Marja-Leena Rathje
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island hopping '13, day 2/more

A few more photos here from our visit to Quadra Island's First Nations museum, gathering place and the spirit stones. The top image is of a totem pole next to the entrance to Nuyumbalees Cultural Centre. The others are... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 05/10/2013 | 8 comments
themes: Canada and BC, Culture, Travel


island hopping '13, day 2

One reason we stayed at Campbell River the first night of our island hopping holiday was that we wanted to visit Quadra Island, a short ferry ride away. Some years ago when I was researching rock art around British... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 27/09/2013 | 12 comments
themes: Anthropology, Canada and BC, Culture, Rock Art & Archaeology, Travel


cedar twine

At the Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre in Whistler, which we visited last month, a guide had taken a group of us around. The end of the tour saw us in a longhouse style activity room where each of us... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 26/07/2013 | 11 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Culture, Photoworks, Textures


slow road, finale

Last but definitely not least was our long desired visit to the architecturally stunning Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre in Whistler. Planned for many years and opened five years ago, it received a lot of attention during the 2010 Winter... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 21/07/2013 | 6 comments
themes: Canada and BC, Culture, History, Other artists


slow road, pt 6

The next morning, refreshed, rested and well-fed by our B&B hostess, we said goodbye to lovely Lilloeet Lake and headed south to Whistler. It had been quite a few years since our last visit and we were amazed how... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 19/07/2013 | 4 comments
themes: Canada and BC, Culture


happy solstice

Hauskaa Juhannusta! Wishing I were in Finland to celebrate and enjoy the magical white nights at lakeside family cottages with bonfires and saunas! This photo was taken at Lillooet Lake, BC just after 8 pm on June 16th where... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 21/06/2013 | 5 comments
themes: Canada and BC, Culture, Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric


Easter eggs

My hand goes out to you, gentle readers, with wishes for a sunny, warm and happy Easter long weekend. Hauskaa Pääsiäistä, Joyeuses Pâques, Frohes Ostern, Happy Easter... if that is a tradition for you. I like to think of... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 29/03/2013 | 14 comments
themes: Culture, Home, Human, Photoworks


February flowers

Our typical westcoast warming blanket of cloud cleared overnight bringing us some pretty though short-lived frost. Today's too rare sunshine was a gift though the vision of bright white snow on the mountain tops reminded us that it still... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 10/02/2013 | 13 comments
themes: Canada and BC, Culture, Current Events



moss and ivy lichen and ferns english daisies winter blooming rhododendron grey drizzly day where is snow white winter on this twelfth day of Christmas? a few past Epiphany posts: Twelfth Day 2006 Twelfth night 2008 epiphany deluge 2009... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 06/01/2013 | 8 comments
themes: Canada and BC, Culture


last day of 2012

A few scenes from this afternoon's walk... how I love the dark lines and silhouettes of the trees against bright water and sky. I love those white clouds and patches of blue behind. As I wrote five years ago:... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 31/12/2012 | 13 comments
themes: Canada and BC, Culture, Films, Home, Other artists


scrunched 3

On this rainy Boxing Day afternoon, I am enjoying some quiet time in the middle of the holiday fun. The younger generations are enjoying playing board games while I wander off to play with some of the discarded wrapping... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 26/12/2012 | 6 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Culture, Photoworks, Textures


Winter Story 2012

Granddaughter Lael's annual Winter Story is now up! Daddy does the difficult part of animating her drawings, as he has done since 2003. Lael's family sends this unique greeting out to all their friends and family for Christmas -... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 25/12/2012 | 3 comments
themes: Culture, Home, Other artists


Christmas card

As mentioned previously, my current art work is centered around images of hands with objects. Thus came the inspiration for this year's Christmas card, with both our granddaughters' hands holding a Nordic straw Christmas ornament. Giving a gift. I... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 18/12/2012 | 26 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Culture, Current Events, Home



Interesting date today, isn't it? This sent me for a quick look through my archives for posts on past December 12s. On December 12th, 2005, I wrote about juggling the many roles in my life in this busiest time... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 12/12/2012 | 8 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Books, Culture, Current Events, Home


December 6th, 1917

95 years ago today, Finland declared independence from Russia. Windows with two candles, candles at the graves of former presidents and dead soldiers and a President's Ball which many watch on television. Even Google honours Finland with the special... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 06/12/2012 | 6 comments
themes: Canada and BC, Culture, Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric, History



December is here already! I love the Finnish name for it: joulukuu. Yesterday was a most memorable first day of this last month of the year. We attended a wonderful and heart warming memorial service for the mother of... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 02/12/2012 | 12 comments
themes: Canada and BC, Culture, Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric


month to Christmas

- a locally made replica of a Viking boat in front of the Scandinavian Centre - the gorgeous stone fireplace in the grand room - note the old wooden skis... A sunny Sunday! Today we went with two daughters... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 25/11/2012 | 12 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Culture, Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric


giving thanks

Today is Thanksgiving Day in Canada. I first wrote about it in 2004, for myself as I researched its roots, and for readers unfamiliar with the Canadian custom that is held much earlier than its American version. In our... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 08/10/2012 | 4 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Culture, Home


solstice 2012

Reading these words about the annual Juhannus/Midsummer Fest and summer holidays in Finland always make me long to be there: ...the country tends to go on holiday from the Midsummer or Juhannus weekend and Finland is more or less... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 20/06/2012 | 4 comments
themes: Culture, Current Events, Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric


Easter 2012

A very cold wet spring this year on Canada's west/wet coast, with everything late in the garden. Despite the gloomy weather gods, longer days have brought forth bursts of green buds and colourful flowers. I'm so grateful for the... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 06/04/2012 | 13 comments
themes: Culture, Nature, Photoworks


to friends & lovers

Happy Friendship Day, or as the Finns say: Hauskaa Ystävänpäivää, dear readers! Or if you prefer, Happy Valentine's ! And here is a heartwarming and exceptionally well-done video which I hope you will enjoy as much as I have:... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 14/02/2012 | 17 comments
themes: Culture, Current Events


twelfth night


[Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 06/01/2012 | 6 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Culture, Drawings, Printmaking


near year's end

images captured early morning, December 22nd Christmas with our family was wonderful though too short a time. On the morning of the Feast of Stephen our eldest daughter and partner left and that afternoon our good friends arrived. A... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 28/12/2011 | 9 comments
themes: Culture, Current Events


jack frost

Jack Frost has been visiting on our clear cold nights recently, doing his artistry in the garden with his sparkling white paints. It is now back to rain, and looking like a green Christmas. And that reminds me.... it... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 23/12/2011 | 16 comments
themes: Culture, Home


solstice and yule time

at 9:30 pm here in the Pacific Standard Time zone on this evening of December 2011, if I understand it right, it is Solstice Time, time to nod to Midwinter and the pagan traditions of Yule, Yulefest, Jul, Joulu....... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 21/12/2011 | 5 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Culture, Current Events


two years ago

While browsing through some photos from two years ago, I was struck by the one above which looks like a double-exposure but I think it's a combination of views and reflections on windows. I probably rejected it as a... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 20/12/2011 | 9 comments
themes: Culture, Current Events


Santa Lucia

Illustration by Satomi Ichikawa in Merry Christmas - Children at Christmastime around the world (Wm.Heinemann, 1983) in white dresses and red sashes..... Today is Santa Lucia's Day, celebrated by the Swedish and other Nordic communities. As I wrote a... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 13/12/2011 | 6 comments
themes: Culture, Current Events, Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric


getting into the mood

for Christmas, that is... a favourite photo posted three years ago ~ Visited the annual Christmas Craft Fair: at the Scandinavian Centre a week ago Sunday and bought some Christmas gifts and lots of Finnish pulla and Karelian pies, a... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 05/12/2011 | 7 comments
themes: Culture, Current Events, Home


Figaro on the beach

Yesterday afternoon, a Labour Day holiday here in Canada, we had the pleasure of seeing and hearing a delightful and well-done performance of Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro on the mainstage of Bard on the Beach. The energetic young... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 06/09/2011 | 15 comments
themes: Canada and BC, Culture, Music


education in Finland

Finland's education system has received a lot of international attention from educators the last decade or so. I've read much of it with great interest, being a Finn, a former teacher as well as a parent. I'm also a product... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 29/08/2011 | 7 comments
themes: Culture, Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric


my architect cousin

Seppo Mykrä has designed projects such as the Hotel Oscar expansion shown in the background, where hands were even wrung. captured from Warkauden Lehti Very occasionally I browse the online newspaper from Varkaus, Finland, the city where I was... [Continue Reading...]

