söndag 28 november 2010

Not quite December yet..

..and we are already drifting into a Christmas mood. Plenty of snow has fallen the last few days here.
I have a constant fire going in my new fireplace! I had it installed just in time! The temperature dropped to subzero in a few days here in Gotland. Before we probably had the "warmest" weather in Sweden due to the fact that the surrounding Baltic has been acting like a radiator. In spring - it´s the opposite.
Christmas market at Bläse Old Limestone Kiln
Lacey snow patterns..
The Bläse Market in the limestone kiln with an old sepia photo of the hard working men who used to work here in the old days.
The Bläse chimney.
One of the huge hearthes in the kiln.
Gotland wool and sheepskins for sale.
Observe the sales lady knitting while serving the customer..

Today we celebrate the first of Advent. And we light up the very first candle.
My backyard today.
Two horses in my sister´s meadow seeking warmth and snuggling up close to each other. I thought for an instance that Dr Dolittle´s Push-me-Pull-you had come to visit us!
Here is another picture on the same theme by Gerry van der Wait of photo-africa

fredag 26 november 2010

How I love these..

..old greeting cards from the beginning of last century by Swedish artist Jenny Nyström!
Jenny Eugenia Nyström was born June 13 or June 15, 1854 in Kalmar, Sweden; died January 17, 1946 in Stockholm. Jenny Nyström was a painter and illustrator who is mainly known as the person who created the Swedish image of the jultomte on numerous Christmas cards and magazine covers, thus linking the Swedish version of Santa Claus to the gnomes of Scandinavian folklore.
She -her work -is dearly loved by the Swedes-even the younger generations- in spite of a bit of the doggerel, old fashioned touch of those days. She was enormously popular and still is - and surfaces today mostly in Christmas and Easter times in wallcoverings and greeting cards.
She was extremely productive (and commercial alas!) during her lifetime and her artwork indeed reflects a great deal of the dreams and hopes of her era.
Of being a woman driver..selfsufficient and a bit arrogant.
Could this one possibly have been painted around 1920?
The time of the suffragetts..
when the women in Sweden were able to cast their votes in political elections for the very first time?
Or the old fashioned housewife happily baking not quite appearing to think about politics for the moment..
The beautiful Santa Lucia - a symbol and saint that the Swedes strangely enough worship when she "comes to life" every December the 13th when in traditional celebrations, she appears as a young woman with lights and sweets.She is one of the few saints observed in Scandinavia. In some forms, a procession is headed by one girl wearing a crown of candles (or lights), while others in the procession hold only a single candle each.
Jolly Easter!
Birthday greetings from Mom and Dad!
"Georgie Porgie Pudding and Pie, Kissed the Girls and made them Cry.."
(Where on earth did I get that from..?)

The young shepardess.
A postcard from Karin saying many dear greetings..

This is from Ester wishing little Erik a Merry Christmas.
I think this one is a prize winner! This Easter witch is scratching her head when discovering a sign arriving at the Brocken reading: "Admission fee with cat: 1 Crown. Without cat: 50 öre!"

tisdag 23 november 2010

Great pics of a young Obama:

I found these photos on the net and have no idea on "when," " where" or "who" snapped Barack in his Panama. Anyone?

lördag 13 november 2010

Homemade is best!

Anyone who ever tried to assemble an IKEA piece of furniture will get a big laugh from reading IKEAS new a 140-page coffeetable baking book "Homemade is best" presented in a unique and spectacular way:
Inspired by high fashion and japanese minimalism,the idea of the book became to tone down the actual cake and put the ingredients in focus.
I tilt my hat for these great pics by photographer Carl Kleiner
and stylist Evelina Bratell for this great work!

The baking book contains 30 classic swedish baking recipes everything from small biscuits to large cakes.

torsdag 11 november 2010

Thalia sporting Daddy´s white Borsalino ..

..last summer at Martha´s Vineyard - the beautiful island south of Cape Cod in New England.
Here she is almost two years old.
A little lady already!

/Photo by Mum/Dad, mainpulated by Granma in Virtual Painter!

onsdag 10 november 2010

I finally got around to..

..make a watercolor of baby Isabella - my second grandchild. Here she is, captured at the age of three months! I almost forgot the satisfaction of handling the paint brushes after months of total focus on "house renovations!"

tisdag 9 november 2010

söndag 7 november 2010

Truffle snooping..

Today, we had booked a professional truffle searching Lagotto Romagnolo dog by the name of Darwin, to search our premises for the delicious truffle Bourgogne. As it turned out, Darwin sniffed out half a kilo of the "Black gold of Gotland" in a very short time! Did we celebrate with a glass of Bourgogne! Yes!
Now my whole kitchen smells of truffles...
Here are a few of them after Darwin had claimed his commission!
Not bad harvest for a truffle beginner like myself!
Oh joy!

lördag 6 november 2010

Picking out lambs..

Yesterday we went to visit a sheepfarmer to pick out two new young lambs for my sister who already had two - Hildur and Signe. The rams that met us were quite impressive, curious, friendly and handsome dudes! Future fathers of the sheep group, so to speak..
Here Sis is picking out one of the year old lambs to bring along as soon as she has been impregnated. The lambs alas. Not my sister!
Sheep are never called "sheep" in Gotland. They are all "lambs" - young or old. The babies are simply called baby lambs ="Lammungar" (Swedish).
Here is one of the lambs we picked. We already named her Gertrude! The other sweetie is pitch black and will probably be named Ruth. All very old fashioned names picked from our grandmothers´generation.
It will take a while until they can be transported back to the farm. Meanwhile, autum is
falling and the colors of Gotland change..

måndag 1 november 2010

Pardon my French!

I finally got my hands on a small blackboard in Visby..I had been looking for one for a long time to give my kitchen a bit of a French ambiance! So there I was working away with my chalkstick dreaming up a mock menu of Coquiller St Jacques and Bisque aux Crevettes and alike..(One has to pamper one´s dreams a bit extra in the creeping darkness of the oncoming winter..) The homemade Limonchello in the decanter is Italian inspired though! As is the photo of the mouthwatering crevettes above shot in Sardinia by my friend and excellent photographer, Helmut B. But of course there are no fresh seafood like that in Gotland. These things you will find on the West coast of Sweden far away from here.
These little delicacies are what we get here though. "Crawdads" I think they call them in the Deep South. (I fished a lot of those in Northern California lakes in the past when they were considered cheap soulfoods still.) The crayfish are found in fresh waterlakes and rivers here. I actually put a few catching cages into the pond behind my house but there was nothing.. These ones are bought. And from China! Sic! The ones caught in Swedish are sooo expensive!
We will have to do with the rustic Cruditées des Saison of the farming belt instead.
Presently I collect heaps of walnuts!
No so bad after all! And HUGE country eggs!
This is my sister´s pantry ajacent to her kitchen which she recently created from a wardrobe full of old clothing.. It now holds rows of jars of country goodies and preservatives instead. A resonable switch one would think! Who doesn´t dream of a walk-in pantry?
I love this old hardboard poster that is now hanging in the new kitchen. French. No doubt! It´s been with me for a long time now and in travelled with me to many places where I lived over the years.
Today I fell for this little shabby-chic-bench in white wash in a nice shop in Visby . It will do nicely in the narrow hallway in my house I think.
The last flowers of the season are brought in from the garden to decorate the dining table. I tried to take a impressionistic (French again) view on these last signs of summer with this photo..
Now this you could call a blackboard! Oh Paris!
My son - the gourmet - who lived there in the French capital for many years. What he does not know about wines and dines is probaby not worth knowing.

We- mothers of minor blackboards- have to try harder!