Posts Categorized: Life

DIY + holiday + Life + My Scandinavian Christmas + photography + Projects / Monday, 3 Dec 2012

My Scandinavian Christmas Day 3: Orange and Clove Pomanders

Day 3 of My Scandinavian Christmas is by Hilda Grahnat. Hilda is one of my absolute favorites. She photographed a lot of my DIY projects when I first moved here and before she moved to Oslo, where she now resides (she’s from Sweden). Aside from being a fantastic photographer, she’s also a wonderful person and stays very true to her artistic vision always.

This simple and all natural decoration is pretty much the only Christmas craft I do each year. It’s so easy and quick and best of all – it makes your home smell great! I’ve always thought this was a Swedish thing, but after some googling I’m not so sure. I used to make them with my mom when I was a kid and the smell of these is one of the few things nowadays that get me in a holiday mood.

All you need is some oranges, cloves and something sharp, like a sowing needle, tooth pick or push pin. Push the pin through the orange peel in the pattern you want to create, then insert a clove in each hole.

The traditional way to decorate with pomanders is to hang them in your window with red ribbon, but I prefer to put them in my fruit bowl with the rest of my fruit. Or I just lay one on a pretty plate with a stick of cin- namon beside it. Variation is endless! Why not spell out Christmas with one letter on each orange and put them in a row on your windowsill?

Thank you so much Hilda! Come and visit us in America! Check out Hilda’s beautiful photography here. And check out my version of this project from last year’s 24 days of Christmas Crafts.

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Crafts + DIY + holiday + Life + My Scandinavian Christmas + Projects + Scandinavia / Sunday, 2 Dec 2012

My Scandinavian Christmas Day 2: Three bird mobile

Day Two of My Scandinavian Christmas is by Mette Hornung Rankin of Bureau of Betterment. Mette is an amazing illustrator/designer from Portland living in Copenhagen. 

When Brittany asked me to contribute to her 24 days of Christmas blog series about holiday decorations, I took the opportunity to work in a new format I’d been wanting to try – mobiles. My inspiration came from a small felt bird I have placed above my doorway that my mom sewed for me when I was a baby.
For the simplest mobile possible, forget about balancing acts and bars and doing pseudo-math (or even real math). Just hang three things in a row with a string between them – they still spin gracefully and take up much less space than a traditional mobile.
Step 1
The materials you need are cheap and easy to get: thread, a needle, scissors (and an X-acto if you want to be crafty), and thick colored craft paper.
Step 2
Cut out the pieces to your mobile using the PDF template I made, which fits on an 8.5×11″ letter size sheet of paper. Choose colors that will stand out well against the wall color where you plan to hang the mobile. You can also use patterned paper or wallpaper for a more eclectic look. If you want to put a holiday twist on the mobile, cut out different shapes to hang inside the birds’ bellies that make you feel whichever holiday spirit you want to get into.
Whatever you do, be sure to ask the people who are going to see the mobile every day (i.e., your roommates, boyfriend, husband, or kids) if they like the colors. That way, you will avoid mistakenly making a SWEDISH colored mobile instead of a DANISH colored mobile just because you think the colors are pretty.
Country specific colors – choose them carefully!

 

Step 3
Thread the pieces together using white or clear thread, and hang it up for everybody to enjoy. This type of mobile is relative easy to balance, but it is still a good idea to tie a piece of thread around the bird where you plan to thread a hole to test the balance before actually puncturing the poor fowl.

Thank you Mette! Go check out Mette’s awesome work on her site, Bureau of Betterment

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24 days of Christmas + DIY + holiday + Life + My Scandinavian Christmas + Projects + Scandinavia / Saturday, 1 Dec 2012

My Scandinavian Christmas: Day 1

Happy December 1st! If you’re anything like me you’re thinking, “Wha? December? When did THAT happen?!” *sigh*. Wouldn’t it be so lovely to celebrate each and every day and really soak it in? Dream world! Well, Christmas time is seriously magical and this year the magic will be crowded not only with celebrations and projects, but moving across the Atlantic in less than two weeks. Prior to finding out that we were moving I was planning on doing the 24 days of Christmas crafts like I did last year, but that just was not possible this year.
SO, I enlisted the help of some of my favorite Scandinavian bloggers. Here’s how it works: I’ve asked some stellar crafters and bloggers to show how they celebrate Christmas in their country, whether it be a craft or a tradition, or just a walk through the beautiful woods. Each day leading up to Christmas I’ll show a different blogger and how they celebrate the holidays. There are a few holidays in each respective country that other countries do not have, so there’s most likely a few traditions that will be new to all of us. 
Scandinavians have such a beautiful tradition of family and crafts and amazing food during this time of the year. I’m going to be so bold as to say that they celebrate it the best: no nonsense, real, focus on people, non-tacky, warm. Guys, there are some really wonderful projects coming your way to show the simple and beautiful nature of the Scandinavians. 
First up! Maiju from My 2nd Life based in Ostrobothnia, Finland. She has a most lovely blog with beautiful pictures of her life and creative projects. Here’s what she says:

Here’s an idea that I’m doing this year. I sprayed some branches white and decorated them by using simple decorations that don’t cost much. What I like about this idea the most is that it doesn’t take much room in the house, so you can have this little “x-mas tree” almost anywhere. Just pick the decorations and style as you like best –I chose this kind of playful mix with bright colors.

