Friday, December 28, 2012

Second Quilt For Stella

My new website has been published and the blog has moved to the new address.
Check it out:

The location of the new blog:

And a new blog post is up! Go to the new blog to see it:

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Happy Christmas! With Yarns!

My new website has been published and the blog has moved to the new address.
Check it out:

The location of the new blog:

And a new blog post is up! Go to the new blog to see it:

Friday, December 7, 2012

From Art Journaling To Fabric Design

My new website has been published and the blog has moved to the new address.
Check it out:

The location of the new blog:

And a new blog post is up!
Go to the new blog to see it:

Monday, November 19, 2012

Yearning for Beauty

My new website has been published and the blog has moved to the new address.
Check it out:

The location of the new blog:

And a new blog post is up!
Go to the new blog to see it:
Yearning for Beauty

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Fire with Water(colours)

My new website has been published and the blog has moved to the new address.
Check it out:

The location of the new blog:

And a new blog post is up!
Go to the new blog to see it:
Fire With Water(colors)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

New Site, New Folk Bag and Other News

My new website has been published and the blog has moved to the new address.
Check it out:

The location of the new blog:

And a new blog post is up!
Go to the new blog to see it:
New Site, New Folk Bag and Other News

Sunday, September 30, 2012

This Is How I Doodle

I doodled a little ornament in Photoshop and recorded how I created it. It took 10 minutes from start to finish but the video is shorter. I increased the speed to make it easier to watch.

Saturday, September 29, 2012


Here's my take for the current Art Journal Caravan's challenge. The inspiration word was nefarious which means wicked or criminal.
I wanted to make the image shiny and beautiful but still add some tension there too. There's a shadow for every light and sometimes it is difficult to keep the good and the bad far from each other.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Mixed Media Collage, Some Phases

Here's how this evening's creative time began: random alcohol ink spots on a paper.

Some layers were drawn on the computer and printed as layers. And some doodling by pens is a necessity for me to get really started!

I have recently been pretty obsessed about the composition. I used to aim for balance only but now I have began to want more. 

Here's the finished collage which I intend to include in a new art journal.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Digital Flow State

Here's a digital art journal page that I made for Art Journal Caravan's weekly challenge. The theme was "Machination".

I wanted to make a page with interesting asymmetric composition with both geometric and free shapes. As always I started with a plain white background and started adding my own digitalised elements and photos. While creating the page I thought about how powerful the nature is. It truly is the biggest machine of all and the greatest source of imagination!

Many people say they work with computers and do not want to create anything with them in their free time. So did I. But within time I have noticed that it is more the question of if you really can get into the flow state on a computer or not. For me, the big thing was to get to know the program very well (I use mostly Adobe Photoshop). After that I have been able to forget the tool and concentrate on creating.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Photo Album Art Journaling

I have tried to find easy ways to do art journal pages when I only have little time for it. I had a couple of small empty photo albums so I thought why not! People already scrapbook by inserting photos and journal cards to photo pockets so there's not much difference to that!

These are all 4 by 6 inches pages!I do still art journal in bigger size too. Here's a new page for my "pretty art journal". I think it goes fairly well with the page I made earlier.
And here are some greeting cards that I have made recently. The world really is full of color and that inspires me every day!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Getting Creative With Gel Printing Plate

I have been playing with some new toys. Gelli Arts gel printing plate and an electronic die cutter Silhouette Cameo. I made background papers by using die cut shapes and several layers of paint.

This one could work as a pattern itself:

The next one is a bit brighter:
The last one is a collage that has monoprinted papers in the background.While making this I realized that my love for fiber arts really shows in many of my collages. I think is like embroidered lace. But that was not what I was thinking about when making this. I thought about the creativity we all have and that we should cherish. It's always there waiting. Just let loose!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Handmade Collections

I like to keep things organized. Art and crafting supplies included. I like neat compartments and piles and putting everything into its own place. This summer has been really rainy and cold in Finland. So I have got a lot of time for organizing!

I browsed the photos that I have taken the past couple of months and I see grids and piles in most of them. Even the cards that I have made are showing the strict order. Another things that I see there are collections, all handmade. I have grown the flowers from the seeds, picked the berries and potatoes from my garden, dyed the yarn, carded the wool ... The pictures from summer are like well organized shelves in my house.

There was a time when I was desperately avoiding grid patterns in my art. The free and flowing line surely is the sign of creative spirit. I wanted nothing to do with symmetry or squares.

Now that I have found some of the freedom I was seeking for, I get the permission from myself to space the small circles evenly instead of throwing them to the background. It is like in knitting I tried not to knit simple patterns to learn the complicated ones. Nowadays after tens of years of knitting I enjoy simple projects the most. Sometimes it's laziness but most often it's being able to do something more from the less of stuff. 

The last picture is a simple neckwarmer that I made. I started with the carded roving, handspun the yarn, then dyed it, and finally knitted the piece using a simple pattern. It's not like the most ingenous knitwear ever but it has a story unlike many store-bought items do.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Still Playing?

I read this from the editor's column of the Finnish handcraft magazine Taito: The girls that make hobby horses and play with them did not want to be interviewed for the magazine. They thought that they would be considered too childish. The magazine is a very respectable one and it is an honor to be interviewed for it. Actually, many handcrafters dream about it!

But that was not the reason I was touched deeply by the fact why the girls refused. I love hobby horses. I do not own any now but used to when I was a little girl. I rode with my horse every day. And my best girlfriend had one too. I even made a scrapbook page about the horses a while ago.

I would have loved reading about this hobby and how it is today when it's easier to find others who love the horses too!

I was about to write to the magazine: "Try harder! Make the girls say yes!"

But then I remembered a moment, just few months ago, when I was interviewed to the very same magazine by the very same editor. She wanted to take photographs of the doll clothes I make and sell. "NO", I said. "People think I am crazy. They don't understand!"

My dolls must have been very upset by that. They are fashion models in their heart anyway!

I began to think where does the playing end and the serious stuff start. I remember that when my childhood friend and I grew, our play with the horses became more secretive. We tried to ride so that no one sees us. It became pretty stressful. We had to give up.

But the funny thing is that when I grew I went back to playing. And I know that most of you who read art and craft blogs have done the same.

If you don't collect the dolls like I do, I bet you have put clothes on an art doll, or a paper doll or a digital image. Maybe you have made illustrations with women's faces like when you used to as a child. We might not ride with the hobby horses anymore but we surely play in our own way. Picking the pretty colors, buying ink, making something that is really not that useful and where the end result actually does not matter so much.

Like what I did today. Cut a head of a fashion model from an old Vogue magazine and doodled a dress. Thinking: is the world of play black and white. I claim it is not. Whether a child or an adult, we all play. I hope the girls with the hobby horses realize this sooner than I did!

Tell me, how do you play? What makes you play?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Finnish Knitting Yarns

I have spent some quality time in the summer vacation by dyeing my Alku wool yarn.

Alku yarn

Alku is Finnish and means "origin". This really is a yarn whose origin I know exactly. The wool is from Eastern Finland and is selected by my friend who is really good at picking the best locks from the shearing. Then she took the gorgeous baby sheep wool locks to a local spinnery. It was a big day when we received the yarn. 

I have dyed yarn for many years and it has never felt so right as with this yarn. 
Here are some colorways I have created recently.

Real Finnish yarns

There's not many real Finnish yarns - the most of the wool for them is brought abroad or there's non-domestic sheep breeds like Texel mixed in it. And those we have often look very modest without any color. Most of the yarn is worsted (carded fiber, fluffier), not woolen (comber fiber, smoother). Superwash treatment is not available in the spinneries. The possibilities to mix other fibers like silk in the yarn is very limited. So Finnish knitters and shops buy foreign yarn.

What about my stash?

My stash is not totally domestic either. I do love those malabrigos, noros, sweet gerogias etc.

But I also knit from Finnish yarn, pure Finnish wool from Finnsheep or Kainuu Grey breeds. Here's a peek what I have among some others.

Back row, from left to right:
Hieno Finnsheep sock wool  (worsted) by Succaplokki
Kainuu Grey sock wool (worsted) by Christina's spinnery
Alku Kainuu Grey wool yarn (worsted) by Woolgrey, the yarn that I sell
Suupohja's Finnsheep wool yarn (woolen), not in production anymore as the spinnery has been shut down but some is still available with natural dyed tones at Pata-Noita
Maahinen Finnsheep wool yarn (worsted) by Riihivilla, dyed with natural dyes too
Front row:
Kainuu Grey wool yarn (worsted) by Ilu
Finnsheep wool yarn (woolen) by Kormu's sheep farm 

For the love of Finnish wool!

