søndag den 30. marts 2008

Sing my Song Sita

I’ve just come back from one of those movie experiences that are so good you have to share it with others. So here goes: The Natfilm festival is in Copenhagen is screening Sita Sings the Blues – a cartoon by Nina Paley. Now I knew nothing about this film or about Nina Paley, when I went to Empire bio this afternoon. I sort of have a tradition with a few of my friends that every year at Natfilm we see one or two of the Indian Bollywood musicals the festival is showing. This time there was a cartoon bollywood musical or so we thought, not having really read the programme properly, but just decided that a change from Amir Khan this year would be nice.
Sita Sings the Blues turned out to be a sweetly told story of the Ramayan focusing on Sita. With parallels to the cartoonist own unhappy love life in the US and India including a break up over email, Sita comes alive through different styles of drawing and the singing voices of 1920s blues singer Annette Hanshaw. The trials and rejections which Sita goes through are told by tree really funny shadow puppets in an entertaining and delightful bollywood like setting. I really recommend this film to anyone!

onsdag den 26. marts 2008

Easter dwellings

I’ve been down with a weird sort of cold – not sore throat or runny nose, I’m actually just physically cold all the time and nothing (not event the hottest cup of tea or sweetest Easter chocolates) could fuel any heat. So therefore there’s been at lot less blogging during Easter, than I planed and a lot less DIY-ing as had also planned.

It might have something to do with the fact that Copenhagen has been covered in snow most of the Easter holidays. The winter we didn’t get for X-mas we’re sure getting now- when it’s supposed to be spring. Well I’ll spare you all my complaining about global warming and how it’s causing all of this the fucked up (that’s right!) weather. All I’ll say about it is this: I want seasons to change and I want snow for x-mas and sun for summer and none of this nonsense.

Oh, all this hating did kind of get my inner heat up a bit. Well my hands and feet are still icy cold and I’m wearing two sweaters and mittens here in my boiling living room – yet still cold. So before I crawl back under warm blankets here’s what I looking for at the moment:

søndag den 23. marts 2008

A trip down designer memory lane

Here is a small post about my visit last week to the Danish Museum of Decoration and Design here in Copenhagen. I decided to pay a visit to the museum because I haven’t been there for ages. It is a bit of an old fashion museum in the sense that after Danish Design Centre opened a few years back The Danish Museum of Decoration and Design has become more of a historical museum looking back in time. What’s on display here is the history of Danish design and general design and it only pays little attention to the ongoing developments. The standing exhibition is therefore a very large part of the museum and there are only few and rather small special exhibitions. This is the reason I guess why I haven’t set foot in the museum for quite a few years; seeing it all again now was a lot of fun, but I don’t think I’ll be coming back to see the permanent exhibition any time soon.
However it brought back a lot of childhood memories of the homes of my grand parents; many of the designer classics on display there were and are still parts of Danish homes today. Hans Wegner chairs and Verner Panton lamps are still very popular today and a lot of Børge Mogensen’s furniture designs were not that expensive in the 50s and 60s. The legendary lamps created by Poul Henningsen and the B&O radios were part of both my grandparents’ and my childhood home. Seeing this standing exhibition was therefore fun and sort of historically educative, but it did not show me anything about what’s happing with Danish design these days and I missed that a bit.

Copenhagen in illustration

I have always been very fascinated by Danish old school poster design. The visiting exhibition shows posters and illustrations by Danish illustrator Ib Andersen . Although I at first thought I didn’t know him, he has created many of the well known posters for example for Tivoli:
With the same brilliant perspective on street life and everyday scenery as Touslouse-Lautrec Ib Andersen also made illustrations for newspapers such as Politiken and Berlingske Tidende in the 1930s and onwards. These examples show how he both captures the city's loneliness and isolation, and can turn shapes and shadows into artistic master pieces.
But Ib Andersen's illustrations are also legendary in other less acknowledged ways – he is the guy behind the illustrations on the old Danish 20,50,100 and 1000 kroner bills. I know it seems silly to get all sentimental about illustrations on money, but for some reason I really think that they deserve greater artistic attention. These days when we're all using our credit cards more and more and a lot of cash becomes rare I think it would be cool if we could take time and look at the bills - they are small pieces of artwork.

