Page 1

Estrid live. create. be curious. be you.

Scandinavian living, fika, art and crafts


Hello I know that I´m not alone in feeling that the pace of life is so fast these days (and I know people felt this way back in the day as well). It´s more than just work, activities, school, preschool, pick up, drop off, mealtimes. It´s a sense of all the news, updates, fun stuff and every bit of information passing by in the blink of an eye. So much to see, so much to do and so much to process. It´s way too easy to just follow along, running, without stopping to see or feel what is happening. Often forgetting to question: Is this what I want? Following your heart runs like a red thread through Estrid magazine. Listening to yourself and creating your own life. It´s not always easy. Quite often, we don´t even know what our heart is telling us. What is it that I want? We might have a nagging feeling that something needs to change, but don’t know what it is immediately. I believe this is connected to the pace. When we´re running through our days and filling the few gaps we have with a constant flow of social media we can no longer hear our deepest wish. Because the whispers of the heart gets drowned in all the rest. We need quiet moments in our lives, time for reflection, and the courage to meet ourselves. That´s when that small inner voice can be heard.  And even if others are running, it´s nice to realize that you can still walk. And you can walk wherever you want, even if that´s a different path than the highway. I hope Estrid magazine will inspire you to listen to your heart´s voice and encourage you to create your life as you want to live it. Maria Editor and publisher Maria Thörn Contributors in this issue Therese Johansson, Mia Carlström, Molly Pettersson, Malin Barrios, Helena Sahlander, Ida Therén, Romi Hasa, Ebba af Uhr, Sarah Pleavin and Charlotte Myhrberg. Thank you Estrid Antonsson, Thea Thörn, Lea Carlström, Elin Barrios, Andreas Lindholm och Sebastian Bauer. or You can also find Estrid on Instagram and Facebook @estridmagazine 2

Estrid Magazine 1 2017-2018

Inside Estrid Pia and Dennis Kammeborn and their kingdom. Knitting and listening to their hearts’ voices. Visby, Gotland. Tinker tray. Yummy recipes, Swedish fika and Smash Cake. Lots of chocolate. The Sahlander family in their house from the 1800s. Melanie and her cactuses. Lots of crafts and art. Alcohol ink art, felt and nature, unique necklaces. A seasonal table. Stunning nature photos by Sebastian Bauer. Have fun with pasta mandalas. Bugs and ladybugs. Fun and crafty for the youngest. Swedish music. Crystal eggs and good books. Snailmail and the revival of real letters. Artist Eva-Lena and her little red cottage. Recycle + craft. Find you hobby. Be kind to yourself. Nature walk.


Pia and Dennis are authors of the beutiful book “Picknick: utflykter och inflykter� about picnics outdoors and indoors. Pia (and sometimes Dennis) are blogging here: Together they also make Kammebornia podcast. You can find it on Youtube (with English subtitles). They talk about knitting and life. The pod is both inspiring and beautiful, with many pictures from Visby. On Instagram they post pictures from every day life in their kingdom. Pia is @kammebornia and Dennis @ kingofkammebornia


Estrid Magazine 1 2017-2018

Pia och Dennis Kammeborn about creating a kingdom and listening to your heart’s voice Is it possible to move an entire kingdom? I ask myself this question while entering the Botanical Garden in Visby. I have arrived here to meet Pia and Dennis Kammeborn, two conoisseurs of the art of living. Last summer they followed their heart´s voices and took their own kingdom, Kammebornia, with them as they moved from the mainland to the city of roses and ruins, in Gotland. It was no coincidence they ended up here. Ever since she came to Gotland for the first time at the age of seventeen, she has longed for this place. Ever since she and Dennis first met, every summer they have attended the Middle Age Week in Visby, constantly dreaming of someday being able to live here. In the winter of 2016 Pia suffered from pneumonia, and on top of that she had been prescribed wrong medicine. – She was very ill and very weak, says Dennis. When she told me she wanted me to bury her on Gotland, I thought, oh my God. However, after a while she became healthy again. I called the man whose house we had rented during the summer, and asked if he could offer us a more permanent living available, and he did. When they were given the opportunity to live there, they decided to go ahead. Their older children had already moved out from their home, and the younger ones were excited about moving to Gotland. Pia and Dennis were both entrepreneurs, working from home. Because of this, they were able to live and work wherever they wanted. In order to raise money for the move, Pia created a knitting pattern for socks called “Longing for Gotland” which she sold om – a web based

knitting community. The Kingdom of Kammebornia We sit down on a bench in the herbary, surrounded by tall trees. It is a sunny and windy day. Dennis carries a picnic basket. –When people ask what this kingdom is all about, I usually say that it’s about letting everyone be their own kings and queens in their own lives. It’s about letting people be able to live in their own fairy tales, but in reality, Pia explains. You know, there are so many people who feel left out and out of place, both on the inside and the outside. All we know is what’s here and now, and we have to make the best out of it. Life isn’t always easy, not for us either, certainly not. She turns to Dennis: – Dennis, could you please serve the cake. Dennis picks up a thermos with coffee, cups, and a fragrant cinnamon cake out from the picnic basket. Very kammebornian-like, I think to myself. Coffee and homemade cakes are probably one of the building stones of our Kingdom. A very likable one. Pia tells us more about the Kingdom. It all started when they got married in 2011. By that time, they had already gone through tough things together, such as crises and illnesses. Dennis had had a

heart attack and Pia had been on sick leave for stress and exhaustion. Even though they had never been career people this was still a wake-up call, and they decided to start living a calmer life. They felt that they wanted to work more from home, and with artistic projects together. – We wanted to stay away as much as possible from the city with all its hectic traffic and sharp lights, says Pia. We wanted to have more time for each other and the family instead. It was when they were planning their wedding, that the idea of the Kammebornia Kingdom started growing in their minds. Or rather, it became like a game of play. A thing that has always been present in the Kammeborn family. The family had a house outside the town of Nyköping. It was surrounded by a beautiful garden and the surrounding nature felt magic. This was their own little world, their Kingdom. – We wanted the wedding to be playful, beautiful and warm, says Pia. On our wedding invitation cards we had written ‘Welcome to our Kingdom’. And you had your Coronation speech when we got married, and you talked about how you wished for the world to be a warmer, softer and less stressful place for everyone.


– And more playful, Dennis adds. – Yes, and then we chose our motto, which is love and play. I think those words are not just plain words, but something that actually distinguish Pia and Dennis from other people. The deep love for each other, and the way they cherish their love for eachother at difficult times. The love to their fellow human beings and the playfulness is also apparent in everything they do. – Would you like a piece of the cake? Dennis says and hands over the cinnamon cake. Of course we do. Concerning courage or the necessity to enter on a new path When Pia started her blog in the spring of 2012, she wanted to give it a long term name since she was about to start up her own business and work from home. She decided on Kammebornia, or more specifically the Queen of Kammebornia, which is the title of the blog. But how does one dare to let go? To leave the monthly paycheck and follow your heart’s voice? – The thing is,we didn’t have a choice really, because we both became ill, says Dennis. – Many people say we are brave, but we just did what we had to, Pia


adds. done wedding photography and art Dennis had a heart attack and got projects. really ill. He went to the SahlgrenThey have also created a phoska hospital for heart surgery. He to-book called ‘Picknick, utflykter was not in any risk zone. He did not och inflykter”, about picnics. They smoke, and he drank moderately. were working on it for two years, Stress was the reason. His body and at the same time they were couldn’t take it any more. After committed to other projects in this, he had to make a choice. Live order to raise enough money. a calm life or die. They live their life one day at a They had to For many years they lived in a small house change their in the country side with cold water in the lifestyle and decrease their kitchen, tile stoves, a wood burning iron daily expenses. stove, and chickens in the garden. The For many years winters were cold, and they were short of money. At times, life was tough for them. they lived in a small house in the country side with cold water in the kitchen, time. After Dennis’s heart attack, tile stoves, a wood burning iron he wasn’t able to continue stove, and chickens in the garden. working with his painting company. The winters were cold, and they Then, Pia ended up on sick leave were short of money. At times, life from her work as a high school was tough for them. During this teacher. She says that after a few period, Pia started blogging. months on sick leave, she had a – One day she was standing in counseling on how to adapt her the doorway saying: I’m going to working situation in order for her start blogging! Dennis remembers. to be able to come back. Whenever Pia does something, This counseling made her realize she does it very thoroughly. The that it wasn’t her herself who was blog grew bigger and bigger, and ill, it was the environment. The here we shared our philosophy school wasn’t a good place for her, of living a simple and healthy life, it made her sick. She still loved and so on. And then, we began her lessons and the students, but with handcrafting. We have also it was everything else around it. A Estrid Magazine 1 2017-2018

teacher’s work doesn’t end when the lesson is over. She realized she simply wasn’t in the right place, she had to do something else. She had already done some extra jobs parallel to her teaching, like photographing and storytelling for children. She was thinking she could do more of that. – And, we were also about to have a child, Pia says. Because I was pregnant, I dared to quit. My plan was to live on our savings during my pregnancy, and then I was going to be on maternity leave for as long as possible, and finally start my own business. Of course, to resign was a choice we made. But I couldn’t continue working at school. I just felt so bad there. We lived very cheap. We had small incomes here and there, and we were pretty sure it would work itself out for us. But there was no maternity leave. Pia and Dennis’s son was born prematurely and he didn’t survive. After giving birth to their dead son and an additional severe infection, Pia went into a depression and was put on sick leave. She certainly felt exposed, but she never regretted that she had resigned. When she was declared back to normal health again she started up her company, only to fall sick again.

She was diagnosed with cancer in the womb, and she went into yet another sick leave with several serious surgeries. It turned out to be a long sick-leave, but finally she could begin to build her company again. In the beginning, she wrote and photographed stories for magazines. Nowadays, she and Dennis spend more time with their podcast, Kammebornia podcast, where they knit and talk about life in their Kingdom. Advertising space generates income. Pia also creates and sells knitting patterns. An activity which so far has gone beyond their expectations. The knitting runs like a thread through their Instagram accounts, their podcast and their blog. Recently, Dennis has also begun knitting. Often they publish photos of ongoing knitting, a cup of coffee, a semi finished scrabble, a homemade cake and sometimes an old book. These images are beautiful and inspiring even for those who have never come across a pair of knitting needles and a yarn skein. Pia is the photographer, but they create their images together. They experiment with them and use whatever they have at hand. For example, the iron bed on the cover of the book was not put there

for just the shooting. It was there since long before, because they enjoyed laying down on it, reading. – But sometimes I may put a thing or two in another angle in order for it to look better. I believe this is one reason people like our photos. We never go and buy new things for a photo-shoot. Instead, we use what we’ve got. This is really us. – I believe we share the same vision when it comes to our artistic creativity, Dennis says. That is why everything is working well. – We seldom plan what to create, it just happens. – We experiment along the way. While Pia is photographing Dennis takes care of the models, whether they are humans or chickens and cats. He provides them with food and beverage, making sure they don’t get cold. He recalls of when they had lambs, and Pia wanted to photograph them while jumping. – I wanted them to emerge behind the cowslip flowers, Pia says, laughing at the memory. – I sort of just make sure it happens. This is how we work. Pia is leading and she is the one who initiates all the projects. – The picnic book was for sure my idea, but it would never have


