Nationalmuseet closes for renovation.
For seven years the art audience of Stockholm must make do without the National Museum. For years the museum has been hoeplessly worn down, and so it has been decided that in 2011 all collections will be moved out, renovations will commence and the museum will re-open in 2018. The renovated museum will have climate zones, two new subterranean floors and a restaurant and a café with view over Strömmen. That the renovation has been postponed for such a long time, proves lucky. Now mistakes that have been made with similar renovations around Europe can be avoided. Solfrid Söderlind, director of Nationa museet, is pleased. “I never thought it could be so interesting and good,” she said looking over the plans.

Why is it called “älskog”?
What kind of forest is the älskog? The truth of course is that älskog, which means love-making, has nothing to do with a forest (or in Swedish, skog) at all. Älskog is actually a word that’s combined by the words “älska” (to love) and “håg” (inclination): “älsk-håg”. During the years the “h” disappeared leaving the word “älskog”. You can find a similar word in the Danish “elskov”. Now you know!

The Swede behind the Twitter logo.
Do you twitter? Seems a lot of people do these days. Twitter, the free social networking and micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read other users' updates known as tweets, was founded in San Francisco in 2006 and is a worldwide phenomenon that is growing by the hour. The woman behind Twitter’s bubbly blue logo is Linda Gavin from Kalmar. For three days she and a colleague worked at the San Francisco-based office Futurefarmers, producing some 30 logo samples. The one that eventually was picked was one Linda had spent just hours on. “It’s difficult to have to see that logo all the time, I wish I had had an extra day to fix it a bit,” she says. “It’s nevertheless an honor to have been involved.” Linda was paid a fixed salary, but, as she states, no royalties.

Stockholm number 20.
For best possible living – pick a European capitol. The highest quality of life is led in major European cities, according to a fresh report done by Mercer. And the best place to live, is in Vienna, Austria. On second place comes Zürich and Geneva takes the third spot. But what about the Scandinavian capitols? Well, the best Scandinavian capitol to live in is Copenhagen, which came in on the 11th place, Stockholm on the 20th, Oslo 24th and Helsinki 29th. The report is based on factors like healthcare, political stability, traffic, availability of restaurants and theatres, mail, and crime. The most attractive American cities to dwell in according to the list, are Honolulu, San Francisco, and Boston.

Pancakes! Pancakes!
We know pancakes weren’t invented by Swedes (even though we’d like to think so), but we love them nevertheless, and here is a fresh take on the traditional, thin Swedish pancake or plättar, courtesy of We substituted Kesella (a kind of quark) with Greek yogurt. Yields: 4 portions. Ingredients: 1 cup yogurt (preferably the thicker Greek kind), 3 Tablespoons flour, 1 egg, 1 egg yolk, 2 Tablespoons vanilla, 1 Tablespoon confectioner’s sugar, 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil. Topping: 1 cup berries, like raspberries and/or blueberries, 3 Tablespoons liquid honey and 2 Tablespoons confectioner’s sugar (not necessary), ice cream. 1. Put yogurt, flour, egg, egg yolk, vanilla, and confectioner’s sugar in a blender and blend until smooth. 2. Heat oil in a frying pan. Put in about 1 Tablespoon for each pancake (or “plätt”) and fry until golden (about 30 seconds on each side). Put the pancakes/plättar on a dish, decorate with the berries, drizzle the honey over them and top with confectioner’s sugar. Serve with ice cream.

Your own personal bench.
Evening tabloid Expressen shows us how to take a piece of furniture, in this case IKEA’s “Norden” which retails for $69.99, and turn it into a personal statement. A bench is always useful, especially in the hallway, here are three ways to make it “your own”. 1. Make it a romantic white piece with a rustic charm. Get the look by buying extra pretty edges at places like Home Depot. Paint both bench and the extra edges before you attach them to each other. 2. Make a colorful cover in a happy fabric (it’s easily washed and you can change it with the seasons). Measure the bench. Cut the fabric in five pieces long sides X 2, short sides X 2, and one top side, make sure you add an inch or so for allowance. Sew the pieces together, right sides against each other. Hem the pieces, turn it inside out and pull it over the bench. 3. Dramatic in black. Paint the bench black, and add funky accessories, here they added black cushions, but perhaps red or yellow or white would be more effective. An extra bar has also been added, so it's possible to use as a little shelf for shoes.