Sixth NotWork Bear Project

Arts & Crafts, Geek out!

The site voting period for the Worldcon in 2017 is almost up! Only ten days until the mail-in ballot deadline closes, and three weeks till the end of in-person voting at this year’s Worldcon, Sasquan.* My last contribution to the Helsinki in 2017 bid is a batch of coasters:

Bear Project Coaster w GlassI quite like them, even if I say so myself. 🙂 They were already put to use at Readercon 26:

Twitter Arisiacrystal Readercon26 Hki Breakfast

Readercon 26 breakfast sponsored by Helsinki in 2017. Crystal Huff / Helsinki in 2017 on Twitter.

My previous projects are hanging ornaments, rosemary sachets, book bags, bookmarks and small storage bins. (Find posts with the Helsinki in 2017 tag, or peek at my Helsinki in 2017 album in Flickr.)

Again, here’s the voting How-to:

Some info on Finnish SF/F, Finnish fandom or the Helsinki bid:

And a final collection of praise for Finnish cons:

“’It’s too far away.’

“Too far away from where? WorldCon hasn’t spent much time outside of North America (I’ll come back to that), but it has been held in Australia and Japan. They weren’t ‘too far away’. Helsinki has excellent global transport links.

“And hang on. Too far away? Really? I thought we were SF & fantasy fans. The whole point of these genres is that they take you far away. Here’s a chance to visit somewhere a little different, and quite special, with no spaceship or portal required. I promise you, once you come to Finland you’ll fall in love with the place.

“’Finland is too small for a big convention.’

“This one is easy because Finland has been hosting FinnCon for nearly 30 years. If you haven’t heard of it, this is one of the biggest European SF&F conventions, and is about the same size as a WorldCon. These guys have done this before. A lot.”

“The Finnish fans are second to none, and we had plenty of Swedes on hand as well, and a strong BWB contigent who taught them all how to party. It is events like this that remind me what fandom is all about — a celebration of science fiction and fantasy, of friendship and family.”

“[…]Finland has once again proven they know how to put on an amazing show. The organizers were friendly and efficient; everything worked; the atmosphere was cozy and intimate despite the fact that the con had 800 members. Helsinki in 2017 is the only way to go.”

“And I got the strongest sensation that these people, the people at the con, they are my people. For someone who’s never been to a con, I could liken it to a book fair: there are panels and interviews, some of them about literature, others about movies or comics or other SF/fantasy-related stuff. And there are vendors, and parties, just like at a book fair. Yet it is nothing like a book fair. Because there is no prestige. Everyone is on equal footing; we’re all fans. It’s not about selling stuff, It’s about celebrating stuff. And that makes all the difference.” [original emphasis]

“[…] holding a convention in conjunction with the [annual Sodankylä, Finland] Midnight Sun Film Festival. We’d have to persuade them to have an SF theme for the event, and get the Wachowskis as Guests of Honor, but it seems a suitably mad project. Finnish fandom can do anything, it seems.”

I voted for Helsinki in 2017, because I have every confidence that the team would put together a Finntastic con (pun so intended!) and because it’s high time to put more world into Worldcon.

*) The received-by deadline is Aug 10, 2015 for mail-in ballots. If you want to vote and are not attending Sasquan, now is the time!

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

Fifth NotWork Bear Project

Arts & Crafts, Geek out!

I prefer trying something different every time I make items to assist the Helsinki in 2017 Worldcon bid. Luckily I had just enough materials for two small storage bins:

Bear Cube Desk

My previous projects are hanging ornaments, rosemary sachets, book bags, and bookmarks. (Find posts with the Helsinki in 2017 tag, or peek at my Helsinki in 2017 album in Flickr.)

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

Fourth NotWork Bear Project

Arts & Crafts, Geek out!

I’m continuing to make items to assist the Helsinki in 2017 Worldcon bid with two kinds of bookmarks. One is your basic flat, long rectangle…

Bear Bookmarks White Turq

…and the other is round with an elastic band to loop around the book:

Bear Bookmarks Round w Book

Both, naturally, come with an appliqued polar bear from the bid logo. The round one has apparently already inspired other uses as well:

Bear Bookmark Pirate Arrrchipelacon

Unknown at Archipelacon; via Helsinki in 2017 on Twitter.

LOL! 😀

My previous projects are hanging ornaments, rosemary sachets and small book bags. (Find posts with the Helsinki in 2017 tag, or peek at my Helsinki in 2017 album in Flickr.)

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

Third NotWork Bear Project

Arts & Crafts, Geek out!

I’m continuing to make items to assist the Helsinki in 2017 Worldcon bid. Small felt book bags have joined ornaments and rosemary sachets:

Bear Project Bags WhiteBear Project Bag Turq Bk

The bags were really fun to make! More info on the event itself on bid website, and on the voting process on Crystal Huff’s blog.

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

Discoveries: Miniature Paintings by Lorraine Loot

Arts & Crafts

Another great painting-related find: Lorraine Loots paints incredibly detailed miniatures. Her subjects include a wide variety of items, from everday objects and furry animals to book covers and celestial objects. For example, these paintings of The Hobbit and the Eta Carina Nebula are simply astounding:

Instagram Lorraine Loots The Hobbit

The Hobbit. Lorraine Loots.

Instagram Lorraine Loots Eta Carina Nebula

Eta Carina Nebula. Lorraine Loots.

