Monday, November 9, 2009

Klaus Brother's Invasion Week 3: Sven Klaus

The Klaus Brother's Invasion continues at Penelope's. This week toy designing, tree-hugging, Birkenstock-wearing, hunky blond hippy Sven Klaus is joining us. He is one of the five Klaus brothers (Nicholas, Sven, Gregor,Oskar and Wolfgang) in my debut novel Sweet Inspiration, which will be released on 12-02-09 by The Wild Rose Press. Sven is into wood-working, tie-dying T-shirts, and saving the environment. He already looked through my recycling area and scolded me. I'm in serious doo-doo when he finds my paper plates.

One lucky commenter will be winning an Amazon gift card, so please feel free to leave a message for Sven!

[FYI, Sven is wearing ripped blue jeans with his Birkies, a very brightly colored tie-dyed T-shirt with Ben and Jerry on the front, his shoulder-length blond hair is looking shaggy and delicious, and he has some luscious scruff on his face that makes me want to jump with joy. And I can see his rockin' arm-band tat of holly and ivy with the old-world letter "K" in the middle. Nice biceps. Is it getting hot in here???]

Penelope: Hi Sven! Thanks for joining us today at Penelope's. I know you're swamped with work in Glasdorf right now, trying to get ready for the Christmas season.

Sven: Yeah. The cool thing is how many kids still like to get good old-fashioned wooden toys. You'd think that the video extravaganza would make the wooden stuff obsolete, but we still get a lot of orders for toy trains. They're classic.

Pen: Do you feel uncomfortable using trees, a natural resource, to make toys? Doesn't that offend your environmental sensibility?

Sven: (laughing) You get right to the heart of the matter, eh, Pen? Still pissed I yelled at you about your paper plate collection?

Pen: Just saying, you should put your money where your mouth is....

Sven: We plant ten trees for every one used to make toys at the workshop, Miss Smarty Pants. And, thanks to a little bit of elfin magik, we can accelerate their growth. We actually have an incredibly diverse forest of deciduous trees in Glasdorf that my forestry engineers oversee. I like to have a nice selection of woods for my designs, all different colors and textures.

Pen: (grumbling) Big deal. You plant some trees. I recycle.

Sven: I noticed the large assortment of beer bottles in your glass bin. Corona, Magic Hat, Beck's, Pumpkin Ale....

Pen: Give me a break, Sven! First of all, I just had a party and that's why there are so many bottles this week. And second of all, I know you and your brothers are regular beer drinkers at Dag's Bar in the North Pole. Although I've heard the elves can drink the Klaus Boys under the table.

Wolfgang: True. Especially Monie and his buds. You know you're in trouble when he starts playing ZZ Top on the jukebox. 

Sven: I won't deny our love for Dag's. He uses some sort of magic when he brews up those pale ales. They are tasty.

Oskar: Hey Pen. Sven probably hasn't told you, but he rocks at Quarters. If he ever challenges you to a game, take a pass. Or you'll be passed out in no time.

Sven: They're exaggerating.

Pen: Hmm. I'll avoid engaging Sven in drinking games, for sure. Thanks for the heads up, O.

O: No problem. Sven, mom is stoked about the new rocker you made for her. Penny, check this out.

Pen: Oh My God, this is gorgeous, Sven. How did you make this star design on the rocker?

Sven: Thanks, Penny. I had a really good time working on this project. The main part of the rocker is made from quilted Pacific Maple, and the star in-lay is composed of three different woods: Lacewood, Cherry and Madrone.

Pen: Wow! I love the different colors and textures. Your mom must be thrilled that all of her furniture is hand-built and designed by you.

Sven: Yeah, my mom's a sweetheart. She also likes to tie dye T-shirts for my collection. 

Wolfgang: Uh oh. I just found some cans in Penny's regular garbage.

Pen: Wolfie! What the heck are you doing, Mr. Garbage Police! Trying to get me in more trouble with Eco-Buddy over here?

Wolfie: (laughing) Just keeping you on your toes, that's all.

Sven: Damn it, Penny. You are so damned lazy...all you have to do is rinse them out...

O: I have an idea. Why don't we all tie dye some T-shirts? The elfin kids are having a party this weekend and they love to dress up.

Pen: Thanks for the change of subject, O.

O: You owe me.

Wolf: (laughing) Great idea, O. I can take some with me to the pediatric center at the hospital. (high fives Oskar)

Sven: Cool. Mom has some environmentally friendly botanical dyes. I'll get the stuff we need. You guys wrangle up the T-shirts. And Penny....

