Saturday, January 31, 2015

the semmelwrap

the semmelwrap

More often than not Stockholm is so hip(ster) it's ridiculous. 

The latest thing everyone talks about is the new version of the classic Swedish semla (lenten bun), namely the 'semmelwrap'. Created by bakery Tössebageriet and just what it sounds like; a semla turned into a wrap instead of a cardamom wheat bun. Filled with almond pasted and whipped cream and easy to eat on the go.

Though why anyone would like to eat a semla on the go is of course a question in itself.

Ever since the version was launched a couple of weeks ago the queues have been long outside the bakery in question. And other bakeries come up with their new versions, like hamburger-semla, hot dog-semla and hemla. In fact there has been a veritable semla war between hip bakers in Stockholm as well as vivid discussions amongst PR analysts regarding marketing and content. Yup really. Read more about it in this article (only in Swedish).

Apparently I felt a need to try this semmelwrap myself. So before our "usual" Saturday breakfast we went to Tössebageriet to buy some. They opened at 9 am, we got there at 8.55. There was already a queue outside. Oh Stockholm, sometimes you really are too much.

So what did I think of the wrap? Well, it was lighter and not as filling as the classic semla. Rather nice, but too much whipped cream (and un-evenly distributed so when you reach the end it was dry bread only) and too sugary almond paste. Ie not the least bit similar to the Stockholm Super Semla.

Sure it was practical to eat, but I prefer the classic seml and the slow procedure of eating it. And I will certainly not ever again stand in a long line to get one.

Friday, January 30, 2015

the tiny sprout picker

food and drink at home

Have you ever wondered what the one picking and packing the sprouts looks like? 
Now you know.

Happy, sprout-filled weekend one and all!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

how to make a perfect paw print in snow

luddkolt's british shorthair

I attended a mixed group course in "How to make the perfect paw print in snow" the other day. To cut a longer story short I was rubbish.

luddkolt's british shorthair

Luckily I wasn't the only one. Not even all those with actual paws were very good at it. Some prefered the only green patch available for under cover birdwatching.

luddkolt's british shorthair

Those who paid good attention and had the right tools for it were awesome though!

luddkolt's british shorthair

Meet the A-student.

luddkolt's british shorthair

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

look, a parrot scarf!

parrot scarf

I may be a knitter, crocheter, yarn addict myself but I don't shy away from beautiful things created by others. So as soon as I saw Nina Führer's shop on Etsy with gorgeous animal scarves I knew I had to have one. And I was lucky enough to be able to get it with some Christmas money, hooray!

the parrot scarf and i

Of all the different animals on scarf to choose from the cockatoo was the most adorable and realistic to have wrapped and on your shoulder imho so the choice was obvious. Even if every piece is cute - although admittedly as it is with foxes, even wool ones signals a real dead fur fox around your neck, I can never really look past that - this was THE one for me.

the parrot scarf and i

It arrived the other week and it's absolutely gorgeous. Possibly not appreciated by the feline inspectors because "sigh, another furry one who will no doubt demand time, attention and cuddles", but the more appreciated by me. The design is seemingly simple and understated and at the same time very impressive. Over all a fabulous piece. I haven't had the opportunity to wear it just yet, but the wool (not merino wool of course) is soft and warm. The parrot is adorable and its beak is a clip that serves as a clasp.

the parrot scarf and i

I'm so happy about this wonderful parrot scarf but I really need to practise how to wear it in a way that makes the piece justice AND keep me warm in the harsh winter we're having in Sweden. Easier said than done. This is so much more than just wrapping a wool scarf around your neck to keep warm, this is a piece of art that needs proper flaunting.

the parrot scarf and i

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

on holocaust memorial day

auschwitz concentration camp

It's now six months since I visited Auschwitz. Today marks the day of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, 70 years later. Mankind has sadly learnt very little since. And I really don't have the words to describe how both physically and emotionally exhausting the six hours long tour through the hell that Auschwitz was. I can only say that it should be an obligatory visit for everyone. Followed by a long hard think about how we treat our fellow earthlings and our daily choices.

auschwitz concentration camp

I wrote this piece as a part of my storytelling course last autumn. It reflects my feelings and thoughts, at least in parts, from that day -

"On a scorchingly hot summer day we visit the concentration camp Auschwitz, Oświęcim, outside Krakow, Poland. Just reading the first information signs outside the entrance building I can’t stop my tears from falling. This is truly one hell on earth and yet it looks like a Hollywood movie set. From the ”Arbeit macht free”sign over the entrance gate to being completely exhausted both mentally and physically after this six hours long tour, this is a surreal day.

