Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Finishing off and new products

Finishing off is what I have been doing for the last couple of weeks. I have so many ideas whirling around in my head, so many patterns I drool over, and so many almost finished projects to sew up. So, I have stitched, hooked and knitted the finishing touch on more than a dozen items. Mr MacOlsson has been coerced into photographing the end results.

First off, I have decided that since the days here in Sweden are much colder AND shorter, that TEA is the order of the day. With that in mind, I have tea cosies, or tea cozies as our friends across the pond say, in a variety of different shapes and sizes, colours and fabrics, in knitted, crocheted and fabric versions. My beloved Marimekko prints feature heavily here. The colours are so vibrant, the patterns so unique, that its hard to describe them. Look for yourself!

My parents were over for a week, and Mum borrowed some needles and wool, and rustled up this lovely purple and cream tea cosy, from a vintage pattern, no less! She has a similar tea cosy and has generously given me her vintage pattern.

And then, there is this pretty one. Its crocheted from Finnish yarn, bought there this summer when we visited Moominland. Don't tell, but its actually sock yarn, and the colours are just so pretty together, I thought it a shame to make socks and made this instead. It fits on my biggest teapot - a great chunker of a pot I bought in Ikea when I first moved to Sweden. Actually, I think it was my first "household" purchase here, which goes to show how high a pot of tea ranks in my life!

And last, but not least, my cute little icecream sundae tea cosy. Also a crochet, also a vintage pattern, its made from double stranded merino wool, and is so soft. I found a cute 4 cup tea pot at our local recycling centre, and it is a perfect fit. I couldn't decide how to embellish the top, so it ended up being a "cherry" rose.

Now, to the new products. I have mentioned this fabulous blog before.. and have bought several of her patterns for darling skirts, dresses and more. The other day, while drooling over her gorgeous pics, I spotted a pattern for crayon rolls. Now, along with my large yarn stash, I also have a slightly smaller fabric stash. And, I also have three little MacOlssons who love to draw, and who always lose their crayons. So, I purchased the pattern and made this.

The oldest little MacOlsson likes her Crayola Twisters, so of course, I had to make a Crayola Twister Roll Up. The same pattern, just a bigger piece of material.

That's not all. Carried away in my sewing machine daze, I decided I should also have some cute holder for my bag. Go in to GOOGLE and type in "how to" and you find innumerable patterns and ideas for what you want to make. I ended up with a little purse or make up bag, and of course had to make another one just to see if I could. I like them both, but the second one is my favourite. The fabric is Laurel Burch Fanciful Felines.....oh, so pretty and unique.

All of the items are available for sale in my etsy shop and since I'm featuring tea cosies, all the cosies for sale have reduced shipping until the end of November.

And lastly, PLEASE leave a comment. I'd love to know what you think. Thank you

Monday, 11 October 2010

Memories and Mushrooms

I know I've already written about mushrooms, but really, there is such a harvest to be picked in the forest right now, that any self respecting Scottish woman married to a half Finnish man really has to write some more.

Mushrooms grow all over here in the forests which are just around the corner anywhere you turn. We live in a commuter town about 45 mins from Stockhom, but 5 minutes from our house are hunting grounds which abound in blueberries, lingon and MUSHROOMS!

My friend's parents in law own some of these hunting grounds, and 2 weekends ago her husband and mine were there for 3 hours mushroom hunting. My husband came back with a huge grin on his face, exultantly declaring he had never seen so many kantarell mushrooms before. He proudly presented this basket to me.

So we cooked some and dried lots, to enjoy the gorgeous golden taste in stews and soups and sauces this winter.

The memories?

Well, many moons ago, before we had little MacOlssons, the two of us attended a soup making evening class. It was a dark cold evening, but for 4 hours our group made 12 different kinds of soup, bread and wontons to go with them. The unanimous favourite was hazelnut and kantarell soup, served with warm bread.

So Mr MacOlsson, the romantic that he is, made a huge pot of hazelnut and kantarell soup, baked the gorgeous bread and we enjoyed it as much as we did 6 years ago. Only this time we enjoyed it with our three little MacOlssons.

