Category Archives: Christmas

On The First Day of Christmas…

 

partiolaisten joulukalenteri, scouts Christmas calendar

Few weeks back, after the Twitter training, I got cornered by bunch of scouts selling their traditional Christmas calendar. Today I got to open the first door. As ever as exciting:

kalenteri2

So sweet! This year’s calendar is illustrated by Noora Katto. You can check out her work HERE. And if you are interested, you can see ALL the calendar designs from over the years in HERE. My personal favourite is this one from 1970, so cute and retro:

partiolaisten adventtikalenteri vuodelta 1970

-Thrifty Finn-

P.S. I know it’s traditional to put up your Christmas decor up on the 1st advent but since I’m no longer member of the church, I can do whatever I want. Hence my decor went up three weeks ago. My defence is that November is very dark and we need all the cheering up we can get.

Joulupuu Charity

Image via awkwardfamilyphotos.com/

Image via awkwardfamilyphotos.com/

Christmas is coming, isn’t it nice? (Although I prefer the Finnish word joulu because it reminds me of the pagan roots of the celebration). The season of giving and over-eating. The best! Have you already started your Christmas-crafting and present buying? Or are you finished already? Either case, I’m here to get your attention to Joulupuu…

Joulupuu is a charity for getting Christmas gifts to those most vulnerable in our society; the kids in the social care system. It’s organized by the Junior Chamber of Commerce and it’s a national event.

joulupuu-logo-pieni-2012

How it works then? Joulupuu has published a list of most wished/preferred gifts on their website. The gifts are then collected between certain dates in one location. In Helsinki that’s Forum Shopping Centre. I’ve also seen Christmas trees with hanging tags where child has written themself what they’d like to get.

Now to the best part…Handmade gifts are cool too! I did the work for you and here are some ideas (picked from the official list) you could make yourself.

Girls/Boys Ages 0-1: Clothes sized 80cm, soft toys
Boys Ages 2-4: Clothes 86-92cm for 2-year olds, 104-114cm for 3 to 4 year olds
Girls Ages 2-4: Clothes 86-92cm to 104-114cm, play food, dolls and their accessories, Hello Kitty, Littlest Pet Shop and My Little Pony-themed things
Boys Ages 5-7: Role playing outfits. Good themes: Pokemon, Spiderman, Turtles. All kinds of superheroes would do well here.
Girls Ages 5-7: Dolls and doll accessories, role playing costumes, Hello Kitty, Littlest Pet Shop and My Little Pony-themed things, jewellery
Boys Ages 8-10: Sports related items, wool socks,
Girls Ages 8-10: Jewellery, wool socks
Boys Ages 11-18: Toiletry bags, sports related items; knitted socks, hats, mittens, scarves
Girls Ages 11-18: Make-up bags, jewellery, bags; knitted socks, hats, mittens, scarves

I’ve seen wishes for bedding sets too. Pillowcases and duvet covers. I would think that for especially older kids anything for building a home would be appreciated. Couple of cool cushions, bedspreads etc. I wouldn’t buy random mugs but for example that starter dinner set at IKEA would be quite bitchin’ and pots and pans would be quite alright too. And this leads to…

I spoke with the organizer Jeni Suhonen and she said that especially teenagers need gifts. Everyone wants to buy presents for babies and young children and teenagers get completely forgotten! Not cool, peeps. The full teenager wishlist include: music, makeup, gift cards to popular clothing stores like Stadium, H&M, Gina Tricot, sports equipment, clothes, books, perfumes and scents. You know, stuff that normal teenager would like.

The full list in Finnish is HERE. The list of all Junior Chamber joining is HERE.

-Thrifty Finn-

 

 

DIY Instagram Art

Couple of weeks ago my friend was visiting me and we reorganized my bedroom. Amidst this hassle, I showed my various thrift store finds including a set Disney Princess- wall art pieces. I enthusiastically (spitting and spastically waving hands) explained that I planned to make them into either Christmas or Halloween art pieces, just haven’t decided which one yet. Then he asked “how about for once making something that you could use all year round?”.

*Stunned silence*

And you know what? That’s what I did and here’s the how:

Materials:

Wall art or canvasses to pimp
Spray Paint
Something to protect the ground/floor from paint
Photos/prints you want to display
Paper glue stick
X-acto knife or scissors

Paris Instagram Art by Thrifty Finn

These are the originals. They are about 1 cm thick MDF and the images are paper. These types of kids’ wall art are easy to find at thrift stores and flea markets. If I remember correctly, I paid 1 euro each for these.

