Saturday, 14 December 2013

Secular haze

♫ Ghost – Per Aspera Ad Inferi

Oops again. I think I've had a good reason not to update! This time I've been somewhat busy for real – you see, I got a job recently! I've been working hard since the end of October, and although the position isn't permanent, I'm quite happy. Back in the advertising business!

In order to provide you with something visual, here is a collage of a certain outfit I've found more than apt a few times in autumn. I'm wearing a black tube dress and well, a jacket-like top, and the result is an outfit in which I feel comfortable (=I wore it to a birthday dinner with my dearest, being able to devour a lot of food easily) yet stylish enough. These photos were taken on Wednesday after a certain Christmas party. I didn't have much time to change clothes or do anything else after work before heading for the party, which is why the outfit is rather plain too, and I don't have a fancy hairdo.

Sometimes my edited colours bring out the details of (black) clothes in a more flattering way than brightness settings!

I've also been to some interesting gigs, especially yesterday. We went to see the Swedish heavy/rock band Ghost and damn, the show and setlist were cool! We'd already seen Ghost warming up for Iron Maiden last summer, but a skeleton-faced cardinal singing about Satan in broad daylight is not so cool...

How have you all been, had a busy autumn and December so far?

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Another year, more precious booty

It's my birthday today, and although I don't have much to write about let alone many photos to show, I wanted to share this one photo of a present I got from a dear friend!

I really appreciate this kind of thoughtfulness! She had made a treasure chest out of paper and cardboard and filled it with RUM COOKIES. I've never, never received a present in a more perfect wrapping, this was so adorable!

Hopefully everyone else had a good weekend as well! I was busy having fun yesterday, busy doing work-related stuff today... :x I have such insane piles of dishes waiting to be washed that I guess I'll just take care of them next and then try out a pirate themed game I got from my special someone! So long!

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Born with a destiny of roses

Sometimes strange things happen to me. Like just a while ago, when I ended up watching the anime series The Rose of Versailles... No spoilers ahead.

It started as an innocent experiment and search for some comedy and ended with bittersweet tears.

I have a thing for old anime titles which were dubbed and released in Finnish years, years ago in bad quality. I watched some in my childhood and loved them, and sometimes I get particularly nostalgic and want to watch them again, even though I have trouble keeping a poker face with the horrifying voice acting. So, a while ago, I took up the Finnish VHS releases of Lady Oscar (the series is known as The Rose of Versailles or Lady Oscar, depending on the country, though the former is an actual translation of the original Japanese title whereas Lady Oscar is the main character) and watched them, laughing while I did so, mostly at the wrong time. The dub quality was bad and I'm glad I never ate while watching it since I might have choked on my food more than once.

However, they never released more than three videos in Finnish, each one consisting of four episodes of this 40-episode-long series. Having watched these videos, I realized I was somewhat addicted and I had to see the whole series, so I continued in Japanese with English subtitles. Last night I found myself watching the last twelve episodes...

At the beginning I thought it was overly dramatic (even to my taste) and slightly ridiculous, especially with Marie Antoinette acting strangely. But I did my homework and learnt, much to my dismay, that many of those scenes or details at which I was rolling my eyes were historically accurate. At that point I no longer questioned the original author's, Riyoko Ikeda's sanity, and eagerly watched the story of the French Revolution (and other historical events) unfold before me.

And in the end, I cried. I thought I would only be laughing at some light-themed girls' animation badly dubbed in Finnish, but the Finnish age limits (or the lack thereof; I doubt this series was truly checked when it was released here) deceived me and left me watching the 18th century France in dire straits. And what's worse – now I'm longing for more. And it isn't particularly easy to find much evidence or information of the related anime movies...

If I had watched Lady Oscar as a little girl, I know for sure who would have been my idol.

Have you seen The Rose of Versailles and if you have, did you like it? Do you like some other old anime classics? Do you know of The Rose of Versailles anime movies, if they are available somewhere?

