Sunday, 30 August 2009


Mr. Kotkarankki came home last night from his week up north. I feel like this:

Red cheeks and all.

He brought me this:

It has been washed now, and saved from the washline when it started raining, and hanging on the indoors washline instead. I feel happy.

While he was away, I was crocheting the dark brown rows and joining my granny squares from May. Maybe three rows to go, and the yarn ends to hide before I can show you the finished blanket.

Now I'll go and look at him again! Did I tell you already that I feel happy? I'm smiling.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Vintage Thingies 38 - Children's Coffee Set

Time flies when you ought to be doing something and end up just thinking about doing it. It is Thursday again, and I'm participating in Suzanne's Vintage Thingies Thursaday. You will find all the links here at the end of the post.

I have shown you earlier my hand painted teacups. The next set was in the same cupboard. This again is something I have received from my mother when I was all grown up.

It is a coffee set for three. My mother has played with them when she was a child, in the 1920's.

These are the saucers, with three different children playing with kitchenware.

This little plate is not from the set, it has a different manufacturer's stamp on the back. But here also the child is in black and there is a duck, too.

I had a new doll size tea set from my grandparents when I was little, but there was nothing left of it when I was grown and wanted to take it with me. Maybe mother gave me this set to replace my loss!

Have you ever noticed that when you have found
something nice, you suddenly bump into similar
things in many places? Well, in the latest issue of
Kodin Kuvalehti, my women's magazine, was an
article about a lovingly renovated summer cottage.
The owner could participate in VTT every week for
a couple of years with her treasures! I just wanted
to show you her blue and white towel rack cover
and her butter crock, which is a little bigger than
mine and has a different flower decoration.

Don't you just love her kitchen?

Have a lovely VTT!

Tuesday, 25 August 2009


It's been a long time since I wrote anything here. I have been a single parent from last weekend as Mr. Kotkarankki has gone fishing for a week. This means no proper cooking for lunch, no sports on TV, but also no kisses for good night. The so called freedom of choice leaves me working half-heartedly. I would like to get something nice done while he is away, but my energy is too low. I feel like this:

(In real life I'm not that grey.)

Today I have been a little busy anyway. I finally finished the quilting of my windows quilt for the orphanage; those windows took a lot of time! Both quilts still need bindings.

The strip quilt is machine quilted with a wavy stitch on the seams. For the windows I have tried to create the illusion of a perspective. Tomorrow I need to cut binding for the strip quilt and bind them both.
My evening project is now once again the granny squares I crocheted in May. I'm adding one more round, in dark brown, and combining the squares as I go. I hope to show the finished blanket at the end of the week.
I finally did something more than the usual housekeeping. This afternoon I ironed the heavy winter curtains and hung them in the living room window. The evenings are dark already and I felt like being in an aquarium, when I only had the light summer curtains drawn. Maybe tomorrow I will vacuum the house. Maybe I'm just joking.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Vintage Thingies 37 - JAJ Casseroles

It is suddenly Thursday again and time to show and tell about our vintage treasures. This week I have something really special to show: it is not from my family. I just bought these two oven proof glass casseroles yesterday from a flea market. I liked the shape and size of them, and they were in flawless condition.

They nest nicely, so there will not be too much storage problems.

The vegetable pictures are different, this is from the smaller bowl.

And this is the bigger one.

I expected to see the Pyrex stamp on the bottom, but there were the initials JAJ, a crown, and Made in England instead. After some Google work I found out that this simply means Pyrex made in England. The plant in Sunderland was closed in 2007 so my casseroles may become very valuable collector's items! I paid 1 € for them, a little more than 1 US $ and less than 1 UK £ . The seller said they were his mother's from the late 1960's.

By the way, if you want to see more details of my last week's towel rack cover, see this post.
Now hop back to Suzanne to see what the other Vintage Thingies Thursday blogs are showing today!

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Quilt Top & Bird News

It is always nice to have a project which goes smoothly. This window pattern quilt top or the orphanage in Tanzania is one of them. I used the same fabric as for the strip quilt, but only the giraffes, and recycled a green pillowcase with animal print, and two jungle pattern summer skirts.

