31 October 2012

two things.

1. Autumn cards are now in the shop!  Get them here.

2. I though some of you might be interested in getting my blog posts sent to your email account.  If so, just scroll down to the "follow by email" spot and enter your email.  I'm not totally sure how this works yet, so if you try it and problems occur, please let me know!

Happy Halloween!
(We're not sure what people do for Halloween in Norway, but tonight we'll be celebrating our friend Benny's birthday with a German meal at Christian Union.)

30 October 2012

det snødde!

It snowed!  I was reading in bed on Sunday night when Josh said I had to get out of bed to see a surprise.  I jumped out of bed, ran to the window and saw beautiful, white snow flakes softly falling.  But snow...in October???  We haven't even had Halloween yet.  Or Thanksgiving.  It's strange to have snow this soon, but also kind of exciting.  I think the snow has given me a tiny bit of renewed vigor for life. And now that snow is covering everything, Kringsja, our student village, is actually pretty nice looking. Here are some photos of the snow that I took from inside our cozy apartment:
Josh and I found a small, plastic sled in the storage space in the basement of our building, so maybe we will go sledding soon! 

24 October 2012

peachy press is open.

This little shop of mine has been an on-again-off-again sort of thing for the past few years.  And right now it's on!  Being unemployed in Oslo means I have time to devote to crafty and creative things.  I was invited earlier in the semester to sell my handmade goods at an artisan market.  That turned out to be a really great opportunity and it was encouraging to see that people are interested in what I make.  So I've continued to invest my creative interests in peachy press.  I hope you take a peek at some of the things I've made!

Some information about Peachy Press:

Being in Oslo also means that materials for my products and shipping cost more.  For this reason, I have had to raise my prices a bit.  This pains me, but I had to do it.  But, I will be back in the States for Christmas (in Seattle and Greenville).  If you are a friend or family member residing in one of these places and want to order something, I can deliver it to you during my Christmas break and will cut the shipping costs.  That means you might have to wait a while to receive your product, but you can also save 3-8 bucks.  If you are interested in this deal, you can do one of the following:

 -Send me an email or note on etsy saying which product you would like and that you would like to receive it upon my return to the USA.  I will then change the shipping cost and make it a reserved item for you.  You can purchase the product and I will hand deliver it to you sometime between December 14- January 10.

-Buy the product as it is listed on etsy and include a note that says you would like to receive this product upon my return to the USA.   I will hand deliver the product to you sometime between December 14- January 10 and will include your shipping reimbursement in cash along with your product.

-You can also do either of the following and request to have your item shipped through the mail to you from the U.S.  I will give you a reduced shipping rate and mail it to you right when I get back to the USA (around December 14).

OR if you are in the USA but not someone I will see in person, you can do this:

-Enter a similar note saying you would like to receive your product upon my return to the USA.  I will give you a discounted shipping rate, since shipping in the U.S. is much cheaper than in Norway and I will ship your purchase right when I get back to the USA (around December 14).

Also, FYI Shipping takes about one week from Oslo to the USA.

I know this is a bit complicated and I'm sorry, but I guess that is just what happens when you go overseas.  Things get a little complicated.  I hope you'll bear with me.  I've really, really enjoyed making things and I hope the things I've made can benefit you as well.

Have a lovely day, friends!

22 October 2012

grandparent visit!

The afternoon after I returned from my adventure in Stavanger my Grandma Ann and Grandpa Matt came to visit us!  I’ve been looking forward to this visit before we even moved to Norway.  This summer my grandparents knew they would be living in Cambridge for a couple months in the autumn, so they planned to visit us.  They came on Saturday afternoon and left on Tuesday afternoon, so we had a short, but sweet 3 days together. Our extended weekend went something like this:

Josh and I picked the grandparents up at the airport, which was exciting.  I was giddy with the anticipation!  We finally started playing a game or something to calm me down.  And then they came through the gate and we all hugged and were merry. After riding the tbane home and resting a bit, we got back on the tbane and rode up to the Holmenkollen stop, where we had a great view of the city below.  From our look out point at Holmenkollen, Josh and I pointed out some of the museums and places we’d be going to in the next couple days.  Then we headed downtown to eat at a Mediterranean restaurant, which was delicious!  
(at holmenkollen)

Grandma Ann had researched Oslo and decided upon all the touristy things she would like to do and Grandpa Matt seemed up for anything.  We made a schedule for when we would go where and we ended up doing just about everything on Grandma Ann’s “must see” list.  Sunday we attended church at St. Edmond’s, ate lunch at Akershus castle, perused the Nobel Peace Prize Museum, took a peak into the City Hall building just to see the murals and visited the Munch Museum.  Whew.  We went to a lot of places!  For dinner we had pancakes (a new Zahniser-Cranston Sunday night tradition).  We eat our pancakes Norwegian style- with jam and sour cream and/or brunøst. Maple syrup is pretty expensive here and we’ve come to enjoy the typical Norwegian toppings. My grandparents are also fans of brown cheese now!  Josh brought out his book of folk songs, “Rise Up Singing” and my grandparents sang a bunch of songs from the book that we didn’t know before.  Josh played guitar and we sat around the table singing; it was both a relaxing and joyful way to end the evening.  
(the view from our lunch spot at Akershus)

