Blog: Finland

Europe Workshop Tour- Part 5 – Matka Luovuuteen Workshops in Turku, Finland


After a 2 hour drive from Helsinki we arrived in Turku at our new home and workshop location on the former ferry: Bore. See the picture above? That is around midnight and the darkest it gets two weeks before midsummer in this area of Finland. Around 3 am the sun was fully up again. Pretty insane and hard to adjust to :) But we managed.


Nothing boring about Bore :) This was our fun little cabin – we loved it – very cozy. And then we started our workshops on Saturday- first up Birgit’s and my joined Double Mono Class.



It was the first time that we taught a class together and that means we did really teach it together and it was loads of fun. I think it also showed the students that there is many ways to approach certain results and techniques and to use materials and supplies. We worked well together, which partly comes because we know each other so well and trust each other :)




Our students were awesome- although they shocked us the first minutes when we heard several “Oho”‘ and “Oy”s and we thought something is not right or they dislike the results …but to our relieve we learned that this means “WOW” in Finland- puhhhh, they really got us ;) .





It was special to have the workshop on the ship and also sleep on the ship. In between we went out to snap some fresh air and by saying fresh air- I mean fresh air- it was COLD!



Below our wonderful organizers Minna and Elina with us.


We also had a big surprise on board on the first day- we got serenaded. Too funny- after the singing in Madrid one of the Finnish girls actually commented and said “Don’t expect that in Finland” HA – wrong ;) And man they were good!

We first thought that Elina had organized that but she swears it was a bachelor party walking around and singing and having a good time. Oh well – we will believe her ;)



On the second day Birgit and I taught each an Art Journal class separately. So many wonderful and colorful art journal spreads – FUN.












BTW – look at cute Riikka with her self sewn Marimekko Dress- I WANTTTTT! – and her art journal spread- love it too. But the dress- sigh!


I had so much fun with all the girls- after a whole weekend together you bond and have all kinds of insider jokes and we laughed a lot.


Kiitos Finland – it was amazing and I hope I will see you again some time!!! Thank you Minna and Elina for having us.


Next up will be The Netherlands …you thought you are done with the Europe Tour? Nahhh nahhh – LOL

Have a wonderful day ;)

Comments (8)

  • Gayle


    Absolutely delightful to read, see and hear! All the best in next stage of your trip. So very inspiring.


  • Cheryl Johnson


    Looks like everyone had a wonderful time. How fun to sleep and make art on a ship! I really like how everyone was serenaded while playing with paint and stencils. Makes me wish I were there. I love all the photos of people’s work.


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      Glad you liked the post Cheryl! I also always love how students make the techniques and materials their own in the classes.


  • Lena Holmström


    It was so amazing weekend. Thank you Nathalien and Birgit. I had so much fun, so i hope to see you again. Hugs// Lena


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      thank you so much for coming Lena- it was wonderful to meet you!!! hugs back! Nat


  • Sue Clarke


    Looks like great fun and I so love the designs in those art journals.
    How fun to be sung to while on board.


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      Yeah that was fun with the singing -wouldn’ t be as nice though if I would sing ;)


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Europe Workshop Tour- Part 4 – Sightseeing in Helsinki, Finland


From Germany I made my way to Helsinki, Finland – arriving at around the same time as my friend Birgit Koopsen in the evening. Minna picked us up – yeahhh!


I was sick when I arrived in Helsinki- hence Birgit covering her nose and I am looking like a bed sheet. Not fun to be sick while traveling, but you know what …I still had a great time :) We went out to a fabulous dinner with Minna and Elina eating ….Reindeer Tartar and other finish specialties . And please calm down- it wasn’t Rudolf – and yes …we Europeans eat raw meat …and we survive – – OK?


Birgit and I had half a day on Friday morning to do some sightseeing and started off with some yummy breakfast. Always good to spend time with friends that are as appreciative of food as you :) Plus it was fun to catch up with my wonderful friend and we had just a relaxed and good time.


We went to the harbor


and to the old market at the harbor with cute wooden stalls selling …yep reindeer pate, bear sausages and other interesting stuff- which due to the lack of language skills was not identifiable …mhhh maybe it was better that way- hahahaha.


We strolled around and did some shopping at an artist store and then sat a little bit on the stairs of the Helsinki Cathedral. It was actually the nicest day we had in Finland – it wasn’t really T-Shirt weather- besides for the hardy Fins – but it was nice to get some sun rays onto my sniffy nose.


Then invisible strings pulled us to Fazer – a chocolate institution of Finland – to eat a rich and yummy and of course super healthy chocolate cake ;)


And then we went back through the Unicorn Neighborhood – come one- that is so cool! – to the hotel and waited for Minna to start our journey to Turku where the workshops took place.


Next up will be the Workshops in Finland :)

Comments (2)

  • Minna


    It was really lot fun to see you here. I’m glad that the weather was nice for your day in Helsinki! Hugs :)


  • Sue Clarke


    Gorgeous rainbow. That chocolate cake looks great and the stalls remind me of the ones in Boston at Fanieul Hall.


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Matka Luovuuteen – Creative Retreat in Finland in June

Finland Poster

This is going to be so much fun! My friend Birgit Koopsen and I are teaching at a Creative Retreat in Turku, June 6-7, 2015 , which will be held on a Museums Cruise Ship. You can read all details here.

Here are the workshops that I will be teaching -the first workshop is one that I will co-teach with Birgit – we should have called it Double Trouble I guess ;) woot woot :)

Lauantai 6.6. – Saturday June 6

Lauantaina Nathalie ja Birgit vetävät yhdessä koko päivän kestävän kurssin:
On Saturday Nathalie and Birgit teach together in a one day long class:

Sunnuntai 7.6. – Sunday June 7

Artvergnugen – Art Journal Class with Nathalie Kalbach

It starts the moment you sit down, an experience that is distinctly Art Journaling. A quick exhilaration, a sense of control, the art media’s surprising responsiveness as if they were simply an extension of you.

There is a word for this creative experience: Artvergnugen! Artvergnugen is what makes your journal a piece of art.

Join Nathalie for a half-day workshop and play with different art media and supplies. Learn techniques, tips and tricks to take your art journaling further and turn it into Artvergnugen.



International students are welcome- Birgit and I will hold these classes in English…I am not sure I will ever manage to learn finish :)

You can sign up here – if you are on the fence, decide soon, I was just told, the event is almost fully booked.


Comments (2)

  • ansku


    Thanks, we have amazing weekend.


  • Pirjo salmela


    just can´t wait for your Double Trouble week-end. Is it a show with cancan dance and paints, a performance with gesso or a mystery story with two lost adhesive tubes?
    See you both in Finland- Turku in Matka Luovuuteen
    Best regards

    Pirjo S.


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