Sunday, April 18, 2010

Feeling the love. xx

I started blogging back in June 2007 via 'the Ward World' as an attempt to keep my Swedish family up-to-date with our life here in Sydney. This is a personal and private blog full of pictures and tales of our daily life and adventures.

 NYE 2008-09 Sydney

  Isabella making traditional Swedish cinnamon scrolls - oh yum!

Oscar's Pirate party - including handsome husband as Captain!

Isabella's birthday 2008

The morning of Oscar's very first school day, and generally how they are with each other. I feel so blessed!

It is fun and rewarding to write for my family as I know it shortens the distance between Sweden and Sydney.

Then I started a blog for my work as a means to get some online presence for my overseas art clients. A virtual gallery that over time has grown to contain a fair few pieces of art.

Though this is not a 'chatty' blog, it has attracted a modest group of followers and I get spontaneous feedback and sweet comments now and then. Something I love and appreciate! xx

Last came 'Space for Inspiration' - this little corner here where I allow myself to skip around the fantastic and abundant meadows of the World Wide Web. A weblog so free and open that it has taken me places I never knew existed, taught me so much and allowed me to speak to people of amazing creative minds - you!

I created this with some of your banners - not everyone I love can fit here!

In contrast to many of you, I had no master-plan behind this blog.  Instead it started as a recreational thing at the same time as my daughter Isabella fell seriously ill. Her asthma was so bad that I was unable to sleep, either out of worry or out of the need to distribute medication every three to four hours around the clock.

The blog gave me a much needed distraction. It kept me awake when I needed to be, and preoccupied when I was so tense and worried I couldn't sleep at all. That all begun back in August of last year, and that is when this little blog was born. I would like you all to know that without your amazing blogs and this space I would not have been able to get through the past 8 months!

In the few months that I have been here I have met some truly amazing people that have and continue to inspire me so much! The blog has gone from being 'a distraction' to becoming a real part of my life. Seriously, it adds so much and that is thanks to the wonderful people that I have met and gotten to know here. Your support, comments and friendships mean the world to me!

In the last couple of weeks two of the fantastic girls I have met here gave me awards. They are both wonderful and I would like to introduce them and their lovely blogs.

1. The beautiful and wonderful Catherine Hopkins of

 Click on the link to go to The Shiny Pebble.

 Catherine's blog is such a refreshing wind of honesty, warmth and enthusiasm. The more I learn about this girl the more I love her - she is funny, intelligent, alert and always genuine.

Catherine and I found each other despite the vast distance and time difference between Australia and Texas. Needless to say this is the beauty of blogging - it has no limits, but we started chatting via email in 'real time'!! Crazy I know, because we'd both be sitting at our computers in odd hours of the day/night having long and meaningful conversations about many things. Together we came up with a concept of 'virtual makeovers'. A really fun series of guest blogs that have just kicked off over at 'The Shiny Pebble' - if you haven't had a chance to look, please do so soon. This one will be great and also give you a chance to see many talented bloggers share their take on style  through the quest of redesigning Catherine's diningroom.

Catherine's 'French Quarter' inspired house needs nothing, but as the generous and fun spirited person she is, she has put her beautiful home on display for everyone to see & work with. I love that about her - she is a rare & wonderful catch people!

So a couple of weeks ago, Catherine gave me this award.

"This award means you're really going places, Baby.  
You'll still be blogging about your great adventures 10 years from now, 
and I'll still be reading them."

Like Catherine I love awards, I see them as part reassurance and part honour in what I do here. I love how they are designed to connect bloggers and to encourage sharing on a personal level. THANK YOU lovely Catherine for this!!

Contrary to other awards this one does not have a call-to-action, other than to pass it onto three others that you particularly like.

Though there are many that I love, I want to express my love, appreciation and admiration of these three:

Manvi at 'Mochatini' because she is really going places! She is a dear friend, one of those I hold very close to my heart, and she is extremely talented! Her styling, photography and general take on style and design continue to inspire me. Her talents will for sure take her very far - she is a super star! (I really didn't mean to rhyme there.. )

Monika at 'Splendid Willow' because I love her! This woman who I have never met, I felt an instant affinity with. She is Swedish like me, but that is not why I think she is so magnificent. Not only is she incredibly warm & genuine, but she has one of the best design eyes I have ever met. Her style never fails and she teaches me things about design every time I read her posts. Her blog is a means to a goal and one that I am absolutely certain she will reach - and exceed! Monika shines!

