Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year

Tonight I am going to celebrate New Years with some old friends - in a city north of here, where I spend most of my childhood. It is not going to be a wild party, but one filled with laughter, talk about old days and updates as some of the participants now lives 7800+ km (that's 4800+ miles) from the rest of us.

Those who knows me, are aware that I usually do not show up at an event like that without something for the hostess, so up a litle bit early today to do that extra thing to the box of chocolate, that I will bring to her.

A bit of cardboard, blue vellum, some gift ribon and silver New Year's serpentines - using the Fröbel star idea to create the stary look to make it look and feel like New Year - and I came up with this box sleeve/cover:

Happy New Year

Sunday, December 29, 2013


Travelling during Christmas time - well know that most would not like to do it, but I get to do two of my favourite things: travel and have a peak how they celebrate, decorate etc. for Christmas in other countries .... and this year Sao Paolo, Brazil was added to that list.
Above photos are merely samples of the many that I shot of the shopping mall Iguatemi's Christmas display and despite hot temperatures outside (summer in that part of the world), the Frank Sinatra Christmas songs in the speakers at the display connected with the spirit of Christmas.
Panna Cotta - apparently the big Christmas cake as everywhere I went, I was offered sample of the cake, and watched a lot of locals carrying a premade cake home to their families.
As they say in Brazil: Felix Natal!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christmas Cards 2013

A front page of the Danish magazine, Femina, caught my attention in mid November with the Fröbel stars - had a feeling that this would be the inspiration to this year's batch of Christmas cards.

It took two weeks until the idea finally appeared in my head - not the complete star but the base could be made in white and then added to the card .... only to reach an obstacle that took me 2 days to solve: wanted to fold the starts of gift ribbon in the 0,5 cm width only to find out that the size (which has pretty much been available all my life) now only comes in the with of 1 cm = way to big for my purpose. Solution - using my paper cutter to cut out 0,5 cm paper strips of regular white A4 paper = lots of cutting... 37 cards with each 6 stars requiring 4 paper strips = 888 paper strips

In hindsight might not have chosen to pursue that idea, as each card including folding 6 star bases, punching etc took more than one hour.... but then again once my mind is fixed on an idea :o)

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

November Tea Swap 2013 - Part 1

Merry Christmas!!
Had originally planned to post this a couple of days ago, but apparently it was "odd" that I wanted to access to blogger, facebook and email accounts from Brazil - how can that be odd as that is where I was for a couple of days??!! Yeah yeah .....security etc... so bear with me when the next couple of posts has to do with Christmas, but blame it on above mentioned providers.

November's theme - Christmas and anything but a Card. Wanted to create something, that could both hold the 2 tea samples, but at the same time be a sort of ornament/decorative piece. Nordic Christmas screamed at me, hence the red and white colors only and this time not using the usual snowflake punch but two others, that I have neglected way too long.

Buttom and sides: red paper used here is giftwrapping paper, that I have had in stock since 2005 but almost at the very last of that stock *sigh* I know that there are plenty of nice wrapping paper out there, but this type I have used for soo many purposes: giftwrapping, wrapping/covering of pots before placing poinsettias in them, paper on cards, paperbags etc. Punch is from Martha Stewart.

Inside and top: papers are from Panduro Hobby and again the punch is from Martha Stewart

Tea samples places just before closing the star: Mary requested non-caffeine tea, so I sent her some South African rooibos tea and some PUKKA Night Time tea.

Adding just few extra stars - those are the "base only" of the Fröbel star, as the complete stars would not have survived a voyage in a cardboard envelope, but that is the good thing about that kind of stars: even "just" the base only is soo decorative. A lot of people actually call it the Danish Star, but as the name might hint it is a German envention that we Danes have embraced and some people/sources claim that a larger percentage of Danes can fold this star compared to the Germans. Wonder if that is true? Anyway it is very popular here and we learn how to fold it at a very early age.

Mary, I hope you enjoyed the swap.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Chocolate.... 24 Little Men Went To Work

My colleagues love any excuse to get cake, so here is my latest contribution to their everlasting cake-hunger/-craving..... it was supposed to have been a vacation cake, but that collided with a company party, so instead it became an after-vacation cake.

Anne Au Chocolat had the recipe featured in a freebie magazine - real chocolate instead of cocaopowder making this a bomb of a cake. Her Danish name for the cake is "chocolade ballade" which means chocolate trouble - and it is scrumptious!! Decided to add just a little extra - so opted for these pepernut men (pebbernut is a cookies mostly made at Christmas time) and found the recipe here - use google translate to get the recipes on those two websites in English etc.
24 little men went to work - and did their job :o)

Friday, December 6, 2013

Bodil Came...... And She Roared

In fact, she is for the second day still roaring. Bodil is the name of the hurricane, that hit us yesterday - in Sweden his name is Svend and in Germany, Xaver. En lieu of the hurricane, Allan, that hit us October 28th, people had now learned their lesson and left work early as everything got suspended yesterday afternoon/night.

