Category Archives: Finland

Mist, Marimekko and Purple Carrots

Mist or cloud? Is it the same thing...?

This was taken a week or so ago, when I went for an early morning walk. Luckily, I’d decided the night before that I was definitely going for a walk the next day, so I wasn’t put off when it was all misty outside. And I took my camera with me… Hurrah! It was so beautiful and still. It gets quite misty up here some mornings… although it’s probably just low cloud. Anyway, here are a few pics of my morning adventures…

Looking up to the gum trees

Patiently waiting for letters

Someone's been busy...

Scotland in Australia

Big old giant

Colour has been catching my eye a lot during the last week or so. Purple carrots, purple lavender (in my new terracotta pot — I love it, so Mediterranean!) and the ultra green parsley from my garden…

Lovely lavender outside the cottage

Purple carrots on one of my beloved Marimekko tea towels (bear detail)

Carrots by Mother Earth, Marimekko by... well, you can read it there!

Random flash of green on the kitchen bench


Phew. It takes a while to upload those photos. I must have too much on my computer! Well, signing off now. I think this is going to be one of those posts where pictures speak louder than words. Promise to send some more wonderfully nordic things your way soon… x


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Filed under Colour, Finland, Home, Nordic

Marimekko in the kitchen

Well it’s been tres busy up here on the mountain lately. O and I have been working our little butts off in prep for the baby coming in December. That hasn’t stopped the flowers blooming of course (or the weeds growing — yikes) and I happened to pick a very lovely Rhododendron the other day. It’s still sitting perfectly on our little kitchen table, which is covered with (you guessed it): Marimekko fabric. This one is a Maija Isola orginal in a new colourway by Kristina Isola. “Tulipunainen” 1960/2000. I think this is one of my oldest Marimekko fabrics. I’ve got a few squirreled away in the cupboard here, just waiting for that big empty wall on which to display them in all their Scandinavian glory! I’ll have to take pics of them and make Marimekko post of it.

Before I head off, I’m also attaching a pic of our house one recent chilly morning. There was very low cloud and you could hardly see 10 metres in front of you. It was quite beautiful! I think we were in the clouds actually. We’re high enough up here. Thanks for reading and stay tuned for another dose of Nordic appreciation coming soon! x

Foggy morning up on the Mountain

Rhododendron on "Tulipunainen" Marimekko

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Filed under Colour, Finland, Flowers, Home

Scandinavian Cycling… Nice.

Somewhere in the Finnish countryside... (actually not too far from Helsinki)

This morning I went on my second bike ride in about 20 years, and it was glorious. The lovely O gave me a brand new (well, new to me) bike for Christmas and I’m slowly getting into the swing of it. My first ride was slightly stressful. I didn’t go well with all the walkers. What were they doing taking up all the path!? Didn’t they know that bikers have right of way!? (It’s amazing what kind of monsters come out when you’re a novice rider.)

Anyway,  today I set out at five am to avoid as many people as possible, and to get my bike confidence up without killing anyone. It worked, I’m very relieved to say. I rode along the path by the ocean and I didn’t feel the urge to run over any pedestrians at all. Brilliant. I want to ride a lot more often. I do have a slight case of Bikeway Envy though. Recently I came across a bit of town planning waffle  that referred to The Copenhagen System and–being a fan of all things Nordic–I thought “That sounds Wonderful”.

Basically, Copenhagen is a model city for biking. According to the Montreal Urban Ecology Centre (in another work of gushing praise for the Copenhagen System), 37% of everyone working or studying in Copenhagen commutes by bike. Nice. Of course, they’ve got it all set up for cyclists, which is why I’m so envious! Their site says: “…cyclists are physically separated from cars and pedestrians on a raised cycle track 2.5 meters wide. A median with a distinctive paving texture serves as a door swing zone, protecting both cyclists and passengers from potential accidents.” How good is that?

