Sunday, November 27, 2011

Holiday Decorating: Inspired by Norwegian Nature

There's a rule in our house: No Christmas until after Thanksgiving. It came about, in part, because I'm a big fan of Thanksgiving and I don't want it to get lost in a jumble of Christmas preparations, shopping and media. But after the family has enjoyed some turkey leftovers, washed the last of the dishes and traveled safely back from Grandpa's house, we're ready to begin thinking about and decorating for Christmas.

I was looking for a little holiday inspiration in the December issue of Better Homes and Gardens yesterday when I came across an article that I think many Viking readers would enjoy. It's called "Natural Sparkle," produced by Paul Lowe. A food and prop stylist who was raised in Norway, Lowe said his work for this feature was inspired by the Norwegian winter light. "It's all blue and silvery, quite stunning," he writes in his blog. If you like what you see, there's good news: Lowe produces a quarterly digital magazine, called Sweet Paul.

Inspired to get crafty? Why not try these easy felted heart ornaments, featured in "Gifts from the Heart" in the November issue of Viking. Happy holiday decorating!

Amy Boxrud is editor of Viking magazine. She lives with her family in Northfield, Minn., where she’s a member of Nordmarka 1-585.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Snowman to become Scorsese Film

In the Viking summer reading guide (July, 2011), we featured Jo Nesbø's crime novel "The Snowman" as one of 15 recommended reads. Apparently we weren't the only ones excited about this book: Nesbø recently reached an agreement with acclaimed filmmaker Martin Scorsese to bring his story to the screen.

Nesbø agreed to sell the film rights to his story on the condition that he could choose the director, he said recently in an interview with Norwegian newpaper Verdens Gang (VG). He gave his agent a list of 5 filmmakers, with Scorsese's name at the top. Nesbø has long been a fan of the filmmaker's work, since seeing his movie "Taxi Driver" when he was young, he told VG.

Nesbø says he won't dictate how the film is made, or who will play his protagonist, Inspector Harry Hole, although the Norwegian press has already begun to speculate. It's not a surprise that suggestions have included Scandinavian superstars Viggo Mortensen and Stellan Skarsgård, but even Bruce Willis and Russell Crowe made the list. If you're a Nesbø fan, I'd love to hear whom you would cast!

For the entire Viking recommended reading list, check out the July issue of Viking.

Amy Boxrud is editor of Viking magazine. She lives with her family in Northfield, Minn., where she’s a member of Nordmarka 1-585.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Alt for Norge: Season 3 Auditions

This just in--the producers for Norway's top-rated reality show, Alt for Norge, are looking for a new cast!

The program, which brings a group of people with Norwegian ancestry to explore Norway and compete for a cash prize, announced a call for auditions earlier this week. According to one person who is involved in the casting process, the show is looking for people who have a deep curiosity or passion for their Norwegian heritage, and want to have a life-changing adventure.

The casting call says the shoot dates are scheduled for late April through late June of next year. Last season’s contenders said everyone involved was there for at least two weeks before eliminations began.

This could be a great opportunity for Sons of Norway members, so consider auditioning yourself. If you're interested, click here for casting/audition information.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Queen Debuts as Visual Artist

Her Majesty Queen Sonja was back in the news recently, this time making her debut as a visual artist. The queen attended the official opening of the exhibition “Under Pressure: Master prints from Atelje Larsen," where eight of her own works are on display. The exhibition features 1,000 works by 80 artists, all produced at Atelje Larsen, one of the world's leading printmaking studios.

The purpose of the project is to raise starting capital for The Foundation for Her Majesty Queen Sonja's Art Award, which she established earlier this year to promote paper-based arts. You can read more about the show and the queen's foundation in a press release on the palace's website. And you can view the queen's work in this slideshow on the Aftenposten website. Aftenposten's readers gave Her Majesty mixed reviews, but I agree with those who applaud the queen for being a "modig kvinne"—a brave woman. With the whole country scrutinizing her talent, I think "Under Pressure" is the perfect name for this project. After all, creative risk-taking is never easy, even for a queen.

Amy Boxrud is editor of Viking magazine. She lives with her family in Northfield, Minn., where she’s a member of Nordmarka 1-585.

Photo: Rolf M. Aagaard, The Royal Court

Monday, November 7, 2011

Hagen's Role of a Lifetime

After editing an interview with Norwegian actor Pål Sverre Valheim Hagen in the November issue of Viking, I've become inordinately excited about the new "Kon-Tiki" movie, scheduled for release by Nordisk Film in July. Hagen's star is rising these days, thanks to his role as Roy Nilsen in the blockbuster "Max Manus" (2008) and his leading role of Jan Thomas in "Troubled Water" (2008). He now stars as Norway's famous explorer, Thor Heyerdal, who in 1947 led an expedition from Peru to Polynesia.

For a preview of the film, here's a behind-the-scenes look on YouTube. While the commentary is in Norwegian, I think non-Norwegian speakers also will enjoy taking a peek at the making of Norway's biggest film production to date, directed by Espen Sandberg and Joachim Rønning of "Max Manus" fame. You also can check out the film's Facebook page for more production footage and a teaser for the movie.

Amy Boxrud is editor of Viking magazine. She lives with her family in Northfield, Minn., where she’s a member of Nordmarka 1-585.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Nordic Food Day

Last week, 45,000 students in 125 of D.C.’s public schools found a very different type of meal on their school lunch tray: Nordic cured meats, pickled vegetables and fresh fruit.

These special Scandinavian meals were served as part of the DCPS International Food Program and a longstanding Embassy Adoption Program between the embassies of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden and the D.C. Public Schools, with the goal of encouraging wholesome eating and sharing international cuisine.

On Nordic Food Day-the first of several planned international food days-students sampled Swedish meatballs, Norwegian salmon with dill sauce, roasted root vegetables and wasa crisp bread and lingonberry juice. The food was produced locally with the help of some of the world’s best chefs and donated by many Scandinavian businesses, including Ikea and a Norwegian fishing council.

The program’s cultural immersion doesn’t end with the food; students also enjoyed visits from six ambassadors, seven Scandinavian chefs, performances by four musicians and a special visit by HRH Prince Daniel of Sweden.

To learn more about Nordic Food Day or to see a slideshow of photos from the event, click here. To learn more about the benefits of a Scandinavian diet, check out the “New Nordic Cuisine” feature of the August issue of Viking magazine.