Tuesday, July 31

blue skies

The view from Kulosaari bridge to Sörnäinen 9:40 pm

It rained most of the day today. Very windy and gray, it felt very much like autumn, except the wind was fairly warm. When I went for a walk in the evening I felt like the wind could have blown me off from the bridge. (But in a good way!)

I`m glad the weather forecast says it`ll be warm and sunny for the weekend though: come Friday, I`ll be on vacation!

For Finnish readers, I`ve added this blog to blogilista so you can follow the updates via their site if you like.

zipper love

This is one of my two brand new rissarossi brooches. Made by Taija Leinonen, whom I kind of know (she`s a friend to a friend, or two friends actually, and a nice gal). While in Oulu I indulged in some serious shopping - the sales prices there were so much lower than in Helsinki, I had to really - and found a really nice green dress that just screamed for a rissarossi to go with it. So I mailed her and asked if she had some in stock, and in a week I got not one but two delivered straight home!

As you can see they`re made of zippers, recycled ones actually - she gets them from dressmakers who change old zippers and then save them to her. Her brooches are available in Secco Shop in Helsinki and in their web shop too. They`ve got all kind of great stuff made of recycled material, check it out! Taija`s brooches are also sold in Musta kana in Oulu. I think.

The other brooch already got to go to work with me and the aforementioned dress. I asked for a dark brown one and then one colourful - didn`t ask for a specific colour since of course bright colours are harder to get - and I got a lovely green one.
For all non-Finns and for ignorant Finns too (like I was), rissa means a zipper (maybe in northern Finland - I hadn`t ever heard it before) and rossi is a brooch.

The weather was rainy and cool on Monday, and it seems it`ll rain for the whole Tuesday too. I have three more days of work - hope the sun will come back for my vacation!

Found this blog via Karkovski. Great photos & I love the furniture in her bedroom!

Have a good week all, whether working or vacationing.

Sunday, July 29

birthday wish list

Today I had a day off work. My friend A suggested we`d go to have brunch in my favourite cafe/bar Fanny goes to Hollywood, something we`ve been planning to do for a while. The brunch was delicious, my favourites were tiny carelian pastries and small croissants. Yum. I have my birthday soon and have been thinking of asking friends to go and have breakfast/brunch with me somewhere; maybe Fanny will be the place. (I don`t really have big enough a table for inviting everyone to my place, and I know I`d get obsessed with getting everything just right and end up spending the morning in the kitchen.)

I love the pink/green combo. Like the lamp in the upper left corner, too!

Fanny is situated on the edge of a park with an old brick wall separating the area from the street, so it`s really nice to sit outside the cafe too. Luckily we agreed to stay in today - we got a couple of summer showers.

Does the furniture look familiar to you too? Yep, Ikea...

About my birthday, I`ve been thinking what I`d like to have. So far I`ve made this list:

*a Polaroid camera (been wanting to get one for a while)

*this t-shirt I mentioned earlier, or maybe one of Maryink`s or Stevester`s shirts

*some art for my new walls, wherever they will be; like this film noir inspired print by John Clark; this by John W Golden*; or this by Ashley G of kittygenius
*although some people might think this`d suit me better...

*this skirt

*stitch-it kit or la petite embroidery kit by Sublime Stitching - I`d like to learn to stitch (Take a look at her patterns! Look Maarit, there are dachshunds too!)

*boots by El Naturalista - unfortunately they still have their spring/summer collection on the site, but I`ve seen the fall/winter catalogue

*jewelry from here

*this for getting around

Whew, that`s a lot of links! Maybe I`ll get myself one item off my list for a special birthday treat - not the last one, though. Unfortunately.

Saturday, July 28

summer treat

I just ate one litre of strawberries all by my little self. With some custard (I think it`s my favourite way to eat strawberries). I tell myself it`s okay because it`s the high season for strawberries at the moment. They don`t cost that much and taste delicious! Unlike the berries I used for the pie below - that was in the end of June and strawberries weren`t really ripe but very expensive then, but I`d just seen the recipe and photos of a strawberry pie at Wise Craft (one of my favourite blogs) and had to make one. I altered the recipe a bit, and here it is for Finns in Finnish. See, I`m already straying from my decision at writing in English only... The recipe in English is here.

