Wednesday

Norwegian Made- supporting the Norwegian makers.Telling their stories and reclaiming traditional life & values.


 
 
I am so excited about this post! A few weeks back i came across a wonderful company called Norwegian Made and i have been dying to talk about it in here ever since...*smiling....

"Norwegian Made is a company founded by Marit Saxegaard and Cathrine Wefall in 2013.
Norwegian Made appreciates the values & qualities of the authentic norwegian made products.
We want to enhance this tradition and show it in its contemporary frame.
Norwegian Made is all about the story. We invite you backstage into the makers workshops and show you the process behind the norwegian made products. We want you to feel the touch of quality materials under your fingertips and the dust in your nose when the carpenter works his saw. 
We in Norwegian Made belive that quality products made to last are good for us. 
We seek a revival of old values, where time is slower, and people and the joy of living - not material goods - are in focus."






Their value statement/ethos are music to my ears and i am wholeheartedly wishing Norwegian Made the very best of luck with their wonderful and important work.

"The philosophy behind Norwegian Made (NM) is to enhance the traditional norwegian quality handcrafted goods and the skills passed down from generation to generation. NM wishes to restore the dignity of the hard earned, man made product.

The company will work actively to augment consciousness  concerning mass consumption, quality and local production. We wish to help smaller, independent companies to find the way to a bigger, international marked, and thus secure the livelihood of all the norwegian makers. 

Handcraft and skill based production is founded on a deep knowledge of processes and materials. This is knowledge acquired through centuries that is at risk of being lost because of the western society's turning towards an ever more intellectualized work life and because of the outsourcing of production to low-cost countries where workers have little protection and often work under bad conditions. We want to take an active part to turn this trend. 

Norwegian Made wishes to raise consumer conciousness to quality, to laborer rights and to local production in an environmental perspective. Good quality will often imply sensible use of the world's resources and sustainable development, at the same time as the valuable immaterial culture is being honored and kept alive."



 


Later this fall Norwegian Made will open their own web shop (and yes they will ship worldwide)! Keep updated, and get inspired, through their instagramwebsite and facebook.


All pictures in this post are Norwegian Mades own.

Sunday

...in the grey quiet day...






The nearby mountain tops are covered with snow here now. In a few days i bet we will wake up to a snowy day outside our window. Yesterday we had such a grey weather day, it felt like the daylight hadn't visited at all...it were hidden behind the thick layer of fog which refused to disappear....and it looks like we will have the same type of weather today. Can't even see our neighbours house because of the thick fog.

I always feel it exciting when i come across Norwegian poets whose work are translated into English, and of course especially when it is one of my favourites like Olav H.Hauge...*smiling...


Everyday
Drops in the East Wind, 1966
by Olav H. Hauge

You've left the big storms
behind you now.
You didn't ask then
why you were born,
where you came from, where you were going to,
you were just there in the storm,
in the fire.
But it's possible to live
in the everyday as well,
in the grey quiet day,
set potatoes, rake leaves,
carry brushwood.
There's so much to think about here in the world,
one life is not enough for it all.
After work you can fry bacon
and read Chinese poems.
Old Laertes cut briars,
dug round his fig trees,
and let the heroes fight on at Troy.

Tuesday






Some pictures from my autumn holiday in the deep woods of Finnskogen.
It was a perfect holiday in every single way...*smiling....










 
 

Thursday

A cup of tea, with Ilona.


I am quite passionate about tea and because i hugely enjoy both drinking it and talking about it i have "sat down" together with some lovely tea drinking ladies and asked them a few questions about their relationship with tea. This time it is the sweet Ilona and i who are having our tea-time together.






V: Have you been drinking tea for a long time?
I: I remember drinking tea occasionally since childhood. True tea drinking began eight years ago during my studies. I needed little caffeine boost in the morning to get myself going. (I hate the taste of coffee.)


V: Do you prefer loose tea or tea bags?
I: I usually prefer tea bags because it's so easy. Loose tea is for special moments when I have the energy to prepare my tea properly and do the dishes afterwards. That happens a few times a week.


V: Your favourite teas?
I: Earl Greys are my all time favourites. For example Numi Aged Earl Grey and Lipton Russian Earl Grey. Darjeeling with a slice of lemon is also great. I'm a real fan of black teas.
I have a special tea journal (second picture below). I try to save a package of each tea label I drink. I stick the packages on the journal pages and maybe write down something about the tea experiences. I know it sounds a bit silly. But the tea wrappers usually are very beautiful. The journal is a good source of inspiration for my creative work.
 

 

 
 
V: Where do you mostly buy Your tea?
I: I buy my tea from local grocery stores or eco markets. Sometimes I swap teas with my friends in the blogosphere by mail. It's a great way to find new flavours.

