Sunday, 20 December 2009

Will we Won't we?

It is a nervous wait whilst we see what the weather will do in the next couple of days. Fingers crossed everything gets back to normal so we will be able to fly to UK. Meanwhile we are celebrating Christmas here today in Finland! The ham is cooked and carrot casserole, mashed potato and swede all done. Mud pie for pudding, not very traditional I know but my mother in law loves chocolate!
I will take this opportunity too to wish you all a wonderful Christmas, may those blood sugars be perfect and I look forward to an exciting 2010!

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Some answers

Well I got the freezer defrosted , Aleksi's blood sugars behaved very well today(at least) and yes it got colder ,-18 this morning as I waited for the bus to take me to Helsinki for my eye appointment. It seems my eye problems may stem from the chronic sinus problems I have and which showed up beautifully on the MRI scan. I got to see my brain today - it was so amazing! The doctor said it looked perfect which pleased me no end.
I still haven't solved my wool storage problems and have come to the conclusion that one can never have enough wool!!
Also I have just noticed I am nearing 100 posts - I feel a 'giveaway' coming on.......

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Too many questions

I have so many questions going through my head at the moment and I have no idea where to start!
  • Have I bought Christmas gifts for all those people I need to get gifts for?
  • Did I really buy up half of Amazon's stock!?
  • Have I forgotten anyone off my Christmas card list?
  • What will happen at the eye clinic tomorrow when I see the neuro opthamologist?
  • Do we start using the insulin pump with Aleksi?
  • Will Aleksi's blood sugar settle down a bit? (please!)
  • Will we get to UK for Christmas without too much hassle? (strikes permitting)
  • Can it possibly get any colder? (-16 C at the moment)
  • While it's this cold will I get chance to defrost the freezer?
  • Where can I store all my wool!?
  • Do I have enough wool!?

Not earth shattering stuff I know but these things niggle away sometimes. Some are easily answered, others we just have to wait for the answer and some take a lot of time, talking, advice and support from friends before we know the answer.
And tomorrow, more questions and hopefully some answers too!

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Big sigh

Well I survived the 5 day Naisten JouluMessut - one of the first Christmas fairs in Helsinki, helped along by lovely stall neighbours and I am pleased to say it was very much worth it. The pincushions were very popular and my alien population is severely depleted. I like to think however, that they will all be having a ball in their new homes! I have a couple of new aliens and viruses to make so can't quite put my feet upjust yet. Then I need to start planning my next fair in March - not so far away........

Monday, 30 November 2009


Only one day to go before my busiest time of the year - the Naisten Joulumessut at the Wanha Satama in Helsinki. 5 days of (I hope )sell, sell, sell! The days are long but attendance is usually very good with people looking for Christmas gifts. I only have a small table so lots of small gifts are the order of the day. I have been busy making Christmas decorations - Some no nonsense plants such as this poinsettia and of course this lot get a look in as do these

Christmas is coming............

Thursday, 26 November 2009


You can't escape numbers, birth dates, prices, bus times, holidays...
Some numbers are good, my favourite number 9 stems back to the days I used to play field hockey. I was the centre forward always in search of the glory goal - all the best strikers wore number 9. I still have the shirt!
102 is a great number - the total number of years that my parents, my 2 brothers and I have been married to our respective partners.
13 is not all bad - we live in our lovely house at number 13 and Aleksi was born on the 13th - definately can't be bad!
Some numbers have tragic stories to tell - 9/11 2001 is one example. However 11 days later on 9/22 2001 a beautiful story unfolded - our wedding day!
Our life now is ruled by numbers, some too high ,some too low and with luck and hard work some just right. My favourite - anything between 5 and 7 is perfect!
So in 3 months time we will go back to get Aleksi's 'numbers' checked - to see if his HbA1c has come down after its present blip of 8.2. So carbs will be counted, units of insulin calculated , ratios altered , in search of that perfect number - whatever it is.......

