Tag Archives: shopping

I Too Can Read

Hi, peeps. You know how my English has been on a steady decline, ever since my discovery of Twitter and my incessant obsession to fit everything in 140 characters? Worry no longer, as I’m doing something about it by going back to my original love, reading.

(I wish I could describe the feeling I had, when I got my very own library card. I literally shook.)

Yesterday, my friend Mikko, sent me a message asking, if I would be interested in a book sale at a certain book store in Helsinki. (We had visited it before and I had thought about blogging about it but since I didn’t buy any books then, I felt a bit stupid about doing a post. So I didn’t.)  At first I was like, meh, but then I thought I might find some nice books to flip, so we set a date for today. Our reasoning was that today was the first day of the sale and thus, we’d be more likely to find good books before everything would be picked over.

We so smart.

arkadia book store, helsinki

Arkadia Book Shop is located on Nervanderinkatu 11, not too far from the Parliament and the Kamppi shopping centre (and Temppeliaukio Church). It’s very charming. Seems a bit small but there’s one hell of a basement down there. They even have their own chapel! Muy fascinating. Alas, I don’t have any pics of the basement but there are series of rooms, ending in that chapel, and they actually host events in there. Today they had a croquis lesson with a real nude model! And yes, I did glance at the penis. Twice. Thrice. Okay, I couldn’t stop oggling.

Sorry about that.

Interestingly, Finnish police gave their first fines, tickets (?), for sexual harassing and I’m wondering, if my behaviour today would warrant one.

Did I just confess?

Anyway, I bought fifteen books about various subjects. I feel so smart just by owning those books. Do I even need to read them? Wouldn’t it be enough just to sniff that wonderful paperiness?

Anyway, here are my finds…

Game of Thrones, Catherine de Medici, Arkadia book store

I have a very good reason to show these three together. I see a lot in common with Cersei (totally hating that bitch) and Catherine de Medici. And of course, since it IS International Women’s Day, I had to buy one book about a power woman. Another reason for getting that book was that Catherine de Medici was a peer of Michel Montaigne, who I discovered on my last trip to Paris, and she sought his advice during Troubles.

Look at me! Showing my intellectualism already!

Andrew Miller Pure, Patronage Maria Edgewood, Jane Austen, Arkadia book shop

Okay, these two I bought because of the covers. The one on the left is a story about Paris, and I just couldn’t resist the cover design. The one on the right sold itself with the line “Jane Austen’s bestselling rival”. I’m excited to read these two. Probably on the toilet. The classy lady that I am.

The economics of Art and Culture, Arkadia Book Shop

Then some non-fiction. I don’t know, how many of my international readers know about Finnish politics, but our government is looking into cutting education funds. (Culture funds being gone already years ago. Because only fucking tech start-ups bring money. And boiling pulp. Ironic, I know, considering this post is about books.) Anyhoo, I bought this one in the hopes of developing my argument skills, when I defend, well, art and culture. Funny how the government is dead set against funding art and art schools, but none of them walks around naked. After all, it was art school graduates, who designed that shit.

The Victorians by Wilson, Late Victorian Britain, Arkadia Book Shop

The book on the left caught my eye on my last visit to Arkadia but as you can see, I didn’t get it until now. When I was in Paris last time, I read a book about modern (Western) world history and economics on the 19th century (can’t remember the name, would have to ask my friend about it and I don’t want to bother her at this hour), and this book is, in my mind, connected to it. Then the book on the right was recommended to my by a French (?) lady hanging out at the book store with her friend, after she spotted me carrying the other book. I decided to risk it, since it was only 1 euro.

The Rose's Kiss by Peter Bernhardt, Arkadia Book Shop

This book was a total sidetrack…The Victorian’s made think of English gardens, and since my friend snagged a bitchin’ (totally my favourite word lately) book about poisonous plants, I had to get something botanic myself. I’m hoping this will open up the symbolism of flowers in art for me.

Hey, there are quite a few years from my art history lessons. I need some refreshing.

Sex Bombs and Burgers by Nowak, Poorly Made in China, Arkadia Bookshop

These books mean business. Again, I bought them to improve my arguments and bring more insights. These two are also connected to the next three books that I bought about the world powers, China, USA, and Russia:

The Kremlin Conspiracy, The Untold History of United States, The China and The West in the 21st Century, Arkadia Book Shop

Very doom and gloom the covers, don’t you think? As you know, Finland is right next to Russia and it’s not too happy about USA’s military practices in Finland. Of which I’m not too happy either. Last week I attended a citizen’s info meeting at the Parliament about Finland’s security politics. There were a discussion about joining Nato and barring 1-2 people, most of us were dead set against that idea.

My blood is boiling with just these covers. Might take some time for me to be able to finish them. I get so invested in them. I once tried to read Chomsky but couldn’t get past the third page as I got so angry.

