Monday, 13 April 2015

The first day of my thirty-second year

photo by Minna Vilkuna

Wednesday was my birthday. Stuff that happened:

  •  Got excellent free dessert at the fancy restaurant where V and I celebrated both my birthday and our third engagement anniversary.
  • Voted in the parliamentary election and the lovely election attendant wished me a happy birthday after checking my id.
  • Got asked whether I'd like to go from being a fiancée into being a wife, replied with a Finnish equivalent of what the heck, before ultimately saying yes and sobbing and laughing and apologising for saying what the heck. 

Back when we first got engaged no actual proposal took place, we just mutually agreed that we should probably get engaged, so, this is kind of a big deal, us two being the most cynical people we know. So, not much bookbinding has had time to happen, with me abandoning my cynicism (as well as my unfinished journals) and browsing for dresses and all things wedding related all day every day. We're getting married on August 7th, which means there's not much time to waste with grandiose wedding plans and doing everything anyone has ever seen on Pinterest. But we've got the perfect location and the perfect friends, and I think that's a damn good start.

PS. Go visit my mom's blog to see how we spent our Easter putting together her quilt show.

Monday, 30 March 2015


Organizing my buttonhole silk stash, for the next thing planned for tonight is a long session of sewing endbands for my fancy journals and notebooks.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Perhaps there are moments of awakening

vintage photo, kraft paper, wax paper, vintage book page, vintage cut-up text, vintage artificial silk thread, board, twine, glue

15,2x21,4x0,9cm  /  6"x8.4"x0.4"

I'm just in the process of listing a huge lot of mixed media pieces on Etsy, including this one, so do pop over and see if you fancy something for yourself! 

Working from the best bar in town, enjoying possibly the last day of spring weather for a while, and bursting with all sorts of ideas for future projects: bookbinding, art and poetry. There are some books and journals half-finished, but I need to take it easy with my wrists, so progress is slow. Sorry!

Monday, 2 March 2015

Sch. . . .

vintage photo (a vintage reproduction of a cut up photo), vintage book page, tissue paper, linen fabric, embroidery thread, pencil, acrylic paint, paper, board, twine, paste, glue

30,5x25,7x1,5cm  /  12"x10.1"x0.6"

Didn't mean to be gone for so long, but I got busy with procrastination as well as with planning my next poetry book. The art exhibition is now over and I'm listing pieces that didn't find a home yet in my shop in the coming weeks. First, though, I'm going to go visit my family and deliver this Sch... piece and two others to my mother.

I'll leave you now with a book recommendation: go and read Uncle Tungsten - Memories of a Chemical Childhood by the ever amazing Oliver Sacks. I was never a too big of a genius in chemistry and what I once learned at school has been wiped off my memory years ago, but this book is a gem through and through, one that made me see chemistry from a new angle. It's also a book about being somewhat obsessed, which is always a bonus, I think, and it alone is a perfectly good reason to read a book.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Never-never land

vintage photo, vintage book pages, freshwater pearls, silk thread, perforated paper, paper, board, twine, glue

16,4x14,6x3,5cm  /  6.5"x5.7"x1.4"

it began like this: 

And one of my new projects looks currently like this:


Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Lovers waiting

vintage photo, vintage letters and ephemera, vintage text, handmade paper, vintage grid paper, board, twine, glue

10,9x13,1x0,8cm  /  4.3"x5.2"x0.3"

(Secretly dreaming of any kind of grass)

Monday, 16 February 2015


vintage photo, self-made paper, handmade papers, freshwater pearls, silk thread, paper, board, twine, glue

16x15x1,5cm  /  6.3"x5.9"x0.6"

The starkness of white here suits the cold winter weather we had today. I'm ready for the Föhn wind to return later this week and bring some warmer days. The little sunshine we've had has been something quite amazing regardless of the temperature. I'm sort of taking a breather after working so hard on the exhibition and my poetry book, but the sunlight sneakily encourages me to tackle new projects while it lasts. Luckily spring is unavoidable and there will be (even more) light even if I don't go ruining my wrists with a frantic book block folding session right away. Once I'm done rearranging my workspace (awesome new shelves and a new storage system for materials), I'm definitely making new books for the shop, which quite desperately needs sprucing up.

I've given a couple interviews re: the exhibition, and it's been great to be forced to verbalize my reasoning, and taste, in general. No massive realizations, more like moments of self-affirmation. I love black and white photos especially. I love how many shades of black and white there are (this piece shown above has much whiter white than my usual whites, the black is quite gray but so are most of my blacks, the photo itself is only a bit off-white and its gray is a very plain gray with no special features). I love snapshots with action more than stern portraits, but I also love photos of seemingly derelict places. I love taking things out of context as well as experiencing things out of context, hence I also love photos of complete strangers.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Opening night - part 2

In addition to the exhibition there was another big reason to celebrate: my hot-off-the-press book of poetry with dear friends to help me read some of it to our small crowd of friends and strangers. Mikado isn't a collection of separate poems but a somewhat fragmented mass of observations and bits, a collection of lines gathered over the span of eight years. Most good collections (whatever they consist of!) need plenty of time to accumulate (currently working on my button collection, again), but I do hope the next book is a bit quicker to take shape. A vague idea hovers over me, nothing definitive yet.

Also: salted caramel meringues in origami containers with snippets of poetry + sriracha popcorn in brown paper bags + punch with bilberries and lingonberries + a very Twin Peaks backdrop

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Opening night - part 1

Some more photos taken on the opening night. Everything in these photos seems to hang more wonky than they really do, but I've already decided to embrace wonky since these are such lightweight pieces it's impossible to have them hang perfectly straight and still, at least with the hanging options available. Wonky also goes with the athmosphere here. Wonky most certainly does not go with my general perfectionism, though, but one has to grow as a person every once in a while, and we had a pretty tight schedule hanging these. Some red dots on the walls already on the opening night, and some more have been added since. Yay!

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

The book chandelier

The exhibition opening/poetry book launch party was really lovely and I had so much fun once my nerves settled down. Some 650 photos were taken during the evening, which was first narrowed down to 399, then 226, so it's safe to say I've still got a lot of work ahead of me deciding which ones to share with you. I can already promise several posts about the event later this week and a steady flow of new-to-you mixed media pieces later in February. What's still unsold come March will be listed on Etsy during the spring months.

Tonight I'm showing you how my paper chandelier turned out. Pretty fabulous, right? It looks perfectly at home in its new home (so, yes, it's going to keep on looking fabulous at my favourite bar in the future, too). It's made out of 6000+ one inch paper circles (darling V punched out like 95% of them to save my poor wrists, which are, by the way, doing much better already), wooden hoops, twine and thread. To give you a better idea of the scale, the bottom hoop has a 58,5cm / 23" diameter. The paper used is, unsurprisingly, vintage book pages, from the first half of 20th century. There are two shades of paper used here (can't really see it in the photos, though): the lighter coloured pages are from a western, while the darker pages are from a book that reads like a romance novel that has replaced the steamy romance bits with religious fervour. I read neither thoroughly before destroying them, but I feel no guilt since it looked like they had been untouched since 1940's, or longer, and they bore no significant cultural value. I really am quite picky about the things I ruin (=turn into something much more awesome). If you're about to make some artsy stuff from old books, google the titles first, for heaven's sake! I've seen some things I'd like to unsee...

If you happen to find yourself in Jyväskylä in February, don't forget my Historioita (Histories) exhibition is open daily (mon-sat 14-02, sun 18-02) at Bar Vakiopaine!

Photos by Minna & Kyösti Vilkuna