Month: December 2009

Authentic Finnish Christmas

Posted by – December 27, 2009

At the Christmas Eve,  lot of snow, rice porridge as breakfast,  declaration of the Christmas Peace on the tv, traditional Christmas dinner ,  …

©Ruth Landesa. Joulutortut

and when we were about to start with the traditional Christmas desserts and the chocolates we bought in Porvoo last Sunday, an absolutely unexpected  Joulupukki (Santa) visited us and brought lots of gifts for all … It was such a wonderful surprise!!!

Thanks Tom!!!!  Mirja and Marko!!!

We missed some of the Christmas Finnish traditions I love, as visiting the cemetery or the Christams sauna, but…. next year.


Rauhallista Joulua!

Posted by – December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas!

© Ruth Landesa. Drawing for Christmas.

Finnish design at the Christmas city of Finland – Turku

Posted by – December 23, 2009

Turku (Åbo in Swedish) former capital of Finland, is considered the  Christmas city of Finland . The city offers hundreds of events for everyone for six weeks.

I was there  two years ago.

Christmas market at the Old Great Square, Turku, Finland.Dec 2006.. no snow .

The Christmas market at the Old Great Square is wonderful, for everyone: music, theatre, pony riding, handicrafs and Christmas delicacies: Glöggi, smoked salmon, bakery  and, of course, Joulupukki (Santa).

This year, on top of the traditional Christmas events, it has been organized the “Turku Design Now!” where some of the design enterprises based in Turku had their products for sale : Tonfisk Design, Kotona Design, Punainen Norsu, Klo Design, Woodoo Design, Kui Design, Miia Liesegang, Kipikude, Woodloop, Olga Sjöroos, Terraviiva, Art Cafe, Kiertokulku.

And is in Turku where takes place the declaration of Christmas Peace.

Photos here.


Posted by – December 22, 2009

The topics of this weekend: cold weather and snow. On Sunday not so cold (during some days before around – 20 °C) but really a lot of snow which made driving a car quite a challenge not to mention to clean it first from the thick snow.

On Sunday, in a good company, I visited Porvoo (Borgå, in Swedish) as I’m used to do during Christmas time.

© Ruth Landesa.Shop window, historic centre Porvoo, Finland.

We took a good stroll through the historic center, we visited the Christmas market etc.

There is a lot of interesting things: fashion, decoration, jewellery, handicrafts, design items…

One of the windows that is striking in this period is undoubtedly that of the toy store, famous for doll houses, and no wonder, toys are different! mostly handmade.

© Ruth Landesa. Shop window Christmas styled ,toy store at historic centre Porvoo, Finland.

After the walk, lunch at Old Town .. cafe and restaurant which means you can eat snack or dish .. in any case they offer simple dishes, soup, salads, pasta .. and the prices are not too expensive.

The mood is relaxed. A pity though that they changed the decor .. before for my taste it was more charming.

© Ruth Landesa. Café-restaurant Old Town, historic centre Porvoo, Finland.

In front of Old Town.. an obligatory stop at chocolate and candy store Brunberg and in  Pieni Suklaatehdas, small chocolaterie near the Chatedral.

coffee and dessert and coffee roasting,  Porvoon Paahtimo located in an old brick warehouse by the River. The view from the terrace or barge moored to it is fantastic. Inside, the candlelight creates a comfortable atmosphere. One can, of course, buy coffee.

And so on. The rather complicated way back home … the storm was terrible!

The next visit will be for skiing in Porvoo!

Porvoo, more photos here.

Even colder…

Posted by – December 21, 2009

Friday and Saturday… -20° C… everything frozen!!

Well, almost everything…

©Ruth Landesa. Loviisa, Finland. Dec 2009
©Ruth Landesa. Loviisa, Finland. Dec 2009

©Ruth Landesa. Loviisa, Finland. Dec 2009

Wonderful Finnish winter days

Posted by – December 21, 2009

All last week, was cold (around -15° C) and sunny… just wonderful!

©Ruth Landesa. Loviisa, Finland. Dec 2009.

©Ruth Landesa. Loviisa, Finland. Dec 2009.

©Ruth Landesa. Loviisa, Finland. Dec 2009.