Friday, 13 September 2013

Instagram Sunday

♫ Blackstar Halo – Alice In Wonderland

I know it's Friday today, but last Sunday I went out for a walk and took some photos with Instagram, partly because the walk turned out to be extraordinary but also because the day was very beautiful and rather warm, in September!

There was a circus in town! I hadn't known in advance, but the brightly colored tent made me feel strangely nostalgic – considering I've never been to one. I've been to a circus only once, but it's not a touring one. A fellow designer and I had made things for the show, so we got to go see it too.

And there were camels! Dawww. I was supposed to take a short walk, but when I saw those fellows, I figured I had wandered far from home...

I went on near the shoreline and then stopped to sit on a bench to enjoy the view since it was sunny and warm too!

And finally a blurry selfie, worse quality since I used the front camera of my phone. Although my sunglasses are too loose, I like the pilot style!

Do you have Instagram? You can find mine at though my photos are private – however, I'd be happy to accept followers and follow you back!

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Back to school

♫ Medusa's Child – Holy Land

It only took me two years since I got my bachelor's degree to return to school. Okay, to be precise – as from today, I'm only taking an extra course in university, on photojournalism. So I'm not studying for a degree, but nevertheless, I love saying "I'm going to school", just because calling university "school" pisses some university students off. :>

I wore this top with a simple black denim miniskirt. I wouldn't have bought this shirt if it hadn't been bloody cheap, but it's fairly nice... It's not lacy, it's made of, hmm, smooth tricot or something with a pattern like that.

I also realized I really truly hate taking photos of myself. I've stated this a billion times in my blog, I suppose, but I cannot understand how it can be so difficult. I don't think I'm the worst photographer either! I might be the most critical though...

I considered purchasing this shirt in grey brownish color, but then I chickened out... Lately, I've been more and more interested in trying colors that might actually suit me well, rather than colors that please my eyes. (And I wasn't sure if that  grey brownish hue would have looked good on me, so I decided black always does... Yeah right.) I'm not sure I'll start purchasing colorful clothes any time soon though. However, I've considered letting my natural hair color grow out... We'll see how that goes! My hair is ugly brownish grey, and I'm doubtful as to whether it can possibly look good on me. Okay, I haven't really thought of staying like that for good – but I would rather dye my hair with a color close to my natural one in the future. I have a strong feeling a semi-natural-looking color would compliment my skin tone and eye color most – especially once I've let it fade, I'm not efficient at maintaining complicated hair colors!

What do you think, can a dull greyish hair color actually look good on someone? Do you generally think people look good/bad/better/worse with their natural color?

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

The night is dark and full of terrors

♫ Sequester – Night's Watch

No spoilers here, don't worry! I don't like to be spoiled myself, and I will protect others from it too! And the song I'm listening to is actually about this series!

I'm not much of a reader. I don't know how much I read "on average", but I'm not the type who always has at least one book in progress. However, something strange has obviously happened to me since I've already finished two books this year – well, I had started the first one last year and read the first half quite slowly... Until I got a grip of myself in spring and sped up. 

I've been reading A Song Of Ice And Fire – in other words, the Game of Thrones novel series, for a few fears I guess. It took me quite a while to finish the first book. It took me something like half a year to read half of the second book, A Clash of Kings. But as I sped up in spring, I finished the latter half of it in a few months... And at the beginning of summer, I started the third book, A Storm of Swords. It's over one thousand pages long, and I finished it a few days ago... And that is damn fast for me!

I bought the first four books in a bundle when I began because I figured I'd be a slow reader. It was true at first, but obviously something happened to me. Although all three books so far have contained some bloody boring chapters, they've been very enjoyable too – especially the third one since I devoured it with such appetite. Those of you who have watched the HBO TV series, and especially the third season, know the amount of extreme drama in the third book... But yes, it was the most interesting piece so far.

Now I'm moving onto A Feast for Crows. I think it'll be very different from the earlier volumes – I even heard a rumor it's not nearly as good as the preceding ones... But we'll see, eventually. I can barely wait for the fourth season of the TV series!

