April 25, 2015

My Spring-Clean List!

ENG I'm a junkie for lists, and here comes my list on resources for spring cleaning/ decluttering. (I'm beginning to enjoy organizing so much that I even like planning for it!) And sorry, this time around it's only in English.

The photo on the left is courtesy of Remodelista: Ilse Crawford's design for the rooms at High Road House in London drawing heavily on Shaker staples such as pegboards, quilt racks, and clean-lined furniture (for more on Shaker style organizing, See below).

1) Events Now, if you're in Finland, take advantage of initiatives such as Recycling Factory this weekend and Siivouspäivä, or "Cleaning day", in May 
2) WWW Get inspired by eg. Apartment Therapy's Organizing section and Pinterest (take a look at a whole series of neatly organized cabinets on my HOME⎮a to z)
3) Books And look forward to upcoming Ryland Peters & Small titles such as Everything in its Place and Keeping House. Below, there's an excerpt from a somewhat outdated volume, DK Home Design Workbooks: Storage (1997), that I nevertheless find illuminating on changing cultural attitudes toward storage:

Greater awareness of storage needs over the last few years, is, of course, related to the fact that we live in an increasingly consumer-driven age. We have vast amounts of goods to house, whereas several hundred years ago the only storage a simple household needed would have been a carved or painted chest in which to keep linens and a few modest belongings. As societies become more affluent, storage expands to cater not just for need, but for opulence – to show off wealth through possessions. 
During the second half of the the twentieth century, the dynamics of the house changed so that the utilitarian rooms that were once taken for granted and associated with drudgery – pantries, laundry rooms, and larders – are now considered luxury. The modern yearning for living space – the relentless pace at which we have knocked down walls – has been at the expense of those functional rooms, which once acted as a vital support for the smooth running of the house. Today, these rooms – as well as other dedicated storage areas, such as cellars and lofts – are still invaluable: they take the burden of storage, allowing the other rooms in the house to remain elegant and uncluttered. 
The Shakers introduced what might be termed the first real storage "system" in America in the late eightieth century and early nineteenth century. Although the Shaker style has since become fashionable, and expensive and aesthetic, it was born out of pure practicality. Peg rails fixed to the walls provided a convenient place to hang chairs when sweeping the floor, and built-in, as opposed to freestanding, furniture made rooms easier to clean as well as leaving the space uncluttered for prayer meetings. 
Although the Shakers' views on storage came through their work ethic, they had much in common with the traditional Japanese interiors, which arrived at the same kind of simplicity from a cultural and hygienic point. Hoarding possessions was alien to the Japanese mentality – they would have only one individual object on show in the traditional display recess called the "tokonoma", as they considered that only in its solitary state could it be fully appreciated and inspire contemplation. Belongings associated with everyday living, such as futons, were stored in another recess, concealed behind sliding doors. Today many aspire to this Japanese-style minimalism in their surroundings – but it only works well if you have a ruthless ability to discard extraneous possessions. Storage can certainly help organize an untidy person, but it is unlikely to fundamentally change their character. For this reason, plan your storage, tailoring it as closely as possible to your individual circumstances, personality, and lifestyle. rather than deciding on a "look" dictated by fashion which may not suit you.
Happy cleaning! XXX, Katja K.

PS Talking about Japanese tokonoma, I'd love to read Japanese organizational consultant Marie Kondo's best-selling guide to decluttering your home, The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up (Crown Publishing)helping readers clear their clutter and "enjoy the unique magic of a tidy home – and the calm, motivated mindset it can inspire." According to the author, the secret is simply discarding excess items and designating a spot for every last thing you own! (The book's just been published in Finnish, too, by Bazar – See the cover right here!)

April 24, 2015


"Siksak" dress of textile industry deadstock by Mirka Pukine (Photo: Jonna Kaasalainen)

"Toive" dress of a unique vintage fabric by Mirka Pukine (Photo: Jonna Kaasalainen)

"Radalla" trousers of recycled hospital textiles by Tauko (Photo: Yehia Eweis)

"Athens" dress of Finnish army vintage shirts and deadstock jersey by Globe Hope (Photo: Eeva Rinne)

"Cairo" dress of army parachute and leftover cotton by Globe Hope (Photo: Eeva Rinne)

ENG Did you know that a Fashion Revolution is taking place around you today (and we should all be wearing our clothes inside out to show who's made them)!

