Category Archives: around here

around here

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Since last time, I have been…
- living quietly. I’ve been feeling like I had to be working on a project all the time, so that a day was wasted if I didn’t sew after work or improve my website or something. I’m working on telling myself that reading and playing with the cat are perfectly acceptable and worthy after-work-activities too.
- cuddling a lot with our brand new cat! We’ve only had her for a few weeks, but she’s a funny and sweet little thing. And loves to sit on my lap and watch (and swat) what I’m doing.
- reading my newspaper and loving it. It’s a weekly newspaper, but without sports or tv-guides or the like, and pretty much every page is an interesting read. Plus a weekly quiz, and I like quizzes.
- eating poached eggs for the first time. Yummy!
- visiting a brand new baby wearing some jersey pants I made him. I used this pattern, and it was very easy, fit right (or so the mama tells me!), and used a stupidly small amount of fabric.
- watching sunsets and sunrises and thrilled that we can see them at all on precious clear days. I’m so glad my work has a view of the water and the outside, so I can watch the weather and the boats roll by. I so enjoy that. And when I’m not watching water, I can watch the galaxy that appear on my wall from light breaking through glass building blocks. It’s kind of magic.

around here

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Since last time, I have been…
- taking a weekend trip to Haarlem, 15 minutes from Amsterdam. We had a concert to go to, and followed it up with museums, postmodern architecture towns, good food and lots of strolling. I so recommend visiting here! (I actually enjoyed my time in Haarlem more than the hours we spent in Amsterdam, it is such a beautiful and charming little town).
- enjoying all the bikes and trains in the Netherlands. I know this is a total cliche, but man – bikes everywhere! Bikes among cars, bikes among pedestrians, bikes by train stations, bikes everywhere! It was actually quite a wonder to see everyone in action, like an intricate dance where nobody gets run over, surprisingly enough. Oh, and the train system is pretty awesome – they run on schedule, they run often, and you can get close to anywhere in the country with them.
- wearing my newly finished Minoru jacket like nobodys business. Pictures (in two posts!) coming later this week.
- wanting
to start these socks for John – he doesn’t often say “cool” about sock-designs, but he did about these!
reading books on loan from my local library on my new tablet (a Christmas present – thanks dad!). You can check out electronic books from the library! I love it. This is a fairly new title from Norwegian author Helene Uri, and actually the first of her books I’ve read. The narrative switches between a biographical and a more traditional third person all-knowing narrator. I didn’t know this, or anything else about the book when I started reading it, but I don’t want to put it down. She writes so recognizably (and, because of that, painfully) about loss.
- entertaining myself with finding how many things match my mint-colored nails. So far I have a museum wall, a tram ticket, my jacket lining and the phone display at work. I’m sure I’ll find even more before being done having mint-colored nails. Mint is a sort of magical color I think.

 

around here

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 These past weeks, I have been…
- accepting that winter has come. It is bringing with it a little snow, and if we’re lucky, some sunny days. It’s time to bundle up with layers of sweaters and scarves and mittens and hats, and seek out winter-activities; sculpture spotting, gingerbread cities, hot chocolate in abundance…
- eating soups made with our fancy new stick blender. Those things are awesome! Hummus is super quick to make now, and of course… the soups. In the picture is a sellery root & potato soup with mushrooms and a whole lot of fresh olive oil.
marvelling at the intense green color of our fresh oil. It’s peppery like nothing else, and has a kick like a neat whiskey.
- knitting
along on the hat that I mentioned. I am so thrilled with the fancy looking cables I’m managing. It’s in a delicious merino & alpacca yarn that I think will be perfect for the winter.
- getting some smaller sewing projects out of the way before digging into a bigger project. I have a couple of Grainline Tiny Tanks going and a portrait blouse, and a few secret-for-now gifts.
reading newspapers, since I started a subscription to a weekly paper. I love having subscriptions!

around here

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These past weeks, I have been…
- travelling down to Italy. I flew cross-country to meet my dad, then we took the boat to Germany and drove the rest of the way to Italy.
- working hard on picking olives. It’s that time of the year again, and the reason for travelling in the first place. It’s been olives from morning to night, olives, olives, everywhere. It was the first time I got to participate in the entire process – from prepping to picking to gathering to pressing…. to bringing jugs of olive oil with me home in my suitcase. It is so cool to get play hunter/gatherer/farmer and produce your own foodstuff!
- blocking a sweater while down there, taking advantage of the beautiful weather we were having. I finished it in August, but haven’t bothered blocking it until now. Look out for a finished sweater post in the next few days!
- reading “The Great Gatsby”, the F. Scott Fitzgerald classic. My local library is having a booknight with this book, and since I had a copy on my bookshelf, I thought it would be an excellent reason to re-read it.  It is strange though – I think your first experience reading a book stays with you upon re-readings. I definitely felt like a high schooler or college kid again reading this.
- planning some sewing-projects after a lot of knitting (besides the mittens and the finished sweater I have a cardigan on the needles). I’m thinking a Gertie Portrait Blouse and a panelled ikat/plain fabric miniskirt.