The very wonderful Copenhagen System

Where I live, you’re definitely taking your life into your hands if you ride on the road, riding on footpaths is apparently illegal, and the “bike tracks” are also walking tracks, which makes for a fair bit of ducking, weaving and ferocious bell-ringing. Ah, how lovely it would be to ride along in a lane all of your own! Until Australia adopts the Copenhagen System, I’ll just have to build my bike confidence wherever I can, and I’m sure in the process I’ll find some good scenic paths to ride on. And next time I travel to Scandinavia, a glorious bike ride in the country is definitely on the agenda (see first pic in this post). As I first set out on my ride this morning, I felt those tingly butterflies in my stomach that only come when you’re SO excited about something, you know you’re about to giggle. Riding a bike is certainly one of life’s most amazing simple pleasures. x

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Filed under Cycling, Denmark, Finland

Destination: Helsinki (Tales of a Globe Trotting Granny Square Blanket)

Porvoo in Summer, Finland


Hello everyone. Long-time-no-hear-from… yes I know. It’s been a bit Go Go Go here lately. Not all work, mind you. I’ve snatched a few hours here and there to check out some very interesting blogs by other people… more on that later. (By the way, the above pic is just to set the Nordic scene for this post… taken in Porvoo, Finland, and one of my favourite pics from one of my trips over to visit my sister.)

But now, the long overdue story of the Granny Square Rug that I was crocheting way back in … er, 2010, for my gorgeous little 2-year-old niece. Just to update: I only learned to crochet last year and I’ve become addicted. The Attic24 blog has been a huge inspiration (the link is over to the left there).

Back to the rug. To be honest, there’s not much to tell but I do have some photos that I’m very proud to post. The last pic was taken on my living room floor, before it was all sewn together. (Insert link back to previous blog at a future date when I’m more blog savvy.)

Almost there... Granny Square Rug almost finished

And then there was the edging to do (thanks to Attic 24 for the pattern)…

Granny Blanket edging starting to hold it all together!

And the final round of edging… (I guess this is mostly for Crochet Fans, but hang if you hang in there, you’ll see the Nordic bit is coming)

Pink scallop bit on the Granny Blanket

Finished edging… yay!

The finished edge!

Hurrah! The completed Granny Square Blanket

And now for the best part… the GS blanket in use by its little cutie-pie owner.

Little S on her blanket

Happy and satisfied creator; active new owner

OK, so what about all the Nordicness that you’ve come to this blog to see? Well, firstly I can tell you that the above Granny Square Blanket now resides in Helsinki, Finland. Here’s where I’m talking about:

Helsinki, Finland, Winter

Brrrr. That’s all I can say. If you want the local weather report, check out the Helsingin Sanomat (I just love those words for some strange reason).

As I mentioned above, I’ve been lucky enough to check out some very interesting blogs in the last week or so and one of my favourites is What caught my eye was the very folksy 12-piece Figgjo dinner set from Norway. So Scandinavian! So folksy! Take a browse on this site for other Scandinavian pottery… there’s a lot there, from Arabia (Finland) to Rorstrand (Sweden). Scrumptious.

That’s all for now… more to come soon, and this time I won’t leave it so long. E


Filed under Crochet, Finland, Snow, Uncategorized

Finnish winter footsteps

This little post is what I’ve just decided to call a Top Up post. It’s the post you … er, post, when you’re flat out busy with life but you need to keep your faithful followers sustained with an essential dose of life-giving Scandinavianness. Nordicly Wonderful things might not be the elixir of life, but they certainly come close.

So, dear followers (yes, all three of you at the moment, but it’s early days) may I present one of my favourite photos EVER, taken a few winters past, in Finland, by my talented sister M. Here it is:

Divine snowiness in Finland

How. About. That.

Can you see the footprints? What a beauty.

Righto, well I’m flat out, so I have to leave this alone for the moment. I’ve got so much that I want to blog about, too… my crochet, my new bike, and all the fantastic and inspiring Nordic Blogs that I’ve been discovering lately. I can’t read most of them, but WOW are they great to look at.

Until next time, hang in there and listen to some ABBA if you’re Nordicly starved. It always works for me. (Can you hear the drums Fernando?…) xx

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Filed under Finland, Nature, Photography, Snow, Uncategorized

Sunshine at last!

Yay! It’s finally stopped raining! As you might of heard, we’ve been getting some serious rain action on the East Coast of Australia lately. But today the sun has come out. So I think I’m going to introduce something new to this blog (which I’ve been hankering to introduce for a few days now…)  My plants!

But before I do, here is a beautiful pic I took in Finland not long ago. We were having a wonderful family picnic at the time, and the sea was dazzling. Oh, and the air was non-humid and fresh. You know, in that Scandinavian way. I like the sunshiney-ness of this photo. (How about that: an Australian swooning over the sunshine in Helsinki. That’s how much it’s been raining!!)

