Monday, April 24, 2017

Easter lunch Swedish style

Easter has come and gone. I love Easter decorations it is colorful and fun. I found some of my decorations this year but not all as I am organizing storage and boxes after all the building projects.   We made kind of traditional Swedish Easter smörgåsbord last Saturday. It was Team Nikolovski, my dad and my uncle. Treasure hunt for the Easter egg the Easter bunny had left of course. It was a snowy Easter - yes really real snow and lots of it... Looked more like Christmas then what you expect for April. I have had Easter holiday all last week and me and the kids went to Prague. Great trip and I will write all about it in next post.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Looking through illustrations

 So many different characters, situations and places I found going through illustrations I have made

Illustrated journal: Filip and shoes

Filip is one funny little guy with a lot of own ideas and interests. At the moment he is crazy about shoes. Or maybe it is more the feeling and proudness of being able to put on shoes by himself. He is testing all family members shoes and walking around in the house in them. Very impressive how he can manage to walk and run in way too big shoes. Less impressing that he is dragging mud and dirt around the house.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Illustrated journal: Chairs up chairs down

Working as a teacher in high school is challenging, fun and very rewarding. Teenagers are confused, lazy and pretty funny. One situation I come across every week is chairs up chairs down. While cleaning the floors cleaning personell lifts the chairs up on the desks in the classrooms and when I start the lesson I need to lift chairs down. Well technically I would think that I should not be the one having to lift the chairs down ( Yes of course if I am the first one in the classroom but I am not) But my students comes in to the classroom lifts down ONE chair = THE chair they are aiming to sit on. It doesn't seems to bother them at all that they are sitting like in a jungle of chairs. They can not see the white-board, not each other and I can hardly see them behind the wall of chairs. When I start to lift the chairs down they are not feeling uncomfortable standing up to help ( only one student helped me on his free own will so far) I am walking around giggling to myself as they look pretty funny in behind chairs and shocking at the same time that they are not feeling that they should stand up and help with such simple task. Maybe we did the same in that age!? Did we ? Really? Or have teenagers of today become more reluctant to help or to see obvious things ?

(Sorry for the really poor illustration with weird perspectives and angles.. But I hope you get a feeling of how it is to sit next to chairs.. Would you lift them down or just sit yourself down next to them ?)

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Illustrated Journal: Unpredictable wonderful kids

Here is a wintery illustration from my illustrated journal. It was a sunny winter crisp day. New white fluffy snow on the ground and on the trees. Great weather to enjoy a walk and pulling the kids in the sledge. The mood was on top. I was holding my head up high in that silly way to really extra enjoy these most wanted sun rays. I walk to the mailbox and then continued and was thinking how wonderful that we can go for a nice fun walk and all in great mood. Kids were singing, smiling and enjoying. Lets walk little longer today as all is really enjoying. Bad decision... From one minute to the next the good mood changed for bad mood. BAD MOOD! Both throwing themselves out of the sledge screaming and complaining about something and nothing. Refusing to stand up. Refusing to go home. Refusing to cooperate. Being unreasonable. At the same time Bozze dog running to chase the neighbor and me screaming like a mad woman without any result what so ever. Feeling stupid negotiating with a without reason furious four year old and a cranky two year old, begging them to just hold together so we can get home. Kids are lovely and unpredictable big time!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Tabata training tomorrow

Tomorrow we have a theme day for all the teachers at my school with focus on health. Lectures about impact of what we eat, mindfulness and training. We could pick between walk, swimming, yoga and tabata. I picked tabata. I was the only one who picked tabata. I want to get sweaty I said  And agreed to have a private lesson in this high impact type of exercise with our Swedish teacher who is the rather typical Swedish teacher style of teacher = hard but fair. What have I sign myself up for? I am in the same great shape as this illustration I made 4 years ago = not very fit = not fit all. I hope tomorrow she will be more fair then hard on me and my poor unfit body. Wish me good luck.

