March, and still no sign of spring!

March 17th, 2018 by

This winter we have had a record breaking amount of snow. I can’t remember that we have had a winter like this before. In November and December we got loads of snow and then a couple of thaws. After Christmas it has been cold weather and almost constant snowing. No thawing at all! At least we have had some nice days lately with sunshine and some dripping from the roof in mid days. There are so much snow on the roof now and it’s heavy!

As usual this time of year I have started to sow. My tomato plants are about 6 inches tall and a bunch of flower seedlings needs to be replanted. Of course, I didn’t remember to bring some smaller pots in from the greenhouse before winter. Oh my! I really need them!

It was hard work to dig through all the snow to get to the greenhouse! I measured the snow depth and it’s about one meter of snow on the ground!

It’s hard to believe that I am moving my plants in to the greenhouse in about five to six weeks from now.

This is a picture from today and a picture from last year, two weeks earlier than now.

 

/Monica

Now the comments work again

February 24th, 2018 by

Sorry, a recent update broke the comment section. This is fixed now.

/Monica

In memory of my Mother

February 18th, 2018 by

 

This is my beloved Mother. She passed away the 5th of August 2017. We knew that her end of life wasn’t that far away because of her illness, but we were not prepared that her death would come so suddenly. But who can be prepared for this anyway?

My Mother loved to paint and she was a real artist, but she very seldom wanted to show off her art. She kept all her paintings in huge stacks in her painting workshop. Even when she got sick she continued to paint and she kept painting until the end of her life.

She also lowed needle work and knitting and were very productive during her life. Now I have several big boxes full of the most beautiful tablecloths and table runners that she has made.

After her death I gathered all the paintings she had made and brought them home so I could take a photo of each and every one. It took so many hours of work to digitize them and to adjust the colours so they would look as near the original painting as possible.

I hope you will enjoy her paintings as much as we do.

Monica

Watercolours

February 18th, 2018 by

Most of the time my Mum painted pictures from the nature around their summer cottage. She loved to stay there and they spent much time there even during winters. The deep woods and the marshlands inspired her.

There are more than 200 watercolour paintings. I have grouped them by size. The size is the paper size, not always the size of the painting.

~23x30cm (~9×12″)

                   

~25x35cm (~10×14″)

~28x35cm (~11×14″)

~30x30cm (12×12″)

~30x40cm (~12×16″)

                                 

~30x42cm (~12×16,5″)

                         

~40x51cm (~16×20″)

       

Acrylics

February 18th, 2018 by

There are about 140 acrylic paintings. These are painted on white canvas board. My Mother often used a plain credit card as a brush. Here she played a lot with colours and shapes, so many of the paintings are very abstract. In some of them you have to be very observant to notice everything that she hid in them.

18x24cm (7×9,5″)

21x330cm (8×12″)

22x27cm (9×10.5″)

~30x40cm (~12×16″)

                

38X46cm (15X18″)

40X50cm (16×20″)

40x60cm (16×24″)

46x55cm (18×22″)

50x50cm (20×20″)

50x60cm (20×23,5″)

50x70cm (20×27,5″)

                    

70x70cm (27,5×27,5″)

70x90cm (27,5×35,5″)

80x80cm (31,5×31,5″)

 

 

Diamond Painting – I love it!

November 5th, 2017 by

I have to confess. I’m addicted to this new hobby. It is so restful to sit and put all the tiny resin diamonds on the canvas. Especially now that my mind always seems to go to the memory of my Mother.

It take a lot of time but it’s all worth it. The best of all is that contrary to what I thought, my shoulders doesn’t complain at all even though I sometimes work with this for hours.

These are the three paintings I finished before summer and just recently made frames for so I could hang them on the wall.

Now I’m working on another big painting, 60×80 cm. Right now I have it up side down because it’s easier to reach. I have also bought a light pad to put beneath the canvas to lighten up the pattern. What a big difference! So much easier to see now, especially when working in the darker areas on the painting. The next diamond painting will be one with a Christmas scene. I so much want to start with it right now because it’s so beautiful, but I have to finish this first.

