Saturday, 19 May 2018

DUBLIN PHOTO BOOK



I'm loving my ever-growing collection of photo albums, and this is my latest addition. I have a long to do list of photo books I plan on making, and I finally sat down last yaer and finished up this one from when Graeme and I went on a trip to Dublin back in 2012 (which feels like a lifetime ago!).

Photo books are probably my favorite way of preserving memories, and I love how flipping through this takes me right back to that little trip. All these little memories come flooding back; like struggling to find vegetarian food for Graeme (he was still a vegitarian back then!); getting caught out by snow and seeking shelter by going to watch the Hunger Games at the movies; sitting in a pub in Temple Bar where some girl was singing Sinaed O'Connor covers and thinking, yup, we are definitely in Ireland. :)


Like the Athens album, this one was also printed in a softcover (I ordered them both at the same time), and I'm still not really sure if I like that or not. This is also a relatively short album, and I feel the softcover just kinda makes it feel even less substantial? I dunno. I'll probably order a hardback next time. And I'm probably also totally overthinking this haha. One day, when I have a whole library full of these, I doubt I'll actually care.

Looking through these albums always get me so excited about travel (even though we just came back from a trip haha). Anyone off to anywhere exciting any time soon? We have a few loose plans that I think we need to finalize pronto!



Sunday, 13 May 2018

TJUKKLUA - COZY HATS

It's been feeling really summery around here and we've been spending all our time outside in the sunshine, but hey, I decided to knit some super cozy and warm hats! We do live in Norway after all, so I wouldn't be surprised if we got to use them before the summer is over.

I knitted the first one a while ago. Graeme and I have this kinda weird tradition of celebrating our own Valentines day on the 14th of March rather than the 14th of February. The reason for this is basically that my birthday is on Valentine's Day and about a decade ago I was complaining about this. "How about we celebrate Valentine's Day a month later?" he suggested. "Ok!" I said, excited. Since then, Graeme has routinely surprised me with a romantic gift on the 14th of March every year. And I say surprised, because I've obviously forgotten about it every single year, even that first year. This is literally the first year I haven't spent the 14th of March frantically running around some shops trying to find a last minute gift. And wouldn't you know, this was also the first year Graeme forgot!

And I know I just knitted Graeme a hat, but it went down so well I decided to knit him another. I actually knitted it right in front of him, over a weekend we spent at the cabin. "What are you knitting?" he asked. "A sweater." I lied. "Ah ok," he said and continued talking. Not sure how he didn't realize that the hat wasn't sweater shaped in the slightest. Just shows how much he pays attention to my knitting projects! Ha!

I used this pattern from Drople Design, that I bought along with skeins of Hillesvåg Blåne wool. It's a lovely wool, chunky and cozy and soft, and the resulting hat is like a hug for your head. It's super simple and quick to knit, which is always fun break when you're working on a bigger knit project. I've already knitting another one in navy that I think I might just keep for myself, but I can easily see myself making more of these!


Monday, 7 May 2018

CURRENTLY IN MAY

Getting back into your routines after being on holiday for a month is no joke! I'll probably post about our giant American road trip soon, but for now I decided I'd post one of these status reports to ease myself back in. So here's whats going on around here:

enjoying being home again after our trip! I was pretty worried I'd be feeling those post-holiday blues pretty hard when we got home, and I started feeling it a bit when we got to Palm Springs as that was our last stop before we went home. But so far I've actually really been enjoying being in our home, cooking and slowly getting back into routines.

celebrating both Oscar's 2nd birthday and the 17th of May this month, which is the Norwegian constitution day! We have Graeme's family visiting and looking forward to celebrating with everyone and eating as much cake as possible!

working on our garden this month. Our garden is kind of one giant flower bed with a patch of grass, and I've been feeling pretty overwhelmed by it since we moved in. So our main goal is to simplify it a bit, and one of the things we're working on is turning some of those flower beds into a bigger patch of grass. We're also adding a sandbox and hoping this will mean that Oscar has a nice space to play in the garden. We're almost there!

reading Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey and Macbeth by Jo Nesbø. Making headway on my 2018 reading goal, 11 out of 24 read.

eating outside as often as we can, weather permitting. Our garden furniture is out and BBQ season is here!

planning a couple projects that I hope to at least get started on this month. I'm already a bit behind on my 12 projects of 2018, and I've been struggling a bit with inspiration recently. Time to get back on it!

