Monday, 22 December 2008

Last minute wrappings

Gift wrapping is one of the most fun things in Christmas. I give a lot of selfmade gifts, and I want the package to reflect the same kind of do-it-yourself feeling. Yesterday I found this great tutorial showing how to make a nice little paper bow. It's quite easy and very addictive, I already made a dozen of them. They are gonna make cute finishing touches to my gift wraps.

Have a peaceful and warm Christmas everyone!

Friday, 19 December 2008


How could we survive this season without candles here in the dark North! I'm glad for all the extra light there is available, wether it's real candle or electric christmas light. Although you must be aware of the high cost of electricity these days. That's part of the reason why I have a huge pile of candles to feed my appetite for atmospheric light.

Saucers in the upper picture are flea-market finds. Vintage die-cuts will be hanging in the christmas tree this year.

Monday, 15 December 2008

Sweet couple

I want to share this lovely little music video by Anssi 8000 & Maria Stereo. They are a very cool married couple who make music together. I've totally fell in love with their sound. Hope you like them too. The song is called Bachelorism.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Reading warmly

I'm Reading again. This time I found newly translated (to Finnish) L'Amour humain by Andrei Makine. He writes so beautifully. Of all his books I like Le Testament français the most. That was the first of Makine's books I read, and after that I had to get my hands on all of them. I use the original french names, because the translated ones vary quite a bit. And as a nice little detail, the original titles are also included in the book covers in Finnish editions.

If you wonder why my hand is posing in the pictures wrapped in a tube... I just wanted to show my new wrist warmers. I knitted basic garter stitch and used some leftover multi-colored yarn. Fast to make and warm to wear.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Snow, sweet

This was the view from my window today. A winter wonderland! Snow brings so much light into these darkening November evenings. It's the same darkness every year but still it somehow surprises me time after time. But snow...I love it and really wish for it to stay. Probably it'll melt away pretty soon I'm afraid.

Some cute cuties under process here. I'm not sure yet what these will turn into. I might add aforisms or other sweet words next to the fairies.

Saturday, 15 November 2008


I bought this Zettiology stamp and now I just can't stop playing with it. The little party hats on the characters' heads reminded me of elves hats, and so I made some Christmas themed cards as well. Hmm, not very traditional kind of seasons greetings, more like a carneval going on.
But it goes along with my evening plans: I'm gonna have a little pre-Christmas party with my friends. Yey!


I got this lovely award from Sandy. It's very heartwarming, thank you!
Right now I find it way too difficult to choose blogs I love, because there are hundreds of them, so I'm gonna be a bit dull and not pass this on.

Monday, 10 November 2008


I've mentioned before my love for Anna Akhmatova's poetry. I'm still not good enough with russian, so that I could fluently read the poetess' authentic language. Marja-Leena Mikkola has translated Akhmatova's works to finnish in 1992, not all of them though, but an inclusive collection. To my surprise, I found that she has now made a new edition of the poems, some of which she has even changed a bit. This new book also includes works that haven't been previously translated.

Here's one of my favourites in english and in finnish (the newest translated version)


And I grew up in patterned tranquillity,

In the cool nursery of the young century.
And the voice of man was not dear to me,
But the voice of the wind I could understand.
But best of all the silver willow.

And obligingly, it lived

With me all my life; it's weeping branches

Fanned my insomnia with dreams.
And strange!--I outlived it.

There the stump stands; with strange voices

Other willows are conversing

Under our, under those skies.

And I am silent... As if a brother had died.


Kasvoin koruommelkuvioiden hiljaisuudessa
nuoren vuosisadan viileässä lastenhuoneessa.
Eikä ihmisen ääni ollut minulle rakas,
mutta tuulen ääntä saatoin ymmärtää.
Rakkaita olivat ohdake ja nokkonen,
vaan rakkain kaikista paju hopeinen.
Ja paju kiitollisena eli kanssani
koko elämänsä, unettomuuteeni
leyhytti unia itkevillä oksillaan.
Kummallista! -elin sitä kauemmin.
Tuossa törröttää nyt kanto, ja vierailla äänillään
toiset pajut juttelevat niitä näitä keskenään
yhteisen taivaamme alla. Olen ääneti...
Tuntuu kuin olisi kuollut oma veljeni.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Project management (or the lack of it)

I have several crafty projects going on and you can certainly see that when you step in to my home. All tables are full of stuff, piles here and there, lists of things to do lying around. But even if it looks like a total mess, I know where everything is. Let's call it a creative chaos. It sounds better.

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Cheering up

Oh my, it's so rainy and dark outside. I can't even take proper photos because of the missing light. In the middle of this depressive weather I wanted to cheer myself up and bought a big and pretty tea mug. I'd been admiring this Iittala's "Taika" mug for a while, and now it was on sale, so I just finally had to have it.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Always learning

I signed up for this online class. I'm not really a scrapbooker, but maybe this way I'll get a kickstart to becoming one. In any case it's an interesting concept and will surely be useful and inspiring. We'll see how it goes. I'm excited!