 
V: Do most of Your family and friends also drink tea?
I: When I meet my friends we always make a pot of tea. My significant other doesn't drink tea so much but sometimes I get to boil water for him too. 

 
V: Favourite thing(s) to eat together with Your tea?
I: Fruits or / and chocolate. I like cakes but I don't bake. Alas, I don't have cake often.



 

 
V: Most times, do you do something while you drink Your tea?
I: I read newspaper, comicbooks, poems or blogs. I write, I draw. With friends, tea time is also knitting time. I always do something while I drink my tea.
 

V: How does a typical tea-day look like for you?
I: Tea is an important part of my breakfast. I used to drink tea many times per day but nowadays I drink tea only once or twice a day. My morning tea is always black. If I drink afternoon tea it can be green. Sometimes I drink rooibos to warm up after evening walks. Especially winter can be cold here in Finland.


V: Which cup of the day do you enjoy the most and why?
I: It's the first cup I like the most. It wakes me up and comforts me at the same time.
 
 

 

V: Do you have a favourite tea cup/mug? Maybe you would like to share a picture of it with us....*smiling.
I: I have plenty of cups and mugs. It depends on my mood wich I am using. 
I love this huge yellow Ikea mug (picture above). I have it also in green but the yellow one is just better. It works on every occasion.
 
 

Sunday





 
 
i woke up early today and did a slow walk outside, oh how deeply i love these rare mornings when my body is up for some movement without completely "crashing" afterwards. the last years these kind of mornings have become both rare and very precious to me. the thick morning fog were covering the nearby wooden hills, the air so fresh that i got "apple cheecks" after just a few minutes and my shoes turned wet by walking in the moist grass, often stopping up and closing my eyes to really "own" the strong feeling of being ALIVE that comes from walks like these. everything so peaceful and silent..just a few birds were keeping me company and when turning my nose back home again a tiny yellow colored butterfly greeted me with it's happy fluttering of wings.
i was actually meaning to show you some pictures today from my autumn holiday trip, but when i spotted these beautiful echinaceas this morning i changed my mind. but i will of course (gladly) share them with you a bit later...*smiling...
 
 
 
“Be willing to be a beginner every single morning.” 
  ― Meister Eckhart
 
 
 

Wednesday







ohhh...there is something about the intensity of the bright light, crisp air and warm colors that these autumn days are filled with that deeply captures me. it's like the freshness of it all sweeps through me, again and again, and renewes....awakenes...my senses. to let go of thoughts that is swirling around in the head without any purpose or meaning and instead be fully present in the moment...the now...comes naturally and unforced. i feel emptied and filled at the same time, if that makes any sense.


when you read these words i am probably walking in the deep woods of Finnskogene, something that i have been dreaming about doing for several years. maybe i am sitting on a blanket of moss right now, enjoying a cup of tea from my thermos....*smiling..


drink deeply, my friends, of the beauty of ordinary days.
love V.


"Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished."

-Lao Tzu

Friday

A conversation, with Maegan.


There are so many women that inspires me in their own unique way and through these conversation posts you and i get the pleasure of getting to know a bit more about them....about what it is that inspires them, what a typical day in their life looks like, where they find beauty.....and much more...*smiling.
This time it is the lovely Maegan that are sharing about herself and her life with us.

 

 
 
V: First, dear Maegan, i want to thank you for saying yes to having this conversation together with me. I am hugely looking forward to get to know a bit more about you and also to share you with my readers. I thought it would be a nice way to start with you sharing a bit about yourself.
M: It’s an honor and a pleasure to be here visiting in your beautiful space, Vibeke! Thank you so much for asking. Not to quote my standard bio too much, but I’m a homeschooling mom to my three daughters. We live in the mountains of Pennsylvania and spend as much time out in the great outdoors as we can. I am passionate about creativity and am always looking for ways to express myself.


 
V: 5 words that you would choose to describe yourself?
M: curious, contemplative, caring, creative, complex
(it’s a total Coincidence that they all start with ‘C’...I think I need to look into the meaning of that :) )



V: Words that you try to live by?
M: honesty, loyalty, integrity, compassionate, loving.



 


V: What are your biggest passions in life?
M: my family, creativity, encouraging others.




V: Have you grown up in a crafty family?
M: My grandmother has always been very crafty. I have fond memories of her showing me her latest creative endeavors and inviting me to experiment and play along. My mother taught me to sew and embroider. However, my mother and father both worked full time and didn’t have a lot of time for personal projects, but each of them used creativity in really powerful ways and always encouraged me to be creative as well. More than that, art of all kinds was highly valued in our household. We frequently went to ballets or Broadway shows or to hear music of all kinds. When art is such a large part of your world, you can’t help but want to be
a part of it.