As all the fans know, it's not particularly safe to root for any character in the series as they might as well die next, but nevertheless, I support Jon Snow! Mostly in the books, though. Peter Dinklage does such awesome job as Tyrion Lannister in the show that it's difficult not to like the character, not that he wouldn't have the same wits in the book. And strangely enough, I've found myself liking Sansa Stark in the books too, maybe because her chapters have often been interesting.

Do you watch Game of Thrones or read A Song of Ice and Fire? Who are your favorite characters?

Monday, 26 August 2013

Just as sure as Rome is falling, I'll be rising again

♫ Civil War – Rome is Falling

Oh hi, it's been a while. I don't think I even need to apologize; I'm just here to tell I haven't really died away!

Since my last update, a lot of things have happened... Well, at one point in summer I escaped to Rome indeed. A beautiful and interesting city, yet an awful tourist spot as well.

Otherwise these things have kept me either busy or preoccupied; on one hand I've lacked the motivation to update my blog, on the other hand I've wanted to be where I think I've been needed more – with the near and dear ones who either needed my support or supported me.

Don't be worried – I am quite fine, and have been all the time too. The worst has befallen others close to me. And I can't help but wonder whoever it was that broke a mirror two years ago when bigger and smaller tragedies began surging over my family (and friends, some of whom have suffered a lot lately) – nor can I help but wonder when it will end.

But I will try to post something nice again – it's not like all these days had been miserable, not at all.

"I'm here to march 'gainst the force of evil 
Here to die in the pouring rain 
But just as sure as Rome is falling 
I'll be rising again 
I will return as a new believer 
Here to conquer the walls of pain 
And just as sure as Rome is falling 
I'll be rising again"

Sunday, 16 June 2013

One hundred

One hundred blog posts down, can-never-know-how-many to go! Quite a lazy pace for a blog started at the very end of 2010, but well, I don't think I have to make excuses...

And one of the reasons why I don't update so often is the fact that I prefer to have some photos for the posts, but don't always have something interesting to show. And even though I love photography, I really hate taking photos of myself, it's so troublesome and difficult... Setting up a tripod and playing with the timer and all. :/ Either way, I did bother to take some photos of yesterday's outfit.

But I don't bother to put enough effort in these photos to make my wallpaper pattern match or something. :> Anyway, I had absolutely nothing to do, but I did leave the apartment dressed like this, something a bit peculiar of me. It was a nice, sunny day, but it wasn't too warm, and wearing that grey sweater was quite a good choice! It kept me warm enough but didn't leave me suffocating! The red skirt is actually a tube dress, buttoned up at the front, and most of the time I wear it without a shirt to hide it (though often with some top underneath). However, I have contradictory feelings about it... Even though it's short and can expose a lot of skin, it's not very elegant for such occasions that might call for a tiny dress. In my opinion, it's not particularly feminine, more girlish.

The shoes are nice canvas heels which are quite comfortable to wear! The only "problem" is that they're too big for me and cannot be tied tight enough. Insoles make the situation better though, I can actually walk without the shoes turning and twisting in my feet.

I also wore my hair in a very unusual way, a half braid, the bottom half open. Anything besides two braids (or pigtails) or a ponytail is exceptional for me, I'm not too good at making hairdos and I don't think my head is cut out for it either. :/

Perhaps this will do for my semiannual outfit post, let's see when we'll have another. :D So long!

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Weapons of mass-confusion

♫ Dreamtale – Dreamtime

I was doing a bit of cleaning in my hall today and "came across" my interesting collection of arms – or I could say, I picked them up and moved them out of the way while dusting, but the sad truth is they've been lingering in my hall for looong, and I don't really know where to put them. I don't have any equipment to hang them on my walls, and I could barely even decide which wall. But they're cool nevertheless!

I cannot remember where I bought this coat of arms – somewhere abroad for sure. Some photos might reveal where exactly, but I'm quite sure such photos would still be on paper as it certainly dates back to 2005 or earlier, and I didn't have a digital camera back then. Too bad the shaft of the polearm extends so far that I cannot even place this on some surface to lean on something!

