Sunday, 30 May 2010

owl craze

Being the second to last Saturday I'm spending in Durbs for a while, I wanted to go to Pavillion one last time. Didn't really plan to go anywhere specific, but while having another great breakfast at The Little Italian Place, I remembered I hadn't been to Accessorize during this stay. I usually don't buy anything there, cos I find it a bit expensive, but I really like looking cos they've got so many pretty things. This time I fell in love though, and could simply not leave without this little fella! 149 rand isn't exactly a bargain, but it looks very 60's vintage, and had it been of course the price would have been a lot higher (I'm pretty good at making up convincing stories to defend my spending ...). I also know that I will wear this brooch a lot, it might even become what I'm known for.

At another visit to Pavillion I saw a girl with this owl tote bag, and said straight away to my husband: "I want that bag." For some reason I didn't ask her however where she got it from, but maybe that's why I went to Accessorize this time: cos there it was, waiting for me.

I tried very hard to keep my cool, and think I managed pretty well. What I really wanted to do was jump up and down for a bit, giggling with happiness! 199 rand seemed fair, it's quite big and I can use it as my carry-on-luggage on my way back home to Stockholm, so no need to pack it and adding to the final weight. Good thinking, huh? It also matches my owl jewellery that I got in Stockholm just before I left for Durban, which sorts of completes an irrational shopping circle, in my mind.

They have very cute plastic bags at Accessorize, and I love when they pack your things in pretty pink tissue paper. I remember finding this chain store in London back in the late 80's, the first time I went there. It's always been a very good store, and maybe it's a good thing that it's a little on the expensive side, cos otherwise I'd buy too much there. The last thing I couldn't resist this time was these lovely butterfly earrings for 89 rand.

Just look at this little trio! I like, I like, I like, three time's the charm. Perfect for long bright summer nights out, paired with a flowery dress and chilled rosé wine.

First I didn't want to go to Mr Price, cos I felt pretty done with it the last time I went (I mean for this time, not forever, I love this store!), but as soon as we walked by on our way to Look & Listen, I could feel it drawing me in. As always. It's a very strong pull, I tell you. Being end of month it was crazy packed with people though, so I just made a quick browse and decided to be happy with this nice red cardigan and be done with it.

I've been looking for a red cardigan for a long time, and this is kinda perfect to wear over a dress, especially a black and white one, and I just love the shiny buttons. Being Mr Price of course the price was nice: 89 rand. And clearly my new best friend likes it too! So I didn't feel too sad to leave Pavillion, my favorite shopping castle, behind for this time. Don't go changing, and survive the World Cup. I'll be back. For sure.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

a duo of dresses with music

I thought it was about time I posted something including myself, not just empty dresses, even though I prefer taking pictures of them rather than posing myself. This picture is from September 2008, outside of Kägelbanan in Stockholm, where the lovely burlesque club Hootchy Kootchy was hosting that night, and I finally made it there with two dear friends. I had wanted to go since the first time I heard about it, but for different reasons it took me a very long time to make it happen. Part of the great fun of the night definitely was prepping in my apartment: dressing up to the teeth, putting make-up on, painting nails, drinking champagne, choosing the right music to get us into burlesque mood. We even made up burlesque names for the night, which was great fun! I decided to go with this pretty red vintage dress that I got in Barcelona 5 years ago. Not surprisingly it's polyester, so not ideal for going out dancing, but it was okay. The tattoo I'm showing off is brand new, hence the showing off. It's the initial P, for my husband, that I redesigned from an old Victorian font.

The dress doesn't really look that good just hanging like that, but I like it a lot, and it was one of very many good buys from an excellent long weekend stay in Barcelona. I've always wanted to go back since, and one day I'll make sure I will. My guess is the dress is from the 70's or early 80's, and I've remade the sleeves a bit, cos the fabric on the back looked a bit weird and there was just too much of it, almost like a cape.

