Tuesday, 31 August 2010

i crave an ipod

So my aim for a shopping free month isn't gonna work out since my iPod died this morning. Boooooooo! I NEED my iPod, I stress out completely if I can't hide inside my music when I'm out and about. Music is my shield against the world. I'm not a big fan of spending money on modern gadgets, but I do appreciate how cute the iPod nano's are nowadays, and since this is a gadget that I'll use all the time it's a good and necessary investment for sure. I knew better than to just order one straight away though, and asked my Apple maniac brother about when the new models are coming out, and was told tomorrow! Therefore I'm trying to stay patient, and usually shipping is quite quick, so I won't have to walk to work having to hear traffic and people for that many days. That would make me very unhappy, very unhappy indeed. I want to dance in the streets!

Well, okay, not quite, but at least sing really loud in my head to stay sane. We've all got our ways to get by. Morrissey put it like this: “Because the music that they constantly play, it says nothing to me about my life.” I couldn't agree more, and that's why I bring my own music. And when I've got my headphones on, it can be more difficult to catch my attention, but on the other hand you might catch me smiling just cos my ears are happy.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

more gothenburg goodies

One of the new stores I found during my Gothenburg visit was an Indian one on Kungsgatan, quite close to Järntorget. We just wanted to pop in to check it out, but ended up spending both plenty of time and money there because the shop owner was so friendly and it turned out to be packed with lovely things! If you're at all into Indian interior design items such as pillow cases, curtains, bedspreads, etcetera, this is definitely the place for you. It's more expensive than for example Indiska, but the quailty and selection is way better, and compared to other Indian interior design stores in Stockholm the prices are very reasonable. The nice shop owner very patiently let us try about 10 pairs of earrings each before finally choosing one pair each, and just as I was about to pay for them I spotted this little Ganesh figurine behind the counter. It's made of beautifully handpainted brass, and since Ganesh is me and my husband's special protective god (we were told at our temple wedding), I thought maybe it would be a good thing to get it. My motive wasn't religious though, maybe I should point that out, I just wanted a pretty figurine in our home! But if I by doing that am pleasing the gods, so be it, I guess.

These were the earrings I finally decided to get, very pretty silver ones with turquiose stones. They weren't cheap, 269 kronor, but for real silver and Indian design it's not too bad actually. And I've already used them quite a lot, I really love them! And love is always an investment, right? Or at least a good excuse to shop ...

I did also compensate these slightly more expensive buys, with two ridiculously cheap ones: this lovely little Chinese vase I paid 5 kronor for! Hardly a Ming Dynasty vase or something, but small and pretty and easy to place. And Chinese, of course, which is reason enough for me to spend money on it.

The only problem is that I can't decide which side is the prettiest! So I think I'm gonna have to turn it around once a week, just to get both. Had there been two of them, I probably would have splashed out another 5 kronor to get around that delicate problem.

This was the other big investment: two Hello Kitty plastic toys that I bought from two little girls selling their things at a market. They were a whopping 3 kronor each! Even though I do like Hello Kitty, I'm not a collector and will probably pass these on to someone who will appreciate them more.

A very nice vintage store that we found wandering around Olivedal was Popitop, where I saw some vintage buttons I couldn't resist. Digging around a little box of them I first decided on some, then went back for seconds and thirds and so on, until I decided that I had picked out all the pretty ones. Maybe it was selfish of me, but I do believe I need them for future projects. Like these little red cherry ones!

White ornate cuties and turquiose shiny gems! Not that many of these kinds though, but I'll find the perfect way to use them to show them off the best.

Small red lovely flower buttons! These were the ones I decided on first, and I just love them. Since I bought so many I got a bit of a discount and ended up spending 130 kronor on buttons. Not exactly flea market prices, but good enough vintage ones I guess. I'm happy anyway, and can't wait to use them.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

all dressed up and going for brunch

Today after dying my hair, which was long overdue, I managed to somehow make a pretty old fashioned hairdo (in my opinion anyway), so I let that set the tone for my outfit. I really like getting all dressed up on the weekend, even if I'm not doing anything special, cos at least I will feel special. Well sometimes that is. But just a few minutes after walking outside I got such a nice compliment from a girl walking by, it really made my day! There's nothing like the kindness of a stranger to make you smile.