“A new revolution is necessary. A warm revolution about love.” ended up looking the way it does if it wasn’t for the two of us. It is our book, Pia declares. About following your heart Dennis concludes they just keep talking. He asks if I have any more questions for them. I reply I don’t. In fact, I just want to talk about the overriding theme of following one’s heart. – That is the most important question, he says. We continue talking about courage not being a necessity when resigning. I go on telling them that I have never had a permanent employment. Pia says she has been offered permanent employment twice and both times she panicked. She says she believes it to be about one’s personality. When you have a permanent employment, you feel unfree instead of secure. – I’ve never had a permanent employment, Dennis says. I cannot, it doesn’t work for me. If we were to starve to death, then yes. But as long as we don’t, I need to feel free. Freedom is more important. Otherwise I will climb up a tree and hide myself. Surely, they have many followers


on social media, and they get to do exciting projects, even though life is not always easy. Especially the last two years have been difficult, since we barely have had any money. – Sometimes,everything feels hopeless, Pia says. I wonder, how could we talk to you about creativity and inspiration. How could we inspire others when we barely know how to survive next week? This is how it feels sometimes. Maybe this is exactly what gives us inspiration. The hashtag #liveauthentic is not only for picnic blankets on the beach, but also for disappointments in life, like not having enough money to cover the bills, chronic ache, and the disappointment of having to face a society that doesn’t always understand. But even in the midst of hard times, nothing ever turns into complete darkness. They still have their love, they have each other and their family, they play. ‘Love and play’, the motto of the Kingdom of Kammebornia, is always present. In July Dennis will work extra in a restaurant. During the intensive summer weeks, there is an abundance of job opportunities on Gotland. However, Dennis is not able to work too much because of his heart problems, but he works as much as he is capable of. It’s hard because he gets tired, but it works out fine since it’s only during a short period of time. – We will always figure out something for our economy, he says. I think it also depends on how you feel mentally during a certain period of time. At times, things feel night black. But sometimes we get this feeling though the rent is payed. I believe you have to Estrid Magazine 1 2017-2018

believe in yourself. Trust your own strength. He is critical towards how society is structured. He believes we could live without 80 % of the things we fabricate. People work to get their paycheck.Then they go and buy things they don’t necessarily need. We should reconstruct our society. Instead, we should take more care of each other. – A new revolution is necessary, Pia says. A warm revolution about love. – Pia, tell us about the followyour-heart story, Dennis says. Pia nods and tells the story of an old colleague. At a coffee break Pia asked her if she believes everything is predetermined or if we have the ability to decide things on our own. Her colleague responded that of course you have a free choice , but you can’t choose. Pia didn’t understand at all what she meant. She explained: We can feel in our heart what’s right, then we are free to follow this feeling or not. she had already given this much thought. Therefore, this became something on an eye-opener for her. As if the answer responded to all the questions she previously had been struggling with. To, in your heart, be able to feel and recognize what is right and wrong for you. At times it can be difficult, she says, but most of the times she can recognize what her heart is telling her. When she puts away all the ‘must do´s’ and ‘what if’s’, she is filled with positive feelings, telling her that it must be the right way for her. – My heart’s voice, from what I have understood lately. We may give it different names. Some people might call it gut’s feeling. – Intuition? I suggest. – Others might call it God or

spiritual guidance. We might call it different things, it’s just a matter of definition. it’s all about what we feel is right. – Spirituality is important, Dennis says. This thing, spirituality, is disappearing more and more in our society. – I believe people need something of a spiritual compass, Pia continues. Or a tool to help you listen to your heart’s voice, or whatever you want to call it. Not everyone feels comfortable about going to a church, or a temple, or similar. But many people say they like the nature, feeling the power of nature. If we never allow us the chance to experience that calmness and stillness, other things will start to occupy that empty space within us. Buying a new porch or more clothes, even though our wardrobe is already full. I feel sick when I think of everything people are consuming. – If we had lots of money, what would we do with it? Dennis asks. I’ve never understood anything of this. He stays quiet for a while, looks up to the tree tops surrounding the herbary. He sometimes sit and observe them for hours on end, like some kind of meditation. The

trees are always there, the wind is moving in the tree tops. You can feel the power of nature surrounding you. Like Ferdinand the Bull, he prefers sitting under a shady tree, rather than visiting the superstore Ullared. Pia and Dennis make jokes about visiting Ullared. A place, both of them are certain, they will never visit. Pia laughs and says she would pay money for not having to go there. – People should not have bad conscience for buying things. It’s fine. But, at some point we have to stop… we should have started thinking about the environment a long time ago, Dennis says. Soon, it will be too late. It’s like we don’t care and just keep going. He believes that if you are to follow your heart, it’s also important to choose a place to live in where you can find beauty and comfort. If you have the possibility to do so. Pia agrees and says that we are more affected by the environment in which we live than we think. Naturally, we like different things. Some things are beautiful, some don’t. It´s important to try to create environments that we find beautiful and then spend time there. I tell them, to me it’s

portant to have the forest nearby. That I’m able to, from my kitchen window on the second floor, see pines and spruces. – I agree, the trees are important, Dennis says. – I like having the archaeological moats next to Visby City Wall, and the beach nearby, says Pia. I imagine to grab a blanket and lay down somewhere on the beach. They had been dreaming of moving to Visby, at some point in their lives. But the opportunity came much earlier than they could ever imagine. It’s not easy to find a permanent living inside the City Walls, and Pia believes they were meant to move here. – When I disembarked for the first time, I knew this was my home. I never want to leave this place. This is how I feel every time I disembark. We really like it here, so we’re glad we took the opportunity to move here. To move a Kingdom doesn’t have to be difficult if the Kingdom is about everyone’s right to live their own fairy tales. With its narrow streets surrounded by the City Wall and the sea, wherever do the fairy tales feel more alive and present than here?



Estrid Magazine 1 2017-2018

Apple, cinnamon and vanilla cheesecake This cheesecake is really delicious and serves several persons.

Start with the crust. Mix quickly, preferably in a food processor: 50 g brown sugar 125 g butter 200 g flour Dress a springform pan with the mixture, and gently push up the sides as well. Bake in 175°C for 20 minutes. At the same time: Cut 3 apples in thin slices. Put them in a buttered pan and sprinkle 1 tsp cinnamon on top of them. Bake the apples in the oven for 20 minutes, together with the springform pan. Meanwhile the apples and the crust bake in the oven, mix together: 400 g cream cheese 2 eggs 1 dl sugar 1 tbsp flour 1 tsp vanilla sugar Put the apples on the crust in the springform pan. Pour over the batter and bake in the oven for about 1 hour. Let it cool before you remove the cake from the springform pan.


Felt + nature Are you one of those who forget to water your plants? Here’s the perfect solution for you: combine felt and twigs and create “plants” that never wilt. Go out and look for branches, twigs or sticks that you like and bring them home. The plant to the left has felt leaves in two shades of green. They were glued to the stick using a glue gun. You can use hobby glue too, but a glue gun is a quicker solution. The tree to the right was painted in a careless fashion with a metallic blue paint, to let the natural dark color of the birch twigs peek through. Felt fabric in red and pink is a sharp contrast to the blue stem. You can glue sequins to the flowers for a shinier effect. What do you like? Nature, colourful, monochrome? Maybe recreate your favourite plants, or make a gorgeous bouquet?


Estrid Magazine 1 2017-2018


Artist Eva-Lena Mansson

The Cottage Någolunda The last part of the road to the cottage is a bridle road. Just before the road ends I turn into the yard, pass a garden patch with vegetables and I park the car. The first things I see are flowers, water and art projects inspired by nature. In a bird’s nest made from birch is a stoneware bird hatching its smooth white stone eggs. There is a geranium growing in a hanging bucket and on a bench is a big concrete tray with water standing. Both a real peony and a big stoneware flower are bobbing on the water surface. In the cottage, Någolunda, in the outskirts of the village of Linneryd in Småland, the artist Eva-Lena Mansson has created an oasis. Here is a meeting place between old and new, nature and culture. In her garden she has created several


small still life of things she has found, grown, picked or made. An artistic hairdresser The first time I met Eva-Lena was in the end of the 1990’s when she did my hair for the prom. I remember her as a hairdresser who took her time, and not the kind you would go to, to get your hair done quickly on your lunch break. My hair was pinned up and decorated with rust-coloured berries, a unique and tasteful hair-do. Originality and a strong sense of colour and shape are what I think characterize Eva-Lena. That, and a curiosity for people and the way we think. She has always been an artist on the side of her profession as a hairdresser and in my bookshelf is a book with her paintings and thoughts from the exhibition “Var

Estrid Magazine 1 2017-2018

rädda om varandra!” (“Take Care of Each Other!”) from 1991. “The best things are almost for free”, she writes in her book and it is something she still lives by, preferring the simple life, close to nature, over consumption and a wound up lifestyle. A special kind of home It’s now many years ago since she retired from being a hairdresser and bought the cottage. At the time the house had been abandoned for forty years. Converting it into something that looks like a home has taken her time, around ten years. The cottage can almost be seen as an art project in progress. It’s not like stepping into any other summer house. You can tell that an artist lives there, and many times I find myself thinking “Aha, that’s another way of doing it!”. With a tight budget and an ability to spot opportunities, she has created a home of things that others have rejected. The cottage is snug with a combination of old and new, worn out wood and warm textiles. There are also some unexpected things, in the kitchen is a bath tub for example. The cottage has received the culture award of Tingsryd’s municipality and today she has bookings, with groups of people that can visit the cottage, the animals and the surroundings. At the barn she invites to “fika” (a coffee or tea break, often with something sweet). Indoors when it’s raining, but today the sun is shining and waffles with jam and

The best things can be almost free whipped cream are set on the table outside the barn. Even the outhouse has a cosy feeling to it, because despite her words “Ett vanligt skithus” (“Just a regular shit house)” on the wood, I have a snug feeling sitting there among the red-painted walls, delicate fabrics and tendrils of colourful faux flowers. Chicken and sheep Helping her to keep the grass short is a bunch of social sheep, which love a good scratch. In the sheeppen is also a chicken coop, at the moment without a rooster due to a fatal meeting with the fox the day before. Two of the chickens are hatching, and the others look inquisitively at us, wondering if we brought any sweets for them. We did.

The wool from the sheep is used in Eva-Lena’s creating. She knits, crochets and spins the wool and sometimes she has groups visiting to learn how to create in wool. Individuals, school classes and companies come to visit her cottage. She takes them for a guided tour showing the house, the flowers in the meadow, the animals and the root cellar, connecting present and past and thoughts on how one can live their lives. Well, what do you really need to feel good? Such questions come to your mind while visiting this lovely little spot of Eva-Lena’s. Footnote: The cottage name Någolunda refers to being a bit odd, not the high standard that you usually are used to but still good enough for a home.

More about torpet Någolunda (in Swedish) on


Pin board: This is important Ducks are important to me and I like drawing so I drew two ducks. I was in Italy last summer. We visited a person who said he had ducks. I got to see the ducks and realized I love ducks. The best thing with ducks is how they act. They are kind. Estrid, 11 years.

My family is very important to me because I love them and they love me. Lea, 8 yars. 16

Estrid Magazine 1 2017-2018

t to me 1. Nature is important to me, it makes me feel free and happy. It makes me feel alive. I feel good and feel how peaceful everything is. One can relax and think properly. 2. Family and friends are important. They can cheer you up, give you hope and self confidence. You know they are always there for you. They support me. If the day is dark, they make it bright. 3. Books are important to me. They are worthwhile and good for life. They can be sad, funny, scary, romantic and a lot of other stuff. You can choose what is good for you right now. Elin, 10 years.



Throw away, sell or give away? Maybe neither. Instead, bring a needle, thread, leftover paint, beads and other craft materials you have at home and give your old things a second chance.

Sometimes you buy shoes that feels so comfy, but don’t look good at all. Like these shoes, in several shades of grey, the wrong kind of grey. Especially if you like colourful shoes. It would be a pity to throw them away, so they got a new life with some paint. They were painted in red leather paint and some parts of them got more layers of paint than other parts, in order to get different shades of the colour. When the paint had dried the shoes immediately felt a lot happier. But something was missing. They needed some details and were decorated with turquoise crochet flowers and sequins.


Estrid Magazine 1 2017-2018

A tray that felt dated, became new and fresh with turquoise paint and a flamingo. The motif was traced on using a pencil, then painted with a paintbrush and hobby paint. If you don’t feel artistic, you can search for simple motifs or silhouettes on the internet. Simple, graphic patterns with squares or stripes also look good. A broken frame became a display board for pins. It didn’t matter it was a bit broken, in fact, it just made it more charming that way. The frame was painted twice with yellow hobby paint. Then it was painted carelessly, firstly orange, then turquoise hobby paint which before drying, was rubbed over the surface with a piece of cloth. A layer of cotton-wool was glued to the back part and fabric (from an old pair of tights) was strained over it. Then the back part was fastened in the frame again. And, voila, a new, happy display board for pins.


A unique piece of jewellery

A piece of jewellery that combines several techniques and material. Use a photo, an illustration or a favourite quote. You need: Polymer clay Clear glass stones Picture, photo of patterned paper Embossing powder Chain, wire or thread Glue stick Scissors, knife, paint brush, needle or tooth pick, rolling pin Do like this: Begin by glueing the glass stone to the motif and cut away the excess paper. If the paper is thin you can back it up with a thicker paper or cardstock. Use the rolling-pin to make the polymer clay smooth and thin (a few millimeters). If it’s hard and difficult to roll, you can work it with your hands for a while first. (If you don’t have a rolling-pin you can use a glass bottle.) Make a hole at the top, where you want to attach the chain or thread. You can do it with a tooth pick or the opposite end of the paint brush. Smooth the edges around the hole with your finger. Roll a long, thin thread of the clay, fold it double 20

Estrid Magazine 1 2017-2018

and twist it carefully. Place it around the glass stone and carefully press it down. It secures the glass stone to the back of the piece. Use the rolling-pin to make a thin piece of clay and cut the shapes you want to decorate with. On the first piece of jewellery it’s leaves and on the second one it’s threads of clay rolled in a messy way to create patterns and decorations. Put the pieces of clay on the piece of jewellery. Let them be partly on the glass stone. It looks nice and also secures the glass stone. Use your knife and carefully make patterns in the clay, like the delicate lines in the leaves. With a needle or tooth pick you can make small dots to create an interesting structure. With a soft paint brush, carefully add embossing powder to the piece of jewellery (avoid the glass stone). Place the piece of jewellrey on a baking sheet lined with bakingpaper and bake it according to the instructions on the clay (normally 10-20 minutes). Leave it to cool down before attaching a chain or thread. Tip: It looks really good with black clay, but in order to get clear and detailed photos I picked brown this time.



