Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy NEW Year!

Hey all together!

New year is coming and it’s time to let go the old year. It’s time to forget and forgive. It’s time to breath deep and let go. To thank for every special moment that we've had this year slowly going into the history, but still living in our memories and in memories of people who've shared those moments with us. It’s time to watch the children play and learn something from their unconcern and lightness, and how these days are magical for them.

It’s time to watch out for all things new, to inspire, to wash away the dust of everyday life, as Picasso told it.

And it’s all right by your side, inside your heart, and around you. As I’ve recently read in one of my new books:

...Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.  
Albert Szent-Gyorgyi 

May the new year bring you courage and health and kindness and new creative inspirations!


Monday, December 24, 2012

New mug rugs with graffiti-like elements

This post was due at the beginning of the last week, and here it is, a bit late though.

Now I’m exploring the possibilities of graffiti-like journaling and printing on textured fabric, and I definitely like it. And linen/appliqué with free motion machine embroidery are slowly but surely getting the must-have’s on nearly each piece that I’ve made or making recently. Here's only a peek because of some photo processing difficulties, I hope once the holidays are over I'm gonna show it in full size.

In following days I’m gonna be only making some new pattern and hand sewing, any other activity will be postponed till the end of the holidays, as it already is since a couple of days. I'm gonna make some research for graffiti art and new printing techniques, and I'm gonna work on monoprinting - holidays is just a perfect time to nourish the mind with some new ideas.

I wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! New updates on the blog gonna come next year! See you then!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Some random thoughts on creativity

Last months I haven‘t been that often online, what does not mean I had not anything to share. 

In a certain way there‘s maybe some natural process about taking time and getting „silent“ online – the process of making, evolving, getting more critical towards my own results. With all the time spent constantly working, thinking, it‘s somehow getting more difficult to say „wow“ to any new result that may seem worth sharing, but is not "set", hence not really worth being published.  It‘s not that easy for me anymore to get overhelmed with someone‘s work and lose the thread. I got more critical about my work, but also about work of other people, and it all comes from better understanding where do I go and how other creative people make or made their way out there.

It was, and still is normal to discover  A LOT, that may be worth taken along the way. Attention – not ANYTHING, because of course there‘s a painful process of sorting out of „yes, I take it“ versus „no, I leave it“. 

With time passing by and working on it‘s more like: what you take is something coming from the INSIDE, not something you‘ve found somewhere else out there. Something coming from that inner feeling of what and how you EXPRESS THE CONTENT THAT REALLY MATTERS. So you might need more time to melt LOTS of inputs together, process them and make your own way.

And it‘s honestly much more gratifying and worth all the time, worth the efforts, worth the research, worth exploring sideways, worth all the „no‘s“. Right now I‘m sometimes feeling like it takes me ETERNITY, lots of efforts and thoughts for quite some project, to "sharpen" it, to get to the core, to the essential, to the "non plus ultra", but I hope someday I may reach to a point where I‘ll see more clearly, what a project needs and how it‘s all to be done. And I‘ll feel myself less lost and blocked.

I think this is an important issue about PRACTICING CREATIVITY – it‘s all a  great amout of working to get the senses sharper and honed so that some sort of creative instincts can be better heard and understood.

I know, blogging means up-dating as much as possible, constantly generating new ideas and coming out with what I‘ve seen, tried, found inspiring and so on, but this is not me. And this would be not the blog of mine. I need a little bit more of silence and offline time to find out what truly matters for me to say, to express, to develop. I‘m blogging about how it‘s all evolving in my work, and the priority is actually on work. That means quite a rigid selection in order to save more time for creative processes themselves. For only writing about what is meaningful in and for my work. Even if right now it means writing at only about ten posts a month.

This time I‘m sharing a preview from some prints I‘ve made for upcoming projects. Even it it may seem some kind of repetition of what I‘ve been already making and sharing in summer, it‘s an all new level for me – in  choice of colours, materials, phrases, words, but also way of journaling – it‘s all much more precise and meaningful for me as it was in summer, it‘s all somehow more coherent and integral in material-form-colour relations. If I‘ve often printed in summer and decided later about how to use them or not use at all, now I know and feel their future place better. It‘s all about learning to hear and trust my instincts.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

(Teddy bears) and their frieds

Actually I should have been working on other teddy bear and instead of that I‘ve made this one – in plasticine. And it came out quite spontaneously, because honestly I was thinking about making another animals, not a cat.

