Saturday, December 31

Happy New Year!

Here we go... the last few hours of 2011 and soon it will be 2012. New year, new possibilities and a bunch of new years resolutions crowding my gym during January.

It's been quite a year - in a roller-coaster sort of way. I am grateful for my family and my friends who helped me through the rough times and made the good times even better.

I'm gonna end this post with a card that my mother sent to relatives in 1959, wishing them a Happy New Year.

 Vintage Card

Check out those stamps!

Tuesday, December 27

This Xmas...

...I cooked like mad, hung out with my family, ate veggie Christmas food, visited relatives, read books, went to church, watched movies, ate some more food, went for long walks and ate sinful amounts of chocolate. Often for breakfast.

It took a few days to unwind but it feels like I've started to relax and enjoy the holidays. I've even had time to see the new Sherlock Holmes movie and check out the sales.

My mother really wanted a white tree this year and she decorated it in red ornaments. I think it's our Danish heritage that shines through... and it's fun to have a tree with a twist.

 Mom's Christmas Tree

Dannebrogen

Thursday, December 22

Christmas Cards

Found these groovy vintage Christmas cards on Kevin Kidney's flickr. His blog is pretty cool too, check it out at http://miehana.blogspot.com/

I love Christmas cards and I send mine out in early December, usually a week or two before everyone else. In this digital age there is something special about selecting the right cards, writing them by hand and walking down to the post office to send them. I know there are websites, apps and all kinds of digital ways to send Christmas greetings but I prefer the old school way. Paper, ink and stamp.

Vintage 1960s Christmas Card - Snowy Street
Vintage 1960s Christmas Card - Snowy Street

Vintage 1950s Christmas Card - Disney
Vintage 1950s Christmas Card - Disney

Vintage Christmas Card - Santa Greetings
Vintage Christmas Card - Santa Greetings

Wednesday, December 21

Wrapped

All my Christmas gifts are wrapped and ready! It's hard to believe Christmas Eve is only a few days away.

Christmas Gifts

Sunday, December 18

It's coming...

Christmas Eve is less than a week away! Had an awesome weekend with glögg, the movie Elf and good times with old friends at a swanky cocktail party.

My grandparents treated the family to Christmas food at Ängavallen. Everything is organic, mostly home-made and really tasty. And their julmust is amazing.
Julmust is a Swedish thing, and it drives the Coca Cola company crazy each year because we don't drink cola during the holidays, it's julmust all the way.

 Dessert, sweets and julmust.

And I even found the time to decorate my little Christmas tree. I'm going with Hello Kitty and chocolate pine cones this year.

My little tree.

Sunday, December 11

Tredje Advent

Today is tredje advent, or the third Sunday of Advent. Advent means "coming" and is made up of four Sundays that lead up to Christmas and the birth of baby Jesus. Advent is all about waiting for Jesus to arrive, and using the candles to count down to Christmas.
In case you hadn't noticed, I'm one of those radical people who think Christmas has something to do with religion.

And it's also a nice tradition to sit down, light the candles and drink a cup of tea. It's really dark here in Sweden at this time of year, as daylight starts at 8.30 and ends at 15.30.

Three out of four.

Saturday, December 10

The Season of Giving

Some of the firefighters who are working on Christmas Eve are gonna drop by the local City Mission to hang out and show support. They plan to donate some clothes and have asked their co-workers to see if we have any that we can donate.

I've dug around in my closet and come up with a bag of clothes that I don't really need or use. It feels good to do some giving in the middle of the Christmas shopping frenzy.

Sunday, December 4

The Annual Retro Blaster Xmas Bash

I may be fighting a cold (again) but that didn't stop me from attending our annual Retro Blaster Xmas Bash last night. Well, I had a little lot of help from ibuprofen, cough drops and decongestant. And DJ Undertaker lent me a chair in the DJ booth when I got a little dizzy.

Still, the Xmas Bash is an event I don't wanna miss. Johnny Horsepower, Thee Gravemen, Astrolites and Wild Wax Combo on stage and DJ Undertaker spinning records. It seems like everyone is there and the atmosphere is great.

 Punky hangin' with Micke, Eddie and Marcus.

Johnny Horsepower

Friday, December 2

Anthem For The Unwanted

Brand new video from New Found Glory! I've been listening to Radiosurgery for weeks and there are no weak tracks... just some songs I love more than others.
And this video makes me wanna see New Found Glory live even more...

Saturday, November 26

Gingerbread Cupcake

A gingerbread house in the shape of a giant cupcake? Saw this at Cafe 13 in Ljungby today. They also had a sparkly white Christmas tree with cupcake ornaments and multi-colored lights.

Small towns have the best flea markets and Mom and I lucked out today. Vintage tablecloths, candlesticks and a big portrait of Jesus. Did I mention that my mother is a Reverend?

Cupcake!

 Candlestick and vintage tablecloth.