dying languages & technology

I've written before about my interest in the loss of minority languages around the world. The dominance of the English language on the internet and in popular entertainment is just one factor that is blamed, but here is a... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 30/07/2011 | 24 comments
themes: Culture, Ethnicity, Linguistics


midsummer 2011

June 22, 2011 8:11 p.m This stunning view from our back deck is the closest reminder for me this year of the midsummer bonfires and celebrations which we experienced long ago in Denmark, Sweden and Finland on a trip... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 24/06/2011 | 11 comments
themes: Culture, Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric


Easter, Earth, Elections

Today is Good Friday, Earth Day and the first of several Advance Voting Days for our Canadian national elections on May 2nd. Husband was visiting his sister on Vancouver Island for a couple of days this week (by bike,... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 22/04/2011 | 7 comments
themes: Canada and BC, Culture, Current Events


language and place

Being an immigrant and interested in how language, culture and place affect us as individuals and as societies, a couple of months ago I became intrigued by the >Language > Place blog carnival. Edition 4 is now up, hosted by... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 28/02/2011 | 2 comments
themes: Culture, History, Linguistics


Marshall McLuhan Centennial

Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980) was already a famous Canadian name for my husband and me in our student days at the University of Manitoba where he too received his first degrees. You may have heard the phrases "the medium is... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 04/02/2011 | 5 comments
themes: Books, Concepts, Culture


happy lunar new year

Gung Hay Fat Choi! No, I don't suppose this flower is special to this particular event, celebrated widely by many Asian countries and their immigrant communities such as here in Vancouver. This single blossom was part of a larger... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 03/02/2011 | 7 comments
themes: Culture


Christmas Day walk

I've been absorbed with some intense work on a project this week which I completed yesterday. As I now catch up posting holiday photos, I also look back to those relaxing days of our recent Christmas trip and the... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 06/01/2011 | 12 comments
themes: Canada and BC, Culture, Nature, Photoworks


New Year's Eve morn

Oh, what a glorious morning on this last day of 2010! Sunny bright days and crisp frosty nights that are a close second best to having a white Christmas. Frost flowers on the glass instead of roses in the... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 31/12/2010 | 15 comments
themes: Canada and BC, Culture, Nature, Photoworks


lights of Christmas Eve

As I've written before, Christmas Eve is our big night, a tradition with both the Finns and the Germans, with a lovely meal, carols around the piano, and then Santa's visit. This year at our eldest daughter's place, we... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 29/12/2010 | 6 comments
themes: Canada and BC, Culture


Winter Story and Game 2010

I'm very late pointing you to our now ten year old granddaughter Lael's Winter Story 2010, a family holiday tradition since 2003. Her five year old sister Niamh also presents Foggy Windows - a Winter Game. Can you tell... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 28/12/2010 | 2 comments
themes: Culture, Neat stuff


Christmas journey

We have been away for a few days, spending Christmas with our eldest daughter Anita and partner Richard at their home in the countryside east of Kamloops. We had a wonderful time, thanks to their generous hospitality, lovely holiday decorations... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 28/12/2010 | 4 comments
themes: Canada and BC, Culture


Happy Christmas, Hauskaa Joulua

Wishing you all a Happy Christmas, Hauskaa Joulua, Frohe Weihnachten, Joyeux Noël, God Jul! 
 Love and light, peace and joy this season and always. I'm recalling the very white and beautiful Christmas period that we had two years... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 22/12/2010 | 15 comments
themes: Canada and BC, Culture, Home


red & green

With these, my favourite colours, even year round, I wish you the many pleasures of the holiday preparations. May it be a stress-free time.... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 16/12/2010 | 8 comments
themes: Culture, Nature, Photoworks


cards, letters, music, chats by my other half :-) days of card and letter-writing outside, heavy dark rains instead of bright snow a few Christmas decorations set out day by day a relaxing warming fire and favourite Christmas music last night while... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 12/12/2010 | 10 comments
themes: Canada and BC, Culture, Current Events


old Finnish jewelry

Somewhat related to my 'textures of home' series, but much more personal, featured here are some very old Finnish pendants and a brooch that have been passed on to me. These styles were and still are commonly worn with... [Continue Reading...]

pumpkin fest

Wishing you all a Happy Halloween, Kekri or Samhain or whatever version of an ancient pagan ritual you may partake in this evening. If you prefer a spookier image than these jolly pumpkins, see this favourite of mine from... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 31/10/2010 | 8 comments
themes: Culture, History


Canadian Red

It's Canada Day today. Our Queen is in Ottawa this year to celebrate our country's 143rd birthday and give us the gift of a special rock. Below are a couple of other articles Canadians and non-Canadians might enjoy. We... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 01/07/2010 | 17 comments
themes: Canada and BC, Culture


the longest day

Disappointingly dull cloudy weather today for the solstice. Nevertheless I wax nostalgic at this time of year, every year, so I reread my past posts about this very important, ancient Nordic tradition. My favourites, if you care to visit... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 21/06/2010 | 12 comments
themes: Culture, Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric


Montréal: feasts

Montréal was a feast for the eyes, the soul and the stomach! We enjoyed a variety of ethnic meals in a variety of cafés and restaurants: African, Bretagne, Lebanese, Chinese, and of course French from casual to haute cuisine.... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 14/06/2010 | 11 comments
themes: Culture, Travel


Montréal: roofs

Our hotel was located on the edge of the Latin Quarter so we were really able to enjoy the mix of architectural styles and details in the variety of buildings in the area when out walking. I was particularly... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 12/06/2010 | 8 comments
themes: Culture, Travel


South Nevada rock art, part 1

I'm thrilled to introduce Loretta as a guest contributor who will be most generously sharing her observations and amazing photos of rock art that she has found in her home region in southwest US. Loretta has done all the... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 02/05/2010 | 8 comments
themes: Culture, Rock Art & Archaeology


Happy May Day

The first of May is historically and culturally more important in Europe than in North America, rooted in ancient pagan celebrations of spring sometimes mixed with some modern political overtones. I briefly indulge in some fond memories of some... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 01/05/2010 | 19 comments
themes: Culture, Home


alone in the Sistine

In the fall of 1993, my husband and I took a very special, very memorable trip to Italy. Seeing so much of the art, architecture and archeology that I'd studied in art school was literally mind-blowing for me. We... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 25/04/2010 | 6 comments
themes: Culture, History, Other artists, Photography


Good Friday

'Tis the Easter long weekend. Though this year spring is about a month early, it's been more like winter the past week or more, with cold rain and windstorms and lots of snow on the mountains. Instead of outdoor... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 02/04/2010 | 10 comments
themes: Culture


acknowledge the past

As most of you know, the Winter Olympics have been underway here in the Vancouver region. I haven't commented much on it for I'm one of the folks that's been against it mostly because of the extreme costs, commercialism... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 26/02/2010 | 7 comments
themes: Canada and BC, Culture, History


red hearts and lanterns

    Red is for hearts and lovers and friends this weekend - Happy Valentine's Day! or Hauskaa Ystävänpäivää and Happy Friendship Day as the Finns celebrate it. Red is for the colour of the maple leaf on the Canadian... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 13/02/2010 | 11 comments
themes: Canada and BC, Culture, Current Events



Just over a month ago, I wrote about how western media is taking notice of the phenomenon of complaints choirs. Just now I found another report, in Canada's Globe & Mail, BC edition about the number of choirs in... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 16/01/2010 | 4 comments
themes: Canada and BC, Culture, Music


Happy New Year 2010

My husband and I will be home tonight with sleeping granddaughters. We'll enjoy a quiet evening with a late simple supper of turkey soup, then some games or a movie, accompanied by some Christmas baking and chocolates, some Finnish... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 31/12/2009 | 15 comments
themes: Culture, Current Events


hellos and goodbyes

Much greeting and hugging and then goodbyes have been a large part of our holidays as our family swelled from seven for Christmas Eve to nine on the 27th, then twelve for just a day on the 28th and... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 30/12/2009 | 7 comments
themes: Canada and BC, Culture, Home


lights of the season

enjoying the days of sunlight and frost fires and warm candlelight in foggy nights these last days of the year... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 27/12/2009 | 8 comments
themes: Culture, Home


happy winterfest

Happy Christmas, Hauskaa Joulua, Frohe Weihnachten, Joyeux Noël, God Jul or Blessed Midwinter! Wishing all of you a joyful holiday, full of cheer with those who are dear, as well as some quiet moments for gratitude and peace. Many... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 22/12/2009 | 15 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Culture, Current Events


'Tis the shortest day

and the longest night for us in the northern hemisphere. It's a very dark and rainy day here in Vancouver starting strangely at an unseasonal high of 10C (50 F) and to drop down to 5C (41F) this afternoon. But... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 21/12/2009 | 9 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Culture, Folk Legends & Myths


safe arrivals

Our middle daughter and our granddaughters arrived late this afternoon safe, sound and tired from their long flight from London, England with only slight delays but nothing like during last year's snowstorms. How excited we all were to see... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 16/12/2009 | 11 comments
themes: Culture, Current Events


Lucia and lights

How lovely, on Lucia's Day to have our first real snowfall, light flakes slowly dancing down, the frozen ground now white and an icing-sugar-like dusting on evergreen branches. It set the right mood for finishing up the holiday letters... [Continue Reading...]

