*Dala Horse*

The night before I dreamed of dala horses and matryoshka dolls. Since then I've been in a very folkish mood, and I decided to try my hand at my own little dala horse. He's sweet, I think~

After painting St. Lucia at Christmas and professing my undying love for folky Swedish style in the past, I've been asked if I am Swedish...I'm not (sigh.) But I found out recently that my married name, Sleightholm, while English in origin is also 'Nordic derived,' coming ,out of the viking settlements of Britain. So, hey, that's sorta Scandinavian, right? Close enough? I can now confidently paint my St. Lucias and Dala Horses and feel rather northern with my name people rarely can pronounce (it's SLYT-holm, by the way.)

After being out of sorts lately, I've taken some time to step back and search quietly in myself for inspiration. The internet can be a marvelous thing, but I find that it can over-saturate me with things meant to be inspiring, and suddenly I feel like I can't process anything and I sort of wilt under the pressure.

But I found that my old love of Scandinavian art and style can still get my muse revived, and so I'm working on some new little projects. I'm also daydreaming about visiting Lindsborg, Kansas, which is about 4 hours away from me. It's supposed to be Little Sweden! In Kansas! There are Dala Horses! And Tomtes! It sounds like heaven! Has anyone ever gone? I'm very curious about it. I'm wondering if I could just get in the car and get out in 4 hours and indulge in some Swedish loveliness, or if its one of those places where you need to go during a festival of some sort to get the full effect. But I'm loving the idea of it. And I'm painting again. And that's what is important!

I'm thinking too a fun thing to do with these dala horses might be to offer custom paintings and add the customer's Swedish surname to it. That way it would be a sweet little family treasure.

Alright well, back to work!~
Til next time,
H


9 comments

  1. Oh my goodness, if you decide to visit Lindsborg, swing by Wichita and we can go up there together. I've been dying to go back and do some more Swedish shopping. Paul and I went in 2010 for Lucia Fest, so I can't comment as to what it's like on an ordinary weekend.

    I'm totally squeeing over your dala horse. I love them! I don't know about Swedish ancestry in particular, but there's a good chance at least a couple of my ancestors were from Scandinavia.

    P.S. Ditto about internet overwhelm. I feel the same way quite frequently.

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  2. That would be so much fun! We need to do that. I'm going to research a little more into it. Perhaps they have a spring festival? It seems like they have galleries and shops, so perhaps it might be a nice weekend trip just to visit, especially when its nice and warm and the flowers are out. Yay swedish kansas ;)

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  3. I bought a little Dala Horse when I was visiting Sweden in 1973 and have been in love with them since!! Your painting is quite wonderful and captures that folk feeling with the floral design. My husband and his family are 100% Norweigan so they sort of frown on Swedish things. But not me! I am mostly German/Irish so I favor what strikes me the most. That is why I had to have one of your Santa Lucia prints this year. The Swedes have wonderful and colorful decorations for their homes. I think a road trip to Kansas is a must!! I wish I had someplace near like that to visit. And I love your idea of family paintings with their Swedish names included. Very cool!!! Don't feel bad about being in a "funk" these days. I too have been sort of restless and aimless for no identifiable reason! What gives????

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  4. Winnie,
    How lucky of you to be able to visit Sweden! I would love to do that. Well, visit anywhere, really! Im hoping the funk is over with now....hoping!

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  5. i love this painting! it looks so much like the little dala horse i have. i love all things scandinavian.
    and i know what you mean about getting overloaded and becoming pressured, but i think that you have wonderful ideas and your blog as always been very inspiring to me!

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  6. Thank you so much, Lindsi! I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who gets overwhelmed by all the 'pretty' online. Sometimes it just makes me second guess myself, and that's never good. Thanks for coming by, I love coming to visit your blog!~

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  7. I'm just back in blogland after a short break and love what you've been up to.....I have a love of all things folky and swedish too.

    My brain is fully recovered from the internet free break I gave it and I find myself with more ideas now than ever before..... I guess I really needed time out from the 'prettiness' ;o)

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  8. There have been many mainland European invasions of England throughout history. You're probably very likely to have some Nordic blood mixed in there ;)!

    I always say, if you care to learn the real information about a culture: it's music, food, language, customs; then I believe you have more claim to that culture than the people who can say they're blood heritage is from that country.

    For example, I'm half Irish, but I may as well be whole. I know a lot more about Ireland than many people who live there!

    Your dala horse is so cute! I love Swiss style personally ;) And the movie the Witches, not sure what country that's set in. I think it might be Denmark...

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  9. What a lovely post! Enjoyed reading it! I'm just marvelling at you Dala horse painting. How pretty. Simplicity is what I love.
    Funnily enough, just as I'm writing this comment on my table lies a piece of glass with an unifinished painting... and guess what it is! yes, its a Dala Horse :) It's going to be painted red, just as we very often see them :) Published on my blog soon! :)

    The Nordic style has been very trendy recently, Im in love with it. - I had kept producing Nordic looking cross stitch for months last year, preparing for christmas. This year I'm knitting Norwegian Julekuler, which are fabulous expression of folky Norwegian way of living and crafting. You may like this book: Arne & Carlos "55 Christmas balls to knit", I think :)

    Sadly, I dont have any Scandinavian roots but I'd love to speak Norwegian or... Icelandic :)

    Greetz from North Wales x

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Each and every comment is appreciated! Thanks for coming to visit me :) ~Heather

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