Bow Braid tutorial / rosettfläta steg för steg


This summer we’re been having braid school at Casa McAllister. I consider myself being a very handy woman but somehow braiding has been hard for me. So this was really a tongue twister as in concentration. This looks like a really hard one to do but actually easier than you think! Ok let’s do a step by step tutorial. Firstly – I think it’s easier if the hair is a little wet, maybe put in some mousse or hair product.


Step 1: Do a partition of the hair. From about the eyebrow to the top of the head and around on to the other side.


Step 2: Collect all the hair – the bangs and some more on top of the head in a knot. That hair is later going to become the bows.


Step 3: Make a inside out braid aka Dutch braid. It’s like a braid laying on top of the hair. Instead of doing a normal braid when you take each piece of hair above the other you do it underneath every strand of hair. Start somewhere above the ear as close to the forehead as you can.


Step 4: Do the Dutch braid diagonally so it stops under the other ear and the just keeps on hanging loose.


Step 5: Now it’s time for the bows. Use a hairpin with long legs or I didn’t have one at home so I made a loop out of 25 cm wire it worked perfectly fine as well.  Put the fold of the hairpin in under the top of the Dutch braid. And take out a little part of the bangs.


Step 6: Take the part of the bangs trough the wire. Now comes the tricky part. Try to keep/hold a piece of the loop above the Dutch braid while you pull the wire & some of the bangs trough the Dutch braid. Sometimes you have to practice this or you pull too hard so all the hair end up below the Dutch braid. Be gentle!


Step 7: So one loop is gonna be above the braid and the other loop is below. But it’s all the same strands of the bangs.


Step 8: Pull out the wire and then start again. Put the wire through the next top braid and take another partition from the bangs. To make another 8. The little tail that hangs out – just leave it. It’s gonna be hidden by all the other bows / loops. You can tuck them in at the end.


Step 9: Continue to do the same until you used up all the bangs. Use some hairspray to keep it all in place. You can even put in some hairpins to really make it hold. The looser you make the Dutch braid the looser the whole construction with the bows/loops will be.


Done! It’s really crazy and bombastic still sculptural in a way!


Good luck with you hairdo!


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Couch makeover DIY

I bought this couch for our country place a couple of years ago and the color that used to be on it had bothered me for a long time. (Brownish you can see some of it here in this last photo). Normally this couch is by our kitchen table – love having a couch next to the kitchen. Easy to go into food coma right after eating or just staying there  for a long time reading the papers in the morning.


The paint I got at the Swedish artist Carl Larssons house Sundborn. It’s Beckers that have made a special paint collection with hues from his house. I don’t think you can buy them elsewhere. It’s a pity since the colors are fantastic. I never been into orange but this one I love and in his house the color is everywhere. Then I did this perfect shade of green, in between on the bars.

The seat I covered with a cotton carpet a bargain from the sales at Indiska this summer. The cushions are a mix. Two plain ones from Ikea, two from the fleamarket where I also found a old pink folk costume apron that i made into a cushion cover and a hanging woven tapestry that I also made into a cushion.

Here you can see photos from when I was at Sundborn – Carl larssons home! One of the most inspiring homes I know!

Part 1


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We have to protect humanity


This is my mom & me when she was showing her foxy swag in the late 70’s. (and no I don’t concur with the fur but think it’s a crazy photo)
My mom is born in what used to be Belgian Congo but raised in Belgium. Alot can be said about that history but it will be in another post. My father met my mom in Mallorca. She won the trip in a drawing competition and he was there going bananas with his friends from Sweden. Then she moved to Sweden got married and had me. I guess having a small kid in a wintry Sweden was a bit of a surprise. She’s back in Belgium now.

A week ago we had elections in Sweden and the extreme right party has got like 13% of the votes and are now the third largest party. It’s a total chock. Not that we didn’t know they where gonna get big but not that big. That at the end people would be voting on a party that has proven being not only racist, anti women and anti gay but also has members who are hating openly and being physically violent in the streets. Most of the comments from their voters comes down to we are not looking out for the Swedish interests, the refugees are costing too much money – they are our problem and then most of them say I’m not racist but we have to preserve Sweden Swedish. In Swedish called bevara Sverige Svenskt.
I don’t get this at all? What is the meaning of this? What is pure Swedish?  Who is a foreigner anyway?  I just want to know where are the boundaries are drawn.

