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Maija Isola’s classic poppy design was born in 1964. Marimekko‘s founder had announced that Marimekko would never print a flower pattern. Maija refused to obey and, in protest, created an entire series of beautiful floral prints. One of them was unikko (poppy) now one of Marimekko’s most famous and popular prints.

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I remember buying this print more than 30 years ago to make cushions and I now have a tablecloths, umbrellas and carry bags in this colourful design…long may it live.

Snowy trees

We travelled north of Helsinki in the depths of winter to Saariselka in Finnish Lapland. I loved the snowy trees.

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20140324-032955.jpg Saariselka trees

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20140324-040559.jpgSaariselka trees

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Click here, here, here and here to see more of gorgeous Saariselka.

 

There is a tiny cafe in Unionkatu, HKI+, beside the information centre, where you can have a great coffee and sweet treat. It is owned by Javier Salcedo from Mexico.

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The South American coffee is sourced from local roastery, Cafetoria. There are chocolates from Fazer and delicious pastries from a local bakery.

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Javier’s photos of Helsinki are displayed on the walls.

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Framed postcards are for sale as well as printed t-shirts.

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HKI+ is a great new addition to Helsinki’s coffee culture, drop in for a friendly smile from Javier.

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The frozen harbour

I think the ice patterns in the harbour are fascinating. Ice breakers move across the ice to break it up to allow ships to move in and out of the city.

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iittala birds

Oiva Toikka has been designing beautiful hand made glass birds since 1972. The story of the famous Toikka birds began with the small Flycatchers blown to life by the craftsmen at the Nuutajarvi factory.

Each bird is hand blown and takes about 10 days to make. This means that each bird is different. The iittala shop in Helsinki has a wonderful collection.

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The 3 glass balls in the foreground show the growth of the birds as they are being made. You can see further progress in the next couple of photos.

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It would be difficult to make a selection with so many beautiful birds to choose from. No wonder people collect them.

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It is mid March and it is clear that spring is not far away. On a warm, sunny day I wandered beside the water at Toolonlahti and came across this cute little bird taking advantage of one of the bird feeders kindly placed in the trees to help them through the winter.

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It is possible to see tiny buds on the tree…soon everything will turn green.

A winter evening

The days are short in winter in Helsinki, but the evenings are beautiful.

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