Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Klokkestreng (Bell-pull)

A Spruced Up Klokkestreng (Bell-pull)

Since I am getting such a kick out of learning Norwegian again, I would like to write a little something about the words "klokkestreng" and "bell-pull":

Confused and Amused

A klokkestreng would be directly translated as a clock string (I think) and these bell-pulls (as they say in English) have no bells attached to them nor could they really be functional as a bell pulling device. Oh, and then there's the term "spruced up" which I used at the beginning of the blog. How would a Norwegian ever know what that meant? "Up in a tree" would be the best direct translation, yet their term for "spruced up" would probably be "pusse" but that means polish so that may not be accurate, either. I may need a little help here from my Scandinavian blogging friends. Anyone?  Again, I am confused and amused by both languages. :-)

My father's sister Lise lived in Norway her whole life. She married Hans and the two of them lived in a little apartment in Kristiansund N. their entire married lives. I always felt a certain closeness with Lise that is difficult to explain considering the limited time and visits that I had with her. She had such a simple life void of "things" and always seemed so happy. She struck me as someone that I would very much like to emulate. I was young and didn't pursue getting to know her better; I regret it.

Lise and Hans never had children, so when the two of them went to a better place, I was fortunate enough to receive a few items that Lise had made. Lise attended a school that taught the domestic arts. In Norway it's called "Hus Mors Skolen" and directly translated that would be "House Mother's School". From what I understand it is still around. It takes at least six months to complete the courses. Wouldn't that be fun? I wonder if I could get six months off work?

One of the items I received, that was Lise's, is this klokkestreng that she made while attending the "Hus Mors Skolen". I have had it hanging in our living room for several years now and I had always thought that if the purple color in it was blue it would match my decor perfectly! I have no purple in my home, although I love the color, I am obsessed about having colors match (or at least coordinate); hence the purple must go.

So, I got a wild hair and dug through my yarn stash this weekend and changed the purple to two shades of blue, alternating light and medium blue. I hesitated at first, as changing the original colors and yarn seemed somewhat wrong, but the more I thought about it the more I thought it was O.K., and I think Lise would have felt the same. And now the whole room seems to be in better harmony. :-)

Here is the refurbished klokkestrng hanging by the viking ship and my amateur touch of rosemaling. It feels right and I feel Lise's spirit here with me saying something like "Oh, Astri the purple was all wrong for your home, I am so glad you changed it, it warms my heart that you cherish this so much."

I miss you Tante Lise, I wish I would have taken the effort to know you better. A part of you will always be with me.


  1. This is so sweet! My bestemor is guiding me along make one of my own based off a pattern, it’s very relaxing and I can be at it for hours at a time listening to the radio she has on or maybe a podcast or something audible because I tried watching a show but that didn’t go so well and I had to redo a whole section! I’m glad I have this price of art that I’m creating and I can remember her by when she’s gone in the future and I’ll put up this art in my future home when I’m an adult!

    1. What a delightful story! I love that your bestemor is guiding you. Are you on Instagram? I would love to see photos!