Paris Instagram Art by Thrifty Finn

I didn’t sand or prime the images but I did skimp on the spray paint. I had forgotten that the one sold at Prisma is cheap BUT HAS AN AWFUL COVERAGE! Save yourself some trouble and invest on good quality spray paint.

Paris Instagram Art by Thrifty Finn

You don’t have to spray paint the entire thing. Just the edges. In the end I had to do three coats to hide most of the pink, however the princesses were still visible but it doesn’t matter as they will be hidden under the whatever image you use.

Paris Instagram Art by Thrifty Finn

Selecting the images and editing them took the longest. I used a mix of my Instagram-photos and ones I’ve taken with my camera but had edited using free Instagram-filters for Photoshop. I don’t remember where I got mine but THIS looks like a good set. I then made all the images 27x27cm because I wanted to have a small white border on the art pieces. I then had them laser printed at the local library on A3 paper. In my neck of woods, they are 40 cents a piece. I printed 10, just to have some choice.

Paris Instagram Art by Thrifty Finn

The best way to trim is with an x-acto knife and using a mat but in a pinch, scissors are OK too. I had to trim a little extra because the library machine re-scaled my carefully designed pieces to fit the paper. It added an extra cm on each side but it was nothing too tricky to fix.

To attach the images on the painted MDF-pieces, I used regular paper glue stick. You only need to spread it on the edges. After laying the glued images on the MDF, use your sleeve to carefully remove air bubbles or wrinkles. Do this to all the pieces and voilà, you have beautiful art to admire! Here are the finished pieces:

Paris Instagram Art by Thrifty Finn

Paris Instagram Art by Thrifty Finn

Paris Instagram Art by Thrifty Finn

Paris Instagram Art by Thrifty Finn

Some tips…Instagram photos have enough picture quality for this kind of art. Even though close by there’s pixellation, the whole IG-filter thingmake images blurry so it works with the style. If possible, choose a satin finish paper for printing. There was no choice at my local library but if you use a print shop, you should have options.

I hope you liked it!

-Thrifty Finn-

P.S. You can find the Paris-images used above to print for free HERE!

Happy Little Snowman

I managed to whip up my first holiday card this year. I got a free ticket to an ice hockey game and as a thank you, I made this card (and a small gift but I forgot to take a picture of that).

happy little snowman, stamped

The picture is of horrible quality. I was in a hurry and it was already dark outside. Anyhoo, making this card was very simple. I used my new Christmas-themed washi tapes for the background and I stamped the snowman on some very thick watercolour paper. I fussy cut it and attached it on the card with some foam dots.

I’d like to participate with this  Happy Little Snowman to these challenges:

C.R.A.F.T. Challenges: #285 Christmas
Alphabet Challenge Blog: T is for Traditional Christmas
I <3 ProMarkers: Challenge #245- Male Christmas
The Ribbon Girl Challenge: November Lovely Lili Challenge
Party Time Tuesday Challenge #189: Anything Goes
Creative Card Crew: Challenge #74 Christmas Joy
Sisters of Craft Challenge: November Anything Goes
613 Avenue Create Challenge: #97 Anything Goes
Artistic Inspirations: Challenge #117 Anything Goes

-Thrifty Finn-

Au Revoir, Christmas

My Christmas tree

My Christmas tree

It’s been over a week since I last posted. But I had reasons. First I had my pre-op doctor’s appointment (of which I have a story to tell). Then there has been general life organizing going on and lastly, I’ve been grieving that Christmas is over.

It’s always so sad. Taking down the decorations, packing them away, thinking how you have 11 months before you can take them out again.

koristeetNo presents in pretty papers for 11 months either. This is terrible. I can’t handle this. Maybe a picture of a puppy would help?

ava

It does. Feeling better already! Meet Ava, 7-months old French bulldog. No one can do a stare down quite like Ava. Also, for a small dog, you wouldn’t expect her to be the Master of Space Hogging but she is. Funny story: one day I caught her licking my sister’s Moistmaker Sandwich while my sis was in the kitchen getting a drink. I didn’t tell my sister until the next day. I’m very proud of myself for keeping a straight face when she kept commenting how delicious the said sandwich was. Hey, one more thing to be proud of in 2012!

Seriously speaking, I should start taking the decorations down. But I don’t want to! Okay, I’m taking the decorations down but leaving the lights. And the tree. And the Christmas star in my window is such a hassle to remove so might as well leave that one in too.

Greetings from Thrifty “The Master of Rationalisation” Finn