Donna at 'A Perfect Gray' because she too holds all the qualities that makes me certain that she is going places that I can only ever dream of. Her fantastic blog is tinted grey, with bursts of colour from time to time. She, like these other girls has an amazing eye for stunning and inspiring design and decor. This woman rocks!

Manvi, Mon and Donna - you are definitely going places babies!! Thank you for being such great friends!

2. Then, and as if Catherine's nomination was not enough I also received a 'Happy 101' award by Sheila over at 'A Punch of Color'.

Her reason for giving it to me was because I 'make her smile'. How great a compliment isn't that - I love that I can make you smile Sheila and thank you for letting me know! It means a lot!

As the blog title suggests, her blog bursts with colour and energy, as well as fantastic images of yummy places and design. She also has a way of writing that makes me happy and at ease. It is so easy to like Sheila and I hope you will enjoy her blog as much as I do.

So, this award calls for me to share 10 things that make me happy. I have already done this once (HERE) however as I do think that these awards are all about continuing to share I will add another ten things that make me very happy in life.. In no particular order;

1. As a mother I am happy (read ecstatic!) 'when things work'. You know, a tear free daycare drop-off, all eaten meals, matching socks, brushed teeth and generally all those little things that can make or break a day for a parent. Happy kids. Thrilled mother!

2. Thin, crispy Swedish waffles served straight off the iron with whipped cream and home made Cloudberry jam! Swedes love their waffles!! In fact we have even invented an annual 'Waffle Day' on the 25th March. Fabulous right!?

3. Maintaining rituals and traditions from childhood make me very happy, and I love that these can evoke that exact same feeling I had when I was a little girl in Sweden.

4. Despite cursing the sun many times during the Aussie summer, sunshine makes me happy & bright! Perhaps (read 'of course') it is my Swedish genes that make me worship the sun. The light and energy are heaven!

5. Pretty much all types of babies make me happy. Human or animal ones alike. All are fantastic!

6. We all know how addictive and rewarding blogging is. It makes me happy to have this space, and more importantly to have you all in it. You all make me very happy!

7. Mountains! I have skied down them, para glided off them, hiked up them and generally enjoyed all kinds of mountains since I was very young. They make me inexplicably  and genuinely happy!

8. I am a huge äChristmas personä and am unstoppably happy at that time of the year. Spiritual or commercial; I love all aspects of this holiday!

9. I am a great believer in being a good person. You know, someone who genuinely cares and thrives on feeling responsible for the world and all living creatures in it - including the self. Stefan Einhorn, a great  Swedish author writes so well about this. It makes me happy to be good and to help others, and to see others do the same without calculated selfishness. Every year there is a wonderful event in Sweden called 'Hjälte Galan' - it is a live show built around the concept of finding and highlighting 'everyday heroes' who in one or another way make a tangible difference in the world of another person or group of people. They do this either as a way of life or as a spontaneous act. Not one eye is dry when this show is aired and the world feels full of hope and light. This extraordinary spirit makes me so happy!

10. Last but not least. I am the happiest when I am close to nature. Walking in the woods, hiking a mountain, watching the sun rise or set over the ocean, living the change of the seasons, walking barefoot - all of this makes me very happy and peaceful.

Sorry for the lack of pictures in my list, but this post is already so long that I didn't want to add more bulk.

Ok before I publish this, I would like to nominate this award to everyone who reads this post & leaves a comment. By doing so you automatically receive the award. Happy 101 lovelies!!

Thank you again Sheila and Catherine!

xx Charlotta


The Shiny Pebble said...

Charlotta, you are so generous with your praize. Thank you so much for all the nice words, the huge help with the challege and for sharing all of these wonderful things about yourself. Your family is just lovely and you make such a wonderful mother --- I know I will learn from you!! Also, your work is fantastic. As soon as I have a chance I will explore your other sites further. How fun to see all of the other facets of your life. Lots of Love

The Zhush said...

HI, new here and so glad to have found you! Your family is so adorable! Congrats on all these awards, off to explore more of your lovely blog!

tinajo said...

