Tuesday, 30 June 2015


One of my favourite clothing revamps is to turn sleeves into pockets!

If there's a piece of clothing in your closet that you for one reason or another have not worn in some time there comes a moment when you need to take it out and decide if you should do something about it or pass it on.

 I have a dress originally from Shabby Apple that I have not worn for almost three years (since Dag was a baby, oh man, how was he ever that tiny!!), although I like it.

It used to have long sleeves, but I always found that a bit hard to use, so I eventually chopped them off into short sleeves to solve the problem. I did not sew the edges of the new sleeves but folded them up and over with curtain tape for a seamless, folded finish. However, the sleeve was rather puffy and puffy sleeves make my arms look huge, so I did not end up wearing the dress any more than before anyway.

 But, as it is summer and as I have been coveting different striped shirt waist dresses here and there I decided to make this one totally wearable and awesome again! This by taking the sleeves off and turning them into pockets! This is something I have in line for a couple of other dresses too.

(If you wonder why I keep going on about pockets this and pockets that it is for practical reasons -  phone and car keys when out with a toddler and moving around in and out of the big house on the farm. Nothing beats clothing with pockets when you tend to wear mainly skirts or dresses)

 So just open up the seams and remove the sleeves.
Fix the edges around the sleeve holes.

 Cut pockets of the old sleeve.

Pin them in place - this was the hardest part here as the skirt is pleated; to get the pockets nicely over the pleats without ruining the shape of the skirt.

Sew them in place and voila! An almost new wonderful summer dress!


However, although I can be rather sciccors-happy my advice before revamping or cutting in any clothing you have is to think twice about it; I have sometimes made quick choices on what I wanted for the moment without thinking what was best for the garment itself, and then later regretted it. Obviously you can't always win as fashion and your own preferences change with time, but you can give everything a good though first.

Sunday, 28 June 2015


A couple of weeks ago we filmed a tongue-in cheek music video for Knucklebone Oscar. (A legendary Helsinki band that has been around for well over a decade. We've done some old school live band & burlesque collaboration with another one of Oscar's bands; White Knuckles Trio.)

I took some behind-the-scenes photos during the day.

he Windows '95 Man (he has this retrotastic DJ-character thing) helping to prepare some 300 balloons.

Walking among some 300 balloons. They started moving, wandering, by themselves at some point. Freaky (and also totally explainable).

Shot on good ol' VHS with a 1989 camera!

It was a rather long but hilariously silly day.

You can see the result here - this will most likely open up more for those born in the 70's and 80's that attended school discos in their pre-teens. And have video footage on VHS of that...
(The disco-sign on the door was suitably there when we arrived already, as a remnance from the last party of the year.)

Friday, 26 June 2015


Rhubarb season is coming to an end over here, but as it has been colder than usually (have I said this already here? How many times now? I feel betrayed by my summer!) you can still collect and make use of the stems, especially for jams and such, as it does not matter if they have turned a little more blah and bitter in their taste when cooked with sugar and such.

Although rhubarb actually is a vegetable, it is pretty much solely used for sweet dishes over here.
But it makes a great chutney for salty treats as well! It's a perfect addition to the bbq dinner. It's really good.

It should be really good with meat; I've had mine with tofu and grilled halloumi for example, but also as an addition to nachos and salsa.

You will need:
500g rhubarb
1 (yellow) onion
2 big cloves of garlic
1 chili fruit
about 0,75 dl honey
2 tbs red wine vinegar
a pinch of salt
1-2 tsp fresh ginger
a little turmeric

(A little embarrassing that we have our own honey but it's not pictured here... there is an old saying here that the shoemaker's kids have no shoes. And we've run out of it actually, so I had to buy some.)

Clean and peel the rhubarb, chop that with the onion, garlic and chili into pieces. Put in a pot together with the honey and vinegar and salt and let it boil together for about 20 minutes into a thick chutney.

Add the ginger and turmeric and pour into a hot cleaned jar.

I want to fill more jars so I double the recipe. I can also recommend to chop some rhubarb and put in your freezer, take it out and make this in winter to spice your dinner up on cold days! Because most likely your summer batch will be finished before the leaves fall off.

(This is tagged vegan because it goes well with vegan dishes. But then you would need to switch the honey for a couple of spoons of brown sugar for example, or some maple syrup!)

