Tag Archives: travel

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.

Helsinki City Museum: #Flashback

helsingin kaupunginmuseo, Helsinki city museum

Few weeks ago I received an invitation to an exhibition opening at Helsinki City Museum. It was last week and let me tell you, it was super fun.

But first a little about the actual exhibition…The museum had invited 12 Helsinki-based artists to dig into their photo archives. There was no other direction given, the artists were free to do whatever they wanted. They gathered every Wednesday-night to go through the archives and discuss what they found.

The exhibition/installation tells a story about a man, who wakes up on a park bench one morning and starts to remember what happened the night before. The flashbacks are projected on screens and are roughly divided by themes like After Work, Encounterings etc…


Go check it out. Helsinki City Museum is a free museum and is located just off Aleksanterinkatu by the Helsinki Cathedral on Sofiankatu 4.

The opening party was great. They had a DJ, some circus artists (I asked from which circus company but I’ve already forgotten which one, explanation for this comes next) and a photo booth! There was a queue for it for all evening but nothing too bad as I went twice. My personal opinion now is that EVERY party should have a photo booth. It ain’t no party, with no photo booth arty.  The company that provided the booth at the opening is called Funbox and they rent them for companies and individuals alike (I checked, you know, the journalist that I am).

Anyhoo. The reason for all that forgetting? This:


It was called something something Green Beast. I drank four glasses of this stuff. Then I met a friend for a glass of wine at an expensive restaurant. That then turned into glasses of cheap sparkling wine at another restaurant, which then turned into dancing at one club and got finished off with some more sparkling wine and dancing at another club.

Yes. I took the concept of the installation literally and applied it into my own life. Life imitates art, that sort of thing. Well, we DID sort of had a reason to party. My friend started his own business so there’s that.

-Thrifty Finn-

P.S. The images posted on Instagram with the hashtag #fläsäri got projected on a screen. It was actually quite fun. I’m not sure if that is a permanent feature for the exhibition but I hope so.

Greetings From Lapland

thrifty finn, Lapland, Finland thrifty finn, Lapland, Finland thrifty finn, Lapland, Finland

My oh my. I decided to be a dutiful daughter, grand-daughter, godmother and a friend. I dragged my lazy, wiggly butt all the way to Lapland. I kind of had to. Due to my operations, I hadn’t been there for almost two years I think. Or three winters. Anyhoo, I hadn’t seen a real winter for so long that I kept walking outside and ooh’ing and aah’ing on all the trees. They truly look magical.

It was great seeing my grandparents. But even better was the connecting with some of my best friends from my glory days ;D Dammit, they are hilarious. I wish I could tell you all the on-the-moment jokes but you know how it goes…They are only funny to you and/or on the moment. But one of them was a story of my friend, who decided to go on an early morning run and then surprise her boyfriend by slithering under the blankets naked. The boyfriend then proceeded to scream like a little girl. Because “her legs were fucking freezing”. You know, I expect more of a Lapland boy, don’t you agree?

So the trip was great but being with other people EVERY DAY left me exhausted. Not to mention the gazillion discussions on “how are your knees?”. They are fine, can we please move along? Also, guess how many times I was forced into conversations about my reproductive plans? TOO MANY!!! I bet no man has to go through that when they visit home.

Anyhoo, I had a point with this post…Lapland is lovely, you should visit it too.

-Thrifty Finn-

P.S. Funny story, I managed to get an urinary tract infection there. How? You may wonder. Welllllll, my friend convinced me to go sledding and in the process, I managed to get snow in my panties. Good times.

Shopping Therapy a la Tallinn…

Couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine convinced me to go to Tallinn with him and his aunt. My plan was to take some pretty pictures of the lovely Old Town but I forgot to charge my camera battery and got only one shot. Well planned, Niina. Well planned. We only had 4 hours in Tallinn but we managed to eat a lovely lunch and do some shopping…

Tallinn, Kalev chocolate, Thrifty Finn

Kalev-chocolate. I always stop by the Kalev-store when I’m Tallinn because it’s conveniently on the route from the harbour to the Old Town. The chocolate is cheap and delicious, just the way I like it. I might even prefer it over Finnish chocolate manufacturer Fazer.


There’s this cheap but fantastic shop that sells cosmetics in the Virü-shopping centre. It’s not on the main floors and it’s bit tricky to find but it’s there ;) No, I’m not going to tell you where, you have to find it yourself but anyway, it’s my regular pit stop. I spotted this brand, which I think is Russian and makes 100% organic beauty products. Of course I don’t know how true that claim is but the packaging is pretty and 1.80 for a 100 ml tube is cheap! I got a lifting, moisturizing and refreshing masks. Haven’t tried them though. But that’s not all I got…


I also got a pore minimizing serum by Organic Therapy for 6.50, a sickly sweet shower gel 0.80, a whitening tooth paste, also under 1 euro, an argan oil moisturizer (it’s for mature skin but for 4 euros, I thought to give it a try) and then couple of cute vaseline lip balms. They were only 35 cents each and I couldn’t resist the packaging:

Russian, lip balm, vaselin, retro packaging, Thrifty Finn

Very retro, very cute. Then, on our way back to the ferry, we stopped at a supermarket to stock up on some basics. I got some kitchen things, a bottle of wine (4 euros!!!) and socks. Glamorous. After I had paid and was re-packing my things on a bench outside the store, my friend comes to me, pushing a shopping trolley filled with booze and exclaims “I found cheap prosecco!” So what is girl to do? Get some said cheap prosecco herself:

prosecco, Tallinn, Thrifty Finn

Finally something glamorous! Just waiting for the perfect occasion to pop these babies open…

-Thrifty Finn-