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

2 years on

It is now 2 years since Aleksi was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. So what has changed, what have we learned?
  • He has grown 23cms and is 4.5 kgs heavier
  • His feet have gone up at least 3 if not 4 sizes!
  • He has become an expert in Lego
  • He and I have wasted many hours playing Lego Star Wars or Batman on Playstation - I'm always the Joker to his Batman.
  • His writing is now legible and can count to 'big numbers' in English and Finnish.
  • The whole family's mathematical ability has improved considerably.
  • He started pre school this Autumn.
  • We took Grandma to meet Mickey Mouse and big favourite Goofy in Disney Florida.
  • We built sandcastles and ate huge waffles in Crete.
  • We went orienteering in Scotland and didn't get lost too much!
  • He and his sister learnt to downhill ski and loved it!
  • He has almost learnt to ride his 'big boys bike'
  • His ice skating ability leaves me hanging onto the railings.
  • He has finally learnt to make his bed and put his washing in the laundry basket.
  • He will spend all day in the shower if we let him.
  • He is not a morning person(me neither!)
  • He loves his food and will eat anything and everything
  • His HbA1C and gone from 10.9 to 7.3
  • He never complains about his injections or blood tests.
And what about me - well a few/a lot more grey hairs, an intimate knowledge of most foodstuffs carbohydrate content, a brilliant husband who has breakfast down to a fine art :), new spectacles to read the nutritional information(always in the tiniest writing ever!) , a liking for skimmed milk and low fat spread, extra cuddles for Elli, a new business that keeps me busy but allows me the flexibility I need.

We've come a long way and learnt a lot about Diabetes and ourselves. We have a long way to go but we are having fun getting there. We have many many good days and these always outweigh the not so good days.
Life is good.

Monday, 9 November 2009


Well we queued in temperatures of about 0 degrees C from 8.50 until 11.45, then we were moved inside and finally at 12.30 Aleksi got his swine flu jab and seasonal flu jab. Poor lad, he puts up , without a whimper, 5+ injections every day but he screamed blue murder with his flu jabs! He was not impressed to say the least. But now it's done and I feel quite relieved. No reactions so far almost 12 hours later so I might get a good nights sleep.
It is typical November at the moment - GREY! We may get some snow tomorrow which does help brighten things a bit plus the kids love the snow! Hot soup and mulled wine weather!
Felting is slow, which it shouldn't be as I have a craft fair looming - other stuff seems to be taking over at the moment. I have noses and buttons to put on 20 or so snowmen! Tomorrow is another day however........

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Vaccination time

Next week Aleksi is due his swine flu vaccination, being in risk group 3 here in Finland - Type 1 and asthma. He is also due the usual flu jab and his final MMR jab - whew!( We have to leave at least a month after the swine flu jab before he can have the MMR)
My concern is to get the swine flu jab as soon as possible, the bugs are heading our way!I feel we could cope with haywire blood sugars but not with poorly lungs. Elli should also get the jab the end of this month and Hubby and I , with luck may get the jab too. I have no doubt it is the right thing to do but I know it is a very personal choice.
More cheery matters - Christmas is rapidly approaching and I am furiously felting snowmen, gingerbread men and christmas trees! I have made some more flowers and plants in pots(photos soon) and Elli has been drawing me some more alien and virus designs! I have a 5 day christmas fair in Helsinki early December which isn't too far away now, so back to the foam and needle!

Saturday, 31 October 2009

It's official!

I have a brain and it's 'normal'! (This photo is not actually my brain though!)

After developing a 'twitching' eye out of the blue last sunday, by Wednesday I had had enough so went to see and Opthamologist. Apparently the symptoms I displayed , although mild, were a sign of one of the few emergencies in eye conditions. I was sent immediately to the main eye clinic in Helsinki for further tests and scheduled for an MRI scan the next day. An interesting experience, not too unpleasant - the main displeasure being made to listen to Celine Dion as I lay inside what sounded like a broken washing machine!
Fortunately the outcome was good in that I didn't have a brain aneurysm and my brain was looking good!
I have nothing but praise for the treatment and care I received at the obviously very busy eye clinic - Thank you!
My twitching eye remains a bit of a mystery so I have a review at the clinic next week, but with luck it should settle of its own accord. I just have to be a little more careful needle felting - sharp needles and twitchy eyes are not a good combination!