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

TMTA: Halloween

It's Halloween time soon, and this week it was the theme at TMTA. So here is my little group of trick-or-treaters.

Sunday, 19 October 2008


I'm always curious to see which fruit seeds start to grow if I sow them in a flowerpot. This time I made an experiment with a ginger root. It grew amazingly fast. It's funny how some of my plants die despite of eager care, and some just keep on flourishing even if I'd rather let go of them. Same thing happened with my avocado. I just wanted to try if I could grow it from the seed, and now I have a 1,5 meters high tree in my living room. I need a conservatory!

Sunday, 12 October 2008


I'm not much of a sewer (maybe it's just because of not having enough practice), but I've been dreaming of a sewing machine for a long time now. It's not that I really need one and would spend a lot of money on it, because I don't know if I can actually make anything decent with it. But as a stroke of luck, I was given this lovely old Singer 760. Yey! It's in perfect condition and makes very good stitches. The retro look of the machine is also adorable. I'm so happy. I'd better go and practice some more sewing.

Monday, 6 October 2008

Weekend in the nature

I spent the weekend at a lovely little cottage with two of my dear old friends. Although it was a bit rainy, we enjoyed the autumn nature, made grilled food and bathed in sauna. The nights are really dark in the middle of a forrest. When living in cities, people rarely see that kind of pitch-black nights anymore. It can be a bit scary too, especially when you know there are wolves and bears in the area.

Thursday, 2 October 2008

TMTA: Coffee

What a great theme this week at TMTA! I start my days with a nice cup of black coffee, that's how I get myself going. But I'm not merely a coffee person, since I also drink tea. Coffee in the morning and tea in the evening. A good mixture.

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Perfect trim

I really do a lot of paper cutting. My most used tools for that have always been a good old metal ruler and a craft knife. They work very well indeed, but now I finally wanted to try a good paper trimmer to see if it makes the cutting a bit more quick and easy. I bought this Fiskars trimmer, because I heard it's quite good. And I must say that I really like my new tool. It cuts perfectly and it can also be used for scoring. The size is just right for me too, you can fit a 30,5 x 30,5 cm paper in there. But the whole thing is very light and doesn't take too much table space either.

These perky dotted papers are by Doodlebug. The trimmer and the papers are both purchased from Heinikka.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

New stuff

I bought some new materials from Paperikeiju; papers, collage sheets, tickets etc. New stuff is usually very inspiring and that was the case this time also. I made these two atc's with a hint of carnival feeling.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Pekka the Horse

Just typical: We were taking a nice long walk in the beautiful autumn forrest. I had my camera with me to get some great and colourful shots for my blog. But what happens is that I got two pictures and then the battery went low.

Anyway I managed to get a shot of this handsome trotter horse called Pekka. To be honest, I'm not a horse girl actually. I've propably sat on a horse's back less than five times in my life. But they are such beautiful animals.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

TMTA: Handwriting

I love writing by hand, and that was also the TMTA challenge this week. There's something sweet and innocent in the selfmade look.. like the lady's dress in my ATC. Maybe she's a mad seamstress, or maybe she just has a very unique taste.

Saturday, 13 September 2008

TMTA: Dancing

Oh, it's Saturday already, so I'm a bit late with my ATC. This week's challenge at TMTA was dancing and I was in the mood for the eastern dance and Mata Hari.

Thursday, 11 September 2008


My cherry tomatoes are ripening nicely on the balkony. I have a little bit of green in my thumb after all. To celebrate my gardening skills I knitted new mottled green socks. The yarn is Polkka from Seitsemän Veljestä. My feet look somehow overly big in the picture...

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Red and yellow

Colours of autumn are slowly beginning to show in the nature. I found the reds and yellows else where too. My ochra knitted scarf got finally finished. It turned out pretty well after blocking, even though it looked like a big mess at some point. The polka dot scarf and the large table cloth were thrifting finds.

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Nice place for an exhibition

I had a little exhibition during the last couple of weeks. The place was a lovely old wooden school building, that was luckily saved from demolition and is now used for art and craft activities. It's also a beautiful and inspirational setting for workshops. I was teaching an art course for children there in June.

The walls have a delicious light blue panels. A huge part of the painting and renovation in the building was voluntary work. Great citizen activity indeed!

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Box of happiness

I made this little box for my friend who got married. It's a tin cigar box, which I aged with sand paper, acrylics and inks. Inside I attached altered playing cards and little bingo buttons. The letters form a word ONNI which means either happiness or luck in Finnish. Luck is needed in the game of love, but happiness is a state of mind that we all should pursue.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

TMTA: Rendezvous with...

I've had a long brake from making ATC's, but now I'm finally back in business. This week's TMTA challenge was very much fun... I immidiately thought of James Dean. That's a man I'd like to meet! But of course, I can only do that by watching his movies.

Sunday, 17 August 2008


There's a large bush of Green Mint on my balcony. It has grown enormously during the summer and it makes cute flowers too. I've infused the leaves and made many pots of delicious mint tea. I have cherry tomatoes growing too, but they look a bit stunted, so no picture of them this time.