V: You are a photograper, knitter and textile artist. What kind of value and importance does creativity and creating have in your life?
M: I think that being creative helps us to interpret the world around us...to process all that we encounter. Also, I think that being creative really aids us in living our best lives as we can find unorthodox solutions to our unique wants and needs. I credit the creativity of my husband and myself for our ability to live on one income and have the kind of full and rewarding life we’ve always wanted for our family.






V: Photography and creating with fibers/textile, what is it about these art forms/mediums that made you pick them as your creative expression?
M: They are very tactile mediums that don’t require drawing skills (of which I have none). I have so much going on in my mind at all times that having a very tactile outlet helps me to channel some of it. I enjoy writing, but it often contributes to the chaos in my mind. When I feel like I need to clear some space mentally, working with my hands and any sort of physical movement helps to smooth out all the thought patterns.



V: If you were to explore/learn something completely new what would that be and why?
M: I would love to learn how to dye yarns! I love color and would be excited to join that love of color with my love of texture.



V: "Often, I feel that my photography is more exposing of my soul than my words could ever be." I can chose my words carefully, being selective about what I reveal. But my photographs reveal the contents of my heart and soul…all naked and unedited."
These are words of yours and it would be lovely if you could tell some more about how you "connect" deeper with photography than through words?
M: When I write or speak, I can be very selective about what I reveal or expose about myself. When I take a photograph, so much that lies beneath my conscious surface goes into the image without my choosing it. Often, when I’m looking at a photo or a series of photos I have taken, I understand something more about myself or something that I am going through. I can see it in the images, in what I have captured and the ways I have chosen to capture it. The mood and the colors and the overall tone of the images are very telling of what my state of being was when the pictures were taken.








V: I have been following your blog for quite some time and i LOVE both your pictures and writings. What you share through your writings is food for my soul. I truly treasure your honesty, wisdom and insight...and i am so grateful that you share! What you write about is so meaningful to me and so much of it i can deeply relate to. One of your posts that means something very special to me are the one titled "What we bind ourselves to...". The words you have written there are also "mine"...your voice there are also "mine", it was so powerful for me to read this post because it was like a mirror to my own feelings and experience..you put words on something that i have experienced, something that was very painful and challenging to go through. But that carried with it such precious gifts too.
Could you share a bit here about what you wrote about in this specific post? And maybe also about what you do to not fall back into the habit of labeling yourself and binding yourself to it...some tools to share?

M: It means so much to me that something that I’ve written (and gone through) is something that resonated so deeply with you, Vibeke! It’s why I love blogging and continue to do so even though the landscape of the blog world has changed so much over the past few years. I think that when we share, we connect...and those connections help us so much on our individual journeys.

The idea of binding ourselves to ideas came to me this past winter when my chronic illness left metemporarily unable to do many of the things I had been wrapping up in my identity. One of the labels I had been using heavily to describe myself was “runner” because it encompassed a lot of what was important to me. But when I could no longer run, I struggled with what that meant for my identity.

It’s really dangerous when we associate “who we are” with “what we do”...because everything is temporary and everything can change. I am a homeschooling mom right now, but my kids might want to go to regular school someday. And so I need to be careful to recognize that, although I homeschool my children, it’s not “who I am.” “Who I am” is someone who values lifelong, exploratory learning and is enriched by the time spent teaching my own children. I might run many mornings, but it’s not “who I am.” “Who I am” is someone who values physical exercise and time spent outdoors. Who we are at our core is something fundamental and doesn’t necessarily change with our circumstances. We just need to keep unbinding it from the expressions of those core values which can and frequently do change.
 
 




V: You are the mother of three girls. What do you find as the most important messages to give to your daughters? I am not a mother myself but when i think back on when i were a child and also in my teens it seems like it is was in another life time...so much has changed and not everything to the better! The growing materialism and an increased focus and pressure for perfection. Have you done yourself some similar thought to mine Maegan? What do you consider to be the most challenging part of raising girls in the age we live in now?

M: Yes, I absolutely think about those factors all the time! It’s so important to me that my children think independently and that they learn to value their unique qualities and abilities. I don’t want them to worry about what others are doing or how they are doing it. I want them to make choices based upon what will work best for them and their situation. I think that the most challenging part of doing this is that I’m working on cultivating these same attributes for myself.



V: I know that i have already mentioned one of your posts (and i could keep on for a loooong time) but i just need to mention the post you wrote for Tracey Clark's "I Am Enough" collaborative because it carries such an important message...and butterflies are a part of it and that i have such a weakness for...*smiling. Can you share the important message of this post with my readers?
M: When I began blogging years ago, I was so blown away by the creativity of some very popular bloggers. But as I got to know more and more members of this growing online community, the more I discovered how each person I met was crazy talented in their own unique ways. Some of them had significant online presences and some didn’t. I realized that we are all creative, we are all talented, and we are all beautiful butterflies. It’s all about recognizing our own unique gifts and greatness.

