26 June 2006

moving on

three days left. i can't believe the time has gone by so fast. half of my apartment is packed and ready to go while the other half is waiting for me to buy another suitcase. anything with a 220v cord has been donated to european friends. my plants are being inherited as well as the decorative odds and ends i picked up in order to liven up my blank apartment. the work bench is being picked up by a fellow metalsmith today. i'm glad that i found someone who can not only use it but lift it. i thought i'd be ready to go but it seems that i have way too much to tackle in the next few days. i guess that no matter when you plan to leave, you'll always be in a rush towards the end. at least, that's how it is with me.

this week has been filled with good-byes. today it was to elina, someone i met when i first arrived that has remained a constant source of laughter and friendship over these ten months. she cried and i held it in, promising to visit as soon as i can. even though i know we will now live on opposite ends of the earth, i can't help just knowing that we'll not only stay in touch but meet again.

now it's time for visits with old friends, moving to a new city, catching up with family, and the dreadful job/apartment hunt. i don't know exactly what will happen to this blog. i began writing as a way of keeping friends and family back in the states up-to-date. now that my time in estonia is over, should the blog end as well? i'd love to hear what you think.

16 June 2006

the proof

contrary to popular belief, the last four months haven't been all fun and games. after the fashion show and fallen nature exhibition i began working on a series of necklaces inspired by estonian history. the theme of each necklace ranges from estonia's occupying forces, fight for independence, and european union accession. i've just recently completed the series so now you can check out the photos at my online exhibition.

thanks to graham mitchell, the photographer who shot the work!

05 June 2006


senior year of college, my bedroom was windowless. that might drive some people crazy but i was in heaven. any time, day or night, my bedroom could be pitch black like a cave. no matter when i got to bed i could get a full night's sleep without the sun waking me up. this led to an extreme light sensitivity. after moving out of that apartment it was difficult to get my usual eight hours. okay ten.

when i arrived in estonia each day was progressively shorter. the fact that i don't even have a door on my bedroom wasn't an issue. until now. the days are getting longer and the sun is creeping through my curtains earlier each day. i never anticipated that light would be an issue, especially after months of longing for it, but this has got to stop. i'm not the only one. no, there are others. those who purchased sun lamps in winter are now putting up their blackout curtains. it seems that light, or lack thereof, is a constant issue in estonia.

now, to illustrate i have some photos for you to compare. one was taken at 10pm, the other at 3am. can you tell which is which?

pretty tough to tell huh?

25 May 2006

i love photobooths

time goes by

ten days. that's how long my eldest sister chrystie was here visiting me. besides the fact that we both got pretty sick while she was here, we had a great time. we explored the capital city, visited galleries and museums, ate tasty food, and went to sauna... in two countries. her visit marked my first trip to finland. since it's just a two hour ferry ride you'd think i would have found the time to go in the past nine months but i'm glad that we had the opportunity to explore a new place together. here are some of the highlights from her visit:

chrystie planning our days at hell hunt (gentle wolf) estonia's first pub

hand-made truffles, espresso, and a three piece orchestra...
my favorite old town cafe

view of old town from toompea hill

viru bog in lahemaa national park

palmse manor

installation outside the viinistu art museum which holds the best collection of 20th-century estonian art in the country

helsinki subway
on our way to what we thought was the oldest public sauna in the city... turns out there's now a "thai massaaz" parlor in its place.

suomenlinna island fortress, finland

a very brave duck at suomenlinna

on the suomenlinna-helsinki ferry

port of helsinki

interior of the orthodox uspensky cathedral, katajanokka island, finland

tuomiokirkko (lutheran cathedral) helsinki

the view of helsinki from our ferry back to tallinn

and now...five weeks. seems like a good chunk of time. this winter it seemed like an eternity. now that it's all the time i have left in estonia i know that it's going to fly. but you know what? i'm ready. i'm ready for a job and a schedule and being closer to my family and and... i'm just ready. the opportunity to collaborate with a local artist and show my work, twice, was more than i thought possible before coming here. i've met so many interesting people from all over the world. this experience has been wonderful in other ways that i can't even begin to articulate but yes, i'm ready.

30 April 2006

More to see...

29 April 2006

So much to tell...

i just got back from my whirlwind tour of estonia. the entire country in 9 days seemed a bit overzealous when andrew and i were mapping everything out but we found that we could see what we wanted to and more in just 7. partly because this country is so small (about the size of vermont and new hampshire combined) and partly because i have a lead foot.

so that's what we did. and you know what? it was fantastic.

don't get me wrong... it wasn't all castles and sunshine. here are some low points of the trip: car won't reverse. we found this one out early. at the very first stop actually. but one quick call to roman, our rental car guy, and we were back on track. lost keys. found in a few minutes right between the slide and the swing. the obvious place for keys i know. stuck in the sand. in about two feet of sand to be precise. we weren't going anywhere until we flagged down an estonian hero who single handedly dug, jacked, propped, and pushed our car out of a sand pit. we love you tiit. sickness. our first hostel in narva was freezing. i woke up the next morning with a nasty sinus infection. a lot of medication and nose blowing kicked it by the time i got home. oh well. a dead battery. easily fixed with the purchase of some jumper cables and some helpful punks. a frightening seven point turn. when you realize that you're in the middle of the forest and the very narrow road you're on just ended for no apparent reason you only have one choice.

sounds like we had an awful time huh? well, you're wrong. it could have been bad but when something went awry we figured it out. oh yeah, and we laughed a lot. no point in freaking out right? and of course there are always the highlights of any trip: a great team. i found out after picking up the car that andrew can only drive an automatic. so andrew was the navigator extraordinaire while i was the master of the stick-shift. throw in a few impromptu driving lessons for more laughter. pop megamix. estonian radio got a bit old after the first day so we picked up a tape of the top 51 estonian pop hits from the last decade. play for good times. free fish. offered to us by a woman on kihnu island after we purchased a few handmade items she sold from her home. not just a few fish either. these were 50lb. bags of half dead herring. too bad we didn't have a cooler in the trunk. local heroes. as mentioned above, we weren't going anywhere on several occasions without some help. a push, a jack, a jump, a shove... it never took long to find someone willing to help. a cappella. when the radio and pop megamix no longer cut it. mabel. our rental car. could be a bit testy but she was a trooper and the third member of our gang. which is why i have over a dozen photos of her.

picnic lunches
. in order to save money we had a pb&j picnic everyday. yum! plus all of the beautiful chapels, waterfalls, castles, bogs, manors, cities, lighthouses, towns, forests, and windmills we saw along the way.

below you'll find some highlights from the trip. remember that you have the power to enlarge! just click on the photo of your choice.