My Scandinavian Christmas day 14

 
We’re on American soil and it feels good! Sunshine on my face, In-n-Out in my belly–life is good! Day 14 of My Scandinavian Christmas is with the wonderful photographer, Charlotte Schmidt Olsen. Charlotte and I met a few months ago at Craftenhagen through crafter of Sarah Goldschadt. Charlotte is a crafter/photographer in Denmark who does fancy shoots for magazines like Bolig Liv and Alt for Damerne. I’m so glad to have her here! 
I was so glad when Brittany asked me to join her countdown to Scandinavian Christmas.
It made me think of my Christmases growing up in the seventies. I found a pattern that resembles this time to me. We did not have this bird at my home, but we had a lot that was along the same theme. We always made decorations for the home, a tree, and a lot of biscuits and coloured marzipan figures. I still love to do that. I find doing creative stuff with family and friends wonderful! 
For the bird I wanted to use copper-coloured paper, it is a colour that has recently court my eye. I found some wrapping paper, coloured paper and a page from a magazine. I used two different colours to make it sparkle. I put the birds on a small pine branch but in a window would be just a suited. 
Merry Christmas!

Thank you so much Charlotte for participating in My Scandinavian Christmas. I’m looking forward to your visit (that’s a hint!). Check out her photography site here.

My Scandinavian Christmas day 13

Today’s the big day! We’re off to America! We’ve got our 4 suitcases (agh!) in hand and we’re looking forward to sun sun sun in CA. Bring it ON! My Scandinavian Christmas continues on day 13 with Heidi Mickalsen of Wool Rocks, a blog about knitting. She’s originally from Norway but lives here in Copenhagen. Welcome, Heidi!
I’m so happy to be a part of the Brittany’s Scandinavian Christmas. For me a proper Scandinavian Christmas is very much homemade food and handmade decorations. I love opening my box of Christmas decorations and rediscovering my grandmas crochet table cloths, handmade ornaments and all the lovely hand knitted Christmas balls every year. This year will be a very special one as it’s the first time we’re celebrating the holiday in Norway with my little son and the first time we will be celebrating without my grandmother. 
Knitted Christmas balls are a big hit in Norway. The balls I have, are all made by my mum and from a book by Norwegian knitters Arne and Carlos (translated into 8 languages including an US version). The base pattern is simple and they have worked in elements from Norwegian faire isle knit as decorations. The book has 55 variations but you can just make your own. It does require a good demand of double pointed knitting needles as it start with 8 stitches divided on 4 needles.

I’ve found some free patterns to similar ornaments like the Arne and Carlos ones. You can find one here by Drops and this version via Ravelry.

And hopefully I’ll be adding a new one to my collection this year, perhaps even knitted by myself. 


Thank you Heidi for participating in My Scandinavian Christmas! Check out her amazing knitting blog,  Wool Rocks.

My Scandinavian Christmas day 12

Day 12 of My Scandinavian Christmas is with Gina of Willowday based out of Stockholm, Sweden. Gina has some of the most clever DIYs and I’m so glad she’s with us today.

It’s an honor to be a part of the Brittany’s My Scandinavian Christmas. Contributing from Sweden, I thought instantly of lights and candles. These play a prominent roll in Swedish holiday decoration from the hanging paper stars in windows to Advent Candelabras and candles; right down to the Candle Crown worn by Lucia, which she wears ceremoniously as she brings in the sun at dawn on December 13 for the holiday of St. Lucia. 

Candles and lights are not restrained to the indoors. During my first Swedish Christmas, before we sat down to enjoy our Christmas Eve feast, several snow ball lanterns were built outdoors, just outside the dining room window for the final ambiance. Today, in my home, we make Ice Lanterns. I’m happy to share them with you here, today. These are both a fantastic outdoor project with kids or to made conveniently in the comfort of your home and stored until the party. For an Ice Lantern tutorial, click here. Thank you Brittany for this Swedish-Danish Christmas interlude here with you. 

Thank you, Gina, for participating! Check out her blog, Willowday here.

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 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.

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 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 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 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.

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 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!

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.