Sunday, November 28, 2010

Happy X-mas Trees

I have been wondering, if I could make some kind of blog Xmas calendar, and the theme presented itself when I coincidently saw the Kickoff of Happy X-mas Trees at the square of Copenhagen City Hall in Copenhagen.

From November 14th and untill Christmas, the decorated Xmas trees made of eco-friendly material can be found all over Copenhagen.... Yes I know what you are thinking: This is just like the Cowparade, exept that this is only a Christmas season event - and this year marks the first one ever. The organizers have planned, that this event will tour to another big city next year etc. The Xmas trees will at a later stage be autioned away and the proceeds will go to a forrestaion project in Mali, Africa.

Like usual, my camera was on overtime and I managed to get decent shots of most of the Xmas trees before they were scattered all over the city - so from December 1st and until Christmas my blog will have Happy Xmas Tree of the Day posts :o) Other regular posts will also appear during December.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Tagged.... You Are It....

Made these gift tags as part of one of my friends birthday presents earlier this week.

Amazing what you can accomplish with COPICS and a stamp... and a geat deal of patience, as the paper did not want to play with the stamp and ink :o)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Food Fighting... Or....??

Well this is old news, but in my opinion definately a step in the right direction: San Francisco has banned Happy Meals with toys.

Well let me ask this question: Was there a kid at your Thanksgiving dinner yesterday, that really complained about the food, and wanted to go to MacDonalds instead?

I know too many families that are treating their kids with Happy Meals as a kind of reward for something -sometimes even as a bribe. In one case I knew a single mom, who caved everytime her kid screamed for a HappyMeal, and sometimes that could happen up to three times a week (!!!?!). That lady actually cancelled her participation in dinner invitations at the very last minute with the "excuse": "Oh, I can't come afterall, I promised little Buddy that he could have his dinner at MacDonalds instead. Needless to say, but people simply stopped inviting her.

Are parents really too busy when it comes to setting limitations for their kids' demands? Are they too busy to make a homemade meal, that in most cases would even be a cheaper option? Do they really believe that Happy Meals is a proper/healthy choise? The trend is a slippery slope: an adult can make his/her own choise to live healthy or not - kids can not make that decision themselves and therefore depend on responsible parents.

There are a lot of cookbooks out there with inspiring recipes on how to make healthy, nutritiounus food in a hurry without costing a fortune. If MacDonalds turned the tables and started making healthier food, they could actually even accumulate more business - I think the kid opt for the logo and the toy and not necessarily the food itself.

Well today, I will prepare my own version of fastfood: Burgerbread (homemade a while ago and put into the freezer to come in handy like today), slice of leftover turkey from yesterday, slices of fresh cucumber and a salsa made of fresh avocado, tomatoes and just a teaspoon of leftover cranberry sauce (to give it a sweet-sour touch).... Cooking time: about 5 minutes - Taste: Yummy :o)

The picture is not captured in San Francisco, but in Guangzhou, China (2009)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Gourmet Travelling

If your have seen the movie "Eat, Love, Pray" - you have seen Julia Roberts as the real life Elizabeth Gilbert who travelled the world to rediscover herself.

But have you ever given it much thought, that you are sometimes travelling to different cultures simply by stepping into someone's house or into a restaurant? Just think about it! You would be quite surprised :o)

I travel a lot - by planes etc. and that maybe how I got the taste for a lot of local dishes and I simply love, if I can find a local restaurant that have the dish or something similar on their menu in my hometown. I also have a lot of international colleagues which means local dishes when I visit their houses, eventhough they live 10-15 minutes from my house.

So what is "travel cuisine" for me? Some of the dishes are from my childhood but that is just the point of origin :o)

Here's a recap (and yes, some of them are desserts):

China Dim sum
Denmark Ris á la mande - Stegt flæsk og persillesovs
France Cremé Brûlee
India  Nan - Prawn Biryani - Shrimp Curry
Italy Pizze: Braccio di ferro - Risotto - Tiramisu
Japan Sushi
Korea Food with kimchi on the side
Mexico Chili con carne
MiddleEast Tajine balsamek
North America (US and Canada) Crabcake - Hashbrowns - Turkey (á la Thanksgiving dinner)
Spain Paella
Sweden Rösti

Well there might be plenty of more dishes, that I have forgotten :o)

Happy Thanksgiving

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sometimes You Have To Yell Out Loud..


