My Scandinavian Christmas day 19

I’m happy to introduce day 19 of My Scandinavian Christmas, Tine Hvolby. Tine is a wonderful wedding photographer in Western Denmark and part of the new network, We Do Weddings, a network of wedding professionals in Denmark. Welcome! 

This was a welcome request from Brittany because I really got to think about what traditions are and which ones I have created myself in my little family and which ones I want for future Christmases.

Christmas is getting out the boxes of decorations and lights. It is getting a tree at the local market, baking cookies, and hanging up stockings up for the Christmas elf and waiting excitingly for what he will bring. 
It is also making the yearly family pictures of my children.

Two years ago I impulsively purchased a pair of angel wings. It was love at first sight. They were completely fantastic, feminine, large, decorated with feathers and filled with adventure. Heavenly. 
I bought them not knowing how I’d use them.
When the first snow fell that year, I took out these angel wings that had been stored unused in my office and I photographed my daughter in the atrium courtyard outside my office in the finest light, crispy and white. It was my first Christmas picture. 

This year, the snow is disappearing and Christmas is just around the corner, but we couldn’t hope for better snow and frost weather. The Christmas presents need to be done and we are so close to Christmas. The expression is different when the white light is not surrounding my daughter with the angel wings. 
Everything is thawing and raining and my daughter loves to wear the wings because she gets to have glitter in her face and play the part of an angel. It is so hyggeligt to play out pictures. It is a good tradition. As long as she wants to, we will play the game of angel and camera every Christmas.
We don’t like all the mud. So these pictures are our drafts. And we, my daughter and I, agreed that we will retake them when the snow returns right around Christmas Eve. Christmas is playtime.
I love this! “Christmas is playtime”. What a great tradition. Thank you, Tine, for participating in My Scandinavian Christmas. Check out her lovely site here.

My Scandinavian Christmas Day 9

Welcome to Day 9 of My Scandinavian Christmas with Camilla Jørvad. Camilla is a wonderful wedding photographer who I have had the pleasure to get to know since I met the fine ladies of the brand spankin new, We Do Weddings, a new network of wedding professionals here in Denmark. Camilla lives in a beautiful part of Western Denmark.
I am among the few who love the Danish winter. I do not get depressed about the dark grey days that seem to go on and on. Three words that describe my holiday season is: history, ‘hygge’ and gift wrapping. 
I love candlelight, getting the fire going in our fireplace, slippers, tea… and cuddling up in the sofa with a gardening book or in front of the computer and Pinterest dreaming of the work that needs to be done in my garden next spring. Living in the country and in an old farmhouse that has been in my husband’s family for generations, I love emphasizing the history of our home. I decorate our house for christmas using vintage items from older generations of our family or newer decorations with a distinct vintage feel to them. I love using darker colors such as black and dark green in my christmas ornaments or earth tones like golden metals and hemp string. My favourite thing to decorate each year is a twisted branch from a willow in our garden. It hangs from our ceiling and is perfect for lots of tiny glass hearts and ornaments. In the wintertime we also always have a basket in our livingroom with extra woollen blankets and soft wool shoes for guests, as the floorboards here are so beautiful we can’t bear to destroy them in order to insulate the floor. We have a really old ceramic oven that was used for cooking up until just a few decades ago, that I now use for candles, it brings it back to life.

All my christmas stuff is stored safely in lovely boxes and put in a huge wooden chest at the foot of our stair case. Every year the last day of November it is like Christmas Eve going in to open all those beautiful boxes again. 
While in Uni I worked weekends and holidays in a local lifestyle boutique. The lady I worked for is loved by her customers just as much for her gift wrapping as for the beautiful things she has in her store. Customers are happy to wait the 10 minutes it often takes her to put all her love and creativity into the wrapping and decoration of each purchase. She is quite the perfectionist so she was a hard teacher but eventually I learned her methods and now several years after I can still please my family by creating packages that are gifts in themselves. 

She had a special technique that makes ugly tape obsolete, that means you never have to turn the package while putting the decorative ribbon around it, and that makes it unnecessary to hold the ribbon in place while tying the bow. I like to wrap my presents using natural recycled paper (think it makes them look old and cosy + its friendly to the environment) I always use a ribbon or string with a bit of a colour pop so it doesn’t look to ‘brown’ or boring and always finish with some sort of decorative item. This year I’ve bought some vintage-y copper hearts and stars to tie on to each package, but last year I just used small pieces of greenery from the garden. Especially the holly lasts quite long without withering. For children’s gifts I usually find something more colorful to attach to it, like for example a little elf or a tiny straw buck.

