Friday, April 10, 2015

Happy Friday and Few Things

Shining our week back to you and wishing you a wonderful Friday.  Sometimes the road less traveled leads you to a country manor or "the castle," as we like to call it. 
Yes, we think this place and trail lead to one kind of wonderful and hope you might, too.  Come along with us below.

I can see a repetitive theme in my life. I'm often seeking the harmony of nature and objects man-made. I'm  drawn to both sides and am attracted to the bridge between them.  Sweden is a place where this combination feels uncomplicated and natural. I've experienced that to understand Sweden's beauty, you'll have a deeper appreciation if you take a walk in the Swedish countryside. You can see it in the art of their most notable classic artists: Carl Larsson, Anders Zorn, John Bauer and Elsa Beskow's illustrations.

Right now, the first flowers of Spring are opening and people take care to notice these flowers. Conversations about "vitsippa, tissilago and blåsippa" seem more plentiful than any other place I've ever visited. It fascinates me and then, these show up in wallpapers keeping these local beauties blooming year around; paints come from organic natural resources and a colour can't always be described on a color wheel but, more as a seasonal tone. These humble, free, true details of beauty are present everywhere and anywhere.

So, no passports required; I'll make this quest simple: travel with us to the Swedish countryside and to a destination, 2 hours from Stockholm, along the northern edge of Lake Malaren. Come take a look for yourself.

With Grandparents visiting us from France, we were assured for over the top delicious.  From their very first visit to our newlywed home, I learned quickly to make room for and to expect wonderful gifts of food and beverages as they unpack their luggage.  Meals are central when we meet (here.)

Occasions like this draw out rare stories like descriptions of ornate, ribboned, oversized, Chocolate Easter Bunnies, from my mother-in-law received about her childhood in Nice. I love to soak up visual details and think of what they're imparting into the lives of the children now; just as I do on our visits back to my family in the US. The Easter Bunny always knows which paths to follow and where kids who like chocolate + finding hidden treasures can be found.  This is true every year (and will be, if I can help it until they're 101!)

This region of Sweden is full of grand old country manors and an over-abundance of well-preserved red houses and picket fences. (Another region with this, too. here) Before the US had even been created, this belt in Sweden was booming with Iron-Ore prosperity and you can can still see the effect of this time.  This traditional red wash used above and commonly associated with Swedish Architecture is a by-product of this industry and a color created through the production of iron-ore.

If you have small kids, here's a little fun Swedish Architecture project for you (here.) 

Have a wonderful weekend ahead. I hope you're past week has been filled with everything good, as well.

I freelance as a designer, illustrator (and recently a location scout) and am mother to 3 activate kids + wife, I thank you going with our flow. It's a juggle; although a good problem to have! Sometimes I feel like I can keep a hearty schedule and in others, I need to slow down my sharing tempo.  I always love to  meet you here. (Instagram, too)

Is there anything special you're thinking about or looking for? Conversations with friends always lead back to kitchen talk. Do you change what you make from season to season?

As busy as the kids are, I try to always find a joint art project for all of us to share (here or here) and have also been dreaming of setting up a summer creativity camp or 2 or 3. Is there something special you're looking for this Summer? I love creating with small children.

Stay tuned and I look forward to meeting you again soon with many new projects. You can find many of our past project here + kitchen (here.)

smile, smile, smile.

A Few Things this week:

-  Fun Paper Letters

Love this Recipe: Zucchini Ricotta Cheesecake and (more eggs:) love changing up a quiche or omelette for a Fritatta like this Pesto Goat Cheese Fritatta (it's amazing what a small change in presentation does)

Spring flowers:  The 1st 3 Flowers of Spring in Sweden | DIY Spring Flowers: BIG (crepe flowers) or wearable

Practice your technique before Mother's Day: Watercolor Cookies

- Love this round up from my friend, Meri Cherry who has one of the best: 10 Incredible Art Spaces for Kids

- I'm so enjoying a project with Meta and found this nice glimpse into her house for you at design mom, who's, coincidentally, just released her book about living with kids: Meta Coleman on Designmom (here) | book (here)

- Have you been following this book + conversation? All Joy and No Fun

The Cat Cake will make you smile!

DIY Moon Lamp

Styrofoam Print Printing with my friend Barbara

What? A carrot Clarinette

Playhouse Love

Make your own "Little Red Swedish Treehouse" Printable

Something you might like:
click here for: 52 Handmade Willowday Projects from 2014

I love this chance to meet. Come visit our  Facebook willowday Page and like us. For more projects like this, come visit our Pinterest Page. Or join me for Instagram for daily posts, too.

Would you like to add easy, everyday, creativity  -- or travel with us to Sweden --- just sign up here and never miss a post.


  1. The photographs are so beautiful! Thank you for sharing them. I love the wall papers, the chairs, the red carpet and houses.

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. It makes my day and I am so happy that you enjoyed these details, like I did. I hope it will give you a little inspiration and travels with us! Warm wishes for the weekend.

  2. Replies
    1. Sian, thank you so much. I actually thought of you as I shared. It's been so long since I've shared snippets from everyday here and thought of your beautiful photography. It's so nice to meet you here.


Thank you!