Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Days spent lazing around

I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday celebrations and are starting the new year relaxed and ready for new challenges. Oh I'm such a bad blogger these days. But I do have an excuse this time. On Christmas Eve we went out to listen the declaration of Christmas Peace and once we got back home my flu was really killing me. So days were spent in bed because of that, and then some more days in bed because I just felt like lazing around like a big old white cat. My laptop has a flat battery and a broken power cord and all my photos are there, so no photos today. Maybe you can go and entertain yourself on youtube like me. Go see Nouvelle Vague.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Another type of treasury

The winter solstice is now behind us and days are getting longer. Not that you would notice it yet, but it's happening nonetheless. Over a week of no photos at all, and my camera felt neglected, so yesterday when we had at least ten minutes of half decent lighting in our living room I took a photo of our picture shelf and some treasures, from London and elsewhere. And some London treasures are waiting for a better days to be photographed.

from left: 1. Fibonacci rabbit (daskaninchen), 2. Les voix interieures -print still waiting to be framed (Paulette Edition), 3. tape measure, 4. Hill's Swedish-English and English-Swedish Vest Pocket Dictionary (the most beautiful little book, thrifted for 1€), 5. type case with lots of little things to be introduced to you later (Portobello Road, London), 6. Inkeri Molla Doll, every girl should have a molla doll and Inkeri happens to be also my third name so I knew she was meant for me (savilintu), 7. a framed herbarium sheet from 1916 featuring dill (Anethum graveolens) and a little Lorca citation (a wedding present from friends), 8. DH's Beuys Bunny (which I bought for him not so surprisingly from daskaninchen), 9. a photo of a wooden doll (both the doll and the photo are made by a friend)

In the type case, from left, top row: blue and white pebbles from Brighton (went to a language course in 2000), an ancient piping tool tip (found?); second row: a small piece of wood with a horse's head carved by my maternal grandfather, another piece of wood carved and burned by DH; third row: wooden leaf stamp (V&A shop), found piece of metal (probably from a bicycle, but it looks like sunrise to me), fish printing block (from London); bottom row: little booklet (got it from the friendly people at Franklin Alvarez on Columbia Rd), a small glass jar containing long ago dried gold ink and a tiny blue dip pen (both from my mother, they used to be in her thread cubbyhole, I remember these from my childhood).

And of course then there's the type case. I know it's not a big surprise that someone like me loves old type cases, and yes, they're all over the blogosphere, but I couldn't think of any souvenir that would suit me better than this. Found it from Portobello Road Market so I probably paid more that I should've but it was a bargain anyway (compared to the Finnish prices of type cases). If you click the photo to enlarge it, you can see 'London' written on the top part of the case. I'm glad there's still plenty of space for new treasures.

I promise this blog will be a bookbinding blog in the future too. I've been quite busy this autumn and not very many books have been made. I do have some new ideas and at least one book in the making, so it won't be too long before I can show you some paper treasures. I just need to get well first. The flu finally changed from a sore throat to really being sick. Just in time for Christmas. But I prefer being sick on Christmas to being sick abroad, so I'm not going to complain (much). Most of the cooking is already done and I'm our Christmas will be christmassy enough. Just one traditional dish, carrot casserole made with carrots and rice and probably something else too (didn't make it myself), the rest are yummy root vegetables in various forms. The best thing about spending Christmas home alone with DH is that I get to decide what we eat, and for once there's nothing I don't want to eat. No ham, turkey, fish or bland casseroles here, just good food and more than enough desserts.

Oh well, I must dash out to the city one last time before a snugly home Christmas. I still need to get some flowers and something I already forgot.

In case I don't see you before the celebrations start; Merry Christmas to all of you! If you don't celebrate Christmas, have a splendid week enjoying the lack of Christmas stress! Thank you so much for reading my blog and being a part of this amazing crafty (or not so crafty) community!

Monday, 15 December 2008


So, I'm back, and on the verge of falling ill again (I was miraculously saved from the flu earlier after all). It's taking me a while longer to recover from the traveling than I thought it would. My week in London was probably the most relaxing week I've had in years. I usually worry all the time, but being there alone, in the big city, there was nothing to be worried about (except the return to home and the reality where there's always unanswered emails), no timetables, no itineraries, just loads of time and always the Tube.