 

Diamond painting is a quite new hobby. You place tiny resin diamonds on a adhesive canvas with a printed design on. Each color has it’s own symbol printed so it’s easy to see where to put the diamonds. The diamonds are just 2,5 mm in square. The paintings can be bought from Aliexpress, eBay, Wish and many other places. I prefer to buy from Aliexpress because it’s easier to filter the search there to find the designs I want.

There are two types of paintings and two types of diamonds.

The painting can either be filled totally with diamonds or partial. For the partial ones the whole design is printed but the glue and the grid is only where the diamonds are to be put. I have never tried a partial one because I think the full ones looks better.

The diamonds can be either round or squared. The round ones doesn’t cover the design totally because they are just round. The squared fills the design totally and you can’t see anything from the canvas when finished. Some people likes the round ones more because they are easier to work with, but I like the squared ones better. The partial designs are mostly made using round diamonds. The full ones can be either round or squared.

Everything you need is included when you buy a kit. You get a printed canvas, all the diamonds needed, a picking pen, a tweezers, a tray and some wax to fill the tip on the picking pen. Often you also get a list on the colors and how many bags of each color there should be in the kit. It’s important to check so no bag is missing when you have got your kit. Sometimes bags are missing, but if you contact the seller they usually send the missing bags. This has happened to me several times but I have always got the missing bags in the end. The only thing is that you have to wait several weeks extra for them to arrive.

/Monica

Life goes on

October 14th, 2017 by

It has been a long time since I updated my website. I usually take a summer break because I have so much other things to do during summer. This summer the break became extra long because sometimes things happens in life that you never can prepare for. My dear mother passed away in beginning of August. We knew that she soon wouldn’t be with us because of her illness, but we where completely unprepared that she would pass away so suddenly. Life goes on, but it is hard to get used to the fact that she is not with us anymore.

Because my father soon will move to a flat, we are fully occupied to clean out all the buildings on the family estate. We want to finish the clean out before snow comes because the property will be sold somewhere during next spring. It is so sad, the property has been in the family for over a hundred years.

Later on I will make a memorial page about my mother. There I will show most of all the paintings (more than 350) she made during her life and also some of the huge amount of embroideries she created. It will take a lot of time and work to prepare this because she was so productive. I have already taken photos of all her paintings, but I have to find time to put all this together.

I know you will understand that I will not do so many new cut files for a while!

Monica

The snow has melted at last.

May 20th, 2017 by

Now we are only waiting for the trees to turn green. Spring is so late this year! Only some early spring flowers have started to bloom, but not yet the daffodils. Today has been quite warm and I have cleaned the pond and put down the pump and the filter. I love to hear the water splashing again, it’s so peaceful. Tomorrow I will rest in the sun reading a book and listening for the birds singing and the water splashing. Maybe I also will plant the seven dwarf lilac bushes that I bought a week ago. First I have to check that the ground frost is gone in the place where I plan to plant them.

 

 

All my plants are growing well in the greenhouse. Today I brought out my cucumber plants that I have been growing indoors. Hopefully it’s not too cold for them in the greenhouse now.

 

Our last remaining snow is on the north side of our house. I hope it will melt tomorrow so I can clean up the flower bed there.

/Monica

Spring seems to have forgotten us…

May 1st, 2017 by

Spring is late this year. The first of May we usually have just smaller piles of snow left in the more shadow areas. Yesterday we got about 3 inches more of this white fluff that seems never to disappear. Today the sun is shining and almost all of the snow that came yesterday has melted. The only thing is that we still have loads of the old snow left!

Today I will spend most of the time in the greenhouse. I just brought all my small plants there and they need bigger pots now. This year I will not grow as many plants as I use to do. I always grow too many but now I’m afraid I will get too few, we will see. 🙂

/Monica

Winter wonderland

March 7th, 2017 by

   

This time of year the winter days are really lovely when the sun is shining. We have lots of snow and it’s quite cold at nights. This morning when I woke up, I stayed in bed for a minute and just listened for the traffic noise from the high way that are not far from our house. I could hear that it was quite cold outside! When I looked at the thermometer it said -18 degrees C. The noise from the traffic gets much higher and sharper when it is cold outside!