She is still causing havoc and water is now flooding several areas, where people have been evacuated from their homes. A lot of places the tide is unusual high - below pictures are captured with my phone's camera in Copenhagen Harbour during my lunchbreak - some places the tide has broken records. Water is less than one foot from the harbour berth and the photos will give you an idea just how unusual this waterlevel is.


Thursday, December 5, 2013

Black Friday?

Almost every day, I read the local version of MetroExpress

What the....??!! Black Friday sale?

Yes, I know what a Black Friday sale is - as have encountered at first hand in the US a couple of times - crazy shopping if you ask me, and way too many people everywhere. But Thanksgiving is an American holiday/"thing" and yet it seems that Black Friday is adapted locally as an excuse to boost sales. What is the next tradition that will be adapted here?


Wednesday, December 4, 2013


Imagine my surprise when I a while ago discovered an old Swedish tradition, that I had never encountered before: julmust.

It is a non-alcoholic beverage, that in Sweden outnumber the sale of CocaCola in the month of December. I have now tasted it, and my verdict: vile!! Way too sweet to my liking and have now discussed same with the only two Danes that I know have tasted the beverage - they agree with me. Now I get, why this tradition has never crossed the Sund from Sweden to Denmark.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


We do not have any snow *sigh* does not quite feel like December yet, so have to use alternative means to get a dose of snowman.

I agee, this does not look like snow....

This could have been a snowball - you know one of those kinds with a lot of dirt in them as snow is hardly covering the ground, but you just had to make that snowball.... but this is rice crispies.

Now it starting to look like something - after vast use of white fondant, no wonder Buddy and Co. in Cake Boss have a sheeter to do all the fondant rolling instead of doing it by hand. Call him (or is it a her judging from the hat and scarf??) Melding Snowman. The body - pound cake - cracked when covering it with fondant, so he looks deform - the rice crispy ball is his head.

Here is my result - my first attemt of making the snowman. We discussed with the instructor and we all agreed, as this is actually meant as a cake eye catcher and not the cake itself - body should also be made of rice crispy as it would otherwise get to heave.

These are both the creations of the course (4 hours) instructor at Specialkøbmanden - red one is her original one and light blue version was her snowman of the day when showing us how to make the various details.
My question is now: will I ever have the guts to eat my snowman? Since there is cake inside, it will not last very long before it starts getting bad.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Bazaar at the Swedish Church

For years I have wanted to visit the Swedish Church's Christmas bazaar - and this year I finally did it.
The truth is - that I actually got really dissapointed. They had run out of a Swedish traditional drink, that I had really hoped to taste and there really was not anything new that dazzled me. I was hoping to see something a little more Swedish - or was something Swedish present without me realising, Our Christmas traditions in Scandinavia are shared/mixed, so we have adapted a lot of Swedish decoration and them a lot of ours.
For instance, they sold something with weaved hearts motifs, and that tradition is originally Danish.... the list with similar findings going both ways could be really long if lifting them. Has the presence of internet and worldwide shipping made the traditions less local as they are easily shared? Leaving us with not many surprises when it comes to various countries' traditions?
Now I can at least claim, that I finally visited the bazaar - but future visits: I think not.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

My Home Team

When it comes to football, this is my home team - FC Copenhagen. Well why should it not be, considering that I was born in Copenhagen and that I currently live in Copenhagen. And it has been a couple of years since I went into Parken (the local football stadium) to watch a game..... remember we call it football where some countries call it soccer.

The lion did not sleep tonight .... it roared as we beat Viborg 4-1 - first goal already after 38 seconds :o) A local tv-station claimed afterwards that 14.227 were watching the games while freezing..... well that is not quite true as some of us had been lucky to get box seats = more comfy seating and indoors. We could not help noticing the jumping hardcore fans: were they jumping to cheer our team or merely to stay warm?? However, they did create a great atmosphere with their cheering, jumping and singing....

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Basic Knitting

One of the local nightschools offered a knitting course less than a mile from where I live, taught by a creative knitter, who often get published in Danish magazines with her knitting a crochet patterns, Stine Hoelgaard Johansen.
I knew the basics: stich, purl, cast on and cast off - other things I have dabbled with but not mastered. Well I just took her four sessions to change all that. Her inspiring way of teaching you various techniques is mindblowing - you can actually start learning to knit from basics and then end up doing cable knitting and other patters, that I once thought to be incredibly difficult to understand

Well the following photos shows you my attempts at two of the newly learned techniques:

Cable stitch
Seaman's pattern

Some of us have opted for 3 extra sessions to learn more - the price for those sessions is a bargain compaired to what we learn, so tonight is the last of the extra knitting night.

