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Now for my choice in photos

Here are some of the shots that didn’t make the magazine:

Welcome

Welcome

Their is a small guest house over the garage

There is a small guest house over the garage

looking down into the living room from an open hall leading to the bedrooms

looking down into the living room from an open hall leading to the bedrooms

Kitchen

Kitchen

My friend Marita made the cupcakes

My friend Marita made the cupcakes

All you see from out patio is mountains, water and boats

All you can see from the patio is mountains, water and boats

The perfect look-out place

The perfect look-out place

What makes my house special? Location, location, location.

What makes this house special? Location, location, location.

Now wasn’t my choice much nicer?

One year later

DSC04850

‘Hjemmet’ means the home

As many of you may already know, I wrote my life story. I was also given the opportunity to publish and so after some long hard consideration, I did.

Last April family and friends traveled with me to the Netherlands to celebrate the launch of Fly Away Home!

From there I was swept into the whirlwind of cyberspace… Tweeting, blogging and trying to promote a book. I had NO idea what I was getting myself into but worked around the clock doing whatever necessary.

To promote the book here in Norway I contacted a Woman’s magazine (called Hjemmet) and asked if they’d be interested in taking photos of my house. They were and did! I blogged all about it, which you can read,  here and here and here.

It’s been ten months since the photo shoot and the article was published this week!

At first glance, I was excited… Then I started seeing flaws…

They took forty-two pictures. Eighteen of them made it into the magazine but were not the photos I would have chosen!

The glossy pages make my walls look canary-yellow, instead of the pale yellow they really are.

They left out the best pictures showing the incredible view we have of the water.

Worst of all, I told the photographer no bedroom pictures. One was taken anyway  -I was assured it would not appear. It did

Looking back I have to wonder, why did I publish my story and open my house to the world? A lot of theories come to mind but I truly don’t have one definitive answer.

It’s been quite a year and I’ve experienced many different emotions along the way… Surprise, glory, good fortune, stress, insignificance, embarrassment and maybe even a little regret. But as the Norwegians say… Gjort er gjort, whats done is done.

For those of you who don’t live in Norway, here are the pictures:

drøm ved sjøen means a dream by the sea

‘drøm ved sjøen’ means a dream by the sea

The article mostly talks about the furnishings I've collected while living in America, the Netherlands and Norway.

The article mostly talks about the furnishings I’ve collected while living in America, the Netherlands and Norway.

the dreaded bedroom picture

the dreaded bedroom picture

The article also explains how my husband and I met, where we live and of course about the book

The article also explains how my husband and I met and where we live 

DSC04864

And of course the book

Something big part 3

I shall never, ever complain about Norwegian weather again!

We had the photo shoot for Hjemmet (Norwegian Women’s magazine) at my house on Friday and the weather was a little nippy (sorry, old habits) beautiful!

After a whole month of work, not to mention all the stress that went into this day, it went off without a hitch. Two very lovely ladies showed up at nine o’clock in the morning, one took pictures while the other interviewed my husband and I. She asked him questions about the house and me questions about the book. The book is after all the whole reason I decided to do this, anything for publicity. Right?

They were finished by one, and then stayed for coffee and cake before leaving. I must say, they made the whole experience fun… Thank you, ladies.

However, the weeks leading up to this day were anything but fun, Something Big part 1 and part 2, and my husband now has the Harry Potter scar on his forehead to prove it.

In all fairness, the house did need to be painted, just not at the speed of light. He fell because he was rushing to get the job done and now, every time I see the scar on his face I’ll be reminded again, of all he does for me. Another point for him.

The women from Hjemmet were hardly in their car before my husband was fast asleep on the sofa. I put away the food we used as props and started packing all the stuff I’d loaned for the pictures. I then woke my husband and asked if he could help me return all the heavy, potted plants I’d borrowed. To my surprise he said, “No!” He needed a trip out in the boat… Alone.

It didn’t take long for me to realize he was right, enough is enough. So at four o’clock in the afternoon I put on my pajamas, went to bed and watched one episode of Mad Men (I have a secret crush on Don Draper) before falling asleep. (Darn, I forgot to tell Hjemmet we were probably one of the first homes in Norway to put television in the bedroom).

My son woke me at seven and asked if I could drive him to a friends house, I did (in my pajamas), came home watched another episode of my chain smoking, hard drinking ad man and went back to sleep. I slept until 9:30 the next morning! I can’t remember the last time I slept that long…

The first thing I noticed while drinking my tea and looking out the window the next morning, was all the potted plants were gone… Somebody had returned them while I was asleep.

Thank you, honey!” He wouldn’t let me put a picture of his scar here, so I’m posting a picture of Don Draper instead.