around here

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These past weeks, I have been…
- biking to work in the mornings (at least some of them – I need more reflective bands and vests now that the mornings are so dark). 
- basking in the sunshine we’ve been fortunate to have. John and I biked to a park at the end of the city peninsula and sat in the sun eating brownies, drinking tea from a thermos, reading the paper and watching the boats go in and out of port. It’s fall, no doubt about it, but to be able to sit outside still is just wonderful.
- baking again. I bought a bag of small-mill rye flour, and I don’t know why it’s different, but it is. I like everything about it from the design of the bag to the consistency of the flour to how it makes the bread dough feel.
- working on a refashioned dress for a customer. It’s a total disassemble-and-reassemble sort of project, and now in the home stretch it’s a thrill to see it totally different and almost done.
reading Tom Wolfe and his “From Bauhaus to our house”. His narration of American architecture requires previous knowledge on the subject, but his tounge is sharp and his tone entertaining.
- treating myself to flowers. I love hydrangeas.

around here

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These past weeks, I have been…
-celebrating my birthday among friends whose kindness and presence makes reassures me that they know me well. And they make me happy.
- moving into the season where sunrise happens after the workday begins.
- knitting wedding-gifts still. Late, but still in time for their winter approaching. These mittens have reminded me how much I like doing colorwork (at least on a small scale like this), and how utterly warm they are when they are done. I need to make myself a pair too!
reading an Australian book that has just been beautiful. “After the fire, a still small voice” by Evie Wyld has a poetic language and imagery that surprised and enticed me, and I’m sure it’s not just because the nature and culture and colors and smells of Australia are utterly unfamiliar to me. It was beautiful. I’m still carrying it with me inside, and I was so sad to get to the end of the book, though there wasn’t any solution or climax I was waiting for either. Just wonderful.
- reupholstering my stupid chair. It’s only stupid this week because it feels like one step forward and two back. My decision to strip and redo the woodwork is awarding me with lots of extra work. But it’s quite a learning process, and that’s kind of the point of taking classes.
- growing peppers. I hope they mature to edibility. I fear we might have overwatered the poor thing while we were in Ireland (we set up a sort of automatic watering system with a rag in a bowl of water leading to the pot, but it seemed like it worked a little too well!), but it’s hanging on.
- feeling creative. Both commissioned dresses, fixing small projects of my own (underwear! Adding a buttonhole finally! Project Life album making!), and going to the art festival happening this month in Bergen is helping my creative senses feeling engaged. I like that.

around here

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 These past few weeks, I have been…
- knitting. Knitting and working, and knitting at work, as you can see from the keyboard in the pictures. It’s still the seamless hybrid from last week and vacations past, but look look! Getting close.
reading summer literature in the sunshine on the rocky coats, on buses and trains and planes as I took myself on a short summer vacation to the south of Norway. I’ve made an effort to read more fiction this year, and so far succeeding. This weeks book was “Vidunderbarn” by the Norwegian author Roy Jacobsen (enjoyed it – I like his train-of-thought-conversationalist style. It is part a time piece on Oslo in the 60s, and part a coming-of-age story). Some other books I haven’t made a note of having read is “Just Kids” by Patti Smith (interesting and such a foreign time, place, and environment), and “Det fine som flyter forbi” by Ida Løkås (it’s a quiet story, and at times heartbreaking, but I didn’t totally love it. I thought it was a little on the juvenile side some times, and it can be artificial to be writing outside of an environment you know. Could this have been set in Norway instead of London? It’s a little jarring to have archetypical British names and places and train stops in the middle of well-written Norwegian language, in which it was written and published – so it’s not a translated book).
- rearranging the apartment, including completely emptying the bookshelves to move them around, and then being a little more selective about what got to go back. It feels more open in the apartment now, but not everything is quite sorted out – I have an armchair just hanging out, waiting for me to start a reupholstery class (!) in a months time, but right now it’s just a clothes receptible.
- eating halloumi-cheese for the first time. In my little vacation there was grilling outside every day, and halloumi was my main thing. So yummy!
- relaxing like nothing else, while getting sunburned and being on more boats than ever before in my life. The islands down there are so gorgeous, with rugged rocks, little white wooden houses, car-free islands with walking paths, and flowers, flowers, and boats, everywhere. Taking the boat to the island grocery store to buy ice-cream!