Saturday, 19 April 2014

LEMON AND LIQUORICE





I got some fabric and some ideas and thought I'd sew myself some stretchy dresses now for the warmer season, as I have come to notice very few of my actual dress get any "screen time" due to the fact that I am the mother of a toddler. But you know my thesis, comfy and practical can be just as nice as something fancier if worn the right way.

I have a piece of yellow faric and a black lace appliqué I am going to turn into a simple pull-on dress. Before I reach for the scissors I have to make up my mind though, weather should I go for

A) a straight dress
B) an A-line, perhaps a bit shorter dress or
C) a dress with a flared hem.

Hmm hmm hmm. What do you think?

Friday, 18 April 2014

EASTER-Y THINGS



 Easter and time off! We're spending ours mainly out at the farm (although I will be doing a quick stop back in town on Saturday evening for a show.)

 Right now it's warm enough for no tights and small shoes! Well, for a while at least, on the sunny porch. A few more layers are required still if actually going somewhere...


One of Dag's older brothers bought home Easter decorations he made in school. I put them all on a tray along with his Easter grass and some flowers he picked me himself, as I don't like to spread small stuff out here and there in the house.

Otherwise I don't have any Easter decorations, but I like to buy home lots of colourful flowers for the holidays instead.

(Btw. Most Finnish houses will have an Aalto vase I think. I find it hard to fit anything and look good, but tulips. Tulips will always fall nicely in it.)

And my old test-tubes got some for them as well, and some tiny ones from the garden. Give it a week or two and there will be lots more to tube!

Mämmi in a Moomin bowl, could it get any more Finnish than this?

Mämmi (memma) is an old traditional Finnish dish eaten around Easter that with very little chance will ever be found somewhere else in the world. It is made of rhye and malt and sweetened. I prefer to get the organic version that is sweetened by itself (by letting it sit, sort of), but this year the supermarket was out of it (damn you, likeminded people!) so I got the regular one with molasses. Mämmi used to be such a big disappointment for me when I was little as you kind of expect it to taste like chocolate fudge or so, judging by the look of it. Well the taste is nothing like it; it is rather strong and perhaps a bit bitter too. But I like it! Traditionally it is eaten with milk or cream and sugar, but some spice it up with vanilla sauce or whipped cream, and I heard that a few drops of whiskey on top would be great.


I make my own version and eat my memma with fresh fruits, often apples and bananas, this time with pear and pineapple. And here's a little tip for my fellow Finns, especially those of you who don't consider yourselves to like it; do that, with fruit, and have it with some lemon quark (sitruunarahka)! Woohoo! I mean really WO-HOO!


I bought some big paper eggs to stash candy and eggs in for the kids. My grandparents had old paper eggs like this when I was a kid, and I was happy to stumble upon these.


I had to choose those with the most horrific motifs though. Seriously, does not this bunny freak  you out a little?

(Old easter bunnies -in some ways old anything costume related- do tend to be damn creepy, I mean, have you been around the internet lately?)

Thursday, 17 April 2014

BUTTERFLIES FOR THE WALL


I got a roll of a classic Finnish wallpaper I've always liked and wanted to put up somewhere: Perhonen (Butterfly)! It will come up on one wall in Dag's room, which is still in the making (quite a long in-the-making, I know. It's not as if he's in a hurry to move out of our bedroom any time soon you know, and I just haven't gotten around to empty and change the messy study yet...)


The butterfly wallpaper was designed by Ritva Kronlund for Pihlgren & Ritola. The cherry blossom wallpaper that's one of my favourites and the snowflake- one I  had a few flats ago are also designed by Kronlund. I scout wallpapers all across the internet but always end up getting all of them (well, almost) from Tapettitalo (that carry all the old P&R wallpapers) in the end!


Perhonen has been in production for decades. It is labelled as a 50's wallpaper but I am not sure weather it was designed so far back or in the 70's, as most of her famous ones are from then. There is also a rather intensive black version available of the butterflies.


Wednesday, 16 April 2014

THE BEST BITES


If you never got around making your own raw goodies or if you have not tasted a lot of them, you may find the ingredient list somewhat monotonous: dates and nuts, nuts and dates. You might think there can only be so many combos of said main ingredients. But the thing is you can create an endless amount of different tastes, depending on what you choose to add along. If you think about it, a regular cake also (mainly) has the same base; eggs and flour and sugar and it's the rest that then defines it.

These yummy snack-cubes turned into my favourite for the moment! Inspired by a bar at the health store with vanilla and berries, mine also has cocoa and hemp seeds in them. The berries give a nice sour taste  and hemp seeds of course contains lots of nice fatty acids and proteins and what nots, you name it.


You will need:
Sunflower seeds, cashews and hazelnuts. About the same amount of each.
Real vanilla
Coconut oil (can be left out, or changed to a small amount of cocoa butter)
Raw cocoa powder, regular works just as well (this is also optional if you make a non-choco version)
Dried soft dates
Dried berries of your choice
Hemp seeds

As usual the amounts are a little so-so. Some people like their bars sweeter and stickier, some more dry and some more oily. I like mine perfect. Hehe. This is mostly for an idea of what to blend in that you can then use to make your own version of. As my usual way of doing thins, I just pour in and measure with the eye. I will however try and mention how much I used of everything for those of you less adventurous out there.

I mixed about 100grams of sunflower seeds and hazelnuts and a little more cashews in a mixer to a semi smooth texture. Add ground vanilla according to your own taste preferences along, same goes for  the cocoa powder. I put in some 3 tbs.