We dropped by Grandma for a visit and I found a group of tomtenissar (Santa's little helpers) eating rice porridge. My mom made these little fellas from an old egg box, felt and other bits and pieces when I was a kid. I got all nostalgic and took them home with me. 

Tomtegröt.

Tuesday, November 22

Punk Rock & Roll

I want that good feeling of the open road! We all need a little punk rock & roll!

Tuesday, November 15

Gesundheit!

I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. I'm just being held hostage by an evil cold. The sneezing, endless tissues and lack of energy is driving me crazy. I wish I could stay on the couch, eat kiwi fruit, drink tea and watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Is anyone working on the cure for the common cold? I don't have any vast sums of money to donate to research but I'd happily cheer them on with some enthusiastic clapping of hands. 

Sunday, November 6

Good Riddance

I've had a lot to do lately. Busy at work, busy with the hepcat store, busy sorting out my own head. And then there's all the little everyday things like groceries to buy, returning library books and remembering where I last saw the car keys.

But I also keep thinking about things and people I thought I had made up my mind about. Questioning my own actions and decisions. Asking that eternal question "what if". Hoping to talk to you. Looking at that photo of us. Wondering what is on your mind and why I care.
Maybe I'm processing. Maybe I just need a vacation.

Time to take Billy Joe's advice... 
So make the best of this test and don't ask why
it's not a question but a lesson learned in time.

Monday, October 31

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween everyone!
Muffins, candy and The Nightmare Before Christmas. It's tradition.





Sunday, October 30

Meet Sigge

Sigge is a cool little dude. He is 14 weeks old and lives with Emma and PM in a big apartment in the fancy part of Lund. PM and Emma are cool too but Sigge is just so... furry.

We had a really nice Friday night with burgers, friends, beer and plans for world domination. Saint 21 crew goes hemmakväll.

 Sigge is a laid-back dude.

 Patric, PM and Sigge.

Thursday, October 20

Caramel

It's getting dark and cold outside and I'm tired after a really busy week at work. My gloves and scarves have some out of hiding, I'm cooking soups and trying to locate my Halloween decorations. Summer is long gone...

Luckily I picked up a package on my way home today, a box filled with a selection of tasty handmade caramels from Pärlans konfektyr in Stockholm. These little treats really brightened up a quiet evening at home.

Yum!

Sunday, October 16

Apple Cake

Made a simple apple cake with a little cinnamon today. The apples are from my paternal  grandmother's garden in Småland. The cake turned out fine and the top was almost a little chewy - in a good way.
Recipe can be found here.


 Taa-dah!


 Om nom nom!

Serve it with some ice cream and a side order of Tom Gabel and Chuck Ragan.

Saturday, October 15

My weakness is that I care too much

Raise your hand if you've ever gotten a little drunk and done things you shouldn't. Hey, you too?
Not being perfect simply means we are human.

But we all have to decide what is right for us and what we make room for in our lives. And sometimes I let people into my life who are not what I thought they were. You don't respect me and you don't really care.

It is not for me to judge you or how you live your life. I simply choose not to be a part of it.

Tuesday, October 11

This Weekend

Checked out the local punk scene at Mejeriet in Lund on Friday. Vånna Inget and Troublemakers kicked ass.

 Vånna Inget

Troublemakers

Saturday night was reserved for a garage party held by some of my friends. Good friends, alphabet yoga, dancing and good times. Saturday nights are for getting drunk and doing things you shouldn't.

 Alphabet yoga

 Alphabet yoga - Jocke demonstrates the letter W

 Hangin'

 Two bunnies at the bar? Danny Boy, Captain T, Eddie and Emilia.

On the menu

Captain T

Frida and Triumph

Wednesday, October 5

The Jetsons

I'm part of a project that is trying to predict trends that will affect the fire and rescue services in 2030. Discussing and imagining the world of tomorrow made me think of cartoon The Jetsons. It originally aired in 1962-63 and had a revival between 1985 and 1987. Meet George Jetson...

The Jetsons

Dinner in the future

The Jetsons on vinyl

Elroy and George

Judy Jetson

Sunday, October 2

Vintage Cosmetics - Or Not

I'm a fan of vintage cosmetics and I like my eyeliner in the style of the 1950's. But I need to clean out my bathroom cabinet more often... I don't wear a lot of makeup and while I go thru my liquidlast eyeliner, smashbox lid primer and vanilla eyeshadow quite rapidly there are some things that should have been thrown out years ago. The dust on some of the bottles should have been a clue...

The romance may last forever but what about the lotions and potions?

I rarely wear foundation because I have sensitive skin that tends to break out if I wear too much makeup. However I've heard a lot of good things about mineral makeup so I'm trying out Bare Minerals. So far so good, but it does go on a bit shiny which is fine for a modern look but not so good for a 1950's look. 

