My Busy Weekend & The Crown Princess Of Sweden

(Friends, I have been having lots of problems with my News feeds. Sigh… The one about this post, did not go out at all to my subscribers. If you all of a sudden get 10 news feeds about this post tomorrow (or next month!) – then please, do not give up on me! It is a technical problem and not me going communication crazy. I apologize in advance).

(Crown Princess Victoria will be be wearing the Cameo Parure Tiara to her wedding).

Hello friends – happy new week to you all! My past week was very busy with tons of activities and it ended with a fun & Royal Touch. The Sweden Week was taking place in Seattle last week. We were all getting real Swedish support with Princess Madeline (29) attending several key events. (But you might have heard of her sad engagement break-up with her long-term boyfriend, which she apparently has been taking pretty hard). So, last minute the Swedish Royal Court decided to send her big sister, the future queen of Sweden, Royal Highness Victoria, instead.  And we were not exactly complaining! (She is getting married this summer in what many refer to as the Royal wedding of the year).

Crown Princess Victoria had a busy week. Two of her many social duties on the program were paying a visit to the Swedish School in Seattle (where you will find me on Sundays teaching the school’s youngest class, 30 happy 3-5 year olds) and also attending the Nordic Arctic Summer Fashion show held at the Nordic Heritage Museum. I had the lovely opportunity to meet her at both events!

This is the evening before the big day. Me and my lovely colleague and friend, Peo, are decorating the main room for the Crown Princess Victoria’s visit at the school.  Here we are getting all cozy with panels of birch trees (a very common tree in Sweden) that we decided to hang from the ceilings.

And here we are Saturday morning, all waiting with great anticipation for the Royal Highness to arrive. This was a small and fairly private event. The sun was beaming, the children were beaming and the Crown Princess was beaming even more! (We were not allowed to take pictures inside the actual venue, but a professional photo with the  Crown Princess and all the children at the school will be distributed shortly).

My lovely daughter Elsa (6) with a pony tail and red toile dress.

Adorable Amanda is prepared with flowers and a great smile.

The Crown princess could not have been any nicer. Her personality lights up a whole room. What amazing charisma!  She is beautiful, smart, funny, loving, engaging and the absolute best sport. She laughed with the kids when they were asking her questions (Such as: “Did you get a weekly allowance as a child?” The answer is no, but the kitchen staff had her work hard by bringing in veggies from the castle’s garden). And she took the time to talk and give small meaningful comments to many children and teachers. She will be a remarkable queen of Sweden!

On the way into the building, The crown Princess walked up to my daughter Frida (8 – dressed in a white dress) and commented on her gold crown necklace that I once purchased  at the Royal Castle in Stockholm. She said with a smile “I know that necklace, and I really like it!. You can only imagine how much more special that necklace will be for Frida now!

The crown princess seemed to really enjoy her visit. It was a fun and charming event and our little school pulled it off with flying colors. (I love that school and all my wonderful colleagues who do such a great job at keeping the language and culture alive).

After the exciting morning, it was time for a fashion attire change, and in the afternoon I took my dear friend-sister Stacey with me to the fashion  show.

No cameras were allowed at the show. I brought mine anyway… I was not close enough to take any good pictures of The Crown Princess and I really did not want the security team to kick me out (!), but I brought it out as soon as she had left the building.

And we were pretty happy mingling with Freddie Ljungberg,  the key player for the Seattle Sounder’s soccer team and former star in the English Premier League. He is Swedish and for a long time has been an underwear model for Calvin Klein! (Think big billboards in New York!)

And here is Stacey and me enjoying his company.

We also had some real fun time with Ole Henriksen, who is the skincare guru for so many mega stars in Hollywood.  He has worked with all the super models and many Hollywood movie stars turn to him for their skin regimes. He is just the nicest and friendliest and he invited Stacey and little me out for lunch next time we visit LA. He was the emcee of the show and got everybody smiling and feeling good with his wit and amazing personality!

Here, Ole is hugging my lovely friend Jeanette, who was one of the key players behind the fashion show.

There was one designer, who really caught my attention. I loved so many of Annika Olsen’s clothes (and she is a doll!). One of the models was wearing a white skirt that made all of us drool. I met with Annika back stage and she is going make one for me!  I can’t wait to place my order!

Here is the skirt. Looks a little lame on a a hanger right after the runway, but it looks amazing on. You might think that it is linen but it is actually made of leather! And yet it feels so light and it flows beautifully with your movements. I love it! A white leather skirt for summer parties – who would have thought!

What a fun day we had that Saturday! My feet were killing me from my high heels and someone snagged my goodie bag, in which I had my car keys!, so we had to get a lift with some lovely friends. But it was all worth it!

Sunday was Mother’s day here in the US. And I got some real quality time with my precious family. Meeting royalties and celebrities  is fun. But nothing, absolutely nothing beats being a good, old Mom and hanging out with  my own stars at home!

Don’t forget my giveaway – here. It ends on Wednesday, May 12th at midnight.

Written by Splendid Willow in: The Best of Sweden |


Happy Stockholm Will Make The US Happy

Happy Stockholm is the name of a small trio design company based in Stockholm, Sweden. I just found out that their products are now being represented by a bunch of resellers in the US and of course anything new and lovely from my old Stockholm gets my support!

Behind the company are 3 creative design specialists within textile, glass/ceramics/iron art and silver. All the products are designed and made in Sweden. Here are a few of their offerings:

Very pretty pendant necklace in silver. I love the layered look.

Lovely table runner in linen. Both classic and modern.