And most of my projects come out this way – because an idea  is mostly an impatient thing and cannot wait till I get done with some other stuff. And that‘s because I‘m working on many things simultaneously. 

This cat has spent awhile in my head maturing and getting shape, and there‘ve been lots of drawings preceding it and going mostly into the waste paper basket, till the final one today, and now it‘s born. It has decided to get real this morning, so it is. 

Now I get back to my monochromes, pattern making for this buddy, unfelted teddy bear and monoprinting – yes, that‘s the new old thing I‘m experimenting with now, with my little girl and it‘s so much fun. We cannot draw outside anymore, and we oh-so-much-miss-it, so we monoprint.  I‘ll keep you posted.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Another teddy bear

Here‘s the white teddy (actually more white cream shade) number one. The second one is waiting for nose felting. Approximate size about 17 cm standing, very cuddly. My major issue for the next ones from now is fine tuning of proportions, shading and decorative stitching – maybe for those ones as well – they somehow seem very „clean“, and I honestly prefer more „worn out“ and messy look. And something knitted of silk mohair or silky ribbons are also on the list. I guess these buddies will be the only ones I'll be blogging about during the holiday season, as it's easy to travel with'em  - the materials can be taken anywhere - and make'em in-between.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Working, working, working...

Last time I‘ve promised to show the new teddy bears. Well, they are not ready, for many reasons. Among them other projects with its particular problems and difficulties. Among them cold and snow, and many greyish snowy days. Holiday presents as well. I could write a list, but I‘ll stop here.  And I hope I'm gonna show the teddy bears soon.

Today‘s only a very sneak snapshot from my studio table – teddy bears in process, new drawings for my serie The Monochromes, new lace, being only three among other projects I'm currently working on simultaneously.

We‘re now having a beautiful Christmas tree at our new home in Finland, and now I‘m feeling finally the holiday season coming. This year has brought lots of new projects and new perspectives, so now the time is coming to slow down and enjoy the holidays to see people we love, old friends, to recharge, relax, see something new, read, drink some good coffee, to walk a lot, to dream, to buy some new books, see some old movies, to regenerate new energy for the coming new year, for the projects to come, for all the changements that will come our way.

But for now there‘s still a lot of work to do...  Stay tuned, I‘m gonna upload some new posts before I take a couple of weeks off-time from my blog.

Friday, December 7, 2012

A little sewing project in-between - quick and easy

Today I‘m sharing a very quicky spontaneous project. While I was sewing the teddy bear, my little girl was playing nearby drawing angels – all blue, pink, yellow, red. So for a while I‘ve interrupted my projects and we got into card making. We‘ve made a lot. Quickly. And I loved them. Despite my monochrome addiction. 

This is how the idea of a new tote bag was born – actually because I needed to do something simple and get finished fast and because I loved-loved-loved those angels. So while my little girl was making another cards, I‘ve patched/appliqued this simple image and it finished as a tote bag. (Almost)monochrome. 

Here‘s one of her cards, in sepia version, followed by my rough thumbnail sketch and the final result – this is actually my easiest sewing project so far. Though I do think about maybe adding some details here and there, like handquilting or a crocheted daisy. Don't know yet.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Graffity. Monochromes. Mixed technique.

Work in progress - waiting to become a couple of pillows in mixed technique. Wool, linen, appiliqué, free motion messy stitching, fabric paints, some graffity elements, crocheted daisies. And no time to write more... Coming weekend I'm gonna share a couple of new teddy bears. Stay tuned.

Monday, December 3, 2012

About simple solutions and graffity elements

Now I‘m back making some journaling on fabric. And finally got to experiment with some graffity-like elements. It might seem new, but it‘s only because I‘ve never talked about it here. 

I haven‘t planned it for that project with my pretty realistic textile collages, that I've posted last week, no. Actually those pieces were meant to be framed with some simple stripes of different fabrics, crocheted elements and free motion stitching. 

And yes, I‘ve followed the plan/thumbnail draft, got bored, and felt, that where was no spontaneity in the piece. It was all well done, carefully planned. Nice. All lined up.  Rectangular. Pretty. Whatever….And boring. With no improvisation. That‘s all.

