year olds were skiing in the nothern parts of Sweden and carelessly happened to ski over a hibernating bear's den. Obviously they woke the poor bear who got kind of huffed and retaliated with attacking one of the boys. In a non-life-threatening way. I haven't heard any news since, but just the idea raised of killing the bear (who was in every right of being angry, I would so be too in the situation of kids skiing into by bedroom when I was deep asleep) for such a thing makes me sick. By all means, let's kill everything (who isn't human) who react in a natural way that's not compatible with the human way of life.

A heartbreaking twist to the story is that the mama bear ran after the incident and abandoned (or so it's told) her cubs in the den. They were said to be in such bad condition and instead of being saved were killed. The 12 year boy who was injured had appealed for the bear cubs to be saved, "they're just babies, would we killed human babies if their mother disappeared? Why should human lives be worth more than the bears?". This made me cry even more, both for the bears sake and such well-thought statements from a boy, the latter one of those things that gives hope for mankind.

:: Today I got an offer that I'm really feeling the pressure to accept. Pressure from me included. But since I am of a suspicious mind (nature as well as occupational-injury, which does serve me well many times, others not I guess...) I can't stop analyzing the question marks I got from today's meeting. There are just certain people, certain situations I have lots of trust issues with on a professional level.

But there was loads of good stuff too. And if it is what it's suppose to be it can be really, really, very good. Good for me, good for others, a great example that it's actually possible to turn something utterly crappy like the Swedish labour market politics into something fantastic. Good for me, good for others, it really could be a win-win scenario. But, again, can it possibly be too good to be true... Will have another meeting tomorrow and hopefully get that last piece of the puzzle in order to make a well-informed (as informed as one can be). If I say yes to the offer, I will most probably not be convinced about its authenticity until I get the first proper pay-check, late April. Fingers crossed, dear blogosphere, good vibes my way, pretty please.

:: Got the preliminary decision for the tax refund the other day, it was not fantastic news, but rather pleasing just the same. I may not be able to invest in something fabulastic that's topping my wish-list, but there will be bills paid and I'm thinking there's no such thing as too many shoes... (We all have our weaknesses.) The tax-refund shoes of 2011, here I come.

:: I giggled a lot about a Leonard and Sissi (the fabulous bobbaloos) comment the other day, saying "thank you for introducing me, I'm now waiting for my first Jacabob, he will probably demand friends..." I fear I may have induced a budding addiction of the bobbaloo kind.

:: Loaf dog got a much much much needed bath the other day. He instantly went from the dirtiest scruffy dog in Sweden, to the cleanest, most sweet-scented one. He's a much loved loaf no matter look or smell, but really a little less dog smell makes the world of difference.


Monday, March 28, 2011

introducing ~ leonard and sissi


The bobbaloo family has been extended *surprise*, Kismet and Jojo have been joined by Leonard and Sissi with bunnykins. And they've all gotten really neat and magical sleeping pouches, granny squares for the win. Always.

This will however only be a very brief introduction and a glimpse of two more adorable needlefelted cutiepies from Kit Lane. Because I'm almost too tired to think this evening and more inclined to crash into a magical sleeping pouch myself than to write anything blogging clever.

You may have noticed that there are two empty magical sleeping pouches dangling in the air. It may be a case of changing colours of sleeping pouch is the variety spice of bobbaloo life, it may be a case of awaiting some new members, three may be a magic number, six is double the magic. Over and out.


Sunday, March 27, 2011

sweden q&a, part II


:: What is is like having a Universal Healthcare system, and how does that work in Sweden?

To explain the Swedish health care system one has to explain about Sweden's tax system. Sweden has local taxes, county council tax, state tax, sales tax and certain excise taxes. In total the burden of taxation is something like 47%. High taxes, but in principal free education and health care plus subsidized public transportation.

Back to health care, approximately 12% of the taxes goes to the county council tax/health care. In short, no matter if you have a sprained ankle or in need of a heart surgery, health care is available for all. You pay a small patient's fee (in the vicinity of 20-30$) for a non-emergency doctor's appointment. Costs are capped at 900 SEK a year for doctor’s visits, with similar low amounts for other medical care and medicine. If you need to be hospitalized you pay a small amount per day for that too.