This is the oldest of these pieces! My very first sword, or not a sword but a dragon-shaped dagger! I'm quite sure I bought it in Greece ten years ago. I can imagine what was going on in my mind when I saw it, something like "omg-RPG-dragons-OMG-Middle-Ages-IWANTTHAT-dragons!!!" And yeah, I bought it, and I almost got to be a bit embarrassed because of it on my way back. At the airport, our luggage was X-rayed, and for some reason the monitors were turned so that while I was waiting for my stuff to go through the machine, I could also see what the inspectors were watching. And they stopped the steady flow of luggage when they suddenly saw a very suspicious black object in one bag... It actually looked quite cool, since it was turned so that its nice silhouette was what they saw. The inspectors pondered over this suspicious object for quite a while, and it was quite obvious whose bag it was that caused the stop... Yet in the end, they just let it pass, not even wanting to open the bag and see it. (Naturally it was going to the hold, so it was not like I was going to stab someone in the cabin.)

I didn't buy this one myself, but my mother brought it to me from Turkey. In case some conservative souvenir  vendor was confused seeing a girl buying a dragon dagger, I can only wonder what someone else thought of a middle-aged woman purchasing this... Or then they just thought she's going to give it to her son. I consider this my pirate sword since it's the closest to a cutlass that I have!

And yes, both swords can be removed from their sheaths, yet naturally they're not particularly sharp. The very tips of the blade could do some harm, though. I gotta be careful with myself. :x

And finally, a mystery (plastic) dagger – I don't know what it is! I don't know whose it is! Somehow it has just appeared in my apartment! It's plastic indeed, with a slightly bent blade, and I think it may have been a part of something (maybe a decorative coat of arms) since it doesn't have a rear. I guess I could use it as a bookmark since it's that much smaller than the others too. But seriously – I'm sure I haven't bought it, and no one has really given it to me either. It might have belonged to my brother (or that's what I suspect) but still, a mystery!

Now if I could only figure out where to store these weapons. I wouldn't like to hide them in a box, but I don't really have any showcase for them either!

Saturday, 25 May 2013

The most honest cookie jar

♫ Battlelore – Buccaneers Inn

What a lazy blogger I've been. I suppose I've tried to be less lazy in real life (with little success).

A few weeks ago a friend of mine had a housewarming party. It wasn't particularly easy to come up with something nice to give to him; one one hand we'd been hinted that something edible would be nice, but on the other hand I also wanted to give something that'd last a bit longer. And this guy has a very elegant taste when it comes to décor, so I wanted to give something that'd look like "him".

The result: I purchased a glass jar, baked some white chocolate chip cookies and designed a sketchy blotchy poison bottle label. This was pretty much a sequel to the project I showed in the previous post. I used the same sticker paper too. The nasty thing, of course, is the fact that with the home-printed label (on a matte paper) the jar can only be washed very, very carefully on the inside. However, my friend got a spare label to stick wherever he wishes. :D

The poison label was also an efficient way to imply that everyone was eating cookies baked by me at their own risk. Cannot say they wouldn't have been properly warned!

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

My personal alchemy lab

♫ Sabaton – The Hammer Has Fallen

There are a hundred things I could do, should do, or would do (if) and I'm not sure if I'm good at prioritizing my projects, but when I suddenly got a strong urge to make custom labels for my spice jars, I just... well, put everything else off. Okay not really, but at least I completed this project rather fast.

Or too fast. :> The final stages, i.e. printing, cutting and sticking the labels to the jars were carried out late in the evening, and the kitchen was quite dark too when I eyed the line of my new custom jars in my cupboard and happily closed the cupboard door. And now the daylight (and especially the photos) reveal the ugly truth: I cannot cut anything even if my life depended on it. Seriously, I've never been too handy with scissors, and even though most lines have been cut with a paper knife and a ruler, the results are not too good on average. But I blame it on my desk lamp which recently resigned office.

