Friday 31 October 2008

Walking for the Pink Ribbon

Today is the last day of October, and the Pink Ribbon campaign is ending. Merete in Norway got me into this, and the Brown Owls' Walking badge obliges to walk for my health. I have counted my walks for ten weeks now, and promised to donate 1.50 € for every 20 minutes or longer walk for the cancer reasearch through the Pink Ribbon campaign. The total count was 35 walking days, which would make 52.50 €. The online bank wanted to take 5250 € from my account for this. Because I didn't have that much, and because I didn't promise that much, I only paid 52 €. I didn't make it 53, because I had also bought the pink ribbon, and the pink scissors. And I was a little angry because I felt like they had tried to rob me.

Last night was my sewing group night again. I took some pictures there so you can see the nice classroom we have. Earlier we used the sewing class of another school, where the pupils are 7 to 12 years old. The sewing machines were good there too, but the tables and chairs were so low it was difficult for us to sit there for our three lessons.

Here is Anne, our teacher:

And this is Hanna, the woman with the magic colour pots! She is making a slash cut (chenille) carpet using old jeans and other old fabrics.

And this is my pile of rag rug baby quilt pieces and magazines.

The school kids had been making patchwork, paper-pieced potholders and other small projects.

I like these autumn colour art works.

I need some creative thinking to finish the baby quilt, because I don't have enough of the mouse pattern flannel I used for backing. Maybe it will not be a children's quilt like I intended but one baby quilt and one preemie quilt.
We will be visiting my mother tomorrow. We don't celebrate Halloween here (allthough the shops have started selling halloween decorations some years ago), but this weekend is All Saints' Day. It is the time to make a visit to the cemetery and bring some winter flowers there, like Erica or Calluna, and some people take candles to the grave of their family. We do that at Christmas only. So I'm wishing you all a nice weekend, and happy Halloween to those who celebrate it.

Thursday 30 October 2008

Vintage Thingies Thursday 5 - Maija

This week I will be showing my sister Maija's vintage thingies. She has no blog of her own, yet, and my faithful readers know her a little already, as I have been showing pictures of her stash challenge quilt last summer. Last week I visited her in Germany for a couple of days, and took these pictures.

She wanted to show you a little vase with forget-me-nots. Our big sister P has painted this, like she painted my Moomin plate I showed earlier. Imagine this with forget-me-nots and lilies of the valley!

Maija also has her share of old copper things from home. The coffee pots are from our parents/grandparents, but the kettles may be from her new country as well.

I thought you might be curious to see what the pictures on the wall behind the copper were, so I took pictures of them was well. Some of these are really old, some are made after old originals. The Bahlsen cakes factory is a big employer in this area.

Even big ships can sail all the way to Hamburg. We came there by flight and took the train for the remaining bit to Hannover and to Maija's town. It must have been quite different at the time shown here, when it was possible to get in six days by ocean liner from Hamburg to New York! The ladies have cute and practical dresses for the little trip, don't you think?

Soap is also needed for washing:

Babette has a nice hat:

In the garden was an old wash basin put to better use. It is unbelievable how Maija's garden flourishes. She and her DH must have green thumbs. There are many flowers we can only dream of, because our winters are so cold and the summers so short. (A good excuse for my lazy gardening!) This basin is in the back corner of the garden, obviously not for the best flowers but maybe for growing new ones.

This was all for today. Maija reads this blog so you can leave your comments here as usual and she will find them.

For other Vintage Thingies this Thursday you will find the links on Lisa's blog.

Tuesday 28 October 2008

At the Fair - Travel report 2

This year's colours:
1. Untitled, 2. IMG_4528, 3. Untitled, 4. MARBLEHEAD BARN DOOR, 5. algae, 6. Maguey thorns, 7. Reflector., 8. orange, 9. feathers, 10. wallpaper, 11., 12. Graff Hall 2

Created with fd's Flickr Toys. I was having lots and lots of help from Kaija, my daughter, who is visiting us for a couple of days.

Last week was at least the 16th time I went to a technical fair with my DH. Machines are his job, foreign languages are mine, so we make a perfect team.

When I was visiting this kind of fairs for the first time with my DH, all the machines were painted battleship grey or green. Then some welding robots got orange or bright yellow paints. Over the years the use of other colours has increased. This year - it has been four years since our last EuroBlech - I noticed new trends. Many machines were painted white, off-white or very light grey. Like the manufacturers would like to emphasize that the work is clean, not oily and messy. Very dark green was combined with these light colours. A new colour was a deep red, by itself or combined with graphite grey. Bright red was combined with black. Turquoise was used alone or with a hint of purple; purple was mostly used alone or with a little black/dark grey. Yellow and orange were used both alone. The blue colours were either used alone or in combination with white. The use of colours has made the fairs and exhibitions more enjoyable for me; luckily the noise level has also come down considerably over the years.

