Tuesday, 30 October 2012

First Snow

Upon returning from Tallinn, mother nature had reminded of herself again. I left beautifully yellow and autumny Oulu behind and returned to the doll house with +10 degrees Celsius indoors. It was late when I arrived and since I wanted to sleep, I could not feed the fire for too long. It was +12 degrees when I went to bed and +13 when I woke up. Before starting the fire again, I opened the curtains and it was a full winter outside. Everything was covered in white.

 A sorry sight - my cabbages and spinach. Ruined under the snow.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Old Town Tallinn

I really like the streets and buildings of Tallinn.

Sunday, 21 October 2012


Made a weekend trip to Tallinn, Estonia. It is one of my favorite places in Europe.

Friday, 19 October 2012

She and He

Someone had felt a need to highlight the feminity of a stone lady.

The gentleman has been already introduced here. The good olde brass fella.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Autumn in Oulu

Early on Sunday morning I went to Oulu market place to picture the old red magazines. Light was low, people were few and colours were bright.
I embraced the combination of red, yellow and grey.
Details of old handicraft. Oulu used to be a busy port for tar exportation. The magazines were used for storing the barrels before they were loaded to the ships sailing to England, Spain, France, Portugal, Germany and heaven knows where else to.

Tar is no longer needed in large quantities and the old log magazines have become shops and restaurants.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Knitting Skappel

I am in love with my latest knitting project. The reason for this fire is a brilliant knitting pattern from Norway combined with the loveliest and softest yarn ever. The pattern is named Skappel after its creator Dorthe Skappel of Norway. She knitted a lose fitting sweater to her daughter Maria who posted a picture and free pattern to her blog. I found all this information via a very popular Norway based Finnish blogger, the Fisherman's Wife. After reading the pattern, I had to get some yarn and try it out myself. The English translation can be found from Raverly.

My choice for the yarn is Drops Alpaca in dark grey and Drops Kid-Silk in black. It is not totally black though, as the silk threat in the core of the yarn is of light colour. To knit this combo I use number 5,5 knitting needles as opposed to number 7 suggested in the original pattern with thicker alpaca yarn. The pattern is simpler than simple and the key is the quality of the yarn. I am totally charmed by my Skappel project.

PS: Pictures of a finished Skappel Sweather can be found from the Maria Skappel and Fisherman's Wife links above

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

New Stripes

Colder weather made me feel coolness in my lower back. It is the body part that easily becomes exposed when cycling. I needed a well covering top. Went to look for one and found stripes from H&M. They were in form of a tunic kind of sweater and a slightly shorter cardigan. Nice.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Apple Butter

Apples are changing their form into products. Yesterday I made Apple Butter.

First I had:

A bowl of apples (enough to make app. 2 litres after peeling and coring)
2 dl Water
1 dl Whole cane sugar
0,5 ts Ground cinnamon

and a pot.

Then I peeled and cored apples until my wrist was crying me to stop, but I stopped only once the  apple bowl was empty and all ingredients mixed in the pot.
After an hour and half cooking my mix on low heat I had dark brown lumpy butter in the pot. I blended it down smooth.

I had my first taster with cheese bread. A local delicacy making its second appearance in this blog. This time cheese bread was special. I bought it from Oulu's first whole food store, which opened couple months ago. My complaints have been heard.

The cheese bread in the picture is made of goat's milk, whereas traditionally it is made out of cow's milk. I could taste the goat milk in it and being a puritan when it comes to cheese bread, I shall not make a second purchase. Not even I know, that it comes from the cutest little organic hay munching goat milked by a brave organic farmer in Lapland and sold in the much waited little whole food store in Oulu. Oh no, I want my cheese bread the old fashioned way - made out of cow's milk. However, other things produced by the same goat and its owner, I shall buy from the tiny organic whole food store.

The chocolaty colour of my butter comes from the whole cane sugar I use. You know the kind known also as jaggury, gur or panela. In Finland you find it by asking for indian sugar. And now, the previous sentence makes me to appreciate the easiness of expressing the same in Finnish, as we have different words for nationals of India and Indians of Americas to who we owe panela.

Monday, 8 October 2012

October Rain Continues

It is still raining and the conditions for new photos are as stated in the previous post. Therefore, I continue on the memory lane and remember a day in early last summer, when a friend took me and my sister to a secret spot deep in the forest, and see what we found there. False Morels or Gyromitra Esculenta, as they used to call them in the Roman Epire. It was a delicious day.

Friday, 5 October 2012

October Rain

October brought rain. It is gloomy outside and unphotographically dim inside. Hence, it is time to remember the sunny days of September - the time when I sat outdoors with a friend, had a cup of black coffee, shared a doughnut and the sun was shining to our table at Cafe Bisketti on Oulu's walking street. It was a nice day.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Pimp My Chandelier

On the other day I DIYed an old chandelier.

Here are the instructions:

Saw off a dead branch from an old lilac. Saw the branch in smaller, oven sized pieces. While doing this, discover beautiful growth in some of the smaller branches. Admire the beauty you find in it. Decide to keep the moss covered bits for later use currently unbeknownst to you. Store the odd branches to the messy storage to make it look messier yet. Some time later, organise a party and get annoyed for the chandelier's naked look. Remember the branches in the storage and get a eureka-moment! Dress the item in question, and voilá, you have a DIY project in your hands.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Beautiful, Quiet and Full of Nature's Wonders - Hailuoto

The weather forecast promises strong winds and snowy rain for the weekend. Hence, it is time to remember the brighter times. Last summer I spent a day in Hailuoto with my good friends from Jyväskylä. Hailuoto is a beautiful island outside of Oulu.

To get there, you need to take a ferry first.
Then you drive, or cycle if you have time, across the island to its opposite end, to a place called Marjaniemi.

There you can hike on the boardwalk.
Or on the beach, which is long and sandy.
There is an picturesque old fisherman village next to the lighthouse, which was opened in 1871. Some of the old fisherman huts can be rented.
There is also a newer compound of holiday homes available for travellers. The vegetation in the picture is wild waterfront wheat.
The windmills mark arrival to and departure from the skerry, as they are located near the ferry pier. 
The island is so nice. A hidden treasure. It is beautiful, quiet, full of nature's wonders and my day there was one of the most memorable ones from the past summer. It was not memorable only for the adjectives I have added to Hailuoto's name, but because I got to see it in such a great company. One of its kind.