I have been following a blog for six months - a lady that actually lives close to my house and who I had the deepest admiration for... That has just come to an end.

She has mentioned another blog several times, and that other blog's owner have a cool Etsy store from which I have made several purchases. Then suddenly yesterday, the lady I was following advertised for her own new market store  - she mentions, that she had made wrist warmers just like the ones, that from the other blogger's Etsy store. She even has labels that screams out "Copycat!".

It is not ok, that a blogger copies another blogger like that! One thing is, if you are inspired to make an identical item yourself for yourself. But copying another bloggers idea just to make money on it without even making a signature-difference-to-the-design-making-it-a-revised-unique-design: That is not ok!!

Have you ever stopped following a blog because it was simply copying other people's work?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Recycled Envelopes

No no. It has nothing to do with reusing an actual envelope. It is about making envelopes from a scrap op paper thorn out out of a magazine, book, newspaper or catalogue... something you might have just trown into the recycle paper bin.

There is actually a lot of printed publications, that have pages with a full-page photo just screaming to be reused as an envelope. Well at least it is screaming in my little world. The middle envelope is a page from a Martha Steward magazine, and the others are from a supplier catalogue (from work - about to be thrown out) and a clothing catalogue.

100+ years ago, paper was sometimes scarce and very expensive, and at some point, people simply reused an envelope up to 3 times. A few more of my friends have rediscovered the joy of a handwritten note/letter, so I am in constant need of envelopes - and they really enjoy these colorful envelopes.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

TIO #58 - The East

I just saw this challenge - and I know, that it no longer possible to submit any entries. But... And there is a but - this challenge simply shouted out "Make it!"

Well - here is my go at it - just needed to be creative with one more tag today. I have made gift tags to a friend, but can not show the picture yet, as she has not received them. Don't want to spoil the surprise.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

World Wide News Clippings

Stilkritik: Der Plastik-Weihnachtsbaum

Again my way of "killing time" at the airport - this time a newspaper clipping from a German Newspaper, just to freshen up my German a bit.

The journalist is angry about the christmas tree in Berlin going to be a 27 meter high artificial (plastic) Christmas tree this year instead of the traditional Christmas tree from Bayern. In his opinion they might as well cancel Christmas if they do not want the real thing at the Gedächtniskirche.... and he continues with a black vision reasoning to the extreme.

You start laughing at first about the way he wrote his article, but then you start to think about the consequenses if you opt for more and more artificial (in his world: fake) things instead of the good old traditions.

Well I want the Christmas trees both at the apparment building where I live, in my neighbourhood and at the city hall to be the real thing - but in my home it sadly has to be the artificial once, as I am allergic towards pinetrees :o(

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

If I Wasn't Crafty Myself...

.... I would head over to this ETSY store and buy me some of these:

In some way they seem so simple - and at the same time you are ashamed of that thought, as these are genious. If you want some unique cards, you should seriously consider to buy these.

I follow FleurFatales blog, and it was one of her blogposts that lead me in this direction. Her blog is so colour full, full in awe of other creative persons, but most of all, she sells some cool jewelry.

The blog world is a cornucopia of creative inspiration - not as in copying somebody's work, but as a inspiration to use a certain colour different that described in the blog etc. And yet it is a very dangerous place, because new ideas keeps popping up: Too many ideas - too little time.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Writing Class

I recently signed up for a writing class and the deadline for the first submission is today. I had planned to submit this earlier, but I ended up doing the first assignment today in the last minute. Flashback to school - but then the best results from my hand were created at the last minute.

While writing images from a 80s movie were in my head and they wouldn't go away! But at the same time they made me laugh and I suddendly had a different angle to what I was writing. Not that any of it resembled to anything in that movie, but I had this strange feeling that inspired the words I was writing.

