Tuesday, November 30, 2010

tuesday moo and gifts that keep on giving


Had a brilliant weekend (it was darn cold, but also a reasonable amount of sun which made it so so pretty), which I had planned to show glimpses of in a photo cavalcade today. But as I'm too tired for that I'll just say that I'm most pleased with the MOO cards that arrived in the mail today - well apart from 20% of the business cards that had a crap finish, which wasn't my fault. let's see what the MOO guys have to say about that... - let the Christmas card-writing begin!

Which is pretty much the only thing I'm fussy about when it comes to this time of the year -

the older I get, the less I enjoy Christmas, at least the commercialized consumeristic overindulgent meat-eating alcohol soaked state too many people spend it in. It's just such an incredibly tiresome part of the year I think. Because even if you're free to spend it anyway you like, one can't completely (unless living on a deserted island) escape the whole hullabaloo everywhere.

As I've probably mentioned before, we've long since stopped exchanging Christmas gifts in the family (if one doesn't feel like giving magic socks and such handmade things of course). Sometimes there's some small token of appreciation to friends. But other than that. No unnecessary shopping of gifts for us.

This year I've discovered the most perfect of gifts over at Action Aid though. Gifts to help people, especially women and girls who usually are the ones most in need of help, create better lives for themselves and their families. Now I'm looking at goats, beehives, chickens and trying to decide on what gifts will do most good. Gifts that keep on giving, they're truly the best!

If in Sweden you'll find gifts against poverty here, but I'm sure this is available in most countries. I also very much recommend becoming a sponsor for one or more orphan children in countries that perhaps are not as well-developed as your own. Myself I've been sponsoring a little girl in South-Africa for some years now. I hope that she'll grow up to become a good human being that will make a positive difference in this world

and baking lussekatter of course. When ordering the Christmas cards I like to get a mix of the year that was. So now I'm looking at my new cards and taking a wee stroll down a short memory lane. Spring, summer, autumn, winter, a year.


Monday, November 29, 2010

woolly bowl of sweets


This may not be everything a gal needs, but it sure helps. A generous amount of magic yarn - I hadn't been to my favourite yarn shop for many months and I fear I may have gone a bit mad of yarn lust recently... But if there are some things I refuse to feel guilt (at least in theory) about shopping, it's books and yarn. Period - and a bowl of M&M's.

They may not be as healthy as carrots, but they sure are health for the soul. And a handful of sweet peanutty M&M's goes a long long way. As do many skeins of yarn.

And kind, caring and warm comments and emails. Thank you kindly for all those. They are truly treasured and amazing. Just so you really know, you who took your time to put thoughts in writing and push the send button. Appreciation lots. I'm sharing this bowl of M&M's with you, in thoughts.

So may this week be a good one.
A much, much, much better one than last week.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

the cat's day

IMG_0144 copy

Today, the first of Advent - I hope you're having a lovely one - and coincidentally one loaf dog extraordinaire's name day - the Swedish calendar screams Malte, Malte, Malte on this day of November 28. For that he got a bacon dog-chew - it is the Cat's Day in Sweden.

Instated in 1983 (by SVERAK - Sweden's Catclubs' Association) this is the day to acknowledge the perfect being that is spelled c-a-t, educating, promoting good cat keeping - every cat knows that every day is cat's day, but sadly far from every human do. Only in Stockholm there are many tens of thousands of homeless cats faring badly in harsh living conditions. Especially now, in this grim winter weather... -

and for us cat-lovers simply celebrate that we are so fortunate and blessed with the cats in our lives. Past, present and future.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

stockholm winter snaps and thoughts to match

en dag då stockholmslivet är som en psykedelisk tavla

The Stockholm week that was really went from one of those all time gloom - inside out - but ended on a brighter note. But I have to say, that with certain stupid things in my life I'm forced (like not forced with a gun to my head, but still forced due to circumstances) to endure and work with, the gloom that's got a hold of my heart just grows. So with every thing that's good and great in my life, the glumness still mill around, in the background, hover, ready to strike in full force.


For every day, for every week, for every month I'm trying to work things out, to get where I want, to actually using my potential, in new and old ways, just catching glimpses of possibilities, that so far end up leading nowhere, cul-de-sac, my spirit (which I'm proud to call mine) grows weary. What to do.

stockholm winter

stockholm winter

And I know, this misery, melancholy keeps coming up to blog surface more and more. How awful, how disheartening, how very, very wrong. Because if I could get where I want and out of this so very much non self-inflicted situation, the more good I could do for others. So this life, like it is, breaks one's heart in many different ways.