The music I wanted to pair this dress with is the new album by my very own brother, Rasmus Kellerman, The 24th, released about a week ago. It's called his debut, cos it's his first album under his own name, but in reality I believe it's his 6th album. I guess you could say that I'm pretty biased, him being my brother and all, but you just have to trust me on this: it's a really really good album! I've been listening to it so much lately, and it reminds me of home. I think home is where you make it, but also an original place, where you come from. Not necessarily a house, or a town, or even a place, but a feeling of where you became you. Sure, changes will happen during the way to adulthood, you may move around, people come and go in your life and leave different things behind or show you the way to new places, but that abstract "home" will always stay the same and you always carry it with you. That's what this album is about. In my opinion. The amazing cover painting is made by Andreas M. Wiese.

The second dress of today is here seen on me in spring of 2005, if memory doesn't fail me. Maybe it was fall, or even 2006? Either way, it's me with my former band, Dexter's Moon, at Landet, Stockholm, performing as one of four acts at the "Kellerman Night", a one night club only. How this happened was that me and my brothers have old friends that had this club, and one time we started talking about putting all of our groups together for one night, that it could be kinda fun. And it sure was. Apart from Dexter's, my older brother's band Statemachine performed, as well as Rasmus (as his project Araki I think) and his wife Andrea/Firefox AK. It's a pretty small venue, but it was packed with mostly friends, and when we weren't playing live we were also dj-ing, which is something I really love doing, and used to do quite regularly for a while. As a final treat at the end of the night we all did a cover together (me, my brothers and Andrea), The Luckiest Guy on the Lower East Side by The Magnetic Fields. It was a very good night indeed, and it would sure be fun to repeat sometime in the future, depending on whatever we're doing then. Oh, and in the background there's a horror movie looping, but in this exact moment something else entirely is going on as you can see ...

The dress is an adorable polyester one, full of flowers, from Stadsmissionen at Nytorget, Stockholm, many years ago. Probably from the 70's, it had long sleeves and was full length, but I changed it as you can see. I really like it still, and it's nice to wear with a top, so as it's almost like a skirt too.

Yesterday my good friend, and also music producer, Juni Järvi, released a new single from his upcoming second album. You can listen to it here. I think it's quite lovely and summery and happy and makes me want to dance althrough a Swedish bright summer's night! Can't wait for the album release in September, but I can reveal I've been fortunate enough to listen to some wonderful snippets when I've visited the studio to work on my own stuff. It promised big and bold and beautiful, and I want to see Juni and his band play live many times this summer and fall, so I hope there will be plenty of bookings for that too. Oh, and obviously the single cover is completely divine too! Very much my cup of tea, but I suspect the album cover might look even better, I won't tell you why though. You just wait and see. As will I, eagerly.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

sunny saturday shopping

Yesterday I wanted to go into town for what might be the last time in a long while. I wanted to go down to Beachfront, and visit three of my favorite places for what I intended was mostly gift shopping. Of course I ended up buying some gifts for myself as well. How could I resist, and by doing that also miss out on the opportunity to support local design? That would just be rude. We left quite early, and it was sunny with a slight chilly wind, which by the time we got to the beach had vanished. I'm ashamed to say that I completely unintentionally littered the pier, cos after 3 minutes my icecream melted and I didn't want to throw melted chocolate and caramel into the ocean that was crowded with surfers. I'm sorry, next time I'll eat my icecream in 2 minutes.

One stop was African Arts Centre on Florida Road, which is an amazing place. It's a bit more expensive than most other places, but the design is usually much better, and they do a lot of good projects with women that I think feels good to support. Most of the stuff I got there are gifts, and I can't really show them off, but this little fella for 85 rand I couldn't resist for myself. He's just too cute! So once again I failed my promise of not bringing home any more bead work animals. And he's gonna have to get a passport, cos I'm gonna take him all the way back to Sweden.

Of course we had to go to NSA Gallery too, we started with breakfast in their lovely garden. They make divine cappuccino and delicious food, I've always been happy with everything I've had to eat there. So even if the store wasn't so great, I'd keep going there for the café. Now the store is great, and they had a new batch of this gorgeous red lizard ceramics series that I've bought a few things from before. So this time a little sugar bowl for 55 rand got to come home with me.