Dear Estrid! I’m at my favourite café with a cup of tea (chai with oat milk) and a cardamom bun and felt like writing a letter. Outside it’s cold. I’m reminded of that movie, ”You’ve got mail” staring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, which came out in 1998. Back then receiving an email was so exciting. I had some email friends then. It was fun to get quick replies and we could write back and forth several times a day. Unfortunately, most of the conversations also ended very soon. That ”ping” when I got a new email wasn’t that exciting after a while. ”Okay, email again,” I thought. I think it’s time for ”Snailmail ” to make a comeback. Email is convenient when you need to reach someone and can’t wait for a letter, but real paper letters are something special. They give you a moment when you can relax and reflect, something seldom in today’s busy times I think you would enjoy having a penfriend. I have a couple now, but close to me and abroad. Some write long letters on simple, lined paper, others craft and decorate and also send small gifts. It feels a bit like Christmas to get snailmail. Not only bills in the mailbox. I have found some penpals via social media. On Instagram you can find penpals under several hashtags, such as #penpalswanted. There are also Facebook groups dedicated to penpalling. 22

Estrid Magazine 1 2017-2018

Did you know that the author Lisa Bjärbo met her husband via letters? Or, rather, via email. I bit like in the movie ;-) They met when they studied French in Paris and after going home they stayed in touch via email for one and a half years. From the beginning they were only friends, but over time it became more than friendship. They met again, back in Sweden, and the rest is history, so to speak. (Secret: Sometimes I wish I was allowed to read other people’s letters. How are they writing to each other? What are they discussing and telling each other?) The perfect letter according to me: personal, honest, asks questions and is interested in the recipient, tells about oneself and daily life. I think it is important to write more than one sentence about each topic. Use all senses when discribing, instead of just writing ”first this happened, then that, then this”. Also write about emotions and thoughts. Give feedback on the letter one is replying to. What is a perfect letter according to you? Love, your friend M

Ps. Books for inspiration: - “Snail Mail” by Michelle Mackintosh - “Write Back Soon!” by Karen Benke - The letter books about Griffin & Sabine by Nick Bantock



Happiness is a full mailbox – To write letters is like writing diary, but to someone else, says Raquel Téllez. I understand myself better at the same time as I get to know new, fantastic people. Raquel started pen palling when she was ten years old and has been writing letters ever since. She met her first penfriend at a camping site in Costa Brava when she was on vacation with her parents. Today she finds pen pals via Instagram. At her Instagram account (@marionbcn) she publishes pictures of her letters and mail art. She has a beautiful, curvy, calligraphic script and likes to decorate the envelopes with beautiful paper, stickers and stamps. At the moment she has 29,000 followers who are fascinated and inspired by her mail art. – I’ve always had a nice handwriting, at least my teachers told me so, explains Raquel. A couple of years ago I started with brush pen calligraphy. I like it a lot. I write as I have always done, but I don’t want my calligraphy to look like everyone else, so I avoid learning from books. Raquel lives in Stockholm, 24

but was born in Barcelona. She became interested in Swedish culture when she found the Swedish rock band, Kent in 1997. Nine years later she met a Swedish guy, Kenneth, who worked in Barcelona at that time. When he moved back to Skellefteå in northern Sweden, she moved with him. In January 2011 the couple moved to Stockholm, which has become Raquel’s favourite city since her first visit in 2002. Raquel likes traveling and while abroad she likes to buy pretty paper, washi tape, pens, stamps and other things to decorate the letters with. She’s been to Japan twice and will soon go back a third time. – It’s the best place in the world to buy stationery! Here in Stockholm are some good stores too, but they are unfortunately rather expensive. I use to shop online instead. It’s fun to make good looking envelope, she says, but adds that of course the letter itself is the most important. What you are writing to each other. She’s been pen palling for thirty years now and can’t even imagine life without it. Estrid Magazine 1 2017-2018

Fotografier: privat

It has become such a big part of her daily life and over the years she has gotten to know a lot of people. Some of them she has been in touch with for over 20 years. – I like long letters that tells about a lot of things and helps me getting to know the person I’m corresponding with, she says. To write often and regularly is important to me. I think it’s hard to connect if you have to wait six months for a reply. But of course, I like when my friends have decorated their letters. Mail art is really exciting! She prefers writing about herself and her thoughts,

about everday life and her travels. She has also met several of her penfriends, some more than once. She enjoys meeting them in real life. It’s better to have a close contact and friendship with the penfriends she has, instead of getting too many and not being able to keep up with the correspondance, and because of that she hasn’t accepted any new penfriends lately. – A full mailbox makes me happy, Raquel concludes.




Gallery: Letters from far and close

Naoko Hotta, Japan

Susanna Wictorzon, Sweden

Ksenia Bryantseva, Russia

Annabel Thรถrn (4 years old), Sweden

Estrid Magazine 1 2017-2018

Helga Bauer, Germany

Jenny Geyer, Sweden

Annaliese Spilken, USA

Romi Hasa, Finland. Letter from Belgium.




Paper from a standard note pad is fine, but it feels special to write on fancy paper. You can find beautiful stationary in a bookstore. Unfortunately it’s often way too expensive (especially if you write long letters and need half the set only for one letter). Good news! It’s easy to make your own stationary at hardly any cost at all. If you have a scanner/printer machine at home, you can make many copies of your homemade stationary and have a lot of nice papers for letter writing. Use a standard plain white or lined paper. Despite there being plenty of fancy stickers available to use for decorating, it isn’t a must. You can do just as well with scissors, a glue stick and some paper scraps from the recycle bin, such as, gift wrapping paper and magazines. The butterflies and the flowers are simple shapes cut out from a magazine. As you see, you don’t even have to find a pretty motif, but can look for colours you like, shapes and structure. Give the butterflies antennas with a black pen. The second stationary set is made with washi tape (a paper based tape that isn’t as sticky as plastic tape) and space motifs cutouts from an old, damaged book. Old books that might have torn pages, or you simply don’t want to read them anymore, are gold mines if you want to make pretty letters. You can also find old, illustrated books with animals and plants, maybe a favourite children’s book, at flea markets and second hand stores. Simply cut and paste. Decorate the papers and envelopes. To this set, silver star stickers are added. Write the address with white or silver pen.


Estrid Magazine 1 2017-2018

4 3



To make an envelope you need a strong, but flexible paper (newspaper pages are too thin and will tear). Pages from books and luxury magazines (with thicker pages) are perfect. Fold the paper as in picture two and glue. Cut as in picture 3 (bottom of the picture). Put the letter inside, fold and glue the edge (top of picture 3). Old atlas books are perfect as envelopes. Maybe you can have the recipients hometown or country on the envelope. Tourist brochure, wall paper (if not too thick), music sheets and illustrated books for children all make beautiful envelopes. What can you find in the recycle bin?




Embossing and water colour.

You need: Cardstock or some other thick paper for the card Decorative paper Water colour paper (or similar) Water colour Rubber stamp Ink pad Embossing powder Glue stick, paint brush and scissors or a craft knife Paint with the water colour the same shape as the motif on your rubberstamp, but a little bit bigger (and not too exact). When it has dried it’s time to stamp on the water colour. Stamp one at a time and put embossing powder in top, before the ink dries, then move on to stamping the next one. Pour the excess powder back in the embossing powder can. Carefully use a soft pain brush to brush away remaining powder outside of the stamped motif. Now it’s time to use some heat, to melt the powder. If you don’t have a special tool, you can actually use your toaster. Put it on a low heat and hold your card above until the embossing powder has melted (be carefult not to burn anything). The white card is made by cutting the sides of the heart and fold them upwards. It is still attached to the paper in the middle. Glue the watercolour paper to a decorative paper and add it to a plain folded card or cardstock. On the black card the hearts are simple cut out and glued to the cardstock. Put glue only in the middle and you can fold the sides of the hearts upwards. Nice motivs to use are butterflies, with their wings softly folded upwards, ready to fly, or flowers and leaves. With the same technique you can make a three dimentional piece of art. 30

Estrid Magazine 1 2017-2018

You can find embossing powder in hobby stores that sell paper articles and material for making cards and scrap booking. It is a powder that stick to the wet ink from an ink pad and that melts when heated, into a blank beautiful surface. The powder comes in many colours and shades, from pastels to metallic, and even clear powder that let the colour of the ink shine through and only adds structure and gloss.




Cut & paste

Print, cut and use to decorate your letters and envelopes.

Estrid Magazine 1 2017-2018


Meditation by water It’s something special to sit down by water. To hear the gurgle from a small stream of water or the waves ripple against the beach. As if the water helps as a little to meditate or to relax for a while. Here are some suggestions on exercises you can do next to water, either on the sea shore or by a river. 1. Mindfulness: use your senses We mostly use our eyes. We look at the water. There it is. Beautiful, blue or grey, calm or upset. When you close your eyes, you become aware of what your other senses tell you. Begin with your hearing. What does the water sound like? Listen for a while, to the water and to the other sounds surrounding you. Smell. What can you sense? Seaweed, salt, forest? Taste the air, or the water. Don’t hurry. Try to be in every sensation for a while. Dip your finger in the water. Is it hot or cold? moving or still? Now focus on yourself. Sit or stand by the water and observe how you feel, how your body feels. Take a few deep breaths and imagine you are filling yourself with strength or calmness from the water, depending on what you need at the moment. 2. Send questions with the waves Is there something you are thinking about, maybe a problem you need to solve? Sit down by the water and relax for a moment. Ask the question and imagine how you send it out with a wave. Follow the wave with your eyes. Imagine the answer rolling in to you with another wave, slowly growing in yourself until you know the answer. (It might not appear while you sit there, but let it grow inside you in its own pace.) 3. To meditate by water, without water Not everyone lives by water, but you can do this exersise no matter where you are. Sit or lay down comfortably and close your eyes. Imagine you are standing on a beach. What does it look like around you? Are you alone? What kind of water do you have in front of you? Your bare feet are standing at a beach. What does it feel like? Is it soft sand or pebbles? Imagine, with all your body, what it feels like when you enter the water. From the first cold, wet sensation until you are embraced by the water, floating, swimming, diving. Remember to use all your senses when you are visualising your bath. Focus on what you want to feel: Is it happiness, relaxation or do you want to be energized? Bring that feeling with you when you get up from the water and wrap yourself in a big, soft bath sheet.


Estrid Magazine 1 2017-2018


Do you want to advertise here? Write an email to for more information.


Estrid Magazine 1 2017-2018

Nora, nästan 5 ür Plain, wooden, and really boring. Nobody wanted it. But with some metallic paint, a ribbon with sequins and a 37 fabric rose it looks like this. Now it is home for some carded wool.


Estrid Magazine 1 2017-2018

Hyttbacken Creating a home


At “Hyttbacksgården”, a country estate located in the province of Västmanland, history plays a vital part. Just as in the beginning of the 20th century, today a family with several children live here. Many pieces of daily at the estate during this period, more than one hundred years ago, still exist here. Today, the wing and the outhouses still remain. The creek still flows behind the houses and sheep graze on the land. In the big and lush garden, there is space enough for fragrant lilacs, the children’s bicycles and their swings. Helena Sahlander grew up in this house. Today she lives here with her husband Jakob, their three sons Lukas, Viktor and Oskar, and a black cat. Helena’s mother, Siw, lives in the wing with her dog Brasse. After having finished their studies, they moved into the main building. There were so many things they wanted to change here. The heating system had to be changed, and the kitchen was in need of a renovation. – We contacted a company of building preservation, in order to find out what needed to be done, Helena says. It turned out he concluded we didn’t have to change so much at all. The facade looked good, he said. All we had to do was brushing it clean and then paint it. The windows were beautiful, he also said. We were absolutely


not to replace them. He taught us a lot of things in a very short period of time. Thanks to him, we began to learn more about building preservation. – We thought about restoring the original ceilings and such, Jakob cuts in. – Once you start learning about building preservation, the furnishing comes with it, Helena continues. Then it doesn’t really become so white and fresh. Not many things from IKEA either. We’re very privileged, being able to re-use many pieces of furniture from the house, and we’ve also bought some additional items on auctions. We feel that we want to use the things we already have, when furnishing. They have found quite a few pieces of furniture in some of the other houses on the estate, and also on the second floor. Funiture from the past, from people who lived here a long time ago and from others who lived here recently. The house was built in the 1870’s, and looks like a traditional Swedish country estate: Two floors, quite big, with a wing and several outhouses. Helena tells a story of a man named Erik Mattson who built the house after the village was ablazed. Estrid Magazine 1 2017-2018

– The people of the village discussed where to build their new houses, and this piece of land was given to him in order to build his. At first, they built another residential building, but it no longer exist. When this particular house was built, it was intended to be an Inn. During this period, there was a rule stating that roadside estates had to provide overnight housing accommodation for people traveling by. This law changed before the building was completed. Therefore, two of the rooms were never completed. The house was made into an ordinary dwelling house. At the turn of the century Erik’s son lived here together with his wife and six children. Three of their sons continued to live there until adulthood. At the end of the 60’s all three of them moved into a retirement home. One of the six boys got married to the retailer’s daughter. They come to live in a house further up the village. They

Behind the house runs the river Svartån. Helena and Jakob share their garden with Helena’s mother, Siw. Her log house was built in 1909, and before she moved in here the farm-hand used to stay here. It has also been used as an outhouse. They have chosen to keep the doors of the old outhouse, in order to not change the exterior of the building. Helena’s words about the children’s rooms: It’s not easy to combine building preservation with a life with children. It’s a delicate balance between the usage of natural and sometimes authentic materials, and still being able to give the children the kind of space they wish for. We’ve decorated two children’s rooms within the themes of forest and space. the walls are painted with egg tempera. The authentic wooden floors have been rubbed in order to remove wooden thorns.


