Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Hi folks! So,this is an update on my beret project and other stuff. I did finish it with success, but it turned out to be a bit too big and ball-like for my preference. Apparently, my calculations weren't accurate enough. But not to worry....

Here it is.

... it was a perfect Christmas gift for my mummy, who absolutely fell in love with it. "Soooo soft and fluffy..." she said.

The happy new owner.

I was lucky to finish this project already couple of weeks ago, since just now it would be bit hairy. All this because of the fact that I decided to try out new sport -that being sledding. Obviously I should have stuck with the mountain sports I'm already familiar with since this try-out resulted 20 centimeters of steel attached onto my arm with 8 big screws and support for following month. Naja, one cannot win everytime. But at least I don't have to worry about wristwarmers and / or knitting them for a little while, since Spital Schwyz equipped me with this quite fashionable one:

Color leaves something to desired for, though.

Anyway, this is the latest from the cheese territory. Happy New Year, everybody!!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Getting into the holiday mood

With all the time to kill and lots of schrubs on the roof, what better a source for creation of some Christmas decorations? Back in Finland mum always hangs this same swag on the frontdoor. It's made out of straw and red ribbon, simple thing actually, nothing too taggy. I decided to follow suit this year, but mine turned out to be bit more showy =D

Only things I bought was the little length of the red satin sash and the star -and some iron wire to put it all together. All the greenery I used grows out of all proportions on our roof. Red branches with blue berries are from woodbine and the other plant is this evergreen thing that makes green (and blue berries) on the wintertime and has no English name that I would know, soooorry. It just might be English ivy (Hedera helix), but I'm not 100% sure. Anyway, who cares?

My seasonal door swag.

In my opinion it turned out quite cute albeit flashy, and it's delightful that I didn't have to steal or buy the plants. It's just plain goofy to spend ten bucks in a flower store to get yourself some pine branches whereas in Finland you could just trek into the woods and get some! Probably it's not quite allowed to cut somebody else's bushes, but I don't really see who would seriously mind. Same action is of course possible here too, but to get access is bit more complicated, since surrounding forests are way more populated than their Finnish equvalents. But anyway, little trimming is definitely not bad for our roof plants since they spread every summer like social disease =)


First of all I must admit that I've been so f***ing bored for last two months, that I my brain nearly snapped. Since the ending of "Revolver Traum", my latest design project in September, I haven't landed anything more than odd days of roudie work here and there. And I'm very bad in doing nothing. Pisses me personally off more than anything, since I'm not one of those people who can bustle happily in their garden or hobbies without a care in the world. If I don't have some landmarks in time, I just end up sleeping too much like all the energy would somehow be drained out of me. Or I just hover around in Facebook waiting for someone to make a move in Lexulous. Go figure. Hopefully next year will be better projectwise.

Nonetheless, I managed to do at least something with all this time I have. I was loitering in the city to kill some time and noticed funny looking yarns in one of the department stores. That made me think that I could pick up my old hobby, knitting. It's been years since I had anything to do with it.

Happy colors to cheer me up =)

So I bought some happy-coloured cotton yarn and decided to start easy with the designs. The point of interest was that one can't figure out the pattern that the multiple colors will make until you knit it. I'd go for producing a pair of "armbands". I don't know how they are supposed to be called in english, but anyway they are sort of gaiters or fingerless (hobo)gloves, -take your pick. In Swiss German I'd know three different names for the thingies (armedüsli, mittli, pulswärmer), but not in English =) Perhaps the picture will clear it out =)

The first pair out of the factory.

It turned out that the colors of the yarn actually make quite even and pretty stripes, which surprised me positively.

Catania Color (color 35) by Schachenmayr, app. 60g
needles no. 3

Second pair of same sort was actually something I've started long time ago and wanted to finish now. This was the same kind of hoboglove thingy knitted out of the softest mohair yarn.

Soft hobo?

Novita Teddy, app. 70g
needles no. 5

I also knitted such gloves for my friend, but there'll be no photo of them yet, since I intend to give them to her as a Christmas present =) And my boyfriend also got a pair of armbands made out of sleek shiny school yarn (cotton), but he doesn't want him or his stuff to be published in the Internet, so you'll have to take my word for it. =D

Now I'm working on the cutest multicolored polyester yarn and wrestling to turn it into a beret. Update will follow...
O, let it be a beret... eventually

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Counting down to Christmas...