Helsinki in summer, looking out over the Gulf of Finland... so twinkly!

OK, so now to my little plants. They’re very exciting! That might sound crazy but wait until you hear what I’m on about. A few months ago, I was reading up about Raw Food in that Sun Food Diet Success System book by David Wolfe (very interesting by the way) and I had a Big Idea from out of nowhere. Why don’t I plant a few Goji Berries? So I did. I haven’t seen a Goji tree for sale anywhere in any Australian nursery, so I thought I should definitely give it a go. Here’s how it went:

Goji berries come to life!

This was taken on December 22. I transplanted a few bundles of Goji seedlings into separate pots because they were rapidly outgrowing the seedling tray. I did this with a little teapsoon but it was quite difficult actually separating the plants because they’re roots were all interwoven. Still, they seem to have survived:

Goji seedlings in their expansive new home

I’ll keep you posted on the Gojis. I hope they grow into strong trees because Goji berries are pretty good for you, so I’ve heard! I like to eat them, anyway. Also, can you see this pot sitting in water? That’s how much rain we’ve been getting. Not even enough time to get out and tip the water before more arrives. Here are some more pics of my gardening adventures (carried out on my ultra small balcony, I’m afraid).

I like to use Eden seeds where I can because they have a good organic range

And just a short while later…

The Rocket rears it's head! Yay Rocket!

They’re tiny, but can you see those robust little rocket shoots poking through the earth?

and most of the seedlings take off!

The Lebanese Cucumbers were definitely the over-achievers of the group and I quickly had to move them to a larger pot. I put stakes in, because they climb, and I used some wired Christmas ribbon to make the tops of the stakes ultra visible. I call them my Anti-Eye-Poked-Out safety devices. (Have you ever bent down to a pot and nearly collected a stake in your eye? You’ll know what I mean.)

Lebanese cucumber on my balcony, just seedlings

More gardening updates soon. I can’t spend too much more time on this blog this morning because I sense clouds coming over again and I want to get outside while I can! I’m going to leave you with a bit more colour: some locals who came to visit me on my balcony a few days ago…. bye for now! x

These two Rainbow Lorikeets came in to say hello...

...and to give each other a bit of grooming in those hard-to-reach places!

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Filed under Finland, Gardening, Nature, Photography

colour inspiration and joy-creation, by iittala

Because my blog is only in its early days, I have a confession to make before we go any further. I think I’m addicted to Scandinavian homewares. Not all of them, of course. Just the scrumptious ones. And I have a particularly scrumptious set of bowls in my kitchen cupboard that bring me absolute joy whenever I use — or see — them.

I can’t wait any longer to show them to you, so here they are:

my lovely iittala origo bowls... just look at that colour!

And here are some close up shots, just because they’re so gorgeous:

orange, blue, turquoise, white... so yummy and fresh

this is my other favourite colour combo... all those reds!

Phew. Glad I got THAT out of my system. I’ve been dying to share my bowls with you for days. I find that the colours are so bright and happy. (Oh by the way, iittala bowls are made in Finland and they do a lot more than bowls. Do some naughty online shopping here:  They may cost a bit extra than regular bowls but they are very much worth it. Especially when you have to get up early on the days when you don’t really feel like it. On those days, you can be sure to feel a whole lot better about the world as soon as your bleary morning eyes lock on to those glorious stripes of colour. Thank you, iittala origo bowl designer. I know there’s more to life than material possessions, but these bowls definitely give off a warm and uplifting glow!

I’m no expert, but I have heard that the Nordic Peoples love their colour. After all, in Finland they don’t call it “Winter”. They call it “The Darkness”. So you’d want to be stocking up on some fairly colourful bits’n’bobs to furnish your nest with, I imagine. What a brilliant idea!

Righty-o, time for bed. I’ve put up two posts today, which may be a bit excessive, but I’m just getting the hang of blogging and I love it! I hope you enjoyed my little introduction to the world of iittala bowls, if you didn’t already know about them. And if you did… I’m sure you understand. Nighty-night. x

ps tomorrow I think it’s time we step outside — even if it’s still raining — and I can bring you up-to-date with my seedlings. Wait until you see what I’m growing!


Filed under Colour, Finland, Home