Thursday 9 October 2014

Fleamarket Finds, Vol.5 - Restaurantapäivät

And more catching up! Restaurantapäivät is one of the nicest open air summer markets nearby our area in Finland. It happens in a town called Kangasala, which is really close to Tampere, and during a weekend in July plus an extra day in August. We usually prefer the weekend in July, since there are usually more sellers. Most of the sellers mostly have old and rusty car parts, but thorough hunting usually yields very good results! And when I say thorough hunting I really mean it, I have often walk around the market many times in the same day and keep on finding new things every time. As last year, this year we also rented a spot for our vintage association Fintage RY. We offer vintage clothing and accessories at extremely good prices, and are available to answer questions about Fintage and vintage in general. 

Fintage's table at Restaurantapäivät

As you might remember from my last post I wasn't really in the position of spending a lot of money, but at the same time I had just recently moved and there was a bunch of things I really needed for my new apartment. Luckily enough (and with the invaluable help of Lassi) I managed to find most of them at really good prices! You can see most of my "loot" in the picture below, only the black 1930's spring coat is missing from it but I hope I'll be able to show it in future posts :-)

- Jugendstil wooden bookshelf (my prettiest shoes are displayed in it at the moment! :-) )
- 1920's slip
- 2 x copper pots which I use at flower pots
- 1950's plaster and wood frame (it currently holds a gorgeous picture of Lada Redstar by Atelieri o. Haapala)
- jugenstil curtain rod and rings
- two more sets of jugenstil curtain rings
- jugenstil brass mortar
- to-die-for jugenstil blanket <3

Restaurantapäivät finds

Wednesday 8 October 2014

June events belated post

And back to catching up with belated posts! I think this post is probably the one that I've been dreading to write, since even though it involves a lot of good memories it also involves one of the worst days of my life (and I guess I'm fortunate it also meant money problems). 

Last June our teacher Laura Luna hosted the second Tribal Summer Camp, and my tribal sister Tiitta and me got to help her with organizing it. I was utterly excited because we'd get to study with two of my very favourite dancers, the Eslovakian duo Rustiqua, and see a lot of dear friends again. It also started in the end of one of the most stressful periods of my life, after a month of international burlesque festivals, new acts, moving to a new apartment and tons of work. So I guess I wasn't exactly at my best. Long story short, I had a small accident with a car that isn't mine, and the insurance was crappy to such a point that I'll have to end up paying for such an amount that even thinking about it makes me cry :-(
Which also means that applying for international festivals may be over for me for a little while :-(((

Anyway, the event itself was a blast! And the Rustiqua girls are such a powerhouse of positive energy that they even managed to cheer me up a bit now and then. The Tribal Summer Camp also included the third volume of the Underground Cabaret, where we performed our teacher Laura Luna's choreography "Smoky Taboo", and a hafla where Tiitta and me performed the duo version of Laura's "Booty Swing" choreo, which is always so much fun! We also got to enjoy the crazy delicious vegan sweet buffet that our Kaira Tribe sister Julia made, I think I haven't been that stuffed in a long time! 

Planning and organizing for next year's events has already started, so go ahead and join the facebook  groups for the Tribal Summer Camp and the Underground Cabaret if you don't want to miss out! I can't reveal anything yet, besides that fact that we'll have some real kick ass teachers visiting ;-)

Above: backstage with Kaira Tribe, picture 
by Samuli Airaksinen
Below: Tiitta and me enjoying the sweets!

And since in my state I really sucked at taking pictures, here goes another one from the event's official photographer:

Dancing with Kaira Triba, picture by Samuli Airaksinen

The end of June was reserved for vintage. It's a shame this event usually coincides with the Helsinki Pride, but the lesser bad is that one gets to decide in between two awesome events :-)
The Suvi Vintage fair is one of the two main events organized by Fintage, and usually takes place in the last weekend of June. The event has so far been a big success, with lots of visitors that come to check out all the different things it offers: a vintage market, lectures, music, free dance lessons, cabinet portraits, a vintage fashion show, etc. Unluckily enough for me my economic situation made it so that I had to stay away from the vendors, since I wasn't really in the situation in which I could spend a lot of extra money and I rather not fall in love with any piece of clothing. It was indeed a bit sad, since this is one of the best events of the year and I had really been looking forward to it. Oh well...

