Silly & Serious in Sweden

Silly & Serious in Sweden

Why a blog?

Why not? I know I like reading about other people's ideas and thoughts - whether silly or serious - and also video blogs - aka VLOGS - on YouTube and such. I'm not going to do anything super fabulous here - merely keep a diary of sorts, show you my favorite links, what makes me laugh or what makes me know - the usual stuff. I hope you will enjoy! AND I hope you feel like jumping in an commenting on occasion!

Another pastry...

Life as I know it!Posted by Gun Brooke Fri, March 06, 2009 06:21:47

...this time baked by yours truly!

Cinnamon rolls - Swedish style. Or should I say, Gun Brooke style.

I've always loved to bake. I used to bake all our bread, pastries and cookies before the MS put a stop to it by weakening my left arm. These days I only bake for pleasure. I've promised myself that I'll bake more often, since I do have the time, well mostly, and it does taste so much better.

Here is what I did two days ago. smiley Approximately 120 cinnamon rolls!

Life altering makeup!

Favorite YouTube clips!Posted by Gun Brooke Thu, March 05, 2009 16:25:02

Who would've guessed that make up would change the life of a person so radically!?

I stumbled upon a girl on YouTube, her name is Lauren Luke, but her YouTube handle is Panacea81. She started selling makeup on Ebay to work from home since she's a single mother to a ten year old boy. She had her son when she was sixteen, and life hasn't been easy for her. She was bullied in school because of her weight etc., and she's pretty much been void of self-confidence ever since.

So, here she is, selling makeup via Ebay, posting pictures of her own eyes showing how nice you can apply it. She starts getting questions from buyers how exactly you go about creating such great results and that's when Lauren gets the idea to make a video clip of how she does it, and put it on YouTube.

Soon she starts creating celebrity inspired looks, and when she does Leona Lewis' look from the Bleeding Heart music video - she gets TONS of hits. So far, I think 32 miljon hits, counting all her vids. She's got her own beauty column in The Guardian (she's in Newcastle, UK) and she is launching her own makeup line any day together with an American firm based in New York.

The BBC is doing another special about her and her success, and she's the best YouTuber in the UK, as I understand it.

She's my daughter's age and I think Lauren deserves everything that's happening. She's great fun to watch on YouTube whether you like makeup or not, because she puts her vids up WYSIWYG style (what you see is what you get) - no editing. She talks about her day, her life, and she's not afraid of looking silly or doing something less than perfect. And she's very talented when it comes to putting on makeup - that goes without saying. If you want to get to know Laurean (Panacea81) then click below!

Media Players...

Links, Tips & Tricks!Posted by Gun Brooke Mon, March 02, 2009 23:33:28

I confess - I'm a geek! I'm a geek and I'm proud of it.

My latest tech toys are, a new laptop (had to give my old'ish one to my son's who's away at school in the weeks because his died) a Western Digital HD Media Player, and a 1 TB LaCie desktop hard drive, to go with the media player. I'm in tech heaven, so that compensates for me not feeling so tip top these days. Nothing like a toy to take away aches and pains, eh? *grin*

What is your favorite tech toy? Your laptop, your phone, your iPod, Zune or what? I do love my Zune - I listen to audiobooks before I go to sleep - and I swear I have listened to most of them subliminally at least five times before I actually hear them properly. LOL! So - another tip in this section is to get yourself an mp3 player if you don't already have one, check out and then listen to books while you drive or cook, or when you fall asleep.


Doggy classes!

The Dogs!Posted by Gun Brooke Sun, March 01, 2009 04:22:50

Our little girl Seven, a black Labrador Retriever, and I, went to our second class yesterday and she did great. I learned a terrific method of teaching her to walk close to my left side, without having to pull on the leash hardly anything at all. I am to use my voice, my body language and the mighty allure of the Swedish meatball, and Seven responded to this like she'd never been fed in her life. Never underestimate the power of the meatball, I say.

My daughter Malin and her boy Jum-Jum, a Rottweiler, takes the same class, and he is, IMHO, the star of the bunch. Jum-Jum is one big teddybear of a dog - but all muscles, and a power package like you couldn't believe.

Jum-Jum with his beloved ball.

Seven is one of the dogs with the best stamina there, I think. Several of the others sort of konked out, mentally, after a while. Their brains got tired, the instructor said, which is normal when you're new at training this way. Seven hasn't heard of going tired that way, so she kept trying to please me to get her little paws on that small piece of meatball. (A meatball can last quite a long time, I cut it in eight pieces.)

Sevem with a chewie-toy. Chewing is a way of life, says Seven.

We have so much fun just observing the dogs together, and they teach us so much, both about them, and about us. After the kids grew up, having the dogs in our lives is wonderful in every way. Even if you have to get the rain gear out and go out when there is a freezing cold drizzle outside. Even then!

Weird or spooky?

Art!Posted by Gun Brooke Fri, February 27, 2009 21:13:20

Hello, there,

I hope this little note finds y'all well, as in alive, kicking, and living LIFE. I've been absorved the last few days with an art work project, and thought I'd share the final results with you.

Some may way I have a weird mind, or even a spooky disposition - and maybe I do, since this picture just wouldn't be denied. I've added it to my gallery page together with a bunch of other new pics, but this one is the latest - and hardest - I've done.

Click on the thumbnail to watch the full size version!


Links, Tips & Tricks!Posted by Gun Brooke Fri, February 27, 2009 12:08:42

To be completely frank - Skype has saved me TONS of money. I used to have such horrible phone bills - mostly from calling my dearest friend in Texas - but since Skype made flaterate available world wide, I'm in good shape! I pay 12 USD per month and can call virtually limitlessly to most western countries and then some. I can also have forwarding to my home phone if I'm offline on Skype, which also falls under the flatrate.

