Saturday, September 29, 2012

New photos of guest name cards - work in progress

Here's some work in progress - the designing part for guest name cards is done. Yes, it's pretty much of using old-fashioned scrapbooking techniques, just with some less fancy materials as usual in that crafty area, taking advantage of pastel hand drawings I've made for flowers, hand lettering, simple punching and of my considerable paper stock from "quatre coins du monde", like beautiful indian handmade paper being one of them.

Now I'm all cutting: flowers, papers, cardboards for future cards. I hope in a couple of days they would be all here, beautifully packed and ready for a long way to the wedding place.

P.S. I've changed the photos that were initially uploaded for this post  - I was somehow not that satisfied with the result I've got yesterday - here the new ones that are much better on colour rendering.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Upcoming project - a girl dress

Couldn‘t resist sharing a peek at the dress in progress. That‘s the project I was talking about recently – with the fire bird. I haven‘t planned it, it just came out nearly at the same time as the tote bag. And since about a week I think, that right now I prefer working this way – without much planning before and just working it all out as it goes. It feels more natural. That does not mean I‘m not sketching anymore anything I sew, but I keep it simple and open, like thumbnail sketches with a rough idea of composition and tonal value balance, and then picking the fabrics along the work.

I‘m quite happy with the floral ornamental border below and might be using it in other projects. Now I only have to find a cute way to present it as a whole, once the buttons are all sewn and thread ends are cut - the ordinary dress hanger was not a very good idea and that's why right now I can only share with you some extracts.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Guest name tags - a peek at the process

Occasionally I‘m working on commission here and there. Right now it‘s about a wedding, yes, a very beautiful wedding coming soon, where I‘m right now in charge of designing the guest name tags for table decoration. As you see, the work goes ahead in full swing – all these nice flower motifs will be decorating the tags. This time I‘ve grabbed out my box of soft pastels and my focus is here on vivid red hues of these beautiful floral species (the only prescript I‘ve had so far as for design – something on the tags had to be red). 

Tomorrow I‘m gonna prepare the tags themselves (a bit of collage work on cardboard). Cutting and applying the flowers comes next. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Brand new tote bag

And here‘s the tote bag. Actually it was supposed to be finished last week, but I somehow kept wasting my time feeling intimidated about the colours  - thinking rather than doing – would this colourway be something durable or would I give it up after a single shot? I had questions like could I use this colourway elsewhere? I have also searched for right decoration on the top of the bag. This was the first time I‘ve ever sewn a tote bag, and actually didn‘t know anything about "how to‘s" before. 

Well, now it‘s done and it‘s pretty cute, both in colourway and design. I've taken nice heavy linen in natural colour, all the applications are made of different cottons and linen. And there's also some hand embroidery on the bird to add some decorative details.The next upcoming project is about this fire bird application as well. At the same time I‘m thinking about using this bird shape in other colourways, like, yes, my favorites blue-green-ochre. 

There‘s something beautiful about the deep blue and green cobalts and light misty greyish ultramarine and the way they hold nearly any other colours together. I think this colourway will kick back in my work over and over again. I‘ll keep you posted about the progress of upcoming fire birds.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Affirmation #7 - Leave expectations behind

This time I‘m gonna focus on balance. For me a balance can be like some relation between many things – body, soul, mood, mind, nature around us and how it influences us, work, creativity, health, chance, well, you name it!

And it‘s something we‘re supposed to have found or wanting to find in our life, whereas I strongly believe, that we may only strive for it, but hardly attain. Hardly because of many things that are beyond our reach, like seasons, weather, people around us. And because of ourselves, because we are constantly evolving, our priorities may change, we discover new ways of doing something, we get new inspirations. So I‘m sometimes asking myself about what is it actually so imporant in that balanced state – isn‘t it always a little imbalance, discomfort, that pushes us to move on, to develop and evolve. Finally that‘s how the physicians explain the reason everything could ever come into existence – through this teeny-tiny imbalance between matter and anti-matter at the very beginning of the Universe and so it went on, being the core of any progress ever since.

That‘s why in my opinion there is little or no need about being obsessed with balance. More important is in my mind something that I‘d call balance of the moment, a deeper inner balance, a rather short moment of time, a very precious moment, mostly ephemeral, but strong and powerful, like connection to something/someone superior beyond, and then it slips aways and let us back grateful for having experienced it, maybe a little bit stronger, maybe with more energy to face the imbalances of our „back-to-normal“ life. For me it‘s while walking through the forest, facing the ocean, painting, sketching new ideas, reading and painting with my little girl, newly taking yoga classes, just to name a few, and this deeper inner balance arises mostly unexpectedly. It comes and goes, and I neither can, nor want to achieve it deliberately or in any other analytical way, for it would be fake. Any other balance is in my opinion a logical construct of expectations, goals, settings and so on, and it is because of that limitating in its nature.

And just like this I‘ve actually completely abandoned the initial idea about writing a post on balance like something that may be continiously necessary in order to be productive/creative/true to ourselves and so on. I've found another subject that seemed more important to talk about now, when I'm writing about creativity.

For me it‘s normal to sit between the chairs, to feel the discomfort about whatever I do or can do, and that it can or would be below my expectations, and I accept not to fight against it. And here I come to what has replaced the balance from the subject heading – I come to expectations.

