HSF November challenges!

Making the calendar has been taking all my time so here are the late November challenges. What have I made: a white silk caul, Marie Antoinette (2006) belt and buckle, baroque ring and earrings, 18th century pearl-necklace on a red silk-thread, a gibson girl-hair rat from my own hair and a pair of Mensur-cufflinks! Plus finally a sneak peek at December challenges and thoughts on january challenges!



A white silk hairnet.


How does this made into “generosity”-challenge? Well, I thought about HARD what to do. Finally I settled on idea of using what you have and showing others a handy small idea on how to use a scrap of something fully. As we know, fabric waste is a biological threat to our planet and soon there will be a law in my country that fabric waste cannot be thrown into ordinary waste anymore.

So..how to use scraps? My grandmother made mats out of them! The 18th century ladies made pockets and their girls made doll’s clothes our of even smaller scraps. In that spirit, here is my tip on how to make a caul in no time and with little sewing!

I found a discarded pattern-piece made out of pongee-silk that was too small to ever fit me (it was an 18th jacket inner lining piece). So I thought about trimming it and making it into a protective mobcap underneath a more decorative mobcap (if that sounds sane?) but instead of trimming it, I just started to gather it with needle and thread in a very generous way. The endresult was an egg-shaped thing that looked the part.

I imagine wearing it underneath the actual mobcaps to keep the hair in place better and because the 18th century hair is full or gunky greasy stuff it should protect the finer lappet-caps from soiling.

The Challenge:#23: Generosity & Gratitude – due November 18.  Celebrate the generosity of spirit and willingness to help others that makes the historical sewing community great, and give credit and thanks to those who have contributed to our collective knowledge without expecting payment in return.  Make anything that fits the general HSF guidelines, and utilizes research, patterns, and tutorials that have been made available for free.  Be sure to acknowledge all the sources that have helped you to create your item.

Fabric: a scrap of white pongee-silk.

Pattern: no pattern, it was irregularly cut piece of something and I just sewed it into a small cup without trimming or cutting anything.

Year: 18th century

Notions: needle and thread

How historically accurate is it? I have seen similar small mobcaps in finnish traditional dresses. Its’s function is not decorative but protective underneath a more decorative mobcap I think.

Hours to complete: less than 15 minutes.

First worn: at home, its practical, like a hairnet but made of fabric.

Total cost: less than euro.

I’m also inspired by this finnish national costume’s hairpiece.



A hair-padding headband

This is my own hair I have collected when I had to cut my hair after unfortunate decision to blonde my blonde my locks. These “hair rats” were used to pad the hair from antique era to the Gibson girl! The second pic is the hair rat plus a coronet-hairband I had. The hair rat unfortunately doesn’t show up so well because its behind the coronet. I secured it with pins in place. The effect is subtle but nicely padded!


I had hair in my stash and a hairband so……time to make a hair rat!

The Challenge:#24: Re-Do – due December 2.  This one is super easy.  Pick any previous challenge and re-do it (or do it for the first time).  It could be one that you didn’t finish, one that you wish you’d had more time for, or any time for, or one where you loved the theme so much you want to do it again.

Fabric: my own hair, brown doll’s hair, a brunette hair-braid from local Glitter, metallic hairband-base.

Pattern: The 2015 challenge: March – Stashbusting: Make something using only fabric, patterns, trims & notions that you already have in stash.

Year: various eras.

Notions: Brown embroidery-floss to keep the thing together.

How historically accurate is it? I can see it being used. It does have plastic.

Hours to complete: less than half an hour. It was finicky to do.

First worn: not yet.

Total cost: less than 3 euros all in all.





Baroque-era earrings and a ring



I had made previously a set of earring out of nice pearls and a ring with lots of pink beads in a bunch. But they are more 17th than 18th century. So maybe my character inherited them from her great-grandmother! After all, 17th century was a fad in 1700s!

The lighting in these photos is really baroque……anti-reformist art lol!

