Friday, 29 August 2014

One more wave (coloured by many waves)

mixed media art box - vintage photo, vintage book pages and papers, ink, bookcloth, board, glue

size closed 6,3x6,5x2,1cm / 2.5"x2.6"x0.8
size open 6,3x13x1cm / 2.5"x5.1"x0.4"

This is actually some sort of a pair for the Swimmers piece I made earlier this year as they feature two halves of the same photo. Otherwise they have a fairly different mood, or at least to me they have. I'm quite drawn to old photos of the sea as well as to found poetry about the old sea. I can't even swim myself, and I've never spent much time by the sea (just lakes, and they're a completely different thing), so maybe the sea is just something so exotic and symbolic it tickles my imagination and creativity.

It's been raining so much it feels like I see everything through a foggy lense now. Very tired, muscles aching from all the bookmaking. Somehow I keep forgetting a lot but nothing specific.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Friends with big smiles and even bigger hats

 vintage photo, vintage ledger paper, pleated wax paper, recycled paper, linen thread, board, glue
6,5x7,6x1,5cm  /  2.6"x3"x0.6" 

This is a small collage box I made for C, who in return surprised me with a collection of tiny treasures she had collected from Thames:

The Meloids this tin used to hold would've probably done wonders for my rather mellow voice the following day, too. Luckily these bits and shards will delight me for a much longer time than any sweet. This is such a perfect collection I don't know if I'll ever be able to separate these things from each other; it's simply a very lovely pocket museum just as it is. (And indeed, what you see on the background is Liberty's fabric, not from a trip to London, though - it's just a simple cosy I made to keep my iPad safer in my handbag.) I've been yearning to go mudlarking myself but somehow my sensible travel shoes are never sensible enough for river mud and we don't have tides in Finland (or anything interesting to find even if we had), so it's yet to happen. I have a feeling it might be too addicting for me, though. Best steer clear from mudlarking, computer games and smoking.

Ever since we got back from London I've been craving scones, and I even baked a batch myself but it's not something I should turn into a habit. Why are unhealthy things always the most elegant ones? Ok, maybe scones aren't all that elegant, but to me they're an extremely rare treat. What is elegant is having your tea in the garden/woods like my great grandaunt Saima and her father, my great great grandfather, who most definitely looks like an artist:

For more +/- 100-year-old photos of Saima, other people and other places, do stop by at my other blog, Emil's album

This has been a very productive week, against all expectations. There's a huge lot of books in the works as I'm trying to prepare for the holiday season in time, for once, and there's also a handful of mixed media pieces waiting for blogging and listing on Etsy, so I can fairly safely promise a steady blog existence for the time being. It's probably foolish to be this proud about blogging regularly again but this is something I've really missed (and never realized I was missing until I got back to sharing my creations and thoughts with you). So, I promise I'll be here. It'd be great if you were, too, but no pressure, you know.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

My London Favourites

I simply love London, though I can't say London was perfect this time around as over half of the trip was spent in the throes of an infuriating cold. We made do and focused on the essentials within the limits of daily energy levels, which meant short trips to our favourite museums and places, very little pottering about and very little of feelin'-oh-so-amazing-now-that-I'm-finally-here-again. Regardless of feeling rather bummed out, we did go to some really lovely places I'd like to share with you. So, here's a list of my London favourites in no specific order:

Signs and Wonders, installation by Edmund de Waal, in a gorgeous grey room
V&A - Always amazing. Such a vast collection of so many different things you always find something you've never seen before and even the things you've seen are endlessly fascinating. I spent a lovely morning at the 6th floor ceramics collection with C (who sent a link to a video of the above installation by Edmund de Waal when I asked for London recommendations here in my blog earlier, and I had just happened to have read de Waal's book about his netsuke collection, and I happen to have a habit of greeting netsukes whenever I visit a museum that has them and V&A happens to have plenty) while my V explored the ground floor sculptures and Asian collections.

The Painted Hall, Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich

Greenwich - all of it: the park, the architecture, the museums, the market. The Painted Hall is quite breath-taking and it alone is worth the short trip from the city center (I recommend taking a river boat even if it makes your knees wobble once your back on dry land but the scenery from a DLR train isn't boring either).

Old Spitalfields Market - Thursday's Antique Market
Old Spitalfields Market -  especially on Thursdays when there's an antique market. This is the one place I must get to visit when in London. Everything from furniture to clothes to dishes to taxidermy to old photos and bits and bobs. Some things have crazy prices (but then again worth vs. value, so who am I to say what's crazy), but there's always affordable treasures to be found. This time I was looking for materials for my assemblages and was rewarded with some amazing pieces. V found a beautiful African brass statue from 1930's that's now guarding our bookshelf while it still has room for items other than books. I also got a free elephant that's smaller than the tip of my pinkie.

