a boxtroll and a ballerina mouse

henrik-and-maja-costumes This last summer our family had the opportunity to visit Laika Studio.  The production company that made the stop motion movie The Boxtrolls.  After seeing Henrik's enthusiasm for claymation and his extensive knowledge of many film makers such as Ray Harryhausen, the pioneer in the field of stop motion, they let us in for an exclusive VIP tour of their studio.  Henrik was in Heaven, and learned a few more tricks to making his figures that much better.




This year for Halloween Henrik wanted to be a Boxtroll and Maja said she wanted to be a Ballerina Mouse.  I decided to make both of their costumes out of Paper mache.  Paper mache is fairly easy to make with items from around your home.  All you need are: balloons, flour, water,  tissue or newsprint, paint, and patience.  I definitely was lacking in patience and popped both balloons too early. I ended up having to re-inflate a balloon in each mask and add new paper mache, as well as paint them over.  Lessoned learned; wait overnight till popping the balloon.  It will save you so much more work and time, as well as heartache on your children.




Henrik also decided he wanted to dress as the main character, Eggs.  Maja wanted to be in her costume for about two minutes and decided she had better things to do.  I hope you enjoy and had a happy Halloween!


Henrik's puppet party

Last month on September 16th, my little boy Henrik turned 7.  I can't believe he's getting so old!  As some of you may already know, Henrik is a creative little boy and loves to make things with his hands.  For the past two years Henrik has been really into making clay figures and creatures, we even did a claymation party last year.  Lately Henrik has not been sculpting as much (which makes me sad), and all he wants to do is make puppets.  He spends every spare moment looking at puppet books and researching new techniques to make puppets.  I can't keep up with him and his creations and puppet clippings, I find them EVERYWHERE.  He has a very intense, and driven personality, I don't know where he gets it from, ha! henriks-puppet-party

This year we decided to do a puppet Birthday party for Henrik and his school friends. Being a social guy and considering everyone his friend, he wanted to invite his entire class.  I helped him realize that inviting 20+ children might not be the best thing for his Mama's sanity and helped him shorten the guest list to about 7-8 friends.


For Henrik's birthday we gave him a few how to puppet books, some vintage muppets, and a puppet theater.  I made the puppet theater from the Ikea Skylta market stand.  I painted the entire stand in Martha Stewart's Ink Encre Tinta chalkboard paint.  I repainted over the red stripes on the roof in rust red, to make it look hand drawn.  I also painted the sign that attaches to the stand in gold paint and black chalkboard paint.  I sewed two simple curtains with two yards of black and white gingham fabric, using a tension rod to hold the curtains up.  I also painted two strips of leather with red paint, and used snaps to fasten the curtains back.  Henrik was so thrilled to see his new puppet theater and immediately started to perform a puppet show for us.



For the party we decided to keep the puppet making simple.  We used fuzzy multicolored socksgoogly eyes and felt.  We let the kids cut and pick out all the pieces they wanted to make for their puppet, but left the hot gluing to the adults.  It was so fun to see all the innovative little creatures they came up with.  There was a white wolf, constantine, a cowboy, a blue monster, a puppet with a thick mustache, and a few more that I can't remember.


After they had made their puppets we let them each perform a little puppet show for us.


Maja got a little overwhelmed with all these boys running around and had a little meltdown.  It's tough being the princess of the party.


Eventually she calmed down and joined the puppet show with her princess puppet.


I was pleasantly surprised by how much fun the kids had making their puppets and performing with them.  We had so much fun doing it with them too.


The puppet performances were quite entertaining.



We even got a portrait of each of the kids with their puppets.  I loved watching them interact with their creations.  What sweet little boys.


Our trip to hampton court

So, I'm finally getting around to editing my pictures of our trip to London.  We've had such a busy summer full of so many adventures, I can't wait to share them with you.  In the end of May we went to London for nine days as an entire family.  It was so wonderful!  My mother-in-law is a very passionate gardener and makes a trip out to the Chelsea Flower show in London every year.  This year she invited us to come along with her, and of course we said "Yes!!!" hampton-court

I really love traveling and seeing new sites, or revisiting favorite sites.  I especially love being able to share it with my children.  There is nothing like seeing their joy and excitement when they learn or see something new.


When I was a teenager, my brother studied at Cambridge and Oxford.  I was the only one living at home and my mother would take me with her to visit him.  I feel so lucky that I got to visit him several times over the years and learn and experience England from his perspective.  My brother is a history professor and has a photographic memory.  He can literally remember most dates and details of anything he has read.  I wish I had that memory.  He would recite the history and importance of everything we visited.  It was like having your own personal tour guide.  We loved it!!!  We visited Bath, the Cotswolds, central England, London, and of course Cambridge and Oxford.  We visited many museums, sites, gardens, architectural sites, etc.  If there was historical significance we saw it.    It was such an enriching experience for me and I hope to be able to offer a bit of that exposure to my children.




