Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Staycation and Nåttarö

Hello Wednesday!

I know there is nothing more pathetic than chatting about the weather but I just have to share what gorgeous sunshine we've been having in Sweden this summer. (Summer usually doesn't exist in Sweden, it's usually a little too rainy and a bit chilly.) We chose not to take a summer vacation anywhere else this year just so that we could stay at home and enjoy our own backyard, seas, and parks because we were expected to have gorgeous days with lots of sun and high temperatures through out July. For once the weather man's predictions were actually right. And I'm so glad for that because there is nothing like falling in love with Sweden during the summertime. (Makes the cold dark long winters a little more bearable.)

Staycation for some could sound a bit boring, one might get stuck in a rut doing house chores etc. Even though we had a long list of to-do items to fix at home, we haven't done much checking off of that list. Instead we've tried to be outside as much as possible taking trips to the sea or lake for picnics, swimming and sunbathing.

A few nice places we've visited for sun and swimming this July:

Just about 30 minutes outside of Stockholm, it's far enough so you feel like you've gone somewhere but not quite so far so you feel like you have to stay all all day to not waste the drive. It's also rather quiet on the cliffs (where we prefer to find a spot for the day) as families and many others prefer the near by beach.

This is where my boyfriend grew up so he's rather partial to this seaside city's swimming options. (I don't blame him, as it's stunning!) It has many great places to take a dip, and Johan knows all of the best ones. We usually take the car, but the other day I brought my bike along with me on the 1 hour train ride, to easily take me from the station to the sea quickly.

Our closest body of water, a lake about a 15 minute bike ride from where we live south of Stockholm. I must confess I'm not too keen on lake water. It's a bit brown and creepy, but if you're desperately warm like we were one day, it will do the trick.

As close to a mini vacation as we came with a one night camping stay was a trip out to one of the islands in Stockholm's southern archipelago, Nåttarö. Just a 30 minute boat ride from Nynäshamn we were able to find our own little spot to camp and swim for 2 days and one night, pretty much all on our lonesome too. Sleeping in a tent isn't my favorite (creepy), but I can do it for a night, especially since it's free. With Sweden's Allemansrätt (Every Man's Right) there is no such thing as private property, you can camp pretty much where ever you like, just as long as you leave it just as you found it. It was really nice to explore a new place and be surrounded by gorgeous blueberry speckled Swedish forests and pretty beaches and rocky coastlines. It really felt like summer vacation!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Summer Reading

Hello Monday!

I've taken a little bit of summer vacation from blogging and working long hours. It's been great! When it's as hot as it's been in Sweden (for the past few weeks it's been in the 80's) with out the comfort of A/C I just can't handle sitting in front of my computer for more than a few minutes per day. So besides working on the commissioned projects I received at the beginning of the month and shipping orders to my wonderful customers I haven't done much else work related. No new illustrations or other projects. I haven't even really been keeping up with my favorite blogs (shocker!) 

I've been spending most of my free time with Johan of course since he's on real summer vacation from work for 4 weeks. We've gone on lots of day trips to sun ourselves and cool off in the ocean or lake, even took a quick camping trip out in the archipelago (amazing!). We've of course been enjoying lots of picnics, grill parties with friends and gorgeous al fresco dinners on our balcony with refreshing glasses of wine or beer too. It's been really nice not really having any real plans, stay-cations can be just as great as travel. Since there is no better way to pass the time during hot summer hours at the beach/lake/park I've become a reading fiend again. I've read nearly 10 books in the past 3 weeks!

So I thought we'd chat about a few of my summer reads. To start off, a few of my absolute favorites:

By far my favorite summer read! I adored this book, especially since I'm such a book nerd. It's a little Da Vinci Code meets Harry Potter without the magic plus Google makes a huge appearance. Loved! Read it!

A perfect summer read as the story is set in the winter time. Almost, makes you feel a bit cooler. (Not really.) I loved the atmosphere of this book. It was so quiet, remote a little dreamy, and even a little depressing. I thought it would be a little more fantasy as the summary suggested but I loved it all the same.

This one was a bit weird, but I love weird. I really adored all of the accompanying weird photos throughout the books pages too, really added to the fantastical story. A fun fantasy/circus freak/supernatural twist on a World War II story.

and then let's move on to Gillian Flynn. I read all of her books. Gone Girl, Sharp Objects, and Dark Places. There is something seriously wrong with that woman, hehe. These books are sick, twisted, dark, and I was completely surprised by how each of the books ended (which is always nice, nothing worse than being able to figure out the who-done-it in the first few pages). I actually really enjoyed them, even with the disturbing feeling you're left with after finishing. Suppose that's the point.

To finish a few that I wasn't too hot for.

I just had to read this since everyone and their Mom has already and I don't want to be out of the loop. I thought the book was good, I suppose, but it didn't make me laugh or cry. (I think I'm cold hearted, hehe) Hated the pretentious teenage dialog. Meh.

And two other Young Adult books that were just that, a little too YA for me. Across the Universe by Beth Revis and We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. Still really nice reads if you're into YA teenage romance. (I'm 30, time to move on.)

What have you read this summer?

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Blogger What's in my Bag: Emily of The Locust of Style

Hello Wednesday!

This week I'm spending some time getting spoiled by my Grandparents on the West coast of Sweden. Even though I'm taking just a pinch of time off from work and the internet to enjoy some sunshine and gorge on too much chocolate, I still of course wanted to have a gorgeous Blogger What's in my Bag illustration to show off for you today. This week's illustration features fashion blogger Emily of blog The Locust of Style. Emily has great easy going style and her blog is a major breath of fresh air!

To view all of the gorgeous illustrations I've created for tons of wonderful bloggers, check out my Blogger What's in my Bag Pinterest board here...

And if you'd like to have one commissioned for yourself or a friend you can purchase a Custom What's in my Bag listing in my Etsy shop here...

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

New to EmmaKisstina: Press Photos

Hello Wednesday!

Last week I worked on a few new press shots for EmmaKisstina. I was hoping to take some great product shots but unfortunately this didn't really happen. What I did get was a nice template for a Photoshop mockup image with a white frame and a black frame. I've been meaning to create images like this since forever, so I'm glad I finally got my bootie in gear and actually got them photographed. Now all I have to do is add them to my shop listings!

By the way I've got several online shops now. Instead of just selling on Etsy you can now find me here:
• in several Tastemaker boutiques such as Cool Mom Picks or Glitter Guide
Nordic Design Collective a really great Swedish site.