On the body theme Mila told me this morning "mamma girls doesn't have hairy legs! Girls has prickly legs!" ("mamma tjejer har ju inte håriga ben! tjejer har taggar på benen!" )

I have a surprise for you

I came home late today after a long day at work. Tuesdays are my longest day and today we had conference about my rather rowdy class. Exhausted walking through the door my kids comes running to greet me with big hugs. " I have a surprise for you!" Mila shouts. How nice and sweet. Until I found the whole house full of confetti made out of a toilet roll. The granddad is sleeping in the armchair and my creative kids has made this surprise to me. "Do you like it?" Mila asks excited "No not really" such ungrateful mother not appreciating teared up toilet paper high and low.

Ostbågensdag // Cheese doodle day

I have a weakness or maybe I better say one of my weaknesses is Cheese doodles. I love these tasty but very smell snack that we in Sweden call ostbåge. Yesterday we celebrated the cheese doodle day ( I don't know since when the snack has it's own day but I don't complain...) I made this celebration illustration yesterday evening and as I was too busy to stuff myself I didn't have time to color it... 

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Wallpapers & painting decisions

Oh My God how many wallpapers is their to chose between ?! No I don't have the interest or energy to go through all and I get into a give up I can't pick at all kind of mood pretty easily. So I have a plan. My plan is grey and white stripes. Stripes makes the room look taller and grey is neutral enough. Same brand as in the other room same stripes just a different tone. Great plan. And so I head to the store and all the colorful funky patterns are waving at me. I am trying to keep focus. Looking for grey! Looking for stripes! Looking for same brand as before! Writing down the numbers of the grey stripes and then I just can't resist a funky pattern next to me. I managed to sell in the concept pretty easy at home that we will have one funky wall that will stand out and I call it a "fuck you wall". A wall that is not grey or white or boring in anyway. A wall that maybe will be too crazy or that we will get bored of real quick but who cares. And I don't care about trends I like colors and I like to mix and match my way. So here we go, painter coming on Monday! 

Akvarell pro wannabe

I was watching this midmorning program on TV the other day and it was a boy on the show only 12 years old but really professional in making great aquarell paintings. I got inspired and thought I would like to paint dramatic serious aquarells. And so I took my watercolors ( which I btw has to go through and update I am missing a lot of crucial colors...) and a fancy watercolor paper  and started painting. But no this is not my element of expression so I added myself in a comic way and got pretty satisfied anyways with the painting. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Illustrated journal: Main attraction of Afrika

Conversation at the dinner table about attractions of Africa. Mila asked me what we can see if we go to Africa.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Illustrated journal: Please give me a soft outdoor arena

Now please let Winter be over for this year! I am Tired of the frozen outdoor arena. Sick of icy road, studs and snow soles. AND frozen water buckets.  Please give me mud and more mud and I promise not to complain. Give me a soft outdoor arena where I can jump and get me and Qina fit ( fitter at least..) I am even daydreaming about how we are going to fly over fences like some horse cray teenager. 

Monday, February 20, 2017

Illustrated journal (in black and white) : Vaburari

In Sweden February has changed name to Vaburari. VAB is short for vård av sjukt barn which in English means "home taking care of sick kid" and statistically February is the month where most people claim VAB from our state insurance. And this year Team Nikolovski bumped up the statistic. I think we have been nothing but ill this month. I am sick of it. I feel like I havn't been to work in ages. This last week has dragged like no week before.  Or actually today I am celebrating drinking Champagne because today is the fist day without fever or higher temperature in Nikolovski household in 9 DAYS!!! Ohhh my God I never thought fever could last this long!! First Filip and after Mila and then my dad. I am drinking the whole bottle fast by myself celebrating and pushing away the unpleasant feeling that I am now feeling that I am maybe getting a sore throat !! 

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Illustrated journal: Stable life

My husband thinks I am crazy when I say I need to spend time in the stable to recollect energy. I understand him when I take a step back and look at my stable life and how it is to have a horse as a hobby I can full see how crazy it must sound in a none horsey persons ear. I go to the stable where I am mocking, making the bed, preparing food, change rugs, carry water etc etc etc and this I call my own time a break from taking care of the kids..... And I go and take care of a 500 kg animal instead and call this relaxation... It sounds crazy but it is good for the soul and I am happy my husband might never fully understand it but accept it and helps me so I can have Qina. For me to just be in the stable and to all things a horse owner has to do and to get to ride a few times per week is where I collect all the extra energy I need. 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

The light in the tunnel...