Hampton Court was one of my favorite places that I visited with my mother and brother as a child.  We were so happy to take our kids to visit this historic palace.  Hampton Court is only a 20 minute train ride from London and was made famous by Henry the v111.  It has an interesting blend of the Tudor and Baroque buildings.  You get to see the great hall and kitchens of the tudor era, as well as the private rooms of King William and Mary.  There is is so much to see.  There are so many beautifully gardens, manicured trees, and bushes, and even a maze!  My children had so much fun running around chasing each other and explore EVERYTHING.  It was wonderful.


The entrance to Hampton court, in the original Tutor style.


Entrance to one of the gardens.


A beautiful wild grassy area that leads to the maze.  My kids had so much fun exploring and trying to find their way out.



These chimneys are so detailed and amazing.


This manicured tree has an opening big enough to fit my little Henrik.




More chimneys and Allium.


The inner court.


The most beautiful gardens.



This was a wonderful day, and and it wouldn't be England if it didn't rain.  Thank you for indulging me.  I'll be sharing the rest of our stay in London soon.


Biarritz, France: wheels and waves part one

This summer has been a very busy one, probably THE busiest of my life.  We have been doing a lot of traveling and I've been taking a lot of pictures.  I  just haven't posted anything yet.  All that is going to change starting now. biarritz

These cool postcards were made by Lucky Left Hand.

Today I wanted to share part one of our magical trip to Biarritz, France.  It was one of the most memorable trips that I've ever been on and I got to meet some of the nicest, most creative, genuine people.  I was in heaven!


Biarritz is one of the most beautiful picturesque resort towns, made famous for it's surfing in the sixties.  Biarritz is the furthest south west town in France.  From our hotel we could see Spain.  Everywhere you walk there are beautiful views of the ocean, and the iconic lighthouse.


biarritz3As many of you may know my husband Nicholas is a wildlife and landscape painter.  What some of you may not know is that he paints and rides motorcycles as well.  It's one of his many passions.  He loves everything about them, particularly early 1910-1960's bikes.


This year Nick was thrilled to be invited to the Wheels and Waves exhibit in Biarritz, France.  This is the third year that they have been doing this type of a motorcycle show, and It's growing.  I've been to motorcycle shows in the states before, but nothing compares to this one.  I was blown away.  I couldn't believe the amount of people from all over Europe flocking to see the exhibit.  I also was so surprised by the caliber of bikes and art at the show.  What impressed me even more than anything were the people.  I've never been around a more gracious, classy, artistic group of people.  They do it all purely for the love of what they do and they're nice about it.


The exhibit was in an old abandoned Renault service Garage, which was a perfect venue for all the art, bikes and other items on exhibit.


Here's an example of one of the "new" bikes.  Single and Twin classic Motorcycles from Hamburg builds the most beautiful classic bikes.  Particularly Brittish BSA bikes.  I had so much fun visiting with the builder and his wife.  He told me that the gear shifter was once his aunt's titanium hip, ha!


The exhibit also had incredible one of a kind BMW vintage bikes that are usually in the BMW Museum in Munchen.


When we arrived in Biarritz, we needed to hang all ten of Nicholas' large motorcycle paintings.  Unfortunately customs went through all the paintings and re packed them. When we got the crate all the frames were broken.


Nick and I had to put all the frames back together again as well as hang everything.  Needless to say we had limited tools for fixing the frames (about 20 staples to be exact) and our hanging skills were a little rusty.  We had to measure several times to get everything hanging right.


The amazingly talented photographer, Bernard Testemale, was also there taking large format photographs with his view finder camera on glass plate negatives.  He even had his own portable dark room.  I loved every minute of it, asking him a million questions.  He's one out of a small group of people that still uses this old process.  The images he took while here were STUNNING!!!

biarritz12He even took some pictures of us.

biarritz13The night of the exhibit was packed.  There was a line down the street of people waiting to get in.  I couldn't believe it.  Now that's some die hard motorcycle enthusiasts.  It was fun visiting with and getting to know so many new and interesting people.


The week of the exhibit there were several outings and events planned.  One of the events was a surf competition.


Being in Biarritz felt like a time warp.  I felt like I was transported to another era, a times when life was a little simpler, and a little sweeter.  I mean look at this cool surfer.


I did my best to fit in with all the stylish people and bathing beauties in my Lime Ricki gingham vintage inspired high waisted swimsuit.  It might take a few more weeks of bathing in the sun to get that pastey white body of mine a prettier shade.


No one compares to this lovely lady, Tanya.  We got to know Tanya a little while in Biarittz.  She was nice enough to drive us around in her 62 Ford Falcon (more on that in part two),  Tanya is such a classy, beautiful lady who takes everything in stride, and I was so impressed with her driving skills.  I hope one day I can be half as cool as Tanya, she's my idol.


