Friday, August 31

at the market

I`ve got no words today but here are some photos.

Feet week
next week!

Monday, August 27

my favourite person

As everyone who has read my (neglegted) crafty blog knows, I`ve got a nephew, little A. Yep, he`s the bald looking little fella in my user pic, though he`s not bald, he`s just got very fair hair. Sorry for everyone who thought it`s me and my kid in the pic - it didn`t occur to me until lately that people might think that! I didn`t mean to fool you.

And aren`t these photos just too cute not to be shown?

A and me met each other for the first time on a cold and sunny February afternoon. He was less than 24 hours old, being born the evening before. I don`t think I`ll ever forget how it was meeting him. He looked strange, solemn and old despite being so new. Soon after he was born it was like he`d always been here.

Look how stiff my arms are! I hadn`t held many babies before A.

I`ve had an opportunity of seeing A nearly every week of his life after our first encounter. I even worked as a part time nanny for him last winter. It`s been such a joy watching him grow from a tiny baby to a lively toddler. Plus we are really close, but being close to A`s mum, my sister, I couldn`t really think being any other way. When I was going through a rough patch last winter, A was somebody who always made me feel a little happier. And he still does, whenever I see him.

Moving into another town makes me worry a bit about my relationship with A. I believe I`ll continue being a special person in his life, and I know he will be in my thoughts as much as he is now (I think some of my friends are getting a bit tired of hearing about my extraordinarily smart and funny nephew), but it`s just not the same without my weekly visits. Still, I`m lucky to be moving only two hours away from Helsinki, and the way A keeps learning new words, he`ll be talking on the phone with me before I know it.

Wednesday, August 22

du är värd att dö för

Big thunderstorm in the morning. I didn`t have to be anywhere, so I just watched it from indoors. It looked great. (I`m sorry for those 38 000 homes that were left without electricity, though.)

central Helsinki in the morning (photo from

Seen on the street I live

du är värd att dö för - ni kan skratta om ni vill
(you`re worth dying for - you can laugh if you want)

I disagree

Now in the evening there the dark clouds are away. Still warm and humid though.

I live in the green house (third from right)

Monday, August 20

lazy monday

my new totally cool lego ring

Meeting Miss H for some record shopping (we both bought Jenny Wilson`s cd - I wonder how the guy in the record shop guessed we`d seen the gig ;) ) and coffee*. Enjoying the afternoon sun and sitting outside watching people busily buzzing by. Popping in several small & nice shops. Finding red shoes at sale (over 50% off, and I`ve been looking for red shoes - too good to pass).

I happened to find this thermos for 2 euros from Fida (a charity second hand store). I think their prices are usually rather high, at least in the shop near me, but this really was a bargain. It seems to be unused. The strawberry glasses are thrifted too, I got them as a birthday present a year ago.

De Rit organic honey waffles are my favourite!

label still intact

Inspired by our shopping tour today, I thought I`d share this link with anyone who`s interested in design-related things and visiting Helsinki and haven`t found this yet. Design District Helsinki is a site where you can find information about stores, galleries and restaurants. Not every place worth visiting is there, but a lot of them are. Quite many stores selling young Finnish designers are included too. Också på svenska!

*I want to adopt the Swedish term fika. Finnish has no one word for describing the concept, but we have execution down pat! Finns too drink lots of coffee. Even the most ordinary day can have a hint of festivity in it if someone suggests: Let`s go have coffee! ...Mmm, I think it`s time for some (Swedish) coffee and those waffles...

Sunday, August 19


I like these chimneys

waiting for the music to start

a cool tattoo - she had scissors tattooed on her left shoulderblade

I LOVE Jenny Wilson

...and the co-ordinated costumes of her band!

My kind of festival. People having good time and focusing on the music, not on getting drunk. Small scale. No mountains of rubbish everywhere. Close to home, no sleeping in a tent.

(I know I sound dull and uptight. In my head I think I like rock festivals, I mean you get to see many bands at the same time and have fun, and I don`t hate sleeping in a tent, though I like it more when hikes in forests are involved. In reality I can stand the masses of people, not getting enough to eat, being cold and dirty and sleeping poorly only for a limited time, and after that I`m poor company. This is really embarrassing to admit...)

