parting gifts

partinggiftswhen i decided to accept the offer of being transferred to another workplace at the end of last year, i was excited, but also nervous of what would become of me. will i like the new place? i mean, REALLY like it, that i would stay there for as long as i stayed at my old workplace (5,5 years) or even longer? did i make the right decision?

and then there were the colleagues. they were the first colleagues i have ever had here in Finland, some of them i’ve worked with for as long as i’ve worked at my old workplace. will i be able to make as good friends with my new colleagues as i did back there?

i thought it would be an easy thing to just pack my stuffs from the old workplace and go to the new one. but when one by one my old colleagues started to give me parting gifts, i began feeling that maybe it wasn’t so easy after all.

it started with chocolates, because it was nearing the Christmas time anyway, and usually we would give one another some chocolate as a friendly gesture. and then the next thing i knew, they started giving me other things: a Moomin Christmas mug, candles (so many of them, and yet we’ve used up most of them that i couldn’t even take pics of them anymore), earring (just one of a pair, because she knows i love asymmetrical/unidentical things), shopping bag with bikes pattern (because she said she got reminded of me when she saw it, since i only learned how to bike about 1,5 years ago), a wooden box with ceramic decoration, Melli Mello zebra napkins (because i told her that the design matches our black/white-themed interior) and tealight candle holders.

i’ve always wanted a Moomin mug! and i’ve always loved Iittala design (the tealight candle holders)! these gifts were all just perfect, and they’re all especially for me! :’) i wanted to cry. thank you again, all of you, dearest colleagues! i’ll always remember you when i see these things in my house. 🙂

after all these, it felt like Christmas came early for me, so much that my husband & i decided not to give each other any gifts last year. instead, we got ourselves a little something to add to our new house.

owngift2the classic paperdoll was a greeting card i got for one of my parting gifts. i just had to show it, since it’s SO ME! i’m crazy about paperdolls! but anyway, the Christmas present we got for our house was the soft fluffy white thing underneath the paperdoll & my feet (= that pink/black stripey woolly thing).

owngiftit’s a very nice carpet that goes with our living room. FYI, we’ve always only had the kind of carpets that aren’t hairy (?), and they usually have some kind of graphic/pattern. now we decided to “grow up” a bit and get a solid-coloured one, and hairy. and we love it! it’s so soft that all we want to do is just brush it with our feet (yeah, we’re kinda silly like that).

now it’s been about 2 months that i’ve worked at my new workplace. it’s been going OK, though i still have quite a bit to learn & some things still need getting used to. sometimes i get down at work because of something silly, but then i would remember the parting words from my old colleagues and get positive again by thinking that one day, i will be as good as i was in the old place. one day, my new colleagues will also be my “old” colleagues, and they too will mean a lot to me like my old colleagues did.

yesterday was the end of my winter holiday. and to say goodbye to the holiday, my husband & i also got some “parting gifts” of our own!

booksahem, looks like Christmas came late after all. :p

we blame it on the crazy sale at Akateeminen bookstore. it began last Friday, we’ve just spent a day in the city and decided to stroll over to the bookstore, thinking we would flip through some magazines & books just for fun. (yes, we’re geeks, going to bookstores is our fave pastimes.) and then i “accidentally” found The Casual Vacancy hardcover book with a 5€ price tag. excuse me?? 5 euros?? and i haven’t read the book. so, quickly i went to the cashier… and was almost flabbergasted when i only needed to pay 3€. it turns out that on top of already discounted prices, they added another 40% discount.

so we went there again yesterday and went all out. the Dog Breed book was something for both of us, and the final price was 8.94€. now we’ll have no problem identifying dogs anymore! 😀 the Contemporary Fashion Design and the 100 Years of Menswear books are for me, which costed 5.94€ & 7.14€ respectively. the Computer and the Aircraft books are for him, priced at 11.94€ & 5.94€ respectively. and i mean, these are all thick books with hardcovers, except for the fashion books. and they are all published circa 2012-2013, so yes, they’re NEW new. —> !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

we’ve never gone this crazy before for books, but it was definitely worth it! (the sale is still going on until this Friday, do check it out! unfortunately during the sale season, they don’t ship anywhere outside Finland, but for Finnish residents, the shipping fee is free.)

