Nordik Folk

We are a Scandinavian Culture Club who meets Monthly September-May on the 3rd Monday of each month at Ridge United Methodist Church on Columbia Avenue in Munster, IN. 6:30 pm. All are welcome! We enjoy Scandinavian culture by celebrating the holidays, music, language, crafts and history of Scandinavia!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Nordic Faire 2016

Nordic Faire

The 2nd Annual Nordic Faire was held on Saturday, April 16th at the Munster Presbyterian Church. There were 167 people in attendance (made up of paid visitors, vendors, performers and Nordik Folk). Performing were Dans Norden of Indianapolis along with members of the Lingonberry Jam Band (Andy Johnson and Jim Nelson).  Harry Ogrentz played his banjo, and Nordikids sang and danced under the direction of Lynnea Sinwelski and Annalisa Blue.  Our pianist was Valerie Cook.

Our Nordic Faire was funded in part by the new District Lodge Lake Michigan No. 8 Cultural Enhancement Fund.  With that funding help, we were able to purchase the necessary supplies to throw a proper "Welcome to Scandinavia" and we were able to bring in many community members and families.  Our goal is to make Nordikids and Nordik Folk household names in Northwest Indiana. It is always a thrill when the press comes out to check things out!  Read here:

Planned in large part by Lynda Smith and Phyllis Kalajian,  the Nordik Faire couldn't have succeeded without the hard work of our Nordik Folk Team  who set up (beginning on Friday evening the night before, manned the door, sold raffle tickets, cooked and sold our Scandinavian food, and supervised all of the country tables and craft stations.  It was a joint effort; and while it was a lot of work, we all managed to enjoy the beautiful day. Keep scrolling for all of the photos!
The Welcome Committee:
Harry Ogrentz & Jean Ogrentz 

Nordik Merchandise

Shelly Pehlgrim:  Food Tickets!
Janice Tomky, Jean Oak and Elizabeth Flores-Allen with desserts.

Our beautiful candy seller: Annelise Nelson

Lördags Godis (Saturday candy!)

Warning:  You need sunglasses to look at this photo!
Our Resident Troll: Herb Smith
Wood Carver: Don Johansson
Kristen Lindemulder selling essential oils
& Viking Rune Necklaces


Nordikids gave a wonderful performance under the direction of Lynnea Sinwelski, and danced under the guidance of Annalisa Blue.  As always, they sounded great!  This year they enjoyed and were enhanced by the accompaniment of pianist Valerie Webb and members of Lingonberry Jam Band of Chesterton, IN. as well as Scandilocity and Dans Norden of Indianapolis, IN.

Nordikids Perform

Banjo Bjorne (Harry Ogrentz)

Members of  Scandilocity
and Lingonberry Jam Band 

Dans Norden leading guest in Folk Dance
Elizabeth Flores-Allen


Dans Norden


Our members outdid themselves baking!  Also on the menu were our "open-faced" sandwiches, Swedish Meatballs, potato sausage, and Swedish Pancakes with Lingon.




Saturday, April 9, 2016

VASA Member you Should Know: Phyllis Kalajian

This is reprinted here from the April Issue of the Valthornet:

VASA Member to Know...Phyllis Kalajian of Nordikreations

    Who would have thought that what started as a fundraising initiative 8 years ago for Nordik Folk No.761 would lead member Phyllis Kalajian to start Nordikreations: a new business venture with skyrocketing sales to television producers, museums and Scandinavian jewelry enthusiasts everywhere?
    Based in Indiana, Phyllis taught herself the art of jewelry making and has designed her pieces based on inspiration from her own Scandinavian roots:  She is half Norwegian, a quarter Swedish and a quarter German.  Her interest has also stemmed from her involvement in VASA.  Her two children, now grown, were enrolled in Solstrålen a VASA Children’s Club, and then she later reconnected with her roots when she joined the newly formed local VASA lodge, Nordik Folk No. 761 in 2006.
    Nordikreations quickly took off when people began requesting particular items.  Through research, Phyllis has spent great amounts of time reading about Scandinavian traditions and customs and has worked them into her jewelry design.  Each piece is inspired by Scandinavian culture: the jewelry, the folk costumes and the artwork– both ancient and contemporary.
    Styles include Viking, Sami, Norwegian rosemaling, Swedish and Danish. Materials used are silver-plate, gold plate, antique silver-plate, antique gold-plate, bronze, pewter, gunmetal, stainless steel, copper, leather, glass beads and gemstone beads.
Phyllis began making and selling her jewelry locally at craft fairs and events and by word of mouth.  She quickly found that selling online would expand her business and give her a way to share her talents more broadly.  See her ETSY shop at:  Since then, her jewelry has been for sale where the Viking Exhibit has travelled at: The Australian Maritime Museum, The Royal British Columbian Museum,  Chicago’s Field Museum and Discovery Times Square in New York. Her jewelry has also been purchased by Peterson Farms, the Linnea Bakery and a few Norwegian Lodges. 
    Phyllis’ jewelry can also be found at the Vesterheim Norwegian Museum Shop  in Decorah, Iowa,  and in their catalog.  
Her most exciting claim to fame is the sale of Viking-style earrings to the History Channel’s show Vikings which is in its fourth season.  Phyllis’ earrings can be seen in both the 3rd and 4th seasons of the show. You can tune in and catch the show on Thursdays 10/9 Central.
    Phyllis, who works a regular full-time job, hopes to retire soon to devote all of her time to her craft.  She hopes to open her own Scandinavian and Viking shop, possibly in the Crown Point, Indiana area.  She would also like to participate in some larger festivals in and around Northwest Indiana.

 “I love thinking of new ideas and then trying to find the right pieces to create them.  When I put the pieces together and it looks like I’ve successfully visualized something, I’m really happy,” said Phyllis Kalajian in a recent interview with Finland Center, New York. 

 You can also follow Phyllis on Facebook at

Nordic Faire

Join us for this wonderful
2nd Annual Event!

So much to do, see, eat & experience.
Spread the word!

Final Planning Meeting 
April 11!!!


March Meeting
"Filled to Capacity"
It was certainly wonderful to see so many faces at the March meeting on Monday, the 21st!
It was a good thing, because we had a lot to cover! See the Minutes Here:

Chairman Tim Ogrentz and Vice Chairman Herb Smith initiated two new members into our Lodge: Melissa Pearson and Jason Schmal.  Welcome to you both from Nordik Folk No. 761!!!
Kristen Schmal, pinning her son Jason
 with the Official VASA Pin
Lisa Pearson, pinning her daughter
Melissa with the Official VASA Pin

Vice Chairman Herb Smith with Initiates
Melissa Pearson & Jason Schmal

The Culture Program was presented by Sofia Nelson: National Parks Guide- The Wild Hearts of Sweden.

On march 5th, Nordik Folk members Ronald Allen, Elizabeth Flores-Allen, Timothy Ogrentz, Linnea Ogrentz, Harry Ogrenz, Jean Ogrentz, and Jean Oak attended Bessemer Lodge No.203's Pancake Breakfast and Easter Culture Program in Chicago. After eating their fill, many came home with crafted Easter Witches, feather twigs & Easter eggs as well as Semlor.  It was a wonderful event.

Harry, Linnea & Tim Ogrentz
Jean Ogrentz & Jean Oak

Ronald Allen & Elizabeth Flores-Allen

Monday, February 22, 2016


Image result for swedish paper hearts

Thank goodness that our February weather was more cooperative!  While weather in our area has been on the strange side, it didn't keep us homebound!  This month we managed to get through a Viking Lecture Series, a Genealogy Club meeting, a Nordikid's Fundraiser and a Nordik Folk Business Meeting/Installation Dinner.  

The Viking Lecture Series was held at the Munster Public Library on February 2nd..  This series is composed of 36 separate half-hour units.  On the first Tuesday of each month, 2 of them are shown and discussed. This event is open to the public.

The Genealogy Club was held on February 8th at the Ridge United Methodist Church in Munster. Herb Smith leads members in their searches and guides all to the information they seek.  He's a master!  This event is held the 2nd Monday of each month and is also open to the public.