I have had a story in my head for the past 1½ years, that I would like to get down on paper one day, so see if I can accomplish just that. No intentions of having it published, it is simply just something for me. And me being reluctant to have the story shown to any publisher is not because it has resemblance ot anything personal, that I am putting down on paper - since it is merely something my mind created. What I was writing today was inspired from the story in my mind, but with a new angle.

The 80s movie in my head was "Romancing the stone" - one of my favourites frmo that time. I remembered the beginning, where Kathleen Turner finish writing her book, that she is having published: the old fashioned type writer, the wall mounted phone, the mail/letters (in stead of our time's email etc) - not that I want to be a romantic novelist like her, but things were just more down to earth.

Next assignment is released tomorrow and is due next Sunday - and I am looing forward to it.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Feelin' Like A Needle Pin Cushion

When you go travelling as much as I do, and on top of that have a very weak immune system because of the MS - then the various vaccines are a definite MUST: typhoid, yellow fever, hepatitis, flu (inkl. H1N1) etc.

....which makes me feel like a needle pin, since I also have to go to the hospital each month to get my MS treatment (oh yes, there is a needle too) and also have regular bodtests taken.

Just imagine that your travel insurance say no to cover expenses, if you did not take precausions before going on a trip to a remote place.... scary isn't it - know people, that have been in that mess, and are still paying off debt accumulated by the cost of the treatments afterwards.

Don't forget those, who have no funds to pay for a vaccination - support charities like Red Cross or Medecins sans frontiers as they offer programmes for vaccination of 3 world countries.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans' Day

Today's Veterans' Day in the UK and other places of the world. If you have been in the UK within the past 2-3 weeks or seen English news in that period, you will most like have seen people wearing a poppy, like the one in my photo (that's mine by the way).

Veterans' Day commemorates the fallen soldiers and civilians during time of war, and the poppy is the symbol that you support the veterans: the poppy's are lauched by Peace Pledge Union and cost....well as much as you want to donate to the cause, whether it be 20 pence or a few pounds.

World War I ended officially on November 11th, which why this date was chosen as Veteran's Day.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Going Down Memory Lane: The Addams Family

Yet another song buzzing in my mind - the theme song from the 1991 Addams Family movie... I do know why it is clinging to my mind: I saw a re-run of the movie on tv the other night.

I loved the movie from the first time I saw it - the cast is so brilliant and is in sync with the old cartoon. There was also a pin ball game (not the computer game a real pin ball machine) - I remember spending hours and a lot of coins on one of those even starting to beat the score made by much older guys spending more time at the pin ball machine.

Neerdy? Well just a little :o) I have never been into computer games neither WII... I don't think I could ever spend that much time on a game, but if I someday passed a Addam Family pin ball machine, I might just use a coin just to go down memory lane.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Source of inspitation: Where's the Forrrest??

Ever been so hung up on looking for someting, that you don't even realising that it is already just in front of you?

I went walking in the park the other day, when I overheard a mum asking her little son, if he knew where the forest is, cause they were walking in a park - not a forrest. Guess it was some way of learning him the difference between park and forrest.

The child looked bewildered and then pointed at the ground and said "But mum, it is right there".

His reasoning was all the leaves already fallen off the trees and in his little world, a forrest is not a forrest with out the leaves, it is just a bunch of trees. The mum went speechless but had a big smile on her face.

I couldn't help thinking about that little boy's words as they were inspiring. 

Are we so hung up on always finding the perfect ideal of something, that we don't see what's right in front of us? Is it because we are always in a hurry that we suddenly go blind and don't see all the details around us? Or is our goal set due to other people's expectations?

While taking walks with my camera, my mind is more tuned into discovering new small details despite having walked that way many times before.

Monday, November 8, 2010

GOOGLE - Oracle or Menace?

A lot of internet users gets information from GOOGLE everyday - it has never been easier to retrieve information regarding a specific topic, since it is only a few clicks away.