Drove home from work the other day (the only day I worked this week...) and got so happy that it was not pitch dark at 16.30!!!! Happiness !! The winter darkness in Scandinavia is a killer.... 

Building projects continues

Lundsätter buildning project number 155 at least..
Isolating and making second floor on top of my dad livable 
We have had builders here for nearly 4 weeks now = it will be very expensive but hopefully very good... Just hope it will be useful and worth the kronors put in to it. I am already starting to think about wallpapers and colors. Grey or stripy white and grey that is the question. 

My day

One kid ill with stinky stinky nasty cold. Even had to pay a visit to emergency ward yesterday because breathing was getting heavier and heavier. That kid wants mammas full attention around the clock. The other kid in the household also want mammas full attention also around the clock. That kid is also bored and has NOTHING to do apart from watch the movie Pets and maybe play with dinosaurs for like maximum 10 minutes. The dad is away visiting his family. And the mamma = ME is going nuts here at home.. Gahhhh sick kids is a nightmare. I know poor them!! But also poor me!! This is first minutes in the past few days I am sitting down by myself. I quickly poured myself a glas of red wine and tried to be creative and make a new banner for the blog. Not very successful but I thought the old one was like 100 years old.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Wild wild west

This is an illustration from my illustrated journal. I started the illustration in November when my workplace, senior high school in a middle-sized Swedish town, felt more like the wild wild west. I got around to sit in the sofa and color it last night. The story and inspiration to this illustration is a rather crazy period at work. I have in short time as a teacher experienced things that I didn't even think teachers had to deal with. Bitch slaps, incident rapports, expelled students, anxciety, social problems and kid waiting to get deported from Sweden after longtime here.

What was bad language when I was a teenager is today not even considered as swearing. Words, phrases and sentences that I and many with me would never dream of thinking never mind saying out load is what teens of today ( of course not all but my students does) call each other and shouts in the corridor.  That every student get their own computer through school is great but also the computer has a lot of fun stuff to offer and to take teenagers attention. Mobile phone is not allowed in the classroom but to execute that forbid I would have to hire a security guard who can control and to take them of the students. Wild wild west somedays and I guess that why I like my job so much..

Friday, January 6, 2017

Mila 4

Time flies too fast. Our little baby just turned 4 years old, F O U R Y E A R!!! How that happened ?! It is crazy what a big girl she is now. So sweet, funny, extra super intelligent, bad mood when tired, creative and the bestest girl in the whole world. Me and L agreed the other day that she gives us more love then we can ever ask for. She tells us how much she loves us like 100 times each day in both Swedish and English. In the morning, in the car, in the busy super market cue, mocking out the stable, on the walk, when I leave her at daycare and when I pick her up she looks at me and with the sweetest voice she says "Mamma! Jag älskar dig!!" Please let her continue feeling that love for us forever and please please keep telling us it sounds so sweet and heartwarming. Yes of course she also tells me sometimes that I am stupid and "a bajskorv" ( a turd)  but not as often as she tells me how great I am and the best mamma in the world. It is overwhelming how much I want to protect her from everything bad or even everything which is not perfect and how I would do anything for her.

I overheard her talking with some toys upstairs. She was explaining what princesses do.. Like a job description for princessess. " Princesses puts make-up on. And they work together with kings. And they take care about babies" She she might like princess dresses and know about make-up but at least her dream job is to work as a machine-driver to drive a wheel loader to be specific.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Happy New Year 2017

Happy New Year 2017 !! 
Good health and happiness is what I am wishing for
Also some of my humble expectations for 2017
Good fun, continue my teaching job, house in Örebro, lots of fun with the team, trip to Prague, trip to anywhere to enjoy more pulse then country life and good times and development with the horse. 
I will quote Mr Nikolovski "Thank you and Fuck you 2016"  

My year was not all that bad I have to say but I do understand where he is coming from. The hard part was that the team was so much apart. Though for L to travel back and forth to Moscow could never really relax always thinking that soon he has to leave. Hard for me and the kids to wave bye bye and to manage by ourselves and missing each other. Moscow was not a city for us, a good experience and good memories and friends of course but also a lot of anxciety not feeling home not managing to adapt 100 %. It was a relief that we made the decision that me and kids will head home to Sweden and heartbreaking at the same time to split team for some time which we at the time had no idea for how long. 

