I have been quiet lately with regards to blogging. This is because I have been in my Finnish language course. It will run for 4 weeks and it is on for about 5 hours a day. I am now one week into it. It’s a tough language- almost every word changes its form depending on what you are trying to say.  I understand a lot of the rules, but I haven’t been a good student and memorised all of the new vocabulary and suffixes that we learn each day. This is making it tougher. Tomorrow. Tomorrow, I will do my homework…

Another reason for the quiet on this side is that I have been busy home-making. This has required me to be on the lookout for bargains and ideas. Pete and I have also been building our Ikea furniture.

We have recently made some excellent second-hand purchases, and I thought that I’d share them with you. Yesterday, I went off to eastern Helsinki to check out a sewing machine that I found on the local Gumtree-like website, tori.fi.

My German sewing machine that has spent part of its life in Israel but has now ended up in Helsinki, owned by a South African.

Its appeal was that it’s bright orange and as old as my machine back home. The latter reason is perhaps a bit of an odd one, but I like the solid feel of the metal casing – it has a built-to-last quality. I tested it out at the old lady’s apartment and decided to take it. With what now seems to be becoming a habit, I found myself  once again lugging a heavy box across the city. Fortunately, I only had to take a bus, the underground (metro) and a tram to get home. (Note slight sarcastic tone. However, this was self-inflicted. No one really NEEDS a bright orange, metal sewing machine that is over 30 years old and can only be fetched on public transport from across the city.)

I will be using this beauty to make another set of curtains for the apartment. In the kitchen, we are using my sarong at the moment. I will also be making various cushion covers, head board covers and chair covers.

After the machine and I made it home in one piece (each), Pete and I had to head off in the opposite direction to the town of Espoo to go and see a man about a washing machine. I am not sure if we made a wise purchase there but, once again, it looked like a solid (but tad old) piece of equipment. It just has to last another 3 years – I hope that that’s not too much to ask. The gentleman that we bought it from will be delivering it to us tomorrow evening after church. Finally, we can get some clean laundry… we are reaching a crisis point here…

Today was another opportunity to head off and see what we could find second hand. The beloved sofa is looking very lonely in our living “room” so I want to find it a friend in the form of a comfy armchair. I have been to the city centre “recycling centre” (kierrätyskeskus) but it is a rather small store so I decided that we should head over to the larger one which is bit further north than where we are. Unfortunately, we did not find a suitable armchair (this means that we might have to head back to Ikea rather sooner that I’d like).

Cool 1€ pullover in a very artistic self-portrait.

However, I managed to scrounge a cool pullover that I could wear to my future job for 1€ and a pair of interesting but perhaps arbitrary ceramic vessels (1.50€ each). I still need to decide if they are to have a purpose or if they will just remain arbitrary but interesting on display on a shelf.

Our interesting ceramic vessels.

After our trip to the kierrätyskeskus, we popped into the Fida second-hand store that is just up the road from us. Fida seems to be a good organisation that raises money from their shops for all kinds of philanthropic and missionary works in poorer (isn’t almost everyone poorer than Finland?) nations.

Here we found 2 matching lamps that we can use in our bed”nook” (it can’t be called a bedroom). They are to be mounted on the wall as soon as we can track down the right hardware for the job. I will be replacing the nasty lampshades very soon and cannibalising one of their frames to build something like this:

Last night, I bought 800 mother of pearl buttons on eBay (Yes, 800). They should arrive in a few days. I will write more about another of my online service  finds in my next post.


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