The Challenge:#21: Re-do – due Sat 15 November.  Pick any previous challenge and re-do it (or do it for the first time).  It could be one that you didn’t finish, one that you wish you’d had more time for, or any time for, or one where you loved the theme so much you want to do it again.

Fabric: peach-colored glasspearls and pink plastic beads plus earring and ring-bases.

Pattern:  So I chose 2015’s challenge: “June – Out of Your Comfort Zone: Create a garment from a time period you haven’t done before, or that uses a new skill or technique that you’ve never tried before.”

Year: 17th century

Notions: peach thread and plastic seethrough-thread and a needle for the ring.

How historically accurate is it? Plastic! But I like the opulent baroque-feeling they have.

Hours to complete: an hour.

First worn: not yet.

Total cost: less than 5 euros.







I originally wnated to these to my paramour but he said he didn’t think he would wear the. So I kept the idea but made them for myself. As a female supporter of Mensur.

The Challenge:#22: Fort-nightliers Choice (Gentlemen) – due Mon 1 December.  And you’ve chosen the theme of ‘Gentlemen’ – make menswear, or historical women’s wear inspired by menswear.

Fabric: glass cabochons, printed pictures and cufflink-bases.

Pattern: based on 1920s gentlemen’s “four vices”-cufflinks

Year: I think it works best after late 1800s to 1930s.

Notions: Panduro’s jewellery glue.

How historically accurate is it? Its bit fanciful and the cufflink base is plastic.

Hours to complete: less than 5 minutes really. Making the pictures small with paint-program and cutting them took more time.

First worn: not yet.

Total cost: less than 1 euro.


I will be writing about history of Mensur soon! The painting below is what I used for my cufflinks. “The opponents”




Marie Antoinette’s red belt



I originally wanted to do something inspired by finnish historical films but since limited time, I decided to use the red velvet ribbons I had in my stash instead. The contrast of the pale icy blue dress and the deep crimson velvet is a fabulous one in the film. How did they come up with such an unusual but delicious contrast!


The Challenge: November – Silver Screen: Be inspired by period fashions as shown onscreen (film or TV), and recreate your favourite historical costume as a historically accurate period piece.

Fabric: red velvet ribbon and a plastic beltbuckle plus pink chiffon-ribbon, and gold and purple sequin-ribbons.

Pattern: Based on Marie Antoinette 2006’s blue dress with a red belt. The buckle is more fanciful but I wanted to use the odd pieces of sequin-threads somehow. Plus the buckle is changable anyway.

Year:  18thc century

Notions: No-sew

How historically accurate is it? sequin is plastic but “why not”-category it goes!

Hours to complete: less than 5 minutes as all the ingredients were ready.

First worn: not yet

Total cost: less than 3 euros.

Costumer’s guide to the red belt costume




Pearl-necklace on red silk ribbon


The Challenge:November – Red – Make something in any shade of red.

Fabric: red silk thread and glass pearls in classic creamy shade.

Pattern:  based on portraits and descriptions on ladies necklaces in 18th century.

Year: 18th century in general

Notions: brass-colored findings to secure the necklace.

How historically accurate is it? Belongs in “why not” category…

Hours to complete: Its takes less than 10 minutes to make.

First worn: not yet

Total cost: all ingredients can be found very cheap, so under 8 euros I think.




The upcoming December-challenges. These will come faster than the November ones!


  1. I’m making a pocket a la “Poetry in motion”

December – Re-Do:  It’s the last challenge of the year, so let’s keep things simple by re-doing any of the previous 11 challenges.


2.  Making 18th century garters in sailor-style


  • #25: One Metre – due Dec 16.  Make an item that takes one metre or less fabric.  To keep within the spirit of the challenge, try to avoid making something that also involves metres and metres of trim


3. No idea yet

  • #26: Celebrate – due Dec 30.  Make something that is celebration worthy, make something that celebrates the new skills you have learned this year, or just make something simple that celebrates the fact that you survived HSF ’13!


4. no idea yet


December – Special Occasion: make something for a special event or a specific occasion, or that would have been worn to special event or specific occasion historically.