I got teaching job a new carrier path for me and a new step for Team Nikolovski with routines with job and daycare. Schooling in at daycare took for ever. Mila was begging not to go there and crying crocodile tears for 2-3 months. Filip was howling already in the car every morning when I turned up to daycare. Granddad Stefan was there with them and supported. And so came the day when it was no tears and no screaming and both kids actually wanted to go to daycare..... Halleluja what a relief and so nice now when they want to be there and are having great time with teacher and small friends.

Two puppies came to Lundsätter in April, Bozze & Zita. My dad wanted company and bought two puppies that he left with me!! Potty training TWO puppies all summer together with having two small kids = my God how I managed not to go insane or did I go insane ?

End of the summer me and a friend of mine bought a horse, Qina Swedish warmblood 12 years old with good bloodlines, great movements but very green and only ridden for a couple of years. Are we insane?! Yes we are. Two mothers with small children with no time but a passion for horse and stable life as simple and crazy as that. Mr Nikolovski who always has said no way to having horse said nothing and I went along and came home with a horse. What he has realized is that I am a much nicer and happier person, wife and mother if I get to go and mock shit and ride a bit and so therefore he will during first quarter of 2017 become part owner.

Lundsätter did continue to be developed with patio, patio fence, repainted the small house, concrete base on our short-side but we will slow down during 2017 ( my dad will not slow down and whatever we say he does what he wants anyway... He will forever clean garage and then a week later make it a crazy mess again and move things from one place to another) Team Nikolovski will fully enjoy Lundsätter and the beauty of living on the country-side. No rush but we are looking for place in Örebro as we need a urban part of life also.  We will see if it will happen this year or not either way we are good and have all we need - each other! 

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Christmas present for dear friend

Christmas came and passed so fast this year. I never really got Christmas feeling although I did enjoy it very much. But not so very crisp Christmasy when it is 8 degres outside and kind of spring in the air. I started drawing Christmas cards in October but never managed to get anything done or send any... However I did manage to create one Christmas present this year. This is a family portrait of my dear friend and her family. 

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Sketchbook journal: Halloween

I am truly crap in writing lately. Not that I am not creating things or pre-thinking what I am planning to write or lacking funny stories to write.. But I just simply doesn't manage to put pen on paper. I know not end of the day but kind of feel bad if I let go of my blog it is my way of getting me writing and being creative in words together with my illustrations. Ok enough about that... Here is not a vey new post but I never got a round to post it so here it goes..
This is a memory from 2016 Halloween. Last year we were in Ivakino Moscow and the kids were ringing on our door bell every two minutes asking trick or treat. AND I had forgotten to by sweets. It was going on for hours and at first I found sweets that we had got from the company for Christmas the year before but after given away last bits of chocolate, nuts and fruit it felt like a never ending nightmare.
This year back in Sweden no trick or treat as we live million miles out in the forrest and no kids can get here. But we organized a great halloween day in the stables with gymkhana competition for the kids and a ghoost treasure hunt. Great fun and kids also had fun.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Sketchbook journal: Bathtub magic

It is not that long time ago when both my kids fitted in the small portable bathtub without any problems. A few weeks ago I realized that it really is a hassle trying to fit both in it these days. I had to instruct them where to put arms and legs to even mange to get in together. Poor kids but as I had said they could take a bath it was no way I could pull the whole idea off without trying to squeeze them both in. My god they are grown up so fast. It was like yesterday Filip could hardly sit by himself and now he is running around and understands everything. 

