Friday, 26 August 2011

Stuff Turning Decor

After years of trotting the globe, this is the first time all my stuff reside in one place. It is not a lot of stuff really, mainly memorabilia collected from different times and places. All packed in boxes and stored back at home. Half of them already forgotten.

Unpacking the boxes have revealed a mismatch of odd items. The oddest I collected to the kitchen's window ledge and made a little shrine. Never had one, or feel the need for one, but what else I can do? My goodness how knick-knacks can be confusing.

Russian dolls from childhood. The eyeless is a present from Sochi, the Soviet Union. The one with a blue skirt is a tea cosy. Under her skirt I keep my organic red.

Little girl in a yellow dress used to sit on my auntie's desk. Her cap is a cake decoration and adorned my graduation cake. The lady with a large head was made by my goddaughter in the kindergarten when I was in Asia. She handed it to me while I was on holiday in Finland. I left it behind and when my parents came to visit me, they brought it with them at her request. The trolls have heads made of sawdust. Definitely worth keeping.

Funnily walking Donald Duck has followed me from England to Finland. The chocolate box with kitchy wintry picture was my first nonsense-must-have flee market find from here. Viva la 20 cents. The ugly monster is a lucky charm from Japan. The vintage Echte Salzburger Mozartkugeln chocolate box was a gift from an elderly man in Salzburg, Austria.  I sang him the Edelweiss song and told how much I liked it. Few days later he came back with the box and said that he wanted me to keep it. Inside there are pressed edelweiss flowers wrapped in silk paper. When he gave the treasure to me he assured that the flowers were collected long before Edelweiss became protected. What a lovely old grandpa. The tea tin is just a tea tin.

My my. Can you imagine my shock, when I looked Edelweiss out from wikipedia just right now for this post and discovered that Edelweiss became a protected plant in Austria in 1886! Bloody old man! Nothing in this world can be trusted. Not even lovely old grandpas. I have treasured a crime from 1992!

Thursday, 25 August 2011

New Home

Home is far from being ready. Few boxes are still unpacked, no pictures have been hung on the walls, textiles are either non-existing or waiting to be sewd into pillow and bed covers, but things are finding their places. Slowly, slowly.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011


I got it! A new bike. It looks like an old lady, but functions as a young athlete. It flies me to work and back, nineteen km per day, five days a week.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Drop out

all i need is your love baby ♥
Picture from

What a day. I did something I probably should not have done, but cannot undo it now. I started a language course, which turned out to be unsuitable to me. A way above my level. I foresaw frustration, boredom and inability from my part to learn and decided to drop out from the first break. I apologised the teacher before departing and explained how I had overestimated my level. It had not occurred to me, that dropping out like this would hurt the teacher's feelings, but it did. Next time I'll last a bit longer and drop out quietly to ease the pain. A lesson learned from this training.

Thursday, 11 August 2011


The new bike is here. It is yellow and lovely to pedal. It was a good and sturdy buy.

Next I'll need to decorate the place and there's no way I can make it within the planned budget of 500 euros. To be honest, I have used it up already on tools I shall need for my decoration DIYs, paint, van rentals and sumptuous meal for friends to thank them for the help, support, furniture and kitchen items they so generously helped me with. 

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Peaks and Valleys

Life is peaks and valleys and I am certainly peaking now. First I got the job and now an apartment. Together they form a jackpot. did not stop there. A friend called and offered a house full of furniture, appliances and kitchenware. I was stunned. The family needed to empty an apartment of an elderly relative.

Then another friend called and told her good news. She got a job in Africa. She wanted leave her car with her goddaughter, who wasn't sure, if she wants to maintain it. She then asked me whether I could take the car for three years' loan, if the goddaughter didn't want it. I do. I do. She will let me know later. 

In this peak everything falls perfectly in place. It might be a good time to start the diet. 

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Artic Roses

There is a park in Oulu, where people spend their time. There is a playground for children and a cafe for adults. People go there for picnics and walks. It is frequently used as a backdrop for wedding and graduation pictures. I have also seen an open air play and heard an impromptu concert there. I love it and people of Oulu seem to love it too and we all know it by its name - Ainola.

