My Worldcon 75 Thank You Tweets

Thumbs Up

Since the Twitter search function officially stinks, I’m collecting my Worldcon 75 commentary in a blog format for better archiving.

First, I wrote a series of initial tweets thanking just some of the people building…

…and/or working at the con.

…and/or putting together wonderful panels.

Last but certainly not the least:

Back on U.S. Soil

Behind the Scenes, My Spaces

We’ve returned from a great trip to Finland and Worldcon 75.

Suitcase w Fin Flag Luggage Tag

I’m not only jetlagged, I’m exhausted from meeting so many people – to borrow a word from Finnish, I’m rag tired, meaning ‘limp-as-a-wrung-rag tired’ (rättiväsynyt). I suppose the closest equivalent in English is bone tired, but it feels like I don’t have the bones left for that!

I confess the only way for me to get through the last days of the con was to fake it in a grand way:

Catching Fire Eyes Bright Chins up Smiles on

Screencap from the movie Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

“Eyes bright. Chins up. Smiles on.”

I’m not an extreme introvert for nothing! 🙂 I loved the trip nevertheless. 😀

Now it’s nice to be home. After settling back to my routines, I’m looking forward to getting back to work!

I’ll open my shop again on Monday (August 21). See you then!

Etsy Shop on Break: Off to Worldcon 75!

Ahem Ahem!, Geek out!

Since contributing to the Helsinki in 2017 campaign to get Worldcon to Finland, I haven’t spoken much about Worldcon 75 here; my W75 Kermit-flailing has taken place at my hobby blog.

Well, the time has come. We’re about to set off to Helsinki!

My August 2017 Desk Calendar W75

The Playfully Grownup Home Etsy shop is in vacation mode. I will make it available again on Monday, August 21, 2017.

I’m very, very excited! Not only do I get to visit friends and relations, I get to hang out with my geeky friends and hopefully make new ones.

In the meanwhile, hope to see you in Helsinki – but if not, I hope you enjoy your August!

Iloista vappua! Glad första maj! Happy May Day!

After Hours

Today, Finland celebrates vappu (Swedish: valborg) or May Day to mark the end of winter and to welcome spring and summer. Many people have the day off. Celebration plans often include making sima (quick mead), funnel cakes or donuts, and parties the night before. On May Day itself, people spend time outside, either having a picnic, possibly joining a parade, or just hanging out around town, eating street food and buying streamers and balloons.

Flickr e_e_v_i Vappu ja sima-8452

Vappu ja sima-8452 by e_e_v_i on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Since moving to the U.S., I haven’t participated in vappu celebration physically. In spirit, however, May the first continues to hold a special meaning for me: I love spring, the return of light and re-awakening of nature.

Iloista vappua! Glad första maj! Happy May Day!

Familiar Name in DIY Glitter Wall Art

Arts & Crafts, DIY, Stunt Double

For me it’s rare to see my name anywhere public, because even in Finland it’s not a common one. No surprise, then, that my eye got caught by this DIY nursery glitter wall art project by a fellow Finn:


Jutta Rikola at Kootut murut.

From a tutorial by Jutta Rikola at Kootut murut.

Great project, plus some nostalgia for me, looking at the Finnish children’s books on the shelf.

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

Jean Sibelius Day

My Spaces

Jean Sibelius (1865–1957) is the most well-known of Finnish classical composers. Today is a public flag day in Finland (Jean Sibeliuksen päivä), commemorating Sibelius and Finnish music.

Finlandia (and especially the Finlandia Hymn part) is perhaps the most famous of his compositions. The Liverpool Philharmonic’s version is lovely:

Jean Sibelius, Finlandia performed by Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Vasily Petrenko by Liverpool Philharmonic

Here’s a version of the Finlandia Hymn by Cantus Vocal Emsemble, with lyrics (I believe) from a Unitarian Universalist hymn book:

The Finlandia Hymn by cantussings

While Finlandia and the Finlandia Hymn are incredibly popular, they are by no means alone. I’m very fond of this intermezzo from his Karelia suite, for example:

Jean Sibelius: Karelia – Intermezzo I from legrandchene

I’ve been playing my Sibelius all morning while working. Hyvää Jean Sibeliuksen päivää!

Moomins at Paris Fashion Week, Fall 2016

Design & Designers, Fabrics & Materials

Moomin is one of the most widely known Finnish brands. It’s not what comes to mind when talking about high fashion, though.

The spring/summer17 collection from AALTO, a fashion brand by Finnish designer Tuomas Merikoski, did the previously unthinkable and introduced Moomins at Paris Fashion Week in September 2016. I only just discovered it, and it’s pretty exciting!

