Adventure, Art, DIY, Landscape, Photography, Poems, Spirituality

Shooting star

This leaf survived in my bag for 5 weeks, on planes and buses, just a little broken on the edges. I’ve run out of canvases, so I have started painting the things I’ve picked up that I said I would paint ‘one day’ 🍁


“There is a pleasure in the pathless woods, there is a rapture on the lonely shore, there is society where none intrudes, by the deep Sea, and music in its roar: I love not Man the less, but Nature more.” 💙💜💚

Art, Awareness, Dharma, DIY, Everyday life, Health, Landscape, Spirituality, Tattoo

Pro tip

Pro tip from a veteran 😸 a lot of chronically ill people have to self isolate every year, sometimes for months, myself included. Especially in flu season or during a flare up in symptoms. So, my pro tip is to find something specific to concentrate on. For me it has been art and mahayana buddhist yoga. I am not exaggerating when I say it has saved me and given me so much out of life. Also, rest a lot. Don’t feel like you have to do something all the time. No one really cares what you do with your time and energy, so make yourself comfortable in the uncertainty. 🙏🏼🍀🤓

Beauty, Culture, DIY, Hair, Indigenous, Outfit, Photography, Photoshoot, Sewing

Feeling most like myself

Always feel the most beautiful in my own handmade clothing and/or traditional clothing. Sámi hat and skirt made by me 🙂
Photos by Sebastian Wilches, edit by me.
Not sure what I am doing with my hands, I never know how to hold them…(:
Photo and edit by Sebastian Wilches (@wilchesfotografia)
Kofte and wool hat made by me
Mittens by my ‘mother-in-law’ Kristin (@dachsedilla)
Photo by Sebastian Wilches, edit by me.
Awareness, Everyday life, Health, Photography, Photoshoot, Relationship, Spirituality

Love is love

If someone asked you ‘why’ you love your SO, partner or a crush, you could probably list a bunch if their nice qualities and things about them that you appreciate. But that is not WHY you love someone, because you can list the same qualities in a bunch of other people you don’t love. In fact, someone you hate can be extremely talented or compassionate. Your feelings towards or for someone does not change them.

These qualities and traits is probably something you noticed *after* getting feelings of love and affection. Love is funny and amazing like that; it will open your eyes and heart, and is not something you can ever control with your will or thoughts. It will also make one go the extra mile.

As far as I can tell, love just happens based on factors I do not understand entirely. Also, I think love and compassion is our basic nature. Humans are complicated, relationships are usually difficult, not always compatible, but often worth it.

I realise being polyamorous and queer/bi is not the norm, but it is part of what makes me Monica, and I feel very fortunate to live in a time and decade with less judgement, but it’s still here. At the beginning of this year, a friend of mine told me that she had used me as a example while trying to come out to her parents. It flattered me in a sense that she used me, but it was quickly gone again after she told me her dad’s response, which was basically that I was not the type of person he ever wanted her to hang out with again for being polyam and queer. My “practice was sick”. In the end, she did not come out. Made me extremely sad, and I do not feel welcome in their home anymore.


Love is love. Not in a naïve way where everything goes, but in a very basic human way, and there are as many ways of expressing it as there are people.

Adventure, Art, Culture, Dharma, DIY, Everyday life, Indigenous, Jewellery, Landscape, Outfit, Pets, Photography, Sewing, Tattoo, Uncategorized, Yoga

