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

Friday 18 April 2014

1 weekend, 5 costumes!

I don't even remember last time I've been this tired! I had a week full of work (and some double shifts), and I've been coughing more or less for the last two weeks, so I was already pretty tired by the time the weekend began. On Saturday I performed at an event called Kevätuhri (The Rite of Spring), with a bunch of other lovely Finnish performers. I was originally booked to perform only one act, but unluckily enough three of the performers got sick in the last moment so some of us performed twice to fill in the gaps. 
My first act of the night was one of the "extra" ones, and I decided to go with my Absynth Fairy act (which is the first act I ever performed and I'm happy I still perform it). It's such a silly and easy to understand act that I most often perform it at private parties, but it was fun to do it at a burlesque event for a change!

La Fée Verte
pictures by Jari B. Miettinen

My second act that evening, and the one that I was meant to perform originally, was an act that I last performed at a public gig almost two years ago. The main reason is that the makeup change takes quite a lot of time, so it requires that I'm either only performing one act that evening or that I have pleeeenty of time to do the makeup again, which is something that rarely happens. 
I luckily did have plenty of time to get ready last Saturday though, as I first performed early in the first set and I had the honour of being the last performer of the night too. I also realized how the first time I performed this act was the same day in which I met the mindblowing fellow performer Sir Willy Waterlily, who was also on stage last Saturday, how cool is that? <3

backstage silliness with Sir Willy Waterlily

My Fuyu Momiji (Winter Maple) Geisha act is the second oldest act I still perform. The costume and the choreography have slowly developed ever since I first performed it, but the whole act got a major revamping this time, when I finally managed to replace the old corset with an actual japanese style (over 4m long!) obi belt! Besides the costume upgrading, I also had the chance to refine the choreography by including more authentic japanese moves, which we learnt from at gorgeous Cherry Typhoon's workshops both this year and a couple of years ago (arigatou Cherry-chan, and kiitos Bettie Blackheart for bringing Cherry to teach us! <3). I must confess I'm starting to be much more confortable with this act now, so I'm really looking forward to performing it more often in the future! Maybe even somewhere nearby YOU! ;-D

Fuyu Momiji
pictures by Jari B. Miettinen

The day after the event we had a group video and photo shooting in Orimattila, and even though I did not stay to party after performing I didn't really get much sleep either! Luckily enough for me, my gal Gigi Praline (who herself lives in Orimattila) came to the show the previous night and offered me a ride with her, so I got to wake up in Orimattila in the morning and to sleep a couple of hours more. We had the shooting with Asko and Nadja, who aren't only extremely talented (Asko with the camera, and Nadja as a painter!) but also absolutely adorable <3
We recorded both our Crazy Kitties and Aurora Borealis acts' videos (hoping to be able to perform abroad with the gals!) and then took some pictures of the Aurora Borealis costumes. Unluckily enough we run out of time at the venue, so we had to move back to Kaisa's place. By then we were all quite dead, but we took a few nude pictures for a painting project Nadja has, and still a few in my Mata Hari costume as well, also for Nadja to paint. 
When we were finally done with all the pictures, we got to eat some absolutely delicious vegetable borsch with smetana and homemade bread and cheese that Gigi had cooked for us. Oh my, that really felt like heaven! <3

guess who was tiiiiiiired :-D
pictures on the right stolen from Sandy

Tuesday 8 April 2014

Fleamarket finds, Vol.4

I love ex-tempore visits to fleamarkets, some of the best finds happen that way! I decided to quickly visit a charity shop yesterday in between work and my dance lessons, and it was definitely worth it. I found a vintage purse and a vintage-style piano shawl for around 15€! :-)

The shawl is something I had been looking for for a while. I have two authentic turn-of-the-century silk piano shawls, but they have to be used with extreme care due to their age and fragility. I had been searching for a "new" shawl in the same kind of style in order to be able to use it, for example, for tribal fusion bellydance costuming, but all I had found so far were terribly shiny and clearly made out of synthetic materials. I'm not sure about what material this is really made of, but in practice it looks like rayon, and it's sturdy enough for me to be able to use it without worries! Plus it has an extra-long fringe, I'm in love!