Wednesday, 24 June 2015


The sauna is among the most Finnish things there are. The word sauna itself is a Finnish word. You have the midsummer sauna, Christmas sauna, bridal sauna, the Saturday evenig sauna and the regular everyday sauna as well... Most Finnish summer cottages and cabins will have a separate sauna, and many old apartment buildings has a mutual one, while new apartments tend to have their own small saunas next to the bathroom. I've never been that much of a sauna goer at home really, the sauna at my parents' house was mainly used for drying clothes in . We have a weekly sauna hour in our building that we sometimes manage to make it to. I mostly just go to the sauna when at the gym.

But being in a wooden sauna on an island or by the lake, being able to jump right into the water straight from the heat, is a different thing. This midsummer when out in the archipelago we heated the sauna, which I haven't actually bathed in for a few years, in spite of sleeping in the sauna chamber every time we are over at the island.

The sauna window view.

When we were small gathering pine cones was one of our "duties". It works as a spark together with the wood when you heat the sauna (or any other fire; we mainly collected these for heating the house.)

I like a more mild sauna that is max 80C hot, preferably just a bit over 70. But  it is often heated above that, up to 100 degrees celsius.

(There used to be sauna championships where the contestants tried to out-sit each other in the heat, with very high temperatures. Some years ago one finalist died, while the other got really sick and was in a coma for a long time. That's insane.)

The sauna is something pretty much every one here has grown up with.  Babies under 6 monhts are not recommended to bathe in the sauna though. Kids usually sit on the floor, as the heat is lower there. Women actually used to give birth in the sauna back in the days (it was the cleanest space).

My first plunge for the year! The water was only +12C. That's cold, but it has been colder than usual so far this year.(The sea usually gets around 18-19 in summer, but it can be over 20C as well. It depends not only on the weather but on location as well. Some days during good summers the sea has hit temperatures around 27-28C. Lakes tend to be warmer. In Southern Carelia at my grandmothers cabin the water is often  around +25C.)

Where the harbour opposite of us is, there used to be an island, just in front of the mainland. They blew it away.

Midsummer flowers in newly washed hair.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015


This was quite heavy stuff.

Friday, 19 June 2015


The past year I have started craving long and flowing dresses in everyday, something which I had trouble wearing before. I still find they can be a bit difficult to combine with the right shoes and jacket though (to avoid having me look like I am living 1999 all over again, when goa trance was the shit and we hanged out at Hare Krishna). But I am getting into the lower hemlines nonetheless!

I got this dress from vintage shop Hoochie Mama Jane some time back, late in spring.

Thursday, 18 June 2015


 My favourite manicure is by far the pointy french one in different shades of red.
I'm not sure if there is a more official name for it but 'pointy french' is the one I go with.

It is actually very easy to make - just two strokes of varnish drawn from each side of the nail and up to the top. Even manageable to do with the weaker hand.

Or you can draw the lines more round, to get heart shaped tips (there's a lot more going on with my nails here in this pic but ignore that).

If you want to fancy it up, make small dots in a metallic shade along the line.

Use a thick varnish with good coverage that is not too runn. Make the small dots with a toothpick, hairpin or needle for application.

The deluxe version would be small rhinestones, but I leave it to the salon for that.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015


Summer had suitable started while I was away so I arrived home to apple blossoms and happy cowns out again after the winter.  Goodbye May and Hello June!

(It also turned out to be the first June in over 50 years when the temperature two weeks in had still not reached over +20 (and even sadly stayed way under), so it has been more jackets and less sumer sandals still..)

Brought my stuff over to the farm and had a couple of days off together with my little soon-to-be-three-years-old-fella.

I made him (oven baked) pancake the first day. That is his absolute favourite. And that little kid can eat pancake I tell you. Several plates!

Picked rhubarb with my eager little helper.

Made, among other things, rhubarb punch. When you make it by soaking and not by cooking you end upwith a beautiful strong pink liquid. I just let unpeeled bits of rhubarbs soak for three days with lemon and a little sugar, then strain and heat up the juice with some more sugar and bring it to a boil (so that the recently added sugar dissolves) and then bottle it.

Summer is so easy! You jsut go out and pick up things from the ground to eat. I made a salad of ground eldre, chives and dandelion leaves from the garden.

And here are some more pictures of the now already faded apple blossom just because.

And an apple tree cat to end this one: