a blog about art, craft, design and beautiful everyday life
Where to buy

Maybe you can also find my stuff in your neighbourhood! Click here to see an up-to-date list of where you can buy my products.


Interested in selling Ninainvorm postcards, posters, art prints or ceramics in your own shop? You can send me an email at to hear about the possibilities!

Of horses and cows
This is a little story about horses and cows. About Dala horses and stupid cows, to be more accurate. Very stupid, greedy cows indeed. But let's start with the Dala horses...
I first spotted a Dala horse on a pack of swedish crisp bread that friends brought us as a souvenir from their scandinavian holiday. Without knowing anything about the background of the horse-image, I immediately loved it's colors and shapes, so I gave it a nice display in our kitchen.
As it often goes, after seeing the horse for the first time, I started spotting it in other places too. I saw some of the horses in wood as decoration material over at the dutch Ikea, I saw a poster with the horse at a friend's house and I saw many of them in the apartments shown in Jeu de Paume's 'Stockholm Apartments'. It must be a bit of a famous horse, I thought, but still I had no idea of how famous it really was. 
Then I started noticing the horse on flickr. First these two great examples:
photo: Rubbad
And a little later I saw this gorgeous print, called 'We love you Dala horse':
photo: Alline Luz
Getting more and more curious about this so-called 'Dala horse', I did a bit of googling and wikipedi'ing. And as the swedish among you probably already know since you were kids, the Dala horse turns out to be a very well-known symbol of the swedish province Dalarna and of Sweden as a whole. The horse is usually (hand)made of wood, and painted in bright colors, with folkloristic patterns. They have a long going tradition (swedish kids already play with them for ages), and they come in many sizes and colors.
I think the Dala horse is very decorative, and the fact that it has such a long tradition, yet looks so contemporary makes it even nicer. I found quite some beautiful examples of how the archetypical horse-image is used in different contexts. A little gallery:
A pretty pair, photo by jenkaswe
Stylish couple in black and grey, photo by bratli, and decorative on a tote, photo by peabag
A modern Ikea interpretation, photo: lorimarsha
Some creative interpretations: photo top left: kimonocards, photo top right: crimsoncat05, photo down: Pureasangelsblackasdevils
So much for now about the pretty Dala horses. But what's with the stupid cows, you may ask? Well, there's only one actually, and you probably already have guessed who that is.
Me, of course.
It's just, that after seeing all this Dala goodness, I really wanted one for myself, and I wanted it fast. I had a look at some swedish giftshops online, but I was a little shocked by how expensive they were. Handmade of course, I forgot...
A quick look at Ebay learnt that there were offered a lot of Dala horses there, also some really nice vintage ones, and that they were a bit cheaper on Ebay but still quite popular, with a lot of bidding going on. Impatiently, I thought: let's try and bid on a few... I didn't want to pay too much, so I placed a lot of relatively low bids, hoping that somehow one of those would be succesfull.
And I was lucky, cause within a few hours, this nice vintage Dala horse was mine:
But a little less lucky was that this horse turned out to be the first in row of a whole herd of Dala horses that would be coming my way...  Basically all of my haphazardly placed bids became winners, and in the days after the reckless bidding, the 'Congratulations! You won a Dala horse'-emails kept popping into my mailbox. I believe the storm is over now (I've been in desperate hiding), but the score is a little more than I could have wished for: no less than seven Dala horses will be sent my way...
So anyone who's still looking for a Dala horse (or has become an enthusiast after reading this): feel free to send me an email with a nice offer... ;)


Binal on 2008-09-04 08:11
Yes, I want one Nina.
Can you show me a pic of all of them so that I could pick one?
And please email me on the payment.
Have a sweet day,
heather moore on 2008-09-04 08:24
Hee hee! I bet you're not going to be able to give them up. You'll have to be a Dala horse cowboy!
Alvorada on 2008-09-04 21:22
He-he, great story! :) I justlove the pink horse on the first picture, and a pink one together with a red one would lookGREAT in my livingroom. But unfortunately I'm allout of cash...
Enjoy your horse-farm! :)
simplygrove on 2008-09-04 22:09
Love the story!!:)
Come over to my blog for a giveaway!  You will like the prize! 
Nina on 2008-09-04 22:20
@ Simply grove: I hope not a Dala horse? ;)
Thereza on 2008-09-05 00:52
brilliant! i just love your enthusiasm for beautiful little things hehehe
Thereza on 2008-09-05 01:06
i'm still laughing!!! had to share this on tinyred hee hee
Katrina on 2008-09-05 07:02
i LOVE this story. it's a perfect ebay moment. lucky for you those horses are gorgeous. perhaps it's an instant collect, all at once? fun post. 
simplygrove on 2008-09-05 07:08
No, not a dala horse.  That would have been great!!! 
Jesse on 2008-09-05 08:35
I can't wait to see your photos of the horses!
read me... on 2008-09-06 00:33
oh my... such a cute story! i can't think of a better home for all these Dala horses!
mary jane on 2008-09-07 04:00
What a funny story! I always lusted after them as a child and at last got a tiny one. Your vintage one is beautiful.  
Kaylovesvintage on 2008-09-08 19:59
yeah now I want a Dala horse,guess I will go hunting
see you on flickr
Viktor on 2008-09-09 17:38
I envy you. I can see how, from an outsiders perspective, they must be brilliant. But living in Sweden it's easy to get fed up with them. To me, a Dalahäst is basically aprint on a t-shirt sold in the tourist shops in Stockholm's Old Town, next to shirts picturing mooses in various sexual positions...
Alice on 2008-09-13 02:51
Dala Horses are the cutest thing !!!
peabag on 2008-09-15 02:34
Thanks Nina, you've just put a big smile on my face!
The fabric I used for the tote had Dalas in orange, red and blue.
It was hard deciding which one I wanted to show off, it being a small piece of fabric and required some careful cutting. In the end, I chose orange and red, but the blue is no less cute!
pappa on 2008-09-16 22:52
Nina, je moet er vast een aantal kwijt kunnen bij je "horse-loving-sisters"!Erg leuk verhaal trouwens.
alexandra hedberg on 2008-09-18 13:21
Such a fun story!!! Yes, they sure are famous in Sweden. I 've used the dalahorse in one of my paintings to give it that Swedish feeling. You can see it on my website: Click on the thumbnails with the blue horse.
Carla Sullivan on 2012-10-09 06:19
Love your collection of Dala horses ! I too have a collection ranging from 1 inch to 8 inch high.I dearly love the Dala horse maybe because my father's family immigrated from Sweden. I really would like to know where you got that darling Dala horse fabric. I would like to get some for myself so if possible let me know where I could buy it. Thank you, Carla Sullivan
Your name/nickname
Your website url
This is a required field
About Ninainvorm

My name is Nina, I'm a ceramics and paperwares designer and mom of Rosa and Julie. This blog is about making, living, liking, loving and so much more!

Want to get in touch? You can always send me an email through

Ninainvorm shop
Domeinregistratie en hosting via Design by: