09 December 2011


Two and half year anniversary outfit!
Still haven't quite gotten the hand of self-portraiture in this mirror...
In which to go shopping for lövbiff (to be filled with shallot and dijon mixture...) and potatoes (for Hasselbackspotatis). And cake, raspberry jelly, whipping cream, bananas, grapes and chocolate "lentils" for someone's birthday-cake-in-bed tomorrow morning...

30 November 2011


Pretty dough, much more yellow in person!
Swedish saffron bread, in a traditional shape called lussekatter. They look a bit like cat's tails, eller hur? Lussekatter "means" Lucia cats, St. Lucia's day being the time you should eat them and the cat being the shape....
It sure is Christmastime...
I'm a little early (St. Lucia's day is the 13th of December) but saffron is dirt cheap right now and I just couldn't resist! Swedish baking can be very different from ours (i.e. let saffron sit in a tablespoon of vodka. Melt butter, add milk, sugar, saffron and an egg, then add all that to a piece of fresh yeast hacked into bits. Then add flour), so I feel like I've learned something in the process...not about setting a timer and/or watching the clock, so the second batch are a little brown--and not pictured.

But I didn't knead the dough so much, and it made them incredibly light and perfect, if you ask me (an unbiased observer).

You're welcome to stop by and have one, we've just made coffee!

24 November 2011


Of what we are doing now.

I will be writing for the website WornThrough, and my time has been taken up with that, collecting fun Christmas decorations and gifts to bring back, writing my own things, keeping up the Are Clothes Modern blog, reading a huge list of books from the library (in English AND Swedish!!), trying to finish an article to send in to Dress, going to the most aggravating and frustrating but helpful Swedish classes, drinking tea in Désirées apartment, going to Stockholm to see friends and concerts, thinking about what to get Erik for his birthday.....and the list goes on.

It's good to be busy!

But it means no blog. Or less blog here.....SORRY!

Here are some pictures to cheer you up:

 Walking in the Uppsala woods.

Spelar spel. This is called Puerto Rico, and it is not a lesson in mindful living in a new land (duh)--these small (dark brown...) dots are "colonists"...more like, "the help" or "labor". But it is a neat, complicated, fun game!

Swedish stripes.

New late-'30s silk velvet dress! So beautiful. 95 kr (~15 dollars!). Fits like a dream.

Homemade vegetarian kofta and whole wheat naan--look at those blisters!

New costume studies journal--so exciting!

Birthday breakfast! Plättar (silver dollar pancakes, they are called I guess?) with whipped cream...and ice cream...and lingonberry jam! I guess you eat cake in bed, instead of breakfast? So Erik surprised me with an incredibly delicious sugar-overload. Plus 20 beautiful roses!

 Card: Shopping trip, drawing of anonymous man from newspaper.

Coq au vin! It. was. so. damned. good. We ended up having a bit of a "red-wine" themed dinner...

With Crozes-Hermitage wine--probably the best I've ever had. And red wine chocolate cake the next day!

Boyfriend and roses. And wine.

Here is cake! It was...not as winey as I would have expected? But still very delicious, and the sourness from the wine was a nice cut to the chocolate. MUMS!

Important tip: the tiny screwdriver in combo with one "nose" of the pliers can NOT replace an awl. I blame the unevenness of the holes on the tool. Provkorsett.

A few weekends ago we went out to Drottningholm to look into a costume sale the 18th c. theater was having. We walked from the bus stop instead of taking the bus; only about a mile? mile and a half? Frustrating because we were walking next to loud, speeding traffic the whole time but...we were glad to catch this view! I wonder if it's loud down there? Because those houses look pretty dreamy.....and to live right on the water like that 10 minutes from Stockholm?

On the last little bridge out to the island where Drottningholm sits. We thought a lot about getting out there in 1700-whatever....by boat? by land and ferry? They had a "little" boathouse....

Exploratory and ultimately successful color match-clashing.

 One of my new favorite pictures....

 All the was left of the sale by the time we got there--I guess people had been lining up since 8 am...and the doors opened at 10. Little did we know! Not that it would have been pleasant to get there at 10 on a Saturday from Uppsala....it was worth the trip out to the castle in any case! The theater is also really cool (click on the link above)...it still operates like it did in the 18th century, with manual labor to move traditional scenery. Someday we hope to see a show there!