I happen to be born in Sweden. It’s just a great coincidence. I also happen to have brown hair (that I can color) and I have a funky foreign name as in McAllister due to my hubby (my born name was Isabelle Halling – Halling is a Norwegian traditional dance for men – they performed it on the opening act of the Olympics in Lillehammer). My skin is white – also a bloody coincidence. I have all those things going for me. Not everyone is that lucky. I’m Swedish but I’m also half Belgian. But I feel Swedish or mostly I feel Brazilian and think I’m a New Yorker. But yet I’m none. My kids are half foreign since my hubby is half American. but still we’re all Swedish. And we’re still the lucky ones in this big lottery of a world.

What bothers me most is just that thing of preserving Sweden Swedish. The idea that if we would close our borders and be more restrictive with refugees or people getting here we would all come to a better conclusion, get a better life – have more money in our pocket. But the problem is it’s not possible. It not possible to draw lines like that, should we stop going abroad as well? Close down Internet? Never drink a Coke again?
The whole idea of Sweden being a great country is because we have been good at protecting humanity. To take care of each other. Taking care of everyone. The whole earth is facing problems at the moment not only due to wars but also climate changes. I think we all need to help out. And yes, that is gonna change the way of how all of us is going to live. How much we need to buy, what choices we make and so on.
You simply can’t stop development. And the whole beauty in the world lays in the mixture, the influences and traditions that blends, interacts and reaches for new goals – together.

Well let’s just get some hopes up for humanity and the #heforshe campaign! Well done Emma Watson I salute you!




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Isabelles wallpaper in ads and peoples homes


Or actually my stuff in Pär “Pappa Pastell” Ottossons homebut in different features. Above you see the concrete bubble and below is the epic sunrise – both are taken at Pär’s home but it’s ads for the Swedish classic toy brand Brio.
Find all my wallpapers here!


What a cutie!


There was a feature in the paper Sydsvenskan last weekend about Pär and his family – check it out here.

Check out Pappa Pastells blog here.


And this photo is from his instagram  – check out more over here. Above you see my wallpaper Random Clouds.


Also the instagrammer dromma have put up one of my wallpapers  – The Robusto. Cool with the mix in this home!

So fun to see my stuff at your place! Please send me more images if you have!


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Viola taking a picture of Jenny taking a picture of Viola


Viola taking a picture of Jenny taking a picture of Viola

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Who will be Mr Olympia 2014?



This weekend the Bodybuilding championship Mr Olympia 2014 takes place in Las Vegas. I woke up in a panic. “Jenny!! You forgot to talk about the documentary “Generation Iron”.

You´ve all seen the “Pumping Iron” documentary of Arnold in his golden years. But have you seen the documentary of the body builders of our generation? Before the new champion is announced this weekend I really think you should watch it.  See trailer below.

The documentary follows the contenders of the Mr Olympia title of 2013. It´s about their training and their thoughts. About the top ranked guy, Phil Heath, with the fancy cars who´s living the dream life vs. the underdog from a small apartment in New York, Kai Greene, he who changed his thug life into a life of bodybuilding, street performances and art. Yes you´re right this does sound like the modern version of Rocky 3. (the best of the Rocky movies in my opinion)
And it sure is.  Clubber Lang (MrT) was never into art but he reminds me a lot about Kai Greene, and Phil Heath sure is Rocky.


All the pictures in this post is of the fascinating Kai Greene.  Just look at the way he chooses to portrait himself. Everything else in Bodybuilding looks the same: miniature underwear and a whole lot of bronzing oils and poses you´ve seen before. He does to body building what Lady Gaga does to pop music.

Even though I love this guy my heart goes out to another contender this weekend. Victor Martinez is the one I´m routing for. There is not as much to say about him as there is Kai Greene but I really think he is a nice guy who has been dealt a few shitty hands his life.

Just watch it!



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