Monday, December 9, 2019

Happy advent

I got a new drawing pad from my uncle for my birthday in August with high quality papers and I got inspired to really work with colors in more layers and fill the whole page with details.  Also I came up with an idea to make illustrations based on seasons and traditions. Traditions which we are celebrating for long but also new traditions which we have picked up from our different destinations where we have lived and from here in Germany. 
So far I have made October - Halloween a tradition which is pretty new to us - I remember reading about Halloween with trick or treat as an American tradition in one of my first textbooks in English when I was ten years old. Here in Kaiserswerth, Düsseldorf it is celebrated big time in the international neighborhood and so we have started to dress up and join the fun.
November we are celebrating St Martin here in Germany ( will write a separate post about whom that was, how we celebrate and show the illustration)
December - I have so far made first of advent here below and also St Lucia which I will present later. Why first of advent - well I think it is something special with advent and the excitement that Christmas time is approaching. I love Advent lights and stars in the windows to bright December up a little. Advent kalender in different forms and the advents kalender on Swedish television each morning before school and kindergarten one new episode. And Advent candles to light - here in Germany it is popular with advent wreaths out of spruce twigs with four red or white candles ( I thought it was grave decoration last year when it was our first year here in Germany but already this year I have adjusted and bought one instead of making my Swedish style advent candle)
I will continue my illustrations of traditions and write something about each tradition - hoping I can keep up with it :) 

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Thank you September you were good and welcome October! October I think you are my favorite month of the year apart from December, April, June, August and September.. Here in Düsseldorf the schools has two weeks off for Autumn break so we have that to look forward to and also I am going a weekend to Stockholm to see my family and see a musical. And the changes in the nature is just so pretty - transforming from green to yellow and orange.  
I was doing some paperwork this morning but also had time to start a Happy Halloween illustration which I am thinking to turn in to a card somehow. I don't know how I picked this format - hard even to take a photo of it... I will find a way to show a better picture of it!!

Also looking in my memory box and found some other October drawings 

Friday, September 20, 2019

Exploring Eifel National Park in Germany

Last weekend we planned to go with friends to a cool playground in Belgien a couple of hours drive from Düsseldorf. All good we packed some picnic got ready and was in the car ready to go at 11.30 Saturday. Everyone was excited happy to be in the car going on adventures. NOOO!! Of course not. Everyone apart from me was heavily complaining. Mila wanted to stay home and play with her friend next door, Filip did not want to get in the car at all without explanation and Loren was thinking that it is unnecessary to drive for two hours when we can do something fun in Düsseldorf. Yeahh!! Bad mamma for thinking it would be fun to explore a little, to see something different and to force the poor family to sit in the car for 2 hours. But Somehow I managed to get them all in the car without too much drama.. Kids started complaining and asking if we are nearly there yet before we even hit the motorway which is literally 8 minutes from us. And Loren cheered them on sighing heavy and telling me "I told you this was a bad a idea.... " I put on Spotify with music from Blippi (kids songs about vehicles) and everyone calmed a little.
Loren had Google maps on and was gonna navigate me. We got out of Düsseldorf and drove towards Maastricht. GPS rerouted us to avoid a traffic jam and then we kept driving and it was pretty enjoyable with all passengers in ok mood (no screaming, not kicking the dashboard or being nervous) After 40 min Loren suddenly said "Take the next exit" ohh ok yes of course google maps was not following us at all and when he realized that we had driven pretty far in slightly wrong direction.
And to get to our planned destination now would take us 2 hours including the heavy traffic. We did some research on the map and found a couple of National parks not far off from where we were as a replacement destination.

We decided to go and check out Eifel National Park located in North-Rhein-Westphalia, Germany, bordering Belgium and Ruhr Lake reservoir.
We came to a very cute town called Heimbach
Heimbach - with cobble stone streets and cute restaurants and bäckerei (bakeries) 
The Castle on the hill is called Burg Hengebach a very old castle seated a nobel family of the region in 1207
We took an elevator up the fortress and had a great view from up there and also a Flammkuchen and a pils. Flammkuchen is a German type of pizza. 