Nick and I did a LOT of walking around Biarritz (we didn't bring helmets and therefore couldn't ride a motorcycle).  We got to see a lot of the city and I was so overwhelmed by all the beautiful and interesting buildings and homes.


biarritz19Well, that concludes part one of my tour of Biarritz.  I hope you enjoyed it and were somewhat inspired by it.

All the photographs were taken by myself or my husband, Nicholas Coleman, except the two of us hanging the show and the polaroid.  The polaroid was by Bernard and the two of us by the ever gracious Cyril Dunn.   Thanks Cyril!

This is a sponsored post by Lime Ricki.  Lime Ricki is offering One More Mushroom readers a discount at their shop.  Just use the code:  MUSHROOM15 at the check out to get 15% off.  Offer is valid until August 16.



cultivating a creative life: a mother's influence

In honor of this Sunday being Mother's Day, I would like to share about my own mother and the inspiration she has been to me.  She has been both mother and father to me and remained such a constant in my life.  She is my best friend and has been the biggest influence on who I am today, how I create and how I see the world.  As you can see from the photos below she is one classy lady, with a beautiful thick German accent. mormor's-houseMy mother grew up in a small, beautiful village in Northern Germany.  Her father was an architect, started a printing company and was an avid art collector.  The home she grew up in was bombed during World War two, and when her father came back from being a prisoner of war, years later, he redesigned and fixed it up into a beautiful Estate where her family (as well as mine) shared many many fond memories together.  Growing up I spent all my summers at my grandparent's home.  It was such a beautiful, warm, thoughtful home, with an extensive art, furniture, book and rug collection.  My Grandfather appreciated and understood the history behind everything, and it was there I experienced that a home could be so much more than just a place to live.  A home sets the tone for the people who live there, and creates an atmosphere where love and learning can abide.


My grandfather taught my mother about Art, literature, and music.  She was the youngest of five, with three older sisters and a brother.  Her father would take her on long walks in the woods, where they would have in depth conversations about literature, and art and life.  This one on one time she spent with her father was so important and I believe helped carry her through some of her harder times in life.  My grandfather died when my mother was only 24 years old, and never got to meet any of her children, but he remains alive through her stories that she shares of him with us.


My mother, like her father, has always been an appreciator and ambassador of the arts.  She instilled in us it's importance and made it a part of our everyday life.  Ever since I can remember (I believe I was younger than Henrik), she would take me to classical concerts, Museums, International Cinema, and cultural events.  I remember going to see the movie  Jean de Florette with my mother as a little girl and what an impact that movie had on me, and still has.  I also looked just like the little girl, which I thought was pretty cool.  I think that is what good art does, it changes you, helps you to see differently and makes you a better person.  My mother didn't believe in dumbing things down for children, and there was no right age to go to a concert or a museum, she would just take me.  She believed children should start young in their appreciation of the arts.

mormor's-house3My mother is always rearranging things in her home and creating little cozy nooks, like this one below.  I know that's where I get my desire to rearrange furniture and make cozy nooks in my own home.  When I was little my mother and I would play a game together on our our walks with the dog.  We would rate homes in our surrounding neighborhood as cozy and not cozy, or gemuetlich and nicht gemuetlich.  The criteria was usually cozy lighting and seating, or whatever we thought would make it look cozy or not.  Even now when my husband and I tuck our children in bed at night we ask them if they are cozy/cuddly or kuschelich.  It's a word we use often and is a necessity in our home to either feel kuschelich or gumuetlich at one or more times during the day.


My mother is also the reason why I have such an enormous love for children's books.  She has introduced me to most of my favorite illustrators like:  Lisbeth Zwerger, Ida Bohatta, Fritz Koch-Gotha, Sibylle v. Olfers, Elsa Beshow, Else Wenz-Vietor, and Walter Trier.  I could go on and on.  She has an enormous appreciation and passion for children's books and has a huge collection.  Every time I think I have a lot of children's books I go to my mother's house and see her collection and am reminded what a real collection looks like.  She has so many beautiful books, some that are not in print anymore, and many still from her own childhood.  I love going in her room where she keeps her children's books and looking through them, I always discover one I have never seen before.

mormor's-house5My mother has also inspired and maybe fostered my fabric hoarding tendencies.  As a little girl I remember going with her to a Westfalen fabric store in Muenster.  I remember  waiting, for what felt like hours, for her to pick out a fabric.  My mother would make most of my dresses, particularly in traditional German patterns.  In the 80's, when everyone was wearing leg warmers and hot pink, I stood out like a sore thumb.

My mother and I still enjoy going to fabric stores together when we can.  Just the other day we found a beautiful large green fern fabric.  She had the brilliant idea to make a simple shift dress out of it.  I wasn't going to buy the fabric but...when she had such a great idea I had to get it.  She is still fostering and encouraging my fabric hoarding and has quite a beautiful fabric collection herself.

mormor's-house6My love of blue and white has also come from my mother.  She looooooves blue and white. Almost everything in her house is blue and white, from her upholstery, to her dishes, to her backsplash and even her clothing.

