Monday, October 3, 2011

Inspired by Scandinavia

My husband is one-half Finnish (Raihala...hint: when vowels outnumber consonants, it's probably Finnish), one-eighth Norwegian, one-eighth Swedish, and, for contrast, one-quarter Italian. Fortunately, since he's the chef in our house, the Italian dominates in the kitchen because one thing I've learned in 25 years of marriage to a Scandinavian mutt is that Scandinavians eat some weird sh..., um, stuff.

No offense intended to the lutefisk lovers out there. 

I don't think any of George's ancestors came to America before about 1890. Some came through Ellis Island. His paternal grandmother was born in Finland, and in her old age, she swore like a sailor in Finnish, thinking no one would know what she was saying. Many of George's great-grandparents didn't speak English or learned it as a second language. When his family visited Italy in his youth, they hooked up with family. Close family. That's when he learned the saying, "Drinka more wine! Ita pushes the food down." I think that sort of rich ethnic heritage is just smashing cool and is part of what makes America great.

 I, on the other hand, am a thoroughly American mutt, most of whose ancestors were on these blessed shores before 1800--and a fair few well before 1700. I had 16 ancestors who came over on the Mayflower (including the famous Miles Standish, who was known by those who didn't like him much as Captain Shrimp, because he was short and red of face....not much has changed in the gene pool, I'll tell ya!). The rest were a North-Carolina-and-Massachusetts gumbo of French, Swiss, English, Scottish, and French Canadians, and perhaps some Native American, but we aren't quite sure about that one.

Anyway, ethnic pride isn't exactly a part of my heritage. I was always envious of the Greeks in Charlotte...they got their own festival. All I got was barbecue, which is everywhere in the South. Every. Where. Awesome, but not special in quite the same way as baklava, if you know what I mean.

Perhaps it was the Scot in me that made me taste haggis when in Edinburgh, but no amount of pride in my touch o' the Scot could make me like it. I suppose every nationality has its disgusting cuisine.

Back to George's Scandinavian heritage. Scandinavian style (unlike Scandinavian food) fascinates me, and it's so exciting to see it making an appearance in the latest trends. What a refreshingly clean and simple and colorful style! This picture is from Better Homes and Gardens' Holiday Crafts.

Those little birdies make me sooooo happy! I just had to see what I could do with stamps and my bird punch from StampinUp.

Design Discussion: I tried several small Papertrey Ink stamps on the birds, but none looked as good as this snowflake from Limitless Labels (or Holiday Labels...can't remember). The sentiment is from Silent Night. The ink is Memento Bahama Blue, and I used the matching marker to make the eyes on the birds. The base is SU bashful blue. LOVE simple, so easy, so clean and fresh! So easy to mass produce, if you're so inclined.

I think the Scandinavian trend is one I will buy into, as in spending real money. Certainly, George's extended family will appreciate it!

Now, if only some company will make North Carolina barbecue-themed stamps. All my kin in Cleveland County will eat that up!!!


  1. First, since that whole Mad Cow thing, they don't use so many parts-is-parts in Haggis any more. I still wouldn't eat it when I was there. FYI - they do sell canned vegetarian Haggis. I didn't eat it, either.

    And I looooove that card. You really rocked it!

  2. Love love love this card. Perfect colours, perfect stamps. I'm still pondering North-Carolinian barbecue stamps, though. :D

  3. LOL :) Great heritage story. Hubby is Swedish/Czech/English and I'm Czech/Russian with one set of grandparents sides being the first to come to Canada in the early 1940's and my dad the first to come over from his side. Hubby says he has good Viking blood as both kids got blue eyes (mine are a browny hazel).

    He too is the chef in our house - and a darn good one at that. Good thing he is cooking the turkey for our Thanksgiving this weekend and not me (I'm sues chef and clean up girl all the way LOL!).

    Bit of a rabbit trail...sorry! Your card is fabulous and once again, I have loved your writing :) Cheers to your making your Scandinavian side of the family happy with these wonderful images!

  4. First I want to tell you, that I love your creations! Beautiful card once again!
    And greetings to your hubby from a 100% Finn living now in Sweden! I agree, what you say about our traditional food.....Lipeäkala is definitely one of the worst!!! Or try Mykyrokka in Savo, where I come from....
    But the country is nice!

    Have a really nice and hopefully sunny autumn there!!

  5. I'm SCottish (living in France) and I LOVE haggis, not luch of it around here though. Gorgeous card, I think I'll be making some of those for my cards this year!!!!!!!

  6. Love how you have turned the bird punch into such a cute Christmas card. My husband and I are both Scottish. His Scot's blood is tempered with English and mine with German and French. Needless to say, we are both strong willed and passionate like a good Scot should be. LOL Never ate haggis though. But, I do make a good Yorkshire pudding. According to my hubby, just like granny made. Have a great day!

  7. wonderful!!! I am amazed at how much you know about your heritage!! cool!!

  8. Love your card and your family ancestry. I wondered what sort of name your surname is.

  9. I'm fairly certain Scandinavian blood is one of the few not running through my veins, but I do love their style. Maybe some of the attraction is climate, because in bleak northern winters you definitely need a little simplicity.

    I've been seeing peeks of a couple Scandinavian influenced sets from Wplus9 this week. But I bet the A Muse Studio Nordic Noel would be right up your alley.

  10. Ahh, I wondered if a Finn was in that name! I grew up with Finns, so was accomstomed to the sauna (pronounced soww {as in oww-it hurts}-na.
    Love that piece in BHG, although it was also featued in last year's mag. BTW, here is a fab book call-ed Scandanavian Needlecraft by Clare Youngs. Easy and wonderful projects!
    Love the birds, btw!!
    Heather in Montreal

  11. Beautiful card; I love the way you get inspiration in many places. I just wondered what you do with all the "tries" you don't use. Throw them away, or stash? I was told to save everything, but gave up on that after I couldn't stand the mess.
    I'm impressed at your knowledge of your ancestry. German all the way here since my 4 grandparents were immigrants, but I have been told I look Portugese. Go figure. :)

  12. I love your card - it's my idea of perfection (partly because it's blue and white which is my favourite colour combination!).

    Many thanks to Carolyn for urging you to post something on doing a stamp inventory as I've been thinking about making one myself.

  13. Love the birds, love the blue and white combo, and especially love PTI! Speaking of scandinavian style.... have you seen this new set/sets coming out: ?

  14. I know what you mean about those birds ... sigh ... love 'em! And I'm half Finnish as well (my Mom's side of the family - the Lindgren's)! Mom's always loved anything Delftware - the blue and white pottery.

    Thanx for the inspiration!

  15. Susan, Your card is awesome! The color, the's all perfect.

  16. Love your cards, always do : )

    Being a Swede/Dane myself it's interesting to read what you all write. Lutfisk is Swedish, Haggis is British, Scottish I believe?

    Ask your hubby if he knows what surströmming is, : ) - that's really an odd Swedish dish, but not bad actually...

    Thanks for sharing

  17. Such a fun post to read (I'm a Norwegian living in Norway). Made med laugh! Love your clean style. It's stunning and beautiful.


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