Santas workshop

Preparations have been going on for weeks baking and making pictures to sell. Last weekend we had a xmas market in the gallery and this Saturday it’s time to do it all over again. I baked loads of cakes, biscotti and meringues. My husband made Daal and surprisingly it was a best seller! We had potato and leek for the less adventurous visitors but most people still chose the spicy Indian Daal. For this weekend I’ve baked mini meringues (chocolate, vanilla and liquorice) and some more cake. We will do the Daal and also a tomato soup with focaccia. I’ll be making wet plates of visitors that they can buy if they are happy with the result. This morning I took a break from all preparations and helped out for some charity. Sometimes when you have so much to do your head is spinning it’s nice to just take some time off and do something else, the world will seize to exist. So for two hours I sat counting how many sacks, boxes etc that the second hand shop in the harbour Hönö Klova Second Hand have collected for Rumania. They do this 2-3 times a year but before xmas it’s a bit special. They send off boxes of food that the generous islanders have given, this year 63 food boxes. On top of that sacks of clothes, furniture, beds etc. Everything is named with either the names of the families who will receive it or villages. It’s all very organised and I think it’s good to know that all the help will actually reach the goal. I did feel a bit sorry for everyone carrying everything(while I sat counting), my guess is the average age is above 60 for all of them(hope I don’t offend anyone!). In spite of bad backs, shoulders etc they had after two hours packed a huge trailer with 200 sacks, 120 boxes, 14 beds, a freezer, 3 hospital beds, a wheel chair and a lot more. Very impressive I think!

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Christmas come early

img_0458 img_0447 img_0436After last weekends nightmare with all but one hen eaten by the fox it’s taken some time to get over the nightmares. We did go out the same day to a neighbour and got two new hens. Felt too sorry for Maggie who was the only one left and an attempt to sooth my broken soul and my daughters. She had woken up in the middle of the night hearing noises but was too scared to come downstairs in the dark and felt so guilty. As did I who left the hatch open by misstake. Now our two new hens have settled in and they are both big personalities!  My daughter named them Nettie and Lottie. Maggie immediately started kicking and biting them but now she’s calmed down and they actually hang out in the garden together, at a distance. I’ve been out there all most of my days keeping an eye on them. It does help that the local garden center has a fantastic discount. 10 Swedish kronor/perennial. I’ve made three trips now with my moped! Plus all the spring bulbs that needed planting. While planting the bulbs I found more quince-I! When we moved out I bought a rose quince bush and thought it was just decorative but now we have fruit. Tiny yellow hard fruits. I also tidied up the barn/gallery and put the xmas lights up. Planning a xmas market and feeling it already. The barn looked so nice with all the lights on, it’s going to be great!

Amazing voices and the Monday blues

IMAG6092 IMAG6100 IMAG6101 IMAG6114 IMAG6116 IMAG6121After a fantastic weekend it’s kinda hard to wake up to a normal day. Yesterday was the first time I had a music event in the barn/gallery. After months of planning and promoting my nerves were wrecked and I could hardly breathe. At first I was worried that no one would show up and then lots of bookings rolled in and I started freaking out about too many turning up. Turned out I could have saved myself from all the stress, the day was absolutely fabulous! The band was called Irmelin, a folk music trio from Sweden. They have toured all summer and this was their finale. Just the right amount of people turned up. Sitting in the barn listening to Irmelin singing old Swedish folk songs a’capella was a completely magical experience. Afterwards everyone had a second go at the “fika” table and mingled outside in the sun with chickens, dogs and children running around. It was the first music event in the gallery but definitely not the last!

My box is done!

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amazing what you can fit on a bike trolly

not easy to keep concentration when the barn turns into a zoo...

not easy to keep concentration when the barn turns into a zoo…

beginning of a box

beginning of a box

getting there and getting late...

getting there and getting late…

surprise visitor!

surprise visitor!

lost seagull

lost seagull

Did I do this?!?

Did I do this?!?

Inside, folded down

Inside, folded down

inside folded up

inside folded up

finished box! Wohoo!!

finished box! Wohoo!!

So I decided earlier this year that this would be a wet plate year, no actually, THE wet plate year. I also have a another great big plan but it’s too early to spill the beans… Anywho, I started out building my wet plate box with stuff I had but soon realised that I wanted the box to be long lasting, sturdy and nice looking so I took a bike ride to the wood shop. Bought big boards of plywood and while figuring out how to fasten it to my bike-trolly one of the guys working there stopped and asked if I needed assistance(the perks of being female is sometimes very rewarding). He was nice enough to cut the wood into the measurements I had in my head. I cycled back and started building. Only problem was the plywood was a bit bent but I just worked on feeling and didn’t mind the measurements too much. The chicks came to watch and then suddenly I see movement and look up, there’s a huge seagull there! Almost inside the barn. I followed it around for a while taking pictures and making sure that it wasn’t injured, it could fly so that was not the case, but it was not a bit scared of me or the hens. It got me thinking of the story my 96 year old neighbour told me about the seagull who used to steal peoples underwear from the beach, fly far out and drop them in the sea! I’ve spent most of my time lately working on the box but also clearing another wall in the gallery. Somehow I got that huge kitchen cabinet down and turned upside down, on my own, without being squashed. I do need some storage space so I’m keeping it but it needs a lick of paint and some textile where the doors were. As always when I get into these creative swirls there’s a moment where I stop and look around, thinking -did I create this mess?? My husband having a Frank Zappa-week has helped me heaps, forcing me outdoors. Oh well, tomorrow is the big day, trying out my new box!