5.  Two reticules, one from Barbie-skirt and one crocheted one!


  • #23: Modern History – due Mon 15 December.  Make something historical or historically inspired that is wearable in an everyday context


6. Goldenworked needlebook

  • #24: All that Glitters – due Thur 1 January.  Celebrate your completion of HSF ’14, and the New Year, with a glittery, glitzy, sparkly, shiny, something.




…and some future projects I have not yet thought about much. I think I will pull a real UFO and IFO-pile extravaganza. Its amazing when you move out….so many things that have been lost are suddenly found. Also, I will be going through my piles of fabric and projects soon. My father had an entire black plastic-bag FULL of them…..I have to decide which to bring back to my new place so mice wont pee all over them. My dollhouse stuff is mostly safe at father’s garage though. Fabric is more tricky matter.

I will do something for the 100th anniversary of Finland’s independence for the third challenge. 1917-style something.


  • January – Foundations: make something that is the foundation of a period outfit.
  • #0 (the bonus challenge): Starting Simple – due 31 December NZT.  Finish a project, make a very simple garment, or something you have made before.
  • #1: Bi/Tri/Quadri/Quin/Sex/Septi/Octo/Nona/Centennial – due 14 Jan.  Sew something from __13, whether it be 1913, 1613, or 13BC
  • #2: UFO – due Jan 28.  Let’s get something off our UFO pile! Use this opportunity to finish off something that’s never quite gotten done, or stalled halfway through.
  • January –  Procrastination – finish a garment you have been putting off finishing (a UFO or PHD) or make something you have been avoiding starting
  • #1: Make Do & Menddue Wed 15 Jan. Let’s start of the year with a clean slate, and with a bit of a tidy up.  Use this challenge as an opportunity to get your historical wardrobe in order by fixing any little bits that have worn out and gone wrong.  Alternatively, you could focus on the historical precedent of making-do by re-making something into a historical garments, whether it be a bodice from a worn-out skirt, a chemise from old sheets, a bosom-friend from an old cardigan, or a new historical hat from an old modern one etc.  Finally, you could just those people who had to make-do by making something for a historical character who would have scrimped and saved and re-made and mended until the fabric entirely fell apart.
  • #2: Innovation – due Sat 1 Feb.  To celebrate the way inventions, introductions and discoveries have impacted fashion, make an item that reflects the newest innovations in your era.  Be sure to share the research you did on your innovation, as well as your finished item.




24. Our family’s actual tradition

So…..final window of our Adventcalendar is opening….this has been a long and interesting project to make. Mostly I just invented something the night before to write. Next year I PROMISE I will start doing this on November already.

My mom has made spectacular lighthouse out of the entire flat as usual:

So….we wake up in the morning, put the finer clothes on and mother finishes her food in the kitchen. Isä brings the ham to the table.

Usually my eldest brother arrives with his retrievers. To the amusement of our cat. One year the cat was sitting on sofa. Isä brought the ham to the table and i could see Pomo’s eyes growing the size of saucers. He leaped to the kitchen chair and sat there like a perfect fine gentleman surveying the assortments. He even picked a place where there was a plate and napkin put on…..truly genteel cat.

But, as we are peasants, my father roughly snatched him from the chair and threw him outside the living room door….with the dogs. Pomo looked through the glass-panes of the door separating our livingroom and hallway. Dogs sat next to him and tried to sniff his butt. He did NOT look very happy. An esteemed gentleman like himself surely should earn his place at the table with the finer folks. Not treated like a…..pet!

He, like all our previous cats, is very fascinated by this one very old decoration we have. A strong-smelling tonttu made of hay or something. It has lost its potency since my childhood when I loved to hate it. But our cat still eyes it suspiciously.

We watch the Declaration of Peace from Turku on tv (the tv is on a lot, unlike in the family of my boyfriend.)  We eat and converse around sofa later with cream and berries my mom has made for dessert. The berries are from my father’s garden, as its traditional to have something from the harvest in your christmas table.