I'm not a big poser, and can't find a good place to stand in the flat, or a way of looking at least semi-relaxed, but nevermind. I've never claimed to be a model, have I? First time I got to use the lovely red beaded necklace I almost got for free at the country flea market earlier this summer (about 12 kronor), it went excellent with the dress, which is one of the lot of five from the basement vintage shop that mysteriously disappeared (150 kronor).

Sneak peak of the ensamble in colour. I met a friend for brunch, and he said I looked very nice and matching. I've always liked matching, I can't help it. I do believe that everything you personally like will look good on you, but in my case I've got such a lot of things that I really like it's never difficult to find something that will look particularly good with something else!

That being said, I have sort of decided to go on a shopping diet for about a month, or even longer, if I can make it. Or at least try and stay within a specific budget after the first month. It's not that I've really spent that much, and have nothing left, it's more that I feel it would be good for my character to spend less for a while. Also I got so much of stuff in the basement, and in drawers and cabinets, so I plan to start investigating a bit more, doing inventory if you will, probably find things I've forgotten, maybe sort some things out to sell or donate, and such. I'm also, once again, seriously considering buying a sewing machine, so that I can finally get around a big pile of projects that are just waiting, thereby getting new clothes for myself! I've spent most of the day, after coming back from brunch, reading this amazing blog from start to last update, and feel very inspired indeed to start getting things done. Not just reading about what other people are crafty enough to make. I've sure got an abundance of ideas and material to get started, whether or not I've got any skills to turn things out as well, is left to be seen.

Friday, 27 August 2010

to kongo and back

I've spent the last few days in this house, called Kongo (it was supposed to be shipped to the Kongo, but never left this tiny island in the outer archipelago of Stockholm). Not too shabby, not too shabby at all. But it's nice to be back home, finally getting to go to bed knowing I'm not gonna have to do it alone for that much longer.

And I do believe summer is officially over.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

gorgeous gothenburg

My first day in Gothenburg I made some nice finds, but the nicest one of all was to find Gothenburg as lovely as I ever remembered it. I go there once every year for the big national book fair in September, but unfortunately never have time to really experience the city outside the fair, except for going to some really nice restaurants in the evenings. I used to go there quite a lot in the past, since one of my best friends has lived there for a long time (and she just got married, so happy happy marriage to Hanna and Malin!). Even when I was little, and we went there with my cousins who live in the same part of Sweden (the west coast), I loved it and actually thought Gothenburg was cooler than Stockholm. I'm not sure I'd like to live there full time, but I'll definitely try and visit more often, besides going to the book fair.

A for me "new" part of the city was the first place I went, cos I'd read about it and driving past it in cabs to the hotel last year I suspected it'd be just my cup of tea. It sure was! Or rather a perfect cup of coffee, that I got from Da Matteo, a coffee shop and coffee supplier I'm pretty sure have the best coffee in Gothenburg. The area is one or two blocks where Vallgatan meets Magasinsgatan, where there are lovely shops every which direction you look. Prickig Katt I've already told you briefly about, and will get back to that in another post, cos I've got a lot of awesome pics from the store. A vintage shop I really liked was Pop Boutique, where I found this pretty dress for 300 kronor. I know it's not really expensive, but I'm always a bit hesitant paying that much for vintage if isn't mint condition, and I also have to fix it. This was mint indeed though, doesn't even look worn. It looks 40's, but is more likely 80's, from Spain. It's a little bit big, but nothing I can't fix, and with a belt this shape might work anyway actually. The fabric is quite warm, not sure what it is, but it'll be a perfect autumn favorite!