Treacle, oh Treacle. 110-112 Columbia Road, London E2 7RG.

My first days in London were filled with crowded places and some really friendly people. On Saturday I had a great time with Karen who gave me many gorgeous things that need a blog post of their own, ate a delicious pancake and found a little treasure from the Portobello Road Market (ah, you'll see all my London treasures later). My Sunday was dedicated to markets and lovely shops as well: Columbia Road, Cheshire Street, Brick Lane... Lots of oohs and aahs! Treacle was so amazingly cute in every possible way, and so was Shelf where there was the friendliest staff I've ever met. I wish we had shops and markets like the ones I saw in London in Finland too. Of course we have other things that London doesn't have, but I wouldn't mind swapping a thing or two.

Very quickly I got used to the crowds, it wasn't that difficult being an oddly quick walker and still skinny enough to be able to squeeze through little gaps. (Oh the other kind of gaps, I'm still minding the gap in my sleep.) Slowly I started to disappear, from myself too. I would find myself going up or down in long escalators, watching my reflection from windows underground or above, or staring at my red tights that became a sure way to spot me from a crowd. I heard people talk about my tights in three different languages (also in Finnish) without realizing that I may actually understand that they're talking about me. I went on London Walks (highly recommending those to all of you!) and one of the guides told everyone to just follow my bright red stockings.

V&A, I could've moved in there. Right next to the skeleton key section.

I spent days in museums, just wandering around. Tate Modern was supposed to be my last stop, but instead of yet another day in a museum I wanted some fresh air. London Walks it was, again. A very exclusive tour for two in Greenwich. A chilly yet a bit foggy day, and Greenwich was most beautiful. (A clever reader may know exactly when I was admiring the observatory in the park.) Seeing a more peaceful side of London was well worth the wobbly boat trip.

I enjoyed the crowds, the empty dark alleys where I shouldn't have been but accidentally walked into, the chilly weather, the neverending escalators, my little room in the attic and how after four hotel breakfasts the question "tea or coffee?" turned into "no tea, no coffee?".

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Skinny but large. (With a bag.)

Two more days and then I'm on my way to London! And you know what? I've caught a cold. I'm not really ill yet, so I'm hoping that a lot of rest and comfort food will make it go away. But one thing I know for sure: being on a plane with a dripping nose is one of the least fun things I can think of right now. I've never felt as miserable as I did when I came back home from a language course via Paris. I have no recollection of the city at all. Three days of my life was wiped off my memory. I know I was in the Eiffel tower because I have a photo to prove it.

Before my throat got sore I managed to finish numerous projects. But since photographing clothes is really difficult without a tripod or a friend, the only thing I can show you now is my travel journal. It's about size A5 with 60 pages. Skinny but large. With a bag. I've kept telling you that books in bags are a great idea, but after our trip to Gozo with a travel journal sans bag I'm totally convinced that just about all books should have bags. How much ephemera is it possible to quite randomly collect in two weeks? A whole lot of ephemera.

A combination of charcoal and pearl gray linen felt right for a December trip to London. I know it's gray (and black!) here in Finland, and it was terribly gray in Warsaw a couple years back when I was on a little December trip there, so I thought a gray book set was more appropriate than a green one in London too. I'm sometimes a bit weird about colors. (And that's why I added a little red linen as end bands.)

All right, one more time: Please remember that TODAY is the LAST DAY to place orders you want delivered in time for Christmas! I will leave my Etsy shop open while I'm gone but all orders placed during my visit to London will be shipped Dec 15th and I can't guarantee that they'll arrive in time unless you live in Finland. I know this is the worst time of the year to abandon my shop like this, but I have very little power over my free time and I just couldn't give up the possibility to go to London.

If you're in London and would like to meet me (I know I would like to meet you!), drop me a line now (with some contact info please) or later and hope that I'll have the chance to read my e-mail somewhere. I already have some super exciting plans for Saturday, and they include some great company and at least a little stop right here.