so bye bye holidays! thank you for the great fun! see you again in the summer!

first and latest

the first post of the year took me 22 days. well, i’ve been busy. so what’s the latest news?

nothing much, really. as i said, i’ve been quite busy at work up till last week… and then it was time for my winter holiday. from the 1,5 weeks of it, i’ve now used 1 full week for:

-tracing a sewing pattern. that’s right, ‘a’, as in, singular. it doesn’t usually take that long for me to trace a sewing pattern (from the paper to the fabric, in this case), but this particular project has quite a lot of pieces that i’m not even sure now if i’ll ever finish sewing it. in fact, the tracing made me so tired already that i haven’t even started sewing it after that. har har.

-cleaning our apartment, as well as doing other house chores. no lazying around here! that also serves as my excuse as to why i haven’t started sewing yet. :p

-having TV Series/movie-marathons on Netflix. don’t you just love Netflix?

-attempting to write more… but ended up merely editing the typos and stuffs on my latest writing.

-going on a cruise to Stockholm… again! it’s just such a handy solution for a quick getaway, especially since it’s winter & nobody usually wants to go on a cruise in winter, which means the cruising tickets are on super cheap sale. 😀 it was my husband’s turn to choose where to go there in Stockholm, so we went to the Maritime Museum. it was quite a nice museum with lots of ship models & their histories, and for my husband it was kind of nostalgic as he used to go there when he was a kid. the fact that his great granddad was a sailor also played a great deal in his interest to ships. 🙂 plus, it’s completely free! (how Indonesian of me, we LOVE anything that’s free, LOL.)

these were taken near the museum area. didn’t get as much pictures this time as it was cold, but actually, this was the first time that we went to Stockholm when the temperature was warmer than in our place in Finland… -3C in Stockholm versus our -13C. yep, we’ll take it! after the museum & lunch, we still had a wee bit time to see the good ol’ Old Town.

that was about it. now i’m gonna enjoy the half of the week left of my holiday, but not before throwing in a bit of fun & excitement.

Moody Monday, a UK based home decor design brand which specializes in contemporary hand-printed wallpaper, fabrics,  & other home accessories, is holding their first ever competition!

the person behind this brand is an old friend of mine, Eliza Kesuma, a super talented & crafty Indonesian living in Scotland. i once posted one of her older products, and before you get confused, let me remind you that the brand Moody Monday no longer has clothing/accessory products for sale. but if you haven’t already, you should check out their home decor products! they’re as quirky & one-of-a-kind as those earrings i posted, so if you’re like me who likes her things to be unique, you’ll definitely love Moody Monday!

my personal fave is the Black Keys pattern from the Secret Music collection, and the Silver on White colour would look JUST PERFECT for my work space! it goes well with my internet alias too, don’t you think? Silverain, Silver on White? 😉 i would looooove to have it as a wallpaper, or even as placemats, but just like the other home decor products on my wishlist, the prices are just a bit too much for my ever-so-thin wallet. i can understand why, though. they’re hand-printed, remember? not to mention the high quality of their products. so of course they cost a lot.

i can assure you that i’m not getting paid by her or her company to promote this competition they’re having, just doing this because i’m a true Indonesian who loves freebies. (who doesn’t??) and this one is a freebie that’s worth your time, because as the winner, you’ll get a roll of their handmade wallpaper plus a matching cushion cover (worth a total of £195). as a 2nd winner, you’ll get a set of 4 placemats (worth £40). this competition applies worldwide, so no matter where you are, if you win the competition, you’ll get these goodies!

to enter, all you have to do is ‘like’ their FB page, and then go to the competition page to fill in your details. do all this before Jan 31st, and then just wait for the good news! yes, it’s that easy. 🙂

good luck for the competition and hope you’ll all have a great last week of January!

wishlist #3 – for home

i know, i said that i won’t publish any blog post for a while, but i guess i lied.

i just got too excited now about the possibility to redecorate our house (after more than a month of living in this junkyard) that i made a simple wishlist. and just like wishes often are, these things are wayyyy too pricey for our budget, but anyway: it’s okay to dream. 😉

i often notice quite a lot of similarity between Scandinavian/Nordic and Japanese design. they’re usually very simplistic, functional, and the colours are either white, black, or natural wood. and i LOVE them. thankfully, my husband also love them, and even said once that he couldn’t think of getting something for our house that’s NOT Scandinavian/Nordic or Japanese. 😀

so now please allow me to explain my wishlist, in clockwise direction, starting from the top left picture.

