Saturday, May 25, 2013


I finally sat down in my studio.

Isn't it amazing how quick the habit of making art can disappear? For me it started with all the washing and other stuff that had to be done, and suddenly I didn't know what to make or how to make anything. So I guess it's all about sitting down and just do something.
I have of course been making quite alot of posts for my series, but nothing else. I made this doodle drawing a couple of days ago, I didn't plan anything it just happened as I drew. 
This weekend Sandra is here, and I hope we're going to play a bit in the studio too. Would be great to get some paint on my fingers again.
Enjoy your weekend!  

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Originally St. Bernhard Mass. May 22nd.

In Norwegian:
Bjørnevok, which means Bear's wake.
In remembrance of St. Bernhard - Bernhard from Clairvaux 1090-1153.
Old Tradition:
If this day fell on a monday one had to sow coming wedensday, if the day fell on a saturday, on the other hand, one should NOT sow coming monday.
Bear's Wake, it was time for that now. Another important thing here, where I live, was to start  the reed harvest. A traditional craft here is to make slippers from reed, and type of weather determines the quality of the end product. It's most important to avoid foggy weather the weeks before harvesting. If there has been much foggy weather the slippers will not last long, the reed will be of a bad quality. Here is how the slippers look like.
Engraved signs:
Bear, Cross, Bishops hat, Bear's paw.
The sign on my stick is a bishops hat, and it's very interesting. I assume you all know how a Mitra looks. (The Bishops hat) The sign on my stick is made like a kings krown. When reading, I learnt the orthodox Catholics still uses a hat looking like a king's krown. I don't know what it means, but perhaps it was more like orthodox here too way back in time.

Today I had a hard choice, that's why I show you both pieces. I simply can't decide which one I like the most. The black one, like it's sitting in a dark room with just a tiny light source coming in. One can see glimpses of the white hat with all the gold on it. 
And then, the pure white one looking clean and delicious. It's really a Pope worthy. Which is the better one in your eyes? 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Inland heath visiting mother Norway.

Yesterday handyman and I went for a long walk inland heath. It's a beautiful and good walk in warm weather. The Tourism Assosiation has many marked trails around here, and the trail we went leads to something rather spectacular.
The trail is slightly worked so it's easy to walk, in very wet areas there are big stones to tread on. 

It's enjoyable to be out in the wide open heath. Normally everything should be green now but spring has been a delayed. Actually it feels more like we went from winter directly into summer this year.

Handyman waiting for me, I've just climbed a fence. Right here we're in the middle of a fairly hard climb in the trail.  

Finally we can see our goal for the day. In the center of the photo below you can see Mother Norway.
A huge stone on top of another stone, total hight is something like 4 meters.

Here is a closeup. Can you imagine this sculpture in the middle of nowhere?  The sculpture is called Mother Norway and she's dated  1927. It was a local enthusiast who brought her into the heath. He must have spent alot of both effort and money on this project.

Time for some refreshments. We wrote our names in the guest book before returning. 

It's always nice to walk this track, we've been here many times both in good and less good weather.
This time we had beautiful warm weather.

Friday, May 17, 2013

This day of year.

May 17th.
My youngest brother (far right) playing in the childrens parade this morning.

My oldest brother, his wife and their daughter.
Their grand daughter playing in the parade for the first time. 
Now we're off to spend some time with Sandra and her family.
Have a great day everyone!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

St. Hallvards Wake May 15th.

In Norwegian:
Hallvardsok, Hallvards messe.
In remembrance of the Norwegian saint Hallvard (1020- 1043) which was murdered and then thrown into the Drammens fjord with a millstone bound to his neck. The reason was that he did protect a woman who had been stealing. According to legend his corpse returned to surface still bound to the millstone. 
Old tradition:
St. Hallvard is the patron of the city of Oslo.
3 days before and after this day is the best time of year to sow.
The livestock should now be able to find their food outdoors.
Engraved sign:
A millstone, a plate containing seed.
My stick has a sign which could be both, so I chose to make an ordinary millstone.

This is a hand drawing, not a stamp. I find it even more interesting to make drawings, paint them and then work on them in picasa. In fact I use quite much time in picasa to achieve the result I'm after. And it's so fun too, I never notice the time while working.
This way of doing it has opened so many new things to me, and new ideas of things to try. I can work for an hour before some magic happens, and it's interesting to see how different each piece reacts to different tools in picasa. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Something is happening after all.

The spring is very late this year, but still something is happening. I took my camera and photographed some of the flowers blooming right now. Much seem to have frosen so this year the garden won't be as usual.
Otherwise I'm busy preparing for our vacation. Reading and planning and not least preparing a suitable wardrobe to bring. This last weekend we had a big celebration in our extended family. One of the boys (Sandra's brother) had his Konfirmasjon which, from old days,  means to confirm the baptism. These days others than churches host ceremonies like that.
The youths are now to concider as grown ups, even if it's just in the name of it these days. This ceremony is held the year the youth turns 15 years old.
The gifts given are money most times, and it's not unusual that the youth receive 3.500 USD. Now it's just Sandra left, and I think her mom is happy for that. It's quite a big party to throw ans it takes alot of planning and food making. Normally a three-course dinner is served and then alot of cakes and coffee later on. With 20/30 persons attending it's much work in a family to overcome.
It all went well and the main person ( 15 yo.) held a speach so touching we all had to blow our noses.
He gained alot of extra respect for that task and it was nothing less than amazing.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Cross Mass Spring, May 3rd.

In Norwegian:
In remembrance of  Empress Helena finding the Holy cross. She was the mother of Emperor Constantin.
Old traditions:
Now all gates were to be closed and all fences repaired so the animals could be let out and be safe. It  also was time to cut the sheeps wool.
Engraved signs:
Cross, sissors.
In my stick there is a cross.
Normally this should be a cross only, but I couldn't help making the "aura" of a person. It's meant to be an empty space, a suggestion of someone once being there. That is such a well known image and with a cross like mine alot of people would have this image in mind after all. Once again I'm very pleased with the result. This one was made from a hand drawn and hand painted piece, no stamps used here.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Cuckoo mass, May 1st.

In Norwegian:

In remembrance of St. Philip and St. Jacob

Old traditions: 
It's important to notice from which direction one can hear the cuckoo the first time in spring.
North: meant one would be sick or die within the year.
South: meant one would sow in dry weather and have a rich harvest.
West: meant everything would be according to ones wishes.
East: meant one would be successful in love.

If one could sit under a tree with a singing cuckoo one would have three wishes come true, I don't know how many times I tried that as a child. Never successful though.
Where I live it is said that cuckoo mass brings the summer. As children we always had to wait till after May 1st. before we were allowed to go barefooted. 
The Norwegian name, Gaukmesse, probably has it's origin from the first summer month in pagan times which was called gauk mànadr.

Engraved signs:
A cuckoo or a dubble cross.
In my stick the sign is a cuckoo in top of a tree.

I made this piece using a handmade stamp and then painted it. Later on I did manipulate the piece in picasa and am very pleased with the result. I have been searching for this kind of result for a long time and finally I'm able to do it. It's just so satisfying.