Thank you Maiju for participating in My Scandinavian Christmas. Go check out her lovely blog, My 2nd Life.

And don’t forget that the first Danish Design Giveaway ends tonight and the winner will be announced tomorrow along with our 2nd day of Christmas!

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denmark + Design + giveaway + Life + Products + Projects / Wednesday, 28 Nov 2012

Danish Design giveaway: #1 (CLOSED)

In order to give a proper good-bye to Denmark (in case you missed it, we’re moving to America in two weeks!) and to thank you dear readers for reading this blog, I have some magical things lined up for you for the month of December. First, how about some giveaways?! I thought it would be nice to give away some wonderful home products by all Danish designers. OOOOO, can you take it?

I feel lucky to have lived in a country where design is second nature. I’ve learned that the Danes really value their homes and take pride in the things that occupy them. When you are invited into someone’s home it is a big deal and they treat you very well. So, in honor of beautiful Danish design and the people that make it, I’ll be having 4 giveaways during December. Denmark celebrates the advent season, in particular each advent Sunday, so I thought it was most appropriate to select a winner each advent Sunday. The first round starts today and the winner will be selected this Sunday, December 2nd.

I have some wonderful companies with awesome products lined up. Drum roll please…this week’s giveaway is sponsored by some of my very favorites Ferm Living, At Hermans, Herb Lester, and Royal Copenhagen. A few of the items will be repeated each week but the rest will be unique.

1. Copenhagen poster &
2. wooden star ornament by Ferm Living
3. map of Copenhagen (ok, not a Danish designer, but it fits well, non?) by illustrator Matt Chase for Herb Lester (they have lovely maps of other cities too!)
4. Royal Copenhagen Elements thermal mug in coral
5. Beautiful wooden tray by Jørgen Høj from one of my fave shops, At Hermans (and they ship world wide!)

That’s over a $250 value! 

TO ENTER! Head on over to Facebook and like The House That Lars Built page then tell me in a comment below what you love about Danish design. If you’ve already liked the FB page, score! But bonus points if you share the giveaway! Also, bonus points if you share in other places too like Twitter, Pinterest or your blog. Please leave your contact info so I can contact you to let you know you’ve won!

Winner will be selected Sunday, December 2nd so you have until Saturday, December 1st to enter. 

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denmark + In the Know + Life / Wednesday, 21 Nov 2012

ANNOUNCEMENT!

This song came into my head the moment we found out the news that we are indeed “coming to America”. It’s true! We’re moving to America!

Now, had you mentioned moving to america 8 months ago there would have been no question that I wanted to skidattle (sp?) on out of here, but a funny thing happened that I did not foresee. I now like Denmark. I don’t think I ever mentioned it here on my blog how much I struggled liking Denmark. Just ask my husband what I really thought about it (or don’t, it’s pretty depressing). When I first moved here after getting married I thought it would be a piece of cake; I mean, I LOOK like a Dane so clearly I would fit in alright. Right? Wrong! It might as well have been China. At least in China I would have been expecting the cultural differences, but here the differences are more subtle. Once I arrived and tried navigating the governmental system and etiquette and social expectations and the postal system and CUSTOMER SERVICE (ie: not very existant) I realized that America and Denmark are very different. And I found myself becoming more and more American.

Goodness, this is cathartic.

BUT THEN, I met some nice, creative, and supporting ladies who I started working with and then moved into their studio and now, I feel involved and purposeful and willing to work with the postal system (though I still have my moments). I started seeing the country in new eyes. That, and it was summer again and Denmark is just better in the summertime.

SO NOW after all that we are moving west! We’ll be spending the holidays with my family in California and then packing up a car to Utah. UTAH! Provo, Utah to be exact. Ok, so let’s talk about this now. I did my undergrad in Utah and quite honestly I didn’t think I’d return, but here we go. And we are thrilled! I hear there are a lot of clever and creative people there too so let me know if you are one of them. It’d be nice to do some fun projects, doncha think?!

Now comes the serious and more personal stuff. (My face is turning red now!). I am now on the job hunt! I’ll be continuing The House That Lars Built, of course (I LOVE THIS!), and my freelance projects and need to add on another job. Ideally, my job would be to make awesome projects all the time for this blog, but for now I’m looking for a designer/crafter or social media job. If you have any leads in the Provo, Utah area, or working remotely I’d love to hear them and would be so super appreciative! thehousethatlarsbuilt@gmail.com. You can check out my portfolio here. ALSO, if you know of any places for rent in the Provo area (closer to BYU preferably or more specifically a little charmer on Center Street) that would be wonderful to know.

I want to thank you for following along on our adventures so far. Whether you’ve been reading from the beginning or brand new, I thank you for coming back. I value each comment, each click, each “like” and I hope do many more mighty projects for you.

I am so grateful for the friends I’ve made here in Denmark and tear up thinking about leaving but you know what I say? No “good-byes,” just “see you laters.” Much better.

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