Day 23 ~ Björknäs

I bet that title caught your attention…and probably very few people would be able to pronounce it.  From my theme of joys of childhood comes one of my most favorite childhood memories…the summer house of my grandparents in Björknäs, Sweden.


8″ x 10″ oil on canvas

My mother took us to Sweden when I was 12. My grandparents had an apartment in Stockholm, but in the summer they lived in their summer place in the country complete with an outhouse and great big cast iron pot with which to do laundry. I was fascinated watching my grandmother heat water to a boil in that big pot, and wash the clothes with a big wooden stick and lye soap. Then after rinsing she hung everything on the line, and it all smelled so incredibly clean. My grandfather had a garden, and we ate potatoes everyday that he had dug up from his amazing vegetable patch. My grandmother would make hot chocolate for my brother and me in the morning and we would dip her homemade bread in it. Unforgettably delicious!

We slept in cubbyhole beds something like this…

W11.53bbKid Space Stuff

But there were curtains in front of them and they were situated in the dining room. What fun to cuddle up in our own secret hiding places every night. To this day I want to build some of these in my own house. So fun!

This month the Virtual Paintout Blog is featuring Sweden and Artsy Lucy has painted three paintings for the “30 Paintings in 30 Days” of houses in Sweden. She is the one who inspired me to do the Swedish summer house. As for the Virtual Paintout, I really admire the artists that do this. I spend hours trying to find something to paint and it never seems to work for me. Check it out, you might like it… 🙂

And if you have done a painting on the Virtual Paintout, I would love to hear about it and see a link. 🙂


15 thoughts on “Day 23 ~ Björknäs

  1. I Love, love, love this, Karin! And your story. How great to be exposed to another culture at a young age. I would love the cubby hole beds too. So cool. I enjoy paintings of houses, and this one is wonderful.


    1. Thank you so much, Pam. My mother actually taught me to speak Swedish before I spoke English. Too bad it didn’t stick. Because my grandparents lived in Sweden I didn’t see them very much growing up, but this summer was so special and unforgettable for me. It’s wonderful to have good memories of childhood. I feel very blessed. 🙂


  2. Beautiful little house. Lovely story. I love beds like that, I don’t think it’s fair for just the kids to have them 🙂 ha ha I still remember one summer my grandmother had an old washer with the rollers on it. I loved watching her use it. I don’t remember why, but she used it out in the front yard. maybe it was borrowed. I know she got a “new” used washer and dryer soon after that.


    1. My grandmother also washed the clothes out in the yard, but they only did this when they were in the country. They had more modern conveniences in their apartment in the city. Don’t you love those memories. Makes me wonder what my grandchildren will remember???


  3. Oh Karin, I am so glad that my paintings inspired you…and to paint your heritage! Loved that it brought back memories to you…to paint something like this is extra special, as it comes from the heart! I love that artists and their stories, inspire other artists! Keep painting! (and join us for Virtual Paintout too!) 🙂


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