I scoop in about a tablespoon of room temperatured (=soft) coconut oil. Someone will always complain about the use of coconut oil in everything, and you can leave it out if you want to, although this is a good way to incorporate this healthy oil in your diet, plus it gives a nice add to the consistence of the mix. You may change it to a little but of melted cocoa butter or melted raw chocolate instead.

Then add the dates one by one until the texture feels nice and firm. I used about half of those cardboard boxes of dates. (Btw If you make a big batch like I did of 300grams of nuts you might have to divide the batch in two at this point so that your mixer won't overheat).

Finally add some dried berries and a handful or two of hemp seeds to the mix - you can work the in by hand. I had a mix of dried cranberries, cherries, blueberries and goji berries  (put in about 100g), but pretty much anything will do. Put the dough on a working surface, flatten it out and cut into cubes (or bars).



Yum yum, enjoy!
Store them refrigerated and well sealed.

Monday, 14 April 2014

A DAY IN TALLINN



I went down south for a day trip to Tallinn the other day. (For those of you who have forgotten your geography Tallinn is the capital of Estonia, a few hours south of Helsinki by ship.) I used to go there rather often before when working in the harbour, but now I think it has been at least a few years since the last time.

It was however not totally a day off but something of a work related trip, planning and brainstorming for showbiz and stocking up on supplies for costumes. It's quite common for companies to go on congress/recreation/meeting etc trips on or across the Finnish Bay for a day so we decided to do the same and have our meeting on board. With the company paying - well yes - which makes it even nicer! Of course, when your company consists of two persons and you do all the work yourself it's still you and only you who's paying, but flooing oneself a bit can be comforting.


Lots of coffee and lots of planning.


I had kind of hoped for a warm and sunny spring day and being able to wear my cape but it was cold and warm-jacket weather instead.


Red shoes on old streets.


Mandatory huge pancakes at Kompressor.

We had a destination in town too; a fabric and haberdashery outlet with a much better selection than the stores at home. We kind of went on a little (or, add " around "little"...)  detour on our way there.




So I took walk-by pics of old houses with details matching my boots, mint green bikes (of course) and random doves.


Shopping at Karnalux.
Seriously, anyone who has ever been into costuming in one way or another will know the mixesd emotions and agony of being in a place like this - the pain of knowing you will not be able to go trough everything, and the thrill of having so much to scout for, and then almost giving up and not tang anything because there is just too much. Seriously, it's like this for aisle after aisle, meter after meter in a few hundred square meters.


Lots of ribbons and such making their way back home with us.
(We later realised we should have stocked up on so much more when at it. Damn!)


So we had to calm our nerves at African Kichen afterwards. Vegan dinner and yummy cocktails.

And very tired after lots of walking and brainstorming on our way back home.
(As you can see I have 'done' something to my hair, smartly enough around midnight one moment while brushing my teeth at the same time, so we'll get back to that at some other point.)

Thursday, 10 April 2014

2x REVAMPED



You  may remember the long pinafore skirt I have? A friend of mine got the same one but felt it did not fit her so she passed it along to me -ssometimes it's good with doubles of certain pieces of easy, everyday clothing. As the material on the skirt got rather floppy after the first wash already I thought I might as well turn the other one into a shorter skirt that'd go well with boots now in spring (and for autumn).

Snip snap with the scissors and a few rounds with the sewing machine and there it was!
And  I - of course -  made a pair of pockets for the skirt out of the cut-off hem.
If you cut a hem shorter (or the sleeves of an item)  it's smart to use the left overs for something to go along with the updated piece, especially if the fabric is patterned. If not pockets then you can make a hair band or scarf out of it.

The blouse is the basic top I revamped by sewing a lace appliqué on.

Dag chose the bangles for me and came and put them on.


Tuesday, 8 April 2014

BABY LAMBS!










It's baby-lamb season again! Like straight out of a toilet-paper commercial, small and fluffy and adorable they lie there and walk on shaky legs. Usually they are very scared and cautious when this little but there are a couple that are so curious on everything already. These are so going to be the fence-jumpers of this summer the ones that will terrorise our garden later on...


Monday, 7 April 2014

APRIL


Springtime!

 (I know this one totally makes it seem like I would have done some yard work. But I so did not. Have no idea how that rake got there. In fact, I haven't done anything of use since autumn and everything looks there after... Well, at some point I'll have to if I ever want to have people over.)



Lulu in her hunting-dog pose.



Friday, 4 April 2014

RUBIES > TURKU


We're off as the Rubies to Turku now to perform at Hylätty Huyvipuisto at Kåren tonight.
And here we are portrayed in our (kind of) Big Fish siamese-twin look by Atelieri O.Haapala earlier this year.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

IN STRIPES AND RED


I love stripes! Almost as much as I love pockets on dresses.

I know it seems like I'm always wearing something on my head, most often covering my hair up with a beret. Well, it is kind of true, especially at this time of year; it's easy and practical when you do not have the time to do anything to your hair -and it's also cold here half of the time, which means you have to cover your head whenever yo leave the house anyway. But the warm season is almost here again so now I'm going to have to start doing something weather I'm up for it or not, heh.

And, tonight you can be reminded about the fact that I do indeed have lots of hair and like to make stuff with it; I'm holding a retro-hair workshop at Arbis, starting 18:05! The entrance to the event is free.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

THE LITTLE COOKIE MONSTER







Dag is like me, loving everything sweet and all things sweet are called CAKE in his little world. It's a good thing raws bars and healthy (healthier than average at least, for those of you who love to be picky about things like this) sweets -so far- works for him just as well. Here he's having some cookies-ä on oat flakes with our garden's berries I took out of the freezer, apples and coconut sugar and coconut oil.  Nom nom nom and a lot of crumbs.