About living a creative life in a small commuity approximately 300 kilometres above the Arctic Circle

Sunday, April 30, 2006

More spring cleaning

Finally! The tax return reports are delivered, both for me and my husband. Hopefully the result on the picture is slightly exaggerated than what real life results will show.

More sping cleaning done today. I did start on the stall in the cellar and you might see a small difference, but it's a long process before I can call it tidy. The flower beds look better after I worked on them also. My husband changed the tyres on our car. In Norway the limit for changing from winter to summer tyres is the first of May, so it had to be done today. I also swept the garage floor and made decisions about what to throw away when we rent a trailer together with our nearest neighbour next week. I think we have to go twice to the disposal service just to get rid of everything.

The afternoon was spent on the veranda. The temperature is way over normal, more like beginning of June, than end of April. We sat there and enjoyed the view and I knitted some rounds on my mittens. Tonight I've almost finished quilting a table runner for my mother, so now I'm going to baste some hexagons. Then my goal of work for today is achieved.


Saturday, April 29, 2006

Spring cleaning

Spring has finally arrived here in Northern Norway. There's no more snow around our house and today we decided to work outside the house. My husband fixed the garage door, which we haven't been able to use since February and I cleaned the stall. It actually has a floor that you can walk on... :-) But that was impossible to know before today. There were several pair of outdated skis, (with the wax from several years ago still on) a lot of wooden material from earlier redecoration projects ( I was going to chop it up for our fire place, I just had to remove the nails, but we don't use our fireplace anymore, so I've postponed it) plastic wrap from new purchases that should have been throwed away the moment that the purchases entered our house, some doggy stuff (it's more than six years since our last dog died) and of course gardening- and car stuff. I threw a lot, moved some stuff that was keepable and put all the wooden material onto the bonfire for midsumer in our neighbourhood. I haven't missed time, we start building the bonfire at this time every year. Cleaning up gardens and houses makes a great bonfire. I actually did some spring cleaning at the grocery's yesterday also, buying Easter marzipan at 50% off, and that's what we had with our coffee during the break outside our house.

The weather forecast for tomorrow antecipates nice and warm weather, so maybe I'll be able to clean up my flower beds, which was my original plan for today.

I'm spring cleaning my UFO-box also. I've set my goals to working on two UFOs every day plus knitting some rounds on my mittens. I don't have to do a lot on each project, just sew a thread or two. I hope to post at least two finished projects within the next week. And hopefully I will find energy to clean up the stall in the cellar also.


Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Six weird things about me

I'm tagged by Hanne to share some of my weird things. OK, here it goes:

  1. I hate to fly and I would rather speak in front of thousand people than have to enter a plane

  2. I collect the yarn ends from my mittens, I have a really large plasticbag already. I don't know what I'm going to use them for, even if I'm going to use them. It must be my Granny-heritage showing through

  3. My CD's have been alphabetized since I got number 2

  4. I do not have a drivers licence. I do not want to drive a car, even though my husbamd thinks I would be fairly good at it (I have exercised with him). When living on the countryside in Northern Norway, that's WEIRD.

  5. I'm frantic about my chinese checker balls. They have to be put in the right compartment on the board when we finish a game. My husband teases me and puts them in another way, but I have to correct it before we close the game.

  6. Before every concert I play, I have to have Smarties (chocolate) and a glass of apple juice. (I can skip this, and it won't interefere with the performance, but 99 out of 100 times, I do enjoy this "meal"

OK, this is weird Inga. As far as tagging, anyone that hasn't done this yet, consider yourself tagged! :-D (Let me know if you take the challenge).


Monday, April 24, 2006

At ease, soldier!

As I've told you before, I work in a military band. We mostly play concerts for the civillian population, but we also do military seremonies. Today, the conflicts of the world got very close when we participated in a seremony honouring participants in the UN-lead operation going on in Afghanistan. I February, six Norwegian soldiers and officers were wounded in Meymaneh, when a peaceful demonstration became violent. Today it was time to honour those who suffered physically. The Norwegian Chief of Defence visited the unit and awarded the soldiers and officers their medals. We also participated, playing marches thoughout the seremony. Suddenly the world news became very close. This picture is taken at another occasion, which I will tell you about later, but it's my band ready for parade.

Saturday I taught a hand piecing class: Five women from 26 to 67 participated and we had a really good time. I taught them to handpiece both the English and the American way. This is how our working table looked after a while. Constructive mess, I would call it. We'll meet Saturday in two weeks to border, quilt and bind our small projects. If this class is a success, we'll annouce the class during autumn also.

The last picture is a small project I came up with before the class started. I needed a simple project where colour was the main target. This is actually two small quilts. I call them postcard quilts. since the centre is 4 x 6 inches. I plan to appliqué each centre onto the fabric it's placed on, and then quilt and appliqué the border according to the theme the colours make me think about. The right one is spring and the left one is autumn.