Injustices. Injustices everywhere.

Wow. This took a dark turn. But I DO have a happier end-story…

As I carried my pile of books to the cash register (operated by the owner, wonderfully British Ian, who sounds so sarcastic no matter what he says. He, btw, says buy books, not drugs. Wine is debatable),  I spotted one book leaning on his computer. I asked, if could have it for the paperback sale price of 1 euro and delightfully, he said yes. And the book is this one:

The concise Oxford Dictionary of Quotation by Oxford Press, Arkadia Book Shop

My reason for buying the book, is to drive everyone insane on FB and Twitter by sharing quotes from this and then acting all superior about it. It will be hours of fun for me. Good times!

If you are interested, the Arkadia sale has paperbacks for 1 euro and hardcovers for 50% off. The sale will last till Saturday 19th of March. Plenty of time to replenish you bookshelf with something new to read. Oh, and again, this is not a paid text, I just really like books.

-Thrifty Finn-




Zirppari. A thrift store in the heart of Kallio, Helsinki

The Sunday, 21st of February, was the last day Omakirppis Kaboom was open. The owner, Felix, is taking a well-deserved break before finding a new location but don’t be sad; there’s a replacement! Zirppari!

Kallion zirppari, thrift store in Kallio, Helsinki

Zirppari is located on Kallio’s Kolmas linja, about 5-7 minute walk from the Hakaniemi Metro station. See:

Kallio map, Kallion kartta, Zirppari

zirppari kallio Helsinki

I love the sunny stripes! Siru, the owner, is very active on social media. She updates her Instagram and Facebook daily, usually posting really cool vintage items available at the moment there.

zirppari inside, zirppari sisältä, Kallio, Helsinki

There is pretty standard thing going on. If you sell there, you get shelves and a rack. Well, over here you get a half of a double layered rack but you know the gist.


There are 4(?) rooms filled with goods. You can find the typical things there. Vintage Finnish design, not so vintage design, high street fashion etc…The prices vary a bit. Some people sell their things very cheaply, some not. There is even a room for small furniture:


Quite a few of the sellers from Kaboom transfered to Zirppari (me included). There are even some ‘celeb’ sellers there. Mira Luoti, a famous Finnish singer, is selling her stage wear there. The Finnish designer, Paola Suhonen, just got her things on the shelves the other day. I looove this woven dress, but alas, I would look spectacularly stupid wearing it, so I just snapped a picture.

zirppari, paola suhonen,

The photo is terrible but the colour IRL is so pretty! And what’s not to love about this 60s mod daisy? Though, one of the best items, that I regret not buying and which totally got sold was this bitchin’ Wu Tang Clan t-shirt. Yes. There has been a period in my life, where I used to listen to them. A lot. Don’t ask.

zirppari, wu-tang clan, hiphop

Kallio is filled with second hand stores, cool cafés, restaurants and bars. You can really make a day of it. Thrift like your life depends on it and then eat and drink all the money you saved by buying second hand. In fact, not too far from Zirppari, on the same street, is a café, that offers a really late lunch. Their banner on the street is the best:

winter lounge, Kallio, café

It says: eat here and neither of us will starve 😀 Their website is HERE and FB HERE. I haven’t tried their food yet, but every time I walk past it and it’s open, it’s filled with people. And if you are looking to sell your own unwanted items, Zirppari has an offer going on right now; 60 euros for two weeks.

zirppari, maalistarjous

Hope to see you there 🙂

-Thrifty Finn-

P.S. As soon as I get to it, I will be doing a post about all the second hand/thrift stores in Kallio. Keep your eyes peeled for it 🙂 There will be a pretty map. Like the one I did about craft stores in Kamppi, HERE.


Second Hand Store PS22

second hand helsinki PS22

Last week I went to Helsinki to see my friend and he told me about one second hand store I’ve never been in to. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to look through everything in there but I spotted tons of good stuff. And got chatty with the owner. Of course 😀

She sells pretty much everything you can think of. There’s clothing, jewellery, books, fabrics, knick-knacks, and whatnot. I ended up buying a Quality Street tin for my collection. I still haven’t found any of the rectangular ones but I think I have nearly all pre-1980 round ones. Or at least I’d like to think so.

helsinki second hand ps22

flamenco dress, second hand PS22

The place was packed, literally up to the rafters. There was also one rather fetching latex “garment” I suggested my friend should buy. He wasn’t amused. But I was plenty 😀

photographic almanac 1955, second hand helsinki

She has books on sale right now. I eyed this one but decided to leave it as I don’t really have a use for it. Would look pretty in a bookshelf though. If you’d like to visit this second hand store, you can find it in the corner of Ruusulankatu and Sibeliuksenkatu in Helsinki. HERE‘s the Google streetview for the more directionally challenged 😀 The store accepts cash only.