And through all this blues and sombreness, Stockholm remains beautiful, cold and indifferent. Like cities do.


Friday, November 26, 2010

pig in snow


The cultural pig (by Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd) is now covered in snow - that white thing has been around for nearly a week (with as usual a ridiculous amount of problems and delays in the public transportation system, because still after all these years they haven't realized and planned for what Swedish winters are and might be...) and it doesn't look like it's about to melt anytime soon -

a weathery fact that doesn't seem to bother him. Being all smiley still. And well, after all, he's one of those lucky pigs whose deadline in life isn't coming up sometime very soon...


Thursday, November 25, 2010

wooden swan earrings


I do believe these earrings fall into the category of rather swoonworthy. Hand carved wooden swan earrings in a style that's apparently called Sankofa. Which in a West-African language means "go back and take". To learn from past experiences and go forward in life.


Such a creative idea and a gorgeous result. The stretched look is very appealing I think, but I wouldn't dream of stretching my ears for real of course, thus these nifty earrings are actually made in two pieces which are separated by a post so you just use them as any other post earrings.

With all the woolly caps and hats this time of the Swedish year wearing big statement earpieces is pretty much out of the question. But come lighter, brighter, warmer, no hat wearing days I will be very happy with these I'm sure.


Found on Etsy. Of course. Tribal Style's shop is brimming with pretty earrings, necklaces and such made from recycled natural materials like wood, coconut and bone.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

granny square winter garland


So there, another granny square garland has made it to the finish line (yeah for yet another finished project!). This time a winter version - pretty similiar to the granny square summer garland but with other colours, the more Christmassy kind - that will adorn... well that I haven't quite decided just yet. Thinking the living room window, but we'll see.


It was a nasty windy day today, not very cold per se (-5C) but the harsh winds made it so so much worse. So one might say I really very much risked my life taking these pictures. I think one might even say I'm up there with the Arctic explorers and the likes.


Because that's what those few steps out into the wintry garden felt like. And what was once a carefully put together garland with no knots and mess quickly turned into just that. A complete tangle.


Good thing I got a helping loaf, with lots of helping paws. We managed to entangle the mess again later. Or well, loaf being a spectator, encouraging me to get on with it so he could get a well-deserved spectator snack. Which, as always, naturally was an immense help.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

carrot juice


Strangely, me being gifted/cursed with the carrot defect, I'm no fan, have never been, of carrot in the shape of juice. Seems such a waste of good veggie. I thought I'd give it another go when we got all those pretty boxes from Kiviks Musteri. But sadly no, not for me. There's something musty, unpleasing with the carrot flavour in a juice (at least as the major ingredient) that's not the case when eating carrots as... well, carrots as are.

But it is a most perky looking drink. (Just what one need when the weather is as horrid as it has been for many days now, where is the sun hiding?) And I'm sure it's good for you. Just not very good in flavour. No good for me.


Monday, November 22, 2010

snow boy


When I woke up this morning the ground was once again covered in snow. A few hours later the wind came blowing and then the snow began to fall slowly, gracefully, prettily. More and more snow came, it became slush and now I fear tomorrow might bring the nastiness of ice (my hands down least favourite winter feature).

But for today, a few hours my world was simple, white, clean pretty in snow. Add the loaf to picture.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

by winter candlelight


Despite snow (in constant on-off mode) the days are glum, dark and dreary (and no this is not just an within thing). Just today I saw that in a month there'll be Winter solstice and from then on everything will get lighter and brighter by the day (of course). So just some weeks to go now.

But there's one pleasant thing to be much enjoyed (amongst other pleasantries) this time of the year. The doing things by candlelight (the cat-safe way). Or just the being by candlelight. It's sadly now been many years since the last time we did the dipping of our own candles (I mostly use tea-candles these days. And of course scented candles). It was so much fun, so satisfying, and the smell of stearine, mmm... But now I do feel an distinct urge to try and make than happen again. Soon. Apart from the satisfying fun, the quality and burn time were much more pleasing too.

