Posts Categorized: Life

holiday + Life + My Scandinavian Christmas + Projects + Scandinavia / Saturday, 8 Dec 2012

My Scandinavian Christmas day 8

Day 8 of My Scandinavian Christmas is by Mette Kærlig Hilsen, a web designer here in Copenhagen. She is also the blogger behind Ungt Blod (Young Blood), a blog that I can only describe as really cool. She’s one of my favorite people to follow on Instagram too. 
All my life Christmas has looked like this. My family moved in to my childhood home the same year I was born and every year Christmas has looked, smelt and felt the same: Dark, warm and full of traditions. 

But last year was our last Christmas in that magical childhood home; in the spring my parents moved out of the huge house and this year I will for the first time celebrate Christmas in my own home; in our small Copenhagen apartment. I will buy my first Christmas tree, I will cook Christmas dinner for the first time and I will be responsible for creating all the special Christmas tradition that my 3-year-old daughter will come to remember.

I feel like this is one of the most grown up steps I have taken since moving out of my parents house 10 years ago. Luckily my daughter gives me a good perspective on all the pressure and stress: I am not even going to try to create the most beautiful, stylish, picture perfect Christmas. instead I will focus on the things that makes her happy: Lots of sparkles, ‘nisser’, red and white colors and simple family DIY projects – and Santa, of course. 

I love Mette’s perspective on the Christmas season and I think it’s so important not to get too caught up in being stylish or going overboard. Thank you Mette for participating in My Scandinavian Christmas! Check out Ungt Blod here.

DIY + Life + My Scandinavian Christmas + printable + Projects + Scandinavia / Friday, 7 Dec 2012

My Scandinavian Christmas Day 7

We’re already on the 7th day of Christmas! Welcome Eva Jorgensen of Sycamore Street Press! I first met Eva at the very first Alt Summit and we had a lot in common so we’ve stayed in contact ever since. It’s been fun watching her beautiful letterpress company and cute little family grow. Eva lives in Utah (where we’re heading!) but her family is Norwegian so her work is very Scandinavian-inspired so I thought she’d be a perfect fit.


Growing up, our home was always full of cheerful Scandinavian decor for Christmas. My great-grandmother stitched, sewed, and wove table runners, quilts, baskets and more while my Norwegian great-grandfather did all kinds of woodworking. Every year, they’d sell their handiwork at the Christmas bazaar put on by the Norwegian Seaman’s Church, and every year, my parents would pile my siblings and I into the car to attend the event. We’d put our names down for raffles, sample the cookies, and listen to the older folks speak in their melodic native tongues. We would purchase colorful ornaments, candlesticks, and pillow covers. Once in a while, we’d get lucky and win something in the raffle. Either way, my great-grandparents would always give some of their handmade goods to us, which we would proudly display in our home. 


CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE FREE TEMPLATE

For Brittany’s “My Scandinavian Christmas” countdown, I made a couple of illustrated ornaments that you can download. Simply print them, cut them out, punch a hole in the top, thread some ribbon or string through, and hang them up. Easy! My illustrations are inspired by the ornaments I remember hanging in my home growing up. One features a traditional Swedish Dala horse, and the other reads “God Jul”, which means “Merry Christmas” in Danish, Swedish, and Norwegian. 

Thank you SO much Eva! I LOVE these ornaments and will be making mine soon! Check out the wonderful collection of Sycamore products and their blog here.

holiday + Life + My Scandinavian Christmas + Projects + Scandinavia / Thursday, 6 Dec 2012

My Scandinavian Christmas day 6

Day 6 of My Scandinavian Christmas is by Annika Bäckström of her eponymous blog. In one word, she’s awesome. Awesome projects, awesome color palettes, awesome personality. I’m so glad to have her for day 6 of My Scandinavian Christmas! She’s in a similar boat as I am (moving!) but found a little time for some creativity.

The gingerbread house that Annika built.

When Brittany e-mailed me my boyfriend and I had just moved in to our new apartment and all our stuff was still in boxes and everything was quite a mess, and that’s okay for a while. But the thing was that the next day my niece (four years old) and nephew (just turned one) had been planning on coming to visit us.