My mother has taught me to take pride in yourself and make an effort in your appearance.  She has done this my whole life, I have never seen her wear a pair of sweat pants.  This is not because she is vain or is trying to impress someone else, it is because she has respect for herself and shows it in her dress.


My mother is also one of the most well educated, well read people I know.  She is always telling me about a new book she has read.  Some of my favorite books are from her recommendations.  She reads a wide variety; whether it's Goethe, Herman Hesse,  Art Books, a memoir of Roomy Schneider, or even the National Geographic.  She will read it and share with me what she liked and learned about it.  I love that about her.


I had to share a photo of Resi, my mother's beloved dachshund.  She is named after a children's book called Waldi.  Resi is the obedient sister of Waldi.  I don't believe any dachshund can be described as obedient, especially my mother's Resi.

mormor's-house9Happy Mother's Day Mormor, Mutti, Mama!  I love you!!!   You are intelligent, classy, wise, loving and kind.  Thank you for being my mother.

If you'd like to read some more creative ladies and their mothers' influence check them out here:  Sarah Jane StudiosSycamore Street PressMer Mag and House that Lars built .


Maja's tent

Last week I mentioned that I have been dejunking my entire house.  I have also been rearranging and making some major changes to certain spaces in my home.  Last weekend I had to finish up several deadlines, so naturally I put them off to do something very important, like rearranging the furniture in Maja's room. maja's-tent


I brought out of storage the tent I made for the kids last Easter and decided that I'd surprise Maja and put it in her room.

maja's-tent9She, and Hazel, were excited to see it, and they quickly moved in.  She even wanted to spend the night in the tent.

maja's-tent2I also moved her storage bin and child's desk close to the window, and she wasted no time playing with and showing me her animals.  I love that she plays with animals and has no interest in dolls.  She dresses and undresses them and they have make believe conversations.  I could listen all day, It's pretty funny and entertaining.


Some of Maja's most beloved possessions:  A cheap, blingy tiara, ballet slippers, and a Dinosaur.


maja's-tent5It's always entertaining to see the new additions to the chalkboard wall.

maja's-tent6It looks like Maja's Maileg mouses ears needed a thorough brushing.

maja's-tent7Hazel always enjoys being in front of the camera.  She specializes in being in the wrong place at the wrong time.  I probably trip on her about ten times a day.

maja's-tent8I may not have finished what I was suppose to on Saturday, but I was happy to see Maja playing and enjoying her "new" tent.  She loved her tent so much that she didn't want to share with her brother or Hazel and said "there's no woom." She did promise Henrik that I would make him a tent for his room.  It looks like I have more projects in my future, I better get to work.

I'm back!!!

Hello Everyone!  It's been a looooong time.  Maybe some of you have wondered if I was ever going to post anything again.  Well, you'll be happy to know I'm back!  The past few months have been really busy for me, working on jobs outside of blogging, some that I can't talk about yet, but I can't wait to share!  Because I've been MIA for so long I thought I'd catch you up on some of the things that have been keeping me busy. The spring cleaning/dejunking bug has bit me and I have pretty much torn apart every room in our house.  My husband has kindly suggested that I might start and finish one room at a time.  But, where's the fun in that?  That most definitely doesn't suit my personality.  Once I get an idea in my head I have to act on it right away, and I sometimes don't always finish a project.  You might call me impulsive.


Following my sometimes impulsive personality, I joined my husband for a spur of the moment trip to Portland, Oregon.  He forgot his temporary driver's license and couldn't rent a car, so we decided I needed to come out there and rent one for him.  It was a very short trip, but one of the most spontaneous, fun and inspiring ones for both of us.  We loved Portland!  Not to mention we were there for one of Portland's largest snow storms and freezing rain.  Because it never snows in Portland no one plows the streets and the streets were covered in snow.  It made everything feel extra cozy and slightly frightening watching people drive in the snow.


Henrik has been keeping very busy with his clay guys.  I've given up on keeping my kitchen table tidy.  And for some reason he is really into making all his people with buck teeth.  He made a cute portrait of me and Hazel, thankfully I didn't have buck teeth but luscious red lips instead.  He must know something I don't.


I've been working on a few painting projects as well as restocking my house with house plants.  I killed all of last years plants by either over watering or forgetting about them entirely and not watering at all.  Here's to hoping I do a better job this year.


I've always been so inspired by Josef Frank's textiles.  I love how his inspiration was largely from the organic shapes found in flowers and foliage.  His textiles are almost 100 years old, yet they remain so fresh and timeless.  I can't wait to show you what I'm doing with these textiles.