The cabinet portraits were provided by Atelieri O. Haapala, which as many of you know are my dear friends and have taken most of my favourite pictures. And I loooove the one they took of me and Lassi! Btw, my outfit for Saturday was inspired by the turn-of-the-century gypsy pictures I've been falling in love with lately. It included  a 1910-20's nightgown, over which I wore an indian folk skirt and a sash, a pendant made out of an authentic medieval brooch and espadrilles (a.k.a. alpargatas), which used to be very fashionable back in the days but also part of the Basque folk costume, so I always have a few pairs around :-)

Left: Suvi Vintage Saturday with Olivia Rouge, Lassi 
and Tiina, picture by Ulrika
Right: me and my handsome man! ;-)
picture by Atelieri O. Haapala

On Sunday we had our now classic Fintage vintage fashion show. The theme for this year was holydays and sportwear, and I got to model my dear 1930's woolen yellow swimming suit, and a lovely 1910's sailor style walking dress. The dress was a crazy find from ebay, and the vintage thai parasol and 1930's sunglasses are fleamarket finds. 

Suvi Vintage Sunday in a nutshell :-)

Tuesday 2 September 2014

More international festivals this year!

And continuing with the belated posts, it was about time I announced these also on my website! I'm most honoured, excited and over the moon about announcing that I'll be performing at both the New York Burlesque Festival and the Amsterdam Burlesque Award this year! 
I received the news about the New York Burlesque Festival already back in June, and I think it took me many days to assimilate it! Not only will I get to perform at one of the most legendary burlesque events EVER, I will get to do it with both my troupe Thee Dizzy Daisies and as a solo performer! I have never been to the United States before, so after thinking about it for a while I decided to stay for ten days, which hopefully means I'll get to see and do a lot of things! And it's already less than three weeks to my departure flight, EEEEKKKKK!!!
Btw, stayed tuned for more info about what I'll be doing while in New York, since there's more to be announced!

The next piece of great news was that we'll get to perform at the first Amsterdam Burlesque Award with our troupe Thee Dizzy Daisies! This is a brand new event and we're increadibly happy about being able to join the amazing lineup they have put together this year, plus a perfect excuse to visit A'dam again! Looking forward to it...

Friday 29 August 2014

Blazing Burlesque Stage at South Park Festival

And fifth belated post! I might even end up catching up? :-D
Some burlesque history has been made this year in Finland! (and more on this as soon as I manage to actually catch up). Finland is a country in which in summer music festivals happen literally every weekend during the summer. But this year, for the very first time, a festival had a BURLESQUE STAGE! <3

The festival was South Park in Tampere, and the masterminds behind this were our fellow burlesque collegues Olivia Rouge and Albine A. Dorable, and Petra-Miisa Juusenaho. We had our own tiny cute stage, cozy backstage with views to the lake, and even a Sailor Jerry rum counter nearby! 
I was asked to do my absynth fairy act on Friday, and both my brand new act "Algae" and the kitties duo with Gigi Praline on Saturday. 

Upper left: La Fée Verte, Upper right: kitties duo with Gigi 
Praline, Down: Algae
Pictures by Milla Kouhia Photography

We had such a kick-ass team! Petra-Miisa acted as the MC, and the rest of the line up was composed by Miss Acrolicious, Chrissy Kiss from Estonia, Olivia and Albine, and the headliner: mindblowing aerial, fire and burlesque performer Natsumi Scarlet <3
Besides these amazing ladies, we could enjoy gorgeous Elisa Day as our pick up, Tiina Nevametsä as our DJ and Vappu a.k.a. Stella Polaire, who run from a place to another and made sure that everybody had everything they might need at all times <3
And last but not least, we had our very own lovely photographer Milla Kouhia, who has unfortunately since passed away. Unluckily enough I didn't have the chance to get to know her properly, but she was sweet and definitely had a talent for photography, and I can only imagine the pain her family must still be going through.

Curtain call shot! <3
Picture by Milla Kouhia

The weather wasn't all the best for the first set on Friday, but even in the pouring rain we had some audience, which seemed to be getting bigger with each set and as word spread. So by Saturday it was a full house and big success! And if we certainly had tons of fun on stage, let me tell you that was nothing compared to the fun we had behind the scenes! I absolutely adore these ladies, and it's always such a great party with them. Looking forward to the next one! <3

Backstage fun! ;-D
Picture by Milla Kouhia


And fourth belated post, plus a sneak peak!
Some of you might remember my last post was about the Boylesque Festival Vienna. The reality check after it was twice as hard though, since as soon as I set foot in Finland I had to start packing and move into my current apartment. Moving is always tiresome and rather annoying, but I luckily had the invaluable help of Lassi during the whole weekend, and that of our dear friends Jari and Jac who were kind enough to also lend a hand on Sunday. Besides, the apartment I was moving to was so insanely gorgeous, and in such a breathtaking area of Helsinki that I couldn't be happier about it! I was also going to become the flatmate of the crotchet pattern designer Molla Mills, who also happens to be my dear friend.

