I adore...

...my new grey chesterfield sofa. I do, I do. It looks so good in the sitting room in the shop.Will try to remember to take a photo today and will post here a.s.a.p.

We had a power cut yesterday. It lasted for ages. Can you imagine how much fun a café (or a shop for that matter) is with no power? It was also dark. Really we should have had torches to give out to our visitors so that they could  find their way around in the dark.

So what was the first thing we did when the power came back? Do you think we took care of our lovely visitors or quickly vacuumed the floors in the shop (which really needed it after having sofas and other large items of furniture thrown around on them earlier in the day). Oh no. We put the kettle on and made coffee for ourselves. It´s frightening how not being able to have a cup of coffee makes you really, really desperate for the stuff. What´s the phrase? - "absence makes the heart grow stronger". And that coffee tasted very good indeed.

I shall now return to the painting of walls. Hope I get it finished soon. It´s getting slightly depressing wandering around in my painting outfit the whole time. I yearn to put on clothing without paint stains.

Onwards and upwards!

You may be surprised to learn that the photo below does NOT depict me painting the walls. It is someone else, somewhere else. Pity. Nice wall.

Photo: freshome.com



Today was better than yesterday. A lot better thank you. And thank you everyone who emailed me words of encouragement or left comments of encouragement.

Now I´ve found a new place to moan - HERE! No one listens at home. What d´ya mean, "perhaps that´s because you moan all the time"?? Not true. But it´s good to know that I can get sympathy and wise words of advice here. So thank you. And beware! I may need you again soon.

So today I´ve been unpacking boxes. Of course I should be painting my soon-to-be-a-clothes-shop room, but that boxes have to be dealt with first. Most suppliers demand that you report any damages within the first few days of receiving the goods or they will refuse to discuss returns, etc. It´s a bit tough for a small business. We don´t have a staff of thousands manning the warehouse. Oh, but unpacking is such fun (mostly - except if lots of stuff is broken). Like a kind of Christmas Eve feeling (or Christmas day in the UK - we open gifts there a day later than here in Sweden).

So, what´s my favorite thing from this week´s deliveries? Well of course there are a few, but if I absoloutely had to choose just one thing it would be this lovely chesterfield sofa in a fab mid-grey coloured wool flannel:
I am playing with the idea of filling it with my Thierry Poncelet dog cushions.

What do you think?

Now I must return to my boxes in the warehouse.
See you later!


A dog´s life

Stressful, messy, frustrating day today.
I feel the need for a moan.
Do you mind? (Warning: If you do, stop reading NOW!)

* A floor I´ve painted in the shop doesn´t want to "stick" (I was sure that the previous paint wasn´t oil-based, but I´m beginning to suspect I was wrong about that). I also dropped the top part of a corner cupboard on the floor. The cupboard broke, my hand and arm got bashed and I screamed bad words in English. They didn´t make me feel any better. Unfortunately. I suppose I should console myself with the knowledge that it could have been worse. I could have a broken arm now instead of a bruised one.
* I had a HUGE delivery of new goods. I mean really, really HUGE. Nothing wrong with that apart from the fact that when the delivery lorry door opened it looked like a crazy giant had packed the goods. Sofas balancing precariously, 3 meters up, on top of a pile of boxes containing glassware and rather delicate dining chairs. Big holes in the sides of boxes - the exact shape, size of truck arms. They must have been in a mad rush when they packed these goods. And they obviously don´t care about breaking them - many of the boxes which were most squashed and damaged have the text "FRAGILE" printed on them in huge red letters. So tomorrow I can look forward to opening boxes full of broken stuff.
* I have also enjoyed calling a number of my suppliers for our new clothing department only to find out that various items are late, delayed or best of all, just haven´t made it to production (HELLO PEOPLE! What about informing customers who´ve placed orders that the stuff they´ve ordered doesn´t exist at the same time you make the decision to not produce them instead of waiting until the customer is sitting there, clothes hanger in hand, waiting for the garment to be delivered. Not the best form of customer support!).
* And it rained. And rained. And rained. And it was windy too.

Fortunately not all days are as shitty as today and on the plus side, tomorrow has got to be better than today. And I didn´t break my arm when the cupboard fell and I´m not ill, and the family are all fine. I´m very lucky.

But on days like today I must admit to dreaming about being a dog.

Yes, that´s right. A dog.

But not just any old dog. On days like today I would seriously consider becoming this dog that we saw in a window overlooking the river in Bruges, Belgium:

(Bilder: Mathilda Ohlsson Larsson)

Looks like a pretty good dog´s life to me.


In Stockholm it´s sunny and warm

...well when I was there yesterday it was anyhow.

I was there to visit an agent for a clothing brand to see the collection for Spring/Summer and to meet another agent, this time for wallpaper & fabrics.

Agent nr. 1 (clothing) was sadly a wasted trip. The new collection was a big disappointment. According to the agent (who was as sour as a lemon when I said I couldn´t find very much I liked) everyone else loves the collection and I just have no idea what I´m doing when it comes to buying. I don´t think she likes me very much. It will be interesting to see how well this collection sells next Spring and Summer - in all the other shops, where they just love it. My bet is there will be lots and lots of it appearing in the Spring and Summer sales. But I may be completely wrong.