I've been thrifting a lot lately and finding some really great pieces.  Last weekend I went to the fleattitude with my friend Brittany, and I brought home way too many things.  Jenny from the blog Dos Family said:  (I'm) "Filling my home with clutter one flea market at a time."  I couldn't have said it any better myself, that is so me!  Vintage items can be so inspiring to me and I love searching for that unique piece that no one else has.  Vintage pieces tell a story and give a depth and soul to a space, that something shiny and new cannot.  Don't get me wrong, I do like shinny and new too.


I've always known I was no good at getting my picture taken and selfies are even worse, maybe it's a good thing?

Having two children and a dog, there are a lot of messes in our home (not to mention all the ones I make).  I love the messes the kids make when they are deep in their imaginary worlds, making and creating.  It's such a special time to be able to be imaginative and playful and seeing my children play reminds me of my own creative childhood.  It makes me so happy to see them play.


My husband and I went on a trip to San Antonio, Texas for one of his shows at the newly renovated Briscoe Museum.  I really enjoyed the city and was pleasantly surprised by all the beautiful Art Deco architecture.  It was such a beautiful city, I can't wait to go back!


I always enjoy picking up a piece of art or something to remember my trip, and I picked up this beautiful milagro in San Antonio.


For years now, I've had this crazy idea to color coordinate and cover all my books in my office in colored butcher paper.  This took far too long to do and I got side tracked with other projects (like painting the porcelain below) too many times.


But, I finally finished it!  And am happy with the results.  I also ran out of books and had to steal some children's books from my kids.  Luckily they have almost as many books as I do.

Every morning when I go into Maja's room I ask her how she slept.  The other day she said:  "Good, Haek waked me up" and put her finger to her mouth, like she needed to contemplate it a bit more.  She likes to tattle on her brother and it's a running joke in our family that she'll tell us he woke her up almost every morning.


I feel so lucky to have a wonderful husband who not only surprises me with paintings, but will play with and read to my children.  Growing up without a father in the home, I didn't really know what all the fuss was with fathers.  Now I know, and I get to enjoy it and live vicariously through my children.


If you'd like to see more of One More Mushroom you can follow me on Facebook, twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram.  Thanks for indulging me.

Maja's third birthday

A little over a week ago on the 4th of January we celebrated Maja's third Birthday.  I cannot believe that my little girl is getting so big!  She is such a funny little girl and says the funniest things.  She talks and sings much more than her brother ever did at this age.  It is so entertaining listening and communicating with her. maja's-3rd-birthdayMaja's favorite color is pink (ironically my least favorite color).  So, we made sure to have a big pink number three balloon as well as pink and white balloons.  As per our tradition we made sure to have her birthday table ready for her the night before.  In the morning we brought her down stairs to see all her surprises.

maja's-3rd-birthday3It was so fun to see the look of excitement on her face.  This year I found her a lot of unique vintage toys, like the tin stove and fridge.  Along with a beautiful 1930's vintage doll that she accidentally broke a week later.

maja's-3rd-birthday9Maja loves Miffy, and enjoys reading the books with me before nap time.  So, naturally she needed to have a Miffy doll to cuddle.  This crochet version is from Anne Claire Petit.

maja's-3rd-birthday7Maja also loves Tinker Bell.  And will tell me all about Tinker Bell and her friends, especially Terrance.  She calls him Tehwance.   We sprinkled gold confetti around the table to represent Tinker Bell's pixie dust.

One of my favorite gifts that we got her was this darling wood circus from Janod.  It comes in a circus shaped box with circus performers, animals, and circus accessories.

maja's-3rd-birthday4Three is such a wonderful age and I look forward to seeing more and more of her personality.  It's so fun to see her discover things for the first time and see her nurturing instincts come out.  Like swaddling her stuffed animals and dressing and undressing her Calico Critters.

maja's-3rd-birthday6Next week I will share more photos of her Birthday along with a fun diy.  Thanks for indulging me.




our san francisco trip

Last week during the Thanksgiving holiday our little family took a road trip to San Francisco to visit my sister and her family. San-Francisco-tripWe took a rest stop and let the kids run and play along the beautiful Bonneville Salt Flats

San-Francisco-trip2It was such a lovely trip and so nice to spend time with both my sisters, and their kids, as well as my mother.   We spent our time lunching in Sausalito, looking at the beautiful views of the Bay bridge, and exploring Muir woods.

San-Francisco-trip3Henrik had so much fun in Muir woods running around with his cousins.  Unfortunately he wasn't allowed to explore beyond the board walk.  Henrik sat down to pout because "They won't let me play in the nature."  And his sister sat down to keep him company.

San-Francisco-trip4We had a wonderful time enjoying the exhibits at The California Palace of the Legion of Honors.  At the moment they have an amazing Anders Zorn exhibit (one of my husbands favorite painters).

San-Francisco-trip5My sister lives close to Mount Diablo State Park.  After our Thanksgiving feast we went exploring around the beautiful rolling hills, and even got to see the sun set.  What a view!

