LET’S HYGGE FEBRUARY 2022
[definition of hygge]
a quality of cosiness and comfortable living that engenders a feeling of contentment and well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture).
Add a little hygge to each month
The summer holidays are over for most of us and so, I have gathered together a few things to inspire calm and extend the feeling of relaxed summer days. Ever since I was a little girl, I have made lavender wands. My grandmother taught me how to make them and this peaceful activity has become a yearly summer tradition. I always keep some next to my bed as their scent is beautiful and calming. They also make the sweetest little gifts. Another great way to extend the summer is to pick blackberries and make delicious blackberry jam – for me, that’s “summer in a jar”. If you feel like taking a little break, I can recommend a Danish film which is lighthearted and fun…. and free on SBS Demand!
I wish you a calm February and hope these small projects will help to extend the holiday feeling!
These fragrant little lavender wands look gorgeous, smell wonderful, and are a pretty decoration for anywhere in the house. Lavender is a natural moth repellent so I tuck some into closets and drawers where they keep my clothes moth-free and fresh-smelling. Beginning the wand can be a little tricky but don’t worry, as soon as you get the first two or three rows right you will be fine.
ALL YOU NEED:
18 lavender buds/flowers, with long stems. (I weave the lavender stems together in twos, which gives me 9 pairs of double stems for weaving. An uneven number is required for continuous weaving.)
Silk ribbon (I used 7mm wide)
STEP BY STEP:
Step 1: Gather the 18 lavender stems as a little bouquet
Step 2: Tie the ribbon tightly around the stems at the base of the flowers with one long length for weaving.
Step 3: Hold on to the flowers with the stems pointing into the air. Bend the stems downwards to form a “cage” around the flowers.
Step 4: Weave the ribbon under and over the lavender stems in pairs of two until you get to the end of the stem with no flowers inside
Step 5: Wrap the ribbon around the base a few times, then tie a knot
Step 6: I cut a 15 cm long ribbon and wrap it around the knot a couple of times to finish
Picking blackberries is so rewarding. The jam is easy to make and delicious on yoghurt, in cakes, desserts and on pancakes.
1 kg blackberries (frozen blackberries can be used as well)
350 g jam sugar (Jam sugar has added pectin)
Clean the newly picked blackberries for any residual leaves – there is no need to wash them. Take a preserving pan or a large, wide-based pan (the wider and more open the pan, the faster the jam will be ready) and tip the berries and sugar in.
Place the blackberries over a low heat until all the sugar is completely dissolved, then bring to the boil and simmer for 5-10 mins until it reaches the consistency you want. Skim off any excess scum. I like my jam to be a little runny rather than too firm and sugary. I don’t use much sugar as I find the berries wonderfully sweet themselves. Please taste the jam and adjust the amount of sweetness to suit your taste.
Leave the jam for 15 mins before ladling into sterilized jars – this allows the fruit to settle so it doesn’t sink to the bottom. To sterilize your jars simply boil water, pour into the jars and the lids and then empty carefully. Jams will keep well in a cool, dark place for at least 6 months. Refrigerate jars once opened.
“Around the World in 80 Trees” is an incredibly beautiful book illustrated by Lucille Clerc. Her drawings are detailed and with a fairytale touch to them. I have loved studying the illustrations and reading among other about the Birch, Elm and Linden tree.
My grandparents had a huge Linden tree under which they had created a lovely sitting spot. We would always have our afternoon tea with homemade cakes here, to the sweetly scent of the Linden blossoms. My aunt would dry the linden flowers and use them as a soothing herbal tea. As an adult the scent of flowering Linden takes me right back to my childhood summers at my grandparents’ farm.
This book is ideal to read over a longer period of time. I read a chapter about a tree that catch my interest whenever I have time and feel like it. The book is well written by Jonathan Drori. Each of the 80 trees has got 1-2 pages of interesting facts and history. Reading this makes you feel like you are traveling around the world!
The Danish romantic comedy drama “Long Story Short” (“Lang historie kort”) is a fun and light hearted film. Told over three years and separated into eight chapters, it is the story of Ellen and her friends who experience ups and downs in their search for love.
If you are in Denmark you can be see it on filmstriben.dk or if you are in Australia it’s available on SBS ONDEMAND.
I find growing lavender to be easy and rewarding. Lavender can be grown in garden beds, in pots or planted directly in the ground. To grow lavender successfully it needs well-drained soil and full sun. The buds are best harvested right before they fully open which is when the essential oils are most potent. I use my lavender as decoration on cakes, to infuse drinking water or tea and around the house for its lovely scent either as dried bouquets or woven into the little wands. The bees love lavender too…It’s a joy to listen to their buzz when picking the flowers.
I have enjoyed listening to Adele’s newest album 30 – it has a lovely flow! I find the melancholic tone beautiful and very touching. The songs on the album are extremely variated in style, which makes it very interesting to listen to.
I went to her amazing concert in 2017… wouldn’t it be wonderful if she were to come down under again soon!!
Every month I highlight a Danish Design item to cherish. This month my focus is to keep dehydrated in the hot Australian Summer and I always use my Eva Solo drinking bottle which I have had for more than 7 years. The handy strap makes it easy to carry when you’re on the go. I add either a few branches of lemon verbena, rosemary or leaves of lemon grass to my water plus a slice of dehydrated orange. Throughout the day I just keep adding water and ice cubes… The bottle is made of BPA-free plastic, stainless steel and nylon and is dishwasher safe. Please press the photos if you want more information!
Do you want to catch up on some of the previous months? Please head to my Journal here: https://lindbjerggraphic.com.au/journal/
Feel free to share “let’s hygge” with a friend…
I wish you a happy February with lovely projects and hygge!
I’ve compiled my family traditions into a digital flip book “let’s hygge CHRISTMAS” for you to peruse and take inspiration from.
Spring is here and I am excited to start gardening again and have ordered my seeds – I can’t wait to see them grow.
I’d like to share a family recipe with you for Danish Kokostoppe. They are a delicious treat and very easy to make.