Winter Solstice – kitchen textiles for shortest day of the year

Winter Solstice – kitchen textiles for shortest day of the year
12/12/2018 Anna Sjostrom Walton
Pillowy snow in morning light, Sweden, close to winter solstice. Photo by Anna Sjostrom Walton, Chalk & Moss.

Winter solstice, or midwinter, marks the shortest day of the year and when the sun sits lowest at midday. In 2018, this happens on 21st December. Depending on where you are in the world, you may have little or no light until spring returns.

In Sweden, the long dark winters are celebrated by bringing light into our homes and places of work. So rather than feeling glum over the lack of light come 4pm in the UK (or as early as 1.30pm in my native Sweden), make the most of the special light at dusk. Take the opportunity to bring cheerful or soothing coloured textiles into your home, light candles in the afternoon and early evening and fill the house with wintery smells like cinnamon, cloves and even moss. The Chalk & Moss online shop has a new kitchen textile collection dedicated to this winter celebration, called the “Solstice” by Softer + Wild. We also sell vegan soy wax and essential oil candles perfect for the occasion.

Cooking apron combining Scandinavian shapes and colours with Eastern European folklore. Inspired by retro Christmas tree baubles. Available in two colours. This is the "Bright" design. 60cm X 80cm.This Fern soy wax candle blend oozes fresh, zingy top notes of citrus fused with a elegant rose mid note and woody, herbaceous pine and rosemary undertones. A complex, refreshing fragrance that treats the senses. Choose three sizes. Seen here is the smallest, 60ml size, with a burn time of 10-15 hours. Join's luxury aromatherapy candles are cruelty free, vegan and handmade in small batches in London with high quality essential oils and soy wax. You can see Join's full collection of soy wax candles, room diffusers, room mists at chalkandmoss.com.

Facts about Winter Solstice

Here are a few facts you may not know about Winter solstice:

  1. The actual winter solstice happens at a specific time of day. This is the moment when the North Pole points furthest away from the sun on the 23.5 degree tilt of the Earth’s axis.
  2. The north of Scandinavia and Alaska will remain in dusk light during winter daytime hours. The sun sets fully early afternoon.
  3. Ancient cultures treated winter solstice as a time of death and rebirth. In Scandinavia, animals were slaughtered mid winter to see people through these tough months. Yule logs were burned to welcome new birth as light returned in spring.
  4. The word “solstice” comes from the word solstitium and translates as “sun” (sol) and “stands still” (sistere). To the naked eye, it looks like the sun makes little movement as it hovers closer to the horizon at this time.
  5. Stone Henge aligns with the setting sun at the night of the winter solstice.
  6. Some cultures, as seen in Germanic, Celtic and Iranian folklore, believed evil spirits wander the earth at winter solstice. So people stayed awake, spending the evening talking, eating, reading and telling stories with others to keep spirits at bay.
Can't get enough of this breakfast view in snowy Sälen, Sweden! Savour every beautiful moment through 2018. Having serious illness strike our son over the holiday really made us slow down and appreciate moment by moment. Photo by Anna Sjostrom Walton for chalkandmoss.com.

This was our winter solstice breakfast table view in Sälen, Sweden, right by the slopes and Nordic ski trails. Light is an ever present comfort in the dark hours.

Get your home ready for Winter Solstice

To get your home ready for this special season, I’d like to tell you the story behind the new collection “Solstice” by Softer + Wild. available now in the chalkandmoss.com shop.

Made entirely in Britain, Softer + Wild’s new range unites Scandinavian shapes and colours with Eastern European folklore patterns to create a universally charming style that’s evocative of the early 1970s.

Founder and Head of Design, Tatiana Kavanagh said: “When creating this particular range, I had very visceral images in my mind: quiet white evenings by the fire, stylish minimalist kitchens, rustic wooden tables, Scandinavian interiors and the joy and warmth of colour.