Pen: Yes?

Sven: We'll be re-sorting your garbage later. Don't think you're getting out of it.

Pen: (groans) Fine. 

Please leave a message for Sven while we tie dye T-shirts. He would love to hear from you! Congrats to Patti who won our Ami gift card last week.


Michelle Picard said...

Hey Sven,
Nice interview. And good call keeping on Penelope's case about the recycling. Sometimes you have to stay on top of that gal. I might have some recycling you'll need to stop by and check. It gets so confusing sorting the different types of plastics (flutters eyelashes in mock helplessness). Help.

Penny Watson said...

Sven: Hi Michelle. I would love to come over to your place and help with recycling.

Pen: Sven, Michelle is totally faking it. She is super smart and knows how to sort. Believe me.

Sven: Well, at least Michelle cares about the environment enough to know that recycling is an important responsibility, Miss Chuck My Mayo Jar In The Regular Garbage.

Pen: That accident. One of the kids probably did that.

Sven: Uh huh. Sure.

Natascha said...

Hi Sven,

So glad to meet you. Here's a question. What is your favorite toy to build for boys and what is it for girls?

I am SUCH a fan of Birkenstocks. I have been wearing them since my German relatives slapped a pair on me when I was little. Do you recycle your old Birks?

Um, can you, like, do me a favor and say hi to Oskar for me :-)?

Hi Penny! Can't wait for 12/2/09!

Penny Watson said...

Sven: Hi Natascha! It's great to meet another Birkie lover. The Birkenstock company is very environmentally "green"-- which is another thing I love about them (in addition to making the most comfortable shoes on the face of the earth). I donate my old shoes to Soles4Souls. Here's a link to check out more cool stuff about Birks....

Also, thanks for the great question about my favorite toys to make. I love talking about toys! I love designing and building sleighs for girls...we usually stuff them full of candy that my brother Nicholas makes, or pop a doll inside. I make them tough enough so that the kids can play with them outside in the snow. And my favorite "boy" toy is the old-fashioned fire engine. We model them after a British steam-powered fire truck from the 1800's, produced by Merryweather and Sons. We use wood and copper to create these fantastic toys. Boys love them!

I'll tell O you said hi!

Leontine said...

*Raises hand for tie-dye party* Hi Sven *waves to the rest of the Klaus brothers* Can I just ask a really stupid question here, allow me just one? Okay, here goes: What is tie-dye? And can you give me a one on one lesson *grin*

Penny Watson said...

Sven: Hi Leontine! Not sure if your "stupid" question is a joke or not...just in case it's for real, tie-dye is a type of resist dyeing method for textiles. I personally like to keep it simple...wrap rubber bands around a T-shirt, dunk it in a nice vat of colorful dye, and voila! You've got a funky shirt ready to party. And I would love to give you a private lesson! Sometimes we get a little messy, so it might be necessary to take a dip in Oskar's hot tub to clean up afterwards.

Oskar: Great idea. Make sure you invite Natascha, too. :)

Pen: Sven, have you ever tried to dye fabrics using the batik method (hot wax)...I have done that. It's cool.

Oskar: I can think of some fun stuff to do with hot wax....

Pen: Oskar, don't you need to go yell at some elves or something?

O: No. Not really.

Sven: First batch of T-shirts are done and hanging out to dry. Pen, like your yellow and orange combo. Nice colors.

Pen: Thanks! Are those boxer shorts?

Sven: Sure. Who says underwear can't be fun?

Pen: Very funny, Sven.

Susan Laura said...

Love Your Mother - Mother Earth, that is! Keep encouraging Pen, Sven. Our family of 4 usually has only 2 bags of trash each week but 3+ containers of recycling.

memya said...

Fun iinterview! Looking forward to Dec 2.

Penny Watson said...

Pen: Susan, you are making me look really, really bad!

Sven: Thanks, Susan for loving Mother Earth. I am super impressed with your recycling each week. I'm trying to convince Penny to get a trash compactor.

Pen: Small steps, Sven, small steps. By the way, your tie-dyed boxer shorts look great! (On the clothes line. He's not modelling them. Unfortunately.)

Penny Watson said...

Hi memya! Thanks for stopping by. I'm looking forward to Dec. 2, also! Needless to say, there will be a party at Penelope's that day. Be sure to visit!

Debi said...

