Monday, 23 May 2016

mixed media monday - saima revisited

mixed media collage by Kaija Rantakari / paperiaarre.com

A bit of a flashback today. I made this mixed media piece way back in 2009 using old photos of my great grandaunt Saima and gorgeous antique handkerchiefs and handkerchief lace. Above you can see young Saima in a cabinet photo taken in a real studio - all other photos I have of her have been taken by her amateur photographer husband. So far this is the only art project I've made using family photos! Mostly it's because I'm so intrigued by strangers and I have no fear of pairing those photos of people with unknown histories with bits and pieces that are in conflict with their true stories and personalities, but also because I have no room for more art on my own walls and I'd hate to send pieces of my family away to strangers.

mixed media collage by Kaija Rantakari / paperiaarre.com

mixed media collage by Kaija Rantakari / paperiaarre.com

These photos of Saima were taken by Emil, her husband. The photo of Saima with the adorable puppy was most likely taken at her little brother's graduation party, which makes me think these must have been taken before 1920's or very early 1920's.

mixed media collage by Kaija Rantakari / paperiaarre.com

The silk handkerchief has rotted into quarters along its folds, but the lace is still as good as new.

mixed media collage by Kaija Rantakari / paperiaarre.com

mixed media collage by Kaija Rantakari / paperiaarre.com

Floral glass buttons, and another silk handkerchief, tied with embroidered silk ribbon onto a cotton handkerchief centre that was probably supposed to go with the larger of the two handkerchief lace. Many unfinished items have passed through several generations. Once in a blue moon I hear of my mother finishing some family heirloom project, but mostly we both try to focus on finishing our own, less dainty and more practical projects (and sometimes we fail and produce our own unfinished objects for future generations). 

Thursday, 19 May 2016

coptic bound guest book with vintage lace

coptic bound guest book with vintage lace by Kaija Rantakari / paperiaarre.com

A long time ago I made many wedding guest books accompanied by drawstring bags to keep all the greeting cards, loose photos and other ephemera safe with the guest book. Then I almost forgot the whole thing, even though those books always sold really quickly! I felt needed a break from wedding guest books and began making other types of books thinking I'd get back to these later, but then some kind of time distortion struck me and suddenly half a decade was gone. And here I am, still thinking it was only a few months ago that I made those nifty guest books with those great linen bags...

coptic bound guest book with vintage lace by Kaija Rantakari / paperiaarre.com

My recent bullet journals reminded me of making bags for guest books too, so here I am, at last, proudly presenting a bright white wedding guest book with vintage lace and a drawstring bag. The bag is made of a soft lighter weight linen whereas the book is covered with the usual, more hardwearing type of linen I mostly use on my books.

coptic bound guest book with vintage lace by Kaija Rantakari / paperiaarre.com

The book has 64 pages of thick white drawing paper and it measures 21,7x15,4x2,2cm / 8.5"x6.1"x0.9". The drawstring bag measures 22x35cm / 8.7"x13.8". And thanks to the Coptic binding the book opens and stays completely flat, but I guess you already knew that (I feel like I've written more about my books opening flat than I've written about anything else - sorry!).

You can find this book for sale here.
coptic bound guest book with vintage lace by Kaija Rantakari / paperiaarre.com

While watching every stage of Giro d'Italia on tv I've been sewing a huge summer quilt for our bed. Only a few more stage's worth of sewing left on the quilt top, max, so I hope to get to tying the quilt before the race ends (the quilt's too big for me to machine quilt on my tiny sewing machine and I'm not going to send it away to be quilted, so tying it is!). Working on the quilt daily has slowed down other sections of the craft department, but I'm still working on new books and my own bullet journal (still haven't decided the colour!).

Almost time for today's Giro stage and my hours at the sewing machine, so I must go, but I'll leave you with a close up of the beautiful Battenberg lace.

coptic bound guest book with vintage lace by Kaija Rantakari / paperiaarre.com

Monday, 16 May 2016

mixed media monday - hush!


hush! - mixed media collage by Kaija Rantakari / paperiaarre.com

This tinted photo of a woman has been a part of my vintage photo collection for a while. I haven't been able to decide if she's wearing a leopard pattern, or if it's just some floral pattern instead, but in my mind I've always thought of her as the leopard lady.

hush! - mixed media collage by Kaija Rantakari / paperiaarre.com

Signs of deterioration keep fascinating me - the marks of photo corners and old tape adhesive left on the piece of book cover I used in the background. Deterioration makes the passing of time visible.

hush! - mixed media collage by Kaija Rantakari / paperiaarre.com


(vintage photo, cut up text, vintage book cover and graph paper, gold paper, vintage artificial silk thread, board, glue, linen thread)

7,2x10,5x1cm / 2.8"x4.1"x0.4"

hush! - mixed media collage by Kaija Rantakari / paperiaarre.com

Is there a sound you would describe as the very sound of beauty?

