Saturday, August 26, 2017

STEDSANS IN THE WOODS

LUXURIOUS DINNER AND OVERNIGHT STAY IN THE SWEDISH FOREST

It's been a really long time from my last blog post (too many new things going on) I've missed blogging but I wanted to come back with super interesting story and now I have it! (actually two)

First one is about our visit to Stedsans in the Woods in July. Charming project by Mette Helbæk and Flemming Hansen. They came from Denmark and started this huge project in Swedish forest. They sold their house and closed their restaurants in Copenhagen. Who has that kind of courage? And they managed to get the rest of the money with Kickstarter. I can already say it's worth it and love to support it.


We had our ten year anniversary and we decided to celebrate it by coming to Stedsans and have a beautiful dinner in the forest and stay overnight in one of their big cosy tents and I mean they were cosy. A huge soft double bed with beautiful linen.


This course was our starter. A medicinal plant salad with mushrooms and berries from the forest.


When we arrived we were shown our tent and all the important things concerning our stay on a hand drawn printed map. Restaurant, toilets, shower, boat house, floating sauna, garden and pigs with chickens ;)


The dinner was delicious even though I have quite strict diet. There were things I could not eat but I was well taken care of.


My husband can eat anything ( not envy at all) and his favorite was Peas francaise with horsebeans and lemon thyme. I don't drink alcohol so I had to skip wines but they offered lovely non alcohol drinks like Aronia-apple juice. It was very good with main course Brisket with grilled leek and flowers (flowers! love to eat flowers!) and we enjoyed a lot being there. Their charming style, atmosphere with cosyness and good service. 


Mom and daughter Kodak moment. Picking flowers together for us.


This is Peas française with horsebeans and lemon thyme. Mette styled the dish quite gracefully but in very relaxed way. I felt I had to go and shoot it in the forest and lucky me - forest was just few meters away from our dinner table.


During our six course dinner we had a lovely discussions with a couple sitting next to us Maria and Thomas. We all took few pics of the food ;) they were looking so delicious.


I found Mette's and Flemming's Stedsans in the Woods because I've been following Mette in IG. First I wanted to visit her restaurant in Copenhagen but then I read about her interesting plans. So in spring it was quite clear that I wanted to visit their place in Sweden. Do you ever feel that somehow all the things are connected ? Because same time when I was thinking about Stedsans I got an assignment - to make a speech about trends in food photography. Of course I mentioned Stedsans as one example of the trending things in the world of food.

So I gave a speech in Helsinki in April. Event was called What's cooking Helsinki - food carnival. I spoke to food bloggers about trends in food photography and why storytelling is even more important now than before. I have my own opinions about trending things (actually I don't like the word trend at all, haha. For me trend is equal to consumption which is not a good thing but the word is very easy to understand so I use it) but I decided to ask opinions from talented food and lifestyle bloggers. I wanted to hear their ideas about food photography at the moment. I combined their thoughts with mine and I got surprisingly coherent content. We shared pretty same ideas of going more natural and authentic content - less styled - simple and natural and some of us saw building community very important. We are all creative so we all have a bit different style and opinions in the end of the day but I felt a feeling of collective mind if I may say so.

I want to thank you all lovely ladies who helped me with the trend speech task in April: Aran Goyaga from Cannelle & Vannille, Nina Olsson from Nourish Atelier, Holly Becker from Decor8, Beth Kirby from Local Milk, Adelaster Food Textures, Tami Hardeman from Running with Tweezers, Sif Orrellana and Nicoline Olsen.


Here above you can see a pic from our atmospheric tent. Why I told about Stedsans in the Woods to my audience - food bloggers? I think my main point was that trends are less important. Going back to the roots and sustainable way of living with no waste is one of the directions we are heading to. Simple life with healthy and delicious local food. Using plants and flowers from the nature that is surrounding us but still eating delicious food. Luxury in the forest.


This we found from our breakfast table. Who can say no to this?


Mette made an omelette for everyone in the morning. We sat and drank our coffee and ate as much as we could, haha. After breakfast we decided to test a floating sauna. It was different compared to our own sauna. A lot of light and possibility to go swimming. The lake water was clean and very refreshing. I mean cold. But this summer has been quite cold here in Scandinavia so what can you say. Maybe next summer is warmer. I hope.


The floating sauna was made by an architect and carpenter. It was lovely.


Before leaving we went to see pigs and chickens. We walked by the garden and I was feeling happy and calm and ready for the next destination: Göteborg and botanical garden.