I have started to sow a lot of flower seeds but this year I will try to not grow as many plants as I’m used to. Every summer after planting out all the flowers I need, I always have loads of plants left over. I usually give them away to family and friends but this year I will try to just grow what I need and not so much more. Wish me luck with that task! 😉

 

A new hobby

One day some weeks ago, when I was surfing on the net I found something that really caught my eye, diamond embroidery!

You place tiny resin diamonds on a adhesive canvas with a printed design on. The diamonds are just 2,5 mm in square. I bought one from Aliexpress, just to try. The design is a picture of a fractal. Of course I had to choose a large one, 60x60cm. This means about 57 000 tiny diamonds to put in the right place on the canvas. Ha-ha!

When I got the package and opened it, I started wondering what I got myself into. This will take for ever, I thought. I started to work with it and it’s so fun!

Now I have spent less than a week, a couple of hours a day and almost a quarter of it is already finished. I will certainly buy another one when I have finished this!

Monica

More lattice

December 3rd, 2016 by

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I love to create these type of pattern. They look so nice!

You can find the new designs here.

/Monica

Some new lattice designs

November 26th, 2016 by

lattice_48 lattice_49 lattice_50

Here are three new lattice designs. You can use them as a background on a LO or maybe cut them out in a plastic sheet and use them as stencils.

You can find the new designs here.

/Monica

More cards!

November 19th, 2016 by

26-27

Different leaf shape edges. I don’t know which one I like the most. 🙂

You can find the cards here.

Monica

New cards

November 15th, 2016 by

24-25

Here are two new cards. I have used the same designs as earlier but in a new way! 🙂

You can find the cards here!

Monica

Flowers and leaves

November 9th, 2016 by

leaves_and_flowers

This is the parts I have used lately to make some more complex designs. I hope someone may be interested in using them as they are. 🙂

The file can be found here.

Monica

At last I have made some new designs

November 5th, 2016 by

This time of year the days are getting shorter and shorter and it darkens quite early in the evenings. The lack of daylight make you feel more tired and you don’t have the same inspiration as before. The winter is almost here! The pond has frozen and we have got a tiny amount of snow on the ground. The temperature is constantly below zero so the snow will not melt, at least not for days.

We have prepared everything in the garden for the winter and nothing more is to be done outside. Now I can focus on work that can be done indoors!

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During the past months I have been busy making lots of concrete flowers. I’m still working on them but not as much as before. It will be fun to paint some of them.

It feels as it was a long time since I drew something new. Earlier I made some designs with flowers and leaves on and I wanted to use them to make something new. So here we go, the first one is a lattice design.

You can find the new file here.

lattice_47

/Monica

Newly cast stuff and building a vibration table

August 14th, 2016 by

Flowers on bars

After a very rainy start of summer we had some good weeks in July. I have been busy working in the garden but I finally found some time to do some concreting. During spring I made some flowers and put them on iron bars. When casting, I used a large straw cut in shorter pieces and plugged in the end, to make the hole for the bar. The flowers where quite fun to paint. I have still a big bunch of roses to paint, maybe during winter I will find some time to do that. 🙂

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Vibration table

I have since long ago always wanted something that helps vibrating molds when casting. Last year I saw a very neat idea on you tube where they built a vibration table using a car tire and an electric motor. This I had to try! I already had an old motor and an old tire was easy to get. I screwed a plywood on top of the tire and then the motor underneath. On the motor shaft, I attached a small weight to get the vibrations. I had to adjust the weight on the shaft a couple of times to get it to vibrate as I wanted. It works like a treat. I just have to get it higher up because my back hurts when having it on the ground.

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Spray paint

Using spray paint is fun. I bought some bottles with metallic paint and thought I would try this on a cast rhubarb leaf. All of a sudden I had painted several leaves! They are so beautiful! I have to paint more…

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Glass globes becomes concrete balls

During winter and spring I have bought cheap old glass globes on flea markets. Whenever I find a cheap globe I will buy it. Also big glass vases and other glass items are useful if the shape is right. I fill them with concrete and after some days I put them in a bucket of water and crush the glass using a stone. Sometimes the glass will not come off directly, but if leaving it in water for a day will make it easier.

