End of the Year Promotion 2018: Free US Shipping on Qualifying Orders

Ahem Ahem!

For a limited time, get free shipping on qualifying orders at Playfully Grownup Home on Etsy! This sale is a part of Etsy’s end of the year holiday sale drive.

PGH Etsy Screencap Oct 2018

The fine print: Get free shipping on orders of $25 or more simply by being your fantastic self – no codes or coupons. Sorry, U.S. addresses only.

This offer applies now through Monday December 10th, ending at 9 p.m. EST (when I close the shop for the season).

Visit Etsy for more fantastic deals from other Etsy sellers!

Shop Holiday Schedule for 2018

Ahem Ahem!

Here’s the 2018 holiday schedule for Playfully Grownup Home on Etsy.

Last recommended orders for Hanukkah should be placed by Monday November 5th, but no later than Monday 19th as I cannot guarantee USPS shipping speeds.

The very last orders of the year should preferably be placed by Monday December 3rd, but no later than Monday the 10th.

2018 Jan PGH Collage

I will close my shop for the season on Monday December 10th at 9 p.m. EST, and the last shipments will leave on Tuesday December 11th. That should leave enough time for the post office to deliver packages, even accounting for delays due to seasonal volume.

Shop to Go on Vacation Mode until January 2018

Ahem Ahem!

I will close my Etsy shop for the season tonight, Monday December 11, at 9 p.m. EST. There’s still time to get your last shopping done – and remember to use the discount code SOCIALMEDIABONUS2017 for 10% off your order!

2017 End of Year Collage

The last orders for this year will ship tomorrow, Tuesday 12, 2017. I will re-open Playfully Grownup Home on Etsy on Monday, January 08, 2018.

In the meantime, I will be working on various backend projects. I will also continue posting here, on Tumblr, Twitter and Flickr for a while before I start my end-of-year vacation in earnest.

My Finland

My Spaces, This Is Important

Today, my native country Finland turns 100 years. I speak of Finland on this blog now and then because it’s a huge part of my identity.

My Finland Summer Flags Naantali

Sadas itsenaisyyspaiva joulukuun 6 2017

Here, to celebrate our first centennial, are a few aspects of my Finland. All photos by me unless otherwise mentioned.

 

My Finland is woods and access to nature

Finland is among the most forested countries in the world, and people inhabiting the area have lived off of its forests for millenia. I really love woods. I would feel exposed without woods around me.

My Finland Central Finland Woods

My Finland Nuuksio Natl Park

In Finland, nature is incorporated into even the largest cities, and not only as manicured lawns or shrubberies. In addition to national parks, we have relatively untouched areas of nature almost within a stone’s throw from anywhere. And lakes – thousands of lakes.

 

My Finland invests in infrastructure and future-conscious planning

Multiple modes of transportation are an inseparable part of modern community planning. I’ve been biking to get myself from A to B as long as I can remember, and LOVE the bicycle paths. There’s even wintertime maintenance on them! I also love Finland’s clean, safe, up-to-date public transit. To wit: the metro system in the greater Helsinki region was just extended.

My Finland Bike Path

Flickr JElliott Moving in Helsinki

J.Elliott on Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

 

My Finland is multilingual and international

For centuries, Finland was stuck in between and fought over by two larger powers. We were first a part of the Swedish realm, then Russia took over. There’s no denying that Finland is a small country, population-wise, and a small market. That doesn’t stop us from connecting; on the contrary.

Finland is officially bilingual (Finnish and Swedish), and the Sami languages, Karelian, Romani and Finnish sign language have been legally recognized as minority languages. Apart from the newer minority languages, there are also older communities speaking Russian and Tatar, for example. Today, pupils learn the basics of a minimum of three languages besides their native one before they leave elementary school.

My Finland Turku Railway Sta Newspapers

I also happen to LOVE the Finnish language. It’s an agglutinative one, which means we can build massive words like mustaviinimarjamehutiivistepullonkorkissanikin (‘also in the cap of my bottle of black currant juice concentrate’), typically spelled as one despite the length. Finnish also employs vowel harmony, which means that for instance the back vowel a cannot appear in the same word as the front vowel ä – but because of agglutination, we can build a compound where both do appear. For example, there’s a (theoretical) word with only one consonant and seven vowels: hääyöaie (‘intention on wedding night’ – can’t really see anyone ever using that in everyday life).

 

My Finland Reads

Finns love reading, whether it’s newsprint, websites or physical books. Or Donald Duck!

