Make Your Own Yarn from Old T-shirts



I love to crochet! It is so meditative and relaxing. Plus if you crochet while watching one of your guilty pleasure TV shows you don't feel as guilty, cause you're creating something at the same time. For me it's been online classes rather than TV shows lately, but you get the idea :)

Recently I've been really into crocheting with chunky yarns. I love it when you can see the stitch detail so well in the finished products. And I love to hold a huge solid crochet hook in my hand, it really makes me feel I'm working on something large and important. Crocheting with chunky yarn is also much faster than with regular yarns. Of course, I enjoy the process, but I also love to see the finished product in just a couple of hours!



If you are a knitter or crocheter you know what I'm talking about when I say this hobby is pricey. Yarns can get quite expensive, especially when made of natural and organic materials. And chunky types of yarn are often even more expensive than regular ones. So I found a way to make amazing chunky yarns myself and repurpose something old at the same time! I'll show you how. It's super easy!


MATERIALS

For this project you will need old t-shirts and it is important to choose the ones that don't have any seams on the sides. It is also good if they have no printed design or just a small one that occupies the top part of the t-shirt. I used a couple of my husband's old tees and bought a couple on a flee market. When you have a choice, grab the ones of larger sizes, you'll get more yarn from them. I got some XXL tees from the flee market and got larger yarn balls from them than from my skinny husband's old t-shirts.


INSTRUCTIONS



1. Cut the hem off from the bottom of the t-shirt.

2&3. Start cutting around the bottom keeping 1 - 1.5 cm (around 1/2 inch) from the edge. Don't worry if you don't cut perfectly straight, your cut won't be seen after you do the next step. Try to keep the width approximately same along the way, so your "yarn" will the the same thickness throughout.

4. You can do this step after you finish cutting, but I prefer to do it as I go. Stretch the "yarn" with your hands until it curls in. This step lets it look more like yarn rather than a ribbon, plus it adds length.

5. Cut off when you reach a sleeve (or printed design if there's one on your t-shirt).

6. Roll your yarn into a ball and you're done! Get you hook or needles out!


I hope you will try this out and I'd love to see your results!


Etsy Finds: Vegan Leather




I don't use real leather. But I love the look of leather bags and shoes. So I am always searching for places that sell sustainable vegan leather products. It's a difficult process, because most common places sell real leather and if they have some faux leather options it's usually cheap plastic stuff, which is not very good for the planet either. So for the shoes I found several companies online that specialize only on sustainable vegan leather. And for the pretty bags I like to shop the handmade world. Well, to be honest, I mostly shop flea markets for bags and clothing, but occasionally I like to treat myself with handmade goodies. So I created this small collection for you with my picks from some of my favorite shops on Etsy that use vegan leather. Hope you enjoy! And let me know your favorite places to shop for vegan leather goodies!



1. Wristlet clutch from Razolly
2. Vegan leather tote from Pitti Vintage
3. Fringe crossbody bag from Milk and Honey
4. Three color crossbody bag from Moje
5. Metallic foldover clutch from Corals and Nuts

UK Tour Photos



It's been a while since we came back from the UK, but I promised to share the photos with you, so here you go! Since we were on tour with our music project (its a duo, just me and my husband) we tried to pack as light as possible. We have to carry all our music equipment with us, which is quite heavy, so I usually don't take my camera on trips like that. Luckily my iPhone is not as big as my DSLR and it's pretty good for taking pictures.



We loved our trip even though we didn't get to see as much of the cities as we could have if we just went on a vacation. First we came to London and spent couple of days there. We left with a feeling that we definitely want to come back and spend more time there. It is a huge city and there is so much to see and we had time only for a small part of it. We stayed in Nunhead, a really nice little area of London with cute houses and lots of old cars.



On our first day in London we saw all the basic places you have to see when you go there. On the second day we got to shop for the stuff we love. So here's a photo of me chilling in the park with a bag full of new records and a new issue of Kinfolk magazine. Oh, and my husband finally met a dog he kinda likes (he doesn't like dogs most of the time). The dog lived in the house where we stayed and he was the sweetest!



After London we went to York. Really liked that cute old town with its red brick buildings. It was full of yellow bikes at the time we went there, because they were preparing to host Tour de France. The bikes were everywhere: on the streets, in the shop windows. They even hung a couple on the walls of a cathedral.



I even got to stop by Cath Kidston store and drool over all their pretty bags, fabrics and dishes. After York we went to Preston and Birmingham, but I didn't get to snap any pictures there, cause we didn't walk around much.



The last stop before heading back to London was Lincoln. That place was our favorite! The town is super cute and we played the best show there. The place we played at was amazing and the people there were the sweetest!

Hope you enjoyed these little snapshots from our trip!

