making the world a {beautiful & creative} place


creativity-takes-courageWalking around any given Norwegian city on a weekend in late November and early December, you’re bound to come upon a Christmas market.

They’re put on by schools, churches, clubs and other organizations. A display of various handcrafts and gifts, baked goods and even possibly some activities.

Sometimes the proceeds go directly to the artists, and sometimes to the organization. There’s often gingerbread, and you’re sure to spot some nisser, wreaths, ornaments and other Christmas and winter merchandise.

Tusentimersmarked: the Beginning

But what happens when a group of ladies discovers that their creativity comes from more than just the desire to make things beautiful during the winter holidays?

Meet May Lene, Ellen and Lizz.

May Lene Stevens has a heart for finding new life in forgotten items and a desire to use her work as a way to both inspire and help others.

Ellen Haraldsen has an amazing eye for photography. In addition, her passion for incorporating nature into art is as endless as the hours she spends out exploring in the forest.

And Lizz Daniels is no stranger to our To Be Told Readers. She’s a feisty and incredibly talented creative I’ve shared about in previous posts (here and here).

The Tusentimer ‘Braintrust’, meeting to finalize details of this weekend’s Christmas market (from left: Jenn Dove, May Lene Stevens, Ellen Haraldsen, Lizz Daniels)

I met these ladies at an art course led by Lizz. Our creative group spans a few decades and a variety of backgrounds, yet we quickly came to realize some common threads. A desire for creativity and self-expression brought us together. But there was also a longing among all of us to inspire a shift in consumer thinking. A combination of less-is-more, old instead of new, and consideration for not only a gift’s recipient, but in how the gift itself came to be. And a need to help others, to make a difference both in our community and in others around the world.

Combine all of that with May Lene’s idea to start a new kind of Norwegian Christmas Market (julemarked, as we call them here in Norway), and thus began the journey to Sandefjord’s first-ever Tusentimers Marked.

The Story of Things

“I like the idea of thinking of items from a different point of view. Ethical, moral, economical…” Stevens shares. “We have a very one-sided way of looking at things. But often they have a story. I think it’s nice to loosen up the concept of things.”

Stevens’ idea takes the traditional Norwegian Christmas market and spins it in a different way. As the event is described on Facebook, “Tired of the hustle and materialism at Christmas time? Come to us for a dose of good old-fashioned Christmas atmosphere with homemade gifts and products that have a story to tell!”

Tusentimers Marked

marked1Tusentimer – a thousand hours. The market’s concept focuses on collecting and offering handcrafted items that were assembled over a thousand hours. Most use natural or recycled materials. Each is created by individuals residing in Vestfold. And each has a story to tell.

Lizz Daniels describes the market like this: “it’s communities helping communities, using creative talents to go towards a good cause, while creating beauty.”

This Saturday, from 10:00 – 16:00 at Cafe Vintage in Sandefjord, locals can peruse the accumulation of one thousand hours of loving creativity. So many have gathered for workshops to design and create coasters, ornaments, wreaths, greeting cards, bookmarks, and more. Others have donated their personal creations, including framed artwork, books, and more.

Products with a story. Products whose stories give them depth and meaning. Products created in atmospheres filled with passion, laughter, and good will. In a spirit of enthusiasm and inspiration.

Products that are not just products, but gifts, and labors of love.


To learn more, visit Tusentimers julemarked on Facebook

Tusentimers Marked
Saturday, December 3, 2016
10 AM – 4 PM
Cafe Vintage
Kongensgate 1
3210 Sandefjord


The 2016 Christmas Market will donate proceeds to the following charities:

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One thought on “making the world a {beautiful & creative} place

  1. I love this. I had a conversation with a friend yesterday about the need for a new mentality of reusing, remaking, and recycling instead of throwing out/giving away and buying new. I wish I were close enough to attend Tusentimers Marked on Saturday!