Please leave a comment below:)

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Hats and Bonnets


Those pesky autumn winds are kind of tricky. One minute they are warm and soft, turn the corner, and they are kind of nippy. Especially for little MacOlsson ears. So guess what was on the hook this week? Oh yes, little hats for cute little heads.

Funny thing about hats. No matter what the style,colour or pattern, little heads suit them all. Now adults....well let's just say that an awful lot of people wear hats that just don't suit them at all. Bearing that in mind, I hardly ever wear a hat, and as far as I know, there are very few pictures around of me wearing one. In fact, this past winter, the teachers at my daughters' nursery said that they knew it was really really cold if I had a hat on! The only picture I like of me in a hat is this one, taken of course by Mr MrsMacOlsson.

He took it in Finland, just after we were married, on one of our many honeymoon weekends. We had been out walking for an hour on a gloriously sunny winter day. Minus 28 degrees celsius! Believe me, it was cold.

Does anyone read this? Please leave a comment. Scroll down to the comments section at the end of the post.


Thursday, 9 September 2010

Dresses.....and a purse!

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Dresses......with two little Miss MacOlssons in this household, we do like dresses. Even little Master MacOlsson tells his big sisters that they look pretty. Need to start training the boy young, if he is going to be a hit with the ladies!!
Anyhow, in my "occasional" surfing in my "free" time, I came across this shop on etsy. LittleLizardKing. She sells the most adorable patterns for cute girlie dresses, tunics and more. So, in a moment of creative madness, I bought two, and during the winter, I made a couple of tops for my girls. They got so many admiring comments, and my friend Brenda thought I should try to sell them.

At long last, I am mastering the art of uploading photos without relying on Mr MrsMacOlsson, so here are my three creations now up for sale on etsy. The knot dresses are really cool, as they are very adjustable, simply by retying the knot. I thought the red checks were typically Swedish, and looked really funky teamed with the polka dots.
The strawberry fabric....well, its just cute! The oldest Miss MacOlsson has long been nicknamed "Strawberry Girl" after a cute outfit bought for her as a newborn from my dearest dearest friend Rebecca. So sshhhh, but guess who is getting a Strawberry Girl dress for her birthday present in December?

And please, dear reader, leave a comment to make my day!

PS Finished this cute heart shaped purse, so here's a peek at it too. I love the button I found in my mother in law's button box......which makes it vintage Finnish!

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

mrsmacolsson: Etsy

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mrsmacolsson: Etsy


1 comment:

One of the tips on etsy to increase your sales, is to increase your shop! So that in mind, I made this sweet daisy chain. Little MissMacOlsson thought it was cute around her neck, but we also tried it hanging round the window. She suggested I make lots and use it as a curtain...but for now, there is one long chain with 20 flowers on.

Please please leave a comment so I know that it isn't just my little sis looking in!

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Plums and Apples!

In our garden we have a mini orchard, with 5 different apple trees and one victoria plum tree. This means that we have HUGE amounts of apples and plums to take care of, which promises for long hours of pots bubbling and releasing delicous aromas through the house. And then the beautiful bottles and jars with their "Homemade" labels on.....oh, the shelves in the food cellar are filling up!

I started yesterday with the plums and spent a very pleasant coffee break browsing through myriad cookbooks. Plums in cognac, plum compotte, plum pie, plum and apple chutney.....and, as so often before, I return to my faithful battered Swedish cookbook.

"Husmanskost" - in other words, everyday recipes which are delicious, straightforward and traditional. You know, the good oldfashioned kind of food like Nana and Mum make. Filled with recipes for stew, soups, pies, baking and JAM! Except in Swedish its often called "marmelad"! I just haven't quite figured out the difference, as jam is "sylt" but according to Mr MrsMacOlsson, its to do with the consistency. Anyhow, plum jam was the final decision, and I now have six dark purplybrown jars filled with Victoria Plum jam. Yummy in my tummy, as my kiddiewinks say.

Apples, well, there are no doubt going to be quite a few posts on apples. We have Ingrid Marie, Cinnamon Apple, Transparent Blanche, Gravensteiner and Cox Orange. Every one of those trees is laden with apples, so much so, that I can't keep up with the windfalls. They will be taken to the wood and left for the deer to munch on.....

