May 30, 2009

Blooming Weekend

I was away from home for four days this week, I visited my parents who live 6 hours by train from me. These days we don't get a chance to meet too often, I wish we lived closer to each other. We spent a lot of time outdoors, we walked and had bicycle rides. I even bought a brand new bike (will show pictures later on, I hope)! I got back home last night and was delighted to see and smell new flowers in the garden: tulips, woodland strawberry, lilacs & poppies are soon in full bloom. Also apple, cherry and plum trees are blooming right now, so pretty! This weekend the weather forecast promised truly summery degrees, so far it has fulfilled its promises. Other than that I've been experimenting a bit more on hand embroidery. Hopefully I manage to finish some work within few days. It'd be great to list something new to my shop soon.

Have a lovely weekend!

May 25, 2009

Exhibition Tour

It was a long weekend and I can happily say that for a change I do feel relaxed. Well, in fact for me all days are pretty much equal but as now H had a chance to spend more time at home it was extra nice for me too, of course. I'm glad that besides some gardening work, cooking, crafting, reading and snuggling we made a little trip to Fiskars Village on Sunday. Fiskars is full of beautiful old (and renovated) buildings where local artists and artisans reside and work.

Every summer they show two group exhibitions, one about design and another focusing on art. Led by Form is about production in series, showing mostly Finnish design, both industrially produced goods and items made by artisan methods. It is a mix of well known classics and something much more experimental. The following pieces are quite adorable, don't you think?!

Dance Shoes by Company (Aamu Song & Johan Olin)

Porcelain bowls by Heli Valaja

Animal stories by LEM

International textile exhibition It is Beautiful Here is held in a charming old wooden magazine building with three floors. Here are some of my very favorites from what I saw (did I just tell you I recently started my embroidery lessons?!)

A part of installation The Bear and the Girl by Helen Dahlman

Panier percé by Guillaume Delvigne & Ionna Vautrin

Sealpelt by Vik Prjónsdóttir
Autumn Collection by Severija Incirauskaité-Kriauneviciené

The Girl Is Growing by Outi Martikainen

The exhibitions opened on May 10th and they will keep the doors open till September 27th. Pay a visit if you're in the area this summer!

May 20, 2009

Learning Embroidery

I've been wanting to try embroidery for so long but somehow kept postponing it constantly. I feel that right now I need to find new ways to express my creativity so this is my moment to concentrate on learning something new. I went through my bookshelf and found a couple of Japanese embroidery books and magazines. I love Piu Sudo's work! Too bad her website didn't exist any longer but I found this book online here.

Delightful Creations with Embroidery and Appliqué by Piu Sudo is full of inspiring pictures and patterns. As the patterns are for personal use only, I never use them as they are. Nonetheless they work as a source of inspiration.

I made little drawing on my sketchbook.

Here's my first try, it's made freehand without any drawing on fabric. Masterpieces are yet to come but so far I enjoy making these!

Another try with a butterfly and a leaf motive to accompany a sakura flower on my upcycled fabric with nice prints. After making all embroideries I will continue with my sewing machine. These are supposed to turn out zippered clutches. Maybe I'll come up with a completely new idea too. Learning continues!

Wishing a creative day to you!

May 19, 2009

Flickr Favorites

1. Seahorse, 2. day 61: dippin' dots, 3. Pink Champ-rain <3, 4. Love the Moment

I started playing Flickr Favorites game two weeks ago, inspired by Mitsy. I couldn't make a mosaic last Tuesday but here I come again with a new color palette. I just realized that seahorses (Hippocampus) are the most incredible little creatures. They look like fragile relics from completely other world, don't they? They are so tiny in their size too. I'm amazed!

You can see more inspiring mosaics linked to Mitsy's blog. Come and play along!

May 17, 2009

Simple Things

After a rather difficult week it was nice to give room for thoughts and enjoy the weekend. We were lucky to have a beautiful weather so I spent some time outdoors too. On Saturday I had a little picnic with H. Nice sandwiches, coffee and sweet cherries tasted good.