Outside of the building, and my new William
Morris mug bought in London last May

The building is from the 1920's, and it's definitely the most gorgeous one I've ever lived in. My room is spacious, and I've decorated it with a mixture of Finnish jugendstil furniture/objects (many of them found by Lassi), with a slight orientalist touch. I have also finally been able to hang some of the gorgeous antique prints and Atelieri O. Haapala's pictures I've been saving for years on the walls! 
The feeling is indeed indescriptible. The peace, the space, the kitchen always clean, and the feeling of HOME which I got as soon as I stepped on it (which I actually never felt in the previous apartment, but that's a whole different story). Bliss <3

Sneak peak of my room at the moment, changes/aditions still to come :-)

Tuesday 19 August 2014

Vienna baby! <3

Belated post number three! The Boylesque Festival Vienna <3
I'm still so full of love when I think about this festival and what a good time we had, that I don't think I'll be able to translate even half of its awesomeness to words. 

So in the end of May I had the great honour of being part of the mindblowing lineup of the Boylesque Festival Vienna, which happens to be the first Boylesque Festival in Europe! So you might be wondering, "Wait, boylesque? How come your performed there?". Well, as it happens, the organizer Jacques Patriaque decided to have a Queerlesque Teaser Party the day before the main even, for which he aimed to get a collection of as many and varied burlesque acts as possible. The next piece of amazing news was that not only did I get into such a fun event, but also my gal Gigi Praline with her leatherdady/Lucia act, our charming gentleman Sir Willy Waterlily and our dearest Drag Queen Lola Vanilla. Finland was well represented! <3

We rented a room with Gigi and Lola, and on the day in which we were performing we had the crazy idea of walking all the way to the venue with our suitcases! Which might not have been that bad of an idea after all, since due to unexpected *coughcoughhungovercough* circumstances we didn't really have the chance to see much of the gorgeous city that is Vienna. 

The lineup was EPIC! And When I say epic I really mean it, I have never performed in an event with so many performers, and I barely stopped laughing the whole time we were backstage. I have probably also never been in so many backstage group pics, but I'll try to be nice and not spam you too much :-)

before the show shots backstage!
[upper pic by Sheila Wolf, lower pic 
by Lola Vanilla]

Since our tech rehearsals happened to be pretty early, I decided to sneak out before the show to try and check a vintage store that one of our lovely stage kittens Philippe had recommended. The store did indeed have some gorgeous items, but unluckily enough out of reach of my current money situation :-D
Nevertheless, that trip allowed me to again see a little bit more of Vienna, and most importantly, to discover the Majolica House. I stumbled upon this drop-dead-gorgeous building on the way back to the venue, and I literally spent five minutes staring at it WITH MY MOUTH WIDE OPEN. This unbelievable piece of art noveau awesomeness was built in the years 1898-99, and is named after its facade, which is completely covered in painted ceramic tiles (majolica) that form the biggest art noveau pattern I have ever seen in my life. The poppy-like flowers climb all the way up to the roof, and the balconies are decorated with something reassembling lotus flowers. Of course in that moment I had no clue of what that building was, but a bit of googling provided the info I needed, and let me find out that the beauty continues in the inside. I'm in love <3

The Majolica House! <3 <3 <3
[upper left pic by, upper right pic by and lower pic by]

After my little escapade I headed back to the backstage, and I had the chance to meet the whole bunch of amazing performers with whom I'd be sharing the stage that night. I was performing about half-way through the second set, which meant I wasn't able to watch anybody else's act *sniffsniff*, but we had a hell of a time backstage anyway! We also had the chance to share the stage with the non-burlesque headliner artist of both nights, 2014 Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst! And I'm afraid that's the one picture I should have taken and did not, but I'm shy! :-D
The stage was huge, and the audience outstanding! I was a real pleasure performing in such a huge and gorgeous old theater, which was sold out!

