Photography and Knits by Elise Sophie

norwegian flowers, books in a stack on the bedside table, cups of tea, films with lots of swearing, pincushions shaped as mushrooms, cats with big hearts, friends with many names and flavours, music with a lot of dimensions, knitting needles that mysteriously disappear, and yarn. lots of yarn.

mandag 15. august 2016

Busy as bees

Lately I've been thinking what I want to share with you on this blog. I've got so many things going on in my life that I don't think it's realistic that I share every aspect of it with you, even though that would be cool. But blogging is not my job, like it is for so many of the people whose blogs I read weekly. I tried to make this space into a knitting blog, but that put too much pressure on me to produce stuff, and I lost focus (and got an inflammation in my arm/wrist!). I don't want my favourite hobby to become a chore and something that I dread to do. I'm sure you can sympathise with me here. 

I have been learning how to sew,  both garments and other things for the house, but I don't feel skilled enough to write confidently about it, and I normally keep everything so busy around my sewing space that it isn't very photo-friendly. This has contributed to me not feeling that inspired to share my sewing adventures with the world... So, that leaves sewing out of the picture. 

I've always been really into food, and especially traditional cooking and older methods of making delicious and nutritious food. I want to become more or less self-sufficient in vegetables at least, and preferably animals, too. I've recently started to indulge my passion for herbal medicine, and have started to harvest wild foods from our surrounding area. It is so rewarding and so beautiful, and it gives me so much satisfaction and joy. I'm only a novice farmer/gardener/herb-geek, so I take my notes and keep them safe, mostly for my own good and learning. I don't feel confident writing about this either. 

All this leads me to my motivation for blogging in the first place. I started this blog when I was 18, I think, and now I am in the middle of my 26th year. That is nearly ten years! I think at the time I needed this space to sort of create my own self a bit, after having struggled with relationship- and family stuff for several years, resulting in me just putting myself and my needs/wants on hold. This space offered me an opportunity of showing the world what I was and what I wanted to be.  It was great and it was liberating. The blogging world was also quite different then, it was just starting to grow into a proper community, and I felt like I belonged. While I still truly love it, I don't feel like I necessarily need to have my own space anymore. I think for me this is mostly a good thing. 

So for now I'll leave you with this busy bee, and I'll continue to be a different kind of busy myself. Perhaps I'll return to this amazing world in some other form at a later time, when things have calmed down, when all our walls have been painted and our shelves of books have been put up, and our vegetables are properly settled and the herb garden flourishes. We'll see. 

If you want to follow me on my adventures, you can find me on Instagram: @elise_albrektsen

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Thank you for having me. 

onsdag 3. august 2016


How much better is silence; the coffee cup, the table. How much better to sit by myself like the solitary sea-bird that opens its wings on the stake. Let me sit here forever with bare things, this coffee cup, this knife, this fork, things in themselves, myself being myself. 

- Virginia Woolf.

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onsdag 13. juli 2016

little hello

Since the last time we spoke, we have:

Painted two hallways in lovely shades of green:
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Hung the curtains in the dining room and made sourdough pancakes for breakfast:
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Put some potatoes in the soil to grow, and whilst said potato have been growing, I have been reading:
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And I started a colourwork jumper for a little friend: 
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What have you been up to? 

- Elise

tirsdag 2. februar 2016

Monthly Quote: February

Happy February, everyone!

I've been working a lot on the issues I spoke of in my last post, and I feel a lot calmer and more "settled" in myself now than I did a month ago. I can't tell you how much I'm enjoying it - the ease of feeling sufficient and good enough, no matter what I do and choose.
I still have a ways to go, but I'm relishing the progress, and feel steady as I go on accepting and relaxing in myself and my life, whatever each new day brings.

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As you might have gathered from this image, I'm knitting again! I've even finished a project - a headband from the clever women at KlompeLompe, and I'm thrilled with the end result. I bought a Busy Lizzy to make the I-cord, and I couldn't have made a better decision. The decision to get one was motivated by my limited knitting time, since I can't knit for very long sessions at a time (at least not for now). It took a few minutes to have the I-cord finished and threaded into the headband, and I don't think you can comprehend the joy I felt as I held my first finished project in my hands since September last year. As you can also see from the photo, I've started another headband, this time in opposite colours, and I'm still really enjoying the pattern.
The best thing I did in January was to consult an expert regarding my arm, and consequently get two sessions of treatment which initially made me feel a lot worse, but which has led to my arm improving substantially in the subsequent weeks. I still need to be careful doing repetitive work for longer periods, but I got the experts blessing to knit a bit when I feel like it. So I do, and I love it and thrive on it.

