Tuesday, May 30, 2023

green-eyed monster at the white palace

if these walls could talk. can you imagine what they would say? i can. or at least i would like to try. there were too many people around for me to hear their whispers. but how i longed to. 

look at that crown. it's the white palace's crown. or rather, an old fancy oven that used to heat the room. i fairly swooned just seeing it. 

and there was a not-quite dead piano. i love me a dead piano ever since photographing one in an old mansion along the volga river ever so long ago. 

i almost forgot to look at the art, and in all honestly, it wasn't really that interesting. what was interesting were the bones of this house. i'm not generally an envious person, but damn, did i feel regret that we didn't try to buy this place when it was for sale. it would have been a house worthy of a never-ending house project. 

just look at those bannisters! they had removed any way up to them, but i found myself wanting to find a way to climb up and look around. three stories, four including the basement below. and yes, it's just the bare walls, but oh, what walls they are.

this brick floor. and the possibilities. and again, the stories it could tell. i am so jealous of the young couple who owns it. they live in another little house on the property, as obviously, this isn't liveable and will take a monumental amount of work and money to fix, but still. 

that piano again. sigh. at the very least, our weaving group must do an exhibition here. i can see long, gauzy, colorful swaths of woven fabric draping those walls. now that is art that would be worthy of the space. but oh, how i would love to be the one to fix it up and live there. if only to commune with the ghosts that must be there. maybe they're even tickling the keys of that piano now, as night falls, after all the excitement of all those people walking through today. 

Monday, May 29, 2023

walk and wool at lystbækgård

a couple of weeks ago, i spotted an event on instagram - it was a walk and knit nature walk. so i asked a friend if she wanted to go. i knew it was out in the area where she had grown up, so i thought she would enjoy it.

i was thinking that i'm no good at knitting, let alone walking and knitting, but the idea of a nature walk out on the moors with the sheep sounded good to me.

we were asked to bring size 5 knitting needles and they gave us a little ball of handspun yarn and a handful of wool.

but in case it wasn't enough, they had left bits of wool along the way. it took me awhile to realize this. at first, i thought it was just because the sheep had been out there or that the others had dropped some of their wool.

my friend emmy came with me and i'm glad she did. the rest of the group knew one another well and in that way that such groups can have, they weren't super inclusive. i would have been sad about it had emmy not been there. 

one of the women on the walk knew what all the plants were - i, of course, despite loving gardening, am not a plant rememberer and so i don't really remember any of them, but the noticing was what it was about for me. that and trying to knit some of them into my piece.

we sat down on the moors and just enjoyed the surroundings. but honestly, walking and knitting at the same time was so much easier than i imagined that it would be. i'm not a knitter, but i found it easier and less stressful than sitting at home and trying to knit. isn't that kind of weird?

it was a bit difficult to keep the flowers attached, but somehow, it didn't really matter. it was about being in the moment and just knitting on. 

some of the people had knives with them and while we sat here, they whittled some new knitting needles for themselves (see below). i didn't, but the idea of doing so was somehow so freeing. it made knitting so much less stressful - it was ok to just be free, experiment, drop a stitch or two and just keep going. 

my inner weaver would maybe rather have been weaving and i did weave in some of the plants, more than knitting with them. that was totally ok. and so freeing! 

i was even able to knit much more loosely. one of my main problems in knitting is a tendency to knit really tight, which makes it even harder to knit the next row. but i was able to relax and loosen things up. 

it wasn't until we found some blue-dyed bits of wool, that i realized that they had been out, leaving the wool out for us. those blue bits really spoke to me. the wool was generally untreated and so full of lanolin and so interesting to work with.

we were out there for more than three hours. it was like time stood still and it felt like exactly the amount of time that was needed.

emmy was faster than me, but she actually knows how to knit. we had such a fun day!

i don't remember what these were called, but they're a kind of wild blueberry.

when we got back, we all put our work out on the table together and took some pictures. everyone was so creative. we had the same materials at our disposal and came up with such different pieces.

one of the others either found this hole(y) stone, or had it in her pocket. i'll admit, i was a little jealous.

look at those handmade knitting needles! so lovely! and so freeing!

