Saturday, 29 January 2011

dress of the day

I got this dress a few weeks ago, at Humana's half price sale, so I paid 75 kronor for it. Money well spent indeed. Today was the first day I wore it, and I loved it just as much as when I tried it on in the store. It's always nice to wear a dress for the first time and get to try out how to accessorize it best. Can't wait for warmer days to wear it too, since the upper part of the dress is the cutest and shouldn't be covered with a cardigan.

Very sweet little buttons in the front. I'm not sure what the material is, I would say a light polyester, but I guess it might have it's own name. I'm not really a fabric expert. Not sure about the make either, it looks very 40's but could just as well be from the 80's.

The sleeves are my absolute favorite part of this dress, so cute.

Today I also had my first semla in years. It's a traditional Swedish pastry that you're supposed to eat one specific Tuesday in March, but nowadays are available in most bakeries from just after Christmas to Easter. I've never been a huge fan of them, but usually had one every year anyway. Some years ago I had a really bad one though, and I was in a business meeting and felt bad to leave any, so I still ate it all and felt sick for the whole day. But today I suddenly got a semla craving and it was delicious! Which means I might just have to have at least one more before the season is over.

Friday, 28 January 2011

tiny leaves on chinese silk

The weekend is officially here, and I'm very much looking forward to some nice downtime just doing this and that tomorrow. Well a few musts I can't really get around, but they shouldn't take too long. Usually I don't really mind the musts either, it takes more energy thinking about that you must do them, than actually doing them. If you catch my drift. My gorgeous amaryllis still has some flowers going, and it's a delight to see it every morning as I go to check the outside temperature in the kitchen window. Yesterday it was 10 degrees below zero. Depressing, I tell you.

I wish everything looked like this outside instead. The snow isn't even pretty anymore, it just looks like rock hard piles of gravel. But enough with the moaning now! I hope we'll get some sun this weekend, I'll be sure to spend some outdoors time. I did take a walk with a friend during lunch break today, and we went to one of Stockholm's most beautiful spots, where the view is amazing. We both sighed about how lovely our city is.

Here are some more of my inherited jewelleries: a spectacularly beautiful silver necklace with leaves. It's so nice and heavy and I love wearing it. It makes me feel regal, and mind my posture a little bit better. Which is much needed most of the time. I think it's from the 50's.

This incredible creation I haven't worn yet. It needs the proper occasion I think. I'm usually all about creating the occasions yourself, rather than waiting for them, but with this fantastic piece of jewellery everything else must be completely perfect too. Like a wedding. Anyone getting married anytime soon and planning to invite me? I'll keep my fingers crossed!

It's got marcasites! And tiny leaves! And tiny pearls! I wish I knew when this necklace has been worn, if it's been dancing, or accidentally kissed by someone aiming for the wearer's neck. I think maybe it's the first time it's been laying on Chinese silk anyway, a pretty good match in my eyes.

Speaking of Chinese: Sunday I'm going for an exhibition that shows part of the Terracotta Army, I'm so much looking forward to it. It's the East-Asian Museum that shows it, so I'm going to the museum too. And I'm guessing it'll be very difficult to avoid at least walking past the lovely gift shop they've got ...

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

japanese perfection

Going to Old Town in Stockholm this weekend with out visiting friend from Durban, I couldn't help myself going into my favorite store Ljunggrens papper. A bit selfish, I know, but in my defence we'd been standing outside waiting for a long while and were completely frozen and just needed to get inside anywhere. Of course I had to pick up a few things that felt very necessary: a handcarved Indian peacock stamp and some red ink for it. I'm gonna make my own wrapping paper, just wait and see. It'll be gorgeous!

I also got some Muji supplies that morning: drawing paper and some nice colourful pens. I really need to pick up my drawing again, and I hope this will get me going.

Ljunggrens papper has got one of the best selections of Japanese washi paper in Stockholm, so I had to get two new sheets. This red with cherry blossoms also has some gold tones in it that you can't really see here. It's so beautiful.

This sheet was the first I decided on though, it's lovely! I wish I had a dress in this pattern, it'd be the prettiest dress ever.

I almost run out of all my paper string wrapping all my christmas gifts, so I got some more of that too.

Close-up on the awesome peacock that I'm gonna do some pretty stuff with. Am trying not to plan anything special for Saturday, and at least spend a few hours playing with all my new creative things. It'll be great!

