Friday, 10 May 2013

Welcome to Nostalgiecat!

My name is June
 Nostalgiecat is my creative outlet for all the little and large projects I undertake whilst redecorating our Victorian terraced cottage here in Hertfordshire, UK.....making this house our home!!

I am an artist, working mainly in concrete, and stay-at-home mum to "Little Miss Moo", and generally creative girl with a passion for interior design!!

I am originally from Norway, and I guess my style reflects the Scandinavian sensibilities when it comes to interiors ......with a nostalgic penchant for mid-century design!

I came to the UK in 1998 to study, and ended up working in the British film industry for almost a decade making props, creatures and special effects. In fact I met my husband (known simply as Mr. here on the blog) on the second instalment of the Harry Potter films.
I guess this background has made me very practically minded, and have given me the confidence to tackle just about anything I put my mind to!!

I love making things, repurposing things and upcycling things, and I get a real sense of fulfilment from creating something nice for the home for next to nothing!!

I started Nostalgiecat in March, 2013 to give my self a "kick up the backside" to put all those ideas that had been swimming in my head into action, and to make our ,then newly purchased, house ours!

Since then, both the house and the blog has undergone a quite a transformation....and my sense of style has also evolved with time!!
Nostalgiecat has gone from being a personal craft blog to a more interior and design focused site!

I see Nostalgiecat as an educational reference file of my DIY projects, that the public can refer to for tutorials and "how to's" : From basic home improvements to more creative projects aimed to add more personality to the home!

 My aim is to make creative interior design more accessible and affordable to people!
Money has been tight since I gave up my career to become a mum, and everything I do is on a very tight budget, so one of my design ethos is:
"Make the most of what you've got"
As well as posting tutorials on budget friendly DIY design hacks, I also do posts on how and where to shop the look for less + Advise on how to redecorate and improve your home when money is tight!

Nostalgiecat is still evolving as a blog, but I hope to inspire my readers to embrace some creativity in their interior design and to personalise their homes!!

If I can do can YOU!!

So grab a coffee, stay a while and get lost in my creative world!!
I love to hear from you all...Any questions or comments on my projects, or even if you want to tell me about something awesome you've made for your home.... is all welcome in the comments box below each post!
I also welcome collaborations: Have you got a project you need some help with or would like to work with me on, please just drop me a line at
This also goes for interior companies and potential sponsors: If you have a product you feel would fit in here at Nostalgiecat, just get in long as I am happy that your products will be of interest to my readers and it fits in with my blogging schedule, I'd be happy to help...Compensation for promoting your product here at Nostalgiecat is negotiable!

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Norway May 2013

A Norwegian treasure hunt....

....looking for beauty

Oh how I wish I could take this home with me.... A beautiful wreck of an old chair exposed to the elements of nature... 

 .....and you will find....

The week I spent in Norway was a time for quiet reminiscing and reflection.
It was the first time I'd spent time there without little miss Moo since her birth, and I had a lot of time to think about the things that matter...such as family and belonging.
I decided to take my camera out and about on the only day we had with good weather...looking for treasure...

I love the colours and textures  and the way these rocks roll into the sea here on the west coast of Norway..

Beauty can be found all around can be something obvious, like a pretty flower or a new tablecloth, or it can be something simple and everyday, something that reminds you of a fond memory, or the feeling of sunshine on your skin or the smell of rain on hot asphalt....
this is what I mean by a treasure hunt....trying to capture those moments that fill up your heart

Like coming across an old favourite spot by the sea, finding that the old boathouse you used to play in as a child has fallen down...beyond repair....Looking through the rubble and venturing into the ruins, trying to find something yesteryear and beautiful..... my morfars old  pot, he used to empty his boat of water after a storm.... or an old chair leg...the beauty it holds lies in both its past and its future....

the beauty of adventure...places that get your imagination flowing
The magic of an old sofa....a beauty beyond repair (unfortunately), left to the mercy of exposure during a long cold winter.........

Or the gnarly bark of an old oak tree, where you used to have a swing as a child.........

  The window of the old house in the woods, where no one ever lived,yet had immaculate window dressings and furniture inside            
...........ignites the imagination...

