Tuesday, July 26, 2011

chihuly exhibit

note to self: waiting until the second to last week to visit an exhibit before it closes is a bad idea.

second note to self:  waiting until the second to last week to visit an exhibit before it closes is a bad idea, especially when temperatures in the northeast have been 100+ and everyone in town is looking for indoor entertainment (with a/c).

this past weekend we decided to finally see the chihuly exhibit at the boston museum of fine arts.  we found ourselves in lines.  lots of lines. line to get into the parking lot.   line to get into the museum to buy tickets.  line to get a snack.  line to get into the actual chihuly exhibit.

but once we made it, we were pulled into the world of dale chihuly's through the looking glass exhibit.  his work was impressively grand and whimsical.  i have never seen glasswork quite like it.  

apparently inspiration for some of his pieces was drawn from a trip he took to finland in 1995 -- such as the piece above, called ikebana boat.  unfortunately, i did not bring my baby dslr.  but how amazing is that boat!?

a small part of one of his "chandeliers".  these hung high up on the ceiling and were many feet long.


how in the world they managed to move and reconstruct all these pieces without damaging them is beyond me.  the insurance on his work must be incredibly high.   

despite all the lining, it was a nice way to spend an uncomfortably hot afternoon.  how do you like to escape the heat?   

Sunday, July 17, 2011

the town of fiskars

crafters, gardeners, or even those that have a particular affection for scissors (and maybe knives) may be familiar with the brand fiskars.  they make a wide range of products for the aforementioned group, but probably few realize that not only is it a finnish company, it is also named after the town of fiskars in finland.  its' history reaches as far back as 1649, where the company began by manufacturing a variety of iron products.  since then, it has changed hands several times evolved considerably into the international company it is now.

today, fiskars is a cute little artisan town, with cafes, restaurants, and many shops featuring unique artisan products.   you can also visit several artisan workshops, such as a blacksmith and a glass blowing studio.   it is an easy day trip, only about an hour and a half drive from helsinki.   this was my third trip to the town, and it was a chilly, cloudy day- a nice respite from the sunny, semi-hot days we had been experiencing.   between and after lunch and a coffee break, we leisurely perused familiar shops, studios, and an art exhibit.

i have horns.

i bought a 5 euro book about fiskar's history, and learned some interesting information about their signature orange handled scissors.  apparently, the color was chosen quite by accident.  the company had recently produced another product and was left with an excess of orange pigment, which was then used as a prototype for the scissors.   later the color was put to a vote, and the orange color was here to stay.  
good choice, i think, since orange is my favorite color!  

do you use fiskars products?  did you know that it was named after a finnish town?
did you also know that the company nokia was named after the town of nokia?

Saturday, July 9, 2011

marimekko unikko skirt

i have a tendency to buy multiples of clothing and shoes i am particularly fond of.  after making my marimekko samovaari elastic waist skirt (which, btw, had a dye-wash mini disaster... a story for another day), i thought it'd be nice to have two.  i whipped up one using marimekko unikko fabric and black elastic before we left for our trip to finland.  it seems so fitting to flounce around town and the cottage (as pictured here) in such a nationally recognized fabric.  for those of you unfamiliar with this pattern, it has been in print in different color and size variations since the 50s.  

these photos were taken in the woods by the family cottage (in finland), and is a very typical scene in finnish nature. i am always particularly struck by the beauty of birch trees.  i think they may very well be my favorite type of tree. 

so tall and sleek! it's difficult to say whether the finnish countryside is most beautiful at the height of summer or in the dead of winter... although i'd choose the summer temperatures over the winter in a heartbeat.  

Sunday, July 3, 2011

land of the midnight sun

there is something nearly magical about finnish summer.  the hours of daylight linger on and on, never quite fading in some parts of the country, even in the dead of the night.    here, i am standing at midnight, on the pier of the family cottage.   it is the perfect place for quiet introspection, for joyful reflections, or melancholy brooding.


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