Thursday, June 30, 2011

hedgehog 2011

number one hedgehog 2011

This evening we spotted the first hedgehog at Hedgehog DropInn, or rather, GardenInn. Because as mysteriously as last year, the hedgie appeared, a well-fed one, on the inside of fenced-in garden. With one  loaf dog bouncing up and down barking (like last year).

As hedgehog, loaf dog, cats and a few humans on a limited garden area is a bad thing we managed to trick him (?)with a trail of cat food, to venture out into the usual Inn area. He (?) continued to munch away there. Hopefully there isn't a hedgehog family living inside garden, will have to keep an eye out for that. Another hopeis that Number One Hedgehog 2011 will be back for more munchies. And bring friends.

M built such a nice little weather sheltered eating area for them last year, never got around to paint it as planned. Will do, once hand allows again. Thinking applegreen would be a nice colour for the fancy Hedgehog Drop Inn of 2011.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

building a home - art exhibition


The course in strategic communication I attended in April got me connected to the information manager at Husby Konsthall (art gallery). When exchanging business cards (thank you MOO) he spotted my crafts and invited me to be part of an upcoming art exhibition. Art and crafts on fabric that would then cover a Somalian hut (Somalians playing a big role in that immigrant-dense suburb).

Time passed and I thought that maybe it was simply another fizzle out-thing. Turned out it wasn't and a few weeks ago I was sent a huge piece of linen fabric, not the average piece of paper size I'd imagined. Not the best of sore-hand-times to fill such a large piece with my interpretation of the theme "Building a home"... But I did (with the help of a kind mother that did parts of the attach pieces to fabric), and I thought a lot about it, and my interpretation has changed along the way, not much, but in the details. It was quite a lot of work, I'm reasonably pleased with end result - and it has gotten me to think more about doing embroidery again - had hand not been sore, had I had more time to rummage through by thoughts and my crafty materials stash I would have done more. And different. But this is okey.

I've wanted to use MOO-cards on fabric ever since I saw Lost Star making this creative piece on Flickr - this seemed like the perfect opportunity. So I did.

Granted it is a cute, perky, colourful, no worries piece (the Idyllic Sweden That Was), since my growing up, my influences for building a home, having a home is rather idyllic. Even if I worry, even if things are crap, even if I grump, compared to wars, persecutions, upheavals my life, my home has been overall idyllic, sweet, colourful and inspirational. So I went with that, and wove in glimpses of my family, background, life, sources of inspiration, then and now, what has shaped me, in my personal life and in the big scheme of matters.

Finally handed in my piece today, I only got to see two other pieces of the hut-to-be. Very, very different from mine, and from each other, both cool in their own way. Fascinating how differently we interpret things, a home. Only showing the small piece above now. Perhaps more to come later.

~ If you happen to be in Stockholm between July 2 - 13, 2011 you can see the whole Building a home - exhibition at Husby Konsthall. It opens on Saturday, July 2, (noon until 8 pm) with food and festivities. ~ 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

random snaps with thoughts to match

been far too long, wish i was in...

It's been far too long (2008), oh how I wish I was heading to magical York again sometime soon... Alas, such wishful thinking when limits as usual are set by time and money. And there will be Berlin. I'm grateful for and excited about that. Still, York... England... Scotland...

sausage dog dress

Little kid's dress with sausage dogs, 
oh my, why wasn't that available in grown up size too?

midsummer eve stockholm

The unpeopled Stockholm on Midsummer Eve, almost every shop closed, befuddled tourists only. Liberating and tad eerie at the same time.

the favourite mug that once was

Accidently, obviously, broke one of my favourite tea mugs the other week. I think these large Höganäs mugs (I have them in smaller size too, for not large-cuppa-inclined guests) are of the perfect shape, size and in this case colour, applegreen. No more. And it's not that I don't have plenty of other mugs to have my tea in, plus overcrowded kitchen cupboards, replacing it seems silly - and it looks like they don't even sell them in all those gorgeous colours anymore. The utter. stupidity. of that! - I will however really miss this applegreen perfectness. We've had many good times and the sharing of bad times together over the years.


