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

Friday, June 30, 2006

I'm free! (At least for five days)

Guess what, I'm free. At least, a kind of. No, I haven't resigned or taken a leave, but today, I played the last concert for a while. My freedom lasts only for a limited period of time though. June has been an overloaded month and the summer break is shorter than usual. And how can I claim that three weeks is a short break?

In Norway, we're allowed five weeks holiday every year. Because of our working structure, we all have to schedule our holidays for the same period. In addition to the four weeks holiday we're normally granted during summer, we're allowed two weeks of rehearsing by ourselves to get fit to being able to perform for an audience.

But because of a major semi-military event, we have to return after three weeks to play one concert, and then someone decided that we also should participate in a couple of festivals in the region. So my summmer holidays goes in the drain. I can't stop playing now, since there is only three weeks until our next concert. I've decided to stop playing for five days (not three weeks), before I start exercising again. That's all I feel I can allow myself if I'm going to be able to deliver a professional result at our concerts in the end of July.

After that, we do not have to report back for a six weeks period. How much of that will be a non-instrumental period? Only a couple of weeks I guess. Working as a professional musician never allow you to rest for a long period. It's like being a professional athlete. The only difference is the pay :-(

But I will certainly enjoy my holiday. I plan to study a couple of web design related subjects at University College this fall, and I know for sure that I need all the energy I can accquire through the weeks that lies ahead of us.

I hope to post a couple of project pics within a week from now. This post's picture is taken by my husband.


Saturday, June 24, 2006

Il est fini! - It's finished!

There are a lot of wonderful blogs out in cyber space where you can find inspiration for new projects. As some of you may have noticed, I have been working on UFO's since the beginning of May. My UFO-pile also includes crocheting, embroidery and knitting in addition to the quilting ones. Today I've finished two works. One crocheted table runner which I intend to put crosswise over the table as place mats, ad then there is this little cutie.

Originally it was a couple of swatches I made to test out the blackwork embroidery technique. I had planned to use them as center blocks in miniature quilts, but then I came across Veronique's impressive embroidery blog, where I found the link to the directions for this biscornu. The word biscornu (according to my French -Norwegian dictionary) means something with two horns, or something irregular or bizarre. I don't think it's bizarre, just cute. So....

Merci Veronique pour cet idée merveilleuse! Ton travail est splendide et j'admire tout. Je te souhaite une bonne weekend!


Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Work, work, work!

Hi Gals!

I apologize for no posting, but work has taken over my life! You see, the funding for our military band isn't the best, but this period there are money to produce concerts, and someone has decided to produce as many concerts that it's possible to squeeze in in 25 days. More precise, there are planned 18 concerts, almost all of them with different programs. So if I was paid by the number of notes I'm playing in June, I would have a year's income from all this activity in June only :-D

Sadly there isn't much extra to achieve, only free time (which I can spend sewing hehe). But there's also fun since there is a large cultural festival starting this weekend. We're going to play 7 concerts within a wee (one every day!) so it will be a lot to do, but I also will be able to enjoy other concerts and exhibitions. Next Monday, I'm going to listen to Rickie Lee Jones performing in the large concert hall in Harstad. I will go to the hairdresser's and enjoy a nice meal also, so that will be MY day.

I manage to do some crafty work. I knit in the car to and from work, I manage to baste some pieces between my daily excercises on the instrument, and I try to crochet a motif for a table runner every night.

It could have been worse....


Monday, June 05, 2006

Finished stuff!

Today I finished this table runner. I started it two years ago, when I was on holiday, visiting my mother. It's so good to mark one more UFO done. I have more than 20 to go. This is my last one with six pointed stars and it's the only one intended to keep for ourselves. The flowers you see in the foreground are the roses my husband bought for my birthday. They are so lovely, the nicest flowers I've ever received. In the back you can see an oil lamp which I've filled with decorative stones. It's not the season for lighting the lamp, but it's so beautiful that I wanted to use it anyhow.

The second project is our only pet at the moment :-D. Due to work schedule, it's impossible to have a pet, so we'll have to stick with this incredibly cute kitten. I'm a real fan of red/bluework and I hope to share another project with you in short time.


Saturday, June 03, 2006

Birthday girl!

Who can imagine that this little creature has become an (almost) middle aged woman with grey hairs showing up? It's my birthday! At first I thought I shouldn't mention it at all, just change my age in the profile. But I changed my mind. You only live once, and every occasion to celebrate should be used. I've had a nice day. My husband greeted me with a card and a small gift. He has ordered a new cordless iron for me, but that didn't arrive at the shop in time, but he gave me some silk thread which I needed to complete one of myUFO's. My inlaws sent a cheque and my mother called to congratulate. Due to her shoulder we'll deal with the gift issue later.

After practicing my daily routine on the instrument, we went into town and ate cake. My husband also bought yellow roses (my favorite) and we did some shopping. Christmas gifts (okay I'm way ahead) and books. We went to visit a friend of mine who works in a newly established art center. Its' an antique building, originally a gym for the Defence Forces, which has been transformed to studios and offices for ten artists, designers and people with creative occupations. It has become an inspiring and beautiful place with lots of fun and interesting people. I got so inspired that I just wanted to go home and establish my own creative business.

Now we're going to enjoy a glass of wine and read the books we bought. Afterwards my husband is going to cook me a delicious meal. I'm enjoying my day!


Thursday, June 01, 2006

May ends - June begins

This is my friend and colleague, Heidi, with her ongoing project. She participated in my handpiecing class earlier this month and she has been bitten by the quilting bug. She came for a visit yesterday, because she needed some help with her sewing machine, and she also brought her hand piecing projects. I really liked this one. She was wondering about how she should put borders on it, but I advised her to leave it as it is. It's lovely!

We had a nice lunch and then we spent a couple of hours in my sewing room. We managed to make her machine work, so now she'll bind the projects she's already done.

My May challenge is over. I'm quite proud of what I achieved. I almost didn't buy anything (Just two magazines on the day when life decided to be really cruel with me). The only new project was a border that didn't suit the purpose it was made for, so instead of putting it aside, I found a proper use for it. I didn't touch the scrap box. I had planned to deal with it when my mother came for a visit in the end of May(I thought), but then she damaged her shoulder. We'll deal with that when she comes later this summer. But I finished 5 pairs of mittens, 18 other items and I also worked on 9 other projects. My project boxes are reduced to two (really packed boxes, though).

My UFO list is still long, longer that it says on the right, so I've decided to challenge myself a bit more. No starting projects and only buying things I need to complete stuff on the UFO list. I'll try to stick to that until the holiday starts