I'm absolutely certain a universal health-care system is a great thing for any society. I further believe that the quality of health care in Sweden is in general good (even if it has been under many cost cuts for centuries now). I also think that unfortunately, like in any country, tax-money are far from always used in the best and most prudent of ways, in general there's just no sense of responsibility when it comes to "other people's money", this is also the case with our health-care system. Is money allocated wisely? No it is not, but if it was, in every sense, my opinion is that a universal health-care system is really very much a basic human rights issue.

Touch wood I haven't been forced to deal a lot with the health care system, but for those times I and/or family and friends have there have been overall good care and treatments. With some low-points, but, touch wood, no catastrophes.

My general view of the nearby health care centre (vårdcentral) is far from good though. The nurses and physiotherapists have been overall competent and good at their work, the doctors on the other hand have been very much not. I've most always been forced to seek another doctor's view on seemingly small matters, due to those doctors' incompetence and lack of patient interest. I used to have a really great doctor at a private practice (found by chance) in the city, she's retired since a few years and I haven't been able to find anyone that decent and on the same wavelength so to say again. Apart from specialist  Doctor Feist of course.

More information about the Swedish health care system can be found here - here - here

:: How would you characterize the Swedish people in general?

It's really very difficult to characterize Swedes in general, even for someone born, bred, living here. I too sometimes say that "oh, so typically Swedish", but when I get a question about it, it's tricky to come up with those answers. But I've tried to think it through thoroughly, here follow my very personal generalisations (with exceptions that make me happy here and there) from my point of Sweden-born-and-bred-observation view on Swedes and Sweden;

* Swedes are (with exceptions everywhere) lulled into a false sense of social security by the government, authorities and the huge public sector. I feel that a healthy blend of public sector (for all the basic needs as health care, education, care of children and old people, unemployment benefits etc) and freedom for citizens to creatively chose their own way of life, living, working is essential. In Sweden that is not the case.

Here the vast public sector and big business always get interpretive prerogative whilst the small entrepreneurs most always get a lousy deal. I feel there's just too little room for people to have truly independent lives in Sweden, we are a population of safety addicts. Independent thinkers need not trouble themselves because they will not really be heard anyway. Once upon a time I wasn't nearly as critical about Sweden as I am now, but when life give you lemons you don't only make a lemon cake you also get wiser and insightful with it.

* a general fear of conflicts, on a personal level as well as on a larger scale.  

* well-travelled.
* well-versed in languages and politics (national and international), thank goodness for not having dubbed television!

* modern - in a way that leads to an anxiety of being un-fashionable and retrogressive, thus wholeheartedly accepting anything and everything new, no matter how stupid and ill-thought through, as THE thing to be and/or do. News-flash: progress is far from always the latest fad, the latest directive, the latest statement from authorities.
* an all prevailing sense of "this is how we do it in Sweden, therefor this is the best way of doing it"
* odd and colourful personalities are not really well-seen, to be one in a crowd is to be preferred.

* instead of doing it yourself, there's a sense of "someone should do this for me". It's very much not a coincidence the word "ombudsman" is a Swedish word exported.
* a general unhealthy approach to alcohol, no boundaries, no common sense. To socialize is to drink alcohol, to drink alcohol is the norm.

* the love of fika - the Swedish coffeebreak, which I adore in general, in good company, but which I hate when it's the institutionalized thing at least twice a day in most public sector workplaces. Anything forced upon give an unpleasant tang.

* dress the same, look the same, buy the same - with IKEA and H&M being two of Sweden's most successful and praised companies.
* Swedish companies in general aren't very hierarchical, the organisations are flat and decision-making is delegated. There's a sense of (at least on surface) consensus.
* Anglo-Saxon sense of humour.

* Swedish television, movies and music are dominated by British and American productions. Overall Sweden is quite an Americanized society.
* very good at recycling and eco-thinking in general - as a small example glass has been recycled for 40 years already and paper about that time too.
* high access rate to computers and Internet - I'd say about 90% of Swedes have a computer of their own.

* much embraced by most is that the old traditional Swedish home-cooking (meatballs, fish-dishes, smörgåsbord etc) have been replaced by international food and fast food, pizza, pasta, sushi, tacos, thai-food and so forth.
* well-organized public transportation system in most every city, bus, trains, undergrounds, trams - although well-organized sadly doesn't always mean they work or run well by schedule these days.
* Swedes have become so accustomed to a certain standard, that things should work, the sense of entitlement is everywhere. I feel one can on the one hand be in the right to demand things to work, to be functional, on the other hand it is prudent to chose one's battles and not simply whine and grump about everything.