 There is beauty in the way the spring sun shines through the branches of the tree on top of the hill...

 As I wander through these places, I realise that the most beautiful treasure of all is in the imagination of a child....every little nook and cranny, every stone and tree all holds an adventure and an untold so many before, the best is yet to come......

It's always in the little things.


Sunday, 5 May 2013


In loving memory........

....Monday 22 April 2013 

......It was a beautiful day; the sun was shining and there was blue sky as far as the eye could see. I was sitting in a field in Hertfordshire UK feeling even more nostalgic than usual....

.......Back home in Norway my mormor(:mum's mum) peacefully passed away......

My mormor
22 June 1924 - 22 April l2013

I have just got back from attending my mormor's funeral in Norway.
It has been a really emotional week, as you can probably imagine...
If you've seen my previous post, you'll know: I knew it was coming.....still, that did not by any means make it any easier to cope with the grief of loosing someone so Important and influential in my the time I got the call, I was already feeling emotionally drained.

I felt guilty that I hadn't rushed to her bedside to see her one last time, I felt regret for all the things I should have said to her, but never did, and all the things I'd wished I'd asked her about her life....

All I have now is my memories of a beautiful person that taught me so much, and the realisation of how influential she has been in my life....

Kausland kyrkje....where all our family's big moments: christenings, weddings and funerals has taken place.

I found the funeral a cathartic experience...
Mormor was a very popular person in our little coastal community, and the church was full of people wishing to say their last goodbyes and pay their respect. It gave me a sense of belonging to see my uncles and aunts, cousins and other relatives gathered together...a sense that although we'd just lost our matriarch , we were still a family, and in mormor and morfar's memory we will keep going . And in-between solemn hymns and words of God and Christ, the priest told us all a brief summary of mormor's life.....

The village of Steinsland, Norway, where I, my mum, my mormor and generations before us grew up.....

She grew up in the little fishing village Steinsland, on the west coast of Norway. The daughter of Bertha and Ingebrigt Bakke. Her father owned the local shop and was very much absent from her childhood. In fact her parents later divorced. So from a young age she helped her mother run the shop as well as raise her younger siblings.

She met my morfar(:mum's dad),Thomas Midttveit, just before the war. She was already engaged to a rich young man, but fell in love with the young fisherman when he rowed her across the fjord to get a dress fitted, and insisted on waiting for her to take her back across. So she broke off her engagement, to her family's dismay, and promised Thomas that she'd wait for him. The war (Norway was under German occupation) kept them apart until 1948, when they got married.

 The wedding picture of Kari and Thomas Midttveit, my mormor and morfar.

They had 5 children and made a life for themselves in the house she'd grown up in. Morfar made a living from working on fishing boats, and they lived a simple life: hand to of the sea and growing their own potatoes.

Later they bought their own fishing boat and they lived and worked side by side at sea throughout their life...
Their door was always open, and as I lived with my parents right next doors, I spent time at my grandparents house almost every day growing up...I used to love watching mormor cooking in the kitchen, eating toasted brown cheese sandwiches at their table after school and picking flowers in their garden before morfar would cut the grass. I remember the sound of their crackling radio: reports from fellow fishermen of steams of mackerel or cod....they would rush down to their boat with a pot of coffee and some sandwiches and set out to sea in search of good fishing....come rain or come shine! I felt so safe and loved in that their company!!
 They remained eternally in love, always together and the centre for our expanding family..... When my morfar passed away in 2009, mormor was heartbroken, but still remained the strong matriarch of our family.

My morfar's boathouse. It might not look like much, but my grandparents heart and soul lives on in this place.

I take great comfort to know that they are now reunited again ....I have a picture in my mind of Morfar waiting for mormor in the harbour with their boat, a pot full of coffee and a bottle of some quality cognac, ready to sail off into the eternal sea together for one last fishing trip....
My mormor and morfar's relationship has been an inspiration to me throughout my life. Their ability to live and let live without judging, but always with compassion, taught me to be true and humble. They've taught me the importance of family and roots.
  I have too many great memories of them to mention here, but they will always be a part of me....and I am so proud to be a Midttveit-girl!

All I can wish for is a life as filled with love as theirs..
Never forgotten