Saturday 31 October 2009

Catching up

Let's see if I still know how to do this. Feels like I had been away ages, and I missed reading blog posts. I was in Helsinki for 9 days, and coming home means a lot of laundry and cleaning before there is time for fun. It is only 50 km away, half an hour by train, but the sea makes the city warmer in the autum. They still had so many leaves in the trees!

At home it looked more like this in the swan pond. I think I saw "our" swan family in flight this week, at least it was 7 swans together.

The apple trees are all bare.

Earlier I was busy with secret projects, but now I can reveal at least some of them. Stephanie had her 50th birthday this week, and I made her some kitchen towels. For this one I copied the pattern from my vintage butter crock.

During the course in Helsinki I had time for hand sewing in the evenings, and I managed to finish this little candle mat. It is from a kit Candace sent me early this year, along with fly fishing magazines for Mr. Kontarankki. Don't look too closely, it was my first wool applique ever.

Sweet Melanie wanted to equip me for the visit in Helsinki, but her lavender smellies reached me right after I came back. How did she know I used my last firming cherry mask when I prepared for the hot date with Mr. K. on the Book Fair last Sunday? Well, the follow-up part of my course is in April, so I can use the lavender products then.

After I came home I have been busy working on the last orphanage baby quilt. Machine stitching is done, and I hurried to take the photo while the sun was still up. I haven't decided on the binding yet, but I will need this one finished for Monday. That is when I have a chance to deliver my things to the people who will take them to the Women's Day event on Nov. 14th to be taken to Tanzania soon after that.

That is all for today. For the final picture I want to share with you the clear autumn sky of today. I love autumn days like this.

Sunday 18 October 2009


Only secret projects have been done recently, so there are no crafty photos. The autumn leaves are beautiful in their yellow and red colours.

This is Järvenpää on October 7th, when I happened to have the camera with me. Järvenpää means "lake's end", and the town is situated at the end of lake Tuusulanjärvi. Tuusula is at the other end.

It was a chilly day and the water looked really cold and grey. It was raining for most of the day.

No coffee served on the little market place.

The rosehips are red, and by now the leaves will be turning yellow.

I'm leaving the blog world for a training for my real world things and hope to come back with more knowledge and new ideas. The course lasts until the 27th, and I'm a little worried how I will cope without my blog contacts for nine days! I have packed some hand sewing projects for the evenings, so no time is wasted there. It snowed again today, and I hope there will be no more snow before the leaves have fallen. Snow on the leaves can be so heavy that big branches break under the weight of the snow.

Thursday 15 October 2009

Vintage Thingies 44 - Apron

It's unbelievable how time flies, I hardly have time to blog once between the Vintage Thingies Thursdays! This is something I don't want to miss. See the list on links on Suzanne's blog here.

This week my vintage thingie is something brand new but still vintage. My faithful readers know by now that I come from a long line of women who like to start sewing things, saving things and not throwing away things you might be able to use for something. Today you will see a perfect example for this all.

This is my newest apron, I made it in class two weeks ago. Originally it was half of a summer dress my mother had sewn for my grandmother, who died in 1963 so the fabric must be vintage. My mother then at some point took the dress apart and started making two aprons of it. As it often happens to our projects, this project was not finished but put aside to be finished later. Last month when I was visiting my mother and digging in the boxes at the attic (you remember the itchy woollen dresses I found), I found a pile of UFOs. After my mother had seen them and told me the history, she gave the lot to me so I could do whatever I want with them. Well, a mother can never have too many aprons, I think, so I put this one together:

The other apron will have a different bib part and a wide waistband, so it will be made later for someone with a waistline. This one is mine. If you click on the picture you can see the tiny dots cheering up this brown and white fabric.

I took the picture yesterday, but there is still some of the first snow left we had on Monday morning. This is very early for snow in Southern Finland. There are still so much leaves in the trees, they must fall before the snow is welcome!

Happy VTT! Go on with the link list Suzanne is hosting, there are such treasures to see on the blogs.

Sunday 11 October 2009

Autumn Gardening and New Granny Blanket

This morning we had the coldest temperature of this autumn, only -4 degrees C (25F) long after sunrise. In this picture you can see how low the sun is shining at quarter to ten. I was trying to catch a picture of the aspen leaves falling from the trees when the sun warmed them; there was a strange noise like someone was walking there, but it was only the frozen leaves.