-Thrifty Finn-

P.S. I visited Jäähallin Kirpputori last weekend again after couple of years break. The prices seemed to have come down slightly, so it’s good for bargain hunting!




Konepajan Bruno

konepaja bruno, helsinki, flea market

Few weeks ago I heard about an indoor flea market in Helsinki, set up in an old machine workshop. It opened this summer, so it’s pretty new in the thrift shopping scene. I have never ever gone shopping there, but last Sunday I decided to have a go at selling.

This is my story. *du-duh*

konepaja bruno, tram stop, pysäkki

This is the tramstop Sturenkatu. The previous one (Kotkankatu) is the closest. You have to walk back a little bit. See that building site in the middle back? The access gate to Bruno is behind it.

konepaja bruno, opas, aleksis kiven katu, helsinki

Walk straight down (up?) the Aleksis Kiven katu until you see this sign. Turn right and you see this gate, and that’s your entrance:

konepaja bruno, helsinki, portti

Ta-dah. There’s a guard, who opens the gate for you. Well, for me he opened the door as I came by public transport. Then you walk a little bit and you should soon see this:

konepaja bruno, entrance, helsinki

See those guys in yellow, bright vests? That’s where you go in and you will see this:

konepaja bruno

Impressive space much? On the right is a café and you can meet the owner (who is not half bad to look at) there:

konepraja bruno omistaja, owner

Anyhoo…I have finally perfected my face-to-face selling and have managed to fit my  merchandise in ONE SUITCASE! No more hauling about a gazillion Ikea-bags in the public transport. Because of that, it didn’t take too long to set up my table and I had time to have a look around and see, what other people were selling.

konepaja brunon pöydät

There are two kinds of tables. Others have a frame and they have a built-in rack above the table, the others are like these (and I had one of them), where the rack hangs freely above the table. Also the latter ones are bigger. This system is slightly problematic because if you have a lot of hanger items, the customers can’t see you behind them. My advice is to take max.10 hanger items and put the rest on the table. But selling just hanger items can be done. You just have to be active yourself in making sure, that the customer knows, where you are. There was a table across me, that hadn’t been booked, so I sat on it and whenever a customer came over to browse, I went and introduced myself.

Now to the business part…Did I sell? My sales were terrible. However, had I been there also to buy, I’d have made some major scores. It really is a buyers market. I’m sure as more people will find it, the sales will improve too. But if you are on a hunt for good bargains, now is the time to go and find them. I did buy few things, one of them being this plastic wall thingy for displaying miniatures and when I came home and did some research, it turned out to be a Finnish design classic. And I was thinking about spray painting and decoupaging it. Talk about butchering classics. Committing crimes against design.

Anyways…My best sellers were in the 5 euro mark. The price for Sunday was 29 euros, so I recommend booking a table together with your friend. And DON’T stop selling until it’s closing time. I made most of my sales after 15 o’clock. It’s also very inconsiderate to leave a market really early. It creates a sad atmosphere, which is unfair to other sellers. Who YOU also depend on to bring in the crowds.

Personally I wish Bruno to succeed. The surroundings are lovely and as a seller, I appreciate that you can book the table and then pay it up after two hours of selling. There are much more impressive pics on Bruno’s website and you can also book the tables there. Here is yet another handy map by yours truly to help you find Bruno:

kartta konepaja Brunoon, map to Konepaja Bruno

I don’t mind, if you share this map. The more people the merrier.

Those little blue dots are tram stops for the tram line 9, which you can hop on at both Rautatieasema as well as Pasilan asema. If you are a seller, you can bring your stuff there by car BUT there is no parking there, so you have to find a parking spot somewhere close by.

So this how I spent my Sunday. Have you been thrifting/selling lately?

-Thrifty Finn-

Helsinki Craft Shopping Map

free printable helsinki craft shopping map

Update! After I published this map on a FB-group, I was told about another craft store, that’s within this area. I also decided to add Nappitalo, which is focused on sewing supplies but has tons of buttons and ribbons, which are definitely paper crafting supplies too.

The other day I was in Helsinki and decided to have a look around at all the arts & crafts stores within walking distance from where I was. Admittedly this didn’t happen by choice but because I was looking for basic black hobby cardstock and for Halloween reasons, I didn’t find it until the 5th store. I nearly burst into tears by the 4th store because I couldn’t believe I still had to walk to yet another shop.

But not all is lost. I had the forethought to snap some pictures of the stores I went to and now I can make a blog post about them! All these stores are in the Kamppi/city center area, and within walking distance from each other. Even with browsing around and stopping at other stores, you can visit all of them within couple of hours.

hobby point Helsinki

So my first stop was Hobby Point. The biggest selection of all the 7 places I visited. They also have model building supplies. The address is Fredrikinkatu 61. I bought some double sided sticky tape and glitter paper.

askarelli helsinki

Askarelli. They have mainly paper crafting supplies for weddings and events, if I make any sense. I bought some transparencies and a snowflake punch from there. The address: Annankatu 35. They have an online store as well in HERE.

