YouTube faves right now

Category : Inspiration
Date : 06/11/2017
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YouTube faves right now

Up until recently YouTube was the place where I watched music videos, stand up clips and movies trailers. I thought all the YouTube stars I was hearing about were teenagers creating entertaining content for other teenagers. Then one by one I started finding (mostly by accident or probably sophisticated algorithms) finding these awesome channels with great content. I found myself spending Saturday mornings watching several videos by one person. So I thought I’d share a few channels I’ve found really inspiring, entertaining or both.

Lavendaire

Sometimes when people are giving life advice they can come across as smug and just annoying but when Aileen says the same things it sounds much friendlier and actually doable. I have yet to figure out what her secret is. She’s the one who inspired me to start writing a gratitude journal.

 

Yagazie Emezi

This woman is my hero! I love how she’s fiercely pursuing her passion and how honest and open she is about her journey. She’s also really really funny!

 

Evelyn from the internets

Evelyn is just hilarious! I can watch her videos for hours.

 

Kicki Yang Zhang

Kicki posts a wide variety of content but I have to admit it’s her food related videos that I’ve watched the most. Who had any idea that watching someone chopping vegetables could be so mesmerising?

 

Hopeful Honey

There’s a lot of crochet tutorials out there but I like them short and clear like Olivia’s tutorials.

 


The wool conundrum

Date : 24/10/2017
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The wool conundrum

Veganism, now that’s a word that can get some people really worked up. I wasn’t really sure whether to post this or not but even sensitive matters need to be discussed. But let’s not get too serious, this post is more about asking questions and finding options.

I became a vegan earlier this year and so far I’ve approached the eating with a child like curiosity and relaxed experimentation. I do have those moments when I feel that there’s nothing to eat but it’s usually when I’m feeling really lazy and the grocery store has run out of that one frozen pizza I can eat. Let’s just say I don’t have the food prep routine down yet. The biggest challenge during my few months as a vegan has been the constant paranoia that I’m alienating my friends with this lifestyle choice. Then I remind myself that I was probably annoying as a meat eater too and hope that they will tell me if I’m becoming irritating. In defence of “annoying” vegans I’ll say this, when you make a major life choice/lifestyle change you’re often very excited about it and naturally want to share that with people. So what some might consider as you pushing your ideology unto others might just be you being euphoric because you’ve finally found the most delicious rice milk chocolate!

What I think is going to be a struggle is clothing. With food there are a wide range of plant based options to choose from but when it comes to animal fibers and skins it’s not as easy. I no longer want to support industrialised animal agriculture but I don’t know what to replace these animal products with. Silk and down feather garment can be challenge but wool and leather are at the moment the most immediate ones in my wardrobe. For me acrylic and polyurethane (PU) are just not ideal substitutes. Sure, an acrylic sweater might keep me a bit warm but the minute I start sweating I feel like I’m wearing a layer of plastic film. I’ve owned shoes made from PU and some like sandals have served me just fine but then I’ve had winter shoes that have cracked during the coldest months. Meanwhile I have leather shoes that I’ve had for four years and still use. As you can sense I’m not a big fan of replacing every animal material with a synthetic one, especially those that are not recyclable. Natural plant fibers are not always the best either, growing cotton is very problematic too. Hence my conundrum!

Now, I do want to point out that I have no plans to throw out all my clothes and shoes containing animal materials, that would be a horrible waste. What I feel uncomfortable using I will sell or donate. Some of you might say that the solution is to shop second hand and I do find wool and silk garments that way sometimes but by purchasing them, aren’t I contributing to the continued production of those products? I don’t know. These are the kind of things I often think about.

I don’t want to say “I’m not willing to give up” this or that because I think it keeps me in the same place and blinds me from seeking alternatives. With wool however, I’m really struggling to find an alternative. I feel like with leather, silk and feathers there’s a lot of research being made right now and soon we’ll have animal free and sustainable options on the market. I’m really excited to get my hands on some Pinatex (an alternative for leather made from pineapple leaf fibers) and test making some bags from it. But when I want to knit a scarf to keep me warm over the very winds and cold Helsinki winter, what material should I use?