My gift wrapping mentor always used to say: “a gift should be wrapped so thoughtfully that the recepient can’t wait to open it, but that he or she also can’t bear to because it looks so beautiful it will be a shame to ruin it” 🙂
Have fun with your own gift wrapping, and a Merry Christmas from Aeroe Island 🙂

Thank you so much Camilla! And make sure to check out her lovely photography

My Scandinavian Christmas day 17

Day 17 of My Scandinavian Christmas is with one of my favorites, Jenny from Dos Family. Jenny’s a photographer in Southern Sweden and she shares her blog with Isabelle McAllister. Their blog is a fantastical little world of creativity. Welcome, Jenny!
Sara and Kristian Ingers are a super creative couple. I have photographed their home for the blog and this christmas I went back to document some of their Christmas deco. Sara and Kristian decided on an alternative nativity this year. They made the design together and then Kristan, who is a wood shop teacher at school, put it together. I love how they painted the sheep golden and added a modern goat herder.
So cool and modern. 

I LOVE this! I love when people put their own spin on an old tradition. Thank you Jenny for participating in My Scandinavian Christmas

24 Days of Scandinavian Christmas finale & giveaway winner announced!

Well, happy Christmas Eve! I hope you are all spending it with loved ones. To end this wonderful series of My Scandinavian Christmas, I thought I’d recap all the wonderful projects that all the guest bloggers contributed. Thank you thank you thank you to everyone who participated. I’m so grateful for your creativity and time! Also, a big thank you to everyone who participated in the Danish Design Giveaways. I wish I could give something to everyone, but for now the (random) winner of the Royal Copenhagen, Ferm Living, Lucky Boy Sunday, and Herb Lester products is………Jenny from Museum Diary. Congrats!
We kicked off the series with Maiju from My Second Life’s Christmas tree. Day 2 was given to Mette from Bureau of Betterment and a bird mobile she made based on a childhood toy.
Swede Hilda Grahnat showed us how to make Swedish orange pomanders on day 3 while Pinja from Pinjacolada decorated her Christmas tree with Finnish himmeli for day 4.
Tina Fussell or Traveling Mama, made a traditional edible Christmas tree for day 5 and Annika Backstrom made an ingenious gingerbread playhouse for her nieces and nephews for day 6.
For day 7 Eva Jorgensen of Sycamore Street Press designed an exclusive “god jul” Christmas ornament to download and Mette from Ungt Blod showed us winter in the Danish countryside for day 8.
Photographer Camilla Jørvad gave us a glimpse to her winter in Western Denmark for day 9 while Rilla showed how she displays her Finnish himmeli for day 10.
Julia of Vintage Hausfrau described her experience of picking out a tree and decorating it with vintage ornaments for day 11 and Gina of Willowday made ice lanterns for day 12.
Heidi of Wool Rocks displayed her Norwegian knitted Christmas ornaments for day 13 and Charlotte Schmidt Olsen made a beautiful paper bird for day 14.
I showed how to make oversized holly and ivy out of balloons for day 15 and Sarah Goldschadt (author of Craft-a-day) made an owlies Christmas tree for day 16
The most awesome nativity set from Dos Family for day 17 and Danish nisser from Elise from Eliseenvoyage for day 18
Photographer Tine Hvolby dressed up her daughter as an angel for day 19 and Elaina of Fog and Cedar described a lovely walk to find materials to make an advent candle for day 20.
Jennifer Hagler of A Merry Mishap made the ultra delicious æbleskiver (Danish pancakes) for day 21 and Lina Anoff showed us her friend’s childhood discovering a gingerbread house for day 22.

I finished off the series with my family’s Scandinavian-inspired decorations around our house for day 23.

With that, I’m off! Merry Christmas! I’m taking the next couple of weeks off. Next time you’ll hear from me will be from our new place in Utah!

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.

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

My Scandinavian Christmas day 11


Day 11 of My Scandinavian Christmas is with Julia from Vintage Hausfrau here in Denmark. Julia is a jack of all trades. She designs textiles, makes cupcakes, and loves all things vintage.

When Brittany asked me to guest blog about something Christmasy, I immediately knew what I wanted to write about: the christmas tree!
The christmas tree has always been magical for me and I’ve been collecting ornaments since I got the first home of my own. I have a special love for vintage handblown bulbs, but I collect all sorts of ornaments. I remember where each and every one is from. Since I had my son, more and more cute and funny figures have found their way into my collection instead of just the traditional bulbs.

This year our son is old enough to start remembering things we do and appreciate the magic of Christmas. Therefore traditions have become even more important and we wanted to start implementing the tradition of getting the tree ourselves not from any plain old tree seller on the corners around town, but from a place where we could search for the perfect one and cut down the tree ourselves.
Today was the day to get it, and we ignored the heavy snow and went on our way. We usually get the tree on the 1st or 2nd of advent, because I want to enjoy it as long as possible and we always go away for Christmas Eve. It was magical to wander around the plantation in the snow looking for the perfect tree!

