Christmas in July = Dala Horse Craft-along!


Christmas in July 2011! Just about the best ever because I shared the celebration with three amazing Scandinavian women who are so generous in sharing inspiration and friendship. Carina, Hanna, and Kathryn.

Actually, my first vision of the whole idea of making Dala Horses together was a rather quiet one - something along the lines of the four of us making Dala Horses and a big unveiling on July 25th - Christmas in July!

However, the little idea became a very big idea and the next thing I knew we had a Dala Craft-along which lasted over a month and included a Flickr site where anyone who wished to participate could share their own Dala Horse!


Now as you all well know - I couldn't possibly have managed anything this "tech savvy"! Carina grabbed the reins of that little Dala idea and took off at a gallop creating logos, and buttons, and a Flickr site, an embroidery pattern, a Spoonflower Dala fabric and pretty much spearheaded the project!

Thanks to Carina the Dala Craftalong reached far and wide so that lots of Dala enthusiasts could join in the fun. And it is still open for anyone wanting to make and share a Dala horse.

If I think too much about all that Carina does, my head explodes. She writes Carina's Craftblog. Keeps an impressive and ever evolving inventory of embroidery patterns, and e-books in her Polka and Bloom shop. She curates numerous Flickr pages including Stitching Polka and Bloom Embroidery, Embroidery thread Lovers, and &Stitches Flickr Group  and... is a very busy Spoonflower Fabric Designer!

And now, because she had so much unused time in her life, Carina has partnered with Nicole - Follow the White Bunny blog - and together they are publishing a quarterly magazine, &Stitches.

If you haven't yet ordered your own copy of &Stitches, and you love embroidery and stitching, ORDER NOW!  And keep up with giveaways and news of upcoming issues on the &Stitches Blog.

I have a copy of the very first issue and I totally LOVE it!


Inspired by her Scandinavian roots, Kathryn writes a delightful blog, The Pickled Herring,  where you will find everything from coffee spiked with cardamon, Swedish pancakes and Tomte to this sweet little Dala tea apron she designed and made for the Dala Craftalong. She even included a pattern and tutorial

Using Carina's Spoonflower Dala fabric, and Kathryn's tutorial, I made an apron for me and one for Diane!

Pics2010 074

Image by Kathryn - The Pickled Herring -  straw ornaments - part of her "loot" purchased this year at the Swedish Christmas Fair in LA.

Kathryn invited me to participate in her annual "12 Days of Scandinavian Christmas 2011" which she hosts on her blog The Pickled Herring. The link will take you to a post where you will find links to 12 festive ways to celebrate Scandinavian Christmas!

And here is a link to the first day of Scandinavian Christmas 2010   I couldn't participate that first year, but I was thrilled to be asked! More festivities to check out!

So much Scandi-goodness shared by amazing and talented women.  Do yourself a favor and go exploring!

Kathryn understand that while my actual Scandinavian heritage is most likely rooted long ago in Scandinavians who settled in the British Isles, my heart is 100% in love with Scandinavian culture and craft and art! I appreciate more that I can say being included in this joyful and Christmassy celebration.

Dala Horse

World's Largest Dala Horse - image by Hardo

Hanna shares her thoughts and crafts and collage on her blog iHanna's Blog and her heartfelt art in her Etsy Shop - iHanna's Etsy Shop.

While collage is a continuous outlet for her creativity and expression, you never know when you will find her stitching beautiful embroidery or painting sweet accent pieces in cheerful colors! I live in a very dark house (middle of a forest!) and Hanna has me thinking of follwing in her footsteps - like this for instance!

I was totally unprepared for her amazing contributions to the Dala Craftalong! During a trip to THE Dala Factory last summer, she documented the whole process of making Dala Horses and then assembled the collection into a fantastic three part tour!

Where the Dala Horse is Traditionally Made

Kurbits - Painting the Dala Horse

Dala Horses in Many Colors

Be sure to make the time to enjoy Hanna's tour! It is just fabulous! And incredibly informative! Fabulous eye candy.

Your heart will fall completely in love with Dala Horses!

And then you can make your own and join in the Dala Horse Craftalong!

Thank you Carina, Kathryn and Hanna for all the time and effort you gave to playing with me last July during the Christmas in July Dala Craft-along.

And an especially big thank you for your continued friendship and for taking time to visit in spite of your busy, busy lives.

I have just found your site

I have just found your site and I am totally in love. It is the most fun, interesting, playful, informative, fascinating blog that I have ever seen .... and I have seen lots of them. I am reading a page or two each evening, enjoying the posts and the links and I wast to make everything I see. It is like a box of really good cookies.......I want to pace my reading out so that it lasts longer. Please don't ever stop with this amazing blogging.

I have been seeing more and

I have been seeing more and more Dala horses and crafts popping up on blogs and in pinterest lately. Not sure if they were always there and I didn't notice (doubt that 'cause I love embroidery) or that more people are making them. It's nice to see this craft becoming more popular.

Are there instructions for

Are there instructions for creating the dala horse that you feature in this email?
I just ended up here..I call it "webwalking" and am totally smitten with your red dala horse : )
I would love to make one for my soon to be born great nephew for his "First Christmas" gift this coming year.
Thanks for providing and sharing so much awesome ideas : )

Connie!  The answer to your

Connie!  The answer to your question as to directions for making the "red Dala" are yes and no.

Making Dala was a journey and I shared that journey in a very, very long post full of tips and resources:  "Making Dala - A Journey"

I did not provide a pattern, but if you have trouble creating your own, I will be happy to send a copy of mine by snail mail.  The pattern is quite large - the horse actually stands 18" tall.

I don't know what you have in mind for your great nephew, but this one may be too big.  If so, following the guides in the "journey" should help you make a smaller Dala.

I am available if you have any questions!

Thanks Pam! What a heartfelt

Thanks Pam! What a heartfelt post! I feel equally as blessed to have participated in such a fun craft along with such creative and friendly people like you! You are a great friend. :)

Kathryn, you are a great

Kathryn, you are a great friend as well.  One of the things I appreciate most about you is your enthusiasm and zest for life. It is contagious!  You always leave me smiling.

And so does cardamon in my coffee!

Really enjoying checking out

Really enjoying checking out all of these wonderful sites, Pam! You've made some fantastic online friends!
Big hugs,

Yes Arielle, I have made

Yes Arielle, I have made fantastic online friends!  And you are definitely one of them!