I hope you enjoyed my blog post! Next time I will tell you about my 1:1 flower class with amazing The Blue Carrot.

xoxo
Kreetta

Friday, March 17, 2017

CREATIVE FLOWER WORKSHOP

A DAY WITH FLOWERS, PHOTOGRAPHY AND DELICIOUS FOOD

creative flower workshop photo by Kreetta Järvenpää www.gretchengetchen.com

Welcome to see bits of last Sunday when we had our relaxed creative day with flowers at työhuone ovi 10. 

creative flower workshop photo by Kreetta Järvenpää www.gretchengetchen.com

We made Creative Flower Workshop together with lovely and talented Laura Syväniemi from Lovejunedesign. A day was combination of making a flower arrangement, photographing it and having a delicious lunch and dessert by my dear workspace colleague cook and book author Meri-Tuuli Lindström.

creative flower workshop photo by Kreetta Järvenpää www.gretchengetchen.com

Getting to know chicken wire. 

creative flower workshop photo by Kreetta Järvenpää www.gretchengetchen.com

It's amazing how silent it can be when all the ladies are concentrating in creating the flower arrangement.

creative flower workshop photo by Kreetta Järvenpää www.gretchengetchen.com

From the Laura's gorgeous flower bar students could take so many beautiful flowers. 

creative flower workshop photo by Kreetta Järvenpää www.gretchengetchen.com

It has been super fun to plan and make the workshop happen with Laura. Here she is telling about roses. Flowers have their own nature. Some of them are very fragile, some very straight, some very difficult to maintain and the list is endless. There are lots of things to learn. I wish I had made my 10 000 hours already but no - I'm in chapter one.

creative flower workshop photo by Kreetta Järvenpää www.gretchengetchen.com

It's amazing to see how different the flower arrangements are from same flowers. I have arranged already quite a few flower workshops since August 2016 and not in any of them people made the same. I think we bring a lot of our personality to our work and I think that is wonderful and THE thing. We can be creative in so many ways. In workshop we try to support students own creative process. For me one very important thing in creating is feeling relaxed. I sure you it makes things easier with better result. But we all have our own way to create so whatever works for you - use it.

creative flower workshop photo by Kreetta Järvenpää www.gretchengetchen.com

Be never hungry when creating - that is almost my rule number one. I get easily distracted if I am hungry not forgetting I need a good music while working.

creative flower workshop photo by Kreetta Järvenpää www.gretchengetchen.com

This pic above is a beautiful flower arrangement by it's creator. But when you bring it in front of the camera there are some things you see more clearly. It's different if this arrangement would be on the party table. It's backround isn't so clear and it's looked at from almost every angle. In photo you can see only one side. Together with student we made it ready for the photo. I try to help student to see the problems or the challenges in the arrangement when we are photographing it. We try to balance and shape the work as beautiful as possible.
 
creative flower workshop photo by Kreetta Järvenpää www.gretchengetchen.com

See the difference?
This gorgeous flower arrangement is by Eeva.

I hope you enjoyed the post. Maybe even got excited about flowers? You are always very welcome to our flower workshops. We don't just make a flower arrangement, we want to create a full relaxed and creative experience for you. After the workshop you have a beautiful flower arrangement, a pic of it in your camera or phone, great experince of tasty food and hopefully your mind is relaxed and full of inspiration.

Quite nice don't you think?

Thank you for all our lovely students!
  
Have a lovely weekend <3

xoxo
Kreetta 

Saturday, February 18, 2017

TRENDING FLOWERS

CREATING WITH FLOWERS


Since the last August I've been organizing flower workshops at my workspace työhuone ovi 10. Why? Purely because I love love love flowers. At työhuone ovi 10 there are 5 creatives working. We all have our own room plus we share a big space where we can make different kind of things like workshops. Today I made a photoshooting with flowers. I want to learn and this is how I do it.

I did 6 workshops with floral designer Hanna Piippo during autumn. First one was with ecological lifestyle magazine Huili. It's my favorite magazine in Finnish of course. I made a blog post about the workshop, you can read it here.  Idea of flower workshops has been a success and I've noticed that now it's really trending.  Not to mention all kind of workshops. Helsinki is buzzing, people are organizing workshops a lot and I think it is a great thing because these one day or shorter workshops gives us a chance to learn something new without longer commitment. With other words - fun learning.

I had an idea of flower workshop more than two years ago before I could make it happen. I've been an independent professional photographer and artist over two years now and I have been so thrilled to develope my ideas to reality. Workshop doesn't just happen, you make quite a lot of work before it does. In January I had one intimate workshop on my own with very small group. It wasn't only about flowers it was about composition in still life. But of course we had flowers too with vintage props and fruits. Very classic.

The latest news is Creative Flower Workshop by Laura Syväniemi from @lovejunedesign She is Finnish talented stylist and floral designer who has worked and lived in Australia but now she has returned to Finland. I was happy when I found her because her work is very beautiful and she has a very good eye for colors and style. We can learn a lot from her. Her work has been in international wedding blogs like Magnolia Rouge and Adorn Magazine.  