At home we tucked our son in for his midday-sleep and I started preparing to decorate the tree. First I put on the lights, then I carefully unpack all my ornaments and put them on the table. Then I start with the bigger ones and continue till all of the ornaments are on the tree. When my son woke up, the tree was done and he was thrilled. I hope he’ll grow up with the same feelings about Christmas that I have. And still do.

 Thank you so much Julia for participating! Check out Vintage Hausfrau.

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.

My Scandinavian Christmas day 20

Day 20 of My Scandinavian Christmas is with the lovely Elaina Keppler of Fint og Deilig. Elaina was my very first blogging friend in Copenhagen. As a Canadian living in Denmark she brings rustic elements from her native homeland to her new home and infuses it into her new Etsy shop, Fog and Cedar that she shares with Nicola Ens.
This time of year means a lot of different things for different people. Though one of the things I think we can all agree is worth celebrating (especially those of us living in the north) is that the days start getting lighter after the 21st. Since I’ve been living here in Copenhagen, I’ve started a tradition of celebrating the winter solstice and appreciating the beauty of these cold, dark, and quiet days by bundling up and taking a long walk in the nature reserve near our apartment. I watch the earliest sunset of the year and then spend the evening in candlelight, enjoying a simple meal and good company.

This year I decided to make some easy decorations by gathering branches and berries on my walk to make a candle centerpiece. To make your own you’ll need some branch and greenery cuttings, candles, a board or plate (I used a plank of cedar), and clay (sold here in grocery stores but hobby or craft stores should have it too). All you need to do is spread the clay on the board to make a base to stick the candles and greenery into. I find it’s easiest to work in layers, arranging them as you’d like and adding cuttings until the clay isn’t visible. Once you are done, you can add an ornament or other decoration to personalize it a bit. Happy solstice everyone! 

Thank you so much Elaina! Check out her blog and Etsy shop!

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 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.

My Scandinavian Christmas day 16

Day 16 of My Scandinavian Christmas is from the lovely Sarah Goldschadt. Sarah has appeared on Lars before (the first Craftenhagen! Danish Christmas hearts! Mini knitted houses!) and I’m lucky to have this Danish/American crafter extraordinaire and author of Craft-a-day on the blog once more.

This is the first year I won’t be in Minnesota for Christmas. I’ll miss the real Christmas tree filled with gifted and handmade ornaments over the years, the wooden Santa and his reindeer sleigh my grandfather cut out of wood on display on the mantel, the felt stockings my sister and I decorated with beads and sequins hung by the fireplace, and the trail of paper “nisse” that comes out every year. But I’ll be celebrating with my boyfriend Ben and starting our own traditions. 

 

First project was decorating the Ikea Christmas tree (who knew the fake ones could look so great!) with tiny owl ornaments from my book, Craft-a-Day. I’ll also see if I can fake a vegetarian friendly frikadeller, but most importantly I’ll be making my favorite Jul dessert: risalamande. It’s tradition to serve it with sliced almonds and hide one whole almond in it. The person who gets the whole almond wins a prize!
P.S. If you’re looking for some winter crafts, check out the Winter Edition Craft-a-Day iPad app!
Thank you so much Sarah for participating in My Scandinavian Christmas. Be sure to check out her lovely blog.

My Scandinavian Christmas day 10

Day 10 of My Scandinavian Christmas. Isn’t this so fun?! I’m loving all the projects. Today we have Rilla of Kotipalapeli, a lovely Finnish blog. She’s got great taste and everytime I’m on her blog I think, “how wonderfully Finnish”.
Himmeli mobile
Himmeli is usually made ​​of straw and hangs as a ceiling decoration. The word “himmeli” comes from the Germanic ​​word “Himmel”, or sky. Himmel is also known in Central Europe, Finland, the way they learned Sweden. This stream of air moving quietly Mobile, has been appointed olkikruunuksi places.

There was a book published this fall called Himmeli by Eija Koski. The description of the book asks, “Who says that only a himmeli Christmas and cabin on the table? Not at least for Koski Eija for suspending Himmel white room, kitchen, children’s room, the bathroom, cottage and kesäkammariin. Tiesitkös otherwise, what Himmel is a black home?

Himmeli in recent years has found its way into Finnish homes again. as well Goat straw and other manufactured traditional but trendy just because the craft. Christmas bazaars and the market can be found in a wide range of Himmel, Himmel as when making. The sky is the limit.

Thank you Rilla for participating! Make sure to check out her blog.