Last year I got this bowl that I now keep my hair things in, since I've let my hair grow and suddenly get to use a lot of that stuff again. The first time I came here I got a tiny bowl, cos I was afraid anything bigger might break on the way back to Sweden, but these bigger pieces I'm keeping here. Even though they would look very good together with my new all black and red and white Chinese china I've got in Stockholm.

At NSA I also got a bunch of gifts, and this nice turquoise necklace for 48 rand, and a matching phone wire bracelet for 32 rand.

Finally of course I had to go to Euphoria one more time. I had been thinking about some jewellery I saw the last time, but foolishly didn't buy then, so that's pretty much all I came for. I also didn't want to look around too much, cos I know I tend to spend way too much time there when I do. The only downside to this place, is that it can be rather confusing when you're about to pay for something, and the chick who works there now, at least on Saturdays, is not really enjoying her job or paying customers. Last year a very friendly girl worked there, and I want her back. Anyway, apart from not being able to pay with credit card yesterday I'm happy with my purchases, which are also mostly gifts, but these lovely earrings I'm keeping for myself. They're made from shells, and I just think they look so pretty!

I mean just look at these cuties!? So adorable! They're not exactly cheap, but not super expensive: 70 rand. If they were a little bit cheaper I would have bought the whole lot, I kinda regret not doing it anyway. I bought one pair last year though, so I'm sure there will be more of them next time I'll come by, whenever that will be. Unless, of course, I do take the final chance to visit the I Heart Market in two weeks, and they sell them there, which is not impossible at all. Hmmm, I think I just might have to do that. Cos seriously, this whole idea of not shopping too much during my stay this time, cos of what happened the last time I went back to Sweden (13 Kg luggage overweight, and panickly dumping half of my packing in the car boot in scorching sunlight), well that hasn't really worked out that well, so I might as well keep doing it. These delicate shell earrings won't really add to any overweight, and they make me happy. Happiness by pretty peculiarities is after all my motto.

Friday, 21 May 2010

an obsession confession

Yes, I confess I'm obsessed with something called gingham, which I only learnt was the English name for it a few years ago. In Sweden we call it pepita or Brigitte Bardot-checked. I don't really care what it's called, I'm still very much drawn to it for some reason. Just can't enough of it to be honest! For now I've only got things in black-and-white and red-and-white, which are the three main colours in my wardrobe in general, so that's maybe not a surprise.

The spread above is a short-puffy-sleeved blouse in the bottom, bought second hand at Myrorna for 40 kronor last fall, and quickly became a favorite. On top of that is a dress I've showed in a previous post, also bought second hand for 6o kronor. The small tote bag is bought from a somewhat surprising store: a skateboard store at Skrapan, Götgatan in Stockholm. It's definitely the only time I've ever been in that store, but I saw it in the window on sale for 150 kronor and just had to have it. The purse is from Lindex, also on sale for 40 kronor.

My husband usually thinks I look like I'm about to go strawberry picking when I wear one of these things, which I wouldn't mind doing one bit. Or maybe go to a diner and drink milkshake with him, sharing one with two straws, and picking "our song" on the jukebox and spontaneously start dancing with everyone. I don't really like milkshakes that much though, I prefer smoothies.

The red spread is made with a blouse from MQ in the left upper corner, bought about 2 years ago, for 249 kronor I think. It's got perfect little cowboy shirt ivory buttons. The blouse in the right upper corner has been well worn since the day I got it from H&M for 149 kronor two summers ago. I still regret not getting the same one in black, how could I have been so stupid? Down in the left corner are a pair of capri pants, from a store where I've only ever bought this, Flash. It was even the first time I ever went there, cos I saw them in the window. Next to the pants is a fave skirt, that's also served me well, more on that underneath. On top of everything is a hairband I got from Myrorna for 5 kronor.