December's here

The sun is shining and I can see the snow on the mountaintops. It's cold and still very wet from the November rains. I think we had some frost last night, not the first for we had a few... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 01/12/2009 | 7 comments
themes: Culture, Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric, Other artists


November's end

As usual here on the 'wetcoast', November has been very rainy and often very windy, with above average precipitation but maybe not quite record-breaking except for early snow on the mountains. Some days the darkness has felt a bit... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 30/11/2009 | 8 comments
themes: Art Exhibitions, Being an Artist, Culture


Paris: Notre Dame #2

All in a row.... repetition as an artistic device seen in a lot of art, works magnificently around these magestic cathedrals of Europe, I love it!    ... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 23/11/2009 | 11 comments
themes: Culture, Other artists, Travel


Paris: Notre Dame

            Too tired for words, so it's a good time to post more of our photos of Paris. Notre Dame de Paris is a magestic awe-inspiring beauty, both architecturally and sculpturally. Just across the Seine and short... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 18/11/2009 | 10 comments
themes: Culture, Travel


all hallow's

A little bit of spookiness created just for you, dear readers, to put you in the mood for Samhain, All Hallow's or Halloween, All Saints Day, Day of the Dead, Kekri or whatever you celebrate this weekend! If this... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 30/10/2009 | 5 comments
themes: Culture, Photoworks, Rocks


Paris: details #4

                Even in Paris, birds of a feather stick together. Even the lady has had a visit from feathery friends.    ... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 13/10/2009 | 15 comments
themes: Culture, Travel


Paris: details #3

                        Sculptures everywhere in Paris, an abundance of art in everyday life, feasts for the eyes and the soul...... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 01/10/2009 | 17 comments
themes: Culture, Travel


London Eye

        A ride on the London Eye with daughter and granddaughters. It's touristy, it's expensive, it's scary for height-phobics like me. An impressive work of engineering and what fantastic views to satisfy the human eye. A hazy cloudy... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 08/08/2009 | 11 comments
themes: Culture, Travel


the Greenwich tour

Back to my travel diary and our last few but extra busy days in London.... Our 'Londoner' daughter had once taken one of the walking tours of London and enjoyed it so she suggested we all take the Historic Greenwich... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 02/08/2009 | 10 comments
themes: Culture, History, Travel


Tunbridge Wells, Joe, Heidi

            Photos top to bottom: The Pantiles area, Heidi (in green jacket) and I chatting, and Joe.     One of the great delights of our trip to England has been the opportunity to meet a few blog friends.... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 19/07/2009 | 13 comments
themes: Blogging, Culture, History, Travel


Ancient Britain: Avebury

                            Last of our destinations during our day long tour of Ancient Britain was Avebury. Like Stonehenge, Avebury is very well-known and many believe it is the superior stone circle. Certainly it is... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 16/07/2009 | 15 comments
themes: Culture, History, Rock Art & Archaeology, Travel


Ancient Britain: Silbury & West Kennet

                    Soon after passing the White Horse we could see Silbury Hill, a huge man-made chalk mound near Avebury. It is the tallest prehistoric man-made mound in Europe and one of the world's largest. Composed... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 14/07/2009 | 13 comments
themes: Culture, History, Rock Art & Archaeology, Travel


Ancient Britain: White Horses

            Leaving Stonehenge, our drive continued on through the lovely Wiltshire countryside towards nearby Avebury, with a few quick highlights along the way. A very quick sighting was of a White Horse, a chalk hill figure. My... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 13/07/2009 | 11 comments
themes: Culture, History, Travel


Ancient Britain: Stonehenge

                        The high point of our guided tour of some of Britain's ancient sites has to be Stonehenge. It is so well known, researched and written about that I won't even try to touch... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 10/07/2009 | 14 comments
themes: Culture, History, Rock Art & Archaeology, Travel


Ancient Britain: Old Sarum

After visiting Salisbury on the first stop of a guided day tour to several ancient sites of Britain, we moved on to nearby Old Sarum. This hilltop is surrounded by banks and ditches with layers of 5,000 years of... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 06/07/2009 | 6 comments
themes: Culture, History, Rock Art & Archaeology, Travel


Ancient Britain: Salisbury

A highlight of our trip to the UK was a guided day tour to the ancient sites of Salisbury, Old Sarum, Stonehenge, West Kennet, Silbury Hill and Avebury. I don't usually link to commercial sites but this tour pleased us... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 29/06/2009 | 21 comments
themes: Culture, History, Travel


Anna, Courtauld, Westminster

        The day after our outing to Brighton, husband and I headed into central London and Somerset House (house? it's a palace!). Here we were to meet long-time blog-friend Anna of Self-Winding who was coming in from Norfolk to... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 23/06/2009 | 11 comments
themes: Art Exhibitions, Culture, Travel


a midsummer fest

Up with the early light, though the sun is obscured with cloud, I remember it is Juhannus and ... the summer solstice, (or properly June solstice for it's winter in the southern hemisphere). Memories of magical midsummer nights in Finland,... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 21/06/2009 | 18 comments
themes: Culture, Ethnicity, Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric


visiting Brighton

After our weekend in Birmingham, already the next day we were off on another train trip with our daughter's family, this time for a day trip to Brighton. Our son-in-law had accepted a long-standing invitation from a cousin whom he'd... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 17/06/2009 | 8 comments
themes: Culture, Other artists, Travel


visiting Birmingham (UK)

I'm falling behind in reporting on our trip to London and a bit beyond and to Paris. I've been so busy gardening and watering that by the end of each incredibly warm day I'm too tired and hot to think,... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 13/06/2009 | 11 comments
themes: Culture, Travel


London: Tube, Piccadilly & more

    Enough relaxing around Muswell Hill! Later that day, our son-in-law announced that we are all going into central London to the Apple store then dinner to his favourite restaurant in his favourite part of the city. That was our... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 30/05/2009 | 11 comments
themes: Culture, Travel


London: Muswell Hill

    After a long overseas flight, it's wonderful to have family welcome us into their home and let us gradually acclimate to the new surroundings. As I mentioned before, our middle daughter, British son-in-law and their two little girls... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 28/05/2009 | 11 comments
themes: Culture, Travel


travel update

Time for a quick travel update while we're having a much-needed restful pause here in London at our daughter's home. We've seen and experienced so much around here as well as trips to Birmingham, Brighton, Tunbridge Wells and several... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 09/05/2009 | 8 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Culture, Travel


Easter weekend

spring, rye grass, pussy willows, birch twigs, tissue paper flowers virpovitsa whisking, children with cowbells decorated eggs, egg hunt, dancing sun mämmi porridge, flying witches, begging children All of the above are a curious blend of Eastern and Western... [Continue Reading...]

April Fool's

    I was shocked on waking up to see snow coming down and it just keeps coming, wet yet sticking. What an April Fool's Day joke Mother Nature is playing on us! Rare though it is, we've had snow... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 01/04/2009 | 9 comments
themes: Culture, Home


cultural identity & CBC

This past weekend Vancouver hosted the Juno Awards, which inspired Miro Cernetig to write an interesting and eye-opening article for the Vancouver Sun. It may be tempting to see the Junos -- now this country's most successful entertainment event... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 31/03/2009 | 3 comments
themes: Canada and BC, Culture



CBC is Canada's own publicly owned radio and TV broadcaster, a part of the very heart of Canada and its culture, connecting us all from coasts to coasts. It's currently being decimated by Harper and his government, after already many... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 27/03/2009 | 19 comments
themes: Canada and BC, Culture, Current Events


spring and birthdays

'Tis the first day of spring and I'm longing for the weather to match! A very cold winter not easing up for spring means this year the garden is unusually late for normally balmy Vancouver. Blame the depressing weather if... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 20/03/2009 | 14 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Culture, Home


ice music

        On the first full moon of the year, the mountain town of Geilo, Norway hosts the world's only ice music festival and most amazingly, the instruments are made mostly of ice. As short-lived as sandcastles, the ice-sculpted wind,... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 19/01/2009 | 4 comments
themes: Culture, Music


epiphany deluge

    It's the 12th day of Christmas and Epiphany (or loppiainen, a national holiday in Finland). It's the day we try take down the Christmas tree and decorations and I'm making a slow start on that, leaving some of... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 06/01/2009 | 14 comments
themes: Canada and BC, Culture, Home


Janus and Tammikuu

Janus - etching, 40 x 37.5 cm. As I crack open new calendars, I think about January and the Roman god Janus and about looking back and looking forward. I wonder about the Finnish name for this month, Tammikuu... [Continue Reading...]

