Friday, 24 October 2008

Sunny journal

More yellow, this time in the covers of a case bound book. I'm making some books with plain linen covers for a change. No buds, birds or trees. Something for the people who like things as simple as they can be.

This book is of a larger size: it's about size A5, approx. 6.1"x8.5"x0.6" (15,4x21,7x1,5cm). 84 pages of grayish brown (or brownish gray) 100% recycled and acid free paper.

In order to stop plain becoming boring, there's a little splash of color too. Red linen endbands match the mustard yellow linen and ochre endpapers perfectly.

And as you can see, there was a little sunshine yesterday too. I hope the weather stays good during my trip to Helsinki and Jokela. It's always nice to enjoy the beautiful autumn light and fresh air in good company. The giant book fair in Helsinki may also play a little part in my weekend plans. I'll be away until Wednesday, but you can reach me online at least on Sunday evening at the latest.

I wish you all a great weekend! See you next week!

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

"Sur sur" says my sewing machine

We had some autumn sunshine today and it made everything look so beautiful. Even the people walking on the streets looked happier than usual. Maybe they were happier. I think I like autumn after all. Yesterday it rained all day and I stayed home. Sewing almost all day.

I made my own version of the bag on the cover of this great book. I cut up an old wool skirt that was probably used by my mother several decades ago (she's not really really old, but several decades anyway) and eaten a little by a moth or two some time later. Of course this skirt was saved "for crafty purposes" and I'm glad it was. I lined the bag with some Japanese goodness and used the same fabric for the handles too. Now I have a pretty bag that I don't really need since I have more than enough bags and I use one or two, but I had a vision in a dream so I had to make it. Besides, recycling is good. Maybe the bag will be put to use some day. Or maybe someone will get a gift.

I've been sewing a lot lately: pouches, pencil cases and a bag. Once the sewing machine is on my work desk it's best to make the most of it. The project that made me clear my desk for sewing purposes was a baby quilt for the little girl who became my DH's goddaughter last Saturday. I know light blue and dark brown aren't girly colors, but I know I can't be the only person on earth having issues with color coded babies. Instead of girly colors the baby got some beautiful colors. A quilt and a tiny flock of three birds (one more bird was sewn by DH but I accidentally left it out of the photo). I think we'll end up sewing these birds for all the babies that come out of our friends.

I've got a book waiting to be cased in so I can't stay up all night chatting with you. I'm off to Helsinki (and thereabouts) for the weekend and early next week but I'll do my best with taking photos of a book or two before leaving.

Monday, 20 October 2008

New colors (and old ones too)

On Saturday a little baby girl had her name giving party in Kuopio which is far far away from Turku so I spent half of my weekend sitting in trains somewhere in Finland, and seeing railway stations I hadn't seen before. I carried my camera with me everywhere but I guess it was feeling too comfortable in my bag and didn't want to come out. No photos whatsoever. Just my luck. I've been awfully forgetful lately. It's really bad. Maybe I need another vacation to recover from the last one.

Just before rushing to the train on Friday I updated my Etsy shop a little. Some of you may have already checked it out during the weekend and seen my new zip pouches and pencil cases. I'm trying some new colors and so far I'm loving them, especially the mustard yellow. I'd never wear yellow clothes, not even scarves or gloves, but I like certain hues of yellow very much. Mustard yellow is the best kind of yellow, don't you think?
And the two different greens are new colors too. Neither of them is really lime green kind of bright green, they're more like grass green and fresh light green. Happy colors. Happy colors aren't only for spring use. You need happy things all year. (This time of year makes my photos unhappy. Sorry. I keep forgetting how little natural light there is.)

I'll be sewing some more pouches and pencil cases in the near future, in new colors and old ones too. Books are in the making too, as always. Making mustard yellow and grass green books makes me happy. What next? Pink? No, I'm not stepping that far out of my comfort zone this year. Slow and sure.

Friday, 17 October 2008


I've made some more books of good things, you can find them in the shop now. A little something else will be there tomorrow too. It's almost strange how much I still enjoy making them even though I've made almost hundreds of these in this format. This little book was earlier more of a traditional binding but all the fiddly parts of making a tiny book were starting to get on my nerves after some years. Changing the format to matchbook style put the fun back to making these, and at least to me the matchbook format is the most portable (as in "toss in your bag and hope its survives in one piece" portable) one that comes to mind. Book of good things is like a mini first-aid kit for the days when you're under the weather.