Helena: We’ve looked at this photo very carefully. We have observed the facial expressions of the previous occupants of the house, and also details of the fence and the window castings. Due to the number of children in the photo and their ages, we estimate that the photo was taken sometime in the early 1890’s.

got a son, Erik Knutsson, who was the only child among all the six siblings. As an adult, this boy bought Hyttbacksgården from his uncle. He never lived there himself. Instead, he worked the land and rented out the house. – It was in 1974, after my mother had been offered a post in the village Västerfärnebo and she was looking for somewhere to stay, she was told about the farmer who had a house for rent. She remained here, my dad moved in and later on, I was born. Erik Knutsson had no children of his own. When he passed away, Siw inherited him. The story of these two families are interweaved within this estate. – And then you came Oskar, says Jakob and puts the youngest one in the high chair by the kitchen table. Oskar gives a big smile. – The story of this estate means a lot to us, Helena says. We think it’s important that the family who once lived here will be remembered, even though we are not related. This estate is our. However, it belongs to itself and we are just


taking care of it. The fact that we know so much about its history makes us look at it from a different angle and at the same time we care more about it. But how do you find the time to renovate when you have small children, work, and animals to take care of? – Well, we don’t, Jakob says. – But on the other hand we don’t do much else either, Helena continues. We are not very social. We seldom watch TV. When Victor was small, we had parental leave together for six months. During that time, we put a lot of effort into the renovation. They have also had much help from other craftsmen, especially with the more complicated projects, such as changing the heating system, and building of porch. – Someone else had to do several months of work for us, Helena says with a tone of obvious satisfaction. We have mostly been working on the surface layers. We have also done some carpentry. – Some parts of the house were already completed, Jakob says. The Estrid Magazine 1 2017-2018

bathrooms were already done before we moved in. – And we are not finished yet, Helena continues. There are still two rooms on the second floors that we haven’t done anything about yet. There are some other projects not yet completed, but they will have to wait until later. The window renovation is an ongoing project. I haven’t had the courage to figure out how many windows there are. They also have Siw helping them. Together with Jakob they form an unbeatable wall-papering team, according to Helena. She is also the one who spends most time gardening. – She is very good to have around when we need help carrying things, Jakob says. She’s strong. Helping us with the children or cooking dinner for us on a day when we want to work extra hard, is of course priceless. – But it’s not just about time, says Helena. It’s also about having enough energy. We are not constantly on the go. From October to March we stop and do nothing. We usually go away for the holidays in

Above: Originally, this was a cornice. It has now been reconstructed. Helena and Jakob believe the cornice is older than the actual house itself. They have found several painted cornices in the attic, which have been reused in the building of the house. Below, Helena’s words about the kitchen: The original kitchen was removed a long time ago, and we don’t have any photos of how it used to look like. We removed the unpractical dilapidated kitchen from the 1980’s, and replaced it with a built in kitchen. We hope it will last for the rest of our lives and even longer. We have uncovered the original wooden ceiling, and covered the floors with pine wood and bricks. We have also placed a wood burning iron stove in the kitchen, because the original one had been removed. This is a big kitchen where everyone can come together and cook.


order to get away from the renovation and rest. We find it difficult to rest when we are at home. We go for a walk inside the house. We begin in the large light kitchen, then we pass the dark dining room and the living room decorated with furniture from the 50’s and 60’s. Finally we go upstairs. Here, we step into a bedroom with romantic wallpapers and pink curtains, a children’s room decorated in a forest theme, and another one in a space theme. There is also a large room that is not yet finished. This room is currently used for storing paint cans, brushes, furniture and what not. The older boys seem focused. They sit by the table and play with Lego. – Our interior fittings do not have a particular style, Jakob says. – We’ve simply put together various things from different time periods. We’ve furnished the living room with pieces from the 50’s and 60’s, and the choice of wallpaper was all based on these furniture, Helena says. Instead of mixing pieces of furniture from different centuries, we’ve tried to recreate that specific feeling in this room. It’s somewhat similar with the dining room. The choice of interior for this room was based on a large, dark dining table from the end of


the 19th century that we had. We decorated the dining room with furniture from this period of time, and we put up wallpapers in a similar style. With three children staying at home, it’s a true living home rather than some fancy story from another one of those sterile decorating magazines. Some of the more fine and fragile objects had to be put away because of the youngest one, Oskar. He is really good at climbing, and he manages to climb up all the way to the curtain rail. – We want our home to be a restful place, and we want the history of the estate to be everywhere present. We want our furniture and equipment to be used, Helena rounds it up. The furniture all have scratches on them because they have been used. Not because someone has rubbed its patina on them.

To restore all the windows is a slow and time consuming project. They have decided to paint them red. – They were dark before they were painted in white, but we are not quite sure in exactly which color, Helena says.

Estrid Magazine 1 2017-2018

Helena: Our house is from the 1870’s. During this period, the interior decoration was often dark, heavy and overfurnished. We’ve tried to mimic this in the dining room. It wasn’t an easy decision to cover the walls in dark wallpaper, since the room was already so dark. But now, we’re happy we did. With lots of candle light lit up, this is now our favorite evening room in the autumn.



Estrid Magazine 1 2017-2018

Build a house out of garbage You don’t need to buy an expensive doll house when there are cardboard boxes, newspapers, fabric scraps and leftover paints to build a house out of. Look through the recycle bin for things to use and imagine what different items can become something new and creative. Here I built a skewed house in a bohemian and colourful style. But why not build a castle, a summer cottage, a toadstool house, a knight’s fort, a dinosaur cave or a garage? Things that are useful: Cardboard and boxes Newspaper Other things from the recycle bins (bottles, jars etc.) Wallpaper glue Tape, for instance masking tape Glue (hobby glue or a glue gun) Paint and paint brushes Scissors and a craft knife Leftover craft material, such as beads, sequins, felt, fabric and sticks

How to make your own wallpaper glue: Whisk together 100 ml flour and 400 ml water in a saucepan. Heat carefully, while stirring, until it’s thick enough. Put aside and let cool down. You can keep it in a jar in the fridge for a couple of weeks. If you want a stronger glue, you can add some hobby glue or wood glue (not recommended if children are using this glue). When building this house, no glue was added.


Do it like this: Begin with building the houses using sturdy cardboard. I begun with a cardboard box and cut out windows. From another piece of cardboard I cut walls and floor and attached it with a strong paper based tape (you can also use a wide masking tape, silvertape or ducktape). The chimney is made by cutting an empty toilet roll from bottom to top, rolling it tight and using tape to secure it. The greenhouse is made of a plastic bottle in which I have cut an opening. The roof is made of pieces of cardboard in different sizes that I taped together and attached to the bottle with a glue gun. Now it’s time for the messy part of the building. Bring newspapers and wallpaper glue. Tear or cut the newspapers in long strips. Dip them in the glue and take away excess glue with your fingers. With these strips you can reinforce the house where needed (for instance at all places you have used tape only) and you can add shape where you want it. You need more than one layer of newspapers in order to make it strong and durable. Next: Wait. The house needs to be completely dry before you move on to the next step: To paint. Since I wanted to use only the leftover paint I had at home, the house is made in different colours. First I painted all of it light beige. Then the outside was painted in metallic bluegreen and purple. The inside was painted in warm colours and the roof black. Ah, the roof. Of course a forest house 48

Estrid Magazine 1 2017-2018

need a roof covered in bark. I found this bark on the ground and attached it with a glue gun. The roof of the greenhouse is inspired by a pinecone. It would look really great to actually use a pinecone, but it’s time consuming. Instead I had small pieces of felt leftover from another project. I cut it in small pieces and glues it to the roof. A grill stick and a bead became a flag pole and a piece of fabric a flag. Of course there are plants both inside and outside the greenhouse. Small pieces of green felt became leaves and stems and red flowers. Some green wool roving helped make the greenhouse lush. The floor in the greenhouse is soil (brown felt) and inside grows tomatoes (dried rowan berries). Now the house is ready and someone can move in. But first we need furniture, art on the walls, carpets … Let’s make that in next issue of Estrid magazine.

Ps. I’d love to see your house on Instagram. Please tag @estridmagazine


Books Ninna och syskongrodden Matilda Ruta Natur & kultur

Dumplin’ Julie Murphy Lavender lit (In Sweden)

A book about getting a sibling that is not like other books on the topic. From a big sister’s point of view and with both earnesty and humour we follow the tiny sibling from mama’s tummy to sister’s arms. There is so much in this book, both in text and in picture, without being too overbearing. It warms my heart to see a family that is not mom-dad-child, without it being mentioned in the text, and that the little baby is carried in a baby wrap.

A bit more than the average young adult novel, even if the classic elements are present (in love with a “little bit too handsome” guy, conflict with the best friend). Main character, Will, is overweight, but with a relaxed view on it: According to her, the perfect bikini body is a body with a bikini. But love makes her doubt herself, just the way love sometimes does, however she refuse to follow the norm.

Tid för te (Time for Tea) Dorotea Pettersson Roos & Tegner Inspiring thoughs about tea and time, about balance in daily life and what tea symbolyzes. 50

Mördarmormor (Killer Grandma) Petter Lidbeck Illustrerad av Per Dybvig Lilla Piratförlaget Crazy and fun books for children about an unusual grandma.

Estrid Magazine 1 2017-2018


Dentist with a thing for cactus

Melanie Loehrlein, Texas, USA. What do you create? I create miniature cacti polymer clay figurines. Each cactus figurine is one of a kind and some are based off of real cactus plants and some are from my own imagination. The colored clay used are shaped by hand and then baked in an oven. How did it all start? I began making cactus figurines while I was still in school for dentistry. School was so stressful and I needed an outlet for my creative side. My now husband gifted me a polymer clay set and we began making things together for fun. I began selling the figurines after I displayed them at an art show that same year. What inspires you? Colour continues to be my inspiration for all my design and art endeavors. Everything I create begins with a colour palette in mind. I really enjoy pops of bright colour among darker tones and I love surprising the viewer with color combinations that one wouldn’t expect. What are you up to next? I am currently working on my next collection of cacti which will be more focused on the detail of each plant. In the past I’ve felt pressured to value quantity over quality, but I have decided that each individual cactus figurine needs to have even more attention to detail. I think that’s what makes them so fun to look at – the more detail, the more people are drawn in. Melanie on Instagram @thecozypost

Fotografier: privat


Estrid Magazine 1 2017-2018



Estrid Magazine 1 2017-2018

Magical nature Photographer Sebastian Bauer


“a simple looking raindrop can be so wonderful.” My name is Sebastian. I am 28 years old and I was born in eastern Germany, in Görlitz. I lived and worked in Switzerland for 10 years. Since 2016 I live with my wife and two children near Munich. When I was in Sweden 2009, I realised how much fun it is to take photos related to nature. Since then, I’m taking pictures whenever I see a lovely place. Nature is definetely what inspires me the most. I take my camera everywhere I go. Even a simple looking raindrop can be so wonderful. One of my favourite places to go to take pictures is a huge field in the village I live. Whenever there is a thunderstorm, I’m out to capture the lightning. Another great photo location is the “Ammersee”. It is breathtaking there – a lovely lake and some of the mountains (the Alps) behind it. In the late summer I will go to the Baltic Sea with my family to take photos. There’s a certain picture in my mind: I’m trying to catch the Milky way above the sea. One of my personal biggest dreams is to travel to Iceland. I hope I can go there, very soon. Sebastians on Instagram @ls_pix


Estrid Magazine 1 2017-2018



Estrid Magazine 1 2017-2018



Estrid Magazine 1 2017-2018



Estrid Magazine 1 2017-2018


“All shows are our dream shows. We love playing live.”


Estrid Magazine 1 2017-2018

Karin and Grace in the band Frågor på det? (”Any Further Questions?”). Musiscians, witches and mamas with strong opinions and a great sense of humor. Tell us about yourself! We’re Grace and Karin. Best friends. Live in the countryside outside of Falkenberg (southwestern Sweden), where we grow stuff, nurture our dreams of subsistence agriculture, sustainable living and a simpler lifestyle. Some call us witches, others calls us moms. How do you describe your music? Take that question and add some butter on it… You can answer it with a cliche: ”We don’t want to label our music”. But it’s not true, we don’t mind labelling it at all. We would probably call what we are doing acoustic punk music – since we don’t have a backup band. Or: acoustic feminist dansband (Swedish ballroom music style) rock with a political touch, a bit like Stefan and Krister (slapstick comedians) but communist? How did you guys meet? The short answer is that the universe brought us together. The long answer is that we lived in the same city, were both two little punks who hung out in two parallel punk circuits, went to different high schools and played in different bands and different string orchestras. But the day we applied for the music program in secondary school we met for the first time. Two punks that played classic music, was that meant to be or what? The answer: yes.