Do you make your own candles?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

crochet project details


Ever so slowly one of the woolly projects I begun making in September 2009 is heading towards the finish line. These happy looking mini-circles will adorn the soon-to-be-finished projects. Not quite as the pattern said, but of course in a much much prettier way.

Oh this has been such a time-consuming finical work, though I'm certain I will be quite proud and happy with achievement when I secure that very last yarn end... And guaranteed to be the only living scarf (well of course, what else could it be, scarfoholic me...) like this in Stockholm, Sweden, yup, dare I say the world. Just the way I like it.

Friday, November 19, 2010

lego boxes


I won't be using these oversized Lego bricks as the lunch boxes they're meant to be, but as trinket boxes (can't have too many of those...). Their design makes me very happy. Wish they came in more colours and reasonable sizes. But for now, one baby blue, one pink.

I did play with Lego when I was a kid too. My father totally enjoyed it too, although his skills in designing fancy houses far surpassed mine and somehow demolish them wasn't on the little-Pia-agenda and my interest for Lego petered.

When in Berlin past summer I visited a friend whose little boy - I'm not easily charmed, but he was really one of the quirky sweetest children I've ever met, a much loved well-behaved 4 year old, full of character and fascinating thoughts - who had so much fun with Lego. As we played I realized I could get really absorbed by all the possibilities with these creative plastic boxes in different sizes... But no, I think I'll just stick with a couple of happy looking trinket boxes that make me smile. The grown up Lego style.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

new dwellings


New cardboard boxes are always a huge hit. Kiviks Musteri ones are not only good for carrying those delightful fruit juices and jams, they are even better for someone looking for new dwellings. The desirable boxy life.


With reasonably tolerable neighbours. Where there once was one box to fight about, there are now twin apartments. Not quite like super-box, but more than suffice still.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

the beginning of a frog


I couldn't resist the yarn no more. And what better way to start try working the sore thumb again than by very small steps. Like creating a little green frog. It was much easier to get the amigurumi hang than I had thought, so after having finished the head (above) I had to firmly tell my self not to crochet overdo it.

I have since also made a couple of eyelids and half a froggy body. It's fast and it's fun. Though I'm still having trouble seeing how these parts will become one most perky frog named Evert (yes I thought that would be a nifty name for a quirky kind of frog) when all of them have been stuffed and sewn together.

And creating something like this from a pattern is one thing, I'm in so much awe of the people who just free-form amigurumi-ing. That seems an awful long way to go... Yes I may be a fantastic procrastinator but I'm also quite an impatient nature.

Now, there'll be hand and thumb rest. Possibly with a mug of the world's best hot cocoa. Small step for amigurumi mankind, big steps for sore-thumb-amigurumi-beginner-kind. And one day soon, the cats and the dog will be joined by a frog named Evert.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

kiviks musteri


Kiviks Musteri
(musteri ~ cider factory) is a family owned Swedish company specializing in making fruit juices, jams, creams, ciders. The company is firmly situated in the southeast of Sweden, in the gorgeous (my favourite) province of Skåne (Scania), in the apple kingdom of Kivik. The company's first apple trees were planted in 1888 and current owners are the forth generation running the company.


To me this sounds like one of those (too few) perfect companies. One I would have loved to be born into actually. That said without me knowing how the company's atmosphere is, how they treat their employees, exactly how good they are at CSR and so forth (as what's stated on a website and how things actually work may be two different matters).


But just the notion of working with local produce, fruit and berries, making a difference in one's own community, act locally think globally sounds so. very. very. very good. Surrounded by row upon row upon row of apple orchards and beautiful countryside.


Today the company also incorporates a wine company and a wine, restaurant and conference castle - Kronovall. (Which in an ideal world would of course serve vegetarian and vegan food only...)


Another thing I love about Kiviks products is the packaging. It's so pretty and pleasing to the eye, the colour combinations are most perky foreboding the uplifting feeling one will get drinking the fruity goodness inside.

And no, I most certainly don't enjoy their every product, some are too sweet for my liking, others too bland. But then there's pure loveliness hiding in some of these bottles, packages and jars, fruit combinations to please most palates. Apart from apples, flavours like rhubarb-raspberry, sea buckthorn, elderflower, carrot, flowering quince, blueberry, cranberry, pomegranate, wild strawberry...

Are there any companies you think stand for something extra appealing?


