Tuesday, December 15

christmas card workshop

My home has been a Christmas card workshop this past weekend.

As usual, the cards are not exactly how I imagined them, and some things didn't work like I'd hoped (eg. the silver of the snowflake smudges very easily, so I wonder if everyone is getting a smudged card from me), and I wanted the envelopes to be a different colour (but for once thought better of it and didn't check every shop possible for the right shade of white - yes, that's what I'm like sometimes).

But working on wee small hours (I've messed up my sleep - luckily there are no lectures anymore) paid off, and today I sent cards to all those peeps I won't be seeing before Christmas. All those envelopes stacked up were such a happy sight!

I also sent a little parcel to London; I wanted to send cookies, but that would've been expensive and the cookies probably wouldn't travel that well. I love those stickers I bought a while ago... I'd like to embellish every envelope with them!

In the envelope were piggy things: a dishcloth with a gingerbread pig and a Maileg Christmas decoration. I know I'm probably going to see S & D after Christmas, but mail is always lovely to send and receive, don't you think?

Tuesday, December 8

flea market finds

I haven't had much time for flea markets lately, but I made some good finds back in November. Or was it October?

I just had to rescue these children's books from 1950's - I get like that with books sometimes, if they look especially lonely.... The books once belonged to a boy called Martti Vuorinen. I think it's nice when the past owners have left some traces of themselves in old books.

Pupujussi Gulliver ("Gulliver Rabbit") is my favourite title.

Another great find was this cake lifter, which kind of matches the spoons I already have (they used to belong to my grandparents). It would also go well with the Focus de Luxe cutlery I'm dreaming about.

Monday, December 7


I've been looking for a candelabrum for a few years - or more like hoping I would happen upon one which would suit both my taste and my wallet. I thought I'd like to have a traditional one, but most candelabras in stores/flea markets are either too fussy or too expensive (or both).

Now, if I had my way and not a million better ways to spend 70 euros, I'd buy the Gloria candelabrum designed for Muuto by Norway Says. I think it would look great with colourful candles, although I haven't decided if I'd like to have a black or a white Gloria.

I won't get my Gloria anytime soon, but luckily last month I found this 50s candelabrum at Pikkuvarpunen's flea market site. Long story short, I met Suki briefly in Helsinki, and now it's mine! It was a little tricky to find small enough candles, as I didn't want white, but now I guess a candlelight supper is in order.

Friday, December 4

cookies galore

Even though I don't really bake that often, baking is always a great way to relax for me (given that whatever I'm baking turns out ok - luckily I hardly ever have baking disasters ...knocking on wood here). I feel accomplished and content when I take something out of the oven and know it turned out just right. Beginning my Friday by taking dough (made last night) out of the freezer and baking four sheets of cookies before 1 p.m. made me feel extra accomplished, almost like I was some kind of domestic goddess à la Nigella (even if one glance toward my living/bedroom made that feeling disappear somewhat... I wonder if Nigella does all her cleaning?).

This time I baked another batch of Chewy Cholate Gingerbread Cookies from the previous post and also these cookies with dried cranberries instead of cherries. The reason for this baking frenzy (yes, for me baking two kinds of cookies at the same time is 'baking frenzy') is tomorrow's visit to the Boy's sister. One of the Boy's three sisters lives in Tampere, and whenever the Boy is coming to town, we try to visit K and her family. I'm giving the cookies as a little pre-Christmas present, and since there are three boys between three and eight in the family, I tried to choose cookies kids might like too (i.e. not use coffee and black pepper like I did last year). I have come realize I'll never find another boyfriend with sisters as nice as the Boy's, so I might be stuck with him...

I still have to work on an especially difficult and boring translation today, but I'm looking forward for a relaxing weekend and maybe a little more snow!

Tuesday, December 1

it's december

No snow at all, but the temperature is going to drop below zero, and there's a chance of snow; or that's what the weather forecast says.

Time to open the first door of my advent calendars. (Yes, I've got two - one a gift from sweet A, another a card-sized one I couldn't resist. And yes, I'm nearly thirty years old...)

The cookies I baked last weekend taste like gingerbread, like Christmas. Recipe here.

Friday, November 27

four months ago

A and I spent the whole day on the beach on Pihlajasaari island. One of my favourite places to go in Helsinki if it's sunny and I've got a day off. It was a windy day, so not a lot of other people on the beach, and I'd packed lunch with nephew-favourites, like meatballs, peas, cucumber sticks and cookies. We had so much fun A fell asleep on the boat-ride back to the city.