Gothenburg is known for it's excellent shoe stores, at least to me. Right now all stores had sales, but seeing it's being the end of summer I thought it didn't make much sense to buy more summer shoes. Sometimes I can be sensible too. No, really, I can. Except that white shoes might not be that incredibly sensible with the kind of autumn weather we usually get here, but there were only white left in my size, and they're so incredibly adorable I couldn't leave without these Vagabond brogue-mary-jane-wedges! Especially since I've discovered this summer that my feet actually like wedges, and I've used to be a flat shoe girl for as long as I can remember. Mostly cos I've thought my feet couldn't take heels, but apparently I've been wrong all these years. All the more reason to make up for it now, and these were on sale for 420 kronor, which is an okay price for quality shoes (I keep telling myself ...). Not exactly Mr Price, but hopefully they'll last longer, if I can remember to buy white shoe polish, and use it. And hope for a lot of sunny autumn days!

The cheapest buy of the day were these little hairpin gingham flowers from Indiska, two for 25 kronor. Very cute indeed. Did you notice how well all these things will go together? I actually just realised this now, looking forward to trying it out one of these days when autumn creeps closer. Maybe I can wear it at the book fair? Go all Gothenburg when in Gothenburg. Makes sense.

Now I'm off to the archipelago for a work conference for a few days, it'll be so nice to leave the city for a bit. As of yesterday everyone's definitely back for school and work, and the streets are so incredibly crowded by people and bikes and cars and stupid skateboarders I almost had a fit walking to and from work yesterday! Not to mention how many times people bumped into me without apologising, in true Stockholm Style, and bikers refusing to consider anyone but themselves in traffic, and cars not stopping when they should ... It's exhausting I tell you! So what better to cure that than to go off into the wilderness, where things will be too quiet for sure, and I'll miss the hectic pace of the city again. I'm weird, yes I am. But what can you do?

Monday, 23 August 2010

tiny pencil letter art

This is by far one of the most perfect pictures I've seen in a long time! This is miniature art at its very best, made by American carpenter Dalton Ghetti. Apparently he's been doing this incredible handiwork for 25 years, and this piece alone with the alphabet pens took about 2,5 years, and he doesn't use a magnifying glass! I'm so mighty impressed I'm at a loss for words. I wish I could buy these pens in a frame, and I would never stop looking at them, just being mesmerized by their incredible beauty. Unfortunately Mr Ghetti has of yet never sold anything, just given things away to friends. So I guess I have to become his friend then, if that's what it takes.

I really love art that looks deceivingly simple at first glance, but at a closer look reveals complete magic in the well crafted details. I love being surprised, and I very much love when someone thinks about me finding something like this, knows I'm gonna like it and sends me a link. That's why I married the someone who sent this to me. Read more about the genius carver here.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

best bargain dress of the summer

This is the amazing antique shop in Ystad I've talked about before, Hemlängtan (Homesickness). I really wanted to take some pictures inside too, but it was pretty crowded when I was there so that didn't go according to plan. I meant to go back at another time, but never got around to it. Oh, well, I'll do it next time. Since it was so busy (which is a good thing for the owners of course!), I didn't really stay that long to check things out either, hence didn't buy anything. I did also feel like I shouldn't buy anymore brooches for a while, at least not until I've used all of the ones I already have, twice. When I have done so, Hemlängtan is definitely the place to go to find some more.

I felt quite excited going down to the Saturday market on one of the town squares in Ystad. It took a bit of an effort to find any potentials, but I quite like the hunt. It's a bit more excruciating though, when it's just regular people selling their old stuff really, and some of them clearly had no idea how to price things (which meant overpricing like crazy). When I say excruciating I mean it can feel a bit embarrassing sometimes, when the things people are selling are just junk, and I just look at the table for 5 seconds. That's why I try to walk up to tables when someone else is going too ... Anyways, I spotted a corner of this lovely fabric on a clothes hanger, and as I pulled it out to find it was a lovely dress my heart started to race!

