22 Jun 2017

Perfect Midsummer, photos by Nanna Salmi

 Like every traditional celebration, also the Midsummer Eve (juhannus) 
contains traditions which are so important, that without them the 
day just doesn´t feel perfect.

Night before. Picking flowers, enjoying the 
nightless night already...

The day is long... It is so long that you have time to do many things
before the celebration in the evening. Nanna loves to go 
walking by the lake Vesijärvi.

And Otto loves to swim in the lake Vesijärvi!

It´s very usual that the weather changes quickly and dramatically
during the day. Even several times! If the morning was hot and
misty, the early afternoon can be something very different!

Midsummer lunch is eaten with the family and friends. 
Wild flowers play a big role in a table setting. Grandmother´s
table cloth and china is also in use.

Sweet, small, new potatoes and fish - that brings 
the taste of the summer into your mouth!

Does this need any words?

After lunch and nap a little walk in a forest... Collect seven flowers, put them
under your pillow and you will see your fiance to be in your dream...

danishswedishfarmdog smelling wild flowers

What would make this special day a perfection?
Of course - taking the horses for a night swim as well!

nightless night, horses swimming, Finland

After that it´s nice to dress up warm and sit by the fire till the early morning
and enjoy the lightest time of the year when the sun doesn´t go down.
This is the moment we wait for the whole dark and cold winter...

Have a wonderful Midsummer Eve!
Hyvää Juhannusta!

8 Jun 2017

Hevoset Kaivarissa - Horses in Kaivari

Kaivopuisto (Well Park), or in spoken language, Kaivari, is one of the oldest and 
best known parks in central Helsinki, Finland, and also a neighborhood of about 
500 inhabitants where the park is located.

To the south, Kaivopuisto borders the Gulf of Finland. To the north is a residential 
area containing the official private residences of several ambassadors of foreign 
countries to Finland, including the United States, Estonia, Spain, France, Belgium, 
Brazil, Italy, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.

Photo Source rantapallo.fi
Kaivopuisto offers several hectares of parks, both on flat ground, and on cliffs. 
The park also includes traces of stone fortifications built in the 18th century. 
Every summer, thousands of Helsinkians come to Kaivopuisto to sunbathe, 
to have picnics, or to hold sport. 

The history of Kaivopuisto began in the 1830s, when the company founded by 
Henrik Borgström founded the previously uninhabited and rotten city of Helsinginniemi 
at the foot of the spa (Ulriikapori spa and well company) with parks. 
Since Russian nobles were not allowed to travel abroad, the Kaivopuisto spa 
became their favorite holiday resort and very cosmopolitan spa  for a couple of decades. 

Source - Wikipedia

Weekend 20.-21.5. was the first sunny and warm weekend this year here in Finland. 
That weekend there was a very  unique event in the middle of Helsinki; "Hevoset Kaivarissa" 
(Horses in Kaivari). This event was a part of the official program of 
Finland 100 years celebration.

The event was organized jointly by the Suomen Hippos, the Finnish Rider Association 
and the Hippolis Center . There were two hundred volunteers involved. 
The aim was to present the horse's versatility and significance as a part of society. 

150 horses were brought to the "living room" of Helsinki and 45,000 people, including 
the ex -president Tarja Halonen, came to Kaivopuisto to see varied shows, 
competitions etc. It was nice to see whole families visiting the event: 
some children saw horses for the first time of their life!

We had a stand at the expo area and were quite busy with the customers, but we
managed to see some shows early Sunday morning.

The children started the day´s shows with the ponies. You know the game: 
music is playing and when it stops, you get down of your pony and 
try to get a seat on a hay pale...

The children were dressed up in costumes: princess, red fairy,
a cow etc...

Then came the adults and their wild show of medieval tournament.
It must have been hot in the body armors!

This year the Finnhorse is also celebrated. The 110 years story
and history of the breed was also told. A Finnhorse has had a very big and
important role in the war and agricultural history of Finland.

Photo source hevosetkaivarissa.fi

Would you like to take a selfie with a Finnhorse?

These following photos are from the event page hevosetkaivarissa.fi

Thank you for the organisation, volunteers and the audience for
a lovely and a very special event!

20 Apr 2017


Some seasons are wetter than the others.
Some places have more sunshine than the others.
Somewhere it rains more than somewhere else.

Rubber boots (or rain boots or wellies) are quite often
the most practical foot wear, even in the city.  Thank god - they all don´t
look that bad or boring anymore!

- The Yves Saint Lauren version of rubber boots (also in pink...) -

- Givenchy boots with the equestrian touch -

-Burberry´s Check, different styles, various materials-

If the day looks too grey, maybe something like this would cheer you up!

-EVEDON Womens Premium Wellies by Tom Joules-

Horses, dogs, gardening - or all of them?

-JOULES has got these and plenty more...-

Hunter offers various styles and colors.

Aren´t they sweet?

Would you rather come up with your own style? 

- Idea and instructions by Lemonde Makin´ Mama -

This is how we imagine we look like in a Horse Show...
(Read tips from www.fashionisers.com)

...and this is the reality...

Glastonbury weather report:
 "Don't forget your wellies!"
-The Guardian-

Don´t let the rain and mud ruin your mood
warm and dry feet make you feel good

Wear your wellies at the stables, in the city
- you surely will look very, very pretty!

12 Apr 2017

The most Unique Chocolate Egg - Mignon

For chocolate lovers the Finnish Easter has something very special and delicious to offer: 
The Mignon chocolate egg.

The Mignon chocolate egg is an Easter confectionery made by the Finnish Fazer company. 
The real egg shell is filled with almond-hazelnut nougat and it tastes absolutely 
fantastic. The Mignon Easter egg is the second oldest Fazer product, 
dating back from 1896, when Karl Fazer brought the recipe from Germany.

Seven facts about Mignon Egg

1. The word "Mignon" is a synonym for sweet and cute.

2. The filling is made of almonds, hazelnuts and cocoa butter, no milk is used.

3. The eggs are hand made. 45 professionals make them every year -
the season is from November till March.

4. The Mignon egg has always had famous admirers. Russian czar Nikolai II was the
first one and the eggs belonged to the Easter traditions of the court side
by side with the valuable Fabergé -eggs.

5. Every year 1,6 million empty egg shells are transported from Kaarina to Fazer, Vantaa.
The shells have to be packed very carefully and they fill 23 trucks.

6. The hole is made into an egg with a diamond drill and the egg yolk is sucked out.
The yolks are used in the other products of  The Fazer Bakery.

7. The shells are washed and disinfected and dried over night in warm. The hole
has to be symmetric, if it´s not, the shell will be put aside and these shells are sent to
children´s day care for the kids to decorate.

A Mignon egg is an extraordinary, unforgettable experience.

See how it´s made:

Where to buy them? Here is one link:

Because the Mignon eggs are made into a real egg shell, 
they can also be decorated like the real, "ordinary eggs". 
Nanna loves painting them and every year she paints a few.

Hand painted Easter egg by Nanna Salmi, 
rings Tuum and Leyla, horse hair ribbon 6 mm

Hand painted Easter egg by Nanna Salmi, 
bracelet Puella Star, horse hair ribbon 6 mm

Sometimes you get an Easter egg without chocolate,
but diamonds might consolate a little...
Ring Cassiopeia, horse hair ribbon 3 mm, 54 diamonds

We wish you all very happy and delicious Easter time!

If you wish to learn more about the Fabergé Eggs and their interesting 
history, please, visit

6 Apr 2017

My Bracelet Scirocco

The hair for the bracelet Scirocco is from my first Friesian horse Aldert. He died very 
suddenly of grass disease three days after his 5th birthday. Aldert was a very gentle, 
rather quiet horse. He died on the 21st of June 2013 - it took me quite some time 
to be able to think of what I wish to do with his hair. 

I would prefer to have the bracelet of his own hair with a few strands of 
my horse Meindert, also a Friesian. Meindert is very confident and adorable horse.

I really love your designs and most of all, your
crafts work which is immaculate!

Willemijn, NL

Bracelet Scirocco, woven horsehair ribbon 'solid', 
for Willemijn to Netherlands.

We are happy when our customers are happy! Thank you, Willemijn, for
sharing these photos with us and thank you for your kind words.

4 Apr 2017

Mustangs - They Know What Freedom is...

After many surprising turns and events and with the help of few wonderful people via social media I found myself in a small town called Stockholm Wisconsin US too see three mustangs at Riverside.

Two kiger mustangs Santana and Corazon and sulphur springs mustang Rio Amigo. Couple of friendly cats, chickens, sheep and a pack of collies all living together with the gentle direction of their owner Shirley Rensink. Shirley’s warm welcome and home a way from home atmosphere guaranteed to steal a piece of my heart.

