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 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 18

Day 18 of My Scandinavian Christmas is with Élise from eliseenvoyage. Élise is French living in Copenhagen and she’s a super talented creative. Welcome!

I come from the south of France. I come from a place where there are days you can sit outside in the sun without jacket in December and not be cold. Maybe this is why I love waiting for Christmas in Denmark so much. Here Christmas lights and decorations make sense; you need something to help you go throught the darkest days. Here you start preparing for Christmas very early. Here people sell Christmas trees every corners and shops are decorated well in advance. Everything is red and white, there are paper hearts and candles, branches and more candles, little cookies and mulled wine, and we even got snow on the 1st of December! Right on time to properly start the Christmas preparations.

This year I decided to add new guests to our home for Christmas. I made these super simple little Nisser. Nisser are small beings that used to live in attics or stables, and protect the farmer’s family. No one can really say how they look like because they are able to make themselves invisible, but at Christmas, the family would give them some rice porridge, to thank them. Would they forget and the nisse would bother the family, by turning the beer into milk for example, or that kind of tragedy. Today nisser are still very present at Christmas time and you can see them about everywhere.
I don’t know why but I like Nisser. It may come from my childhood, when my grandma used to read aloud to us the story of Niels Holgersson, this little boy turned into a nisse, and his trip around Sweden on the back of wild geese. She even had a big map of Scandinavia pinned to her wall so we could follow the trip. Last year she gave me the map and today I have it pinned to my wall. The paper is getting yellow and the edges are worn, but I love it so much.

To make these ones I just painted them red and tied a little bit of wool around their necks so they wouldn’t be too cold, the weather has been pretty bad in Copenhagen recently. Then I just had to find hats for them, and to give them faces. They are very simple, but also exactly what I wanted. They don’t take much space, and they can easily fit almost anywhere at home (as long as the tiny little baby hands cannot grab them). 

Now they are standing there, next to our christmas candles, waiting patiently and observing every moves. And maybe, if they are not too mean to us, they will receive a nice bowl of rice porridge for Christmas. With a bit of butter slowly melting on top.
Thank you so much, Élise! So glad to have you on My Scandinavian Christmas. Check out her wonderful blog here and some more Scandinavian bloggers sharing what Christmas means to them here.

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

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 15

Day 15 of My Scandinavian Christmas is with….drumroll…me! Check out the other guest contributors to My Scandinavian Christmas here. There are some pretty awesome blogger and projects.
Ok, this holly and ivy balloon garland is not Scandinavian at all, but it’s one that I recently did for Hello Bee and it’s a super easy Christmas decoration to make for a party or for kids. I modeled it after my fruit balloon DIY. It’s pretty much the same concept, but with different shapes.

You will need: balloons, tape, scissors, twine, green paper for leaves, glue gun

Step 1: Blow up some balloons aso they are small enough to group in small clumps as berries.

Step 2: With scotch tape or double-sided stick tape attach a little to the balloon and stick to another. Clump in threes or twos.

Step 3: Cut out holly leaves in proportion to the size of the balloons. Draw or paint yellow veins on the leaves.

Step 4: Tie the groups of berries onto the twine and leave extra twine at the front and back.
Step 5: Glue gun the edges of the leaves to the edge of the balloon and a bit to the twine to secure it in place.
Donzo! That’s it! So simple!

Check out the rest of the amazing Christmas stories and projects for My Scandinavian Christmas here.

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