Friday, 28 August 2015


Yesterday we celebrated the opening of our studio Studio Shangri-La, whih we have been working on during the whole summer, and for such a long time before that on a mental level. I was, as you may undertand, rather busy but did force myself to manage and snap a few pictures during the evening.

Ruska / Tinker, who is my performer and business partner.
My will be working at the desk greeting you when you arrive!

We have Saana Koskinen's Showgirls Series exhibited on our walls.

And here she is herself. Saana is also a fabulous singer, as some of you may know.

Our student troupe The Shangri-La Showgirls after their pastel-kinky-pinup-cherry-blossoms-performance.

And we had the bestest Knucklebone Oscar playing. 
Oh, and as you can see we have a stage in our studio as well (that we have built ourselves!).

The artistry of pastries. Violet-blackberry-white chocolate petit choux for the guests. Seriously, I don't get how people come up with these things but I am happy they do!

Also vegan rum-rose petal pastries and raw raspberry-coconut pastries. Our friend Julia made these. She truly is a cake wizard. There were a couple of boxes of  raw swees left over so I have had them for breakfast and lunch today not to waist them. Not complaining.

Espresso martinis. I could totally have these for brekfast as well but I am perhaps not quite at that point in my life -yet. But I'm telling you, espresso martinis is the thing.
(But as we also are a well being studio and not just a sinful redcurteined martini filled burelsque place we did serve aloe vera juice as well. But that makes less of a picture ;)

And here we are, still for a brief second.

Season passes, cards and single classes are for sale at the studio as well as in our web store at Holvi!
Alla måste köpa. On Saturday we have demo classes from 11am onwards to a reduced price, do drop in! Schedule and more info can be found on Facebook.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015


I'm going to start this one a bit tacky here now, because I thought of this back when I was fifteen (when, you know, you easily tend to be rather dramatic and corny about things). So here we go: life is  like the clouds. Constantly moving, changing shape, without really noticing when or how it happens. You look up at a cloud, it has a certian shape and you follow it with your eyes. It is changing form in front of you but you can't see that. It is not until you look away for a while and then back that you may notice the cloud has taken on a totally different shape than before. It is like a whole different cloud. (It was a rather long time ago that I was fifteen though. Phew.)

Well, yes, in any case. Everything indeed changes and evolves (that is perhaps what time is all about, changes in- and layers on eternity) and sometimes things go so fast you that years just pass by and if you get a second to think about it, it will very likely become a 'whoah, how did we get here'-moment. And then it's WOOOM on again to the next one.

Changes are what life is made of. Something is always changing even when you think it's not, time goes on, trees grow bigger and people grow old. No matter how well thought out or planned something may be you never know how it will turn out as anything can come up along the way. Or it may go just like planned, but the outcome may still be something different than you though.  And so on, yada yada. I don't really believe in finding reasons why random things happen or in meant to be's, it's just something we have come up with to make the chaos that forms everything more understandable, and bearable. Stuff just happen. Some by itself and some you make happen.

I've been making some things happening lately. I quit the harbour late this spring. Which wasn't a big thing per se, as I had not been working there for three years, but I had remained employed there anyway. Now my time for parental time-off was up -in short, you getup to 9months off paid, and can then get an unpaid leave until the child turns three, when you are to return (unless you get another child before the 3 years date when it all starts over again. I always knew I wouldn't go back, but sometimes some parts of me miss that. By now I have forgotten how it felt to be out there no matter what weather (or time of the day. And year).

(Here's me in the harbour a long time ago, a shot from that German tv show with fine shots of the Baltic Sea that airs every now and then and always brings me lots of strange Facebook messages from strangers in various European languages. "hello, I saw you on tv. Bye")

Dag did indeed turn three this summer which is both totally strange and totally natural at the same time. (We're on a feelings-level here, as I do know that turning three when you have lived three years is what most would describe as "natural"). He just started attending play school (or play club, whatever you may call it, a few times a week) and he's talking and making jokes and all and soon he'll be going to school and wanting to use the car and then moving out. The way it goes.

See, here he's already flippin' me the bird:
(To his defence -or mine, it's my kid after all- he is actually showing us thumbs up from a very unfortunate angle.)