2019 in pictures

The sun returning in January in Bukta on Tromsø island
People greeting the sun
Was in Tamokdalen to help with a photo project. Beautiful crispy day
I made my first sámi silk shawl, in gorgeous yellow/gold
And a pair of ankle wraps. Hand vowen
…Kali liked them too!
Got one new tattoo this year 🙂 Painting in the background made for my bff
Met the cutest puppy!
Look at that face…🧡
Frozen raindrops outside my window
My best friend got married in Brooklyn. Unreal and beautiful. First time in the US for me ☺
Heidrun and me. Prettiest bride 🌻
Me in my handmade coast kofte. What a day 💚💛❤
In Central Park
Time’s square
Me being a total tourist ✌
Time’s Square again. It was colourful and overwhelming 🙃🌈
New York subway
Kvaløya, beautiful as always
Whale watching.. the sky was so pink that day
Orcas
Train ride in Oslo
Little cloud
Kim Katami and me on retreat 🧘‍♀️ New Years eve 2018/2019
Wales
My lovely friend and sangha sister, Elizabeth from Louisiana. We were in Birmingham
Retreat girls
Ice skating on this lake that made the coolest sounds
Kvaløya
Kvaløya, cold day on the beach. Around 15°c
Midnight sun 🌅 Håja mountain
Gained healthy weight this year 🙌
Did a giveaway on my facebook art page with this painting, got so good feedback, made me happy 🙂
Made more of these small cute paintings
Spain. I got very tan 🙃💛
Was two days in France. Didn’t get too explore too much because of time, money and energy, but saw this lovely garden in Toulouse
And met Blueberry the donkey!
Tromsø catethedral
Autumn was very pretty, as usual 🍁
Got my hair cut at a salon for the first time in 2,5 years😍
Paviljongen in Tromsø
Autumn day in Tromsø
Loke
Anti racism event at the town square, as a response to recent violence against indigenous people
My favourite painting from this year. Inspired by the Arctic polar night
Went to quite a lot of museums and exhibitions this year
Found this cool and weird coat on flea market
Was butt naked in a commercial 😅
Made an X-files painting for a friend 🛸

I have sooo many more pictures from this year, but some of them I feel are nice to keep private 😊💛

Happy new year, everyone!✨

Art, DIY, Landscape, Photography

Grønt og blått

Et rundt maleri fra noen år siden. Tror det er rundt 35 i diameter. Dette bildet tok jeg før jeg malte en hvit husky sittende på stien. Syns egentlig det var bedre uten 🙃 Glemt å legge det ut før 💚💙🧡
Et bittelite sommermaleri som jeg solgte i forrige uke. 9 x 6 cm 😊 Har noen maleri til salgs på SevenDesign i Tromsø🌿
Awareness, Everyday life, Health, Photography

Connecting

Photo by Irina Bileanschi from 2016. Such a fun shoot 💙

So, I wanted to just write a bit about my chronic conditions/disabilities, just in the hopes of connecting with others in a similar situation.

I used to post quite a lot about it, but realised that maybe it came across as complaining. So I stopped. I never wanted it to come out as complaining or like ‘hey, my life and health is shit’, but just as me telling people in my life and others who might be interested what was happening, why I couldn’t work or study, why I am on disability benefit. And also as a way for me to raise awareness about these things, because it seems needed. Both in terms of judgement and in terms of getting adequate medical treatment.

Related so much to this

Social media is such a big and important platform for chronically ill people. It connects us and we can use it as a way of still being in society, since we can’t always physically join things.

I have six conditions and it would be nice to connect with others in the same situation. So please leave a comment if you would like to share what everyday life is like for you!❤

(My conditions: myalgic encephalomyelitis, hypermobility syndrome, IBS, interstitial cystitis, migraine and I am on the spectrum. Being on the spectrum is absolutely not an illness, but it does affect how I function). 🤓

Art, DIY, Landscape, Poems, Quotes

Northern sky

30 x 20, I think 😄
Close up reindeer.

“The sight filled the northern sky; the immensity of it was scarcely conceivable. As if from Heaven itself, great curtains of delicate light hung and trembled. Pale green and rose-pink, and as transparent as the most fragile fabric, and at the bottom edge a profound and fiery crimson like the fires of Hell, they swung and shimmered loosely with more grace than the most skillful dancer.” 🌌

Art, DIY, Landscape

Rainbow night

My little late night creativity painting.. Couldn’t sleep last night so I thought why not just spend my time wisely 😄 A bit unusual colour choices for me, but I like how it turned out. Was unsure if I choose the right colour for the mountains but I can always change that later if the mood strikes me..🌈🎨

This painting is 65 x 45. Acrylic painting.

Everyday life, Health, List, Quotes, Relationship

Currently…

Reading: Nothing actually.. I loaned a bunch of book at the library, but I think maybe borrowing/buying books is an entirely different hobby than actually reading them!

Learning: Finally trying to learn Northern Sámi. I am what you could call a “plastic sámi”; someone who is indigenous sámi by blood and flesh, but never learned the language because of the Norwegianazation process. So I often feel not “real” sámi but not “real” Norwegian either, it’s a bit of an identity crisis thing, and kind of an emotional wound that I know a lot of sámis have.