There are indeed lots of things, situations and behaviours to whine and grump about, I just wish more could take action, take a stand, make a difference where it matters and not only keep on grumble and moan for a while, now and then, in near silence, with that sense of entitlement always close at hand.

sweden q&a, part I

any questions on stockholm, sweden?

Saturday, March 26, 2011

bookworm and cat socks

january 30, 2011 - bookworm and loaf dog

The other day there was a case of snow flakes in the air, but only briefly, definitely not the kind of snow that by any means cover ground. Lots and lots of snow and ice have been melting these past weeks and even if there still is huge piles of snow here and there, fields of snow, icy waters it is so very definitely spring in the air.

And with spring come not only flowers and warmer winds, nature's splendour and brighter days, but such silly moodlifting matters as wearing shoes instead of boots (and hooray, apple green clogs!). Plus,oh the gloriousness, socks and tights instead of woolly leggings, there will be roses, there will be laces, stripes, argyle, colours and perky patterns galore and there will be this.


Me sporting - in a, needless to say, very non-sporty way - bookworm socks. As soon as I spotted them (at fabulous Sock Dreams of course) I knew I had to have them. (Which tend to happen a lot when I browse that site, I'm pretty good at restraining myself though, reasonably so, yes I am.) For reasons as follows;

1) bookworm - oh that's me! (sadly on a involuntary hiatus at the moment, but nevermind that for now...)
2) blue and yellow - Swedish flag
3) sporty look - that's so not me, but I do enjoy the unmistakenly nerdiness that comes with such a silly feature

I would have prefered the socks to have been higher and OTK, but okey, my legs and I have to live with the length.


There will also be cat socks. Because, once again needless to say, a pair of must-have-socks spoke to me in the most desperate of desperate voices. Rodolphe Salis' Chat Noir on a pair of socks, that's simply fabulastic in my world! Welcome, welcome, much awaited sock spring ~


Now, what things are you looking most forward to
 with spring hasting your way?

Friday, March 25, 2011

happy waffle day ~


Today we celebrate Waffle Day (Våffeldagen, våffla = waffle, dag = day) in Sweden. All because of a lingustic slip up, to be grateful for. As it is a rather charming and kind celebration, like Fat Tuesday and Cinnamon Bun Day.

I hope you get waffles warm and served the way you like them, I'm gaving mine with raspberry jam, apple sauce and whipped cream. It will be a delightful way to start the much wished for weekend.

It would have been extra nice if today had been like March 25 was in 2007, alas it's not, as I'm writing this snowflakes are slowly falling...

Happy Waffle Day,
happy weekend!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

a kind egg day

march 23, 2011 - egg day

Even if I only use free-range organic eggs in my cooking and baking I'm just not very comfortable with the egg-thing anymore. Even if I have never been a big egg eater (previously mentioned in a i-confess- food-post some years ago...) I have more and more began shying away from using and eating them at all. Since the way chickens and hens are treated in large-scale production - which I obviously hate wholeheartedly, yes, one of the reasons for not liking IKEA, not their treatment of chickens but the large-scale thing... - makes me sick. And that nauseating feeling rubs of on any kind of eggs for me.

But. If more people kept a small amount happy free-ranging chickens of their own, that were allowed to live chicken-happy-satisfying lives I see no reason for not taking care of, making food use of the eggs those family members lay. There's never any killing and eating of chickens on the human agenda. The chooks are simply family members living a good life for as long as they are healthy and perky, when they pass away it's due to illness or old age, not to become food.

If that was the case with eggs, I'd be very less reluctant to eat them.

So. These pretty eggs are of the most free-ranged of free-range eggs kind. M bought them from a colleague of his who apparently have a few chooks in her living-in-a-rural-Stockholm-suburb-home. They roam the yard and garden freely and get decent, appropriate chicken-food. On a good day they lay nine eggs. That certainly is my kind of sweet smale scale egg production.

Kismet and Jojo wholeheartedly promote an kind, caring "egg day" (ägg = egg, dag = day), where all the eggs should come from happy, free-ranging chooks. Chooks not bred to be used and abused for the assumptive human greed purpose only, but as a part of something much better, a life, a world where we all play a part in a respectful life-and-food-cycle.