Let's admit it in the very beginning of this post; I've never been such a Christmas loving person, at least not until I really moved out of Finland. I've always thought of a nice escape to tropical island to be quite adequate alternative to all the holidays fuss. Never did I really get it why people create such a stress about the couple of free days in the end of the year... Ah, well.

Ever since being here in the Switzerland I have realized my opinions shifting slightly, though. I actually nowadays feel it to be a pretty cool idea to get a tree and prepare some traditionally finnish dishes. But, still, only ever so slightly - I refuse to wreck my nerves over it. I guess this all comes from the idea of being together with my family and reminding them also of my roots back in the snowy North. Nothing better to achieve that than real and original "Joulukinkku" - the Christmas ham =)

But... This year I had to give in to yet another Christmassy thing, actually for the very first time in my whole life. How funny is that... Never say never and all the other clichées...

Never, even as a small child, have I had one of those advent calendars that contain small bit of chocolate under every lid. And never have I really craved for one either, so far so good. Of course I have had those things that have only pictures behind the lids, the ones that you get for free from banks or insurance companies etc. I remember the coolest of them, when I was seven years old or so, having these silvery thingies that one can scratch the surface off with a coin and reveal the picture of some space-theme it was, if I remember correctly, underneath. Pretty much the same method as with lottery cards etc.

But this year it was actually my mum that spotted this thing out in one of the big automarkets we visited when I was in Finland last time. This is an advent calendar indeed, but not with chocolate but salty licorice -"salmiakki" that is, inside. I was was sold on the spot, since salmiakki is one of the few things I'm really passionate about (but only when it's good...) So, now I have advent calendar with edibles for the first time in my life. Better late than never, I guess.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Curiosities of Figueres

Figueres, app. 40 km's north from Girona, is one of the three most important landmarks of Salvador Dali. He is by any no means one of my favorite artists, but when in proximity, I just had to go to check out the Dalí Theatre Museum in this nearby town.

La Rambla, the main plaza of Figueres sleeping through siesta.

The museum looks very much "Dalían" in and out. Who else would have thought of this weird egg-shape design for a building and little knots covering all of the red walls. Surreal, literally. I spent good three hours there exploring the exhibits. I have to admit that my opinion and knowledge of the guy evolved a great deal. I hand't had any idea how important his muse-lover-wife, Gala, actually was for him. Such dedication... love of a lifetime... amazing.

Curiosity 1: Exterior of the museum.

I also do have to admit that I quite liked some of the stuff in the museum, like the drawings on the "Rue Trajan" collection on the third floor. The finesse of the touch and detail is overwhelming.

Don Q.

The other thing that probably never seases to amaze me is the complexity of the names of the artworks =) I guess Dalí never heard (or cared) about the idea of "keeping it simple st*****" or he just wanted to make sure you won't get it wrong =) =) Example below...

Curiosity 2: Explanation.

The Artwork. I can find the tiger and one of the Lenins, can I?

After visiting the museum the siesta got the better of me again. therefore I had to come up an idea that doesn't require necessarily opening-hours. So, I walked around a bit and saw the signs pointing to the direction of a fortress. This could be something accessible even during the siesta. I trekked up to the hill and entered the Castell Sant Ferran, supposedly the biggest fortress built during the era of Enlightment in whole Europe. Whoooa, sooooo cool. I just went there for the views =)

There was nobody else there, but it was open, yeah. The guy in ticket-office was bit strange but I managed to get past him eventually. He just was so determined to tell me that they will close the place up after three hours, but that I was allowed to stay only one hour. Then he gave me a map and pointed out the spots where there would be information about the place. So off I go....

And reach the first information point. Yes, there is a big number one painted on a plate and a sign of audio. I turn the little map over and see the instructions that at this point I should listen to the first entry in my audio-guide, which I obviously didn't have, because the strange guy didn't give me one. Tja, I can't be bothered to go back to the office to ask for one, so I just continue, in silence. It would probably have been boring anyway...

