Magical Midsummer night

June 24, 2016 Koivisto 4 Comments

Midsummer is celebrated in Finland 24th June. It's a celebration for light and the nightless night. There's a lot of traditions and beliefs connected to it. The Midsummer night is mysterious and a perfect time for magic. At this night it's possible to see the future spouse for example by looking into a well. It's also the time when the ghosts are awake and other strange things are happening. For example there can be seen glowing lights above water or swamps. This year the night felt actually magical. The fields were covered with fog, which made all look mysterious and a little bit spooky. It was like we were thrown into some other world.
We dind't see any strange lights on the Nuijajoki river. Instead we saw a lot of small bats, which were flying silently right above the surface and catching insects. Unfortunately we couldn't capture them on the camera. This was nevertheless new and unforgettable view for us.
The old barn houses and storages looked tempting. Maybe the previous farmes had a gathering there.
We were lucky to see the moon briefly. It looked stunning. It had turned reddish because of the sun, which was still there somewhere under the trees giving us a glimpse of light.
The night was special, but also the day, because we got finally electricity for the oven and water for the kitchen. A perfect Midsummer.


Hundreds of tiles and a few cupboards

June 20, 2016 Koivisto 0 Comments

Yes, we are still stuck with the kitchen. Lately we have been tiling the walls and finally fixing the furniture to the right place. We used Pukkila's square shaped cold white and half matte tiles from the floor till the ceiling. The idea came from butcher shops, where the walls are covered with tiles. This way the kitchen is easy to keep clean and the space looks much bigger, when there's no cutting lines between the tiles and the walls. The clear and simple look is also close to our taste.

It was the first time as we were laying tiles, so it took quite a while. We used these little crosses between the tiles to make the work easier. The end result maybe not perfect, but for first-timers it's close enough. We chose concrete gray for the seams, cause we wanted to create a nice contrast and add the three dimensional feeling. Later our kitchen will have a floor painted in gray. So in this way too, the gray suits well. We we're first worried, that the gray turned out too dark. But after it dried, it came back to what we wanted.
Succesful tiling is about patience, measuring, tolerating messiness and cleaning all the mess.
Tobi continued building our cupboards, the ones with pastel colored doors. We're hoping to have at least partly functioning kitchen before the Midsummer day, which is celebrated at 24th of June. On the other words: this weekend!
So far we're excited about our new kitchen. It has already turned bigger and brighter. It has the soul from the past, the maschines from today and the touch of our hands.


Messages from the past

June 15, 2016 Koivisto 2 Comments

The oldest building here is a storage house in front the main building. It has been here from the beginning of the farm. We call it a treasure chamber. There's so many beautiful things from the past: old furniture, old working tools, old glas jars and so on. It stores the history of this farm. Lately we found plenty amount of old letters and postcards. The print quality of the old postcards is quite impressive. Although they were not so carefully stored, still they have remained in a good condition. Also the subjects were well thought and nicely done. Most of the attraction to these postcards comes from the life of the people written in these cards - who lived here, what they thought, what they did.

In this old Christmas card the Santa Claus was not wearing red yet. In one hand he is carrying wood branches to punish the naughty children. Not a very nice guy.
A view from the capital Helsinki at 1918. This yacht-club pavilion was build at 1900.

One eye catching thing with all the postcards and the letters is handwriting. Today's people can only dream to write like that. Especially the ink writings have so much character. Many of the letters and postcards were send at the time of the war. Maybe it was the best way to contact people. The war post has always a stamp called "Kenttäposti", which means battlefield post. The postcard subjects from this time are often connected to the war and the colors are narrowed to a few. It was interesting to read the texts from the war time, lot of emotions, love and hate, but also quite normal everyday life problems and dreams. Like there was no war at all or more likely they didn't want to write about it.
The amount of stuff, that is kept here has caused us gray hairs. Nevertheless we are quite happy, that they dind't throw things away. The value of these kind of findings are irreplaceable.


Kitchen in progress

June 10, 2016 Koivisto 0 Comments

Our kitchen is coming together slowly but surely. The kitchen furniture will be partly recycled, partly made by hand and partly new. All the kitchen furniture and machines are placed on two walls. On the other wall we're using pastel colored doors and drawers with rounded edges. They are orginally from an other kitchen and used, but in a quite good condition. Tobi is building cupboards out of pine plywood for the doors and drawers. We hope, that in the end our kitchen will have a little bit retro feel with a modern twist.

We covered the walls with plasterboard, which was quite an operation, because the walls were not quite straight. And there were also some difficulties to make them stay on the old walls, but we made it finally. Then we filled the screw holes and all the seems. The next thing was to paint the walls with white undercoat and the ceiling with white and half matt paint. The white paint made the kitchen look so much bigger as it was.

A moment of success, when we brought the first ready cupboard to the kitchen. The combination of the pastel color, the aluminium edge and the wood is working well. Maybe we can call this house home pretty soon.


Cooking and baking without kitchen

June 04, 2016 Koivisto 0 Comments

One passion for us is to cook. Or more like Tobi cooks, Susanna eats and bakes. It's also the most important thing when renovating - remember to eat well! That's also the thing, which is driving us forward to make the kitchen full speed ready. Today on the menu was delicious muikku (Coregonus albula) and fried potatoes with a handful fresh rosemary. Maybe next time the fishes we're eating are coming from our river.

We have been coming quite good along with the kitchen. The old one is now gone or part of it has moved to the living room. We have removed the tiles, the old wallpaper and the plastic carpet from the floor. Also the old and cool extractor fan needed to be removed, but maybe we will figure out new use for it. It's sometimes a little bit chaotic to cook and especially wash the dishes here, but we are managing.

This time there's lot of rhurbarb growing in our garden, so it had to end up in a rhubarb pie or in two tasty pies. After the eating break our journey continues with the kitchen. Next step is to fix the walls.


When the work is done and the night beautiful

June 01, 2016 Koivisto 0 Comments

We have been lucky with the warmth of the Spring and the almost nightless nights. We are both not a morning persons, so it's a relief, that this time of the year offers the light almost round the clock. After all the work it's time to take a beer and relax. We both love photographing and here the surroundings gives a lot to get inspired from.

Like the old apple trees, which are maybe even older than the house.
The river, which is flowing close to our sauna building. The water is always cold, but at the same time refreshing. The river is called Nuijajoki and Nuija means a mallet or in the spoken language an idiot. The mallet suits well. It's kind of a hit from the coldness everytime, when jumping in to the water.

The Moon, which shines brighter at countryside than in the city. Or at least, that's the feel of it.

There has been often a fire at night on our yard. We were burning some wood from the old storage room. The wood is so old, that it has turned really lightweight. Maybe in couple of more ten years there would be only dust left. Anyhow the fire has its own beauty and the spirit from the old farm.