Watching: Random nature documentaries mostly..:)

Listening to on Audible: A wizard of Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin (got it recommended by a friend on Facebook)

Drinking every day: Coffee. And more coffee 😀 (should drink more water..)

Happy about: Made new friends lately, and also understanding my own “language” better, how I think and relate to the world around me.

Not so happy about: Being in constant physical pain, so much that I cannot function properly. And I struggle expressing how bad it actually is, because it doesn’t show from the outside. My back, neck, face and head is so painful, that painkillers aren’t working anymore, and I am at a loss what to do.

Thankful for: People who love me. Cliché but true 🙂

Art, DIY, Landscape, Photography

More blue

50 x 40 cm. Not completely in scale with the room in this room simulation, but wanted to show how the colours would work in a setting like that. The app is called HallFrames.
One shouldn’t have to move mountains for others, but it’s possible to climb them together. Shared sorrows are half the burden, shared joy is as good as infinite. ♾🎨💙🗻☺

One of my latest paintings! It didn’t turn out how I saw it in my head, just different, but still good. I used only three colours on it; white, blue and brown. Mostly blue, as I do with 90% of my art 💙🤓 I rarely use black in mountain/rock paintings, it’s too harsh, I find it much better to use different pigments that makes it all look much more true to nature. You rarely see all black nature, unless you are in Iceland or somewhere else vulcanic😄

Also, I have two of my paintings at the Arctic Adventure center in Tromsø. They are for sale by the way 😄

My chubby penguin is spending his Christmas at Arctic Adventure center alongside some peaks and good company 👭💙🎨🐧❤ #theonlypenguininthearctic
Awareness, Culture, DIY, Everyday life, Outfit, Pets, Photography, Sewing

Pride-parade 2019

Gruppebilde utenfor Kongsbakken vgs før vi begynte å gå.
Hva bedre å ha på seg til anledningen enn det antrekket jeg føler meg stoltest av og finest i 💃
har helt glemt å legge ut bilde av kofta mi på bloggen før, og hele syprosessen, men dette er altså min håndlagde kofte (som ennå ikke er helt ferdig, hysj🤓)
En veldig fargerik Katharina 🏳️‍🌈
I paraden.
Fikk meg en ny venn i paraden! @gullvinge på insta 😊
Imponerende kostymer..❄
😍
Everyday life, Photography

På loppiskafé

To nokså bra bilder Heidrun tok av meg på Kulta sin lille kafé på søndag. Likte fargene, masse nyanser av grønt. Og grønt liker vi!

Kulta hadde loppemarked, jeg fant meg en sykt kul kåpe med inuitmotiv, en fargerik tights som viste seg å være litt for trang over rumpestumpen da jeg kom hjem, et par rosa joggesko jeg hadde helt likens av for noen år siden (og angra på at jeg ga bort) samt en fin svart singlet med noe mønster. Kan legge ut bilder senere, iallfall av kåpa! 🤓
Everyday life, Outfit, Spirituality

All your colours

“Sometimes she moves like rivers, sometimes like trees;
Or tranced and fixed like South Pole silences;
Sometimes she is beauty, sometimes fury, sometimes neither.”

Go towards the people that see you for who you truly are, in all your colours. For your badass kindness and fierce compassion. How we treat others reaches far beyond outer beauty and appearances; touching someone elses’ heart and helping them feel free and loved unconditionally is a gift that will never stop giving.

Hope everyone had a great summer 🌷

Culture, Everyday life

I did an ancestry test and here is what I found

Some months ago I decided I was finally going to order myself one of those DNA kits I have been wanting, just for fun. It was on sale and I researched (by that, I mean one google search😄) to see what is the best company when it comes to privacy and storing of information, and I landed on FamilyTreeDNA. I am no (conspiracy) theorist who thinks they will use my tiny bit of saliva for anything sinister, but still, you never know. Although if they want to clone me or something, that would actually be very practical!

I have always been curious about anthropology, culture and history. I believe people are people no matter where we live or come from, all sharing the same basics in heart and mind, but these relative things like ethnicity and DNA can be quite interesting, too! There is so much to learn, and it’s fun to see the connections across borders.

