Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween Everybody.....

Last year I happened to be in Copenhagen in week 42, where Halloween is celebrated in the Tivoli Garden. Week 42 is the school kids' fall vacation, and was originally the potato holliday, where all family members helped with the harvest of potatoes. 15.000 pumpkins had been collected at the small Danish island, Samsø, and was decorating the old garden and this new tradition was introduced in 2006.

Halloween night in Denmark is actually not until the first Sunday in November, where lit candles are placed at the graves of loved ones/family - but this tradition has actually been forgotten by many.

The American version of Halloween is now present everywhere in Denmark.... kids however do not trick-or-treat, as the Danish kids get into costumes in February, when Shrovetide is celebrated... at Halloween in Tivoli kids may dress up like black cats, wizards, whitches, pumpkin jacks etc.
This year I am travelling again on Halloween and I am sticking to one beloved tradition, that is part of Halloween for me: I brought my DVD with The Nightmare Before Christmas, which I have to see while eating candy.

Happy Halloween

Saturday, October 30, 2010

World Wide News Clippings

I spend a lot of time in airports, and in order to "kill time" I read a lot. Mostly books, but occasionally I pick up some of the news papers, that the airports/airlines offer for free, and often one article stands out.

Effort could help keep 160M tons of trash out of US Landfils
WOW!! From Monday apprarently you can get the tubless toilet paper rolls in Walmarts and Sam's Club stores in the Northwest - and just imagine how much waste that could be eliminated if all toilet paper rolls were like these.

I love those kind of initiatives as 1) we do not have endless resources available and 2) way too many resources end up at landfills as waste. A lot of people already recyce a lot of cardboard - but how many recycle the cardboard tube in toiletpaper rolls, when it has run out of the toiletpaper?

Friday, October 29, 2010

With a Little Swedish Help....

... I am getting just a little bit closer to my 4th goal 4. Baking and other "kitchen stuff" from the 4 Simple goals challenge :o)

I went to Sweden for a prolonged weekend a while ago, and I could not resist buying the baking form and the cookie cutter - these two figures represent something really Swedish: a Dalecarlian Horse (Dalahäst - shaped as the wooden horse dating back to 1624) and a moose (elg). And the shop where I bought it: IKEA. What could be more Swedish?
Friends and familily - they all know, that travelling plays a big part in my life - so they will get the personal touch, when I serve baked cake/cookies for them in these new shapes.

While writing this blog post, I just realised, that I could do something for my fellow MS'ers while getting the treatment at the hospital in December - bake them gingerbread cookies. A lot of them are unable to do it themselves and have to buy cookies at the store unless their friends/families assist them with the home baking - and I will be able to momentarily redirect their thoughts from the MS and give them a taste of Christmas spirit.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


One headline in the news this morning really caught my eye: SONY is putting the Walkman on retirement...

OK - suddenly I started feeling very old, as I remember getting my first walman as a present from my brother.... Except the world Walkman is apparently a trademark registered with SONY, so therefore the Panasonic I got one is actually a stereo cassette player... I did not now that until today - and when asking my colleagues and friends, they all seemed to be surprised about Walkman actually being a trademark.

I still own that Panasonic, and it is still working - headphones however have been replaced a couple of times. A lot of language tapes are still in a box with the Panasonic - very handy if I need a quick brush up before going to a country speaking one of those languages :o) When I later got my first Discman I clinged on to the old one, as running with a Discman was impossible, and the old tapes still worked better - that was later on improved....

I now have an Ipod, that is able to hold soo much more music, that the old ones ever could.... and yet - my "walkman" will still be kept in the box and used once in a while.... and I have memories about Eurythmics, Tina Turner etc. playing in my ears.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Words of Inspiration

Live as you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever
Mahatma Gandhi

His way of expressing CarpeDiem.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Ginger - The Root

Previously, I only thought of ginger as an ingredient in Asian food, but lately it has luckily become much more than just an ingredient. Especially these cold winterdays (and it is only getting colder and colder)it has become one of my daily to-do's to: drink a cup of ginger tea.

I got this wonderful tip, that strong Ginger tea could help to "kill" a cold approaching - and it worked wonders a day, where I thought, I was seriously gonna end up in bed with the worst cold ever. Because of my generally weak immune system, I am always having a lot of colds in the winter time, and so far I prevented one from getting ugly.

