November, 2010

Melinda Josie – Dalahäst – at mjölk

November 27th, 2010

You may remember this painting we bought awhile back by artist Melinda Josie. Well, we are pleased to tell you that we have a special little exhibition of new artworks in Melinda Josie’s C series (or what has become a series!).

Now hanging at mjölk are the following gorgeous intricately hand painted pieces. It took all our strength to not scoop them all up (just one for our “permanent collection”)!

Dalahäst Björk
8.5″ x 8.5″ framed


Dalahäst Korsstygn
8.5″ x 8.5″ framed


Dalahäst Marinblå
8.5″ x 8.5″ framed


Dalahäst Matsson
8.5″ x 8.5″ framed


Dalahäst Mörbakelse
8.5″ x 8.5″ framed


Dalahäst Sticka
8.5″ x 8.5″ framed


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Vintage pedestal fireplace find

November 24th, 2010

Well, we’ve been getting a little wedding crazy up in here lately. The initial plan has always been to keep it small, and to hire a chef to create a gourmet dining experience (a la Dill or Alberto K). But when we realized that our initial venue wasn’t going to work out, we looked for a restaurant in the city that could accommodate our wants and needs. At one point I mentioned that the store could be a cool option but Juli wasn’t on board…YET. The other day, our friend Lauren, who is also taking over our Tuesdays in the shop, brought the idea to the surface again and finally Juli got on board (after a last ditch effort of looking at restaurants online–you have to check out all the options before the most obvious can be truly appreciated). Ever since the venue decision has been made, all the pieces are falling into place.

So why are we telling you all this accompanied by photos of a vintage fireplace? Well, we’re picturing a cozy winter wedding, with a long communal table, furs, blankets, Timo Sarpaneva glass candle holders…and wouldn’t a Malm-style fireplace just top it all off?!? I went on Craigslist and lucked out finding a working electric version in great shape (you may be wondering what happened with the white Malm we had at the cottage–sadly we had to return it because it wasn’t up to code in Canada).

Believe it or not the logs are actually real wood with a plastic coal screen and it looks really cool when it’s on. There is also a fan in the flue that gives a good amount of heat without much noise at all.

We plan on spraying it white, and adding an extended flue with a cap to hide the exposed fan and wires. I wouldn’t mind replacing the brass handles on the fireguard, or at least painting them black to blend in.

Beside the wedding, we’re excited to use it in our drafty living room, and then later in the bedroom at the cottage for the cool spring nights.

Now that’s value!

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“Constructions” Contemporary Norwegian Arts & Crafts

November 23rd, 2010

Last week we went to the opening of “Constructions” a new exhibition at the Design Exchange highlighting contemporary Norwegian designers inspired by traditional folk crafts.

“This exhibition of contemporary Norwegian arts and crafts is based on the concept of “construction” – in the sense of the way something is put together. The term is used in many fields, including architecture, engineering and geometry, music and language. In the field of arts and crafts, “construction” is used to describe methods for both building three-dimensional forms and creating patterns in surfaces, or a fusion of these. There are many construction methods, ranging from work on a single object to the joining of different elements.”

Here is a small sampling of the show:

Crocheted jewlery made from mass produced ceramic figurines by Anne Lene Lovhaug.

Embroidered wooden boxes by Lars Sture

Burled birch bowl by Havard Larsen

Antler knife.

Bowl in Cherry wood with crushed eggshell lacquer interior by Lillian Dahle.

Contemporary Anorak bag inspired by traditional and ceremonial Anorak bags. By Marianne Moe.

A deconstructed quilt by Anne-Gry Loland.

Felt applique by Inger Johanne Rasmussen.

Embroidered wooden butterfly.

Antler Chain marked with plastic year markers used to mark reindeer, by Aslaug Juliussen.

The show is on from November 19th to January 23rd, check out the Design Exchange for directions and hours!

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Vík Prjónsdóttir

November 12th, 2010

We spent our new day off (thanks Lauren!) on Tuesday doing a fun little photo shoot. On our last trip to Iceland, we met with Thury, one of the designers in the Icelandic collective Vík Prjónsdóttir. We now have a great selection of their blankets in the mjölk shop, but folded up you just don’t get to see their unique features, hence the photo shoot! I have included Vík Prjónsdóttir’s artist statements, because they are integral to what makes these designs so very special.

The Twosome blanket (above)
Designed 2005 by Vík Prjónsdóttir
100% Icelandic wool, reversible colour, pink and brown
Size 115,74 x 59,84 in / 294 x 152 cm.

Artist Statement: In earlier times, it was a custom in many unheated homes in Iceland to share beds to stay warm, even with visiting strangers as a gesture of hospitality. People would lay side by side in the opposite direction to one another to keep each other warm.