It feels very odd to think I at this point of the year could have had a baby of a few months already. As it didn't turn out that way, I fast forwarded some other plans instead. Now the baby-thought feels very distant, and, I'm perhaps a little relieved (that's the brain working I guess, creating reason and meant-to-be's again). You do get kind of comfortable with time, and it's like I've almost forgotten the baby time with Dag, how it felt and how 24/7 it was. Not that I remember it being that rough then, comfort wise, but thinking of it now feels like it would be an awful lot of work to go trough again. I mean I have a child that can go to the toilet by himself already. So easy nowadays! I of course know that if or when such a time will come again the brain will settle into that mode and it will be fine and great all over (and tiring and messy too of course).

You may have noticed I have been rather busy the last year and my blogging has been less frequent.
As I just said I'd quit my old job and that my son is starting to mind his own business a lot you may wonder what the hell I actually have been doing away from the internet.

A whole lot. One of my fasts forwards was starting to study to become a pilates instructor (classical, mat. Apparatus are not very common over here. Yet.). It's something I had thought of for many years, to perhaps do at some point, and then decided to really go for in 2016. But it then came to happen this year already. I started in January and hold one certificate now, but will still be continuing to study for a long time. More on that later.

But what I also have been working on is a thing I had dreamt of for years, but never really felt was realistic. (And soon we will see it if is or not, dum-de-dum) : My colleague and performance partner Ruska and I are opening up our own studio, the very first one dedicated to burlesque in Finland!

There has been classes here and there for years already, and we have thought many of those and kept a small studio ourselves for quite some time already, but now we are opening up and actual burlesque school, a studio that has burlesque as it's main thing and that is the first one over here. We will combine that with other classes under the same roof; yoga and pilates (Ruska is a yoga teacher) and stretching as well as other dance exercise. The name Studio Shangri-La comes from our duo performane The Ravishing Shangri-La Rubies and we have coached our own performing student troupes for two years under the name The Shangri-La School of Showgirls. (I linked our Facebook pages there. Do go and like them. All in Finnish, but don't let that stop you.)

I really had intended to blog about the process of fixing up our new space. "I will have so much to post about". And alas - I would have had, and did. But what I did not have was the actual time to do so. (Well you have seen some on instagram along the way, for those of you who hang around there.) In between waiting for contrucion guys who never came (and then came late and charged too much and so on) and painting and ordering things (and spending up a lot of hard earned cash) and planning and plotting summer just went by and here we are at the opening already. On Wednesday!
Eli sinne kaikki, dit allihopa eller hur!

Apart from that we are working on the Pin-Up competition and putting together a custom performance for the book launch of Sofi Oksanens new book. And then I'd really like to fix up some rooms in the farmhouse plus grow back all the kale that the lambs ate.

Well, this started with clouds and ended up in Shangri-La in something of a mish mash of a post.
So for now: studio studio studio. And buy classes!

Oh and also bangs or no bangs?
Oh the choices in life.

Thursday, 20 August 2015


Summer was saved and we finally got our warm days. Still, in the early mornings and at night you can already feel the end of summer in the form of a chilly breeze or sad sound among the trees. But daytime I am enjoying the sun and enjoying the fact that I get to wear some of my summer dresses. Here posing in one of my almost forgotten Trashy Diva dresses! Toodeli-doo.

I actually would have a lot of other things to blog about than dresses, a lot, but I have no time for that at the moment. Give me 12 more hours to the day please! Make it last June again (with sunshine this time) for a little while! Uaaaa!

Monday, 17 August 2015


I have a big vase in the farmhouse living room that I got once with the idea to put "something huge" into, but that then I have then noticed has been rather hard to fill.  I've kept blossoming branches or the occasional huge flower in it, but in some cases I am very much for consistency - like here, I want it to have something more permanent to go along with. (Partly because, emptying/filling and washing a huge vase is kind of tricky. Tricky as in annoying.)

