I recently spent a few days in the midwest to see family. Some of you might know this already, but certain parts of the midwest are really more like little Scandinavian outposts. My family originally hails from Sweden, so I always feel myself drawn to all things Svenska.
West Coast of Sweden: LillaJizo
On the west coast of Sweden, scientists recently discovered the bones of a 10,000 year old whale… and I discovered the very fine designer LillaJizo and her little pieces of art that she creates on broken pieces of pottery. Historically, Jizo is a Buddhist helper/bodhisattva. He is considered to be the helper of all beings, especially children, women, and travelers. LillaJizo painted this “healing shard,” as she calls them, with Roku Jizo, or the Six Realms Jizo. I wish I had this healing shard to carry with me in my pocket when I was on my recent trip. LillaJizo also has a blog, where you can read more about her dedication to the yogic path.
Sverige, Sweden: Jealousy Designs
This hammered silver man’s ring is such an amazing gift for the guy in your life. I always love inside out rings–rings with the good stuff on the inside. Jealousy Designs’ use of natural, raw, and uncut stones, as well as the hammering of the metal results in pieces that are both masculine and feminine. Actually, many of her designs are one of a kind because she works around the natural shapes of the stones. Most of the metal materials she uses are recycled, and the only pieces of her jewelry she does not make herself are clasps and tiny chains.
Eskilstuna, Sweden: MayaLee on Etsy
Finally, how could I resist this simple photograph of a heart–it is almost Valentine’s Day, after all. To me this image is a perfect expression of how I see the Swedish aesthetic, always with color and light playing together in a crisp and fresh way, but with an appealing warmth to it too. MayaLee has other photographs in her collection where she captures the simplest of things, set against a light infused background. But I think this is my favorite, the little dappling light and the stick pins, like a metaphor of what love often is–not necessarily fleeting, but certainly not permanent–And oh how we wish it was.