Big stage! And one of our stage kittens, plus absolute
sweetheart and perfect assistant Philippe <3
[upper picture by Philipp Lipiarski,
lower picture by Bernie GoGo]

After performing, and while waiting for the curtain call, it was time for more pictures! I couldn't be happier about having been able to see World Famous *BOB* again (who was the festival's MC), and tell her how useful the workshops she tought in Helsinki quite a few years ago have been <3

left with World Famous *BOB*, and right with Polish 
boylesque performer Jimmy Bottle
[first picture by Gigi Praline, second by Jimmy Bottle]

At this time, I will use the chance to introduce you to the mastermind behind the whole event, who worked very hard in order to make his dream come true! Ladies and gentleman, Jacques Patriaque! I think none of us can thank him enough for the wonderful experience <3

The mastermind behind Boylesque Festival Vienna, 
Jacques Patriaque!
[picture by Bernie GoGo]

Another one of the highlights of the Boylesque Festival Vienna was that I got to see a very dear friend again, after over 3 years! We met in Helsinki almost 8 years ago, when we were both metalheads (I still am, I just don't look like one anymore! :-D), and hadn't seen since Marisha moved to Cologne in Germany quite a few years ago. As luck has it, she happened to be visiting the city around the same time, so she came to see our show and we could do a bit of catching up afterwards <3
Before we left the venue, we were invited to the afterparty in a legendary rock club in Vienna, that, if I understook correctly, belongs to the husband of lovely Austrian performer Kitty Willenbruch. Marisha joined up for the afterparty, and we were able to share some more fun until yours trully and the rest of the Finns (except Willy) decided that we might be "a tad" too tipsy and should leave to the hotel. Btw! My friend Marisha is an excellent seamstress specialised in reproduction historical clothing, so please do check her facebook page out while the official website is under construction! 

upper pic with Marisha at the venue, and
below with Gigi at the afterparty
[pictures by Marisha]

As you can probably guess, the next day we woke up to the hangover of the year! We barely made it to breakfast before it closed, and I really had to make use of all my stubbornness in order to be able to go see Vienna on the only free-ish day we had. So I had some painkillers, gathered myself, and dragged Gigi and Lola out with me, since I was told there was some paintings by Klimt in a museum called Leopold Museum. My convincing skills weren't strong enough to drag Gigi and Lola into the museum with me, so I visited it alone while they had a coffee nearby. I loved it! Not only did it have some of Klimt's art, but it was full of gourgeous jugendstil, art deco and arts & craft paintings, illustrations, furniture and several other kinds of items. 
After that we went back to the hotel and got ready for the mindblowing succession of world-class boylesque performers that was the main evening of the Boylesque Festival Vienna. Omg! Used as we are to get just a few boylesque performers per event, getting one after another, after another, after another, was unbelievable! And Gigi had booked us tickets in the very middle of the second row, so we had a perfect view! (may I say that maybe even too perfect sometimes? As Gigi put it "I don't think i've ever seen so much testicle hair before")

After the main event, with Lola aka Bent van der Bleu 
and Lady Francesca <3
[picture by Lady Francesca]

After the main event the party continued in another club, but unfortunately we had to leave early due to our early flights the following day. 

What can I say? Vienna, you and your charming people stole my heart! I want more! <3

Monday 4 August 2014

Sinsational Spring Awakening 2014! And premiere of my new act "Algae"

Second belated post! This time about the Sinsational Spring Awakening, which usually happens around half-way through May, and is one of the major burlesque events in Helsinki. The theme this year was the animal kingdom, and the weather joined up by providing us real jungle weather! It was insanely hot and humid, and the room that was our backstage had been in the sun the whole day! Result: I have never seen so many pasties and tassels fly away on stage before :-D

We performed our Crazy Kitties act with Gigi Praline (unluckily enough a sudden pneumonia stole Sandy from us for the weekend), and besides that we both had the chance to premiere our latest solo acts. 
My new solo act "Algae" was born when I was aiming for a bit of an "unusual" feather fan act, and got inspired by the beauty of the mysterious coral reefs and algae. I made my costume from scratch (except the headpiece), and the main inspiration for it were some gorgeous wild silk and beaded Indian textiles I found in ebay. I was also happy to experiment with an unusual colour combination! :-)

Some pictures of my Algae act
picture by Jari B. Miettinen

As I said, I wasn't the one to make the headpiece. I'm actually so lucky when it comes to headpieces, that I have several friends who are professional costumers and hatmakers! And the decision is always a pretty tough one, let me tell you :-)

This time I decided to pay for the expertise of my friend Tiitta Räsänen, who has several years of experience working at Helsinki's Opera House. She's specially talented when it comes to beading, and that's exactly what I wanted for this costume! So as I usually do with my talented friends, I showed her a couple of pictures that inspired me (in this case mostly Art Noveau style), and let her do the rest. I'm in love with the outcome! By the way, she does of course takes orders and I absolutely recommend you check her website Tiisin' Design ;-)

Algae headpiece by Tiisin' Design
picture by Hanna Erkinjuntti

Thursday 31 July 2014

London Burlesque Festival 2014

So here goes the first one of my belated reviews! It seems that this year I'll end up hitting quite a few international festivals (more on that later), and London was the first one of them! I was extremely excited about it for many reasons, I got to perform on the opening night (!) with an absolutely lovely lineup, got to visit a lot of amazing places and met unbelievable people. On top of that, my better half Lassi was able to join me for this trip, and we got to crash at his cousin Nick's place, which allowed us to stay a bit longer (London is expensive for a showgirl! :-D). 