I've always loved making lists, but lately most of them have been to-do lists and they're not too loveable. Words are comforting, especially when they don't mean you're running behind your imaginary deadlines.

a small list of things that make nice sounds

leaves (falling from trees, in trees, or under your feet in a cold morning)
the park gate opening at night
the lever of my bookbinding press
zig-zag sewing
pouring water from a large jug into a tall glass
a neighbor washing her dishes late in the evening when the rest of the house is quiet (I used to get annoyed, but I now like it, she sometimes sings a little too)

sitting in the dark (there is a special sound you can only then hear)

Do you write lists? What kind of words do you like? What makes a nice sound?

Monday, 13 October 2008

My 11 things

Did someone give that ghost a black eye?

Answering Esti's tag:

*Clothes shop. More often than I would like Lindex or H&M. I worked at Lindex for the summer 2007, so it's one of the least intimidating clothes shops for me.
*Furniture shop. No-one seems to have furniture small enough for our home, so none.
*City Turku, I like being in places that aren't strange to me. If I must choose a city abroad I'd like to go to London again.
*Drink. Water or apple juice. I don't drink tea or coffee. Soda gives me the hiccups.
*Music. Today I say Patti Smith, but tomorrow it could be something completely different.
*TV. We gave up TV in February and I haven't missed it once.
*Movies. Så som i himmelen (As It Is in Heaven), Evil (Ondskan), Control, Hiroshima Mon Amour
*Workout. Not a word in my vocabulary. I walk everywhere I go but I'm not sure if it counts.
*Pastry... I'll eat anything with enough sugar or chocolate.
*Coffee: Smells nice, but it's not something I would drink.
*Sweets: Chocolate and Jelly Bellies.

You're tagged.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Maltese cats

Oh, here's the kitty post! To be honest, I don't even like cats. Or furry animals in general. I've always been allergic and the whole pet thing is a bit foreign to me. I prefer wild animals, birds and such that keep their distance. Maybe it's because I'm not a touchy feely person anyway; I need quite a lot of personal space with people too.

The Maltese cats were different from the cats I'm used to seeing. They just wandered around, unconcerned. Many were probably homeless, but in good shape nonetheless. I liked their attitude and their little cat heads. Most of the cats we saw were quite skinny, but I guess they were skinny because of their brisk but lazy strolling
. The not so speedy cats were the ones we managed to take photos of.

It was a hot day. There are seven cats in this photo, and across the street there were at least three or four more.

That's all from our trip to Gozo. I've uploaded some (lots of, actually) photos on Flickr, so if you get the sudden urge to learn more about my honeymoon trip you can click here.

And my interview went well, now I just need to wait patiently.

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Dear Leonard

Dear Leonard,

It was lovely to see you last night. You looked radiant and your voice was something beyond my very high expectations. You were as kind and fun as I had imagined, and to hear you speak and sing was like your voice was hugging my heart. It was only fair that you brought some company too since I took DH with me, but it would have been much more intimate with 11 000 less people. Maybe next time we could meet at our place instead of an ice-hockey arena?

I'd like to especially thank you for singing Suzanne to me. It's been a special song to me ever since I heard it for the first time. I think it gave me goosebumps way back then just like it did yesterday. We didn't have a wedding waltz at our wedding, we had Suzanne and terrible dancing skills. (You'd know that if you had come there like I dreamed. Instead of having you play live at our wedding we had two young men with a guitar and a cello who were quite terrific, so don't feel too bad about not coming. I love you nonetheless.) My other favorite song of the concert, Who By Fire, was most touching and hearing it last night was one of those moments I wish to remember forever. I think I almost saw your eyes moisten. My vision was blurred due to some nasolacrimal duct issues at the moment so I'm not quite sure. I believe you enjoyed last night as much as I did and it is the most heartwarming feeling. You're my favorite old man. Please come back soon.



Thursday, 9 October 2008

Things that grow and things that once were built

I hope you're not bored with my holiday photos already, there are still some things that I want to show you! I've been busy with some sewing projects and more, so it won't be too long until I can take photos of my work. Bear with me for a little moment more.