There used to be a small shop called Sprinkler on Södermannagatan in Stockholm, about 6-7 years ago, and it was really nice, but a bit expensive. This superfriendly girl owned it and sewed all the clothes herself, and one of the best things she did was this skirt in many different fabrics. The model is just perfect and I got one in black, one in denim and the last one I got was this. I was completely broke at the time, but it was on half price for only a week and I couldn't risk not getting it, so I borrowed 400 kronor from my mum to pay my phone bill, and got the skirt instead. I'm sorry mum, I never confessed to that before. I borrowed money from a friend to pay the phone bill instead, and I do believe everyone was paid back in the end too. And the skirt has served me really well, I still love it and don't regret for a second I almost got my phone cut off for it. The store girl got a baby shortly after this, started to make only children's clothes and moved the store somewhere else. I never found out if it's still around or not.

These cutie shoes are from Indiska, 99 kronor, but I got them for half price. A bit on the small side though, as is quite often the case with shoes made in China, you need to get a size bigger than you usually take. I just forgot at that time.

These adorable shoes I bought in January, after looking at them online for maybe 4-5 months before finally deciding to go for it. The thing is that my feet are ridiculously sensitive and will bleed for nothing at all, which means I can't wear a lot of shoes cos it hurts too bad. And buying a pair of shoes online is of course risky, but this store had a free return policy, so I took my chances. Since it was still winter when I left for Durban I didn't get a chance to wear them though, so I still have to find out if they're comfortable or not. They were just too cute to send back, so if nothing else I'll keep them where I can look at them a lot.

And as of this week I've got a new online obsession, this apple gingham 50's swing dress from Vivien of Holloway. Well, honestly there's loads of stuff to obsess about from this place, but for now this is the dress I might consider getting my hands on eventually. I guess I need to think about it for 4-5 months first. It's a bit on the expensive side, to say the least, compared to what I usually pay for dresses (it's about 3 times more), but it's soooooo gorgeous my knees go weak when I look at it! If I got it I'd have to have picknicks the whole time, spread the skirt out on a blanket, and eat those strawberries I'd just picked and sip some champagne. Indeed I'd have to.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

if i had wings

If I had wings it'd be so much easier to live in two countries, and wanting to be in both places at the same time. I don't always want that, but often enough. Being very rich and having my private jet would also work, but I do care about the environment, and don't think global warming is a hoax, so it wouldn't be ideal after all. Having my own set of wings, that perferably would come on and off as I'd like, would come in handy for a lot of things actually. Maybe not grocery shopping, I imagine it'd be rather difficult to handle the load I usually end up buying even if I don't need to use my arms for the flying part.

This beautiful griffin, that's not really a griffin I think, was a find from one of the most magical places I've ever been to. Last August we went for a weekend trip to the South Coast, stayed outside of Port Edward, and mostly drove around to all the little places we could find on the tourist map. This place was not on the map though, it was a poorly written sign by the road saying "antiques" that lead us there. First we drove past it, then turned around as we spotted it at the last minute, and went onto this dirt road that got more narrow by the meter, and dirtier, and stonier, surrounded by banana plantations, and no house was in sight for a long time. We got more and more nervous that there was no house and nowhere to turn the car around and get back to the main road. Then it appeared out of nowhere, this cute little country cottage, looked after by an old lady, and filled with antiques mixed with new towels and soaps and bead necklaces and whatnot. In the end I bought a very pretty dress for my niece, and this griffin, for just 85 rand. I'm not sure we'd find the place again if we ever went back the same way, it felt like something you only stumble upon by chance, once.

But if I had wings, and say it took about 3-4 hours between Sweden and South Africa, it'd be fine to work in one place and spend the weekends in the other place. People do it all the time, I mean when they have that kind of distance between work and home. As it happens I work from home when I'm here in South Africa, so I don't need to commute at all, but there are plenty of other reasons I'd like to go back to Stockholm for, without having to pay a fortune for plane tickets and spend approximately 24 hours of travelling to get there. Not to mention the anxiety attacks that need constant crossword solving and some medication to get through.

My wings could look something like this. Although I'm a little bit concerned about trying to fit my packing into that little basket ...

