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.

Coloring Book

Do you ever have those days when your are not really inspired or too tired to work on your current projects but still feel like doing something with your hands? I do have those days sometimes and a while ago a found a perfect way to spend them. A coloring book!

I bought The Secret Garden Coloring Book by Johanna Basford some time ago after seeing a couple of people in my instagram feed use one. It looked so adorable I had to get one for myself. And I absolutely love those illustrations, they are so inspiring. So now when I'm tired I just put on some TV show, get out my markers, open a nice new page and start coloring. It is so relaxing!

Shop Update: New Notebooks

I've added some new notebooks to the shop earlier this week with new cover designs in a couple of colors. You can find more picture and details in my shop. Also polished my blog design a little bit, hope you like the new look!

Etsy Finds: Soviet Vintage

I love hunting for vintage treasures on Etsy and every time I come across items from post-soviet countries I get a huge nostalgic feeling. I can probably find a lot of similar items at my grandma's place, so I don't usually buy them (though I'm definitely getting one of those Smena film cameras one day!) But I love looking through the shops that sell soviet vintage items checking what treasures their owners will find next. And every time I see new items they list I remember how we had something like that in our home or at my friend's or grandma's place. These things bring little memories from my childhood in Russia.

I am a big fan of soviet design. Especially the technology part. All those heavy clumsy-looking metal cameras, record players and table lamps look so stylish to me. I have a Zorki film camera I got from my grandpa and I seriously think it's one of the best pieces of industrial design. I'm even thinking of getting a tattoo of it! I haven't tried shooting it yet, but it sits on my craft table all the time for inspiration.

Anyway, here are some of my favourite soviet vintage pieces from Etsy:

1. Lomo Camera from The Things That Were
2. Alarm Clock from Cute Old Things
3. Red Hairdryer from Mariya Decor
4. Glass Holder from Old Time Stories
5. Rotary Dial Phone from USSR Vintage

Lately on Instagram

1. Baked some of my favourite vegan banana muffins.
2. Her new favourite place to sleep during the day is on top of one of our sofa cushions.
3. I bought myself a beautiful coloring book! I love spending time coloring it when I don't have any energy or inspiration to work on my current projects.
4. Isn't this the prettiest milk packaging ever? Found it in St. Petersburg.
5. Did some sight-seeing with my sister in St. Petersburg. We took a little boat tour around small rivers and canals. I snapped an image of this beautiful cathedral from the boat.
6. My favourite Pip Studio cup broke. Well it lacked the saucer anyway, which was broken some time ago. So now I can buy a whole set again (or ask for one for Christmas!)
7. Some lavender goodies my sister brought me from her trip to France.
8. Collected some fresh apples from our yard.
9. Working on a couple of new designs for my notebooks. Very soon in the shop!


Some time in spring I mentioned that I was working on a wholesale order. Well, it was my first wholesale order ever and I didn't really know what to expect. Especially that the store I was selling my notebooks to did not exist yet. It was a project in the works at that time, so I had no idea what type or products were going to be sold there. The only thing I knew was that one of the main ideas of the store was to promote independent artists producing sustainable hand-crafted goods. It sounded really interesting to me so I went for it. It took me about a month to make the necessary amount of notebooks and for the rest of the time I couldn't wait for the store to open. I've never had my creations sold anywhere else than my own Etsy shop, so I was really excited. It's been a couple of weeks now that the store is officially open. And I love it! The name of the store is Koromiko, it is based in Dallas, Texas. The shop is gorgeous, the photographs are beautiful and I love all the products! All product descriptions feature artist info and there is even a page with pictures of artists' workspaces (here). I'm really proud to have my notebooks sold in a store like this one!

I collected some of my favourite items from Koromiko to share with you:

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8

Moomin Stickers

Here are some more stickers I've made recently. I've mentioned that I'm a big fan of children's books. Well, I'm even bigger fan of the Moomins. And since most of Finnish kids are too there are plenty of Moomin comic books available in local flee markets. So I used the ones I found to make some round stickers featuring different Moomin characters.