Sunday 30 June 2013

Tour de Fibre 2013/ 1 and pictures from my book fair tour

The Tour de France has started, and so has Hanne's Tour de Fibre 2013. With hours and hours of daily sitting in front of the TV, I'm trying to use that time in a creative and useful way. I'm working on Kaaren's Happy Scrappy Spring stitcheries.
I have also a little housing project going on. It is called Peek-a-Boo Street, and Stephanie sent me the pattern. I'm using recycled and new fabrics mixed.
Near the town of the book fair is an old stone church from the beginning of the 16th century. It is called St. Olaf's Church, and it has an interesting history.
 Like many old churches it had been replaced by a new church in town and was only used in Summer. It needed renovation, including a large restoration of the 18th century shingle roof. Volunteers completed this work, including 17,000 aspen shingles carved by hand for the roof. The renovation was finished in 1997, but only three weeks  later the church was almost entirely destroyed by arson.
What did the good people of Tyrvää do? They decided to rebuild their church, and volunteers were called again to the building work. Over the years 1997 to 2003 more than a thousand volunteers participated, with a small core group working every day.

You see the text Anno 2000, that is when the new roof was finished. On the other side of the building I noticed the "signature" talkoilla rakennettu - made by volunteers. This time 34,000 shingles were needed because the whole roof needed to be built again.
 The interior is built in the style of old churches, but the paintings are the work of two contemporary artists, Kuutti Lavonen and Osmo Rauhala.

Kuutti Lavonen painted the panels of the galleries. St. Mark with a lioness.

St. Luke with a lamb.

St. John with a young eagle.

The pulpit and the altar area have paintings by Osmo Rauhala.

Some pictures of the Story of Creation. The First Day - The Birth of Light. The swirl shows the line of movement of a dove's wing.

The Second Day - The Creation of Rain.

Altar table - The Lamb

The Fall of Man - Eve and the Apple, Adam and the Serpent. Rauhala didn't want to paint humans, so he used elephants to picture the Fall of Man. Female elephants offer fruit to the male as a part of their mating process.

Thirst for the Word, the deer.

Door to the sacristy seemed to be original.

Tools used in the renovation work, and some of the original shingles.

Remains of the church door after the arson.

The Septenary Cross in the circle on this wall was a theme in one of Lavonen's paintings too.

Saturday 29 June 2013

Old Literature Fair - the joy of second-hand books

On Friday we packed ourselves, our jackets and umbrellas and the camera in the car and enjoyed a beautiful ride through Finnish countryside. You can look with me through the car windows, on the right one of the many lakes called Pyhäjärvi. My original home town is far back where the tower is.
The road was up and down small hills, some of them steep enough to have sand boxes by the roadside for icy winter weather.

Our destination was the old literature event in Vammala about 160 km/100 miles from home, but we had some spare time before they opened, so we went to the farmer's market first. They had not only potatoes, strawberries and flowers there, but also some book stalls. One stall caught my eye immediately, because this was standing in the back corner:

Hundreds of buttons sewn on fabric and framed! In the other back corner was another button picture on brown background. Strange but interesting.

There is a small park with a water theme and beautiful flowers between the market place and the parking lot.

Now it is time to go to the book fair at Sylvään koulu, a school for grades 7 to 9, empty for the summer holidays.
It was soon getting crowded there, but we always go to the big tent first because during the day the air there gets really hot, and the morning hours can be cooler. Our favourite second hand booksellers are in the tent.
Books are arranged by themes and the titles are usually visible, so you can see at a glance if a stall has your line of interest.

My favourites - children's books - are often placed on the bottom shelves. That can be very tiring for the back and the knees too.

There was also an exhibition of bookbinding. These were by experienced bookbinders, and on another table were the works of students. I could see the difference as the mother of a master bookbinder. My daughter studied in this town some years ago.

Do you want to see my loot? I bought six books this year, never before have I found so many I wanted and could afford.

The old editions often don't have the title of the original book in the front pages, but it was easy to find that the book on top right is Five Children and It by E. Nesbit. This is one of the books I know we had in the family, and I loved the Railway Children by her, so I wanted to read this other book too again. The book we had at home could even be from my mother as it was written in 1902. These two are the only ones of her 60 books for children that have been translated into Finnish. The top left book is one from my own childhood by a Finnish author Leena Härmä. She lived in my home town Tampere and set many of her books in surroundings I could have known.

The bottom row shows my must have classics, the second book about Heidi, and Uncle Tom's Cabin, a book I have "always" known about but never actually read.