Thursday was a bit of a chaotic day since it was the day I was performing, but we still managed to visit William Morris' house in the morning, which happened to be just around the corner! And I now have a new favourite mug at home ;-)

I was dead nervous and excited (as usual) when I arrived at the venue, but all the lovely people made me feel at home right away! And I think I can say that I was probably laughing half of the time I was backstage, because besides being able to see some dear old friends again, such as Pepper Potemkin and Mama Ulita, I got to meet a bunch of crazy, loud (and hot!) ladies whom I really hope to see again in the future, I miss you all! <3

Backstage! On the left with Lovely Karleena, and on 
the right with my long-lost southern burlesque sister 
Evita Mansfield <3
pictures by Confetti Eddie

My only regreat about that night was that, because of the way the venue was built, it was impossible for me to see any of the other acts. But hei, I got to hang out with all these lovely half-naked ladies backstage! ;-D

Curtain call picture!

On Friday we had the chance to go visit the centre a bit, and meet a lady I've been looking forward to meeting for ages! As many of you know, I'm a crazy deco/flapper/edwardian lady, and have come to notice that most of the vintage oriented people usually tends to like 1940/50's or newer stuff best. That's why I got superexcited when I got a friend request from a gorgeous german woman with an absolutely (in my honest opinion, of course) exquisite style! So when we found out that we'd be in London at the same time, scheduling a meeting was a must ;-)

Meeting gorgeous Daisy! <3
picture by Nick

In the evening, we headed to the Playboy Club in London, where the Press/Mingle event was to be held. It was fun! We got to again meet a lot of amazing people, and watch the performances of Cherry on Fire, Whisky Falls and Betty D'Light. AND THE PLACE WAS FULL OF PLAYBOY BUNNIES! Need I say more? :-D

above: with my dapper man Lassi
below: with gorgeous co-performers Mama Ulita and Laura
pictures by Joanna Kor

On Saturday we decided to check some markets, and our friend Ray, who is a gentleman and lives in London, offered to show us around. We visited the Portobello Market (where I found a couple of gorgeous 1920/30's fashion prints that currently hang on my walls), had lunch at a pub with amazing antique decoration, and then headed to the centre to meet up with Aurora Galore. For those of you who might not know her yet, let me tell you that this lady totally blew my mind since the first time I saw her, and is a rare example or originality and daring. She took us to watch Polly Rae's burlesque show at the Hippodrome, which I totally recommend if you're ever in London on a Wednesday or a Saturday. 

a street photographer in Portobello wanted a picture 
of us! :-D

Sunday was our last day in London, and what a day it was! We met our friend Ray again, who took us for lunch to one of the most mindblowing restaurants I've ever been to! Brasserie Zedel is located just around the corner from Picadilly, and is the kind of place you would probably miss if someone wouldn't take you there. From the outside it just looks like a regular cafeteria, but when you go downstairs you are introduced to an insane art deco extravaganza, recently renovated but preserving the look of the original one from the 1930's! And if that weren't enough, they serve pretty delicious food at very affordable prices. 

Brasserie Zedel, picture on the left by Ray, and the 
other two found in google images (ooops!)

After lunch we headed towards Soho for a walk, some icecream, and the Twisted Cabaret show of the London Burlesque Festival. Upon entering we bumped onto Kati and Markku Saari, who are two dear Finnish friends. They had come, just as we had, to cheer up for our Sir Willy Waterlily, who opened up the show and charmed the audience as he always does <3

With Markku and Lassi! 
picture by Kati

Looking forward to visiting you again in the future London, this time was too short! :-)

Sunday 6 July 2014

Au naturel

Long time no write! I'm just surfacing from one of the most stressful periods I've ever had, which also means there has been TONS going on and you'll be getting a massive update in the upcoming days! I have travelled to both the London Burlesque Festival and the Boylesque Festival Vienna, premiered a new act, moved into a new apartment, shared fun times with mindblowing people and overall worked my bum off in my dayjob. I have indeed enjoyed myself a LOT, but the level of stress has also been such that I even got dear people get seriously worried about me. Luckily that's now over, and I can concentrate in enjoy the gorgeous Finnish summer and the upcoming events (some major update on this to follow in the very near future!). 