Many of the fairs have been in Hannover, Germany, like this year's EuroBlech 2008. This is the West Entrance we used, and Hall 27 is one of the really big halls.

The fair area is huge. This Promenade is 900 m long and there are 400 trees planted there.

All the trees have labels with their name on it:

This is the same tree, you can see the blood-red leaves. This place must look wonderful in spring when all the cherry trees and plum trees are covered in blossoms.

This roof was built for the World Exhibition in 2002.

There are four parts like this, each is 39 m x 39 m.

This is a general view between the halls. The halls are 496,000 square meters all together, and the outdoors area is 58,000 square meters. It takes a lot of walking to see everything. Our fair was spread in 7 or 8 halls; there was another fair (Infa 2008) at the same time in other parts of the fair area.

As you can see, the weather was fine for us: not too sunny to make us want to prolong the coffee break; no rain so we could keep dry between the halls and on the way "home" by tram and train.
This is all from the official part of my trip. I will not go into detail about the bending, cutting and joining of sheet metal!

Monday 27 October 2008

Back again - Travel report 1

On Saturday I came back from my trip to Germany. We spent a lovely time with my sister Maija and at the Euroblech 2008 fair in Hannover. This is the first part of my travel report, and it will be little text and lots of pictures, as my daughter Kaija is at the moment visiting us and I shouldn't spend too much time by the computer. I'll need to catch up all my reading later!

You may remember Maija from our Summer Stash Challenge. She didn't quite finish her quilt by the end of August, but I hope she will be inspired by the little progress we made at the quilt. This picture shows us basting her quilt layers for stitching, Maija on the left and I'm busy with basting on the right. I also cut her binding ready.

Maija lives in a small town near Hannover, and here are some pictures from the pedestrian area in the middle of the town.

This is Maija again, she is catching us up after having stopped for a chat with friends. She seems to know almost everyone!

The town is very old but the statue is quite new. I have lived in this town and in this street for one summer during my studies, and the town has changed a lot since then. (It was 36 years ago, maybe that is the reason!)

The shop window was decorated for autumn.

This house was from 1911.

Here the text shows the years 1810 and 1834. Notice the horse's heads on the rooftop. There are lots of these Fachwerkhaus houses, where brick walls have been built in a frame of wood.

We came back to this shopping area on Friday afternoon, but it was raining and I couldn't take any nice pictures of all the beautiful houses. Luckily the weather was fine on the days we went to the fair. It was a lot of walking! But there will be another story about the fair and the size of the exhibition halls; and vintage thingies from Maija's house on Thursday. This is all for today.

Saturday 18 October 2008

Gifts, and ponds

This autumn I have been writing a lot about old dyeing methods, plants and mushrooms. Melanie has been my most eager reader, and she wanted me to have this little book about "The History and Practice of Eighteenth Century Dyeing". Thank you, Melanie! I feel a little ancient here among the bloggers sometime, but this is history for me, too. I'll read the book and maybe I get some ideas for outdoors dyeing sessions next summer! Mentioning the old times here made me think of the children of my sister P, who once wanted to know if their grandmother had known and met Jesus when she was a little girl. "Long time ago" is not always so easy to understand for a child!

Melanie also sent me the beautiful recycled (made of 9 plastic beverage bottles) shopping bag, very light to carry in my shoulder bag.

And there was more:

You may have seen the apple shaped tea mug coasters on Melanie's blog; it is nice to think she has a similar set. Almost like having tea with her! There was also a beautiful needle book made from her rest bits from the original Polka Dot Girls Block of the Week quilt. Very convenient, as I didn't have time to make the needlebook with the Stitchers' Angels Swap pattern. And that was not all (do I sound like the TV salesperson with the knife set?): she remembered our mushroom discussions and made me the pretty bookmark using a Japanese fabric with the cutest amanita toadstools! Thank you Melanie, this was so sweet of you!

Yesterday I was having another combined health and errands walk, carrying the camera, and I found this last example of Finnish wild berries, the wild strawberry, with a late blossom for the second time round. You can see the little white flower right in the middle of the picture, and you can click it larger. It is the Fragária vésca, the "meadow strawberry", small and very aromatic; the big cultivated strawberries are nothing compared with this. But they are not easy to find in big amounts like bilberries or even wild raspberries.

With the leaves almost all on the ground, you can see the ponds of our village better. There are many ponds here, as the brick industry has taken clay here for the bricks they made in the 19th and 20th century. This is a small pond right in the middle of the village. It was called "The Pharmacy's Pond", as the pharmacy used to be in the corner you can see behind the trees.

