Yarn Creations from Sofia Sobeide

This is NOT your grandmother's crochet! Sofia from Sofia Sobeide has a fresh approach to her yarn creations. This young designer from Turku breathes fresh air into every piece she works on through her choice of yarns, colors, and patterns. She works hard to make wearable, fun products of a high quality that still have a cute twist to them.

She can keep you warm and cozy with soft, cuddly snoods, cowls, gloves and scarves. Yes, it is spring but the days are still cool here in Finland and scarves are worn pretty much year round. This lovely lacy scarf can be worn in different ways, and will definitely chase out the chill in the air and your heart.

Lacy Purple Scarf from Sofia Sobeide

Maybe you want something more whimsical or spring like? This lovely skinny scarf with its bright crocheted flowers just might do the trick and it will take you well into summer.

Skinny Scarflette with Flowers from Sofia Sobeide

How about something fun and bright? Sofia has this delightful big red bow on a soft cowl. She has thoughtfully attached vintage buttons to it so that you can adjust the length and wear it as a cowl or a headband.

Sofia Sobeide's Bright Red Bow Headband/Cowl

Sofia also has a knack for those fun amigurumi (think small animals in crocheted yarn) creatures. She has a growing collection of bears, birds, dragons and more. Some have been made into soft baby toys or rattles. Others are guaranteed to bring a smile to your face. What baby would not enjoy this colorful snake? She also has patterns for sale.

Amigurumi Snake by Sofia Sobeide

She will help you decorate your home with pretty garlands, practical items for your kitchen, and a whole separate store of jewelry. All in all, this is one busy, talented artisan that you will want to visit again and again. We do hope you will enjoy her works.

Shop: Sofia Sobeide
Jewelry Shop: Sofia Sobeide Jewelry

'Tis a Season with a Reason

Spring is slowly coming to Finland, and our thoughts are turning to flowers, Spring, and oh yes, EASTER! This is the season of rebirth, of freshness, and for many of reflection.

It's time put alway the drab old clothes and step out in beautiful new colors and accessories. We have a new member to our team that really understands what we all love at this time of year. Anna Matilainen paints her generously large silk scarves with the prettiest spring colors. Though she has custom knit cowls and scarves, it is her silk scarves that seem to satisfy the need for brightness the most.

Great for Spring!

Anna's lovely scarves need pretty earrings to set them off, and Marina from Marina's Wishes has several delightful choices. These lovely iridescent white mother of pearl earrings will go with so many spring outfits without being a distraction. Not only are they gorgeous, but they are also free of nickel,lead, mercury and cadmium.

Iridescent White Mother of Pearl Earrings from Marina's Wishes
Shop: Marina's Wishes

This is also the season to muse or sketch. Sasha Kretova from Paper Plane Stationery has made a sweet floral book from 100% recycled materials and then hand-bound this book with a vintage floral fabric along the spine. What a perfect place to write your spring memories or even press flowers! It's a perfect size for your creative needs and yet still fits into a medium-sized bag.

Floral Bound Journal from Paper Plane Stationery

Elina Mäntylä of ValonaDesign has a whole different perspective on Easter and has crafted this unique and powerful Crown of Thorns candle holder. Her listing tells the story, "I came up with the idea of crown of thorns -candle holder years ago when I first got interested in rusty barbed wire at my grandparents farm. It shocked me to realize that something that strong came out in my hands so lightly. This happened on Easter time. I felt that I understood little more of the Easter because of the process. It seems that by creating things I sometimes get more understanding."

Crown of Thorns Candleholder from ValonaDesign

While there is a deeply religious meaning to this candle holder, there is also a wonderful rustic air. It would be as much at home gracing your Easter dining room walls as it would in any casual western-themed room anywhere.

These are but a few of the spring and Easter items available from the Finland Handcrafters Team. We are a growing group of over 100 artisans based in Finland. Drop by and visit, shop, and enjoy!

