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It`s That Time Of Year Again

 
Hi everyone, I have been wanting to get back to you and say hello for such a long time. I have been missing you very muchDue to an injured shoulder I have not been able to do much, no sewing, no keyboard tapping, no heavy lifting. Even washing my hair has been a real challenge. Feeling very lucky that this is not a permanent situation, realizing how difficult life would have been without my two hands. I am still taking things slow (took me a couple of hours writing this post) but at least, now you know.
 
Below a note I started writing to you over a month ago, thought maybe it could still be relevant.


Photo © IKEA Life at home

My friends, I hope you are well adjusted to the new temperatures and the changes of the new season. Lately I have been snuggling up and searching the internet for ideas how to make autumn wreaths, ordering a new fantastic bread knife and slowly I am also thinking about what to bake, make and how to decorate our home for Christmas. A bit early perhaps, but cleaning up my coffee table stack of magazines I found a couple of country living magazines from last November and caught myself longing a little bit. Have you already started making some plans ?

Via Design Sponge


This beautiful autumn wreath sparks a few great ideas, how to make a Christmas wreath looking pretty with a fresh mix of seasonal greenery, fruits and berries.


~ Aina ~

 

Weekend

 
 Photos © Aina - Modern Country
 
 
 
Early signs of autumn.
Misty mornings, leaves turning red, stacking firewood with our neighbours, apples ready for jam making, pears are juicy and ready for cooking. Things I will never take for granted..
 
 
Hope you are having a relaxing weekend.
 
 
~ Aina ~
 
 


End of summer



Hi everyone, how was your summer ? What did you do ?

I hope you had a wonderful time and feel energized and happy now when we are heading towards autumn. Personally I can`t believe that four months has passed and this is actually the end of another summer. The evenings are a bit more chilly now and I am busy harvesting the last tomatoes.



Surely my intention was to update my little blog more often this past season and tell you all about my adventures, but somehow it felt more important to be present and enjoy one of the best summer in years. We did not have a single drop of water for many many weeks, not sure what the farmers felt about that, however I am very thankful for every single ray of sunlight that made my cheeks look red and healthy.

I honestly have not spent much time indoors, being occupied with living life to the fullest. What else could you do when summer seduce with such abundance of lively green and rich flavors of seasonal vegetables, fruits, fish and herbs. And the evenings are filled with conversations while enjoying the sunset  when another day is coming to an end. You just have to take it all in.
These moments I will remember and treasure the most when winter is cold and rough.
 

One morning my husband served me this delicious looking plate. An utterly savory moment I appreciated very much, as he never cooks !


Here a few images I captured this summer.


  

We watched our friends` lovely little hen house being built, with nest boxes for egg laying and with a couple of perches. 


The second time we arrived the hens eagerly waited to get out digging and airing their feathers a little bit.


With silky feathers they are lovely to hold and cuddle.


We took a couple of weeks off and drove to our rented holiday home in Denmark. We spent a few days in Kerteminde, an old market town and fishing port, which lies at the second largest island of Denmark. Beautiful view here at the harbor. I like spending time by the seaside, I feel very quickly energized.

 

I loved this small fisherman hut painted in black.


Salty air. Smell of fish, tar and rope.



During our stay in Denmark we also had a couple of memorable days at Gelskov Gods. A charming and unusual Bed & Breakfast, combined with art and French Antiques. Although we originally came to celebrate our 17 years together, I left feeling hugely Inspired by the exterior of the buildings and the fantastic interior.  


This kitchen !! 


Our bedroom had such nice floorboards. And I liked the rather artful solution with an old antique bench for lamps and books as a headboard.


A fabulous old barn crammed full of French antiques and collectables. Only sad that we drove a "tiny little" car.
 
  All Photos © Aina - Modern Country

As I am very much interested in Scandinavian Art, I experienced a few reflective moments here at the museum of Johannes Larsen.



As I have much to recap here in blogland, I can`t wait to read about your summer activities. I am looking  forward to blog more often with you also. Do have a nice evening and a glass of wine,  


ENJOY A LOVELY WEEKEND !


~ Aina ~



Summer already ?

 

 

Is it summer already ? How is the weather where you live ?

With temperatures rising up towards 22 degrees, this last weekend was pure bliss here in the south east of Norway. We did nothing else than lazing around all day, sipping cold drinks while sitting in our comfy chairs listening to the soft breeze rustle the leaves in the old apple trees. It is great when all the stress is gone and you hear nothing else than summing bumble bees and a windy breeze tickles your skin.


