Saturday, 21 March 2015

Solar eclipse and museum visit

Yesterday was a special day, it was my birthday - thank you all who remembered me! -

and a 84% solar eclipse at noon.This photo is taken during the eclipse with light clouds in the sky but the light was like at dusk. Mr K. quickly made a camera obscura (without the 'camera') by piercing a piece of paper with a fishing fly hook, and we could see the upside down reflection of the eclipse on another piece of paper. The sun was only a crescent like a boat, or actually like a hat in our reflection. We were on our way to this museum, Erkkola, the home of the poet and playwright J.H. Erkko (1849-1906).

The house was built in 1902 in national romantic style as a part of the artists' colony on the East side of the Tuusulanjärvi lake. At the same time Erkko's friend, the painter Pekka Halonen, was building his atelier house Halosenniemi.

Here you can see some interior pictures from Erkkola, as taking photos was not allowed inside the house.

The exhibition I wanted to see was children's book illustrations by Maija Karma (1914-1999. Her pictures belonged to my childhood. Here is a link to pictures, so you can see with your own eyes her style. She made book covers but many of the books had also lots of black and white drawings inside, and naturally there were real picture books as well.

On our way to Erkkola we passed this shabby little building, the hut where the Finnish national writer Aleksis Kivi (1834-1872) lived for the ten last months of his life in his brother's family. Erkko wanted to build his house near this place because he admired Kivi's work.

I'm taking a course in tatting at the local open college, just four Thursday evenings. Some years ago I tried to learn it by myself and with a DVD, but my knots just didn't turn the right way. At the moment I'm half way through the course and finally learned to make a flower, with picots, and the petals are joined with picots. Next week we will learn to make arches, whatever that means.

I'm also taking baby steps to the world of cables: these socks have cables that are two stitches wide. You just can't make them with less than two! I have just turned the heels, and the soles will be plain but on the top side the cables will go all the way to the toes.

I'll leave you with this picture of two little ones who enjoy the sunflower seeds the birds have dropped from their feeder. If you can't see the mouse, click to make the picture larger.


  1. Happy Birthday. Glad you did something you enjoyed on your day. The older I get the more I am happy doing something that gives me pleasure on thoes sort of days.
    The tatting is looking good and the cables are very impressive. Have a good weekend

  2. Happy Birthday, Ulla. Looks like you had a nice spring day there. Love the socks and the cute little squirrel with his big ears.

  3. I do hope your day was special. Tatting is so delicate and it amazes me. Maija's illustrations are whimsical; I can see why you wanted to view her work in person. I love the style of the house/museum.

  4. A belated Happy Birthday. I was happy to see the rag rugs in Erkkola's home. I too love children's book illustrations. Some of my favourites are Jan Brett and Paul Goble and Frances Tyrrell. I would like to make a quilt based on Jan Brett's illustrations one day. I have already made one from Paul Goble's book, Buffalo Woman. I don't think I have ever seen a mouse in our yard during the day. What a great shot that is, with the mouse and the squirrel.

  5. Thank you for sharing a part of artistic Finnish history with us! Love the link to the children's book illustrations! Beautiful style and colors.
    I did have to search for the second little one LOL.


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