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Since last we spoke, we've gotten the window frames and the sills attached to the windows in the dining room. I took this picture to see how I liked the curtains I've bought for the room - and to get your opinion! What do you think? I like it more and more the longer I look at the photo. All that green is just yummy. In this photo we had yet to attach the frame below the sill - we've done that now, and it looks so nice!! Pictures to come...

Now - on to the quote for February (which I will spend holidaying in South Africa and England with my dear Alasdair, hooray!):

"In three words I can sum up everything that I've learned about life: it goes on." 
- Robert Frost. 

Have a beautiful month, everyone!

fredag 1. januar 2016

Happy New Year

In January 2015 I started the year off by stating that this quote from Walt Whitman was going to be my guiding motto for the following year:

"Happiness, knowledge, not in another place, but this place, 
not for another hour, but this hour."

By the end of the year I'm sad to say I had completely forgotten this guiding principle that I so hopefully set myself at the start of the year. I'm also rather saddened by the fact that my state of mind this New Year's Day is pretty much the same as it was at the same time last year: hesitatingly optimistic, but still mostly rather insecure.

I do get a general feeling of eagerness when I look ahead at what the new year might bring, which I try to hold on to whenever it takes place in my mind. My problems in the past couple of years haven't really been that I haven't been able to imagine good and valuable things to come in my life, but rather that I struggle to thoroughly appreciate the small, but good, things in my day to day life. By thoroughly appreciating I mean letting those little things form the basis of my happiness and become my focal points from day to day.

I have a bad habit of always wanting to be in control, to always have a master plan for the future. I think part of being able to live thoroughly in the present involves letting that need for control go, and to accept the future as something malleable and variable. The nature of the future is to succeed the past and the present, therefore allowing my current self to change and develop involves allowing the future to be what it will be. I do have a plan for the future, but it is overarching and indistinct, and the road to that future is unclear. My future, however, does not involve an insecure and apprehensive person like the one I see myself as now. 

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A lot of my insecurity revolves around career options (or in my case, the non-career option, which is my ultimate goal which I hope to achieve in not too long) and it has to a great extent been chequed and kept under control by the constant comfort I get from being able to sit down with my needlework at the end of the day. As you may know from previous posts from last year, I overworked my arms and wrists some time in October, and had to stop both knitting and refurbishing the house. I currently work as a teacher in the local high school, another one of my career options, after having received a MA in History from the University of Edinburgh. The problem is that I'm not sure. I'm unsure and insecure about what I want the portion of my time that I spend outside of home, earning money, to consist of. I've given working in nurseries a fair chance, having worked in a couple for over 12 months together, and now I'm giving teaching teenagers a fair chance. Getting a job after uni is expected, and from I finished studying in June 2014 I decided that, having a job that's non-profit, and which can benefit more people than only myself (in that I make money from it), is something that I'd like to do. The trouble is, after having spent over a year trying it out, I'm not so sure anymore. One way of escaping the gnawing thoughts about the future and what I should or should not do, has been to knit.

What I do know, is that I obsess over the fact that I'm not enjoying the 'plan' I had for my future self, back in the spring of 2014. I also obsess about the fact that I can't knit at the present, and not being able to escape my thoughts through working with my hands (either knitting or refurbishing) has had a severe effect on my general well-being. I'm quite shocked by the importance that knitting has to my sense of well-being, and frankly, a bit frightened of my dependance on it. Therefore I've tried to reflect, and reflect again, on what's important to me, besides knitting. Knitting and textiles remain my number one passion, and that will not change. However, harking back to the paragraph above the picture, the future is uncertain. My current self will not be the same as my future self, therefore the future I envision now, cannot be the future that I eventually will experience. This necessarily means that the current situation in my life and health is not the entire and eternal situation of my life and health. Things change, develop and move on. Just as surely, my arms will improve, and in the mean time I need to focus on my motto of last year (which I officially choose to claim for 2016 also), which to me means to let the present take centre stage in my life. To not obsess over what I can't do right now (knit), but embrace all the things I can do and do right now. I'm in the geographical place I want to be, now I just need to get comfortable with the person that I am, and will become, in time, and accept that I might need to try a hundred different "careers" (non-profit and for-profit ones) and still perhaps not find the right one, but that that is also just fine. It's ok. 

On another note, I would LOVE some suggestions of interesting and fun new hobbies to try out, while my arms recover their former strength. Preferably something that does not involve using one's arms... and does involve using one's head (or any other body parts).

Happy New Year to you all, and thank you for sticking with me through this past year, your visits mean more to me than you might think!


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Thoughts by others

The least strained and most natural ways of the soul are the most beautiful; the best occupations are the least forced.
- Michel de Montaigne.

What's on my bedsidetable right now:

Shelfari: Book reviews on your book blog

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