Curiosity 3: A silent audio-guided point at Castell Sant Ferran.

All in all, the fortress was mostly just a big wreck. Views over the region were naturally pretty cool, as they usually are from tactically important military establishments. The thing I liked the most about it, was the interesting filtration of light inside the buildings.


Beautiful light in a small chamber,
purpose left in the dark forever.

After my stroll around the fortress I was standing by the trench observing the deer residing down there. And guess who comes up to me? The guy from the ticket-office and says "vamos, vamos...". Ok, I'll go, don't sweat, although there was still five minutes to go of my given hour. Some people just have tight asses....

Since the siesta was still setting obstacles on my route, I decided to just have a nice lunch back in downtown adn then visit a church or something.

There is a cathedral just next to the Dalí Museum, which I went to see. I have this habit of lighting a memorial candle for my grandparents when I have that chance, so I looked for such opportunity here also. At first I tought that, strangely enough, there is no such thing in this church. The I spotted out these little panels in from of the side altar and a crusifix. Couldn't figure it out in the first place - a control board, but for what??? So, I went to have a closer look and then it dawned to me.

It was not a control board although the little blinking lights would easily indicate so. -This was the candles I'd been looking for. So I had to come to a conclusion that they had moved to the next technical level in this church. One just need to drop some coins into a slot and set of led-lights will lit up for you. In my opinion, and forgive if somebody's religious views are hurt by me saying this, they kinda lost the idea there. There is absolutely nothing living or organic in these leds. To me the whole idea of remembering your family-members and friends no longer there, sort of concentrates to the living flame. But perhaps this is only a matter of taste.

Curiosity 4: A memorial candle slot-machine.

After an inspiring day of many kinds of curiosities in Figueres I took the train back to Girona and there I met the very last curiosity. The train ticket for this 40km's costs only 2,75€!! So unfair, in Finland you'd have to ad one digit in front of the comma, approximately ten euros to it.


Last week I had a chance to visit Catalunya in Spain. My boyfriend was due there with a truck full of theatrical scenography, so I decided to tag along. We left Basel early on Monday morning and drove through southern France arriving to our destination, Girona, the following afternoon. It was nice to go trucking again, since we've done it earlier a lot with Mnemopark. And countryside along the highway was really beautiful this time of year, because all the vineyards were blazing in all imaginable colors of red and yellow.

Somewhere near Narbonne.

This was my first visit to Girona, some 60 km north from Barcelona. The town turned out to be very pittoresque albeit sleepy. In one afternoon you can see all the important sights. The town is divided by a river - on the east side the old part and on the west the new stuff. The new is like in any other European city with posh fashion boutiques and jewelleries. You get it right, not much of interest there.

The old town is nice with it's narrow lanes, especially in the Jewish quartier. In the daytime, during the off-season week, it's very empty there. All the locals are having their afternoon siesta and there is very few tourists around. But one will want to go walk around, because it's the only time when you really see the surroundings. So, I practically had the streets to myself.

In the evening everything springs up to life, when the locals crawl out from their lairs and hit the streetside cafes and restaurants for dinner and social life. I guess, for me it would take some serious adjusment before I got used to this two-part daily routine.

Panoramic view over the town seen from the old city wall.
(Also my first experiment with photo-stitching)

Peeping to the south through a narrow window in the wall.

Cathedral on the right.

Old town lane.

Sunday morning.

Girona by night seen from the Fishermen bridge.

Girona has relatively lot of parks which are easily accessible. Especially the ones next to the old city wall are quite pretty. I was amazed how greenish they still manage to look in November. All in all it was hard to believe that we're really in November there. Weather was bit cloudy mostly but the temperature hung steadily around 18'C. Nice after the plus-minus zero in Helsinki on only the previous week =)

Park in the south seen from the old wall.
(And photo-stitch number 2)

Cathedral behind the park of Placa dels Jurats.

Església de Sant Feliu in approaching sunset.

I've been to Spain before so I was really looking forward to get some seriously good food and wine again. The region didn't disappoint me in this sense, but I was surprised how expensive everything has turned out to be. Nice lunch you'll still manage to get for around 15€, but dinners are about to cost you bigger bucks. Well, who cares, the food is good and "tapas" is always great option.

