Jan. 29, Feast of St. Gildas the Wise, a post-Roman, pre-Saxon British abbot, renowned for his historical (now known to be pseud-historical) work, in which can be found one of the first written records of King Arthur. He preached to the mother of St. David, patron of Wales, while she was pregnant with him. Gildas is responsible for converting much of the island of Ireland, and the influence of his writing survived long into the Middle Ages, particularly in the Celtic Church. We like St. Gildas, if you couldn't tell!
1 // Valentine's Day Scandinavian folk-style Tree of Life coasters are something I'd probably make string banner out of rather than use them to absorb leaky beverages.
2 // Knee-high knitted socks with Scandinavian ornaments keep your toes warm in fierce weather.
3 // I can see this Nordic winter wreath as bright spot in a mound of white, the only indication of a cozy, insulated, buried house in the snow.
4 // This Swedish folk cushion cross stitch pattern makes me happy.
5 // Swedish Dalahäst printed tea towel is functional and cheery.
If there's one thing I like as much as I do Arthurian Britain and the Celtic peoples and their saints (see St. Gildas above), it's Scandinavian folk art and folk culture. Probably because the Christmas season has ended but winter's still in full bluster, my mind fancies far, white northern regions and their cheerful, intricate designs warding off the dark and ice. I listen to Scandinavian folk music and Google rosemaling and dahla horses. I think about The Snow Queen and the reindeer herders and the sagas that share common heroes and gods with our English language and legacy. I think about it all the time, actually, but at the cusp of January-February, it is especially fitting.
So! My five favorite sorta-functional Scandinavian items.