In Finland Joulupukki usually comes on 24th day to bring presents to children personally in every home. I was always placed on his lap and made to sing. He always says “Do we have good children in this house?” and the answer is “yes”. We had the traditional Joulupukki who came dressed in grey clothes instead of evil american coca-cola colors. He was actually my cousin and had a lousy plastic mask on him. I stared at this creature with pure horror. My brother said it was cousin….he had seen him bring our grandma in. My brother always tried to egg me to grab the Joulupukki’s beard off because he was never seated on his lap. I never did. I was happy to even manage singing to this plastic-faced creature without pissing myself.

I always wanted to see Joulupukki’s reindeers. My parents annoyingly stopped me from petting them. Even when I really knew deep down that there was only a volvo outside and my cousin was taking the damn suit desperately off.

I never understood kids who react violently when they hear Santa Claus does not exist. I was the most dumbest, developmentally behind kid you could find in our class. And I KNEW my parents got the presents. I saw the Barbie in their shopping bag and then acted happy and suprised. Its even caught on video…..I was such a little actress. But I wanted to make my parents VERY happy. I enjoyed the mystery, looking the tracks of elves outside like a little detective. Imagining stories. To me, christmas was one big mystery play that was over too soon.

The perfume Barbie was the doll in question….odd…after all these years I can STILL remember the smell of the perfume. It was very nice and very adult-like, bit between Tresor and Chanel 5! Damn, I wish that would be really bottled for us adults….

Me and my brother would fight over the toy catalogues and then we played a game: we had only 2 toys to pick from every page. This was actually educative, as it taught us to consider what we would choose if we couldn’t have more than 1 or 2. The absolute holy grail was MLP generation 1 for me…..I still remember when my mom got a call just before christmas that the videos she bought for me are on the mail. Thank you äiti, thank you!



Then my eldest brother has his famous “one cup of coffee”. This annoyingly happens at 2 pm when the gifts are supposed to be opened. This tradition started after we stopped believing in Joulupukki. So it fell on to me to give everyone their presents because I was the youngest. I’m titled “Tonttutyttö” or “elf girl” then. We kids pestered our eldest brother when we could start giving the presents to everyone. He could see we were anxious of our toys. So he did what big brothers do best: he trolled us. He had a cup of coffee and he said “When I have drank this coffee”. He was laughing when we kept staring how much coffee he still had left.

This trolling has remained a tradition. “It’s 2 pm…..I will now have my cup of coffee!” He would also say “Be good or our parents become communists…so we will have Father Frost Marx coming, he doesn’t bring gifts, he takes them from kids and shares them with the Kolkhoz instead!”


Our christmastree is plastic and has mostly same decorations as it did in 80s. Some my mother threw away because they were understandibly ragged. 40 year old plastic is so weak! I always remember the humble tinfoild star we had. It was very poor-looking but putting it on was always a moment for us. Now my mother has more money to put in tasteful modern decorations but they don’t have that feeling anymore. Our christmastree always stands in the corner so dancing around it is impossibility.

Our tree this year:

Usually the evening is time to calm down. Tv is important, we watch the same christmas specials as every year and same films. My father is oddly fascinated with Home alone-films (the two first ones obviously). Its a tradition to watch it together and laugh at Kevin and Tim Curry. Its a film that is pure father-daughter downtime.  I heard its pretty universal to watch it. Its even more popular than that old movie about a suicidal guy and a guardian angel….

We visit my oldest brother in graveyard and our grandparents. And father wishes my poor brother Hyvää Joulua. Seeing old pics of them together in 1960s: a young father and his “little man”. I am heartbroken for him. My mother got panic attacks that never went away.


Well, that’s it then, so Hyvää Joulua, Frohe Weihnacht and Merry Christmas to you all! Ja hyvää uutta vuotta/Neujahr/New Years!


