Sunday, December 26, 2010
She immediately started on the coffee service - not a bad idea at all, since it wasn't quite 8 a.m.
Another exciting surprise was the yellow building block we'd placed under the tree, after finding it under the couch the night before. She'd been searching for it with grave concern for several days. Worried that the block could become the highlight of the day, we soon commenced the unwrapping, Myrna helping everyone with their gifts (and, in turn, requiring help for her own too) in the unwrapping. Here she is with one of her Christmas presents, ready for an adventure.
After coating herself with blueberries at breakfast, we moved onto playing with the new presents. Her friend Lizzy had given her some playdough, and we all attempted to make some holiday sculptures.
Myrna even managed to model her parents' gifts - both dad's scarf and, here, mom's legwarmers. (She got her own pair today - I really don't like sharing that much.)
Besides coffee making, she also is perfecting her pasta with her new veggies. She even combines the two for her still life exercises.
God Jul! (that would be Swedish for Merry Christmas, though I have absolutely no idea how one pronounces it)
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Once inside, she was much happier - pointing out all the Christmas trees. We wandered up to the kids floor, and had an hour before Santa would actually arrive. Myrna worked on a list for Santa, before she led us around the toy department, destroying any toys in her path.
Visiting Santa here was a bit different than in the states, as there was no photo session with Santa, just a haphazard line of kids and parents snapping photos. When Santa arrived, we were ready to go, but as soon as we were "next in line," Myrna started wailing, and there was no way she was getting anywhere near Santa.
What I love about this photo (other than all the kids staring at Myrna) is that you get to see Santa's ever so stylish threads, certainly not the same-old red suit. I do remember my sisters getting scared of Santa and crying, but we still managed to get that photo, and I have no idea how my Mom did that.
Monday, December 20, 2010
First, I should point out that pigs are a big Christmas decoration. So we can all blame my Swedish heritage for my love of (Christmas) pigs. Any pack of Christmas cookie cutters you buy, includes a pig - isn't that just wonderful?
We had just taken the last batch out of the oven when Myrna woke up - so far so good. But then we started get messages from our Sunday guests, and all the kids were running temperatures. Needless to say, we were alone for the frosting, but we still had a ball. Myrna's first icing:
She's very concerned when icing gets on her fingers
After each successful icing, she announces "clap" and we are all to clap at her masterpiece
At first she was very careful with the sprinkles
On her second go, she dumped half the bottle on one cookie. It resulted in very right-side heavy sprinkled cookie, not unlike her recent paintings (and if you haven't read the recent review of her work, you are really missing out - it's far more clever than this account). She still made quite an effort to retrieve the bottle
And what batch of Christmas cookies wouldn't be complete with out a cookie ode to Piggy Wiggy?
We now have lots of Christmas cookies. Wish we could send boxes to you all, but I don't think the trip to them would be kind.
Friday, December 17, 2010
If she had her way, she still would have that dress on, instead of her pajamas. Though, to Myrna's defense, when she wore it last year on Easter Monday, it actually was snowing.
*A quick look back at photos reveals that this wasn't her Easter dress - rather her Father's Day dress - oops (and it certainly wasn't snowing in Seattle on Father's Day).
Thursday, December 16, 2010
An avid colorer, Myrna plunged right into the new expressive prospects afforded by painting. Her earliest work with paint was characterized by heavy brushwork, dense fields of earthy color, and gritty impasto. Though her work to date falls in the realm of the abstract, there's more than a passing similarity in her first work to the hues and application of paint found in the portraits Myrna refers to as Modigliani's "Mamas." Perhaps a legacy of her 2008-2009 residency in Cologne, Myrna additionally liked to cut into the wet paint with pencil or with the back tip of a brush handle à la Gerhard Richter. These disquieted scratches, combined with the clay reds of the paint, give the below composition a brooding, anxious quality that belies the giggly enthusiasm that went into its making.
It's telling that, for sketches and studies at home, Myrna's shifted from thick crayons to soft color pencils. Her latest painting - finished just yesterday - follows suit. There are links to earlier work - a concentration on the right side of the composition, for example - but here she opts for a lighter touch and airier mood. The handling color is more considered, and the lion's share of Myrna's creative process is now devoted to the mixing of colors to meet her acute demand. This is no doubt a product of Myrna's growing understanding of color. She spends much of the day pointing out the pinks, reds, blues, yellows, and greens of the world around her. And, more and more, these correspond to the adult world's chromatic taxonomy. The brighter feel of this latest piece probably also benefited from the unfussy approach Myrna took to painting it. Far from over-thinking the finished product, she completed this one in half the time needed for her first painting. This time she was, it seemed, very eager to wash her hands and brushes in the row of toddler-level sinks she'd discovered on her last visit to the studio.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Sunday we made the trek to Ikea. I was pretty sure we were setting ourselves up for a disaster - Ikea on a weekend before Christmas sounded daunting. But it actually was just like any other day at Ikea and Myrna was having a ball - starting with ice cream at lunch, and then pure fascination at the Ikea floor displays. If for a moment, we actually believed that she would sit in a kids sized chair while she watched Pippi, we would have easily bought her a miniature lounging chair - but we knew better. Then we hit the kid area, and she was in heaven.