It’s really important that we don’t view others as better or more talented just because they have more fame, fortune, success, etc, etc, etc. We all have really unique gifts to offer this world...gifts that we already are offering to this world. We need to revere this beauty within ourselves and also to look for it in every single person we meet.
 
 




V: What inspires you, where do you find inspiration?
M: That’s actually a really hard question. You’d think it would be simple, but I don’t think inspiration comes from one source. It’s a combination and culmination from all sorts of stimuli; books, movies, art, music, people. I think that my kids teach me to look in new places and have new experiences which feed the creative muscles. And nature helps to calm me enough to be able to absorb the inspiration coming in at all times. Physically moving my body, through exercise or yoga or gardening, acts as a transforming agent to turn all that stimuli into something that is meaningful or beautiful to me.



V: Like you i am a lover of fibers and passionate knitter. Therefor i can't help myself from asking you some knitting related questions...*smiling.
I would love to hear which piece that you have knitted for yourself so far that is your favourite. What you are currently knitting on AND what you have on top of your want-to knit-list?

M: I love to talk knitting, Vibeke! Especially with others who share my love of yarn! Asking what is my favorite knitted piece is like asking which of my children I like the best...I just couldn’t ever pick one! I like them all for different reasons. I can say that the Antrorse that I made last winter saw more wear than any other garment in my closet during the cold months. My Avery and Honey cowls are worn weekly when it’s chilly out. And I really, really love my Flint mittens. Right now, I’m working on a Pomme de Pin which I am excited for because I think it will become a beloved staple in my wardrobe. And on the top of my want-to-knit-list is any of the recent patterns from Carrie Bostick Hodge, like Lia or Liv or Florence. I adore they style of her pieces. They are modern and beautiful, yet simple and really functional.








V: For me there are so much beauty and value to be found in the simple and ordinary days, in the everyday life. The experience of getting physically ill some years back has changed my view on many things in life and one of these things is how i see those ordinary days...the simple every day things and moments...
What i for example found boring, or even not noticed or found the value in before, are now things and moments that i highly treasure and find much beauty in! The ordinary simple days are so very often underrated, i have come to cherish them deeply.
What is it about the ordinary and everday life that you find beautiful....that you cherish?

M: Oh Vibeke, I couldn’t agree more! Each moment offers a great deal to be thankful for. I do think that any illness teaches us to value the everyday so much more. I think when the everyday is somehow altered by sickness or predicament, we understand how much comfort and happiness that those everyday activities bring us. And things that bring us comfort and happiness are the most beautiful things! They are often the ones we take for granted, however.


 
V: As a closing i want to ask you if you would share with us what you are most grateful for in your life right now? I also want to thank you for giving me and my readers this opportunity to get to know you better, to get some glimpses into your everyday life!!
M: What a great question and what a great way to wrap up our conversation! Gratitude is absolutely the key to happiness and I am so incredibly grateful for so much in my life: my family, my health, the life my husband and I have created together, that I’m able to pursue my dreams and artistic endeavors...I could go on and on. What I’m really working on now, however, is how to also be grateful for the hardships: my illness, loss, sadness, and struggle. I think that everything that comes to us has something to teach us and, therefore, some gift to offer. I’m working really hard to see it all that way.
Vibeke, it was such a lovely pleasure to be here and chat with you! Your space is so lovely and always such a nice place to visit and be inspired. I have been introduced to many lovely and talented women through your site. And your questions were so wonderfully thought provoking! I think we should all answer these same questions for ourselves on a yearly basis just to check in and evaluate. Next time, you’ll have to visit my place so that we can all learn so much more about you! Thank you so much!

Links:
Maegan's blog
and
Etsy shop.


 

Sunday

darker evenings

 

 
 
My Toulouse Pullover (by Leah B. Thibault) are only missing the arms now and then it is finished. So looking forward to start wearing it! Days are getting a bit colder now but almost every day the sun is still visiting and while it is it's too warm to wear wool. But early mornings and late evenings are perfect for cocooning...*smiling. I have used De Rerum Natura's Gilliatt for this pullover (in color 46/Aster) what a LOVELY yarn! I would definitely want to knit more with it in the future.
 
Since the days have started to get slightly shorter i have been thinking about what i plan to fill some of the coming darker (and colder) evenings with
.....baking (and eating) various apple cakes (actually i want to spend more time on baking in general, it's definitely a field where i have a lot to learn), cocoon myself in woolen clothes, reading novels and magazines, listening to audiobooks and good music, burning scented candles, DIY home spa, dates with my husband, doing tons of knitting, enjoy the sight, sound and warmth from the wooden stove, drinking tea and hot chocolate, friendstime, painting my nails more often and also having a bouquet of fresh flowers on the table more often- both to add some colors to the darker and more "colorless" season, writing letters, watching movies, making spicy and warming soups.
And what about you?..*smiling...