The view from Burg Hengbach - kids spotted the playground by the river Ruhr
We started walking on one of the trails towards the mountain and we were impressed with all the small beautiful gardens. Narrow gardens side-by-side leading down towards the river and people growing vegetables and flowers and having a little cabin to have a beer or coffee in. Loren wanted one. 

Across the river we saw this café and canoe rental place - it looked so peaceful and cool and next trip we will check it out closer. 
Happy Team members - after all not so bad to experience new places even if it takes a little while in the car....

Cute fontaine in the center of Heimbach with a lot of cute places to eat or just drink a beer or coffee. 

We had a great day in Heimbach it was such pretty and magical place and the weather was great too. Driving back home was good and without drama Mila fell asleep and Filip was listening to a wide variety of children songs although mostly Row row row your boat on repeat. And Loren was also calm. 

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Summer 2019 been and gone

Thank you Summer 2019 for a great mix of weather and a long break from routines
We have spent our vacation in Sweden. We left Düsseldorf and flew to Stockholm Skavsta on 4 of July and stayed all the way until 18 of August. At first I was stressed to get as much as I can out of this precious time we call Summer and to meet up with family and friends while we are in Sweden. How stupid to get stressed and so I stopped with that and could enjoy fully instead.

When we first arrived in Sweden it was cold - no but really I mean cold cold as in 15 degrees. We had to drive to the Outlet in Vingåker to purchase fleece jackets, wellington boots and long pants. When we left German in was hot and I couldn't even imagine that it could be such a different 2 hours away (in an airplane) But the weather picked up and we have enjoyed warm weeks where we have been swimming in the lakes but also rain and cooler weather - and to be honest I think this big variation is the magic with Swedish Summers.
Here is some of our Summer memories out of many happy memories we will take with us from this summer

Our old and cool cat Levis was happy to have us home 

Nice clean water in the Swedish lakes without billion of peoples
Mila learned to swim and Filip impressed by getting in the fastest in the water and even pappa Loren was swimming

What a dream to have kids nextdoor to play and pick wild strawberries with 

A lot of gold in the forrest and for me that is pure happiness to find and to pick 
Rainy day doesn't stop us from going up to the forrest searching for blueberries and chantarelles 

Breakfast with granddad nextdoor 

Boat-ride with mormor and Göran and Lugnet 

Me and the kids took a Trip down south to Österlen to visit friends 

You beauty Vittemölle beach in Österlen close to Kivik 

Milas dream came true - to ride by herself and to canter for the first time 

Bozze dog was also happy to have us home and Filip happy to have his besties next to him 
Hanging at Lugnet with mormor picking berries from the garden 

Granddad/morfar big summer project at Lundsätter was the tree house 

Celebrating Uncle Christer at St Djulö with a swim at the dog beach 

Monday, June 24, 2019

Happy Midsummer // Glad Midsommar

This year we celebrated Swedish Midsummer in Düsseldorf.  Düsseldorf has a Swedish community which organize annually very nice traditional Swedish Midsummer. This year it was in Rosengarten down-town Düsseldorf. They had arranged Midsummer pole, games, quiz walk and Swedish fika that everyone attending brought some Swedish pastry, dessert or sweets to.  The weather was great and we had fun and for the first time we actually came in time for the dancing around the midsummer pole. 

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Snart sommarlov // Summer-break is coming closer

Det har varit mycket åhh nej är det dagis idag inte bara det senaste året här i Tyskland utan hela dagistiden faktiskt. Det är mycket ska bara som 5-6 åring och behov om att påminnas om varje steg och varje moment för att få kläder på sig, håret borstat, äta frukost, bli färdig med frukosten och sedan borsta tänder, få på sig skorna, komma ihåg cykelhjälm och cykeln.
Nu har nedräkningen till sommarlovet börjat och tack och hej till Mila's dagistid som snart är förbi
Helt galet hon börjar skolan och ska aldrig mer gå på dagis.
Så till hösten får jag tjata på en skolunge ist och dessutom börjar hon en timme tidigare då - herregud hur ska vi klarar det ?! Hur ska jag klara det?