Ugly pic, but delicious tapas - the spanish snacks.

One point of curiosity was a film crew staying in the same hotel as us. They were shooting some 19th century epoque-movie on the big stairs of the Cathedral. I bumped into these people on the very first night in town and talked with them lengthly about the differences between creating lighting for movies and stage. It would have even been cool to continue this comparative discussion, but our paths didn't cross anymore.

Anyway, I've had sort of brief introduction on movie-lighting during my studies, but I've never seen it in big scale, real life, before. Movie-technicians invited me to come over and see how it works, which I later did. It was interesting since the equipment they use are partly the same, but also something completely different -like this big glowing daylight-globe below.

Night shoot.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Heissi Marroni =P

Ojee, in central Europe autumn is the season for hot chesnuts. All around the downtown of any city or village, you can spot a little cart selling these nuts for you. Or, more precisely, you are sure to smell them before you see them.

Anyway, I've been here more than three years and I've never managed to taste these things. The smell that the carts transmit to the air is so heavenly delicious that it makes my nose tingle. And the carts are so idyllic, somehow old fashioned and welcoming. So now, by the time of the annual Autumn Fair in Basel, I had set my sights to get the tasting thing over with.

I went to the "Häfelimärt", a sort of bazaar of handicrafts and stuff at Petersplatz, to check the merchandises. So, this was the time to hit the nuts also, since in the same location there is all kinds of food stuff too.

I let my nose guide me to a cart and bravely bought a bag of nicely warm chesnuts. Oh yeah, this was gonna be it, culinary bliss. So, what you do is, you pop open the brown surface and throw the insides to you mouth. Light brownish mass reminds me vaguely that of a brain. Hmm... Mmmm... ? ..... ? .... ???? Bgrrrhhhhlääääggh, disgusting!!!!

What a disappointment and a downfall!!! The expected culinary adventure was cut short, because the long-awaited contentment didn't fill me, at all, I tell you. The taste of these buggers remind me of those floury peas that people grow to feed their cattle with.

Anyhow, I ate bravely four of those and then gave the bag to a friend of mine. Some people actually seem to voluntary eat this stuff and even like it. What a luck that the tastes are different, huh?

But doesn't it look cute and inviting??
This one in Bordeaux, France.


I'm glad, that ever since moving here in Basel, I've been able to take up the habit of going to rock concerts. Not every week, but every now and then at least. As I've said before, I've seen mostly Finnish acts (even M.A Numminen?! in Zürich), but there is occasionally something else too.

One of the bands that I really enjoy listening to is a Swiss band called LiveWire. They do AC/DC covers with remarkably strong energy. In my opinion they don't fall far behind the original =).

This time I saw them last weekend in Z7. They do couple of times a year this huge coverrock event there. LiveWire played in the same evening with this german Black Sabbath clone called Black Reunion, which didn't move me so much, though the lead singer tried to look like starving Ozzy Osbourne. Bleep it, I rather have the original in this case =) They were sort of boring.

So, I wasn't the only one waiting for the main act of the evening. The audience of approximately 2000 people really kicked it off with the first riffs. LiveWire delivered all what was expected, although at times bit off-tune, and the crowd kept on shouting for more. All in all it was quite energetic and cool gig to attend to, but I have to admit that on the previous club gig that I've been to all was bit more precise. Good vibrations anyhow, I'll definately go again. And yeah, BTW, the bass player of LiveWire is a chick, way to go Karin, yeah!

By the way, the thing I've always liked about the interior of Z7, is the trusses above. Z7 guys have rigged pinspots and Par 64's inside the trusses, so they kinda glow. Check it out:

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Beat on the Street

On Saturday 12th of September it was again time for the Basel Street Parade called "Beat on the Street".

In Basel it's not so massive event as in Berlin or even Zürich, but fun event nonetheless. This parade starting at 17.00 lasts only for four hours, during which a procession of trailers laden with big PA's and DJ's (<-- not necessarily so big, heh.) crawl on predesigned route and people dance on the street. I guess is more or less about pimping up your PA and making it sound as massive as possible. Beats are mainly electro, techno and so on.

Waiting for the start whistle at Picassoplatz.