I'd like to join the action by sharing a taste of three Finnish fashion companies' – Globe Hope, Mirka Pukine and Tauko's (remember to click the above links) – current collections. In my opinion, these companies using up textile industry's deadstock and other recycled materials, people that you can actually talk to, production facilities you can go and visit, are the real revolutionaries! And I love saying this: Vive la révolution!

FIN Tiesitkö, että ympärilläsi on tänään käynnissä muotivallankumous (ja meillä kaikilla pitäisi olla vaatteet nurinperin näyttääksemme, kuka ne on tehnyt)!
Minä haluaisin nousta barrikadeille jakamalla kuvia kolmen suomalaisen muotiyrityksen, Globe Hopen, Mirka Pukineen ja Taukon (muista klikata linkkejä kuvien alapuolella), ajankohtaisista kokoelmista! Mielestäni nämä yritykset, jotka tekevät vaatteita tekstiiliteollisuuden pakanlopuista ja muista kierrätysmateriaaleista, ihmiset, joille voi oikeasti mennä puhumaan ja joiden tuotantotiloissa voi vierailla, ovat niitä todellisia vallankumouksellisia! Ihana lopettaa näin: Vive la révolution!

XXX, Katja K.

April 22, 2015

A Time Zone of Her Own

Photos ⎮ kuvat: Sini Pennanen/ Sininen Kuva #sipoo

ENG After work, my dear friend and colleague Sini – the photographer behind the majority of the professional photos in this blog – heads to Sipoo, her own time zone, as she calls it, some 30 km from the center of Helsinki.

Here is the home she shares with her husband and two children, and Tofu, an American Bulldog (and from time to time other animals as well). We've already been behind this red door twice, see here and here, but Tofu can now show you around...

FIN Töiden jälkeen rakas ystäväni ja kollegani Sini, joka on ottanut valtaosan tämän blogin ammattilaisvalokuvista, suuntaa Sipooseen, omalle aikavyöhykkeelleen, kuten hän itse sanoo, noin 30 km päähän Helsingin keskustasta.
Täällä on koti, jonka hän jakaa miehensä, kahden lapsensa ja amerikanbulldoggi Tofun (ja ajoittain myös muiden eläinten) kanssa. Olemme jo kahdesti vierailleet tämän punaisen oven takana (kurkista tänne ja tänne), mutta annetaan nyt Tofun näyttää paikkoja...


The bent Punkalive chair and flower box are PEFC-certified laminated veneer lumber, produced promoting environmentally, socially and economically sustainable forest management – I know what I'm talking about: Punkalive is one of the companies Sini and I have reported on...

The recycled set of drawers in the hallway is originally from the Aurora Hospital, Helsinki, and the little chair sitting on the drawer is Raku pottery. 

Behind the staircase leading downstairs, there's a portrait of a dog Sini encountered in Budapest.

Ideas to recycle – Ideat kiertoon: Display your photos in an old window frame, and make your own tool box of surplus wood like Sini's daughter, Saga, did!  Aseta valokuvasi esille vanhaan ikkunankarmiin, ja tee Sinin Saga-tyttären innoittamana oma työkalupakki ylijäämäpuusta!

Sini's kitchen is a quirky combination of red and turquoise – and there's the little handyman, Saga, again!

Ideas to recycle – Ideat kiertoon: Add color to your your clothes pins – and make a memory board, like Saga did! (The turquoise cabinet is originally from India, Moko.)  Maalaa pyykkipojat iloisilla väreillä – ja tee samanlainen muistitaulu kuin Sagalla on! (Turkoosi kaappi on alun perin Intiasta, Moko.)

Music is the family's beloved pastime...
...and on the piano you can spot a 70s classic "Musica II – Tie musiikkiin" (Fazer)!


The yellow armchair is by BoConcept, and the living room lamp is Sini's own creation: she just attached string curtains (bought during a trip in Portugal back in 2007) around a hula hoop! The colorful panels above the windows are enlargements of the children's Iphone pics, printed on textile and attached on styrofoam.