I've also heard a lot of good things about Lily Lolo but I can only find them online and I'm not very good at picking out the right shade of foundation for myself. Still, it might be worth ordering some samples and see how they work.
If you are a retro gal with sensitive skin I'd love to know what works for you.

So flirting comes naturally to the girl who wears Seventeen Cosmetics?

Natural looking? With that hat on?

Stop Motion Tattoo

I love stop motion animation and this is a really cool project. Check out part 2 and part 3 to see the piece get finished. 

Wednesday, September 21

Chicken of the Sea

I picked up this "Chicken of the Sea" magnet on Etsy a little while ago simply because I like the design. And when I searched the web I found a bunch of cool ads from the company. Like this one.

Tuna sandwich, anyone?

I dug around some more and found the image below. Turns out that Chicken of the Sea sponsored a popular pirate ship restaurant inside Disneyland. And yep, they served lots of tuna.

The image below is from the relaunch of the restaurant in 1960. Check out Kevin Kidney's blog for the story of the restaurant and more fabulous images.

Another great place I found is Daveland which has a bunch of vintage photos and stories from Disneyland, including the Chicken of the Sea pirate ship. There are some pretty cool images on his site. Most are holiday snapshots or photos from the construction of various parts of the park.

 Spot the two mermaids!

Did all this talk of tuna make you hungry? Then try this original recipe for Tunaburger, as served at the Chicken of the Sea restaurant. According to the good folks and brave taste-testers over at Mid-Century Meny it's pretty damn tasty.

Sunday, September 18

Radiosurgery

New Found Glory's new album is out on October 4th! Let's hope it comes with a tour that brings them to Scandinavia and my neck of the woods. I'm loving Jordan's new hairstyle btw. He's beginning to look like one of my Saint 21 boys. Very stylish.

Tuesday, September 13

It's the singer not the song

Just listen to Brian Fallon of the Gaslight Anthem sing his version of I Do Not Hook Up. It gives me goosebumps every time I listen to it. His voice and his performance really gets under my skin.

I Do Not Hook Up was written by Katy Perry who never released the song. She gave it to Kelly Clarkson who recorded it in 2009. You can find her version here.
Brian Fallon completely transformed the song from a teen-pop number to an acoustic ballad. Mick Jagger was right. It's the singer that makes all the difference.




Monday, September 12

If Ever I Stray

A friend lamented about the lack of new talent in the current editions of pop idol/true talent/whatever. I find most of those fame-game shows to be crap, resulting only in "artists" that record bland versions of someone elses songs, do a bit of touring and fade back into obscurity. Fame and artistry are two different things.

I told my friend that she won't discover new talent by watching fame-game shows on TV. The real talent is busy writing songs, rehearsing, playing local gigs and touring in vans. If you want to find it you have to leave your sofa and check out some local gigs.

Just look at Frank Turner. I still remember seeing him opening for the Gaslight Anthem in 2009. I went to that show to see Gaslight Anthem and ended up walking out of the venue raving about Frank Turner. And I wasn't the only one. The buzz about him and his songs came from people who'd watched him performed and loved it. That's true talent and that is how you build a career in music. By writing and performing great songs, touring, playing and talking to those who listen to your music.



And the b-side to If Ever I Stray is a song called Sailor's Boots. Simple and amazing. Move over Brian Fallon, I've got a new writer's crush.

Sunday, September 11

This Week

This week just zoomed by. Two busy and fun days working in Stockholm. I was up on a roof and down in a bunker, checked out some churches and some shops, played boule and ate some good food. Later in the week Von Sven dropped by the shop and did some pinstriping and inhaled some thinner. Good times.

I picked up some cool trinkets at a charity shop, found some great veggies and fresh fruit at the farmer's market and checked out Swedish punk band Vånna Inget's release party in a converted artists studio last night. Maximum capacity was 90 people so it was intimate, loud and fun.
Their album Allvar is out on Heptown Records next week and they are going on tour soon. Check 'em out!


View from a roof.

Art in the bunker.

Up in the air.

Von Sven pinstriping in the HepCat Store.

Vånna Inget live.

Breakfast. Fresh strawberries, banana, pear and lemon yoghurt. Grated some espresso chocolate on top.

Saturday, September 3

Turn over a new leaf

September means harvest time and the start of the local farmers market. I love eating food that is local and organic. At the farmers market you get good quality stuff and the prices are good too. Totally worth getting out of bed early for.
I picked up some great stuff this morning, including kale, goats cheese, plums, mini-cauliflower, gooseberry and whiskey jam, yellow beets and tomatoes.

Loot



"Little fiancée" - a local goat's cheese.

Gooseberry squash and gooseberry and whiskey jam.

During this fabulously rainy summer I passed the time with some online retail therapy at the Imperial War Museum's shop. Got a new poster for my kitchen, a few books and some other stuff. They've got some nice things if you're into retro and history.

Turn over a new leaf - poster from the Imperial War Museum.

Yup, I got the mug too.