The awesomeness of clover.
The scent of fresh greenery and the cuteness of pink.

Monday, June 27, 2011

dotty spectacles joy


The very best about Midsummer might have been that I got to pick up my new glasses plus prescription sunglasses. I love the new dotty glasses, cuteness. The bobbaloos still think I should have gone for the cow patterned ones, but they admit these are rather fancy too.


Jojo and Seth even tried them on, they found them tad too big but swear they gave them X-ray vision superpowers.


The sunglasses are discreetely chequered and even though I would have prefered a slightly different model for them, they are nice and oversized (bee-queen style, just the way I like 'em).


I remember writing something about an installation of old and new Pia-glasses - I couldn't find the really old ones, I have been wearing glasses on and off since late teens, some have been worn to pieces others are still packed in moving boxes in the shed. 10 years and many boxes still unpacked... - here are some.

The ones in the far back are broken, the next two pairs give me headaches since their strength are way off now. But I enjoy the model of the brown frame ones. I've kept them just for fun. Which reminds me, someone said that many Swedish pharmacies have a recycle/charity system for glasses. Will have to check that out.

The other six pairs I still wear. The middle two pairs with slightly less strength than the four front super-power ones (even if you're not a bobbaloo).


Now wouldn't it be lovely to be able to have a pair of red frame glasses (tricky to find the right red hue and model), cat eye-glasses, perhaps some funky green ones and... M thinks I might be developing an addiction deep fondness for glasses, like with certain shoes and bobbaloos. I snort at such remarks. And dream of glasses.

dotty spectacles II

Sunday, June 26, 2011

wiksunds garden and apple factory


I haven't forgotten the Stockholm, Sweden Q&A, where I have still at least one post to go on nice things to experience here. I will not write a long long list of things to see and do, but I will give a few hints, more personal favourites, the gems, the walks that give great views and such, than the very obvious tourist attractions (since they can be found in any guide-book anyway). That said, this will not be that post.

However this post will be about a new gem I've found, one which I highly recommend a summer visit (as it is a garden/nursery) to. Though in order to get there, having your own car/driver is recommended. It felt like we drove forever (despite it being suburbian Stockholm, I keep forgetting how long the distances between the suburbs on different sides of the city can be) and the nearest bus-stop was quite far from the garden itself. The name of the garden with a café is "Wiksunds trädgård", with an apple jucie factory called just that "Äppelfabriken" plus a cat boarding house. Their websites do leave a lot to be desired on many levels and they are only partially available in English. But they give a notion of the place.


My main reason for going there was a tip I got from my sister-in-law about the garden being the Swedish retailer of the organic Scottish super-fertilizer called Rockdust (which I have still to spread in garden. Super-sized plants and growth not expected until next year).

~ I hadn't heard of the garden beforehand in any other way, strangely enough as it seems to be one of those trendy, well-known eco conscious garden/cafés that seems to be popping up here and there over these past 10 years or so. I'm very pro the idea of eco conscious garden/cafés, obviously, I'm just very no-pro the hip-factor. Places I've found to be gems before they get all trendy most often no longer interest me when they start to attract a certain kind of über-hip-anxious clientele. They play in the same league as the infamous pram-mob. The places that attracts those groups are places I prefer to shy away from. End of side note ~


The garden is tucked away far out at the island/suburb Ekerö - you pass the royal palace Drottningholm on the way, the castle that made bobbaloos swoon - you can get there by car, bus (and a long walk) or boat.


I loved the pretty unpretentiousness. And the fact that they had mugs in different sizes, for big cuppa lovers as well as the more modest tea-drinkers. The food and drinks in the café were organic and fairtrade, there were vegetarian light dishes and a fair amount of different coffee bread to chose from. I chose rubarb pie. It was heavenly. Sweet and sour, crunchy, toffeeish and smooth in a delightful blend. And a generous serving at that. As usual it was the boobaloos who ate most of it of course, but the spoonfuls I got were wonderful.



Their own apple juice didn't impress none of us. But it was a sweet touch with the offer of a small glass for 5 sek. Yes, overall the café prices were appealing.