This book just made my heart jump! Swallowdale by Arthur Ransome, about children living on their own during Summer holidays and experiencing great adventures, with their mother only occasionally coming to visit and maybe bringing some food supplies. Melanie introduced me to this charming series of books a couple of years ago, and it has brought me great joy. I bought all the books in English but have only been able to find the first, Swallows and Amazons, in a Finnish translation before this.

Thursday 27 June 2013

Quilt top finished, the abundance of peonies, and some local news

My computer was attacked and we needed to take it to the computer ER for treatment, and now I finally have access to my pictures again. Advice from the experts: always keep your important updates updated, and don't trust a security program that suddenly appears on your screen and looks just almost real but not quite.
Anyway, the time away from blog reading - I just made quick visits from Mr. K's laptop to see that you are all OK and busy - gave me time to add three borders to my scrappy Row-along quilt. I made the last one just plain and not scalloped like in Lori's design. The backing and batting are waiting.
My peonies are early this year, they usually blossom in July. This was on the 19th of June:

... and this on the 23rd. Today the flowers are almost white, turning brown and dropping their petals.

They can keep their heavy heads up because they grow through a grit of garden twine in a frame about knee high.

I took some more pictures of the boot installation in Järvenpää.

The yellow boot was the only one where the plant had been robbed from. I wonder if some of the black boots have been painted in bright colours just for fun or to keep the plant cooler.

The pied flycatchers in 5 or 6 birdhouses are so busy feeding their families.

Often both parents are at the door at the same time, so one has to wait on the roof, this time the father.

Järvenpää is having a blues music event from Wednesday until the weekend, and the pedestrian area is full of stalls.

During the week there are free concerts for children as well, and this place offered them a chance to paint with watercolours and fabric paints while waiting for the concert to begin.

Apart from the usual hat, jewelry, fudge, licorice and bag stalls there were some nice handicrafts too, like these felted pouches for mobile phones.

The humid heat quite unusual for our climate, and the crowded street made me just want to get away as soon as possible. Today we had a tiny thunder and some rain, but that hardly made the air any fresher. Tomorrow we are heading to a hot and crowded place too, but the conditions are OK because we are going to see (and buy) old books again. 

Wednesday 19 June 2013

Knitted graffiti and some bird news

The International Knit in Public Day was celebrated in Järvenpää on June 8th with an event organised by Lentävä Lapanen - The Flying Mitten. This rail at the end of the pedestrian area was decorated with Granny Squares and knitted bits.

I couldn't make it then, but I participated in the Knit in Public event at Villa Cooper on last Sunday, working on a pair of mittens. There were six of us by the time I had to leave before the rain.

On Monday I took my two knitted minestrone squares and added them to the rail in Järvenpää. It was fun, and I even had an audience of three watching how I crocheted the sides of the squares together around the rails. When I was taking the photos, an old gray-haired lady with a walking aid came to me and asked about the project. Her main question was, if anyone was allowed to add something there. She had such a sparkle in her eyes that I can imagine her taking out her yarns and needles, and knitting her bit for the rail. Today I'm going to check if there is anything new there!

The knitted graffiti is not the only unusual decoration by the street. This fence is in the next street corner:

A local flower shop has collected about 300 old rubber boots and donated summer flowers for them. Volunteers planted them and fastened the boots in the fence. Shop owners in the area take turns to water them during the summer.
A week ago we participated in a Birdhouse Watch organised by BirdLife Finland. Our own garden housing census showed 11 bird houses with 5 pied flycatcher families, 3 blue tit families, one great titmouse family and a tree sparrow family in the pipe of a distribution transformer in the back corner of our yard. Soon after the counting, baby birds came out and tried their wings.

The parents don't suffer from an empty nest syndrome: they are building new nests - or renovating - and planning to have new babies before the Summer is over. Oh, I forgot to tell you that the Swan family came back in the Spring and has shown their six babies in the village already. Mr. K. saw them walking towards the library the other day. I know from experience that there is a good selection of bedtime stories.
This vase just called for the dark irises.

Monday 10 June 2013

Summer flowers

Mr. K has made me a new flowerbed. We plan to move the irises and day lilies from the old bed in the background, and add more colour and plants that will bloom later in the Summer. I tested how tulips would look here.
This was the last row for my Bee in My Bonnet row-along, and today I arranged all the rows and stitched them together. Beginning from the top with spring tulips, then comes summer and butterflies. Stars shine above the houses when autumn comes with geese flying to the South, with apples, and falling leaves.

Then it is time to take out the sewing basket and spools of thread, and have a mug of hot tea, when the winter has arrived and you need your warm mittens again.

Next week I try to get the borders added, but I have not yet decided what fabrics I will use. For the blocks I have used small scraps, and the borders require yardage.

My first peonies were lying flat on the ground so I brought the buds in, and after a few days they opened!