Sunday 24 December 2017

December 24 - Christmas Eve

Here ends my Advent Calendar 2017. Merry Christmas and warm thanks to all my readers!

Saturday 23 December 2017

December 23 - Pale beauty

Helleborus, in Finnish jouluruusu or Christmas rose, is a lovely flower but oh so difficult to keep alive. Some people can take such care of this flower that they can plant it in the spring and enjoy the flowers later in their garden.

Friday 22 December 2017

December 22 - Stars

Origami star by my daughter Kaija.

Eight-pointed star by me.

Fourteen pointed paper star made after Kaija's instructions.

And finally a real star in the winter sky.

Thursday 21 December 2017

December 21 - Wreaths

I saw some nice wreaths outside a florist's shop.

Wednesday 20 December 2017

December 20 - Snow surfaces

 Some days there is only little snow.

It covers all surfaces and creates nice patterns for quilt blocks or quilting lines.

Some days there is more snow and the squirrel must dive deep to find the sunflower seeds that fall from the bird feeder.

And sometimes there are lumps of older snow left when new snow gives a light dusting on the yew needles.

Tuesday 19 December 2017

December 19 - Poinsettia

Of all Christmas flowers, white poinsettia is one of my favourites.

Monday 18 December 2017

December 18 - Light into the darkness

One of the advantages of dark nights and snow is that we can use living fire outdoors to make the evening look festive. Instead of the giant size tea lights in tins we had a home made, traditional light called jätkänkynttilä, lumberjack's candle. It is a piece of tarry log, old wood, sawn crosswise almost  through the length. Chips of wood are used for making the fire that can last up to 4 hours.

That was our Independence Day outdoor decoration, and this is what was left of it next morning. It burned on a concrete tile without falling in the wind.

Sunday 17 December 2017

December 17 - Stop for a moment

The Winter Solstice is so near that for a week already the sun has stopped setting earlier and earlier and settled to set at 3.12 pm. From the Solstice day on the 21st the days start getting longer again in the afternoons. The sun still rises one minute later every morning until December 25th, then stops there and rises at that minute until December 30th.

Time to sit by the fire with my knitting and a cup of hot tea.

Saturday 16 December 2017

December 16 - Once more Villa Cooper

 When I made the camera tour in Villa Cooper about a week ago, we didn't have much snow and it was early afternoon, so the lights in the garden didn't look like much to see either.

Now we have snow, and this Wednesday when we had our Christmas coffee and glögi party for the members, the place looked magic:

A last glimpse before saying goodbye for now!

Friday 15 December 2017

December 15 - Splash of colour

My needles have not been idle. I have used rest yarns to make small socks and mittens. This is a new pattern where I used my mother's idea of sufficiently long cuffs for mittens, and tamed the rainbow coloured yarn with a dark blue.

The same mitten in red. This was taken in poor light in our kitchen a couple of days ago.

Here is the same yarn in daylight on fresh snow, this is the true colour. I added my Grandmother's mitten stitch pattern to the long cuffs from my mother's knitting and think this is the perfect, warmer than usual mitten.

Thursday 14 December 2017

December 14 - Knit knit knit

Now we have entered the wool room of Villa Cooper. As you can see, many of the members are knitters, and wool socks and stockings are one of our big hit articles especially for Christmas.

On this wall are the larger sizes, so the colours are more masculine.

Not just socks but also hats and beanies and scarfs, cowls and shawls are there. Mittens too, but my camera seems to have missed them.

Wednesday 13 December 2017

December 13 - Kitchen

This is the kitchen of Villa Cooper, and kitchen things are displayed here. Handmade ceramics and hand painted china on these shelves.

A potholder tree!

A closet is filled with sauna things: washcloths and scrubbers, soap and soap trays, handwoven towels, sauna hats and anything you might need for a lovely bath.

Tuesday 12 December 2017

December 12 - Toys in Villa Cooper

Christmas is a time for giving, and children receive the most gifts. The talented ladies and gentlemen of Villa Cooper have created unique toys for little ones.

One the shelves are many softies for babies.

The hobby horses or stick horses are a huge success among girls at any age. They have races and competitions, and the phenomenon has been internationally noticed as an example of girl power.

Rag dolls as a fundraiser for Unicef, and octopus softies for babies. These are also made for premature babies and donated to the hospitals.

Welcome again tomorrow to the next room.

Monday 11 December 2017

December 11 - More of Villa Cooper

We have come to the other end of the dining room. The beautiful cupboard is filled with angels.

Blue wreaths - our theme is Blue and White Christmas this year.

More of the blue and white things. Many of these participated in our "My gift for Finland" competition.

Little Christmas trees for the tree or table.

Fabric hearts in many colours.

To be continued ...

Sunday 10 December 2017

December 10 - Villa Cooper revisited

Welcome again to Villa Cooper! These wreaths hang by the entrance, where they will keep fresh. They are perfect for welcoming guests at your door.

The dining table was covered with handmade candles is all sizes and colours.

Wreaths for indoor use, and tonttu elves in many sizes and materials.

Modern versions of himmeli. This link is in Finnish but the photos show the basic construction of any himmeli. You need straw, linen thread and a needle and scissors!

Come again tomorrow and I will show you some more!

Saturday 9 December 2017

December 9 - So few colours

When the sun doesn't show and there is snow on the ground, there are very few colours around us in the nature.

Some of our roses have bright red rose hips. I wonder if birds will come and eat them?

Friday 8 December 2017

December 8 - Tracks in the snow

When there is new snow, you can see what has been going on in the garden.
Hare's paths crossing:

Squirrel's basic jump:

Squirrels' dance around the black currant bush:

And hares have been barbering our Spiraea japonica Little Princess:

Luckily they bloom in the new growth so we can cut the rest, if any, down in the Spring and have pretty bushes again.

Thursday 7 December 2017

December 7 - Snow or Water

Our weather doesn't seem to know whether this should be Winter or Autumn. Rain and snow alternate, and the lakes and ponds freeze over and the next day they are open again.

Wednesday 6 December 2017

December 6 - Independence Day

Today is the 100th Anniversary of Finland's independence.

Tuesday 5 December 2017

December 5 - Rowan, lime and birch

The rowan berries are waiting for birds to come and eat. Waxwings may come in big flocks.

Lime trees sometimes keep their seed long into the winter.

Birch bath brooms at the Christmas market. Made after Midsummer, they have been put to dry in a dark place and will feel soft and fresh after a soak in hot water. A special treat for the Christmas sauna bath!