Friday, November 4, 2016

News from my hat production

Here is some of my hats that has been created lately. I have now used up the last pieces of my elephant fabric which I love. And the new fabric with feathers I find very nice and a great unisex fabric. Also the Dala horse fabric I got from my friend Christine who asked me to use it and so I made her 1,5 year old daughter one hat and her one matching hat.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Apples from my sketchbook journal

You never know and I never know what inspires me to an illustration in my sketchbook journal. Sometimes the inspiration and creativity is gone with the wind and feels like it will never return ( I am sure all you creative souls can relate to that feeling...) and sometimes something normal as an apple can inspire. 2016 has been a real apple year. Not that I have one single apple tree in my garden ( although the cottage next door that we are renting out has one very small apple tree but our tenant has cut it like he was very upset with that tree and it will most probably never carry any apples after that treatment... So it doesn't count as an apple tree anymore...) but at Mila and Filip's kindergarten they have heaps of red very taste Ingrid Marie apples. And people in the stable has brought bags after bags with beautiful and tasty apples of all different sorts. Here is my illustration on the topic in different stages. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Kindergarten Romance

Do you remember your first love? Or love maybe more your first boyfriend ? Ok yes maybe same thing I don't remember if it was love but I do remember my first boyfriend. I was 4 years old ( i think) he was in the same group at my kindergarten. My kindergarten was called Myrstacken (Anthill) and it was the best kindergarten in the whole universe. My teacher Irma was the best kindergarten teacher one can have. My boyfriend was called Gustav. He always used to make jokes about my surname, Book. Every time we were gonna read he was laughing and asking "are we gonna read Cecilia Book?!" Very funny!! NOT! I got sick and tired of these jokes and one day I told my kindergarten teachers that I had changed name to my mothers surname, Folkesson. The teachers changed all my name tags and my mother was very confused when she saw my new name tags but somehow agreed and I change to Folkesson even in all the official registers...
Gustav could not understand how I could pick fish and potatoes as my favorite dish and order it for the whole kindergarten at my birthday. Gustav picked on his birthday corn on cob and hamburgers. I also remember that one day when we were walking hand in hand to a sporthall he was looking at me instead of the road so he bumped straight into a lamppost.. We have much later discussed and tried to figure out exactly which lamppost he walked into.

Mila has also found her first boyfriend at her kindergarten. His name is Melker and is such gentleman. He comes to greet her by the door every morning helping her to take off her shoes and jacket and to comfort her when she is sad seeing me off. During our last vacation she told us she was missing Melker numerous times per day and also spending lots of time think what to bye him as a present. When they go for walk they are holding hands and my god they look too cute on the picture kindergarten teacher sent us. Mila and Melker has already agreed that they will get married and Mila thinks Melker will make an excellent dad.  Too cute. Unfortunately due to some mess at the kindergarten Melker has changed to another place but we are trying to catch up and let them play when we have the chance.

Monday, October 24, 2016

2 months to Christmas eve

Today it is exactly two months before Christmas. I used to be like "The Gringe" not a great fan of Christmas. But now I like the run up for Christmas and all the traditions so much that I am even looking forward already in October. Here is some small Christmas illustration I made last year. 


Mammas creative helper

In my sketchbook I started an illustration on the theme Mila loves horses. I know I am really bad in drawing horses in general and in drawing horses legs in particular. And so Mila gave me a helping hand and finished my drawing. Great cooperation,  right :) 

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Last weekend & autumn start

What happened already October!! Autumn is here, Yes I love this season but it kind of hit me the darkness.. "It is still night!!" Mila says when I wake her up the days we need to go to work and daycare. although we don't get up crazy early. It is split feeling this going towards darker and colder times. I love it and hate it at the same time.
Last weekend I felt very tired and as I was getting a new cold before recovering from the last one. It doesn't happen very often but I had a Sunday when everything felt horrid everything I normally like feels stupid and boring . I hate these kind of days, but I guess we all have them and need them and that I am lucky who gets one only here and there. I went to bed early and woke up like myself positive and fresh again.

Pictures from my weekend
I have strict sofa rules.. No eating and absolutley NO animals in the sofa !!!! But somedays my rules are override BIG time!!

Sunday breakfast with candles welcoming the darker times 

When I was a kid I had a thing for dog food. I used to sneak out in our dog room and eat dog food in all forms. Hard crunchy pieces, soft treats, soaked dog food, dog chocolate in all brands. I still remember how it tasted. Filip is following in my footsteps. He insists ( read breaks down if he is not allowed) to feed Bozze so he can do a taster of Bozze's delicious food...

