Yesterday and today, we have celebrated Fastelavn (Shrovetide) across Denmark. I have mentioned this in here several times before, but in brief it’s a yearly occasion when primarily children dress up in costumes, and get together to “tilt at the cat in the barrel”, or basically they take turns to hit a suspended barrel filled with sweets and other goodies with clubs. And no, there’s not an actual cat in there.

Indian

I made the children’s costumes myself, and I wanted to show you – I think they turned out pretty good. Ronja was an American Indian (still not quite sure what to call this, to be politically correct), and Frida was a vampire princess – their own choices.

I made Ronja’s costume very much inspired by this tutorial. The fabric is faux suede, and besides this I used ribbon, feathers, and wooden beads for decoration. Mads made her a bow and arrow, which we embellished with feathers and a bead, tied on with a strip of faux suede. I made her a necklace with leather cord, to which I attached a small medallion, made with a small round Hama bead design, a piece of the feather trim I got for Frida’s dress, and two pieces of faux suede sewn together and used as backing. I glued it all together with a glue gun. I used strips of faux suede to tie in Ronja’s hair, and made an arm decoration and covers for her boots to make them look right. The face paint was pretty straight forward, but I did sponge gold coloured face paint onto her face, to give her a bit of a golden skin-feel. I don’t think I ever got around to telling you about my face painting craze, really – it escalated last year, and I love creating these small short-lived designs. Also, I am lucky enough to have girls that want me to paint them. Mads gave me a gift card for a face painting course for Christmas, which I am looking so much forward to using!

VampirePrincess

For Frida’s costume I decided to make a black tulle skirt. It was created from one of the many tutorials on how to do no-sew tulle skirts – I looked at this one. I didn’t have enough silk ribbon to add that to the skirt as well the way it has been done in the tutorial – otherwise I would have. Actually, my mom did most of the skirt, since I was running short on time, and she was visiting, but we both enjoyed the cooperation. For the corset, I found a pattern in one of my sewing magazines, SYmagasin 11/2011. It was for a dress, but I only used the top, and my mom and I worked together to create a pattern for the fabric that goes over the top of the tulle skirt. It doesn-t show so well in the pictures, but it has points in a shape that’s similar to the edge of a Batman-cape, and this part I attached to the corset. I added a feather trim that I found in STOF 2000 to the straps – the fabric is from there as well – and the ties are plain black silk ribbon. For embellishments I created a necklace from black silk ribbon with red rhinestones and tied it in a bow on the back of her neck. Frida’s pig tails are sprayed with a ton of hairspray and tied with black tulle and silk ribbon. I used the main fabric to create her diadem and glued on white rhinestones, added cardboard on the back side to give it hold, and Mads helped me spray paint a hairband black to glue it on to.

Frida’s face paint was a result of her wanting to be scary, but not too scary, and we agreed on the spiderweb combined with black and white flowers. I think she was worried that her friends wouldn’t want to play with her if she was too scary, but that seemed to work out alright.  :)

The girls both enjoyed Fastelavn this year, and Frida even won a prize for best costume among the 4 to 6 year olds. She didn’t quite get what was going on until afterwards, but the prize was a gift card for the cinema, so I think we will get a nice outing out of it. I must say, I was a proud mother, because I did spend quite some time creating that costume – as well as Ronja’s, by the way. You can see more pictures in my Flickr if you’re interested.


Happy rider

This past weekend, Ronja participated in her very first horse show. She started riding almost 2 years ago when she was 5 years old, and let me just say, she was less elegant then than she is now.

She has loved riding from the very first time, and she never complains about going to her riding lessons in the evening after school, even when she’s tired. Mads and I haven’t got that much horse experience between the two of us, and riding was something Ronja chose for herself and continues to enjoy, every single week. It was a good decision!

Yesterday, Ronja was happy, proud, and excited all mixed together, and we so enjoyed seeing her at the horse show.

Warming up

Ronja and Borte during the show

Ronja at the award ceremony

Frida had a hard time coping with the fact that you don’t get a rosette, if you’re not part of the competition. That’s how she ended up looking the way she does below. Ronja on the other hand, earned a shared 2nd place, and was  at least 2 feet taller for the rest of the day.

Ronja with her rosette and Frida


Midsummer

Last night we celebrated Midsummer Evening. The weather was beautiful, so we had invited good friends over for barbecue in the garden, followed by walking to the big bonfire just on the outskirts of the town, behind the church, by the fields and the woods.

The Girls at the Bonfire

I love the warm atmosphere that is so unique for this particular evening! We had a wonderful time, walked back, and stopped by a new playground that’s been built not too far from our house. The kids went to bed waaay too late, and I was grateful that both girls were tired, yet happy this morning when I went to wake them up (which I never usually need to do).

As our friends were visiting, I had a chance to give them this.

Otto RomperThree and half weeks ago they had a little baby boy, and I wanted to make him something nice. Since Frida practically lived in the two rompers I made her last year for summer, I decided I would make him the same romper from Ottobre 3/2007 in the boys version. I used one of my OttoBear tags to embellish it, and while I was sewing it on, I realized it was a perfect match – the boy’s name being Otto. :) The romper looked huge next to that tiny baby, but I hope he will grow into it over summer – they do tend to grow quicker than you anticipate.


Monday evening was Midsummer Evening. This specific evening has always been a favourite of mine – I love the fact that we gather around bonfires throughout the country and sing “Midsommervisen” – the Midsummer song.

Bonfire of Midsummer Evening

Adults and children form circles around the bonfires to look into the fire, celebrate Midsummer, and enjoy the evening. The children stay up [way too] late, and so do their parents. I have always thought that the bonfire should be on a beach by the sea, but now that I’m becoming a part of this local community, I think we ought to support the local initatives. And even though the bonfire by the woods, behind the church didn’t last that long, the event had the perfect atmosphere – bringing together people from around the area. Before going, we had invited Rikke (from the mothers group) and Martin for strawberries from the garden, and later – after the bonfire – we sat talking at their place until it was rather late, and we went back to our place to put the girls to bed. Perfect evening in good company. It is so nice to have made new friends – and when they live 150 m away it just makes everything easier!

Køge Kirke Picture borrowed from Danish Wikipedia

Yesterday Frida and I went to psalm singing for mothers and babies at Køge Church for the first time. I wasn’t quite clear about this in my last post on the topic, so if you want a bit of details, see my answer for Sarah in this post. The priest is a young woman who is clearly very enthusiastic about making something good, so I was positively surprised. The acoustics at the church are perfect for singing children’s songs, and the church was warm and great for the purpose. We finished in a house adjacent to the church, feeding the babies and having a cup of coffee. I’m definitely looking forward to next time, and I think Frida enjoyed it as well!

This past weekend was spent at some good friends’ wedding in Funen – which is also the reason why I haven’t posted anything in a few days. They were married Saturday, and it was a beautiful wedding. While Ronja stayed at Mads’ mother’s place, Frida came along for the wedding, and she was such a well-behaved baby. Still, I think Frida as well as Ronja need a few days with a little less action, returning to more normal bedtimes. Below you see a picture of the couple and the very nice Jaguar that transported the newlyweds from the church.

Line and Bubi's weddingday