Colorful Styling from Sweden

September 13, 2016 § Leave a comment

A while ago I discovered the blog of Sania Hedengren and Susanna Zacke, stylists and home dec journalists from Sweden. It’s so lovely to see cozy, colorful Scandinavian style – not everything and everyone in the Nordic countries revolves around modern monochrome minimalism, you know. 🙂

Just a few favorites:

Sanna Sania Aug 2015 Front Hall 12

Sanna & Sania / Sania Hedengren and Susanna Zacke.

Lovely blue and white front hall with touches of pale wood from an article of theirs in Hus & hem magazine some time in 2015.

Sanna Sania Kitchen Bench Pillows Sept 2015 12

Sanna & Sania / Sania Hedengren and Susanna Zacke.

Detail from a dream kitchen with white and blue.

Sanna Sania Leva O Bo Attefall Barkarby97435.IIQ.p

Sanna & Sania / Sania Hedengren and Susanna Zacke.

Scene from a small pine cottage.

Sanna Sania Apr 2016 Blue Yarn 4

Sanna & Sania / Sania Hedengren and Susanna Zacke.

More blue and pale wood.

Whoops! That’s almost only blue and white and wood. Well, I do know what I love. 🙂



Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

December 8, 2015 § 1 Comment

We got our Christmas tree this weekend from our yard, like last year. This one looks better, I think!

Tree 2015

In the front hall, I set one of my prized Scandinavian-style electric candle sets, our Finnish straw goat and Danish straw pig, the Finnish himmeli and a vase of leftover brances from the pine (barely visible on the floor).

Front Hall Ornaments 2015

I’m off for the rest of the year. Hyvää joulua ja onnellista uutta vuotta!

Various Bits of Yard Work

May 15, 2015 § 2 Comments

The weather was unseasonally gorgeous and warm last week. We spent a lot of time outdoors and got a lot accomplished. I moved a bush that suffered from melting snow and ice from the roof:

Bush Move Mashup

The poor bush had quite a few broken branches. Some I cut off, but most of them I splinted with sticks and strips of fabric:

Splinting Mashup

They seem to be doing well; there are new leaves coming in beyond the breaks in each branch. Yay!

Mr. E dug a new vegetable patch and prepared the two existing ones. In the photo below, the left side will be potatoes and the right one already had cucumber seeds planted…

Potato Cuke Patches 2015

…and by the deck we will hopefully get some melons…

Melon Patch 2015

…everything fertilized by authentic bull dumpings from a local farm:

Our Own BS

In addition, we’ve raked, pruned and weeded, sawed off a dead branch, removed another that had fallen on its own but gotten stuck, taken down an awkwardly placed young pine and partly undone a small stone wall to relocate it Somewhere Else(TM).

I still want to dig up and relocate some wild plants that I want to keep but not where they set themselves up. Yesterday would’ve been a good day otherwise, but it was 86 F / 30 C after lunch, which was way too hot this early in the season for me, and I suspect for the transplantees as well.

The flowers have really come out, too. The flowering pears bear a white cloud each, there are both white and purple violets here and there in the grass, and a few other wild flowers have found their way in again. Bees and bumblebees buzz around, and birds are singing. Ah, I love spring!

We also have blossoms indoors: I updated my wreath form with spring colors…

Spring Wreath 2015

…and the saintpaulia is blooming!

Saintpaulia Blossoming 2015

Even with tree and grass pollen making my life miserable, spring is the time of the year I love most. 🙂

Christmas Pretties Around the Internet

December 19, 2014 § Leave a comment

This (long!) post is for some of my favorites for the holiday season 2014.

Lovely red sitting room with a tree, candles and hanging stars by Susanna at Susannan työhuone:

Susannan tyohuone joulukuusi2014

Susanna at Susannan työhuone.

These glass bead pendants by Amanda at House Revivals were meant as necklaces, but why not use them as tree ornaments instead:

House Revivals glass_gem_pendant_dollar_store

Amanda at House Revivals.

Truly gigantic wall stars with a modern twist by Victoria at A Subtle Revelry:

A Subtle Revelry big-stars

Victoria at A Subtle Revelry.

I really appreciate the combination of non-traditional but coordinating colors. Victoria’s choice of graphic wrapping paper to cover her stars is inspiring!

Beautiful, non-traditional Christmas colors with minimal frou-frou by Jeannette Seymour. Photo by Donna Griffith, via Style at Home:

Jeannette Seymour Minimal Christmas

Jeannette Seymour; photo by Donna Griffith / Style at Home.

Plum & Bow Wooden floral painted mirror from Urban Outfitters:

Urban Outfitters Plum Bow Painted Mirror

Urban Outfitters.

Reminds me so much of traditional Scandinavian painted furniture!

And speaking of Scandinavian… Räven raskar över isen! (Yes, there is an actual Swedish Christmas song involving foxes.) Fox ornaments from Ikea:

Fox Ornaments from Ikea

Inter IKEA Systems B.V.