So far I've baked a sponge cake with two of the pretty eggs. They looked quite different in the bowl and the cake rose more than the average cake, turned out very nice. See, that's what happy eggs make.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

sweden q&a, part I


So, time to start answer some questions me thinks. There were a bunch of them, intriguing, thoughtful, some easier answered than others, so I'm thinking three posts will do better than one on the subject of Sweden, Swedish life and Swedes. I'll start with the ones easier to give shorter-ish answers to.

:: I was curious about the authors Stieg Larsson and Lindquist (Let Me In) their portrayal of Sweden. They're both pretty you think it's an accurate portrayal?

Admittedly I'm not a fan of the Millennium-trilogy books by Stieg Larsson, I have read them but as interesting as the stories in themselves are I do not like the writing style, which really isn't my cup of tea.

But I love John Ajvide Lindquist, he's a fantastic writer, he plays in a whole other writing division than Larsson. His stories are great and his writing is exquisite and multi-layered.

A third Swedish writer, another favourite author of mine, for the same reasons as Lindquist, is Arne Dahl, if you haven't read him, do that. Now.

That said, I think that yes, they all have many accurate points in describing Sweden, Swedish life, Swedes. In general I get the impression that people not living in Sweden, non-Swedes, have a notion of Sweden as picturesque, idyllic, clean, well-organized, caring for its citizens as well as the world, with a well-functioning well-fare system. Which sadly is quite far from the truth these days.

Once upon a time I would have agreed with that in general. I feel I grew up in a country that had, possibly, more visionary politicians, people who knew what solidarity was and acted on it. These past, well 10-15 years or so, the well-fare system (with its flaws, I'm so not saying it was a perfect security blanket or that a security blanket is always a good thing) have crumbled in many parts.

Compared to less fortunate (as far as economy and infrastructure are concerned) countries and cultures (as far as equality and freedom are concerned) Sweden is probably rather idyllic. Though we can do so so much better. And yes, we do have fantastic places, cities, towns of spectacular, picturesque beauty. But as far as political and human visions, creative problem solving, the prudent use of tax-payers money, solidarity, completely open discussions without constant insinuations regarding issues like integration, unemployment, animal welfare, true equality, environment and so forth Sweden is very far from idyllic. Or rather, perhaps like most western, wealthy countries in general.

:: I was excited to see you're reading Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. I'm always trying to get friends to read it. What do you think of it?

Ahem, well, I have to say that I was completely swept in to the story. It's clever, quirky, full of character and dry wittiness, a fantastic Dickensian story that is in theory very much worth reading. But. And this is probably just me personally, half way through the book I felt the minuscule text, the brick-novelistic size got a bit too much. Currently I (sadly since it's such a big part of me and my life) get no real pleasure from reading. Thus, Mr Strange and Mr Norrell (and all the other books in the pipeline) will just have to bide their time until I get my true self back, start reading again.

::  I met this Swedish girl and she's been pretty forward and I'd like to know, are Swedish people just friendlier than other nationalities, or is sex on a second date normal in Sweden? I mean, I know Swedes aren't Catholic so there's none of that nonsense, but still, I'm surprised. Hey, I know I'm asking you to generalise massively, but I am interested in your opinion.

This question made me chuckle. The only thing I can really say is that there are about 9,5 million Swedes, some of them are more forward than others, like in any population with a general open attitude and gender equality consensus. One might generalise and say that growing up in such a society one might get more comfortable about one's own sexuality, other than that, no, I don't think Swedes are "friendlier" than other nationalities.

:: Do you like lutefisk?

No. I'm a vegetarian, have been for many, many years. But I do remember eating lutfisk (stockfish) at Christmas when I was a child and I really didn't like it back then either. Didn't enjoy neither consistency nor taste.

:: You have traveled a lot - where do most Swedish people like to go on their holidays?

Apparently Spain is supposedly Swedes' favourite holiday destination (incl the Canaries and Mallorca). Second place is Germany. Then come destinations like Thailand, Turkey, South Africa, Croatia and Egypt.

Myself I have several favourite destinations, Scotland, England being number one. But I do love Copenhagen, Hamburg, Berlin, Venice. I'd love to go back to South Africa, see more of Italy, Spain, USA, Poland, more of Europe in general and oh, many countries, continents I
haven't been to at all. Ah, for time and money to travel more...

