Tuesday, March 30, 2010

It's Easter and in Norway that means skiing!

My family in Norway has invited us to go skiing this Easter.  I must say, as a Costarrican, skiing is one of the Norwegian activities I have absolutely no skills for.  I fall down, freak out when my feet slide, have my shoulders up my ears all the time, but, when you are midway, there is a beer, a sandwich, tea and chocolate waiting (which my father in law carefully prepares with nuts and raisins).  So, it is all worth it!  Ha ha, no, not only for that, but the beautiful scenery, the company, and just being outdoors.

Mjølfjell 2007.  My first trip to ski in Norway. 

As an incentive this year, my mother in law, Nina, offered to teach me how to sew some "Gamasjer" ("gaiters" in English and "polainas"?!?! in Spanish, anyways, the red leg protectors you see me wearing on the pictures above), that way I could have some of my own, and test the beautiful sewing machine I got for Christmas from onkel Jo :)

... And here are the results: 
¡Felices Pascuas! God Påske! Happy Easter!

Monday, March 29, 2010

New Section: Wine

I am absolutely no expert in the area.  I just love wine.  I love everything about it.  I can't decide if I like red wine or white wine better.  Sparkling over non sparkling.  Rose.  I just love it all, and the idea of it all.  So, I have decided to add a small section dedicated to wines Jonas and I try out so he will be part of this blog from now on (silently and giving his opinion from the couch as he wishes).  Then thing is, we try new wine all the time, but forget about it quickly.  We do have a little book where we try to write about the wines we like, but it never happens, so, I guess this is a way for us to have a special archive of what we try out, and hopefully we'll learn something in the process.  I invite you all to suggest, comment and taste so you can also be part of this idea.

Today's choice:  Marqués de Riscal, Rueda 2008

This is a Verdejo grape variety.  Very fresh and pleasant.  Very nice on the nose (look at me trying to use the right terminology, this is funny), it has a citrus aroma with some hints of honey.  We defined it as a very good "balcony wine" (although is snowing outside, again!).  We could find (after reading about it) some hints of green apples, citrus fruits and herbal notes.  It has a bitterness at the end, but it is a nice bitterness.  Friendly to the student budget. 

 If you read my earlier post about the Mac N' Cheese, this was the food of choice to accompany the bottle.  Oh well, please don't judge.  It tasted good, and it did comfort me. 

Comfort food

My husband is an angel.  Today I finally got my letter from the Master application, and I am sad to say I didn't get in, but I am the 4th place on the waiting list, so, we'll see.  Anyways, I was kind of blue, after I got it, so Jonas has been here trying to make me feel better and making me smile (with a little help from Rafa).
Anyways, he made me the most delicious Mac N' Cheese.  I managed to take a picture 2 seconds before it was all gone.  We ate it next to a tomato and zucchini salad that was very very nice as well.  The recipe was found at Nigella's website

To those who speak Norwegian

My friend Sturle is part of the group 5080 and he just announced to me that Koks i Lasten 3 is available now! Feel free to check it out and laugh a lot!  Have a good Easter! Felices Pascuas a todos y que disfruten de las vacaciones, los que tienen.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


I have fixed the comments problem (apparently I had some kind of comment block on my preferences), so, anyone is now welcome to post what they think!  Welcome!

Definately interesting

I've been trying to find art done with everyday objects.  I found this.  It's definately interesting and in the direction I am looking for.  It's Malin Lennström-Örtwall, a swedish artist living in Bergen, Norway.  She has a bachelor in Fine Art from the same school I go to, Kunsthøgskolen i Bergen and a Master in Fine Art from Kunstakademiet i Trondheim.

Untitled (family table), 2009

"Twins" , 2008

"The Other Side of the Bed",  2008

Found this!

Today on Etsy I found an article about four girls that have the magazine CUT.
CUT is a magazine for the young DIY generation.  It has articles on design, and patterns to make your own clothes (specially for beginners).  It is a German based group, so everything is in German.  How nice it would be to understand the language!!!  Ha ha!, but it doesn't matter, there are many things you can just figure out from the images.  Specially the patters are illustrated step by step. 

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Some things are done, some need doing.

Finally I can sit and write a bit on the blog.  It has been a hectic few days, with the interview for the MA (which I feel went well, but who knows, I'll get to find out next week), work, school, and life.  Today is Wednesday, my day off, so, I can sit and think, and maybe find some inspiration for my bachelor project.  

I need to find solutions and ideas to finish.  Today I am looking at Doris Salcedo, a Colombian artist working on sculpture and installation.  She raises the question of forgetting and memory on her work.  She uses domestic objects and sets them in a way that they become charged of political and historical meaning.  I find her very inspiring for many reasons.  First of all, she is a Latin American woman that has made it in the art world "Como Dios manda!".  She has an amazing way of making a memorable statement... and that is what I hope one day I can achieve.  I really like the way she transforms the meanings of an everyday object and builds up tension to provoke anxiety in the spectator.

