I have been travelling to the countryside twice this month. Once for fun, and once for a funeral. So the two very different trips to two very different places. The common denominator was that I had very little time to take pictures. Still, here are some snapshots from winter in Iceland.
It seems I have been working in this forever, but suddenly the grey picture is almost done. This small part (above) is all that is left.
The pink parts, that seem so out of place colour wise, are just base, that has not been covered yet. I bundle up rests of floss, or – as in this case – colours I don’t like and fasten them to the fabric, to raise the embroidery further.
This is a closeup of a very simple but quite nice stitch. I don’t know it if has an “official” name but it is just two single daisy stitches on to of each other, the top one being slightly smaller than the bottom one.
This lovely and talented young lady is celebrating her birthday today:
I realised I had no recent photos of her (must do something about that!) so I stole this one from her Facebook page. I know she will forgive me.
Below are some older ones of this kind hearted, hardworking and intelligent mother, scholar, songbird, violinist and so much more.
Look what I stumbled upon, when browsing the Icelandic database for magazines and newspapers (looking for something completely different):
that has also completely escaped my memory. It was just a random thing, taken in a fabric shop, where I was browsing (at a sale I imagine)
I am talking about how I did not buy clothes in regular shops, I frequented flea-markets and such and I made quite a lot myself. The article is about how young girls are sewing again.
“Why do you spread yourself around so much?”
My husband asked me this a while ago. I have thought a lot about this question since, and the conversation that followed. What do I really want to do, what is important to me?
I am not talking about core values here, like family, caring for my children etc. I am talking about my goals and ambitions, what I want and where I want to go.
The answer is writing and embroidery. I really want to develop my writing further, and my embroidered pictures are close to my heart. So keeping that in mind, here are my goals for 2015:
To finish the grey picture and two other pictures of a similar size.
To finish the NCEM project in good time.
To finish the first draft of a book.
One or two sweaters.
New Years Celebrations
Happy new year! I hope your new years celebrations were enjoyable and safe.
I had a lovely family evening, with good food and even better company. We are not fire-work crazy like many Icelanders are, but we did buy sparklers and such for the sake of the children and to support our excellent voluntary search and rescue teams.
My 2014 Goals
Early last year, I published some quite ambitious goals. Now it’s time to bite the bullet and see how I did:
The Embroidery goal was to finish the grey picture and embroider two more. I soon saw that this was unrealistic so I adjusted it to: finish the grey picture and start another. Still – I did not even finish the grey picture. But on the upside, there is not very much left; and I did finish to smaller embroidery projects:
The Knitting goal was to to knit at least three sweaters. I managed two:
The Sewing goal was to fix at least four dresses and sew four more AND to sew two tops, three skirts and a coat for myself. I failed completely in this department.
I only made this completely pointless top, which I have never worn (and I have now given it away). I adjusted this skirt and some other things, I but that is about it.
Oh yes, I also made a simple choir dress for my younger daughter, but I have never photographed it.
My Reading goal was to read at least 52 books. According to Goodreads, I read 47, but that is not the whole story. I am working on a project for the The National Centre for Educational Materials which includes reading parts of dozens of books.
Translating: to translate at least one book. This I did.
Cooking: to continue the weekday vegetarian experiment I have just started (and perhaps post a few favourite recipes) . Well, yes and no. I do cook quite a lot of vegetarian thing, but I don’t publish recipes. Which is perhaps not strange since I don’t enjoy cooking very much.
And finally my most important goal: to finish the first draft. I failed at this. But I did write a short book for the NCEM and assist in editing two others, so that is something.
Tomorrow: My Goals for 2015. Have you made any resolutions or set yourself some goals for the new year?
Some of these are by me, more by my children and two by my sister.
So this is christmas yet again, and sadly war is not over. But the holidays have still been very good, if a bit busy time in this household.
I have never been much of a churchgoer but that has certainly changed since my younger daughter joined Gradualekór Langholtskirkju a prestigious girls choir connected to a church in Reykjavík. This holiday season was a bit extreme. On Christmas eve alone I listened to mass THREE times, I kid you not.
First on the radio, while I finished cooking the Christmas feast. That is sort of my thing, I always listen, stir the gravy, lay the table etc. and sing along in the hymns and the special ceremonial choral responses (I am sure they are called something else really).
Then after dinner on the whole family watched the televised service because my younger daughter was singing in one of the choirs. Then I went to midnight service in the cathedral, because my younger daughters other choir was singing there.
And to finish off, I also went to church today, and yes, you guessed it, my younger daughter was singing in the choir. (Said choir would very much like some “likes” one their new Facebook page if you have the time)
I hope you seasonal holiday has been wonderful, however you choose to celebrate it.
Today is Saint Lucia day. The photos are taken in Vík three years ago, when my husband and I organised Lucia festivities in the church there.
Saint Lucia day is really a Swedish tradition, but it is gaining popularity in Iceland, as many Icelanders have lived and studied there (as we did).
The Swedish Lucia is named after the Sicilian Saint Lucia. In Sicily, Lucia means “the light one”. And in general, Swedish Lucia celebrations are about bringing light to one of the darkest times of the year.
Another photo from Vík.
You can watch the this years beautiful traditional Lucia celebrations from Sweden here.
On the embroidery/knitting front this happened:
I broke six small bones in the same hand on December 9th last year, this year it was on December 11th. But this time I broke only one small bone, so I am making some progress. I sincerely hope that this will not become a new Christmas tradition.
The funny thing was that I had just picked up the socks I was knitting last year.
They got “buried” way down in the knitting basket and I forgot about them. I found them again when we moved this fall and thought I might finish them in time for Christmas. Now I do not believe in curses, but still…
This is not a concert, just relaxed practise for a family gathering. Enjoy.