a close-up, though i think she made this one on a previous walk.

we also had cake when we got back. and it's strawberry season, so fresh strawberries too!

here's everyone's work! mine is in the middle with the purple flowers.

and here's one last view of my piece. if they hold another event, i've already invited another friend along. i think it might have made a knitter of me. and another reflection i have is that i would have been hurt by the group's insider-y behavior if i hadn't taken a friend along. but i consciously kept an open mind and decided to be in the moment and so it didn't end up triggering my sensitivity to not belonging. but it helped to have a friend along. i'm going to be sure to do that the next time too. also, they didn't call it "walk and wool," but they should have. 

Monday, May 22, 2023


the danish name for rapeseed is much better than the english one - raps. i absolutely adore this time of year and i go out of my way to take the back roads to enjoy it. it also smells amazing and i recently found out it tastes great too! i've been "foraging" small shoots from down low on the stalks in the fields in my area, they're not quite open yet and they taste so much better than broccoli, which must be the most boring vegetable ever.

i made a beautiful ramen with broth i had in the freezer, soba noodles, some fish from the fish guy, eggs from our hens, bok choy from a nearby farm and some of the rapeseed shoots. i brushed the fish with noma projects' delicious dashi rdx. it was honestly perfect. i'm sad i discovered the joy of the rapeseed shoots so late in the season, as i want so much more and they're almost done. but maybe it's good to have those things that you can only eat during those few weeks when they're in season. this fall, i'll be planting some in the garden so i don't have to "forage" them next spring. 

Thursday, May 11, 2023

sigh...some days just steal your energy

i love when the canola fields are at peak buzz - a yellow so vibrant it almost hurts your eyes, making them feel like they're buzzing, even on a cloudy day. it's even more intense when the sun shines. i ended up taking some back roads today, trying to get to a meeting on time in a town that's not exactly on my usual route. 

it's been a very busy time at work. the kind where you have so much to do that your tasks - done and undone, invade your dreams. the nearly penultimate step of a big project came today and somehow that's always a bit of a letdown. you've been pushing towards a deadline, making it, then it comes and happens and the wind is taken a little bit out of your sails. and you can't even really feel happy about it because it's not quite finished yet, just a big milestone was reached, but there still another stretch to go. 

plus, i didn't sleep all that well last night, knowing i'd have to get up early to make it to the office in time for today's big presentation. so in all, it was the kind of day that just steals your energy. 

it wasn't helped at all by having to rush to a board meeting that was timed perfectly so that i got to enjoy the worst rush hour traffic in three cities along the way. at least i had a good podcast to listen to and those back roads with their gorgeous yellow fields. i made it, about 10 minutes late. we toured another creative group's ceramics workshop at their local kulturhus, as we'd like to have one in ours and we wanted to see how they had set it all up. that part was inspiring and it's not so far away that i couldn't go down there are do some ceramics once in awhile, though preferably not at 5 p.m. on a work day. 

but then we had our actual board meeting and it was especially energy-draining. maybe because my energy was already low and i didn't have much left. there's one member who especially sapped what energy i had left. first, with a too long (though probably actually short) discussion of whether everything we post on instagram has to be posted identically on facebook) - i do not think so. they are two different platforms. and while i agree that if it's something with a sign-up date that everyone needs to know about it, it should go on both platforms, a reel on instagram and a carousel post on facebook should be fine. they don't need to be identical. 

then she ended the meeting with a petulant diatribe about how i bought too many beers the night we hung up our exhibition. when i was reluctantly sent to buy the beers for everyone, there were 14 people there helping, so i bought 22 beers/hard seltzers. one of them was a 12 pack of mini rosé wheat beers, which she thought were weird. they weren't all used that evening, but we agreed we would sell them at our exhibition the next day. then no one put them out and so they weren't sold and she was mad about that, so i agreed that i would go get them and pay creagive back. and perhaps all that was fair enough, but it was presented in such a judging, whiny and petty way that it just drained what little energy i had left. it really makes me wonder if i even want to be on the board at all anymore. i can participate without being on the board. and if not now, when will i ever learn to protect my own energy when i can.