I’d also like to thank Anja for her help and advice, and for lending me all her magnificent treasures.

Marita, for the pretty cupcakes.

Diana, for the excellent cake.

Oasen, for the beautiful flowers.

Espeland Senteret, for building our spectacular new lookout.

Something big, part 2

 

The three books you see above are always lying on my desk and thats why there is no excuse for bad grammar or misspelled words! (thats me being hard on myself for misspelling ladder in my last post) However, most of the time I’m doing three things at once and we all know how that goes. Anyhow, blogging is supposed to be fun-right?

Now back to the story…

Where were we? Oh yeah, Hjemmet (Norwegian women’s magazine) is coming to photograph the house and the two culprits below got paint all over my floors. Don’t let their innocent faces fool you…

 

I learned something very useful this week, baby wipes can be used for something other than their intended purpose. They’re great for removing paint off floors and furniture, so the dogs still have a home.

I took out my husbands stitches today, well three of them, he had to take the other seven himself. Here in Norway we don’t bother the doctor with such trivial things (we’re Vikings, you know). He also fixed the broken boards on the deck, the only problem is, they’re much newer and lighter than the others now. We may have to replace them all. Otherwise, outside is looking pretty good. As for inside, I had to call a friend for help.

My friend Anja has an eye for decorating and many thoughts. It helped to get a new set of eyes and another opinion. Together we came up with some good ideas. We made a list of all the changes and the things we needed to buy (nothing big…). I also borrowed quite a bit of stuff from her (crystal candle sticks, throw pillows, a large ceramic angel and a very special fruit bowl…)

I decided to let them photograph the living room, kitchen, dining area and outside. These are the rooms I wrote about in the book and have the best views of the sea. I’ve also decide to set up small areas in these rooms to photograph instead of the whole room. Some examples of what I mean below, but remember I’m no photographer!

 

 

 

We have a large patio at the front of the house which sits above a high cliff, from here you can see out the fjord and into the North Sea. This area is the pièce de résistance and I intend to do it up good. I’m setting the table with a seafood extravaganza and will take pictures, for you to see on the day they come. The big day is Friday, June 15 and the only thing that can spoil it is the weather… What are the chances of that in Norway?

To be continued…

Something big, part 1

This is a picture of my house in the distance, its the same house that appears on the cover of my book. The house was built in 1993 and is one of kind. It was conceived deep in the depths of my imagination and then designed and built by my husband. Six children have at one time or another called it home and as for my husband and I, its our nirvana.

My relationship with the house and with Norway are a significant part of my story. Thats why my biggest wish is that Fly Away Home will someday be translated to Norwegian. I have sent it out to Gyldendal, a publishing house here in Norway but have not heard back yet…

I also sent a mail to Hjemmet, a weekly Norwegian woman’s magazine, which can easily be compared with Good Housekeeping in the UK, and America. I told them about the book, sent a few snapshots of the house and asked if they’d be interested in doing a photo-spread in exchange for a little book publicity. Anything the house may lack in design is more than made up for in location, but still I didn’t expect much.

I was in the middle of lunch with a mouth full of food when the call came, Hjemmet was interested and before hanging up, a date was set for the photo-shoot! First I danced around the living room, called my husband, my friends, my family and then danced around a little more. It wasn’t before later that night, while lying in bed waiting for sleep to come and rescue me from myself, that I realized what I’d done…

I invited an entire country into my home!

Yes, I wrote a book and told all my secrets, but this is different. This is where I hide when life is unkind, where I drop my armor and where I go to restore myself. Feeling it was too late to back out, I forged on and soon hit another mountain of worries. The house needed to be painted, the deck stained and the yard landscaped to perfection. It was at this time we were blessed with the most beautiful weather and therefore needed to get busy right away, one never knows when the weather will change in Norway.

I worked on the yard while my husband and son painted. After four solid days of painting (yes, I made him take off from work) and working on the last bits of trim, my husband took a bad fall when the ladder slid out from under him. I was inside preparing dinner, the grandchildren were visiting and the dogs were running wild, when I heard my son yell… “Help, Pop fell!”

I ran out, saw him lying in a pool of paint and blood, noticed the boards on the deck below him had actually broke on impact, ran back in and called 911 (its 113 here). I may have jumped the gun a little on that, it turned out he didn’t need an ambulance but I did have to drive him to the hospital, where he got ten stitches in his forehead. He also had sore knees (from crashing through the deck) cuts and bruises, but worst of all was what happened while we were gone.

A brand new bucket of white paint made the fall with him and splattered everywhere. While my son tried to clean it up the dogs and the grandkids managed to march through it and then ran through the house. Thats right, all my floors were now full of  white painted paw prints!

To be continued…