San-Francisco-trip6Henrik and his cousin Ethan are the best of friends,  it's too bad they live so far away from each other.

San-Francisco-trip7Henrik made sure to bring his suitcase full of clay and armature wire. The cousins had so much fun playing together and spent a lot of their time working on clay figures.

On Thanksgiving day my sister had a table set where everyone could draw and make turkeys and write what they were thankful for.  Maja drew both hands, her head and other doodles.

San-Francisco-trip8I even got a little Christmas shopping in at this darling shop, Tantrum.  While I was in the store they were filming an American Express commercial.  Hopefully I don't make a cameo in their commercial.

San-Francisco-trip9I think one of the highlights for Henrik was to see the real life Egyptian Sarchophagus.  At the moment he is obsessed with all things Egyptian.

San-Francisco-trip10I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving.  Thanks for letting me share a bit of ours with you.

henrik's claymation party part two

Henrik's claymation Birthday party was really low key this year.  I didn't stress about anything and did most of the prep work the night before.  I think often times we (or I) can get caught up with everything looking just right, when children don't really care.  What's most important to them is that they are happy and have a good time. Henriks-claymation-party8

A couple of days before the party Henrik's dad baked him a cake for the party.  For whatever reason the cake wouldn't come out of the cake form and we only had half a cake.  I then decided to make a cake from scratch with a special chocolate frosting.  I didn't calculate for the altitude and it was as flat as a pancake.  So, the morning of the party Nick went out and bought Henrik a cake.  The kids didn't know the difference and loved how tall it was.


Instead of giving out party favors in bags to the kids on the way out, we put the prizes on the cake, and the children had to spin for their piece of cake as well as their prize.  I made the spinner with a part of Henrik's lego helicopter and a handmade arrow.  This was a tradition we did as children growing up and I loved it.  The kids thought this was so much fun and couldn't wait till it was their turn.


Henrik has been working on this lanky grey clay fella for a while, and I thought he was a nice addition to our claymation party.


We set up a mini claymation set in the other room, so that the kids could help animate their own movie. But we soon discovered that they weren't that interested in making a movie and would rather run around playing with each other and their new clay figures.  So, Nick ended up "helping" them make a group claymation movie.


Maja enjoyed eating the different variety of cakes.  And even though the first cake didn't look good, it sure tasted good.



Henriks-claymation-party14This little guy had so much fun playing with all the new toys and Maja was happy to show him how they all worked.

Henriks-claymation-party15In years past this party would have been a huge stress on me and I would have viewed it as a bit of a failure.  Which is odd, because although the cakes were ruined and the set didn't turn out how I had envisioned it, the kids had a wonderful time!   But, what I've learned this year through my loss, is that all those little things that we worry so much about don't really matter.  What's most important is if we're happy and healthy and alive.  I find myself now hardly phased by much of the day to day stresses at all.  I guess sometimes it takes losing what you love and  hold most dear to gain greater peace and know what's most important.

To see part one of Henrik's birthday party click here, or his 6th birthday here.

mini family photo shoot

mini-family-photos A few months ago our family had the opportunity to be photographed by the ever so talented and lovely Yan Palmer.




We haven't had our family photos taken in a long time and were so happy to get in for a mini session with Yan.



It's amazing to me what she can do in a half an hour, she is a magician behind the camera. Thanks Yan!

mini-family-photos7(All photos taken by Yan Palmer)

stockholm part two

I'm finally getting around to posting part two of my photos from my trip to Stockholm.  You can see part one here.   For me this year traveling has been particularly therapeutic and healing.  I feel so lucky that I have had the opportunity to do so.   About a couple of weeks before August my mother-in-law asked me if I wanted to show her around Stockholm for her Birthday, how could I say no.  We had such a great time and I did my best to give her a pretty comprehensive tour of this beautiful city. stockholm13

The weather was beautiful and only rained (torrential) a couple of days.   One of the smaller museums that we visited was the Prins Eugen Waldemarsudde Museum located on the island of Djurgarden.  The former home of a Prince, art collector and artist Eugen.  Besides visiting the museum we had a chance to walk around the stunning gardens and forrest surrounding it.


After visiting the Prins Eugen Museum we walked over to Rosendals Trädgard.  Rosendals is a beautiful biodynamic, self-sustaining open garden.


Rosendals grows organic vegetables, plants, and flowers.  Inside Rosendals is a beautiful cafe where you can sit outside on the grass and enjoy the cafe food harvested from the garden.


There is also a large section with row upon row of flowers to pick and take home.  I loved watching the families cutting and picking flowers together.  The weather was perfect, slightly overcast but warm.  It was such a lovely Sunday afternoon.

stockholm14This sadly concludes the last images from my inspirational and heavenly trip to Stockholm.  I can't wait to go back!  You can see my shop tours in Stockholm here, here and here.  Or Carl and Karin Larsson's home here and here.  Thank you for indulging me.

