Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Happy Vappu!

Tens of thousands of people have gathered today in the centre of Helsinki to celebrate Vappu. It's all about the arrival of spring, about the students and the workers making a big deal of themselves, and most of all, the carneval spirit... and well, just good old spirit, i.e. alcohol. Vappu is my least favourite public drinking holiday, maybe with the possible exception of New Year's eve. When Havis Amanda (a local statue) was given her annual Vappu cap, Helsingin Sanomat (the big local newspaper) was there to take this picture:

Meanwhile, I was wandering in the forests of my neighbourhood, and took these pictures. Hmm, I wonder which Vappu I prefer..?

The white flowers are wood anemones, also known as windflowers. They usually bloom around mother's day, but this year they are early.

I took this picture of the field that belongs to the nearby stables just because you can sort of see the green emerging from everywhere, not just the grass, but the trees further back too. I love how everything is still bare, but you can tell that there are thousands and thousands of leaves waiting to burst out into the open.

It was so warm today that I got to wear my Gudrun Sjoden linen jacket. Happy Vappu, everyone!

Monday, 28 April 2008

Cheap shoes

There have been plenty of times when I have promised myself to not buy any more cheap shoes. The older I have gotten, the more I try to make sure that my shoes look decent, that they are comfortable, and ugh, that they are - dare I even say it - practical. Cheap shoes are hardly ever any of the above.

I stopped by at DinSko on my way home from work. I dug into the sales baskets and these two pairs came home with me.

Total spent: 25 euros! The beige ones (a bit last-season-Prada, but who cares) cost 15 e, and the blue satin ones with an in-built platform were 10 e.

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Hold on, hold on

What is it about Sundays? Why do they always seem so slow, but still not quite long enough, why do they seem like life in a miniature form? To have breakfast without a hurry, to have all the time you want to read the paper, to do a bit of laundry, to read a random passage in a good book one has forgotten about, listening to Neko Case.

I went to see my mom at the hospital today. She was rather drugged up, waiting to have surgery, but she was in a good mood despite the fact that her knee was the size of a football. Oh I love my mom. She is such a fighter.

Afterwards I went to Sylvi's 5th birthday party. I took forever figuring out what to wear. Sylvi and her sister Aivi are always commenting on my outfits, so I tried to provide them with something interesting. Usually a skirt and something sparkly will do, so I decided to wear my new gray top with the glitter bow detail.

I was flipping through the May issue of Amica, and came across a couple of really cool images. I love the blue sunglasses in the first one, as well as the combination of two different flower prints. What caught my eye in the second image was the sequined top combined to a very romantic-looking skirt - very modern, yet soft.

Saturday, 26 April 2008

Not the greatest of Saturdays

I woke up at 9.58 am this morning, to a phone call from work. Just the thing one loves when it's one's first day off in about nine days! That particular phone call ended up being nothing, just some confusion about work shifts, but I got a more serious call later on.

I had just had breakfast when my sister called and told me that my mom had been taken to the hospital, ambulance and all. She had fallen over at the parking lot of the local supermarket, at one of those spots where they have those big metal rails on the ground, for shopping trollies. (If we lived in the United States, we could probably sue Lidl.) She was lucky because she didn't hit her head or anything, but she fell on her wrist (and broke it) and split her knee cap. It could have been a lot worse, of course, but hey, it's my mom and I don't want anything bad to happen to her. Ever.

I went to see her in the hospital, and she was in decent spirits considering the circumstances. I guess she will have surgery on her knee tomorrow, and will have two casts (one on the wrist and one on her leg) for a long long time. So no, it hasn't been a great day off. I missed the Helsinki wardrobe_remix clothing swap, plus I didn't get to do any of the stuff that I had planned for today.

Friday, 25 April 2008

Short history of hair

About a year ago, my hairdresser asked me to model for the big chain of hair salons she works for. Back then, I looked like this:

Since then, my hair has been a huge struggle. Slowly but surely, the platinum blond started going yellowish, and further along the road, greenish. Silver shampoo didn't help. My hair was practically dead from the bleach.

About six months ago my hairdresser tried to save the hair I had by dyeing it light-brown. My roots looked fab, but the previously-platinum part of the hair didn't suck in enough dye and turned sort of brown, but with a strange yellowy tint. We ended up high-lighting my hair with bright blond to cover the damage, and hoped that it would look decent. Well, the whole high-lights thing hasn't exactly been working out. The high-lighted bits have been turning first yellow, then green for a while now.

Fast-forward to today. Me and my hairdresser decided that we can't go for any more high-lights, because they will turn green sooner or later. We chose a little reddish brown, and hoped for the best. The outcome: fantastic fudge colour roots, with awful britle yellowish rest of the hair. I had two options: A) have it dyed again, and again, and again, and hope for the best each time, or B) have it cut off. Guess which one I chose?

Yup, there you have it. I have told a handful of hopeful people along the way that I am growing my hair out, and want to have it long again, but sorry folks, I didn't really have a choice. My hair was in such bad condition that this had to be done if I ever want to have long hair again. It will grow. But for now, I am actually really liking this. I am convinced I heard a girl whisper "Rosemary's Baby" to her friend at Stockmann's. I can't think of a better compliment.

This is what I wore today:

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

In the shade

Well, it seems that spring has finally arrived. Helsinki has bathed in sunlight for at least three days in a row. Of course, I have been stuck at work and have hardly even seen the sun. Nevertheless I figured it was time to get a new pair of sunglasses. And a top.