I´m really glad you started this blog, it´s lovely to read! You have such a cute family too. :-)

Anne said...

Oh, Charlotta,
I so enjoyed reading this post! I love hearing about your experiences growing up in Sweden and admire how you are able to pass those traditions on to your children. It was quite moving to read about your struggles with your daughter's health. Distractions and positive interactions are often what gets us through. I began my blog this year as a way of helping myself through the grief process because I also needed a way to distract myself and to connect with other like-minded women. My son, Ryan, committed suicide 2 years ago at age 18, and needless to say, this way the most devastating experience of my life. This blog has brought me close to so many women who have struggled and experienced losses of their own. Before I started it, I had no idea about the aspect of community I would encounter. It has been the best part! I am like you in that nature is a source of solace and comfort.
You deserve those awards. Keep doing what you do!

marzia said...

Hi Carlotta, now I know more about you and your nice family.
Hope your daughter is getting better.
As a mum I can understand your worries and sleepless nights. Fortunately I've never experienced big worries about my kid's health but as soon E. is sick I'm so concerned.
I already felt your enthusiasm for life and after reading about you I'm convinced that your are a real nice person.
Unfortunately my English vocabulary is a bit limited and I cannot express exactly what I mean

Alexandra said...

I can really agree with you, blogfriends can become lovley and supporting friends. Congrats to the awards and must say, your blog is GREAT!

Urban Style Vibes said...

Wow, lovely post! Thanks for sharing your ideas and mentioning Urban Style Vibes* again in your creative work.

Have a lovely weekend in Sydney:-)



A Perfect Gray said...

A beautifully written piece of yourself, Charlotta. Thank you so much for letting us into your life. It is really unexplainable, but I felt such a connection to you when you wrote about Isabella's bouts and your worries for her. Instant bond. Isn't it odd? But I do think your true self shows through your blog and that is why I love it so much.

Thank you so much for that awesome award. It means so much because you are so special to me.

Love to you, special one, Donna

Marija said...

Charlotta this is one of the best posts I have read in a long time - I learned about you from the things you so sincerely revealed as well as from the "award choices" you made. I'm excited to continue following along wherever all of this blogging takes you. And I agree with Catherine - you're definitely going places :)


Julie@beingRUBY said...

Dear Charlotta
Firstly .. congratulations on your well deserved awards.. i know I am new to your blog but already I feel comfortable here... and love all your wonderful artwork.. you really are so talented!!

I'm sorry to hear about your struggles with your daughter's health.. that must have been a very stressful time for you.. I hope it is somewhat better now.. I didn't realize you are in Sydney also.. you know we are suppose to be one of the worst cities for asthma problems.. all up and down the east coast... my nephew and niece also have it and it improved quite a lot through swimming.. and maybe just age.. growing out of it.. Well like you I started my blog without a goal. to get my mind off work and it has become a creative outlet for me.. that and all the wonderful ppl i have met are the bonuses..

Once again congrats on the awards.... as you know I found you through the lovely Monika but the others I will need to pay a visit... Hope you have a wonderful week xx Julie [sorry about long comment]

Vintage Simple said...

I loved getting more glimpses into your life, dear Charlotta. What a rough year this has been for you - and yet you've managed to fill your blog with beauty and inspiration.

I'm just glad to have crossed paths with you, dear, and look forward to reading more of your posts, always.

much love,

Splendid Willow said...

I was going to comment on your beautiful children (and very handsome husband!) who I always love seeing - and now I am in for a surprise myself. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, dear Charlotta.

One of these days we will meet. That is a given.

You are an unique and most wonderful person and I am so glad to have met you (and your fabulous blog) - and to have you in my life.

I will always be waving for you with a flag in my hand. I don't even care when the arm starts to hurt! (:

Love you.


P.S And congrats on all the awards! You soooo deserve them!

Beadboard UpCountry said...

Hi Charlotta!
Looks like your blogging is paying off with a lot of wonderful recognition! Thanks for stopping by mine, I got a chance to go over and see your art work, how talented ou are! Then I came hare and went through some of your past posts and loved it...Thanks! Maryanne:)

Simone said...

I absolutely loved reading this and finding out more about you. Congratulations on your awards, it sounds as though you really deserive them.

