14 joulukuuta 2018

Friday Bliss #14 - Dendrobium Spring Dream

I recently got this beautiful orchid - Dendrobium Spring Dream Apollon -
as a present. Because of Sissi I had to buy a huge lantern to host this beauty.
Now the lantern keeps safe also a small white poinsettia and a white Christmas cactus.

I’m very happy with the lantern. Its windows are big and it is not too much decorated.
In the future I can keep there a bouquet of tulips or flowering pot plant - out of reach of Sissi.

The link is open
Helsinki time

Wishing you a peaceful Third Advent Sunday!
- riitta

12 joulukuuta 2018

Oodi - Calling Card for Finnish Architecture

The newest pride of the Finnish architecture is 
OODI - Helsinki Central Library

Oodi is a striking building with its glass and steel structures and wooden facade, 
its design being a combination of traditional and contemporary flavours. 
The energy-efficient library is an impressive calling card for Finnish architecture.

ALA Architects is responsible for Oodi’s architectural planning,
and YIT is the building contractor. The open international architectural competition in 2012
received 544 entries from all over the world. ALA Architects was declared the winner
with their entry Käännös (Turning Point) in 2013. 
The construction of Oodi took three years and was on schedule. 
The grand opening took place on 5 December, the eve of our Independence Day.

Photo: Tuomas Uusheimo

Oodi is a living meeting place at Kansalaistori square, right at the heart of Helsinki. 
Oodi complements the cultural and media hub formed by Helsinki Music Centre,
Finlandia Hall, Sanoma House and the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma. 
Oodi is a non-commercial, urban public space that is open to all.
Apart from the traditional library services, Oodi also features a café, restaurant, cinema, art, 
studio facilities and an urban workshop, for example.

“Oodi symbolises the core values of our society, such as education, culture, equality and openness.
The promotion of these values is especially vital in these times marked by uncertainty. 
Oodi stands firmly in the defence line of our democracy.” - Mayor of Helsinki Jan Vapaavuori.


THE FIRST FLOOR is a fast paced transformable space. 
It holds a spacious lobby for organising various events, the library’s information desk, 
book returns as well as a café. The cinema and the multi-purpose hall located on this floor
can be flexibly used for either extending the lobby or organising separate events.

ON THE SECOND FLOOR city residents can get creative in the top-class workshop and
studio facilities. A broad range of tools is available for anyone to use, ranging from 3D printer
to overlocker, from laser cutter to label printer. The second floor also hosts
the state-of-the-art studios for playing music, recording, filming and editing.

Photo: Tuomas Uusheimo

BOOK HEAVEN on the third floor of Oodi fuses the traditional library mood 
and modern library services. Oodi is one of 37 branches of Helsinki City Library and
part of the Helmet library network.The third floor invites you to read, learn and relax. 
There are 100,000 items available to borrow, a café and nine living trees. 
THE CITIZENS’ BALCONY facing Parliament House is a great place to admire
the Töölönlahti Park and city centre in the summertime.

See more photos and info HERE.

Oodi is stunning, really a reason to be proud of!


09 joulukuuta 2018

Christmas Movie Traditions

My husband is a collector. He collects books, music instruments and also DVDs. 
Many a time I feel pissed off with his stuff invading the whole house. 
I have not calculated how many DVDs he has, hundreds. 
They are from the time when Netflix, Viaplay & other streaming services did not exist.
He has also many Christmas movies, both sentimental drama and comics.
Some are watched every Christmas. I’ll present a few.
★ ★ ★

A Christmas Carol - Saiturin joulu 1984
This is a must every Christmas. There exist also newer versions of this Charles Dickens story
telling about Ebenezer Scrooge who does not understand the true meaning of Christmas.

It’s a Wonderful Life - Elämä on ihanaa 1946
I think that Finnish Broadcasting Company sends this black & white classic every Christmas!

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation - Joulupuu on kärvennetty - 1989
Well, what to say about the family Christmas of the Griswolds!!??
Things never run smoothly for Clark Griswold, his wife Ellen and their two kids. 
This movie is hilarious and the cousin Eddie so hidious!
You might be interested what the actors do and how they look now. - See the link.

Home Alone - Yksin kotona 1990
This was a big hit also in Finland, the hubby has also number 2.
You might be interested how Macaulay Culkin & the other actors look now. - See the link.
★ ★ ★

Do you have any Christmas movie traditions?

As addition Bill Nighly’s Christmas is all Around 
from the movie Love actually - Rakkautta vain. Thank you Sue for reminding me!

In my art group we have planned gift wrapping papers.
Here two traditional versions, based on a photo, ready for printing.
★ ★ ★


Color Collage

Happy Second Advent Sunday!

07 joulukuuta 2018

Young Finnish Talents

The presidential Independence Day reception was a success and very touching
with interviews of 100 years old veterans and different people,
sparkling fashion and great music. All the media is filled with reports and highlights.

We have so, so many young talents in Finland.
So I want to present these three musicians who performed yesterday at the afterparty
of Independence Day reception.

First there is this stunning looking Jenni Vartiainen, 35 years
who enjoys a huge popularity in Finland with her four albums and great voice.

