Photos / Edited by Kristin Bae Mysen

We have finally reached the absolute Northern part of Norway where the sun is up 24 hours a day – the Midnight Sun. Also it is possible to spot reindeer along the roads, and we have already seen a few. Today we visited the great silversmith Juhls, and I fell in love with this Sámi symbol of the sun. The sun has a special meaning for the Sámi people.
Photos / Edited by Kristin Bae Mysen

What a day! Biking along Alta river, one of the best salmon rivers in the world. Watching salmon fishing and the beautiful wooden Alta riverboats. Passing the Northern Lights Cathedral on our way to the stunning 7000 years old rock carvings at
Alta Museum World Heritage Rock Art Centre
Photos / Edited by Kristin Bae Mysen

Traveling to pretty Honningsvåg, the northernmost city in the world. We saw herds of reindeer, and I learned that they are grazing in coastal areas during summertime.
While we were there, the Hurtigruten Finnmarken arrived. Since 1893, the Hurtigruten ships have been a hallmark of the Norwegian coast.
Photos / Edited by Kristin Bae Mysen

Another great day up north. In Karasjok we had a guided tour in the Sámi Parliament, viewed Sámi art, learned about the local mineral Masikvartsitt and passed lavvos (temporary dwellings) out in the nature. In addition we had a coffee in a local cafe where everyone spoke Sámi. The cafe was crowded, a mixture of trendy youngsters, families with children and people who wore the traditional Sámi clothing Kofte. Fun to find wooden toys made for Sámi children as well.
Photos / Edited by Kristin Bae Mysen

These past days we have been spending some eventful days with our friends here in Vadsø. We have been king crab and cod fishing in the Varangerfjord, in addition to salmon fishing in the rivers. Great fun 🙂
There are many Sámis and Kvens living in Vadsø (Samís are the indigenous people and Kvens are a Finnish ethnic minority), therefore the street signs are in three languages. From the top; Norwegian, Sámi and Kven.
Upper photo: Nina Berglund, editor and publisher in NEWS in ENGLISH.no Article
Lower photos: Taken and edited by Kristin Bae Mysen

We have visited stunning Vardø, the easternmost town in Norway, which faces the Barents Sea. It is the only city on the Norwegian mainland deemed to have an Arctic climate, and is located even farther east than Istanbul. In 2012 a group of 12 street artists transformed “crumbling facades and abandoned factories” into art. I just love it.
Photos taken from their website

It was interesting to visit the Steilneset Memorial in Vardø, a monument focusing on the trial and execution (often burning) in the seventeenth century of 91 people accused for witchcraft. The district of Finnmark experienced the highest rate of accusations of witchcraft in Norway. Lower left is an installation by Louise Bourgeous which was her last major work. The monument itself is in my opinion an architectural gem.
Photos / Edited by Kristin Bae Mysen

After three weeks of travel, it was time to say goodbye to this beautiful part of the world.


Edited by Kristin Bae Mysen

Indigenous peoples such as the Native Americans, the Aborigines from Australia, the Māori  from New Zealand and the Sami people from Sápmi (Sameland) have expressed their culture through art since the beginning of time. Traditional art show animals, hunters, mythical creatures or ceremonies.
They are deeply connected with nature, and the idea is reflected in the Māori word ‘kaitiakitanga’, which means guarding and protecting the environment in order to respect their ancestors and secure the future.

I am teaching my high school students about the Indigenous peoples at the moment, and every year I reach these chapters, I find myself fascinated time and time again, by their bond to nature that the civilized world has left behind.

*Upper left: Raewyn Harris/Māori art * Upper right: Nils Aslak Valkeapää/Sami art
*Lower left: Rosie Tasman/Aboriginal art * Lower right: American Indian Fine Art



Edited by Kristin Bae Mysen

My dad, who passed away two weeks ago at the age of 86, loved the jazz standards. These relaxing and enjoyable evergreens sung by Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong and Frank Sinatra will forever remind me of him.

Frank Sinatra: You Make Me Feel So Young    Nat King Cole: Unforgettable Louis Armstrong: What A Wonderful World  Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong Dream A Little Dream Of Me

I have made a Spotify list “Pappa”  in loving memory of my dad.