Before I start working on updating the website and catching up with belated posts, I would like to share the outcome of my collaboration with a lovely Finnish photography student called Jenni Holma. For her final work, Jenni decided to take two different pictures of different people, one in full makeup/costume and another one au naturel, without a hint of makeup. 
I was very excited to take part in this project and share this picture, because being able to show myself without styling nor makeup gives me peace of mind. I won't bore you all by explaining how traumatized I used to be about my body and face as a child, most of us have (unluckily enough) been there and I wouldn't be adding anything new to the discussion. The revelation for me though, arrived the day in which I realized I was unable to attend my university lessons without the tiny kohl line I used to apply in order to lengthen my eyes a bit (I didn't use anything else, not even foundation or mascara). I even found myself painting that line with a marker (!!!) the couple of times I forgot to apply the kohl in the morning. 
One day I realized it had so much power over me that to all practical purposes I had become a "slave" to it. And I didn't like the fact, not a single bit. 

It took a very long time to nurture my self confidence to such a point that I would feel confortable being around without makeup (specially in such occasions in which other people would usually wear makeup, let's say a in a bar), but I eventually succeeded. I nowadays not only don't wear any makeup on an everyday basis (which I consider a treat to my skin), but I'm not scared of joining in for a couple of ex tempore drinks at a bar if I'm not wearing makeup and the opportunity unexpectedly presents itself. 

Now don't get me wrong, I love makeup. And I'm not saying people shouldn't wear it on a daily basis if they feel like. But I want to know I'm the one who choses to wear it because I WANT TO, and not because I don't dare to show myself without it. That's the reason why collaborating with Jenni for her project was so important for me. 

NEVER BE AFRAID OF BEING YOURSELVES, whether that involves a face au natural or the most mindblowing drag makeup <3
picture by Jenni Holma

Wednesday 14 May 2014

More pictures from last winter's photoshoot with Teemu Rytky

While I wait for my flight to London for this year's London Burlesque Festival (I'm performing tomorrow, so excited! <3 ) here you go a few more pictures from the photoshoot I had with the Finnish photographer Teemu Rytky last winter. Enjoy! (hopefully! :-D)

Monday 12 May 2014

Infusion Tallinn 2014

Wow, it has taken me ages to write this! In the begining I thought it would only take about a week, mostly in order to rest and get over the fairytale feeling that always accompanies Infusion Tallinn, but the reality-check upon my arrival was rather rough (let's say it felt more like reality hit me on my face with a hammer :-D) and weekly routine has consisted on working (dayjob) and sewing/costuming like there's tomorrow every single other waking hour (with a couple of very welcome and very necessary dance lessons in between). So here it finally goes, my report about this year's Infusion Tallinn! <3

Infusion Tallinn is probably the biggest Tribal Fusion event in northern Europe, and the lovely and gorgeous organizer Jaana (aka Yahna) brings some of the most talented international teachers to teach workshops and perform every year. But oh my, this year we got THREE teachers! And no other than world-famous tribal fusion superstar Kami Liddle, the absolutely exquisite Aleksis Southall, and one of my very own top of the pop favourite performers: italian creativity explosion Violet Scrap <3
Just as last year, a big bunch of us travelled together from Finland, and booked a room in our favourite little hostel just in between Tallinn's Old Town and the Müstika dance school: Euphoria Hostel. These people really know how to make you feel welcome, for the second year in a row we had a welcome message written for us at the entrance and the staff took care of all our questions and the mess of having to deal with 11 people almost at the same time :-D
(Oh, did I mention we kidnapped two of our very favourite Sweds into our room? Dear Gita and Pernilla, miss you so much!)

Euphoria Hostel <3

We cought up with our teacher Laura Luna (who had already arrived in Tallinn the previous Wednesday in order to take Aleksis' workshop about ITS), and after some sushi in Sushi Cat (<3!) Laura and me left for that weekend's first workshop, which was a 3-hour-long intermediate/advanced level workshop on complex foot patterns and layering with Kami. I must admit I was quite nervous! I have so far only studied bellydance for a bit over a year and a half, so I wasn't sure if I'd only be embarrassing myself and getting into everybody's way! :-D
We did a lot of relevé and spinning-work, which are two things I definitely struggle with, but Kami gave us so many tricks about how to position the body in order to keep it under control that I think I got just what I needed in order to start working on it by myself and hopefully improve soon! 
After the workshop, it was time to run back to the hostel and get ready for the evening's show. This year there was two different shows, one on Friday which was a Hafla held in Müstika (with an absolutely DELICIOUS vegan buffet) and a main even on Saturday, in which each one of the performances was inspired by a country/city/location in the world and was accordingly named "Around the World". I performed on Friday both with Kaira Tribe (aka Laura Luna's students) and YIlan Kabilesi (aka Alli Ruth's American Cabaret students). As usual when I bellydance, I got EXTREMELY nervous and I almost lost my balance during the first one of the performances (workshops on anxiety management anyone? :-D), but it was still a delightful evening. There was indeed very many enjoyable performances, but I think that if I'd had to chose one it would be the delicate and breathtaking modern dance fusion piece that my dear Estonian friends Maris and Krete performed. It was so full of emotions and just plain beautiful!