:: I've heard the Finland is one of the happiest places in the world (according to a study that I can't remember the name of or who did it), how do you think Sweden measures up to that?

This question made me look this up and apparently there's a Dutch database of happiness, I just had a quick glance there, but found this compilation on "top 10 happiest countries in the world". Happiness is of course quite a subjective feeling, and I really do not agree on many of the things said about Sweden there, but on that list Sweden is on 7th place, Finland on 5th and Denmark on 1st. If one doesn't analyze the results too much, that might be reasonably accurate, I guess. Some days more than others. Like life in general.

End of answers for this time. Hope there were glimpses of interesting information amongst the personal and general impressions of undersigned.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

el naturalista apple green and furry


This will be a shoe post. And a colour post. With elements of loaf.

For long time readers of this blog it's very obvious I adore a certain shoe brand, which ingeniously combine comfort and quirky style. Add to that ecological thinking, recycling and craftmanship. Plus colours galore available. Name of said shoe brand is El Naturalista.

I think I can safely say (with a tad blush) that I'm their no 1 fan in Sweden - just today M said, which is completely untrue, of course, that who needs a webshop when one can turn up at my place to see all their models and different colours. Bah! But I can say as much as I have been lucky in the shoe sales - they're good to my feet. And I always want shoes that are good too feet, not only good looking. Shoes should definitely promote and instigate a lot of walking. But lest not forget, always look good while doing that.

I love the way one can so easily match the mood du jour with a certain model, a certain colour. Red (which is always right, any day), green (when one can't have red, go green is THE thing to do), yellow (happy colour), purple, orange, blue. Bliss.

And then, the mixing of said shoes with great socks, ah I'm in little shoe-sock-colour heaven! Another reason to want spring to really hurry up and arrive for real.

There, a little short background to my love for certain shoes. Which I don't show nearly as much in this blog as me participating in the Shoe Per Diem project. By the way, a shoe blog where more participants are more than welcome...

That said, yesterday, on my grumpy day - today felt in some parts much better, in others frustrating still. Life as it is - , I promised that shoes would turn colour. The colour of green.


Behold the latest member of my own private El Naturalista shoe family; another pair of clogs in my favourite model, the Iggdrasil (Yggdrasil being the name of the Tree of Life in Nordic mythology), apple green, swirl model, online winter sale a few months ago, who could resist. Obviously not me.

Love their apple green hue, love their clogs. I can walk for hours on city pavements as well as in woods and feet are not the least bit tired the day after. Quite the perfect shoes. Which certainly gets even better if your fortunate enough to have a few in different colours. They make my feet happy, thus I'm happy.


Same great outsoles as all shoes and boots in the Iggdrasil model, made of recycled rubber, anatomical insoles made from recycled cork are but a few of their lovely features. This swirl clog model is tad higher on ankle than the other clogs so they would perhaps not fit someone with a higher ankle. Other than that, simply apple green sweetness.

I'm also pleased little loaf totally approved of clog buy. He's a quality conscious little guy. Shoe box fitted him like a throne.


There's a new clog on the block. 
He's swirly, his name is Apple Green.

Monday, March 21, 2011

monday grump


Yesterday there were Kismet and Jojo, little beings that give life a silver lining. Other days this blog is about letting off steam and anger, fuming frustration. An outlet for maddening thoughts I'd really like to stand in a square screaming out loud (if I wasn't so darn polite and don't-want-to-make-a-fool-of-myself-Swedish). Today has been such a day.

I feel I should have compiled some answers to all the brilliant questions on Sweden and Swedish life by now. But as I think they are just that, brilliant, they do deserve carefully thought through answers. Today isn't such a day. Unfortunately it's been one of those days when frustration has ran high, very very high. Some of the exciting ingredients being;

:: tooth-ache, with more than a week to go before my dentist appointment, I really can't be bothered to spend money going to an emergency dentist. Only reason for tooth-ache being stress tension jaw which makes me so darn angry, I'm completely blaming the Swedish labour market politics and politicians, no matter party affiliation, who blatantly lack genuine problem solving-wisdom and quite obviously completely are out of touch with reality and the real world. But I can't see any of them paying my dentist bill. So I'll wait until next week. Eating mushy food and liquids, while fuming.