Casa Tomada, by Rafael Gómezbarros

Saatchi Gallery - It's free and it has a new high quality exhibition every time I get to visit. I really, really like free things, especially free museums and galleries since traveling in itself is far from being free. (Also worth noting: most exhibitions that aren't free seem to have a discounted price for students even if it's not on the ticket price list, and no one cared we didn't have official international student cards.) My Saatchi visit this time was a slightly feverish and weird one but I did love the giant ants with tree branches for legs.

Study of Mme Gautreau, by John Singer Sargent, c.1884

Tate Britain - I've maybe grown a bit tired with the permanent exhibitions at Tate Modern but Tate Britain was a pleasant surprise. They've spruced things up a bit since our last visit and I was having a not-so-ill-anymore day, which made the experience something to savour. I love the pre-Raphaelites they've got and the Turner collection is an absolute gem (had to skip it this time, though).

Palm house, Kew Gardens
Kew Gardens - This was my first time at Kew Gardens and it really deserves a blog post of its own as well as a permanent spot on the list of places to see every possible occasion. Next week, me thinks. Also, Botanical gardens = heaven. I'll be more wordy later.

I hope you've enjoyed this brief listing of my favourites. Before the trip I was worried I'd end up with a mile-long list but the cold took care of narrowing it down. Bare essentials it is, then. If you find yourself in London, do yourself a favour and go see these things!

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

This is my garden. These are my trees.

This is my garden.
These are my trees.

mixed media assemblage - vintage photo, antique letter, antique envelope, antique book pages, vintage artificial silk thread, board, paper, glue
11,3x20,5x0,5cm  /  4.4"x8.1"x0.2"

Last blog post before I fly away for a while. So many wonderful things to look forward to in London! I promise I'll take photos and share my favourite things when I get back.

There's something about this assemblage that feels very British to me. According to my best knowledge the people (and the dog) in this photo are British, but this is more about feeling than it is about knowing. The Brits tend to have excellent children's books, so maybe this photo reminds me of those stories I read as a child. Maybe the dog reminds me of the crazy Peter Pan human-dog, I don't know. I ought to be in bed instead of here blogging - travel day tomorrow! Listing this piece has to wait until I get back home or things will go totally incomprehensible, but I still wanted to share this one more assemblage before my break. The guest books featured in my previous blog post are now listed in my shop with two other Coptic bound journals, and the shop remains open during my trip, though there's obviously a bit of a delay in shipping.

Good night (or morning), you all! I'll see you in two weeks!

Friday, 1 August 2014

Golden guest books

19,4x21,2x1,7cm  /  7.6"x8.3"x0.7"

The purple linen guest book has 48 and the white one has 40 pages of extra white fine grain 120gsm drawing paper sewn with waxed linen thread. Hand gilt front covers and the white book also has a thin gold line at the bottom of inner back cover. 

I'll be adding these among a few others to my shop later in the weekend. Tonight I need to escape to the movies because our neighbourhood has been taken over by a excruciatingly loud evening rally race. The race cars aren't even the worst part, it's the helicopters circling above (or the poorly behaving audience; having a hard time deciding which).

Wednesday, 30 July 2014


mixed media assemblage - vintage photo, lokta paper, self-made paper, vintage grid paper, gold leaf, linen and silk threads, board, glue

12,1x14,1x1,2cm  /  4.8"x5.6"x0.5"

I wish I, too, could go boating looking all amazing and wearing a massive but gorgeous hat. There are some problems though: 1) I can't swim and bodies larger than a stream generally freak me out a bit (nowadays plenty of things have that effect), 2) it's too hot to look all amazing (I know it's probably hotter where you are, but I'm still going to complain), 3) my normal-looking head is secretly too big for the hats available (except for the one I have that belonged to my grandmother, but that's for cooler weather and much too big even for me in a non-massive way).

I'll be on my way to London next Tuesday, but I promise you to update the shop with new books before that. My break from bookbinding wasn't luckily as long as I expected and I have a feeling returning to making books doesn't mean I won't be making mixed media pieces. A little bit of everything.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Very blue - Päijänne

An unexpected break from my newly established frequent blogging routine occured when I jumped in the car with my parents after they visited me so I could pay them an unplanned visit in return of their well-planned one, and my absence from the online world got prolonged a bit. My father took us home via a scenic route along the Lake Päijänne and we got to enjoy perfect Finnish summer scenery from the comfort of an airconditioned car (the heatwave is simply dreadful; I'm not built for temperatures exceeding +23C, let alone +30). I'm not great at taking landscape photos from a moving vehicle, so I didn't even bother trying and I can only share these photos I took when we stopped to stretch our legs a bit. Lovely, isn't it?

My parents brought us extra shelves for our bookshelf. I managed to fit in 8,8 meters of them and immediately filled well over 7m of them with books and movies that were previously double-shelved, stacked and/or in hiding. I have a feeling we'll have trouble making it into 2015 without running out of space, again. Our trip to London doesn't help as we tend to return from there with masses of books every time.

I'll get back to sharing my assemblages in a day or two. Meanwhile you might enjoy the photos my mother took of the crafty part of Jyväskylä while visiting me.