In through the front door - running round the back - peeping through the window  - off comes Jack! (Kitting rhyme)

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Big Knit (Den Store Strikkefest)

Den Store Strikkefest
The Big Knit
Mets ton bonnet
Das Grosse Stricken
De Goedgemuste Breicampagne

Knit a hat for a smoothie and 2 DKK will be donated to DaneAge Association (Ældresagen) whensold. Seriously it is about knitting funny hats for those smoothie bottles - miniature hats of course - but thought it sounded too funny to be missed. Once the deadline was reached the hats are mounted on bottles that will go into stores soon.

Knitting for good causes - there are actually a lot of interesting ones out there, but this kind I have never heard about before... untill reading about Innocent Drink's Danish campaign. Looking around, there is actually a lot of inspiration to be found - and not much yarn is needed to make one of the hats, the Innocent Drik campaign website even shared tome basic patterns to get people started.

Me, I only have one "but" with innocent drink - actually with a lot of other smoothies - most of them contains banana, which is a total no-go for me (allergies) and have a hard time finding those without banana flavour. On the other hand I applaud the use of banana as sweetener instead of artificial additives/sweeteners. The model in above photos was donated to a friend who enjoyed drinking a smoothie :o) Donated 4 mini-hats this year - but think it will be more when the party re-opens in 2014 - a great use of left-over yarn from bigger projects.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Kvinden i buret aka. The Keeper of Lost Causes

The movie of the first Department Q book by Jussi Adler Olsen (Danish title: Kvinden i Buret, English title: The Keeper of Lost Causes) - those of us that have read the books published so far have eagerly awaited this film. Some with raised eyebrows, since they thought that actor Nikolaj Lie Kaas (you might recognize him as a villain from the movie "Angels and Demons" based on Dan Brown's book) is too young to play the part of Carl Mørch - and most are convinced that is is a good choice after seeing the trailer.

Just saw the movie, and the casting of Nikolaj as Carl is just perfect and annoying (Carl's character can be annoying) - and even though I knew the plot, I was at times sitting on the edge of my seat. Usually I can not help comparing the book and the movie while watching the filmed adaptation - but this time I completely forgot to do it. I know that they are filming the second book in the series right now and can not wait for that movie to come out.

The movie is about Carl, that gets reassigned to the new Q-department, after a serious incident when he was shot and a colleague got paralyzed. He is now to go throgh all the cold cases from the past 20 years along with a new partner Assad and close 2-3 of them per week. He stumbles over a 5 year old case, with a Danish politician that apparently died on the ferry from Germany to Denmark: suicide by jumping off the ferry. Carl's initial gut feeling tells him that something is wrong: Why would she bring her mentally sick younger brother on the ferry if she was suicidal? Is his intuition right or is he just loosing it?

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween

Found these triplets 2½ week ago close to where I live - right next to the sidewalk so phone camera captured these guys.

A weekly local newpaper featured them a week ago - Halloween is for us an American tradition that has been adapted to be part of the fall vacation time for school kids here in week 42, where are Tivoli Garden gets dressed with 40.000+ orange pumpkins.

An then there are those anti-everything-American and think it might have been some of them, who vandalised these three pumpkins last weekend - why can people not let things be instead of vandalising them?? Makes me agry as they created a lot of smiles on passers-by.....anyway
Happy Halloween

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Happy... Mischief Night

Well learned something new by participating in Anything Goes - October Holidays card swap over at PaperCraftPlanet.... first time I heard (actually: read) about Michief Night.
Who can persuade anybody to stay away from doing mischiefs??.... Oh wait - what if one of Santa's elfs dropped by and reminded you about a certain Nice or Naughty List ?? :o) Sent this of to Monique hoping it will create a smile on her face.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Sailing Sclerosis

The Sailing Sclerosis project got a logo a few weeks ago - a logo that I hope a lot of Danes will recognize and support during the next couple of years, but also inspire MSers in other countries to organize/launch projects like this

Well I have already revealed, that I hope to be one of the many MS sailors on that trip so will use some of today's hours sailing with fellow MSers even though it is October - all the practice I can get is welcomed and I enjoy every minute spent on the sea.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Happy... Punk For a Day Day

Punk for a Day Day - Who invented that day? Somebody that wanted to reveal the inner punk? Somebody who wanted to use a punk costume before Halloween?

Well all I know is, that I created the card using a digital stamp from Birdie Brown (sadly closing her store soon *sigh*) as I am participating in the October Holidays Card Swap over at Paper Craft Planet's Anything Goes Group and mailed above card to Angela.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Granny Squares - A New Beginning

A couple of years back, I crocheted my first attempt at a granny square, but never made any other squares after that..... until recently where I spent a Sunday learning the granny square from basics at a course arranged by one of the local night schools.
The middle red square was the first square to get a grasp of the basics before starting using multiple colors and we learned how to stitch the squares together with a needle. Wondering if I could use the above to create a pillow cushion cover, where the back is one big, or several small granny squares in the dark grey yarn?
Could actually be cool to take it a bit further one day and combine knitting and granny square crochting technique to make something like this.