January wrap up

Music

Have we talked about ooold neeews? Makes me forget about my lack of excitement the last time I saw Jonathan play entirely! When can I go again??

Reads

Technically, I finished Hela Kakan back in December, but surely it could be mentioned again? Loved it!

Other than that, seems reading is coming along quite slowly this month.

Wearables

Puma Ignite trainers. Been a while since I had a pair of trainers this good. Last pair I had that I was madly in love with were also a pair of Puma. Really should stick to this brand, they’re my perfect fit.

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Puma Ignite + a nice new sports bra from H&M + vest

No7 pore minimising primer. Did I tell you about accidentally opening a new No7 primer, and it turned out it wasn’t the same primer I’d been using but instead a much better one? Well I did. The fact that No7 products are too much alike, both blessing and curse.

On the screen

Emma Blackery’s video on her 20 Placebo songs. Need I explain why? 1) I do like Placebo, but we’ve lost touch lately, 2) Love it when you find material with a quite narrow target audience and you’re actually in that target audience, 3) It’s my kind of music nerdiness.

Stumbled across Hannah Witton on YouTube, love this:

Gilmore Girls got nothing on Caitlin.

Swedish Come Dine with Me (Halv åtta hos mig). It’s a sick obsession.

Food

Does anybody really want to think about food in January?

Although. I did invent a wicked pasta mushroom combo: aubergine roasted until is practically black, mushrooms, Oatley cream, mustard, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, smoked paprika, pasta and some fresh tomatoes with that. V. v. pleased.

Miscellaneous

Cleaned up my layout. Currently using the theme Ryu; love the clean, simple + contrasty layout.

Villfarelser. On Insta/Twitter/Pinterest. Suddenly had lots of pictures like this in my Pinterest feed:

"Självinsikt" #villfarelser #självinsikt

Ett inlägg delat av VILLFARELSER™ (@villfarelser)

Turns out, it’s the creation of Villfarelser, you can follow on Insta and Twitter. The text reads I lacked self awareness. I was a wonderful human being. So in love with this. Old pics and absurd, bitter captions, it doesn’t get any better than that.

Plans for February

Winter makes me want to die. I just want to hibernate until April. OK?

Might pull myself together enough to:

1) Restart my HBO subscription so that I can watch Vikings and Girls.
2) Visit Stockholm. Not as much of a plan as I’m being forced.
3) I think I’m starting a bullet journal? Maybe? Pinterest has me brainwashed.

100 day song challenge #82

#82 A song from a musical

In my world, there is only one musical worth while: Kristina från Duvemåla. Obvious choice: Du måste finnas.

I’ve tried liking some of the usual suspects, e.g. Hair, The Phantom of the Opera, but none of them has got anything on Kristina. In some things, I am so very stereotypically Swedish.

I’ve even seen it performed. However did that happen?

Reading the books; Det är något som inte stämmer

martina haag det är något som inte stämmer

You know what I suddenly realized? I’m currently prioritizing going to the gym over reading. Fewer books are being read.

I don’t like that this is who I am.

So I shall proceed to ignore this fact; let’s talk about a book I read instead!

…and let’s also ignore the complete insanity that is writing about Swedish books in English.

I picked up Martina Haag’s Det är något som inte stämmer [Something’s not right] at the library the other day. Lovely little read you can finish in an afternoon.

The story is loosely based on the author’s own life, her fairly recent divorce, and focuses on what happens to a person who’s been deceived.

It is heartbreaking, even if the text never dwells too much on this. I do like the glimpses of what goes on in other people’s minds, especially when their behavior is, at times, less than rational. As is the case here.

I also love how Haag ignores chronological order and mixes scenes from the past and the present. The past: her life at home in the city, with her kids and husband, and how the marriage falls apart; The present: the time she spends in a cabin up north, middle of nowhere.

I’m starting to realize how I love reading about inaccessible places, places untouched by man. Surely not uncommon, but personally, it’s a surprise because I’m scared witless of being in places where there’s no running water even. Never mind places where there’s no civilisation. Reading about it tho! Makes me think I want to go hiking. Because in my mind, hiking = looking at the scenery.

A couple of things though.

The protagonist brings her cat to this nowhere place. And just lets it run free. And it doesn’t run away? I struggle with this. This isn’t how I know cats to work. Bit caught up on that. I know it’s a silly detail, but non the less. She also whistles and the cat comes running. Tell me, what breed does that?

The dialogue. At times it just reads kind of unnatural. This is a frequent hang-up I have, books and movies alike. Maybe it’s just me? I dunno.