Enjoying the misty day, watching sheep grazing freely about the premises....

And dramatic mist coming off the water!

Then back in to Stockholm to have a beer before meeting friends. We made great choices, and I now can't remember what they were...Swedish IPAs and dark lagers...

Erik making much too much soup for dinner with friends. Söt-sur: sweet and sour--one of his best, one of our favorites. Umami!

Beautiful blooms at Désirées beautiful apartment.

And finally: I have hit upon the perfect bread recipe. It's easy to make, hard on the outside and chewy and light on the inside. I am glad that I bike everywhere, or else this could be a real problem....

It's 3:30 now and the sunset is fading....having it dark so quickly is as frustrating as it is somewhat romantic. It is nice to sit inside--unless you can't. It's even dark when we wake up now, which daylight savings had fixed for a while....It's hard to get used to! It feels like I haven't gotten anything done with the day--even though I have at least three more hours until dinner! But I'll get used to it, and it is an interesting thing to live through. Just have to remember to bring my bike light with me, the sun sets faster than I remember....

18 October 2011


The House of Seven Gables (Hawthorne) by candlelight after a day of miserable weather. Spoooooookyyyyyyy!

Dreaming of New England....

13 October 2011

Svenska som andraspråk

Swedish as a Second Language!
Is what I'm taking now.
Just so you know.

Nice to have some more structure to my days, since volunteering is not as easy here, and jobs are not yet forthcoming.

So now I'm in the grundnivå, which means I'm back in elementary school!  It's sort of a condensed, sped-up version of what Swedish children take in grammar school.  And if I'm really clever, I'll be back in highschool within a year....yikes. 

But I feel like I respond well to an occasional class with its endless fill-in-the-blanks, and it's rather nice to hear Swedish that I can understand for three hours at a time.

Also? When I got on my bike this morning it was TWO degrees out!  Take that, Manhattan.  That's 35.6 degrees for you Americans.

Det är hösten!

07 October 2011

Friday Evening

When it is dark at 6:30...

Turn off all the lights, and light up all the new Ikea candles.

Listen to: Mattias Alkberg.

Drink: Côtes du Rhône, from a box.

Eat: homemade potato and beet chips for dinner, with a side of "Astrid Peppar" from Eskesta Gårdsmejeri, possibly the best goat cheese that has ever existed.  Plus it's named after Erik's mamma. (finnish smörkniv from Ariel)

Read: Breward, Harper's, the Rangström that is finally at the library, Fashion Projects.

Hang: birthday fashion prints, finally.  A new way of looking at fashion, realizing we have no drill.

Grease art:

Oh yes.

05 October 2011

On Language

(boy do I miss the New York Times...just not the same online!)

But I just wanted to stop in here and say first of all, yesterday was national kanelbulle day, and I had the best one of my life.  So, in case you were worried.  It was SALTY, people.  From a little bakery here in Uppsala.  The butter they used was so salty and the perfect match for the cardemom and sugar, and I made coffee in my little coffee-maker-thing from Brooklyn, warmed up the bun, and sat outside in the beautiful but terribly cold fall weather here.  Bliss!

But also, I keep forgetting to recount for you a silly thing that happened to me with Swedish/English a few days ago.  My brain is SO tired of being like halfway to proficiency.  I still have to work hard to be a part of conversations, and I know that I still miss many words along the way.  Erik and I have had some pretty annoying mix-ups because I pretend I understand (or I honestly, truly THINK I understand).  Or like just now: "jag var mite ler intresserad"...I meant to say, "jag var lite mer intresserad" (I was a little more interested)...I'm developing some sort of short-circuiting.

But we were discussing something the other day, is fashion art or did you read the article on Swedish fashion I sent you? (it's one track over here).  And I wanted to say something along the lines of, "you could say that...[whatever brilliant thing I had in mind]"...but I somehow translated that into a more Swedish thing to say, "Man kan säga", and then....said it in English? I said, "Man can say", which sounds like the beginning of some important statement on human development.  And they are relatively close in pronunciation.  But we don't even use "one" so often as third person, which is closer to "man"...and...just how weird!