Friday, June 14, 2019

Birdhouse present

Mila is leaving preschool and doing the big leap to school in September. It is a big move and a important milestone for every child and for their parents. Here in Germany it is also a lot of ceremonies and fests connected to this important move. In April started the preparations and plannings. The class-parent organized such a nice evening with snacks and wine - yes wine for a parent evening is super cool and not heard of in Sweden. I did my best trying to follow what was said. The main topics were: T-shirt for each kid, group photo, present to the kindergarten on environmental theme, summer fest, presents to teachers, to write a song or performance and balloons or no balloons to let go on summer fest.

We decided that as a leaving present to the kindergarten we would give a birdhouse and I said that I can organize and paint it.  Said something like "Ich kann eine Vogelhaus gemacht.."
We had some inspirations from Internet of how to make it a nice present that will stay in the kindergarten garden. I bought a plain wooden birdhouse in Bauhaus and painted it with acrylic colors. When I had made the base painting of the house I brought it to kindergarten and let each preschool kid to make a fingerprint on it. Green or red based on which group they went to.
Then I made birds with wings out of the fingerprints which are flying away to school. Birds leaving the nest. I wrote the kids name under and added a window and a roadsigns towards school and new adventures. And also the text preschool kids 2019 flying out - in German. Last touch was to put clear lack so the color will stay and protect the house.
This is the result and also picture from yesterday when we gave it away.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

My first homemade hobby-horse

Käpphäst straight translation into English = stick-horse, but as I was gonna do this post I googled translation and realized is is actually called hobby-horse also in German is it called Hobby Pferd... 
A friends daughter here in Düsseldorf turned two years old a couple of weeks ago and I decided to try to make her a little hobby-horse with pink mane. My last attempt to make a hobby-horse was a big failure so I was a little skeptical that I would manage. I used a blue cotton fabric as the main part and then made ears out of a stretchy jersey fabric. Pillow stuffing as filling and as made I made small mini tassel's from rainbow yarn. I went to Bauhaus and bought a wooden stick and cut it in the lenght I wanted - approx 75 cm. I thought it ended up pretty cute and the right size for a smaller rider. 

When I send a picture to my friend back in Sweden I got a picture back from her daughters hobby-horse she made in kindergarten... I love it next one I promise will look a little more like that - a penis looking hobby-horse :) 

Monday, June 10, 2019

My latest reads// Boktips

I love books and reading or at least I love to read in periods and during those periods I read quite a lot. My plan is to read in average one book per month  (fiction for adults = all kids books I read are extra) I guess I read mix of different styles and authors but lately I have mainly been reading in Swedish. So I will present my latest reads in Swedish.

Här kommer en kort presentation av de senaste böckerna som jag har läst.
1. Silvervägen - Stina Jackson Mycket spännande och välskriven kriminalroman som jag läste dom sista sidorna ur igår sent sent - kunde inte lägga ner boken förrän jag läst klart. En berättelse och ett skrivande som fångade mig direkt och den höll ett grepp om mig som läsaren in i det sista. Jag gillar att den följde två olika parallella stories i varannat kapitel och som sedan kopplades ihop men inte förrän efter mer än halva boken.  Kan rekommendera den mycket!
Från förlaget har detta skrivits om boken:
Sedan tre år tillbringar Lelle de ljusa sommarnätterna med att köra bil. Han kör utmed väg 95 som skär genom landet från Skellefteå i nordvästlig riktning förbi Arvidsjaur, Arjeplog och mynnar vid norska gränsen, den väg som kallas Silvervägen. För tre år sedan försvann hans sjuttonåriga dotter spårlöst och hennes försvinnande gnager sönder Lelle inifrån.