I frequently use GOOGLE - both in private and at work, when I need to learn some basic details. When I grew up, I often had to look something up in the encyclopedia, if I wanted to get some of the basics - a visit to the library addional info was required when writing an essay/paper for school. Will future generations even beware of or appreciate the source of info at a library? For them it will be weird not to be able to look up info at home from a computer or similar.

However - Have you ever experienced, that GOOGLE can be a real menace? Do you know somebody that needs to double check everything with GOOGLE as if they are not believing anything somebody is telling them? Some times that type of people make you wonder if they are able to have knowledge of their own or simply mistrusting everybody else's knowledge.

I love the way, that GOOGLE celebrates holidays, events, special birthdays etc. with the customised logo honouring that - one of my favourite is this one honouring the birthday of Dr.Seus :o) Some times I look at the GOOGLE page to see, if they have an "occation logo".

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Doing the Energizer Bunny Dance

When will I learn, that I am no longer twenty years old, and I am not equipped with energizer batteries in my body? I have passed the 3 0 and is still some way from the 4 0.But nevertheless energy level also have something to do with age.

Then I could argue, that my activity level has always been high and naturally leads to fatigue, 'cause the body needs its rest. Having MS means that my body sends stronger signals when I am getting tired and it did pre-MS.

Today is no different - I had forgotten to slow down during the week due to work, formal and informal dinners, bowling (reunion with old colleagues), doctor's appointment (getting ready for more travels), crafty must-do-in-the-last-minute-cause-now-everybody-expects-something-home-made-from-me.... and the list goes on... No wonder I woke up soo tired this morning, even though I had 9 hours of sleep.

I must learn to do more breaks just sitting down with a cup of tea just looking out "into the void" without reading a book etc at the same time... talking walks that will make my mind relax more... If I don't do it, I risk that the small signals from my body might result in a MS attack, which I can definately do without.

Off to a friend's house to drink tea, just relaxing and talking about everything and nothing...just sitting down relaxing....

When looking for a picture of  the Energizer Bunny I found this funny bio :o)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Coffee Song

Ever had a song in your head, and you keep humming it all day long?? I have - often actually :o) Luckily not the same song every time....

I love coffe, I love tea

I love the java jive and it loves me
Coffee and tea and the jiving and me
A cup, a cup, a cup, a cup, a cup!
I love java sweet and hot
Whoops! Mr. Moto, I'm a coffee pot
Shoot me the pot and I'll pour me a shot
A cup, a cup, a cup, a cup, a cup!
Oh, slip me a slug from the wonderful mug
And I cut a rug till I'm snutg in a jug
A slice of onie and a raw one, draw one.

Waiter, Waiter, percolator!
I love coffe, I love tea
I love the java jive and it loves me
Coffee and tea and the jiving and me
A cup, a cup, a cup, a cup, a cup!
Boston bean, soy bean
Lima bean, string bean.
You know that I'm not keen for a bean
Unless it is a cherry coffe bean.

I love coffe, I love tea
I love the java jive and it loves me
Coffee and tea and the jiving and me
A cup, a cup, a cup, a cup, a cup!
I love java sweet and hot
Whoops! Mr. Moto, I'm a coffee pot
Shoot me the pot and I'll pour me a shot
A cup, a cup, a cup, a cup, a cup!
Oh, slip me a slugfrom the wonderful mug
And I cut a rug till I'm snug in a jug
Drop me a nickel in my pot, Joe, Taking it slow.

Waiter, Waiter, percolator!
I love coffe, I love tea
I love the java jive and it loves me
Coffee and tea and the jiving and me
A cup, a cup, a cup, a cup, a cup!
The Ink Spot, 1940
At first I thought it was some old commercial, that I had seen - but then it hit me: it was one of my class' favourite songs in the mandatory music classes at school. Our music teacher was not alive without his cup of coffee, which was always to be found very close to his piano.

The original version song by the Ink spot, can be found here

Friday, November 5, 2010

Source of Inspiration: People Involved With Disabled Sports

When seing this sign in the the front window of the car - what are your thoughts?