Have a lovely weekend and eat strawberries! I`m planning to - actually I`m dreaming of strawberry margarita (my second favourite way to eat strawberries).

nopea mansikkapiirakka

korkeahkolaitainen piirakkavuoka

2 pkt pakastemurotaikinaa
reilu litra tuoreita mansikoita
yhden sitruunan mehu
noin 1 dl sokeria
1-2 rkl perunajauhoja

Pese ja perkaa mansikat ja leikkaa ne kahtia. Kauli ensimmäinen taikinalevy ja asettele se vuokaan, leikkaa ylimääräinen taikina reunoilta pois. Sekoita muut ainekset mansikoihin ja kumoa vuokaan. Kaulitse piiraan kansi. Sivele piiraan reunoja vedellä ja nosta sitten kansi varovasti paikoilleen. Leikkaa taas ylimääräinen taikina pois ja painele kansi kiinni sormella vuoan reunoilta. Pistele kantta haarukalla tai viillä siihen muutama viilto veitsellä ennen kuin laitat piiraan uuniin. Paista 200 asteessa uunin alatasolla 45 minuuttia tai pidempään, kunnes piiras on kauniin ruskea.

Piiras on parasta vaniljakastikkeen, -jäätelön tai kermavaahdon kanssa seuraavana päivänä.

Huom. Käytin halkaisijaltaan 28 cm:n kokoista vuokaa, ja minulla taikinaa jäi vähän harmittavasti yli. Vähemmän laiskat tekevät tietysti oman murotaikinan. Mansikoiden määrä riippuu myös vuoan koosta, ostamani litra jätti minusta vuoan vähän vajaaksi.

Thursday, July 26

favourite dogs in blogs top 3

(not in any particular order)

1. Camilla Engman`s Morran
2. Maarit`s dachshund at Ruoholaukka
3. Nuttula`s lovely doggie at Kirjakahvila

As I can`t get the dog of my own at the moment (or have chosen not to get one just yet), I love seeing other peoples dogs. Though the dogs are not the only reason I like the blogs above a lot.

This little fella, then three months old, was a second to youngest guest at P & M`s wedding. Sharp teeth, but very soft fur!

Saturday, July 21

the exciting news

A letter came on Monday which has changed a lot in my life in a minute. I was so surprised by it I began to cry (but they were tears of happiness and relief) because I was 100% sure the contents of the letter would be the exact opposite. But it`s true: I will begin my studies of English translation this autumn in the university of Tampere. I have to brag a bit: there were 245 taking the exam and only 18 got in - and one of them is me! This is really big for me. Like, really, really B.I.G. It will mean that

I`ll change my major, translation has nothing to do with my previous studies (which hasn`t been a success even though I was interested enough in them - but always felt like I was somehow inferior to other students).

I`ll move from Helsinki to Tampere; I like the idea of living in Tampere but hate the idea of leaving Helsinki - the town where I have so many friends, my sister and nephew, and which I love just as a town. I get more than a little teary-eyed when I think about the fact.

I told my boss I`ll quit my job. Only two weeks left. The job was nice enough but I didn`t feel good at that either, plus I`ve been in need of a vacation for a while. Now I have a good reason for quitting.

I feel hopeful and excited about the future for a first time in years it seems, instead of feeling distressed hopeless and miserable (not to say my whole life has been miserable).

I feel like I have a chance to find my way and be good at something for a change instead of feeling like a failure in pretty much everything (yes, I know it`s mostly in my head - but maybe that`s why it`s so hard to think otherwise).

Little by little I`ve gotten accustomed to the fact that I really am going to study translation and I`m going to move - quite soon, in fact - into another town. I`ve been spreading the news - I neglected to mention the exam to my family and all but one friend. I know it sounds strange, but I thought at the time I won`t get in anyway (I`m definitely not a glass half full -person) and I was a bit afraid of my parents`criticism. Though now I think what I´ve been interpreting as silent criticism on their part has been silent support and trust for me to make my own decisions, however long that might take. Realizing that is a huge deal.

(As a side note for anybody not familiar with Finnish universities, in Finland university students are at least 19-20 yrs old when beginning their studies. If I`d studied instead of wasting the best years of my youth as a shop assistant selling shoes, I might have my master`s degree now - being a B.A. or B-anything doesn`t really count in Finland. But even though I`m old for a first-year student, it`s not uncommon to work before or between the studies, and there`ll be students older than me starting this year. Also, as there`s no tuition to pay, changing your major and starting over doesn`t mean you`ll be up your neck in debt for the rest of your life.)

In the photo one of the books that have made me love English: Zadie Smith`s On Beauty.

Thursday, July 19

reading is sexy

Today I worked only until four - usually I get off at 7:30 or eight - and on the way home popped in to the second-hand book shop in my building. Yes, I live above a second-hand book shop, and a good one too, I`ve heard it`s one of the best (if not the best) in Helsinki. And it`s easy to believe, the owner, a quiet and amicable old man (at least he seems that way) often has even brand new books for sale at a reasonable price, the books don`t cost much and he seems to give a little discount for every student-looking person entering the shop.