Saturday, 14 May 2016

accumulator seriali - part 17

vintage paper dolls - paperiaarre.com

I'm a very lucky person to have a special friend across the sea sending me all sorts of breathtaking treasures every once in a while. In one of her packages was this adorable set of two old Dennison's jointed paper dolls, five dresses and a small, unopened package of Dennison's Assorted Colored Buttons For Doll's Dresses - a very pretty trimming.

vintage paper dolls - paperiaarre.com

Very pretty trimmings seem to be the key to creating very pretty dresses for paper dolls! Three of the dresses have details made from paper doilies, and there are buckles and buttons there as well. One dress appears to be printed on crepe paper (perhaps this one came with the dolls), but the others seem to be handcrafted from various types of paper.

vintage paper dolls - paperiaarre.com

I would've adored these dolls as a child and made them tons of more dresses. I don't remember playing with paper dolls much as a child, but I remember enjoying the part where you cut out the doll and its clothes much more than the imaginary play part. One case of severe paper doll envy took place: the neighbour girl had a wonderful paper doll of Ariel, the Little Mermaid, and I tried to replicate it at home. I can't remember how successful my attempt was, but I'm sure I put quite a bit of effort in it!

Paper dolls are something I knew very little about, so I did some online searches and I'm now happy to leave you with a nice, long article about the history of paper dolls, should you, too, be interested in some self education.

I find myself in a situation where I need to make more room for writing my second book of poems, so this Accumulator Seriali series won't be happening weekly anymore - sorry! I've yet to decide on the new routine, but it'll either be bi-weekly or monthly, depending on how much time writing wants to steal from my other projects. I hope to keep up with my bookbinding and art posts as usual, so, fear not, I'm not disappearing!

Thursday, 12 May 2016

long stitch bullet journals with cloth covers

long stitch bullet journals with recycled brown pages and cloth covers - by Kaija Rantakari / paperiaarre.com

As promised, new bullet journals with cloth covers and drawstring bags! I picked eight of my favourite book cloths and linen fabrics to match them. I'm very fond of the soft herringbone linen (featured here in blue and light brown), but it's a nightmare to use on book covers, so I'm glad I got to use it on these drawstring bags. The other bags are in solid colours with various textures.

long stitch bullet journals with recycled brown pages and cloth covers - by Kaija Rantakari / paperiaarre.com

long stitch bullet journals with recycled brown pages and cloth covers - by Kaija Rantakari / paperiaarre.com

The best thing about making books in lots is that they create pleasing stacks. There are naturally other benefits, but I'm really loving these stacks...

long stitch bullet journals with recycled brown pages and cloth covers - by Kaija Rantakari / paperiaarre.com

long stitch bullet journals with recycled brown pages and cloth covers - by Kaija Rantakari / paperiaarre.com

This whole lot is available for sale in my shop.

long stitch bullet journals with recycled brown pages and cloth covers - by Kaija Rantakari / paperiaarre.com

The grid dots aren't even visible in this photo! They're really so light they hide in the recycled paper unless you're looking for them. Here's proof there are dots there:

long stitch bullet journals with recycled brown pages and cloth covers - by Kaija Rantakari / paperiaarre.com

While I was making these my printer decided to stop working and entered the loop of eternal false paper jams with no paper in sight. Never fun, but this time things got so bad I ended up ordering a new printer altogether. The new one should print special papers (=thicker materials) up to size A3, so I should probably start imagining new bookish things to print! I generally avoid creating artists' books as they're a bit scary to make - lots of emotional investment and things that go so far beyond the technical aspect of things - but maybe I should try to be brave later this year. Right now I'm too tired for any type of bravery as the pollen season is sucking the life out of me. This spring wasn't supposed to be a rough one, but I'm currently in a disagreement with the forecast. I hope it's easy to breathe wherever you are, and if not, I hope your tissues are of the softest kind!