Henrik's claymation party part one

I can't believe it's been six weeks since Henrik's Birthday!  This year we had a small family party as well as a very low key friend party with some of his closest friends. Because Henrik is so passionate about making clay guys and spends a majority of his time working on them, it was obvious that we had to have a claymation party.


The Birthday invitation was made using a photo I had taken of one of the many funny groupings of clay guys Henrik leaves throughout the house.  This year I didn't even end up printing the invitation but emailed it to everyone instead.


We decided to limit the guests to a small manageable group of kids.  That way everyone could have a chance to work on their clay figures and we would be able to make a stop motion animation for each of the kids.

I laid out a large sheet of white butcher paper on the table, along with all the clay and tools they would need. Everyone enjoyed rolling, cutting and molding their clay into whatever shape or character they wanted to make.


Henrik, of course, made another set of Wallace and Gromit.  I think he's already made seven or eight sets of his favorite inventor and his puppy sidekick.



It was so fun to watch the concentration and focus the boys displayed while working on their clay guys.


Maja even got involved in sculpting as well.  She loves to work with "Cay" as well and looks up to her brother wanting to do everything he does.



She may have had to take a break from working to eat some cake, number one of the two cakes I ruined.  More on the cake debacle in part two of Henrik's claymation party.  Stay tuned...

last minute ghost and circus performer costume

ghost-and-rina-costumeAs a child I was a master at putting together a last minute costume for Halloween.  This usually involved an old grey wig, high heels, and random old clothing from my mother.  I think the only way I know how to put together a costume is last minute.  Both Henrik and Maja's costumes were put together using found objects from our home and took less than 20 kind of costumes. ghost-and-rina-costume2A couple of months ago Henrik told me that he wanted to be a ghost for Halloween.  Since then I have asked him several times if he'd changed his mind...Nope, he hadn't.  This was the easiest costume to make.  I cut a big circle out of an extra queen size flat sheet.  I cut two eye holes.  I then painted a black mouth and outline around the eyes...done!


Henrik was thrilled with his ghost costume and wants to wear it every minute that he can.  I'm glad it doesn't take much to make him happy.


Maja's Circus Performer costume was put together from this darling Wovenplay Lola suit, black tights, black ballet shoes, a painted bear mask (I cut off the ears), and a large Turkey feather.

ghost-and-rina-costume5Maja, on the other hand, is a bit more difficult to please and while she loved wearing her "rina" costume she liked wearing her mask for about 20 seconds.

ghost-and-rina-costume6She also had other ideas about what she wanted to be doing with her time besides modeling for me.  She'd prefer to be climbing up and down this ladder.

puzzle play

h-and-m-puzzleI love catching moments like these.  Moments when my children are playing so well together, lost in play.  Lately both Henrik and Maja have been really into puzzles and will spend long periods of time working on them. h-and-m-puzzle2

I feel so lucky that my children play, for the most part, so well together.  Often times my sweet Henrik will give in to his bossy little sister.  He has such a kind heart.  I once told him that he could stand up to her and that he was bigger than her.  He replied "But she's my little sister, I don't want to hurt her."


Maja also loves her older brother and calls him "my Haek".  She carries his school picture around with her and sometimes even sleeps with it.  I hope that they will always have this close loving relationship with each other.


I read recently something that left an impression with me.  "The only bad photo is the one you never took."  That's so true, we never regret taking too many pictures just not taking enough.

h-and-m-puzzle5I take a lot of photographs of my children, but there are so many moments, moments like these that I miss.

"So, my advice to everyone and anyone I know is to take photos.  Take them like a paparazzi.  In sickness and in health, in happiness or sorrow...photographs fuel memory..and memory fuels the heart and soul."-- Mitchell's Journey


halloween pumpkin wreath

I have a confession to make, I don't really like Halloween.  I think mainly it's because I'm not a big fan of the scary, the gory, and the macabre as well as the amount of sugar that gets doled out to all the children. Seeing it gives me slight anxiety.  I know I know I sound like the meanest most scroogiest of moms. The funny irony is that my son Henrik loooooves Halloween and everything to do with skeletons, ghouls, and ghosts.  I guess I deserve it. halloween-pumpkin-wreathBecause Henrik loves Halloween so much I do try to make an effort to decorate and make crafts with him.  This pumpkin wreath was really easy and fun to make that required minimum adult supervision. Henrik enjoyed it so much that he has aspirations to make pumpkins to decorate the entire house! And the best part of the craft is that he did about 95 percent of all the work.


Here's what we (mostly Henrik) did:

1.  Henrik drew several pumpkin shapes on paper.

2.  He painted the pumpkins with watercolors (he colored some of the features with crayon).

3.  He then cut out all the pumpkins shapes.

4.  Henrik and I taped together the pumpkins (and some bats) into a wreath shape and then taped it onto the door.

halloween-pumpkin-wreath3Henrik and I were thrilled with how it turned out.  Our house is starting to look a little festive.  Maybe no one will know that scrooge lives here, ha!