onsdag den 19. marts 2008

Copenhagen under attack

I’ve decided to start something new on this blog. From this month I will give you a monthly feature of some of my favourite places around Copenhagen. The ‘Place of the month’-series will both include old and new venues around town and I also plan to write about more random places. The first place Nerd Girl attacks and thus also The Place of the Month in March is :


This is a relatively new Spanish bookstore and café. Unfortunately I don’t speak Spanish yet (but I actually plan to take a Spanish class in the fall) so I couldn’t enjoy the many different books; novels, cookbooks, biographies of Spanish icons. But you don’t have to be Spanish or know the language to feel at home there. I’ve always liked the concept of book cafes and even though they are becoming popular in Copenhagen there are still too few. I like book cafes where the books are more than decorative porps and where the environment at the same time is cosiere than the library.

At Rayuela the atmosphere is relaxed and comfortable. People come by to read books and enjoy the delicious food. There is a soothing calm about the place which together with the Spanish music makes you lean back and forget yourself.
Originally named after the book ‘Rayuela’ by the Argentinean author Julio Cortázar the café offers all types of Spanish delicacies and a very good coffee.

mandag den 17. marts 2008

Good movies for unstitching

I’ve been too busy this last week to do anything about my DIY-projects. So this weekend I started to unstitch a large dress I got at a flea market a few weekends ago – but argh…it’s a pretty boring task. Therefore I thought of some good entertainment to enjoy while gradually ‘breaking’ the dress up. Actually it’s the same thing when you’re just starting to knit, you have to keep your eyes on the work most of the time, but it’s still easy and does not need all of your attention.

The right entertainment for unstitching can therefore really make the whole process more fun, and when you have a whole dress to break apart, as I have, then a good movie is all you need. However, the movie musn't demand complete devotion and concentration, yet it should still remain interesting. It is for example difficult to enjoy special details or hard keep track of complicated plots, while you do your thing with the needle - for me anyway. So here are two films I recommend for unstitching:

8 Femmes:
This is a delightful and funny film with some of the best French actresses today. A murder mystery taking place in a large estate and the murderer can only be one of 8 women in the house. Catherine Deneuve, Fanny Ardent and Emmanuelle Béart are some of the great 8 women that sing and dance in this crazy film that turns out to be not onlya murder mystery, but also features lesbian love and a secret pregnancy. The plot is not exactly simple, but somehow easy to follow anyway, and the music and cool characters makes it very entertaining. Furthermore, the production design is so forceful in the use of colours and lighting.

Roman Holiday:

This is indeed a great film for all occasions and should for a first timer not be seen while doing anything else. Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck make an amazing couple and as it is shot on location in Rome the whole setting adds an adventures mood to the story.
But for those who like me have seen it a few times already it’s perfect to enjoy again when you’re a bit preoccupied. The reason why it serves well as an ‘unstitching-movie’ is because of the small incidents within the overall plot – like the dancing scene or at the cafe/champagne-drinking scene. Because of the many excellent small scenes through out the whole movie it is easy to enjoy even though you're not completely devoted to it. I could write on and on about this film and how it’s one of the best romances ever, but instead I'll just recommend that you watch it - with or without needlework in your hands.

tirsdag den 11. marts 2008

Vilsbøl de Arce

I just discovered this really cool Danish designer duo called Vilsbøl de Arce. Judging from their website they’ve had a good share of attention from the Danish fashion media over the last few years. And they even had an article in Miss Behave Magazine featured along side the usual cool suspects of hip Danish fashion – Vibskov, Stine Goya, and Wood wood. Unlike those three labels Vilsbøl de Arce has not yet found its way into the Danish mainstream fashion. But it can’t be long before their awesome jumpsuits and tops become a part the Copenhagen street style in the same that that Vibskov’s scarves are now. They show such originality in the silhouettes the dresses and jumpsuits are almost like sculptures.I’ll definitely be checking out their things in the future.