Sunday, 25 March 2018

BIBS & TEETHERS BABYSHOWER GIFT SETS


My poor sewing machine had been sitting collecting dust for far too long, so for my third project I needed something to get my sewing mojo back. Lucky for me, I also have a few friends who are expecting babies pretty soon. Perfect opportunity to sew a couple of baby-sized projects, no?


So I brewed myself a pot of tea, put on some music and started sewing. I used these free patterns from See Kate Sewprobably my favorite sewing blog. I bought the fabric from a local shop, some terry cloth for the backing, and wooden rings I found on Amazon. I didn't want the terry cloth to be too thick and bulky, so I just used some thin towelscheap and cheerful!


This was such a fun and simple sewing project, and I love how they turned out. It's a perfect way to use up old scraps of fabric too, which I kinda wish I had thought of before I went out and bought fabric. I still have leftovers from when I made this skirt and this dress, and how cute would that be, a black gingham set and a pink floral set? Note to self: remember to check your craft stash before you hit up the craft shop haha.

The wooden rings were part of a 20 pack though, which means I have quite a few rings left. I'll definitely be making more of these, but probably not a full 20 sets haha. Does anyone have any suggestions for something else I can use the wooden rings for? A wall hanging perhaps? Or a plant hanger?

Monday, 19 March 2018

ATHENS PHOTO BOOK



I was just about to start this post about this photo book I made from our trip to Athens "last year", until I realized we actually went in 2016 which is not last year at all, it's almost two years ago already. How did that happen?








This was actually Oscar's first holiday abroad, and his first time on a plane! He was just three months at the time and the flight went swimmingly, he just fed and slept for the whole time. It's a whole other story now when he actually has to be entertained for the whole flight (looking forward to that trans-Atlantic flight we're venturing on in a couple of weeks...!) And oh my, the Greeks certainly love babies. He was doted on wherever we went, with strangers of all ages coming up to coo over him and kiss his feet. He was like a tiny celebrity.





We had an awesome trip. As it was our first time travelling with our kiddo, we were a little unsure of how everything would go. We actually ended up spending a bit more on the hotel than we normally do when we travel, just in case everything went to hell and we'd be stranded at our hotel the whole time. Thankfully that didn't end up being the case! We visited the Acropolis and Parthenon, Temple of Olympian Zeus, Ancient Agora, the Panathenaic Stadiumthere is just so much to see in Athens, so many historic sites so many beautiful neighborhoods to walk through, and not to mention so much delicious food. I mean, just look at me casually feeding Oscar on some old beautiful street in Plaka in the photo above. If only every breastfeeding session was that idyllic! Ha!

We also celebrated our first wedding anniversary while in Athens, and went out for a meal in Kolonaki, which is what Oscar is all dressed up for below (I also tried to snap a family photo for the occasion before we went out, which ended in hilarity as Oscar decided to spit up mid-photo haha! Ah, parenthood is so glamorous.). Our plan was to celebrate with a nice steak dinner, but what the waiter brought us was definitely not steak. "Umm, sorry, we ordered the steak?" I asked. "Yes," said the waiter. "This is steak. Baby steak." Ah! Haha. Not quite what we had in mind, but tasty all the same.