I think it’s good to preserve culture and language. I am what you could call a “plastic sámi”; someone who is indigenous sámi by blood and flesh, but never learned the language because of the Norwegianazation process. So I often feel not “real” sámi but not “real” Norwegian either, it’s a bit of an identity crisis thing, and kind of an emotional wound that I know a lot of sámis have. Maybe this is a reason I wanted to test. I do feel proud and honoured though to carry on sámi handcraft traditions such as the gákti (kofta) and duodji and telling the stories attached to them and of Sápmi💙💚❤💛

I received my package, filled out the little form and swabbed my cheeks, one on each side. Next day, I shipped it off to overseas and waited for my results (which took some weeks).

Before getting them, I was pretty sure it would say mostly Scandinavian and some Asian (since the sámi peoples origins come from the East way back in the days, before settling in Sápmi (Sweden, Finland, Norway and Russia). Perhaps some percentage viking too would be cool, like 26% shieldmaiden, lol..🙌 Bad joke.

It showed 69% from Finnoscandia/Uralic (Finno-ugric/Uralic/Sámi/Kven)

23% Scandinavian, 1% unknown and the rest a quite small insignificant 7% East Asian/Siberian. (All results in pictures on the bottom).

The Kven people are a minority group of people who migrated from Finland to the north of Norway, mostly to Finnmark before the borders between the Nordic countries were official. Kvens are considered an official minority in Norway.

Found this amazing restored wedding photograph of some of my ancestors from 1880, five generations ago in Álta, after going way back on the family tree. Typical surnames on my tree are Mella, Kitti, Turi, Nilsen, Hætta, Fors, Aslaksen and Isaksen. Caption that came with this picture:
“Sami wedding in Bossekop, Alta (1880). We see coastal Sami costumes, as well Kven clothings. A mixed ethnic wedding, I presume. Photo: Sommier/Mantegazza I believe these people are ancestors of many of today’s inhabitants of Alta. The true Alta-citizen is mostly descentants of Sami and Kven (Finnish languaged) people. The wedding couple are identified as Aslak Aslaksen and Guri Nilsdatter Mella from Rafsbotn.”
Kven man and sámi woman in Pasvik, Varanger where my mother side of family is from at the end of the 1800s.
Map showing my origins.
List of some of the Finno-ugric peoples

I found it interesting how it says ‘Finland’ instead of ‘Finnish’, but after reading a bit about the other indigenous groups and how many there are considered to be Finno-ugric or Uralic (15 in total with subgroups), it makes more sense. Different indigenous peoples coming from roughly same area, but mainly sharing language is the case here. Sámi, kven (Norwegian finns – one of the subgroups) and Finns are for example grouped as Finno-Ugric and have similarities in language, and is as we know nothing like the other Scandinavian languages.

After doing the DNA test, I come to learn of haplogroups; basically “a genetic population group of people who share a common ancestor on the patriline or the matriline.”
My sweet grandmother (my mum’s mum) in Sør-Varanger 🙂

Here are some facts about the kven language:

-In 2005 it was officially considered a minority language in Norway.

-The University in Tromsø now gives classes in kven.

-From the 1930s until the 1980s, the kven language was illegal to speak and use in school, and was considered a “bastard language”. Despite this, it survived.

Toddler Monica in Finnmark 😄

Another cool thing about doing a test like this, is that you can match up with other relatives if you and they have agreed to be matched. I have found a lot of distant cousins, and have sent message to one of them, surprised to find out that she was adopted away from our family, and I am currently helping her find out who her dad was/is. Quite exciting stuff.

Learning all this about my Finnish/Kven ancestry, I instantly felt more inclined to buy more Moomin stuff, which I believe now is my cultural heritage 😅

Video: origins of Finns, Hugarians and other Uralians

Video: Eurasian genetics

Øksfjord, Loppa municipality where my father side is from. Photo by Hilde Bye.

Another cool thing I found was that two of my relatives, Isak Mikkelsen Tornensis and Berit Mikkelsdatter Tornensis (siblings), in 1898 was part of the reindeer project in Alaska.
Read more about it here and here.