23. Ten german things I would like to add to my future Julfests and ten finnish things I would like to keep

I hope in future when I have a job and a family, I can finally have a christmas in my own home. What new traditions (besides goose that I wrote earlier about) would I take on my finnish Joulu from our dear southern brothers? Let’s see…


  1. Decorations  Schwibbogen, Tonsel (made first from shredded silver in 1690s Germany!), Fröebel stars, Hearts, incence-candles from south, Räuchenmann…  rc3a4ucherkerzenpackungenrc3a4ucherkerzchenrc3a4uchermc3a4nnchenlametta_-_christmas_decorationsOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAschwibbogen

  2.  Treats Plätzchen, Brenten, Springerle, Pfeffernüsse, Spritzgebäck ,

    Vanillekipferl, Lebkuchen and Pfefferkcuhen!



3. Krampus    Because kids have to have something fun!    




4. Adventskranz


5. Christmas markets and fairs 


6. Der Tannenbaum, Weihnachtspyramiden

The pyramid comes from northern part where trees were more scarce. The christmastree is seen to be from Yggdrasil or Irminsul as our ancestors worshipped trees. This is natural to me because I have germanic and finnish ancestors who both had special relationship with trees. They were the habitations of Ancestors and Gods.

Queen Victoria had german parents and brought the Christmas tree with his husband to England.


Perfectly carved christmastree ornaments from Bavaria.


8. When its 24th……

…..apple and sausage stuffing, red cabbage, and potato dumplings!


9.   Church, countryside

Yes, I’m not christian anymore but I ADORE old churches and the athmosphere. I don’t mind the christian songs or traditions. I find the people battling against them horrid. If japanese can hold onto their various religious traditions wihtout probelms, then why cannot we? Why we europeans have to sacrifice traditions because they are not “up-to-date” or “they might offend someone!”. I call that making our culture POOR! WE should be proud and take part in them! Or we end up like the first christmas episode of South park where the children’s christmas celebration had a non-offensive interpretational song and dance by Phillip Glass….

I took my boyfriend to a finnish church and he suddenly knelt in front of altar. I was amazed and later even embarrased that I had not done same. I asked why he did it and he said to show respect. I should too to follow his example and honor my ancestors who were christians. For example, my grandfather had to resign from church when he was poor and could not pay the taxes. He was embarrassed and sad for it as he was a humble and devout man despite being in worker’s union. The priest looked at him angrily when he came back to renew his membership.

I may still not agree with church’s recent politics in Finland but I still have to respect the actual buildings for their history and meaning, now especially when in Germany historical churches are being sold and destroyed. Is everything worth the money? These are not some god-awful mega-churches from USA, these are our HERITAGE!

This is is the book on 19th century Finland told by dog-figures. Mauri Kunnas also has books tranlated in many languages such as english. I VERY much recommend to buy these. Koiramäki is an adorable series in a countryfamily in 1800s.

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10. Stollen

I bought one from our local Lidl. I tasted it at my aunts place one year and I loved it.



Now, some christmas traditions I would like to keep from finnish traditions!

Joulupukki      20                                                                                                    I would much rather have the Bock instead of Santa Klaus but since its an established character I might have to give in this case. There is always Krampus!

2.  I might not prefer Ham but I think Schinken should have a place in our table after all in some way. These pork-steaks are delicious and good. I admit I am enjoying them this christmas too…. on a pan with dry herbs, black pepper and salt.



3. Treats! Joulutorttu, Joulupulla made with saffron…otherwise our baked goods are mostly version of german ones.


4. Visiting graveyards.

We finns visit out dead relatives every christmas eve. The graveyards are full of candles and its absolutely amazing to watch in absolute darkness. I took my german boyfriend there with my family last year. First time I felt pride in doing that. I introduced him to my brother and my grandparents, great-grandparents and aunt formally. I hope they liked him! The mood is somber, quiet and religious. The sound of wind and at best case, snowflakes falling down quietly is what makes the graveyards spectacular sight.

This tradition might be bit difficult to sell to tourists but if you are here at the time, come and see how it is! It might not be carnivalesque but I prefer the quiet meditation of this tradition. And its a chance to say Hyvää Joulua to my eldest brother.