A clever and handsome trivet/pot holder in iron. (I’ll tell you – a lot fancier than the round beat up ones I got!)

Beautiful earrings of silver and white freshwater pearl.

Another table runner that I think is so pretty. (Also offered in pillows and towels).

For their whole product line, visit here.

Written by Splendid Willow in: The Best of Sweden | Tags: ,


Lovely White

Hello blog friends! I am back after a few weeks off filled with pure summer bliss. I am rested and happy and I hope the same goes for you. I have missed you all but was often reminded of your wonderful existence through your lovely and kind e-mails. Thank you!

I live in a big house, with many rooms but no single white wall in sight! How is that even possible? I am a true Swede after all and have cocooned in white rooms most of my life. In my house I have chosen muted colors (and a lot of light gray) that all flow nicely together but I really miss a white atmosphere. Especially after my trip to Sweden.

So my goal for the next few weeks is to do my own guest bedroom makeover with white as the prime shade. Who knows where this exercise will take me. I might just keep on going!

Images above from Sköna Hem

2 last images from Livingetc.

Written by Splendid Willow in: Art & Antiques,Lovely Rooms,Simply Swedish Style,The Best of Sweden | Tags: , ,


A Splendid Swedish Escape

Görvälns Slott (castle) is a newly renovated hotel located in a nature reserve only 30 minutes outside of Stockholm.

What a splendid, unusual treat it is! Swedish classic chateau style living in a beautiful old setting mixed with a totally unexpected chic international rococo design style, combined with Swedish design elements. This is a colorful hotel without being overwhelming. There are plenty of activities and things to do at and around the castle. The food is supposed to be lovely, using only locally picked ingredients.  I might pay a visit on my next trip to Stockholm. If any of you have already had the opportunity – please share your experience with us!

Written by Splendid Willow in: Lovely Rooms,The Best of Sweden | Tags: ,


Wonderful Stockholm

I just got back from a few days in Sweden and got my much needed Stockholm fix! I find myself very fortunate to have, what I consider to be, the best of two worlds, the US and Sweden.

Stockholm is absolutely breathtaking (especially summer time) and I have to pinch myself every time I go back. Just how lucky am I! This is where I grew up. I know the streets & the neighborhoods. I know the people, the culture and the scenery. I know the stores and the must sees. I consider myself incredibly blessed to know the very authentic Stockholm.

I can’t think of any other capital city in the world that is so progressive and cutting edge (not to mention the cool design elements everywhere) and yet so loyal and respectful to its heritage and long history. Over the next few weeks I will share “my Stockholm” with all of you. Meanwhile, here are a few of my own photos of Stockholm from the classic side.

The happening neighborhood Södermalm on a summer evening.

Stockholm seen from the old street, Fjällgatan. The street is lined with well-preserved wooden buildings from the 1700s on one side and a magnificent view of Stockholm on the other side.


The beautiful Old Town (Gamla Stan) dates back to the 13th century and consists of medieval alleyways, cobbled streets and archaic architecture.

Stortorget is the name of the scenic large square in the center of Gamla Stan (Old Town), which is surrounded by old merchants’ houses including the former Stockholm Stock Exchange building now turned into the Nobel Museum. The square was the site of the Stockholm Bloodbath, where Swedish noblemen were massacred by the Danish King Christian II in November, 1520. On the outer walls of the red old building are 82 white limestone plates – one for each severed head. Legend has it that between November 8th and November 9th you can see shadowy figures haunting around that area…

Tourists might miss this treat, but the legend says that the canon ball stuck on the side of this old building by Stortorget was fired by a brave Swede who tried to kill the Danish King Kristian II in 1520. 

The roof top of the Nobel Museum.

You can drink the water from this 18th-century German fountain.

Here is the beautiful sculpture Saint Goran and the Dragon (Sankt Göran och Draken). This sculpture is a bronze copy of the original which is made of wood and is placed in the Storkyrkan (The Big Church) in the Old Town. The original wood sculpture was made by the German Bernt Notkes who lived and worked in Stockholm between 1484 and 1496. The legend tells of a horrible dragon looking for human sacrifice in a small Swedish town. When the King’s daughter is to be thrown to the dragon, a brave knight saves the princess and the town. The ruler of Sweden at the time, saw himself as the knight who slayed the Danish dragon and saved Sweden.

St. Jacob’s church, arguably the most central church in Stockholm. This is were I got married in 2000!

The church took a long time to complete and  include a wide range of architectonic styles, going back to as far as the 16th century.

The inside of the church brings back wonderful and joyous memories. I remember our cool friend Calle playing a very jazzy Duke Ellington tune “In a sentimental mood” on the old pipe organ and our happy priest joining in with great creative dance moves!

The Swedish National Museum is the national art gallery of Sweden.  This is were we held our lovely and fun wedding reception!

A famous equestrian statue of King Karl den XIV Johan (1763-1844) at Slussen. Slussen is a great place to try a local version of fast food – fried Herring with mashed potatoes!

Typical apartments in the Old Town. You would be surprised to see how wonderfully modernized and hip many of them are on the inside.

Stockholm is 1/3 water, 1/3 parks and 1/3 wonderful architecture. This photo is overlooking the Swedish Royal Opera House which officially opened in 1782. The yellow house to the very left (Sagerska Palatset) is the official residence of the Swedish prime minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt and his family.

This is Stockholm to me. Old next to new. And new next to old. It is clear – even to me! –  where my personal design style stems from.

Written by Splendid Willow in: The Best of Sweden | Tags:

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