Photos © Aina - Modern Country


The tomato plants are coming along nicely! Last year half of the seeds did not develop properly, so I think I went a bit overboard this year. Tomatoes are far the most used ingredients in our household, but having more than 40 plants to take care of, I am having a bit of a problem knowing what to do with them. So I started giving away a few. Anyone ?  Also, It`s about time to learn how to preserve I would think...


~ Aina ~




Easter break

Photo : via passerby3 on flickr


 I Wish you all a nice Easter break, eat well and have a nice treat. 
Hopefully you may enjoy lovely sunbeams as well. 


God Påske ~ Happy Easter ~ Joyeuses Pâques !


~ Aina ~



Vintage Garden Tools

Photo : Garden & Wood


During my online search for vintage garden tools I came across Garden & Wood, located in Oxfordshire UK. You can certainly find great deals on Etsy and eBay for used garden tools, or having a stroll around local car boot sales or flea markets, however this shop is rather something very special. Their passion for garden and sustainability with a love for antiques is the perfect combination, evident in their wide collection of unique tools. All original and fully restored. Here you can buy pearls that is no where else to be found. They also offer a restoration and re-handling service, so if you have a much loved fork or spade in need of repair they'll come to rescue.


 


I always search for spades with wooden handles, and handy small tools as hand forks, trowels and plants labels. When I work in the garden it matters to me that the gardening equipments looks beautiful, it has to do the job well and feel good in the hand also. And it gives you an extra pleasure if the tools has a certain patina, don't you think ?  It just means a lot that it was much loved and that it will continue to be so.




I really appreciate the quality, feel and touch of tools of an older age. (often in stark comparison to the modern ones, sorry but they are just not that good !) However you can still buy good garden tools, but I am not sure if they are worth the hefty price tag.


  

   
 Photos : Garden & Wood


Top from left : A brades lawn edger, a large Staniforth`s shear and a large beautiful wooden and metal rake. 
Bottom from left : Asparagus knife, a rare brades spade and a Spearwell Tenderden pattern billhook with original handle. All from Garden & Wood


Photo : Garden & Wood

I also found this beautiful French copper watering can. 


Photo : Garden & Wood


One of the more unique items, a brass bulb grading sieve, which is really difficult to find. Myself use and old wooden flour sieve (sifter) for smaller tasks. That works good also, as long as the sieve has a solid bottom. 


I wish I lived closer to this gem of a shop, however they do offer a mail service order and they will happily send your favourite purchase. They ship all over the world and accept payment by credit card and Paypal through their website. So what is left to say ? Happy treasure hunting !


~ Aina ~




Delight..

 


When spring comes, it is an unmistakable overflowing feelings of delight. There is this simple joy about everything bursting with new life. Winter is tough, I am always counting the weeks, feeling often drained and uninspired. But then, suddenly spring is here and every day is just so promising.




I think everyone has a special tree, or should I say a favorite fruit ? I love our  neighbours plum tree, maybe because it is old and buckled. The twigs are pointing everywhere, utterly charming. It is the first tree to bloom in spring, I look out on it and smile when I work. Did you know that the plum tree is a member of the same family as the cherry and Apricot ? 


Photos © Aina - Modern Country


Hope you all are doing well. 
Have a nice weekend !


~ Aina ~




Spring is here !


Photos © Aina - Modern Country


Yaah spring is here, I`m so HAPPY !! 

Finally a long winter is coming to an end. The weather is definitively changing and we have more bright and sunny days. Which means, it is a clear sign for me to come out of my safe state of hibernation. So much, this morning we ate our breakfast outside as it was such a wonderful sunny morning. Our neighbour said I looked cute drinking tea still half asleep. Looking cute is not such a bad thing right ? Aaah, It feels so lovely knowing soon all the threes will grow little buds and the view from my bed will change from sad brown grey to vibrant healthy green. Also, I am itching to get started digging and fill up our greenhouse with a large number of tiny plants. 


Enjoy a lovely Saturday !


~ Aina ~


Have a wonderful new year !


Photos © Aina - Modern Country
 
  
 Thank you for all the lovely messages during the holidays, it was so nice to read. I hope you also enjoyed your days full of warmth, peace and magic.