Finnish Christmas decoration for visitors

Posted by – December 18, 2009


It’s always nice to visit Olga y Markku ..

Last Sunday, after visiting Tuula,  I decided to go there, they opened their doors to the visitors for the day, so I was not alone… In fact it was really nice to meet some other common friends there.

Their house is wonderful, as they are. It’ s and old traditional Finnish wooden house restored by them.


Those days, of course with some  Christmas  decorations.. I love those windows ones..

The place where the house is locate is fantastic.. In spring one of the more beautiful gardens you can see with lots roses and other kind of flowers and plants..


When I was just about to leave.. a peculiar guest arrived to take a coffee and some delicious bakery prepared by Olga… ” the captain” as we friendly called him.


The house will be open next weekend 19th-20th. More information about Loviisa’ s events here.

Astonishing weather..

Posted by – December 17, 2009

Santa Lucia brought us some cold.

©Ruth Landesa Loviisa, Finland.

We have been all week with temperatures around  -15 °C.. Fortunately.. not windy!!….

©Ruth Landesa. Loviisa, Finland.

The sun is shining!!!One month, maybe more, since last time we saw it.

©Ruth Landesa. Loviisa, Finland.

And.. all happy! … . When you cross someone.. he says:

- Oh.. what a nice weather, isn’t it?

And you reply or, I would better say , you try to.. because after a while outside, your cheeks are frozen and is not so easy to speak:

- Yes, very nice! but a little cold… isn’ t it?

©Ruth Landesa. Loviisa, Finland.

Well .. if you look at the temperatures in the North, they have reached  -30 °C, here the temperature is just great!!!

Anyway.. is true that is nice to go out and enjoy the nature and it’ s beautiful images changing everyday. The freezing process is amazing.

You just need to wear the right clothes.

Loviisa, Christmas Houses

Posted by – December 14, 2009

On Sunday, Santa Lucia’s day,  was a really dark day. (These days are the shortest of the year.. and if you add some clouds ….) The temperature was not too low, just -1°C  but a little wind made it cold.

As planned, I went to the market place and  then after to visit a couple of houses , my friend’s, that were open to visitors for the day.

Riemumaisterin Huvila, Loviisa, Finland

First I visited Tuula’s. It’ s always nice to meet her..The house, an old Finnish traditional wooden house, is wonderful. Some beautiful photos were published last year by the Finnish interior decoration magazine  Avotakka. These ” opening days”  it’s possible to sit in her living room for a coffee and some delicious bakery.

I left some “recycled decorations“  for the shop and I went to my good friends Olga and Markku’s place.

It was getting colder..  at night the temperature was -9°C!!!!

(The house will be open next weekend 19th-20th. More information about Loviisa’ s events here).


Cat exhibition in Palokunnantalo (Itäinen Tullikatu 17) 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Independence Day

II advent concert with Finnish music by the Music Institute in the Loviisa church (Brandensteininkatu 2) at 4 p.m.

Loviisa Christmas: Christmas Market at the market square 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.

III Advent Concert in the Loviisa church (Brandensteininkatu 2) at 7 p.m.

Loviisa Christmas: Christmas Market at Laivasilta 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Loviisa Christmas: Traditional Christmas Homes open for public 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Addresses: Mariankatu 7, Köydenpunojantie 8, Mariankatu 2 C, Pitkäkuja 12, Kuhlefeltinkatu 8, Kalliomäentie 21 (Pernaja Skinnarby)

Christmas Market at Malmgård Manor in Malmgård, Pernaja (Malmgård 47) 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Loviisa Orthodox Church open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. (Itäinen Tullikatu 17, 2nd floor)

Guided tours in Finnish, Swedish and Russian, start from the Loviisa market square beside the Christmas tree at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Loviisa church open 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Christmas concert in the church at 6 p.m. (Brandensteininkatu 2)

Bonga Goes Christmas, Bonga Castle open 12 noon -  4 p.m. (Linnankuja 1)

Loviisa church open 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Swedish mass at 10 a.m. Finnish mass at 12 noon.