What I didn't like was the lack of seatings for guests. I can see it being a popular place to visit and to have a café with that few chairs and tables struck me as very strange. Nor did I appreciate the many sheepskin hides thrown on the garden chairs.


Apart from the Rockdust fertilizer I didn't get any stuff for the garden - but I will definitely be back for at least the digging dog - the cat boarding house (situated as a part of the garden) looked very sweet. The current guests seemed pleased with the accomodation.




What we did get get though was a jar of rhubarb vanilla jam - which turned out to be lovely - and a bottle of rhubarb nectar - which the proprietor said was nice to mix with vanilla vodka. I'm sure it will be nice just as it is too.

Needless to say, we'll be back. Hip or not.


Saturday, June 25, 2011

dig the dog


Admittedly loaf dog doesn't dig as much as some dogs do, but sometimes he does finds unknown pleasures he needs to dig out, or just a create the perfect cool place to lie down in when the summer heat gets too much. Most plants have been spared his digging, touch wood, but some are no more.

I spotted this perfect garden ornament - at a lovely spot yet to be written about, on that long glorious weekend now nearly a month ago... - a while back. Things were busy at closing time in that nursery then, but I'd love to have that little cast-iron loaf-dog-looking-rear of a digging dog in my garden too. Must remember to ask where to buy. Quite the perfect garden accessory (she says until she spots another one of those...).


Friday, June 24, 2011

the bobbaloos' first midsummer


Midsummer, one of those Swedish traditional celebrations completely blown out of proportion (mainly due to the extensive, pathetic and sad alcohol consumption). Like New Year, Midsummer has long since lost its appeal (if it ever had any) to me. I read two tweets that sums up my personal feelings well;

"New Year and Midsummer - celebrations for hags and amateurs only" and "To not drink alcohol hasn't killed anyone". The grumpy part said, it is the bobbaloos first Swedish Midsummer Eve. It has been spent in garden, with flower spotting, veggie barbecueing, strawberries and pastries.


And the adorable Rodney Rose.

I hope you get to spend the Mid summer weekend
in a joyous, kind, summery way ~

Thursday, June 23, 2011

berlin revisited


A short work break to just say that the closer I get to actual vacation mode the happier I am that we decided to make Berlin our main holiday destination this year too.


I'm sad that my Berlin friend and her family will be away on holiday elsewhere at the time, it would be so nice to meet again and not let another 10 years pass between our dates. But I am still so looking forward to the breakfasts at Café im Literaturhaus, the walking, the exploring, the photographing, the savouring of atmosphere, the gems, the shoe sales, the great vegetarian food, the clearing of mind away from the everyday treadmill, the cafés, the peoplewatching, the food for thought. The city of many faces.


I am so grateful that I'm able to now and then get away like this. From all treadmill nuiscance and everyday stupidity, getaways are a bliss on so many levels. Gratitude.



Where are you spending your summer holiday this year?
And if you care to share your favourite places in Berlin,
oh, I wouldn't mind if you did...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

busy days

little helper

Two things that will keep me crazy busy (at least it feels like that at the moment) until next Wednesday which is due date for both things.

A) The fine tuning of a final report. Which turned out to be so much more work than anticipated, I learnt only yesterday. I would still grump about the tiresome lack of forward planning and information deficit was I paid a reasonable salary for it. Now I grump about it as a whole. The thing I write about is a disheartening part of the Swedish welfare system gone awry, so the actual subject is very interesting on many levels. But in this shape and form, annoying and heartbreaking only. I will be relieved when it's finished.

On the plus side, I can work from home. I get a lot more done that way. Despite those eager little furball helpers spreading themselves over everything everywhere.

art project june 2011

B) Just a li'l glimpse of what will hopefully be a presentable piece of textile art. Also due next Wednesday. Turned out the piece of fabric I got was way larger than anticipated, thus it will take more work to finish. With my sore hand/thumb that feels less a joy than it normally would. But it also leaves room for creativity. Plus the artsy fartsy explanations I've come up for my interpretations of the theme, they amuse me.