I‘ve finished up unravelling it this morning and spent the whole rest of it thinking what could be done. I was unwilling to give up. Yes, it would be easy to start another project, but it wouldn't get my mind empty. And besides, that‘s how I manage to find new ways – it‘s all about taking risks and going through the quarrel with myself trying to be honest and not compromising about what may seem quite ok, but truly is not.

Now it is. It‘s not the final version, but the direction feels right. This is what I‘ve been missing – the freedom of following the feeling of the moment, being impulsive, risky, changing the path at any moment. And that‘s what I like most about doing what I do.

Friday, November 30, 2012

What I do while cooking, or how to find time...

I‘ve been making lace since about a month and this is my forth lace project coming to the end.  And the first one that doesn't look like a sample anymore. I‘ve recently read that making lace has some sort of therapeutical effect.  Yes, it has, but I like it for other reasons. Firstly that I can jump in and out at any moment, even for just a couple of minutes waiting for my little girl putting her shoes on, or porridge/dinner to cook – it‘s all made like this, all the lace since I've started at the end of october, unremarkably, one inch here, two inches there – filling in those time gaps that occur so many times during the day and being too small to squeeze in any other project.

And this is why I‘m writing today, it‘s less about lace itself, and more about random thoughts on time.

And I‘m not that scrupulous about that, I‘m not into mad planning and To Do lists, I'm workaholic, and irredeemable dreamer, working A LOT a night before deadline. Wishing I could have just another 24 hours to get my project prefect. Right at the moment it seems to me I‘m starting feeling that balance between what I wish I‘d do and what I‘m doing. 

I need time for doing, and I need time for ideas, and there‘s a a thin balance inbetween, so that I do not day dream to much (and get frustrated because I do not have any more time for making stuff) and neither plunge into mass production of some of my items (and get bored feeling hemmed in, because of no fresh air). It‘s just about the right proportion. Doing. Dreaming, sketching and researching. Doing faster and working on multiple projects, of multiple nature.  And still dreaming and not feeling guilty because of "wasted time", because dreaming is important. And doing. And this balance means that dreams are finally starting come true.

Generating the ideas may take time - sometimes I may have a dozen of ideas within five minutes and another time I spend much more time to only figure out some vague guidelines what to start next. Some ideas come along easily, while working, another are maturing in my mind for as long as months, if not even longer. So I need to be flexible and busy. 

And here comes the lace making – hands are busy and mind is free, and yet a beautiful product like handmade lace comes out. And I do not need any extra time frame for planning this, it‘s all about making use of little time fractions that otherwise would get wasted.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

New monochrome textile collages - work in progress

Last weekend I‘ve made some new quick thumbnail drawings, while we were driving. Some basic landscape views, just as much detailed as it was possible from a car moving at 80 km/h. Tricky, but time was enough to catch the essential peeks, and the constant changing of scenes made me re-ajust and add some other details, so those sketches were composed of a couple elements seen here and there during our drive.

I needed some new pictural ideas for my monochromes, yes, I'm still addicted to that colorway and fabric mix – that was the reason behind this drawing session.

And here they are – appr. about 17 x 22 cm each. The next step would be turning them into pillows or pouches, well maybe tote bags as well. I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Another decorative angel in mixed technique

Last days I‘ve spent making and re-making those dolls. It‘s quite normal and it happens sometimes that the very first item in a serie reveals some technical problems, that I solve in a suboptimal way – for the first time. That‘s what stimulates me to continue and seek another way out, and this is what I like so much about the realisation itself. As pasionate as I am about developping new ideas, it‘s always challenging to find the way from a sketch to the end product, and there‘re ALWAYS surprises along the way. Otherwise, I think I might get bored by simply following my own drafts. And that‘s why I still stick to the hand work itself – because it‘s another way of being creative and generate new ideas  – turning the obstacles along the way into opportunities to get to new ideas. And it lets me still be focused having my draft in mind/on paper and spontaneous to explore all the possible sideways during the process.

This piece is on the way of becoming another decorative angel.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Making teddy bears..

Remember, I was once talking about teddy bears? I‘ve made that prototype of plasticine initially and wanted to make a pattern, my own pattern, pattern where all the proportions, curves, volumes were at the right place, where I wanted them to be without adjusting magazines‘ patterns. And I wanted make a small teddy, like about 15 cm.