The rest, well, I have my trusty cordial maker on the gas stove as we speak.
My "Saft Maja" is definitely my best bargain buy ever! One large batch of apple cordial coming up, with every apple piece carefully placed in the double boiler by my littlest MacOlsson........and yes, a few sneaked in his little chatty mouth too.

Don't forget to leave a comment please! Click on the "comments" below :)

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Autumn Goodies

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The long fingers of autumn are slowly reaching out to us here in Sweden, gently pulling us from the warmth of summer to the cooler sunny days of early Autumn.

To celebrate the season changeover, Mother Nature is sharing her treasures with us. In the forest, the mushrooms and blueberries are awaiting, and in our garden, a feast of redcurrants.

We went mushroom hunting two days before we went to Finland. Maybe to get ourselves into the mood, since the Finns are experts in appreciating the goodies the forest provides. Much to Mr MacOlsson's disappointment, it was his Scottish wife who found this yummy cantarelle mushroom, in a patch under some trees where the wild pigs had been rooting previously.

To me, mushroom picking brings back romantic memories of the weekend we went mushroom picking together for the first time. A few days later we were married. Autumn is a special time of year. It is even more special to share our joy with our 3 little MacOlssons, and smile as they learn forest lore. My husband often picked mushrooms with his Finnish grandmother, and it is special to see that knowledge being passed down to our quarter Finnish MacOlssons.

And as for the redcurrants....well, I picked 14 kilos from 2 bushes! Moominmamma would have been very impressed, so maybe I am becoming more and more like her. This is my basket of rubyred berries.
I used my cordial steamer picked up for a song at a garage sale. My "saftmaja" is basically a double boiler. You put water in the bottom, the berries sit in a colander type basket, and the heated water steams up through the berries and delicious red saft is created. My 14 kilos of redcurrants made 13 1/2 litres of saft, so the MacOlsson family has a treasure chest of ruby red bottles. For those of you who wish to taste, come and visit us!

Newsboy hat

1 comment:
Well, I am back! Its been a busy old summer, with holidays filled with sea, sand and sun, a trip to Finland and Moominland, with a 40th birthday party for Mr Mrsmacolsson squeezed in there in the middle.

Autumn is slowly sneaking up on us, and the little mrsmacolssons all need new hats, so in my happy surfing moments I came across this blog http://vallieskids.blogspot.com/. Its filled with lovely free patterns, so a big thank you to Valerie for this cute pattern for a brimmed hat.

Miss 4 year old Macolsson requested to be first (goes without saying) so I rummaged in my stash bag and found some cheerful cotton yarn from one of my favourite shops - Lidl! The buttons I found in my button box I took over here from Scotland. I have a feeling they came from an old mohair cardigan I had in the mid 80s....eek!

Anyhow, she is rather happy with it, and now Miss 3 year old Macolsson is patiently waiting for her one, and Mr 2 year Macolsson wants one too, so more updates will follow.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Famous at last!

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Well, sort of famous. Macmillan's Publishers have published my article on Moomin, and are giving away a Snork crocheted by yours truly as a competition prize!
Here's the link....


Friday, 30 April 2010

First Etsy Sale!

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I have been advertising my crochet models on Etsy for a few months now, and wondered if it was worth it! But last week, I had a order for a custom model- a pink car for the soon to be born daughter of a car salesperson! Big thank you to Julie for being my first customer. And here is the car- think I should try some more colours now, maybe even multicoloured?

My dream (or one of them) would be to have a fab little teashop, with homemade scones and lots of tea- using my own teacosies of course! Afternoon tea at mrsmacolsson's! Oh, how Sweden needs to learn about the cosy factor.

Thanks for reading,and please, leave a comment!


Friday, 9 April 2010

Marimekko Tea Cosy

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There is something about Marimekko fabrics that just attracts. Some of them are better known than others, some of the older ones are just so classic that they are modern today. Unikko is fabulous, comes in so many colours and just looking at them makes me happy.
Imagine my joy when I discovered they are now being produced in Mini patterns, and new colours too. Perfect for my continued venture into the world of tea cosies........