Want to read and see more about the province of Skåne (Scania)? Then click on the label "Scania" below.

Monday, November 15, 2010

i met moomin

i met moomin

It's far from often one stumbles over a literary character out an about strolling the streets. I met Moomin a while ago (not in Stockholm). Very surprised. Apparently he enjoys cheese. Go figure. Cheese may indeed be Moomin party. Unfortunately I wasn't wearing my party perky Moomin-dress.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

randomness from the week that was

:: I have all sorts of things I'd like to say, write, share, but it has been a busy week, in weather as in work, in mind as in heart. So the pieces I've written this past week have been short (but I hope still a tad sweet). And the blog posts back log keep a growing...

:: Sadly I don't feel any closer to a good solution of the thing(s) that's troubling me still, the askew piece of the life puzzle. Which makes me feel I'm living my life in limbo. Some days are acceptable, some days are great, some days are fine, but the next day, the next hour things feel suffocating, unacceptable, ridiculous, maddeningly wrong as they are.

:: I did have a couple of job interviews this past week. Both jobs sounded rather nice, but I don't like to get my hopes up, since I'm far too versed in these matters now. The one interview was a bit like having a nice chat with an uncle, I thought the questions and thoughts that came up were a tad unusual and the more I thought about it later the more I got the feeling that the guy probably didn't take me seriously.

:: Which is, needless to say, both exhausting and exasperating. In fact I'd go as far as to say I'm completely dumbstruck as to why even bother to call me late in the afternoon being very eager to see me next morning wanting to know if I could start right away and then not being all that interested in my skills and qualities anyway.

:: I'm more than sick and tired to seemingly not being taken seriously - especially by men of a certain age actually - and I feel trapped (and not in a lovely yarn) in a sticky web that only offers glimpses of what could be, but never let me really get out of this entanglement.

:: The thing that one day seems like, all things considered in current situation, a reasonably good idea (persuade myself to think positive, think positive), the next day, after a night's sleep and a good think-through not at all that good. I can see that me doing this, me doing that can add value for this person, that organisation and so forth, but where's the value for me? What do I get out of it? It's energy guzzling, heartbreaking to constantly having to think like this, to not being able to put my skills and energy to use in a more productive and true way.

:: The sore thumb, wrist is feeling better. I have yet to dare try my luck with needles, hook and yarn again though... Oh how I want to finish some projects and oh how I want to begin that froggy one!

:: I've decided that my perfect amount of people/organisations I follow on Twitter will keep around 300. I have no idea why certain/many tweeps follow thousands upon thousands of people/organisations, not even if you had tweeting as a full-time job would you be able to keep up, interact, be personal on a regular basis with the majority of them. And that interaction, informative and also personal touch is what I like with Twitter.

Yes, I admit I have changed my mind about Twitter, compared to that post in summer of 2009...

As most always I want quality not quantity in my life, to follow such tweeps or be followed by them is completely uninteresting (well, perhaps not of it happened to be Sean Connery. Or Nelson Mandela. And I've just discovered that Grand Designs' Kevin McCloud has a Twitter-account...).

:: I most certainly haven't forgotten the blogoversary give-away (the deadline I've set is to send it before the end of the year). Just so you know. Your postcards, bookmarks, favourite-colour-surprise are all waiting to be sent/made one of these weeks.

:: And even if my unread items in the Google reader is piling up in a terrible pace, I don't really have the heart to push the "marked all as read" button on every blog in that feed. I will pop around for a comment here and there in due time.

:: If you'd like to see/read glimpses of the past week of undersigned then head over to shoe per diem and read about

Tuesday - inauguration of the red boots and the most cute meet with Molly
Wednesday - the apple heart (also mentioned here)
Thursday - floating
Friday - red shoes meet
Saturday - red in red
Sunday - which happened to be Father's day in Sweden. One of those days I don't celebrate per se, the post I wrote about my father a few years ago can be found here.

:: Last, but not least, I have also been working on a new I'm-looking-for-a-job-website, in Swedish only for now but in English to come. Yes simple but at least it shows what I'm looking for job-wise and what I'm (in few words) offering competence-wise. Website can be found at piaktw.se -

och ja, du som har seriösa funderingar, tankar kring, erbjudanden om jobb, uppdrag, projekt efter att ha tittat in där, hör gärna av dig.