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

colin + carson = happiness in a book

I wish I had been the first to know about this. I actually dreamt about being the one making this happen quite a few years ago. Alas, I was not. But of course I'm very happy that it is happening now, all the same. Colin Meloy has written a children's book and Carson Ellis has illustrated it. Oh. My. God. It's gonna be the most beautiful thing ever. I'm so excited I've actually tilted, so I can't even smile about it. I'll smile once I've got the book in my hands. Apparently I'll have to wait until September. That's a long wait.

I'll print it out tomorrow, and smile as I'm doing it, thinking about how wonderful it'll be to see all the pictures eventually, printed on paper, getting to read the story, over and over again. Thank you, who ever signed Colin and Carson. I might just have to start a children's book publishing house just so that I can publish this book, and the promised books to follow. 76 illustrations by Carson in this first one. 76. I think 76 is my lucky number.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

spring promises

After being outside during the day, and in sunlight at that, this weekend I'm longing even more intensely after spring. Luckily my blue pearl hyacinths I got last weekend have sprung up and are looking very lovely. Today you could see people standing still here and there, like meditating turned towards the sun, everyone remembering how warmer and sunnier seasons feel like. We'll keep hoping it's not too far away.

Normally I try to avoid buying summer's clothes in the winter, and vice versa, but when I found this cutie at the Salvation Army the other day I made a well deserved exception. A very perfect light cotton everyday dress that I know will become a summer favorite. It's incredibly soft, in very good condition and I only paid 135 kronor for it, so I walked away a very happy customer.

I love pockets! This dress makes me feel like I should be living at a Southern farm, going out picking fresh eggs to make french toast for breakfast. Or pancakes, with homemade raspberry jam.

Friday, 21 January 2011

cover me

Just a quick note with one of the most beautiful book covers I've ever seen. Found it here, who in turn found it here. I love the colours, I love all the fonts, I love the design, I love the composition.

I love it. And I want to read the book.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, 20 January 2011

i heart the decemberists (again)

After reading a raving review of the new The Decemberists album “The King is Dead” yesterday, I got even more excited about the release. Turns out it's all that and more. Simply the best they've done so far, and somehow it's very different and recognizable at the same time. And Gillian Welch sings on 7 songs! 7! I adore Gillian Welch, she's been and still is one of the most important singers and female artists in my life. I still need some time to really sink into the music and learn everything by heart, and I can't wait. But first we're expecting a friend from Durban who arrives tomorrow and is staying the weekend. I hope she'll like Stockholm, we'll do our best to show some of it's best features, and hopefully she won't think it's too horribly cold. Mainly it'll just be lovely to see her and hang out together, no matter what we do.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

the odd owls

A few of my owls wanted to stop by and say hello, it seemed rude not to let them. Here's the smallest fella, sitting on his little book looking bookish all day long. I let him sit on top of my desktop computer so he's got a good view of the living room. He was a christmas gift from my dad's wife some years ago. Sometimes it's the smallest presents that are the most precious.

There's almost a disturbing size difference between this next owl and the first, but I love them both. This one I bought about 3 years ago in a cute store on the countryside on the west coast in Sweden, close to where my aunt lives. There was a big collection of different animals and they were all completely adorable and I wanted to adopt them all. I still think of the fisherman otter sometimes ... Anyways, my owl's tag said he was called Wordsworth, but I thought a more worthy name was Wilde Owl Oscar. (Yes, I know I'm lame. I'm perfectly aware of that fact. But I ain't gonna change.) Last time my niece was here and played with some other of my (smaller) stuffed animals, I asked if the owl could be part of the game too. She looked at him and said he could if he took his glasses off. Shame, poor Oscar just got to watch that day. As all days. The little weird looking cat is made by some very old lady, and was a gift from my grandmother when I was moving to Durban. She said if I missed my cat in Sweden I should look at that cat instead. She didn't know I was getting 3 new cats in Durban, and that every time I look at this little scruffy yarncat I think of my lovely grandma.

To round this small collection off is the tip of an owl pen a friend of mine gave me for my birthday a couple of years ago. He actually moves around a bit and gets to see more of the apartment than the others. Maybe that's a bit unfair. I know it's weird to write about things as they were actually alive, but I can't help it. I wonder why all my owls are male though. Maybe it's because all my cats (the real live ones) are all female. Not that that conclusion makes any sense whatsoever, but I'll leave you with that anyway.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

darling buds of mine

Bleak is the winter light 'tis season. Very pale pink roses with just a hint of green edges are my favorites, so I got a plant with some for myself yesterday. So pretty!