Friday, 30 October 2009


The children and I ventured into Helsinki last weekend to see Up. What a great film, definitely one to see and we can't wait for the DVD to come out!
At a particularly poignant bit, when the old man is reminiscing over some old photos( imagine silent cinema, people taking in the moment) a little 'loud' voice next to me says " Mummy are you crying?" (I was!). Aleksi kept a close eye on me for the rest of the film, checking I was OK. Bless!
But there was more words of wisdom to come. As we headed back to catch the bus home, there was a young man standing next to us at the zebra crossing - that little 'loud' voice again - "Look Mummy a boat man!" Actually quite correct , a sailor probably heading back to his 'boat' after the weekend!
Makes me smile just thinking of it now!

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Where do you get your ideas from?

I get asked this a lot! Sometimes there is no obvious answer - ideas do literally pop into my head, just as I am going to sleep is a popular time! Having said that I do find inspiration in the most unexpected places - a news headline about the swine flu, including a photo of a highly magnified virus, gave me the idea to make the virus family.
This plant was inspired after playing Playstation Batman Lego - The final 'baddy' to beat was a rather impressive venus fly trap - though this one ate lego bricks!
I find children's books are a great source for ideas - the pictures are often quite 'simple' with great colours. I also take loads of photographs and have an impressive collection of postcards that give me ideas for shape and colour. Kids TV is another great resource (also gives me an excuse to watch cartoons!)
I then have my own design consultant - my 7½ year old daughter!

Here is the finished article!

More often than not though I just pick up a fistful of wool and needle away! So keep those eyes open and your next project may be staring right back at you!

Tuesday, 13 October 2009


When I was One,
I had just begun.

When I was Two,
I was nearly new.

When I was Three,
I was hardly me.

When I was Four,
I was not much more.

When I was Five,
I was just alive.

But now I am Six, I'm as clever as clever.
So I think I'll be six now for ever and ever.
(with acknowledgement to A.A.Milne)

Happy Birthday Aleksi!

Align Centre

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Fruitful times

I spent a very pleasant hour or so at the weekend, wandering in the woods near our summer cottage. There are so many mushrooms around at the moment and I managed to find a few chanterelles, some trumpet chanterelles (great for soup) and also some veriseitikki(bloodied webcap) - for wool dyeing.
Here are the webcaps brewing away on the decking out back.

There are down sides to wandering in the woods at the moment - I wasn't sure if I should be more worried about becoming a snack for a bear(one was spotted near the cabin not long ago) or being mistaken for an elk(elk hunting started on Saturday!) I am happy to say my little walk was most uneventful and I even managed to escape the invasion of the Elk flies(think of spiders with wings)
My husband wasn't so lucky and came back from mushroom hunt literally covered in them - he even found one the next morning, crawling in his hair. Persistent little so and so's!!
A more pleasant photo - Autumn, summed up beautifully!

Sunday, 20 September 2009


My dear husband (of 8 years on Tuesday!) is, as I type, running the Espoo marathon. It has taken me back to 1992 when I ran the London marathon - as much out of curiosity, one of those things you have to do, sheer madness(?), as well as an opportunity to do my bit for charity. I have just been reminiscing that day, looking at the photos and press cuttings and then it struck me. The charity I was running for was the Juvenile Diabetes foundation. How ironic that now 17 years later, we have a son with Type 1 (also known as Juvenile) Diabetes. How weird/spooky/bizarre that I was raising money for something that would become so important in our lives. Coincidence? Fate? Destiny? - who knows and who knows what may happen in the world of research in the next 5,10,15 years........ here's hoping lots(but no more marathon running!!!!)

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Thank you Moo!

I am a huge fan of and in particular their mini cards - which I use as fantastic business cards. I can use pictures of my work on the cards which makes them very eyecatching. However I have found a new function for Moo minicards - as a child damage limitation device!
At the craft fair I attended in Helsinki at the weekend, people were greatly cheered by my table full of aliens and viruses amongst other things.
However, as much as I don't mined people picking them up, some little people were hell bent on 'mangling' them. Enter the Moo mincard and they had their own little Alien to take hope - all happy - me, stressed parents and little one!
Thank you Moo :)

Monday, 31 August 2009

Pen to paper...