How come you ended up starting Frågor på det? We have played in different bands together since the day we met. But after our first kids were born – two days in between – we lived in different cities and didn’t play together for a couple of years. But the creativity had to come out even though we didn’t have neither the time nor the energy to start a proper band, so we chose to be a duo. That became Frågor på det? What inspires you? Other good music, humans, life, nature and the feeling to want to change things. What is the setup when you create your music? It often starts with Grace sending song lyrics or a song idea to Karin. She then puts her touch on the lyrics, and makes a basic melody. When we see each other in person we carve out the melody and the text. Sometimes we send sound files to each other, other times short stanzas through text messages. Since we have small kids the time to write music is limited and these approaches works really well for us, especially since we have played so much together and really knows each other’s preferences. Sometimes when you send something you immediately know what the other person will like or dislike. What would be your dream show? All shows are our dream shows. We love playing live. We often have band practice on the live feature of Instagram, since we love playing for people and to hear their reactions. What are your dreams for the future? We want to do a ”Stefan Sundström” (Swedish singer/songwriter) and make one huge record and then just play music and grow veggies. (Which is pretty much what we are doing now except for the money part). We also dream of having a backup band called ”Nej det är glasklart” (”No It’s All Crystal Clear”) or ”Klart som korvspad!” (”Clear As a Day”). How did you think of the name ”Frågor på det?” (”Any Further Questions?”) We make our opinions very clear in our songs and in our lives. We imagine that it would be strange if people had questions around us, but we prefer to be a bit humble and ask if anyone, for some reason, does have any further questions.

Instagram @fragorpadet

Fotografier: privat


Thea, about music: “I choose songs depending on my mood” Do you have a favourite artist? I like Ariana Grande because she is very good at singing and she can sing very high tunes, it sounds like a whistle. When are you listening to music? I use to listen to music when I sit in the car, before I’m going to sleep or actually anytime. I use to choose songs depending on my mood. If I’m happy I listen to happy music and if I’m tired I listen to calmer music. Have you been to any concerts? I’ve been to a Yohio concert when I was younger, one with Anton Hagman, a Samir and Viktor-concert, one with Måns Zelmerlöw and one with Robert Wells. I’ve also been to the Swedish Melody Grand Prix and to Diggiloo and sometimes there have been concerts in malls. Do you play any instrument? I play the piano. I used to play the violin.


Estrid Magazine 1 2017-2018



When children in Sweden learn to bake, this is most likely one of the first things they learn to do. It’s chocolaty, it’s fun to make, no oven or sharp knives needed, and it’s easy to roll the balls. If you go to a Swedish café you will for sure find them (along with cinnamon rolls they are a staple). Rolled in shredded coconut, pearl sugar or sprinkles they are a favourite. An odd detail is that most recipes call for two tablespoons of cold, strong coffee, while in reality most people (and cafés) make them with water instead of coffee. There are actually entire recipe books about chokladbollar. There are so many options ... You can make them healthy (like raw balls), or luxury, by dipping them in melted chocolate. You can add a pinch of sea salt or your favourite spices, like cinnamon, vanilla, cardamom or ginger. You can roll them in powder from dried blueberry or raspberry. You can hide your favourite chocolate praline inside. Or make them minty with peppermint oil. Add more sugar, or less sugar, or burnt sugar or ... Well, here’s an original recipe. Try it. Then make up your own favourite version (and remember to tell us). You need: 100 gram butter at room tempererature 350 ml rolled oats 100 ml sugar 3 tablespoons cacao of good quality 2 tablespoons water Mix all the ingredients by hand (children loooove licking their fingers afterward ;) ) or in a food processor. Roll into balls and roll the balls in shredded coconut (or pearl sugar or sprinkles). The chokladbollar in this picture are made by Nora, 9 years old.


Lisa Bjärbo

about inspiration, writing and daily life as an author “We have taken the 240 route bus between Växjö and Ingelstad so many times that every bend in the road feels familiar, even if I close my eyes./.../ One time last spring Ludde calculated how many hours of our lives we had spent so far on that bus between Växjö and Ingelstad. The result was 1500 hour. On a bus. So definitely not worth it.” With those words Lisa Bjärbo begins her novel ”Djupa Ro”. Lisa, herself, has been on that bus between her school in Växjö and her home in Ingelstad at least as many times as Ludde and the main character David. In those days she was dreaming about becoming a writer. She also enjoyed drawing and writing stories. She asked herself: a writer, is that a proper profession? And would she be able to become one? Her image of a typical writer was an old man with long beard, probably a born genius. Awake all night, sitting by the typewriter creating deep and complicated pieces. No, that did not apply to her at all. She would have to look for something else, something more realistic. – After thousands of hours of dithering, I decided that the right profession for me was probably to become a journalist, says Lisa. At least, it will allow me to write. She was educated at the Depart-


ment of Journalism in Gothenburg, and completed an internship program in Stockholm at “Kamratposten”, a magazine for children and young teenagers. She also worked at the Children’s Book Club. One thing led to another, and eventually she discovered that she was pretty good at producing texts for both children and young people. Maybe teenage-Lisa was right after all, that some people are born writers. Because the dream she already had as a four-yearold turned out to be true, although she started off as a journalist. At the Children’s Book Club she always kept a close look at the publications of books for children and young adults. Often, she found herself thinking of ideas for books, and after a while she decided it was time to start writing herself. The image of an old man with the typewriter is probably dedicating himself to poetry most of the time. She would write for young people, and for that she needed neither beard nor wakeful nights, she thought. When she was not at work she was writing on a novel. Almost three years later ”Det är så logiskt. Alla fattar utom du” (“It´s so logical. Everyone understands but you”) was published. It might sound easy: She decided to write a book, she wrote it, and then it was adopted and published, and Estrid Magazine 1 2017-2018

she became a writer. But of course, that wasn’t exactly the way things happened. This was actually not her first book. Already towards the end of her training as a journalist she and a fellow student wrote their final thesis on Children and Sin, which resulted in the “Stora syndboken” (“Big Sin Book”) which was published in 2005. But she had never written fiction before, and maybe she would not have realized that dream if it weren’t for a publisher who had read her blog about daily life and encouraged her to write a book. And of course, Lisa has her own language. It´s playful, it’s natural and humorous. It’s present in the laconic pictures books and in her youth novels, and on her private blog. Well, in fact, in her speech as well. – I believe that my language has emerged because of the internet. I’ve tried several kinds of language in my blog, and decided on a type of language that I think works for me. It’s creative and fun and I’ve really been able to expand my views knowing that it doesn’t matter what kind of language I use in my blog. It has probably been a very good way to find that specific tone and method of writing. The daily life of a writer “Det är så logiskt. Alla fattar utom du” has been followed by several


With a laptop you are free to sit wherever you want, and that’s also what she does. Sometimes at the kitchen table, sometimes in the floral sofa in the living room, sometimes out in the garden.

books. Currently, there are about twenty pieces of them, from the picture books about Ivar and Eddie to the vegetarian cooking books which were written together with Sara Ask. She has moved on from her dreams to reality, from her childhood home in Ingelstad to living the life of a writer in her own 1930’s style house located in Gnesta, in the province of Sörmland. There she lives mainly an ordinary everyday life that most people can relate to; Her partner and two children, daycare and preschool drop off and pick up, holidays in the cottage, conflicts in the hall, jam sandwiches, horseback riding and second hand-furniture. But when her husband has left for the day and the children have been dropped off, while walking back to her home, Lisa listens to her special playlist in order to get back into the right mood for the day’s writing. That special writing desk placed in a specially designed corner


does not exist. With a laptop you are free to sit wherever you want, and that’s also what she does. Sometimes at the kitchen table, sometimes in the floral sofa in the living room, sometimes out in the garden. The take-off strip consists of answering emails, cleaning the desk and taking a couple of deep breaths. After that, she starts writing, and then she can write steadily all day long. She turns off the Internet in order to not get tempted to check her Facebook or watch the television show “Skam”. – But sometimes I use it as a system of rewards. After having completed a chapter I get to post a picture on Instagram. I get completely exhausted by typing all day long, even-though I sit still I can be totally sweaty. It’s tedious. Then I’m really tired when it’s time to go and pick up the kids. There it is, the glamorous life of being a writer. It helps to have your own children when you write children’s Estrid Magazine 1 2017-2018

books, says Lisa. Before, she wrote about teenagers. She remembers clearly how life was when she was a teenager herself, the feelings she had and the situations she encountered as a seventeen year old. On the other hand, to write about small children seemed impossible before she had children of her own. How does a three-yearold talk? What do they like? She began to write books for children when her child was three. – It’s a great source of inspiration to tap from, she says. I use what the kids do, think and say. I read for them to see if they laugh at those passages where I expected they would laugh. The ideas and impulses pop up anytime in her daily life Lisa is a daydreamer. What she sees and hears, she turns into small movies in her mind. A fragment of a conversation on the commuter train can turn out to be that very detail around which she creates a story. She can also get ideas from reading

books or watching movies. The children’s books are often inspired by her own children and what is important in their lives. – At the moment, a typical example is that my son was afraid of everything last autumn, she explains. He had a long list of things he was afraid of. Then I thought, why aren’t there any books about very afraid boys who are sensitive and sad at night when they are about to go to sleep? Why is everybody so cool all the time? Then it came to my mind that I wanted to write a book just about such a boy. One who is afraid, but at the same time wants to be cool in front of his classmates. The story is not about Lisa’s son, but the main character is inspired by him and his daily life. It will be a read-aloud book for 7 to 9 year olds containing a great deal of humor. To have fun and to laugh will make the scary feelings go away. So, in other words, the ideas for books can come from very different sources of inspiration, and Lisa says just one idea in a hundred really turns out to be something. But how does one really decide which idea to choose from? – It probably has to do with the fact that once I’ve got started, I don’t want to give up. If I have already spent a lot of hours writing eight chapters, then I get stubborn and decide to finish it all off. But it’s really hard because I’m quite slow when I write and I get tired of it ... I’m a pretty impatient person. I want to come home and say I should write a book about this, and

then I want it to be completed and finished within a month. But it may take two years. It takes such a long time, and that’s frustrating. In the process of writing, she often gets tired of it. When this happens it’s easy to start ignoring the book altogether and turn the attention to something more fun. It’s difficult, but necessary, to not give up once you have decided to go along with an idea. It´s important to focus on the writing until the book is completed. If you start

where it feels as if anything is possible. Once she has decided on what and who to write about, then it’s time to sit down and write some kind of synopsis. All synopsis look different, but she has learned from experience that it’s a good idea to start with the planning before the actual writing begins. – Then I know a little more about what is going to happen after the first ten pages, which are always lovely to write, explains Lisa. After

“Then I thought, why aren’t there any books about very afraid boys who are sensitive and sad at night when they are about to go to sleep? Why is everybody so cool all the time? Then it came to my mind that I wanted to write a book just about such a boy.” jumping back and forth between too many ideas nothing will be done. The creative process The most creative phase occurs when she is in the process of finding a new idea for a book. At this point she likes going out for long walks thinking about her idea, on how the main character would be like, how he or she would look and what will happen to him or her. It’s a short and intense moment that makes her happy, almost feverish. She describes it as a very pleasant feeling and the only real moment in the overall process of creation

those ten pages, it becomes really really hard and I don’t know where I’m heading. At this stage, I try to make it more clear and decide what should happen next, how the book should end and where I want to go from here. Sometimes she thinks it would be nice to have the whole book planned in detail, chapter by chapter, before the actual writing begins. But she is too impatient for that and therefor she just keeps moving on in her writing long before the story’s complete framework is clear to hear. It’s probably for the best, because the fictional characters develop during the pro-



Estrid Magazine 1 2017-2018

cess of writing. From the beginning, they are more like skeletons. They will come alive as the writing proceeds. It is only then that her characters convert into real people and then she will know what the book is really about. She writes from the beginning to the end. She begins with chapter one and ends with the last chapter instead of jumping back and forth. The final scene is decided since day one. But still, how do you know for sure when you are really done? – Eventually, I get to a point when I am so tired of the text thinking I can’t do much more to improve it. At this point someone else has to help me. I hand it over to my publisher in order to get an editor to have a look at it. She prefers writing only one book at a time, or at least only one thick book at a time. She sometimes works parallel with a picture book. However, at the moment she is writing on two books. In addition to the book about the sensitive boy, she is currently working on a teenager book about a girl who moves from Stockholm, with er father, to a small village in Småland. The girl is more than shy. At first, Lisa thought that this would be a book about love, but how would she be able to find someone if she is so shy? Maybe there is not going to be any love in her life. Perhaps it is enough that she dares to look up and say hi. A plan B for the economy One might easily get the impres-

sion that Lisa doesn’t do anything else but writing books for children. But to be honest, she is devoting more time to other jobs than writing. She is a freelance journalist and she often visits schools giving lectures about her writing or conducting writing workshops. It was not an easy decision to quit her previous employment in order to focus on the writing. In the beginning she was writing alongside her full-time job, but she became more and more frustrated because she didn’t have enough time to write as much as she wanted, and she was never free to do the other things she liked to do. So, she gradually reduced her working hours in order to spend more time writing. – But I’m still really nervous, she admits. Every year, I am thinking that this year it will all fall apart. I need to have a plan B. I think it’s very nerve-wracking not knowing how much money I will earn from my books. Therefore I give priority to the jobs that I know will make money, which is to lecture. Once again, this will result in too little time for writing, despite the fact that she did quit her job. To find that balance is difficult, and the days aimed for writing often disappear because of other urgent matters that need to be resolved. The next month,she always thinks she will get more time for writing. But it rarely turns out that way. – In a way, I’m still very happy about my situation, says Lisa, but I would like to be less nervous when

it comes to the economy, so that I really could decide to take three weeks sitting at home finishing this book. I wish I wasn’t so anxious to fill up my calendar with other commitments which I know will generate a stable income. Let’s go to the stables instead Just as for any entrepreneur, the amount of work in daily life can easily accelerate, leaving you with the feeling of not having any free time. When she needs a break from her daily life she goes to the stables for some horseback riding, or she works with plants in her garden. One advantage of having children is that the working hours get very structured. It’s impossible to come up with new ideas for books when they are in the kitchen screaming for sandwiches, says Lisa. When they have holiday she simply has to take time off from the writing. – I can get frustrated thinking that it will be nice when summer holiday is over so I can start to work again. But it’s also very good I think, to have consecutive weeks of time off not thinking about the job. Actually, it is something of a luxury to have a job that I like so much.


