Thursday, 29 July 2010

Oooh, Yummy!

When I set up this blog, I wanted to find like- minded crafty people, but also feature amazing talents and with a permission ramble on and on about the finds over excitedly to people who would probably also appreciate these beautiful souls:)

For those who have yet to discover this lovely artist; allow me to introduce you: Astulabee or Nicole Licht by her real name. She is an artist, teacher and a mother living in Brooklyn, New Your, United States.

"I believe that those things loved and valued are all the more so when they contain the care and thought of the maker. Objects that inspire a good story, a tender approach or, a burst of laughter are the best!" *

I had actually purchased a piece of hers back in early January 2010 called "You know I Miss You" via Etsy.
But what actually lead me back to her fantastic world was an accidentally spotted tiny little photo at the bottom of my Flickr page. Why it was on my page, I don't know, and why the word Astulabee jumped out and created an instant association in my tiny brain, is a mystery. I have frequently followed her Etsy page, but what drove me "over the edge" was THIS photo of her work called "Atticus":)

Aaaah, drool!
OR This!
Even her dog is cool!
Well, judge for yourself; please take a moment to view her fantastic work! Check out those amazing soft sculptures... Foxes, Fawns, Wolves, Kitties and all. Not to forget to mention them delicate hand embroidered
pieces, phew! Here's the link to her Flickr account! And please, check out her blog and website linked at the beginning of the post:) Please enjoy!

- All photos and the artist related text
© Nicole Licht / Astulabee
x X x

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Race Against Autumn

Elementary schools in Finland start in just two weeks time and in general that also means the autumn is slowly sneaking upon us:) I don't mind really, I love summer, but I don't enjoy the extreme heat waves and am definitely a winter (and spring... and autumn..) person.

Only thing slightly puzzling me is the fact that this is our first proper summer back in Finland. It's said that one should wait at least a year before destroying the existing garden with ones own grand ideas. I'm glad I did, but at the same time bit frustrated as I still keep going back and forth with ideas. Which wouldn't matter really, but they're all quite large scale visions and not exactly a snap of the fingers, ha:)

Well anyhoo, rambling, so no literal garden progress this summer comes with the realisation of the forthcoming autumn. I was happy to find progress in some parts of my gardening anyway:) As a pretty much of a novice when it comes to raising veggies and fruits, I took on a rather ambitious task of growing watermelons (not exactly a Finnish fruit!), aubergines (ditto!) and pumpkins (!). BUT if I wasn't lucky enough to have a glorious ever so snowy ol' school winter, followed by a proper hot summer with good odd showers, so my little green thingies have indeed blossomed without the modern luxury of a fancy greenhouse:)

Pics taken 28th of July 2010 marks a race against autumn! Do you think I get to enjoy any veggies and fruits I've raised from tiny seeds?:)

Here we are; my petite Aubergine blossoms, yum yum:)
Looks pretty healthy me thinks (no pesticides or fertilisers used)
Ha, yup, this tiny hairy thing is a growing watermelon:)
Tomatoes, not exactly brain surgery, but they're late too!
I don't know what this is called in English, but in Finnish it's paskanmarja (=shit berry, lovely, eh?) as apparently it's supposed to smell horrid when blossoming. Didn't smell a thing though, maybe I was lucky:) Not eatable, but has quite pretty leaves and berries:)
The Apple of my eye:) We couldn't quite crack what apple species this was, but once red cheeked tastes like cardboard, ha. So must be some kind of winter apple:) Not suitable for baking, nor wasn't exactly an apple for making juice either. Strange. Doesn't appear to be any of the most common species nowadays. Mystery continues. If nothing else, looks pretty on photies, ha!
Orpine, Livelong, Frog's-stomach, Harping Johnny, Life-everlasting, Live-forever,Midsummer-men, Orphan John, Witch's Moneybags...
Which ever name you prefer, this one (Isomaksaruoho in Finnish)
blossoms in about August- September time:)
Cutleaf, Cutleaf Coneflower, Goldenglow, Green-headed Coneflower, Tall Coneflower or, Thimbleweed (Kultapallo, just one name for us boring Finns, ha!) came to blossom earlier this year:)
Ribes are ripe:)
Bring on the Halloween! We're getting prepared, and hopefully we'll be able to carve more than one (ridiculously over priced!) pumpkin this year:) Although Finns don't exactly celebrate Halloween, I wanted to have something fun and special before the Christmas madness (which I love), so we integrated the Halloween from UK to our home in Finland. Something fun to watch for the neighbourhood kids too, even when our decorations are very modest:)

So here are the PUMPKIN blossoms:) How exciting!
Even my sugarsnaps are late, but :heart:
what's your biggest achievement in gardening- wise?:)

Two Hounds by the Seaside:)

Two days of limitless swimming and endless playing without brushes, collars, leads or rules:)

@ Pikku- Pukki Island in Luvia, at the gulf of Bothnia, Finland.

Boat pics from Laitakari harbour, Luvia, featuring the beautiful fully hand made, nails and all, ketch called Ihana (lovely) that was just released few days back. Still waiting for its masts, due next year, to set the sails to sea:) 4 years and thousands of hours of voluntary labour! Beautiful!

Monday, 26 July 2010

Mini Trip

As an entrepreneur it's sometimes (or always) quite hard to find time for one self, or simply be able to resist the work and have a break. As a result, things can get tiring and one simply runs out of energy or like I, get constantly ill:( Times like these, everyone being on their summer holidays, except me. I should be preparing for the coming CHRISTMAS (yup!), makes things even more hard to take some time off. So I finally put an end to my "suffering" and stole myself a mini break, droving about in couple of cities around the Southern Finland:)

The trip started from Vihti, via Mustio, Karjaa, Hanko, Tammisaari and Fiskars.
First stop; Mustio's Manor house, or Castle like it's known nowadays, and its stunning gardens! (1780's):

Hanko, the southernmost tip of the continental Finland, known for its beautiful late 1800's to early 1900's villas, fine beaches and summer events, such as Hanko's Regatta for sailing enthusiasts
Fiskars: Some of the more crafty people may recognise the name as one of the finest scissor labels in the world, but it's also a very darling little village located close to Karjaa, a true birth down for the scissors (and other quality tools!) mentioned:) just less than an hour away from Helsinki. The photo below, of course, is a silly example of the word "Fiskars", but for some odd reason I've been drawn to lost feathers for past... I don't know.. several months, and I amused all the stand byers by rushing to sit down by this "invisible" thing and shot it for several good long minutes:)

More pics to follow from Hanko and Fiskars when I have a spare moment to sit down and resize them:) Another mini hols waits around the corder, it's summer cottage time in Luvia for me and the hounds, at the West Coast Finland, for the next two days:) Wouldn't really have the time, but..:)

Wedding Photographer for a Day

I was honoured to be asked to shoot a wedding in one of the most beautiful middle aged churches in Finland. This quite mini sized beautiful grey stoned cathedral was built back in the 1460's. I had seen the church from the outside when I was a kid, but never inside. The interior design was a very pleasant surprise, it resembled quite a lot of Espoo's Cathedral, but smaller scale and from a photographers point of view, everything was in perfect distance from everything. Huge windows were a perfect source of natural light as I'm not so keen of massive studio equipments and artificial light, nor photoshopping:)

The actual party was held in a gorgeous, huge house built in 1914 in Langvik, Jorvas, Kirkkonummi.

Well, here's couple of test shots

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