Wow, I can't believe I was teaching in Finland at this very moment already a whole week ago!
Time flies! But finally I have some time to update my blog and show and tell how awome Finland was!
On friday morning I took the train to Schiphol airport where I met Marsha at noon. Unfortunatelly Revlie couldn't go and Marsha was so sweet to step in for her. Our flight to Helsinki left around 2pm. Our connecting flight to Jyväskylä had a little delay so we arrived there around 8pm. Riikka and Minna picked us up from the airport and drove us to the Peurunka Spa Hotel, where we met Mira from Amelia Askartelu, who organized this event and invited us to come to teach.
On saturday I taught 2 workshops and Marsha one. I was surprised by how relaxed the Finnish girls were and how independend. No stress at all, although especially the masking workshop it quite intens with lots of information and techniques. Such a pleasure to teach here!
On Saturday evening after my last workshop we went to the Areena. This was a hall filled with tables where people could crop and around them several shops where the croppers could get their supplies. Great concept! I was so happy to discover a little shop specialized in Washi tape! It's called Teippitarha which means Tape Garden. But I thought it was Tape Heaven, LOL! The owner Janina shippes everywhere and she has these special envelopes that hold up to 10 rolls of tape and cost only 2 euro's to ship, so check out her website if you love washi tape too! :)
Riikka surprised us with some beautiful and delicious "typical Finnish" gifts in a lovely bag she made for us using fabric from a Finnish designer.
This is a picture from her blog.
Marsha got the Jaffa one and me the green one. On my bag are prints from street views of Helsinki. When Marsha and I went into Helsinki on Monday morning we actually spotted the big wheel and we went into the market place of which there is a print on the other side of the bag! So fun!
Here's a picture of all the lovely gifts we got from Päivi (Pamppa) & Kaarina the book about card techniques they wrote, from Kaarina issues of Ihana, the magazine she owns (she also interviewed us for an upcoming article :)), from Maiju a book she wrote (thank you Heini for all the translations! :)), also about card techniques, from Mira a set of punches, a t-shirt and a lovely magazine called Inzpira and everything else from Riikka. Thanks girls, it was a big surprise and very much appreciated! :)
On Sunday morning Marsha was teaching the first class, which was a long one, 4 hours. So that gave me the oppertunity to go outside, walk to the lake, enjoy the sunshine, the lovely surrounding and the quiet peacefulness! The wheater was beautiful and I sat on a bench for a while looking over the frozen lake, feeling the warm sun on my face.
After that I went back into the class room and sat at the table next to Marsha playing a little in my art journal while she was teaching.
After lunch it was time for me to teach again, this time Marsha and my workshop were overlapping.
After the workshops and cleaning up Minna drove us to Helsinki. I think it took us about 4 hours to get there. This gave us a chance to see a little bit more of beautiful Finland and a lovely sunset. Thank you Minna for driving us and telling us all kinds of things about Finland!
The next morning we got up early, had breakfast and then took the shuttle from the hotel to the airport where we put our suitcases in a locker. Then we took a taxi into Helsinki where we arrived around 9 am.
What a lovely oppertunity, that we had some time before our flight at 2pm to get to see a bit of Helsinki. The wheater was wonderful again. We first went to Tuomiokirkko, the Catherdral of Helsinki and were surprised to see how sober it was inside. Then we went to the Kauppatori (market square) which was not complete yet, to early in the morning I guess. So we went into the Market Hall that is right next to the sea side. Wen we opened the doors we didn't know that it was a market hall, we just were curious because we recognised the building from my bag. Such a nice surprise. A lot of food, typical Finnish food like Reindeer, Moose, a lot of fish, Finnish bakery and even bear! Bear? Are you kidding, really? Yep! And it only costs 160 euro per kilo, lol!
After that we went back into the center and had coffee with cake at Fazer's. Mmmmmmm!!!! Particularly Fazer's classic chocolate (Fazerin Sininen maitosuklaa) is famous throughout Finland!
Then we walked to the train station, a beautiful old building, did some fun shopping on our way there and then took a bus back to the airport. We arrived just in time to check in for our flight back home.
After a good flight we arrived at Schiphol airport from where took the train home. Marsha got of after 45 minutes and I continued for another 2 hours and 15 minutes to arrive in Groningen where Erik and Marlijn were waiting to pick me up.
What a wonderful weekend it was, but how good it also was to come home!!
Huge Kiitos to Riikka, Mira, Minna and all the lovely ladies that made this happen! I really, really hope to go back one day to teach in your wonderful country!
And thank you Marsha, for all the fun and for being such a great travel companion and room mate!
Have a lovely weekend!