Till den lilla orten Glimmersträsk anländer Meja och hennes mamma. Meja är lika gammal som Lelles dotter var när hon försvann. Medan höstens mörker närmar sig knyts Lelles och Mejas öden ihop och när ytterligare en ung flicka försvinner blir deras liv för evigt sammantvinnade.


2. Tiggaren - Sofie Sarenbrant 
Minnesstunden är känslosam. En ung kvinna är död, under ofattbara omständigheter. Men i bakgrunden befinner sig en person som intensivt betraktar de sörjande, mån om att själv inte bli sedd.
Samtidigt faller Stockholms tiggare offer för vad som verkar vara en psykopatisk seriemördare. Polisen famlar i mörkret, och den enda personen som kan stoppa morden måste göra allt för att stanna i det fördolda
Detta är den femte delen om kriminalinspektören Emma Sköld - jag började läsa böckerna om Emma Sköld av en slump för några år sedan - jag tror att jag fick med en gratis bok med en tidning. Jag gillade boken och karaktären Emma och har sedan dess hängt med i böckerna. När jag vill läsa något som jag vet griper tag i mig från första sida och som jag läser snabbt och med spänning väljer jag någon av Sofie Sarenbrants böcker 

3. Bakom din rygg - Sofie Sarenbrant 
Boken utspelar sig på en Stockholms hetaste frisersalong, Salong De Luca. På salongen jobbar Stefano, Jenny och den nyanställda Angelina Silver. Alla bär på hemligheter som inte får komma fram men även svartsjuka och lögner är nya vardagen på Salong Luca.  
Spännande och lättläst bok -ser framemot fortsättningen då detta är första delen i en triologi om Salong De Luca 

 4. Kvinnan i fönstret - AJ Finn 
Kvinnan i fönstret heter Anna Fox och är psykolog. Anna har varit med om en olycka och klarar inte av att lämna sin bostad men håller koll på området hon bor i och på sina grannar genom fönstret. På dagarna dricker hon vin, kollar på gamla svart/vita Hitchcockfilmer och spionerar på grannarna. En dag flyttar familjen Russell in i huset på andra sidan gatan, en mamma, en pappa och en tonårsson. En kväll blir Anna vittne till nåt hon inte borde ha sett, Vad var det hon såg? Har hon inbillat sig? Är hon i fara?
Psykologiskthriller när den är som bäst och jag kunde inte lägga ifrån mig boken. Spännande och mystisk om vem man ska tro på och vad man ska tro. Kan varmt rekommendera denna bok !

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Out of School and bright memories

This year is running so fast. It feels like yesterday it was February and  I started studying German here in Düsseldorf. Now it is beginning of June and I had my last week in school last week. Very happy that I decided to start studying and grateful for meeting great people and that I have learned a lot. Maybe I will continue B1 & B2 this autumn we will see. 

From this semester in Berliner Allee I will mostly remember
1. The big German map that we used a lot. A way to get a leg stretcher and to navigate through Bundesrepublics and cities in this big country. Also interesting with a for me new view of Europe where focus is on Germany and where Sweden is not even included. 

2. Our lessons with Nadia where she was playing us good German songs with poetic lyrics. The Goethe text we read and watched over and over. And all the art lessons where we learned art history in German. 

3. The Kitchen with many clean up notes which was strictly not for students to enter - but because our class was tiny and mature we maybe trespassed and made coffee in there anyways...

4. The colorful home and the great hospitality when Nadia invited us to her home our last class with her. And cooked an amazing dish. 

5. Rose-Marie my cool classmate who found her Düsseldorfer man on Tinder and decided to live her Golden Age with full glow. A real life Pippi Longstocking in her golden age. Who is giggling like a teenager over words like knüller, fika/fick and many other words which has slightly different meaning in Swedish and German. And who are up for a pilsner and a bratwurst down by Rhein a Tuesday. 

And as a Thank you to teachers and classmates I made this illustration of us a all six. I made copies and put on hard board and gave on our last lessons with the teachers. I think I capture us pretty well and with the Düsseldorf skyline or at least part of it in the background