Gozo was a whole another world to me. The nature inspired me in so many ways, and walking made me feel so much better, like it always does. I don't know why it's so difficult to go for a walk here at home. (Maybe because it's raining almost every day...) I should put my new boots in good use and walk a little more.Oh, all the Finnish readers who liked my boots can get themselves a pair from Anttila. Now let's get back to the tiny Mediterranean island and some little things that caught my eye...

The most fascinating flowers growing from the burn-beaten land. There were very little trees on the island. We saw some trees far away while walking, but a bus drive past the "trees" proved us wrong as they were gigantic flowers as tall as a two-story building.

Wild bees in a bush that looked otherwise dead but for the worm looking pink things.

Wild figs were growing here and there. Didn't get to eat any.

There were lizards of all colors and sizes Everywhere. This tiny one is on top of the Citadel wall, ready to take a look at the whole island.

When we arrived to Malta I said to DH that I was going to take a lot of photos of stairs and doors. Well, that didn't happen. Some stairs yes, but no doors even though they were just gorgeous. The streets were too narrow and the traffic was crazy. Taking photos of doors could have gotten me killed.

This probably once was a greenhouse. Looks pretty abandoned now. It's across the street from a wild disco we never went to. Not like we had any intention of going for that matter. Oh the boring young people we are.

It was next to impossible to take photos without cars. I loved the colors of this house and the beautiful red flowers. The photo was taken from the street next to Rundle Gardens, near the bus station of Victoria. It was nice to sit down for a while, away from the traffic and sunshine.

Now, wish me luck with my kind-of-a-job-interview and my date with Mr. Cohen. That would be Leonard, and he's in Helsinki tomorrow night. I'm sure he doesn't mind if I bring my husband too.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Xlendi, Gozo

Thank you all for your comments on the Vallejo book and my last book! I know I still have some e-mails unanswered, but you know... life. Slow and sure I'm catching up on everything.

I tried to make this post short and failed miserably. I've been putting this off as I knew this was a mission impossible, and of course the flu got me as soon as I thought life was getting back to normal. Feeling slightly better today though, so no more excuses. There's no way to tell you just how amazing our honeymoon trip was, so I'll skip the telling part and share some photos in a couple of LONG blog posts instead.

The view from our apartment balcony the night we arrived. A long, long way from Turku to Malta. (There's a cat on the roof. There were cats everywhere; I'll tell you more later.)

Xlendi is a small fishing village with some great restaurants (Moby Dick was our favorite!) and very few fishermen. Or maybe there were many fishermen, but I saw three or four. It's possible that the sunshine played tricks with my eye-sight.

We walked a lot as neither of us drives a car (the locals found it hard to understand) and the maps weren't always too helpful. After climbing a big hill through someone's muddy field I decided to try and stick with the buses. The speed, the condition of the very narrow roads and the lack of seat belts almost gave me a heart attack, but I didn't care. 47 cents for a bus ticket isn't that bad when you think of it.

Of course the trip wasn't all sunshine. Minutes after this photo there begun a gorgeous thunderstorm, which actually made me feel a bit scared to tell you the truth. We were without power for some hours and when trying to find a restaurant (of course they were closed or too posh for us) we wittnessed the main street turning into a river. Later the friendly waiter of Moby Dick's told us that in the 70's the flood had washed 30 cars from the parking lot into the sea. This time the only thing washed into the sea was trash and sand from the embankments around the bay.

The day after. The sea wasn't as bright as it had been before the rain and the beach boulevard was mostly covered in sand and mud.

It didn't rain on this day. The clouds were something completely different from the ones I'm used to. There were strange boulders on the cliffs near Xlendi Tower, huge boulders to be honest. Here's just one of them. I'm used to granite and such, so seeing limestone wherever I turned my head was odd. You call that a stone? Huh?

The heat didn't make everyone as lazy as it made us. We found something nice from the cliffs.

Friday, 3 October 2008

I'll be more thorough some other day.

From there...

to here...

is a long way. Three taxis, three buses, two planes and a ferry later I'm back.

Since coming back home in the early hours of Wednesday I've gone through the over 700 blog posts I had in my Google Reader waiting for me, re-organized our book shelf and bought a pair of fall/winter boots that remind me of 1995. Back then I combined my perfect boots with navy blue floral leggings. That's not going to happen ever again.

Give me a moment to gather my thoughts, and I'll be back to bore you with some holiday posts in no time.