I do think I have the most wonderful blog friends you can have. I feel grateful about you coming here ( some of you 7 years in total! ). So thank you for sharing your thoughts, ideas, the kisses and well wishes, the patience and most of all maybe, the shared excitement for life in general. I like to keep it real, and you definitively are able to see the beauty in the simple things. The little things that many seems to forget. Because sometimes, life takes over and make your days way too hectic. And then, you forget to breath, to listen, to wonder. It is about slowing down, enjoying what you have and making the most of what you have where you live. Because we share so many similar interests I feel connected, a sort of togetherness I really like. I hope we can continue this another year!


This would be a great new year resolution.
More kindness.



    K I N D N E S S    

One of the greatest gifts you can
 bestow upon another. If someone is in
need, lend them a helping hand. Do
not wait for a thank you. True
kindness lies within the act of
giving without expectation of
something in return.

(Author unknown)



  Have a Wonderful new year !


~ Aina ~


 

At the table (2)

   
( lack of natural light made it almost imossible to take good photos today, so excuse the poor quality!)
 
 
 
I really enjoy giving my friends and family personal presents which have been thoughtful wrapped and decorated, but in a simple and natural way. Using brown paper, kraft paper, wax paper, I`m  just adding  finishing touches as twigs, cones, sticks of cinnamon, berries and dried fruit. Specially dried fruit as lemon, orange and grapefruit works really well. I think that looks beautiful on top of a gift.
 
 
 
 
How to dry slices of orange, lemon and grapefruit for decoration :

Dry oranges for decoration by slicing them about a half a centimetre thick and softly squeeze out as much of the juice as possible. Try not to squeeze and misshape the slices. Place the slices on a cookie sheet and leave for about 4 - 6 hours at  between 80 -100 degrees to dry. ( Keep the oven door slightly ajar for air circulation )
 
~ It looks beautiful and the wonderful scent makes your home smell amazing also.
 
 
 
Photos © Aina - Modern Country
 
 
I also use natural twine, jute, wool and straw as ribbon. I thought about using strings of handwoven linen also. These whole anise seeds were actually meant as a subtle flavour for my favourite cake, but I think they look pretty cute on top of these small gifts for my mother. Looks like christmas stars.. 
 
How do you like to wrap your gifts ?
 
 
 
~ Aina ~
 
 

Gratitude

 
( Photo : via October Afternoons )
 
 
Recently my husband asked if I had a Christmas wish list. Sitting curled up embroidering, I raised my head and looked straight into his eyes. Thinking about his question, I could not feel anything else than gratefulness. I felt so happy having him near me, I just smiled at him. Having friends loosing their loved ones, babies, mothers and fathers, I feel this huge gratitude towards life. Being healthy, having a home, a warm bed, a kitchen to work in, a great relationship with this caring man and two beautiful cats, my blessings are numerous. I could not ask for anything more. After being restless many years, having difficulties to leave behind certain things and living in different countries, I still marvel at the luxury living here in this old charming home with a quiet and lovely garden. I don`t always feel this way, but I really really should. 
 
 
I once read - 
 Perhaps you're wondering what to be grateful for. Be thankful that you don't have everything you desire. If you did, you would have nothing to look forward to. Be thankful for the difficult people you have to work with. They are improving your patience and understanding. Be thankful when you don't know something, because it gives you the opportunity to learn. Be thankful for difficult times, because it's in times of hardship that you grow. Be thankful when you're exhausted at the end of a day, because you know you've accomplished something. (Mary Hunt)
 
 
 
Much love ~ Aina  
 
 
 

At the table (1)

 
 
Hi everyone.

 
How are you doing, are you well and ready for the holiday season ? Myself are Feeling a bit behind with everything, like I always do. But I try not to worry, so I keep it as simple as possible. I have a motto : buy less and make more. That I find more enjoyable also.
 
Photos © Aina - Modern Country
 
 
But, I did buy something. Last year I started a new tradition, collecting a few simple ornaments. A couple of weeks ago I received these beautiful ornaments from a Dutch online store. There are tons of different ornaments of glass, wax, paper, cardboard, wire wrapped and metal, molded or blown glass made, which can be found at different markets, esty, e-bay etc... I just started collecting so it can be a bit confusing, because there is so incredible much out there. How can you tell about the age, how do you know when they are fake and when they are really antiques? What I do know is that I should watch out for reproductions, conditions and rarity. But, until I am really 100% sure and become more educated I just buy what I find pretty. I really like these. Mostly because of the colour, I love the vintage silver gold finish. I will show you more later on..
 
 
* Happy Wednesday to you *
 
 
~ Aina ~