I am tad stressed about this - especially since it's the long Midsummer weekend and one is supposed to relax and not work... - but in a way it feels good to work with to so very different things side by side. One to fuel the leftside of the brain, one for the rightside. I'm sure it will feel very satisfying when it's finished. And, hey, in a couple of weeks, vacation mode only for four glorious summer weeks...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

summer solstice

shoe per diem june 21, 2011 - mock-orange and yellow

I feel there have been no proper dark nights for many a days now, but apparently it's not summer solstice until today. The lack of dark nights may be one of the reasons for my ongoing tiredness I suppose. I intended to call this 'the tired tuesday post', but 'summer solstice' has a more poetic ring to it. So be it.

Today I picked a wee twig of mock-orange on my way home. One of the loveliest scents I know. I sniffed happily on that wee twig all the way home on train, on bus. Every year I mean to get a shrub of my own. Still haven't.

Lilacs, lilies of the valley, mock-orange - oh summer, you scent intoxicating fleeting season!

I hope you're having a fine kind of summer solstice wherever you are ~

Monday, June 20, 2011

monday musings

One good thing about the pitiful day Monday, a day with few benefits for most of us, is that you can name your blogpost "Monday musings". No other day has quite that ring to it. So thank you Monday for that.

:: Enjoyed a very nice pampering couple of hours at the hairdresser today. Another good Monday feature (at least this week).

:: I then met a good friend (not that I really care about such things, but we think of ourselves as star sisters since we're born on the same year and in the same star sign, it's not that often you meet those people, it feel special) for coffee. I never really get around to selling those clothes I've finally closet cleansed these days, so when she said she'd have a look at some I took some garments with me. She bought some and I was happy the clothes will have a better home with her than me. Plus money in rather than out is always nice.

:: When I was packing the clothes to bring I decided to use an old bag I hadn't used (I'm ashamed to admit, but...) for four years. The lovely Nelson Mandela bag I got in Cape Town that year. When I opened it I found a pair of sunglasses that has been lost for those four years. The most expensive sunglasses I've ever bought and ever will buy -

the best sunglasses I've ever had was a pair of £1 from McDonald's (a place I very, very, rarely visit, just so we're clear about that); they looked fab, they protected my eyes perfectly from the sun and they lasted for many years. To pay a ridiculous amount of money for sunglasses is just plain silly as far as I'm concerned. They don't protect your eyes more, they scratch and get lost just as easily as a cheaper version -

I've looked for them on and off for quite some time obviously. And then, when you least expect it apparently... The black spectacle case was hardly visible against the dark fabric lining of the bag, so I must have overlooked it when I unpacked. The silliest thing. I may have to start using contact lenses now and again, just to be able to use these sunglasses for a change.

:: Which leads me into the next musing. The fact that I last week did order another pair of glasses - not the bobbaloo cow-pattern ones, but a beige/dotty similar pair - plus a pair of prescription sunglasses. The latter did have a touch of (no mad) cow about them, sidepieces are cow-patterned plus also inside the frames.

I couldn't find any supersized frames I prefer when it comes to sunglasses, so in the end I chose from three very different ones. The other two looked great as ordinary glasses, but I think they'd be too small to be really sun-protective. The optician thought the ones I eventually chose were too large. Which was a comment that finally lead me to chose them. I like too large in sunglasses.

I'm hoping they'll be ready to pick up before the end of this week, but I'll probably get them next week. Hooray, finally I can wear my transformer goggles even if it's sunny outside.

:: When I browsed the sales I spotted (no pun intended. Well perhaps tad) a cardigan who matched the new glasses, pinkish beige with white dots. I surprised myself with being very prudent and thinking that it wasn't the kind of cardigan to fly of the hangers and I could wait for the final sales. Small step for mankind, big step for Pia. But I still think every gal should have at least one cardigan that matches her spectacle frames.

:: I know there are ways to donate your old glasses to organisations that forward them to people in need. Still haven't found such organisations in Sweden, but surely they exist? Have you donated your old glasses to charity?

:: I'm really tired and annoyed (to say the least) about people so willingly wasting other people's time: Because if you obviously don't have any intention or interest (or enough imagination or think-outside-the-box-iness) to work with someone with my background; do not ask if I'm free for coffee to discuss future collaborations.