This elderly very nice lady told me it used to belong to a friend of hers, and that I could get it for 40 kronor. My heart raced even more! I didn't really want to try it on in the middle of the town square, but thought it would fit fairly well, and for that price it didn't really matter that much.

It turned out to fit me perfectly and I couldn't be happier with it, I think it's incredibly pretty! I have no idea when it's from, it's got 40's lines I think, but I doubt elastic waistbands were that common back then (which I could be wrong about too though). It's only got a little tag saying the fabric is polyester and cotton, which would be a giveaway it's maybe 70's, early 80's? Nevermind, it's gorgeous!

From a very talkative and persuasive German woman I also bought an Indian old bracelet at the market. It didn't fit me very well, and I doubt it's real silver, but the parts are really nice and I thought I might take it apart and do something else with them. Not sure what though. Any ideas? I love the elephants and little stars.

What I liked the most with the bracelet was the hamsa hand though, that hangs loose on a little chain. It's got such an intricate design for such a small piece of jewellery. I paid 25 kronor for it, and even if I only make a necklace with the hamsa hand I think it's worth it.

Just before leaving Ystad, I got this lovely piece of red and white gingham fabric from my dad's wife: perfection! Not sure what it'll be enough for, but if nothing else I'll use it as a table cloth, which is plenty. It might make a vest, or short sleeved blouse, maybe using some vintage buttons I got in Gothenburg. Oh, that would be even more perfection!

This iron cast reptile I simply could not resist when I found it, for 69 kronor. So cute! And in all honesty, I didn't get any lizards for quite a long time now, unless I'm mistaking. I've mostly been owl crazy, and I certainly don't want the lizzies to feel left out from my life. That would just be plain rude.

Friday, 20 August 2010

i heart durban designers

In case anyone was wondering if I've forgotten about Durban since I'm back up north, I'll let you all know of course I haven't! Not only because my husband is still there at the moment (but shall soon be joining me in the northern hemisphere), but also because I love Durban lots and lots! There are a lot of things I miss, but I shall not get into that or I'll get all misty eyed here. Instead I'll promote the wonderful little market called I heart market, taking place in 2 weeks, not at it's usual place (although it seems to be moving around quite a lot lately ...), but downtown. Check out their blog for details.

I'm completely in love with this poster! They usually make really nice posters, but this one is the best so far without a doubt. It would be such a great thing to have an edition of the I heart market here in Stockholm, I'm sure my fellow swedes would love the Durban designers as much as I do. The downside would obviously be that I wouldn't be alone wearing it here though ... I guess I could live with that. Before that happens I urge everyone closeby to Durban to get down there and enjoy the pretty things instead of me!

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

kabusa vintage house

What I like the most about driving around anywhere (or rather being driven around by someone with a car and a license), is finding places along the way to where you are going, and having the time to stop and check it out. That's how I found the very nice place Kabusa Vintage House outside of Ystad in the southern part of Sweden. It's an old barn that's been fixed up and now holds a huge vintage store, and an apartment on top of it where the owners live.

I'll admit I got a bit dizzy walking down these stairs, seeing how big it was, and how great everything looked. I do love the chaotic fleamarket thing a lot, but big spacey areas like these, where everything is in a well thought out place, I might even love more. Well, I guess it also depends on the circumstances.

I don't mean to be blasphemous, but it really looked like a vintage church, and I'm not just talking about the cross in the window. Even though I'm not religious, I have a great respect for churches and tend to tip on my toes and whisper while in them. I think that was pretty much what I did here.

Obviously I wasn't looking for furniture, but I had to walk around and look at everything anyway, and if anyone is actually looking for some good 50's and 60's stuff, I can highly recommend this place. It's not exactly cheap, but compared to most Stockholm vintage stores I really thought most things were priced very reasonably. In the sense that pretty much all the furniture and interior design items were in excellent shape.

