Thursday, February 21, 2013

Treasures: Sweden shopping edition.

Shopping in a foreign country is fun because it's shopping without rules. I don't have to think if I need something, because, of course I need it. It's exotic. And when will I visit again? It's culture. It's remembering my trip. It's part of my legacy. So things get a little dramatic. But more than that, they get creepy as I stalk around, picking out my treasure.

It's not unlike that at all. Anyone that has traveled with me can verify. I'm imagining Kate, Veronica, and Ladaea nodding decisively.

So while I'm abroad, I'm collecting lots of treasures and clapping. So let's start with Sweden. I was quite ignorant of Sweden before visiting and getting a crash-course on the culture from Ladaea and Adam. I had thought they were just very good at running countries, which they are, but it turns out that they have invented so many everyday objects. Matches. Zippers. Weapons, that I hope you're not utilizing everyday. The stores originating in Sweden are plentiful, too: H&M. IKEA. Most of our pop music is from or produced by Swedish artists. Then there's the design aesthetic, so familiar through its introduction via IKEA, with a bit of wonky shapes and a bit of geometric influence. I love it.

Sweden has a really cool concept store called DesignTorget that brings merchandise from Swedish designers and inventors to sell solely Swedish goods. It's constantly rotating, too, because the artists make a definite amount, and when it's sold, the store will bring in something different. I can only imagine the neurosis I would devleop in stalking this store if I lived here. I have a hard enough time with Target. I needed a lot of reassurance before making my purchases there, and even more self restraint from just buying it up. I did do some browsing to share, however. So here we go!

My sister asked if she could start a salt and pepper collection for me. I passed, on the premise that I still change apartments once a year, on average, and don't need anymore help hoarding pillows, trays, anything. Aren't these guys funny, though?

Sweden also seems to have an invention for everything. There are spaghetti measurers so you can dole out the correct serving for yourself and size-up when you're cooking for two. Takes all the fun out of the tossing the morsels then jumping before the boiling water hits you, if you ask me. This is not a spaghetti measurer, though. This is a sink cleaner, if I remember correctly. If I don't, this is the story of a sink cleaner. You know the bits in the sink after you do dishes? The soggy bread crumbs, the slimy cheese? I shoot them with the faucet because I would rather give up ice cream for a month than touch these bits. Haha just kidding. Sweden has an invention for that though. It's a sink cleaner. You pinch the top, in this case, the cat's face, just so the bottom curves a bit, in this case, the stripes, and drag that along the sink, corralling the bits into the drain or scooping them up the side and into the trash.  Genius, right? 

That, and whenever I see cats, I start chanting 'cats, cats, cats-cats-cats-cats' to the tune of 'shots' - sad, but true.  Upon Googling that to link it up for a reference, I also just learned that that song is by LMFAO. I don't know how I feel about that (read: I feel erg about that). 

Those white vases. !!! I still don't know how I left them. Well, I opted for genuine hand-crafted Swedish goods, that's how. Those vases were made in Sweden, yes, but by a machine. I couldn't support the robot uprising over the humans. The plastic vases are cool, too. They had a bunch of designs, and they deflate flat, so they're a storage dream.

I really liked these cups, too. Pretty design paintings. I petted them for a while. 

Then we skipped out of DesignTorget and I forgot the name of every other store. If you're lucky, Ladaea will fill me in and I'll update. Though I'm sure my description is less than precise.

I love this little set-up. That wallpaper. That shelf. That table. Sweden's really into wallpaper, which is strange to see as I feel America has a wallpaper aversion. This store had designer wallpaper, some very geometric, some abstract, all drool-worthy. 

This poster was by the bathroom. I love these wonky little creatures. I think this would be fun to do with a kid's drawings: copy them down and organize in a structure to hang. 

This post is becoming more babble and more real to an actual shopping experience with me. It's true, my mother hates shopping with me.

This is a different, anonymous store again. I want that light, that rug, that pillow creeping in on the left, those honeycomb-esque trays, and if that couch on the right is indeed purple, I probably need that too. Lighting is a thing in Sweden, and I was affronted by way too many beautiful lights and lamps that I need. NEED.

This post is getting a bit long and they're going to play me off stage soon. So you want to see what I actually bought? I know, I know, you can barely contain yourself.

I bought two items at DesignTorget. Firstly, this pretty little tray. It's handmade and painted in Sweden, and according to L, the current design aesthetic in Sweden. This was another point against the factory-made geometric white vases of above. 

I also picked up these coasters, which are classic Sweden - whimsical, linear, colorful. Note that I'm making up these adjectives as I'm not Swedish. They remind me a bit of IKEA, though they're not IKEA.

At the store with the wallpaper, and also the site of my first fika, I bought these two cards. They're actually postcards, but I think they'd be cute to frame, maybe in a kid's room. That little guy is a troll, and the cutest troll I've ever seen, and he's from a popular Finnish cartoon, The Moomins, in the Scandinavian countries. 

Lastly, the most classic Swedish piece of all is the Darecarlian horse. L had talked about it, and I have a vague idea, but as soon as I saw it, I recognized it. And then I realized I could have pretended to know all along. This guy is the real deal, handmade, as evidenced by his imperfect snout. We searched in vain for him in Malmö, but weren't successful until we went to Lund. Remember that for your treasure search.

That, my friends, concludes my Swedish treasure search. I'm back from Poland, and will share my Polish treasures, as well as my visits there, soon.

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