I wanted some flowers that would clearly not be or look real, but not in a almost-but-not-quite-polyester kind of way, rather something more stylized. At some point somewhere I saw really nice and simple but still well detailed flowers made of wood, which I have later tried to find but without any luck. Or then I just really pictured them in my head until I thought I had actually seen them somewhere (that can happen you know), as not even the internet seems to provide..

A few days ago when on a totally different errand I spotted these huge flowers and they got to move into the big green vase for now.

I think they're fun.
The flowers are from Kodin1.

Saturday, 15 August 2015


 One of us is wearing vintage and one of us is wearing repro;

Dag in my dad's old t-shirt and me in Vivien of Holloway.

Friday, 14 August 2015


A couple of days ago Dag and I went for a late afternoon park picnic. It also served as a set up for a future painting. It will part of a series of paintings of performers. But more on that once the series is finished and the artist has gotten to present her work by herself first.

First of all I just have to say that  IT IS FINALLY WARM.

Tinker's rainbow hair.

Fiona, the milliner.


Pepper and her hairpiece.

Mimi and her girls.

And me and my little boy.

Who found a new friend.

Picnic patterns.

The artist memorizing.
Petra's paintings are always full of colours and patterns and it will be interesting to see how this eventually turns out!

Sunday, 9 August 2015


This year Tinker Bell and I hosting, coaching and co-producing the annual Pin-Up Finland competition! It's the biggest and oldest pin-up competition in the country - this will be the 5th edition. The finals are held on October 3rd in Lahti at the X-treme Car show. The contestants are featured both in printed- and on social media. We are going with a fun sailor-theme for this year's competition.

Now, I have actually never been a person for competitions myself, and I also think that some things are not measurable, but Pin-Up Finland is a very positive competition with a friendly, community-building atmosphere. It aims to give all the aspiring pin-ups a chance to get their modelling dream up and going.

There will be a vintage hairdo workshop held in and by retro hair parlour Pinkki Paplari on August 23rd followed by our posing class. Both workshops are open not only to the finalists but also for all future contestants as well as anyone else with a love of and interest in all tings pin up. More info of the worskhops here, in Finnish: Pin-Up Finlandin superpäivä.

There are a lot of fabulous and enthusiastic women participating this year and I am looking very much forward to meeting all of them!

And, ahoy! Do you have a product that you would like to see featured on the pin-up contestants in the finale show or in any of the photoshoots? Your line of clothing or acessories? Something sailor themed? We will be working with both Finnish and international brands and small companies - we are open for all sorts of collaboration! Do get in touch with us to rubiesproductions (at)!

Burlesque Sailorettes-photo by me.

Thursday, 6 August 2015


This summer I haven't really had any vacation. It's been a lot about work (which I will get into here soon), but most of the time that I've had off I have spent watering plants and taking care of the garden. And anyone who has been stopping by here this summer or follows me at instagram know that  I have actually managed to grow things this year.
I had a really nice garden.

Until the lambs decided their, I don't know, three square kilometres or so of grass was not enough to roam but decided to start hanging out in our garden instead. And as they tend to do, they ate EVERYTHING. Even my palm tree from inside that I had outdoors for some sun-therapy.  And most flowers and all the berries bushes and my god damn growing boxes of kale and salad and peas and aaargh.

But I think there was a Chinese proverb saying that nothing in life is more important than to attend to your garden. And even that is not so important.


Last weekend we went out to the summer house in the archipelago. I don't make it out there that often anymore, just a few days per summer, but it is still the ultimate summer place for the, as it is there that we spent the whole season when we were children.

 This time we were here to celebrate my nephews first birthday.

  Garden party.

I made a vegan chocolate cake with banana and cocoabutter (and a lot more). Will get back to that one later!

 This is my dad's old stroller from the mid 1950's.

And here's the birthday boy riding it.

It's funny; I somehow remember Dag being so much "older" when he turned one but I guess that is a parent-thing. Or forgetting-the-baby-phase-thing. Or, things-go-so-fast-thing. Something it anyways is.

 My other nephew just turned eight months.

 Opening presents.

And of course, the older kids are very eager to help with that one...

Fast forward to ending the day with a archipelago sunset.
The sun suddenly sets so much earlier. August, snap, the evenings are dark!