I’d like to know what you think of wool as a material. Is there such a thing as ethical wool? If you don’t use wool, what have you substituted it with? The yarns on pictures above are Shetland wool yarns that I bought in Edinburgh a few years ago.


It’s time for something new (and happy anniversary!)

I started writing this post wanting to share what’s been going on lately but then an invoice from my web hosting company reminded me of something. I’ve been so busy lately that I almost forgot that my fourth blogging anniversary was coming up.

When I started this website I was struggling to find work in design and started the blog as a way to creatively keep me occupied. I had this irrational fear that I would forget most of what I had learned in design school while doing those other jobs we all have to do in order to get by.

It’s been a few years now and even though I’ve at times felt like my life is uneventful, looking back to those first posts I can see how much I’ve changed as a person but also as a creator. During these few years I’ve changed jobs, traveled and moved a couple of times. I’m glad I’ve kept creating and posting, even when I was feeling very insecure about my skills.

It’s now again time for another chapter, challenge and adventure. I’m going back to school to get my masters and I’ve moved again and I now have not one but three lovely roommates. It’s funny how things sometimes work out. I really feel like this the right time for me to back to school. I feel I’m much more focused and have a clear idea what I want to learn.

What do these changes mean for my little blog? I’m probably going to be posting more irregularly and posting about a wider range of subjects. The focus is going to be my creative process and all the things that inspire me but I now feel brave enough to also write about things I’m worried about. I’m curious to see where that leads.

For the first time in a really long time I feel I can honestly say that I’m excited about the changes that are happening in my life. Do I have everything figured out? Hell no! I’m I worried about the planet and what feels increasing division and apathy? Of course! But for once, in my little bubble, things are going my way!

 


The Gilded Wonderland

Category : Travel
Date : 14/09/2017
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The Gilded Wonderland

Before we even arrived to the Hermitage Museum I was told of one (of many) theories the locals have, that in order to see all the contents of the museum, you would need to visit the museum five days a week for seven years! That still didn’t prepare me for the overwhelming grand golden overdose that was to come. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many chandeliers in my life! I don’t really know how to describe it, hopefully the images give you just a hint of the extravagance of the place. At some point I couldn’t even look at the paintings anymore because there was so much else to see within the rooms themselves.

When I visit grand and heavily adorned castles like this, I at some point think about how wealth was so unevenly distributed back then (some would argue that things haven’t changed that much). I can only imagine how the poor lived if this is what the rich and privileged enjoyed. At the end of the day it’s the craftsmanship and history that draws me to places like this. I’m not saying we should go back to this way of building and decorating, I’m just appreciative of the skills of the craftsmen who put it all together.

I was at first thinking that I need to go back to the museum the next time I’m in St. Petersburg but then I remembered the other castles in and around the city that my friends tell me I need to visit. I do need to return one day though, to actually see the paintings. Until then I’ll keep dreaming about massive golden chandeliers.

Photos of me by Tong Ren


Breathtaking Blooms

Category : Inspiration, Travel
Date : 23/08/2017
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Breathtaking Blooms

If you’ve been on this site before, you know I have a thing for flowers. I’ve sometimes gone as far as to call it an obsession.
When I was at the botanical garden in Lund, I took a lot of pictures of pretty flowers but there was one that was so striking I thought it deserved special attention. The flower in question is the oriental poppy (Papaver Orientale) and I think this is the one called Turkish delight. What is it about this particular flower you might wonder? The colours! Especially the combination of the salmon pink of the petals and the dark plum of the inside. There was something about the light and crimped petals that also spoke to me. Maybe I was a florist in a previous life?



Hello Saint Petersburg

Category : Travel
Date : 10/08/2017
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Hello Saint Petersburg

One of my new rules regarding travelling is, if someone offers to guide you around their home town, find a way to make that trip happen no matter how tight your budget is. You experience a place in a completely different way when you’re with a local.

