Wednesday, 23 January 2013

bending backwards

yoga art by Gosia Janik via Tudo de OM

Unlike bad habits, good habits are easy to abandon. I used to do yoga daily when I was a late teen, inspired by my mum, her sporty youth and her yoga books. I learned most of the poses from the books, and practiced them in  my room. Mum helped me with the harder ones, and showed me how to breathe into the stomach and extend the breath into the very top of the lungs. It took me about 2 years to do a decent headstand but I did it. Then I abandoned it as a practice, probably not seeing it as something I wanted to pursue. And also there were a lot of parties to go to suddenly...

Doing simple stretching and some form of a backward bend should be part of daily life, to balance out all that hunching, slouching and slumping we do. It'd solve a lot of my problems (ie. forever tight shoulders and sore neck) if I did just the one proper backward bend every day. So I decided I'll do yoga in my room again, like when I was a teenager.

There's a helpful site I found with full descriptions of the poses that will help refresh my yoga memory but will help beginners too - there's also a handy sequence builder.

I'd like to set up and stick to a simple yoga routine, nevertheless this timelapse video of amazing yoga skills is here to inspire.

Monday, 21 January 2013

woodlandHood has retired

My other blog WoodlandHood will cease to be from the 1st of February.

I have decided so because

- it is constantly being ignored while Idle Needle is tended to with great energy; a sure sign about where my attention wants to go.

- considered closing it once before but gave it another shot. It still proves to be very much on the peripheries of my attention.

- it's existence becoming linked to unease and pressure in my mind, as I keep promising myself that I'll write soon, then failing it all the same.

- I think Idle Needle could take on some of the topics that has been assigned to WoodlandHood, especially art-related discoveries.

- in its poor neglected state, WoodlandHood has become a vehemently visited playground for nasty spammers, which is also constantly drawing on my attention.

As a big sister to Idle Needle, being the blog I first started after the big move, i think it's only fair that I do it justice and close it. I'm thinking of importing my favourite posts over to here, so they still will be available, under a new woodlandHood label. < edit 04/07/2013: I have now incorporated my favourite woodlandHood posts into the main archive of Idle Needle. I have deleted old woodlandHood projects, which have become irrelevant and dated. I felt like the projects I'd started under the WLH label were to be continued and improved, and because I lost interest in learning to make woodcuts they became out of place on here. If anyone for any reason wants to see images or receive information relating to my learning to woodcut, please let me know in comments or via email. >

Friday, 18 January 2013

flea friday: a puzzling wooden puzzle and some special chipped china

Chipped china? Whoever wants chipped china? Very rarely though, but I do. If it ticks certain boxes.

This rectangular Arabia dish ticked a lot of boxes and came home with me. I adore 60's era illustration, and vintage Arabia is very coveted - to be honest if this little dish was without its faults I couldn't afford to buy it. In the home country of Arabia their designs and their value is widely known so it's unlikely that I might find one in perfect condition for my budget.

And for my budget, I payed top money for chipped china - four whole euros...! Glad I did, because I love looking at this Pohjanmaa design by Raija Uosikkinen from the early sixties. What do you think, would you have bought it, chipped corners and all?

When stuff I buy shows signs of use by its previous owner, I can't help but try to guess about the details of that history.

I keep wondering about this one too... how come the top corners got chipped so badly? My theory is that maybe an old pipe smoking gentleman used it as an ashtray, to knock his pipe out in...I guess we'll never know.

As to the design, Pohjanmaa is the western part of Finland where people wear pointy boots like these ones and wonderful linens and knitted sweaters in their folk attire.

In the little background scenery there are town houses and traditional old log houses. Those particular ones without any window look like the storage barns for grain they used to build everywhere in Finland. We have some around here too; I took this photo last spring.

Now, what's odd about this old wooden jigsaw puzzle here?

When I saw it in the junk shop, I noted to myself that it looked odd, then I walked on. Later I went back for it and bought it, so I could keep guessing about it at home.

The scene it depicts looked strange and unlikely to me. I thought, in what earthly circumstance or land would a giraffe and a small family of forest deer be seen together, grazing happily?

My theory was that the stag is there only for scale to show how big a giraffe is, an animal not many Europeans would have seen for real in olden times... My boyfriend thought that this could easily be in Africa as deer live there too.

After a bit of research I found that he was right as spotty fallow deer do indeed live in Southern parts of Africa. So does the majestic red deer whose antlers in this puzzle are pointing towards snowy white peaks which are much in the likeness of Mount Kilimanjaro. Who'd have thought that holes in my knowledge of geographical zoology will be filled in by an old pictorial jigsaw puzzle?

Sharing with A Living Space, with Apron Thrift Girl, and with Young Heart, who has a new thrifty link-up.

More vintage finds same time next week!

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

words that travel

I'd like to show you what a nice letter I got from Caddi, the winner of my last giveaway.