Photo: Gunnar Fjellengen

Ole Laurits Bae Mysen is walking the streets of Mysen, here 70 years old.


Photo: Kristin Bae Mysen

As a language teacher, languages do interest me a lot. Nowadays I have fun reading three different versions of the Bible;  a Norwegian, English and Spanish one. I see the Bible as one book, but the fact is that the word Bible actually means Books. The Old Testament alone has 39 books originally written in Hebrew whereas the New Testament has 27 books originally written in Greek. Because I am very fond of poetry, I specially enjoy the Psalms with its literary devices. To me Psalm 23 is an example of how beautifully these world famous verses go in all three languages:

Psalm 23:1-3  The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.

Salmo 23:1-3  El Señor es mi pastor: nada me falta. Sobre los frescos pastos me lleva a descansar, y a las aguas tranquilas me conduce. Él restaura mi aliento.

Salme 23,1-3  Herren er min hyrde, jeg mangler ikke noe. Han lar meg ligge i grønne enger, han leder meg til vann der jeg finner hvile. Han gir meg nytt liv.

Photo: Kristin Bae Mysen

I like to have Bible indexing tabs attached to the pages in order to easily navigate through the books. You may purchase similar tabs from here: Norwegian  Spanish  English



The other day I stumbled over this great artist via another blogger. I simply love his fine lines, and at the moment the upper picture makes the background on my iPhone.

Frédéric Forest grew up in Annecy, in the French Alps, and later came to Paris to study industrial design at ENSCI/Les Ateliers. Frédéric is dedicated to his passion, drawing, in his Parisian studio.

Visit his website here, and you may purchase his art here.


Photo: Kristin Bae Mysen

The red heart above is hanging on the door leading into our bathroom/toilet. In Norway I would think that every second family has a red heart on this door. Also you will find a heart as a standard sign for bathroom/toilet on hiking maps, info boards and in public places. This is a typical Scandinavian tradition, which actually is a bit strange.

In the olden days there were wooden toilets outside, and all of them had a carved heart on the door which probably served for lightening and ventilation. But why a heart?

– It is some sort of euphemism, explains the author Arngeir Berg who has written about the phenomenon. In other words an attempt to make something pretty out of something rather unpleasant.

Well, the heart is what is beating inside our chest, keeping us alive, and the heart is maybe one of the most popular symbols we have concerning love and relationships. So no wonder that the heart serves as a pretty decoration to make the place look more inviting. Another funny explanation though is that the heart is an upside-down rear end <3

However if if you ever visit a Scandinavian home, it is always easy to locate the right door!

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Graphic design: Cathleen Røddig Rønning

I love this poster that shows Norwegian design from the modern era of 1940–1975. Quite easily I spot my Ingmar Relling chair Siesta to the right, and to the left my childrens’s beloved Tripp Trapp chair from their childhood. It was designed by Peter Opsvik in 1972 and has the most intelligent design because it grows with the child, providing a comfortable, ergonomic seat at any age.

This exibition “Norway Icons” from 2013 -14 was shown in Oslo, Tokyo and New York. It was created to raise awareness of Norwegian Design History both nationally and internationally. It was Norwegian’s Icons contribution to mid-century Scandinavian design with its fine and rare decorative arts and furniture.
It was curated by Fuglen; Coffee-Coctails-Vintage design located in Oslo and Tokyo, and Blomqvist;  Norway’s oldest, largest and most renowned distributor of art and antiques.

More about Norwegian design from here.



Photo: Jann Bernhard Nilsen

It all began this summer. My husband and I were hiking in the Norwegian mountains Rondane  and I decided that mountain flowers should be my holiday project. I wanted to learn all the names of the tiny, beautiful flowers that surrounded our feet. I made this little bouquet and back at the cabin I started to google and to memorize. Great fun!

Photo: Kristin Bae Mysen

While googling around I came across Fjellflora, a beautiful set of china produced by Porsgrunds Porselænsfabrik in Norway. It is designed by Tias Eckhoff (1926 – 2016), a famous Norwegian, industrial designer, for which he won The Norwegian Design Centre’s Award for Good Design in 1965. Today he is represented in various museums, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Read about him (Norwegian only) and look at his design from here.