Both are from Max&co., but the feeling I was going for with the purchases was more Sonia Rykiel S/S2008. (This is by far my favourite campaign of the current season.)

This is what I wore today. I figured that I would post a sunny picture even though you can't really even make out what my clothes look like. Who cares, it's sunny!

Monday, 21 April 2008

I need a party to go to

Minni gave me this Vuokko dress. I would normally shy away from such a bold colour and print, as well as a wrap dress, but damn, this is fantastic. Until someone invites me to the right party where I can wear it, I will wear this at home. All I need is red feather-decorated stiletto sandals to go with it.

This is what I wore today. The dress is Viktor & Rolf for H&M, but no, I didn't queue up to H&M at 9 am to grab it and buy it without even trying it on last year, but instead, I found it in Fida for a fiver. The tights are from Indiska. I knew when I bought them that they were pink beyond belief, but judging from the looks I got today on the street, they are even more pink than I thought they'd be.

Bird concerns

Yes, this post proves what a nerd I really am. I am worried about the birds in my neighbourhood. These fellows are an old concern:

They just don't sing the way they used to. The Parus majors in Helsinki have been doing it for years: instead of singing tet-tet-tew, these days they only do tet-tew. Ornitologists have argued that the Parus majors are feeling the pressure of urbanisation, and feel like they are having to haste themselves. They are stressed out, and don't have the time or the energy to sing properly. Well, this is old news.

This is news though: the Fringilla coelebs have started doing the same thing. I noticed it today when I walked to the train station.

The arrival of the chaffinch is one of the most definite signs of spring, and its singing is one of my favourites. It bubbles and flows like a fountain. It is not too complicated, but just full of deep joyful sounds and energy. For the past few days I have been wondering why they sound different. I realised it today. They are leaving sounds out just like the Parus majors. What is this world coming to, when even birds are so stressed out that they can't communicate properly?!

Images: Wikipedia

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Busy bee

I haven't had the time to think about anything interesting to write about this weekend. The past week has been so rough at work that I have pretty much just slept yesterday and today. I went to one flea market today but I didn't find anything interesting. I got these cuff links from my sister.

This is what I wore today. Cardigan / Alain Manoukian (a Fida find from a few weeks back, it cost 3 e), high waisted trousers / Diesel, socks / H&M, shoes / flea market.

Friday, 18 April 2008

If I was green I would die

I hardly ever wear just one colour. Remember that awful song, Blue, by Eiffel 65? The title of this post refers to my dear old friend Marti from South Africa who used to sing the chorus of the song with her own lyrics. Instead of "I'm blue, da ba dee da ba die", she would sing "I'm blue, if I was green I would die." Oh Marti, I miss you. I wish I had kept in touch with you!

The blouse is from Fida, the trousers Max&co., the shoes are my mom's old. The bag is a flea market find from last year. It is by Three Bags. The price was 3 euros.

Here are some of my most beautiful paperbacks. I haven't actually read any of them, and have bought them mainly because they look so pretty. I have every intention of reading them, if I could only find the time. Work is so consuming these days that I hardly have enough time to sleep and eat!

Thursday, 17 April 2008

I think the Prussians might lose

These tin men are of lousy quality, and I have no idea where to put them or what to do with them. (Hmm, I might paint them, come to think of it.) For now they can do whatever they like in one of my book shelves.

Italians do it better

No, I am certainly not referring to a certain Italian ex, nor Silvio Berlusconi. It is the wonderful range of Italian fashion magazines that I am talking about. To me, they provide an impressive visual feast of countless takes on fashion, style and photography. I think there is a huge difference in the way Italian fashion magazines deal with trends as well. Whereas the mainstream UK and US magazines force the "20 trends you MUST follow this season" down your throat, their Italian counterparts simply lay out what is out there in a unique, dream-like fashion. Check out April's Amica, for example:

All the images above are from different editorials in the same magazine, more than five of them. I have once encountered 12 (12!) editorials in one single Amica. The final images are from April's Italian Glamour. I always skip the Cosmopolitan-esque sex education articles and jump directly to the fashion pages.

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Going with a trend

I am not a huge fan of "trends". I used to buy the season's first issues of Vogue and Elle because of their trend listings, and to some degree, I am rather ashamed to admit, I used to follow the trends as well. I am sure I still get influenced by that sort of stuff, only because I tend to purchase way too many fashion magazines.

I have always liked floral prints. This season, flowers seem to be everywhere. Balenciaga, Cavalli, Dries Van Noten, you name it. It is such an obvious trend that I feel like a fool wearing florals, not to mention mixing floral prints. The funny thing is that I would do it even if it wasn't for the trend. I would do it every season. What I am essentially trying to say is that I hate looking like a fashion victim. Well, I will still wear my florals, on or off trend.

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Weekend finds

I was certain that a night out on Saturday would immobilise me for the entire Sunday. I went to bed at 6 am, but managed to get up soon after midday. Off I went to the flea market, regardess of a slight headache and nausea. It ended up being a very productive trip.

For the romantic in me: four framed postcards from the 1920s, small flower handbag and two pairs of lace gloves.

For the intellectual nerd: 2000 piece puzzle and two great books.

For the wardrobe: lace short-sleeved shirt, flower embroided long-sleeved shirt.

And for the road: gray granny bag. Also starring (in the first picture): Algerian ceramic mini-drum, wooden shelf for hangers, rose print table cloth. Money spent: around 40 euros.