...Or rather fingers to keyboard :)
Summer is all but gone here, cooler nights and days slowly but surely getting shorter. The children are settled back in school and with luck we should have a plan in place quite soon for Aleksi and his injections.
The holidays ( ie the time the children were at home!!) were busy and fun - lots of time at the summer cottage, lots of jumping off the new jetty, berries and mushrooms galore, only a few horrendous high blood sugar(slight miscalculation for pizza and ice cream!), a wonderful week in Scotland with great friends and a really varied 6 days of orienteering.
The down side - well not much - not enough felting time but managed a few sneaked hours to feed the addiction, a cracked rib - serves me right for trying to run too fast downhill with the last control in sight, the hour queue just to get into the car park at Puuhamaa, an outdoor fun/swimming park - otherwise a lovely summer.
I have a Craft fair in Helsinki this weekend at Wanha Satama , stand C10 - check it out at
I have had a few new ideas over the summer months - I'll try post some photos here and on my flickr -
Meanwhile here is a photo that just about says it all!

Friday, 10 July 2009

Blog, what's that?

Ah yes I remember I have a blog! What with the children at home on school holidays and any rare 'free' time taken up with felting(keeps me sane!) my poor old blog has been ignored. It probably won't get much attention in the next few weeks either as O starts his holiday and we have to dig out the pier at the summer cottage and install a new one. I have been busy with a felting order which is potentially very exciting for me but will tell more later......!
Happy holidays all - the strawberry season has just started here too, so I'm off to sit by the lake and eat strawberries!

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

New career - I think not!

School holidays so we have been playing!

Friday, 5 June 2009

Almost perfect

A has had 5 days of almost 'perfect' blood sugars. Thank you , thank you, thank you!
O has taken the kids off to the summer cottage for the weekend as I have a felting order I have to finish by the end of next week. After that the kids are at home so 'work' will have to take a bit of a back seat. So Home alone - feels weird but kind of nice. Nice not to have to worry about anyone but me! Beer and pizza time........!

Monday, 1 June 2009

Whilst the sun shines...

Not quite making hay, but the lawn /dandelion patch got mowed, the lounge rug got washed(good old fashioned on your hands and knees scrubbing and I have the blisters to prove it!), the decking got oiled, the mould got scrubbed from the shed door, the garage floor got a wash and the kids had a ball playing outdoors all day. The ice cream and cold beer helped alot too!

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Little green men in Porvoo

I went to a craft fair at the weekend, in Porvoo, a town about 70 kms away which is predominately Swedish speaking. About 6% of the Finnish population speak Swedish as their mother tongue. I think it stems back to the time when Finland was part of Sweden - but I digress.
Sales weren't at their best but I was interviewed by a reporter for the local paper, Borgåbladet, and yesterday there was an article in the paper with me and my guys! Result!And Breaking news - Elli has lost a front top tooth. She couldn't wait to show her school mates. I found this little note to the tooth fairy on her bedroom wall - so sweet!

Sunday, 10 May 2009

R and R

A week in sunny Crete - the perfect way to get in the mood for spring and summer. It was lovely to relax in bright sunshine, watch the kids digging on the beach, eat delicious(and very cheap) food and finally not to be in a hurry to be somewhere or do something. A beautiful country and very friendly too. We rented Atlantis house with a pool through and it was lovely.

Here are a few photos to whet you appetite!

Friday, 24 April 2009

Inspired by a floor

As I was waiting for an interview regarding my business start up grant, when I happened to notice the floor! It was carved granite, I think, with a pattern that immediately made me think of seaweed - Ping - idea for a new picture. So as soon as I got home I scribbled(literally, as my drawing is pretty poor!) a sketch for a picture. Now I just need a bit of time to put soap to wool!
I also received a wonderful bag of wool from , 46 different colour samples of C1 wool. I just want to dive in. There is a lime green which is a perfect alien colour too!
And finally spring is here - the garden is full of birds, especially fieldfares and redwings, the resident huge hare, who is already eyeing up my crocuses, and the bulbs are just peeking through the lawn(well moss actually!) There is still sneaky frosts at night but time to get the BBQ out me thinks!