And this is our little beach by the school. This pond gets its water from a spring (in the others, ground water gathers in the pit), and it is a swimming place during the summer. During hot periods there will be algae and it can not be used. It is now called "The School's Pond" but was also known as Death Pit, because during past decades of time many people have drowned in it.

There are lots of wild ducks (Anas platyrhyncos) in all the ponds. They gather in the village when the hunt starts; they know where they can live in peace! Last week there were white swans here also, stopping to rest on their migration to open waters for the winter. The Cygnus cygnus was a threatened species in Finland some 60 years ago, but now they are left in peace. This straight-necked, beautiful swan has been chosen as the Finnish national bird. The writer Yrjö Kokko wrote a book about this swan in 1950 and changed the general opinion for the swans. If you happen to see a 1 euro coin with a pair of flying swans, it is a Finnish coin!

This picture of the third pond "The Laundry's Pond" was taken already in April, although the trees look just like that now, no leaves left in most of them. The birds swimming here are called goldeneye (Bucephala clangula), they nest there and I have seen them in the last weeks as well.

This may be my last post for a week, as we are going away early on Tuesday morning and will be back on Saturday next week. The trip will include super-interesting, loud machines on a fair, a stay with my sister Maija, and most of all quality time with DH, with nobody else to take care of, not even cooking, cleaning or laundry! The next days will most probably be spent with cleaning, laundry, ironing and packing, and just a little blog reading. Have a nice weekend and next week!

Thursday 16 October 2008

Vintage Thingies Thursday 4

It is Thursday again and time for Vintage Thingies with the Apron lady Lisa. You can find the list of other blogs showing their vintage treasures by clicking the picture here:

I know this is my third post this week, but I wanted to share a treasure with you again. I also know that I hopefully wrote about trying to find the lid for my copper porridge kettle by showing the kettle here, like I luckily got the dustpan for my brush. Well, I can't do that and I don't need to. You see, I found the lid where I thought the kettle was, so no need for that operation. However, I can't show you the kettle with the lid because I couldn't find the kettle! I know I have it somewhere and I will show it someday.

When my sister P brought me the dustpan I showed last week, she had a bag full of things for me. I got the rest of her glass cake plates I used to borrow from her for bigger family events like I borrowed mine to her, because they are the same series Luna by Iittala; and several desert bowls as well. And then I got this big tin box:

Here you can see the signature of the designer Anita Wangel. The bottom of the box says ira Denmark.

Inside the box was a surprise: ribbons and tapes for every need.

The wide silk ribbons were meant to be used as belts, stiffened with bones like a corset.

I love the red-checkered bias tape but the green and blue striped bias tapes are my favourites as I remember such tapes from my childhood.

There was more in the box, but you all have seen bias tapes before. Satin ribbons didn't photograph so well either, so I'll just enjoy them by myself.

Next week I will not be joining this game, as I will be abroad on a fair with DH. You will find the links to all VTT blogs through The Apron Queen every week!

Wednesday 15 October 2008

Playing tourist again

The tour of Villa Cooper continues to the next room. The window is facing north, there are other windows on the wall left. In this room the ceiling is painted white and the walls are covered with boards and wallpaper. This side of the room is more like our shop.

The other side is almost in its original state. You can see the price tags on the shawls on the sofa, so they are made by our members and thus for sale. It is easy to understand that some people have taken this side of the house as a home museum and not a sales exhibition!

This is the kitchen, facing east. On many weekends the club members show the methods of their craft in the shop. This time Anita is making metal wire weaving at the kitchen table.

I have been writing a lot about mushrooms this autumn. Here you can see a quite new species, ceramic mushrooms!

The pantry is one of the museum details left in the house, with original kitchen utensils of the Coopers from copper coffee pot to a microwave oven.

Next to the kitchen is a small servant's room. There is no original furniture left, so our shelves are there with our products. Wool socks and mittens are a favourite article. I believe most Finnish women still know how to knit but many of them don't have the time and energy to do it. Hand knitted socks and mittens are so much better than factory made that there is always a market for them.

Child size quilts on the to shelf, hoods for wet hair on the next.

I have no picture of the entrance, but there was apparently nothing special about it because I didn't photograph it! On the way out I just wanted to take a picture of the little gazebo. The fancy swimming pool in the front area has been filled with sand for children to play. This is safer than having it empty or filled with water.

The villa is surrounded by high-rise buildings but it still has a large garden. I will be back next spring and summer with pictures of the flowers. In about five weeks our Christmas shop will be opened, and we plan to have a Christmas market in front of the house, with little stalls for members where they can come and sell their own products. It would be nice to have some snow on the ground by then, but preferably a nice weather!