Maybe something like this would be better considering the packing I'd need to take with me. I can travel light, if absolutely necessary, but I do prefer not to. This particular flying machine looks rather slow, but the design looks very nice. I wonder about parking though, I think it would be best to have something that could be easily stored away while I stay in one of the two places. For one thing, I guess a lot of people would like to get their hands on a set of wings, or personal flying machine. For the other thing, I don't really like big things that can't be stored away.

I really like this book cover design a lot, that's certainly something that should be out for display, not tucked away in a book shelf.

Of course if I had wings, I'd be able to go other places too, and not having to worry about delayed connections, or even hotel rooms, cos I could just fly back home after visiting a market in Hanoi, or Bejing, or Mumbai, or having dinner in Berlin, or San Fransisco, or going to a concert in Seattle, or London, or New York. It would be preferable if I could have two sets of wings though, to always be able to bring someone for company. Mostly I'd probably want to bring my husband, for obvious reasons, but for concerts I'd take Saga, and for markets I'd take Linda.

I think I'd want a pair of black wings, like these. They won't look evil on me though, they'll look very sophisticated, and shiny like velvet, and I'd design a chic flying hat to keep my hair in place. Cos there's nothing more annoying than hair getting into your eyes when you're trying to see where you're flying. I imagine.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

pretty things on the walls pt. 3

Just before I was leaving for my almost one-year-stay in South Africa in the fall of 2008, I found this beautiful place mat at Åhléns in Stockholm, and I just couldn't resist it. I just fell in love with the colours and the design, and since I was starting up a new home almost from scratch, I thought it'd be nice to add some Swedish 50's touch to it, even though it's not authentic. As much as I do love the vintage and second hand stuff, I don't have a problem at all with repro-retro stuff to compliment it all sometimes. Especially things that look this great. Now it hangs on a wall in the kitchen, looking very lovely and actually succeeds in reminding me of my northern home.

This little darling seahorse is really a bookmark, and was a very much appreciated going-away-gift from a friend. Of course it had to go with me, travel back to the tropics where I'm guessing it'd be happier than the cold north. I wouldn't want to hide it inside a book, however good a book, so it's also been put on a wall, just beside the front door. For as long as I can remember I've had a thing for seahorses, and it was in fact the very first tattoo I got. I was 22 I think, and didn't tell anyone I was getting it before hand, and I choose this tiny little seahorse out of a nature book I borrowed from the library. I don't really remember if I was nervous or not, but I remember that I didn't think it hurt at all, and it was a very good experience. It's to the right on the small on my back, so I rarely see it. The only thing I regret about it is not making it bigger from the start. My family was more surprised than shocked I think, and they thought it was pretty, which it is. Also, for those of you who might not have watched as much Animal Planet as I have: the male seahorses raise the baby seahorses on his own, keeping them in his pouch. That's pretty awesome if you ask me.

My second tattoo, as it happens, was a small lizard. See, I went from tiny to small, maybe a year or so later. Very courageous. The guy who made it must have thought this was a very boring tattoo, but he still did a good job and it was done in record time: 6 minutes! I was a bit shocked by how quick he was, but happy with the outcome. Even though it's quite small it looks good where it's sitting just above my left ankle, on it's way up my leg, but never getting closer. Children usually find it fascinating, cos it looks pretty real from a distance, and it's perfectly within their eye range. This nice beadwork is probably not surprisingly from Durban, NSA Gallery to be exact. I'd sort of promised not to buy that much of beadwork and bring it home and decorate with, but this lizard just had to come with me. It now watches over me when I cook, as it hangs above the stove.

Another thing I brought from home to Durban was this original piece of artwork made by the extremely talented Staffan Larsson. He made this particular piece for a book my publishing house published in 2008, by Véronique Tadjo, who funnily enough now lives in South Africa (she's originally from the Ivory Coast). I really love ships, and I really love this picture, and I also thought of it as a tribute to my late grandfather, who as a young sailor came to Durban back in 1944. I thought of it as this being my ship, following in his foot steps, or waves maybe? I wish I'd known to ask him about Durban before he passed, but back in 1997 I didn't have the slightest clue I would end up moving to the other side of the world for love, that fortunately found me across all that distance.