I have heard, that ginger also helps preventing car and plane sickness. Never been affected by either one of them, but decided to suggest ginger tea to a friend always dreaded going long trips by car - I got a goodie bag with crafting items from her, since my tip worked wonders for her.

People in Asia, have known for years, that ginger is one of natures wonders when it comes to natures own medicine. I am dependent on medicine, so I embrace every chance to use something natural (as long as it works) - but being very picky about what kind of nature medicine, that I want to use.

When I decided to make today's blogpost about ginger, I searched with web for cool drawings of ginger - I came across Val Webbs blog. WOW - I wish I could draw like that!! Hmmm... I went to a drawing class a long time ago, maybe I should pick it up again... or in the mean time look for the portfolio I created way back then. Go to Val's blog and see her entry about ginger.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

October - Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Everywhere you go this month, you will see the pink ribbon in various shapes - all of them signalling the same thing: breast cancer awareness month.

Usually, when I blog, I write about MS - but sadly breast cancer has affected my family. My mum survived breast cancer a few years back, which scared a lot of us. Luckily she did not have chemotheraphy, but had radiation treatments instead.....

A few years later, I discovered 5K-run Race For Life 2007 in London organized by Cancer Research UK, and I knew, that I had to spend one day of my vacation participating. I travelled with one of my friends, and it was no trouble persuading her to join this race as well - cancer has also affected her family. Somebody may find it odd to do such a thing while on vacation - but I got to see the lovely Hampstead Heath, where a lot of scenes in UK movies are filmed.

Some of you may even remember, that I supported Silver Strands giving hope to her mum, when she pledged for help to make a thousand paper cranes. Yes it was a challenge for me - but since cancer has been paying my family a visit, I could not resist to send some hope from my location.

My pledge to all of you - support the research/fight against breast cancer! I am sure that you can find a local initiative, that will support the cause. If not and you live in the US - there are a lot of suggestions in October issue of O Magazine.....

I myself have purchased a bracelet from a local campaign this year - The pink ribbon in top picture was a purchase the same year, that my mum was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Friday, October 22, 2010


There is one store locally I cannot pass without going "just looking" .... ok who am I kidding - I usually end up buying something, hence my need to make a detour sometimes simply to avoid it :o) Oh darn, now I can also find it at an airport, where I often have to kill time.

They sell Pilgrim jewellery - one of my weak spots. I have several rings and necklaces from Pilgrim (think I bought my first piece in 2003), but the piece currently around my neck has been there for the past 2½ years, not likely to be changed to something else anytime soon. The latest passion is charms for a bracelet... and I just browsed their website... really shouldn't have done that!!

I already own a silver Buddha charm and a pink/gold scooter charm - both relating to something I love, but now I spotted a pink handbag charm, a pine cone charm and a deer charm and a.... uhu! Hopefully I don't see them in a store anytime soon, as I will just have to buy them - LOL :o) There are other charms, that I find nice - but they are not something shouting out my personality, which they need to do if I am to wear them.

Now, what is your weak spot, when it comes to something girly...??

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Great Baking Day / 4 Simple Goals Update

In 2004 producers of eggs, flour, sugar etc. launched a common initiative The Great Baking Day (Den store bagedag) in Denmark - it was to take place on the Thursday of week 42 (week 42 is the fall vacation for Danish school kids), and its aim was to gather the whole family in a non stressing environment while baking.

The initiative was welcomed by a lot of families that were stressed about having to entertaining their kids during this vacation week, and can you think of anything nicer than bringing the family together around homebaked goods an enjoying the flavours with coffe, tea or cocao. This has now become a yearly event.

As a "teaser" to this day with the family, kids are encouraged to bake some cakes and sell them in small pieces - Bake for a Cause - the profit is donated to the Danish organisation for children's wellfare, thus enabling the kids to support other kids in Denmark that are less fortunate. I think it is a great way to learn kids to support less fortunate people.

Well today is Thursday of week 42 - so this has definately inspired me to either bake bread or a cake, have yet to decide on a recipe. Once again my chance to do something about my 4 simple goals while keeping a tradition alive - well I might not have kids, but it is the baking that is in focus today.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Source of Inspiration: Reni de Boer

Sometimes you can not express with words, how much you appreciate the words of another person.

