Memories of a summer holiday

As soon as I started my summer holiday, we began packing the camper-van for our trip around southern Finland. Our first stop was Pori and the beautiful beach at Yyteri. The weather at the time was terrific and we were too busy enjoying it to take any photos worthy of publishing. After a couple of days we traveled on to Hankoo at the southernmost tip of Finland, where I made friends with a headless soldier.

Hankoo was really nice, there was an area with loads of old wooden villas with beautifully crafted terraces and balconies. The sunset at the camping area where we stayed was quite lovely too, and there was entertainment too! 

The next day I went thrifting in Ekenäs while Mr. Kitten rested on the beach. I found two 50's magazines, a scarf and a tablecloth for our foldable camping table. We moved on to Raseborg where we checked out the castle ruins and saw a modern version of "the Wizard of Oz" played out on an outdoor stage, featuring my younger brother in a few minor parts. Halfway through it started raining...Good thing I had my umbrella with me!

After the play we hung out at my brothers place and listened to the thunder until it stopped and we drove to a 24 h petrol station for some shut-eye. The next day we went to Hämeenlinna where we spent the weekend climbing towers and visiting the castle. Relaxing, sauna and grilling Finnish sausages on the barbeque was also part of the program.

Our next stop was Helsinki. We went to museums, did some sightseeing and shopping. I visited several vintage stores without buying anything, as expected the prices where a lot higher than at the flea-markets I usually buy from. My own collection of vintage tripled in value, at the least! I did however find a UFF-charity shop by accident, where I found a second hand h&m dress with a fifties feel to it. It was mine for 8 euros, also more expensive than charity shops around here. But this was Helsinki price...

A few day later we were in Porvoo. We saw the lovely old town and a Swedish lady complimented me behind my back. She thought I looked like a princess in my poufy 50's style dress and wide brimmed hat...

We traveled on to Kotka. Did some more relaxing and barbecuing and walked along a nature trail by the sea. The next day we went into town and saw a man-made waterfall in one of the parks. I went thrifting again and this time I found a black vintage hat and a red umbrella/parasol. 


Lappeenranta was next on our tour. We saw their big sand castle which turned out to be a sand circus in reality, but none the less fascinating. I did some more thrifting and found a basket for my bike and a big piece of denim fabric for 2 euros. The ladies behind the counter spoke in Russian among themselves and the border felt kind of close.

The next day we crossed it. By boat. We went on a cruise on the Saima canal, through eight locks, and arrived in Vyborg, Russia in the afternoon.

Vyborg used to be part of Finland before WWII and the castle was built before that, when Finland was part of Sweden...


By nightfall we were back in Finland again. The next day we set our sight homeward, and on the way, we stopped at Olavinlinna.

We also drove along one of the most famous and spectacular ice age formations in the country, Punkaharju ridge. By now the temperatures had dropped and it had been raining on and off for a couple of days,  and going home was almost starting to feel okay.

Our last night on the road was spent in Kuopio. We got home without any major mishaps, despite our 23 year old car. A few days later though, when we were gonna use the camper van again, one of the shock absorbers gave up...


Kind of a change

I started feeling like it was now or never. I liked my job when I started but over a period of time things changed, the workload seemed overwhelming more and more often and at times I felt really stressed. We got more and more responsibilities but not any more time. At the same time I was disappointed with myself, I had expected more of me. I was a good enough student I could have gotten in to some pretty good schools had I only known what I wanted to do. 

My job in the supermarket was beginning to feel like a waste of my talents. I knew that the longer I waited the harder it would become to leave. I have no children (yet) or house mortgage (yet) and I'm still young, this is my chance - there's no good reason not to. I didn't wanna be stuck working in a supermarket for the rest of my life wondering what would have happened if I had only dared.

I have been sewing since I was six (started out making Barbie-clothes) and the dreams of becoming a fashion designer have pretty much been with me since. I just didn't think there would be much work for designer/seamstresses around here and I wasn't prepared to go very far away. But a few weeks ago I spoke to a couple of seamstresses here in town and they told me that there's plenty of work to go round and they really encouraged me to believe in myself and go for it. So a few weeks ago I sent a letter of application. 

Last week I quit my job and three days ago I started school with a bunch of 16-year-olds. In two years time, I'll be a seamstress.


Holiday's almost over

After over two weeks of traveling around Finland in our camper-van, I have now returned to my sewing machines and to blog land. How have you been? As always, we managed to take quite a few pictures, so while I sort trough them I'll post an image I took before we went on holiday. This is the outfit I wore to the annual old fashioned market here in town, my appearance caught the eye of two different newspaper photographers, resulting in images of me in two of the local papers plus a short comment...

The old fashioned market is a place where sellers dress up in old fashioned clothes (they mostly look like poor farmers) and sell handicrafts, antiques and vegetables and stuff. I was helping out my mum who makes and sells pottery and I convinced her to wear one of my vintage hats with her inherited American 40's suit. Too bad the suit is too big for me...

My dress in a 70's does 40's dress I found at a charity shop (shortened and slightly taken in) and my hat is self made using a table mat and candle holder decorations. Gloves, seamed stockings and handbag are vintage, the shoes from hush puppies.

Hope you are all well, I'll be back later with pictures of my finds and outfits from our trip! Toodeloo!