What are mustangs? * 

Mustang is another name for wild horse (Spanish word Mesteno, meaning ownerless) they come in a variety of shapes, colours and sizes but quite small 56 to 60 inches, (142 to 152 cm) Actually mustangs descended from once-domesticated horses, they are properly defined as feral horses. The original mustangs were Colonial Spanish horses. (Przewalski’s horse in Mongolia remains the only true wild horse in the world today.)

In 1897, the Nevada legislature passed a law allowing any citizen to shoot a wild horse on sight. This resulted in unspeakable cruelty and unlimited killing of Mustangs. Decades of bloody and indiscriminate annihilation of wild horses and burros took place in order to make more grazing land available for domestic livestock was a black chapter in the history of mans abuse of an animal.

In 1959 the first federal law was passed which prohibited the use of motorized vehicles in the capture of wild horses and prohibited the poisoning and pollution of watering holes for the purposes of trapping wild horses. Known as the Wild Horse Annie Act (PL86-234) Wild horses are the responsibility of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which is an agency of the US Department of the interior.

Unfortunately, in a consumer-driven North America, the wild horse has no real significant economic value. The sale of horses to slaughterhouses is financially attractive. Horse – meat is considered gourmet meat in Western Europe, Japan, and several other countries. Mustangs eat natural grasses, and have not been subjected to artificial foods, chemicals, and drugs; their meat is considered a special delicacy.

Because there is a much larger pool of captured horses than of prospective adoptive owners, a number of efforts have been made to reduce the number of horses in holding facilities. At present, there are about 34,000 mustangs in holding facilities and long-term grassland pastures. Wild horses roam primarily on public land in Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, California, Arizona and New Mexico.

*http://www.wildheartshorsefund.org/home.html, Wikipedia

I had never seen mustangs before and there is something in the eyes of an animal, that knows what freedom is. 

Mustangs are round up and fenced in different methods to suddenly be homeless. They are waiting in holding facilities to get adopted but there aren’t enough people with the necessary time and skill to train these wild animals. Three that I met were lucky, Shirley adopted the stallion Santana and the mare Corazon wild when their were about 4 years old and Rio Amigo was 11 when she saved him from the previous owner.

Shirley uses positive reinforcement training methods, calm energy with sound and reward. I have never liked the word “horsewhisperer” as it has a bit advertisement echo to it but this was the closest thing to a perfect communication between horse and human that I have witnessed. I watched her work with the horses and was just utterly speechless.

I did a photoshoot one early morning, just Shirley and her mustangs. No plans, no lighting equipment, just my camera. Silence and the presence of mustangs. I watched Shirley work with them, one by one and just let my camera do it’s job.

Shirley shared her favorite picture and moment like this:

My favorite moment and photo is the shoot we did with Corazon. She always takes a back seat to the male horses. And by the time they are done with them, time is over for much work with Corazon. Every now and then, I have a student or visitor that gravitates to Corazon. But mostly, she gets less attention with others.

She is so smart, active and steady of mind. However, I also know she will decide to go for any open gate or opportunity to be free! For us to be out of the fence and have her completely engaged with me was special! Many people have no success with Kiger Mustang mares out of the wild because the mares simply won’t bond with them. When Corazon first came to our home, she was so heartsick and actually sick and thin, that I called the BLM for help. What I was told was that there are mares in the Kiger roundups that actually die because they are depressed from the process of having their freedom and families taken away from them. They refuse to eat and become withdrawn. When she was first here, Corazon would pace day and night. Constantly looking to the bluffs across the river. I always reasoned that they were the closest thing to her open high mountain home that she came from.

However, once we became girlfriends, I believe she is as happy as any captured mustang could be. Corazon, loves the collies and has a game of running along the arena with them. She loves to run and her best running friend is Mystic, our female collie. When all the other dogs are up at the house, Mystic will often be missing. She is out simply laying on the other side of the fence watching Corazon who often is within a few feet of the collie.

That moment I took her halter off and you so beautifully captured my wild mustang mare will be held so close in my heart forever! I go back to the photos and relive the spell we were in that day while time stood still. In all my life, I have dreamed of being this close and this intimate with wild horses… and now, I am living this dream come true.

Shirley working with Rio Amigo https://vimeo.com/140552321 

My most memorable moment was sitting alone at the stable side door stairs while the sun was setting and just watching Santana play with his good friend Pinky the cat. Mississippi river on the background, some big bird taking of from a tree above and only sound was my camera shutter as I pressed to take a picture of this moment to remember it by.

If you wish to see more, please, visit Jaana´s web page, portfolio and blog at

Thank you, Jaana, for sharing this experience and your beautiful photos
with us and all our readers around the world!