Thursday, November 26

three months ago

Three months ago I spent a weekend at our summer place with the Boy. It was the end of August; the summer had just turned into autumn, it was still warm. There was time to look at the small wonders in the forest.
I cooked dinner in the light of a kerosene lamp. In the night we marvelled at how many stars you can see when you're far from city lights; no moon either, we could see the galaxy.

Kolme kuukautta sitten vietimme viikonlopun kesäpaikassa. Elokuun loppu, kesä juuri taittumassa syksyksi, lämmintä ja tuulista. Oli aikaa pysähtyä tutkimaan pieniä asioita metsässä.

Tein kaasuhellalla päivällistä öljylampun valossa. Yöllä kummastelimme taivasta, joka oli täynnä tähtiä. Ja linnunrataa, joka sekin näkyi selvästi kuuttomana yönä.

Monday, November 23

all i want for christmas

In my family everybody will receive at least one book for Christmas (it's a tradition of sorts), so yesterday I was trying to make up a list to make book shopping easier for Mum. I remember writing these lists when I was a child and then tacking them onto the pinboard in our kitchen - I can't remember ever buying the idea of Santa, and I knew from early on it was Mum and Dad who bought the presents; maybe because my sister is eight years older, and she and I used to sneak in our parents' closet and feeling all the presents there... (but not too much - we didn't really want to know what we were going to get)

After writing the list for Mum I made another list; this is for Santa Claus (and some people reading this blog who might need tips), though, as I don't really think Santa is visiting a disbeliever like me, I might have to buy a gift to myself...

I like practically everything with the Siirtolapuutarha print from Marimekko's new In Good Company -tableware series

I've been a longtime fan of Ashley Goldberg's prints; maybe I should finally get myself one! I'd love to have a bearded guy of my own, but really I love just about every print in her shop. Follow the Sparrows, Trust Your Instincts and A Moment of Solitude are some of my favourites.

I certainly don't need another necklace, but if I did, I'd love to have an illustrated necklace by Susie Gahremani of boygirlparty. There are a lot of birds, and of course I like anything with birds - but this typewriter would suite me quite well, too.

Let's face it, I don't need more mugs either, but after I bought a Pride and Prejudice -mug by Penguin for miss J I've been coveting one for myself. Last time I visited the Korjaamo Culture Factory, I looked at the Penguin mugs they have in the shop - but it's so hard to decide which one I should buy! I've also set my mind to having an orange Penguin book bag.

In my list for Mum I actually mentioned Chef'n G'rabbit salt and pepper grinders. This might not be the king of pepper grinders (that would be the Peugeot pepper mill, I guess), but it would look nice in my kitchen. Which, I'm afraid, means rather lot to me.

To tell the truth, I already bought a Christmas present for myself: this photo calendar by Abby. Haven't got it yet, but I'm really looking forward to hanging it on my wall!

Sunday, November 22


On Saturday I saw a glimpse of blue sky; it was the first day the sky cleared after what seems like weeks and weeks of grey skies, fog, and rain (even though there has been a sunny day every now and then). At this time of year sunlight feels like a miracle; we get less than seven hours of daylight - most of which the sun hides behind thick clouds - and those seven hours I mostly spend indoors in fluorescent light, which I hate more and more every passing day. It's magic what a little sunlight, albeit weak and fleeting, can do!

(This morning the sun was shining into my bed, and maybe that's why I dreamed I had decided to spend two months in Zimbabwe in order to learn more English.)

Enough time to make coffee with my moka pot and heat some milk.

Enough time to eat breakfast in bed and watch dvds.

There was almost enough light in my flat to take photos (but not enough the photos would be sharp).

I haven't been around much lately. I've been meaning to (actually there were two posts I started but never finished), but autumn has been... ...not hard, at least not all of it; nor have I been particularly stressed up, even though I have had a lot on my plate.

I just haven't had any words.

Maybe I've run out of words - temporarily I hope - because of all the writing I have to do daily, the endless list of assignment and deadlines. I don't have enough words for the blog or letters or anything really that has nothing to do with my studies.

Another thing is I don't have internet connection at home, and I seem to spend enough hours at the university without adding blogging to it.

But slowly, slowly, I hope get my words back...