Ideas to recycle – Ideat kiertoon: Use construction waste both outdoors and indoors! Here, even the children's toy horse stables are made with recycled construction materials.  Käytä rakennusjätettä sekä ulkona että sisällä! Täällä jopa lasten leikkitalli on tehty kierrätetyistä rakennusmateriaaleista.

This family loves animals – apart from Tofu, the dog, I've seen crickets, guinea pigs, mice, and rabbits around! And there's an owl in the living room...

A bookcase full of family treasures.

House recipe – Talon resepti: Sini's husband Jarkko is a master at preparing glow-fired salmon, loimulohi.  Sinin aviomiehen Jarkon bravuuri on loimulohi.
ENG 1. Fillet the fish and chop season's vegetables, such as leeks or chives, as a tasty garnish.
2. Rub sea salt and lemon pepper or fish seasoning on the surface a few hours before blazing, if possible.
3. Attach the fish fillets to a plank (eg. with wooden sticks) and place the plank near the flame, so that you can run your hand between the fish and the fire. The fish is ready in approx. 1/2–1 hours, depending on the thickness.

FIN 1. Fileoi kala ja silppua kauden kasviksia, kuten purjo- tai ruohosipulia mausteeksi ja koristeeksi.
2. Hiero merisuola ja sitruunapippuri tai kalamauste kalan pinnalle, jos mahdollista muutama tunti ennen loimutusta.
3. Kiinnitä kala loimutuslankkuun (esim. puutikuilla) ja aseta lankku lähelle avotulta, siten että kädellä kestää kokeilla kalan ja tulen välistä. Kala on valmis n. 1/2–1 h kuluttua kalan paksuudesta riippuen.

Ideas to recycle – Ideat kiertoon: Make a neat porch bench of construction waste – you only need a piece of plank and a couple of concrete blocks  Tee siisti kuistin penkki rakennusjätteestä – tarvitset vain lankunpätkän ja pari betonielementtiä!

Time for Tofu's afternoon nap... bye-bye and thanks for the invitation!  Tofun iltapäiväunien aika... näkemiin ja kiitos kutsusta! 

XXX, Katja K.

April 6, 2015

Cat, Cake, And Catkins

Photo ⎮ kuva: Katja K. 

ENG I'm loving every bit of this Easter: some books, and blogging, and visiting my mom – and her new cat! "Mitten", the kitten, was born with an extra toe, hence the nickname...

On my way I collected some catkins – can you see the resemblance? –, and together we tried baking Mudcake in the microwave. I'm usually opposed to microwaving but the 70 second recipe sounded tempting, and turned out lovely! I'm truly turning into an Easter person!

FIN Olen nauttinut joka hetkestä tänä pääsiäisenä: lukenut kirjoja, blogannutkin vähän, ja vieraillut äitini – ja hänen uuden kissansa luona! "Lapasella" oli syntyessään ylimääräinen varvas, joten lempinimi oli selvä...
Matkalla keräsin pajunkissoja – huomaatko yhdennäköisyyden? –, ja yhdessä kokeilimme leipoa mutakakkua mikroaaltouunissa (suomenkielinen ohje löytyi Kodin Kuvalehdestä). Vastustan yleensä mikrossa  kypsentämistä, mutta 70 sekunnin resepti kuulosti houkuttelevalta, ja kakku osoittautui suussasulavaksi! Minusta on toden teolla tulossa pääsiäisihminen!

XXX, Katja

April 5, 2015

On The Dot!

Photos ⎮ kuvat: via ingRID Luyt from obviouslysweet.com (above) & Katja K. (below)

ENG Brunch or Brinner? – My lazy Easter morning delicacies have included a Brunch pizza with egg (for a recipe in Finnish, click here), which is perfectly accompanied by my current favorite, extra dry Spanish cava... 

While having breakfast I've also savored new entries to the world food slang: Linner (between lunch and dinner) dunch (after lunch, closer to dinner than Linner) and Brinner (breakfast for dinner). 