These styles and colours happily tap into current trends for nature-inspired themes and Scandinavian living. Or for any customer looking for something unique and vibrant.”

Click on the images below to see the products in the shop.

 

Winter Solstice kitchen textiles & Scented candles

 

Two designs inspired by Scandinavian and Eastern European folklore in a '70s style. These make beautiful and alternative Christmas tea towels. This is the "Bright" design. Also available in a blue "Solstice" design. 70 x 50cm.Cooking apron combining Scandinavian shapes and colours with Eastern European folklore. Inspired by retro Christmas tree baubles. Available in two colours. This is the "Bright" design. 60cm X 80cm.

Solstice double oven glove inspired by Scandinavian 1970s shapes and Eastern European patterns. 84x20cm. 100% cotton with towelling back, heat resistant. Available in two colour ways. This is the "Bright" design.Two designs inspired by Scandinavian and Eastern European folklore in a '70s style. These make beautiful and alternative Christmas tea towels. This is the "Solstice" design. Also available in a colourful "Bright" design. 70 x 50cm.

Cooking apron combining Scandinavian shapes and colours with Eastern European folklore. Inspired by retro Christmas tree baubles. Available in two colours. This is the "Solstice" design. 60cm X 80cm. Solstice double oven glove inspired by Scandinavian 1970s shapes and Eastern European patterns. 84x20cm. 100% cotton with towelling back, heat resistant. Available in two colour ways. This is the "Solstice" design.

 

For your winter solstice and Christmas homewares, look also to the poppy red and mustard tea towels and napkins, also in red and mustard with a winter leaf design. Both are available in tangerine and peach too.

Winter tea towel with botanical leaves from this crisp season. Poppy red design to brighten your day. Available in other vibrant colours, all on chalkandmoss.com. Winter tea towel, mustard coloured, by Softer + Wild, sold on chalkandmoss.com.

Cotton napkins in winter leaf print - 4 colours available, seen here in Poppy Red. Designed by Softer + Wild, sold on Chalk & Moss (chalkandmoss.com). Cotton napkins in winter botanical design - 4 colours available (this is mustard). Made by Softer + Wild, sold on Chalk & Moss (chalkandmoss.com).

 

Don’t sit in the dark, but add some soothing scents with beautiful natural candle light. Chalk & Moss sells hand crafted candles by Join, made from vegan soy wax and pure essential oils. Because they don’t contain toxic paraffin, these scented candles produce a smoke free flame and a healthy aroma. Scents include Bay + Rosemary, Fern, Pink Grapefruit, Lavender, High Tide, Low Tide, Driftwood, Hedgerow and more. Hedgerow, Lavender and Pebble are also available as a delightful natural eco room spray. See all these products here.

The Fern soy wax candle combines fresh, zingy top notes of citrus with a elegant rose mid note and woody, herbaceous pine and rosemary undertones. A complex, refreshing fragrance that reboots the mind. A perfect gift for a hard working partner! Choose your aromatherapy candle from three sizes. This is the 120ml size, with a burn time of 20-25 hours. Join's luxury aromatherapy candles are cruelty free, vegan and handmade in small batches in London with high quality essential oils and soy wax. They are presented in a lovely recycled gift box. You can see Join's full collection of soy wax candles, room diffusers, room mists at chalkandmoss.com. This floral Hedgerow aromatherapy candles gives you the relaxed feeling This floral Hedgerow aromatherapy candles gives you the relaxed feeling you get on a spa break. An indulgent floral blend of delicate neroli, rose and basil. This indulgent best seller is romantic and feminine. A floral fragrance that makes a lovely wedding gift, anniversary gift or a special gift for her any time of year. 3 sizes to choose from. This is the 120ml version with a burn time of 20-25 hours. you get on a spa break. An indulgent floral blend of delicate neroli, rose and basil. This indulgent best seller is romantic and feminine. A floral fragrance that makes a lovely wedding gift, anniversary gift or a special gift for her any time of year.