Art, Dharma, Outfit, Spirituality, Tattoo, Yoga

Wrathful

Absolutely adore my new tiny chest tattoo😍 It’s a buddhist phurba/kīla (wrathful sword, dagger)🌸 All of a sudden my chest feels a million times nicer, and I don’t feel as hesitant or overly self conscious to wear cleavaged tops/dresses anymore. Thought about doing it for so long, last week it happened! At Pounding That tattoo studio in Tromsø by @guillaume.arzon.tattooer (instagram) 🙏

Close up, fresh 😊

Düdjom Lingpa depicted holding a phurba in his left hand and a vajra in his right

Phurba/kīla

Crystal phurba

The kīla is one of many iconographic representations of divine “symbolic attributes” of Vajrayāna and Hindu deities. When consecrated and bound for usage, the kīla is a nirmanakaya manifestation of Vajrakīlaya.
He is embodied in the kīla as a means of destroying (in the sense of finalising and then freeing) violence, hatred, and aggression by tying them to the blade of the kīla and then transmuting them with its tip.”

Dharma, Photography, Spirituality, Yoga

Dedication prayer

Photos from summer retreat 2019, UK

Excerpt from Dedication prayer by Pema Tashi:

For as long as this deluded mind identifies with this impure, illusory body, everything you do is a cause of saṃsāra, and the results never transcend suffering. Even though occasions of prosperity in mundane existence do occur, it is obvious that these unreal, illusory deceptions lead you astray. So here is advice on the meaning of identitylessness to be followed by those who recognize this and seek liberation. If you do not realize that all phenomena in saṃsāra and nirvāṇa are simply your own appearances, with no basis or root, by merely knowing a superficial emptiness, you will not achieve the Mahāyāna ārya grounds.

If you do not realize how to transform into the path the spontaneously actualized appearances of the radiance of pristine awareness of the essential nature of original purity, you will be overcome by the dust of transmigration among the three appearances, failing to see the original nature of existence.

Therefore, the sole protector of all beings, which is unrivaled in the realms of mundane existence and ultimate peace, is this one supreme path that has been and will be followed by all jinas. By the power of the blessings of great compassion and the great fortune and good deeds of disciples, this appears only this one time, so it is difficult to find and is even more rare than the udumbara flower.

Through thick and thin until enlightenment, may we always be accompanied by the unfailing affection and respect of vajra siblings with common karma and aspirations, and may we practice the Vajrayāna.

Art, Landscape, List

Creative work

21 x 29 cm

9 x 6 cm

21 x 29 cm

45 x 55 cm

Some tips for making the most of your creativity/getting shit done! 🙂

1. Put on inspiring music while working. Inspiring is relative of course, whatever floats your goat. I personally like anything from Lady Gaga (her new stuff) to Guts to Enya.. Just make sure it’s not distracting.
2. Write a list of the things you need/want to do/make. As you cross them off, sense of achievement grows.
3. Take pictures. Sometimes when I paint, I take pictures instead of just looking at it to find out what to do next, because somehow I feel like the camera shows a slightly different reality which your eyes can’t always spot.

4. Use Pinterest or Instagram for inspiration. These are great platforms to look for creative work. I know Instagram specifically has this bad reputation of “giving” people terrible self-esteem, with all the filters and “perfect” pictures, but it all
depends what you look for. Like almost anything, it can be used in a healthy way.

🌷🌷🌷

Beauty, DIY, Make-Up, Outfit, Sewing

Painnebåinn

Slik sier man pannebånd hvor jeg kommer fra iallfall 😄 En enkel d.i.y som jeg ladge for masse år siden; sydde et lite hårtørkle/pannebånd ut av et sjal med fint fargerikt blomstermønster. På midten av båndet er det et lite tøystykke som klemmer det sammen og gir sånn fin fasong. Enkel dobbelknute i nakken ✌ Nå som jeg begynner å få hår igjen (holdt det på 7 mm en god stund), så er det gøy å leke med litt farger, frisyrer og diverse hårpynt. Også må jeg innrømme at min naturlige hårfarge ikke er så verst, er nok ferdig med å farge det!💙💚❤💛

DIY, Quotes, Sewing

All the colours

Just hanging out with my friend Diana ✌✂️📍😎

Ordered from Maritex Gavpi

Having sewing projects going on like the one I am working on now (stay tuned😊), makes me so motivated. The more creative work I do, the more creativity flows. And it flows from a natural, not forced place, which I think is crucial for good results. One less positive thing about being in a creative mode though is how much money I spend on craft supplies 😅 I probably didn’t need to order all these ribbons/bands. But they all looked so cute. And I like having options. Sorry, wallet. I will make sure to use it all, somehow!

“Create with the heart, build with the mind”🌹