10 Random Facts About Me



I was rewriting my About page and thought it might be fun to share 10 random facts about me with you. I know, it's a bit cliché, but to be honest I love reading posts like that about my favorite bloggers. When I read those lists about other people I always think that there are so many things that are interesting, unique, fun and weird about them and I'm so boring I'd never come up with all those things that are special about me. But once I started writing all those stories popped into my head. I was surprised to remember all this. So here you go!


10 RANDOM FACTS ABOUT ME

1. I’ve been living in Finland for 9 years and I still can’t speak the language properly. I understand a lot, but I can’t say much. I am very embarrassed of this fact. But it’s a really hard language!

2. No one believes I’m Russian when they see me.

3. I am vegan. For ethical reasons, but I’m also convinced that it’s a very healthy diet.

4. I love to ride my bicycle. During the summer I use it instead of public transport. Oh, and I don’t like cars!

5. I am neither a dog nor a cat person, I love all pets. But my husband is definitely a cat person. He hates dogs. So we have a cat. I love her, but I still want a dog so bad!

6. I don’t like coffee and I can’t live without green tea.

7. I love cooking, but for some reason I don’t cook very often. My husband cooks most of the time and he is really good at it!

8. I met my husband in a band. We both played in the same band, but we haven’t really talked for a year or two, cause we both are very shy people and we kinda liked each other. But since we started talking we’ve been together all the time.

9. Unlike any other woman I know I am trying to gain weight rather than lose weight. Don’t worry, I don’t suffer from an eating disorder. I’ve just always been underweight no matter what (and how much) I eat.

10. I am a city girl, but there are days when I dream about living in a small wooden house in a forest near a lake with a huge garden full of flowers and veggies.


Now it's your turn! I want to know fun facts about you! Please, share links to your posts or write your stories in the comments!


Smoothie of the Month: Mango & Ginger



So I was thinking what are the things I really like that have never been shared on my blog? One of the first things that came to my mind was food. I've never shared any recipes here even though I love to cook (sometimes)! And one of the things I'm crazy about is smoothies. They are so easy to make and the combinations are endless! The way I usually make them is basically throwing whatever fruits and veggies we have at home that I think might go together into the blender. Recently I've been trying to pick some favorite combinations and try to remember them so I can repeat some of the best smoothies I end up making. So I thought it would be fun to share some of those smoothie recipes with you guys in this new blog series.

Mango and ginger is one of my favorite combinations I've tried so far. It is unbelievably delicious! Here is a really simple recipe with a small amount of quite basic ingredients. But if you are as crazy about ginger as I am I promise you'll love it!





Mango Ginger Smoothie (serves two):

2 bananas
1 dl orange juice
1 fresh orange (or 1 more dl of orange juice)
2 cm ginger root
2 dl mango purée


Peel bananas and orange. Keep two slices of orange for decoration. Mix everything in a blender. Pour into glasses and decorate with slices of orange.



One thing about living Finland, is that it is sometimes hard to find good ripe fruit in the shops. Apples, pears and oranges are quite good, but once you need something more "exotic" like mangoes, it gets really hard to find the one that actually tastes good. So for my smoothies I usually use mango purée for a richer mango taste. If you live in a country where mangoes are delicious, go ahead and substitute the purée with a fresh mango!

I also encourage you to experiment with the amount of ginger you put in your smoothie. I have an average amount in the recipe (about 2 cm), but sometimes I like it more spicy and other times more soft.

I hope you try this recipe! Are you a fan of smoothies too? I'd love to know your favorite combinations!

Paper Plane Stationery + Kliffa




I cant wait to share this with you! Well, for now it's just a sneak peek, cause it's still in progress. Paper Plane Stationery will be collaborating with a new Helsinki-based fashion brand called Kliffa. I will be making notebooks using their gorgeous fabrics for the covers. Their first line is going to launch in the end of this month and will already include some of those notebooks.

I haven't worked with fabric before (for my notebooks) and now that I've tried I loved it! So I'm really excited about this. I get to do something new and fresh and still do my favorite thing, which is book-binding. Plus their fabrics are amazing, very happy and bright and yummy (at least the ones with fruit and donuts).

I will definitely keep you updated on this one and let you know when it launches. But in case you want to see more sneak peeks on Kliffa's process and get updated on their launch schedule follow them on facebook or instagram.




I'm back!


Hello dears,

I haven't been around for quite a while. But don't worry, I haven't disappeared! It's been a little crazy around here lately. We have moved to a new apartment in an amazing area of Helsinki and I've been super busy cleaning and decorating the place. We toured UK with my band and we played a lot of local shows with my other band and got signed by our dream label. July has been really hot and sunny and my sister came over, so we got to have a proper vacation with going to the beach, swimming in the pool, walking in the forrest, visiting Porvoo (a very cute old town a little away from Helsinki) and eating lots of ice-cream and fresh fruit and berries. I'll share the pictures from our travels in the future posts, but for now here is a little glimpse of our new home and neighborhood.



