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Fiskars Village

19 Oct

On our trip to Finland last Summer, we visited the lovely little Fiskars village in the southern Finland. This is the place where the first pair of those orange handle Fiskars scissors were made! These days there are lots of little artists living and working here and nearby there are also summer cottages.


The village is pretty and there are little shops, museums, antique stalls and obviously Iittala outlet that is very Fiskars scissors orientated. A lovely river also runs through the village. This year also the village takes part in the Helsinki Design capital year with exhibitions. I’ll let the touristic photos speak for themselves and as for shopping destinations, Koppar and Iittala shops are not to be missed!

 

We ate at the Kuparipaja restaurant from a buffet table – in typical Finnish style kids pay according to their age and therefore our 2-yo’s lunch was in the region of €2.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fiskars village is best visited by car – there is a big free car park – but there is public transport from Helsinki too. There are lovely little b&b’s in the area such as the lovely b&b Villiruusu (=Wildrose).

Verso Design

19 Aug

One of the new brands (to me) I fell in love with on my recent trip to Finland was Verso Design. Established already in 1997 this Finnish Design company creates lovely interiors items made of felt. After quick search on the internet, Verso Design creations can be bought at Finnish Design Shop or Finnish Gifts. I got one of the ‘Marja’ trivets for my friend and the only problem was choosing the colour.

Marja Trivet by Verso Design

 

Marja trivet by Verso Design

 

 

Silmu Carpet by Verso Design

 

 

 

 

 

Finnish Plasto

11 Jul

I’ve been tractor shopping today for MiniMoose’s 2nd birthday. This is not an easy task as I’m a complete beginner when it comes to ‘vehicles’. Anyway, Finnish Plasto makes excellent plastic kids’ vehicles that are even pleasing to my eye! I can also remember Plasto’s toys from my childhood so therefore it’s even easier to shop these for MiniMoose.

Tractor with trencher and showel

Since MiniMoose has already got a ‘shoveldozer’ and a ‘truck’ (and we are struggling to fly with all this vehicle fleet) I decided to get a yellow ‘tractor with trencher and shovel’ as this wouldn’t be as massive as the ‘large tipper truck’ combined with a Digger that I originally planned.

Digger

Large Tipper Truck

All Plasto toys are made in Finland which is quite rare in my opinion as all the plastic toys seem to come from China these days. In addition to an extensive selection of vehicles and machines Plasto also makes beach toys or toys for sandbox play, kitchen toys and large sit on toys.

Pedal tractor with tipper

Sit On Digger

Dinner for 4

Set with Water Wheel

Set of sand moulds

Plasto toys (to some extent) are also available on Amazon.

Midsummer

21 Jun

Tomorrow is the Mid Summer eve in Finland. The Mid Summer  eve or ‘juhannus’ (in Finnish) used to be on the longest day of the year in Finland, but was changed to the nearest weekend at some point.

Finns traditionally travel to the country side to enjoy the nature and the ‘nightless night’ as the northern you go the shorter the night gets and after the arctic circle in Lapland, the sun doesn’t set at all.

I’ve been enjoying the long evenings this week as it’s still totally light at 11 pm. The nature is most beautiful at the moment and I’ve attached here few pics from the other day as we walked around the local lake.

Traditionally mid summer lights (massive fires) are lit near the lakes. I remember from my childhood that it was the chance to get bigger rubbish burnt from the summer cottages, I once saw an outhouse being shipped on a rowing boat to an island in the middle of the lake, where the fire was to take place!

This year, the Finnish broadcaster YLE will be showing a ‘juhannus juna’ (Mid summer train) travelling across Finland from Helsinki (the capital in south) to Rovaniemi (north) during the nightless night. This live program can also been seen on the Arte channel at least in Germany and France, and on the internet too (Yle Teema).

There will be program on the train and all the passangers have been selected from thousands of volunteers and have some reason to be on the train. There is also program at the stops throughout Finland as the local towns try to show their best in those few minutes the train stops at their stations. If this Friday is just a normal Friday in your country, try to take a look at this program as it’s trying to give everyone a taster of the nightless Summer night in Finland.

PS. There are more of my Summer photos of Finnish nature on Oaxacaborn blog!

Nordic 80s Children’s Literature

13 Jun

I’ve been back to the flea market and got some children’s books today. I’m clearly addicted to Swedish Astrid Lindgren’s production. Today I got her ‘Pekka Peukaloinen’ (Nils Karsson-Pyssling) to add to my collection! To my surprise this little book contains not just the story about Pekka but 9 other lovely short stories about little people.

I was also more than pleased that I found an old ‘Mikko Mallikas’ (Alfons Aberg) book by Gunilla Bergstrom from the 80’s.  I love Mikko Mallikas stories – Mikko lives alone with his dad and does all sort of little mischief. The illustration is quite basic 80’s style but features real images too!

Both Mikko Mallikas and Astrid Lindgren’s books were my childhood favorites and I cannot wait that I get to read these for MiniMoose.  I’ve already got various books of  ‘Melukylan lapset’ (Swedish, Bullerbyn), Vaahteramaen Eemeli (Swedish, Emil i Lonneberga) and Peppi Pitkatossu (Swedish, Pippi Longstrump/Longstocking), together with Mikko Mallikas (Swedish, Alfons Aberg), Pekka Topohanta (Swedish, Pelle Svanslos/Peter-No-Tail by Gosta Knutsson), Minttu (Finnish, by Maikki Harjanne) and Moomins (Finnish/Swedish, by Tove Jansson) waiting for MiniMoose to be able to sit still for more than 30 seconds.