Henrik's 6th birthday

Last week on the 16th we celebrated my son Henrik's sixth Birthday.  I can't believe that he is six already!  He is such a sweet, creative, obedient kid, with the most infectious laugh.  How did we get so lucky?!!! h's-6th-birthdayThe night before we set up Henrik's Birthday table, so that when he woke up his gifts, cake and banner were waiting for him.

h's-6th-birthday2I love the surprised look on his face when he saw his table and when opening his presents.

h's-6th-birthday3This year he received some great vintage Star Wars toys from his dad.  He's recently discovered his love for them again.


Maja also got into all the Birthday festivities and may have eaten an entire chocolate bar for breakfast.


This week we'll be celebrating with Henrik's friends and having a claymation party.  I'll have pictures of the party to share next week.


Carl and karin larsson's home

As a small child I had a print hanging in my bedroom of a little blonde girl holding a flower.  I was fascinated with that little girl and it is one of the fond (only) memories I have of my room.  At a young age my mother introduced me to Carl Larsson and I have since been a huge admirer of his work. carl-larsson's-home

Carl Larsson was a classically trained painter at the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts, and showed great artistic talent at an early age.  But it wasn't until he married Karin Bergöö that he embraced his (now iconic) style of colorful, technical watercolors, depicting their relaxed family life.  Most of his famous paintings were painted in their family summer home, Lilla Hyttnäs.


During my recent trip to Sweden, I was so thrilled to take the long trek from Stockholm to the Larsson home.  After traveling three and a half hours by train and two bus rides we arrived in the tiny village of Sundborn.  It felt like we were in the middle of nowhere, I loved it.  The countryside was astoundingly beautiful.


Lilla Hyttnäs is situated in front of the most picturesque pond with wild flowers and trees surrounding it. I felt like I had been transported into a dream, and given a glimpse into the world of Carl Larsson. The day was perfect and the weather a bit tempermental. I kept pinching myself because I couldn't believe I was actually at Carl and Karin Larsson's home!


We were given a guided tour through the house, but unfortunately couldn't take photographs of the interior.  What amazed me was that the Larsson family still vacation in this home, and during a few months of the year allow the public to see it.


Karin Larsson was an amazing artist as well.  She designed and wove the most beautiful, colorful, and modern tapestries all throughout the home, as well as designed and sewed all their (including eight children) clothing, and painted and designed furniture too.  One time Karin commissioned a local carpenter to make her a rocking chair.  The carpenter was so ashamed of the chair that he delivered it in the middle of the night so that no one would see what he had made.

The Larsson's were way ahead of their time, so modern in every way.  They had a much more relaxed approach to raising their children and even ate together as a family, which was unheard of at the time. I like to think they were thought of as the odd eccentric family that weren't truly understood.


The home is such a beautiful mix of both artists.  There were murals of Karin and the children on several of the doors as well as the furniture and in the dinning room.  The chairs were painted a variety of different colors upholstered in Karin's beautiful tapestries, as well as woven curtains and pillows.  Both artists added their love and personal touches to the home.  Exactly how a home should be.


The Larsson home and their approach to living art in all aspects of their lives is such an inspiration to me.  I hope you enjoyed my tour.

Next week I'll have more pictures of Stora Hyttnäs, the home of the Larsson's friends and neighbors.


I had such a lovely time during this recent trip to Stockholm.  How could I not?  Here are a few photos from the trip. stockholm

The beautiful buildings along the busy street Strand Vägan where Svenskt Tenn is situated.


I love that the city is comprised of fourteen different islands surrounded by water and the clouds are unreal!


One of my favorite places to visit in Stockholm is Skansen.  Skansen is the oldest open-air museum founded in 1891 by Artur Hazelius.


Skansen exhibits various houses, farmsteads, shops and many different animals and so much more. It is such a cultural experience and I really enjoy seeing how people in Sweden lived and dressed from the 16th to the beginning of the 20th century.


There is so much inspiration at Skansen...I love this cozy Gustavian era children's room.


Thank you for indulging me.  On Friday I'll be sharing the rest of the Svenskt Tenn shop tour as well as announcing the winner of the giveaway!





henrik's first day of kindergarten

On Wednesday my little Henrik started his first day of Kindergarten.  I can't believe that he is growing up so quickly.  We continued our tradition of making him a Schultuete for his first day of school.  This year to make his Schultuete I used wrapping paper and lined it with colorful butcher paper.  I filled it full of school supplies and treats, as well as the flying bird toy. henrik-kindergarten

I have to admit it was difficult for me to let him go to school.  Henrik is such a creative, happy, easy going kid and I love having him at home.  I wish I could just freeze time so that he'll always be my little innocent boy.  Henrik has really enjoyed his first couple of days of school, which has made the transition easier on both of us.