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Daycare introduction no walk in the park

Kids started kindergarten 18 August.... My dad spend first THREE weeks being with them as an introduction. They refused to leave his side and if the teacher hadn't told us that we have to try to leave them there by themselves a little I think he would still spend his days at kids daycare with them ( very carrying granddad indeed)  First weeks (!) I had to pull myself free from screaming and crying kids to get to work. It broke my heart over and over. But worst to come... After this phase came the silent big crocodile tears. Horrible and even more heart breaking. These tears was accompanied with Mila begging me not to leave her and saying "but I love you and I want to be with you" " I miss you sooooo much" "Why do you have to leave me?" "Who will take care of me?" "I also want to be a grown-up so I can come with you to your job" These begging and her being very nervous for being left at kindergarten was more then heart breaking if that is possible. We were thinking this will never get better she will never want to go there.
During our vacation in Spain she started to play daycare and saying that she was missing her best friend there. And so came the day, TODAY, when she didn't complain going to daycare!!! She only got a little glace in her eyes as I said bye bye but when her little friend came running to help her off with her shoes I was already forgotten. So grateful for this development. People keep saying that it has been extra hard doing the daycare introduction at almost 4 years old ( in all well meaning) and of course that is very true she knows what she wants, can express herself and have more develop emotions. I agree it is harder but not for a second do I regret that I had the chance to be fulfilled and happy being home with her. She is now ready to be a little more independent and try new things without me.
What about Filip. Filip is only 1 year and 4 months and I think it is early for him to start daycare. Although he is a different character and also as he is born here in Sweden where we have family around he is also more use to having more people taking care of him since he is born. In Prague we had great friends but not same close connection with family around all the time as we have had with Filip. He has been hanging with granddad and uncle Christer since he is born. My feeling is that he can handle daycare. Also I am only working three days a week and get help to pick up so not even long days. Filip cried today when I handed him over but before I even went through the door I could hear him asking Mike (the teacher)  for different things. And my uncle Christer picked them up after lunch and Filip's nap.

Fingers crossed now that we are on the other-side of daycare introduction !!!

Monday, September 26, 2016


So much fun this horse of ours.. First couple of weeks tense like a ticking bomb and of course with our collected experience from the professional and international circuit we are being careful and taking things steady. Add that we are older, wiser and with two kids each. We are not only careful but maybe even chicken at the moment before we know our lady. AND that is totally ok. I am impressed this week I feel more secure on her and she gives such great great feeling. She moves great and are very balanced although green, weak and will take  a lot of training to build up muscles and endurance. Only in a couple of weeks she has learned a lot a really gives a good feeling. Yesterday I made a few jumps with her and she really jumps. Yes I am already in love with this mare

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Great time in Spain

We headed to Spain last week. Family collected in a warm sunny place what could be better? Flight down went well even though we had to get up at 3 and be at the airport by 4. Nice warm weather met us and we were all very excited to have time off together and to enjoy the sun and mormor's pool. Such luxury to be able to borrow my mother's and Göran's very nice house in Puerto Banus costa del sol. Going away but still feeling a little home or at least familiar and have every day things to do such as laundry, cleaning and feeding the cat ( I know sounds crazy that I like washing and cleaning on vacation but I do) Loren also loves supermarkets and cooking so great combination of vacation but business as usually kind of. Don't get me wrong we also enjoy being lazy drinking beer by the pool or eating avocado and prawns in the harbor.

Even though it is only our second time here we already feel like we know what we are doing and know our ways around. One day we did a long walk to check out the neighborhood and found great parks and local bar with local people. Otherwise our set up was looooong breakfast, swimming in the pool, Loren walking with Filip for nap time while me and Mila was drawing, lunch and afternoon going in to Puerto Banus for some shopping, hanging by the beach and eating.  

Filip since he is born is very much pappa pappa pappa's boy. First and more or less only word is pappa.. I try and try to repeat mamma as often as I can but he keeps looking at me saying PAPPA 
And at the moment it is only pappa who is good enough for everything. I am worth nothing and he screams like I am trying to kill him if I only ask if he wants to come to me.... Poor mamma