And a little rabbit for the bunny fans:

Instagram Lorraine Loots Bunny

Bunny. Lorraine Loots.

What a steady hand and keen eye she must have, plus loads of talent. I’mm very impressed! See Lorraine’s website and Instagram account for more!

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

WoW Style Easter Eggs

Arts & Crafts, Games

A thing I’ve just become aware of is painting your Easter eggs with WoW-themes. Twitter user TheFussypants painted these fabulous eggs:

Twitter TheFussypants WoW Eggs

TheFussypants on Twitter.

…and DeviantArt user Devilflower-chan made a set of five:

geeky_easter_eggs_by_devilflower_chan-d3esqzs

Devilflower-chan on DeviantArt.

Nice! I really like both sets. I don’t know about you, but I’d have a hard time cracking them for eating.

Favorite Handmade Xmas Presents from 2014

After Hours, Arts & Crafts, Fabrics & Materials

Happy New Year to each and everyone! I had such a relaxing Christmas and a great break in general. I hope that was also the case for you. It’s good to be back to a fresh start, though, with some fresh snow outdoors. I just love how everything looks so clean and clear and soft after snowfall.

Speaking of soft: Every year, I try to include something handmade in my Christmas presents. Here are some soft projects from 2014 that I most enjoyed making:

2014 Handmade Xmas Presents

Clockwise from top right: three nesting bins in the recipient’s favorite colors; simple gift wrapping with a hunter green envelope, a bunny paper clip and a recycled Christmas card cut down to size; freeform hand-embroidered rosemary sachets, cotton on cotton muslin; two nesting bins out of blue Marimekko poppy print fabric; and eight fabric coasters with felt innards and fringed edges, complete with a small custom storage bin in coordinating colors.

In this case, part of the pleasure came from being able to use for personal gain a fabric bin construction technique I developed for my business.

Any handmade gifts you either made or received that you’d like to share? Please do!

Recreating Childhood Tastes: Liverwurst Sandwich

Food & Drink, My Spaces

Recently I’ve been musing on the peculiarities of memory, and especially taste memory. Moving into another country is a full day job. Apart from the paperwork, which can be considerable, arranging for the physical move itself can take a toll. Then there’s the emotional cost and the inevitable culture shock. For me, one of the changes that struck me more than anticipated was food.

Thankfully, New England cooking resembles Nordic cooking quite a lot, just like the landscape. In most cases, I’ve been able to make do with the ingredients found here, or find substitutes. My most recent search for substitutes involves liver. I gather that many people don’t like the taste of liver. I can’t say it’s a great favorite of mine either, except for one particular brand of casserole and one particular brand of sausage I grew up with; those I quite like.

The other day I was thinking of the Finnish liverwurst I loved as a child. I especially like it on a slice of a particular type of whole grain sourdough ryebread with a thin slice or two of cheese. Although I haven’t had them in years, the thought stuck so insistently that I had to try and recreate the sandwich.

Childhood Tastes Liverwurst Sandwich

Exhibit A: My dorky breakfast from this morning – a Herodotus quote mug and geeky napkins by fellow Etsy seller Nicole Porter. The kind of ryebread I’m thinking of isn’t available in this area. Instead, I chose a slice of Wasa sourdough crispbread (Fin. näkkileipä; Swe knäckebröd), because Wasa does the sour rye taste very well without any modern humbug like caraway. The cheese is extra sharp cheddar, sliced thin with my trusty Swedish cheeseplain that I brought over with me, and the liverwurst is a brand of Braunschweiger from the supermarket.

It was close, but the taste was off enough to leave a nagging feeling; perhaps it was the bacon(!) in the sausage. The texture of this Braunschweiger is also much too coarse compared to the one I’m craving. I will need to continue the search for a liverwurst that’s closer to the Finnish brand I remember. I’m looking forward to sampling. 🙂

Any comfort foods you’d like to share?

Online Finds: Printable Marbled Paper

Arts & Crafts, Bits in Spaaace!, Colors

Kate at Mini-eco posted her printable marbled paper in four colors: pink, purple, green and turquoise.

Kate Mini-eco marbled-paper-2

Kate at Mini-eco.

Gorgeous. Can you imagine this as gift wrap for a small present? Thank you, Kate, for sharing!

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

Close Quarters: Medieval House in Modern Belgium

Colors, House Tours

Rooigem is a Belgian interior decoration and antiques company headed by Jean-Philippe Demeyer. Rooigem House was built in the Early Middle Ages as a moated courtyard house just outside Bruges. After being restored, it’s now both a home and place of business for Mr. Demeyer.

There is an abundance of incredible spaces. While the past is unquestionably there, it’s not overwhelming. Neither is the present, which asserts itself in the strong colors and bold motifs.

Tudor front door:

Rooigem tudorpoort

Tudor door. Jean-Philippe Demeyer.

Entrance porch:

Rooigem entrance porch

Jean-Philippe Demeyer.

The north room:

Rooigem Chinese room

Jean-Philippe Demeyer.

The orangerie:

Rooigem orangerie

Jean-Philippe Demeyer.

The hall:

Rooigem The_hall

Jean-Philippe Demeyer.

What makes these rooms stand out is the care with which Mr. Demeyer fills – or, strictly speaking, doesn’t fill – the areas: there is a pleasing amount of unclaimed space, rather like an art gallery. Additional oomph comes from the consistent use of massive historical and modern furnishings, fearless combination of old and new and, of course, the colors.

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