with the Kaira Tribe girls
(picture stolen from Tiitta)

We woke up already a bit tired from the previous day, but there was no rest for the wicked since we had three workshops (6,5h altogether!) ahead on this day! We first had a workshop on fluid movement with Kami (who again, made it all seem much easier!), then two hours of Jamila Salimpour-style crazy finger-cymbal drilling and layering with Aleksis (omg, I want more!) and a superinteresting workshop with Violet, in which she one and again tried (and succeeded) to make us get out of hour confort zones :-D
Oh! And I mustn't forget to mention that Jaana pampered us extra this year, because she gave us the chance of ordering some very yummy WARM food in between the workshops! How cool is that? :-D

if you know me, you probably know why I just HAD TO
buy this gorgeous poster :-D <3
(and the ticket for Saturday's show on the upper corner)

The rest of the girls who weren't performing in the evening had time to take it easy before the evening's show, and had a nice relaxing walk back to the hostel. We also found some curious things on the way!

you don't simply park your car anywhere in 
Tallinn! and an absolutely gorgeous turn-of-
the-century building completely engulfed by
a modern monster :-D

After a shower and getting ready, we had just enough time to have some sushi in our favourite sushi restaurant in Tallinn: Sushi Cat. Besides the advantage of it being on the same street as the hostel, it has absolutely delicious sushi (and drinks!) for prices that sound absolutely ridiculous to anybody used to Finnish prices. It's also fully decorated anime style, and the waitresses wear cute japanese schoolgirl uniforms and kitty ears! :-D
As we had to run to the venue right after that, we decided to have some "desert" in between the sets, rum&cacao! <3

food is love! Sushi Cat and some 
rum&cacaos at the venue (notice how
the woman sitting on front of us decided
to take a picture of us :-D)
(and pictures stolen from Tiitta, again)

The event was mindblowing! So much awesomeness that I would need a whole week of writing to describe it all, but I must at least say that it was a pleasure to realize how all the performers had made an effort to created something really different and special. And after it was over, I shamelessly turned my "fangirl mode" on and ran to have a couple of pictures taken with the performers! :-D

up: Chrissy and me with Kami! Isn't she gorgeous? <3
(picture stolen from Chrissy)
down: with Tanja, Laura, Aleksis and Violet (oh my, I have such
a girl-crush on this woman! :-D)
(picture stolen from Tanja)

And ready for more workshops! By Sunday we were all quite tired, but with teachers like these one finds the strength and inspiration to keep on working no matter what! :-D
We had two workshops on Sunday. The first was a workshop with Violet, about exploring and really trying to feel the conexion between music, feelings and dance, and it made me understand SO many things! Not only when it comes to tribal fusion / bellydance but also burlesque! Total "Ahaaaaa!" feeling, love you (also) for that! :-D
The second was again a 3-hour-long intermediate/advanced workshop with Kami about fluid upper body. If you've ever seen this woman dance, you will probably understand why I was so looking forward to this, she's elegance personified! The upper body is indeed an area that requires a lot of work in order to get it strong and elastic at the same time, and once again she provided us with the right tools in order to work towards achieving that goal <3

Sunday was picture-time! Above after Violet's workshop, 
and below after Kami's workshop

After all the hard work the whole weekend, we all deserved a treat! So we joined the Infusion Tallinn dinner, which happened to be in one of our super favourite restaurants in Tallinn: African Kitchen. We arrived first, so we were "devasted" about having to order one of their delicious cocktails while waiting for the others (life is hard! ;-D). After that, we moved onto my new favourite cafeteria in Tallinn, Pierre Chocolaterie, for some cake and hot chocolate. And guess what? They made my dreams come true, they had white chocolate cheesecake! EEEEKKKK! It even had some cherries and cherry jam in the base! Could have died right there :-D
After Pierre it was sadly enough time to say goodbye to our dear Estonians and the super talented teachers that kicked our bums during the weekend, but we decided to still grab a couple of drink at the Depeche Mode bar in Tallinn's Old Town. 