The nice vintage frame is from Ikhaya next to Corner Café, right here in Durbs. Although I suspect it might not really be vintage, just made to look old. I still think it suits the ship very nicely indeed.

Next to the ship, which is hanging above one of the couches, is this little duo. The blue one is actually painted ceramic, or tile, and it's from the Netherlands, where my husband got it during his stay there some 5-6 years ago. It reminds me a lot of Carl Michael Bellman, a very famous Swedish singer-songwriter from the 1700's, and I like it very much. The other picture is a postcard I bought in Berlin a couple of years ago, I just liked the composition of it, and I would really have liked to hear this group of gentlemen play something. I bet those giant harmonicas have a quite special sound. I wonder who took the picture, and if any of them could've guessed they'd end up on a massproduced postcard maybe 70 or 80 years later, one day being found in a small book shop in Berlin, only to end up on the wall in Durban.

I'll be the first to tell them: anything can happen. Just wait and see.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

four fantastic friday finds

When having a long weekend, it's nice to do the boring musts the first day, just some fun stuff the second day, and wake up on Saturday just to realise you've got two more days of doing whatever. So for my fun second day I went into town with my husband, spent the morning in his office working on some very nice graphic design projects, and went down to Musgrave Centre in the afternoon for some shopping on my own. I've never been a huge fan of Musgrave, I think Pavillion is so much nicer when it comes to the malls. But now it's taken a turn for the worse, with a lot of shops closed down and a lot of the others being completely uninteresting. It's got one really good reason to go there though: a little jewellery shop called Bizarre, on the second floor opposite Kauai. I just love that place! There's lots of both new and vintage jewellery, in different price ranges, and as usual the main problem is choosing what you can't live without. This time it turned out to be this silver butterfly ring, a new production, but after a 40's design. At 295 rand I thought it was well worth it. In that particular display, with everything in a similar style, I would pretty much buy everything if I could afford it. I really wanted some 40's brooches, but they were really expensive. It made me realise that the cute brooch I got from Euphoria a while back was probably a real bargain at 225 rand.

These cute silver earrings I couldn't resist as well, in their kind of typographic style. I have a thing for trinities as well, don't know why. I've got a celtic triskele tattoo on my shoulder, guess that's the most apparent evidence to that obsession. The earrings was only 125 rand, and for real silver and a unique design I think that's more than fair. I also got something else that I'd like to show, cos it's completely divine, but it's a gift for someone and I don't wanna risk that someone seeing it here first. So I'll get back to that one later. Just thinking about all the stuff in that place now, makes me wanna go back next weekend again, but I guess I shouldn't. There's so much of gorgeous art deco pieces there, I think that's the stuff I'd most like to get my hands on.

The Mr Price store at Musgrave has turned into what almost looked like a factory outlet, quite horrible if you ask me. I decided to try and ignore that, and in the end found this very nice 60's looking minidress/tunic for just 89 rand. Since I don't exactly have Twiggy's figure I'll wear it with trousers, rather than tights, which would look very nice on a twiglike person I guess.

I really like the fabric, which is quite thick and will suit the Swedish climate perfectly, and the cute little sleeves. By chance I woke up yesterday to a very rainy and quite chilly day, and happily got to try it out and do something that happens very rarely in my life nowadays: wear pants. I've only got one pair here, and they actually suited this top perfectly. One of the many reasons I've got for excusing or explaining or simply defending my shopping habits, is that I will wear everything straight away and often. Which is true to about 90% I'd say, cos sometimes I'll buy something for a specific occasion and have to wait for that, or buy something that needs some alterations that I might not have time to fix immediately. But I really love wearing a new outfit the day after I got it, it makes me feel like a new person.

The last find for myself was this dvd at Adams Book Shop. I wanted to buy it at Pavillion a few weeks ago, but choose another box set instead at that time. Now I saved 100 rand, since this was on sale for 208 rand. I've heard a lot about this show for such a long time, but never got round to checking it out. I've only seen 3 episodes so far, and I like it a lot. It's very unusual, and European, in a way. And one of the reasons why I've heard so much about it is the main female character's sense of style, which I'm already in love with of course. I wouldn't mind having my own pie bakery either, not one bit.