Sunday, April 23, 2006

Back on track

I'm back on track again. After spending nine days in Skien, Telemark, together with my inlaws, I came back to Kvaefjord on wednesday. My inlaws are quite old, 88 and 86 years old, but they are in quite good shape, managing on their own in a small flat with a grocery store on the ground floor. They even have a brand new computer with WLAN installed and they both have their own cellphone. They don't need much help on a daily basis, but for spring cleaning and dusting on top of the shelves, we try to help out every time we visit them. But I did have time to work on my crafts also. This little quilt is 12 x 20 inches and is all hand sewn. I found a real bargain on fabrics i Skien. A shop sold Jinny Beyer palette fabrics for less than USD 6.50 pr inch. That's less than one third of normal price. I bought six metres, 12 fabrics (50 cm of each fabric) and had to make something of them at once. I chose to handpiece a broken dishes pattern with most of the fabrics. I had to substitute two of them with lighter fabrics which I had brought with me, to get enough light ones. The border fabric is also Jinny Beyer, which I grabbed from my stash. It's basted and I've started to quilt it also.

I also did some knitting. Before Easter I got a commision for ten pairs and I need to stock up at the florist and gallery also. Here are the pairs I made during Easter. Normally I make only one of each colour version every year, but the flowershop owner saw the red and pink one and ordered immediately a pair for herself. Do I need to tell that her favorite colour is pink?

Tomorrow we start rehearsing for this weeks concert. Grieg piano concerto is on together with a piece by Percy Grainger. If you've never listened to music by this composer originally from Australia, check out his Lincolnshire Posy, originally written for winds.


Monday, April 10, 2006


We're spending Easter together with my inlaws. That means travelling 1600 kilometres. First there's one hour by car from our house to the airport. Then there's a one and a half hour flight and finally there's there and a half hours by train. I like travelling, but I don't like to fly. I even like being on airports. Buying glossy magazines and having a glass of wine at a time of the day when people think it's too early to have lunch. But when the time has come to board the plain, the butterflies in my stomach are trying to escape. I've done a couple of charter flights at job, where some of the guys convinced the pilotes that today was a good day to exercise flying vertically (almost). I was FURIOUS!!! The guys hasn't forgotten that trip either, but they remember it because of my anger. Today there was no vertical flying, just minor shaking, that's probably normal, but for me every transportation method where your feet aren't on the ground, is extreme sport.

"Training" (travelling, not exercising) is fun though. You can work, sleep, eat or just do nothing. Usually I do computerwork. We buy upgraded tickets, which isn't nescessarily more expensive than normal tickets (non refundable upgraded tickets are cheaper than refundable ordinary ones). That includes coffee, newspapers and an electrical socket for using your computer. But today I wasn't in the mood of computerizing. So I basted instead. I don't know what this will end up as, but it sure made the travelling time go faster.


Saturday, April 08, 2006

Granny stuff

My grandmothers meant everything to me. Ever since I was a little girl, these two women were an important part of my life and their lives and experiences have given me a valuable contribution to coping with life in general. They where almost the same age, one born in 1914, the other in 1912, but their lives was totally different from each other. My father's mom grew up in a wealthy family, my mother's mother didn't. But they were both strong women that had to overcome other people judging them. My father's mother got pregnant in 1935 without being married. She got three sons, all with the same man, but the first one was born before the marriage. He grew up with his grandparents, while his brothers (my father included) , who was born after the marriage, grew up with their parents. This wasn't something that was discussed in the family, but from what I've read about the time period, this must have been quite an ordeal for her. My grandma and grandpa was married as long as they lived, so they started their family just a little bit too early.

My mom's mother did everything in the right order. She got married , gave birth to four kids, and then she got divorced in 1952! That must have been a tough one also. She didn't have a job, was not educated and had to take care of four children from 2 to 12. How she managed, I do not now, but it must have been a really difficult time. Both my grandmothers lived in small communities, and people talking hasn't changed I guess.

What's odd is that I never met my grandfather. He actually died after my grandmother, but as long as she lived, he was a person I didn't know existed. My mother told me, after my grandparents both died (only six months apart) that he actually had been quite near us all the time, but because of my grandmother, I couldn't contact him. How strange....

Most of my crafting skills are a result of their teaching, knowledge and love. My mother's mother was the thrifty one, saving every little piece of yarn to put into her pillows and needle cushions. I still collect the yarn ends of my mittens. My father's mother was the one who taught me to always do things in a correct manner, despite how it would be more timeconsuming than "easy-does-it". And both of them taught me to never let quantity and price come before quality.

The throw in the picture is a tribute to them both. With granny squares, it has its roots in the tradition, but the colours lead on to today. And if you wonder, this is taken in our garden.


Thursday, April 06, 2006


As someone might recall from my first posts in January, I had high hopes to clean up my scrap box before the beginning of February. I checked my scrapbox today and look! It's nearly as full as it was when I started organizing it. How can that happen? There must be some gnomes in my house cutting up fabric and putting it here......

This is fishy.