While in Turku, Finland there were a number of shops near our hotel selling beads, yarn, and sewing notions. One was right outside our hotel courtyard, and was Blingi, a tiny little bead store with a lovely selection of ready-made beaded fashion jewelry and loose beads. The shop also had a very large (considering the size of the shop) of findings.
Blingi Beads – yes, the prices were both in Euro and kpl, which I can only assume is the neighboring Swedish krona.
Unfortunately, nothing really leaped out at me saying “buy me! buy me! I’m small and easily packable!”. Instead, a lot of the beads that I really liked were similar to ones I had already purchased, and after making SO many blingy necklaces lately, I had to restrain myself from picking up more of the same things I had loved before (and still love).
The beads seemed reasonably priced, and very nicely displayed – many in easy-to-shop trays as shown above, but also in the window in the pretty martini and cocktail glasses like in the photo below.
Yliopistonkatu 12 A
20100 Turku, Finland
+358 44 2142008
blingi.fi (Only in Finnish)
…and a yarn shop
Additionally, I popped into a knitting yarn shop (Käsityö-Elisa Ky) around the corner from where we were staying – they had a lovely selection of pretty yarns, and I kept fingering a gorgeous silk blend yarn that I really loved… If only my knitting skills were keen enough for me to justify picking up a few balls with the plan of a simple tank top or something.. but as I’m still working on mastering “scarves” within a reasonable time frame, (and by reasonable, I mean that I still have six balls of yarn on my coffee table waiting to be worked up… not to mention the balls I have stashed in other places around the house) I figured even the prettiest silk balls of yarn should remain on their shelves.
20100 Turku, Finland
+358 2 2318327
kasityoelisa.fi (website only in Finnish, though they mention that customer service is available in English.)
… and ribbons
A little further away was a cute shop that I had thought would be a ribbon and buttons shop, but it was much more ribbons and a few sewing notions along with a few (not terribly inspiring) buttons which didn’t really set off my inspiration, and so again my wallet went unopened and the Euros remained in my purse.
Eriksgatan 8, 20100 Åbo, Finland
+358 2 2316074
… and crafts!
On our way to the train station to head from Turku to Helsinki we also popped into a small craft store (Presento), but I didn’t spend long in there – I was looking for Finland-themed scrapbook paper but they didn’t have anything that was distinctly Finnish, although they had a fair amount of selection. The store was two-stories tall, though I only visited the main floor because we were in a hurry to get to the train station.
20100 Turku, Finland
+358 10 3201720
presento.fi (only in Finnish)
We also popped into a dollar-store kind of store which had a small craft selection (including some tempting wool for felting) but again, my wallet stayed closed, as we were really just looking for scrapbook paper!
Viking beads in Turku Castle
In the Turku Castle gift shop there was a neat display of beads for sale in the style of viking beads. I have a number of similar beads (largely trade beads) so I didn’t feel too tempted to pick any up for my upcoming viking costume. (check out posts from the Garb from a Thousand Lakes category for more information on that)
Viking-style beads in the Turku Castle gift shop
Although I didn’t get any, I thought it was neat to photograph and share. I’ll have a few other photos from the castle in future posts, but if you’re interested in seeing more of the castle itself, check out my other blogs. I’m blogging about music and travel on Throwing Horns Abroad and about the culinary experiences on Happy Sushi Belly.
P.O. Box 286, 20101 Turku
Tel. +358 2 262 0300
Aboa Vetus’ ancient beads
Finally on the bead front, I thought I’d share these glass, bone, and amber beads from the Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova museum in Turku. This is one part museum, and one part contemporary art museum/gallery. On the gallery side I wasn’t personally overly impressed – there were a few interesting pieces, but there was a lot of video work as well which didn’t appeal to me very much. Still, the building was amazing; a former home owned by a cigarette and shipping business owner, and very grand.
The museum side instead was pretty amazing – it was the unearthed remains of an ancient town, long buried, near the Aura River right below the site.
From their website: “Aboa Vetus is an underground area of ruins, where the genuine constructions tell the history of the oldest city in Finland.”
Beads in the Turku museum
The photo above is from one of the display cabinets around the ruins, showing beads from 1200-1600 AD that were unearthed from the area.
Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova
Östra Strandgatan 4-6
20700 Turku, Finland
+358 20 7181640
If you’re interested in seeing any of my other Finland experiences, check out the Finland tag link, where I still have a few things to share!