Monday, March 30, 2009

we went to the circus

and this is what we saw.

but that wasn't until after we'd shamefully lurked past the handfull of demonstrants outside. shamefully, because we totally agree with them: these guys do not belong in a circus:

still, we went, since i once said that my kids should experience an old fashion kind of circus at least once during their childhood years. we took our son when he was about 5. this weekend was my daughters first time. not just to see, but also to get all sticky from candy floss!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

family cloths update

curious about how we're doing with our pee cloths? or maybe it's really the last thing you'd like to hear about? *grin*
well, we're doing great. they were perfect. should i make more, i would maybe make them just a teeny bit larger. we keep ours in a plastic container just next to the toilet, and put the used ones in a small metal trash can - the pedal/lid kind. i sprinkle a little bit of baking soda in the bottom of the can, to prevent odour.
oh, and the trick to get your hubby on board? don't. make it a girl thing. that's what we do, as we only use it for pee (and my daughter is dead proud of it!). i'm not sure that washing poo-cloths on high temperatures is more enviro friendly than using paper. plus, i'm a chicken.

i've been sewing up a handkerchief for my swap-choo partner, and enjoying the sudden rushes of warmth that has come this way lately.

Friday, March 27, 2009

fridays with nick

low quality, but cute video of one of my favourite nick cave songs. the other guy is blixa bargeld, in case you wondered.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

g.u.t. in 'gorgeous, useless things'. like they have in ikea.

such lovely, lovely elephants!! me had to have myself these colours and lines. but wait...

...a serving tray..?!? who needs that? why didn't they make fabric out of the design?
i had a very weak moment, and yes, i'm guilt ridden, but not buying it was not an option. so now i sit myself here with a stupid tray. but oh, it's lovely...
and what do you know!

matching napkins! we never use napkins. but at least, these i can cut...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

a hike and some local war history

on saturday, we went for a trip to one of the seven mountains that surround our town. there's a whole mountainside that was used as a military base by the germans during world war II. the ruins are still there, and serves as a sort of museum.

on the way up, there were several small hideouts like this one, where the german soldiers could spot enemies trying to climb 'their' mountain. they had small openings for machine guns. can you spot my son in there?

closed caves. once a prison for russian captives.

there used to be canons here. it's easy to understand why they chose this spot; you can see the far fjord that leads in to the town, and you can hit any ship trying to enter it.

my husband knows a lot of local history. this is his birth town.

trying to grasp the concept of war...

one of the canons were still there.

entering one of the caves.

bits and pieces from a british aircraft that was shot down by germans were scattered through the woods. the pilot actually survived.

despite the gloomy history of it, it's an exciting place to visit with kids. and luckily, there were bits of green loveliness in between all the concrete.

and we had a good time - hi there!
(see if you can spot my kids in that photo!)

Monday, March 23, 2009


yes, i can feel it, i can see it, i can hear it, but most of all, i can smell it; spring's sprung!

we made an equinox carrot cake - equinox and easter blends into each other in our house. i wanted to copy a piece of art cake i've made before, but was doomed before i started. i chose an entirely different recipe, and chose youghurt over cream frosting. in addition, i had little helper with me in the kitchen, and i don't have the energy to argue over aesthetics with her. besides, that would be bad parenting. not to forget that i'd risk getting my throat slit.

i managed to get a photo of it before we made it look as if someone dropped a bucket of mint green paint on it. and no, that's not someone's bite marks; it was supposed to be a staircase but the cake wasn't big enough for more than one step.

we made flowers from organic marzipan and food colouring to decorate with, and added some chocolate/almond eggs. some pussy willows were happy to act as camouflage for the photo shoot.
and here's the cake i was trying to copy. i can see that i had more energy and patience back then. and my daughter was still a baby with no access to knives or other sharp objects.

happy equinox!!