But all and all, I cannot help but love a short book, clearly written, not overly discriptive, letting the reader fill in all the blanks. Not the best book I’ve ever read, but a perfect way to spend a Sunday evening.

100 day song challenge #89

You may have noticed I kind of love Einstürzende Neubauten. Little bit.

Listening to the absolutely lovely track Die Wellen the other day I started thinking is there no way I can include this in my challenge???

Let’s review what’s left of this challenge:

A song that means a lot. Yes that’s going to be a stretch at best.

A song that reminds you of summer. Er. No. No Neubauten song ever reminds me of any other season than fall or spring. Which is why A song that reminds you of winter is also out of the question.

A song that’s a guilty pleasure. You crazy? NO. Neubauten’s pretty much the coolest band you could possibly listen to /unbiased opinion.

A song that you need to be in a certain mood to listen to. This here song is universally good, no matter the circumstances. If you don’t hear it you need to listen to it again.

A song that’s connected to a memory. Does reading an explanation of why the song is so quiet in the beginning count? (It’s so that you’ll turn up the volume. Blixa is a clever man.)

A song with a name in the title. Noooo.

A song with the word “go” in the title. A song with the word “under” in the title. A song with the word “eye” in the title. We’re all decent readers here; obvs no.

A song with a great keyboard solo. Mm yes. I’d like to see Neubauten do that.

A song with great vocal harmonies. Well, that’s subjective, sooo…?

A song you wish you could play on an instrument. For me, that’s a no. Not this one.

A song you can’t help but sing along to. Wellll..I hate to say no. But no.

A song you used to love but now hate. How could you hate this???

A song you would choose for karaoke. Let’s not go there just yet.

A song by a band with more than 5 people in it. Blixa, N.U, Jochen, Rudolf, Alexander. That’s 5. Dammit.

A song from a musical. They did a play once I think? This one wasn’t in it though.

A song from a TV show theme. If only.

A song currently stuck in your head. Again. I wish.

A song by one of your favorite bands. Well I mean yes, but I already have plans that doesn’t include this partiuclar song.

A song. Actually, not just “A song”. THE SONG. While I love it, I’d be lying if I picked this one.

A song you had to look up the lyrics to. WELL OBVIOUSLY YES. To see if it fit this damn challenge. But I don’t really think that’s what this prompt means. (Since when I care about that? I care temporarily. At this point in time.)

A song for moving on. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner! Bleibst du hier oder was? I’m interpreting it as a song on the topic in general. Because you either move on or remain. (In English: Are you staying here, or what? Sounds far better in German.)

 

Also I can stop thinking about Sarah Dawn Finer’s Moving on every time I read this prompt. Not that it’s not a catchy tune, but it’s certainly no Die Wellen.

I ♥ last.fm

The new version of last.fm still has some issues, but this brand new weekly feature they’ve got, I like it!

They do such good statistics. Look:

last-fm-week

last-fm-week-2

It’s dead funny how Roddy Hart is his own genre.

In general, statistics bore the life our of me, but this, I’m obsessed with. Completely pointless but I’ve accepted that’s how I work.

Conlusion: 1 day 18 hours total of listening to music in a week??? I must up my game!

100 day song challenge #37

#37 A song with more than 5 words in the title

You know how sometimes you watch something on the telly and a song comes on and it’s so pretty and you’ve got literally no idea what it is?

That’s when I wonder how people ever got by without the internet.

I was watching the Kent documentary and this song came on: Young as the morning, old as the sea by Passenger. Which I obviously didn’t know at the time. Because I would not have given it the time of day.

Up until this point I’ve hated Passenger with a passion. Why? I’ve a vague recolleciton of some song they played on the radio I just couldn’t stand, but mainly because to me, Passenger was the name of a project In Flames’s Anders Fridén was involved in. How very dare he steal that name? (Yes no, when it comes to In Flames I make no sense.)

And also. This day and age, don’t you google the name you’re considering before taking it on?

And I want • jan 2017

See Casey play again. They announced a tour on Monday, but the dates/places are simply no good. So keen to see them again.

Take up running. ???? Something has to be wrong with me, I absolutely hate running. But I keep wanting to feel completely out of breath. Maybe it’ll pass? Or maybe, I’ll device a plan to get started soon as the roads are ice-free?

More daylight. Obvious one. Should make it a point to fit in as much vacation as humanly possible during these horrible months.

New and improved bands in town. Seriously. I want to think that at one point it did work as it should, but right now, it doesn’t feel updated at all. I don’t trust it for a second.