  • Are you wondering how severe the disability of the car driver is?
  • Do you imagine, what kind of dissease/accident/disability the driver might suffer from?
  • Does it make you think of a friend/relative that is disabled?
  • Does it ever occur to you, that the driver is actually deeply involved with sports for the disabled?

I can relate to the first three - I was confined to a wheel chair at the time, when the doctors diagnosed me with MS. A lot of people around me (and actually also myself to a certain point) did not believe, that I would ever regain my ability to walk normal again - let alone run. The lady in the hospital bed next to me is a huge inspiration: she is confined to a wheel chair for the rest of her life, and she is living her life to the fullest extend...

Her energy level seems so much higher than people without disabilities and it soon became obvious that I could learn a lot from her. When she heard, that I have run several half marathons, she just blurted out "Get yourself a race-wheel chair and start doing wheel chair racing!".... I started laughing for the first time after the grim words from the doctors. Eventually after 4 months of training, I was able to walk/run without any aid. 

Even though she said that to me, it never occured to me that the driver of a car could be into sports for disabled (some call it handicap sports)......

Another lady just made me think about it. I talk to her everyday on the phone when working, and the other day was the first time I met her face to face. She is dependant on crutches and in some occations a wheel chair - and she has participated in several international competitions including even the paralympics. She has a full time job and in her spare time, every hour is spent with her horse and family - WOW!!

We never knew, that we have something in common - besides being in the same business - an illness that can result in severe disability... She was apparently very happy about my way of initiating a conversation at the meeting with blurting out "Were you not able to stand on your two feet, so you ended up falling?" My colleagues were shocked and one said to me, that I was being rude. But it was obvious, that it was so much more than an accident, that caused the need for crutches (you could tell by the way she moved, that this was no new injury after an accident). Her laughter said everything about her reaction and she said "No somebody thought it was fun to connect my legs the wrong way" - then my colleagues went so quiet for a few minutes when the both of us laughed hard.

Later she asked me, if I know anybody else, that is disabled? She is used to people just staring at her, as if she was from another planet, and my bluntness really surprised her and made her happy at the same time. When I told her, that I suffer from MS and had trained myself out of a wheel chair, we seemed to connect on a higher level with an unspoken mutual understanding: both of us aware how lucky we are to be able to have a full time job and live as normal a life as possible. None of our colleagues truly understand what happened, but they realised that we connected at a mutual level.

I just passed a car with the disability-sign and immediately started wondering, which type of sports the driver could be into.... Then I started thinking about which sports, that could be "my thing" if I ever end up in a wheel chair - and my initial thought still makes me laugh: bowling. 

Longer post, than I expected to write, but her ability to embrace a sport (despite being diabled) is truly inspiring....

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Have you ever just....

walked into a store without knowing what made you walk in there in the first place?

       Was it because it looked cosy?
       Did something catch you attention and you can't explain why?
       Was it a fascinating store logo?

See I can't figure out, what made me walk into a Fat Face store and look for je ne sais pas - but I did. The colors of their clothes do look cosy and warm and you had this relaxed feeling just looking at the clothes at the racks, and suddenly - there they were!!

Lunar knitted pump slippers (FatFace)

I bought them within a split second - and the store owner had the biggest smile on his face: "Never in my life, have I seen such a fast decision of buying something!"

If I see something affordable that really just hit that wow-nerve, then I should buy it..... if I am hesitant about something (maybe - maybe not - maybe) then I know, I shouldn't buy it, 'cause that will be something that just ends somewhere deep in my closet never seing the light of day until I decide to donate it to some charity.

It is already gotten pretty cold a nights and I just need something warm on my feet - and these are some of the softest slippers, that I have ever owned in my life......and the knitted look reminds me of something from my childhood: Maybe the pattern? Or did I know somebody who had a knitted sweater in those same colors? These are going to be warming my feet until they are totaly worn-out :o)

Have you ever walked into a store and come out with something totally unexpected that you just love?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Words of Inspiration

Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.
Charles W Eliot