Mr. Kotkarankki planted the bulbs I tried to start planting earlier. I was working at a table doing quality control and choosing only the best 500 bulbs to be planted.

There they are! The rest found a place in our leave composting area; we will see the best of them in spring and the rest are too small or dry to survive.

Because the weather was so lovely I was able to take some pictures of my newest finish. This is the second granny square blanket for the Tanzanian orphanage.

A closer look. The red yarn I used for the connecting rounds has many shades of red.

This is the quilt with lions and giraffes you have seen in progress, now all finished with wavy stitching.

Here is the Finnish Brown Owls' project so far, two quilts, two blankets and six sheets. I'm still working on the elephant quilt and a knitted blanket.

Thursday 8 October 2009

Vintage Thingies 43 - Old Pattern Folders

Welcome to Vintage Thingies Thursday again! You can join the fun at Suzanne's blog, where you also will find all the links to other blogs playing along this week.

Last week I showed you the old handicraft magazines my mother gave me, and today you will see the pattern folders. They are like the one I showed some time ago, each folder containing 10 to 20 patterns for table cloths, towels, wall hangings and cushion covers.

The first one is called Women's handicraft, Folder VII. The patterns are from the first decades of the 20th century.

This is the cover I love most. The birds are great black woodpeckers, handsome birds, popular in the Finnish national romantic style.

The next folder is for whitework, same author as in the top one.

The next two are also by her, handicraft for the home I and II

The flowers in this last folder remind me of many tablecloths we used to have at home. Some were given for our playhouse and they most probably were ruined in our plays when little flower vases spilled on them; and everything was left in the playhouse over winter. We didn't understand then how lovely memories they could bring to us now.

Last week some of my commentors were curious to see the scary doll's face I tried to hide when I showed the magazines. I was wrong, it was not eyebrows but eyelashes that made the scary look. They were using too much volume mascara then, don't you think?

I hope you can sleep after seeing the dolls. Happy VTT!

Sunday 4 October 2009

First Frost

The weather has changed in a week. Last weekend we had afternoon tea/coffee out on the verandah in warm sunshine, and this past week autumn has been showing the less pleasant side. On October 1st was the first frosty morning, and my beautiful impatiens collapsed.

Luckily I had this Erica already waiting to replace the summer flower.

The next morning was even colder, a little below freezing point by the time the sun was rising.

The frosty hey looks very fragile.

It was time to start planting the narcissus bulbs we digged up in summer when the Big Project in the garden started. I only started, because I soon found that this type of garden work is not suitable for me. The ground was too dry and hard, there were far too many bulbs to plant, I had to bend too deep, or kneel down which was too painful... so many excuses. Mr. K promised to do the planting, and I will just pick the biggest bulbs to be planted. There are hundreds of them. The newpaper says you can plant them as long as you can make a hole in the ground to put them in. It will be easier to do before there is much snow, of course.

The leaves in the trees are turning yellow and red now. I love the sight when the sun is shining in the trees

and the little bushes.

My outdoors activity resulted in a little cold, so I have been just sneezing and blowing my nose and resting when I can, hoping this was it. I haven't been sewing much, nothing finished anyway, so no crafty photos this time.

Thursday 1 October 2009

Vintage Thingies 42 - Handicraft Magazines

... because it is Thursday. This week I will show you some of the old magazines my mother gave me to keep when I visited her. These are the Omin käsin (by hand, or by my own hands) magazine's issues from the 50's. Patterns for the loom, second from the right are bands made with tablet weave or crios techniques, and on the right some modern embroideries on wool. I remember some cushion covers my mother embroidered at that time, wool on wool.

These are newer issues, 60's to 70's. Patterns for clothes, jewelry, cross stitch ...

Here you have a chance for some neck gymnastics, blogger insists this picture should be shown rotated this way! Soft toys from mouse to elephant.

The DIY magazine on the left shows such ugly dolls on the cover that I had to hide the face of the other doll, with massive eyebrows! The next magazine is called Kaunis koti, beautiful home, and there are many patterns for curtains, table cloths and so on. Two more issues of Omin käsin, one with modern embroideries again and the one on the right shows how to dye your own wool yarn using cones, lichen, mushrooms or wild flowers. I just love the soft shades of the yarn. If you want to know more about dyeing with plants, you can read the interview I made last autumn with a sewing class friend Hanna.

This was all for this week. Go back to Coloradolady's blog and see all the other vintage thingies of this Thursday. Happy VTT!