Now that the long weekend is coming to an end I feel quite relaxed and satisfied, even though I didn't do everything I had hoped to get done, but close enough. So writing a new song is getting postponed until next weekend, if not sudden inspiration strikes late afternoon, anything can still happen I guess.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

grahamstown, city of saints, pt. 4: churches

So here's finally some pictorial evidence to why Grahamstown is known as the city of saints. And these are all in one street, except the one below, so it's far from all of the churches in town. Not all of them are in service still I was told, which doesn't surprise me cos there seemed to be more churches than people. But we were walking around on a Sunday, so maybe all the people were already inside, I wouldn't know actually. I've always loved churches, as buildings, as architecture, as a safe haven, even though I'm not religious at all, and never have been. I don't go into them often, but when I do I love the whispering, and the cool air, and the statues, and seeing the painted glass windows from inside, and the incredible church organs, and I always light a candle for the ones in my family who have passed away.

I really love gothic churches, possibly the most of all architectural genres, or whatever you call it. Not only cos I was once a goth girl (and will always be one at heart I suspect ...), it's just something about how dramatic they look, and a bit delicate, and incredibly ornamental and the complete opposite of "less-is-more", which is also the complete opposite of my life's motto. More is more and more beautiful is more beautiful. I regret not going into this one, but I wasn't dressed properly and after being chased out of a catholic church once I'm not taking any chances. I was only 13 and the guy chasing me was yelling in French, which I didn't know then and don't know now, and it was all pretty terrifying.

I can understand that he was upset cos he thought I was being disrespectful to his religion, and not wearing appropriate clothing, which apparently there were big signs about out front I realised once outside again. So, my bad. I still think maybe he overdid it a little bit, after all I was just 13 and clearly didn't know better. Maybe he just didn't like blondes.

I do think I have respect for religion and the fact that people have different beliefs cos of different reasons, and that in many cases it's very helpful for a lot of people too. I won't go into it more than that, but it would be easier if that respect went both ways. And any religion that states that for example homosexuality is an abomination, or that women are put on this earth simply to serve men, well, I'm sorry but that's just not okay in my book. And I will fight anyone on that if necessary. Sweden is for most parts a very secular society, so I was a bit surprised when I came to South Africa the first time and realised religion is a much bigger part in people's lives here, in general, it seems. I was even asked a couple of times what religion I belonged to, which has never happened before. After seeing the disappointed look the first time I replied I didn't have one, even if I didn't say I was an atheist (not sure it would've made a difference), the second time I kind of dodged it a little saying that most Swedish people are Christian. I know it's a ridiculous answer, but I just didn't want to end up defending my non-belief-system at that point. After 22 years of explaining why I don't eat meat and that I don't expect other people to not eat meat when they're around me, I like to leave it at that. You do what you do, and I do what I do. Unless what you're doing will hurt someone I care about.

For a long time I've thought of music as my religion, cos the effect it has on me I believe is very similar to what effect religion has on others. I could be wrong, but that doesn't really matter does it, it's just the way it is for me. And in the end that's all that matters. To me. Music has always saved my life, has always been there for me in my darkest hours and let me seen the light again, has always made me feel less alone when I was hurting from loneliness, has always made me the happiest when I've needed it the most and thought I deserved it the less. Isn't that what religion should be all about? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think it should be at least.

Going to live shows, more than anything, has given me most of the best experiences in my life, without hesitation. After about 20 years of going to concerts it still effects me the same exact way when it's good: with complete and utter ecstacy and happiness. Few things in life can compare to that, in fact for a long time I didn't think anything ever could. Turned out something, or rather someone could, and I married him, but it hasn't taken away my love for music one bit. Just this week The National, probably my main musical god in the last 4-5 years now, has just released a new album and they have managed to once again complete me, even though I didn't feel the least bit broken before hand.