I spent about 7 minutes in the shop, and managed to find the following books:

*Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
*Putkinotko by Joel Lehtonen (a Finnish classic)
*Only in London by Hanan Al Shaykh (in Finnish)

The first two are paperbacks, in good condition, and the last is hardback and looks as good as new - and all this cost me six euros. Three books in seven minutes - do you see why I try not to go there often?* Books in Finland are quite expensive, by the way - I could maybe find a very thin paperback for six euros in a (not-second-hand) book store. I think normal price for a new, hardback novel would be about 25 euros. Well, I guess that`s what we`ll get for having a very good public library system.

*One might ask if it is possible to own too many books. The answer is, yes it is, at least if you don`t have the means to pay for a house with a fairly large library of your own. Having seen how two serious book lovers move together and try to squeeze their collection in to a 50 sq m apartment, I`ve vowed myself to restrict book shopping. I like to see the walls of a room from the book shelves. Another alternative is to have means to pay for a house with a fairly large library - but with me it`s leaving home the way that does not pass the book shop.

I know where some money not used for buying books could go to: this great shirt by Sarah Utter. I think I`d like mine in pink, but there are other styles and colours too. Hmm, my birthday is approaching...

Next: some exciting news!

(the photo is from Oulu)

Tuesday, July 17

back in town

I`m back from another wedding, this time in Oulu, over 600 km to the north. After working for eight days straight and sitting in the train for twelve and half hours in the past two days (plus the fact that my train left at 6:06 a.m.) , I`m pretty much pooped.

Despite the sleep deprivation (of course I had to continue partying `til the wee hours instead of getting to the hotel early - though I still was the first to leave) it was nice to see some some people I haven`t seen for a year, or years, plus meet new friends of my friends. Although, as in the previous wedding, I got this strange 'Wow! I`m at a wedding where most guests are my age - I really must be an adult!' -feeling. But then, after a couple of weeks I will be closer to turning 30 than being 20. And that`s scary!

Summer nights in as far north as Oulu are much more lighter than in Helsinki (one of the few things I miss from living in my old home town Joensuu though it`s not that north). I took this photo while waiting for a cab, at 2:25 a.m. or something like that. (Notice how well the buildings in the pic go together... Argh. Though there is a street between them.)

Thursday, July 12

rainy day

Yesterday it rained all day. I like rainy days if I don`t have to go anywhere special: rainy days are good days for cleaning up, reading a good book, drinking coffee and listening to good music. (Unfortunately I had to go to work.)

Rainy days can be beautiful too, if you have time for seeing it.

photos from June 18th

Wednesday, July 11

paper boats

Two of my friends, P and M, got married on June 30th. P is one of the two friends I`ve got to know as a child and who`ve stuck til adulthood, so her wedding was real special to me (it was also the first wedding of a friend I`ve been invited to - not a lot of my friends haven`t gotten married yet, though I guess the next couple of summers might see more weddings...). The party was great, couldn`t ask for more if I was getting married. One reason being all the participation from the guests, mostly live music - M is a musician and knows a lot of musicians; it was great! I even gave a little speech, something I really hadn`t considered doing beforehand, but I guess it`s easy to talk when it comes straight from your heart.

The reception was held in an island in the middle of Helsinki - really it felt like we were somewhere far far away from the city. It had rained all week but on Saturday there were no clouds at all in the sky. Late in the evening we had a little ceremony when the bride sent away eight little paper boats (done by me - the idea was groom`s brother`s), one for each letter of her maiden name. Beautiful.

Tuesday, July 10


Welcome to my new blog. It might seem stupid to start another blog when I can`t manage posting in the first one, but in a way my lack of blogging egged me on to start this one. There were so many non-crafty things I`d wanted to blog about but felt were out of place in my crafty blog (or what I call crafty, anyway). Of course it`s my blog and I could post anything I`d like, it`s not like I have this huge group of readers to answer to, but somehow it just doesn`t seem right to me. Hence this new blog.

I realize this blog might not be of interest for many and think of it more as just for me -blog, where I don`t have to have anything special to say but can post something anyway (don`t know when I started to feel like I have to show something I`ve done or at least tc tell something funny when I write an entry to musta lammas, but somehow I do - not to say I always succeed). Though of course public blogs are always intented to be read and, let`s face it, I`ll be thrilled if somebody checks scaredy-cat out once in a while. This blog will be in English only*, unless I`ll get loads of mail from Finnish readers begging me to write in Finnish:) - honestly, I find it quite tedious nowadays to have to figure out how to say things not once but twice.
*I hope some of my non-Finnish friends will read this

I`ve been for and against starting another blog for a long long while, and it took long enough to come up with a decent name (let alone with a url that wasn`t in use already). But finally it`s done! Hope your going to enjoy - I think I will.