For such a northern park Ainola has an amazing rose garden. It is truly amazing, because of our latitude. All possible colours flourish there in square shaped benches.

They even have roses with freckles there.

Monday, 8 August 2011

One Piece

The granny squares form a one piece now. I still need to strengthen the corners, as I want my blanket to last as long as possible. It will travel to my new home town with me, though eventually it will be property of the original natural dye artist.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Bike Love

The themes of this summer have been the kitchen garden and biking. I have not used a motorised vehicle, if the place has been reachable by bike. I am not an exercise oriented person at all and I love the fact that on bike I never feel like I am doing something physical.  I just love that way of moving about. All the bike rides I have done this summer were done on wheels on loan. I don't own a bike. This will change now though. I need to buy one as soon as I shall move to a new town.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Finding an Apartment

It is time for an apartment hunt update. I still don't have a place, but I have not been idle on that front. So far I have placed two net ads and filled three applications for associations with rental apartments. I still need to send one to town's administration. I have also written to the local newspaper, as I told earlier, and also to the Lutheran congregation. I have changed my status lines in Twitter and Facebook to reflect my house hunt and thus pleaded to my friends to extend my hunt to their friends.

I am still homeless, but I trust my prospects. So far a friend of a friend offered me to rent her boyfriend's studio. I turned that down, as it was quite far. Based on my internet ads I have received two emails and one phone call telling of a vacant apartments. One of them was far again and I turned that down too. Right now I am on my way from Oulu to view a place and shall view another tomorrow. I am sure the dream place is waiting for me somewhere.

I have not been idle on the decoration front either. Yesterday I almost wrecked my 500 euro budget with a sofa/daybed. I just fell madly in love with it and was very sad to learn that the American vendor does not ship bulky things internationally. On the positive note, I am still within the budget in decorating my non-existing new home, though I wanted that daybed real bad.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Oulu Castle

There used to be a castle in Oulu. It was build in 1605 by a Swedish King Johan III, who was our king at the time. Back then Finland was a part of Sweden. The castle was blown away in a huge explosion caused by a lightening. It set the gunpowder magazine aflame and BOOM!!!! This is all there is left of the real UleƄborg.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Oulu Last Summer

With my departure from Oulu nearing, I went out to town with a camera just to shoot anything. While organising the new pictures, I came across last summers Oulu shoots.

Rotuaari - the walking street. Last year I saw this troupe performing there with tons of energy.

This year Rotuaari has been a place to be avoided due to the construction work, which has turned the town's centre into a huge muddy hole. I am sure I shall appreciate it next winter, when I can walk there carefree during my Oulu visits. The piping and draining will be re-installed in the way that the heat from the hot water pipes will keep the street ice free throughout the winter. Hooray! Urban Planners are cleaver folks I must admit.

Hotel de Ville - the town hall. Oulu is a very nice town, but it is impossibly ugly. Despite the up coming Rotuaari success, the Urban Planner cannot rest. There is a lot to do to improve the looks. However Hotel de Ville is pretty.

Oulu has many nice little parks, but somehow many of them are insignificant. You rarely see people spending time in those. I cannot even recognise them by name. The most popular ones, where you see people sitting on the benches, having picnics and sunbathing are the ones with known names. Here´s a sample of one I hardly ever see anybody doing anything, but using it as a short cut. Please, don´t ask for its name.

Emptiness of the streets is another feature of the town.

And lastly, but not least, a sight typical to the area and to all of Finland. A well maintained pine forest. Despite its industrial feel, I find beauty in it.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Granny Blanket

A granny blanket has been a work in progress for quite some time. It was started in 1983 or 1985, when my sister experimented with plants as dyes. She dyed app. 100 g of wool a colour and ended up with a challenging palette of greens, browns and yellows. The yarn waited for someone in the family to get an inspiration, as we never throw pure wool away. Few years back I started an ambitious empty-all-the-left-over-yarn-baskets project and came across my sister's girlhood experiments. I decided to do what people usually do with an odd amount of odd colours - granny squares. It has taken me a long time to come where I am now, as I have spent the past decade in the tropics and crocheted only during the holidays at home. Finally, last winter a blanket started to take a shape. It will still need few final stitches, but I am slowly getting there.