Monday, 22 December 2008

Last pictures from Italy

...this year anyway... because tomorrow we're off to Sweden to celebrate Christmas with my family! :) A heartily Merry Christmas to you all!

Buon Natale
God Jul

Merry Christmas

The "piazza" below our house during the Christmas commerce.

Some of the gifts going with us to Sweden, we have a lot of tasty Italian delicacies to pack too of course! :)

Merry-go-round learning experience

We have a carousel just below our window. Above is the new one they installed there a week ago and below is what the old one looked like on the night of December 8th. I'm just happy it didn't happen a couple of hours earlier when the square was full of people!

The firefighters put out the fire in just a couple of minutes.

This is what it looked like on the morning of December 9th.

This is one of the Christmas presents I'm giving my husband this year. Yes, because in Italy we don't have just one number for all emergencies! Even though the European parliament has decided that 112 should be the emergency number for all of Europe, Italy still has separate numbers for calling the police, firefighters, hospital etc... And as you can imagine, we had no clue what number to call whe we discovered the fire and lost several minutes looking for it. But not anymore! :)

Friday, 19 December 2008

Christmas tree 2008

So... this is my Christmas tree 2008 edition. It's a rather sad slim, plastic excuse for a Christmas tree but since we are travelling during the holidays a real one wouldn't make sense. Anyway, I love the ornaments, the straw guard dog and the mat/tablecloth from the 70's!

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Staffan stalledräng

Have to go out in the rain to run some errands now but I just wanted to show you a picture of one of my favourite Christmas ornaments... or rather, it's not mine. My uncle made it as a kid and every year it's a part of the Christmas ornaments in my grandparent's house.

In one week it's Christmas! :)

Monday, 15 December 2008

Hearts and marmalade

This weekend we went to Pisa to visit my bonus sisters (my husband's sisters that I'm claiming as mine because I don't have any of my own...) and since we're going to Sweden for the holidays we celebrated a tiny, non-traditional Christmas together. Among some other things I had crafted these gifts. The hearts have a lavender scent and are made from scrap fabrics and hand made lace. I've actually made the cover for the notebook myself (I'm so not a scrapbooking person!) and the pens got a little pimped too to match.

The marmalade is a great and very simle recipy from the Swedish TV show "Leilas Jul" - marmalade with raspberries and chocolate. You Swedes will find it here and here's my Italian translation: (if anyone would like it in English, please let me know!)

Ecco la ricetta in italiano, scuasate se ci sono errori gramaticali o di spelling ma le misure sono sicuramente giuste! :)

Marmelata di lamponi e cioccolato

Ingredienti per un vasetto (barattolo in vetro):

1 busta di bacche surgelate (lamponi, fragole, frutti di bosco o altri) - 300g
500 ml di zucchero integrale (preferibilmente biologico)
100 g di cioccolato fondente di buona qualità, 70%

1. Fate sciogliere lo zucchero e le bacche (ancora surgelate) in una pentola
2. Fate cuocere a basso fuocho per 15 min. mescolando ogni tanto.
3. Spegnete la fiamma e aggiungete il cioccolato in pezzi. Mescolate finche sia completamente sciolta.
4. Fate rafreddare un po' e riempite il vasetto ben pulito.

Semplice, vero? É buonissima vi assicuro!
Buon appetito! :)

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Christmas hearts

This has been my crafts project the last few days. In the beginning it was much more ambitious and I had planned to embroider on some of the hearts, but I like it the way it turned out. Vintage fabrics, buttons and lace in the simplest design with an IKEA mirror ornamet as weight at the bottom.

I wanted to take the photos at night with all the Christmas lights outside but for some reason they were all switched off tonight... I'll show you that another time.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Christmas decorations

Yesterday was a national holiday here in Italy and the day when people decorate their homes for Christmas, but the only thing I had time to do was these twig "bouquets". For us Swedes it's very important to decorate with materials from the forest and if you've read my blog before you know that there aren't many forests around here so... I had to make another trip to the nearby park. This time my husband accompanied me and afterwards we both agreed that we had had a real adventure:

1. We both got mud on our shoes
2. We had a small fight about which twigs were dead, sick or nice looking
3. We found a druguser's hideout
4. Since we picked the twigs in places a little off the path we could hear 2 persons farting when they walked by and thought nobody was listening.

Well, at least the weather was lovely and we are both very happy with the results! :)

I also have to give credits to my husband who helped me with the spray painting since I'm pregnant ad he thought I shouldn't breathe in the fumes!

My Christmas 2008 hallway decorations. The gorgeous fabric on the wall is called "Himmel och Helvete" (heaven and hell) and is designed by Wanja Djanaieff. The mini baubles and lights are from IKEA and the vase is an antique Höganäs pot.

I gave this small twig bouquet to a friend.

I made these "tomtar" (tomte is the Swedish version of Santa) some years ago using straw, felt and some pearls etc. The red one is my first and the blue I made during a course arranged by "Hemslöjden" in my home town.