To celebrate the anniversary of the shop where I sell the Finnish wool and Alku yarn, I am giving 15 % off from all products there. The offer is available until 25th July. 

Go to and use coupon code JUHLA12 at the checkout.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Digital Art Journaling Hit Me!

It really hit me hard: digital art journaling! I have enjoyed digital scrapbooking for quite a while but now I have tried digital art journaling. Oh, I love it!
Part of the enjoyment has been Tangie Baxter's Art Journal Caravan which I joined few days ago. She organizes challenges that really challenge both intellectual and creative sides of the brain.
I know that there are digital art journaling elements for sale as digital scrapbooking supplies but I have a huge strorage of my own stuff so these are all my own copyright. 
The challenge: Impervious. My interpretation: Impervious to sadness.

The challenge: Game of Life. My interpretation: The checkers game with the logical and the intuitive parts of me. 
The challenge: Apolaustic. My interpretation deals with the controversal issues of the word.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Sorting Out

I just started the summer vacation from my day job. I am going through files that I have made during the winter and try to find seeds for the new projects. Here's something that I had made in May but never really finished. I am trying to find motifs that work with t-shirts, maybe I could pick something from here?P.S. Did you notice that I have a new product: a mouse pad!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Be You!

I believe strongly that every person is unique and every one has their own unique style. It is only the matter of time and practice to find it.

This time I did not want to create anything particular, just let go and relax. I love ornaments and dig some from my treasure box. They were made some time ago using watercolors and markers. Then I grabbed black background paper and started doodling. Color pencils add extra interest. Using various supplies makes the collage interesting.

By using a variety of supplies and taking care of the composition is often enough for the eye. The only third thing you need to add is You!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Behind The Butterfly

I have spent most of the spare time taking care of the new puppy. It has been pretty difficult to find time for creative stuff. I have moved most of the art supplies to our dining area table where I can watch the puppy more easily. That way I have been able to make something, now and then, in small steps.

Stella's point of view can't be missed. She thinks the summer smells great. I might have got some inspiration from her for the illustration! And the butterfly might actually represent her in the picture, who knows!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

A Modern Quilt for The New Puppy

I have not been able to write here for a couple of weeks. I have a big project going on. And I am not talking about this quilt!

I am talking about the owner of the quilt!

She is my new beagle puppy Stella! As you can see from the pictures, see appreciates my hard work for the quilt.

I made the quilt from scraps that I found in the closet. I used to make a lot of quilts many years ago. Then I stopped. The reason was the lack of time to make really artistic detailed hand embroidered quilts and the lack of inspiration to make traditional ones. But now I have found a new trend: modern quilting! I am so excited!  
Stella wishes a long and warm summer to all of you! See you soon! 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Make Art, Reuse, Simplify!

When I made this handmade card I did not think of fabric. But the way I create art leads often to design. I love to reuse my illustrations and make new products from them.

I am so pleased with this fabric, made from the doodling. I thought this would not work as a repeatable pattern but it does! If you have followed my blog for some time you know how I hate simplified stuff. But I recently I have begun to turn more to simple things. And I have started to look my own work differently. These two designs don't really look complicated.I find it both funny and bittersweet to to be so excited about simple designs and simplifying! You will see some projects with a new twist in the near future! 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

New Postcards

See my shop Peony and Parakeet for some new glossy postcards! 

I have more than 20 different designs already!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Painting With Wool

For a long time I have believed that the most valuable things are those that you can make yourself from start to finish. The question is only, where to start. This project was a very special one as I started with natural white wool. I had the idea of painting with fiber and I thought I could take a layered approach as what I have done with papers. 

My first step was to dye the wool by painting colors over it. Here's one of the rovings I dyed.

Then I spun the wool.

Here's some of the finished yarn. With spinning I added "painted" layers.

Then I chose the pattern. I could have designed it myself but I find so perfect one I decided to go with it. It's Stockport by Sarah Hutton from Rowan magazine nr 46. I chose to make mine it a little longer to really show off the yarn.

When knitting the sweater I made random stripes, another layer of paint. I think that the result really proves that the layered look can be done with fiber too!