I would have wanted to create labels which seem very old and probably bear resemblance to poison bottles and such, preferably printed on a brown paper... But since my spice jars are genuine Ikea products and don't look old, antique, vintage or whatever, I decided to go for a less extreme style. As you can see, the background isn't pure white (but I've failed to cut off the extra white paper here and there!). I looked up some instructions on how to use all those spices on the internet and put a brief description in the labels simply because I need some guidance. I am not the worst cook, but experimenting with spices isn't my area of expertise. However, I also wanted to add some useless information as well, such as the Latin names and some labels even got a suggestion for medicinal uses. (And in case you understand Finnish, don't try to use those tips! :D They may be accurate (or pure superstition) but I wouldn't really try to pour parsley tea into my eyes.) I guess pirates need medicinal herbs though...

I drew more or less accurate pictures of most spices, yet spice blends got a picture of a random spice bottle and cardamom had to settle for a pastry since cardamom seeds look too strange and I've never used it for anything but baking.

And I should have taken all the photos from this angle so that you wouldn't have seen all that salt on my shelf. Oops, I've forgotten to clean it. :x Maybe one day I can replace those Ikea jars with something resembling old apothecary jars and bottles and create labels which seem more mysterious. However, I think those are better than the masking tape strips which marked the jars before. So long!

P.S: I was positively surprised to find matte sticker paper which was very affordable too. I bought a variety which hadn't been die-cut into smaller labels of a certain size because I want to be able to use it for versatile projects. However, the backing paper was a pain to remove!

P.P.S: What is your favorite spice and why? I love the scent of cinnamon, cardamom and curry. I know cinnamon isn't particularly healthy (at least not the cheap type) but if I buy vanilla ice cream, I eat it with cinnamon (doesn't happen too often though). I would like to use (mild) curry more, but I am still not too good at experimenting. Oh, and one of my favorites: lemon pepper! It goes with almost anything. :D (Not really, but I love it anyway.) I love the scent and flavor of lemons, though I don't really eat the actual fruits.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

In pursuit of a perfect dress

♫ Gloryhammer – Silent Tears of Frozen Princess

Eh, oops.
I cannot give too good excuses for not updating, except for having had a rather boring life, you know. Or well, a very dear friend did get married at the beginning of March, and since I was her maid of honor, I had a lot of wedding stuff to do. I've also spent the weeks after the event editing the photos I took there.

Anyway, the wedding had a slightly historical theme and the bride and the groom's clothes were somewhat inspired by the 19th century. I didn't want to get the most modern evening dress either, so I went online-shopping looking for a perfect steampunk inspired dress.

Both the bride and I fell in love with this one, even though it's all black. But I got the bride's special permission to wear all black since she also thought the dress was adorable. :)

Sorry about the photo. I took it right after opening the parcel and didn't bother to set up a tripod. I haven't seen (and don't have) many photos of myself at the wedding, but since they all have other people as well, I don't want to publish them here.

However, getting the dress was a pain. :D To cut a long story short: I saw it on Ebay, but spend a month considering other options as well. One night I went to see the Ebay sale again and decided I'd purchase it on the following day. As I was about to do that, I noticed the size S had sold out during the night! How frustrating (though I also learnt a lesson!). I turned the internet upside down looking for it somewhere and eventually found it in a British webstore. I shopped it, but it turned out they didn't have it in stock but could order it. I asked if they could do it within a month, and they were quite certain they could. I started to wait.

A month passed, they didn't get the dress, then another week, and another. Just a few weeks until the wedding and I had no idea if I was going to get my dress. The shop kept apologizing. One day they just said they still didn't have it and asked if I wanted to keep waiting. Before I answered, I got desperate and again turned the internet upside down – and surprisingly, managed to find it restocked elsewhere! Quickly I placed an order to another British webstore and very soon, after a few hours, the order was shipped. I was happy!
I knew the next thing I had to do was canceling the first order, asking them to return my money. However, at this point I left for the gym instead and decided to do it after getting back home. But while I was gone (for a little more than an hour), I had got a shipment confirmation from the first store too! I was dumbfounded since a few hours earlier they'd said they didn't have the dress and I wouldn't have expected them to do anything before getting my answer as they knew I needed the dress by a certain day (and if I couldn't get it on time, I wouldn't want it at all). So yeah, suddenly I had two dresses on their way to me, and I could no longer cancel either one of the orders since they had been shipped. *deep sigh*

Naturally, I thought of returning one of the dresses even though it would cost me a bit more to send it back, but fortunately, the bride wanted to buy the other one. :) It turned out to be a good dress for her to wear to the hotel breakfast on the day after the wedding! Though I joked that she should have been like some brides in America and have two dresses for the wedding party already...