I'm gonna try real hard to keep it alive until spring is here. Today it was raining. It means it's not as cold, but completely miserable and dangerously slippery while the snow is melting.
I want the streets to be bare again, so I can go out for proper walks. I even bought myself a pair of bright red sneakers the other day on the final sale, and I want to start using them as soon as possible. Maybe you didn't see me as a sneakers kind of gal, and I'm not really, but obviously one has to make the ocassional sensible decision sometimes. My new thing for wedge heels is hardly ideal for long walks along the water, which is what I love taking (but don't do as often as I should). I had a pair of lovely Campers sneakers, but they are so worn out now the soles just about got holes. Then I got another pair that are completely impossible to break in, and give me horrible bleeding heel chafing. These new ones seems soft enough though, and I hope we'll get along.

On the budding theme I hereby present another couple of beautiful jewellery pieces that has been handed down to me from my grandmother. These silver earrings I think are from the 50's or 60's, and I love the oxidation on them. It gives them such lovely character. They're screw on's, and a bit painful to wear because I'm also scared of losing them and usually screw them on too hard.

I don't know if this bracelet originally came with the earrings, or if they just happen to match each other. Either way this is definitely one of my favorite pieces, it's simply gorgeous, don't you think?

Thursday, 13 January 2011

snow white fine flowers

In this part of the world snow is unfortunately here to stay for a rather long while. Every year I always think spring will surely come in March, but sometimes it even snows in April. You just never know. But there's no stopping me bringing the spring home, sitting on my window sill, reminding me of what's hiding under the piles of snow, just waiting to burst out.

The less known darling buds of January, just as pretty as the ones in May. Possibly even prettier, simply because they will stand out on their own, having no surrounding competition from lilacs or such other lovelies.

I've decided to share my small collection of inherited jewellery with you, starting with this beauty. Well, I've really started already, with the leaf brooch the other day, that I got from my grandmother. But now I'm doing it more properly, or something. This rose necklace is just divine, and I'm a little scared to use it outside the house should I lose it. It's handed down to me from a great aunt on my mother's side, or really to my mother, who gave it to me since she never used it. I'm not sure what materal it's made of, I've always thought ivory, but I don't know. I don't know when it's from either, but it certainly feels timeless, in my humble opinion. I'm not a diamond kind of girl, I prefer more unusual and less sparkly pieces such as this.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

modernista pt. 1: female faces

Penguin Classics is not the only publisher's book covers I obsess about. Let me introduce you to the Swedish publisher Modernista, in installments. For this first one I picked some favorites with female faces. What this publisher have in common with Penguin, except exceptionally great design, is publishing quite a lot of classics, mostly out of print Swedish authors. Modernista was started in 2002 by Pietro Maglio and Lars Sundh, the latter being one of Sweden's most influential graphic designers since the early 90's, if you ask me. And others, I'm sure. I don't know if he's responsible for all of Modernista's covers, but it wouldn't surprise me.

They are not very commercial, and Modernista unfortunately isn't one of the most profitable publishers, but I do hope they'll survive for a long time even so. I think what they're doing is gutsy and important, especially nowadays when the public mainly wants to read crime crime crime, and 99% of all crime covers are black with blood splashes and horror typography. Awful and tiresome. Not that these particular covers overflood with colour, but they are clean and inviting and intruiging and quite sexy, and the typography is amazing. So, thank you Lars Sundh, for bringing beauty to my world.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

pink wedge crush

I'm going to London in April with work. We shall be working most of the time, going to the book fair, visiting a couple of publishers and having a conference day. But I will not go back home without visiting a Clarks store, I simply will not. I don't care what my boss says! I will print a map of every store in the city, and make sure we get close to one, and plan my escape from there. So now I'm drooling over these beauties from the spring collection, aren't they just lovely? Since I discovered and started wearing wedges last year, a whole new world seems to have opened up for me. I love it. It makes me taller. Not that I'm short really, but I've got a tall husband and I like being shorter than him, but I also like not having to stand on my tippy toes to kiss him.

