LOVE IS ALL AROUND

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Photo: Kristin Bae Mysen

It is Christmas and “love is all around”. Well as a matter of fact, love is not all around. Many people in the world are striving this Christmas. There is war, there is fighting and hatred, and all of us must contribute the way we can. But despite of all the suffering we still need to create good spaces for ourselves.

I truly love this time of the year: the preparation for the time to come, the expectation and the enjoyment of wrapping love into glossy papers and shiny strings. The lightening of candles and the smell of oranges with cloves. I always include a new item in the house for Christmas, and I was delighted when I got hold of this snow globe on ebay after having searched for years.

However what has touched med the most so far this December is the epic version of the song “O helga natt” (the Swedish version of O Holy night) sung by The Norwegian singer and the performance artist Nils Bech accompanying one episode in the Norwegian series Skam (Shame) which is about Isak and Even who are in love with each other. If you haven’t seen this beautiful episode, enjoy, watch and listen from here!

You are welcome to dig into my Christmas song list jul on Spotify where you also will find this version of O helga natt .

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year !!

THE COLOR BLUE

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Photos: Kristin Bae Mysen

I have always loved the color blue. To me it reduces stress and creates a sense of calmness. Maybe because it is an “earthly” color that I associate with bright blue cloudless sky and the endless ocean view. But not any blue.  My two favorites shades are the deep blue hue called International Klein Blue first mixed by the French artist Yves Klein (1928 – 1962), and Nupen blue invented by the Norwegian contemporary artist Kjell Nupen (1955 – 2014).

To me blue also is a sacred color, a color of serenity, contemplation and prayer. The artist Kjell Nupen must have felt the same way when he made the stained glass in the beautiful Ansgar chapel and in the church of Søm, both located outside Kristiansand in the southern part of Norway. I went there the other day in order to take pictures (above), and the sunlight pouring through the glass was transformed into pure magic. The British newspaper The Guardian describes Kjell Nupen’s art as having a lyrical approach to nature, and I do agree. Read the whole article about the artist here !

Before I released my meditative book Blue horses in the garden of God / Blå hester i Guds hage (Norwegian only), the designer and I strived for a long time to find the perfect combination of blue shades for the horses. Luckily I ended up being very happy with the cover. The book is now out in third edition, and if you haven’t got hold of a copy yet, you might order it from here, and read about it here.

THREE STORIES

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This oil painting Winter Night in the Mountains is a favorite of mine. In Norwegian it is called Vinternatt i Rondane, and a snow-covered mountain massif in full moonlight made such a strong impression on the Norwegian painter Harald Sohlberg who was skiing through the area, that he continued to work with the theme for 14 years. He painted a cross on one of the peaks to heighten the sense of the sacredness in nature also because they resembled an icy cathedral. In 1914 he finished his most famous version which now is to be found in the The Nationalmuseet and is considered a real classic.

HOLMMMMMM

Photo: From the web-site of Carl-Viggo Hølmebakk

Sohlberg painted his picture on a spot near Atnsjøen lake (Sohlbergplassen) with a grand and majestic view over the peaks of Rondane. This summer I went through here with a friend and we had to stop at this famous viewing point (above). Being an architectonic freak I was really impressed by the 19 curves made in concrete that gently go around slender pine trees, created by the Norwegian architect Carl-Viggo Hølmebakk. The platform frames the view towards the lake and the rounded peaks of the Rondane massif almost exactly as they appear in the painting.

LANDSKAPET-RIKTIG

Photo: Kristin Bae Mysen

And this is how it looked from the platform. The beauty made med speechless, and luckily I had the best of light for taking pictures. I have always felt attached to mountains, and to me the mountain range Rondane is the most beautiful there is. No wonder Harald Sohlberg spent 14 years working on these peaks.

MY GARDEN GNOME

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Photo: Kristin Bae Mysen

I got this homemade garden gnome (18 cm tall man made out of cement) as a Christmas present from my neighbour who loves gardening as much as I do. I probably looked like a question mark when I unpacked. Who was this Santa Claus look a like, ugly, little fellow? Now I know more. Garden gnomes have been common in Europe since the Renaissance. According to old belief they contribute to the fertility to whatever garden they find themselves in and spread peaceful vibrations to yard and home. They are said to live underground during the day, however if they are caught out in daylight, they will turn to stone which of course lends itself to the idea of garden gnome statues. Now my stands on a rock outside in my garden.

Do you remember the French film Amélie from 2001, which was about an innocent and naive girl from Montmartre in Paris with her own sense of justice? The girl who decided to help those who struggled around her.  Among many things she tried to persuade her father to follow his dream of touring the world by stealing his garden gnome, and having a flight attendant friend airmail  pictures of it posing with landmarks from all over over the world. Watch the amusing scenes from Amélie here !

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Photo: Kristin Bae Mysen

On a stroll in the neighborhood yesterday, I stumbled over this charming, little man who was busy guarding his garden.

GOOD MORNING !

WEBBILDE

Photos: Kristin Bae Mysen

Vacation, finally 🙂 I love it !! The best thing is that it gives me more time to do what I love such as writing on my new book, taking pictures, making blog post on things that interest me and dig in my garden. The garden plan for today is to fill a rather big flower bed with lavender. I will try to create a small sense of Provence here up north.