Then we have this amazing guitarist Petteri Sariola, 35 years, 
a musician in 5th generation in his family. He composes, has published three albums 
and plays in a company called Dead Sirius 3000.

Photo: Ilosaarirock

Then we have this young & perky & energetic redhaired Sanni, 25 years.
She has written lyrics since childhood and her newest hit is 
JACUZZI that takes us to sunny Sicily.

Photo: Pete Aarre-Ahtio / IS

Fourth young Finnish talent that I present you is the actor Jasper Pääkkönen, 38 years.
He acted in Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman that is nominated for Golden Globe .
The winner ceremony takes place on January 6.  Exciting.
Jasper looked this handsome yesterday with his beautiful spouse,
Filippino-Spanish supermodel Alexandra Escat.

Well, it i might be time to land back from stars to my normal ordinary everyday life :)
- take care, riitta

06 joulukuuta 2018

Friday Bliss #13 - 6 December

Today Finland celebrates its 101th Independence Day.
Since 1922 nearly every year there has been a presidential Independence Day reception,
the venue being the gorgeous empire style Presidential Palace in the center of Helsinki.
Photo: Soile Tirilä, find more photos HERE

At the reception in 1965: the popular actor Tarmo Manni greeting
the president of that time Urho Kekkonen & his spouse Mrs Sylvi Kekkonen.
Photo: Wikipedia

We have a habit of lighting two white or blue & white candles 
on the window sills to honor our independence.

The President of the Republic Sauli Niinistö will host Finland’s Independence Day reception 
together with his spouse Mrs Jenni Haukio on 6 December 2018. 
A total of 1,700 people have been invited to attend the reception - in particular Finns who 
have made both small and large efforts to promote sustainability and the environment.

The main colours used for decorations will be white and green: lilies, roses and tulips; 
blue cornflowers and hydrangeas as well as many other natural materials gathered from 
the grounds of Kultaranta - the summer residence of the President of Finland.

The link is open
Helsinki time

04 joulukuuta 2018

Warming Trio

Thick knitted cardigan / Paksu ja pörröinen villatakki

Hot cherry juice or glögg - Kuuma mehu tai glögi

Color red - Punainen väri

A Christmas wrapping paper made by me, based on a photo.

Something warm - Jotain lämmintä

02 joulukuuta 2018

Old Treasures & Memories

We have landed in December and the time of Advent.
I wish you a happy Advent time ❤︎ Remember to relax also in all your busyness!

A while ago Angie asked whether any of us have any old treasures.
I have donated most of my inherited bigger pieces of furniture to my eldest son
for he has a large house in the countryside. But I’ll present a few small items:

First there is this old church (?) bell. The year 1810 is distinctly readable
but I don’t have any idea what the other text says. I think it is of Russian origin
and it is inherited from my parents. Where they got it from, no clue. 
At the moment it is hanging on an arch doorway to my kitchen - needs a bow maybe...

This high & heavy cabinet / cupboard with a mirror was inherited from my godfather Eino.
He was born in Sortavala, a Finnish town that belongs today to Russia.
The fittings are not original. When I got the cabinet it had a very dark stain
but me and my father removed it. The cabinet is made of solid timber, is very heavy indeed
and hosts some books & miscellaneous stuff now.

Bad photo from a book of mine. The Onnela garden was facing south to the river Vuoksi

My godfather’s family owned a beautiful country mansion in Imatra where I grew up. 
Onnelan hovi - Eden Mansion was a summer residence of the Russian aristocracy 
at the time Finland belonged to Russia as Grand Duchy of Finland. 
Eino was a keen gardener who cultivated apples, raspberries, black currants and
strawberries for sale. He paid very well, so I often went berry picking as a small girl.
Sad to say this gorgeous building does not exist any more. In the 60s and 70s we had
a demolishing boom of old precious buildings.
All the lush park and huge maples and ancient spruces only live in my memories.

I have built this roombox in a broken old wall clock.
Years ago I was very keen on roomboxes and dollhouses but have donated most of them.
I think the style of the clock is Neo-Renessaince; they were made in German in abundance
in the late 1800 and early 1900. My husband inherited the broken clock from his parents 
and I love to keep this as a beautiful memory from my in-laws.
Small 1:12 pieces were hard to photograph in a cloudy day, so sorry.
Those muffins I remember having ’baked’ myself, the mold being a button.
The cakes probably swapped from my miniature friends.

Next Thursday the 6th of December Finland celebrates its 101th Day of Independence
and I have my birthday later on. So, some celebrations to come -  in blue & white!

This kind of memories this time - wishing you a great first week of December!
- riitta

I’ll add here for Angie a roombox that was made as a birthday present for my husband. 
He is a book lover too and of course he had to have his own divari.
That is a Finnish slang word meaning a second hand bookshop. 
I used a picture frame in size of 30 x 20 cm and built the box from a cardboard detergent package. 
The box was covered with self-adhesive plastic foil, wood imitation.
Not very neat work.... The box ’stands' by itself on a bookshelf.
Photographing was challenging because of the shiny glass that shows all
the dust and reflections. Hope you’ll get the idea!