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Horror in the pond

Last fall my daughter’s boyfriend bought a mask for a masquerade. I quickly snatched the package that the mask came in, because I saw a potential mold for casting. It was a flimsy plastic package shaped as the mask. Now I finally got to use it. I used sand to support the mold. I also did cast a pair of hands using dishwashing gloves.

Now, visitors in my garden will get a small shock when they are looking down in the pond!
Moahaha…

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Monica

Spring is here!

May 8th, 2016 by

At last all the snow has melted. The early spring flowers are blooming. I’m busy cleaning the flower beds from leaves and dead plant material.

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Just a week ago I could walk on the ice on the pond. Today I have cleaned it up and just started the pumps. I love the sound from the streaming water and from the fountain.

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All my seedlings are growing fast now when I have moved them out to the greenhouse. It seems that I managed to reduce the amount of plants this year. I only have about 600 of them now. Earlier years I used to have more than 1000. 🙂

The tomatoes have started to bloom. Here they are transplanted in the biggest pots I have. Next, the final transplant will be in big buckets.
The cucumbers are still indoors, they don’t like the low temperatures at night in the greenhouse. I have a heater on but I can’t heat it up as much as the cucumbers needs. They have to wait one or two weeks more before the temperature is high enough.

IMG_0052 IMG_0054

Sorry, I have no fresh pictures of the other plants but this is how it looked 24 April when I just had carried them out and transplanted them. Now they are much bigger. Soon we will have daylight around the clock, this makes the plants grow very fast.

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Monica

Heart tea light box

April 17th, 2016 by

Tea_Light_Box_18

I got a request for a tea light box with a heart theme. Of course, I had to do this! 🙂
The box fits well with the hearts and the card I made earlier.

You can find the new file here.

Flower hearts

April 9th, 2016 by

Flower_heart_1Flower_heart_2Flower_heart_3Flower_heart_4

I have made some new hearts that I think will match the card I made earlier. Hope you like them!

You can find the new designs here!

 

The snow keeps melting!

It has been quite warm the last weeks and the snow has thawed quite a lot. Now it’s no problem to get to the greenhouse but it is still to early to move all my seedlings out.

Here are some pictures from today. In the first picture I’m standing in the greenhouse looking out to the garden. The second picture is from the backside of our house and on the last picture you can see that the strawberries are on their way out of the snow. 🙂

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Monica

Spring has not yet arrived!

March 28th, 2016 by

 

It’s still winter here

Still, we have lots of snow left. Two weeks ago it was really beautiful outside when I woke up one morning. All the trees where white of frost and I had to go out just to take some photos.

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Now two weeks later some of the snow have melted and soon it will be possible to enter the greenhouse. I have spent a lot of time to take care of all my seedlings and I still have lots more to sow.

Here is how the greenhouse looks right now and also a picture of all my seedlings.

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I am truly addicted to casting

That was what my daughter said to me some days ago and she is right! I just can’t stop making moulds and I cast different items every day. It takes more than two weeks to finish a latex mould. When it’s finished I can use it many many times. Here is some of all the items I have casted lately. I have several big boxes full of finished items and there are things everywhere right now. I really don’t know yet what to do with them all. 🙂

Here is just a minor part of all things I have made.

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Earlier in January when it was really cold, I used some silicone lego moulds and made some ice lego figures. I placed them outside the kitchen window and glued them with water on the windowsill, it froze instantly as it was about -30 degrees C. It looked quite cool to have them peek into the window.

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At last a new cutting file

As you can see, I have been quite busy lately and it’s hard to find time to make new designs. I also work almost full time at a company nearby and this makes it even harder to find time to do everything I want.

This time I have made a new gate fold card. I know I already have made lots of them but I couldn’t resist to make one more. This card is really suited for wedding invitations, I think.

Gate_fold_card_46

You can find the new card here.

 

Monica

 

Italian inspired house

January 31st, 2016 by

P1030698 Italian_house

 

This house is made with inspiration from Italy. I have cut it in 180 grams cardstock and glued it
together using permanent high tack tape runner.

You can find the new design here.

There is an assembly instruction also included in the zip file.