Hello Sven!

It must be so hard to keep one's skin soft and supple when living in such a cold climate! Can you recommend an earth-friendly line of skin-care products--or perhaps an old Klaus family recipe for keeping skin youthful and kissable?


Penny Watson said...

Sven: Hey Debi. Glad you're concerned about my skin. (laughs) Since honey is a hot commodity at the North Pole (the elves are obsessed with it!), my favorite eco-friendly and cruelty-free honey-based product is from Burt's Bees, of course. I personally use the honey and shea butter mosturizer every day.

Pen: Hi Debi! So glad you stopped by. I still miss seeing your lovely face at the local bookstore. Oh why, oh why, did it have to close? One of the saddest days of my life. Now I'm forced to order from Amazon. Just not the same thing at all.

By the way, I love Burt's Bees! My favorite is the apricot baby oil. Put a couple of drops in your is awesome!

Oskar: How about a couple of drops in my hot tub?

Pen: Ha ha...very funny.

Mary Ricksen said...

Sven I have to admit that I am so not green. I never use the recycle bins. I throw everything into one big green bag and put it in the garbage pail. I use plastic forks, paper plates and when I have a frozen ready meal I throw the plastic in the bag too. I'm really, really, bad! So I think you need to come and show me the error of my ways. We'll have a nice little visit, and you can tell me what to do, while I gawk at you! Ha!!
What do you think of that?

Penny Watson said...

Sven: Mary, Mary, Mary. You sound even worse than Penelope, and believe me, that's hard to accomplish.

Pen: Hey!

Sven: Mary, thanks for stopping by. I hope you turn over a new leaf about recycling soon. I would be glad to stop by and give you a "lesson"!

Pen: Hi Mary! I see in your blogger bio that you were born in Vermont! I LOVE Vermont...I lived there for 5 years and dream about moving back. It is such a cool place. Thanks for stopping by today!

Phoebe Jordan said...

Hey Sven! It's so nice to get to know you a bit better since I only got a little bit of information on you when I read Sweet Inspiration. So I asked your brother Gregor last week these similar questions now I'm asking you.

So Sven my question for you is what drew you to becoming the "toy designing, tree-hugging, Birkenstock-wearing hippy"? I mean I try to put all of the plastic soda bottles and milk cartons in the recycling bins as much as possible and I've never made my own toy before but I want to know how you came to do it for a living.

I also would like to know if you are worrying about who Penny has in mind of matching you up with when it comes time for her to write you love story in her Klaus Brothers series.

Penny Watson said...

Sven: Hi Phoebe! These are great questions. I guess I was always into nature, even as a young boy. I loved walking in the woods and exploring. The elves taught us to respect nature, and my interest in environmental science just kept growing over the years. I also discovered at a young age that I had an affinity for carving and creating toys. The elves got a big kick out of that, and I studied with the wood-working master in Glasdorf. When he was ready to retire, I took over his studio. In addition to creating toys, I also love designing furniture.

I haven't thought a lot about my future "soul mate"--I'm hoping that Penny will hook me up with an amazing woman. And someone who cares about the environment as much as I do.

Penelope: Eventually Sven will realize the woman I pair him up with is his soul mate. But when they first meet, she is a thorn in his side!

Sven: That doesn't sound too good.

Pen: Don't worry. HEA forever! :)

Phoebe Jordan said...

LOL, thanks Sven and Penny for answer my questions.

Smokinhotbooks said...

Sven can you come over to my place so we can "tie- dye" together.

Penny Watson said...

Sven: Hey Smokinhotbooks! Thanks for the invite! :)

Leontine said...

Hi tub sounds good!! And yes it was a serious question *eek* After I placed my comment I googled it and had an aha moment *rolls eyes at self* Those tees where hot in the late 80's like All Star sneakers :D

Penny Watson said...

Hi Leontine! I have a sneaking suspicion that you are about 20 years old. Is that true? Actually, tie-dyes were popular back in the 60's and 70's..."hippy clothes"!!! And I guess they made a come-back in the 80's. Hee hee hee. I am feeling older than the hills right now! :)

Penny Watson said...

Hi Natascha! Congrats! You won the gift card this week. Thanks so much to everyone who stopped by and left comments for Sven!

Leontine said...

*blush* you think I'm 20 LOL I'm actually sssshhhhh 33 so the 60's and 70's were pre my time ;)

Tales of Whimsy said...

Sven sounds adorable. I can't wait to meet him.