With Laura I have planned carefully our very first workshop. We want to make your day relaxed with beautiful flowers, photography and with tasty food by talented cook and cooking book author Meri-Tuuli Lindström. It is on Sunday 12 of March. Go and see more information in FB event. You will find it here. We will have another one on Sunday 23th of April. You will find it here.

Binding sign-up e-mail me:kreetta.jarvenpaa@gmail.com
That's all folks! 
Take care and have a lovely weekend!

xoxo
Kreetta

ps. I will revamp my blog's layout in this spring. This look has been live about two years. This is the third one already, haha I started blogging in 2012. Can't wait to make it!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

MERRY CHRISTMAS


WREATH LOVE

Time for peace and tranquility. A present for a dear friend.


Filling your soul with beauty. Nourishing your body with delicacies.


Memories to remember.

Dearest and beloved ones around.
 

"It's Christmas time, and there's no need to be afraid
At Christmas time, we let in light and banish shade
And in our world of plenty, we can spread a smile of joy
Throw your arms around the world at Christmas time."


Band Aid 1984
Songwriters
Bob Geldof, Midge Ure



Merry Christmas!

xoxo
Kreetta

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

BEHIND THE SCENES - SHOOTING FOOD

MY STORY


Have you ever thought how to make a perfect food pic? I have. Over ten years ago I learned from the best. I was assistant to talented food and commercial photographer Juha-Pekka Laakio during years 2004-2006. It all began there with food.

food photography photo by Kreetta Järvenpää www.gretchengretchen.com

From the year 2006 I made a career as a in house photographer in big publishing house till the year 2014. I made a lot of people photography but I made also food, lifestyle, car, fashion, medicine - you name it - photography during those years. You can find the best of it in my portfolio. We had Finnish big customers like Fazer, VR, Alko, Osuuspankki, S-ryhmä, Volvo, Yliopiston Apteekki and many more.

food photography photo by Kreetta Järvenpää www.gretchengretchen.com

In Autumn 2014 I started a career as an independent professional photographer. About two years ago.

food photography photo by Kreetta Järvenpää www.gretchengretchen.com

And here I am. I'm focused on food, flowers, lifestyle not forgetting people either. I also can concentrate more to painting and ceramics. I have my own workspace with such a lovely group of people. We have great co-work with talented cook and author Meri-Tuuli Lindström, she is one of my workspace colleagues. We just published a cooking book Pataruokaa - A Book of Stews in English it would be. She is an excellent food stylist, I have to say. Lucky to work with her.

For me our cooking book Pataruokaa came with perfect timing. My mom had just passed away suddenly in the very beginning of this year so luckily we had our book project mainly during winter and spring when I had the most difficult time of my life. I'm so proud of us and expecially the result - the book. First print run is sold out in November so we are going with second at the moment. It has received very good reviews. I'm very grateful of all the lovely feedback.

flower photography photo by Kreetta Järvenpää www.gretchengretchen.com

At the workspace - we call it Työhuone ovi 10 - the light is magical and I think the place has a very special feng shui - if you know what I mean and I love to share it with my customers and fellow colleagues.

This autumn I've been organizing flower workshops there and people have had a lovely relaxing moments with beautiful flowers, photography and good food. Students have made so many beautiful flower arrangements and then we have photographed them. You can find a lot of pics from the workshops by following hashtag #kukkaworkshop in Instagram. Planning to continue with workshops next year but thinking a next level - more learning possibilities and more talking about creative work. That means smaller groups with flowers, food and photography. Here you can find a blog post about this autumn's flower workshop.

food photography photo by Kreetta Järvenpää www.gretchengretchen.com

I've been telling you a bit of my history as a photographer and about my past year and same time you have been watching the pics from one of the lovely photoshoots during this year I made with Meri-Tuuli. It is part of a huge project we made for keksihylly.fi. It has been a great joy. Meri-Tuuli made recipes and styled the food and I photographed it but before that I planned and collected the props and made backrounds and styled flowers. See the whole pic here. We always try to make our best for customers with unique style. With handmade props and backrounds it's possible with a good taste of style and food styling perfection.

food photography photo by Kreetta Järvenpää www.gretchengretchen.com

Last pic is totally behind the scenes. There are never enough words how creative mind works. Usually you don't receive the words at all and you can only see the result - the photo or what ever the creative goal is. Actually that is how it should be - the final work should work without any explaning words. 

I hope you have enjoyed the story and the pics. I wish you a Merry Merry Christmas! 

xoxo
Kreetta

ps. Next post is about - wreaths :0 of course!


