Monday, March 10, 2008

Tea with Terttu

Tea with Terttu, original watercolor, 9"x 11"
Yesterday I had tea with Terttu, my swimming buddy from Finland.
Everywhere in her house the walls are covered with crafts made by her relatives.
Terttu made this embroidary of running Elk when she was just eleven years old!
Here is her brother in Lapland after a hike..contemplating the landscape.
Europeans always seem to be hiking or biking or some such thing...
A cousin, I think made this geometric rug...
We had Matjes Herring (from Finland of course) as a snack.
And doesn't it look alot like the rug patterns?
After a bit, Terttu brought out the costume she wore as a girl for folk dancing..
Admittedly I begged her to show me :)
Beautiful embroidery again! Beautiful patterns and more geometry!
...from a book showing the regional costumes all over Finland.Black and white with stunning designs and the the Matjes the blue and white Arabia cups we drank tea out of...
Some Finnish wooden flowers a friend brought Terttu...
A special birthday present Terttu bought herself in Finland by designer Oiva Toikka for glassmakers Toikka.
This is Terttu's church from her hometown of Kirvu.
After the war the Russians took over that part of Finland, so the church and the town are gone... But look at the geometry and the patterns!
And here is my friend Terttu!
She just got back from a trip to Argentina and Punta Arenas, Chile and is thinking about the penguins she fell in love with there... I have fallen in love with Finland since I met Terttu and I hope I go to visit someday. Next Monday this time I will be in Paris and reporting back all the details I promise!
Right now I'm late (as usual) to meet Terttu at the pool...Bye....


  1. I swear you have the coolest life of anybody. Your friend Terttue looks like an absolute angel. Have a great time in Paris!!!

  2. How beautiful is everything posted.
    Love it~

  3. Charming post this morning. Love the painting. Was this the tea cup you drank out of? Love the pattern and the waffer on the side.

  4. Anonymous10:55 AM

    What a sweet story!
    We don't know much about other's lives until we get to know them a bit in the pool or where ever and them visit them in their homes do we?
    Thank you for taking us along with you as always!

  5. PB, this is marvelous! What fun. I love your Arabian teacup, the embroidery deer, and a visit with Terttu. How lovely of you to take us along. Yummy breakfast. What a treat! Thanks.

  6. Anonymous11:48 AM

    Oh Scandanavia sounds sooo exotic in it's own special way.
    You MUST go some time and take us along there too :)
    Whither thou goest...we will follow happily over our cups of joe.

  7. Anonymous11:52 AM

    very folkloric !

  8. Anonymous12:03 PM

    I just love getting your stories every day,

    Thank you,


  9. Anonymous12:22 PM

    What a beautiful portrait of Terttu you gave us here, Carol. She looks like a lovely woman. I love her penguin shirt, too;)) Beautiful painting of your splendid tea together. Thanks for the armchair tour of Finland!

  10. Anonymous12:50 PM

    Can't wait to hear about Paris in spring.
    My friend who lives there reports the tulips are coming up! Take lots of photos for us!

  11. Gorgeous post - thank you for introducing us to Terttu and all of her beautiful things.

  12. I love all things Finnish...yes, even the Finns!

    My mom is Finnish (born and raised) and all my relatives live there so I've come quite cultured in the Finnish lifestyle. Actually, that's a lie, I just really enjoy Finnish pastries, Merimekko and the design of my relative's houses in Helsinki. I can't wait to go back there too.

    Thanks for sharing Terttu with us all, it's wonderful.

  13. PS Love the Toika birds! My mom has them everywhere...and in my younger days, I have to say I accidently broke a few :S

  14. Anonymous3:19 PM

    You are lucky indeed to have a friend from Finland.
    My Finnish "son" and his family live downtown, the rest of his family all live in the country. Not a hard thing to do in Finland.

    I have that same bird but mine is made out of felt. I couldn't afford the glass one. Glassmakers in Finland are phenomenal. When we go, usually one time a year,
    its glass I always lug back home.

    I do hope that your friend has made you bulla or pulla, depending on where you come from for tea. Maybe some day instead of swimming she could teach you how to make it.
    And spoon cookies!

