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    Ormen Lange Bargello

    Pattern for the Ormen Lange bargello quilt

  • Mosaic Circles

    Downloadable pattern for Mosaic Circles

  • Bargello Flame

    Downloadable pattern for Bargello Flame

  • Bargello Dancing Flames

    Downloadable pattern for Bargello Dancing Flames

  • Somerset Pillow

    Downloadable pattern for Somerset Pillow

  • Nine Patch Kameleon Quilt

    Downloadable pattern for Nine Patch Kameleon Quilt

Annual Spring Report 2017

It is interesting to look back on my previous spring reports to see how they vary from year to year. This year seems fairly normal.

Even though the crocuses were record early due to a mild winter, both March and April have been quite cold, so the pictures taken on May 1st is almost exactly like last year.

The woods have just the smallest hint of green to them, and this is mostly due to the last couple of days when the sun came out, and it is warming up. There is still snow in the mountains from the latest snowfall not many days ago.

The winter tyres have just been removed from the car, washed and are drying in the sun, and the summer tyres are on, – more than a week later than the general rules allow. However, they were needed just a few days ago.

The cherry tree has large buds, but no blooms yet. Just as well since there are few insects around.

The bulk of our daffodils are not out yet. The exception besides the early ones is the ones in sheltered spots and next to the south wall. The tulips by the south wall are also budding.

The flowering currant has been in bloom for some time, but the spiraea bush has just a hint of green around it, but no blooms yet. However, with the nice weather we are having now, it will not be long, I expect.

The sheep are enjoying the good weather too, although the lot in this photo were a bit worried. Someone with a dog, – on a leash, mind, as it should be this time of year, – was crossing the field below, so they ran for higher grounds. Lambs were separated from their mothers, so there was a lot of bleating and running around before the little ones got back to their respective guardians for a comforting suckle. Then all was well, and they could settle down and enjoy the glorious day.


And so do we. The weather forecast for the next week is glorious.





Annual Spring Report 2016

The photos below were all taken on May 1st, the date I have used to compare the progress of spring for some time now.


The woods have just a hint of green, – most trees have only small buds, while a few early ones are sporting tiny leaves.


The pussy willow has been out for some time. There is still lots of snow in the mountains and temperatures have been quite low so far.


Crocuses are mostly finished, most of the daffodils are budding, and so is the cherry tree.



Only the very early daffodils and the ones growing in the most sunny places are in bloom.


The tulips along the south wall have large buds.


The spiraea bush, – the very first bush that was planted in our garden nearly 40 years ago, is starting to sprout leaves, but no flowers yet. The rose bush to the right was planted about the same time, and will hopefully display its white roses in a couple of months.


The field looks yellow and bleak, but there must be something green growing underneath since the deer turn up grazing there almost every day.





A Different Kind of Craft

Here is what you need to be able to practice this traditional craft:

A suitable waterfall and some pipes to lead the water to the mill.

Lots of belts and wheels to transfer the power from the mill to the machinery.

The belts will have to crisscross the room from top to bottom, – and back again, – several times.

You need some pieces of wood, preferably not dry, some templates, and a saw.

Can you see what you are going to make?

If you have guessed wooden shoes, or clogs, you have guessed right. Above is a stack of them ready for the next step.

To save you from manually cutting out the shoe, there is this fine piece of machinery, – quite advanced for its age. Who knew they had sensor systems more than a hundred years ago?

The piece in the middle is the template, and there is a sensor which follows the form of the template so the two shoes to the right and left are cut exactly the same, – except that for one of them, the belts have been turned so there will be one left and one right shoe of the same size.

When the two wooden pieces have been fastened on either side, you can just start the machine, and it will finish the outline of the shoes while you go outside to smoke a cigarette or drink a cup of coffee, – not so very different from the advanced embroidery machines of today.

It does not take long to make a whole bunch, – but there also needs to be holes for the feet.

This machine starts the hole.

But you will also need room for the toes….

…. and this machine will help you do that.

Again, there is a template in the middle, with a sensor to help cut the other two the exact same form,  –  this time only for left or right shoes at a time.

You grab the handles and move the set of shoes up, – down, – left, – right, – to make a suitable hole for the toes. Not so very different from the way you steer a longarm quilting machine.

With some practice, you can make beautiful shoes.