More cats to sit. What I mean is, family sometimes use me as cat sitter. Because I’ve decided I can’t have a cat where I live now, being a cat sitter is the next best thing.

New PVRIS record. I hear it’s coming, excited!

Band merch. I’ve come to the conclusion it’s perfect gym wear. Plus, I do want to support all of my favorites, of course.

New Editors record. No idea if it’s in the works. I can’t work out how to get news about this band. Or maybe there are no news? But their latest offering was so my taste I need more.

A notebook that can be used as bullet journal. You’d think that’d be an easy one. But no. Finding an appropriate notebook around these parts is apparently not easy at all. I’ve been to multiple stores already, I’ve found literally nothing. I’m not prepared to order the official bullet journal just yet, need to try it on for size first. See if it sticks.

Lush hair products. This! I could get at any time. I just want to smell like an entire Lush store. Problem: I don’t actually need any hair products for the time being. And I’m trying to be a bit more mindful shopper.

100 day song challenge #92

#92 A song cover better than the original

It is unfortunate that this is an ad for Volvo, but erm, if you didn’t know it, you’d barely see it, right?

This is Amandra Bergman’s cover of Monica Törnell’s Vintersaga (A tale of winter).

The translation. It’s…interesting. It’s certainly taken some liberties. I’m all for taking liberties, but this, I’m not sure I like it. It’s lost its poetry. Which is one of the main reasons I like this song.

It’s amazing how something this beautiful, i.e. winter in Sweden, is just fucking horrible to live in.

Must. Not. Reply.

Brace yourselves, I’m about to go on a rant. And it’s going to be nasty.

This is a direct effect of finding the following email in my inbox this morning.

Hej,

Din ton har rakt igenom detta mejlutbyte varit allmänt tråkig och som statlig tjänsteman hade jag förväntat mig ett bättre bemötande av dig. Du bör fundera på det om du ska fortsätta att svara på mejl för universitetets räkning.

hälsningar

Rickard

MUST. NOT. REPLY.

I so want to reply!

If I could reply I’d say the following:

1) Why thank you! This was my intention all along, because you know what, I could see from miiiiiles away that you were an asshole. I read your email. Unfortunately. I really waited it out hoping someone else anyone! would reply. But och alas, Rikard, no one wanted to answer you. I was never interested in doing you any favors what so ever. I don’t know why you would assume that?

2) Fortunately for me, not doing you any favors was easy, because, unsurprisingly, you’re an arrogant prick who think that the rules don’t apply to you. All I had to do was give you the facts. It wasn’t a tone, it was using words sparingly to give you, that’s right, facts. Because I know you, there’s no point using any more words than necessary. This was going to be your reaction no matter what. Yes, you are that obvious. PS. Like what, you tihnk your tone was any better? Please.

3) …you think I’m interested in your opinion on any anything? At all? Why would you think that???? Let me be clear: I ain’t. Nope. Not even a little. I know this is hard, but you’ll just have to try and live with it and not throw a fit about it. For your own sake.

4) You think I have a choice? I hate answering these emails because of people like you. And you lot, you’re just fucking everywhere aren’t you? Uni staff, applicants and students alike. Interesting fact; I find most of you in the human sciences.

5) If I knew how to do a poorer job I would! Because I don’t want to be doing this. Passive aggressive I know. But they keep dragging me back because I’m the best they’ve got. And I don’t even know how that is! This job is so easy ANYONE could do it. Monkies…

But most importantly, I am THRILLED I ruined your day. I ruined your day right? God I hope so! I’m just going to go ahead and decide that I did. If I could ruin a few more of your days, I definitely would. Trust me. Wouldn’t pass on the opportunity!

I’m just fucking annoyed I can’t tell this delusional male that his opinions; could not possibly care less.

This is exactly what you use a blog for right? Get things out of your system? Illustrating just what a nasty person you are?

DIY; Fabric baskets for the impatient and lazy

Fabric baskets though! My fave DIY; easy peasy + highly useful!

Pros:

  1. You can make the exact size you need,
  2. It doesn’t break and leaves no marks,
  3. It takes hardly any time to make; it’s quicker than going to the store to see if maybe they have anything in the size and shape you need.

I.e., perfect solution for all your organizational needs!

Well. Most of them. V.v. handy in drawers to separate different types of tights. Or contact lens cases. Cat toys. I’m sure you get the idea.

Bonus: the feeling of accomplishment that you can actually make something yourself. Even if it is dead easy. I kid you not, let me show you just how easy it is.

First things first! Consider your fabrics. You’ll want a piece of fabric of a sturdier nature, because we want the basket to be able to stand on it own, and not collapse in on itself.