:: just generally really stupid, ignorant people. Refusing to see things as the many-sided matters they often are. Out of touch with reality, masquerading it as concern, when they're in fact just bureaucratic reactionaries. What makes it even worse is, as was the case today, they think it's appropriate to chit-chat in between the masqueraded attacks. I really very much can't stand these types, can't, can't, can not stand such hypocritical behaviour. Even worse, as in this case, when it's some acting jolly fellow trying to be on the one hand tad crazy, eccentric on the other so infuriatingly narrowminded. The mindblowing stupidity. Fuming.

:: the skies have been grey. All day. Like my very crabby mood.


Tomorrow I will most probably still be eating mushy food, but at least I hope for a better mood, better circumstances, to be surrounded by better people. Then this grey picture will turn colour. And there will be shoe-talk in blog. Because certain kind of shoes also give life a silver lining, or two.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

proudly presents - kismet and jojo

march 11, 2011 - kismet & jojo in hyacinth land

Having had a Piggy Friday (aka the show and tell of little cute things) the other day, the intention was to introduce these guys later than sooner. But Jojo, who was featured inspecting the snowdrops yesterday, was really upset about being referred to as "a little pig". He's of a delicate Jacabob nature and as much as he loves every little kind, sweet  being, pig or not, he most certainly isn't a pig himself. Thus he wants to make a stand and make that clear. Now.


So, this post is about Jojo and his friend of the nearly-same-kind (being a Jacabunny), Kismet. Apparently the tad different species are commonly referred to as Bobbaloos. Being enthralled into the world of talented needle-felt artist Kit Lane is also to having to learn a new language. Which I certainly don't mind, being a language nerd sadly astray. 

I first spotted her amazing Flickr stream, realized she had an Etsy shop to drool over. T
hen got all pink and green with envy when I saw a fellow blogger having actually managed to snatch up a few little wool fellas. Because they're certainly not easy to come by, one has to stalk guard that shop meticulously.


Then one day same fellow blogger hinted on Twitter - which apparently is good for you, go figure - that there was indeed a little Jacabunny up for adoption. I rushed over to Etsy, there he was, green, four-eared lucky bunny Kismet. It was destiny, he was mine. It might have just been the quickest I'd ever been on the keypad there.

Shortly thereafter a little Jacabob named Jojo made his appearance in shop, terrier brown and pink. Another nimble-fingered movement and he too was soon to be on his way to Sweden. Really, they survived, came alive, with the needle poking, having to travel to Sweden on their own, without company I seriously fear would have scared them for life. 

Kit promptly told me they were on their way over the ocean (from Minnesota) with this note: "
After a hearty breakfast of oatmeal and berries I handed him and his little pal over the the Post Master. I stuck my ear up to the box and heard them singing Irish ditties and reciting heroic poetry...I hope for the sake of the postal service that soon they decide to have a nap."

 february 28, 2011 - kismet & jojo

Only a few days later they landed in my mailbox. I suspect they'd sung and recited all the way here. Even sweeter in real life, they're just so incredibly carefully well made, this was the first snap I got of them.

shoe per diem feb 28, 2011 - kismet & jojo

They immediately made a quick appearance in Shoe Per Diem

kismet & jojo tucked in for their first night in new home (ping @kitlane)

First night in new home,
they got to sleep in the box they came in
with some of my dad's old handkerchiefs as bed linen.

I think it's safe to say these little creatures make me insanely happy. No matter age, no matter gender, no matter personal circumstances, one can't help but going oh and ah over their little needle-felted personalities, with everyone having their own little quirks that make them special, come alive. But even with a spunky, perky attitude I always sense there's an undercurrent of melancholy in the Bobbaloos. I think that with a world in turmoil, when the planet is burning, these little ones can 
give a little peace to a troubled mind, soothe an aching heart, put a smile on face. Such work, such beings count for a lot in my book.

 march 4, 2011 - cake guardians

So far they've been eager little helpers and inspectors, 

first official duty being Princess cake guardians.


Having had a photo session on a sunny coach.





Meeting Malte, the loaf dog extraordinaire. 

Naturally, it was really a terribly exciting meet.
There were secrets told and secrets shared.


Snowdrop inspecting - no we are not pigs


Having a ball in hyacinth land.