Its takes almost 30 years to  fully understand the profound meaning it has to my parents. They lost him few days before christmas to an treatment error in hospital. My older brother told me they had very sad and quiet christmases after that before me and my other brother were born and happiness returned to our family’s holidays.

My father also takes care of the grave of Uncle Frans. An elderly gentleman who died in 70s. He inspired my father to quit drinking. I made a realization that I owe my happy childhood to him. I have NEVER witnessed my father drunk or my mother when I was a child. He was a cousin to my grandparents (who were second cousins to each other already….).


5. Joulupuuro made of rice and cinnamon and giving it to Tonttu. Finnish christmas-porridge recipe here.

As I wrote before, tonttu was originally a spirit of ancestor living in the house of his descendants, looking over. This evolved into Tonttu. He is usually depicted in barns taking care of the animals. And our most beloved song Tonttu (here in metal version) is about this idyllic image.


6. Having an entire family at christmas table. I know, in modern world it is impossibility. But you can always dream…..


7. Nuutipukki. The evil counterpart of our Joulupukki. He was one of three Bocks: Kekripukki, Joulupukki and Nuutipukki. He was the one that took Joulu away after the 20 days of christmas peace had ended on 7th or 13th day (these days its 13th day). He would take the christmastree away with him. He doesn’t appear in person anymore to our houses. That tradition was rooted in countryside and sadly is not adhered to anymore. Maybe in our family it could.


It’s traditional for kids to go on 13.1 to sing christmas songs to people and get candy for reward. This is our version of Halloween in the western Finland. I remember slipping a lot on my first round when I was 5 or 6. I was terrified because my legs had bad balance already. I would dress up as princess or koalabear (with teddyfur-jacket and all) and I would be sad because my princess-costume made of lace-curtain would not show underneath my winterclothes, only a plastic golden “Prinsessa Ruusunen”-crown I had showed everyone what I was supposed to be….


8. Joulusauna

Goes without saying, a place for deep cleansing and meditation. best saunas are old country-saunas built 100 years ago with wood-stoves.


9. Children’s christmas celebrations at schools.

So, my nephew didn’t have traditonal Joulujuhla at school because officials are afraid it might offend few foreigners….how sad. I know USA has this law but how come Japan et all manage to infuse religions and non-religions so peacefully together? The word Joulu is itself neutral and un-religious! There are PLENTY of non-religious christmassongs and surely our traditions cannot OFFEND anyone? Instead out kids get small celebration at their classes, no big communal get-together with school-spirit like in older days not too far ago. Now, I AM offended at this! And I’m a pagan!


10. I think the last list’s church-part can apply here too. German and finnish christmas are compatible as they have both roots in germanic paganism that I follow. Tomorrow I will tell about the schedule of our family’s christmas to you!


22. Random historical christmas things

Pläkkilyhty, blacksmith-lamps. These were popular in 1800s. The women would have thee under their crinolines in churches as it was freezing cold there. These lamps had small holes and a candle was placed underneath so it would not burn the dress.



Joulupukki (Yule-goat) is coming to house. Our Joulupukki was not originally a man in red or grey as the name might tell. He was a man dressed as a goat. This was an old paganic tradition in Nordic countries. Young men dressed as goats begin to go house from house demanding to be given drinks and food or they would curse the house. This evolved into giving gifts gradually. Its speculated if german Krampus is related to our Pukki. This photo is from early 1900s Finland, notice the commo style of peasant-dress:



Some christmas cards and an old mask of Joulupukki:

German vintage postcard


THIS was my christmaspresent from my german aunt in 1990. A cassette tape and a book with BEAUTIFUL pastel paintings by Linda and Gino Alberti! I have misplaced it somewhere abnd I miss it terribly. The cassette I still have. I understood nothing of the sogs but the language and the wonderful children’s choir made a lasting impression on me. Through the songs and the book I understood the quiet mystery that is Joulu.




German christmas:


Springerle. These cookies have an intricate patterns and go back over 500 years! The nutcrackers next to them also have numerous designs. Did you knew that the fairytale Nutcracker is a german one by Heinrich Hoffmann?




