Saturday, November 19, 2011


Wooden Christmas ornaments handmade by Wood’N It of Camano Island, Washington

Each year, usually the Saturday before Thanksgiving, the Nordic Heritage Museum holds Yulefest as part of their fundraising. I am a member of the museum so this is a much anticipated and awaited event each year. The museum is currently located in the old Webster grade school building at 30th and NW 67th Street in Ballard (Seattle) but there are plans to build a new museum and much of the income derived from the fundraisers goes to that fund. Curly, Mrs. Gimlet and Thing Two went with me again this year. We enjoyed it and the lefsa, almond paste cookies, and brownies in the kaffestue and did buy a few handcrafted items which is one of the reasons for Yulefest in the first place . Curly got presents for one of her sisters and some very cute handmade wooden ornaments for her own Christmas tree. Mrs. Gimlet and Thing Two got a small wooden julenisse ornament. Already in grandma mode I got Curly & Bee's baby-to-be a little hand knit cap with tassels on it (in gender neutral light green) plus a couple of things for myself, a wooden tree with red balls and a tiny little Norwegian Gnomie doll to put on the tree. We had a good time.

A few of the lovely, but expensive, rosemaling items

More lovely rosemaling

There was an entire alcove devoted to beautiful rosemaling, boxes, plates, spoons, little pails and even painted handles on the cones to roll Krumkake.

A lady we met on the stairs wearing the national costume she made herself.

Many of the shoppers and helpers were wearing national costumes and we ran into this very kind lady and her grandson on the stairs as we were all going up to the second floor. She had made her own costume including the Hardanger lace on the cuffs and apron so we had to stop and visit with her for a few minutes. Mrs. Gimlet was very interested in thread counts and materials since she does this type of embroidery too. See her blog for examples of her handwork.

Small doll in Norwegian costume, 6” tall.

This small wooden headed doll has bendable arms and legs with curly toed shoes. She can be fastened onto a branch of a tree as an ornament.

Handmade wooden tree with little red ball ornaments.

A charming little tree that is about 16” tall including the stand and about 8” wide. Made by Wood’N It of Camano Island, Washington.

Musician in Swedish costume with a Nyckelharpa.

While we were eating our cookies we heard music from a little way down the hall. It was very crowded in the kaffestue (everybody loves Scandinavian cookies!) and we had to muscle our way through the people to get to the musicians. Mrs. Gimlet had heard that an eleven year old girl would be playing a Hardanger fiddle and so I wanted to see if that was what was what we were hearing. Instead I found two men playing instruments I had never seen before. When they finished their tune I asked one of them what it was and if I could take a picture. Someone behind me asked if it was a Hardanger fiddle. He laughed, “Oh, you must be Norwegian,” he said, “this is a Nyckelharpa and it is Swedish.” I think he was inferring that even though all five Nordic countries are represented at the museum, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden the Norwegians just think it is all about Norway! It was said in good fun and we all laughed. The Nyckelharpa is a most unusual looking keyed fiddle or cordaphone and is a traditional Swedish instrument. The sound it produces is rather like a fiddle but not quite. For more information see,

No comments:

Post a Comment