Saturday, November 12, 2016

FLOWER PHOTOGRAPHY

UPDATING PORTFOLIO

flower arrangement and photo by Kreetta Järvenpää www.gretchengretchen.com


During the last two years I've been photographing more and more flowers. I've always loved flowers but somehow woke up and decided to go more that direction. First I started with natural flowers during summer 2014. Played a bit more during summer 2015. I've made ceramic flower frogs and used them with flowers and my blogger friend Igor Josif from the blog Happy Interior blog also blogged about my frogs last year before X-mas. You can find plenty of flowers in my blog very easily.  

Because I want to learn more I decided to do something about it. I have started to organize flower workshops this autumn. I have talented florist Hanna Piippo teaching the flower arrangement and I am teaching and helping students to take a good photo of their arrangement. When people takes the arrangement home it might not be in same condition anymore. A lot of people have only iPhone or other smartphone but you can make quite nice pic with phone too. The light and location just have to be very well chosen and light have to be quite soft.  

flower arrangement and photo by Kreetta Järvenpää www.gretchengretchen.com


When you are making a flower arrangement it depends on the purpose how you should make it. For example if you only take a photo of it, you don't have to make it look good from every angle. You can cheat a bit but it is always good thing to keep in mind that you don't learn if you cheat. If you make it as a table decoration then you really have to think that it looks good from every angle. If the arrangement is in front of a wall you can also cheat a bit and not to use so many flowers in backside I think. So it is important to think where and how you are going to use your flower arrangement. Of course it is always better if you make it look good from every angle. Then you have alternatives how you want to show it. I made this arrangement to look good from both sides. It is my first one (I can show you) and managed to do so but this is very much learning by doing. Actually I like the second side (the first pic) better than the first side I made first. 

These photos I updated my portfolio. There are other flower photos too and you can find them all here.

Next weekend we are going to have Christmas flower workshop. It is already fully booked but you can follow how I build the photography backround and props for it in my Instagram @kreettakreetta and of course there will be #instastories and pics from the workshop too.

I hope  you a very calm and lovely weekend !

xoxo
Kreetta

Sunday, October 23, 2016

COOKING FROM PATARUOKAA BOOK

COTTAGE WEEKEND

cottage weekend photo by Kreetta Järvenpää www.gretchengretchen.com
Weekend at the cottage was pure slow living. Finnish cottages are often very basic. This time - no running water in the kitchen. The cottage was very old house where we could enjoy of fireplace in the kitchen. Such a cosy feeling it made for us. I was so happy that finally we had time to begin to cook from the book I have made with Meri-Tuuli Lindström. The book is called Pataruokaa, A Book of Stews. Stews are THE best on a cold autumn evening in the middle of nature in the candle light.

cottage weekend photo by Kreetta Järvenpää www.gretchengretchen.com
We made two stews during our stay in the cottage. Here you can see roasted Jerusalem artichokes. We made lentil stew with Jerusalem artichokes. We made also very hearty stew - chorizo beef stew. They were both so good.

cottage weekend photo by Kreetta Järvenpää www.gretchengretchen.com
 Our little Haruki also enjoyed the stay and she was very interested about the birds :)

cottage weekend photo by Kreetta Järvenpää www.gretchengretchen.com
Chorizo beef stew was made with tomatos. It took 4 hours to cook and worth to wait, I have to say. The meat was so tender. I ate it again next day with bread and it was so lovely. Rich and thick taste.  It's easy to imagine that after a very cold day outdooring this kind of food is heaven.

cottage weekend photo by Kreetta Järvenpää www.gretchengretchen.com
We are having grey days and the light is vanishing very early. I love the greyness I have to admit. I've learnt to love every season. It makes life very rich because every season has a very special atmosphere. After warm summer it's great to enjoy the darkness, candle light and warm woolly socks on the cosy sofa.

cottage weekend photo by Kreetta Järvenpää www.gretchengretchen.com
This is not my knitting work, it's my husbands. Yes, I have my camera and my husband has his knitting.

cottage weekend photo by Kreetta Järvenpää www.gretchengretchen.com
I've been thinking to photograph birches...so long time. But every time when I see a very good birch forest we are driving somewhere and we just don't stop only for photographing except today. Gorgeous burnt orange color from the leaves behind the birches.

cottage weekend photo by Kreetta Järvenpää www.gretchengretchen.com
 I admit. I took my own table cloth and two plates with us to cottage because I knew I wanted to photograph the food we make and you can't do it with ugly plates, can you?

cottage weekend photo by Kreetta Järvenpää www.gretchengretchen.com
We also brought with us these preserved pears and made delicious dessert from them. These ones are actually Finnish pears. We are going to make them again. They are in season now so have to be quick. They say also that we are going to have snow fall next week. I guess winter is knocking on our door. 

xoxo
Kreetta


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