For this album, I used Blurb's option of a softcover rather than a hardcover. Most of the photo books I have made so far, I have had printed in a plain hardcover with a dust jacket, and then I've just removed the dust jacket and kept them with plain covers. The 2017 album was actually the first album where I used the hardcover imagewrap option, and I was really happy with the result and definitely plan on using it again. I'm not actually as impressed with the softcover option though, and I find it a bit annoying that you can't get anything printed on the spine if you go for a softcover. My plain hardcover albums don't have anything printed on their spines either, so if anyone knows a good DIY for this that still looks neat, let me know! Or should I just get everything reprinted as hardcovers with imagewraps? (Kidding! I think. Haha)

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

CURRENTLY IN MARCH



wondering where in the world spring is? We spent the weekend at my parents cabin at the southern coast of Norway, and while it might look like spring in the above photo, but it was practically a snowstorm by the time we left.

watching Queer Eye! And a lot of movies. We recently got a new projector for our downstairs living room, and man, it's such an upgrade. Yay for movie nights!

reading Pax by Sarah Pennypacker, which will be my 10th book this year. I've set myself a goodreads goal to read 24 books in 2018, and so far I am very much on track.

planning a big road trip in a couple of weeks! An old friend of mine is getting married in Austin, and as I like to make mountains out of molehills we are now road tripping from from Houston to Los Angeles, via Austin, Marfa, Las Cruces, Tucson, Sonoran Desert, Flagstaff (with a trip up to Grand Canyon), Las Vegas, Joshua Tree and Palm Springs. Because if you're already making the transatlantic flight with your toddler, you might as well take full advantage, right? Travel tips and suggestions are very welcome!

getting a pretty good gym routine, and feeling pretty good about it.

remembering that four years ago, I was in Korea. I'm basically getting daily reminders on my Facebook and Google photos, and I can't believe that was four years ago already!

enjoying Strikketerapi.

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

GRAEME & OSCAR'S MATCHING HATS


Graeme's always complaining that I never knit him anything. It takes a lot of time and not to mention yarn to knit men's sweaters though (hence why kiddo knit is so much fun), so instead of anything too big and complicated I decided to knit him a hat. The pattern is the Hipster hat from Petite Knit.

My plan was to knit it out of some leftover Drops Baby Merino I had from a baby blanket I made last year for a friend's baby (sorry--no post or photo, I just knitted it and sent it away). I have a lot of leftover yarn sitting around with no future aspects and this seemed like a pretty good project for that. But wouldn't you know, I ran out of yarn juuuust as I was about to finish and had to go out and buy another skein. In other words, instead of getting rid of leftover yarn, I ended up with more yarn than what I started with. Facepalm.


The answer to this was obviously to knit a matching hat for Oscar as well. I've seen a lot of patterns for "mommy and me" matching dresses and outfits, so I figured a "daddy and me" set of matching hats would be pretty cute? I used the same pattern as the one for Graeme, and just modified it a bit to fit a child. Luckily, Graeme is one of those who embraces these things, and would love to match his outfit with Oscar on a daily basis if he could haha.

I still have more yarn than what I started out with though!


Thursday, 1 March 2018

SWEATER WITH LONG STITCHES

How terrible is that name for a sweater? I'll admit, it's my own weird translation, but that's what the pattern is called in Norwegian--sweater with long stitches. If I were naming it, I would have named it something like stripy beach sweater, or summer stripy sweater or something to that effect. As you might guess from that, this is a little off season as I plan on wearing this in summer.

So here's a bit of irony for you: this pattern is by a local yarn producer, Sandnes Garn (yes, I live in Sandnes) and you can download it for free here. However, the yarn it calls for, Sandnes Garn Kitten Mohair, is out of production. I'm sure I could have found another replacement yarn to knit it in, but I actually managed to track down some Kitten Mohair online form an online yarn shop in the UK that specializes in Scandinavian knitting. So here I am, importing my towns exports haha. I actually got a pretty good discount on it too!



