Sunday, 24 July 2011

mo(u)rning light

When the sun rises the shades of white change from cold to slightly warm. The curtains are old white sheets with plenty of lace at the top edge and the initials KK. I do not sleep after having slept too much in the evening, the whites are now ivories. My grandmother's trousseau? my trousseu, of a shade of morning (a brief visit to marriage it was, but not a failed one). I am very happy, very sad. I hoped for a storm and I got thunder after thunder and they didn't help one bit. I am frustrated by all the anger, too. I am excessively sensitive; I always react before I understand. My mind is slow, my emotions quick. When will I have the time to stop and understand something? Not that it's possible to understand what happened in Norway.

It feels as if I'm experiencing love and happiness for the first time. Maybe I am. Maybe I am free now. Yet a feeling of guilt lingers in the background: I should not be happy at a moment like this. Of course it's not true. My happiness does not make those who lost someone any less happy. My unhappiness does not make strangers any happier. Often I just try to bear the weight of the world on my shoulders. Always failing.

Somewhere far the thunder rumbles again.

When I was a child my other grandmother had cotton wool and dried rhodanthes between her windows. All we have there now is the black dirt the city breathes into our home. I should do something about it.

Monday, 18 July 2011

stormy, I hope

Small book covered with bamboo fabric. I don't really know if it's grey, blue or purple. It's a thunder cloud colour. I'm hoping for a big storm here, it will soon be too hot again.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

lighter - long stitch binding with vellum

Another large one. The straps are Finnish reindeer vellum, the cover is handmade paper. The sewing on the inside cover reminds me how I often forget how tally marks work. It's too hard to remember to make only four lines before diagonal one.

Friday, 15 July 2011


This one is a large one. Khaki linen combined with black and light yellow lace. I remember thinking, when I was much younger, that this must be the ugliest piece of lace I have. I could not understand why anyone would want to use yellow for anything, it was my least favourite colour (maybe it still is as I cannot wear yellow myself without my skin looking all grey). Then everything clicked when I placed the lace on the khaki linen. It took maybe 15 years to understand this lace, to begin liking it. Now it's right where it's supposed to be.

I think I will have a large shop update early next week. Until then I will continue showing you the Saima books and make books for my other new secret project.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

mother of pearl


Buttons for my great grandmother and the most beautiful vintage linen I've ever had the pleasure to use in my books. This book is a postcard-sized coptic bound notebook with 84 pearl gray pages.

It's still too hot even though the heat wave is now gone. Despite the rain we had today the air is heavy, the moves are slow.

Monday, 4 July 2011

not only baggage

"It doesn't matter where you go you always bring your self ", Liesan commented on my last post here. It is true. It's a bad thing, and a good thing. Sometimes I manage to bring with me only myself and leave worries behind (like whenever I go to London), but I guess it would be too good to be true to be able to escape worries and unfinished matters at home too. I'm the princess with a pea under her huge pile of mattresses, whenever there's something wrong it keeps on gnawing on my nerves. If I could change one thing about myself, I'd choose to care a little less. Until such possibility comes upon me, I try to enjoy the beautiful sheets meant for my mattress tower. I hung the lacey vintage bedsheets as curtains to our bedroom window, craving for something white to counterbalance the overwhelming blueness of the walls and wanting to not forget things to the back of some cupboard.

When I make myself at home somewhere, I don't only bring my baggage, I bring loads of other things too. I bring an entire history of crafty women with me. Like I've told you before, my mother makes all sorts of things by hand, quilts mostly nowadays, and her mother seems to have tried her hand at more crafts than what now comes to mind, my great grandmother and her sister Saima were quite talented too. Since my family rarely throws anything away, loads of unfinished craft projects have survived for what to me seems like a century (and I may not be off much) and a ton of fabrics, trims and buttons from Saima's days that previously filled my grandmother's sewing room now fills my mother's and seeps into my possession as well. Inspired by a small stack of the most beautiful white vintage linen remnants my mother sent me I made a tiny collection of books I came to refer as the Saima books inside my head. I've never met Saima, I've only heard some stories of her, seen photos of her (go spy Emil's if you're interested in her unbelievably beautiful-looking life in the early decades of the 1900's), but all that has contributed to an imaginary Saima of my own. In the Saima books I used some of the vintage linens, some new fabrics that complemented the colour palette I had in mind, some antique laces that have been passed on to me ages ago (sometimes you have to use even the most treasured materials when the right project comes along) and a whole bunch of vintage mother of pearl buttons. I wanted to add a bit of that nowadays otherwordly decadence to my notebooks, turn them into something really one of a kind. Hopefully people treasure all the notebooks I've made for them, but this small stack is super special, to me at least. That's probably why it felt so good to make. I do not only carry baggage with me, but real treasures too. I'll show you more in the days to come and will list these on Etsy eventually.


(from Emil's)

It feels like everyone has turned to stare at me and I can't find the correct position to be in. So here I am, all slouchy and feeling quite off.

Some things that have been on my mind lately:

- his cold feet cooling mine when I was burning hot 
- sleeping on the living room floor when I felt like I was coughing my lungs out bit by bit
- finishing books (started in Turku) on the living room floor while watching Brideshead Revisited and Ashes to Ashes
- heartbreaking insecurity
- crying at night because I get too much email and I currently apparently suck at getting back to people 
- choosing not to get back to everyone
- being proud of the books I made earlier
- re-writing a book of poems I thought I had finished
- I really need to be in the top 5% or I have no idea what I'll do in the autumn
- good food: strawberry-halloumi salad, fresh peas in a horseradish sauce
- reading David Mitchell
- neverending pollen allergy
- too hot

All in all, I wish I was in a better mood, especially now that I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be with the person I wish to be with. I wish I knew how to not behave childlishly when my soup's not hot or when my feet hurt or when I have 99 unread Etsy messages waiting to be replied with "Beautiful! Thanks so much!" (that's not what I want to say, even though it's basically what I mean - I've run out of words that look the way I feel).

I wish someone would give me a flower. I wish I knew how to give something. I wish there were more moments like when I asked V, ottaisitko mun jalan taas syliin? would you take my foot onto your lap again?, when we were a tangly mess making crossword puzzles and playing xbox on the sofa. I probably don't need to mention it, but I'm going to anyway: I had nothing to do with the xbox. I'm the crossword puzzle girl. 

Kind of imperfect, even when I know this right here is perfect. I always end up remembering everything else.