Until a few days ago, I had never heard of the Dutch woman, Reni de Boer, but now I will keep my eye out and read, what she might have said at seminars etc. I heard her present a scientist at a MS seminar, and her spirit is unbelievable.

How often will you expect to hear the words "hope" be said aloud with a powerfull tone to it by a person in a wheel chair? Yep, it is bad, that we often don't connect hope and wheel chair. It is even worse, that one automatically think about wheel chairs, walkers etc. when a doctor gives you the diagnosis: MS. And why is that?

When being diagnosed with MS, I was in a wheel chair and the initial thought was, that I would never be able to walk again. A lady in the hospital bed next to me is permanently in a wheel chair due to a car accident - and she opened my eyes to finding more info about MS, try and train my way out the wheel chair and look for positive stories about MS.

I, to this date, still believe that there are way to few positive stories out there about MS - that we should be able to see some kind of hope despite the bad news, and help support research any way possible.

Reni was sitting in a wheel chair, talking to all of us (about 400 participants) about hope - how she makes list (hope lists) and try to accomplish at least some of them. One of her goals had been to own a red suit, and she was sitting in one making her look like a model. In 2007 she was voted Mis(s) Holland and Ambassadorfor Holland Unlimited.

She may "only" be able to do 1/3 of things, that people can usually accomplish in one day - but she has the strength to give speeches etc. about hope - that we should never give up - and help bring awareness about MS to others. For that, I am truly grateful.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Permanent Make-Up...? No thanks!

I have been approached by one of my friend's relatives, who has her own business - the product is: permanent make-up. But isn't permanent make-up just another word for tatoos? This theme is also discussed the the October 2010 issue of O (Oprah) Magazine (page 126).

One of the sales pitches is: "You don't have to worry about your make-up, whenever you wake up in the morning, because it is already done!" - Ok that is actually a scary thought: what if you had been able to choose permanent make-up in .. lets say.. 1980s? My horror picture of makeup could be something like Joan Cusack's make-up in Working Girl... that kind of heavy make-up may have been in then, but now? And how do you define classic, if you want to have a permanent classic look?

Tatoos have been really hype for years - but lately I know more and more people that are having theirs removed...

I never forget one of my friends shouting "Give me one of these!" when we saw "Fifth Element" at the local cinema and the character Leeloo got a hold of an automatic make-up applier.....

Just maybe such a gadget is not too far stretched, and just think of the re-programming abilities in order to comply with fashion, trends etc. ? Then you really do not have to worry about the time needed before the mirror every morning either.

Until then, I will rather stand in front of my mirror every morning to fix the make-up ... tatoos are not my thing, whatever shape they may have.

Monday, October 18, 2010

1st Year .... and still blogging

Wow... a year ago I started this blog... I mean already a year?

Well, a whole lot has happened this year and I got plenty of new creative ideas, that I hope are going to bring to life. Found a new universe with lots of inspiration and wonderful people sharing their thoughts. While travelling this new path, I have challenged myself and also gotten to know myself a lit'l bit better....

The world has gotten smaller - but at the same time bigger... It is almost like a drug, that you want to have more of after your first taste of it.. The side effects are better than any pharmaceutical drug: inspiration, creativity etc.

To those of you having commented my blogposts: a thank you from the buttom of my heart.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Words of Inspiration

I saw this quote on a card, that was in O Magazine a few years back, and it is one of those "crazy papers" put up next to the workspace, where my computer is. The picture is not from the magazine.

For me, those words are both a reminder and also inspiration to face the changes as challenges - What else can I do? Everybody experience various changes during a lifetime, and I have already experienced a fair share of them knowing that mroe will come my way.

Change, when it comes, cracks everything open.
Dorothy Allison

Monday, October 11, 2010

Werkhaus Shop

Is it too early to do some Christmas shopping?

One a recent trip, I came across Werkhaus Shop - and within a few minutes I had purchased 5 Christmas presents..... yeah... something less to "worry" about at the upcoming season :o) Usually I am not that early with the gift shopping, but when you stumple across something, that just shouts out the names of friends and family members - there really no time to waste... and luckily there was enough space in the travel bags.

I love the combination of photos, retro style design and eco-friendly material - and by the way: if you do not have space for extra chairs, their stools are a great find - when dismantled they hardly take any space at all. They have more than 150 photos to choose from, so you can "personalise" your gift to the receiver.

