Thursday, 17 February 2011

Illustration Friday: Sweater

"A well balanced girl is the one who has an empty head and a full sweater. "
Frank Sinatra



Frank Sinatra's quote reminds me of an American expression "a sweater girl" - which means that a girl is sexy, has voluptuous curves and
fills her sweater well. A little of a sexist remark, I believe. Actually, to tell you the truth, I came across this term in one of my Mills and Boon cheap romance paperbacks when I was a teenager. Well, even cheap (trashy?) books like this can teach me something new about other cultures.

Unfortunately, I can never be a sweater girl in this lifetime, unless I get pregnant and really fill up my sweater with my tummy! But for this week's Illustration Friday theme, I thought - instead of featuring a sweater - why don't I draw what goes with a sweater in cold -8 degrees celsius Norway, which I didn't know before in Singapore?


Then I thought of this sketch I did in my moleskin sketch book, for the Sketchbook Project.

Sketched on my birthday 2011

mitaine and lue

These are my birthday presents, made from 100% merino wool and by a Norwegian designer (forgot her name). Other than sweaters, they keep me quite warm and snuggly outside my winter coat. In Norway, one can't rely just on a sweater to keep warm - we need to have 

1. a lue (warm beanie hat made of ull, cotton or acrylic), 
2. thick mittens or gloves (some say leather is best and most classy), 
3. thick winter shoes with good undulations on the sole (to walk on slippery slopes and icy ground), 
4. leg warmers (the leggy longer equivalent of the hÃ¥ndledd varmer) 
5. woolen socks
6. long johns (a.k.a thermal underwear)
7. HÃ¥ndledd varmer (if coat sleeves are too short and gloves are not warm enough)
8. A thick scarf (wrapped tightly round your neck)
9. Ear-warmers (if you don't have a beanie)
10. Last but not least, a thick winter coat!

In fact, many Norwegians have more than one coat according to the temperature - leather jackets for autumn (10 - 15 degrees), thin winter coats (5-9 degrees), thick winter coats (4 to -5 degrees), bubble jackets (-2 to -20 degrees). These are what I observe at the busy Oslo Sentral Station while waiting 40 min for the hourly train after Norwegian classes. 

Speaking of trains, yesterday morning Viking Man and I drove to our usual train station and we parked for a few minutes, because it was too windy and snowy out there to wait on the train platform. To my great surprise, I saw a grey long-haired cat wandering outside my car door in the snow! We love cats, so I opened my door and persuaded the cat in a gentle voice to come in. The cat had such a trusting nature that it just paused to look at how high it has to jump and it came into our warm car interior. It landed its cold paws on my lap, and gently leaped onto our dashboard, letting us tickle and stroke it. Then it went in between our chairs to explore the "unknown" back seat. It was such a beautiful blue-gray cat. But pity, we didn't have much time to stroke it more than a few minutes, because we had to leave our car. VM managed to carry the cat out of the car, because it seems to like our car so much, it wanted to stay there.

What a wonderfully strange incident! The cat continued to wander around the car-park, but I was a little worried that cars might provide a danger to it. It was obviously a tame cat, unlike the squeamish cats in my neighbourhood. It was as if the cat just appeared by magic once we arrived, just to give us a chance to feel love and joy seeing it.

Did you have such incidents too, where a pet or an animal awakens you from the seriousness of daily life?

 love,
pixy

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