Friday, August 17

a wish come true

Thanks for all the comments about my vacation photos. After a couple of thunderstorms it`s a bit cooler now, but luckily the weather report says the sun will be shining on Sunday. I`m going to take my yellow shoes (thanks for the shoe love too!) to Flow Festival. Would`ve liked to buy tickets for the whole weekend but decided to save money. Anyway, I`m waiting to see & hear Jenny Wilson and Bebel Gilberto!

The festival is perfectly located, 600 m from my home. The venue is an old power plant, built in the early 20th century. I think the place looks great, take a look! Flow is a part of the Helsinki Festival, an annual event of all kinds of arts. Many of the best happenings are pretty expensive (at least for a student) but there`s plenty of free stuff too. Usually I`ve been working in August, but maybe I`ll go see more happenings now.

photo from

Helsinki is really at it`s best in August! In Finland July is the month when everyone heads for countryside, the towns are empty and everything`s closed. In August schools start and there`s much more happening (but thankfully the university term begins in September).

On another note, I have to show you one of my birthday gifts. I laughed when I got this from sister - it`s almost what I wished for.

Yeah, I meant a real vespa, not a magnet, but this was so funny. (For some reason most of the presents I got were red. It`s not my favourite colour or anything, and I don`t think my friends had agreed on red presents. Funny!)

Tuesday, August 14

the first week of vacation in photos

It`s been hot, hot for the past week. Yesterday we had 28 degrees (that`s like 82 degrees Fahrenheit - CRAZY HOT in Finland)! No clouds in the sky, people sunbathing in the parks of Kallio (the part of town I live in) in the daytime and just hanging out or playing petanque and mölkky at night. Even at night the
temperature`s been about 20 degrees, that`s how August should be: dark, warm nights.

I`ve been spending most days and nights outdoors. Hanging out with friends and having coffee at the outdoor cafe nearby. I think this is what summer felt like when I was a kid.

Miss H`s earring

my favourite hangout for morning coffee

birthday shoes

at Hietaniemi beach in the evening

my birthday brunch here last Sunday

on the plate:
summer is the best!

Tuesday, August 7


me in June 1984 - the bows make me think of Russian girls

26 random things about me...

1. I`ve had long (and I mean long) hair for the most of my life. Now I`ve had short hair for about six months and can`t remember what it was like being a long haired girl.

2. I dressed more maturely ten years ago than now.

3. I usually wear a skirt. If not, jeans are the trousers of my choice.

4. I don`t own many black clothes. Personally I don`t see black as a colour that goes with every other colour.

5. I learned to read at the age of five.

6. Nowadays I don`t read as much as I`d like to.

7. I don`t know what to think about horoscopes, but the older I get the more Leo I see in me. I don`t always like that.

8. When I turned 18 I decided to learn to like coffee because grown-up people drink coffee.

9. I love coffee.

10. I`ve only lived in two towns and three apartments in my life.

11. At a time I seriously thought I`d want be a biologist. Sometimes I still do.

12. My day-dream job (=not realistic at all) would be a graphic designer.

13. I used to scoff at people who spent lots of time online.

14. I very seldom go to bed before midnight. But even if I do, it`s still hard for me to get up before eight (and it was even when I did it every school day).

15. I`d like to have a dog. We did have one when I was growing up.

16. I worked part-time selling shoes for almost five years

17. I was a shy and precocious kid.

18. Everyone of my grandparents has passed away ten or more years ago.

19. I`ve known my oldest friend for 20 years.

20. I was born in the afternoon.

21. I`ve never smoked a cigarette.

22. I`m a feminist (of course, that can mean so many things...).

23. My middle name is Maria. I think every other girl I know has Maria as middle name.

24. I have a driver`s licence but I`m afraid to drive.

25. I have a tendency to worry about both past and future. I`d like to learn more of a carpe diem attitude.

26. My favourite drink is G&T.

me 6 days before turning 26 - photobooth photos for my student`s card (i don`t think i look like that...)

Sunday, August 5

what i saw today

in Tampere

a very blue house

some guys fencing in a park (or that`s what I think they did)

back home

I love old-fashioned neon signs!

people doing capoeira next to the museum of contemporary art

art in the art museum restroom

Saturday, August 4

sister weekend

Yesterday was my sister`s birthday. I went for a visit in the evening and took some extra-chocolatey cake with me (didn`t bake it myself though - I baked a cake on Wednesday to take to work on my last day, and that felt like enough baking for me), so we celebrated with the cake and some G&Ts after nephew went to sleep. Despite the eight years and four days between sis and me we`re very close, and it was nice to have a chance for a proper sister-talk for a change. We see each other pretty often but having a company of a very lively one and a half year old can make having meaningful discussions rather difficult!

