Monday, August 25

last days of summer

It seems that we got a few more days of summer on Friday and Saturday.

There was coffee outdoors and a postcard written to friends while the sun warmed my neck.

There was a really good folk music (though not the most traditional) gig on Friday night ("Night of the Arts", an annual festival when there are all kind of cultural events around the city through the night) and drinks with friends later.

There was more coffee in another outdoor café with a newly engaged couple visiting from London. And a lot of wasps trying to eat our cinnamon rolls.

And a good view from the café.

There were dahlias admired and photographed

and a lazy happy day ending with a dinner and a film at a friend's place.

It might have been my favourite day of all this summer.

Thursday, August 21

on angels

(after hearing a song where angels were mentioned)

Nephew: What are those angels? What are they like?

Me: Well, what do you think they're like?

N: Well -- They wear big shirts. Big short-sleeved shirts. And the shirts have stripes on them.

M: Oh. What else?

N: Then they wear socks, striped socks. They wear socks all the time.

Tuesday, August 19

flow festival 2008

It rained the whole Saturday, so it's kind of ok the tickets for Saturday were sold out. My favourite on Friday was Kings of Convenience, on Sunday Ane Brun. Lots of good music, lots of people (more than last year), lots of fun.

Saturday, August 16

how to make the most of a rainy day

When it rains the whole day through, it's a good day for...

...breakfast in a café in a good company (thanks miss H!)

...taking a walk in the city

...watching unknown newlyweds come out of a church

(they had the coolest bus ever for their guests)

...buying new shoes

...spending some more time drinking coffee

...listening to good music (Kings of Convenience, yesterday at Flow festival, today in my stereo)

(Plus things I didn't do but might have done: reading a good book; watching a good film; making and eating a nice dinner; knitting.)

I actually like rainy days; when they're days I can make my own schedule, the rainy weather can be quite soothing. What do you like to do when it rains?

Friday, August 15

my new friend eva

Eva Automatic, made in Italy in 1960s, bought today at the charity shop sale for 7.50 euros (!). I'd have bought it even if there hadn't been a sale, but since I couldn't take the machine with me yesterday, I made sure I was there when the shop opened today and then lugged Eva home (I have to say taking a sewing machine this heavy - and these old ones are heavy - home by tram isn't in the top of my list of ways to spend the morning, especially if I have to spend 20 minutes waiting for a tram).

I didn't have a sewing machine of any kind before, though I've been looking for one for a while now. Sister has graciously let me borrow hers, but of course I can't take that one with me to Tampere, plus it seems it's impossible to get the tension even with that one. I decided I'd buy a used, older machine; those cheap new ones you can buy for a hundred euros don't seem to work that well, whereas my mother has a Toyota from 70s which is still as good as new. Plus I think these old machines have a distinct charm the new, plastic coated machines lack.

My machine even had it's manual still intact, a very good thing. This photo is for the amusement of Finnish-speaking readers...

It would be wise to buy a used machine from a sewing machine repair shop (because they work for sure), but their prices are still a bit high for me, as are the prices of good machines in a Finnish ebay-style website; so, charity shop to the rescue! (Funnily enough, two different shops from the same line of charity shops had their sewing machines priced completely differently - one from 45 to75 euros, the other from 15 to 25 euros; I'm glad I checked out two shops.)

I took Eva for a test drive immediately, and now I'm off to buy oil, bobbins, needles and hopefully a zipper foot (all this will surely cost more than the machine itself!). Looks like it's going to be another warm and humid day here. Have a good Friday!

Thursday, August 14

lazy rainy days

I've been really really lazy these past few days. The weather has been unreliable, there has been several showers per day, and I've been staying indoors. Watching dvd's (seasons 1 & 2 of Northern Exposure, and many films, best of which was Juno [and Dead Poets' Society, but the latter doesn't count, because I've seen it n times]), eating too much Ben & Jerry's, getting into bed late and sleeping late too. I've felt a bit guilty about it all, since there are so many things I want to / should do while I have time off from work and school. Maybe all the slouching in front of my laptop was exactly what I needed, though; a week ago I felt I'm as tired as I was back when the school ended in May (not a good way to feel with the next term looming ahead), now I'm a tiny bit more hopeful. At least I seem to have shaken my fatigue - today I actually spent most of the day outdoors, as it was warm and sunny and not terribly windy for a change.

Meanwhile, my neighbourhood has been showing it's best sides now that I've had some time to just walk around. The day before yesterday, I bumped into three people I know, first a girl I used to work with (hei H!), and some 500 metres later, two lovely ladies I know through a friend. (Funnily enough, I seem to unexpectedly meet more people I know now I don't live in Helsinki full time!) Yesterday miss H and I went exploring a new-to-us-bar, declared it cosy with a quite good choice of beer, and decided to visit it again soon. And this weekend Flow festival will be held again practically next door to me; I got the tickets for Friday and Sunday - let's hope for good weather!

Now I'm off to catch some sleep; tomorrow there's a 50% off all items day at a certain charity shop and I have to be there early, since I have my eye on something.... Wish me luck!

Tuesday, August 12

anniversary gift

I want to share with you something wonderful I got for my friends just last week. You see, lovebirds P & M got married last summer, and they didn't really expect any gifts: instead, they wished the guests who felt like it would provide some entertainment for the reception - and let me tell you, with all the music (there were a lot of musicians present), one guest teaching us folk dances, etc. they had a really lovely wedding. I always meant to give them something, but didn't find anything that felt just right at the time, so this year I decided to give them an anniversary present - and the minute I saw this Ashley Goldberg print, I knew this was the right thing. Even the name (A Look Only You Woud Understand) of the print is fitting for an anniversary gift!

picture from Ashley Goldberg's etsy shop

I have been reading Ashley's blog for a while, and I really, really like her work, especially her use of colour. The print looks even better in reality than it does in the pic, and I hope P & M like it as much as I do - I think I might have to purchase a print by Ashley for myself, too (although I did get a postcard print as a surprise with this one!).

Go see Ashley Goldberg's home page, blog and etsy shop for more of her work if you haven't done it yet!

Friday, August 8


The weather turned cold (much to my chagrin; I didn't get to enjoy any hot days at all), so I came back home in time to celebrate my birthday on Thursday. The celebrations included a huge piece of cake, ferris wheel, a lovely hydrangea, and cocktails in two bars with a view over Helsinki. A good birthday.
I'll be back soon with photos from last weekend.

Saturday, August 2

hello august!

I'll be spending the first days of August (how many, depends on weather) at our summer place on an island in the Gulf of Finland. I made this mosaic two summers back, you can look at it while I'm away. See you!