The Official Moomin Site AALTO-x-Moomin-Featured-960x502

AALTO International via The Official Moomin Site.

The collection called Uusi Fantasia (New Fantasy) takes illustrations from a 1977 picture book by author and artist Tove Jansson (Sw. Den farliga resan, Fin. Vaarallinen matka, Engl. The Dangerous Journey).

Wikipedia Tove Jansson 1st ed Den farliga resan Dangerous_journey

Tove Jansson: Den farliga resan (The Dangerous Journey), 1st edition cover. Via Wikipedia.

According to Helsingin Sanomat, the collection mixes the Moomin world with grunge ideology, among others, and is unique in that illustrations from the whole work, not just part, were licensed for it. Pieces include for instance pantsuits, dresses, t-shirts, jackets, knits and these incredible hand-embroidered Too-Ticky shoes:


Too-Ticky shoes. AALTO International via The Official Moomin Site.

And look at the Moomin fabric:

Fashion Network AALTO International ss17 Moomin Fabric Detail

AALTO International via Fashion Network. Detail.

Looks like a brocade weave. Gorgeous – and fun! – in any case.

I don’t really follow fashion (except accidentally), but even I can tell that this collection has some neat details. See more photos at or Fashion Network; or read the report at The Official Moomin Site.

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

Blast from the Past: Souvenir from the First Ropecon

Geek out!, My Spaces

Souvenir from the very first Ropecon, the largest Finnish role-playing con:

Signed Card Game Card as Bookmark

I wasn’t there myself, but friends kindly brought for me this card signed by the guest of honor, Steve Jackson. It’s a blank card for the card game Hacker that I made into a bookmark.

I have been to many of the early cons, but the later ones (after year 2000) only on and off. (Kinda difficult when you live an ocean away.) It’s really nice to know that it’s still going, though. I suppose it makes Ropecon into a nostalgic event for me. 🙂

Online Finds: Himmeli Video Tutorials

Geek out!

The world is marvelously international these days. Evidence A: Magdalena Franco at Unleash Creative in Australia made a video tutorial of how to make three simple Finnish himmeli-style hanging straw ornaments:

Himmeli 3 ways – Tutorial for creating geometric hanging decorations using straws by Unleash Creative

Such lovely versions. I especially like her use of bright colors, and the tassels are a nice addition. I’ve used beads myself. (If you prefer voice instructions with your video, this tutorial by HGTV Handmade is pretty good.)

Magdalena’s himmeli number 2, an octahedron, is what I’m used to thinking as the himmeli shape. It’s used as a building block in making the large, traditional himmelis like this one from a 1909 encyclopedia:

Bonsdorff 1909 Tietosanakirja p270 himmeli

Wäinö Waldemar Bonsdorff: Tietosanakirja, 1909, p. 270. Via University of Toronto / Internet Archive Book Images on Flickr.

(I don’t know what the things hanging down from the bottom corners are. Strips of fabric? Ribbons?)

Himmeli shapes can also vary a lot and be very ornate like the one below photographed by sparkleice on Flickr:

Flickr sparkleice himmeli

Himmeli by sparkleice on Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

The name himmeli is based on the Germanic word himmel (heaven). They were originally made to ensure a good harvest – the bigger, the better – but turned into Christmas ornaments.

Nowadays himmelis aren’t used just at Christmastime, though. For example, I’ve seen pictures of colorful himmelis used as decoration for a summer patio or deck. I leave mine out in the front hall year-round as a lovely reminder of my roots. There are also all sorts of wonderful adaptations, like this diamond himmeli from Kotivinkki magazine:

Kotivinkki joulukuu 2012 salmiakkihimmeli

Project by Anne Ventelä based on the book Himmeli by Eija Koski (Maahenki, 2012); photo by Hanna-Kaisa Hämäläinen. Kotivinkki joulukuu 2012 /

Looks like himmeli (along sauna) is on its way to becoming one of the very few Finnish words known around the world. The ornaments themselves certainly deserve to be more widely known.

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

Eurovision Song Contest Leads to Translation Spree

DIY, Geek out!, Stunt Double

Last weekend’s Eurovision Song Contest got me to do two things I’ve been putting off too long: I’ve updated my Eurovision playlists on YouTube, and started on refreshing my Swedish skills. Today I’ll talk about the latter in light of the former. But first, the song that combines the two.

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

Eurovision 2012 contestant from Finland; written and composed by Jonas Karlsson, performed by Pernilla Karlsson