A medium sized PA by vs Tribute Soundsystems.

Girlie team.

I was riding in this pretty Dodge Ram (Sound and Light Pool) with Regine and we had probably the longest trailer (InHouse Productions) of the whole procession. -And most led-lights too. I find it cool: two chicks and a massive combination, -and a cow riding on the back of the truck =).

We came up with an this idea for the next year to make an all-girlie team. We just have to dig out a female DJ. Any volunteers?? Sounds anyway like a thing to really consider.

Rolling over the Wettensteinbrücke.

Dancing on the street.

By the Rhein, on Oberer Rheinweg.

Jack in the Box going under Mittlere Brücke.

At 21:00 the procession had reached Kaserne Basel and all too soon it was all over for this year. Last echoes faded quickly away. Afterparty took place on Das Schiff, but I didn't feel like going. Maybe next year, after the girls have taken over the parade =).

Runoja raiteilla - Poetry on tracks

This August Helsinki public transportation took part to Helsinki Juhlaviikot already for the third time. Company had placed again little yellow posters with poems on the trams and metros. This is something that I find amusing and sometimes really uplifting when homebound after a long working day.

The campaing is called "Runoja raiteilla" aka "Poetry on tracks". From these little posters one can read small glimpses on everyday life and writers' dreams.

Here are couple of my personal favorites, unfortunately only in Finnish.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Isle of Sheep 09

The annual end-of-summer thing in Helsinki region is the "lavatanssit" in Lammassaari. The event arranged by this group of activists as a communal effort is called "Isle of Sheep" and it attracts lots of different kinds of people.

"Lavatanssit" is a term which I had hard time finding adequate translation for, so instead, I try to explain it. Places called "lava" can loosely be translated to stage, platform or perhaps a pavilion or a barn. They are traditionally places, where likeminded people gather once or twice a week to listen and dance to live bands playing. In the older times these events were very popular among all generations of people, but nowadays it attracts mostly the enthusiasts. - Enthusiasts meaning people who absolutely love to dance couple-dances like waltz, tango, jenkka, humppa and so on. Summer is logically and naturally the high-season, and there is something happening more or less every evening on the "dance-barns" throughout Finland. They even broadcast some of this in tv, so if you cannot attend personally, you can do it virtually in your livingroom =).

This is how it looks like at "lavatanssit" (photo by

Okay, perhaps I got the topic cleared out somehow, although I do apologize to the enthusiasts if I didn't get the terms 100% correct. So, in Lammassaari, little island on the Vanhankaupunginlahti, they organize every year this dance-event to celebrate the season finale. Many of my friends have attended already for many years, but I never managed before to get all the way there. This year I invited my dear friend Favela to go with me.

Although the weather wasn't so promising, we headed out to eastern Helsinki in early evening. Hopping out of the tram in Arabia, we went southward and finally reached the long and winding duckboards that lead you through reed and willows to the island itself.

Favela halfway there

It wasn't all dark yet, but the innovative little quiding led-lights on the bushes made already nice effects in the twilight. On the front yard of the building was a large gathering of relaxed people. Many of them had really dressed up in proper dance-pavilion outfits: girls in high heels and wide hems, lace gloves and flowers in the hair, guys in straight dress-pants and shiny patent leather shoes. And everybody really seemed to want to dance. I guess this was exactly the reason why I ended up choosing not to, the dance floor was ways too crowded for my liking. But I had great time nonetheless.

Little guiding lights

I had planned to go there with Favela and hoping to bumb into some other friends too, but there was ways more of them than I could ever have imagined. So many old dear friends from Väs and Teak, whom I hadn't seen in ions!! So cool! I was brilliant to have a chance to catch up on everybody and just chill out for a while.

And it was great to experience this kind of event after a long time. I like the kind of family-event feeling about it.For me it's been something like fifteen years since the last time I went to a barn-dance. And, anyway, I did sort of grow up in thesekind of surroundings, my mom being a part-time singer in a "humppa"-band =O.

I'll definately do the Isle of Sheep again, if only I'm in the region at the time!!

On the top of the craggy hill is quite large wooden building.

Variety of participants in front of the entrance.

Band of the evening "Vallilan Tango".