Etsy Finds: Vintage Fashion

One of my resolutions for the new year is to keep a more sustainable and healthy lifestyle. The main things I'm concerned about nowadays are my diet and shopping habits. We've been vegetarian for years and a few months ago we've decided to go vegan. So far we've kept the diet mostly at home. For this year the goal is to find new vegan options for eating out as well as to convince our parents and relatives to stop feeding us dairy when we're visiting (which is the hardest part to be honest). In addition to that I've been thinking a lot about my clothes buying choices lately. I was inspired a lot by Inge's new post series on sustainable fashion on her blog. So in 2014 my goal is to stop shopping in cheap fashion chains and only buy second-hand and eco-friendly (preferably handmade) clothing. I'm also hoping to buy less and to make more use of what I already have. Since the more sustainable choices are more expensive, I'm planning to put more thought into buying each item so that before purchasing I'll be sure I'm gonna love it and use it a lot. 

All these thoughts inspired this Etsy Finds post, in which I'll share my favorite vintage shops on Etsy. Even though, I love spending time in thrift stores hunting for unexpected treasures myself, it still feels nice sometimes to browse through vintage items carefully picked by a shop owner and once in a while spoil myself with buying one. So here are some of my favorite places to do so.


I love retro spectro for their amazing photography and a variety of very stylish casual items. I love their choice of colors with a lot of basic and natural tones which are exactly what I love to wear. There are also a few quirky and colorful items for those who love to stand out. I also love that they stock a lot of different kinds of clothes from dresses, tops and skirts to outerwear, shoes and lingerie. 


Mamakea is a shop with a lot less items in stock but I love how carefully selected and beautifully photographed they are. The shop mostly stocks brown leather and blue denim items all presented against soft grey background which looks so stylish all together. I love browsing through the items looking at small details and props. There is also some beautiful homeware available.


Po Vintage is probably my favorite vintage shop on Etsy. I love their quirky style with faceless models, unique fashion items, blue backgrounds and fun props. They also stock all kinds of items from everyday clothes and shoes to bags and outerwear as well as some toys and picture frames.


Gezunt is a shop specializing in vintage dresses. You can find a dress of any style and for any occasion. There are casual as well as party dresses available. Perfect for someone like me who's wardrobe is 80% dresses :)

Do you have a favorite vintage shop? I'd love to see it!

Graduation and new photographs


You might have noticed that I haven't posted here for way too long. The reason is that I was trying to graduate from my university. I've been postponing it for way too long and in October I decided I have to do it before the end of this year and get the weight off my shoulders. There were a lot of obstacles on the way, but I did it! I picked up my certificate yesterday so from now on I don't have to worry about classes and school projects (well until I start a Master's program, but I'm taking a break from studying for now) and I'm so happy and relieved. So now that I don't have a day job yet I decided to concentrate my energy on creative things. Even though it's extremely dark in here during this time of year, I'm still arranging some photo shoots. I'm also developing some ideas for new products for my shop as well as for new themes for this blog. I've also applied and got accepted to an artist residency program that I'm going to participate in next month! But more about that later.

Here are some photographs from one of my latest photo shoots. I love going to the beach in fall or winter. The place is almost empty and the air is so cold. With all the sand, the pier and dressing rooms it looks like it's all frozen till the summer when people will come to swim, sunbathe and enjoy the good weather. These photographs were taken in November but the weather here hasn't changed much. There is still no snow, which is very annoying since there is not much sun either. So it's all grey and rainy. But I'm trying my best to stay inspired and creative even in this sleepy weather.

Back from the Tour


It's been quiet here for a while because I was touring East Europe with my band (can you call it a band if it's just the two of us?) We visited 10 cities in 4 countries and played 9 shows altogether. We met the nicest people on our way and saw a lot of beautiful places. We got back on Monday feeling pretty exhausted mostly from cold but also from constant moving. So now I'm trying to catch up with everything. We'll still be playing shows in Finland every weekend this month and I'm participating in a craft fair in a couple of weeks, so we're diving into a busy schedule right away.

I took some pictures with my film camera while travelling, so it will be a while until I get to see them. Meanwhile I'd like to share some of my phone pictures with you. The picture above is from a beautiful park in Riga, Latvia.


Beautiful architecture and flowers in the Old Town of Warsaw, Poland.


Rain and fog over a beautiful lake in Ternopil, Ukraine.


Industrial port and a sandy beach in Odessa, Ukraine.


Pick-up trucks converted into coffee kiosks and homeless cats in Odessa, Ukraine. 


Swans and old soviet buildings in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine.