Moomin Moments 2.0

Believe it or not, it’s been almost a year (just three months shy) since I got something Moomin, so getting The Moomin Colouring Book made it feel extra special.

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Apparently ‘adult colouring books’ are all the craze and even though this one is less complicated than the adult books, I’m well excited to get started on filling in the adorable images of Moomin and friends. And what more perfect tools to add a touch of colour than some Moomin colouring pencils! Do you have a favourite colouring book or set of coloured pencils?

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Island Hopping in Finland

The Turku archipelago is easy to fall in love with, especially when the warm sun is beating down on your back, and you have some hot smoked rainbow trout fresh out of the smoker in one hand and a delicious korvapuusti (Finnish cinnamon roll) in the other.

While we drove around exploring the islands, I could picture the characters of Tove Jansson’s The Summer Book coming to life in the ever-changing mood of the northern summer and everything felt simultaneously exciting and calm. I also imagined the Moomins and all of their picnics and outdoor adventures.

I love the sound of the Finnish language and am by no means an expert at picking out Scandinavian languages, but after we had travelled beyond a certain point I was pretty sure most of the locals were speaking Swedish.

Nautical summers are my favourite and because of that I felt completely relaxed and at home as we hopped from island to island. We started out in Nagu/Nauvo, the port to the Turku archipelago, passed through Pärnäs/Pärnäinen and Korpo/Korppoo and turned back just in time to catch the last ferry back to Turku. We hand’t exactly planned on an island adventure–it was a spur of the moment decision after spending the morning in Moominworld. If only we had more time…the weather was perfect, the food was simple but delicious, and the pace of life was perfect.

Moomin Nesting Dolls

Don’t you just love when you discover a new shop that sells unique Moomin merchandise? It’s already been a fabulous year for Moomin fans, thanks to all the special events and collaborations commemorating Tove Jansson’s centennial. But this is the first time I’ve seen Moomin nesting dolls and they were so cute I couldn’t resist purchasing them–they will soon be making their way around the globe to me!

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The little dröm store is based in Singapore (est. 2010) and sells creative knick knacks, often with a local flavour. They have a modest collection of Moomin merch here, all the basics to get a Moomin collector started.

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The dolls are made of plastic so perhaps $39SGD is a wee bit on the high side in terms of pricing, but they look like they’re quality made so hopefully we won’t be disappointed. I shall report back once they arrive so watch this space! Have you made any new Moomin discoveries? If so, let us know!

Update (1 Dec): The Moomin nesting dolls finally arrived from Singapore! I was surprised by how tiny they were–the largest doll is 11.5cm tall and the smallest is 5cm. I must have read centimetres as inches when I skimmed the product description. They’re so ickle! That said, they’re still adorable, although I would have liked a thicker paint on the dolls and a sturdier plastic.

Dreaming of Finland on Moomin Day

Happy Moomin Day! 9 August 2013 marks the 9th annual Moomin Day in Japan, which is also Tove Jansson’s 99th birthday. Click here for some ideas on how to celebrate this lovely day.

I started the day off with some Moominmamma’s Magic Potion, purchased from my favourite Finnish shop: fromFinland.fi.  The tea is my favourite of all the Moomin teas — a lovely black tea flavoured with rhubarb and strawberry flavours — so fragrant and soothing. Just thinking about it makes me smile. (*^_^*)

Moominmama Mug and Moominmama's Magic PotionI also decided to tackle the ginormous 2000 piece Moomin puzzle that Mr. T got me for my birthday and realised as I was sorting out the pieces that I’ll probably be spending the next month or so putting it together — just finding all the edge pieces has worn me out.

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I’ve spent much of the day researching what I hope will be our first ever visit to Finland (aka, home of the Moomins) next summer. As 2014 will be the 100th anniversary of Tove Jansson’s birthday with celebrations abound in Finland (and Japan, I’m sure), I thought it would be the perfect time to visit. Keep your eye on this space for updated event information.

Not surprisingly, top on my list of places to visit in Finland include:

We’re thinking of 5-6 days in Finland using Helsinki as our ‘home base’. Is that too little time? I don’t want to miss out on all the other wonderful things that Finland has to offer so if you have any non-Moomin (or other Moomin must sees — like best places to shop for Moomin goods) suggestions please let us know!

The Moomins And The Great Flood

Some of you may have already heard, but the translation of Tove Jansson’s first ever Moomins book is set for release for the first time in the UK next month on 1 November, 2012. The Moomins and the Great Flood, originally written in 1945, is centered on a quest to find Moominpappa. Written during darker times, it will be interesting to see how the Moomin stories began and how they’ve evolved over time.

According to The Guardian’s interview with publisher Natania Jansz, they decided to delay the UK publication as they wanted to launch it leading up to Tove Jansson’s centenary year (2014). I’m not sure how that worked out to be a November 2012 release but fair enough! Pre-order your book on Amazon today! If you’ve somehow gotten your hands on an older copy (it seems the translation, by David McDuff, was published in Finland in 2008), no spoilers please!

Finding Solace In Moominvalley

When things get a bit hairy I often like to cuddle up with a good Moomin book and retreat far into Moominvalley. What can I say? The Moomins are to me as beer is to a beeroisseur. The stories are simply a great source of comfort.

For the past three weeks I’ve been under an insane amount of stress. As crazy as it might seem to some of you, if it weren’t for Moomins (and of course my darling hubs), I reckon I’d be mad by now!

It goes without saying (but I’m saying it…I never quite understood why we say that) that I was thrilled when I returned home last night and saw the new colour editions of Tove Jansson’s Moomin’s Winter Follies (one of my absolute favourites of all the comics) and Moominvalley Turns Jungle waiting patiently for me to open and admire them. Here’s a preview of what you’ll find inside. The colours are just beautiful and I can’t wait for the next books to be released!

Available for pre-order on Amazon: Moomin Builds a House and Moomin Falls in Love to be released 5 March 2013 (which also happen to be the hubs’ birthday)!

How Will You Celebrate Moomin Day?

While the world is focused on the London 2012 Olympics, I’ve been gearing up for a special celebration of my own. But of course, Moomin Day (ムーミンの日)! 9 August 2012 will mark the 8th annual Moomin Day in Japan, which will also be Tove Jansson’s 98th birthday.

Each year I’ve always used Moomin Day as an excuse to buy a few Moomin goods that I’ve had my eye on. This year will be no different (except that I seemed to have turned every day into Moomin Day), but I also plan to try my hand at a few Moominvalley delights. Fellow Moomin fans, how will you celebrate this day? Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Make something from Moomins Cookbook.  I plan on making one of the fish pies.
  • Plan an outing — Moomin-style! Refer to The Moomin Adventure Book for some great ideas.
  • Learn more about the Moomins!
  • Read one of your favourite Moomin comics or books.
  • Start you own Moomin scrapbook. This will be an ongoing project for me.
  • Have a Moomin tea party!
  • If there isn’t a Moomin shop near you, have a look here for a list of some online shops that each carry a great selection of Moomin merchandise.
  • Create your own Moomin comic here.

For more information on Moomin Day celebration events being held around Japan click here.  If you need help navigating the site, please let me know and I’ll be happy to help you translate the bits that seem interesting to you!