It really inspires me to send more handwritten letters this year. There's something very touching and gift-like about receiving an envelopeful of words in the post, that just pour out into the present time upon opening the letter. Thank you Caddi, I loved your letter and I've saved the envelope to display it where I can see it.

PS. I'm looking forward to seeing the grey toned backgrounds brightening and the grainy images clearing up as we are heading slowly out of winter! In the meantime, I'm trying to view the progression of my less than brilliant images (which are taken at the best daylight conditions I could muster indoors) as a way of documenting winter turning into spring...

Monday, 14 January 2013


...which means renovation in Finnish. The blog is going to get a sort of make-over, bit by bit. Not very heavily though, I just want to make the look a bit more personalized.

Part of me really likes the pared-down look with not a lot of distraction from the posts, but I've decided I'll try some things to make this space look more me (and me can be much more chaotic and dis-organised than the pared-down look might suggests)... And then we will see.

It might become an evolving thing, and possibly a two-steps-forward-one-step-backwards thing too, which is also very me. I hope you will not mind, and hopefully might even enjoy the changes and additions. If any time during the process you feel like you have any positive or negative feedback, it is welcome and encouraged - just let it rip in comments!

Friday, 11 January 2013

flea friday: a table lamp, a stapler and a strange tray

The festivities are way behind our backs and the new beginnings have begun - with new old thrifty finds. Well some, favourite stomping grounds still seem a little picked through. But there are treasures to show, as always.

Who likes 70's decor? I do, you might have noticed by now. I think this little table lamp with its lingering inspiration of a candlestick holder, its bakelite switch and its glowing orange glass is a cracker - boyfriend found it.

I found this yellow plastic tray a little while ago. It has no makers name, but all the more little dimple-like impressions which gives it a leather-like look and feel. (Well, on uploading the image, it appears to me a little cellulite-like... Hm, funny what photography can do to your point of view...) Still. I love the actual object. The marbles are an old find, but I pulled them out for the shot - it's nice to look at them again.

The 50s-60s Viking stapler was a Xmas present from me to boyfriend. It goes well with his retro work-play-station. It's a good sturdy thing, it works like a dream - and luckily it's lovely to look at, especially that he doesn't have a lot of stapling to do.

More vintage finds same time next week!

I'm linking up to A Living Space to share my finds.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

craft it forward 2013

craft it forward 2013 challenge craft swap chain

So, how is everyone's first couple of weeks of the new year going?

Over here, it seems to be all about stepping outside one's comfort zone, and by that I don't just mean leaving home in the morning for the -10 outside...but more about that later.

First, let me Craft It Forward:

I will send a handmade mystery item to the first five people to comment on this post. Anyone at all can join in. If you are one of the first five, please email your full mailing address to me (you'll find my contact email in the top bar). 
If you like, after you comment you can post this on your own blog and create something for others!

I've already planned for crafting this month, yet when I saw this on Suki's blog I thought I shall have even more crafting! I also like sending and receiving nice surprises in the post, so just couldn't resist... Plus, after this challenging out-of-my-comfort-zone week, crafting will be very soothing.

So, about that. I am doing my 5-day work placement, and even though I didn't get the place I really wanted, it still feels like an invaluable experience. I'm in a cosy department store for six hours a day among beautiful home furnishings... Which would be totally dreamy, just like the buttersoft frottee towels or the kaleidoscope of Scandinavian bedlinens if it wasn't for my language-learning related growing pains. Now that keeps me on my toes all day long - and keeps those toes well outside my comfort zone.

It's a great experience throughout and I feel very privileged  but have to admit that being thrown into the deep end of retail in a busy foreign language environment, while being the foreigner can feel a tad bit overwhelming too. Well, patience, perseverance and positive thinking will see me through... with a good dose of quiet crafting to restore the balance!

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

white january

So here we go with the slate wiped clean again - first of Jan, the first day of the new beginnings...

A bit like a blank page to fill in with jots and scribbles of plans, hopes and resolutions.
Here are my four entries to match each little mark in the snow.

January will see me do much hard work in the crafting department. Finally those scraps and lengths in the fabric stash will become embodiments of ideas drawn out on paper.

January will see me do a 5-day work placement as part of my language course. On one hand, I'm dreading it, because my language skills are not really workplace level yet, but on the other hand I much hope I will get the placement at the place I applied to! I hope, I wish, I cross all my fingers!

January will see me getting my zen back - mentally, physically and emotionally. 2012 was spent preparing for, carrying out and then coping with a huge change. The change of scenery along with its exciting goodnesses also brought stresses, facing of fears and uncertainty. I feel it's now time to be de-stressed, detoxed and purged of negativity. I'm hoping for a re-orienting, purifying, focusing and re-balancing second half of the month.

January will see the blog carry on with its staple topics including thrifty finds and crafty musings, of course. Plus, as a new addition, I'll be taking part in the Colour Me Happy challenge each month, of which the first part is this post, simple white for January. See the other participants over here.

Have a Happy start to the New Year, everyone!

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