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

The Jesus book, little boys and scissors

Both the children went to church yesterday for an Easter service, which prompted Elli into scouring her book shelves, then eventually shouting - "Mum, where's my Jesus book?!" (aka the Bible!!)
Then last night my dear boy decided teddy needed a hair cut.
Obviously spurred on by his hairdressing success with ted, he then 'attacked'(the only word I can find) his own hair, using my sharpest , pointiest craft scissors.
So off to the hair dresser this evening for some first aid. We just managed to avoid a head shave but his military style buzz cut looks quite good!!

Monday, 30 March 2009

Pink Party Aliens!

The hardest part of a children's birthday party nowadays seems to be the goodie bag to take home - that is trying to fill it with fun stuff that hasn't cost you a second mortgage! After scouring the shops and failing to find much I decided to make these!
Miniature pink party aliens(plus a green one for Aleksi!)

The party was great fun with the children essentially entertaining themselves,playing, singing and eating,whilst O and I drank tea! Most civilised!

Monday, 23 March 2009


Quick update - just got home(23/03) after a couple of nights in hospital with A. He is fine now with the help of a glucose drip and some insulin juggling! A few more grey hairs for me and a huge learning experience for us all!

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Sick in the supermarket!

Not what you need on a busy Saturday morning - sorry if your having you lunch! Poor Aleksi threw up big time whilst we were out shopping. Thanks to the staff, who helped us sort ourselves out. Now back home we have the task of getting something into him as his blood sugar is low. Not much fun when you are feeling peaky - however the old favourite strawberry milk to the rescue! Fingers crossed.
On a more cheerful note the snow is finally melting, we have a lovely sunny day but the garden is still well and truly buried. I expect it will be a week or 2 before we see the grass again, and at least a good month before any bulbs will start to grow. Can't wait!

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Honest Scrap!

Thank you Suse-the-slow-knitter for nominating me for the Honest Scrap award! My first blog award :)

The rules go like this :-

1. Pick 7 or so blogs that make you happy
2. Let them know and post their names on your blog.
3. List at least 10 honest things about yourself.

1 and 2 - no problem. 3 a little trickier.

These are some of my favourite blogs that inspire and entertain me! Thank you :)

Here goes with the honesty!
1. I can quite happily spend hours playing with Lego!
2. I am a huge Star Wars fan, and have seen the films countless times, just watched episode VI today with my son!
3. I'm also happy to waste many hours playing Playstation - favourite game - Lego Star Wars of course!
4. Out of my immediate family, M & D and 2 brothers I am the smallest by far at 5' 7'' 170 cms.
5. I have cycled from John O'Groats to Lands End, climbing Snowden, Scafell and Ben Nevis on the way.
6. When I met my 'now' husband I didn't know exactly where Finland was - after checking, it wasn't where I expected! (Got it muddled with Norway)
7. If I was 30 years younger I would love to have a go at playing top class womens football.
8. I love sport but you will never find me with a racquet in my hand.
9.I spent almost 20 years as a Physiotherapist and loved (just about) every minute of it.
10. Every day I hope they are a step nearer to finding a cure for type 1 Diabetes.
11. My husband and 2 children are the best!

As seen in Craft Gossip!

I had a nice surprise last night when I received an e mail from Linda Lanese from Craft Gossip. She has written an article about me in the felting section - go see here!


A big thank to Therese at Softies Central for this lovely kit I received yesterday. I won it - even better! Sewing is definitely one of my strong points but E and I will have fun trying out our needle and thread skills!

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Oh to be young again!

We took the children downhill skiing for the first time this weekend - it was a delight to see them take to it like a duck to water. Just so natural for them at this age. E started cautiously but by the end of the 3 days was sailing down a blue run, turning beautifully and stopping when she wanted!
A just went! Balanced and fearless he just took off! He eventually realised that turning and stopping were pretty crucial and again skied the blue run effortlessly(less turns than we would like though!) They even managed the button lift and even the scary T bar lift(I have awful memories of those things when I was a beginner......)
So guess what we will be doing more of in the future - fine by me!
Snacks before ski school.