Are you after a refreshing and uplifting home fragrance? This careful blend of mandarin and lemon verbena will lift your soul when the beach is just too far. High Tide is a clean fragrance and packs a citrus zest punch like a walk on the beach on a blustery day. Available in 3 sizes. This shows the 120ml candle, with a burn time of 20-25 hours. If you're looking for gifts for women who appreciate the finer things in life, this refreshing blend is sure to satisfy their cravings. Each Join luxury candle is 100% natural, vegan, cruelty free and scented with essential oils. Handcrafted in London in small batches and gift wrapped in a lovely recycled kraft box shown here. You can see them all, along with room diffusers and room mists, on chalkandmoss.com. Reminiscent of childhood memories skimming stones on beaches, the invigorating Pebble essential oil candles are a unique blend of bergamot and black pepper. This signature unisex fragrance is the ideal gift for him or her. Perfect also as room decor in a holiday home holiday home interior, bathroom, workspace or for a nature connected garden office. Choose from one of three sizes, with different burn times. This is the 120ml version, with a burn time of 20-25 hours. Join aromatherapy candles are cruelty free, vegan and handmade in small batches in London with high quality essential oils and soy wax. You can see Join's full collection of soy wax candles, room diffusers, room mists and soaps at chalkandmoss.com.

Bay + Rosemary soy candles by Join are inspired Scandinavian living. Designed for those who enjoy house plants, nature, cosy moments and nurturing their wellbeing. The herbal scent of these natural soy candles will fill the room with freshness, and look beautiful next to your other home decor, bathroom accessories or next to your favourite project. The high quality bay and rosemary essential oils add a subtle comforting antiseptic quality, without ever smelling artificial or overpowering. A treat for body and mind! If you're looking for Christmas present ideas, anniversary gifts, or even a house warming present, the nurturing quality of this candle make it a beautiful and thoughtful gift for her. Join candles are hand crafted with high quality essential oils and vegan soy wax, gift wrapped in beautiful recycled kraft box. Do reuse this packaging around the house or workspace! You can see more of Join's essential oil candles, reed diffusers and room mists at chalkandmoss.com.Pink grapefruit uplifting luxury candles Pink grapefruit luxury candles, hand crafted in London using 100% vegan soy wax and natural essential oil. The pink grapefruit scented candle is a happiness inducer - this zingy essential oil is often used to treat depression, so it's uplifting quality will be appreciated in any home or setting. This makes it the perfect gift for your friend who has everything! These aromatherapy candles look and smell beautiful both day and night. Choose from three sizes ranging from 10 hours to 45+. Luxury candles by Join are made from natural, cruelty free ingredients with recycled packaging. The pink grapefruit soy candle is part of Join's collection of candles, diffusers and room mists, all in a beautiful selection of essential oil fragrances, all available on Chalk & Moss (www.chalkandmoss.com).

So snuggle up by candle light, get creative in the kitchen, and take moments to enjoy the cold and darkness.

If you enjoy wintery scenes and spending time outdoors in frosty weather, you may like my blog post about cross country skiing in Sweden. It’s where the wintery photos in this post were from.

If you have questions about any products in the Chalk & Moss shop, drop me a line any time. And sign up to the newsletter for 10% off your first order!

 

Winter solstice information source: mentalfloss.com

 

Our 7 year old son got bronchitis the day we arrived in Sweden from England and has now developed pneumonia. So we take turns skiing/snowboarding and staying inside with him, enjoying the view. It makes us slow down and see it all in a different way. Late last night, I heading into the forest on my cross country skis. I don't think the photos can explain just how beautiful it is here. Perfect day skiing! Apparently, this year has seen more snow than in many years. Aren't we lucky! Night time cross country skiing in Sälen, Sweden. Photo by Anna Sjostrom Walton, Chalk & Moss.

Night time cross country skiing in Sälen, Sweden.

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