Friday, 31 December 2010

Christmas baking

Baking before Christmas is a tradition that followed by almost every house in Sweden.
And so we did with friends a couple of weeks ago :)

Gingerbread cookies are a must. Unlike Christmas gingerbread men in English-speaking countries, Swedish gingerbread cookies are usually made in such shapes as moose, pig, Dala horses, special Swedish horses, and hearts. Those are made very thin and it takes only 7 minutes in the oven for them to become crispy.

Many families take on the challenge and guild their own gingerbread house. First they made a drawing, then the dough is cut according to the measurements of the drawing.

After the walls and the roofs are baked, they are glued to one another with sweet syrup.

And then comes the last touch – colorful decoration with sugar cream and candies. But we decided to leave our gingerbread skyscraper just as it is :)

Another pastry that no Swedish Christmas can do without is lussebullar – rolled saffron breads with raisins.

It is baked of regular yeast dough with a lot of saffron which gives them this yellow color and a fantastic Christmas taste!

And of course, no baking can be done without drinking glögg, warm spiced wine, drunk in small glasses with raisins and almonds at the bottom. As you can see, there is even a special gadget with candle to keep the wine warm all the time

Baking is incredibly important for creating a Christmas atmosphere at home. And together with special decorations is makes Christmas absolutely magical!

This article I originally wrote for out wonderful Etsy Russian Team blog :)

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Tom Björn Designs at Basar Under

Three December weekends in a row I was having a show at the Basar Under. Absolutely lovely place - definitely worthy visiting on your weekend vintage shopping in Stockholm. A lot of amazing old findings, a lot of surprising and brave design ideas and a lot of handmade.

I worked like crazy before the show - made tons of brooches, rings, earrings and of course, my necklaces
I spent several evenings and nights thinking on how to present my items - I wanted to keep vintage and handmade spirit in the way the table looks. Old wooden frame, recycled paper and small piece of old lace - and a lovely "grandma" frame for earrings is ready :)

Oh yes, I had a lot of brooches. And somehow I enjoy selling brooches the most!

I was upgrading my stand every day. The wooden frames gave way to bigger stands (still all made by me and still keeping the vintage-lace feeling). I kept the little ones for side stands :)

Look how happy I look! I got huge portions of adrenaline when selling offline. I love explaining people about how to tie my necklaces or what my brooches are crocheted of - I love my things!

I must tell that buttons attracted most of the attention. One I sold two button necklaces one after another and was sitting during the show and urgently crocheting more button necklaces. a lady came and started asking what I am doing, after explanation she bought 2 button necklaces before they were made!
she came back to pick them up in two hours :)

The sales went very good, and now I can buy so much more beads and yarn!! Basar Under will be again open from March and on. Come and touch my necklaces in person :)

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Christmas in Wermland

Christmas in Wermland was SNOWY, and amazing, and cozy, and warm.

The nature in that part of Sweden is absolutely magical. I think I like it better than Dalarna (and I like Dalarna a lot)

The snow was so soft and gentle that we could not stop making angels all days long.

Ah well, chopping wood was also important!

Because when we had arrived the windows in the house looked like that
and only by making sure all the fireplaces in house are well fed - we could have a warm and lovely Christmas.

Unfortunately we didn't have a Christmas tree, because we arrived one day before Christmas and it was too late for going to the forest and getting a tree, because all the trees looked like that
and therefore the trees must be defrosted first, and it takes more than one day...
But otherwise it was the best Christmas ever! and I hope the next Christmas will be even better!

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Forest Fairy

Like a year ago - when I lived next to beautiful Hagaparken, I decided to make my photosession outside, on the stones, moss, trees. After all, that's where I get my inspiration from, so why not taking my creations back to nature and take pictures of them in their "natural environment"!

So this is one of my new versatile necklaces / bracelets - Forest Fairy.
This piece comes from a fairytale. From any fairytale about deep forests, tall trees, green moss and of course, kind fairies.
These earth colors - brown, green, beige and moss - are my absolutely favorites. And small chips of transparent crystal feel like fresh dew drops :)

See more pictures here!

The scarf :)

So here is the finished scarf, sorry no pictures on its owner!
65% Icelandic wool
30% mohair
5% acrylic
Amazing combination - Wool makes it unbelievably warm, mohair adds softness and
acrylic will make sure it is wearable, durable and washable :)

Here you can peek and see the back side :)

And here is my previous post with a picture "in the process" :))

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Scarf for HIM :)

Last two weeks I was busy knitting this scarf (that is I was laso busy working on my shop and studying)
As for the scarf - I wanted it to be soft, lovely, warm, long and.. and... and... everything a scarf should be.
I came up with the pattern by myself, but obviously, there is nothing new under the sun - I based it on many many other patterns.
Last year I tried a similar pattern on a scarf for a friend, but this one turned out to be more successful - easier to knit and looks prettier.

Here is the picture in the process:

I will upload the pictures of the finished scarf later. Also, I am trying to draw my patterns so that other people can use it (if I upload it to my blog for example), but so far I only used good old pen and paper. Are there any programs to draw knitting and crocheting patterns, I wonder...

Here is the finished scarf :)

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Buttons are still on my mind :)

Well, well, I am preparing for Basar Under, where I will have a table for three consecutive Saturdays (December the 4th, 11th and 18th). apparently, my brooches attract more attention to my table than my necklaces :) So be it - it is a mass-brooch-production-factory in my apartment now :) Crocheting, combining, inventing new patterns, sewing buttons, taking pictures...
all this made me realize how urgently I need a proper studio, or at least a corner in a room for my shop :)

Here are two of my new creations - embellished with upcycled buttons. For more info - click on the picture and go to my shop

Sunday, 24 October 2010

I wear glasses

since last weak - I wear glasses. That's how I look on a rainy autumn day in Stockholm park.
Don't ask me, why I don't smile - I usually do!
And this day was such a happy day - long walk under umbrella along the Djurgården shore, then brunch at Djurgårdsbrunn. Later - walk in the Old Town and peeking into old book shops - ahhh.

I truly live in the most beautiful and amazing city!!

Buttons collection

More buttons!!

I am in love with these little colorful buttons. I bought a bunch in a secondhand shop and now is utilizing them into a new buttons collection!

Do you like upcycled things as much as I do?

I will list more items (versatile necklaces and earrings) in my "Passion for Buttons" section of my shop on Etsy

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Dreamy Blueberries

I came up with this item in a nostalgic search for late summer. Juicy blueberries, green meadows and sunny smiles :)
I used this turquoise shade for blueberries to make them a bit dreamy, a bit creamy, as if preparing them for their future fate - blueberry cheesecake.. or icecream :))

More - in Tom Björn Designs

Little pumpkins in your years :)

I need some Halloween :) Do you?

Read more in my shop Tom Björn Designs

Friday, 1 October 2010

New mosaic of images - how to wear my versatiles pieces :)

Necklaces, bracelet, belts and headbands - all in one!

Now this renewed mosaic will be featured in most of my items on Etsy :)

Monday, 6 September 2010

Orange and Turquoise

Another experiment - mixing orange and turquoise.
Let's prepare for Halloween in a happy way :)

If you click on the images, you will be forwarded to my shop.
The price for the necklace / bracelet is $23.5 Free shipping
Earrings - $12.5 Free shipping
If you purchase the set, it will cost $32, see the details in my shop