Vintage finnish christmas magazine covers! Some of the artwork is by our celebrated illustrators Martta Wendelin (her artbook’s cover is the 4th image underneath, try look it up if you can!):

Two kinds of dresses in 1930s Finland: the lowly peasant-woman and a chic city-woman.

Wendelin and Rudolf Koivu:

Joulupukki goes to sauna before he leaves and then flies with helicopter!




This still is actually from horror film “Curse of the cat people”. Rather charming and magical film.


Finnish artist Akseli Gallen-Kallela’s painting from 1898:


21. Twelve more of my favorite Christmas songs

Wham, Last Christmas.  Bit 80s nostalgia here!


Kolme yötä jouluun on (three nights till christmas)


Michael Bublés Let it snow. Though I enjoy Markiplier’s version of it….



Tuikkikaa oi joulun tähtöset (sparkle oh christmas stars)  another song that makes you cry.


Kello löi jo viisi/Joulukirkkoon (Christmas church) a song how a family prepares to go to church in a sleigh. Over 100 years old.


Fischer Chöre sings Oh Du fröchliche


Legendary finnish Sailor quartet sings Tonttujen juhlayö (the festive night of elves)


Classic medley of mostly classic swedish songs


Heinillä härkien kaukalon. Classic and amazing performance


Reippahasti käypi askeleet   so wonderfully nostalgic song. Me and my mom sang it today. She said she used to sing it with her class in 1950s.


On hanget korkeat nietokset



Leevin and the Leavings: Jouluaattona kännissä. “Drunk on christmas eve”

A little different song about poor people’s christmas. Kicking the windows of fur shops and being on breadline. The song itself is more bittersweet than funny. The singer made a lot of songs about the bitterness of poverty in Finland in 80s and 90s. He died tragically in cancer and was very talented man. I recommed looking up Gösta Sundqvist and his “Leevi and the leavings”-band.

The song itself is light and a real earworm.

20. My top twelve favorite Christmas songs in Finland and Germany

Finnish christmas songs can be quite sad and beautiful. I added also Karen Carpenter’s most perfect performance on the list and Nightwish’s amazing melodic metal-version of Walking in the air.

1. Walking in the air (Nightwish version)


Richard and Karen Carpenter’s medley from 1970s. It is perfection.


Sylvian joululaulu. Old finnish favorite. About a bird’s homesickness for Finland while he stays in Etna for winter. Kun Joulu on is also a classic song that always has to play on christmas.


Sydämeeni joulun teen (I make Christmas in my heart). It’s truly beautiful.


Adagio by Jarkko Ahola. Blood-freezingly haunting.


Tonttu.  About an elf who lives in the stables. Beautiful old song. According to finnish beliefs every house had a tonttu, or haltija, a spirit who resided in it. Its speculated it was originally an ancestor looking out for the descendants. If it was neglected and angered, it would go away and seek another descendant. If you are learning finnish, I suggest you look up the lyrics.


Kun joulu on (When christmas is)  I know I over-use the word beautiful here…..but this brings the tears everytime.  The choir here is amazing.


En etsi valtaa, loistoa and Arkihuolesi kaikki heitä


Tuikkikaa oi joulun tähtöset


Varpunen Jouluaamuna  About a girl who feeds a bird in winter. Bird turns out to be her dead brother. It hits me because I have also lost a brother.


Joulumaa  Little happier song!


Tölzer Knabenchor sings Kling Glöckchen. Boys in Lederhosen.


19.Niels Klim’s Travels in Underground and Cherubina



The Heroine (1813)
Eaton Stannard Barrett
This newly discovered gothic parody is a true gem to read. It was even praised by Jane Austen and Poe! You can see this could have inspired Austen to write Northanger Abbey. The story is about a young girl named Cherry who has a nervous breakdown or odd narcissistic episode, she chnages her name into Cherubina to sound more like a gothic heroine and tells her father he cannot be his true father. He is too common and she is obviously a blueblooded. This breaks her fathers heart and she takes off and tries to discover a castle to claim her own. She has a portrait of Nell Gwyn with her and she thinks this is actually her real mother she must find. This amuses the unscrupulous people around her who use her naivety for their own gains. I recommend this book for a good read, it is not dry or too heavy for modern readers.