drinks and waiting for the food in African Kitchen, 
the piece of heaven called "white chocolate cheesecake" 
in Pierre, and drinks at the Depeche Mode bar
(pictures stolen from Tiitta, except the one with the white
chocolate which I stole from Tarja)

Some of us had decided to book our return tickets for Monday evening, in order to spend some quality time relaxing in Tallinn after the crazy weekend. The weather was gorgeous, and we had a perfect day. We first had some sewing-supplies shopping at Karnaluks, then strolled to the Old Town, had some tea and bombons in Pierre's terrace and lunch at Bollywood before heading to the boat, perfection! <3

I love this house in the old town, decorated with real 
egyptian inspired motives! <3
some crazy decoration items on a window,
and the most catchy title for a talk ever :-D

And still a couple of lines about my new favourite cafeteria in Tallinn, Pierre Chocolaterie. Their selection is absolutely delicious (eat ALL the cakes!), just as in Josephine Baker, but this one has a couple of mayor advantages compared to it! First, the decoration is exquisite, with real jugend and vintage pieces everywhere and arranged in a really cozy eclectic way, with most chairs/tables being different from each other (which is how I remembered Josephine Baker, but it has changed since). And second, the terrace is located in an absolutely gorgeous medieval building's inyard, with all the magic you can expect from such a place :-) <3

at the Pierre's terrace, and waiting for our food :-)

Tuesday 29 April 2014

New visit cards!

I just got my new visit cards today! The design is still the same since I really like it, but you can now find the address to my website on the back. And they came right on time for the crazy "minitour" in May: London Burlesque Festival on the 15.5, the Sinsational Spring Awakening on the 24.5 and the Boylesque Festival Vienna on the 28.5! <3

Cards designed by Lassi Patokorpi
Absynth fairy picture by Jirina Alanko

Thursday 24 April 2014

Easter in the countryside

had the pleasure of spending Easter in one of my favourite places in the countryside (my gal Gigi's and her husband's place, aka Mäkelä farm), with some of my dearest people <3
Lassi and me arrived a day earlier, because Gigi and me had planned to do some costuming that day. As some of you know I'm working on my new act "Algae", which will be premiered in a month at the Sinsational Spring Awakening in Kaisaniemi (get your tickets HERE, the lineup is superb!) and I'm currently in the middle of a crazy costuming spree! I was silly enough to only bring two bottles of Jewel-it glue though, so I run out of it already by Saturday morning and that was the end of costuming for me that weekend :-D

costuming time!

On Saturday morning we woke up to a lovely surprise! Aatu (aka Gigi's husband) came to tell us that one of the cows was giving birth, and that if we hurried we were still in time to see the little calf be born! It was really exciting since I've never seen a birth in real life! 

few-hours-old cutie <3

Soon after that I had to borrow Gigi's car and leave to Järvenpää for a couple of hours of Tribal Fusion choreo rehearsals with the Kaira Tribe gals and our teacher Laura Luna, and by the time I came back some of the rest of the guests had already arrived. Unluckily enough not everybody could make it, but it was blissful to be able to spend some quality time with these people! <3

hungry people waiting for food
picture stolen from Gigi

The dinner was organized potluck style, so that everybody brought something. There was organic lamb marinated and slowly cooked in the oven with mint jelly, mango salsa, homemade bread, tofu and veggies vietnamese spring rolls with two different kinds of sauce, egg salad, wakame, tofu salad, oven-baked potatos with fresh thyme, fresh green asparragus and an absolutely delicious lemon and liquorice charlotte cake as dessert. Oh my, where's the extra belly-space when you most need it? 

food is love!
picture stolen from Tuomas

The rest of the evening mostly consisted of sparkly, sauna and jelly beans (actually jelly beans were a constant during the whole weekend! :-D ). And as proper adults (*coughcough*) some of us went to sleep as early as midnight and woke up to a wonderful breakfast consisting of pink soda and pink sparkling wine! Plus all the tons of delicious leftover food from the previous evening. 

breakfast of the champions!
picture stolen from Gigi

The rest of the weekend consisted of relaxing in the sun (I can't even remember last time it's been so warm at this time of the year!), walking on the grass without shoes, some wine drinking and chatting, and basically just enjoying a weekend off. Thank you so much everybody involved, and extra thanks to Gigi and Aatu for being such amazingly generous and welcoming hosts <3

Gigi's cat Pertti! She likes sleeping on my bum :-D