Under the hot sun, were green lawns, trees and birdsong blend with dirt roads, brick buildings with a history of unspeakable violence and pain, barbed wire and warning signs I experience one of the most important and heartbreaking days of my life. And I only visit the horror briefly, I didn’t live it over 50 years ago. Visiting a place that so blatantly show the darkest, most despicable nature of mankind tears keep trickling down my face behind my sunglasses.

The tour clearly shows that humans haven’t learnt much from such horror. We still lack so much compassion, treat some fellow humans as second class citizens. And most of all we treat fellow earthlings, other sentient beings as consumables. In the very same way as the nazis did the prisoners in Auschwitz.

We use and abuse animals as mere things for entertainment, experimentation, food and wearables. Just like women and girls in Auschwitz other sentient beings like cows and pigs are subject to rape, insemination and other cruelty. Babies torn from their mothers, sent to their deaths. No compassion, only the sense of entitlement. In laboratories and zoos earthlings are subjected to pain and suffering for the sake of human greed and entertainment. For millions of animals all over the world every day is concentration camp.

To quote Tolstoy – ”As long as there are slaughterhouses, there will be battlefields”. 

Violence breeds violence. Love and compassion is always the answer."

And yes, of course I cry as I write this and look back at the pictures. The unspeakable cruelty and entitlement lives on in other shapes and situations, all over the world, every day. Still.

auschwitz concentration camp

auschwitz concentration camp

auschwitz concentration camp

Monday, January 26, 2015

knitting by rota

a very furry vest to be

If you can read by rota you can certainly knit and crochet by it. Like I also do, but just like with the reading less structured. And well, it's difficult to be structured about it since it's not very easy to "chapterize" the knitting and crocheting. But like with the reading I keep different projects going for different situations Things easy to knit or crochet watching TV or movies and more complicated projects while being able to focus on the project only.

So old assembling-only projects aside - and seriously I'm not the only one who's notoriously bad at completely finishing yarn projects am I? - these are my four major projects right now.


From one purrfect quality inspector to another - the sweet sweater is finished! I'm now in the process of figuring out how exactly to assemble it correctly. And that is certainly no mean feat. It has been quite a process understanding the pattern, which turned out to be bit faulty, and now the actual assembling is more difficult than one would expect. The sweater is made in two parts only, back and front and the back is both back, part of the front as well as sleeves. Yes really. It would be very nice to be able to grasp the assembling instructions and just finish it and being able to wear it asap. Hopefully that will be a reality soon.

amigurumi in progress

Since I took this picture of my amigurumi owls to be I have crocheted 12 of them, stuffed their bodies, crocheted 12 tiny beaks and 24 tiny eyes. I'm now in the process of embroidering those 24 tiny eyes. After that I'll have to sew 36 tiny pieces on 12 owl bodies and then I will attach them to a mobile. It's not complicated work just very time consuming and pretty hard on the hands.


And this, this is a glimpse of a pretty awesome pair of mittens to be. From a lovely pattern inspired by a classic Swedish pastry. Care to guess which one? I'm very excited to finish this project because the adorableness of the finished product knows no boundaries. I've been wanting to knit this for well over a year, but I only finally got the yarn and pattern before Christmas. And now I'm well on my way to one mitten being finished, hooray!

And then there's the top picture of a pretty amazing yarn. What will that become then? The correct answer is: a verrry furry vest. I saw the vest in a yarn shop in Sigtuna before Christmas, found it amazing and now I've finally bought the yarn to make it myself. The vest in the shop was winter white but that yarn colour was discontinued so I went for greyish instead. The pattern is very simple, but in size small only, obviously that needs tweaking and I will make it a proper open vest instead of the slipover that was in the shop.