This angel was a gift from a group of girls that sang in my school choir many years ago. I've thought about giving it some hair but this is the way they made it so I think it'll have to stay like this :)

Thursday, 4 December 2008

My brother, the craftster

Today I got a birthday package from my brother and his family! Oh happy day! Full of yummy Swedish chocolate (that I'm nibbling on as I'm writing this), goodies and a DVD... and this home made birthday card!

Isn't it cute!? :D
Oh, and by the way, he turned 30 this year if you're wondering...

And a link for you: LollyChops made these fabulous Christmas notecards (and more!) for the rest of us to download! Her blog is well worth a visit!

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Windowshopping in London

This weekend we went to London to visit some friends. I was convinced that my almost six months pregnant belly wasn't going to give me any problem at all but after spending over four hours walking around at the Imperial War Museum on Sunday afternoon, (by the way, since I was there last time they've opened a really nice exhibit on typical British1940's homes, makes the museum even more worth visiting!) Monday Christmas shopping wasn't all that fun... Well, well, at least it gave me a good reason to stop at Starbucks to have yet another gingersnap latte... yes I'm a sucker for Swedish/American style coffee...


German style winter wonderland in Hyde Park...
Can it be that this raindeer was once a horse?

Regent Street

I brought this agel for my friends to put in their new appartment. Their landlord had told them they can't make any holes or marks in the walls so maybe it wasn't the best gift, but I think they liked it anyway! It's made from a Panduro Hobby kit that I've altered here and there. I love the curly angel hair I found in a fabric store here in Rimini, even though it's synthetic.

Oh, and today I found out I'm the lucky winner of a hand made washcloth on the blog Min Inspiration and the beautiful store Vickevira! Thank you Mia! :)

Friday, 28 November 2008

Favourite embroideries

I haven't shown you this week what I'm working on but of course that doesn't mean I'm not crafting! It's just that most of the things are gifts for friends and family and I don't want to spoil the surprise for them so I'll show that to you later. Instead I'll show you some of my favourite embroideries I've made from kits during the years.

This is from the Danish Haanarbejdets Fremme design by Gerda Bengtsson. Cotton thread (Dansk Blomstergarn) on linnen fabric. Dansk Blomstergarn is really easy to work with and the colours look so natural.

I bought this kit "Bröllopsdansen" (the wedding dance), designed by Margareta Harström for "Svensk Hemslöjd", at Bohusslöjden in Göteborg many years ago and last time I was there they didn't sell them anymore. I love the colours and the different stitches with Klippan linnen thread on linnen fabric!

My mother started to stitch this 20x20cm tablecloth but grew tired of it and gave it to me to finish. Unfortunately I don't have the description of it and I don't remember anything else than that it's a copy of an embroidery from some Swedish castle. For me it has a sweet summery feeling with the flower pattern and the strong yet soft colours.

And...tomorrow we're off to visit friends in London, so see y'all on Wednesday! :)

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Vintage baby clothes

My mum told me that when we come to Sweden for Christmas she'll give me a bunch of baby stuff that me and my brother used when we were babies. She said the clothes are pretty out of fashion and not very nice but at least they are practical so I started looking in my old photo albums to see what we wore back then in the 70's. Now, I don't know about you but I certainly won't have any reservations dressing my babygirl in these clothes! :)

Adorable elephant fabric....

My dad and me in matching outfits...

Looks like dinosaurs with flowers on them....

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow...

This morning when we woke up it was actually snowing! Bliss - lycka - felicità! :)

Of course now, two hours later it's all gone...

Have to go out in the rain to fight the Italian bureaucracy now... :(

PS. After posting this I discovered that you have to click on the pictures to actually be able to see the snow...;))

Monday, 24 November 2008

Christmas is arriving

This weekend they put up the Christmas lightning on the square below our appartment. It doesn't look like much now but I can't wait 'til they switch them on! Last Christmas was the first for me here and I felt like I was living above the sky with the star shaped Christmas lights but this year they chose another design. Of course I'll show you what they look like when they are lit! It's pretty cold here now, around 5 degrees celsius or so and it's been raining all morning so sorry about the greyish colours...



Friday afternoon I put up this shelf! For you Swedes maybe it doesn't seem like that much of an accomplishment but you Italians know what I'm talking about... To drill a hole in a stone/brick wall isn't exactly a walk in the park. Even if you measure really well where to drill the holes, like I did with my laser thingy (that I discovered scares the living daylight out of my budgies by the way), it's really hard to get them in the right place. At least with my hardly visible arm muscles. After drilling one hole for about 5 min I leaned on it to force it in but the baby girl in my belly wasn't very happy about that and started to kicking me like crazy... Anyway, it took me about 30 min but now it's there! :)

An Italian friend of mine made the cutest comment about my "tomte"... "Oh, thats so cute! Maybe for Christmas you can make one in red?" ;)
PS. The table cloth is hand woven by me in the 9th grade. We had a very nice crafts teacher who let us use her classroom during lunch breaks!
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