Agent nr. 2. Big hit. Loved everything, but won´t be starting with the part of the wallpaper collection where the wallpaper is like 1.200:- (about £100) per meter. Instead I´ve ordered the two main catalogues. And the name of the brand? Lewis & Wood. Here come some images from their website:

Oh, I´m going to enjoy working with these. What a wonderful way to offer a room some real character (and with a witty edge on some of the designs - a bit Paul Smith-ish somehow). Imagine how you could instantly transform a room in a bland, modern home. 

Time to sleep. I need to catch up with all my painting projects tomorrow. Good night.


Breaking the silence

I plan to write in English for a while. Hope that´s ok with you.

During a month of blog-silence I have been busy with stuff in the real world...

Finally arranged a nice place to sit on our balcony at home...unfortunately "lounge" weather disappeared shortly after our "lounge" appeared. But it was nice while it lasted.

Sitting, from left: Mathilda, Clas, Sarah (please avert your eyes when looking at my feet. Sheepskin slippers. Not very LOUNGE. What can I say? I need to practise my lounging) - eyes peeping out and dark forehead sticking up at front of picture, far right, Marcus (our hound). Missing from the family gathering - Stanley the pug. Unfortunately he was too short to make it in to the shot. (photo: Sarah)

We also had a family holiday on the island, Ile de Ré, France (cycling, baguettes, morning markets, stock roses everywhere, cottages, picturesque villages and harbours, oysters, sea salt & sunshine. Bliss)

 (typical street on Ré)

The terrace of our apartment on Ré. We weren´t actually supposed to be staying here, but I messed up the bookings completely and we almost couldn´t go on holiday to Ré at all! Thankfully however I managed to find this apartment in shear panic at the last minute. As it turned out it was a brilliant place to stay - right by the daily market and two minutes away from the harbour. Sometimes you need a bit of luck, don´t you. Good luck and a holiday (to rest tired brains which are so frazzled that they can´t book houses properly).

by car, via Bruges in Belgium (Such a lovely town. Old as old gets and incredibly beautiful yet it doesn´t feel "done", if you get what I mean. Wonderful food/restaurants, pretty little bars & cafés, fabulous shops. And such hospitality. They really know how to make to feel welcome. Such a cool place & so inpiring. Will definitely be back to Bruges. Soon. I hope)

Lounge at The Pand Hotel where we stayed (photo: Pand Hotel)

Our room at The Pand Hotel (photo: Pand Hotel)

Another bit of our room at The Pand Hotel (photo: Pand Hotel)

and Monet´s Garden in Giverny (lovely, but a bit of a disappointment because it´s not really all that well kept and there were WAY too many visitors)

The lake at Monet´s garden, Givery. See all those dots on the banks of the lake? Visitors. In swarms. It was like a traffic jam on a motorway making your way round that lake. And some of the other "drivers" didn´t know how to drive! However, at 7 am we got up and went for a jog through the village. Much better. Everything was so calm and picturesque. The only people we met were a couple taking their Jack Russel for a walk...who looked a bit peeved to see tourists out jogging and spoiling their quiet morning constitutional (photo: Sarah)

Our hotel in Givery. We had rooms in the tower part. It felt like one of Monets paintings had come to life and we were in it. The hotel was rather eccentric. Amongst other things they kept wallabies and pigs. Not in the same field, thank goodness. (Photo: Sarah)

on the way there and with a detour through Champagne (*Hiccup!* Booked a hotel in the wrong bit of Champagne entirely, but had an amazing evening - including an open air concert which turned out to be the best gig I´ve been too in years and years and years. French soul guy called Ben. Amazing)

and the Mosel valley, Germany (unimaginably pretty) on the return trip.

Was it as wonderful as it sounds? In a word: YES. Or in four: it was even better.

After that it was off to London to do some buying for the Storegarden clothing department, which is due to open mid-to-late September (hopefully). Shopped till I dropped. How on earth I´m going to squeeze all those gorgeous garments in that one room I cannot imagine.

Even managed to fit in a theatre trip while I was in London - War Horse. At the New London Theatre, Drury Lane. The play is not brilliant, but the horses/puppets (lifesize!) they use are truly amazing. The horses are the stars. Even if you´re not a "horse" person - which I´m not. It made me cry. Twice. But in a good way. All in all I would definitely recommend you go to see War Horse if you find yourself in London and have an evening to spare. Check out a clip showing those amazing puppets, below:

After the play I couldn´t help wondering about the people who play the horses. I mean, how many times do they do these shows per week? 6? Or are there lunch time shows too? 9 times maybe? I wonder if they end up kind of becoming equine (horse-like) even off stage, when they´ve been playing the part for a while. I mean they are VERY convincing as horses. Can´t be easy to live with an actor playing a horse who brings his/her part home with them...

- Good morning darling.
- phhhhhewwww (sound of horse blowing down it´s nose and lips)
- Cup of tea?
- scratch, scratch (hooves being drawn along floor)
- No? Sugar lump instead perhaps?

Goodness, I´m on form in the polite-wit department this evening.