And that's my knitting/crocheting rota for now. How about yours?


Sunday, January 25, 2015

reading by rota


Yesterday I learnt about a rather brilliant concept I hadn't known about - thank you Instagram - but which I've sort of been practicing forever (granted in a less structured way), namely reading by rota.

Ie read lots of books simultaneously but only one chapter per book at a time, then put it at the bottom in the currently reading-pile and read one chapter in the top book. Continue until finished.

When I read - and not when I am in the lost reading mojo mood - I always read several books. Of different genres, in Swedish and English, in different sizes, to fit my mood and time of day. But I have never done the one chapter at the time only concept before. I will start now. Reading by rota. Because it seems like a great way to actually finish abooks that give you a certain resistence but not so much that you will put the book away completely.

Although, the two books above which I also got yesterday, Amanda Hellberg's latest and Erin Kelly's debut novel, they will most likely not play a part of my current rota. Because I just have to finish them asap. Since they both seem awfully compelling! 

I loved Hellberg's previous supernatural suspense novels and after reading the first half of this one I'm certainly not disappointed so far.

Then, then I will continue a strict schedule in my reading by rota. Because I'm quite quite smitten by the concept.

How do you read, one book at a time or several?
What are your current read/s?

Saturday, January 24, 2015

paddington in the window

paddington in da window
In the window display at one of our major department store I found this friendly fella today. I loved the endearing Paddington books as a child and I am looking forward to the film. 

However sadly it seems they are all dubbed to Swedish in Sweden and there are only daytime shows. Because surely none other than a child would want to watch Paddington the movie?

If that is the unfortunate case I will wait for the DVD. Dubbed movies are the worst, for all sorts of reasons, you should be able to chose for yourself.

Have you seen the film?
What did you think?

Friday, January 23, 2015

yellow lemon heart

the organic lemon heart

What do you do when life hands you organic lemons?
Well, colour match them with bobbaloos of course!

Also I read such an interesting piece - on LinkedIn of all places, it's in Swedish but I'm sure you can get the same info by googling - about the benefit of lemons and lemon water. And since I do feel a bit blah, pale, listless and frumpy - yup that too - at the moment despite good food and my supplements - it has indeed been a long dark winter and it's far from over... - I thought I'd give it an organic go.

Heart bowl by ceramist friend Lena

Thursday, January 22, 2015

randy the pig


This is a story of a little pet pig who wants to go home, but isn't allowed to due to a case of a bad bad animal shelter behaviour. Instead of me writing about the sad case of little Randy and his unfortunate current situation I will just implore you to read his story at this link (where you will also find additional information and a petition to sign).

I believe the story to be true, but you of course have to decide for yourself after reading his story from people who know him. From my own experience as a breeder of British Shorthair cats I know I'd be heartbroken if this happened to any of the kittens I'd sold. And a wee pig is most likely a more delicate creature than an often more resourceful cat.

So if you too want to bring Randy the pig home, you can also view his Facebook page and tweet about him with the hashtag #bringrandythepighome

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

tofu breaded in sesame seeds

sesame seeds tofu

The most brilliant idea was to bread diced firm tofu in sesame seeds only. Then fry them golden in rapeseed oil. Salt and pepper.

Addictive, crunchy deliciousness!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

look, a cat rocket!

the cat rocket

It's a rare sight, a cat rocket caught on camera. So this is a treat. Of a very sweet kind. Behold the rocket charging.

cat rocket 2015

And there it went off!

The rocket herself thinks she's really scary and impressive, the target, her little sister, is less than impressed.

cat rocket 2015

After a hard days work as a little red rocket it's good to have a decent snuggle with grandma. Who has find the perfect head rest. Not only a cat rocket, but a good head rest too. Such a versatile creature, this Sister Red one.

snuggling with grandma

Monday, January 19, 2015

the new glasses 2015

glasses 2015

The glasses I ordered have arrived and been picked up. And this is what they look like.