Swedish pancakes In Sweden pancakes are thin, soft and not sweet. It’s common to eat them with jam and you can also add whipped cream or icecream. You need: 600 ml milk 300 ml flour 3 eggs A pinch of salt Butter (or vegetable oil) Whisk/beat the flour and half of the milk in a bowl until you have a smooth batter. I have seen american recipes on Swedish pancakes and they all use a hand mixer or food processor, but the batter should be made by hand (our grandmas didn’t have any mixers!) and the secret to succeed is to begin with half the amount of milk and then add more. Beat in the eggs and salt and, if desired, a spoon of melted butter. The butter isn’t necessairy, as you can fry the pancakes in butter with the same results. Remember it’s a thin pancake, don’t pour too much of the batter in the pan. Cook it until it sets, then carefully flip it (with a spatula or similar) and cook the other side. It shall be golden or golden brown, but some prefer them more cooked (and browner) than in this picture.

One popular children’s dessert is pancake cake. It’s very simple: layer pancakes, strawberry jam and whipped cream (many layers!). Then add whipped cream and fresh strawberries on top.


Estrid Magazine 1 2017-2018



Estrid Magazine 1 2017-2018

Be creative with tinker tray! What does one need to be able to craft? Materials, space and time is actually all. And some motivation. One way to make at least my kid´s fingers and brains itch is to take out our tinker tray. It´s made to offer materials the kids can use however they want, without expectations or any predetermined goals. There are no right and no wrong ways to use them. They are just free to create. Our tinker tray is a plastic box originally intended to keep screws and plugs and that sort of junk in. We keep fun junk in ours instead. Buttons in different colors and sizes, paper stars, googly eyes, miniature pegs, foam cardboard figures, pompoms and loom bands. Whenever I find little things that could come to use one last time before they are thrown away, I put them in the box. It doesn’t have to be a small box containing small things, it could just aswell be a big box full of sticks, cones, empty toilet rolls, egg cartons or stones. Tractor tires and wooden boards. Nails and ropes. The important thing is that it is free and up to the child to create with the material.

The adult is only there to provide support and to help realize the artist’s visions. Maybe help out with the glue gun or other tools that the child is yet to master on her/his own. With tinker tray, the child gets use of their creativity, imagination, fine motor skills, patience and independent thinking. The parent gets to exercise their patience and tolerance, something parents need to do daily. Patience is a muscle to use, I say. Working with a tinker tray often gets messy and dirty and ... Wonderful! It´s not unusual to see me right next to the kids with a project of my own. Marveling at how much can be created from nothing, it just needs to pass through a clever kid with free reigns!

The original meaning of the word ”tinker” is to mend metal pots and pans aswell as doing other small repair jobs. A tinker used to be a person who travelled from place to place doing these little jobs for people. It can also mean to make small alternations to things in order to make them better.

Text: Mia Carlström


Memories from the first year That very first time that feels like an eternity, yet is passing by so quickly. How tiny those feet are. And a year later: How unbelievable they were that small. A photo can’t really tell how small you once were. But a footprint in watercolour is easier to compare (“Dad, is that really my foot? Was I that small?”). To make a footprint is very easy, yet a bit tricky. All you need is watercolours, a paintbrush and paper. If you want to frame the print I recommend using a real watercolour paper (you can find it in your art or hobby store). Paint the foot, stamp it on the paper, rinse the foot in lukewarm water, let the print dry. Sounds easy. But those tiny feet are rarely “flat”, they often bend like little bananas. And small legs can kick. To make it as easy as possible, do it when your baby is sleepy, not hungry, but content. Maybe make a new print every year to show how s/ he grows? Or once a month the first year? You can also use the prints to make cute invitation cards for a party or a baptism. Plaster prints are fun too. Begin with making a simple play dough by mixing 300 ml flour with 150 ml salt, 150 ml water and 1 tablespoon oil. Knead it and let it rest in a plastic bag or box in the fridge for a little while. Use a box (you can cut a milk carton in two halves, lengthwise) and put as much as you need of the dough there. Shape it as desired, then carefully press your baby’s foot into it. The print shall be clear and deep enough. Next step is to make the plaster according to the instructions on the package. Pour it into the print. Let it rest and harden until the next day, when you very carefully pull away the play dough. If you want to, you can use a sandpaper to smooth the plaster print.


Estrid Magazine 1 2017-2018


Among bugs and ladybugs Isn’t it exciting with small bugs? Let’s go out in the nature (bring a magnifying glass) and look at our six legged little friends. At the library you can find many good children’s books about bugs, ladybugs and other small insects. Here is a song, a rhyme and some crafts on a bug theme. It’s suitable for children age up to 6.

Maria Ladybug, fly east, fly south fly home to your brothers so that we get food and clothes Fly, fly, fly!

Maria Nyckelpiga, flyg öster, flyg söder, flyg hem till dina bröder, så får vi mat och kläder. Flyg, flyg, flyg!

This is a Swedish rhyme that translates: 80

Estrid Magazine 1 2017-2018

Potato print Cut the potatoes into halves and use as stamps with watercolour. It makes nice bugs. With crayons you can draw heads and legs. How many legs does a bug have? Stone ladybugs Smooth stones that are either round or oval makes pretty lady bugs. Paint them with hobby paint: Red body, black head, then black dots. Antennas on your head You can easily make them with pipe cleaners. Wind one end of the pipe cleaner around the diadema and the other end around a small pompom. If you don’t have a diadema you can make one with some pipe cleaners or wire. Wrap strips of fabric around and secure the fabric with a dot of glue at the end. Sing about the ladybug (listen to it on Youtube to learn the melody, search for ”En nyckelpiga jag har i handen”) En nyckelpiga jag har i handen och se nu kryper den uppför armen och sen så flyger den bort sin kos och kanske landar den på din nos I have a ladybug in my hand Look now it walks up on my arm and then it flies away from me maybe it’s landing on your nose Movements you make while singing: Let your right hands fingers walk like a ladybug in your left hand, up on you arm, then fly away and land on your child’s nose. Did you know whis about ladybugs? There are more than 4,500 kinds of ladybugs in the world. During the winter they hibernate. Then they rest together with a lot of ladybug friends until it’s spring again and time to wake up. The ladybugs favourite food is greenflies. If you have problems with greenflies in your garden, you should invite ladybugs to a greenfly party.


Apple Bugs You need red apples and dark chocolate. Start with splitting the apples in halves and remove the seeds. Melt the chocolate. Use a brush to paint the ladybug’s head and dots with chocolate. Put it in the fridge for a little while before serving them.


Estrid Magazine 1 2017-2018

Once upon a time there was a small, small ladybug (Show something small between your thumb and your index finger) She liked eating greenflies (Pretend catching one with your hands and eat it) She ate until she was full (Lick your mouth and pat your tummy) Then she got tired and wanted to sleep (Yawn) She spread her wings and flew away (Flutter with your hands like wings) and landed on a big flower (Hold your arms stretched out in front of you, move them to your sides and backwards to show how you are sitting on a big flower) The flower was slowly swaying in the air (Softly move from side to side with your upper body) and soon the little ladybug was asleep. (Let your chin rest on your hands, close your eyes)


Smash Cake

(for all sweet tooths out there) 84

Estrid Magazine 1 2017-2018


Smash cake Do you know someone that absolutely loves candy? Well, then this cake is for you. It is soo fun to get to smash your cake with a hammer (and to find even more surprises inside). You need: Lots of chocolate Lots of candy Plastic wrap A bowl A pastry brush Start with dressing the inside of the bowl with plastic wrap. Then you melt the chocolate in a microwave oven or in a water bath. Stir every now and then. How much chocolate you need depends on the size of your cake. The layer of chocolate should be rather thick to be able to hold all the candy, so you need at least 200 grams even if you make only a mini cake. Brush the melted chocolate on the plastic wrap in the bowl. Build up layer by layer. You can speed up the process by putting the bowl in the fridge or the freezer before you put on the next layer of chocolate. (For a smooth inside you could try pouring the chocolate in the bowl,


quickly turn it upside down and let the chocolate fall down along the sides of the bowl. This works best with a fairly small bowl. And by the way, who cares what the inside looks like, as long as it’s tasty?) When the chocolate is stiff, you carefully take it out of the bowl and peel of the plastic wrap. Now you can choose if you want the cake to stand directly on a plate, or if you want a chocolate bottom for it. You make the bottom with the same technique, but on a plate or a wax paper. Fill the cake with candies or presents and attach the bottom to the top with melted chocolate. Now it’s time for the second funniest (the most fun is the smashing), that is decorating. It’ a piece of cake. Glue on the candy bits with melted chocolate and let it stiffen. Put the cake on a cutting board made of wood, or dress up a piece of carton with paper or foil and use as a plate for the cake. Accidents happen easily when the sweet tooth carries a hammer…

Estrid Magazine 1 2017-2018


Therese Johansson:

Expert at crocheting being stressed

I´m not an expert at much, almost nothing actually. But I´m an expert at one thing. I´m an expert at being stressed. For absolutely no reason at all. My sister used to set her kitchen timer when she was cleaning, to get as much as possible done before the timer went off. I never set the timer, but I keep a close eye at the clock and tell myself ”in ten minutes I have time to do the dishes, make a lunch box, listen to the last minutes of that podcast and maybe I can figure out what clothes to wear tomorrow”. If I´m done in nine minutes I´m thrilled, even though those nine minutes consisted of me running all over the apartment, sweat on my back and with heart racing. Afterwards I can sit down on the couch, put my feet up and think ”ok, so what do I do now?”. Now I´m stressing over having nothing that needs doing.

ing how to spend all my new free time. When I was younger I spent alot of time with friends from other cities than Stockholm. They would often tell me that everyone in Stockholm is always stressing so much, we´re all running between the subway to the commuter train. I willingly admit that I, okay, maybe I don´t run, but I walk quickly from the subway to the commuter train, but not because I´m stressed. I just can´t walk slowly. I walk almost fast enough to work up a sweat, and then I end up on the platform waiting for several very slow minutes extra, for absolutely no reason at all, many times next to someone smoking which makes me a bit moody.

“ If the yarn is running out I crochet as quickly as I possibly can because I imagine that I rarely stress because I actually have if only I speed to. I ran at the airport in Amsterdam when my flight got a changed gate things up, the yarn At times I do a lot of crocheting, without me noticing. Then my flight especially during fall when I´m making will last longer. ” home got delayed with three hours, christmas gifts for just about everyone I know. I prefer to get the christmas crocheting started in August, so I can be finished with a little time to spare. During the following months I wake up with cramping fingers because I´ve been crocheting too much. If the yarn is running out I crochet as quickly as I possibly can because I imagine that if only I speed things up, the yarn will last longer. It´s like the end of the yarn is on fire and I have to hurry before it reaches my crochet hook. So far the yarn has never burned out, instead what usually happens is that I get cramping fingers and a sweaty forehead. For absolutely no reason at all. By the time November comes with it´s darkness and rain, the rain is coming from above, from below and sideways at the same time – the christmas gifts are done and I am wonder-


so even then my stress had absolutely no reason at all, I just didn´t know at the time. Another time I stressed from the subway to work to be on time to warm up for our Lucia procession. With a knitted sock on my right foot, glitter and candle in my hand I ran down the stairs, and got there in time. Despite a signaling error in the subway. Stress is mostly unnecessary, at least if you, like me, stress for absolutely no reason at all. Stress like a crazy person, working up a sweat on your back just to be sitting there a few moments later wondering ”so what do I do now?”. Stressing to be on time for warming up for the Lucia procession on the other hand, that´s absolutely necessary. At least in my life.