New Year's Hope

'Tis the sixth day of Christmas and another New Year's Eve before us, how the year flew by! As I drank my breakfast tea over our local newspaper, the editorial pleased me in putting some of my own thoughts... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 31/12/2008 | 10 comments
themes: Culture, Current Events, Home


feast of Stephen

Good King Wenceslas looked out On the feast of Stephen When the snow lay round about Deep and crisp and even The words to the carol "Good King Wenceslas" were written by John Mason Neale and published in 1853,... [Continue Reading...]

season's best to you

Dear readers, take your pick: Happy Christmas, Hauskaa Joulua, Frohe Weihnachten, Joyeux Noël, God Jul, Happy Hanukkah, or whatever you celebrate... or not. And please: peace and an end to poverty! Thank you all from the bottom of my... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 24/12/2008 | 11 comments
themes: Canada and BC, Culture, Home


countdown to Xmas

        It stopped snowing mid-morning yesterday, leaving us with a gloriously beautiful, magical world, especially when the sun comes out. This year we have many amazing huge icicles; I was surprised to see some black-capped chickadees taking a... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 23/12/2008 | 10 comments
themes: Canada and BC, Culture


Tapio Wirkkala, Finnish designer

    Go fetch yourself a cup of your favourite brew, sit down and watch this gorgeous 16 minute video on Tapio Wirkkala, in English and some Finnish. Virtual Finland presents him as "a father figure of Finnish applied art... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 05/12/2008 | 11 comments
themes: Culture, Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric, Other artists


advent calendars

        from Virtual Finland This morning, as I flipped the calendar pages over to the last page, it hit me that it is now December or Joulukuu (Finnish for Christmas month). So much to do and what do I... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 01/12/2008 | 10 comments
themes: Culture, Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric


Eugene Onegin

Painting by Michael Abraham We love opera, as some readers may know from the few times I've written about it here. Most exciting for us is to enjoy the colourful and lively visuals of theatre along with the inspiring... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 25/11/2008 | 11 comments
themes: Culture, Music


Kekri and Samhain

        It's the last day of October and Halloween tonight. With our children grown up and the grandchildren in England this year, I have made no effort to celebrate this occasion here at home. Erika, now living at home... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 31/10/2008 | 14 comments
themes: Canada and BC, Culture, Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric


Thanksgiving and Nobel Peace Prize

The elections here in Canada and the US plus the world economy has taken far too much of our attention lately. Canadians vote on Tuesday, October 14th and that night will be an anxious one awaiting results that we... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 12/10/2008 | 11 comments
themes: Canada and BC, Culture, Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric, Home


Arts funding cuts

Last Sunday afternoon, my husband and I went to a concert at the Chan Centre out at UBC. One of the UBC Centenary Gala series this year, it featured BC born, UBC alumnus and acclaimed tenor, Ben Heppner, and the... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 02/10/2008 | 9 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Canada and BC, Culture, Current Events, Music


Happy 141st!

It's Canada Day today. Despite all the hoopla, crowds and fireworks everywhere, we're just enjoying the holiday around home, puttering about and trying to keep cool in a heat wave. This thoughtful Canada Day meditation, written by a Canadian... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 01/07/2008 | 6 comments
themes: Canada and BC, Culture, History


white nights

Awake at 3:30 this morning, unable to get back to sleep, I made myself a soothing cup of hot cocoa (with goat's milk and stevia) and sat at the table reading yesterday's paper. Looking outside, to the northeast I... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 20/06/2008 | 17 comments
themes: Culture, Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric, Home


mothers Remembering my mother this Mother's Day and Äitienpäivä, here in Canada and in Finland, US and a few other countries. I still miss her almost every day even after 20 years since her passing. On this sunny afternoon, I'm... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 11/05/2008 | 12 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Culture


sima for May Day

The sunshine is so warming today as it streams into the house (oh, but such dirty windows). Fresh green leaves, spring flowers and even dandelions are bursting everywhere in spite of the cool temperatures. The tulips I had picked... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 30/04/2008 | 8 comments
themes: Culture, Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric


special long weekend

    Yesterday came the spring equinox Last night the full Lenten moon, (did you keep me awake, Moon?) Today son-in-law J's birthday, a make-your-own-pizza party! and cake! Sunday is Easter, so early this year An egg hunt for the... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 21/03/2008 | 14 comments
themes: Culture, Home


Sunday afternoon in Burnaby

Yesterday we headed out to Burnaby (a city next to Vancouver) and the Scandinavian Centre where we enjoyed a recital of songs sung in Finnish, Swedish and Italian by a beautiful, rising talent, Finnish-American singer Maria Männistö. Here's the announcement... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 17/03/2008 | 2 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Canada and BC, Culture, Music, Other artists


paper hearts

        I made these for my loved ones, and also wish to share them with far-away family and friends, including all of you dear blog-friends and readers in honour of Friendship Day! Have a sweet day! Hauskaa Ystävänpäivää! And,... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 14/02/2008 | 13 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Culture


old year, new year

    On this last day of 2007, I feel some sadness in saying goodbye to another year. Changing the annual calendars is such an adrupt marker of the passage of time and of aging, inducing a twinge of melancholy... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 31/12/2007 | 10 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Culture, Home


Happy Boxing Day

Christmas Day was almost a white one when it started to snow in the afternoon as we headed over to one daughter's place for a nice meal and play with the granddaughters. The snowfall was beautiful to watch....

[Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 26/12/2007 | 2 comments
themes: Culture, Home


winter story 2007

    Our granddaughter Lael's annual Winter Story has become her family's traditional Christmas greeting to all their family and friends. As always, Lael (now 7 years) does the delightful drawings and tells the story. Her father creates them into... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 25/12/2007 | 12 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Culture, Home


good tidings

The countdown is quickening,
the house is decorated and clean (almost),
the baking nearly done
except for the plum tarts
(the filling is made, the dough is chilling)...

[Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 22/12/2007 | 14 comments
themes: Culture, Home


to light

Tonight or very early tomorrow, here on the west coast of North America, it's the winter solstice, the longest night of the year....

[Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 21/12/2007 | 8 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Culture, Home


Looking back: Joulupukki

Isn't it fascinating how the Santa Claus figure has evolved in different countries? In Finland, the jolly fellow is called 'Joulupukki' and his home is on Korvatunturi Mountain, in Finnish Lapland.

[Continue Reading...]

Looking back: Jule favourites

Deep in the archives of three years ago is this favourite Christmas season post of mine and reposted here almost fully: My favourite things about Christmas are the things that appeal to the romantic and the child in me.... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 16/12/2007 | 4 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Books, Culture, Home, Music


Looking back: Lucia's Day

I am finding that one of the downsides of being a blogger for more than two or three years is that I feel that more and more I begin to repeat myself. Yet, readers come and go though there are... [Continue Reading...]

two candles for Finland

In honour of Finland's 90th Independence Day (Itsenäisyys Päivä) today, I have lit these two candles in a window, as is the custom there. "Why two candles? Well, one is for home, the other is for country. This silent... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 06/12/2007 | 6 comments
themes: Culture, Current Events, Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric


Happy American Thanksgiving

[Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 21/11/2007 | 10 comments
themes: Culture, Nature, Photoworks



Ah, the calendar page turns to November. This morning's too-brief sunshine drew me outdoors. I could not resist taking the camera to capture some of the last of fall's beauty in our garden. Curious about the source of the... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 01/11/2007 | 9 comments
themes: Culture, Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric


frights and feasts

As you are out tonight chasing ghosts and goblins, watch out for what may be underfoot.

[Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 31/10/2007 | 4 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Culture, Current Events


Sagrada Família in danger

I still remember well my art school days and the many hours of Art History classes, viewing thousands of slides of art and architecture, sometimes sleepily but often excited. The courses were taken by students of art, architecture and... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 31/10/2007 | 9 comments
themes: Culture, History, Other artists


witchy trees

Come, my dearies, for a tour of my woods

[Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 25/10/2007 | 25 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Blogging, Culture


dying languages

Image credit: Enduring Voices Project Finnish was my first language. I was five years old when my family emigrated to Canada. Arriving in Winnipeg, I was promptly placed in school, not knowing a word of English. Now that was... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 20/09/2007 | 6 comments
themes: Culture, Ethnicity, History, Linguistics


summer's end

In these last days of August, I'm feeling lazy and lingering, almost as if I'm holding on to summer a little bit longer. Not so much the heat of summer, for I'm not fond of that, but the light,... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 30/08/2007 | 10 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Culture


a labyrinth

I have often wished to visit some of the labyrinths found in different parts of the world. Strangely, the very first labyrinth I ever did walk on was just a two days ago right here in the Vancouver area.... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 02/08/2007 | 18 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Canada and BC, Culture, Rock Art & Archaeology


a wedding

A trip and a wedding took us away this past weekend, in more ways than one. The beauty of the drive over mountains and valleys to a lovely lakeside town made us grateful, once again, that we live in... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 26/06/2007 | be the first to comment
themes: Being an Artist, Canada and BC, Culture


solstice memories

midsummer dreams, white nights in Nordic lands
solstice celebrations, bonfires on beaches...

[Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 21/06/2007 | 2 comments
themes: Culture, Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric


remembering Dad

It's Father's Day here in Canada and USA. I awoke very early and started thinking of my father, who passed away 15 years ago. I pulled out my parents' worn old family album that they carried with them as... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 17/06/2007 | 6 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Culture


a queen's birthday

She reigned for 63 years, seven months and two days -- the longest reign ever. She was five feet tall and monarch to one-quarter of the world's population. She was 81 when she died. Her own sons lifted her... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 21/05/2007 | 4 comments
themes: Culture, Current Events


May Eve and Day

This April 30th I'm once again reminded by Helsingin Sanomat that today and tomorrow are Vappu or May Eve and May Day, "one of Finland's most boisterous (and liquid) annual festivals". May Day in Finland is a national holiday,... [Continue Reading...]


I've recently come across some great links on a couple of interesting subjects - the first an important environmental story and the second a fascinating linguistic and ethnological one. 1. At Biodynamic Farming and Gardening I found out about a... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 10/04/2007 | 4 comments
themes: Culture, Current Events, Environment, Ethnicity, Linguistics


Kalevala and Vietnam

I know that the Finnish national epic the Kalevala is read around the world, translated as it is into 61 languages. So I've been quite intrigued to read a fascinating story about two Vietnamese women and their involvement with... [Continue Reading...]

The Danish Poet

Torill Kove, a Norwegian-Canadian anImator with Canada's NFB (National Film Board) won an Oscar this year for Best Animated Short Film. Her film, The Danish Poet, is a "charming 15-minute meditation on life's peculiar coincidences, based loosely on a... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 27/02/2007 | 9 comments
themes: Culture, Films, Other artists


friendship day

Hauskaa Ystävänpäivää and Happy Friendship Day**, everyone! Since learning about this very inclusive celebration, I like it far more than our over-commercialized and wasteful Valentine's Day, as long as we keep it simple. I did make this heart for... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 14/02/2007 | 21 comments
themes: Culture, Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric


the magic flute

Oh my, what a wonderful evening! We splurged on a special night out at the opera and were thoroughly enthralled by the wonderful new production of Mozart's The Magic Flute, in a unique and fascinating collaboration with First Nations... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 06/02/2007 | 4 comments
themes: Culture, Music


our New Year's weekend

As I mentioned in a comment in the previous post, we went away for the New Year's weekend - to the city of Victoria on Vancouver Island. Once there, we first had a wonderful visit with my elderly uncle... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 02/01/2007 | 7 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Culture


another year

Tomorrow is New Year's Eve and the sixth day of Christmas. We are readying ourselves for our favourite way of celebrating, a quiet evening with close friends over good food and interesting games, rather than parties or clubs, with... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 30/12/2006 | 19 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Culture


winter story 2006

I'm very proud to share my grand-daughter Lael's 4th annual Winter Story, done with a little help from mommy and daddy, of course. It's now on a special blog so you can see the past winter stories as well,... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 24/12/2006 | 10 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Culture, Neat stuff


love, peace & joy

To all my readers Happy Christmas, Hauskaa Joulua, Frohe Weihnachten, Joyeux Noël and Happy Holidays! Love and light, peace and joy this season and always. If you are travelling over the holidays, keep safe and warm.... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 22/12/2006 | 10 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Culture


the longest night

Once again in the northern hemisphere it is the winter solstice - the shortest day and longest night of the year, the first day of winter. It amazes me how very many cultures of the world have celebrations around this time. If I were able to choose a special and ancient way to celebrate, I'd go to Newgrange.

[Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 21/12/2006 | 5 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Culture, Home


Christmas favourites

'Tis the week before Christmas and we're all busy getting ready. To sustain the anticipation, one of the things I've been doing is looking at some of my favourite posts on this blog from the last two years. I... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 18/12/2006 | 2 comments
themes: Culture


Happy St. Lucia Day!

This young maiden dressed in white with a red sash and a wreath of candles on her head brings light to the northern darkness! I wrote about this Swedish-Finnish tradition a year ago, so if it's new to you,... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 13/12/2006 | 3 comments
themes: Culture, Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric



writing letters and cards, until cross-eyed watching high winds tossing our huge trees, worrying admiring the little garden lights in the early darkening listening to favourite Christmas music, heart singing putting out a few Christmas decorations each day, savouring... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 11/12/2006 | 9 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Culture


Happy 89th, Finland

Hyvää Itsenäisyyspäivää to Finland and my Finnish readers! On December 6, 1917, shortly after the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, Finland declared its independence. On this date, 89 years later, Finns are celebrating their country's Independence Day. If you are... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 05/12/2006 | 17 comments
themes: Culture, Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric, History



A Happy Thanksgiving to all my American blog friends and readers! I'm enjoying reading some of your thanksgiving posts. Many count the blessings in their lives, or the things they love about Thanksgiving. Here's Patry's number 4: "Traditions. In... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 23/11/2006 | 4 comments
themes: Blogging, Culture


the xylothek

Alnarp, Sweden is the home of a unique Wooden Library. "The wooden library, or xylothek (from the Greek words for tree, xylon, and storing place, theke) consists of 217 volumes describing 213 different species or varieties of trees and... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 21/11/2006 | 12 comments
themes: Books, Culture


poppy day

Wear White Poppies for a culture of peace Today on Remembrance Day in Canada Many thanks to wood s lot who always finds such treasures     UPDATE: 8:30 pm. I've just been reading a lovely post about Remembrance Day... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 11/11/2006 | 5 comments
themes: Culture, History



Happy Halloween! Be safe, little ones! All about Halloween All about pumpkins All about Samhain, Day of the Dead, All Souls, All Saints Halloween 2005 Halloween 2004 and a complaint about commercialization... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 31/10/2006 | 6 comments
themes: Culture


Griffin & Sabine

Griffin and Sabine, An Extraordinary Correspondence, written and illustrated by Nick Bantock grew into a series of six books that achieved great popularity and are some of my very favourites. I love the artwork, letters inside envelopes and postcards... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 24/10/2006 | 7 comments
themes: Books, Culture, Other artists


no more plastic bears

The ongoing fashion for cute, unoriginal and downright kitschy public art fauna continues to make me peevish, as I voiced here on July 9th , July 13th and July 17th of 2004 . And I'm not the only one... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 19/10/2006 | 11 comments
themes: Culture


fall equinox

Dear readers, I hope you've all had a great autumnal equinox, or spring if you're in the southern hemisphere. Yesterday was the first day of fall and the weather was gloriously warm and sunny all weekend here in southwest... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 24/09/2006 | 8 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Culture


the human journey

I've been happily lost in my travels through the pages of the Atlas of the Human Journey. I'm always fascinated to learn more about the amazing migration of humans from Africa to all the far corners of the earth.... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 24/08/2006 | 4 comments
themes: Anthropology, Culture, History, Rock Art & Archaeology


Blue Buddha

This past Monday evening 'The Nature of Things with David Suzuki' presented Blue Buddha: Lost Secrets of Tibetan Medicine. It traces the odyssey of traditional Tibetan medicine from it's roots in ancient Tibet, to a worldwide interest in it's... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 19/07/2006 | 2 comments
themes: Culture, Films, History


Fiskars Village

An exhibition called 'Fiskars Art Center presents Remix-Rethought'. Fiskars? The Finnish scissor company? Yes, and there is a place in Finland called Fiskars that I didn't know about. This tickled my Finnish funny bone.

[Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 14/07/2006 | 2 comments
themes: Art Exhibitions, Culture, Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric


Happy 139th birthday, Canada!

On this Canada Day, we have pomp and ceremony in Ottawa, parades, musicals events and fireworks in many communities and many vacationers at cottages and campgrounds. We're at home awaiting family guests, some from the US too. The weather... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 01/07/2006 | 2 comments
themes: Canada and BC, Culture, History


midsummer dreams

If I were in Finland right now, I'd be celebrating Juhannus at someone's summer cottage by a bonfire next to the water.

[Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 21/06/2006 | 7 comments
themes: Culture, Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric


Dad's day

Happy Father's Day to all dads out there! Happy Father's Day to the father of our children! I can't think of anything better than reposting this wonderful poem written by our eldest daughter and designed by our youngest for their... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 18/06/2006 | 4 comments
themes: Culture, Other artists


Arts news in Canada

Fairly new on my daily net reading list is the excellent Arts News Canada, "a digest of national arts news collected from Canadian sources and updated every weekday". An exciting item today is about Montreal's designation as City of... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 23/05/2006 | be the first to comment
themes: Being an Artist, Culture, Other artists


Victoria Day

We've just had a long weekend here in Canada. Victoria Day is a Canadian Statutory Holiday celebrated on the Monday on or before May 24 in honour of both Queen Victoria's birthday and the current reigning Canadian Sovereign's birthday.... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 22/05/2006 | 5 comments
themes: Canada and BC, Culture, Home


Mother's Day birthday

A very happy and beautiful Mother's Day to all moms and their families! Mukavaa ja kaunista äitienpäivää kaikille äideille ja perheille! The weather is glorious here this weekend. Our three daughters, two granddaughters and partners are gathering here Sunday... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 13/05/2006 | 6 comments
themes: Culture, Home


Happy Walpurgisnacht

"Ah, it's May Eve", I wrote last year, "Almost anywhere else on the planet this would not be so very significant, but in Finland it means "Vappu", a kind of Finnish "Mardi Gras meets the Rite of Spring", with... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 30/04/2006 | 2 comments
themes: Culture, Current Events, Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric


Happy Easter

I've just put our treasured collection of Easter eggs on display. Most of these lovely eggs have been made over the years by our youngest daughter. I decided to photograph them and post them here because I was so... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 14/04/2006 | 8 comments
themes: Culture, Home


April First

"It's snowing", he whispered into my ear. My eyes opened instantly, then I remembered... The maple syrup's full of ants. A mouse is creeping on the shelf. Is that a spider on your back? I ate the whole pie... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 01/04/2006 | 2 comments
themes: Culture


Happy St.Patrick's

Irish smiles to [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 17/03/2006 | be the first to comment
themes: Culture


cherry blossoms & snow

A new cultural event taking place right now in Vancouver is the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival, a celebration of the 36,000 cherry trees in the city's parks, boulevards, and private gardens, more than in any other Canadian city. According... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 10/03/2006 | 4 comments
themes: Culture, Current Events



(image scanned from invitation - designed by Andrew Cairns) WOMAN is an art exhibition in celebration of International Women's Day at the Ferry Building Gallery, 1414 Argyle Ave, in West Vancouver, BC. The opening reception is tonight, Tuesday, March... [Continue Reading...]

Kalevala Event

   ... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 22/02/2006 | be the first to comment
themes: Culture, Folk Legends & Myths, Music



Happy Valentine's Day to all my readers! If you are in Finland, I wish you Hauskaa Ystävänpäivää! (That means Happy Friends' Day, which I just learned about and like very much!) Because my birthday is so close to Valentine's,... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 14/02/2006 | 2 comments
themes: Culture


Gung Hay Fat Choi!

Happy New Year, that is the Chinese Lunar Year! "... old debts will be settled, new clothes purchased and homes cleaned and decorated to ring in the New Year with a fresh start. Families gather on the eve of... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 28/01/2006 | 3 comments
themes: Canada and BC, Culture


Isabel Bayrakdarian in Armenia

Last Thursday evening we decided to do a rare thing and watch TV, specifically CBC's Opening Night which featured A Long Journey Home. This is a beautifully filmed and spiritually moving documentary that follows Armenian-Canadian operatic soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 22/01/2006 | 2 comments
themes: Culture, Films, History, Music


Twelfth Day

Today is the Twelfth Day of Christmas (and my true love gave to me...!). A year ago, I learned that the Twelfth Day of Christmas is on the sixth day of January which is Epiphany (or Loppianen in Finnish).... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 06/01/2006 | 6 comments
themes: Culture, Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric


Happy New Year!

It is the sixth day of Christmas and tonight is New Year's Eve. We have been busy getting ready for friends from Victoria coming for this weekend, and friends from Denmark coming next week. What a great way to... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 31/12/2005 | 2 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Culture, Current Events


Boxing Day

Boxing Day is a public holiday observed in many Commonwealth countries on 26 December. In many European countries including Finland it is also a holiday, called St Stephen's Day (Tapaninpäivä in Finnish) or the Second Day of Christmas. According... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 26/12/2005 | 2 comments
themes: Culture, Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric


Winter Story 2005

We had a wonderful Christmas Eve in the Finnish tradition with dinner, carols and Santa's visit. Our oldest daughter and her partner surprised us by arriving from out of town and joining us after all. We were nine around... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 25/12/2005 | be the first to comment
themes: Being an Artist, Culture


Merry Christmas, Hauskaa Joulua

Warmest wishes to all for a Happy Christmas, Hauskaa Joulua, Frohe Weihnachten, Joyeux Noël, Happy Chanukah, Matunda Ya Kwanzaa and Happy Holidays.... and Peace on Earth! Thank you, dear readers, for your support and friendship throughout the year -... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 22/12/2005 | 3 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Culture, Current Events


happy winter solstice

Detail from Silent Messengers II Those of us in the northern Hemisphere can now breathe a collective sigh of relief that the sun has not disappeared forever and the days will be getting longer! Spring will come and we... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 21/12/2005 | be the first to comment
themes: Culture, History


Santa or Joulupukki

(A straw moble or "himmeli" - scanned from a clipping in my files, from an old Finnish magazine possibly Kotiliesi) It's now five nights to Christmas Eve and my thoughts are dancing around this rather magical time. I'm really... [Continue Reading...]

Santa Lucia's Day

Illustration by Satomi Ichikawa in Merry Christmas - Children at Christmastime around the world (Wm.Heinemann, 1983) In Helsingin Sanomat is an article about the Saint Lucia parade held last night, December 13th, in Helsinki. "As the doors of the... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 14/12/2005 | 2 comments
themes: Books, Culture, Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric


Finland Independence Day

Hyvää Itsenäisyyspäivää to my Finnish readers! ("Happy Independence Day" in Finnish). Finland is celebrating its 88th Independence Day tomorrow, Tuesday, December 6th. It is a national holiday, an official flag-raising day, and in every home, two candles are normally... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 05/12/2005 | 13 comments
themes: Culture, Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric


first of December

The first day of December already! I just learned that the name is from the Latin decem for "ten". December was the tenth month in the Roman calendar until a monthless winter period was divided between January and February,... [Continue Reading...]

Finnish libraries

The Dome Hall, National Library of Finland As I've mentioned before, I love reading Virtual Finland for all kinds of interesting facts about my birth country. I knew that Finns have long led the world in reading and literacy.... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 26/11/2005 | 2 comments
themes: Books, Culture, Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric, History


American Thanksgiving

Today's view outside the window at my computer, just before the fog thickened... What a foggy foggy week we are having though the sun is shining on the mountaintops, I'm told! Sometimes one can barely see more than half... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 23/11/2005 | 3 comments
themes: Culture



On Canada's Remembrance Day today, as I struggle to express my conflicting feelings about it, I read this wonderful essay: A Rare Tribute to the Dead: Käthe Kollwitz's Memorial to her Son Artist Käthe Kollwitz grieved the loss of... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 11/11/2005 | be the first to comment
themes: Culture, Other artists


Happy Halloween

(photo - EKR) Tonight is Halloween and all the little boys and girls will be out trick-or-treating. Our granddaughter is coming over to visit a few houses, then help answer the door in her "ghost princess" costume and scare... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 31/10/2005 | 5 comments
themes: Culture, Folk Legends & Myths


Finland, Cultural Lone Wolf

This is the unusual and attention-grabbing title of a new book on Finland, as announced in the aforementioned e-newsletter from Canadian Friends of Finland. The announcement reads: DEAR FINN OR PART- FINN: Finland is revealed in a new book... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 15/10/2005 | be the first to comment
themes: Books, Culture, Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric


Sibelius...the Last Swan

Images from Jean Sibelius biography site. Canadian Friends of Finland, Vancouver Chapter, presents: SIBELIUS.....THE LAST SWAN A stage play performed by Western Gold Theatre Saturday October 29, 2005, 2 - 3.30 pm Scandinavian Community Centre, 6540 Thomas St., Burnaby, B.C.... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 15/10/2005 | be the first to comment
themes: Culture, Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric, Music


Thanksgiving weekend

As you may have guessed from my absence here for a few days, we took a little four day holiday over the Thanksgiving weekend. We had a lovely drive, enjoying the gorgeous fall colours and scenes of numerous mountains... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 12/10/2005 | be the first to comment
themes: Being an Artist, Canada and BC, Culture



This weekend Canadians are celebrating Thanksgiving. We'll be busy enjoying family and friends - will post about it later. In the meantime, read my Thanksgiving post of last year. Have a good weekend and Happy Thanksgiving, fellow Canadians!... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 08/10/2005 | 1 comment
themes: Culture