It's quite a revelation when you try them on for the first time with prescription glass in them. SInce when you're so nearsighted that you're practically blind as a bat without glasses/lenses the finer details of certain frames can't be seen when you try them out. Which I am.

glasses 2015

When I tried them out I was so happy that the red/beige frame ones were still available a year and a half later. The choice was easy. But now when they have prescription glasses in them I realise the shape (not visible in picture) of the frames makes the glass a bit too much, in a way that makes me tad dizzy because everything is too clear. If that makes sense? Also for perfection I think they should have been slightly wider and less high for my face. Details details.

glasses 2015

On the other hand, I love the blue/teal ones. They fit great and I have no issues with the shape, size or glass. They go well with my eye colour too, which is a funny little thing I've never thought or seen in glasses before.

So far I've worn the red ones once and that went well, despite slight dizziness. I will most certainly not give up my beloved dotty ones, but they need new unscratched prescription glass soon. It's fantastic really that you can get such good value for money when you get glasses these days. Not ridiculously cheap, but really affordable. I remember glasses to be crazy expensive when I was in my late teens and bought my first pair. Such a good development for us with poor eye sight (who are not so fond of contact lenses) and a love for quirky design.

glasses 2015
Glasses from smarteyes

Sunday, January 18, 2015

the little quality food inspector

food at home

You don't necessarily need a feline food inspector when you cook vegan or vegetarian food.

But it sure helps to guarantee the quality of the fresh produce.

Add rapeseed oil, coconut milk, curry, salt and pepper to these ingredients and hey presto - delicious creamy vegetable curry!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

the perfect saturday morning revisited

vegetarian breakfast

About a year ago we started a little tradition, which isn't very strict and we far from always stuck to it but still, with this type of Saturday breakfast. It has been a very very rare thing this past autumn/winter. For all sorts of reasons. But today we had a revisit. And it was lovely. Sure I have the soy latte now and then, but not at this exact place and not with breakfast. So I really really enjoyed the grilled, fresh sandwich, the smoohie and the soy latte. The view, the quiet time, the start of a leasurely weekend day.

Simple things like this really are the best.

Friday, January 16, 2015

the friday night cat tongue is out

the friday night cat tongue

The remote control coma cat is awake but her style remains the same. 
She certainly is an odd ball this one. And rather precious.

the friday night cat tongue

the friday night cat tongue

the friday night cat tongue

the friday night cat tongue

Have a fine weekend one and all, 
tongue in or out, your choice!

the friday night cat tongue

Thursday, January 15, 2015

downton tabby

downton tabby

This might be one of the most clever, brilliant, awesome books I've ever read. It combines one of the best TV-series, Downton Abbey obviously, with cats. Or rather it shows the conspicuous similarities with the then behaviour and life of the upper class with the always ones of cats. 

A very thin book but brimming with hilarious observations for all of us who love cats and Downton Abbey. And wonderful illustrations. I've laughed and giggled myself to sleep a few nights now.

downton tabby

And of course most of the posh and not so posh Downton Tabbies are British Shorthairs. Go figure.

Oh I fear I sat the standard almost impossibly high for my reading year 2015 beginning with Downton Tabby.

downton tabby

Which is your first book of 2015?
Enjoyable or not?

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

two arctic foxes and a photobombing rabbit

miniature arctic foxes

Spotted this adorable pair of miniature arctic foxes in a window display the other day. I think their expressions are just precious. And I do hope they are made of fake fur.

No matter how I tried I wasn't able to take their picture without the lens louse of a white rabbit. Hence the photobombing. But I suppose three is a lucky number.

The Save the arctic fox Kånken backpack was very much appreciated by the way, although gift receiver wanted another colour combination. Imho quite a bland and pitiful colour combination compared to the green-blue one, but well, it wasn't my call, it wasn't my backpack, many happy backpack wearing days to come!

miniature arctic foxes

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

umbrella tea strainer

tea umbrella

Come rain or shine, this little blue umbrella is a pretty perfect tea strainer. Unlike other silicone strainers I've bought this one is both easy to fill and clean. From Ototo, just like the yellow submarine (which is hell to clean unfortunately).

Cute kitchen gadgets that fill a purpose and work is one of life's little happies, wouldn't you agree?

tea umbrella

PS Happy S:t Knut's Day, time to say a proper goodbye to Christmas! DS
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