I felt something

Posted: January 31, 2016 in Knitting, Knitting & crochet
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I’m typically always late with presents. Last Christmas was no different. Couple of weeks before Christmas I realised that there’s only couple of weeks before Christmas – and nothing ready. That’s when I usually spring into action. I grabbed my felting yarn and needles and knitted some quick and easy presents: potholders. I know they are a bit lame among fancy and expensive presents, such as new phones and cameras and such, but I can’t afford such presents. At least these are handmade and they come in handy in the kitchen.

The square potholders are knitted from corner to corner. Here is the pattern.

Felted potholders

Felted potholders

The star pattern is here. I used single yarn for the smaller one and double for the bigger one.

Felted Star-shaped potholders

Felted Star-shaped potholders

And the knobbly one can be made according to these instructions.

Felted potholder

Felted potholder

Apologies for the terrible quality of the pictures. Like I said, I was already very late with these and had no time to spare to get decent pictures. It’s the darkest time of the year too, but I’m sure you can see the idea.

I knitted some very, very tall socks. They go as far as the legs do. If only I had garters but I don’t and hence I used safety pins to keep the socks in place. Luckily I had tights underneath to pin the safety pins to. This was earlier in the winter when it wasn’t quite as cold as it is now. I would not go out wearing just tights and tall socks right now. Not even socks as tall as these.

If you want to make your own, the pattern can be found here.

Stripes with Docs

Probably doesn’t come as a surprise that it’s been rather wintery up here. Even the locals here wonder when the temperatures might go up a bit again. For a while it was about -40°C, then it stayed below -30°C, and then all of a sudden it went up to -14°C. On these latitudes that’s a heatwave! It was short-lived and the next day we were back down to -30’s. And it’s been like that ever since.

I’m a southerner and only been living up here for less than 10 years and I’ve never seen these sorts of temperatures AND thick cloud at the same time. Extreme cold has always come with clear skies previously. Strange.

-30C

These pictures were taken in -30°C. No wind luckily.

Untouched

Walking on back country is not really possible without snowshoes. On the picture below is yours truly on a walkies Arctic style. I’m feeling not unlike the Michelin Man – I have layers on top of layers. It gets rather warm while walking but it’s amazing how quickly one cools down once stopped for taking pictures.

Winter style walkies

Cold on the outside but toasty on the inside!

Cold on the outside

See how cloudy it is? But, there’s the sun!! It’s getting higher and higher now and just two days ago the polar nights ended even in Utsjoki, which is the northernmost place in Finland. We’ll be blinded by the sun soon! Give it couple of months or so.

A speck of light

Still, I like winter. I must have said it many times. I wish that one day I could travel somewhere like Svalbard, Greenland or Alaska to see some proper winter stuff. We don’t even have any polar bears here:)

Birch grove

Let’s have some more art journal pages. This is another children’s book. I painted the covers yellow and stamped flowers at the back and the word ‘journal’ on the front. Relatively minimalist again.

This is an actual drawing! By yours truly! It’s actually not that difficult to draw at all and I enjoyed colouring it too.

The next two pages are (obviously) price tags from charity shops from our last trip to the UK. I love looking for a bargain while helping those in need. Plus the tags and nice and colourful – it would be a shame to throw them all away.

This is a weather report. It says: To be expected till the evening: In the whole country: Snow.

I found the gingerbread Finland image in a magazine, although I have used the same biscuit cutter myself.

And another drawing. Again, this was kid’s play! The hand is mine and even though it looks like I have no knuckles, in the real world I have.

Isn’t this journal full of unusual stuff? Now a comic, ha. It’s called ‘Snowman’s surprise’.
First the snowman says: ‘I chose this present.’
And then ‘Look very carefully! Here it is.’
And then: ‘And here.’
Next he says: ‘Oh, where did the present disappear?’
And finally: ‘Ta-dah!’
Happy Christmas.

Ha, I know, I’m hilarious!

Ok, back to normal stuff.

I quite like this camera page. The background is the actual children’s book page. I liked it and there was just enough space for the text and picture. I covered the original text with gesso and then paint.

This quote is soooo true. Sadly.

The background with balls and stripes on this last one is a napkin.

Art journaling

Posted: January 7, 2016 in Journaling
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I’ve been working on several old children’s books which I’ve turned into art journals. I’ve bought them from the local library when they sell old books. Some of them have seen better days but I like children’s books because the pages are usually quite thick.

I love the look of a filled and finished art journal!

I always leave the cover for last. For this one I used golden pearl acrylic paint (el cheapo kind). I have a few colours of it but simply don’t know how to use them. The pearl finish confuses me. So, when I finished painting the cover gold, I didn’t know what to do and in the end just slapped a few gold sticker on it. It’s über-simplified, über-minimalistic.

And here are some pages. Pictures are mostly from magazines.

I’ve been drinking organic red wine called ¿Que Pasa? It’s really nice and I love the label and the cork. It was also very satisfying to flatten the cork with a rubber mallet.

‘Puoli kiloa päivässä’ is the equivalent of the British ‘5 a day’. It means ‘half a kilo a day’.

The picture on this page is from Lidl’s advert. In this country they seem to have a very clever, humorous marketing department. Unless they use the same adverts everywhere.

Spectaculous

Posted: January 5, 2016 in Doggies, Photography
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Dogs are not allowed on the sofa and they know it. They have taken over two armchairs already and I think that’s enough for them. Oskar still goes on the sofa whenever he thinks I’m not looking. As a punishment, he had to pose for a picture. With glasses on. Doesn’t he look distinguished?

Old and wise

Tesla, on the other hand, is not as naughty as Oskar. This boy is never still, and by never I mean NEVER EVER, and that is why we have very few pictures of him. I have tons of pictures of the tip of his tail. After taken a picture of Oskar, I put the glasses on Tesla and I know from experience that glasses stay on for a nanosecond and if one wanted a picture of Tesla WITH glasses, one would have to be nothing short of a magician. So, here we are, a picture of Tesla with glasses (and his ball, of course)!

I can see my favourite ball!

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a nice Christmas time. I can’t believe how quickly the year 2015 came and went. They do say that time seems to run faster the older you get, but this is ridiculous! I mean, last year only seem to have lasted about half a year, 7 months tops. I hope this doesn’t mean I’m getting old! Surely not!!

Anyway, we are heading towards spring now! Before that, however, we here in the Arctic are waiting for a cold front from Moscow. It’s -21C at the moment and by midweek it should be another 20 degrees colder. Did you see the full moon at Christmas? I didn’t because it was cloudy but I did take a picture two days earlier:

Almost full

I’ve never really thought about it but apparently this was very rare: the last time there was a full moon on Christmas Day was 1977. 2015 and 1977, not only saw the full moon, but also Star Wars. Is that a coincident?

The second picture was taken at the same time. It’s the moment before dark, apply called the Blue Moment. It was very misty on the other side of that hill. I was just coming from there. I was planning on taking pictures of the Christmas lights but it was too misty, so I didn’t. Back on the other side of the hill, on the side where I live, it was completely clear. Cold though, -24C at the time. A day later, 0C. It’s been a roller coaster.

Clear here, misty there

Almost every Christmas time I make at least one new candle holder. This time I recycled some empty glass jars. I cut out some pages from an old book, cut out an image in the middle and decoupaged the page onto the jar. Then I just tied some baker’s twine to the top. The holders look rather nice in the dark.