New Orleans

Like everyone, I've been following the terrible tragedy of New Orleans in news and blogs, feeling deeply but not writing much myself. So many of us who have visited New Orleans have been recalling it, thankful for having had that... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 04/09/2005 | 5 comments
themes: Culture, Current Events


World Myths and Legends in Art

Detail of birds, Malagan Pole 19th century Papua New Guinea "Myths are stories that explain why the world is the way it is. All cultures have them. Throughout history, artists have been inspired by myths and legends and have... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 03/09/2005 | 3 comments
themes: Anthropology, Culture, Folk Legends & Myths


Holman's Graphic Art

Mary K. Okheena Shaman Dances to Northern Lights 1991 stencil on paper, PWP 1/3 56.3 x 76.1 cm Collection of The Winnipeg Art Gallery I've been exploring this site with much pleasure: Holman: Forty Years of Graphic Art. Holman... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 26/08/2005 | 4 comments
themes: Culture, Other artists, Printmaking


Maori Art in America

Kaitaka 1999 (detail) Artist: Te Aue Davis; assisted by Bill Solomon Photo credit: Norman Heke Image copyright: Toi Maori Aotearoa I came across this headline in Google News: "Millions in US tune in to Maori art"   (25.08.05 in... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 24/08/2005 | 1 comment
themes: Art Exhibitions, Culture


art & civilization

"..this quote from the guardian article "Civilisations are judged and remembered not by their most successful businessmen but by the art they leave behind." yeah, sounds real nice if you can get over the fact it's simplistic romanticized pap.... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 03/08/2005 | 4 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Culture


long weekend

We all like our long weekends, and we are having one now with the first Monday in August being BC Day in British Columbia. I was curious to find out if all our provinces have such a provincially designated holiday... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 31/07/2005 | be the first to comment
themes: Being an Artist, Canada and BC, Culture


Art in Nature

Doesn't this scene look very magical and surreal, with the strange almost man-made looking sculptural forms scattered about in the landscape? Photo from the World Conservation Union (IUCN), via BBC It is the desert floor of Wadi al-Hitan, or Whale... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 20/07/2005 | 2 comments
themes: Culture, History, Photography, Rock Art & Archaeology


Canada Day

Happy 138th Birthday Canada! In honour of the day, the Canadian and inestimable mirabilis has posted a wonderful link to the origins of "O Canada". Calixa Lavallée composed it in 1880 in Quebec City. It remained a French only... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 01/07/2005 | be the first to comment
themes: Canada and BC, Culture


Land of the Saame

Photo by Pekka Antikainen, in "Land of the Saame" As my dear readers know, I'm fascinated by the northern indigenous cultures, in particular the Saami people of northern Europe who are a branch of the Finno-Ugric family. Some time... [Continue Reading...]

Midsummer nights

Many summers ago my husband, our two little girls and I were traveling by car and ferries through Germany to Denmark, Sweden, Finland and back again to Germany before flying home to Canada. The night we arrived in Denmark... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 21/06/2005 | 6 comments
themes: Culture, Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric


Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all Dads everywhere! We enjoyed revisiting last year's wonderful poem/card by our daughters to their Dad. This year's celebration is quiet with only one daughter home, one living several hours drive away, and the third... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 19/06/2005 | 1 comment
themes: Being an Artist, Culture


on artists & celebrity

Poking around in my bookmarked "articles to re-read", I was taken in once again by this Guardian interview of JG Ballard about a year ago. His thoughts on today's art scene struck a chord with me: "Today's art scene? Very... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 14/06/2005 | 8 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Books, Culture, Films



Museum of Online Museums "Welcome to the Museum of Online Museums. Here, you will find links from our archives to online collections and exhibits covering a vast array of interests and obsessions: Start with a review of classic art... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 10/05/2005 | be the first to comment
themes: Art Exhibitions, Culture


mother's day

made by youngest daughter Erika A Happy Mother's Day to all mothers everywhere! Mother's Day Proclamation at wood s lot and at watermark... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 08/05/2005 | 3 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Culture


Vappu and May Day

Ah, it's May Eve, as Helsingin Sanomat reminds me. Almost anywhere else on the planet this would not be so very significant, but in Finland it means "Vappu", a kind of Finnish "Mardi Gras meets the Rite of Spring",... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 30/04/2005 | 3 comments
themes: Culture, Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric


Geist's maps of Canada

Oh, I must share this find from my morning blogstroll! Today, while still in fairy tale mode after yesterday's post perhaps, a link to The Fairy Tale Map of Canada piqued my interest at plep. It turns out to... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 18/04/2005 | be the first to comment
themes: Culture


Art in Greater Vancouver

A common complaint amongst art bloggers in North America is how little coverage the visual arts is given in mainstream newspapers. Here in the Vancouver area, our biggest paper the Vancouver Sun has a weekly listing of some of... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 04/02/2005 | be the first to comment
themes: Culture


peaceful societies

Last week I made one of my visits to Via Negativa and found a very interesting series of posts that grabbed my own interest in "primitive" cultures. Dave Bonta announces: "Today marks the inauguration of a new website on Peaceful... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 24/01/2005 | 4 comments
themes: Culture, Ethnicity


ArtsNow for Olympics 2010

The monthly Opus Visual Arts Newsletter (in print and online) provides useful information for artists such as calls for submissions, some arts news and, my favourite part, an always thoughtful and well-written editorial by arts advocate Chris Tyrell. Sometimes... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 16/01/2005 | be the first to comment
themes: Being an Artist, Culture, Current Events


the sixth day

Six Geese A-Laying, Illustration by Jan Brett on a Christmas card, from the book The Twelve Days of Christmas, published by Dodd, Mead & Co., NY A little bit of whimsy, forgive me, as some ever so slight relief... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 31/12/2004 | be the first to comment
themes: Culture, Folk Legends & Myths


Christmas Eve

(My 2003 Christmas card of a gingerbread house made by daughter Erika) It's been sunny and cool here and we enjoyed a morning walk around our neighbourhood. I finished the last of the baking this afternoon, so this evening... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 23/12/2004 | 2 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Culture


winter solstice

"The winter solstice is again upon the Northern Hemisphere, and though the year's shortest day heralds the onset of winter it also promises the gradual return of the sun after a prolonged period of darkness. That there are holidays... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 21/12/2004 | be the first to comment
themes: Culture, Folk Legends & Myths


snowflakes & scary santa

Today's blog travels yielded some seasonal treats like this lovely photogallery of snowflakes and some of the science behind these nature's artworks. In case you missed it, also have a look at something a bit related - frost fractals.... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 20/12/2004 | be the first to comment
themes: Culture, Folk Legends & Myths


Winter Lights

A 43-year Vancouver tradition, the Carol Ships travel the waters around the city in December, with different destinations each night. People gather in waterfront parks and house parties at homes with waterviews to enjoy these seasonal displays. We vividly... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 19/12/2004 | be the first to comment
themes: Canada and BC, Culture


My favourite things

about Christmas are the things that appeal to the romantic and the child in me. I love the visual delights of little white lights, red candles, evergreens, snow, red berries, pine cones and red folk embroidery on linens. I love... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 17/12/2004 | 3 comments
themes: Books, Culture, Music


about Báiki

Cover of issue 25 of Báiki, with image of sculpture: "NAA", © 2003 Rose-Marie Huuva, reindeer hide and sealskin I recently received a copy of Báiki: the North American Sámi Journal, which 'is a major English-language source of information... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 12/12/2004 | 3 comments
themes: Culture, Ethnicity, Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric, History


Finland's Independence Day

Finland is celebrating its 87th Independence Day (Itsenäisyys Päivä) today, December 6th. Though I'm a proud Canadian, I'm also proud of my birth country. Finland was part of the Swedish realm for some 600 years up to 1809 and... [Continue Reading...]

Pierre Berton 1920-2004

Pierre Berton died today at the age of 84. A well-known award-winning author of 50 books and a broadcaster, he was one of Canada's best known and beloved figures. He wrote about his life in the Yukon and about Canada... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 30/11/2004 | be the first to comment
themes: Books, Culture


Granville Island

This is neat - Granville Island in Vancouver, BC has been ranked at the top of 20 best neighbourhoods in North America by Project for Public Places. (via Urban Vancouver ) Read my take on the place in this... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 28/11/2004 | 2 comments
themes: Culture


Happy American Thanksgiving!