Friday, March 20, 2009

fridays with nick

to those who don't know him, i'd like to introduce the one artist i keep returning to again and again; nick cave. whether on his own with his piano, with his bands the bad seeds or the slightly rougher grinderman, even some of the birthday party (although that would be more my husbands cup of tea than mine); whether singing a melancholic love ballad or screaming his head off: i'm truly captured by his music. so i thought i'd do a 'fridays with nick' series, starting off with the more 'easy listening nick'. enjoy!
(unfortunately, warner music has done a thorough job removing or muting original soundtracks and videos from youtube, so the quality isn't always gonna be the best, i'm afraid)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

green: pee, poop & paper

how green are you willing to go? are you willing to substitute your highly pollutive toilet paper for washable cloth wipes? only for #1, or #2 as well?

i first read about cloth wipes here, and thought at the time it sounded like a brilliant idea. it just didn't sound right for us. for several reasons, i don't want to use them for #2 (there's a link at the bottom of this post that will answer all your questions about cloth wipes, and yes, also the hygiena questions). and the paper used for wiping pee in this house is minimal. but the thought of this wouldn't go away, and after a fortnight i'd had enough time to observe our paper habits to make up my mind, and...we use a tremendous amount of paper in the kitchen. add that up to the tp used for pee, and it's too much. kitchen paper will probably be the next challenge. but for now, i'm going with the toilet cloth wipes for #1.

a quick search through my fabric stash revealed an old piece of flanell sheet. wash, iron, cut, zig zag. couldn't be easier.

34 heavily zig zagged, pretty, purple cloths, ready to work for us :)

i cut the squares approximately 15 x 15 cm (6" x 6") - some smaller, some bigger. i have yet to find out whether that's a suitable size, and whether i've cut enough. the biggest challenge will be to prevent my girl from dropping them in the toilet after she's used them. that specific movement is a pretty established embodied habit :)

if you want to learn more about cloth wipes, head on over to these posts at crunchy chicken - the Lady of Eco Challenges (and my newest source of inspiration).

(tip: if you plan on doing this yourself, and haven't talked to your sewing machine for a while, this is the time to flatter her with some nice words and some oil. she's gonna do a lot of zig zaging for you. alternatively, you can take the time to hem them and sew with straight seems instead. the total amount of time spent on making them will probably be the same either way, and you will save a lot of thread!)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

green: the art of dependence

after a long and uncomfortable autumn and winter, with no energy or interest in much, i'm finally feeling like i'm resurfacing. i've got both the time and energy to get things done, and to pursue my ever present domestic goals further: decreasing clutter; decreasing costs; becoming increasingly better at living sustainably. luckily, getting better at one of those things often means getting better at the others.
a great inspiration in this is bjørk's blog, spiderwebmama. she is always looking for new ways to becoming greener, and that inspires me. she admits to the difficulty of being green, but that doesn't stop her from trying out new stuff.

the original subtitle of my own blog was 'a creative outlook on the art of dependence'. it was inspired by the norwegian "declaration of dependence", put together by 52 organizations and handed over to the prime minister at the time:
on june 7th 2005, norway celebrated its 100 year anniversary for its independence from sweden, which it had been in a forced union with for 91 years. during the celebration, while the people's main focus was on independence, the golden calf of our time along with individualism, representatives from the 52 organizations signed the newly written declaration of dependence. it was a solemn occation, with speeches and the presence of many politicians, including the prime minister.
the starting-point of the declaration was questions like: how does todays strong focus on individualism affect our different communities; our family lives, at school, with friends, in our work lives, in our organizations? how does it affect the way we perceive society? how does it affect our global consciousness? it concludes with the fact that we are more dependant than ever - both as individuals and as a nation.

the 7 points of the declaration are (i'm sorry for the sometimes bad translation):

we are dependant on mother earth
we all need a living earth. our fragile planet depends on each and one of us reflecting on our actions, so that the earth will stay fertile and in balance.

we are dependant on community
we all need to be a part of a whole, to belong in a multifarious society built on solidarity and community. the safety of the individual depends on an existing community where many take responsibility, and where there is trust and mutuality.

we are dependant on safety
we all need a safe haven. a safe and good home, food on the table, and help when we are ill.