Important for me is not to get framed with expectations, not to let them build in my mind what I‘d mistake for some likeness of myself, for this may be the most certain way to never feel free and be able to move. So my point here is, that this image, this expectation-based construct may not be very helpful and should not be made.

Important is feeling alive, moving, embracing new opportunities, taking risks. Important is to loosen the expectations so that they do not tie us up, and that‘s how we can better see new chances. That‘s why I‘m here writing today about importance of leaving the expectations behind.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Fiesta de colores: new season - new colours

Recently my work has been featured on the blog of finnish handcrafters – it‘s a great community of people crafting in Finland, originating from here and many other different countries and selling on Etsy. I appreciate a lot being a member of this community including very many talented people from all around the country, and I was asked to speak about my projects on that blog. So now it‘s out there – go check it out here

Today I've changed a couple of things here, on the blog - the new Etsy-gadget being one of them. My shop upgrade is still upcoming and I'm busy preparing new projects. Yes, unfortunately I just cannot keep my hands from always sketching something new, and hence, I have to compromise about projects that need to be finished.

Season change with rain, shorter days, wind and cold has made me change the colours, which I got used to work with during the summer. No more blue-green-ochre. Now I'm all about carrot orange, red, rose, magenta, emerald green and violet/purple/plum. And big firebirds. Sounds crazy, but I like'em and it lifts me up amidst the automnal dominance of greys - sort of colour therapy for my mind. 

Here's a peek:

STEP 1: Paper sketch + colouring of backgrounds with acrylics
STEP 2: Cutting, refining details
STEP 3: Fabric choice
STEP 4: Appliqué on heavy linen with free motion stitching in black
STEP 5: Stay tuned, I think it's gonna become a cute book tote for our library findings.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Ten things I love about being in Finland

Last time I‘ve been feeling myself like recharging from busy summer. I‘ve taken a short break from blogging and was doing nothing in particular besides of re-organising my studio. It‘s been almost half a year since we‘re living here, so today I‘m coming with ten things I love about being here.
Nature – well,it‘s not that ground-breaking, but it‘s very different from anything that I‘ve known before. It has very, like really very strong presence here, maybe because of not so many habitants. But not only. It is powerful and very mannifold up to the least detail.
Seasons‘ change – it‘s beautiful and strong and colourful. It may be late, but when it comes, it‘s always like very wholehearted.
Silence - somebody told me, that‘s why finnish people are sleeping the whole winter, so they are loud all summer long with many festivals and so on. Nevertheless I find, it‘s easy to find here silence and peace, even being next to finnish people, they are never intruding. 
Sun - it may be like finnish people – mostly shining, never over-heating, and I like the way it lights up the nature, both in winter and summer.
Colours of nature. That‘s because the nature takes a considerable place here, it‘s stunning, how many different colours, shades, shapes can be seen while taking a simple walk around. It is inspiration pure.
Arts and crafts, actually with much stronger emphasise on crafts. Crafts that may be time consuming and physical, and maybe because of long winter here – like wood cutting, tapestry, pottery, lace making.
Surface design is another important issue. There are so many motifs all around here inspired by nature, both in shapes and colours, and I can better understand it now being here and seeing all the stunning juxtapositions in original – in finnish nature.
Finnish language – I start to feel myself less lost, I still cannot speak well, and my understanding of spoken finnish is even worse, but it somehow gets familiar. Our teacher has told us, we can do it within a year and I believe her.
Fabric stores - beautiful solid cottons, mixed fabrics, more structured, less structured. It‘s far away from what I‘ve admired in continental Europe as awesome american patchwork fabrics, but I like their subdued and less loud voice here. And there‘s Marimekko for explosive colours.
Second hand – kirpputori – for anything from vintage napkins to old furniture.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

New zipper pouch with lino printed fabric

And here is the final piece from that serie of three linoprints on fabric – in form of a zipper pouch (appr. 23 x 27 cm). This time I‘ve also added a bite of crocheted lace made of linen thread. Another side is free motion quilted heavy linen. The whole pouch is padded for more stability.

Next step should be about getting back to lino cuts and processing all the sketches that somehow got stuck recently. Then I think I‘m done with most of the still-unfinished projects and can move on.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Finishing new mug rugs

Here another couple of finished items – new mug rugs featuring some of hand printed fabric pieces, that I‘ve recently made. Another piece is waiting to become a pouch. They are double-sided as other mug rugs that I‘ve made before. Another surface is now without appliqué, it would otherwise get over-decorated – I‘ve taken some heavy linen with batting and free-motion-stitched some flowers, repeating the decorative border stitched on corduroy on another side, and it got nice quited appearance though batting.

And speaking of finishing – my exhibition is getting to the end, that means this Saturday will be the last day to get to the public library of Rauma to see it.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

My exhibition in Rauma

And now it‘s out there – I‘ve finished all the preparations today, the pictures are all nicely framed and hung up in the entry hall of the Rauma town library (Rauman kaupunginkirjasto). This morning I was taking advantage of a bit of sunny weather to photograph all the pictures together, otherwise it‘s mostly difficult after they hang in a hall because of too much space around, unless I shoot them individually, but the point was to show them alltogether, and so I did.

The public library is open Mo-Fr 9-19, and Sat 9-15, there is a guest book and I will appreciate your comments/questions.

You are welcome!