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!