This is THE perfect blanket for snuggling up in front of the tv during the winter. It was pretty hilarious trying to get a shot of us in it, because the timer on the camera was 10 seconds and it was never enough time to run back and get into the hood and look put together. Eventually John figured out that both of us should go to the camera in the blanket and then run back to the sofa. It was a good laugh. But more importantly, wow, what a cozy blanket! I keep nagging John for it…oh and you don’t have to sit that close to each other, it’s actually quite long!

The Snow Blanket
Designed 2010 by Vík Prjónsdóttir
100% Icelandic wool, blue and white

Artist Statement: Every year nature covers the land in snow. The snow acts like a blanket that puts all plants to sleep over the winter. The snow has both romantic sides and more dramatic ones. From ancient times people had to bury themselves under the snow to stay alive if they got lost in a snow storm. A layer of snow isolates heat and has therefore saved many lives. This blanket is meant to give isolation and protection from daily life. It is dedicated to all the survivors but also those who passed away.

[Also pictured and new to the shop: The Teabag teapot, designed by Danish ceramist Marie Langaa]

Pompom feet!

Shield of Wings blanket
Designed 2010 by Vík Prjónsdóttir.
100% Icelandic wool.

Artist Statement: The Sea Eagle is the king of birds. With its grace and beauty and a wingspan of up to 2.5 meters it is respected and feared at the same time. The eagle does everything for its young and protects the nest with great care and strength. It is a predator and has been known to even take infants to its nest. Still today there exists one survivor from the eagle’s claws in Iceland. This blanket is a dedication to this magnificent animal. Now you are under the eagle’s protection.

[Also pictured and available in the shop: Krummi bird hangers.]

Beautiful as a wrap around blanket, large enough to use as a bedspread!

The Sealpelt
Designed 2005 by Vík Prjónsdóttir
100% Icelandic wool, grey-blue/white with red interior
Size 78,74 x 52,75 in / 200 x 134 cm

How hilarious are my seal feet!

Artist Statement: In the Icelandic myths, seals are believed to be condemned by humans. One ancient story from the south of Iceland is about a farmer who early one morning finds a sealpelt lying on the beach. In a cave nearby, he hears vioces and music. He takes the sealpelt home and hides it in a woodenchest. Few days later he returns to the beach and finds a crying, naked, young woman sitting on a rock. He brings her to his house where she stays, but he never tells her about the pelt. As time goes by they get married and have children. But the young woman is restless and often stares quietly out of the window at the ocean. One day when the farmer goes fishing, his wife accidentally finds the key of the chest, opens it and discovers the missing pelt. She takes leave of her children, puts the pelt on and before she dives into the ocean she says: “ I am vary anxious, with seven children on land and seven in the sea.” She never comes back but the farmer misses her terribly. Later when he goes fishing there often is a seal near his boat and its eyes are filled with tears. It is said that the farmer becomes a very lucky fisherman. And when his children play at the beach there often is a seal swimming close to land. Sometimes it brings them beautiful stones and colorful fishes. But their mother never returned.

We also carry the baby version of The Sealpelt, but the one we ordered sold immediately. We’ll be ordering it again though!

The Seablanket
Designed 2005 by Vík Prjónsdóttir
100% Icelandic wool
Two sizes Big (pictured); 95,28 x 104,33 inch/242 x 265 cm. Small (currently out of stock); 94,4 x 63,93 inch/240 x 162 cm.
Reversible, blue and white!

I love the reverse white side, it almost lulls me just looking at it!

All of the pictured blankets are available at mjölk!

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Present from Summer.

November 10th, 2010

Our friend Summer recently traveled to Scandinavia and thoughtfully brought us back a really special piece of pottery to add to our collection.

It’s numbered on the bottom, and in handwriting it says:

Swiss made

We love the use of geometry, texture and colour.

It has found a good home. Thank you Summer!!!

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Swords, Persimmon and Random Japanese Goodness.

November 8th, 2010

I recently received a parcel of randomness from Japan.

Suwada nail clipper, which are handmade by Japanese craftsmen. This one is made of Carbon steel.

Can opener, designed by Sori Yanagi.

I want to start collecting his more obscure designs.

The Japanese shopping experience even through mail order is really unique.

My receipts came in the form of paper cranes, along with a hand written note:

“Dear John Baker, Thank you for using our shop!

Shortened in the autumn of this year in Japan.
The persimmon which I looked forward to is a bad harvest.
I’m very disappointed.

- Yagi”

After I received the package, I got an email detailing more information about persimmons, swords, and Japanese culture:

“Japan is autumn now.

When it is autumn, in the country of Japan, the people hang a persimmon in a veranda.

And the people take time and air it.

By doing so it,

The persimmon becomes very sweet.”

“The city where I live in is famous for  knife and sword

A sword craftsman shows the making of sword every month.

These are splendid Japanese culture.

Please know the Japanese culture if you may visit Japan.”

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