I've complained before about Clarks not shipping overseas, and you can never find all the styles here and the prices are about double too. Not ideal. Not one bit. But now I'm thinking of bringing an empty bag, not shopping anything else until April, and just going crazy at Clarks! How about that idea? For one thing I don't have any pink shoes, and I've got a lot of pink dresses. I think. Or else I shall have to get that too then.

My colleagues were talking about finding a show to go to, maybe a play, I'm just thinking about shopping. Full stop. I haven't been to London since 1999. That's a long time. I'm pretty sure that all the places I used to know and go to are no longer there, or turned into something else. Guess I'll have to try and read up on some blogs beforehand, try and find an area where a lot of shopping can be done at one go, since I won't have that much time. I am considering staying a few extra days though, but I guess the hotel cost at my own expense would cancel out any savings on Clarks shoes I might make. Oh, well, what's a girl to do? Flutter my eyelashes at my husband and ask him to come with me? Nah, that's not really my style. I shop better without him anyway. But I love the kissing afterwards, I really do. Standing eye to eye. In my new pink Clarks shoes.

Monday, 10 January 2011

art, ebony and ivory

On Saturday I finally got round to visiting the Photographic Museum, Fotografiska, here in Stockholm. I've been meaning to go ever since they opened last summer, or was it spring maybe? Since it was the last weekend of the exhibition Fashion I thought it was now or never, and I'm glad I went. Most of the exhibition I didn't care for that much (mostly 90's and 00's super model or star shots, boring and soulless and not up my alley at all, even though I can appreciate the photographic skills behind them), but the good parts were really good. One of my all time favorites, Man Ray, was represented. For as long as I have appreciated art in any sense, he's been one of my top 5 favorites, and stayed there. Just look at this genius portrait of Chanel from 1935, how awesome is that?

I also discovered Charlotte March, and was particularly drawn to this piece, Crowne of Roses from 1955. It's simply stunning! Richard Avedon's pictures were all equally breathtaking, I haven't seen them "live" before. Well, maybe it's no surprise that I mainly only liked the photos from 1920's to 1960's ...

Another new discovery was Vee Speers, who apparently had an exhibition last year, but they still had some awesome fridge magnets in the gift shop I couldn't go home without. They're from a series called Birthday Party, that I now see is also available as a book! Even more awesome!
It shall be mine. But for now I'm happily looking at these small treasures, getting drawn in every time, they're just mesmerizing.

My mum told me she had one of these skirts when she was little, but in turquiose and black. Oh, how I would want that to be saved!

This is the description of the picture series: "Inspired by her daughter's birthday party the author imagined what characters might be created if role play were pushed to imaginative extremes. This title presents a series of portraits of children about to attend an imaginary birthday party." The birthday party I attended yesterday looked nothing like this, but there was one girl that definitely would have looked the part in this company. She had dark red hair that was waffled, a black tulle skirt worn as a dress, a long white pearl necklace wrapped several times over around her neck, and a white fake fur vest. Must I add she was adorable? And 4 years old! Just before the party ended she gave me one of her sweets, I felt very special she picked me.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

three things to make me smile

Obviously I should've posted this on January 1st, my apologies for that, but better late than never. And the upcoming 11 months I promise to do better. Pinky promise. This is a handprinted calender made by Stockholm based designer Tovelisa, that my sister-in-law Sara got me for christmas. She hinted she was thinking of getting it for me when we went to an independent design christmas market together, and I'm very glad she did. It's so beautiful.

Later in the calender there is an owl, but I couldn't wait for it so I went and bought myself another owl necklace. Also the one I got earlier this fall broke again, and I need some help to fix it, but before I get that done I felt I needed another one. Craved one. No, not really, but when I found this cutie with no less than three owls for the price of one, how could I resist? It's from a store I think is called Oriental, at the corner of Tjärhovsgatan and Renstiernas gata in Stockholm, where you can find a lot of lovely stuff. It cost me 149 kronor, which I took from the christmas money budget.
I wonder how long I can make that last ...

Now I'm off to my niece Stella's birthday party, with no less than 17 kids and some of their parents. I've promised to help decorate, and be in charge of the "fish pond" (where the kids get to fish for their goodiebags at the end). I also did some baking yesterday, and really went all the way decorating the tiny cookies I thought would be a hit with 4-year olds. If they don't like them I'm not too worried that the grown-ups won't finish them.

Tomorrow it's back to work! I don't know if I remember how to do it ...