Sweden 2008

In August of 2008 my parents and I took a 23 day trip to Sweden as part of my Sabbatical from work.
This is me, wearing the Swedish National Costume. It was my big purchase while over in Sweden.
We learned a lot about Swedish customs and living. Here Mom and I are pictured with a Dalahast which is a wooden horse found all over Sweden.
Amusement parks in Sweden couple gardens with rides. In one such park we found this fun "chair".
One of the highlights of the visit was getting to meet family that lives there. This is a picture of the Ryden family with us. There were 22 of us for this day.
Sweden is quite full of amazing architecture and buildings.
Castles abound through the countryside of Sweden
There are lots of old churches. This one is one where my family was in the past. The iron doors, gates, fences and keys were all made by my ancestors in the 1700's. It was amazing to look around.
Swedish houses often have a barn like look to them. This was taken from the top of a water tower in Orebro.
This is the Nordic Museum (Nordiska Museet) in Stockholm. It was here that I first got to meet Anna-Carin Betzen when she joined us to tour the museum. They have a section there with older dollhouses, as well as much information about Swedish history. It was a lot of fun.
I totally enjoyed learning about Swedish culture. One day we went to the open air museum and saw many historical buildings and activities. This included a demonstration of folk dancing.
Sweden sported a lot of colorful and unique flowers. I really enjoyed getting to photograph them.
The variations in the colors are just amazing.
I took so many flower pictures while we were there I could do many gift cards with them.
We also had so much good food. There wasn't a bad night of food I don't think in the entire three weeks. This was my favorite meal which consisted of prawns and vegetables that were served on an iron plate and topped with this delicious sauce and butter. Amazing!
We also had many great desserts. This was a fun mixture of a chocolate mousse and raspberry sorbet.
Anna-Carin was such a sweetheart and she actually met with us three times. The first was the museum above and this was the second time when she drove us about an hour out of Stockholm to this lovely location which sported a palace that we toured.
Our third visit with Anna-Carin was a trip to a Swedish miniature store where Mom and I were able to buy some Swedish miniatures. This was followed by a visit to her home where she fed us a traditional Swedish lunch of herring and boiled potatoes and allowed us to view her miniatures.
Anna-Carin is an amazing artisan and her dolls are simply amazing. She says she doesn't do faces, but the dress she does is totally authentic.
I enjoyed getting a chance to see how she made the dolls, although I don't think I could do half the job she does!
Even the servants are carefully made and positioned.
Much research goes into the making of each and every doll to ensure the authenticity.
This was my favorite - The doll is wearing the same outfit I was wearing in the first picture, the Swedish National Costume.
This is her Moomin house. It is this house that had the stained glass lamps that I asked her how to make.
Some of her miniatures included landscaping, although she admitted that it is definitely not her favorite part of projects.
Most of the furnishings inside Anna-Carin's houses are handmade by herself as there is not a ready access to quarter scale pre-made miniatures near her.
This is her Castle. The base starting for it was an IKEA shadow box which she then broke into three floors and added turets to.
The top floor contains a royal bedroom.
The middle floor has the common eating area.
The bottom floor is half dungeon and half wine cellar.
This was a tiny kitchen nook box that was just too cute.
Here is a traditional Swedish Christmas tree in quarter scale, complete with Swedish flags, heart baskets, and presents underneath it.
This was a modern house. I was facinated by the bookshelf she had made on the bottom floor, right hand wall. It had irregular shelves that was just amazing looking.
There was even a car parked out in front of the house.
This one really made me giggle. The little school house looking building that was labeled "Little Red Spool House". It was complete with spool planters out front.
The little building contained a quilt shop on the inside.
The full yellow house was lots of fun to look over.
The kitchen was my favorite room in the little yellow house. Done in traditional Swedish tradition it was amazingly detailed. I so much enjoyed learning from Anna-Carin as she is so willing to share!