This is an important four-day holiday for the people of the United States. Traditionally it's a time for family get-togethers for a huge turkey dinner and festivities. Like in Canada (where Thanksgiving falls on the second Monday in October), multicultural... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 24/11/2004 | be the first to comment
themes: Culture


Eastside Cultural Crawl

This weekend, November 19 to 21, is the 8th annual Eastside Cultural Crawl in Vancouver, BC. It is western Canada's largest open-studio event, encompassing 33 buildings, 250 artists and some 10,000 attendees. Painters, jewellers, sculptors, furniture makers, musicians, weavers,... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 18/11/2004 | be the first to comment
themes: Culture


Remembrance Day

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, Canadians are asked to pause and remember the lives lost in the two World Wars, the Korean war and our peacekeeping missions. Learn about Remembrance Day in... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 11/11/2004 | 2 comments
themes: Culture


Halloweeeeen Apples!

That's what we, in our childhood, called out as we rang neighbours' doorbells, dressed in inexpensive home-made costumes. Today it's "Trick or Treat" and often some pretty sophisticated costumes that Mom bought! Treats most desired by the little goblins... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 31/10/2004 | 1 comment
themes: Culture


CBC's opening night

I've been spending far too much time working at the computer with PhotoShop, developing images for a series of prints combining inkjet and collagraph prints in layers. I've been in the printmaking studio printing proofs, and back to the... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 21/10/2004 | be the first to comment
themes: Being an Artist, Culture, Music


Canadian Thanksgiving

This is a three-day long weekend in which many families get together for a big dinner centered usually around a big roast turkey, traditionally as a thanks for the harvest, right? Well, I decided to search some of the... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 11/10/2004 | 2 comments
themes: Culture, History


Lord of the Rings musical

Helsingin Sanomat has a story that really tickles my Finnish funnybone as it makes the intriguing connection between Tolkien's Lord of the Rings and Finland. The makers of London's West End musical Lord of the Rings (Flash webpage) have... [Continue Reading...]

Vancouver's Art Patrons

In today's Straight, Robin Laurence writes about Vancouver's "Patron Saints" of the arts: painter Joe Plaskett and real-estate developer Michael Audain. Along with the VIVA (Vancouver Institute for the Visual Arts) awards funded by the Jack and Doris Shadbolt... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 23/09/2004 | be the first to comment
themes: Culture


Karen Kain: Chair, Canada Council for Arts

CBC Arts News reports that Karen Kain, one of the most celebrated ballerinas in Canadian history, will be the new chair of the Canada Council for the Arts. I think she will be a great advocate for artists and... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 17/09/2004 | be the first to comment
themes: Culture


new native museum

National Geographic News has some interesting pages about the new National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. Native by design, it incorporated suggestions from Native Americans throughout North, Central, and South America. Most people said they wanted... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 16/09/2004 | be the first to comment
themes: Art Exhibitions, Culture, Ethnicity


Canadian Arts news

CBC Arts News is on my daily blog visit list for Canadian arts news. I have linked to their articles several times in my postings. (If you'd like to see these, search my site for 'CBC'). Besides current news... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 11/09/2004 | 1 comment
themes: Art Exhibitions, Culture, Other artists


Bill Reid's art on $20 bill

For the first time ever, the work of an artist is featured on a Canadian currency note. The new twenty-dollar bill with anti-counterfeiting features, still has the Queen on one side, and the other illustrates the art of Bill... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 27/08/2004 | be the first to comment
themes: Culture, Other artists


Printmaking and Granville Island

It's now raining hard in Vancouver at long last after a hot dry summer and instead of outside work, I suddenly have some free time to blog. Malaspina Printmakers is the subject of a review: Freedom Of The Press... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 21/08/2004 | be the first to comment
themes: Canada and BC, Culture, Printmaking


Music in Finland

As a lover of opera and all things Finnish, I'm surprised and thrilled by today's post on ionarts "Music in Finland". Charles Downey writes about how active opera is in Finland today as well as its history: "It took... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 20/08/2004 | 2 comments
themes: Culture, Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric, Music


World Congress of Finno-Ugric Peoples

"Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, will host the Fourth World Congress of Finno-Ugric Peoples from 15-19 August 2004. The theme of the congress is "The Youth Is Our Future" and it will bring together approximately seven hundred delegates, observers and... [Continue Reading...]

Art Appreciation

An interesting discussion is underway over at Cassandra Pages about art appreciation. Yesterday, (August 11th) Beth wrote about arts support in Canada referring to some past comments I had made. Please read the new comments to that, and then... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 12/08/2004 | be the first to comment
themes: Being an Artist, Culture


Vancouver's manhole cover art

I read about the results of this unusual public art competition twice in Zeke's Gallery, a Montreal art blog! He refers to articles in the Globe & Mail and the National Post. So where's Vancouver's own online coverage of... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 26/07/2004 | 2 comments
themes: Culture


more cows!

Another sighting of public art fauna has been made by Charles Downey of Ionarts - in Manchester, where they have cows! He's referred to my post on public art fauna and how that trend has "befouled" cities around the... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 17/07/2004 | be the first to comment
themes: Culture


More Public Art Fauna

More public art fauna, right here in Vancouver and Victoria! A few days ago I wrote about Public ART? in some American cities. I had forgotten about our Orcas in the City until I read Pete McMartin's article "Whale-watching... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 13/07/2004 | 2 comments
themes: Culture


Public ART?

Pandas? Sheep? Pigs? Cows? What is going on? Over the past few weeks I kept reading about pandas in Washington, then ever so humble (no longer archived, sorry) had a post about Sheeptacular Pittsfield in Massachusetts. Yesterday dangerous chunky... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 09/07/2004 | 1 comment
themes: Culture


Happy Canada Day

It is Canada's 137th birthday! Here's a little background history and how Canada got its name. Many communities have celebrations like parades, free concerts and museums entries, street activities, lots of multicultural performances, and fireworks. Look at capital city... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 01/07/2004 | 2 comments
themes: Canada and BC, Culture


Creative Industries Study

In today's ArtForum News: Study Reveals Nation's Most Art-Saturated Cities "The nonprofit organization Americans for the Arts has released its first national Creative Industries Study, which analyzes in detail the locations of arts-related businesses, institutions, and organizations in all... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 30/06/2004 | be the first to comment
themes: Culture


Canadian culture

'if' backtracked to my post of yesterday on Art in Canada & CBC, so I made a first visit and browse. A recent and particularly timely entry caught my eye, Wyman speaks linked to an interesting and currently very... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 22/06/2004 | be the first to comment
themes: Canada and BC, Culture


summer solstice

Depending on where you are in the Northern Hemisphere, it is the longest day of the year. Actual dates of celebrations vary in countries, often a weekend nearest the true solstice for convenience. It is mostly a northern European... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 21/06/2004 | 2 comments
themes: Culture, Folk Legends & Myths


Art in Canada & CBC

Surprise! Google News Canada had linked for a short while, two articles about Art in Canada. Art Matters, by Matthew Teitelbaum, director and CEO of The Art Gallery of Ontario, in the Toronto Star: Teitelbaum makes several interesting and... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 21/06/2004 | be the first to comment
themes: Art Exhibitions, Canada and BC, Culture


For Dad

This is a wonderful poem written by my eldest daughter and designed by my youngest for their father on this Father's Day. Click on image to view larger. Poem © Anita Rathje Design © Erika Rathje... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 20/06/2004 | 3 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Culture, Other artists


Happy Victoria Day

It is the Victoria Day long weekend for Canadians and out here on the Westcoast, if you are not "away", you are working in the garden and around the home. Gardening is what I am doing a lot of... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 24/05/2004 | 3 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Culture


Brian Eno on culture

(a deep-etched copperplate of mine) Scribblingwoman recommended having a look at a post over at wood s lot about Brian Eno and A Big Theory of Culture. This is essentially an interview of Brian Eno about his book, A... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 16/05/2004 | 1 comment
themes: Being an Artist, Concepts, Culture


May Day or Vappu

One of the most important festivals of the year, the first day of May is a popular celebration in Scandinavia. This originally a worker's holiday has turned into a massive celebratory festival for current and graduated high school students... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 30/04/2004 | 1 comment
themes: Culture, Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric


Modern Icons

The Tyee has posted a link to a rather humorous look at modern day icons written by Mark Kingwell in Arts & Opinion: TEN STEPS TO THE CREATION OF A MODERN MEDIA ICON Here are the ten steps (my... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 05/04/2004 | be the first to comment
themes: Culture


Event: Kalevala Runos

Is this synchronicity? I have just received an email notice about an event this weekend called Kalevala Runos. It is presented by the Vancouver Society of Storytelling. Their link is for last year's event and because there is no... [Continue Reading...]

Fenno-Ugrian people

Some of my image research delves into the marks left by early humans, particularly the Fenno-Ugrian peoples. Their region includes Finland (my birth country), Karelia (now in Russia), Estonia and Lapland or Sami. The Gallen-Kallela Museum in Finland had an... [Continue Reading...]