Installation for the 8th International Istambul Biennal, 2003

Noviembre 6 y 7, 2003

Shibboleth, crack on the floor of Tate Modern London, 2007-8

And I think I came up with an idea, but will sleep on it a bit more before I talk about it.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Weekend! It's a girls saturday night.

Is funny how fast a week goes by.  It is weekend again! And then it will be MONDAY and then I will have my dreaded interview for the MA at KHiB (Kunsthøgskolen i Bergen).  It's nerve wrecking to think of it, but I definitely want it over with.  I am applying for the Master program in Fine Art at my school.  I think around 120-150 people applied from all over, 60 something people will be going to the interview (including me) and only 22-24 will actually get in. So, that's some pressure.  If I see it in my husband's (he is an economist) terms, there is 30% chance I will get in.  And if I say that 1 out of 3 get in, it sounds even more possible.  That's my logic at the moment.  

Each person is applying with a project they want to develop for the next two years.  Ever since I started studying art in Bergen, I have been working with subjects such as identity, being an immigrant, adaptation, communication, family relations.  I moved to Bergen in January 2007 right after Jonas and I got married.  I started studying at KHiB that same year in the fall.  Everything was moving too fast, and I was adapting to all of it as it came.  So, it was just a matter of using what was going on in my life as subjects to my projects at school.  My head didn't have any room for anything else.  The first project I worked on was "Identity", a video about the process of adaptation to a new land.

Identity from Daniela Ramos Arias on Vimeo.

This video represents everything I want to work with now.   I am applying with a project that will approach the feeling of displacement you may have when you move to a new country, specially when you visit your own country and feel a bit foreign there as well.  So, I hope I get in and are able to work with this together with other students with whom I can have discussion and feedback.

Not only this is a stressing subject, but I am on the last 2 months of my bachelor and still am sure about my project, so, tonight I am having my school friends (who are all stressed and frustrated as I am)  over for dinner and wine, so we just relax, maybe let our frustrations out and start fresh on monday.  I am looking forward to it!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Rafa is 2!

Today Rafa is 2 years old.  He is the most fantastic little dog (next to Ozzy, our dog in Costa Rica).  He gives us all so much joy.  Happy Birthday Rafita!  We love you!

 Jonas gave him a pig's ear, and he is very happy now.
His tail goes 100/mph!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A few things

First of all!

Once again, skipped one day! But for good reason:  My friend Katrine and I went to B-Kick after school ("kickboxing" sort of), so, once again, I had too little time.
As promised, I have before and after pictures of our apartment re-decorating weekend.
Today we went to Fretex (Salvation Army store where you can always find a little treasure such as today).  We finally found a proper table for the record player.  It's an old telephone table, with a drawer for the phone book and all.  It is great!

So, now that we have the table, we could move everything around.  So we did! And here are the results (I promise better "after" pictures tomorrow with daylight).  



So, now we have a divided livingroom (the sofa is dividing the dining area from the living room), it's quite cozy, and we have more corners in the room.   The big space on the wall on top of the record player is just waiting for a photograph.  We don't have any idea of which photo it will be, but there will be one.
Now, changing the subject a little bit,  my favourite band at the moment, The National, just announced that they will be releasing their new record "High Violet" in May.  So as the craving to listen to it came in I decided to listen to "Boxer" on my way to work today.  I can't get enough of it.  It is by far, the best band I have listened to in a very very long time.  Everything about it is perfect.  It reminds me how I was  ten years ago, when I was passionate about music and was like a sponge, listening to anything good that came into my hands.  Repeating song after song on my Discman until I learned them by heart.  I forget sometimes that I was like that.  I don't know where my passion for music went.  I think I just settled with what I had and stopped looking.  But I think I am getting back there... The National did that.  And now that we have the record player up and running, music will start playing a major role in our house hold once again.  It's already started.  Tonight it has been Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchel, Jethro Tull and last but not least, Tom Waits "Bounced Checks".  What a great night!

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Yesterday I took a blog day off. I was working at the coffee shop until four and then went to help a friend with her bachelor project (I'll tell you more about this project later on, it's quite cool!). Then we came home, Rafa was very stinky since the snow outside is starting to melt and it is quite dirty, so, he needed a very well deserved bath, so we did just that and now we have a very clean and fluffy dog. After that, Jonas and I made pizza at home (didn't get to take any pictures because we ate it too fast, he he) and then I was too full to be able to write a sentence, so, there, that is my excuse. The pizza was fantastic, it was half with blue cheese, caramelized pecans and pears; and the other half with fresh mozzarella and eggplant. It was a perfect Saturday night. Beer, pizza and TV, with Jonas next to me (and a good smelling dog sleeping on my lap).

Today though, no resting Sunday for us. Jonas got a record player for his birthday on January, so, we had been planning on finding a space for it. We are waiting for the flea market season to find something special to put it on, but in the meantime, we needed to make space. So, like my mothers daughter, we turn the apartment around! (before and after pictures will come as soon as we are done turning the place around).

Friday, March 12, 2010

Gringo Pinto!