But what caught my eye were the beautiful floral decorations. This set consists of twelve flowers, all found in the mountains of Norway. The artist, Dagny Tande Lid, (1903 -1998) is internationally known, and up to this day she is ranked as being one of the best floral illustrators in the world. She had a lifelong love of flowers, and these were among her favorites.

Photo: Kristin Bae Mysen

At the cabin I reached a decision, this china set should be mine! I spent all summer searching websites to find this particular set, and by the end of August I finally had a complete set. I was delighted to discover that each flower was described on the back of its tea plate, both in English and Norwegian with the signature of Dagny Tande Lid.

Photo: Kristin Bae Mysen

However this is like a never-ending story because I found another treasure as well. Dagny Tande Lid had also decorated liqueur glasses with the same mountain flowers for Hadeland Glassverk in Norway. Even more to purchase, and luckily I managed to get hold of all twelve. Done, I thought, until I realized that she had been married to the famous botanist Johannes Lid who served as a curator at the Botanical Museumin Botanical Garden in Oslo from 1919 to 1956, and that the two of them spent all their life together writing about and illustrating plants and flowers. Their most famous book Norsk flora was first published in 1944 and is still used at the universities approximately 60 years after. My son, who is studying landscape architecture, has this book as part of his curriculum. I was lucky enough to come across a copy, second edition, from 1952.

The couple also studied in depth the flora of the Canary Island, the Arctic, Svalbard and Jan Mayen which led to numerous books. Two places on Jan Mayen are even named after them. And so is one of the buildings at Botanical Garden in Oslo;  In 2011 they were honored for their contributions by having the Botanical Museum named after them:  Lids Hus – Lid’s House.

Photo: Kristin Bae Mysen

Dagny Tande Lid is best known for her illustrations for the Mountain flower of Scandinavia (Fjellflora), which has been issued in 325 000 copies since the first printing in 1952, and which is still available. As a matter of fact, I bought this book above, in a bookstore the other day. The text is written by the Norwegian botanist Olav Gjærevoll. The book has been translated into several languages, including English, German, Swedish and Finnish. She also became internationally recognized by the illustrations in Rocky Mountains Wild flower; a popular, beautifully illustrated guide to 430 species of Rocky Mountain alpine and sub-alpine plants. It is still used at universities “over there”. The drawings of Dagny Tande Lid can be exhibited here

Photo: Kristin Bae Mysen

Dagny Tande Lid can be compared to an onion which can be peeled a layer at a time. The sweetest layer and the highlight for me was actually when I discovered her work at the local library; her poetry and essays in her production of sixteen books. She outlived her husband by 27 years, and spent all these years writing. She has such a way with words, and her poetry is beautiful, humorous and wisely written, all with her flower illustrations, of course. I spent the whole summer reading, and wow what a lady!!


Photo: Kristin Bae Mysen

It is not a secret that I love my country and Scandinavia in general. I consider myself a true Norwegian or a Scandinavian although I do love to travel around the world as well. Here we are on the ferry between Moss and Horten back home after been visiting the family at the eastern part of Norway this weekend.

In order to be inspired by what Norway has to offer, dive into the informal link here written by the New Zealander Jess Miller who recommends 100 Best Things To Do In Norway. For my friends around the world, get inspired and come. For my Norwegian friends use it as a check-list to see whether or not you have missed out anything 🙂

The Norwegian short film «Iconic Norway» directed by film maker Grim Berge in Natural Light AS became the silver winner for Best Photo for Tourism Films in Cannes this September (2017). Watch the beautiful scenes with shots from northern Norway all the way to the very south. Sit back and enjoy from here.



I love this picture. It tells so many stories, a story about needlework, another about mother – daugther relationship, a story about the 50s and last but not least a story about how often a child is a chip off the old block (eplet faller ikke langt fra stammen).

My husband and I found the picture while clearing up my mother-in-law’s apartment. In the photo she is sitting together with her sisters and their mother. Surely it is from the time when women should be productive also in their spare time. However you can actually tell fromt the picture that they all love what they are doing.

Today we are back on track, and knitting and embroidering are ever so hot. According to research knitting and other types of crafting have quite a lot in common with mindfulness and meditation, and besides creating makes people feel better about themselves.