Marja-Leena Rathje
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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 and two granddaughters to one of several popular annual Christmas Craft Fairs at the Scandinavian Center, this one organized by the Finns. Husband bought some pulla and lots of Karelian piirakkas, we even enjoyed some there. We bought hand-made straw ornaments for our trees. I found an exquisite Finnish linen table runner for a dear friend, and some wildly colourful hand knit slipper socks for myself for when insomnia strikes and I wander about at night, read and have sleepytime tea.

Back at home and with the light still good, I took several photos of our granddaughters' hands holding some of those straw ornaments. I'm going to try making Christmas cards with one of them - wish me luck. I can't believe it's a month to Christmas... what a procrastinator am I, every year.

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


When I saw that first picture I thought you'd splurged on an early Christmas present for yourselves. Goodness knows, those things made some distance in their time.

The craft fair sounds very nice. Don't worry, you still have lots of time to get ready. I'm happy to know you'll have your children and granddaughters with you this year.

Susan, hah, you tease! Actually I wouldn't mind that boat as a Christmas gift from some generous Santa! Not as big as an ocean going boat but it would be great in our coves and bays. Yes, this year it will be a full house for Christmas, how about you, Susan?

The picture of the beautiful fireplace almost breached my deep pre-Christmas 'bah-humbugism'!

Dick, oh, that is a good thing! It's the most beautiful feature in this otherwise rather plain building, which was renovated by volunteers from each of the Nordic groups which came together to buy it and create a joint community.

Oh, I'm procrastinating too, like my lazy cat. Well, I think I'll get going today, though.

Hattie, we don't do much of the commercial aspects of Christmas, such as the gifts, getting them only for the grandchildren. We're doing less fussing so It's nice to have many hands to share the load of preparing the feasts and the baking. Most of the work for me at this point in time is making the cards, writing letters and mailing them. We also need to put up lights and a door wreath when weather allows. I still have work to complete in the studio before the Christmas break too, so... busy... busy...

Thanksgiving came very early this year, so maybe it's not as late as you think. At least that's what I'm telling myself as I try to get my act together for Christmas! Glad you got a bit of sun this weekend - that surely helps getting motivated.

I'm still getting caught up after our trip. To think that it's now less than a month til Christmas is alarming. I wish I could have seen the Finnish Bazaar. And I love the scrunched paper scans.

Leslee, I did get a good start on the card design but it still needs work. The craft fair was sure a motivator for me. Our Thanksgiving is much too early to do that for us here in Canada :-)

Anne, with all the travelling you do, I'm surprised you ever catch up (just kidding!). Glad you like those scans.

I'm feeling a bit shocked by the closeness of Christmas, too, Marja-Leena! I have had a lot of crafty ideas, but they've remained just that so far -- we'll see if I can manage to act on any of them! Good luck to you - I love those straw ornaments and would love to see the photo-card you are planning.

Oh, I want a Viking boat!

Do you know the children's book, "Yo, Vikings!" by Judith Schachner? Her daughters found an ad selling a Viking longboat and they wanted it so much that the group who owned it essentially gave it to them. They played on it for years. Eventually it rotted and became part of the garden, the decorative ends sticking up out of the flowers. The book's about that process, getting the boat, etc.

And she is a lovely person--met her years ago in Albany, NY...

Beth, you have been incredibly busy with Marly's book and your choir and much more. We just can't do everything though we try. The card-making has become a tradition for me though I keep saying every November, no more...

Marly, are you psychic? I've just visited your blog then started replying to Beth, with the mention of your book when your comment came in.

That book sounds fabulous. I promptly checked our library - there are many of Schachner's books but not that one. I would love to read it to our younger granddaughter, even the older one (a bookworm!) would love to read it to her sister for she also took a photo of the boat.