Beanie on Helina - A Touch of Whimsy

Beanie on Helina is proof positive that well-crafted, sustainable lifestyle products don't have to be dull and boring. Kaisa Erkkilä works hard to combine good quality craftsmanship with great design and usability and adds just a touch of whimsy. She uses a lot of linen in her work. If you know this fabric, you also know that it just gets softer and more supple with every use. Her colors are a gorgeous range of neutrals with just enough color thrown in to keep things lively.

Delicious handcrafted turquoise linen pillowcover

This roomy, practical tote bag will certainly brighten your day as well as help you lug those groceries home. Who says functional has to be dull and boring?

A whimsical tote bag featuring a Couple of Pears

The pictures of each of her items are great. You can really see the detail and quality of each of her products right along with the passion and attention to detail. 
One more touch of whimsy - the name! Kaisa says, "My shop name derives from a story from my childhood. When I was little girl I had a lovely pink beanie crocheted by my mom. I was quite a temperamental child and according to my dad, you could tell the mood I was in by the position of my beanie (if I was moody it was tilted, if I was happy it was on the back of my head...etc.) Also, my middle name is Helina." From her elegant designs and solid craftsmanship, her beanie is on the back of her head these days. 

Kaisa has a regular website with beautiful pictures of her work along with a blog, written in both Finnish and English. Both are relaxing ventures into soft tones and just a bit of fun. 

Beanie on Helina Website
Etsy shop

Buttoned jewelry: Featured seller InkaFinland

Nappikorvakoru is a Finnish term for a stud earring. However, the terms straightforward translation would be “a button earring”. This little sidenote comes to mind when looking at Inka’s cute creations. Her lovely Etsy shop InkaFinland is filled with sweet jewelry made out of buttons as well as resin and glass beads.

Crafting and craftsmanship comes naturally to Inka, who is an educated clothing artisan. The crafting bug bit the jewelry maker early on as she used to sew Barbie’s clothes with her granny’s sewing machine. Through the years she’s come to love jewelry making the most.  “I started my Etsy shop five years ago encouraged by my friends. At first I made and sold little pouches and bags. Since then, I’ve got busier and now it’s more convenient to craft only jewelry; it’s quick to make and in a flash I’ll get new items in my shop. But who knows, someday I may go back to bag-making.”

The talented artisan get’s inspired by 80’s and 90’music, bright colors, stripes and polka dots and obviously by buttons. “I even have three buttons tattooed on my arm!” In addition, friend’s interest in her creations gives Inka a major inspiration.

Inka feels that the best thing about Etsy is meeting your peers. “I also love to take photos of products and list new items. And of course, constantly create new jewelry. It was also quite cool to end up on the front page of Etsy! “

InkaFinland Etsy shop
More about Inka

Story by Kaisa / Beanie on Helina
Pics by Inka / InkaFinland

Humor by embroidery: Featured seller Susitaika

 An emboidery hand drawn and designed by Laura.

Mom’s old curtains. Sometimes that's all it takes to spark a crafting career. This is how it happened for Laura, the creator of Susitaika. Out of the curtains she made her first skirt. “It was a simple rectangular piece with a zipper and so ugly, but I felt like a great designer sewing with my moms singer at the age of twelve.”

Today Laura makes embroidered stuff - clothing, bags and adornments for her Etsy shop Susitaika. “My style often borderlines gothic and usually has humor to it.” The hands-on crafter gets the best inspiration by making. She feels inspired when her embroidery machine starts doing a new design and the outcome is still a mystery. Excitement is in the questions: “What will it look like in real life? Have I succeeded in choosing the best stitches? Will it embroider out with no problems?”

Embroidery machine at work - this time embroidering onto organza.

The table where Laura makes all the patterns is surrounded by inspiring objects.

Laura has also successfully tried other web stores besides Etsy. At first she came to Etsy as a buyer. Later on Laura decided to open her own shop. She feels the best thing in Etsy is the community. It’s amazing to get in touch with people from numerous countries. “Just the other week I helped a girl with an Etsy shop to find a local embroiderer. Since she was from Australia there wasn't much sense to order from me because of the postage. For a normal customer that wouldn't much matter, but she wanted embroideries on the clothes she sells herself, so her customers would end up paying a larger amount of money for the final product if she bought the embroideries from me.”

 Laura gets inspiration and designs also from Urban Threads.