Saturday, August 22

the last picknick of the summer

Today I celebrated my birthday on a picknick in a small, nice park near my home in Helsinki. Actually my birthday was on the 7th of August, but this was the first possible day for the picknick I'd been planning - and what a day it was! Sunny and surprisingly warm (compared to the past week), you could forget the summer will soon be over.

In the morning made two kinds of salads (potato & couscous), courgette pancake, blueberry pie and chocolate & raspberry cake (which I swear tasted better than it looked like). Ten of my friends came in the afternoon (plus one baby, and the Boy, of course) and we spent the day eating, chatting, and playing mölkky. I hope everyone had as much fun as I did - it was lovely to have a birthday party for a change (in the last few years I've been too tired/busy/lazy to organize anything), and to see all my friends.

In the last photo miss L (in the front) is wearing this super cool hedgehog hairclip. I didn't seem to get a good shot of it, but it's lovely!

Tomorrow will be spent washing dishes, I guess. I do like cooking and baking for my friends, but I'd like it even more if I had a dishwasher!

Thursday, August 20

more from rovaniemi

Some photos from miss P's delightful apartment. I really like her livingroom, especially the curtains and the brand new golden wall. (Sadly my camera seems to be getting worse and worse, of all the photos I took at P's these are the best... )
And as always, wherever I visit miss P, I instantly feel welcome and at home.

Saturday, August 15

picking blueberries

It's blueberry season in Finland right now, and ever since I was in Rovaniemi (check those blueberry pics in the previous entry) I've been wanting to go and pick some. Today sister, brother-in-law, nephew and I took a car and drove some 30 km west for some berry-picking, barbecuing, and swimming.

I looked like a real city girl who doesn't know how to dress for the woods... my companions were much more sensibly attired.

Friday, August 7


On Monday night I caught the night train and traveled over 800 km (13 hours! that nighttrain is s l o w ) north to Rovaniemi, almost to the Arctic Circle in fact. It's kind of embarrassing that I'd never been that far north before - embarrassing considering how much Finland there is even above the Arctic Circle.

The reason for my trip was visiting miss P, who moved back to her old home city two years ago. We've known each other for eleven years (eleven! we must be getting old), and I guess we've always talked about me visiting her parents in Rovaniemi... I'm kinda slow.

And what a trip it was! Rovaniemi was all about hot hot sunny weather, cycling across the city (I love how easy it is to cycle from here to there in small cities), swimming in the river and one lake - we spent one whole day on a river-side picknick, seven kids and fourteen adults altogether, meeting old and new friends, making fleamarket finds, feeling happy and free. I just wish I could have stayed longer, but the Boy's youngest sister gets married tomorrow, so I had to get back south today.

a café where everything's for sale

golden sand!

and lots of blueberries! yes, in the city (although a lot of Rovaniemi seems to be covered with trees)

Friday, July 31

end of july

As much fun as I had travelling around all June, I was pretty tired afterwards. Maybe that's why July has been a lazy month for me; I haven't even blogged... and there are many other things I could have done, or should have done, but didn't. But I am not going to blog about things I didn't do and feel even more guilty, I will tell you about the nice things I did do.

In July I

*got a tan without trying (which never happens)
*spent two lovely sunny days with nephew
*read good books
*enjoyed long days on the beach; the water in the sea is really warm
*traipsed around the city
*ate great brunch twice with miss H; here and here (I especially recommend Fanny Goes to Hollywood's brunches)
*made good fleamarket finds
*met some lovely ladies at a knitting/crocheting/gossiping etc. club - hope I'll have the chance to join them again
*wore a dress almost every single day

Friday, June 26

more from rautalampi

In true midsummer fashion, the weather was rather cool - luckily only one day was really rainy, so we did enjoy being outdoors as much as we could. Barbecued, read, went rowing on the lake (the Boy insisted on the life vest. even though I thought it rather unnecessary), and swam.

I rarely feel so calm as when I'm swimming, alone, feeling the water around me and hearing only the noises of birds, wind, and water.
And there's nothing like swimming when the water reflects the clouds. Perfection.

On the first night the water was 14 degrees Celsius, and it felt icy - it still felt icy a few days later, at 17 degrees, but I still managed to swim for quite a long time. Too bad we had to leave just when the weather turned warmer - I'm sure the water would be perfect right now - but the Boy had to return to work. I'm already planning another long weekend there, though...