And we had some sunshine too!

Friday, 6 March 2009

What not to pack.......

I suggested to the children they might like to pack a few things to take away on a short trip we are taking. Last night as I was tidying up after the kids had gone to sleep I found their cases - all duly packed. E had packed 5 t shirts, 5 pairs socks, pants, skirts, a book, her lip cream and teddy. The packing was immaculate(takes after her mother and grandfather there!!). A had packed his gun, some plastic ice cream and his trusty light sabre! Not a shred of clothing in sight - a little work to be done there me thinks:)

Thursday, 26 February 2009

A dozen beaks and I'm ready.

Bunnies tails - done (how could I miss the fact they had no tails!)
Eggs -done (134 to be exact)
Labels printed - done (Remembered to print in Finnish not English this time)
Cupcake topping - done (one cherry one chocolate)

12 beaks for chicks - not done!
Almost there.......

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Super Heroes!

Whilst browsing blogs yesterday evening I found a link to this great web site -
So today may I present Family Heikkinen - Superheroes!!(with thanks to A and E for their creative input!)

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Australian bushfire fundraiser

One of my fellow felters from the felting forum is organising a fund raising event to raise money for assisting those severely affected by the devastating bush fires in Australia. Please read more on her blog or on the felting forum.
Thank you.

Not a good time

Craft fair next week , Half term this week, not a good time!!! I can see next week is going to disappear in a mass of labelling, printing, sticking, sewing and general frenzy in getting everything ready for next Friday - building day! The fair is only a weekend but this time I have a 4.5 m2 cubicle to myself. A bit scary after a little table! I plan to display a few pictures this time round as well as a variety of 'bits and bobs' including Easter decorations. I have a lot of finishing to do but know once I knuckle down to it, it doesn't take that long. Oh yes and the accounts - well that's another thing to do..........

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Eggs, rabbits and aliens!

I have been felting away in my little room fro the past few weeks in preparation for a craft fair at the end of this month - - Helsinki Kädentaitomessut 28th February - 1st March, at Wanha Satama, Helsinki. It will be my only fair before Easter so I have made these.
I am also in the process of wet felting dozens of easter eggs, which are drying in the sauna as we speak. They are fun to make and look great in the little linen and wool nests I have also made.
Finally I made these little chaps just after Christmas and they have been patiently waiting for their turn in the spotlight so take it away guys!

Close encounters of the Rainbow kind! Who said 7 heads were better than 1?

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Daily workout

At last a proper winter, snow and below zero temperatures. As I work at home some days I hardly leave the house so I have been making an effort to walk/sledge the children to school. Good in many ways - it is alot easier to get A and E ready and out the door on time with the promise of a sledge ride and it's great exercise for me! I struggled yesterday morning as the Finnish authorities, with their usual efficiency, had ploughed and gritted the pavements so the sledges wouldn't slide!! Last night I got O to get down from storage,the big old wooden sledge my brothers and I had as children. We flew to school this morning - it is big enough for both of them and they rode in style!!
The easter eggs are multiplying, my brain is not quite ready for wet felting yet but I think tomorrow maybe and hurray I have just about sorted out my accounts!!

Wednesday, 21 January 2009


Great - the weekend away was planned, the kids already to go to their aunt and uncle and I get raging toothache. Now I (sorry) HATE going to the dentist. But go I had to and did. Well toothache sort of sorted and a lovely weekend was had by all! Inspired by all things teeth I have made this for my dentist. I guess she doesn't get many presents and I may not be so enamoured after my root canal work tomorrow!
Bunnies and Easter eggs are occupying my mind at the moment along with aliens, leaves and my accounts. No wonder I keep waking up at night!

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Normal service resumed

Husband back to work, children back to school and day care, my workshop is no longer a secret stashing place for Christmas presents - finally back to 'normal'! I have got my next craft fair at the end of February which sounds like a long way off but as we seem to be almost half way through January I need to get my act together. I have got a fair few ideas rattling around my head so now I just need to get the wool out and create! Wish it was as easy as it sounds.....