Sampling apple buns - just imagine the gorgeousness of smelling something newly baked, delicious, still warm from oven and it being as big as yourself... bliss.

march 18, 2011 - bird feeder inspectors

Snow fell sadly again, after thawing for days, they immediately felt a need to inspect the bird-feeding facilities. Pretty daring stuff, even for a Jacabunny Kismet and a Jacabob Jojo.

After the snowfall and the daring inspecting they came in all eager to tell their little friends of other-kinds about their great adventure. But since then, they've adamantly refused to leave bed. It may be the season, it may be all the hard work.

march 15, 2011 - in bed

There are a few Kit Lane Flickr groups, the one that has brought me most laughter at people's ingenuity and wittiness is the Kit Lane addicts one. Needless to say I'm a member, although I quickly learnt that I have far too few of them Bobbaloos to be a real contender. Although, time will tell. Yes, there are currently two more Bobbaloos on their way, with quite different this-is-how-my-life-began-stories to tell. We are indeed all very excited about this.

Even M, who (perhaps male gene caused, who knows) generally think these kind of matters are rather silly (or so he says) came home with a basket the other day, which he claims would be a most befitting proper bed to be shared by four little needle-felted fellas.

Myself I'm thinking I'd be proud to make them a little magic wool blanket and such. There will be new days with new tasks, more inspecting to be done, more things to guard. Decent sleep and good food are essential. 
Yes indeed, even little Bobbaloo wool adventurers need their proper rest and beauty sleep.


Saturday, March 19, 2011

little signs of spring


After that first sprig of spring there have sadly not been many signs of spring to (soon, pretty please) come. This Swedish winter has been hard, for everyone, the winter of 2009/10 was pretty horrific, the one of 2010/11 has been worse.

The first snow in the Stockholm area fell on October 22nd. Ever since then it has been more or less snow on the ground, with emphasize on more, much more. Causing huge problems in the public transportation system, general traffic issues, the flawed snow clearance all winter has left a lot to be desired, there have been an increase in all sorts of fractures - the icy streets have been just awful, during this winter many of us have adopted a strange shuffle-waddling way of walking, hopefully it's only weather related and not something that'll come along for spring - the electrical bills have skyrocketed (as if last year wasn't enough) and many wild animals have perished due to the cold and a lack of food.

I think we all, at least us living in the more middle/southern parts of Sweden, not being THIS used to long, harsh, snowed in winters, have been dampened and dispirited by these nearly five months now (and probably one more to go before we can finally say goodbye to winter for real). So every little, tiny sign of spring on its way means the world. Every ray of sun has to be enjoyed, every leeward spot  showing at least one sunstarved person with its face turned upwards, catching some natural C.


Me, I have been most happy about finding snowdrops, beside them some small tulip-buds making their way up in flowerbeds.

march 13, 2011 - rhubarb sign

And yes, rhubarb, glorious rhubarb already. It'll take ages until they're ready to be picked, but still, with spring comes summer and rhubarb dishes galore.


The ice on lakes are definitely crackling. And yes, hopefully soon, one can again be able to actually take a loaf dog walk in the nearby woods without the fear of falling on the ice-covered paths. Ah, before one knows it, there will be wood anemones everywhere. There will be spring.


Friday, March 18, 2011

three little pigs


Behold, the latest amigurumi project finished, three little pigs.

The crocheting of them was a reasonably quick job. The assembling was not. In fact, I'd say that it was the most boring, time consuming, tiny pieces sighworthy nuiscance so far. I can't see myself making any more tiny amigurumis with even tinier details that has to fit at a more or less exact tiny place. They may look cute and quirky now (and tad wonky), but really, to get here was definitely more pain than pleasure. Conclusion: not my cup of regular amigurumi tea.


What started with 15 little crocheted pieces (six of them stuffed), 


add three pair of eyes, button noses and perky bows
became three little pigs with different personalities.

Piggy Bright

Piggy Flowernose

Piggy Wonky


Pleased to have finally finished the triplets, somehow it feels like it was a long time since I did that "finish some small project every day" thing... Which isn't true, there are always little tiny things made, accomplished, if sadly not made in yarn and such, but there have been, a shawl, more socks than these, magical neckties and more in the pipe to come. But still, I would love to be able to spend as much time crafting, knitting, crocheting, sewing (add jewellerymaking) as I did during those lovely weeks of Christmas - New Year's... Ah well.

Happy crafty weekending!
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