Skype has superior sound quality, unless there's a glitch, but if there is a sound issue, usually you can fix that by hanging up and dialling back. It's easy to maintain your address book, and naturally it is free to call computer to computer. You can also choose to pay in advance and have a pay-per-minute rate (really cheap compared to some providers).

You can also do a four-way conference call, video conferences, and play games together if you're so inclined. There are tons of secondary programs, created by other people than Skype (but usually authorized by Skype) that can be really useful. Sharing documents etc, for instant.

If you haven't tried Skype yet - I strongly recommend you give it a chance. It doesn't matter if you use Windows XP, Vista, Mac, Linux, Ubuntu, Windows Pocket PC...they have versions for almost any operative system.

And just so you know - LOL - NO, I don't have stock in the company, nore do I get anything for plugging Skype. It's merely a question of wanting to pay the good stuff foward. *smile*

So - if you're interested - click below and go explore a good way of staying in touch with friends - whether your next door neighbor or your good friend on the other side of the planet.

What on earth is a Semla...

Life as I know it!Posted by Gun Brooke Thu, February 26, 2009 00:11:52

...I hear you ask! smiley

A Semla is a Swedish pastry that consists of a bun, some almondpaste, powdered sugar and whipped cream. Most people eat it as it is, with a spoon or their hands - preferably with coffee on the side. SOME people eat it centered in a bowl of hot milk. *yikes* They call that "hetvägg" - "hot wall" - and it's not something I like personally. I do like the Semla, but it's quite rich, so I prefer to share one with someone, or save the second half for later.

Anyway - you eat the Semla around this time of year, even if the bakeries start selling them directly after tha holidays, sometimes. So - take a peek at the pic and see what the Swedes are munching on. Yum!

The Snowman

The Dogs!Posted by Gun Brooke Wed, February 25, 2009 19:27:35

A couple of days ago, I made the first snowman I've made in YEARS. Can't even remember when I made one last. So, now that we had the right sort of gooey-kinda-snow, I thought why not. At first I tried making one in our garden - but Jarmo the Wonder-Dog firmly believes all the snow is HIS, so he sabotaged every embryo of a snowman.

I moved to the outside of the fence, and soon I had a very miserable, whimpering Jarmo glued to the fence, keeping his mom in check for using HIS snow.

Here is how Jarmo looked:

And here is how the snowman turned out. You will notice that he's wearing a Bold Strokes Books cap, which some of you may know means Bold Strokes Books - my publisher. Very spiffy!


Favorite YouTube clips!Posted by Gun Brooke Wed, February 25, 2009 10:49:38

I have always loved Beyonce and her voice - even if some of her songs have been a bit too "young" - for lack of a better word, for me. A few months ago, her album "I am...Sasha Fierce" came out and something happened. I became a die hard Beyonce fan in my mature age! Who would've guessed? I love both the up tempo Sasha Fierce part of the double CD, as well as the more vulnerable and sensitive "I am..." part. Here is a link to my favorite song (right now - it varies) on the album.

Halo... *dreamy eyed*

Click here to watch/listen to the clip!

What do you think?

Photoshop - link tip!

Links, Tips & Tricks!Posted by Gun Brooke Tue, February 24, 2009 12:25:16

I've watched quite a few film clip tutorials for stuff to do with Photoshop lately since making a few graphic that I had planned turned out to be much harder than I thought.

One page that I found that was a treasure trove of information and tutorials, is this one:

Photoshop Talent

It's free to register and participate in tutorials and competions - or just browse and be inspired and amazed. smiley

My next endeavor when it comes to doing something with Photoshop from scratch is this tutorial - I dunno, it just looks so cute and cool, I think.

I'll post my version here as soon as I have something worth showing! *grin*

Latest pic of our dogs!

The Dogs!Posted by Gun Brooke Tue, February 24, 2009 12:17:08

Jarmo the Wonder-Dog and Seven are the best of friends these days. They do everything together, except at night when Jarmo prefers the couch and Seven prefers the queen size bed. (Shoving me and Elon to the side without any scruples.)

Here is a picture we took just a few weeks ago.

What's in a name...

My writing!Posted by Gun Brooke Tue, February 24, 2009 12:13:55

I spend quite a few hours picking the right names for my characters. It's darn near like naming a child, since once I've committed to a name - I can't change it, at least not when it comes to a main protagonist. Side characters' names I can change, and often have during the editing process.

So, how do I go about picking the name? Well, I enlist my best friend, and together, via Skype, do we go through two great name sites that I found on the web.

Behind the name - first names

Behind the name - surnames

We make a list of possible, going yeh or neh, whlie reading them out. You can browse names there and pick between different origins, such as English, Irish, Spanish, Native American, African, Asian etc.

Same with the surname. Sometimes we laugh so hard at name combinations that I lose my focus for a bit and have to regroup and start over. I mean - there is nothing WRONG with a name such as Millicent McIntosh... but usually I try for something a bit more slick, or more common. But now I have a feeling that Millicent might show up as a side character one day, since writing her name gave me a strong vision of a tall, gangly woman with a stubborn mind. *grin*

So, you writers of fiction and fan fiction out there - and the ones of your who have children and/or Pets - how do you choose names. It's such an important choice for a child especially - you can make or break'em, according to studies made recently. ||LINK||

Look forward to your comments!

You're simply the best!!!

Favorite YouTube clips!Posted by Gun Brooke Tue, February 24, 2009 11:56:06

This clip on YouTube of Jim Carrey serenading Meryl Streep at her AFI tribute show always makes me smile - and be amazed at just how crazy-likable I find Jim - and how I ADORE Meryl.

Favorite qoute in the clip: "You're simply the BEST! Better than all the rest - maybe even HIM!" -- pointing directly at Robert deNiro. smiley

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