They had a little café corner too, but since we just came from lunch we didn't try it out. That room was just brilliant though, I loved everything about it. If I ever get to live in an old barn, I'm gonna go for this style for sure. I'd actually very much love to have a little café/bar corner, with a giant naked lady on the wall above it.

Very cool old movie poster in three parts from a Swedish film from 1936.

I guess this is the stairs up to the apartment where the owner lives.

A huge Gone with the wind-inspired painting (my guess anyway). And gorgeous high ceiling.

The clothing selection was small but felt handpicked and very nice, with varied prices. Fortunately for my wallet most things were in tiny sizes.

They also had a rack of men's jackets, and a lot of shoes, bags and accessories. Surprisingly enough I focused on the dresses though.

This was the first thing I saw when I walked in: a completely stunning 50's dress in mint condition, like it's never been worn. I love love love it! It didn't even cost that much, considering what kind of dress it is, just 349 kronor. BUT I'm not that small anymore, and have sort of promised myself not to buy things I wish I'll be able to wear one day, when I've magically lost some weight. That won't make anyone happy, and this dress deserves to make some smaller girl happy. I hope it already did, I'd hate to think it's still just hanging there, all alone, looking so pretty.

When I was handed this wonderful dress, I didn't feel so bad about the other one, actually not one bit! Who could not be happy seeing this creation? A very simple 50's or early 60's housewife aprondress, in the most adorable pink and red cotton fabric.

The buttons look like strawberry candy!

And I love the pockets too. It has a little rip by the last button, which made me do something I rarely do: haggle down the price. So I got it for 200 kronor instead of 250, and I think I can mend the rip fairly easily. It looks a little sunfaded, but I don't mind that at all. I like imagining the woman who wore it in the 50's, maybe using it all summer hanging laundry outside, or working in the garden, and sipping lemonade with her lady friends on the patio. Because obviously that's all women did in the 50's!

Anyways, I definitely want to go back to Kabusa Vintage House next time I'm visiting the south. If you however are closer than me, they have a sale going on right now, so don't wait to get there.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

come dine with me

I'm back home in Stockholm and trying to sort out the hundreds of pics I took over the past couple of weeks on my little vacation trip, but don't really know where to start and how to sort it. I might actually start another blog to show off this one thing I started to document in Ystad, first just for fun, but then it turned into an obsession and I ended up with more than 100 pictures! Not gonna tell you about it until I've decided what to make of it, but I feel inspired to continue with it in other cities as well. Meanwhile, here's a few pics of the finds I've made along the way. A little wicker basket I spotted in a window and just instantly knew I had to get!

Because this is what it contains! How cute is this?! I thought I'd give it to my lovely niece, aged 3,5 years, but maybe keep it at home for her to play with when she visists. Is that selfish? I remember that me and my brothers had toys and stuff at our grandparents places when we were kids, and since we only got to play with them when we were there, at least I appreciated them a lot. We'll see what happens.

Anyone who's up for very tiny cup of tea is welcome to stop by anytime!

Ystad has a nice array of little shops, and one of my favorites is the Asian one, that I forgot what's it's called right now. It's on the main street though, so won't be too difficult to find should you want to look for it. Ystad is almost as tiny a city as the picnic set, and you can walk through it in about 10 minutes, unless the main street is too crowded by tourists, which is quite common in the summer time. The Asian store had a sale, but since I was trying my very best to travel a bit light I tried to not look too closely on the bigger things, and just got another Japanese Kokeshi wood doll, that came in a beautiful little light blue box.

I'm gonna put it with the other two of course, and I think it will look really great in both size and colour with them. I'm trying to decide whether or not I should cut my bangs shorter again, now it's too long to wear down anyway, and seeing my Kokeshis make me want to do it sooner rather than later. The big problem is that I'm sort of in between hair dressers at the moment, which is very annoying and concerning, and a little bit disturbing that it is just that. The ridiculous anxieties of everyday life I bring upon myself! I could just get scissors and do it myself, I've done it before.

