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