Niels Klim’s Underground Travels                   by Ludwig Holberg

Another enjoyable book (on youtube audiobook here)

Horny Tree-women demanding sex from a horrified human, said human being made a minister in animal court, earth being hollow and having another universe inside….You could say this was 18th century scifi.



18. Random facts

Another 12 random things about me.

13. I love humor


finns and germans are quite similar in many ways.

14. I would like to learn how to fight with a sword, dance allemande and shoot arrows.


15. I rarely watch tv. I hate it. family_watching_tv_copy

16. I actually prefer old-school Disney princesses. Snow white is a better rolemodel at hardwork and perseverance than Elsa is. Snow white at least doesn’t leave her kingdom and little sister in trouble and force eternal cold on his subjects.


17. I like Lana Del Rey


18. I am afraid of dark when I’m alone. Not so much anymore though.


19. I’m Germanic pagan.

20. I would be Sif. Even though I prefer Gerda.


21. My “Type”?


something along these lines:


22. I cannot imagine NOT living nearby sea. My father’s ancestors were fishermen.

23. I am a typical cancer, but I don’t believe in horoscopes.


24. My voice range is VERY low alto and i sing at local philharmonic choir. I never sing in shower and I never thought I had a voice until a woman I worked with encouraged me to join her choir.



  1. My favorite fantasy is to find an old house in middle of forest that is full of old clothes and stuff. A house where people just disappeared and no one has set a foot in for over 200 years. My favorite words are “cellar door” and “forgotten attic”. I love fairytales and mysteries.

17: Random facts

Random facts about me

  1. This is one of my favorite paintings from my childhood.


2. I enjoy futurology and dystopian films and novels.


3. I have time-travelling daydreams.


4. I was a 90s-early 2000s goth.


5. i don’t smoke drink or use drugs but I find the smell of tobacco wonderful. And I find pipesmoking man to be attractive and masculine. Forbidden fruit in this day and age.


6. I graduated from a small artistic high school. We wear these caps when we graduate and continue wearing them on every Walpurgis.


7.I got interested in historical clothing and 18th century back in 1999 when I was watching historical films like Orlando and Dangerous Liaisons. Curiously, I have never cared for Jane Austen until recently.


This is a doll I found on flea market once. The mirror is also from flea market and the desk underneath was made by my dad in 1960s for my eldest brother to play on. He renovated it with old movie advertisements from 1940s!

8. I ONCE tried to be blonde. My hair didn’t like it even if I liked it. Now my hair is back being brunette and I’m growing it as long as I can.


9. I’m trying to learn how to cook and bake.  Ryebread, german Pfefferkuche and Käsekuche:

10. I cannot crochet nor knit nicely….100_1567

11. My favorite flower is violet. My mother’s middlename is Orvokki which means “violet”. I prefer the wild ones we get when we have bought garden violets from shop. I enjoy the odd wild variety that springs next year from their seeds! They are much smaller and like a fairy left them as a present for us!

12. Our cat is called “Pomo” meaning “Boss”. He is very bossypants. He is over 10 years old and sleeps 23 hours in a day. He still gets playful if you throw him a ball of paper but otherwise he is very stoic and serious mancat. He only obeys my father. My grandma said that cats are really closer to men than women. There is even a finnish saying that if a cat leaps on a boys lap, he will become a rich man who can handle horses. My father is very good with horses too….go figure.


16: Random german appears

From 18th century print-series depicting the months, the first pic is “December”. The second is simply “winter” showing little girl’s dress. Apparently the december-lady wears a bergere, drab-looking sack-gown with fine engageantes, a fischu, a frilled cap and a black mantelet and long gloves? She seems to be gathering hollies for christmas decorations.

So, going for a long weekend to Berlin soon. CANNOT wait!