But the real reason for our trip was for Christmas decorations. We had decided a full sized real tree was not for us. A planter sized one was tempting, but we opted instead for the designer metal tree. Of course, the idea in my head hasn't quite been realized. There were no Christmas tree lights at Ikea under $40 a strand (some special eco-friendly power saving fancy things), and once we found some a day later, they had their own surprise. Apparently Christmas tree lights are not available in single strands that you attach together, but instead in one self contained loop (thankfully our tree is tiny and only needed one loop). I'm now conducting a survey to find out what other countries mess up Christmas lights.
Here it is in all it's glory, sitting atop a new red end table. We're still hoping to add some more green garlands, but it's at least a start.....
We did the majority of the decorating after Myrna had gone to sleep. The next morning, we had the celebratory hanging of Piggy-Wiggy. Myrna got excited and tried to put some other pigs on the tree, but we convinced her to put them near the tree instead. She did quite a good balancing job with one of the pigs. This arrangement, by the way, is a family portrait of "Baby, Momma and Dada" (as is any arrangement of animals or buses and staircar).
Myrna still wants to take off the ornaments and hold them, remove their hooks, etc, but we've at least made it two days without it toppling over.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Saturday, November 20, 2010
But then she was quite interested
She then opened up presents from Mom and Dad
and she was very excited about her new Pippi doll.
Big Birthday Hugs! More photos are on her picasa page too.
Friday, November 19, 2010
Monday, November 15, 2010
Robert Henke exhibit Transition Machine at Färgfabriken. The plan was for Myrna to fall asleep on the tram ride there, but she was just way too excited to be on the "choo choo." However it was dark in the gallery and we sat on a comfy couch, so about two minutes later she was sound asleep. She did wake up in time for treats and coffee at Vurma.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Anyway, after we did all that, Kelly returned, and we did some real coffee drinking, and then headed out for, naturally, coffee. We passed a relaxing hour at Drop Coffee, and then bused north to the Nationalmuseum. But not for their fine collection of pre-20th Century Swedish art (I'd seen that already), just for lunch. The vegetarian buffet in the Nationalmuseum's cafe, as we discovered during Kelly's parents' visit, doesn't kid around. Tables were scarce, and lines were long, but we elbowed our way to a hearty lunch.
And then we walked on to the Moderna Museet. We've been wanting to check this out for a long time, but balked at a string of temporary exhibits that weren't appealing enough to brave a visit with a toddler in tow. We hadn't dared wish it out loud, but Kelly and I secretly hoped that Myrna would doze off after lunch and give us a little peace at the museum, and she did just that.
The temporary exhibition focused on Mary Kelly. I'd been pretty interested in her work back in the day, and it was nice to revisit this. Kelly (Jabbusch, I mean) was maybe a little more ambivalent, and there was one piece that we had already seen twice, but we had some good - dare I say stimulating - conversation on the material, especially her Post-Partum Document.
There was also a show of contemporary Swedish art (both art produced in Sweden, and by Swedes in Berlin abroad). I was quite keen on a couple pieces in there. In particular, Kajsa Dahlberg presented a project wherein she borrowed every Swedish-language copy of Viriginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own held in Sweden's library systems. She then transcribed each margin note and copied every text underlining into a single volume - a very particular "annotated" edition, which is now available in a number of Swedish libraries. I wished I could actually read the language, but was pleased by the concept alone.
After we'd been through that showcase, Myrna woke up, and we hurried through some highlights from the permanent collection, including favorites from Marcel Duchamp and Vladimir Tatlin, and a few exciting new (to me) discoveries.
We were home in time for dinner and more (pretend) coffee, and couldn't even recall too many tantrums for the day.
Bypasing autumn altogether, Stockholm is crisp, frosty, and very much in the early stages of winter. Yesterday we woke up to healthy flurries of snow - enough for a light accumulation on the rooftops. There was even Christmas music at Drop Coffee this morning. It's all exciting for Myrna, but a little daunting for Kelly and I. Myrna, however, has yet to meet a climate she wouldn't gladly meet in the park. And with the burly armor of polar gear we've lately been amassing for her, that's not likely to change any time soon. Dads, regrettably, have a tougher time justifying snowboard pants on weekdays downtown.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Sunday, September 26, 2010
One of Myrna's favorite day-time activities is removing each pair of shoes from the shoe rack, trying them on, and strutting around the apartment. She's not at all discriminatory, as she's chosen my smelly old running shoes plenty of times. The only important thing is that the two shoes form a pair. I guess I should be thankful that she's helping me break in the new pair.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
This was a "bike" to her
She wasn't quite sure what to make of the horse, but when one of the riders told her she could pet the horse, she answered with a very stern "no!"
She had a similar timid reaction to the petting zoo goats, but I maintain that she was scared more of the kids all trying to pet the goats, than the goats themselves. As soon as she found an unoccupied window into the goat hut, she was fascinated with them. And, in fact, yesterday's word of the day was "goat." Seals being fed fish was also pretty impressive.
She, really though, liked the statues of the animals that you could climb on better than the animals themselves, as seen with the pig and the bear.
We did get to hear and see some of the traditional Swedish singing and dancing. I've never seen Myrna so seriously watching anything.
More photos of September are finally up on her Picasa album, and we'll try to write more about the last week too.