05 September 2012

from the weekend: an island and an artisan market.

Oslo is located on a fjord and there are lots of islands scattered throughout the fjord.  With our montlhy student public transportation pass (cost= 380 NOK) we can hop on a ferry and go to any of these islands for free!  On Saturday we went to Hoved√łya with a group of friends from Christian Union.  This group meets every Wednesday for a meal, bible study time and fellowship.  We only met them last week, but feel really comfortable with the group.  The island is gorgeous! No automobiles, just some cute houses, rocky beaches, grass and picnic tables.  We played volleyball, frisbee, grilled our dinner and the played a big game of soccer.  Norwegians love to grill on these little disposable grills called "grill box." Actually I think they have a more Norwegian name, too.  The soccer game was great.  Most people in the group aren't trained soccer players, but everyone got into it and ran around.  It was fun to see Tan, a girl on my team who doesn't really play soccer, score on a penalty kick!  Here are more pictures of the island and our view from the ferry:
This is an old monastery!

After a fun day on the island, we headed back home and I got to work.  I don't have a job yet, but I did have an offer to sell my handmade goods at an artisan market.  Sunday, September 2nd was the big day and it went really well!  I worked all week to make cards and notebook, business cards and a "peachy press" sign.  The work paid off.  The festival turned out to be a real festival-- we weren't sure if anybody would really show, but they did.  There were other vendors, speakers, music, food and lots of people!
Not only did I sell a lot of cards, get a lot of compliments and make some money, but I gained experience, met some cool people and became reinvigorated to keep trying to sell my handmade crafts. I was a bit intimidated by the language barrier, but usually just asked "Snakker du engelsk?" (do you speak English) and people would switch over to English.  I learned a couple Norwegian phrases and the numbers 5, 30, 35 and 50-- those were the prices in NOK for my products.
I was really resourceful for this event.  I didn't buy anything to prepare for it, but used what I had brought or found.  The wood used for my signs were pieces that Josh and I foun outside a dorm building in our student village.  I wrapped one of Josh's flannels around a mushroom crate we found to act as a pedestal type thing.  The table cloth is a thin beach blanket that we've brought an have been using as a curtain.   Josh sat with me the whole time, talked with costumers and helped with the money.  It was great to have him with me and we both had a lot of fun.  The festival was in honor of the garden Abels Hage, which we've been volunteering at since our second week in Oslo.  There was a great spirit about the place.  Everyone was happy to talk and wander around the garden and look at the handmade goods.

My next big steps are to get my etsy shop running again and to make it to another market in Oslo.  Be on the look out for news about my online shop re-opening.


  1. This is so awesome Rach! I absolutely love your stand and I'm glad the market went so well. That's really exciting to have something like that to work on and towards. I just hope shipping isn't too much so I can check out your etsy again once you get going :) I was just thinking about how I might want another little book sometime...

  2. Thanks Niqui! Sadly, shipping will be a bit pricey for you and all those living in the U.S. Also, since everything is so expensive here, I've had to raise my costs a bit. It's a bummer! Check it out anyway, though!

  3. Major congrats, Rachel! So glad it was not only profitable but fun at the market...and the scenes of your boat trip are lovely. glad you are exploring and making friends.

  4. Very fun! Thanks so much for doing this blog and sharing what you're up to.... it's fun to hear and see. Glad you're going to reopen your Etsy Shop -I'll look for it!


All comments are moderated, so your comment will not appear immediately.