Monday we awoke to another full day of sightseeing.  First, we had breakfast at a kafé that Josh and I like, called Åpent Bakeri.  Okay, we actually had never eaten at this place before, but we’ve had many of their baked goods. Our friend has a deal with the bakery, so she often brought left over baked goods to the community garden night we attend.  We thought it would be fun to actually eat there and we were able to give suggestions for the yummiest goodies.  Grandpa Matt got apple cake and coffee, Grandma got a scone with strawberry jam, Josh and I each got a chocolate boller (fluffy Norwegian buns) and I also got coffee.  The bakery is close to the garden we volunteer in, as well as University of Oslo’s main campus (Blindern), so we gave my grandparents a little tour.  Grandpa Matt seemed really delighted to see the University library.  

(at the folk museum)

We then headed out to some museums. On Monday’s schedule was the Folk Museum Kon Tiki Museum and the Viking Ship Museum.  On our way, we stopped to grab lunch at a the same Mediterranean restaurant we ate earlier.  The food is great and pretty cheap for Oslo, plus the four of us all have a fondness for this cuisine.  The Folk Museum turned out to be my favorite of all the places we went during the grandparent visit.  It was a beautiful day and we walked around outside looking at a Stave Church and traditional style houses, which have grass on the roofs.  We also learned a lot about the Sami people and got to see their traditional clothing, which is usually brilliant blue and red, with lots of other colors.  By the time we got to the other museums I was feeling pretty tired.  I think everyone else was feeling a little tired too because we didn’t spend too long at either the Viking Ship or Kon Tiki Museums.  We had another relaxing evening at home with a dinner made by Grandma Ann and me. The four of us took some time to look over our wedding pictures together.  It was really fun to remember the day and to see all the pictures again.  There is so much joy captured in those photos!
(stave church at the folk museum)

Tuesday morning we relaxed, my grandparents packed up and then I accompanied them to the airport (Josh was in class).  It was truly a great few days and we were so blessed that my grandparents came!  It was especially fun to have them staying with us at our apartment because we got to wake up and eat breakfast together and hang out until right before bed.  It was great.

Did you notice all the blue skies in our photos?  We had beautiful weather the entire weekend! The only time it rained was on Tuesday morning, except for the ten minutes we took to walk to the tbane.  It was truly incredible.

We LOVED having my grandparents visit and we look forward to future visitors!  Both Josh’s family and mine plan to visit towards the summer.  Is anyone else up for a trip to Oslo?  

14 October 2012

kjeragbolten + preikestolen (hanging rock and pulpit stone).

About two weeks ago I ventured out to Stavanger, Norway for hiking and camping with a group of nine others. A friend I know was planning this trip with some fellow students and they needed a few extra people to fill up their rental cars/ spread out the costs. So I joined in!  It was pretty great to go on a fun trip and not have to plan any of it.   Before leaving all I knew is that we would be hiking to two different famous rocks, camping one night and spending two nights on the train to get to and from Stavanger.  I also only knew three other people going on the trip.  Luckily, the trip went smoothly and I really enjoyed my fellow hikers!
Day 1: Hike to Kjeragbolten.  This hike was pretty difficult, but a challenge that I enjoyed.  The hike was around 5 hours round trip.  We hiked on rocks that were smooth and steep and we often needed the help of chains to pull us up the curvy sides of the rocks.  At other times we walked across a vast spread of open rock.  We felt like hobbits on the journey to Mordor. Despite the differing speeds of hiking amoungst our group members (some were super speedy, some were slower), everyone was positive and seemed to enjoy the hike.  The scenery was incredible!  These snapshots don't quite do it justice.  We were blessed with a beautiful sunny day.  For part of the hike I took off my layers and was just wearing a t-shirt! That is a rare and wonderful occurrence for me these days.  