Estrid Magazine 1 2017-2018


Ida Therén

Being your own best friend ”It’s fine. It will probably pass soon.” My close friend had back pain for months. We’re not talking just a little bit, but pain so bad she could barely walk. I looked straight into her eyes. ”What would you advise me to do, if I were in the same situation?” She didn’t bat an eye. ”Go to the doctor, silly!” A reasonably sane person accepts and understands that other people aren’t perfect. But that same person can be a lot harder on themselves. Why are we so much more forgiving of our friends and loved ones, even strangers, than we are to our own selves? If you have a child: imagine how you looked at them the first time you met. For many of us, it’s a deep feeling of affection and intimacy. A tiny baby, like a peaceful Buddha. An open face towards the world. Or the beloved pet. Or, the partner that you truly respect.  It’s a contact with the divine, deep inside of us. The feeling that shines through society’s blinding blackout curtains; the rules that has taught us to dim ourselves, to block out our light, and that which judges, assesses. Perhaps you’ve already guessed the expression I’m looking for: unconditional love. Imagine if you could see yourself in that same way. With the same appreciation, for your mere existence. Your value in the world, just by being you, throughly worth loving and appreciating the fact that you exist here on earth. I think most children see themselves this way. When my four- year- old daughter rolls her eyes and says, ”I know, Mom” when I tell her I love her, I believe her. She knows that she is loved. But also I appreciate the integrity with which she moves around in the world, the natural message of how she loves herself. When did we stop looking at ourselves like that? For most of us, sometime in early childhood. We were taught we were loved only if we behaved in a certain way, approved by the world of grown-ups, oftentimes in relation to achievement. I have to believe it’s possible to go back in time, just a bit to look at ourselves, with the same love and affection as if we were our own parents – like we did once, as children, before we became so hard on ourselves. Before we started hating our bodies, or believed that we weren’t good enough if we didn’t achieve something. Over time we forgot that we deserve to be loved just as we are. By others, but also by ourselves. We should look at ourselves as if we were God looking down at its creation, as what it is: a perfect piece of a puzzle taking shape.


Estrid Magazine 1 2017-2018

Imagine what would happen if we loved ourselves like that. It’s cliché, but our biggest enemy is oftentimes ourselves, not other people, when it comes to our own fear of failure in wanting to be successful, fantastic and mighty. If we weren’t scared, but settled in love, then anything could happen because we deserve the best. Nothing could stop us. Then the world could truly change. Peace starts with ourselves. ”Treat yourself as if you were your own best friend”. My friend gave me that advice a few years back. I was shocked when I realised what that really means, and it took time to process it. Why am I so good at seeing how others deserve to live and treat themselves, but so hard on myself? When my friends are confused over what to do in a friendship or romantic relationship, I have taken on the same approach. Like with my friend with the backspin. I simply ask what advice they would have given me if I had the same dilemma, as they are facing. ”What would you think I should do?” Oftentimes the answer is simple. Quit that boring job, end the friendship that only brings grief, and think positive. Give yourself a night at a hotel or a spa day to take care of yourself, in the midst of stress or family chaos. Or, like with my friend: go to the doctor in time. It seems like such a given for the people you love, but so far off when it comes to yourself. This reminds me of something else you have probably seen in others, or perhaps even in yourself: The parents who are so involved with their children, they have completely given up on their own lives. They don’t have time to see friends or take care of their body. It’s been a challenge for me as well, but it’s important for the sake of our children to show that Mom has her own life. They, too can feel the pressure to be happy and constantly engaged for the sake of the parent, and it can become a stressor for them. This is an unreasonable responsibility, because what happens if the child isn’t feeling well one day? The parent’s world then crumbles, as it’s built completely around the well-being of the child. By trying to be ”nice”, you end up sacrificing everything in your own life for the child’s sake. You may not be doing them a favor at all– but rather, quite the opposite. By putting the responsibility of your own development on the child, you burden them with far more responsibility than they deserve or can possibly be expected to shoulder. I’m not saying that we should ignore the kids and take off to a spa all day. But I do believe your child is better off being without their mother one night a week, than Mom never having time to exercise or see her friends, which brings her fresh energy. After all – like a lot in life! — it’s all about balance. Once again, the same question many of us, especially women, need to ask ourselves is why should others feel good while we have to suffer through life?


Dear reader, I would like to ask you to say the following aloud to yourself: ”I deserve to be loved. I deserve to be happy.” For some this might be easy, bur for most – including myself, until quite recently after a long period of personal development – it came as a shock. I could barely get the words out of my mouth. I even think I started crying the first time I said it out loud. A blockage cracked, and the water started pouring out. And there was relief. It was so unfamiliar to treat myself even remotely as well as I wanted to treat others. I never thought I needed help, no matter what I went through. Yet, I was more than happy to assist others because, ”I’ll be fine.” What I didn’t realize was that behavior was, in actuality, not very ”nice”. Ignoring my own needs to help others was not because I was such an incredibly kind and generous person, but, rather, to calm my inner anxiety. We know this pattern; we see it in the older woman most of us know: she who sighs while running around serving everyone else at the dinner table, with no time to sit down and enjoy the meal for herself. The martyr who ends up unnerving everyone else because she is so ”considerate”. But is she really helping others, and is she really kind? If you ask me, that kind of behavior bothers me. After all, it’s just as much about the person trying to calm their own anxiety and calm their well-behaved good- girl complex. This type of ”niceness” can also be a subtle form of condescending another person’s intelligence. They believe they should do our personal work for us, while running away from their own. I thought I was a great person when helping my ex do his taxes, even after we separated. But I was also selfish in trying to make myself feel better by helping him instead of letting him make his own mistakes and learn his own lessons. Luckily, there are ways to break these patterns and change, as a person. Thank goodness! Now that I’ve worked more deeply on myself, my cup of self-love isn’t completely empty anymore. It’s full, and now it can overflow towards others, allowing me to be sincerely kind in a new way. I no longer need to scrape energy from the bottom of my well to give to others, who inevitably shied away from the stale smell. ”Hello, please love me, can’t your see how nice I am?” No wonder they were backing off! Instead there is love for myself - enough to share with with others. Surrounding me is a stream of fresh, freely pouring love water, drawing new people to me. They notice my giving and sharing comes from an abundant source, not from neediness or desperation to be loved in order to replace the lack of self-love. I am not hoping they fill my cup while pretending to ”help”. Now I help simply by being comfortable with myself. It is not selfish, to love yourself. It inspires others, and gives them a sense of safety. I do not have to ask for other’s acknowledgement, I don’t get jealous as quickly, and have a much easier time feeling happy for other people’s joy because my cup is full enough. At least on good days! I see it in others, and notice how their respect and love for themselves inspires me, showing me it is okay to thrive; that it is okay, to follow your dreams. You do not have to live while lacking. This perspective goes against our whole societal system because that’s how the world works. We feel a sense of lack, and try to fill the gap through consumption. At the same time we are destroying the world we are exhausting ourselves for no reason – a game we can never win. At least, until we fill that cup for ourselves and decide that we deserve to feel good. It’s not for just everyone else.


Estrid Magazine 1 2017-2018

“If we weren’t scared, but settled in love, then anything could happen because we deserve the best. Nothing could stop us.”



Estrid Magazine 1 2017-2018

The Fairy tale Chair One sunny day in the beginning of June a mom, her eight year old and her three year old went for a walk in the nearby forest. There, they found a treasure. Not a chest full of glitter and gold, but something more homely. A chair. “Why is there a chair there?” said the eight year old. To that question, the mother had no answer. The three year old had, though, just like most three year old children do, “Maybe someone needed to sit down a little while on a walk, and brought her chair?” The chair looked very abandoned though. They decided to bring it home. The only problem was that it was ugly. The white paint was falling of, the former dark pink fabric was dirty and full of spots. The chair needed a spa treatment, a massage and a makeover. Said and done. The eight year old removed old paint and together with the three year old she cleaned the chair. Now they had to agree on what colour to paint it, as the mother didn’t want to buy all the colours in the rainbow. Luckily both of them liked purple. They put their paint clothes on, took a paint brush each and begun painting the chair. One of them got tired of it earlier than the other one, but finally the chair was purple. They added flying dragons, hearts and dots in gold paint and the ordinary chair was transformed into a magical fairy tale chair. On a shelf they found lime green fabric with gold details. Perfect next to the purple and gold chair. The mother removed the old fabric, washed the padding and fastened the new fabric. And that’s the story about the fairy tale chair.


Nature Walk In each issue of Estrid you will follow along on a walk in nature. Today we go for a walk in Hällsboskogen, Uppland (Sweden) in September.


Estrid Magazine 1 2017-2018


Eggplant mush on bread Eggplant mush for sandwiches Turn on the oven, 225 degrees Celsius. Cut an eggplant (or two if they are small) in two. Put them in a pan with the flat side facing up. Pour some olive oil on top and sprinkle some salt on. Bake the eggplants until very soft, around 45 minutes, depending on size. Scrape the eggplant pulp from the skin and mix together with olive oil, pepper, more salt if needed and your choice of flavour. Tasty flavours: Lemon, herbs, garlic. Or some coconut cream and garam masala.


Estrid Magazine 1 2017-2018


Mash blue cheese and mix it with the same amount of cream cheese. Whip it fluffy with an electric handmixer. Spread it on a slice of bread and put fresh fruit and some honey on top.


What did you like to do when you were young? ”I dont know what to do”, he says. ”I don´t even know what I like.” It´s been at least ten years since he stopped playing soccer, maybe more. His studies have tunrned into full time work, his spare time has filled up with everyday things and in the evenings he often ends up in the couch watching tv or with his phone in his hand. It´s getting... boring. Repetitive. ”I think I need a hobby. In my teen years I liked building model airplanes and I have been thinking about taking that up again, but I don´t really feel like it. I want to do something that doesn´t require me to sit inside. I just don´t know what!” I don´t really have that problem, on the contrary. There are so many things I find fun, interesting or that I just want to learn more about. I would be very grateful for a few extra hours of spare time every day, and wouldn´t have any problems filling them. ”But what do you do?” he asks. ”How do you come up with what you want to do?” That´s a tricky question. I don´t have a clue! New ideas just keep popping up from the old ones. I read books, build things, grow things, visit a museum, make pasties. ”Did you always like to make pasties, for example? If not, where did that interest come from?” he asks. I think back. This spring I went to a market and they sold pasties that tasted heavenly. When I got


home I wanted to try making them myself. A few attempts later and I was pretty close, but then I started thinking about what would make them even better! Did I always love pasties? No, I´ve never even thought much about them and would almost never, up until this spring, have eaten them. But I´ve always loved baking! Experimenting in the kitchen, figuring out different taste combinations. Already as a child, this was my favourite thing to do when I got home from school. I would get out milk, sugar and butter and make pies with

listening to my grandfathers stories while they were weeding, planting potatoes and picking raspberries. Being in their garden gave me such a calm feeling and I still carry that feeling with me today when I work in my own garden. ”Maybe you should think about what you liked as a kid too”, I suggest. ”I liked to play, build treehouses in the woods, play soccer, ride a bicycle...” He sounds doubtful. ”You know, I don´t really feel like building a treehouse in the woods and sit there with my binoculars

I never did any gardening or farming as a child, but I liked being with my grandparents in their garden and I would sit there listening to my grandfathers stories while they were weeding, planting potatoes and picking raspberries. Being in their garden gave me such a calm feeling and I still carry that feeling with me today when I work in my own garden. whatever fruit and berries were available at the moment. I really loved making new pies for my family to eat! What about my other interests? I´ve liked museums since I was a child. My curiousity when it comes to past times is as big now as it was back then, even though I am more fascinated by 20th century history than by the knights of the middle ages. I never did any gardening or farming as a child, but I liked being with my grandparents in their garden and I would sit there Estrid Magazine 1 2017-2018

watching out for enemies, like I did back when I was nine.” ”Maybe not, but what do you think you liked about that? Maybe that could be a hint? If you liked the building most, maybe you would like building now. Not treehouses but something you like today? If the binoculars was the thing you liked the most, maybe you could watch birds or something?” A smile appears on his face. He figured something out. ”Being in the woods by myself for a while, that was my favourite

part. Nobody knew where I was and I loved just listening to all the sounds of the forest. I should do that sometimes instead of picking up my phone when I want a moment to myself.” A few months later I get a text: I´m too lazy to ride a bicycle these days, but guess what I did? I bought a moped! An old veteran moped. It´s so much fun driving it! Plus there is a club where we work on our mopeds and have coffee together. I never would have found it unless a man started talking to me when he saw my moped. I never have time to watch TV anymore, haha! Driving a moped and sitting in the woods. Not excactly the same as when he was a kid, but thinking of what he liked as a kid helped him find what he likes today. Despite all my interests and a constant lack of time, I start thinking of what I liked as a child myself. What made time pass quickly when I was seven? I ask my dad and he reminds me that I used to draw. Every night after dinner, I would sit there with my box of crayons, drawing. I never wanted to go to bed. I had to finish drawing first. So I pick up a pad of paper again, can´t find any crayons but a box of coloring pens, thinking of how I used to do this. I Make a line, a circle, a few flowers. Two hours later I´ve made a drawing of the kitchen where I´m sitting, but totally forgot to eat my lunch.

Finding your interest Maybe everyone doesn´t have one big passion that stays with them for life, but rather interests that come and go, just like friends or food preferences sometimes do. For a while you might be all in on making jewellery, but seven years later the pearls are packed up in a box in the far back of the closet. Now you´re in to geocaching instead and fill your calmer moments by chatting at a café with your best friend. The path to a new interest can go through a friend. Or through following your curiousity. It was often that very curiousity that led us to discovering new worlds when we were kids and I believe that curiousity is still within you, maybe it has been dorment for a long time. Follow it. Don´t be afraid to seem unknowing or to make a fool of yourself – that´s only how you perceive it. Give your new interest a bit more time before you decide if it´s for you, or if it will lead you to something else. Make it your priority to have fun or feel good. Maybe you already have a big interest? Challenge yourself anyway and dare to try something new. The world is bigger than just planting dahlias/breeding cats/archery. Discovering something new will enrich your world. I promise.