Hence - my answer to the question is: No, never too early - especially when you come across something that is not available in the shops at home.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


If you are an animal lover ..... own (an) animal(s)... always looking out for a smile (shaped as a comic strip) to brighten your day - I hope you are already acquainted with these two fellas, Earl the dog and Mooch the cat :o)

Everyday I get a Mutts strip in my e-mail (two weeks after the strip is published in newspapers) and usually it generates a big smile on my face - including colleagues if I find that it is something just like them.. I even own a couple of the comic books, as some of them comes to mind over and over again.

When people tell me, that animals can not have a personality - I usually show them just a few Mutts comic strips to convince them... it works: "Oh I know a cat that is just like that" - "That could be my sister's dog!". Comments like these after seeing the Mutts strip just confirms the personality issue.

The cartoonist Patrick McDonnell is an advocate for animal shelters - supporting them via his little strips urging people to remember/consider animals at shelters needing a caring, loving home to live in.

One of the quote on the websites front page is what I usually do when blogging.....

Let your mind wander
Alfred Hair

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Making It My Own...

As mentioned in my blogpost the other day, I was challenged to take something that I like and make it my own..... Well I contemplated about "making it my own" for days, until I realised that my creative mentor meant, that I should do a creative project with yarn, inspired by something I like and then personalise it....

A while ago I knitted some wrist warmers - and I soon realised that I needed more of those. It has already started getting cold, so that was my starting point. Just after knitting the wrist warmers, I came across Sandra Juto's shop with wristworms.... I got a pair looking just like this, and I have already worn them several times, as it is already pretty cold in the morning.
Well back to my little project - inspired mainly by Sandra's creations I looked in my How-To-Knit-and-Crochet handbook and found a pattern, that I could not resist... Then came an additional challenge: To learn how to make that pattern, as I have only crocheted one thing in my life.. and that was just a couple weeks ago.... Why did I feel like jumping into the deep end of the swimming pool without being able to swim?

Actually quite happy about my result - it took a lot of "test-runs".... I did 6 trials before I even liked what I was doing: almost finished with one and then -"Nah!" have to re-do it.... gently unravel it as it was quite expensive yarn (cashmere), that I played with. And they are one of a kind = am not going to re-do it.... so if you want some of your own wrist warmers I can highly recommend Sandra's Wrist Worms :o)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Can a Movie Really Inspire you??

I should be sleeping now - or maybe doing other things on my have-to-do-list instead of blogging.... have to get up earlier tomorrow (or it it today?) to make a card to a colleague.

I just saw "Letters to Juliet" on DVD, and I just had to write about it - not the movie, but the thoughts it generated.... no wonder part of my blog's sub-headline is "Random thoughts just put out there...."

Well my old innovation professor would call my string of thoughts, association technique... but here goes... all inspired by a chick-flick I soo needed after having had a troublesome day.

Just the title made me think of "Romeo & Julie" and of course Shakespeare, one of the worlds greatest writers... or was he? Hmmmm.... been reading way to many books with different theories on that subject andstill does not know, what to believe.

Everywhere I looked, it was if as the world could only speak about writing: this movie, the fact that they handed out the Nobel Prize of Litterature today, that the heroine in todays movie wants to be a writer, that one of my favorite magazine announced a writing competition today...

Do you believe in signs? I mean, it can all be coincidental...?!

She is searching... in the movie.... Claire is searching for her long lost love Lorenzo and Sophie is searching to refind her passion for writing... and the rewards are so much more than the initial searches.

And I just realised... Maybe I have been looking for something without even realising it? I think that the writing competition is a challenge, that I have to do.... I do not expect to win... But it is simply to try to accomplish writing that story and feel good about it.

Maybe I am rambling and it is getting late.... but time to take a dive into the deep end of the pool and see if I can reach the edge of the pool :o)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The 50s

Picture is from a commercial for some clothing label in Copenhagen - I read about them in an online news paper, but I can not remember which label it actually is..... Buhu!!

For me this picture is so 50ish - knowing that the picture is inspired by cubism and art style from the 20s - maybe is is the hair....maybe the pipe..... I can put my finger on it really, but yet it speaks to me...

And no - I do not like to be close to somebody smoking, I grew up being a passive smoker and always hated the fact, that my clothes smelled of smoke no matter where I went. I embrase the smoking policies that are more and more common worldwide, as it offers me the choice not to be in an smoking area.