The wedding itself was an amazing party. So much love and fun and overall good time. It was also a pleasure to take photos there (even though damn difficult too) since the photos turned out to be filled with such warm emotions (not only between the couple, but their relatives and friends too). So long!

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Preserving beauty

♫ Theocracy – Altar to the Unknown God

Although I rarely blog about cosmetics, I thought I could do so now since I've been somehow quite happy with some new products I've tried recently. It may be that they're not any better than some others, or that their actual results are such of my imagination, but anyway...

From left to right:
1. Neutrogena: Visibly clear pink grapefruit oil-free moisturiser
Since I suffer from acne, I try to rely on special products when it comes to cleansing and moisturizing my (facial) skin. Recently, I tried a new product, and I kinda liked it! Some oil-free moisturizers seem not to be enough to fight both acne and the winter which makes the surface of my skin get dry, and well, my skin does still get very dry (and oily) too, but at least this one feels nice, is creamy with a mild grapefruit scent, and well... It's probably better than some others. Yet moisturizing my skin type is a pain in the a...
However, I also bought a cleansing gel of the same product family, and I don't like it at all. It's also the worst product at removing make-up which I've encountered for a while.

2. Cutrin: Bio+ Energen serum
This product is actually targeted for those women who suffer from hair loss – however, I bought it because it was also recommended for those who are trying to grow hair. I think my hair loss is normal, but I'm really trying to make it grow, grow, grow..! Thus, I'm applying this to my scalp after I've washed my hair. I don't know for sure yet whether it'll really boost my hair growth, but it gives a really nice refreshing sensation to the scalp!

3. Virgin coconut oil
Straight off the shelf of your local grocery store! So yeah, it's basically... food. I've never been playing with groceries as beauty products before, but I read so many good user experiences with coconut oil that I just wanted to try it. People use it for various things: some moisturize their skin with it, some remove their make-up with it, others use it for hair treatment, and some even use it as a deodorant. Personally, I've noticed that it's quite good at removing eye make-up – better than many commercial products I've used. The main purpose for it, however, is to treat my hair. I apply some to my hair an hour or two before I'm going to shower, wear it like a hair treatment mask and then wash it away. And it makes hair feel nice and soft. I even read that it's good at deep-cleansing hair, and I might even have to say that it seems to be true. :0 And some people leave it in their hair when they go to sleep and wash it away in the morning. I haven't tried that yet, but well, why not some day.

4. Freeman: Facial clay mask mint & lemon
It's been a while since I've been regularly using facial masks, and I wanted to try something potentially good for my difficult skin type. I cannot say any product could save me from my acne (my problem cannot really be solved on the outside), but at least it feels good and refreshing. This product line has so many different options that I may want to try another one too, they probably have something for every skin type. And these are not even expensive.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Painting it brown

♫ Dreamtale – The Awakening

A while ago I rummaged through my wardrobe, picking out clothes I hadn't worn lately and probably wouldn't in the future either. It hadn't actually been so long since the last time I had done the same, so I didn't find so many unnecessary pieces this time.

While some clothes ended up in the "get rid of these NOW" pile immediately, there were some pieces with different flaws which I still wanted to save one way or another. This ex-black-and-white striped shirt was one of them. As much as I would like to wear white, or black-and-white, I'm not good at keeping white as white as it should. It's a bit embarrassing to admit this because I've had to study housekeeping and such (cleaning, laundry and that kind of stuff too, on a professional level) so much in the past that washing clothes should be a piece of cake to me. :x This shirt, for example, had turned yellowish in a very dirty way merely by staying in my closet, unused for a few years.