My Finland Kirjasto in Helsinki

Finnish Reading March 2017

Several Finnish authors have achieved international fame.

Moomin Butt from Complete Comic Strip #1

 

My Finland designs beautiful things

Modern Finnish design has made a name for itself. Brands like Marimekko or Iittala and names like Alvar Aalto and Eero Saarinen are known internationally. I’m partial to jugend (art nouveau / national romanticism) and wood.

My Finland Natl Romantic Architecture

 

My Finland is playful

Finns don’t do just high design, we also allow our humor to blossom – check out, for instance, the huge Posankka statue in Turku that is a hybrid between a marzipan pig and a rubber duck.

My Finland Posankka

We also love games and playing. Recent Finnish game franchise hits include Max Payne and Angry Birds. I sometimes wonder if the speculative genre Finnish weird might have arisen from our tendency to play around with ideas and color outside the lines. Not to mention to innovate!

 

My Finland invests in technology

Almost as long as there’s been an administrative unit called Finland, it’s been poor. Only after the World Wars did we really start trying to improve our lot, and by and large have succeeded. From Fiskars (which started as a forge in 1649) to Nokia and Linux, to mention but a few examples, for a tiny country we’re doing darn well.

Legendary Pinking Shears

Flickr Museovirasto JOKALS4Vaa01-3 Leipomo vuonna 1998

The ruisleipä line in a bakery in Kotka from 1998. Photo by Lauri Sorvoja / JOKA via Museovirasto (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

 

My Finland is unabashedly geeky and nerdy

Since reading is a big pasttime in Finland and since we love our technology, it’s probably no surprise that we have an active SF/F / larp / anime community. Thanks to the efforts of the Finnish fan community plus supporters all around the world, we hosted Worldcon 75 in Helsinki this past August.

Eppu at Worldcon 75 in Helsinki Aug 2017

 

My Finland Loves Music

From traditional to tango, from classical to heavy metal – even the combination of the two! – music is everywhere in Finland. I’m not a terribly big fan of classical music, but Jean Sibelius is special. Here’s a version of his Finlandia Hymn by Cantus Vocal Emsemble, with lyrics (I believe) from a Unitarian Universalist hymn book:

The Finlandia Hymn by cantussings

The Eurovision Song Contest is popular, and various folk styles are making a comeback.

Pernilla Karlsson – “När Jag Blundar” (Finland) via escDjpo2012

Ulla Pirttijärvi is one of my favorite Sami vocalists. I’ve also grown to like the combination of traditional yoiks and contemporary music quite a lot.

Ulla Pirttijärvi ~ Lullaby via FamilyOfLightMember

 

My Finland sauna bathes

Sauna is the only truly wide-spread Finnish word. We have sauna often, sometimes multiple times a week, and many people still make their own sauna whisks.

Sauna Whisks for Sale

 

My Finland cares

Finland is not perfect, but by and large we take care of each other. Finland’s women gained the right to vote first in Europe, in 1906. In the first elections where women were allowed to vote they were also allowed ro run for office; we elected 19 female members of parliament that year. We’ve already had one female President. (High time for another!)

My Finland Bunnies

This year we legalized same-sex marriage and are experimenting with universal basic income. There’s still plenty to do, for instance abolishing the mandatory sterilization of trans people, reversing the trend of cutting from the care of the disabled and the old, trying to reduce domestic abuse and making sure the social security nets already in place hold.

My Finland in the Sky

In my Finland, there’s space to be who you are.

Early Start to Christmas: Food!

Food & Drink, My Spaces

Usually we’re not ready for Christmas by the time December rolls around, but this year has been different. We sung our first carol – in Finnish, for which I give full props to Husband! – at the end of October. I pulled out the ornaments before Thanksgiving, and Husband brought home the first Christmas foods just afterwards.

I really like my Finnish Christmas food. When Husband and I got married, we had to fit our respective customs together into a combination that included both of our favorites. Fortunately that turned out very easy, because his New England family traditions and my Finnish ones are quite similar. Instead of turkey and cranberry, we make ham and prunes with various sides. They tend to vary from year to year, but always include some form of potato. 🙂

And the desserts! We decided to include a small amount of a wide variety, so there’s space for both traditions. When I can’t get Finnish gingerbread cookies, I’ll choose the Swedish brand Annas pepparkakor. We’re also stuffing ourself with clementines.

Xmas Foods Annas pepparkakor

Xmas Foods Clementines

I’ve really grown to like eggnog a lot. Due to my lactose intolerance, we tend to look for non-dairy alternatives, though. This new-to-us nog turned out pretty yummy.