And really close to Askarelli…Sinelli:

sinelli helsinki

Image via osuma.fi

The biggest craft store chain in Finland. They also have an online store at sinelli.fi. Just around the corner, on Yrjönkatu, is another Sinelli, which is focused on jewellery making but there are the fabrics and paints as well. I buy most of my basic supplies from here. Like gel pens, 3d foam stickers and glue tapes.

tuubi helsinki, art supplies, arts and crafts

Tuubi is an art supply store on Lönnrotinkatu 23. They have paper, canvases, acrylic and oil paints, and other things that an artist may need. So not directly a craft store but crafters need water colour paper too ;D As I visited, there was a sale table and I scored Letraset’s Flexmarker set for 10 euros.

Meder, askartelu, Helsinki, craft shop, DIY

Meder is located on Fredrikinkatu 30 and they offer various craft products mainly for porcelain painting and paper crafts. They also organize craft classes and they can be found HERE. I’d call the style of paper craft items available as Swedish vintage nostalgia. Think shabby chic version of Magnolia.

tempera, art supplies, Helsinki

Tempera advertises itself as an artist’s department store and it is much bigger than Tuubi. It’s here, where I found the basic hobby cardstock and they were 1,05 per sheet. I also found a transparency paper pad for little over 7 euros. It’s much more economical to get the artist pad, than buying them from a craft store per sheet. I have some last minute Halloween ideas for those and since there is 50 sheets per pad, I have room for experimenting as I don’t have to watch, how many I have left. They have all the known art supply brands in stock and they have an online shop as well. It can be found HERE.

On my way the next store, I stopped at Granit, which is like a Swedish Muji and I got some washi tape from there. I decided to exclude it from my list as it is not a craft store per se, however they have tons of stuff, which would be perfect for organizing said craft supplies. So I might write about it some other time.

nappitalo helsinki, sewing, buttons, ribbons

Nappitalo on Yrjönkatu 12 is the place to go for buttons and ribbons. It’s not the cheapest but there usually are some ribbons and bits and bobs in a discount bin. They also always have a well stocked zipper selection, which is important as everyone needs to change a zipper in their clothing every now and then, and it’s annoying if you have to hunt the right size all over the city. So not strictly a paper craft/art store but has tons of relevant supplies.

Number eight on my list is Akateeminen Kirjakauppa:

akateeminen kirjakauppa, bookstore, Helsinki

Image via tripadvisor.co.uk

AK is a bookstore, spread over several floors and it’s an actual architectural gem. The part I’m talking about is the basement level. There are some artist supplies and stationary items AND Stockmann’s (the department store) OUTLET shop. The artist supply section isn’t huge BUT according a Finnish papercrafting FB-group, the price for ProMarkers is very competitive. I had a quick look around the OUTLET and there were some home decor items, which I think would be perfect for altering projects. The discounts were very good. Up to 70% off and like Nanny Fine says, it’s not sale, if it is less than 40% off.

suomalainen kirjakauppa aleksanterinkatu helsinki

Image via osuma.fi

Suomalainen Kirjakauppa probably is the biggest chain of bookstores in Finland. They really have been able to keep their focus on books but they have some nice craft supplies as well. The prices are okay too and there are sometimes deals to be had. This particular store on Aleksanterinkatu (opposite of Stockmann) is one of the bigger ones I think and it’s the one, where authors go launch their books and have Q&A’s. The image over here is the back entrance as I didn’t have a picture of the front, and I couldn’t find a good one from the interwebs either. I bought some satin finish laser printer paper and a tiny snowflake punch. They don’t have Halloween stuff for sale at all BUT they already had their Christmas craft things on display. And the stuff looks good:

suomalainen kirjakauppa, christmas, jouluaskartelutarvikkeet

As soon as Halloween is over, I’m going to go and hoard some of those ribbons. This is, BTW, what a good craft store should look like all the time. Sinelli is bit lacking and I’m not the only one, who thinks that. They renovated their Simonkatu store earlier this year and when I visited them this week, they had some things they had for sale BEFORE the renovation, back on the shelves for full price. And I’m talking about years old Graphic 45’s. They also have a habit of selling ‘we don’t have it now’, followed by ‘check the online store’. They seem to be forgetting that crafters are tactile shoppers and we do not want to buy everything online and we most definitely don’t want to pay ridiculous postage for them.

helsinki craft shopping map

So here are the 9 craft stores in the Helsinki City Center. You can download and print the map yourself and the link is here:


-Thrifty Finn-

P.S. Remember that hobby cardstock I was hunting for? I forgot them in the train. I am not amused.