Thus, I decided to try to dye it – a procedure I had already used to save a b'n'w striped T-shirt some years ago. I tried to turn it red and black, but it turned out pink instead. The hue wasn't too bad – at that time, when I was more into pink. This time I really had trouble deciding on the color though! I haven't felt comfortable wearing red or pink lately to contrast my mostly black wardrobe (I've even worn my pink eyeshadow quite a little lately! But it's not the problem, only such clothes are) and I didn't want to try those colors on the shirt. I'm not much into wearing orange, yellow, green or purple, even though I like every color in some context. Then I thought of blue, ocean blue. I turned the city upside down hunting for such textile dye. Eventually I found some, but the selection in the store was quite wide and I began to reconsider. I thought of all things which have inspired me lately, and dressing up in neutral tones, or muted tones, has been the thing. I thought of pirates and steampunk and such, and then picked up terracotta brown instead.

I didn't use all the dye because it would have been enough to dye 600g of fabric and the shirt only weighed 200g, and I was afraid of the result being too unpredictable. But I'm not even sure what I really wanted of it. This is how it turned out:

I figured I would try to redye it gray if I didn't like the outcome, but I'm not sure yet. I'm not disappointed, I have to wear it a bit to see if it was a good choice or not. What do you think, is the terracotta brown hue ugly or maybe nice and warm?

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Harnessing my superpowers

♫ Guardians of Time – Altered in Red

At the end of last year, I thought I could give myself sort of a Christmas present and since I had managed to find something after a long search, I placed an order online and began to wait with excitement...

I thought I had finally found a steampunk-style harness in a nice color, in my size and at a reasonable price. And knowing that new customs regulations would come into effect at the beginning of 2013 (which would result in online shoppers having to pay VAT in Finland more often), I didn't hesitate to buy the harness.

And things didn't go quite as planned. The harness was shipped particularly fast (=in 15 minutes!) in 2012 but unfortunately enough, it arrived in 2013 and got stuck at customs, and I had to pay the VAT. Damn. And then, even though the product turned out to be otherwise as described, it was more or less too "big" for me. Okay, not exactly loose, but certainly not very snug like it probably should be. I guess I can still wear it, maybe with some thicker fabric underneath...

The angle certainly flatters my arm!

The color is a nice grey – I guess it might be the best for me since most of my clothes are black, and a black harness wouldn't stand out well enough. I had thought about brown, but hesitated since I don't have any brown leather / suede / faux leather / faux suede items. (The harness is made of faux suede.) The lovely details include antique keys and some gears hanging on silver chains.

I hope I can put it into good use although it doesn't quite fit so perfectly. :x It's too cute to be left to gather dust in my wardrobe.

Monday, 7 January 2013

A heart of glass

When it comes to decorating my home, I'm the type who keeps saying "well, whenever I have an apartment of my own..." and well, maybe part of that sentence is true too – some of my ideas cannot be carried out in a rented flat, and if I was about to buy a house, I would buy one with enough space for everything I really need, now I've had to make a lot of compromises (thank you, pole).

I have quite a small dining table, a square one in shape, and I had been looking for a tablecloth for it for ages. Seriously – it's almost impossible to find square tablecloths! Sure, I could have gone to a fabric store and maybe pay someone for seaming it, but I cannot say I feel particularly at home in the middle of huge spools of fabric.

In the sales after Christmas, I came across a black tablecloth which was still a rectangle, but so cheap I figured I could try what it would look like folded on my small table. If one side of the table wasn't against a wall, I wouldn't have done that, but since it is (and won't be moved anywhere as long as I'm living in this apartment), I gave it a try, and it didn't turn out so bad. I also purchased some cheap brown place mats, but I doubt I'll be keeping them on the table all the time since they are so big and the table surface so small. However, I figured they would be less troublesome than having to wash and iron the big tablecloth all the time. :>

Like I probably said at some point, I knew I wouldn't be getting any presents for Christmas as we don't do that anymore, but nevertheless, I managed to grab a bit of this and that with me – items that others didn't need and thought I might. That's how I got the red Mariskooli bowl. I really like the color and wanted to place it on the table with the black cloth. And well, I'm not too fond of the brand Marimekko, but when it comes to Finnish glass design... Yeah, I really like it, I even wanted to become a glassblower ten years ago.

