Swedish style …
01/09/2011 § 1 Comment
Who can resist Dala horses?
They are, to me, the epitome of Swedish country style. I’m sure that loads of people have one and I bet a few of you collect them!
Here’s my little collection of just 3 wooden horses …
They live on a high, wide shelf in the kitchen and watch over me as I cook! My friend went to live in Sweden in the early 1980’s and brought me back the tiny red horse, to start my collection. He’s moved around with me and has always lived in my kitchen. The larger red horse was rescued from a car boot sale and the magnificent white chap came with a house we bought – I said it was fine for them to leave anything they didn’t want. I just hoped and hoped, as I opened the door for the first time, that he’d still be there – and he was! Some things are meant to be!
Last summer I bought this magnetic fella from the very stylish Swedish shop, Solsken (meaning sunshine) in Helston, Cornwall.
I love the simple, stylised shape of these horses and frequently use them on cushions & cosies, sometimes with hand-felted decorations too …
How’s that for a breakfast parade? Krisprolls too – love ’em!
I even have a cake tin shaped like one – good old Ikea! No horsey cakes today as the boys are home and although there are 2 tins full of home-made cakes for them, the horse tin isn’t large enough to satisfy either of them for very long, so roasting tins were brought into service yesterday!
It was in the small log cabins deep in the forests during the long winter nights in front of a log fire that the forerunner of the dala horse was born around 400 years ago. Using simple tools, generally only a knife, woodcarvers made toys for their children.
The art of carving and painting the small horses quickly flourished in the 19th century, as economic hardship in the rural areas inspired greater production of the small horses, and they became an important item of barter. Horse-making may have started as something to while away the hours during the long winter months, but soon the Dala horses were traded in exchange for household goods and their carving and painting blossomed into a full-fledged cottage industry. The rural families depended on horse production to help keep food on the table, as the skills of horse carving and painting were passed on from generation to generation (good old Wikipedia)!
Just love this embroidery pattern (from Patricia Dignan, Pinterest) – itching to embroider something now!
Do you have a Dala horse, or two? I think we should all have a Dala Horse board on Pinterest!