As you can see from the list, many traditional Finnish children’s books are translated from Swedish. I’ve decided to take Pekka Peukaloinen and Pippi Longstocking to my summer reading list! I keep my eye out for more of these treasures at the flea markets, since many of them are out of print these days.

Moomins and Astrid Lindgren’s production (at least) are also available in English and can be found on eBay or Amazon for instance. I do hope that they have kept the original illustrations by Bjorn Berg, Eva Billow, Ingrid Vang-Nyman and Ilon Wiklund etc. in the Astrid Lindgren’s books, but it seems that at least the covers have been ‘localised’ and changed in some of the English editions, which I personally don’t like.

Peppi illustration by Ingrid Vang-Nyman

Do you remember these books from your childhood too?

Flea Markets

11 Jun

My not-so-subtle obsession are Finnish flea markets. Luckily, there are loads of them filled with gorgeous used children clothes, Iittala/Arabia plates etc, Marimekko fabrics, toys, books, furniture, hats – in short everything. There are car boot sale type flea markets, but more and more hall type of self service flea markets where the sellers hire a table and leave their stuff there with price tags on among other tables. Some of these are even specialized for children! Shopping is easy as you can hunt through all tables and when finished proceed to the till where usually also cards are accepted (dangerous!).

I usually look for children’s books (as these are expensive in book stores), toys (lots of brio – today saw a Dachshund for €4 and last week Brio stove for €25, plasto, lego etc) and children’s clothes (despite having my own shop – clearly need some therapy). I also keep my eye out for Iittala/Arabia glassware but usually sellers are aware of the value of rare moomin mugs – for example spotted a brown Nipsu mug this morning priced at €60 in a flea market! Other than that, estates usually dump homes into the flea markets and there are lots of old Arabia ware that offers a great starting point for collections or topping up existing collections!

Our recent finds have been Julia Donaldson ‘Hide and seek Pig’ book (in Finnish) for €0.50 and moomin laptop €12

Aino & Reino

28 May

This post is totally inappropriate for this hot weather… But we Finns absolutely adore these slippers! Worn by grannies (Aino) and grandpas (Reino) in our childhood these traditional Finnish slippers have seen a new coming in the past few years and are now more popular than ever before – and they are not exclusive to the seniors anymore! First Ainos were made in 1930 and Reinos followed two years later and their names are traditional old proper Finnish names.

Aino Slippers €39.90

These slippers are comfy and warm and most importantly happy! There are new colours available these days and sizes for children too.  It looks like my favorite red Aino is currently unavailable – most likely sold out.

Reino Slippers €29.90

Baby Reino in Pink €39.90

Baby Reino €39.90

Happiness starts from warm feet! Reinokauppa.fi also delivers abroad, contact them for prices. Reino blog can be found here

Finnish Wooden Toys: Haapareppu

20 May

On my last trip to Finland my MiniMoose got an Haapareppu jigsaw as a late 1st birthday present from a good friend of mine. He absolutely loves this wooden jigsaw that features typical Finnish woodland creatures from moose to fox and a bird to rabbit. The animals are beautifully made of silver birch and the colours are safe fabulous. The animals can also stand and therefore perfect for a play on their own outside the jigsaw! This really is a great present and as you’ve probably guessed now will be added to the Hei Moose wishlist!

Haapareppu Jigsaw

Haapareppu Toolbox

Skilled Teddies to be stacked

Bear Jigsaw

Finnish Design Shops

16 May

To round off the recent posts about Finnish design, there are a couple of shops worth visiting if you’re interested in this kind of stuff.

First one – Suomi PRKL Design –  is opening soon in Reykjavik, Iceland.  Their Facebook page looks very promising and the shop will stock everything from Moomin mugs, to rag rugs and JoPo bikes!

Kaksitva via Suomi PRKL Design

I’m totally loving these Kaksitva creatures – check out also Kaksitva’s own website for more!

Kaksitva skulls

Kaksitva is also taking part in the Northern Oddities pop up event that showcases the eccentric Finnish Design and lifestyle in NYC from tomorrow 17th May until 28th May and is housed by Ivana Helsinki.

Which brings me to the other shopping destination that is online – phew!! The Design Shop Outlet stocks a wide selection of all things Finnish including the brands taking part in Northern Oddities.

My instant Design Shop Outlet favourites are the Moomin Mobile -40% (bonus!) and soft toys/pillows by Johanna Kunelius.

Moomin Mobile, Design Shop Outlet

Lady Di by Johanna Kunelius, Design Shop Outlet

And for tomorrow morning – Kahvi Kaunistaa (=coffee makes you beautiful), by Milla Risku.

Maija Louekari

13 May

Maija Louekari is a young Finnish designer whose design appear for example in Marimekko’s collections. Her works include illustrations, textile prints, general designs and prints for clothing. Her website is full of stunning examples of her work, worth a visit!

 

Of Maija’s Marimekko works the Kippis design and In good company have been my favourties for a while. Seeing her website has also made me a huge fan of her illustrations!

Source: ep.yimg.com via Annika on Pinterest

Source: google.co.uk via Annika on Pinterest