Problem: The apartment wasn’t very child friendly. 

In one corner of the living room we had some empty moving boxes and packaging that our new bed had arrived in. There was a lot of junk and a lot of cardboard. I thought, why don’t make Judit and Ruben interested in something else than the dangerous and fragile stuff (and it’s more fun to build than clean!).

Instructions with cute illustrations below


I used:
A glue gun
Scissors
two moving boxes
more cardboard
Tape
Left over wall paint

I started making the roof cutting tiles that I glued together. The ones on top were mirrored to make it possible to fold.

One moving box seemed way to small for a house, so I glued two together but kept the corners from each box. I think that made it steadier. I also glued some extra cardboard to the inside of the box. Then I cut triangles of cardboard to keep the roof in position. 
I glued everything together with more pieces of cardboard and put the roof on top. The paint made it look more like a gingerbread house. 

And yes, it was a success. 

They loved it  and didn’t even tear it apart until the second time they came to visit.

Thank you SO much Annika for participating! This is SUCH a great idea! Head on over to her blog for more awesomeness.

holiday + Life + My Scandinavian Christmas + Projects + Scandinavia / Wednesday, 5 Dec 2012

My Scandinavian Christmas Day 5

Day 5 of My Scandinavian Christmas is by Tina Fussell of Traveling Mama. Tina’s blog is a constant source of inspiration where she showcases her wonderful DIY projects combined with beautiful photography. She’s lived in some pretty exotic locales and her aesthetic reflects that.

After having spent three years in Morocco, a Muslim country where Christmas is not observed, we were especially grateful for the Scandinavian Christmas that greeted us our first December in Copenhagen.  We had exchanged a string of ordinary days where the world around us went on as if nothing were happening, with streets strung with twinkling lights, windows filled with soft candlelight and the bustle of Christmas shoppers.  We were filled with unending happiness that first year… tears of joy flowing freely as we observed the beauty of Christmas… not alone, but with an entire country who seemed to know a thing or two about creating a very cozy holiday!


I bought every Christmas issue on the newsstands that I could find and was mesmerized by this new and unfamiliar way of decorating… the Danish way was much simpler than my native Southern USA Christmases and almost always accompanied with a white background. I was in love!  

But it was not just the decorations that had caught our eyes, but new treats to try as well.  It seemed every time my husband went to the grocery store, he came home with a new cookie to try!  He talked nonstop about how every store and office building had a basket of pebernødder cookies, a new favorite, asking to be eaten (and we were happy to take them up on their offer!).  Then there were many varieties of gingerbread and marzipan and chocolates…

I was recently chatting with a friend, Heidi, of Wool Rocks, and she mentioned the Scandinavian tradition of creating an edible Christmas tree.  Though the idea is considered fairly old school, I decided to embrace it this year, with a modern twist…A combination of all the lovely white, the traditional modern and earthy branches, and strung cookies in several varieties to tempt anyone that came very close with it’s fragrant aroma of cinnamon, ginger, and pepper nut!

Thank you, Tina, for participating in My Scandinavian Christmas! I can’t wait to make my own edible Christmas tree (one day when I’m not living out of suitcases). Check out her awesome blog, Traveling Mama.

Crafts + DIY + holiday + Life + My Scandinavian Christmas + Projects + Scandinavia / Tuesday, 4 Dec 2012

My Scandinavian Christmas Day 4

Day 4 of My Scandinavian Christmas is by Pinja of Pinjacolada based out of Helsinki, Finland. Pinja has a wonderful blog showcasing her beautiful photography and fantastic DIYs complete with touches of bright colors and bold patterns.

This year I wanted to make a piece of Christmas decoration Inspired by the Finnish traditional Himmeli, which is an ornament made of straw and is hung form the ceiling at Christmas time. I wanted to keep it natural and simple by using the straw and wooden beads that I decorated with a little bit of white paint. The ornament hangs now on our tiny Christmas three but after Christmas it could still stay around somewhere in the house. 

p.s. This is the video where I learned how to make the Himmeli piece (clear even if you don’t speak Finnish).


Thank you so much Pinja for participating in My Scandinavian Christmas! And be sure to check out her wonderful blog. It’s got the best ideas!