:: Also this blog, yes the one that you're reading right now, can also be found via this web address now worldaccordingtopia.se . Not that it matters all that much, but after being a reliable ally through all these years I thought it kind of deserved its own domain. The usual piaks.blogspot.com still works perfectly well too. That's what happened to a couple of the domains I booked a while back. Baby steps for many. But hopefully at least small steps in the right direction for me and my life. Because that I need. Very much.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

mr liquorice nose


This is the colour and November version of Mr Liquorice Nose.

And his charming underbite. The one that eventually disqualified him from dog shows (and which his breeder refused to acknowledge). Which was just as well as I don't think I could have stand the dog-show hullabaloo after all those years of the cat-show counterpart.

I, we, are just so fortunate to have such a gem of a perky, quirky, charming loaf dog extraordinaire in our life, dog show awards or not.

If you want to see the oh so true (really) story about the mad dog show world I wholeheartedly recommend one of the best and funniest movies I've ever seen (and love) - Best in Show.

Friday, November 12, 2010

heart animal lover scarf


Another scarf one couldn't resist - in the same raw edges unisex jersey style as the lovely chrysanthemum scarf and the autumnal acorn piece - the printed heart actually consists of different animal groups like a skulk of foxes, a troubling of goldfish, a romp of otters. So imaginative and most of the collective names I've never heard of before (and it certainly makes the Swedish language seems strangely tame, washy and dull). A wedge of swans, a streak of tigers, an army of caterpillars. What a lovely, lovely idea this print is!

Though admittedly I'd love it even more if the print was all over the scarf, instead of only in that one big heart. Because when wearing the scarf the text wrinkles and doesn't show as well as one would like... Since I want the parliament of owls, the peep of chickens, the flamboyance of flamingos to shine and be obvious.


Go get your own heart animal piece at Xenotees on Etsy,
there are T-shirts too
(and yes other prints other than this fine one).


Thursday, November 11, 2010

the office toilet entertainment

the office toilet entertainment

At the office the toilet art is rather unusual. Old black-white journalistic photos from a (mostly Swedish) political era that once was (and as far as the royal family goes unfortunately still is one might add).

Great captures - and much better in quality than my crappy lighting iPhone snap makes of them - and quite entertaining to look at, reflect about while doing the thing/s one do at the loo.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

heart apple after snowstorm


Even in/after the nastiest of Swedish weather it's good to know that you can rely on your fruit and veggies. These heart apples (rescued when a neighbour trimmed his apple tree) will end up on an apple-cake soon. But for now they are simply pretty in snow. And have even been immortalized in shoe per diem. Heart apples.

shoe per diem nov 10, 2010

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

mad men me according to m & m

After having so much fun in creating the imaginary Mad Men me yesterday, I thought it would be fun to get M - who gnarled at the idea in that way only grumpy old men gnarl about such matters - Man Men his notion of me and himself.

madmen me according to m

So this is apparently what I should look like from his point of view. Fine by me. (And lucky him that I think so.)

madmen m

He on the other hand sees himself like this. Which I kind of disagreed with while he was doing it. But I see is totally accurate when all the components were put together. He was most pleased with the accessories newspaper and whisky.

Mad Men Yourself here.

Monday, November 08, 2010

mad men me

I have to admit, I've only watched some selected episodes here and there of "Mad Men". And although I love the well captured (I'd imagine) ambiance and style of that time I can't say the series have striked that certain favourite-tv-show-cord in me.


However, I totally loved to Mad Men myself - and this is definitely what I'd look like if I'd been a part of the there and then of "Mad Men". (Although I'd want a larger handbag and I'm guessing El Naturalista shoes would be a definite no-no here?)

Now go Mad Men Yourself, it's a lovely little silly escapism.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

weekend snaps

Even if the cows that aren't cows were the high-light of the weekend that was, admittedly we enjoyed a few other sights and such too.

Like the ghostly forest
The off-season beach
winter afternoon
A few hours of pale winter sun over a clear and still lake
A pretty barn in the rural Stockholm suburbs
bro hof castle
The castle with its off season luxury golf course
bro hof
afternoon tea
Afternoon tea at Tant Gredelin -
far from the best I've had, but still such a lovely place...
candlelight holders
Many a yearn-worthy things in a nearby shop.
But no need, no room, no musts
instead there were miniature yarn.
And a fine winter sunset
winter sunset
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