It's just something in Matt's voice that comforts me on an almost subsconcious level, it reaches into my innermost dark hidden places and makes them peaceful. I don't care if their lyrics doesn't make any sense, it's not about the lyrics saying anything about my life in particular, as it can be with a lot of other music I love. It's different, and I love that feeling just as much as I love the music. And I can't wait for August, when I'll see them live again, in Gothenburg, and possibly maybe even again during the fall, when they return for more European dates. I know they'll make me cry, the first and only time I've seen them so far I cried during three entire songs, and I thought my heart was gonna break, cos it couldn't take that much happiness. But the heart is a powerful muscle, it can take pretty much. I know that for a fact, cos I love a lot. And every day I fill it with more music, giving it more blood to pump and beat and sing a song for itself. Amen.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

fly dragon fly

When I was little I was quite scared of dragonflies, mainly cos of the sound they made and that they never seemed to be able to fly straight. To this day I have problems with animals who don't walk or fly straight, generally, like crabs and spiders. Their problem would of course be that they have far too many feet and legs to control properly. Songololos, or millipedes, however have a lot more feet and seem to control them fine. I used to call the dragonflies helicopters, cos I thought they sounded like them. If one would sit still I liked looking at them though, and think they were really pretty. Cos they are very pretty, and jewellery-like, so it's no wonder they're a popular model for all sorts of things.

This beautiful necklace was custom made for me by a good friend for a wedding about 4 years ago. She makes very nice jewellery and I told her I wanted a set with earrings and a necklace, and if possible I'd very much like a dragonfly. Of course I was more than happy with the result and I have used it quite a lot for plenty of other occassions.

Visiting family in Ystad last December I discovered one of the most amazing antique shops I've ever been to. It's called Hemlängtan Antikt (Homesickness Antiques) and you'll find it at Stora Norregatan 15, just around the corner from the big church by the town square. I actually got dizzy in that store, cos everything looked so lovely and pretty and I just wanted to move in! But the greatest thing was the counter with jewellery, mostly brooches, my latest obsession. They were sorted by colour, and I think there was one tray for each colour. Even though I had to go back the next day, I didn't have time to check it all out, so I'm very much looking forward to more visits. In the end I bought 5 brooches for myself, and this little adorable dragonfly was the last that caught my eye, before we had to run cos the train was about to leave in 5 minutes. Luckily Ystad is a tiny town, so we made it. I think I paid 85 kronor for it, a bargain.

For christmas I was happily surprised by these cuties, and now they must be the most travelled earrings I've got. Originally they come from Australia, at least that's where they were bought, then flew back to Sweden, and has now followed me all the way back to the southern hemisphere to South Africa. I just love them, and the green gemstones are perfect. My sister-in-law who gave them to me said I would have loved the market they came from, I'm sure I would. Maybe one day I'll get to chance to go there, I wouldn't mind that at all. I also want to see live wallabys, like they did.

This is a very pretty Japanese origami paper I bought in a set with other black and red designs. I've also got a gorgeous tea jar with the same pattern, that I bought at the lovely museum store at Östasiatiska museet in Stockholm (East Asian Museum). I see now that they've finally finished their rebuilding and opened a new bigger store, can't wait to visit when I get back. It's a fantastic little place, and I've bought so many nice things there. The museum in itself is also well worth a visit of course, and don't miss the library upstairs. Just looking at the book spines is exhilirating for someone like me.

I've got lots more dragonflies in Stockholm, but since I didn't take pictures of everything I have before I left, I guess I'll just have to post those things at a later time when I have. Found this picture somewhere else though, and I've got a red dragonfly like this at home. It was also a christmas gift, maybe 7-8 years ago, and it's moved around in my apartment ever since, flying around if you will. Maybe I should get some more, they look very nice in a colourful bunch like this. They're Chinese toys that were first produced 400 years ago, it won't get more vintage than that, even if the one I've got probably is produced more recently.

Finally a stunning Chinese silk brocade, available in a lot of colours. One day I'll decide on one, and order a dress in it, I've dreamt about it for so long now. The problem with trying to decide on a Chinese silk brocade though is that I love all the designs too much: dragonflies, butterflies, dragons, peones, cranes, roses, calligraphy. How to choose? Maybe I'll just get one dress with each design.