A purse made of a book and embroidered by using Urban Threads-design

A necktie for Laura's robot designing dad. The embroidery is based on an photo.

A band logo for a friends band. 

Under the mustaches is 3D material which makes figures fluffy.


Story by Kaisa / Beanie on Helina
Pics by Laura / Susitaika

Jewelry inspired by history: Featured seller Arx Rosarum

Arx Rosarum is a Latin phrase meaning Castle of Roses. This beautiful name coincides perfectly with the history inspired and highly thoughtful jewelry work of Ruusu, a young jewelry artist and an Etsy seller. She got into handcrafts at the age of 5, insisting her mum to sign her up for a ceramic school. Mum yielded and Ruusu got to learn ceramics for the next 5 years. That’s when she made her first pieces of jewelry; geometrical earrings for her mum.

Today Ruusu designs and makes costume jewelry. In her pieces she uses lots of vintage components like glass jewels, cabochons and cameos. “These products were made for jewelry industry decades ago – now I’m giving them a chance to be finally a part of a wearable piece.” The talented jewelry artist combines old materials with new glass and crystal beads and high quality brass stampings made with vintage dies.

The amazing earrings channel the glowing glamour of Art Deco.

Here you can feel the presence of Art Noveau’s mythic tales.

Inspiration for the necklace wells from dark shades of Victorian splendor.

It’s quite natural that Ruusu, who is writing her master thesis in Art History, finds her inspiration in the elaborate aesthetics of bygone centuries. “Museums, antique shops, historical films and stories – they all feed my imagination. Sometimes I draw sketches, but very often I just start playing around with different components and let the motifs, shapes and colors lead me.”

When Ruusu joined Etsy few years back as a customer, she had no idea that someday she’d be running her own shop. First the jewelry maker sold pieces to her friends and later participated her first fair on the fall of 2011. After trying to sell her products on a Finnish site she turned her eyes to Etsy again and finally opened Arx Rosarum Etsy shop in January 2012. Later this year Ruusu is planning to widen her website to include an online shop of her own.

Despite her plans to branch out, there’s no fear of Ruusu leaving Etsy: “I’m going to keep my Etsy boutique nevertheless. In Etsy, I love the community the most. I’ve got lots of support from my fellow artists. I enjoy the international atmosphere and the possibility to sell my jewelry all over the world. It is so exciting that my creations can travel to places where I have never been and probably never will!”

Arx Rosarum:

Story by Kaisa / Beanie on Helina
Pics by Ruusu / Arx Rosarum

Witty knitting: Featured seller Mairea

We all know how it feels to get cold feet. Mind you, we are now talking about the chillier meaning of the phrase. But no need to worry! Hanna Tjukanov from Mairea has a warm solution, as she makes lovely knitted socks to keep any toes warm. Hanna got into knitting at the early age of 7 when the young handcrafter stole her sisters knitting kit and learned how to knit. Since then she has been knitting for herself, for family and friends and now even for the lucky Etsy buyers.

For her Etsy shop Hanna makes knitted socks, slippers and mittens out of warm wool blend. In addition, she resourcefully uses excess yarn to make crocheted potholders and toys. Inspiration for her distinctive designs Hanna gets from technically beautiful knitting patterns of 1940’s. The skillful knitter has a Master of Arts degree in Furniture Design. “At the moment I’m looking into expanding the product line to match my formal education. For one, I’m planning some new products made with concrete casting technique.”

The adorable mittens are designed for you to be able to literally hold a heart in your hands.

 Slipped into some paint? The witty slippers are designed to look like toes got dipped in paint.

 In crocheted products Hanna likes to play with colors and proportions.

For Hanna Etsy offers a playground to experiment what it takes to build a brand. Through Etsy she’s come to love all aspects of running your own label. These include product shoots, frequently rearranging the shop and designing various print materials. Best thing in craftsmanship is the hand feeling and touchability. “For my day job I mainly work on computer. For this reason I aspire to do as much as I can with my hands on the free time.”

Mairea on Etsy
More about Hanna

Story by Kaisa / Beanie on Helina
Pics by Hanna / Mairea