And lest it not be forgotten that monochromatic can also be beautiful: smaller star ornaments in white & gold plus white hyacinths in a white room by Ann Helen, found via Norske interiørblogger:

Norske interiorblogger Ann Helen plantasjen1low-682x1024

Ann Helen; via Norske interiørblogger.

I’m not that keen on glitter, but the proportions of this little felt bow on the gift are perfect:

Mod Podge Rocks DIY-Glittery-Felt-Gift-Bows

By Rachel at Mod Podge Rocks.

Finally, what a steady hand these gingerbread cookie decorations must take!

Sanna Sania Sotaste pepparkakan

Sania Hedengren and Susanna Zacke at Sanna & Sania.

By Sania Hedengren and Susanna Zacke at Sanna & Sania.

Getting close now!

Holiday Decorations 2013 with New Himmeli

December 14, 2013 § 2 Comments

Both Mr. E and I had a busy fall. Not crazy-busy-always-in-motion busy, but busy in a way that required planning and thought and analysis and concentrated effort almost entirely throughout the fall. The big issue for Mr. E was his tenure process. My big effort was a new job working for myself. It’s been fun to get to do new things, but also demanding in so many ways. We’re both quite ready to take time off, get de-worn-out and just enjoy each other’s company!

Due to the busy, we’ve kept our Christmas decorating very minimal. We’re not very big on holiday decor to begin with, but this year it’s even more pronounced. I have to say I quite like it for a change. Here’s a short tour of our holiday decorations.

We picked a small tree from the local farm where we get our meat, eggs and veggies:

Tree 2013

We only used silver ball ornaments, a string of lights and our white bow tree topper this year. Behind the tree are my recycled 5-minute hanging snowflake ornaments and a Scandinavian-style electric chandelier.

I already mentioned the amazing re-blushing poinsettias:

Poinsettias Turning Red

They’re further along now, although a little less than I thought:

Poinsettias Getting Redder

Ohwell. I’m just happy they’re still alive! 🙂

In the corner of the living room, I used a short string of lights to make a “nest” for our wonderful glass Mirella (the Iittala annual bird for 2012):

Glass Bird Nest

Thanks again, K! It’s beautiful, and we love it.

I also turned our arm chairs towards the fireplace – time to toast those toes! – and set out a shallow dish with the remaining silver ball ornaments for a tad more bling. I’m delighted that the Christmas cactus is also blossoming!

Living Room

Since my first attempt at making a himmeli, I made a new, bigger one. (Ruokahalu kasvaa syödessä. 🙂 ) It usually lives at the doorway between the green room and the kitchen:

New Himmeli in Green Room

I moved it into the front hall for the season. I also set out our straw pig and goat (seen in an old holiday wishes post), along with some extra branches from our tree and a small jar of partridge berries in moss we got from Mr. E’s mom.

Front Hall Mashup

The branches are hung from a “plank” (actually a table leaf on its way to storage after Thanksgiving) with a quick remnant-ribbon bow.

And as usual, we’re collecting Christmas cards on the mantel facing the kitchen. These little touches, along with some white on the ground – and some yummy smells from the kitchen! – are enough for us to get into the spirit.

Recycled Cardboard Inserts as Snowflake Ornaments

December 12, 2013 § 2 Comments

While rearranging our kitchen cabinets, I came across a box of small soup bowls I bought in the summer of 2012. For some reason I still can’t fathom*, I made a decision to just take out a few pieces for our immediate use and leave the other half of the bowls into the box. And of course the box has been sitting in the corner of the cabinet since. While getting rid of this inconceivable clutter, I rediscovered the cardboard inserts that separated each bowl, all of which I also had inexplicably kept in the box. (There are times I really don’t understand my brain, and I live with it!)

For once, this hoarding fail turned out well: for the effort of 5 minutes at most, I got 5 white “snowflake” ornaments for our living room window.

Inserts into Snowflakes

I just punched holes into the inserts, threaded loops of regular sewing thread through the holes, and hung the ornaments from a tension rod.

Inserts w Holes and Thread

Here’s a shot taken during our November special dinner:

Nov 2013 Table w Window

Although this is the first photo of them, I had them up during the first week of November. I guess I technically started decorating for Christmas very early this year, yikes! 😀

Another one with our little tree:

Tree 2013

For such little effort, I’m very pleased. 🙂

*) Actually, I think I can. 2012 was the summer when my family from Finland visited, and we were neck deep in preparations and hosting. It was exhausting. No wonder my decision-making faculties weren’t all there.

Trimmings and Plantings

April 25, 2013 § Leave a comment

Mr. E trimmed our fruit trees a week or two ago. I asked him to bring the trimmings inside and put them in water. Then we waited, and waited, and waited. Finally:

Small Trimmings

Ta-dah! It’s so lovely to have a little spring green in the house. The taller trimmings are eveen more impressive:

Tall Trimmings

I also planted some bulbs and potted a cutting I got from work:

Trimmings and Cutting

Nothing’s blossoming outside yet except for coltsfoot, but it looks like just a matter of days. Can’t wait to have leaves in the trees!

Happy weekend!

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