If you can't present your own organisation with other than flashy English phrases (unless it is an English-speaking organisation of course) and give a clear picture of what you're actually working with but still insisting that I should tell you where I see myself in the organisation (consisting of two people).

Keep your "advice" on which education I lack to be interesting for you, if you had read the CV or asked beforehand you already would have known that I didn't have that and actually, I have no interest whatsoever to work within that field either.

And finally, come talk with me 10 years down the line when you might have gained some experience and knowledge of hopefully thinking more outside-the-box.

Yes, I did have a stupid waste-of-my-precious-time meeting last week. It's laughable, if it wasn't so annoying. I'm forever grateful for having friends, acquaintances and sometimes even strangers who talk such matters through with. The input, the affirmation, the good talks, invaluable.

One of these days I will get up and walk out of such meetings. I'm sure I'm not the only person's time they are wasting. The daftness of it all.

:: I've been no less than crap visiting and commenting on blogs lately. Is it the weather, the summer that still makes room for the writing itch, but leave so much less for the reading one?

:: Last week was a very green week. A perky green week. Just looking at this snap makes me happy. This week has so far been too rainy to be that sunny green, but nature loves it. Flourishes. Which also is happiness instigating in another way.

Happy week, rainy week, Monday musings.

shoe per diem june 13, 2011 - very green

Sunday, June 19, 2011

the curious pebble project


When I was little I remember old folks using different weighty objects as a way to keep the outdoors table cloth in place on table. The weighty objects (smaller stones, marbles, glass) were often covered by little crocheted "bags" with a string and a clip-on to attach to the corners of the table cloth. Pretty little everyday things.


Over the years those home/handmade table cloth weights have been replaced by boring steel clip-ons, plastic weights and yes, some fancy design pieces too (I remember having coveted some large cement rabbits weights years ago).

When I first spotted some pretty crocheted stones on Etsy a few years ago I immediately thought of those handmade table cloth weights, albeit those were often of the smaller pebble kind. I have since only admired them at a distance - and strangely enough I've never really thought of making some myself, I still don't, I don't feel an urge as one often do with yarn, this is a pretty creativity I'm just happy to leave to other's sweet talents - but was of course very happy when one of the magic perky mushroom receivers said she wanted to send me one.


One that turned out to be three - but as three is a lucky number I'm certainly very happy with that - in happy, perky colours. It's such a crazy - good crazy of course - thing to be sending stones by mail. And good crazy things need to be appreciated in blog. Hence this little post. About the project, which crocheter Julianna named "The Curious Pebble Project". She does not only sell the stones in her Etsy-shop, to feed her creativity she also leaves crocheted stones on the beach, for people to find and enjoy. Something which I, needless to say, wholeheartedly think is a lovely thing to do. More yarny matters to the world!


When the stones arrived they were first dutifully inspected and sniffed by loaf dog. 


Then the three perky stones were claimed by three bobbaloos. Three colour-matching bobbaloos of course. Yes, if you haven't guessed by now, we are all indeed very colour-matching conscious in this household.


Buddernut and the curious orange stone


Phalpha and the curious yellow stone


Darlin' Chubs and the curious pink stone

The stones are now happily resting in their perky li'l sweaters on the red kitchen buffet. Thank you for sending them, Julianna, they are lovely pieces of nature and human creativity combined ~


Saturday, June 18, 2011

saturday colours that made me happy


This pie. It was heavenly. With rhubarb and strawberries in a crust that was perfect, served with custard. At sweet Café Tant Gredelin (Aunty Violet). Of course the accompanying bobbaloos in question (Nilla and Georgia) ate most of it. I only had a spoonful or so. Really.



They had a blast amongst the flowers when we went to get some new plants at Alsta gardens. Can you see them?


They thought the pond was very fetching and they met a giant friendly frog. 


Myself, I was quite sad to learn that these pretty garden LED-lights I lusted after, turned out to be no LED-lights at all (despite the label), just glowing in the sunlight flowers. On the other hand, I lust no more and saved my money.

shoe per diem june 18, 2011 - orange
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