Finally a sneak peak of one of the best finds during the trip: a lovely vintage dress I got at the Saturday morning fleamarket in Ystad for 40 kronor by a very nice lady. I haven't had time or the right lighting to take a pic of it in full, but be sure it'll come eventually. There's a big pile of other finds I need to document and post! But the nights are getting darker, and I don't like using flash so it might have to wait until this weekend. Unless I get up super early in the morning I guess, which isn't likely to happen anytime soon: the snooze function is my best friend (and is wearing out my cell phone battery ...).

Thursday, 12 August 2010

way out west: polkadot cat

I've moved on to the Swedish west coast, more specifically Gothenburg. I've loved this city since I was little, and I go here once a year for the biggest book fair in Sweden, but I haven't visited just for the fun of it for years now. I realise I've missed it quite a lot, and a lot of things have changed. Some for the better, some for the worse. The best thing so far has been finding this amazing vintage store, Prickig Katt (Polkadot Cat), a store where I simply wanted to move in! I will post more pictures later, and I'm also gonna go back one more time before I head back home on Sunday. I've made some really nice buys so far, but trying hard not to spend everything at once. Tonight the festival starts, and if all goes well I'm gonna see Villagers and The Low Anthem. The thing is that they play quite small clubs, and the risk of not getting in is apparent. I will however persist.

Tomorrow I'm gonna be in heaven at 18.50, when The National will take the stage. I'm almost shivering with excitement. Not even finding an amazing dress for free can measure up to that!

Saturday, 7 August 2010

vacation, or shopping elsewhere

In case anyone's wondering, I'm on vacation, taking a little tour to family and friends in the southern parts of Sweden. So far it's been both busy and relaxing, and to tell you the truth I'm not really a lying-around-in-a-hammock-doing-nothing kind of girl anyway. I like visiting, seeing people I don't get to see that often, and other than that pretty much do the same things I would normally do. Right now I'm on the southern tip of Sweden, in Ystad, where my father lives with his wife and my youngest brother. I've mentioned the party I'm going to, and that will take place tonight in this beautiful old water tower, that's now rebuilt into apartments. Very much looking forward to it, and since it starts in two and a half hour, I'm gonna start getting dolled up in a little bit. I've taken loads of pictures, suddenly developed an obsession with nice old wooden doors the other day, you'll find them here eventually, and might think I've gone a bit mad. Could be. Also made some excellent finds, that I didn't have time to take pictures of yet, since I was busy photographing doors. But I'm particularly happy about most things actually, as it should be.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

polyester dream

Waiting for the Pride parade to begin yesterday, I popped into Humana again, since I happened to walk by and saw they had a sale. Tried on a couple of dresses, and fell in love with a red polyester 60's dream that fit me like a glove. Half price: 85 kronor! Not bad at all. Thought about wearing it to the party next weekend, but I think it'll be too hot. I love the sleeves so much, they're just perfect.

And the neckline is just as wonderful. All these details sort of adds to a regal look, even though these days I doubt a polyester dress would be suitable for a royal wedding. Lucky I'm not royal then, and can wear what I want!

I haven't decided if I should shorten it or not, I'm leaning towards keeping it as it is actually, cos I don't have that many full length dresses, and you never know when you might need one. I do have a very specific party in mind for it, but we'll see about that.

Last week I rediscovered this little belt, when I was looking for one to go with the new Beyond Retro dress. They looked very nice together indeed. But the cute 60's belt also has a dress of it's own, a project I never got around to yet cos it needs a little bit more than usual. I might show you later. It's definitely a project I need a sewing machine for anyway, and it could turn out very nicely so I guess I shouldn't postpone it forever.

The other night I looked outside and noticed that the sky had the exact same pink colour as the house opposite mine. Had to snap a picture of it, cos it looked so pretty. I'll sure miss the bright summer nights once they're over for this year. But by then hopefully other things that I miss like crazy will be much closer to me, and nights getting darker won't seem so bad after all.