Monica

Cold weather and new designs

January 7th, 2016 by

Today it has been really cold weather. In the morning it was -31°C. We had planned to go to town for shopping and I was a bit worried that the car wouldn’t start, but it was no problem at all!

Usually when it’s this cold, it does not blow. But in our city, Luleå, it’s always blowing. We use to call it “the city of the 4 winds”. The wind chill factor made it feel like -45°C and my cheeks started to ache straight away when going from the car park to the shops.

Now in the evening it’s still -29°C. We have to wait until tomorrow evening before it will get a little bit warmer.

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I think this will be the last tea light boxes, at least for a while now. 🙂

You can find the new files here.

Monica

 

Some late Christmas designs

January 1st, 2016 by

Cristmas_candles_folded Cristmas_candles_circle

At last I have finished these designs. It’s the last two with candles on. I hope it’s not too late now when Christmas is over and the new year is here.

For the folded one, I have cut out six pieces and then glued them together. Then added a string and some pearls.

It’s a little bit tricky to fold the design due to the thin lines. I use two rulers when folding, this makes it much easier.

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I don’t put glue on the whole design, just some small dots on the thicker parts. I love to use the E-Z Runner that gives small strips. I pick them up one by one and put them on the design.

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You can find the new files here.

 

I hope you all have had a wonderful New Year!

 
Monica

Winter solstice and candies

December 22nd, 2015 by

December 22 have the shortest day and the longest night of the year, it’s the winter solstice.
Where I live, the sun just rise above the horizon and then turns down again. Today the sun rose at 9:55 and went down at 13:06. Three hours of daylight is what we get, and then the sun is right in your eyes if you are driving. Cloudy days, it never really gets bright.

Knäck

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I have been busy making more Christmas candies. I always make knäck for Christmas, it’s a Swedish toffee that is very easy to make. The recipe is:

2 dl sugar
2 dl heavy cream
2 dl golden syrup
2 tbs butter

Put all ingredients in a heavy based saucepan and stir it all together. Simmer it for a long time until the temperature is about 134 degrees C, this gives a hard knäck. If you want a softer knäck, 124-128 degrees C is recommended. I use a cooking thermometer for this. Then pour it up in waxed paper cups. Leave to cool.

You can also add chopped almonds or grated zest of one orange plus a few drops of orange aroma when you have reached the right temperature. The orange knäck is really delicious!

Monica

Concreting for Christmas

December 21st, 2015 by

4

 

During the past moths I have been quite occupied making latex moulds and castings items for Christmas. I had a plan to make a landscape with spruce trees and a led string. For this I bought some plastic Christmas trees on eBay and made latex moulds on them. Then I could cast several trees. I use fibre-reinforced self-levelling compound when casting, not concrete when making small or detail objects. I have found that self-levelling compound works much better than concrete for this.

 

1

This is a mould in progress. I’m using liquid latex for this. It is ready after about 20-25 layers of latex.

2

I’m mixing the compound powder with a little water in a small bowl. Then I fill my moulds up and shaking them a lot to get rid of all air bubbles. Afterwards, I clean up the bowl with water. Remember to not pour the water out in the drain! I use a bucket to pour all the cleaning water into. When all the sediments have sunk to the bottom, I pour the clear water out. In the end I will have a big lump that fills up the bucket.

3

More moulds and some casted items.

5

Finished landscape!

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Other casted items

 

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Some of all the new things I have made.

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Here I have painted the hearts in shimmering colours.

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On these hearts I have made decoupage using napkins.

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Pine cones, painting in progress!

Monica

Advent Candlesticks

November 28th, 2015 by

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I have made some new designs of traditional Swedish electric candlesticks. The electric candlesticks, I use to put in almost every window during Christmas.

You can find the new files here.

The snow has almost melted away and turned to ice. It has been raining every now and then but I hope soon to get more snow. The daylight keeps disappearing, now the sun rise at 9.00 and goes down at 13.40.

Monica

Time for more tea light boxes

November 21st, 2015 by

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Now when winter is here, it’s time to light up our homes. Here are some more tea light boxes to use for this. You can never have too many tea lights!

You can find the new files here.

 

A little more snow have arrived, not much but it’s enough to make everything white and beautiful.

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Monica