Oslo in Black and White

Even though I am a color lover and always prefer to search for color, there was a day when I got attracted to all black-and-white and couldn’t stop finding it everywhere. You know this thing, when you turn your attention to something particular – and then you keep on seeing it everywhere, don’t you?

So I decided that since there was so much black-and-white in my view, then that will it be. Here is what I found on that particular day. It was in October, so yes, it is totally non-representative of how Oslo is right now in terms of light (though there is even more black and white in it now :))

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Read More »

A Kick of Inspiration

Thank you so much for the discussion of inspiration under my previous post. It inspired me even more 🙂 To be precise – to think about the places (and some other things) that bring a spark of inspiration in me (I just stopped to think of the word “spark”. While in English it means a small fiery particle, the same word means a “kick” in Norwegian. Which brings me to the words of Manja, in the same comment section, calling it a “kick-yourself-in-the-butt” attitude. Well, yes. While in other countries you can catch a perfect light, as an artist, in the North it is all about kicking yourself up to some action during these dark months :))

While we were talking in the comments about things and places that inspire us, I came to think of a practice from the book “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron (aka my favorite book on creativity). She called it the dates with your Inner Artist (also your Inner child). The book is made as a course of 12 weeks, with exercises for each week. But the dates should be done regularly, once a week. This may be anything that your inner artist would love, no other meaning to it. A stationary store, a museum, a walk in the nature – anything that brings you joy and playfulness.

To be honest, I forgot this practice a while ago. I was not so fantastic good at it while reading the book, and after the book was finished, I was no more reminded of it. But, luckily, I developed a habit of going to places that I like to feel that spark.

Here I want to share the list of places that make me feel inspired:

  • The bookstores. Especially, the big ones. There was this one in Oslo, which got its building from the cinema. There were comfy chairs and a free coffee machine (doing only black coffee, so I never tried it). There were rooms and rooms filled with books, and you could pick one, sit in the chair and look through its pages. I especially loved their books on arts. It felt almost like a library.
  • a public library. I particularly am fond of the main library of Oslo, great and old, with its murals and high shelves. It puts me into a special good mood to see people reading, studying, browsing through the books there. Maybe, since books were my best friends in childhood, I like this air of respect and seriousness 🙂
  • the concept stores. Those who sell clothes, some interior pieces, maybe, also skin care products and candles. It is kinda hip now – and I cannot stop myself from falling for it. Every time 🙂
  • the parks and even more – the botanical gardens. There is so many positive effects on my mind and soul, when I am there. The everchanging nature makes me keep my breath – and breathe deeper. It is my place of strength – the botanical garden.
  • you may laugh, but I will go and name this one – Ikea. Yes, the Swedish furniture store makes me inspired. And I will tell you why. Because Ikea is not just about decoration and furniture – it is about ideas. It seems like some smart heads work there, and when they find some smart solutions – I cannot help but get excited. I love how they think of small things (of which others don’t seem to think), I love how they set up the rooms and decorate – I even love how they promote Sweden, writing “Hej!” at the entrance, names in Swedish in the food store, and in other small ways (I mean, as Norwegian I should not feel so enthusiastic about it, there is a bittersweet relationship with this neighbor – but, sorry, I do feel inspired in Ikea :))

And here are some other things that make me inspired:

  • the interior magazines. After looking through one closely, I cannot believe how many small pretty details I start seeing around me (and grabbing my camera to photograph them).
  • coffee. Yepp, this one is always a winner. Maybe, it is a caffeine high – but ooh, it lifts me up. A morning coffee and writing has been one of my favorite habits. And sometimes I would get out, grab a coffee to go or sip a cappuccino in my favorite hipster bar – and after that I feel more for life and creativity. So much more :))
  • some music. For example, the music of 90s when I was a teen. Makes me wanna sing and dance – and when I do neither, the creative energy needs to be channeled elsewhere (but sometimes I choose just to sing and dance :))
  • Movies about creative minds. The past two weeks I was lucky: I went to see “Colette” about the French writer and “Bohemian Rhapsody” (well, you know, about Queen). The stories of the artists in their making is such an inspiration. It makes me wanna shake myself up and say: “Get up and go. Walk your walk”.

Do you have your special places or activities that make you feel this spark? Let’s make this list even longer 🙂

my favorite concept shop in Oslo

 

What would you do for inspiration?

At times I find it difficult to come in touch with my motivation and inspiration. Maybe, it’s the apathetic vibe of autumn, or maybe, I think too much. When I’d hear “you think too much”, I’d always smile (superiorly, of course) – but now I ask myself if this is not always such an advantage as I used to see it.

Sometimes I find myself in this philosophical mood when everything seems just a fuss, with no meaning. For example, when I say it would be good to do more blogging again, there is this voice in me that says: “And what is the meaning of it? Why do you want to do it? To get popular once? We have discarded this idea long time ago. To build a community? And what will it give you? Just to communicate? But there are other options to do it in real life – and you know, you would prefer it in real life”. And then the apathy crawls in, and I think: “Ah, whatever. Really, why bother?” Do you know this feeling?

Read More »

Small Simple Things

I have discovered recently that I love small simple things in my life. I really love them – that is, I feel a sweet emotion when I see them, use them, touch them. When I can throw a lip balm, a mobile and a card holder in my little bag and go – I feel small wings behind my back like those of a butterfly. I believe I can fly :)) No, I don’t feel like flying. But I feel appreciation of all the simple things that work in my life – that give me space to breathe and think of other things (which are not things-things).

I came to value simplicity. Surprisingly for myself :)) In my post “Pack lightly. Travel lightly” I dwelled on my philosophy of it. Here I just want to share some actual things, small simple things, that keep me happy.

Small simple things
posters on my wall

Read More »

Color Combo to Love

There are favorite colors – and then there are favorite color combos. I never thought of it that way. But after sharing the interior trends I love in my previous post, I suddenly realized that I totally love that trendy combination of soft pink and green, especially its dusty eucalyptus shade. Now, you may have any attitude to trends (considering them anything from important to silly) – but I think, that if it gives you a good feeling, why not?

Read More »

Interior Trends I Love

I seem to become that classical Norwegian girl who doesn’t care much about her appearance, wears a lot of casual style – but spends a lot of time (and money) at her home interior. I got a sparkle of inspiration when I had to do styling of our flat when we were selling it – and since then I became an addict of interior shops, checking them both online and offline.

After visiting several of them, I could analyze and see what are the new trends of this year – and I must admit, I am in love with all of them. In this post I want to share my love – and who knows, maybe it will give some of you a sparkle too. Doesn’t matter if you want to redecorate – or just do any creative act.

Read More »

Say Yes: Besalú, Catalonia

In those times when I used to live more on the social media (now I don’t, and phew, what a relief :)) – I liked to post photos from my trips, even if they were the old ones. Especially on the dark autumn and winter days when I couldn’t find any inspiration in Oslo – I would go for my old pics. And the people who met me seldom would say: “You travel so much. Always photos from the trips”. But these are the old ones, people (and I wouldn’t usually hide that fact).

Today I want to share the photos from our last year’s trip to Catalonia. When we visited a small town of Besalú, hidden between hills and mountains. So that someone can say – on meeting me randomly – “But gosh, you travel so much!” 🙂

Read More »