Are those hobbits?
At the top, next to Kjerabolten, we stopped for lunch and a break.  Overlooking the beautiful fjord was really the best lunch spot I could imagine.  On the hike down the weather got a little bit foggy and the sun started to go down.  Luckily, we made it back without any major falls or injuries. The rest of day 1 was spent driving over to the area around Preikestolen, looking for a camping spot and setting up camp.  Despite the fact that in Norway you can camp for free on any public land, we spent 2 hours looking for a good spot to camp.  I guess that someone wants to make money on camping spots in areas around tourist destinations, like Preikestolen, because there didn't seem to be much open public space for camping.  We finally settled in a parking lot near the sea, which was designated as a swimming area.  By this point it was dark and we were all hungry and it had been raining.  Needless to say, it wasn't a cozy evening around the campfire.  It wasn't terrible, but wasn't the best.  We ate pasta for dinner made with sea water.  Maybe the worst (but also funniest) thing that happened was when someone looked up from the campfire and asked why our tent was in the sea.  Yes, no one staked down the tent and it flew into the fjord.  Benny waded in to get the tent, but, still, most of us ended up sleeping in the cars.  In this situation it was great to be small because I stretched out in the back seat and slept great!
Day 2: We woke up early-ish (8am) to get to Preikestolen and starting hiking by 9am.  (We had to return our car by 4pm, hence the rush to starting hiking early.) We were so glad that the hike to Preikestolen was easier than the first hike because we were all a bit tired.  Plus it was colder, foggier and a bit rainy.  Hiking up the slippery rocks to Kjeragbolten would have been tough in the rain, but it wasn't a huge problem for this hike.  It was actually quite a bummer that we didn't get a great view of the fjord and it was so cold that I just wanted to hike down. 
Even with the fog, I could tell that we were at a pretty special spot.  We didn't stay long at the top-just enough to take some photos and eat some chocolate.
The hike down was fun and at the bottom it wasn't even raining.  After drying off and eating lunch, we drove back to the city of Stavanger and spent a few hours exploring the city and playing card games while we waited for the train back to Oslo. It was really a great trip. I loved our group of ten and the chance to see a different part of Norway, especially a part with such stunning nature!

10 October 2012

autumn in oslo.

 Autumn in Oslo is truly lovely.
I love the crisp air, the colorful leaves and this new reading spot I found in the woods.

Photos were taken on October 1 (on Bygdøy Penninsula) and on October 10 (near Kringsjå student village).  Book being read in the new reading spot is Nature Writings by John Muir.

09 October 2012

project life: weeks 2+3

I'm finally catching up on sharing project life!
The first week after we got back from our honeymoon was crazy. The week was July 29-August 4 and it was the week before we left for Oslo.  Although that feels like forever ago, I do remember really enjoying the time we spent with friends and family and not thinking much about my camera. So that week got a just one pocket with a short description.  
August 5-11 was the week we left for Oslo.  (We left August 6.)  I wrote a short description of our last day or two in Greenville.  Saying goodbye was really hard and I still remember seeing my Mom smiling at me through her tears as we waved goodbye in the airport.  Shortly after that sweet goodbye I hit myself in the nose with my ukulele and burst into tears.  While a ukulele to the face does hurt a lot, I think those tears had something to do with all the goodbyes of that day and the previous two days.  

I included some pictures of our first week in Oslo- Josh reading on the couch, our first grocery purchases, the lake and a picture of Josh from the Fulbright brochure.  

It’s kind of hard to stay up-to-date with this project because it’s mighty expensive to print off photos in Oslo (nearly 1 USD per photo!).  I had most of these photos printed in the U.S. and my mom sent them to me. Oh boy, it was a great day when those photos arrived in the mail!  While it’s a bit annoying to be so behind on this project, it’s also nice to be reminded of what our life was like and how I was feeling 2 months ago.

For those of you interested in starting this project, look here to learn more about project life.  For those of you scrapbookers or other project lifers,  here are the supplies I used in these pages: Black Signature Binder, Project Life Cardstock- Cobalt Collection, Photo Pocket Pages Designs A and B (I have this variety pack),  buttons and paper tabs from Ormolu, colorful Sharpies, American Crafts Slick Writers. American Craft Thickers. Washi tape from this etsy shop.  Lots of kraft cardstock, because it's my favorite.  Since I'm pretty thrifty, I plan on mostly using supplies I already have.  However, I have discovered the wonderful world of free project life printable journaling cards.  I suggest searching for project life on pinterest to find lots of freebies. 

05 October 2012

around here.

It's been a bit quite on the blog lately.  We've been busy around here at the Zahniser-Cranston household.  Since I lasted posted we hosted guests (my grandparents!), made a few delicious batches of applesauce with apples from a friend's garden and went to a Wintersleep concert (it was great!).  I went on a hiking/camping trip to Stavanger.  Josh stayed home, went to class and has been doing some more thinking about his fulbright project.  We've really been enjoying cooking meals together, running around the lake in the mornings, riding our bikes to class or the library and spending time with our garden friends.  I plan to share more in-depth posts on a lot of these things next week. 

This weekend is another exciting one.  We're both going into the woods for a cabin weekend, but with different groups.  Josh will be with his classmates from SUM and I'm going with people from Christian Union. It's really a beautiful time of year in Oslo; the leaves on the trees are turning to golden shades of yellow and crisp shades of red and orange.  And if it's not raining the sky is usually bright blue!  I've been feeling all sentimental about autumn.  I think when I'm away from home I notice the change in seasons more and think more about the traditions of my family and friends during certain times of year. I'm looking forward to baking pumpkin pies, drinking hot tea and coffee, hiking amoung the colorful trees and maybe even hosting a turkey trot! 

We send our love to all of you, our dear family and friends.