Midsummer’s Eve and the 9 types of Flowers

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<1. May Lily (Maianthemum bifolium), 2. Lingonberry (Vaccinium bitis-idaea)>

The day before yesterday was the Midsummer’s Eve. The night of mystery, huge bonfires, magic, the search for unreal (like flowering ferns), lightest night of the year, the tradition of picking 9 different kinds of flowers so one could stuff them under one’s pillow when she finally sleeps and see their future spouse in their dreams. A special festive night, the true start of summer, big expectations and anticipation.

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<3. Arctic Starflower (Trientalis europaea), Chanterelle (Chantarellus cibarius)>

To be quite honest, I don’t think much of the particular day any longer. Staying up all night only means being tired and groggy the next day. Consuming (large amounts of) alcohol has very little appeal for similar reasons, and also for the reason of not being able to enjoy the night properly in the first place, while being intoxicated. And to top it all off – it’s not really the beginning of summer or the real solstice in the first place. Like Christmas, the real astronomic event takes place days earlier. [4. Cow Wheat (Melampyrum pratense)5. White Nettle (Lamium album L.)]

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[6, Red Campion (Silene dioica)7. White Clover (Trifolium repens)] Nevertheless, there’s still a sort of tingle inside when the day approaches. SOMETHING should be done. And I do love bonfires. And picking flowers.

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Thus we had our own little private adventure on moss, wet grass, beaches by the Baltic Sea and in the back yard. [8. Sweet Clover (Melilotus)9. Eastern Galega (Galega orientalis)]

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My apologies for the pictures being of poor quality. I guess they are fine for night-time photography, though.

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Reviews and Feedback

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First of all – we are so, so grateful for each and every review. It really makes one’s day to know that the person who received an item was happy with it. But, I’m also as grateful to anyone who has made a purchase and has not left a review. Because reviews are a bonus – both, fur us and for the person writing it. I absolutely don’t expect everyone to bother. If it makes you feel good to leave a review – it totally makes us jump up and down from glee, but if it feels like a tedious task, then simply enjoying your item as much as you can is the best thing – even if we won’t know it! 🙂

There was tiny review related discussion at one of the teams Facebook page we are part of. I’ve always thought that as a customer I personally would not like to have an extra reminder about leaving reviews after I’ve made the purchase. But as it turns out – some people actually do like if they are contacted later on and asked about how they liked their product, because that makes them feel important and gives them a feeling that their opinion is important and matters.

This one is obviously a very good point! Plus – any suggestions and feedback on what people liked, what they didn’t and why and what would they improve, sounds more valuable than gold.

Still, the problem for me is, how to obtain it without bothering people too much? Maybe it’d be a good idea for Etsy to work out some sort of separate, private suggestions and feedback system? Because eventually – receiving critique can be extremely valuable, but it does not always necessarily go well with the review/stars system. You can receive a perfect item – exactly what you saw on pictures, and be totally happy with it and still have some suggestions for improvement or critique. It would be good to have a tiny fill in box for private feedback, for further thoughts and suggestions.

I think I’ll try to make it a standard line in a shipping notification to point out how welcome and appreciated any suggestions and critique would be. Although, I suspect it would be definitely a bad idea if it came out like “please try and find flaws with the thing you just bought and look for reasons why you hate it”. This kind of message would no t do good for anyone. I know, that I am prone to post-purchase regrets as a customer myself. So, after a purchase I am more in the need of hearing and focusing on why the thing I just paid money for is actually a good one, not being encouraged to think of more reasons why it might have been a grave mistake instead.

Oh, and and at some point just recently we had a moment when we could congratulate each other for the 100th sale of our shop. Congratulations, ISE Paper And Craft for the first 100 sales!

– Maarja

PS: If you are about to throw into recycling the small paper box your acorn earrings or necklace came in you might also want to take a peek at the bottom and rescue the tiny pebble used as weight first! (Natural habitat above)

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In the meanwhile …

In the mean while there has been a silence in this blog. It jumped upon us somewhat unexpectedly – first there was this period of busy-ness and all the words seemed to have escaped somewhere to have fun on their own. And then the Summer came.

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I mean the kind of summer where clothes serve only decorative purposes (or have something to do with general decency). Although, as for the decency part, the hot weather has lasted long enough for there to be headlines up in a local news portal, expressing opinions that visiting grocery stores in underwear should be officially prohibited.

So it happened, that on one sunny Monday the ISE Paper and Craft team was united again in the front yard of a tiny house in the countryside my sister lives in. During these 10 days we were together we went for some short trips into the forest to pick blueberries

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(and some pine cones, and a little bit of beautiful forest grass, as we are little kleptomaniacs, when it comes to all kinds of curious and beautiful natural objects). Then we made couple of trips to beautiful places with stony beaches.

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And witnessed our fair share of sunsets. As for the rest of the time – we ate blueberries with milk and honey and spent each evening bathing in the gentle and warm waters of the Baltic Sea.

At the beach we set up an ice cream shop. The business went so well, that environmental inspectors had to eventually shut down our ice cream mine.

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And then sun sank lower and lower until we had to pack up and leave, so we could at least pretend that there still exists a “bed time” for the youngest member of our group.

I bet you know very well what it feels like to float, almost weightless in the quiet sea, to swim eyes closed straight into the sun. To look to the horizon and see nothing but the ever-changing always-the-same mosaic of of soft blues and reflections of the sun melting into the hazy mellowness of the evening sky. And it’s so warm, so warm. This is an infinity in a moment, one of the many essences of nordic summer.

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-Maarja