As for the finished product--I think the shoulders turned out a bit weird? I haven't seen any photos of what they're meant to look like, and the pattern was a bit vague, so I'm not sure I did them right. Maybe I was supposed to continue the long stitch stripe pattern. I also feel it's a relatively small sweater for what's supposed to be an oversized L? I'm excited to start wearing it once it gets a little warmer though! I'm thinking it'll look really nice with a pair of distressed denim shorts (aka my favorite shorts), or maybe even layered over a denim button down?

I also have about 8 skeins of Kitten Mohair in black now (what was I thinking buying black yarn?), any suggestions what I should knit with that?



Friday, 23 February 2018

2017 PHOTO ALBUM







In 2016, I made a giant (actually, it was really quite small) album for the whole year. It can be pretty time consuming to make these albums, but breaking it up and basically updating it each month helped a lot. I also chose to only use photos from Instagram, which made the process a lot quicker too, as the sorting out the photos, organizing and editing is already done. But for my 2017 album, I decided to simplify it even further and made a photo book based. I used Blurb as a) they're my go to for photo albums, b) they were one of the few companies that could print up to 440 page books and c) they have a program that connects directly with Instagram. There's a couple of limitations as to what you can do format wise using this tool, like how you can't edit the layouts or do two-page photo spreads, but for my simple plan of having one photo per page it was pretty perfect. I updated the album monthly and it probably took me about five minutes each time. 


And whoa, I love this album. I love the fact all our favorite photos are in physical print and that you can just sit and look through them. I've probably already spent way longer than I should have flipping through it, and there's just so many pages that instantly make me smile. It contains our whole year, and everything from everday photos around the house to photos from our travels. And I absolutely love comparing the photos at the start of the year with the end of the year and seeing how much Oscar has grown. He's gone from being a baby to a kid, and it's so awesome. I mean, when I was taking photos for this post, I ended up ear-marking 48 favorite pages that I just had to include. I manage to narrow it down a bit further than that, but sorry, this is still a pretty photo-heavy post haha (which meant that Blogger crashed about a million times when I was trying to post this haha).



However, first a bit of a disclaimer: the album you see here is actually my second attempt at a 2017 album, as I just wasn't happy with the first album that got printed. The photos came out blurry and grainy and I just wasn't happy with the quality of it at all. Such a bummer. I ended up contacting Blurb customer services to complain, and I was really just hoping for a refund (as obviously an album of this size cost a few bob!). Mainly though, I was just so sad that I'd been looking forward to flipping through the album for a year, and expectations just did not meet reality. I know, this is an album based on photos from Instagram which automatically reduces the quality, but I guess I was just expecting that a program specifically made for making albums from Instagram photos would either somehow magically take that into account, or at least produce some sort of warning as you're making the book that the quality isn't good enough (as that's normally what happens with their other software). Anyway, I did not get a refund. I was told they'd give me a free reprint, but that I'd have to go through and probably use the original photos for the quality I was looking for, and I'd have to reorder within a month. AKA, sort through thousands of photos (probably not even an exaggeration haha) and organize and edit them--exactly the part of the process I was hoping to avoid. I don't even think I have all the originals anymore, nor did I have any idea how I'd find the time to do this. Eventually I decided to go through the album and just change the layout of each page, hoping that might help. Instead of full-page photos I opted for one large photo on each page. I figured that as they were covering the cost of a second album, I might as well give it a shot. And I'm so glad I did, as the second album is exactly what I had in mind the first time around. Lesson learnt.




The finish album is my biggest photo book yet, 360 pages total. It's divided into twelve chapters for each month, and at the end I did a quick written summary of the year at a glance so that the album will still make sense to me 20 years from now. The photos are not necessarily in chronological order beyond being in the right month--chronology is not a priority for me. I used photos from both mine and Graeme's Instagram account, and kept the whole book super simple and uniform. As a change from my previous photo books, I chose a printed hardcover this time, and I'll probably do that again for future albums too.

And, yes, duh, of course--I have already started the 2018 album. And I'm already very, very excited.