Paper art by Kelly Alford 102

Estrid Magazine 1 2017-2018

A seasonal table

It’s easy to fill your pockets with nature treasures, especially in autumn (and especially if you go for a walk with a three year old). Chestnuts, flowers, berries and leaves. Place a tray or a beautiful plate close to the door, where it’s easy to put the things when you come home. Collect all beautiful things from nature and make a nature table that recflects the season. Rosehip, rowan berries and lingon berries make pretty decorations if you thread them onto wire and shape it into wreaths, hearts or letters. A small vase with water in will catch your flowers as you come back home. A few autumn leaves have been glued to cardstock and framed.


Street Art Malaysia


Estrid Magazine 1 2017-2018


Emil Jansson Artist and plumber

Hello! Who are you? My name is Emil Jansson and I live in Uppsala. I am a 32 year old trained plumber and have been drawing and doing cartoons since I was a child. About 5 years ago I got a set of acrylic paint from my girlfriend and that got things started. The first job was an acrylic painting of the Joker and my first sale was a big painting of Freddy Mercury from Queen. I sold that one on Tradera (swedish ebay) and the profit went to Musikhjälpen. (A popular, annual charity project in Sweden.). I´ve been taking my artist career more seriously this past year by taking a year of art education. It gives me alot. I´ve noticed I am more bold when painting and I´ve met some really good classmates who inspire me. What kind of materials do you prefer to use? Right now I mostly use oil-paint of the brands Rembrandt and New Holland. They have good pigment that I mix with poppy oil in cans so they are ready to use. What or who inspires you? I am very inspired by an artist named Mark Carder in Texas. He has alot of videos on Youtube about everything from how to mix primers to due rings, light and so on. I also like old portrait painters like Anders Zorn, John Singer Sargent, Mikael Malm. Do you have any favourite motives or themes? My favourite themes are portrait painting that work with light and darkness. Lately I am trying to work more on the abstract in portrait painting. Alot of technique where you can see the draws of the brush in the painting, and gives you some feeling when you see the paintings. How did you learn how to paint? I taught myself, mostly from experimenting and from watching Mark Carder on youtube. I use a technique called ”wet on wet” which means you keep painting while the oil-paint is wet, so there are no layers in the painting. What do you want to improve? Portrait painting and as I said, I want to work more with the abstract draws of the brush. What is your vision for the future? My dream is to have more time for painting. To evolve in portrait painting.

Photos: Private. the photo of the painting with the woman has been cropped.


Estrid Magazine 1 2017-2018


Too good chocolate cake The yummiest chocolate cake 2 eggs 2.5 dl sugar 3 dl spelt flour 0.75 dl cacao 150 g butter 100 g vanilla fudge, chopped in pieces 1 dl walnuts Flake salt 200 g caramelized milk 150 g dark chocolate Sprinkles of any sort Instructions: Start with melting the butter. Stir eggs and sugar together. Mix flour and cacao and stir together with the melted butter into the batter. Add the vanilla fudge and the walnuts. Pour into a cake pan and sprinkle salt flakes on top. Bake for about 20 minutes in 175 degrees Celsius. The cake should still be a bit smudgy, but not too much. Let it cool.


Spread caramelized milk on the cake and put it in the freezer while you melt the dark chocolate. Putting the cake in the freezer makes it easier to carefully spread the melted chocolate over the caramelized milk. Put some sprinkles of your own choice on top before the chocolate hardens. Then you need a bit of willpower not to eat it all at once, but wait for the chocolate to harden and the guests to arrive.

Estrid Magazine 1 2017-2018


Easy knitting Here are two easy project for the newbie knitter These wristlets are easy for a beginner. All you need to know is to cast on, knit and cast off. You choose how many stitches to cast on depending on the thickness of your yarn and how long you want them to be. Knit and every now and then wrap your knitting around your wrist until it’s long enough and cover your wrist. Cast off and sew it together, as shown in the picture, so that a small ridge is formed. Leave an opening at the end, if makes it fit better, and secure the end of the yarn. Then make another one, for you other wrist. The cat on the other side is made in stockinette stitch (knit one row, purl the other). In this project you also decided the size yourself, by choosing a yarn you like and cast on as many stitches as you want. It’s nice to knit the cat in wool and fill it with wool roving.


Estrid Magazine 1 2017-2018

Begin with a rectangle, as shown in the first picture. Cast off, fold it double and sew the top and side together (leave the bottom open). Shape the ears with a few stitches where the needle is placed in picture four, on both sides. Fill the head with wool roving, sew around the neck to shape it and make it tighter. Secure the thread. Fill the rest of the body and sew the bottom closed. Divide the yarn, if it’s thick, and make the whiskers. Make a know with them and the knot will form a nose. Cut the whiskers into desirable length.


Crystal Egg

Making your own crystal eggs is an experiment that fascinates kids. You can also use the same technique on stones and pebbles to create decorative elements for your home (for instance in a window sill or in a pot). You need an egg, needle, scissors, hobby glue, food colouring, a mug, a bowl and a paintbrush. Use safety gloves or rubber gloves. Begin with carefully picking a needle in both ends of the egg, with the needle. Stir with the tip of the needle inside the egg to break the yolk. Blow into one of the holes and the egg will come out through the other hole (make omelette for lunch). Then carefully cut the egg in two halves with the scissors, beginning in one of the holes. Clean and dry the eggshells and add glue with help of a paintbrush. Add some alun in the shells so it sticks to the glue. Let it dry for a couple of hours or over night. Part 2: Mix the remaining alun with hot (boiling) water, proportions 1:4. Stir until the crystals have dissolved. Add generously food colouring and stir. Let it cool down a little bit, then add the eggshells, inside up (you might need to gently push them down with a spoon). If you want different colours on your eggshell halves, you can have them in two separate mugs. Now they have to stay here for at least 8 hours, up to three days. You can carefully lift them up with a spoon to see when you think the crystals are big enough. The longer you wait, the bigger they get. When they are ready you let them dry. They are fragile as long as they are wet, but they harden and when they are completely dry you have a beautiful glittery crystal egg.


Estrid Magazine 1 2017-2018

Listen to:

Jan Johansson, pianist Born in Sweden, in 1931, Jan Johansson begun to play the piano when he was 11 years old. He studied to become an engineer, but quit his studies to focus on his music career. He played in several orchestras, composed music for radio and also the title song for the Pippi Longstocking movie. Most loved are his albums where he combines folk music and jazz. Jan Johansson died in a car accident in 1968, on his way to a concert.

Begin with listening to the album Jazz pĂĽ svenska, a modern classic in Sweden.


Rooibos is a bush whose leaves can be used as tea. A bit careless we often say “red tea”, despite it technically not being tea. It doesn’t even have to be red. Green rooibos-tea is not fermented, as the red version, and has a milder flavour. It’s naturally caffeine free and full of anti oxidants.


Estrid Magazine 1 2017-2018

From crazy idea to furry clones Have you ever had a crazy idea that didn’t feel doable? Jennifer Williams have made reality of such an idea: She makes copies of people’s pets. It all begun one summer night in 2005 when she wanted to have a plush dog that looked exactly like her dog, Great Dane, Rufus. Not just any Great Danish, but exactly like Rufus. A couple of years later, when Rufus passed away, she decided to honor his memory and make reality of this idea. Cuddle Clones was born. It took a couple of years to get started, but 2011 she could start selling her plush clones and since 2013 the company sells their plushies online and internationally. Customers send photos of their pets and Cuddle Clones sews soft copies of them. Since every animal is unique it takes some time and requires a lot of skills to make a real copy. Jenny has several emplyees today. She is looking for skillful designers and let them go through a six months training program to make sure the products are of the very best quality. When ordering a plush clone it takes up to two months to complete it. The most common order is a dog and Chihuahua is number one. - The most challenging part of the job is to pay attention to detail. We have to replicate ever spot and scar and dot the animal has, says Adam Green, employee at Cuddle Clones. Some customers order a copy of a beloved pet that has just passed away and it feels good when they contact us and tell us it helped in their grief to be able to hug their plush animal.

When Jennifer Williams dog Rufus died she started a company specialized in sewing exact copies of pets.

Photo private and Cuddle Clones.


Make art with alcohol ink Alcohol ink is, like the name suggests, an ink based on alcohol. You find it in stores that sell craft material for scrapbook and card making. There are several colours and brands and they vary in price. Besides the ink you need something to “paint” on. Card stock, glossy cardboard or a canvas is all fine. You also need alcogel (you can find it at the pharmacy). Thin rubber gloves protects your hands from unwanted colours. To “paint” with alcogel and ink is a playful way to create art. You can let them be abstract, or use them as backgrounds to paint a motif on top.


Estrid Magazine 1 2017-2018

Begin with painting alcogel all over your canvas in a thin layer. Then it’s time to play. Drop alcogel and then ink into the gel, let it float. Maybe “dot” on it with a cotton swab or blow through a straw. Add one colour to another or let the colour float into each other. With blank paper the ink float more easily. Maybe try the same technique with water colours? Alcohol based markers? Below you see a detail from a piece of art by artist Edith Lüthi.


Playful temporary art (make pasta mandala when it is the process that counts)


Estrid Magazine 1 2017-2018

We craft and create and want it to be something lasting. Like an evidence of what we have done. Like a way to hold on to something we liked. We sew, glue, draw ‌ But what to do with everything we create? Do we have to save everything? Maybe the process itself is sometimes the goal. Let the creating be a game. Pasta in all shapes and colours form patterns, become pasta mandalas, becomes a tree, becomes a snail. The number of pieces, shapes and colours are limited. We have to destroy something to be able to create something new. There is something liberating in that. To create for the sake of creating. We did it like this: In a plastic bag we mixed a little bit of vinegar (apple cider or white vinegar is fine) with a few drops of food colouring. More drops = more intensive colours. Put the dry, uncooked pasta in the bag, close it and shake it to mix the pasta and the colour. Spread it out and let it dry on a parchment paper. Repeat with several kinds of pasta and colours. You can also try rice, beans, lentils, noodle ‌ or something else you find in your pantry.



Estrid Magazine 1 2017-2018

Andreas Lindholm, stay-at-home dad: “To me it has been important to follow my heart and not just do like everyone else.” About following your heart. To me it has been a struggle to combine different interests since our first pregnancy, wanting to be a modern parent present in my children’s lives. There’s an expectation from employers and friends that I should work and climb the career ladder. Of course everyone make their own choices but to me it has been important to follow my heart and not just do like everyone else. I guess it’s difficult to distinguish your own direction in life from old traditions and stale standards. There was a big change for me when I noticed how society is structured regarding parental leave for fathers. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that so many fathers feel in their hearts that they hardly have time for parental leave. Instead it’s all about society’s expectations on men that have become parents. Higher awareness of the structures and the expectations makes it easier to make your own choice. Some men, just like many men before us, will surely focus on their work and hobbies, and spending time with your children will be on the lower part of their priority lists. But for others with the guts to think outside the you-know-what, it could mean a life where a dad can spend more time every week with his children. Now our third child is at home with me and my wife. Not just for the first year in life, that seems to be standard in many families, but until the child itself want to go to pre-school or it’s time to start school. I enjoy every day that I spend at home with my 1.5-year old and 4-year old. Maximizing our parental leave means that we can’t afford a flashy house or have a cool car, but that doesn’t feel like a sacrifice.

with the children longer than ”necessary”, it is assumed that traditions or old gender patterns are forcing her to do so. When people understand that I as a father “just go home all the time” they get surprised but also curious. It’s part of the luxury to be a man, that you have more liberty in your choices, and whatever you choose your choice is more easily respected than the one of a woman. I choose to live like this because it feels right to me and because it’s fantastic that I, as a privileged dad in Sweden with an understanding partner, have the possibility to a parents’ allowance, sufficient for a more simple way of living, in order to stay at home with my children and just have a good time together. Eventually my parental days will come to an end and yes, also I am going to work for a long time before I cash in. But until then I, my wife and our kids will have a few years of me being a full time dad to our little ones, with lots of fun, challenges, and important events, and my contribution this year to make the world a better place is to care for my children one hundred percent. Of course I will always care for my children, but now I don’t have any dorky job that is stopping me from doing this. My kids will have my love and acknowledgement every day and hopefully they will become safe and fearless citizens of the world in due time.

Choosing to live a different life compared to what is normal for many people around you leads automatically to being questioned. If a woman makes the same choice, being home


... see you soon! In next issue we enter an enchanted world. It’s a fairy tale theme, with storytelling and everyday magic. There will be interesting meetings, personal conversations and lots of creative inspiration.

Follow Estrid Instagram: @estridmagazine Facebook: 122

Estrid Magazine 1 2017-2018

Estrid Magazine #1 (English edition)  
Estrid Magazine #1 (English edition)  

Creativity and Scandinavian living. 122 pages full of inspiration, art and crafts, interviews, recipes and fika and much, much more. Have a...