Monday, 30 March 2015

The Shadow Seamstress

Last autumn was also the time to try some new things! Lassi's cousin Nick, who happens to be a cinematographer, had been wanting to shoot in Lassi's building ever since he first visited it last year, and he actually ended up turning that idea into a short movie! The movie was to be shot in Finnish, so I was extremely relieved that the character I was cast to play was actually mute :-D
It was nevertheless extremely exciting to act in a movie (first time ever! :-) ), and we had a wonderful team to work with. Besides Nick and Lassi (who took care of producing and assisting Nick with a wide variety of tasks) most of the people involved were close friends, such as Saara Salmi and Marco Melander from Atelieri O. Haapala and people from Fintage RY. Stay tuned, since the movie is now finished and that means we'll hopefully be able to show it somewhere in the near future! :-)

as Venetia van Kraemers
picture by Marianne Niemelä

Kae Montgomery workshops in Helsinki

The last weekend of August was reserved for bellydance, but unlike usually (I most often take Tribal Fusion related classes) this was all about ATS® (American Tribal Style), which is a bellydance style developed by Carolena Nericcio that is all about group improvisation and strong women! I had taken a couple of short ATS workshops before, but this one was a proper, long, ATS focused weekend, and I was quite terrified to be totally out of place. Luckily enough, and even though my ATS vocabulary is extremely limited, I was able to feel the joy of group improvisation and be proud of myself for facing such a challenge! Of course the wonderful teacher Kae Montgomery (who is a member of the FatChanceBellyDance® performing group) and the encouragement and patience of the other lovely students helped a LOT, I don't know what I would have been able to do without them!

On saturday we got to perform at the main show with our student troupe Kaira Tribe, so here you go a "fangirl" picture of a few of us with Kae! :-)

Left to right: Tiitta, Julia, Kae and me

Paljettipommi is born!

On the 23.8 I had the great pleasure of being part of a historic event, since Paljettipommi was born! <3
Our dear Kiki Hawaiji, who is one of the people who brought burlesque to Finland, put tons of time and effort into creating the very first Finnish burlesque magazine (Paljettipommi = Sequinbomb), and a bunch of us who have been performing longest got together to celebrate it at the release party. It was so much fun! We were mostly asked to perform our very first acts, which in my case is my absynth fairy (of course with an upgraded costume, the old one was falling into pieces!), and some acts were seen that haven't been performed in years.

The magazine is written in Finnish, and it's full of articles featuring both Finnish and international performers, such as the original King of Boylesque Tigger! Even yours trully got a few lines ;-)
Looking forward to the next release!

Paljettipommi release party, all pictures by Jari B. Miettinen
Up left: Kiki Hawaiji, Up middle: yours trully, Down left: The Itty Bitty Cabaret,
Right: Kiki Hawaiji and Bettie Blackheart

Fleamarket Finds, Vol.7

So while I'm stuck at the airport in Paris, I may as well write a couple of belated posts more!
Last time I posted about the open air market in the Basque Country, and this time I'll post about probably the very best open air market in Finland (at least that I have been to). It's in a small town far north, in an area of Finland where they mostly speak the kind of Swedish that was spoken in the area hundrends of years ago, when Finland was under the Swedish rule. 
The trip there is long, so it was really nice when this year we organized a little bit of a roadtrip with a couple of friends (one of which is originally fom the area, and his parents still have a lovely cottage by the cost), and had the last sauna + swim of the year by the sea. The weather was quite terrible, so I decided to wear some confortable and warm clothes. Unluckily enough, I came down with a cold nevertheless :-D

30's sunglasses, 1930's tie, shirt from fleamarket, breeches from
fleamarket (they are part of a Finnish army uniform), puttees from Varusteleka and NOS 1940's shoes

To be honest it's been such a long time since summer that I can't even exactly remember what I bought! But the three main things I remember are a gorgeous jugend bookshelf (that nowadays holds part of my vintage shoe collection), a jugend cushion cover and an old sewing box.

The first and the latter were two items I had really been searching for, specially the sewing bow. I now sew so very often (burlesque + tribal fusion bellydance + vintage) that I had been in urgent need of a sensible way to organize the basic sewing supplies for a long time. The box I found was not the prettiest, nor the in the very best of condition (specially since the wood got quite wet with the rain during the early hours of the market), but it was big (lots of space!) and I got it at a very good price (prices for sewing boxes are usually quite prohibiting). 

[picture to follow when I arrive home!]

The cushion was a simple piece with a jugend rose pattern, but the elder lady who was selling it was so happy I wanted to buy it that she even gave me a discount! Still searching for more of these, one can never have too many cushions! ;-)

[picture to follow when I arrive home!]

I already have a jugend bookshelf that I bought in the begining of the summer, but I had nowhere else to put shoes in my room so I was in dire need of a second one. Later on Lassi did a bit of research, and he found an almost identical one in an old Muurame catalogue, which was quite awesome because most of the vintage pieces of furniture in my room are also from Muurame (warning: if you google the name and come up with pictures of what they do today please do not be scared! they used to do absolutely gorgeous pieces in the 1910's-1920's decades)

[picture to follow when I arrive home!]

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Fleamarket Finds, Vol.6 - Basque Country edition

Oh my, LONG time no write! In my favour I can say a LOT has been going on and keeping me busy, but that also means I have so much to update that I better start writing! 

So back we go to last summer's holydays. As some of you might know, I am originally from an area called The Basque Country, which is currently divided between Spain and France, and since my family still leaves there I try to visit a few times every year. 

This summer, for the first time (!), we managed to visit an open air fleamarket/fair in the French side of The Basque Country, after having heard they are exceptionally good. We did a bit of online searching, and finally decided to visit one in a small town by the coast called Ziburu, and it happened to be exceptional indeed! Our main concern was that we had to fly back, so what we could buy was limited by that, but we still managed to make some very good finds. 

I came home with three pairs of vintage shoes and two vintage purses, and Lassi bought a set of copper pots. The purses were 1910's-1920's, of which one was crotchetted in silver with cut steel beads and the other one in dark brown with (mostly rusted, but still ok looking) cut steel beads. The brown purse specially caught my attention, since I had never seen any like it. It is built as a long tube with a hole in the middle and two rings on each end, and meant to hang from the belt. The rings can be moved passed the hole in order to access the areas in which items (probably small items such as coins etc) are stored, and replaced so that nothing comes out while that purse is worn. I love it! So ingenious. 

Upper picture: full hoard
Lower picture: 1910's-1920's purses

Of the three pairs of vintage shoes one was specially rare and beautiful, but only one of the pairs fit me and unfortunately enough it wasn't the rarepIr. The first one was a gorgeous pair of white and green leather 1930's shoes with cutout details, which (according to the seller) seem to have belonged to a French lady who was the first French woman to fly in an airplane. The other two pairs were both 1940's brown suede shoes, one of them with a really cute front drape detail (this is the pair that fits me) and the other one with cutout details (which has since found a new loving home). 

Looking forward to visiting the Basque fleamarkets again next summer!

Up: 1930's shoes
Middle and down: 1940's shoes