My Nordic Adventure: Helsinki Apartment




You may recall the gorgeous apartment where I stayed in Helsinki. For a long overdue addition to My Nordic Adventure Series, I painted a breakfast scene from that wonderful place, replete with Marimekko dishes and curtains and a Bialetti espresso maker (which I learned how to use out of necessity). Dreaming of going back there now…

Happy Wednesday, friends.


My Nordic Adventure: A Tribute to Bikes in Denmark




The first thing I noticed when I arrived in Copenhagen, Denmark were the number of bicycles, and how relatively few cars there were on the road. There are bicycles everywhere. Old women on bicycles, kids on bicycles, large people on bicycles. Nearly everyone rides a bike in Denmark. Bikes are especially popular in Copenhagen. At every street corner, they are lined up. And every street has a bike path. Rain or shine (or snow) Danes ride their bikes. It’s really an inspiring sight to see. Also, here’s a nice little blurb on the Official Website of Denmark on Bicycle Culture.

Have a wonderful Thursday, friends!


My Nordic Adventure: On Hugging an Icelandic Horse




Meeting an Icelandic horse was perhaps one of the single most magical moments of one of the best days of my life. Icelandic horses are unique to Iceland. They are relatively short and have two gaits. They have gorgeous long, thick manes. In three words: they are special. I have always loved horses, and it was a particular dream of mine to meet and hug an Icelandic horse. When I got to Iceland I didn’t know how I was going to make that happen. Most of them are somewhat wild (you see them everywhere), but I didn’t know how I could get close enough to one to make eye to eye contact. One of the days I was in Iceland, the cousin of an Icelandic friend of mine took me for a drive along the South Coast. She asked me what I wanted to do. I said, “I want to hug an Icelandic horse.” So every time we saw horses on our drive that day, she stopped her car to see if we could get close enough. And sure enough, at one stop, we met the most beautiful, most friendly group of horses. And I hugged them. I will never forget that day.

Happy Wednesday.


My Nordic Adventure: Food Packaging, Part One




One of my favorite things to do when I am traveling is to look at food packaging in grocery stores. Sometimes I’ll even buy things in stores just for the packaging! Not surprisingly, Scandinavian people have designed some of the most attractive food packaging in the world. Today’s My Nordic Adventure entry is  a collection food packages that I saw and loved on my trip. There will be more food packaging to come as part of this series in the months ahead.

When you are traveling, grocery stores are great places to see great graphic design and typography specific to that culture. Sometimes food packaging hasn’t changed (or has changed very little) for 25-100 years. I love those packages the most. On my trip to Scandinavia last year, I spent a lot of time looking at aisles and aisles of food and photographing some of the beautiful stuff I saw. Sweden was especially fruitful, but I found amazing packaging in Denmark, Finland and Iceland too. I can’t wait to visit some grocery stores in Paris when I am there in July!

Happy, happy Friday to you. Have a great weekend.


My Nordic Adventure: Journal Entries, Part One




{Journal Entries from Day 12 of my adventure in Scandinavia}

When I was traveling in Scandinavia last year, I kept a travel journal for the entire adventure. Every evening after a long day of exploring, I took my thoughts, my water color paints, my pens and any ephemera I’d collected and document my day. I used one of these gorgeous Large Moleskine Watercolor Books to record everything. I have never been an art journal keeper, except when I travel. The joy I experience when I keep a journal like this makes me wonder why I don’t engage in this kind of activity in my regular life. While traveling, I find it really grounding to re-assemble my day (and all of the visual inspiration I found) in pictures and a few words.

As part of My Nordic Adventure series, I’ll share with you some of the pages from that journal. First up: two different days from my time in Copenhagen. The entry above was from Day 12 and the entry below was from Day 13 of my trip. Copenhagen is a really colorful, lively city and I cannot wait to go back and visit there again.


{From Day 13 of my Adventure}

Happy Thursday.