Guided tours in Finnish, Swedish and Russian, start from Laivasilta beside the Maritime Museum at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Lotown Free Tone: “A Meeting with Photography and Live Music”, Free Okapi’s concert and Janne Lehtinen’s photography at Kino Marilyn (Kuningattarenkatu 17) at 3 p.m.

Loviisa Christmas: St. Lucia festivities and parade at the market square at 6 p.m. and in the Loviisa church after the parade (Brandensteininkatu 2)

The most beautiful Swedish Christmas carols in the Loviisa church (Brandensteininkatu 2)  at 6 p.m.

The most beautiful Finnish Christmas carols for children and families with the church choir in the Loviisa church (Brandensteininkatu 2)  at 6 p.m.


Christmas in Loviisa, Finland

Posted by – December 13, 2009

I have been yesterday visiting the traditional Christmas market in Loviisa. It will be also open today and next weekend.
Pony riding,  delicious local products.

Sinappi ,  Finnish mustard jars.

(Above mustard jars, I presume very strong one but perfect for the traditional ham we take at Christmas Eve)

Lots of handicrafts

(“baskets” to carry and store wooden at home or at sauna).

Christmas  trees, barbecue, green pea soup (hernekeitto)

Laivasilta, Loviisa, Finland.

Joulupukki, Loviisa, Finland

“lots” of visitors and,  of course, a very special one, Santa!, Joulupukki in Finnish , Julgubben in Swedish. (In Loviisa we use the two official languages of Finland). I was just talking to him for a while.. but I think that I need to do it again next weekend… there are a couple of things…

When I couldn’t feel my fingers anymore (I hope you all love the photos, I was  just freezing) I came back home to dress me up for a Pikkujoulu party with some friends at Saltbodan, open just for this occasion. It was just perfect!!.

Today I need to go back to the Christmas market to buy some Pontikkasinappi (I din’t have any money with me yesterday), I would like to take a coffee in one of the 5  private wooden houses opened to visitors during the weekend (but I still don’ t know if I’m visiting my friends or will I be exploring new places and meeting new people) and I’m also planning to go to the market place where we celebrate Santa Lucia’ s day

Let’ s see…

A surprising day

Posted by – December 12, 2009

Today was a good day:

-Not too cold , little bit snow. Just perfect to enjoy and breath fresh!

-I have finished what I think is the last piece this year.

It will be soon updated in my shop.

Handpainted wooden pendant.

-Some packing done,

© Ruth Landesa.

-Mirja and I have our “little Christmas decorations made from recycled materials ready for tomorrow.. An important day at Loviisa!,


© Ruth Landesa. ” Recycled” by Mirja Backmansson.

-I had a great surprise (thanks Sonia!!!). Decopeques has blogged about me. Thanks Patricia!!,

- and my pizza……….. well, it was a little bit overcooked


Posted by – December 10, 2009

I love this photo I took last week…


© 2009 Ruth Landesa. Loviisa, Finland.

little Christmas decorations made from recycled materials

Posted by – December 8, 2009

Last week my dear friend Mirja Backmansson and I have improvised a small workshop to make, with our recycled materials,  decorative ribbons for the Christmas packages.

Just… fun,  creative and relaxing!!!

Hand painted paper flower


Our small recycled will be on sale the next two weekends at Felini’s place, one of the magnificent centuries-old wooden houses that is open to visitors these days …


A shame, anyway,  that  Anna Huhta‘ s Christmas shop of last year will not be open this one. There,  some of the artisans, artists, writers and designers  who live or work in Loviisa, we had our woks to sell. It was wonderful!. I’m glad, however, that it’s due to a greater success for her.



© 2009 Ruth Landesa. Short necklace .Hand painted wooden pendant.


Hanna Konola

Posted by – December 4, 2009

Some days ago I  accidentally found  Hanna Konola’s works:

Simply, clearly and “colorfully”  wonderful!!. Not to miss…


Houses 1′ drawing, 2009. Image courtesy Hanna Konola

‘Mountains’   drawing, 2009.Image courtesy Hanna Konola

No title..Illustration for  Trendi magazine / 2007. Image courtesy Hanna Konola

I will come back, for sure, with more about   drawings and illustrations.


At least the moon shines

Posted by – December 3, 2009


today 16.30hrs. Finland
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