Today I am going to show you, as a proud big sister, my brother's latest project. I know it will be difficult if not impossible to understand what they are saying if you are not Costarrican or have lived in Costa Rica for a while, but, the animation is simply fantastic, the sound effects are beautiful and the music is great. Just to explain a bit about what it is about, Costa Rica is a country with useless street names. I say useless because the street names actually exist, but they are not up. So, people go around finding reference points to give out an address. "Gingo Pinto" is just about that. A poor american guy comes up to a local and asks for the address for his hotel. The local answers him in slang and gives the explanation. Memo, my brother with help of some of his friends, illustrates this explanation literally. Enjoy! LOVE YOU MEMO!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Costa Rica Festival at DLK!

 We are introducing new activities at work.  This week, we will dedicate some time to try Costa Rican coffee, we are also going to introduce some cakes and have some Costa Rican background music.  And me, the Costa Rican barista! haha. (I will also be projecting one of my videos on the wall across the street).
Anyways, today I have been trying to find music that I can play, and I ran into Mr. Gavitt, or Walter Ferguson, the King of Calipso.  This man recorded his fisrt CD at the age of 83!  He was born in Panamá, but shortly moved to Costa Rica, to Jamaica Town in Port Limón, where he grew up.   Later on he moved to Cahuita, a small town in the southern part of the province where he still lives today. In the 50's he started to write calypsos and has written over a 100 until today.  He used to travel all through the caribean coast (from Blue Fields, Nicaragua to Bocas del Toro, Panamá) on calypso challenges and he was soon known as one of the biggest calypsonians.  More recently Mr. Ferguson started recording his own music on cassettes that he would then sell as souvenirs.  Each cassette was a unique personal concert.  That is something!  He is now a cultural icon of the Afro Costa Rican culture, and has had several honorable mentions by different cultural entities through out the country.  I will definitely be playing him this week.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


There are a few Etsy items that I have been obsessing about for a few months now.  I am going to post them to see them decorating something of mine! (I am pretty sure my sister in law will like at least 2 out of the 3, so this post, is partly dedicated to her too).

The first one is Jean Pelle's candleholders

The second one (or oneS) are Rock & Salt hats

And last for now (I don't want to seem greedy) are the Neology multiple rings:

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Let me introduce you to my place of work!

 It's a small coffee shop in the center of Bergen at the foot of the most famous mountain, Fløyen.  Det Lille Kaffekompaniet, the place where I work as a barista, is the fist real coffee shop that we had in Bergen (or "they" had, since I only moved here three years ago) and is what I consider, among with many others, the BEST COFFEE PLACE EVER! It has all the ingredients: great coffee, great people, a cozy environment and a killer location.  What makes it special is that we all love being there, so, it is a good place to walk in and stay for a while.  Come!

And I made lemon cake!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Purposely eating well!

On an attempt of Jonas and I to eat better (less fat, sugar and meat vs. more fish, vegetables and fruit), here's what's for dinner tonight! (Recipe taken from dinmat.no and tested at our friends Eirin & Lars' place)

Salmon on top of bulgur salad with cheakpeas and tomato 

Recipe for 2:  300 g salmon,  salt and pepper
Salad: 75 g. Bulgur,  1 1/2 dl water,  bunch of parsley,
bunch of mint, 1 garlic clove, 2 ss lemon juice,
1 tomato, 1/4 cucumber, 2ss olive oil, 1ss raisins,
25 g cheakpeas, 25 g cottage chease.

Start with the salad, boil the water with some salt and add the bulgur.  Let it cook for 15 minutes covered. When ready, stir a bit and let it cool down.  Chop the mint and the parsley. Dice the cucumber and the tomato. Chop the red onion and finely chop the garlic clove.  Mix all the ingredients.  Season to taste.

Fry the salmon on a warm pan for 2-3 minute on only one side.  Serve on top of the salad.

Rain coming soon.

I just heard an "avalanche" sound out of my window.  Both Rafa and I jumped like 1 meter high!  It was the snow falling off the roof, and on that note, I thought I should post some pictures of Bergen with white snow before they stop being relevant.  After 2 months of non-stop white snow and sunny skies, Bergen is returning to it's usual self and bringing the rain to wash out all the snow that is now dirty and clogging the streets.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

"This is about a search for a “Home”, about finding comfort, about finding your ground. When you are an immigrant, you find yourself trying to fit in and be part of the surroundings of your new place. The same feeling comes when you visit your motherland… it feels somehow foreign and you find yourself trying to be part of it as well. This creates a feeling of displacement. You feel like you are in between constantly. This installation is an approach to all these feelings."

Nice attendance, thank you all!

First day.

Today is my first day as a blogger.  I hope I can keep it up.  I have never been very good at keeping journals or anything of sort, but, well, now I am older and wiser, so, I will give it a shot again.

Today was also the last day of my first solo exhibition!!! I am quite satisfied, I must say.  I think it went well, and I feel a bit more confident.  Pictures will come soon!

Well, this is it for now, but, I will come back with more as I go.  Bare with me.