1. Marimekko Pirput Parput floor cushion. i’m pretty sure you’re all familiar with Marimekko, a Finnish design brand, mainly known for their bold & colourful patterns. with their patterns, they design interior stuffs and also clothes. for the longest time, i’ve always dreamed of having a living room with no sofa at all, just a big cozy carpet and lots of cushions… including floor cushions. don’t ask me why, it just feels kind of nice to sit on the floor. this Marimekko one steals my heart (though i’m afraid somebody has to steal the cushion for me, because it’s certainly out of our budget).

2. Iittala Vakka stackable boxes. Iittala is another Finnish design brand, mainly for glass and porcelains, but they also design other stuffs for home (you’ll see what i mean soon). this one is just a very sleek and nice-looking box for keeping small stuffs or whatever, but when you stack multiple boxes together, they look like a small table.

3. Iittala Meno felt bag. right, so how did a bag end up in my wishlist for HOME? well, because this is actually meant to be put on the floor, to collect your magazines and newspaper, or your knitting stuffs, etc. this is made of very thick & hard felt, which is also actually strong enough for you to put your groceries in if you want to carry it to the supermarket. i WANT!!

4. Ikea Regolit floor lamp. i definitely won’t have to introduce Ikea to any of you anymore. so yeah, this is a floor lamp that is quite huge in real life, and the paper-lantern shape is just nostalgic for me (used to have something like that at my parents’ place, i believe). i love the curved stand, it reminds me of a fishing pole, and it also almost gives the kind of relaxing/peaceful feeling to the whole lamp shape. (yeah, i know. it’s just a lamp, for crying out loud! but still.)

5. Kartell Componibili storage unit. this one is NOT Scandinavian/Nordic nor Japanese, it’s actually an Italian brand. seeing the picture along with the Marimekko Pirput Parput floor cushion at a website made me want to have them both, so that’s why it made its way to my wishlist. 😀

6. Artek Kanto magazine rack. this is, like, some ‘luxury’ brand of Finnish design, created by none other than Alvar Aalto himself. this has the same kind of purpose as the Iittala Meno bag, except that you can’t  carry your groceries in it. :p other than magazines, you can also put wood logs for your fireplace (not that i have one, but thanks for the idea).

7. Marimekko Oiva/Siirtolapuutarha teapot in Räsymatto pattern. i’ve wanted this teapot for years now. in my opinion, this is like the perfect marriage of Finnish and Japanese design. *sigh*

8. Iittala KitchenGarden table garden. i’m not a plant person, AT ALL. in fact, i have a teeny weeny phobia of plants. that’s why we don’t have any plants at our house. yet. but this one actually looks nice. and the most important thing is, the plant is in a CAGE. haha! well, actually, this is supposed to serve as a “jar” to the herb you’re planning to plant, or when you buy a ready-packed/potted herbs from the supermarket (they sell them a lot here). the idea is that you put this on the dining table (or kitchen), and when you need to cook/use the herb leaves, then you can just pick some of them from this thing, and then put the lid back on so it stays good (and sterile. another important thing! especially for when you make salad, or anything that you don’t need to cook the herb leaves). nifty, isn’t it? i wouldn’t mind that at all!

9. Muji aroma diffuser. Muji is a Japanese brand of no-brand. the name is actually short for Mujirushi Ryoohin, which literally translates to “no brand quality goods”. anyway, we saw this aroma diffuser on our short trip to Stockholm this summer, and we both kind of fell for it (but didn’t buy it back then for some reason). it can serve as an air moisturizer too, i believe, and that would be very handy for Finnish winter! (= extremely dry weather.) it uses ultrasonic waves to vaporize water, and it has a built in lamp so it would also look nice in the dark.

and that’s it. if you’ll excuse me, i’m gonna continue on dreaming about these things now.