Well it took me longer, and though making a pattern was not a big deal, but all the fitting and checking and re-fitting – that was time consuming. By the end of last week I‘ve finally got into sewing, still doubtful about the results, but ready to risk and gain new experience - a positive or a negative one. 

Now here we are – hand sewn of mohair, filled with sheep wool, glass eyes, fully jointed and needle-felted muzzle. And it looks like a bit chubby as planned, and it's fine, even if my model of plasticine was somehow skinnier.

And I‘m still thinking about maybe applying some paint here and there to give more depth and visual interest, about making some loose stitches here and there, about, well, other dozens of tricks that another teddy artists use to reveal and emphasise the character. I think, I gonna give it a try with the next one.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

New arrival at "The monochromes"

And here‘s another one from „The monochromes“. Well, it‘s not that monochromatic, with golden embroidery, but it belongs to the serie nontheless. And now I‘m challenging myself with surface design adding embroidery and crocheting.

It has been like a VERY long time, since I‘ve played around with some sketches, inspired from our trip to Hungary this spring, where I discovered the rich embroideries of floral and bird motifs and wanted to make use of'em. It  has spent lot of time spinning around in my head with no particular visual expresion in fabric since then. 

The hungarian embroideries are very present on a surface, being outstanding and way too striking to cooperate with any other elements, they so to say simply steal the show. And that bothered me, because I wanted more interaction and variation within a single project.

And that‘s it – I have made a sketch before I started this project, and changed everything around it except of bird – I added  some abstract elements, crocheted daisies, hand quilted a lot and let go the machine free stitching and application – all this not being part of the initial plan. And I like it much more this way as if I would have followed the sketch. This is the way I will from now on incorporate the embroidery in my work, it gives some modern touch that I appreciate, without having somehow that old-fashioned look, that may certainly be interesting in another projects, but not worthwhile for my work. So now we have a new fancy pillow case here.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Fall letters - a new upcoming serie

And I‘m still making collages and here‘re another three ones. I'm actually thinking about exploring this direction while still doing monochromes - it might become a serie of "Fall letters". 

Well, it‘s quite a simple and effective way of starting the day that lets me try out lots of different possibilities fast and easy. And be more spontaneous during the process. By the end of the week they gonna find their way in my fabric mixed media projects. I‘ll keep you posted.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Composition studies

Actually I was going to only post the sketches that I've done this morning, and spent then almost whole afternoon cutting, collaging, stamping and punching. 

Here‘s a couple of results – I‘m playing around with new composition drafts and extending my monochromatic theme a bit further taking in the broken olive greens and some greyish browns. It was done in a very old-fashioned way - simply arranging and scanning - because I like feeling the touch of materials that I use and I'm not that much into digital painting/stamping and probably would never become.

It has been a while since I have last time painted/stenciled on fabric, so now this work may be a push towards that messy action I‘ve been neglecting since sommer has gone. I have no idea what those sketches are good for right now, it was just about having some fun, making the background drafts, writing some affirmations about what is important for me to say right at the moment.... Stay tuned, I'm gonna share more of them in the next days.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

And here's the finished wall hanging in mixed technique

Here‘s the result – I‘ve added hands and wings, re-adjusted a couple of things, and actually spent more time thinking than doing, well, that‘s pretty normal while making something for the first time. And I like the way how it all works together – scuplted elements, golden paint, some patina, free motion quilted details and mixed knitting, and linen. Now I think I gonna make a couple more to refine the technique. 

It was made to decorate the children room but I‘d love to have one for my studio as well – I like the way it‘s shimmering gently and capturing the finnish pale winter twilight.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Pouch for lace bobbins

Since a while I‘ve been making lace. And that means having LOTS of bobbins around. And that means that they are disappearing faster as I look around, because my little girl is ALSO making lace. HER lace. With MY bobbins. Being sure they are HERS. Though she DOES have a couple, exactly the same as me, and they are, well, somewhere... LOST. And she REALLY needs to make lace exactly at the time when I‘m making it with my bobbins. And she looks for hers with no result. And takes the mines. A couple here, a couple there. That's the story. 

So I made a pouch – for MY bobbins. Monochrome and some gold – I seem to be favoriting this combination recently. With some free motion stitching, hand embroidery, knitting (of course), and fabric mix.  I just maybe add something here and there, or try another version in this colourway.