Sometimes I wonder how my life would have been if I lived in the 50s..... Do you?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Bench....

A throne is only a bench covered with velvet.
Napoleon Bonaparte

This bench is in one of the parks close to my home, already embrasing the fall colours. This is one of my favourite spots, 'cause even though it is in the middle of the city and there is a road behind that road with lots of traffic - it is still a place of tranquility. Yes, I did mention a road and trafic, but you hardly ever notice it when sitting on this bench or on one of the other benches just close to that wall - all the birds, flowers, plants etc. embrace you.

I have done a lot of reading and thinking at this bench, been drinking beveragexs from the local coffee shop watched passers-by and even helped tourists get their bearing of the city. And yet you get the feeling, that the bench changes personality to accomodate the different seasons....

Spring - what will the year bring?
Summer - enjoying life
Fall - embrasing the changes/new things the year has brought
Winter - playtime....maybe a snowman will take a rest on this bench

It feels like I am ruling my little world when relaxing at this little bench - you might call it my personal throne. But it is one I will happily share with others :o)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Gorillaz On The Run

Litterally on the run :o)

When you see a couple of running gorillas with run racenumbers in fronts you think that someone lost a bet or a weird sense of humor at a bachelor party. Then you see a couple more... and another one... and another one.... what the heck is going on? Have the Londoners gone totally gaga?

I found out that I was witnessing the yearly event The Great Gorilla Run - and soo glad I brought the camera that day... it is one of those moments you have a hard time telling other people about without the support of pictures :o)

Every time, I am in New York City, I have to go to the Top of the Empire State Building - and when I spot King Kong, I have the biggest smile on my face remembering my very first visit to the Observatory Deck: I was enjoying the view, when somebody (or should I say something) laid a hand on my shoulder.... a black hairy hand... I flew several feet backwards as I was spooked... and when I saw KingKong, I started laughing so much that tears ran out of my eyes. The guy in the custome apologized but I could tell hime with the greatest smile, that would be an experience that I would never forget....

Speaking of gorillas or should I say Gorillaz - watch this video, and I hope it will generate a smile on your face - I really enjoy their cartoon videos :o)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Back to the 80s

Ever had a song on your mind, that won't go away? Even having your colleagues stare at you because you are humming that song?

When Huey Lewis was the news
When we went flying with Tom Cruise
When shoulderpads and looking tough
Lost a dare to David Hasselhof

To many men with heavy makeup on
To many poodles with guitars
Thanks for all the joy you've given us
You will always be our superstars

"Back to the 80s"
Those words has been in my head all day long - occatinally also making me laugh remembering some of the following:

- Scrungees in a vast variety of colors (the bigger the better) in your hair
- Hair slides with a big bow on it
- Shoulder pads
- Movies like "Breakfast Club", "TopGun", "Ghostbusters", "Back to the Future", "Big", "Working Girl" (that's were the picture is from)
- "MacGyver" and "Miami Vice" on tv

Hmmm.... better go home and put one of those movies in my DVD player :o)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

World Card Making Day

Today is World Card Making Day - and I am travelling :o) Plan to buy some supplies and make a card in my hotelroom later today, when I am having s short break from all the walking anyway. Wonder if the craft store, that I have planned to visit even knows what day it is? Since 2007, the first Saturday in October has been named World Card Making Day celebrating everybody in the business, whether being amateur or professional.

A lot of my inspiration is worldwide thanks to some of the wonderful posts in the world of blogging, for which I am grateful :o) Looking at my craft supplies at home, I can list up more than a dozen countries as origin as I always try to utilise every vacant spot in my travelbags to bring home more supplies, that I often can not get at home or they are much cheaper compared to the shops in my hometown.

Thanks to all the bloggers sharing their cards and providing inspiration for others. This day is yours :o)

Friday, October 1, 2010

What The Postman Delivered... my mailbox

I ordered a pair of WristWorms - also known as wrist warmers - at Sandra Juto's online shop, and I received them in the mail Thursday....can't wait to start using them, as it was "love a first sight" when I found them in her store. I will start using them, as it is pretty cold already when going by bicycle to work each morning - and a little too early for gloves.

The ones I picked have a classic look, that looks nice to my usual work attire, which is somewhat conservative due to the type of business, that I am in.