Freezing winter exhibition

DSC_0201 DSC_0211 DSC_0213 DSC_0216 DSC_0229 DSC_0249-2 DSC_0259 DSC_0275The gallery was open at the weekend. 3 photographers and me had pictures on show and also selling cakes and postcards. I had put Christmas lights up on the outside and framed the windows with green branches. Thought to buy Christmas tree branches from the flowershop but realised that I had everything I needed in my garden. It looked so nice, cosy and Christmassy! Bloody freezing though. The temperature dropped to a few minus degrees(celsius) and there is no heat in the barn whatsoever. In the evening I walked around indoors wearing 2 pairs of stockings, a pair of trousers, slippers, hat, woolly scarf and 3 jumpers to warm up… Saturday we had lots of visitors but Sunday not many people braved the biting icy wind. The hens don’t seem to mind the cold. At one time they all came up to the barn, to peoples amusement. All in all a great weekend though! We sold my husbands sourdough bread and lots of jars with Nam prik pho and rest of the blackberry jam I made in autumn. I couldn’t help myself buying one of the other photographers photos so now I have a small collection on my wall(well two) and not only my pictures. I sold a few handmade necklaces as well as photos. A few weeks ago I started making them. The first ones looked fantastic and I was overjoyed for a few days, until a couple of days later when they had gone green. Panic! After lots of Googling I found out that loads of people have had the same problem. Now I’ve swapped glue and clean the glass, same as I do with the wet plates and it seems to do the trick! it’s so much fun making them and they look great. I don’t have to buy Christmas presents this year.

Premiere!!

Finally!! April the 23:d 2013 I started the adventure Starting on the barn turning the dump of a barn into a gallery. Leading up to the premiere I’ve been so stressed fixing the last things, painting signs, advertising etc etc that I’ve hardly eaten or slept for weeks. It was worth it though. I opened Friday and there were more people than expected and Saturday people absolutely flooded the place from opening and carried on until after closing. The photographer that I had chosen for the opening is called Karin Berglund. Karin has been working as a journalist for thirty years and she’s written and photographed a number of garden books. Every year she goes on numerous garden trips around the world for inspiration, to write stories and photograph. I was flattered and surprised that she said yes when I asked her. Karin’s pictures, gum bichromates and photo gravures, brought the walls to life and I think the other way around as well. I wished to sell at least one picture to make it feel even more worthwhile for her but ended up selling three! I had so much positive respons and praise during the two days that I’m overwhelmed. While talking to one guest and explaining how much work the whole transformation has taken I surprised myself by almost crying. Silly I know but it’s been such a journey with real blood sweat and tears. Now it’s done and I am very much looking forward to future happenings in there. A friend of mine who’s a photographer, her name is Eva Brandin, sent me some pictures she took so I’ll post them here because I think she really managed to catch the beauty of the new gallery. Now I’m going to bed very happy but very very tired.20151002_1932 webb 20151002_1933 webb 20151002_1935 webb 20151002_1937 webb 20151002_1939 webb 20151002_1942 sv webb 20151002_1945 webb 20151002_1949 webb 20151002_1951 webb 20151002_1954 webb 20151002_1955 webb 20151002_1957 webb

It’s a Yes

more colourful

more colourful

my favourite

my favourite

first plate

first plate

Linnéa doing a great job

Linnéa doing a great job

the world as a tintype

the world as a tintype

I’ve been waiting all summer for an official go-ahead with the barn, because I am changing the use of it from storage to gallery. Now I’ve had a Yes! Wohoo! I’ve set the opening date to October the 9th so I have about a month to do the last preparations. Plenty of time to procrastinate, as my husband would say. So instead of finishing the last details with lights etc I did some wet plates. It’s great to be able to use the barn as a studio now when the weather is changing so rapidly. I wanted to do a shot that I’d been thinking about for a while. I have this big world map globe from my grandfather(which can also be used as a lamp) and thought it would look nice on a plate. Realised pretty quickly that I’d forgotten about the wet plate colour map! The collodion doesn’t treat colours the normal way so when I lit up the globe it became mainly orange and green which with the collodion turned black. Looks kinda cool though and turned out great when I made one on glass(Ambrotype). I had asked my cousins daughter to come around to model. She did an amazing job. How can anyone stand still, not blink and smile in a natural way for 25 seconds? When the first plate was perfect I couldn’t help thinking it would go bad somehow but the last plate ended up being my favourite.