Wooden shoes, or clogs, was the everyday shoewear for many people only a generation ago. The photos in this post were taken at the old mill Sellevåg Treskofabrikk close to Skjerjehamn in Gulen, north of Bergen.  The mill is in the process of being restored to become a museum.

The plan is to have all the beautiful old machinery in proper working order till next summer.

Then everyone may come and see how this was really done more than a hundred years ago.


Spring Status Report

Last year I posted my first May 1st report on the progress of spring.

Spring was very cold and rainy then, – even snowy, – so there was not much greenery to be seen when May arrived.

This spring seemed to be progressing along the same lines for a while, but the last week’s fine weather has boosted everything big time.

Suddenly the woods were all green almost from one day till the next. My narcissuses in the photo above have all come out during the last two days.

This morning the ones in the shadiest corner had not come out yet.

However, this evening, just after sundown, I took the photo above, and they are nearly all out here as well. With this kind of weather, they will all be finished in a week, I think.

I’ll just have to enjoy them while they last.

The earliest rhododendron bush will soon open up completely.

The tulips by the south wall have been blooming for a few days already. In the photo they look like they are a red and yellow mix due to the direct sunshine, but in reality they are only red.

I love the way the narcissuses brighten up the garden even when it is nearly dark.

So in conclusion, this year spring has behaved itself much better than it did last year, – so far at least. The last week has been excellent, – even better than most of last year’s summer.  🙂



– “Granny”, the 3-year-old says in an almost inaudible voice, – “we must close the door”.

The two of us are sitting at the dining room table playing domino, and since the two brothers of 5 and 3 have been running in and out, the door to the hall is open, – and besides, it is quite hot in the room with so many people present, so we have not bothered to shut it.

– “Why do we have to close the door?” I ask innocently.  In reality, I am curious to know if he perhaps has picked up some of the “saving-on-heating-and-the-electricity-bill”- attitude that has been so prevalent everywhere during these cold winter months.

– “Because there are dinosaurs out there”, – he says.

So much for the hopes of a green mindset.

– “Where?” I ask, looking through the door, where all we can see from where we are sitting is my design wall. A few smaller quilts are hanging on the wall in waiting for a more permanent wall space either in our house or someone else’s.

“There!” he says, pointing straight at the quilt below.

– “They are in the forest”.

– “But they won’t do any harm in there”, I try to argue.

– “Yes, they will. They want to come out and eat the Dolphin”  (stuffed toy).

He is not going to allow that, so he resolutely jumps down from the chair and closes the door. He climbs back up, hugs the Dolphin and says: “Now you are safe. I will look after you”.

And we can continue our domino game in peace. The dinosaurs are stuck in the woods, – or at least outside the door.


Gølak is gone

Our faithful, persistent, and sometimes troublesome neighbour is now gone. He lasted only till the second day of the hunting season.

His demise even made it to the local newspaper:


The hunters, who are the local farmers around here, have been eyeing him all summer, and especially the last few weeks. They had given him the name “Gølak”, after the man who used to own the land where he has been roaming all summer.  Our house is also built on a small lot on this land, and the man Gølak was my husband’s granduncle.

Having grazed mainly on the farm fields and in the gardens in the neighbourhood, – almost too close for comfort sometimes, – it is no wonder that “Gølak” was high on the list of animals the farmers wanted to get rid of.  Being a large and fat individual was no drawback either, – rather an added bonus from the hunters’ point of view. At 152 kilogrammes he was close to the previous record weight of 160 kilos.

Below are links to previous blog posts where “Gølak” appears:

Update on the neighbours

Visit from Holland

Midsummer’s Eve

Our neighbours have grown

Our neighbours this year



When my father retired, he took up wood carving, among other things.  A few years back he gave me the mangle below, – it is called “mangletre” in Norwegian.


It is an old fashioned ironing device, – the linen was rolled onto a pole and then  pressed smooth with the “mangletre”. This was heavy work, so people switched to mangle machines and irons as soon as they became available.

In some areas the young man often brought a finely carved mangle as a gift to the girl he would ask to marry him.  The handle was often shaped like a horse for strength and fertility.


It is a popular item to make among today’s woodcarvers as well, but now it is only for decorative use.  It sure is beautiful, and one day I would like to take some of the decor elements and use for an applique piece.

I love my mangle, but am also happy that I have a really good iron.