we are dependant on recognition
we are all equally valuable. we all need to be respected as we are. we need to give and take through meaningful tasks that challenges and developes the intellectual, artistic, ethic and spiritual abilities latent in every man.

we are dependant on protection
we all need protection against encroachment. there are rules to protect people's dignity in peace and war. we all depend on these rules to be followed.

we are dependant on expression
we all need to express ourselves. through unfolding, play and speech we can keep our curiosity, our wonder, and develop our understanding and empathy. nature, culture, religion and filosophy contribute to the opening of our senses and to put our lives in a greater context.

we are dependant on time
we all need peace, quiet and reflection, to rest and to be able to make the best decisions for ourselves and society. we need time to be able to give care and loving attention.

we depend on each other and we all need love, care and values that provides us and society with directions. this will give us hope in these challenging times, and confidence in our ability to achieve our goals.
(in the words of bilbo; there and here again. full circle. i hope you understand what i mean.)

my understanding of man's dependency on mother earth is great. my understanding of man's dependancy on man is less great, but in progress. i thought my blog was to be about green creativity; recycling stuff into art and craft, and thoughts on the interconnectedness of humans and the planet. i wasn't able to be consistent to that, and, as a mirroring of myself and my life, the blog went in all directions. and so it probably will continue to do. nevertheless, i'm going to try to blog about sustainable solutions to domestic doings as well. first post tomorrow: family cloth!!

(link til 07-06-05 om avhengighetserklæringen.
også her.)

Monday, March 16, 2009


making a couple of felt mice for a friend's daughter's birthday. and, with the sun peeping in between the hail and the rain, being given a unique chance to really observe just how dirty my windows are.
yup. spring cleaning, i hear you knocking.
(ps - i don't hope too many of you noticed my mistake yesterday. i started writing a post about music, and hit the 'publish' button instead of 'save', without noticing it. it was up for hours, and i didn't know until someone commented on it. a bit embarrassing..)

lunches; revisited

i can't believe i forgot about our food challenge! that is, i didn't forget about it, i just forgot blogging about it. i have lots of pictures of yummy lunches for my kids. i haven't been able to photograph the lunchboxes for many months due to lack of daylight in the morning, so if you don't mind, i'll be posting pictures taken before king winter came and swallowed the sun.

in the boxes are: plain youghurt with maple syrup, grapes and a slice of - hm, peach, i think -, avocado, paprika, and sunflower seeds, bread with who-knows-what.

the laptop lunchboxes were a huge success with my kids. if you, like me, feel that you're kind of stuck in making the same boring lunches for your kids, i encourage you to get one.

(ps - did you see my new list of inspirations? on top, to the right).

Friday, March 13, 2009

incompetent school teachers - help needed

Visty needs some help addressing her kid's stupid, stupid teachers. be a mate, and help her out, if you can.

i love my mailbox

not always, but these days, for sure!
i ordered these postcards from lovely photographer liivia in finland. look, the shoes looks 3-dimensional, as if i put them on top of the cards. i think i will have to make some kind of art with these, i don't want to send them away...
she's a fellow lover of handmade envelopes, too. look at that blonde beauty stretching out all over russia.
thank you, liivia!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Grizzly Man

some norwegian beauty for you; one woman band rockettothesky. enjoy!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

green week :: 7

to finnish off green 'week' (ahem); a mosaic made of some of the greens i uploaded to the green week flickr group.

will you look at that!

not only is the sun peeping through my window, but i won a bag!!! my first 'blog win' so far. the funny thing is that i won it from lise, who is not only norwegian, but lives virtually down the road - and i had never met her before! so when i had problems choosing which bag i wanted, she simply brought them to the local tae kwon do club, where both her and my kids go. lucky coincidences, and lucky me. sunny bag on a sunny day, and no work to do. what more can a girl want?
(ps - her label is quite good, as 'bag' is sometimes called 'nett' in norwegian. so her label is both an internet site, where she sells her bags, and a description of what she sells. clever!)


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