Xmas Foods Non-Dairy Nog

I like the fact that this one is only lightly sweetened – the only place I prefer lots of sugar is in my alcohol – but I felt it lacked some creaminess. Quite nice, however, especially with a splash of vanilla soy milk.

I’m also looking forward to making and eating joulutortut and rice porridge (rice pudding).

Joulutorttu

Christmas Rice Porridge

What are your favorite end-of-year holiday foods?

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Last Chance for 20% off: Sale Ends Tomorrow

Ahem Ahem!

Reminder: the Playfully Grownup Home end of year 2017 sale ends tomorrow, December 01, 2017, at 11:59 p.m. EST.

2017 End of Year Basket

There is still time to get 20% off everything. No minimum orders, limits, codes or coupons to qualify.

Dragon Personal Safety Reflector RF008d

This sale is a part of Etsy‘s end of the year holiday sale drive. Visit Etsy for more fantastic deals from other Etsy sellers!

Hanger Cover HC008a

In addition to the general sale, I’m offering a bonus discount to my social media followers: get an extra 10% off from my shop with the code SOCIALMEDIABONUS2017.

This coupon code is valid longer than the sale – until Monday December 11th, 2017, 9 p.m. EST. No minimum orders or limits to qualify, either.

End of the Year Holiday Sale 2017!

Ahem Ahem!

Starting today, for a limited time, get 20% off at the Playfully Grownup Home shop! This sale is a part of Etsy‘s end of the year holiday sale drive.

2017 End of Year Candle

Grab a few keychains for stuffing your stockings. Get a jump on organizing for the new year with mini storage cubes, hanger covers or book bags. Stay fresh by stashing a lavender sachet in your sock drawer. Or just endulge yourself with a small piece of handmade wall art or a yoga mat bag.

2017 End of Year Collage

The Playfully Grownup Home end of the year 2017 sale runs from Monday November 20th to Friday December 1st. Get 20% off simply by being your fantastic self – no minimum orders, limits, codes or coupons.

In addition to the general sale, I’m offering a bonus discount to my social media followers: get an extra 10% off from my shop with the code SOCIALMEDIABONUS2017. This coupon code is valid longer than the sale – until Monday December 11th, 2017, 9 p.m. EST. (No minimum orders or limits to qualify, either.)

Mini Storage Cube RC001d

Visit Etsy for more fantastic deals from other Etsy sellers, and remember to get your PGH orders in before 9 p.m. EST on Monday December 11th at the very latest!

Shop Holiday Schedule for 2017

Ahem Ahem!

It may be hard to believe, but we’ve crossed into November already! Here’s the 2017 holiday schedule for Playfully Grownup Home on Etsy.

Last orders of the year should preferably be placed by Monday December 4th, but no later than Monday the 11th.

PGH Etsy Screencap Oct 2017

I will close my shop for the season on Monday December 11th at 9 p.m. EST, and the last shipments will leave on Tuesday December 12th. That should leave enough time for the post office to deliver packages, even accounting for delays due to seasonal volume.

Shop to Go on Vacation Mode until January 2017

Ahem Ahem!

I will close my Etsy shop for the season tonight, Thursday December 8th, at 9 p.m. EST. Any last orders for this year will ship tomorrow, Friday 9th.

Packing an Order

In the meantime, I will continue posting on this blog, Tumblr, Twitter and Flickr for another week.

After an unfortunately health-issue laden fall, I’ll be undergoing an operation during my end-of-year break. (Good thoughts my way would be very much appreciated!) Should the surgery and my recovery go as expected, I will re-open on Monday January 9th, 2017, as usual.

Free Printable Heart Gift Tags

Arts & Crafts, Bits in Spaaace!, DIY

This year, I’m attempting to organize everything holiday-related well in advance. (The operative word being “attempting.” Eek – it’s six weeks to Christmas!)

I made these minimalist gift tags inspired by my Nordic roots. And I made them specifically to share with you – read on for the link to download yours!

Red Xstitch Heart Gift Tag on Box

Heart is a popular Christmastime ornament in the Nordic countries, and not reserved just for Valentine’s Day. I made the cross stitch heart and interlaced tag outline with a photo editor.

Red Xstitch Heart Gift Tags 2016

Then I trimmed them into rectangles, but you can either cut along the outline or create whichever shape you prefer.

Red Xstitch Heart Gift Tags2 2016

Download as .pdf (9 per letter-sized sheet; free for personal use only).

Enjoy!