    Those Finns, they know how to do anything. They are taught all those skills in grade schools and take classes for something the rest of their lives.

    I TRULY hope you make it a priority to go there some time. It is an awesome place.
    You can't help but fall in love with it.

    They do walk everywhere. While I assume you live in N.Y. and do your
    fair share of walking, I was told one time that Americans hate to walk so much so, that rather than walk from the far end of the grocery store parking
    lot, that we'd go home and try it another day.

    Hej, hej

    And, they NEVER throw anything away............ever!!!

  15. Excellent! I'm glad to discover new things not from France!

  16. I, too, like the gentle portrait of Terttu. What a cool name!
    And I really like the way the spoon in today's painting linked all the "things" together in your composition. Also, some nice "negative" painting of the blue design, in the cup.
    What a facile hand you have!

  17. Anonymous4:42 PM

    Ice cream is almost a national food in Finland.
    It makes NO difference how much you've had to eat, they have a special place that they put it!
    They have 3 kinds.
    Poor souls. Vanilla, Choc,and once in awhile, strawberry.
    The vanilla is the whitest, white you'll ever see.
    They put butter and cheese on everything.

  18. Anonymous4:44 PM

    I could go on and on about the Finns and their oddities, you think the French have it all cornered, not in a million years.
    Taak sa myket, In Swedish, or just taak, rhymes with clock .tick tock
    I know much more Swedish than Finnish.
    My friends are Swedish/Finnish
    people and they thought that we could never learn Finnish.
    They are right.

  19. Lovely teacup painting. I love the European custom of tea...a moment of calm in a hectic day.

  20. Hi Carol! I loved reading your post about Terttu today. My family and I were in Finland over the Christmas holiday. This was my second trip there and I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone! Finland is one of the most beautiful countries I have ever visited. The wintertime is like a fairy tale wonderland - it literally takes your breath away. And summer is no less impressive! I am sure that you too would love Finland if you ever have an opportunity to visit. Thanks again for sharing your friend and your visit with us…


  21. Anonymous10:15 PM

    Now that you are Finnish-ed, Does your pool have a sauna?

  22. Anonymous4:12 AM

    Terttu is beautiful and looks so nice. Lucky you to have her as a friends. And her finish crafts are great. When I was a girl I had a regional Norwegian dress very much like the one in the left of the photo.

    Again we travel at the same time, again you to France, me to Italy. I am not going to Venezia this time though but to Roma and Terracina (for two weeks)

  23. THANK YOU for your interesting comments! I learned even more about Finland today than from Terttu!
    Carolg :)

  24. Anonymous2:50 AM

    Your friend Turttu looks wonderful !
    (She reminds me of my good old Welsh friend ...)


  25. Anonymous7:03 AM

    More Finlandia:
    It's all birch trees and water. Everyone
    either owns an Island or a boat for holidays. The day you are hired you get 6 weeks of summer holiday and 1 week winter holiday. Taxes are high but if you compare their taxes with what they are given I think they break even. What are they given? All medical and dental care, when your older and can't live alone, your taken care of forever. They are reserved people, but once you get to know them, they open up and will be your friend forever. The men are gentlemen and the women, ladies. Their wit is undeniable. When you visit their homes, they are very eager to please.
    We took a trip from the southern most point of Finland, Helsinki, to the northern most point, 650 miles above the Artic Circle, the North Cape.
    I will never forget it. Yes, we did our share of hiking! The further north you go, the smaller the birch trees get. It was so funny, I said to our friend, what are these, because they were about 3" tall, and they were birch trees.
    I picked it. I wasn't really thinking that we're not to bring things like that back in to the country. The wildflowers are so pretty that I did pick a fair amount and put them between tissue and put them in my travel guide between the pages where I picked them. It's too bad we couldn't meet for tea someday............I have a million things to tell you about the people, how they live, what it looks like, how they eat and on and on and on!
    We did meet the "real" Santa Claus", Joulapuki. And we even got our papers saying that we went above the artic circle.
    If you are dining with a Finn and you ask them if they are 'full", that is an insult.
    You are telling them they are drunk.
    They DO NOT LIKE IT!!


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