I've enjoyed my brunch in Marimekko's dotted Siirtolapuutarha dishes, which I initially got as a gift (thanks, Marzia – she's crazy about polka dots, too!), and then continued my collection, at flea markets as well as in the store. But that's not all! I've accumulated also other things with black and white polka dots: christmas decorations, cushion covers, a jacket and a kitchen towel, and more cups and saucers – the latest discovery was an English teacup at a Barcelona flea market. Even my wedding cake in December 2013 came with polka dots! And I still want more: See below what discoveries I just made on Pinterest... 

FIN Brunch vai brinner? – Minun laiskojen pääsiäisaamujen herkkuihin on kuulunut kananmunalla höystetty brunssipizza (ks. Etiketti-lehden mainio ohje täältä), jonka kanssa sopii nykyinen juomasuosikkini, erittäin kuiva espanjalainen cava, kuinka ollakaan... 

Samalla olen maistellut maailman ruokaslangin uusia tulokkaita: linner (lounaan ja päivällisen välillä), dunch (lounaan jälkeen, lähempänä päivällistä kuin linner) ja brinner (aamiaisruokaa päivällisellä). 

Brunssiastioina minulla on ollut Marimekon pilkulliset Siirtolapuutarha-astiat, joita sain aluksi lahjaksi (kiitos Marzia – joka on myös hulluna pilkkuihin!) ja jatkoin sitten keräilyä, kaupassa ja kirpputorilla. Eikä siinä kaikki! Mustavalkopilkullisina minulta löytyvät myös jakku, joulukoristeita, keittiöpyyhe, tyynynpäällisiä ja lisää kuppeja ja lautasia – viimeisin löytö oli englantilainen teekuppi barcelonalaiselta kirpputorilta. Jopa hääkakkuni joulukuussa 2013 oli pilkullinen! Ja silti haluan lisää ja tein juuri seuraavia löytöjä Pinterestistä...

XXX, Katja K.

via Petit & Small from maegabriel's Instagram
via Nicole Ter Hoeven
via Nicole Ter Hoeven from cubiclerefugee.tumblr.com
via Nicole Ter Hoeven from Etsy
via Crystal Eaves from whatisblik.com
via ingRID Luyt
via Nicole Ter Hoeven
via Merrilee Liddiard from leifshop.com
via Alva Horton from Bodie and Fou 

PS Want to add DIY polka dots to your home? A Beautiful Mess, bloggers Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman, do a coffee mug, floor lamp, flower vase, outdoor lantern, supply basket (See below), and terracotta pot with polka dots in their Happy Handmade Home (Potter Style 2014)!  Haluatko askarrella pilkkuja kotiisi? A Beautiful Mess -blogin Elsie Larsonin ja Emma Chapmanin kirjassa Happy Handmade Home (Potter Style 2014) tehdään pilkullinen jalkalamppu, kantokori (ks. kuvaa alla), kukkamaljakko, saviruukku ja ulkolyhty!


April 4, 2015

Catalonia Can(s)!

Photos ⎮ kuvat: Katja K.

ENG I nowadays spend part of my year in Barcelona with my husband, and coming from Finland, it's always hard to get used to the absence of a return/deposit system for bottles and cans. 

This street artist (or these street artists?), spotted in the El Raval neighborhood, has nevertheless managed to transform soda and beer cans into powerful messages: the above cans say, in Catalan, "I love you a lot, the love of my life" and "Against everything". On display in El Raval, there's also more traditional street art (below), and guess what seems to be the color of the day?

FIN Vietän nykyään osan vuodesta Barcelonassa mieheni luona, ja Suomesta tullessa on aina yhtä vaikea tottua siihen, ettei pulloja ja tölkkejä voi palauttaa kauppaan panttia vastaan. Tämä El Ravalin kaupunginosassa bongattu katutaiteilija (tai katutaiteilijat), on kuitenkin onnistunut muuntamaan  juomatölkit tehokkaiksi viesteiksi: yläkuvien tölkit kertovat katalaaniksi olevansa umpirakastuneita elämänsä rakkauteen, ja vastustavansa kaikkea... El Ravalissa on esillä myös perinteisempää katutaidetta (alla), ja arvaa, mikä on päivän sariväri?

XXX, Katja K.

PS This bicycle repair shop has a nice name, don't you think? ⎮ Tällä pyöräkorjaamolla on kiva nimi, eikö olekin?