Thank you so much for your very kind words over at my blog, you made my day, you really did.

Happy Monday...well, Tuesday where you are :)

Nuit said...

what a touching post Charlotta :) I have enjoyed this very much... I feel the same way about blogging and cannot believe the wonderful people I have met, one of them being youself... what a lovely blog you've got here, truly inspirational. xox

Anna Caroline said...

Hej! I am sorry for not replying earlier :) Glad to find another Swede blogging in English.

I love this post you wrote :) Very meaningful.

manvi @ mochatini said...

you know i love your kids.. they are simply ADORABLE. with two gorgeous parents, what else is to expect? I absolutely loved reading more about you my friend. Congrats! and keep blogging on..

Viera said...

Hi Charlotta,
I enjoyed reading this post. Very interesting to find out about you and your life.
Having family in Europe I find blog and skype total blessing.
Take care.

Charlotta Ward said...

Hello everyone and thank you so much for this overwhelming response to this post.
I don't think I have ever received this many comments and the fact that you all took time to write such personal words really touched me.

I will respond to each and all of you separately.

Thank you again, and please know that I meant every word about how important you all are to me.

I love blogging thanks to you!

xx Charlotta

Charlotta Ward said...

Catherine - thank you again for the award and for your friendship. I am so glad we met and that we could work out such a great initiative for your blog. I am so eager to see the very first guest post tomorrow! YAY!

Zhush girl - welcome to my blog. Am so glad you found me. I have visited your blog a few times and so enjoy reading your posts. I hope I will see you and hear from you often from here on. x

Tina - tusen tack / thank you lovely. It's nice to have Swedish sisters visit. xx

Anne - I sat with your comment for so long and cried. I went to your blog and left a response to this. I want you to know that I think you and I share many things and values!

Marzia - there are no shortages in your vocabulary. Your English is perfect and I completely know what you mean. Yes the worry we feel when our little ones are sick is primal and intense. I have been holding my breath for a year now and yet all of this is far from over. x

Alexandra - tack/thank you. I am so glad you enjoy it here. I look forward to continuing getting to know you better. P.S. Hope the snogging was great! Loved that post! :)

Lise - So nice to hear from you. Missed you. Popped into Urban Style Vibes the other day and it was great. More contact from here on ok - both of us. x

Donna - tears in my eyes. I so appreciate you and love that you are here. I feel a strong connection to you too and am so glad that Monika showed me the way to you and your Perfect Gray. You too are so special to me. xx

Marija - Thank you! What a wonderful compliment. Coming from you who write such an awesome blog I am feeling extra special reading your words! :) x

Julie - Oh yes Monika is so great! Glad you are here and that you feel so comfortable. I hope you visit often and I look forward to getting to know you. You are right in that Sydney is one of the worst places in the world for asthma and allergies. Isabella is in fact allergic to the Sydney air and all the fungal spores, and when we received the diagnosis we decided we'd relocate to my home country of Sweden. Big and scary but so exciting move. More about this later. x

Maria gorgeous girl. So nice to hear from you and thank you for your lovely comment. You are always so warm and sweet. I love having you here and am so glad you enjoy it too. x

Monika my love. You are so welcome on the award. I wanted to give you one that didn't have a call-to-action as I know how tight your schedule is. You know how much I appreciate and love you and our friendship. I have a soul sister connection with you. Always have. xx

Maryanne - welcome here and thank you for taking time to look at my work. I love your blog and am thrilled you will visit me here too. Thank you. x

Simone you sweet thing. I am so happy you got my comments. Love that you are here and will visit you very soon too. xx

Anna Caroline - hej, so lovely that you are here. Blog land doesn't have a time frame so don't worry. Hope you visit often. Thanks for your comment. Kram x

Nuit - I just love your name! What is the story behind it? Thank you for your sweet comment. So glad you had a look around. Come back often - you are so welcome here. xx

Manvi - thank you dear! I know our Swedish-Indian friendship is set for life. We must make that trip happen! Love you. xx

Viera - so nice to meet you. I will visit your blog shortly and look forward to getting to know you better. Thank you for your nice comment.

Thank you again everyone. I really am overwhelmed and feel so happy that you took time to respond to my post.

xx Charlotta

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