Friday, 15 August 2008

Playing with playing cards

I bought a cheap pack of cards for experimental purposes. First I tried the very easy packing tape transfer technique. Here you can find a clear tutorial on that. I used pictures of a man and a woman from an old magazine. I think newer magazines with better printing quality and paper will give better transfer results. But I like everything old and scruffy.

The old magazine paper was so thin and fragile that I couldn't scrub it all off without harming the images. Especially in the woman's face you can see some paper pulp left. But when
I glued the finished transfers on the playing cards using glossy acrylic medium, it also made the images more clear.

Since I like everything to be a bit worn out, I sanded the cards to give them matte surface. Then I made them look dirty with inks and acrylic paints.

Monday, 11 August 2008

Getting colder ...need a scarf

I'm knitting a scarf called Autumn Morning. Doesn't it sound poetic? And very current too, the weather is getting colder and summer is definitely over. The pattern is from Ulla. My piece in the picture doesn't look so good yet. I chose quite thin knitting needles, so the lace pattern doesn't show properly because it's so tight. I hope it'll get better after blocking when it's finished. The yarn is Gjestal Maija. Yellow is a bit untypical color choice for me, but for some reason I'm loving this ochra tone right now.

Saturday, 2 August 2008

Beeswax collages

I've been meaning to try this for a while, and now I finally did. I used other adhesives too, so these weren't pure wax collages. The wax is only used on the surface and to adhere the lace. This takes some practise... the hot liquid wax solidifies very fast when spreading it with a brush. A heatgun or a quilting iron would be super useful tools to prevent the instant cooling, and the iron would make the surface nice and even.

I left the woman figures without a wax layer, so they would have more contrast and pop out from the more blurred, waxed background.

My few tools for the project: white beeswax pellets (I used double boiler to melt them) and a brush (it got ruined, from now on it's a wax brush only), the surface is a stretched 15 x 15cm canvas.

Thursday, 31 July 2008

Collector's box

I have all kinds of old stuff stored in my drawers. "Good finds" from here and there, waiting for the right kind of project to be used in. This box was a nice find indeed, it made all these other stuff click together and give birth to a new story.

Initially this was a Ferreira box, I assume it had miniature wine bottles in it. I'm not sure exactly. I used some acrylic paste to cover the carved letters on the side of the box. Then I collaged it with book pages to give it some pattern. Finally I added many layers of brown acrylic paint, then smudged it and scraped it and tortured it until it looked distressed enough

The insect pictures are cut from an encyclopedia. I glued them on the back side of the old medical bottles. It gives an interesting 3-d effect, when you look at them trough the curved glass. The white egg shaped thing is a silk cocoon. The jaw bone propably once belonged to a mink or an ermine. I found it in a forrest years ago, all weathered and white. Actually I have the whole scull, but it's in pieces.

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Card with a shirt

This is a confirmation card for a young man. It was quite difficult to come up with an idea that wasn't too religious, but not too humoristic either. So, I kind of stayed with the realistic aspects... Usually confirmation is the first big celebration in a boy's life, he maybe gets his first real suit. And then, at the latest, he is forced to learn how to tie a necktie.

I found some more video tutorials on how to make origami shirts and ties, and I really liked the way they give dimension to a card.

Friday, 25 July 2008

Wedding card

My friend asked me to make a card to a wedding she's attending. Only things that I know about the marrying couple is that they like the Fifties and listen to Elvis. That was enough information for me to make this card. And I had so much fun making it!

The sepia toned couple is from a 1950's magazine. Originally the man and the woman were in two different pictures, but I combined them together. The winged heart and the two little hearts are self-made embellishments. You can't really see the details in the photo, but I drew them on paper with regular markers, then applied a thick coat of Glossy Accents over them, let them dry over night and cut them out. The outcome looks like thick glossy plastic or something.

The only thing missing is Love Me Tender playing when you open the card...

Sunday, 20 July 2008

Cloudy days and sunny days

One cloudy day I went to see the the great Sandcastle in Lappeenranta. This year's theme is wild west, so there are cowboys, indians, horses and other neat stuff -all made of sand, water and glue. A friend and collegue of mine was in the sculpting team, and I sure know it was a huge amount of work. It also took lots of skills and talent. You can see more pictures of the work process here.

Luckily there was one sunny day too. I spent it at the summer cottage, mostly lying on a boat and watching the clouds go by.

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Video tutorials

I just love watching these craft tutorials on YouTube. It's very enjoyable to watch someone making things and at the same time giving instructions and tips. And also doing it all with a great care on a neat and organized table, unlike mine.

I might never try these projects though, I just like watching

Friday, 11 July 2008

Tuned birdhouse chime

I got my hands on a nice little project today. This wind chime was a flea market find from last week. Otherwise it was lovely, but I didn't like the winter themed decorations. Snowy trees in July? No way!

So I collaged it a little bit and added some paint. And now it's happily hanging on my balcony. Such a pity it's not windy today, I have to shake it frequently to hear the tinkle.