Is this interesting to anyone but me?  I think it is.  Plus I get to brag about how I had a whole conversation with the woman at the bank today and only missed a few words and they were not the important ones (like, "account" and "deposit"), so there!  Very exciting.  Is it more exciting that I understood her or that she understood me?  Reading helps, watching TV (with subtitles still) helps.  Watching French or German films with Swedish subtitles can be done, excruciatingly.

Are you impressed yet?  It's such a beautiful language, and I'm secretly really glad that I am into a relatively obscure language.

P.s. did I mention that it was 9° this morning? (about 48°).  Cold!  But so beautifully sunny.....I think I'm the only one excited for fall and the cold....because I'm probably the only one around here who hasn't lived here through the whole winter yet! Yikes.  But...the leaves are falling and we can make soup every day and we're wearing (Erik-)knitted socks!  Plus then I don't feel so badly about just reading books all day....

27 September 2011

Kunglig Vintage

Pictures from Erik's and my trip to Stockholm on Saturday to see Kunglig Vintage at one of my favorite museums, Livrustkammaren.

Commentary to follow HERE, but probably not for a few days.  Other stuff worth reading over there, though!

At one of my favorite little cafes, two seconds from the museum.

 The museum inhabits the space under the castle in the middle of Stockholm; I can't tell exactly what it was used for, perhaps a carriage house?  It's a dramatic and totally castle-y space, perfect for the first floor permanent installation of the clothing of Swedish monarchy from the last 500 years.

Smell!  So many things to smell.  Multimedia here in Sweden.  And you can see quotations in the background to that effect, and with the subtle push about the excessive use of water in the creation and maintenance of clothing, which was a "red thread" throughout this exhibition.

"Jag ska ta femman!" ("I want number five")...visitors to costume exhibitions are the same the world over: the first reaction is "I want, I like, I hate..." I struggle with the idea of this as a strength or weakness.  What do you think?

 Black room.  The rooms were arranged by color (or lack of it, as here), with a photographic backdrop, quotations, smells, and a small bit about fashion's impact on the environment, in all its stages.  Really successful, I thought!

Almost all of the dresses belonged to four different queens or princesses of the twentieth century, and it was great to see such a range of sizes and styles.  It was also refreshing to not hear so much about designers (except a bit about those which were Scandinavian) or about how rich and fabulous these women were (I don't even know if they were, past being royalty?), but to let the visual (and olfactory) factors shape the visitor's experience of the clothing.  There was also the question of what the word "vintage" means, but again, much of it was left up to the visitor.  Very exciting!  Very Swedish.

Just like Gustav V, but not as tall.

 Downstairs.  Even the horses look good.

Knappar! These are contemporary with those that came from Vasa, although these are probably more expensive, and have a base of wood that is covered with thread.  Many of the metal buttons found on Vasa are styled after examples such as these, in what is probably trickle-down seventeenth-century fashion.

Made for children, difficult to get it just right; I think we were successful.

 Sandwiches next to Gustav III (the statue, not that guy).

Hej då Stockholm!

23 September 2011


That is finally working:

Oh yeah. Mums.

Dagligt bröd.

20 September 2011

Dear Jackie

These are some of the things we now own.  Among, like so many other things that Erik is getting worried:

Vintage hand-worked linens, red egg cups, a little milkglass milk pitcher with a funny handle.

A laundry basket so big one could sleep in it.

This is how our vintage rolltop looks, below a poster from Radio Dept.

The colors of the season.  Hand-dyed light green from the market at Linnés Hammarby that has become a secret something for new cousins, a beautiful fall orange for More Mittens (see bottom right) and light yellow for a baby cousin sweater and then an adult Erik hat.

Fabric for a new bicycle skirt guard...

A Liberty-print bangle to match Erik's liberty tie collection!

English-language classics, plus Den feminina mystiken.

Why did I feel like there was so much more?  Some of it is not photo worthy (candles, plain black bowls from Ikea, folders and binders...) and some of it doesn't feel "new" anymore...will try to be better about Things updates, because it IS rather fun.  And I'll try to work on my photo editing...not.