fredag den 7. marts 2008

60s cool: Francoise Hardy

I just found my old Francoise Hardy CD and I’ve been listing to it all day. She’s the coolest both in music and in style. I know she still makes music, but I like the 60s stuff the best. I’m also a fan of her general style; this clean cut beauty who writes her own songs has the ultimate combination of the unspoiled girly and the rock look. And she’s sexy and she has this cool intellectual air in her voice. Her simple hair style with heavy bangs has really had a comeback, but I also think her natural and relaxed style is also the reason she’s still popular.

Among my favourite of her songs are ‘Le Temps De L’amour’ and ‘Dit lui non’ – and of course ‘Tous les Gracons et les fille’. I found the sweet video for you just to get that good feeling of weekend and spring started:

tirsdag den 4. marts 2008

For your eyes only

Even though I perceive myself as the ultimate Nerd Girl I’ve never actually had to wear the ultimate nerd girl accessory – glasses. My parents both need glasses, strong ones, but for some reason I was blessed with (so far) perfect eyesight. Anyway I’ve always been fascinated by cool ways of wearing glasses. So when three design students from the Danish School of Design created a special limited edition collection of eyewear it really caught my eye. Their collection called Framework is now available at the Danish optician chain Synoptik.
I first saw their sketches for glasses at the annual Danish School of Design graduate exposition last summer at Øksenhallen. What I saw there was a completely new way of turning the frame into artwork; Glasses upside down with very elaborate graphics. Forget Dame Edna style, this way of designing new eyewear really has potential for new trends.
As I left the exposition I remember thinking that they were incredibly original ideas, but that the designs had such a distinct and elaborate look that they would probably not go in mainstream eyewear. However, now it seems I was proven wrong. Synoptik arranged a design competition and the three designers Sofia Ohlsson, Leena Lundgard and Ulrik Martin Larsen won with their project ‘I Would Wear’- now turned into the Framework collection. The designs for Synoptik are much simpler and down to earth than the ‘graduate’ sketches I originally saw, but as you can see (the first photo above) they still have the cool asymmetric lines and shapes.
I’m not sure I’d buy these if I did need glasses as they are very arty and make a strong statement. On the other hand they are so cool and bring new life to whatever look you have.

søndag den 2. marts 2008


This weekend I’ve spent most of my time preparing for future DIY-projects. Therefore I can’t show you anything I’ve finished - yet. But instead I will tell something about my ideas and thoughts about what Ive done.
Saturday was spent flea-marketing in search of clothes and other fun things for pure inspiration. The market we went to this weekend was unfortunately mostly furniture, books and old kitchen stuff and the clothes were only a small part of it. However we did manage to find one dress and a skirt for me. The fabric of the dress is cool because of the rose-print and I’m thinking about using the fabric sewing a new style. At the moment it’s very loose fitted with a weird neckline. The dark blue skirt has a simple print and some really cute pockets. I think I’ll shorten it quite a lot -it’s much too long for me and then perhaps change the shape a bit, if I can.

Today I visited my Aunt Sally, who is a master when it comes to printing on fabrics, sawing, knitting and well, al things crafty, I guess. She had all the things I needed in order to learn how to make cool prints for the first time – I just brought my colours and my ideas. As it turned out the process took most of the day even though I only made two different types of prints. This one is made for a white skirt and it is based on a drawing of two birds I found. I copied the drawing in negativ onto a self-adhesive plastic sheet and put it onto one of my Aunt’s wooden frames. It’s actually very simple once you have what you need, but in the actual printing process you have to be thorough and precise which took time. We spent all day doing it and then had to wait for the colours to dry.

So now I'm all set for my new DIY projects - first on the list is to unstich the rose-dress and see what I can do with it. I think an evening in front of the TV with a good movie migh do the trick.