A Pampered Chef Fundraiser was held for Nordikids at the home of Lynda Smith on Monday, January 25th.  There were over 10 people in attendance, and approximately $200 was raised for our Children's club.

Our February Business Meeting and Annual Installation was held on Monday, February 15.  Our new Lodge Deputy Susan Nilsson conducted the ceremony.  Susan is our new District Lodge Lake Michigan No. 8 Secretary, and is a member of Bessemer Lodge No. 203 which meets in Evergreen Park, Illinois on the 1st Saturday of each month.

Nordik Folk No. 761 Agenda 2/15/16

Nordik Folk No. 761 Minutes of the Meeting 2/15/16

Newly Installed Officers of Nordik Folk 2016:  (l-r) Nordik Folk Deputy Susan Nilsson,
Trustee Phyllis Kalajian, Master of Ceremonies Janice Tomky, Auditor Lisa Pearson, Financial Secretary Jean Ogrentz,
Chairman Tim Ogrentz, Chaplain Elizabeth Flores-Allen, Guard Harry Ogrentz,
Cultural Leader Lynda Smtih, Treasurer Beth Raddatz, Mascot Wren Raddatz.

For the full List of Officers...follow this link:
Officer's List 2016

2016: January

Happy New Year 

Happy "10" Year Anniversary to 
Nordik Folk No. 761!

It is hard to believe that our Lodge, which was instituted in January 2006 with an original membership of 40, is 10 years old this year! We have come a long way- gaining and losing members, muddling through early ceremonies for Installations and Initiations, adding new clubs and events yearly, and attending District Conventions to learn more about VASA Order of America.  We have managed to create a pretty impressive Scandinavian Club full of dedicated, interesting and talented Scandinavian lovers.  So, while we move through our 10th year...we will be reflecting on our first ten years, and looking forward to the next.

Our Lodge Historian, Michelle Westlund, has all of our Scrapbooks and we will be showing them at lodge meetings throughout the year and at special events.  

January was a very cold month here in Chicago/Northwest Indiana, so when our January meeting date rolled around and the news told us to "Stay inside!!" we took it to heart.  Our first meeting of the new year was cancelled, and in order to keep our business on track we held Officer Elections online with 26 out of 52 members voting.  Voting online were:  Beth Raddatz, Steve Westlund, Shelly Westlund, Linnea Ogrentz, Tonia Tomky, Karrie Schwartz, John Twohy, Jean Oak, Lynda Smith, Shelly Pehlgrim, Mike Pearson Sr., Annelise Gingold-Nelson, Janice Tomky, Phyllis Kalajian, Ingrid Lesko, Barbara Hannigan, Lynnea Sinwelski, Jean Ogrentz, Katie Westlund, Wanda Huszar, Herb Smith, Sarah Wakefield, Elizabeth Flores, Timothy Ogrentz, Harrison Ogrentz, and Abigail Ogrentz. With an unanimous shoo is the list of Nordik Folk No. 761 Officers of 2016:

Congratulations to all!  

DISTRICT REPORT:  Our District Lodge Lake Michigan No. 8 Report was due at the end of January.  Prepared by Nordik Folk Secretary Linnea Ogrentz, our report showed that our numbers are holding at 52 members.  With the new year, and efforts to reach out to the community with the help of the Cultural Enhancement Fund, we hope to raise those numbers in 2016.  So far, our efforts through the Genealogy Club & Viking Lecture Series have paid off in bringing in new members.  If we keep working and concentrating on the quality of our programs, the people will come...and we'll all have a great time and learn a few things as well.

With the addition of our Spring Nordic Faire (April) we also hope to continue building our Kubb Club & traveling tournament team (oh! How I want to go to Nationals in Eau Claire, WI):
National Kubb Championship, as well as our Scandinavian Craft Club.  We also hope to plan some trips this year.

Additionally, the Social Committee is working on a Kräftskiva Event for August and of course our Viking Festival in November where we hope to be celebrating our "10-Year Anniversary" officially.