With this fake place setting, I'm showing off some tableware I have. To be honest, I wouldn't have enough similar plates or most pieces to serve a dinner for four, but I've managed with what I have. I haven't bought any dishes by myself (except for some glasses for alcohol) but received them as gifts – and mostly before I moved away from home. I didn't ask for any certain series, but I've got Aino Aalto glasses and Teema plates and bowls – both by Iittala, like that Mariskooli. Teema may not be my favorite series of them all, but I do think it's practical and versatile. And naturally, all those products are very high quality.

I own way too many mugs considering how little I need them – I don't drink coffee (at least not at home) or tea or barely anything else warm either, so I only need glasses. Of course I occasionally serve coffee or tea to my guests, but hardly no more than three cups max. Most of my mugs are Teema as well, but I have a pair of Taika mugs which I think I got as a high school graduation present. If I ever drink anything hot, that's what I use! I also think Taika design is very beautiful in black and white.

I also own some pints, wine and other glasses, but they are not by any too fancy brands. But seriously, I have a thing about Finnish glass design, and I'm particularly fond of clear glass. I really love the series Ultima Thule! My parents own quite a lot of such glasses, and I think they've even said they have more than they need and I might get some. Oh yes please – I only need a place where I could store them...

Anyway, I think my kitchen seems a bit more cosy with the tablecloth, it brings some softness (and style) to my boring and not-so-pretty kitchen which dates back to the late 60s (I think). I also have an interesting curtain there – yes, only one curtain. I'm not sure if the curtain itself is pretty like that, but I really do love the newspaper print!

I guess I still have some ideas for my kitchen décor, will be posting photos if I carry out those plans! So long!

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

A new start on old habits

♫ Edguy – King Of Fools

I feel relatively lazy, but I figured I could write something on New Year and such... In order to prove my laziness, I snatched a stock image from and added a funny quote to it, in order to illustrate the blog post...

I guess I'm still searching for my blogging motivation, but maybe I will find it one day. My life alone isn't interesting enough I guess, and I put most of the music stuff into our music blog anyway.

As for 2012, I could simply say I'm looking forward to a better year 2013. The latter half of 2012 was pretty much spoiled by my unemployment, even though there were many happy moments too, but... Well, I was never used to not doing anything. I've never spent this many months "doing nothing", especially if you consider how busy I was since I was seventeen~for at least until I was twenty-two or something. Always studying or working. Then mostly just working.

Though I have learnt many things during my employment too; I've become not only quite good at baking rolls but also at writing job applications. Yet not good enough to get a position, but I know the competition is very hard in the field of, well, graphic design or advertising.

I also lost my grandmother, and some other relatives as well. I hope the year 2013 goes without such as the year 2011 didn't go either.

Yet 2012 wasn't thoroughly bad. I realized my dream and went to Berlin, and loved it. And I finally found the time to start a new hobby at the beginning of the year: pole-dancing. Considering how I've always been anything but sporty, I have managed to surprise myself so many times with my progress and that hobby has been very rewarding. I've found such strength in my body that I had thought such things would be impossible for me.

When it comes to New Year's resolutions, I don't want to make any. I don't think I'm in such need of a change in my habits. Sure, I could exercise more often and such, but I'm not totally hopeless at trying to live in a healthy way. I have no such habits which I should get totally rid of (or no, perhaps this is a wrong thing to say, maybe we all do if we think enough?), like smoking. Well, I can and I want to try to be a better person, but I should try that all the time.

Instead of resolutions, I would rather set some loose goals for myself – loose because I cannot be sure how fast I could really achieve them, no matter how much I tried. But I want to find a job in 2013, and hopefully also do splits. Both will probably be challenging, especially the latter since I'm anything but limber!

I wish you all a better New Year 2013! So long!
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