Saint Petersburg is a city I’ve always been curious about but because of the crazy world politics, I didn’t think I’d visit the city for a very long time. So when my friend suggested a group trip to her home town, I jumped at the opportunity. She had told me so many stories of this city and this was my chance to see it with her.
So on an early Wednesday morning we got on the train and headed to the historical city not really knowing what to expect. The dreaded interrogation by the border patrol and customs didn’t happen (our passports were checked by officers with very serious looks on their faces and we were asked what we had in our bags, and that was it) and a few hours later we had arrived to a very sunny Saint Petersburg.

What followed was three days of incredibly fun and intense sightseeing which included endless beautiful buildings and cathedrals, many couples on their wedding photo shoots, tasting a variety of artisanal lemonades and my first ever ballet! And then there was the mind blowing extravaganza that is the State Hermitage Museum. I think I need to do a separate post about it because it’s difficult to describe in words, I have to show you some pictures.

I feel like this trip was like an introduction to this grand city, there’s so much more to see that I’ll have to go back. I need to do a proper metro station tour. Metro stations in this city are something else I tell you! There are also more palaces and hipster spots to discover. Not to forget all the vintage shops and design stores we didn’t have time for.

Thank you to my queens for making this trip possible and so much fun!


The internet brought me here

Category : Helsinki
Date : 02/08/2017
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The internet brought me here

I’ve lived in Helsinki for almost 7 years now  and as much as I try to explore different parts of the city, there’s still a lot of gardens, islands and museums I haven’t visited. Every once in a while, I’ll see a place in social media and I’ll be like, why didn’t I know about this? That’s how images in my insta feed led me to Alppiruusupuisto in Haaga one sunny Sunday afternoon. I felt a bit silly for being such a social media slave but I can’t turn down an opportunity to see a concentration of blooms in one place.

Once there I learned that the flowers in question were rhododendrons and azaleas. Rhododendrons are having a bit of a moment if I may say so (or it’s because I’ve just learned of their existence). I think I saw them in the botanical garden in Lund and they were discussed a bit during the midsummer celebrations.

It didn’t take long after I arrived in the park to realise that I was too late. Most of the flowers had faded and fallen off. I walked through the park anyway and found a couple of spots where some were still blooming and tried to imagine how the park looks like in full bloom. The good thing is that I now know about the park and will make sure to be there on time next year.


The Floral Invasion

Category : Style
Date : 25/07/2017
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The Floral Invasion

Remember that top with the wrap shoulder I made a few years ago? Or is it a blouse? Ok, I need to get my definitions in order! Anywho, I’ve been using it quit often but unfortunately the fabric isn’t ageing that well. I got the fabric as a gift so I was never a 100% sure of the fiber content.
I really like the wrap shoulder details so I made the same top from a light cotton floral fabric I bought last fall. I altered the the pattern a bit and made the sleeves a bit wider and the hem curved. I seem to have thing for curved hems lately.
As you guys know, I’m a huge fan of floral patterns but I might need to pace myself. My summer wardrobe has experienced a serious floral invasion! So for my next sewing project I need to use some monochrome linen fabrics to balance things out.


Copenhagen is always a good idea

Category : Travel
Date : 18/07/2017
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Copenhagen is always a good idea

I’ve been really fortunate in the past few years that I’ve gotten to visit Copenhagen several times. At this point I have a nice Copenhagen routine going. I’m usually there by myself and most of my visits tend to be brief but they’re always fun and eventful. There are certain places I often return to but I also try to explore a new areas, shops and restaurants each time. This trip was a bit special as I got to act tourist guide to my mum on one of the days. We were on our way to Lund for my brother’s graduation.

So what did I do this time? I visited The Botanical Garden for the first time, tried vintage shopping but found nothing, ate some delicious food at places I’ve wanted to try for a while and visited a friend. I don’t have images of all those things because sometimes I just forgot and sometimes I just chickened out. Like that time I was eating my yummy artisanal ice cream on Elmegade, watching cool Copehageners cycle by and couldn’t bring myself to go full tourist mode with my camera. Well, there’s next time, I’ll make sure of it.


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