From our backyard I found a big bunch of nettles. Nettle (Urtica dioica) is often considered a weed but did you know it's full of vitamin C and iron? They only need to be boiled or steamed for a little. I added some salt, white pepper and cream. The nettle stew was served along fried perch, boiled potatoes, green salad and dry white wine. Simple but delicious!

Pretty Cowslips (Primula veris) are blooming under the apple trees in our garden. They are among the first spring flowers over here. I did cut just a few and placed them in a glass. For some reason the kitten likes to drink her water out of this glass, I have re-filled it a couple of times yesterday and today. Even though the glass is high she hasn't knocked it down. A handsome young lady.

I just adore her ability to ignore the outside world. She sleeps so contently without fears or doubts of any kind. I do wish I could do the same. How much simpler the life could be that way!

Hopefully you had an enjoyable weekend too. I wish a good new week to all of you!

May 13, 2009

Baking Theraphy

I haven't been feeling very good this week, there are too many things bothering my mind. I hate it when negative feelings become so strong that they prevent me gaining daily happiness which keeps one running and ables focusing on essentials. After almost three days in a gloomy mood I'm now getting back to normal. As baking is something I find relaxing and rewarding I thought I would like to share this nice recipe of blueberry muffins with you. They are one of my favorites and so easy to make. And you can use any berries (rasberries are extremely good) if you don't happen to have blueberries on hand. Enjoy!

Blueberry Muffins

100 g (3.75 oz) butter
2 eggs
1 1/2 dl (2/3 cup) sugar
2 dl (1 cup) wheat flour
1/2 dl (1/4 cup) oat bran
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of vanilla sugar/extract
200 g (7 oz) blueberries

Howto: Melt the butter. Beat together eggs and sugar. Mix the flour, oat bran, baking powder and vanilla sugar/extract. Add them into butter-sugar mixture. Add the melted butter and blueberries as well. Pour mixture into greased muffin pan or paper cups. Bake for about 20 minutes in 225 celsius (425 fahrenheit). Makes about 12 muffins. Shift some powder sugar on top if desired!

p.s. If you have your favorite baking recipe somewhere in web, please link me there:)

May 09, 2009

Weekend Read

Today I went to library to return books and get some new ones too. I was very happy to find a book about Finnish textile industry, focusing on printed fabrics, From Cretonne to Print (Kretongista printtiin), published by Maahenki Oy, 2008. Wide and proud history of textile industry started in Finland in 1820's. Finnish design started to florish after WWII, it pursued for functional, high quality items good for every day use right from the beginning. Textiles didn't make an exception. Happily this book is bilingual (in Finnish/English). It would make a great read to anyone interested in Finnish design! I'll read this book with a big enthusiasm!

I picked a few prints from the book, just to give the idea what the Finnish textile printing is all about.

1. On book cover Edward Terzibasiyan's printed fabric for Tampella, private collection
2. Kukka by Marjatta Metsovaara for Tampella in 1963
3. Metsänväki by Kristina Isola for Marimekko Oyj in 2008
4. Katve by Hanna Kerman for Fokus Fabric in 2006

All times Scandinavian designs have been inspired by nature and it's quite incredible how modern 50's-60's designs look. They could be made today. What part do you personally cherish in your country's design history?

May 05, 2009

Flickr Favorites

1. happy monday, 2. 183:365 Half Way, 3. Our more and more frequent guest ..., 4. WhoInTheWorldAmI?

I got a friendly invitation from Mitsy aka ArtMind to play a fun flickr favorites game. This is my first attempt to put a collage together by not using PhotoShop. Instead I used mosaic maker by bighugelabs. I have to say that after this first try I still find PS more convenient!

I'm quite new to flickr, I haven't even collected many favorites yet but I found these with a beautiful soft light after a little search. When I browsed around I was thinking whether or not people are at ease having their pictures put together with someone else's pictures. I had to go and check their profiles to find out if any of them had something against this. Maybe I'm just being too cautious but too many are using other people's pictures and other art work without much respect. I want to do my best to avoid any misuse.

If you wish to get a little inspiration, go and visit Mitsy's blog and maybe even add some of your flickr favorites there too. There are many beautiful mosaics to see and feel, enjoy!
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