Today was warm and sunny - I`m really happy my vacation started with such a beautiful weather, it`s been rather grey and somewhat cool for the past few weeks. We decided to continue celebrating by going to Suomenlinna for a picnic. For non-Finns, it`s a fortress built on a group of islands just off Helsinki in the middle of the 18th century. In summer tons of people, tourists and locals (meaning people who live in Helsinki) go there everyday either to see the fortress or just for a nice day in the sun & some swimming. We didn`t swam though, the weather wasn`t that warm.
I envy the people who live on the isles, in old houses built when the fortress was still used. Almost no cars, a beautiful place to live (it`s on the UNESCO World Heritage List, by the way) and 20 minutes by ferry to the central Helsinki. Though it must not always be easy in winter, very windy and cold and dark. And in summer hoardes of people tramping under your window...

me and nephew, the photo`s taken by me so that explains the quality. i think i look a little malicious... but in the other photo nephew was upset (for not getting my camera)

I gave sis the card on top. No present yet; I ordered this for her but it hasn`t arrived yet. We won`t have to stop the celebrations yet: we already talked about going to drink strawberry margaritas on my birthday, and then there`s the brunch which will happen next Sunday, I think... Sounds good, doesn`t it?

nephew running away as fast as he can

So despite the terrible headache I had yesterday my vacation started pretty great. Tomorrow it`ll be another lovely summery day but I have to go to Tampere to have a look at an apartment. I really want it (even though I haven`t seen it yet) but I`m not the only one... We`ll see how it goes.

Thursday, August 2

ends & beginnings

Today`s my last day at work. Then it`s bye-bye shoe shop, hello vacation! Starting tomorrow I`ll have about five weeks to do just what I please (including getting a new apartment, taking care of a bunch of stuff you need to do when you move, packing, and actually moving).

On one hand I feel like I could`ve continued working for a couple more weeks. Even though the work itself didn`t feel that satisfying (I worked in another shoe shop before this for years), the people I worked with were mostly nice. Some of them really nice, in fact. And I could use the money for sure - in fact I spent yesterday second-guessing my decision to quit this long before my studies begin.

In reality (and I`m trying to assure myself) I do need this vacation. I feel like the summer has flown by without me noticing and been really stressed out. I`ve been feeling poorly for a while for no obvious reason and I honestly can`t remember the last time I woke up and didn`t feel tired. So I`m telling myself it`s okay to take some time off even if I do miss some of the 'girls' in the shop already. Why is it so hard to enjoy the vacation without guilty conscience?

Oh, I`m not planning to do nothing. In addition to do all the things I have to do, I`m planning to read a book (at least one), spend a lot of time outside, take nephew with me to a park for a whole day, have a Settlers of Cataan -marathon with P & M, buy a bicycle at last, eat more strawberries, have morning coffee in an outdoor cafe near me, just hang around and enjoy Helsinki at it`s best, and visit a couple of other places. Enjoy having no time table. And try not to worry about things that I`m not doing.

On another note, in the photo above is what I got from J, one of the really nice people at work. She`s the best. J is taking a year off school, in addition to selling shoes she makes replicas of period hats (for example, she seems to do A LOT of things - I feel such a slob compared to her). She even has her own super cute logo. And she`s one of the reasons I`d been glad to stay in my job were I not moving.
The brooch is made from old wellies (the center with the bear print is rubber), ribbons and light reflective ribbon*. I`ve admired J`s similar brooch many times, and now I got my own! I just love it. I think this will embellish my coat come autumn, but I`d really like to wear it with a chic dress for a party!

*I don`t know a correct English word - in Finland it`s commonly used e.g. in jogging suits and children`s outerwear; it allows the drivers see the pedestrians better in the dark. You know we have many dark winter months here!

Wednesday, August 1


A blurry photo, I know - the wind was so hard yesterday it was hard at times to keep the camera from shaking. Plus there was little light. But it says 'lovely gray?' on a bridge railing. Maybe it is meant to comment on the fact that all the graffitis have been washed away.

Have a happy 1st of August!

love on a crosswalk