Thank you for following my blog by the way. If you like to know when I have posted a new blog post, fill in your email on the right hand side, send it and you will receive a mail every time there is something new on my website.

As you see on the pictures above I am also on Instagram on myhomeandstudio. Happy if I see you there.

A CHANGE OF DIRECTION

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Photo: Kristin Bae Mysen

Recently I visited the great exhibition by the Swedish artist Jan Håfström (born 1937) at Bomuldsfabriken Kunsthall in Arendal in the southern part of Norway. I specially enjoyed this black statue of Mr. Walker who was walking in all directions. It reminded me of the fact that it is never too late to change directions in one’s life.

According to the artist himself the sculpture has two aspects, one which is mentioned above, but also the fact that when Jan Håfström was a child he enjoyed to read The Phantom comic strip. His father however fancied a good drink and went often out at nights. Then the creative mind of the little boy pictured that his dad actually was Mr. Walker who went out in the dark to make the world a better place.

In 2014 another Mr. Walker, a seven-meter statue, was put up in the railroad park close to the central train-station in Stockholm, Sweden. Seen from the north it is red, seen from the south it is blue. Mr Walker has always been a source of inspiration in Håfström’s artwork.

Listen to the interview with the artist here (Swedish only) and read the article about the incident here.

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MI DALÍ

 

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Photo: Kristin Bae Mysen

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Salvador Dalí’s famous picture “The Persistence of Memory” is a favorite of mine. It has many interpretations, but for me it simply says something about the small importance of time and age. And of course I love the great colors.

The Spanish surrealist Dalí was once asked if Albert Einstein’s theory of special relativity was depicted in his picture. He replied that it was rather the inspiration of watching a Camembert melting in the sun. I find it humorous the way we sometimes tend to intellectualize art more than the artists themselves.

More facts about the picture here.

Yesterday when my husband returned from Spain, he brought me this Dalí inspired clock. Great fun! Now it leans on the bookshelf next to another Spanish favorite: “La catedral del mar” written by Ildefonso Falcones.

LOVE THAT LASTS A LIFETIME

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Photo: Kristin Bae Mysen

My friend and I are nine years old lying in an open spaced stairs spying at all the guests at an older sister’s party. A young woman passes by and I can smell her perfume, an incident that introduced me to the warm and sensual fragrance of Musk Oil by Alyssa Ashley. I remember inhaling the nice blend deep inside, and thinking it was the best smell ever. The perfume with the unisex icon has been a companion up to this day, and at the moment it leans on my chest of drawers next to other favorites.

Musk Oil by Alyssa Ashley was launched in 1969 and has been rated as one of the best smelling perfumes in the world. The Alyssa Ashley brand name was born in the USA during the fabulous sixties. Young people, the hippies and the flower children did no longer want the sophisticated fragrances worn by their parents, but embraced the simple essential oils which were rooted in the oriental culture. As a result Musk Oil by Alyssa Ashley was created out of the fantasy of a contemporary artist, who besides expressing his talent in painting (he held a master of contemporary art) devoted much time and energy to his passion for perfumes. The bottles and packaging he designed can in themselves be considered as an expression of modern art. ALYSSA however was the name of his youngest daughter and Ashley her nickname because of her blond hair.

Musk itself originally a glandular secretion from musk deer, was from ancient time used as a popular perfume fixative until economic and ethical motives led to the adoption of synthetic musk in the late 19th century.

The perfume can be purchased from here.

THE ARCHITECT ZAHA HADID

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                                             Edited by Kristin Bae Mysen

The famous Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid died 31st of March this year, and I had to make this collage as a tribute to one of my favorite architects.

I discovered her design a couple of years ago when I visited MAXXI – the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Rome, and I immediately fell in love with her innovative and spectacular forms. As a matter of fact I got so excited that I made this blog post about the building at the hotelroom the same day.

Up to the left in the picture we see the Heydar Aliyeu Center, a museum and a conference center in Azerbaijan, and to the right the Regium Waterfront separating mainland Italy from Sicily. Down to the left the Aquatics Center for the 2012 London Olympics, and to the right the Civil Court in Madrid.

She was really an extraordinary talented architect. Watch this film from here!

THOSE 80s

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Photo: Kristin Bae Mysen

In a vintage store in Oslo the other day I stumbled over these skinny leather ties from the 80s. So fun to see them again, and I had to buy them right away. I remember very clearly that I gave a turquoise one as a birthday gift to a friend at one point. He told me years later that he had liked it so much that he had worn it to pieces.

And all the bright clothing at that time. I recall my bright, blue coat, and not to mention how great I felt with shoulder pads inside my dresses. I do also have a clear picture of myself working in a café with a bright, pink ribbon tied in my hair. It seems like a very long time ago.

What else, oh, yes, the pop ballads with Lionel Richie, Christ de Burgh and Diana Ross. And who will ever forget the Norwegian group “The Monroes”. I am walking down the memory lane at the moment. Last week I made a playlist on Spotify with music from the 70s, today I made one from the 80s. If you like to get into the romantic mood from the eighties, you go from here.