Jeans is a perfect material, thicker curtains you’re no longer using, or a thick cotton from IKEA are some of my favorites. But if you’ve got something you can upcycle, all the better! I’ll be using a pair of jeans and a skirt.

All you’ll need to assemble the basket is scissors or a fabric cutter and a mat, measurement tape and/or a ruler, and a few pins. Sewing machine is optional, but quite handy.

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I make these baskets a few different ways, I’m going to show you my two favorite ways. The easiest of course.

Type 1; single layer of fabric, a maximum of 2 pieces of fabric

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For this, I’m using an old pair of jeans. If you use the bottom of your jeans you can skip the step sewing two pieces of fabric together, making it even simpler. We’re talking a total of three seams, all of which are straight. So you could well do it by hand if you have that kind of patience.

But I don’t. So I set up my machine and decide how large I want the basket to be. I use no set measurements, which is another thing I like about these baskets. All you need to keep in mind is that you’ll fold down the edge, you’re going to need a few extra centimeters for that, and another few for the bottom, add these figures to however high you want the basket to be.

Cut off the bottom of your jeans. Turn the piece inside out and pin.

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Sew a straight seam, seam allowance, about this much:

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I.e. let the foot follow the edge.

Press your seam, and sew a straight seam across each corner. It’s entirely up to you where you place the seams, it’s a matter of how large you want the bottom of your basket to be. You can test it by pinning and turning it the right way if you want. Just make sure to measure so that you’re seams are placed the same distance from the edge.

My basket is tiny so I’m skipping the pinning, but for a larger basket pins are useful as a guideline.

Now, turn inside out, fold down the hem and you’re done!

Note: using one layer of fabric is better for small baskets, if you’re making a larger basket I recommend using double fabrics. Which is what we’re doing next!

Type 2; double layer of fabric, a total of 4 pieces of fabric

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This is a bit trickier, because, as mentioned, we’re using 2 fabrics, and we’re also sewing 4 pieces of fabric together (!). Dear oh dear, how will we ever manage.

Get your fabrics; I like to pair a plain fabric and a patterned fabric, as you can see. The patterned fabric goes on the inside, which you’ll then fold so that you see it on the outside. Bonus of the folding: makes your basket a little sturdier, which is ganz ganz wichtig I’d say.

However!

If you’re just going to put the basket in a drawer or similar, skip the folding. Just remember to take into account whether or not you’re planning on folding the edge of your basket when you measure your pieces.

First, decide what size basket you need. I generally make the bottom between 15 x 15 and 20 x 20 cm. Cut out two pieces that measure 20 x 20, one in each fabric. Next, cut one piece from each fabric that measures 82 x 36. 36 is usually the height of my baskets, but it can be adjusted as you like. The other figure depends on the size of the bottom of your basket; if the bottom piece is 20 x 20, you’ll need 20 x 4 + seam allowance in order for the fabric to reach all the way around the bottom piece. Probably obvious I imagine?

This should leave you with 2 rectangular pieces and two square pieces.

final1484232683451

Place the two rectangular pieces right side to right side and pin along one of the longer sides, and then just sew them together using a straight seam.

Press the seams if you like. It’s not absolute necessity, but you could. I’m going to this time. But I don’t always.

Again, pin together right side to right side, i.e. fold and pin so that it makes a tube, like so:

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Straight seam again and press if you fancy, then pin the plain bottom square to the tube. Plain fabric to plain fabric. It should be the fabric you want on the outside of the basket. In my case, the jean fabric:

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This is just for show. If you pin it like this, turn it the other way round, the bottom should be on the inside when you sew. Tip: start next to the seam, makes your life simpler.

Another tip: let your stitch stop approx 1 cm from the edge, to make it easier when your start on the next side. See?

You could pin all sides of the bottom at the same time if you like. It’s how I did it originally, until I realized it was way easier to just do one side at a time. If you’re a proper seamstress you just skip the pinning. (Hitherdither: It’s how gradma did it. Just so you know what’s expected of you.)

When the first square is all stitched up and done, do the same with the inside bottom piece, but leave a 5 cm opening on one side. This so that you can turn it inside out.

…turn it inside out, fold down the edge.

Depending on what you’re using the basket for, and how neat you are, you might want to stitch up the opening (by hand). I stopped doing this because

A) I’ve never had anything disappear into this opening,
B) I don’t ever see the opening because the baskets are always full,
C) I’m lazy, and
D) I frigging hate sewing by hand.

Practically easier than making a pillow case.