The piano shawl and the vintage purse

The purse was a big surprise because it's the first real vintage accessory or piece of clothing I've found in that shop for months. It is beautifully hand-stitched, and the diminute size of the detailling is quite amazing. Not only are both sides of the purse fully stitched, the edge and even a trim on the handle are also decorated. The lining is silk, and it seems to be in such a crazy good condition that I suspect it may have been replaced later on. I'm not a big expert in this kind of purses, but I would guess it's from the 1940's. Quite a find!

Some details of the 1940's(?) vintage purse

Thursday 3 April 2014

Weekend report: Drag Me To HEL + Orimattila

Omg, what a weekend it was! It has taken me some time to write about it because I was starting to get a bit sick last Thursday and I haven't really gotten much rest after it, so I've been a bit under the weather. Nevertheless, it was definitely worth it! <3

On Friday I had the honour and pleasure of sharing the stage with some absolutely mindblowing Drag Queens and burlesque performers, and I can only say that I want MORE! Besides our own Finnish artists (such as Lola Vanilla, who's new number I loved, or my gal Gigi Praline with her crazy St. Lucia/Leather Daddy act <3) we had a few international performers, and two of them really blew my mind! The first one of them, Lou Safire, I had already had the pleasure of seeing live (and sharing the stage with) in the Stockholm Burlesque Festival last October, but this time I also got to see him perform a sideshow act! And I must confess that one of the things I most enjoyed about his performace was his exquisite sense of musicallity, sublime! The second performer who blew my mind was the fabulously glamurous Meth. Her acts were creative, and her stage presence powerful! Always such a pleasure to see people with so much experience and talent rock the stage <3

Gigi, Meth, Lou and me, and Abortia
kneeling down
(all pictures stolen from Gigi!)

The night also counted with the crazy presenter duo Abortia Clinique and Regina Squirts (the latter was having her debut, we hope to see more of her in the future!), who did a great job at keeping the audience entertained throught the night! 

The event would already have been mindblowing if it would have ended here, but Abortia had a surprised hidden up her sleeve! So after the curtain call, when all the performers (including the organizer Lola Vanilla) were gathered on stage, she proposed to Lola on the day of their 5th anniversary! Let me tell you that Abortia and Lola (or Jac and Jari) are one of the cutest and sweetest couples I know, and I think all of us who were at Dubrovnik that night felt very special to be able to share such a magic moment with them. Congratulations and all the best for you both! <3

Abortia Clinique and Lola Vanilla, aka
Jac and Jari <3

After a night full of emotions and fun, Gigi and me headed to her place in the countryside. Gigi lives in a gorgeous farm in the countryside some 45mins away from Helsinki, and we were to perform at a venue in her neightbourhood the following evening. The event was a fundraiser (I can't remember what for), and we were the "surprise act" (a real surprise act, since we weren't even presented the first time we came on stage :-D). Just so that you get an idea, the rest of the performers were: a folk dance group, a couple of bands playing folk music, a very respected Finnish composer called Kaj Chydenius with the singer who usually sings his compositions, and a comic act that Gigi's husband does with some of his family and friends. Plus people at the venue were on average 55+ and most had never even seen burlesque before! There was 3 seconds of ackward silence after we finished our first act, after which (luckily) the crowd started to cheer and clap! 

Ready to go shock some people! :-D

Our first act had been a rather classic and relaxed feather fan dance, but for our second act we chose our Crazy Kitties act. I love performing this one! It's terribly silly and I get to play the stupid cat, plus puke a hairball on stage! ;-D (stay tuned, there might be a video coming in the near future)
Luckily the audience also seemed to like this one, and we got a lot of nice compliments afterwards, even from Kaj Chydenius himself! A weekend to remember <3

Kitty time with my gal Gigi! <3