Do you like road construction works? I didn't think so. But isn't there usually some eye candy for the female road users, when the young muscular men showel hot black asphalt in front of the big machines, with their beautifully tanned bare upper bodies gleaming with sweat? In my dreams maybe. This is how the work is done during summer in Finland; everyone is wearing brightly coloured reflector vests on top of their brightly coloured raincoats or overalls. This is "our" road being done, half a mile or 800 m from our house.

The story about the fox and the sour grapes is in our fairytale books about the fox and the sour rowan berries, obviously because grapes don't grow in this climate. You may see the connection with the previous story. I saw these beautiful (and SO sour) berries at the station on my way to Järvenpää.

These trees grow around our railway station.

The oak tree may well be from the same time as the building, 1874.

This little linden tree (now my dictionary confuses me completely: it is also called European lime tree and American basswood) was planted when an underpass was built. I think the shape of the tree is repeated in the leaves:

These are from and older tree. I like the seed thingies.

I took the train to Järvenpää and sat outside enjoying a cup of tea and a Ruth Rendell novel (Thirteen Steps Down, just started). Organ grinders from around the Baltic Sea had come here after their meeting in Hämeenlinna. The one on the right was from Poland. The other one had a parrot, but I don't know where they came from.

There were at least seven of them in all.

Today I read in the newspaper that this cold summer has affected the birds' nesting, and many birds are late with growing their babies. Our titmouse family left their house in late July, when they usually are out in June. The Hooper Swan family I have told you about walked to a more quiet pond after a couple of weeks in the pond where I saw them. Now we can see one of the parents every now and then having some time off from baby duties there in the morning. I hope they take turns! Last week Mr. K called me to come with the camera to see the tinies pheasant babies we have ever seen. No, it is not a frog. Click to see better!

He had seen about ten babies, but by the time I got to the back yard they had vanished - in the sand? These three were moving, so I noticed them.

Here you can see them quite clearly. The mother kept calling until the last one had climbed up the stone wall instead of these very small steps.

Finally there were 9 babies and the mother. We saw them on the next day as well.

I hope they will grow fast and get some flesh on their bones before the nights will be too cold.

Chamaenerium angustifolium is a sign of the summer turning towards the end.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Another look on embroidery and holiday pictures

My last post had the most comments I have ever had except for my last year's giveaway, and definitely one of my peak visitor numbers. I'm sorry I had only one picture of this surprisingly interesting towel rack cover, but my faithful readers can now enjoy some closeups of this little gem:

I have been working on a new (to me) pattern called Attic windows or Children's room windows. This will be another quilt for the orphanage in Tanzania, a church project I decided to make a Finnish Brown Owls project. The blocks are now pieced and ironed; after some trimming I can sew the top together.

Are you ready to take a last look at Northern Carelia? On the second afternoon the weather turned a little warmer, up to 16 C or 60 F, so we could enjoy our outdoor life from the morning porridge

all day until the evening. Mr. Kotkarankki caught this rainbow trout with the fly you can see on the gill cover. Click the picture to see better, it's a small one (the fly).

Let's look around, this is the rapid's side stream, this year just shallow water.

A gull is waiting for a meal, or maybe digesting a little perch.

The air is very clean there, lichen and beard moss grow almost anywhere, like on a birch,

on the ground,

on a pine.

Lythrum salicaria

Close relationship between aspen and pine

Empetrum nigrum, edible but not to my taste

The pine on the opposite shore is bending towards the water, more and more every year.

Tourist rafters came by on their tour, in wooden boats like in the background or rubber boats for the more adventurous.

Here the tourists take an active role, using their paddles the way the guide tells them.

Sometimes they turn and take another ride in our rapid.

Here they can come up easily in the backward current.

Some are even more adventurous, they swim their way down, wearing neoprene suits, life jackets and helmets.

Count the heads, did they take everybody on board again?

This is "our" new motor boat for crossing the river.

It is made locally. See the pretty decoration up front.

Time for a bath in the sauna again. We will make a night meal while the men bathe after us. This is the view from the sauna steps.

The sounds of the water moving big rocks in the stream take us to sleep in no time.