Tuesday, 30 March 2010


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Anyone who knows me even just a little, knows that as a true Scot, I do like my pots of tea. At uni, my flatmates, friends and I could get through many pots each day, and the consumption increased in proportion to the looming deadlines.....
Since I met my husband, his tea consumption has gone from zero to at least 3 cups a day.
Tea, of course, proper tea, in my humble opinion should be preferably Scottish Blend, or even Yorkshire Tea, and drunk in good company (either with friends or a book!) and never hurried. Take the time to
warm the pot. Put the milk in first, as my nana used to say, otherwise you get redhaired children. Not true, she had beautiful red hair, I have red tints, and our 3 macolsson children all have a slight reddish tint.....
Anyhow, to fully enjoy tea, you must have a nice tea cosy. And therein lies the problem. Sweden just does not have tea cosies! You can buy beautiful Marimekko teacosies in the Marimekko shop, but they cost a fortune. I have one, its been used so much that it just is wor
n out. So, I decided I need to revolutionise Swedish teadrinking, and introduce these Nordic types to the joys of gorgeous teacosies.
And to go along with these teacosies, an ode to tea, thanks to my dear triplet friends LJC and JC. We sang this many a time at our triplet sleepovers....

I like a nice cup of tea in the morning
To start the day, you see,
And round about eleven, my idea of heaven,
Is a nice cup of tea.
I like a nice cup of tea with my dinner,
And a nice cup of tea with my tea,

When its time for bed,
There's a lot to be said
For a nice cup of tea!

Wednesday, 24 March 2010


1 comment:

I found a really nice crafting magazine in our local supermarket - in English! It had lots of gorgeous scrapbooking,sewing,crochet,knitting idea, and I just fell for this Easter Hen. It was so easy to make from material I had at home, so decided to make a couple more and try to sell them on tradera.com. As always, mr mrsmacolsson is the photographer.

I was in Finland a couple of weeks ago with my lovely motherinlaw, and we spent a long time browsing in bookshops, as we are both bookworms. I found a great hobby bookshop, where you could sit as long as you wanted, drink tea (free!) and browse. Perfect on a cold snowy day, and got lots of inspiration, spent quite a few euros on a gorgeous Cath Kidston book. Am actually really glad I don't live in Britain now - I reckon all my money would disappear on her fabrics.

Shabby Chic is very trendy in Sweden right now - seems like every new shop which opens caters to this. Hmm, should I hop on the train? Well, with three little macolssons at home, shabby works, definitely not chic, as it seems to entail lots of lovely pretty things guaranteed to appeal to the little macolssons!

Have a nice week. Oh, and please leave a comment so I know if someone somewhere reads me.

Friday, 12 March 2010


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Moomin or Mumin is part of our everyday life in mrsmacolsson's family. The kiddies have duvets with Mumin on, their favourite dvds are Mumin, I have a Muminmamma on my keyring and suitcase, mr mrsmacolsson has Muminpappa on his suitcase. We have little Mumins, even had a Muminmobile over the cot, which is now hanging in the playroom. Mumin plates, Mumin cutlery, and a HUGE collection of the beautiful Mumin mugs from Arabia.

So, I suppose it wasn't so surprising that in the middle of my crochet development, I wanted to crochet a Mumin. I tried to find a pattern, but in the end combined feet from one pattern with a chubby body from another and worked on my own head pattern. The result was this blue Mumin, known as Snork, only because I had run out of white!
My friend Fiona suggested I sell on etsy.com, and the other day I received an email from a Children's Books Publisher in the US, wondering if I would like to write an article for them on how Mumin has inspired my crafting! The Publishers had googled Mumin, and found my Snork! Of course I am going to write the article, and there will be a competition to win a crocheted Mumin on their online magazine for kids. How fun is that? In fact, it has inspired me to crochet another Mumin, this time it will hopefully be Muminmamma, since I aspire to be more like her - always happy, completely unfazed by the tricks her family gets up to, and happiest making saft or in her beloved garden.

Friday, 26 February 2010

Etsy shop

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Over the Christmas period I had some of my creations for sale in a local children's clothes shop. A kind of test the market, dip my toe in the water. I sold 4 different toys, but realise that where I live isn't the right place to sell. In Stockholm, where we used to live, they would sell like hot cakes to the cafe latte mammas.

My friend Fiona recommended I try selling them on Etsy, so I have opened my own little shop there. Of course, I am mrsmacolsson there too! Have a look, and tell me what you think.