Tuesday, 25 November 2008

The winter wonderland

Warning: a completely weary post ahead. Maybe it's a global issue, as I've read more discouraged artist blog posts within two weeks than ever before.

I didn't mean to be gone so long. But you know how sometimes it feels like you fail at everything you try. Well, I didn't even feel like trying. I know it's partially because of the winter. The snow I longed for came surprisingly quickly and it'll stay until Saturday at least. It's so Christmassy outside. And I'M NOT READY! Christmas should be at least two months away! I'm not stressing about the gifts exclusively, but about the whole Christmas thing. It'll be our first Christmas here in Turku, and the first Christmas we're celebrating together and not with my parents or with my in-laws. And you know, I'm not a Christmas person. Not at all. I enjoy exchanging gifts and spending time together, but the religious part just isn't for me (neither is the commercial gift exchange part!).

I'm trying to enjoy the beautiful weather while it lasts, but I can't escape the people who feel the need to talk about the nearing Christmas the whole duration of my 5-hour work shift. And that's the money-spending kind of Christmas talk. I don't feel like spending a lot of money just because it's that one special day of the year. Any non-commercial Christmas spirits lifting ideas? I like making decorations and such, but I'm in need of ideas of what to DO on Christmas to make it feel like Christmas.

One of my Christmas traditions is card-making. Not for me, but for my father's business. (I try to stay away from card-sending traditions myself. I'd only forget someone important and people would get upset.) Last year I stenciled some reindeer, this year I gocco printed some snowflakes on dark blue mulberry paper. The lighting this time of the year is rather challenging (not a surprise) so I don't have photos of my pretty brown snowflake gift tags yet. I do my best to snap a picture really soon. Just so you would see what is included in all things ordered from Paperiaarre Etsy shop between today, Nov 25th (which happens to be my name day), and Dec 3rd. The shop will be taking a vacation too (Dec 4th-12th), but all orders placed and paid by the 3rd will be shipped before I leave to London and should arrive in time for Christmas.

I'll skip the introduction of books and pouches that were a part of the last shop update. What's in the shop is in the shop. But I thought I'd mention that the shop is still/again well stocked and prettier than ever :)


  1. Ugh... I know how you feel. Although, actually, I'm feeling quite excited about the whole thing this year.
    I have deleted your email by accident but let me know when you're free in London (if you're free) and we can go out to look at some paper and have a coffee or something. :)

  2. I am sympathetic! I feel like people just cannot understand why the beginning of the holiday season is soooo irritating to me. Maybe most other artists also feel this way??

    At least I can find solace in the fact that there is a resurgence of interest in hand-crafted goods...


  3. I absolutely love christmas, the music (not the hymns, the songs like rocking around the christmas tree etc) I think I started to love christmas when my kids were born, it's magical for them. Perhaps when you have children it will become magical for you!

  4. The first time my husband and I spent Christmas alone together was hard too. The only recommendations I have are (1) don't try to make it exactly like it would be if you were with your family, because it will just depress you further, and (2) try not to lapse into your usual routine that day (hiding in the studio or working alone on individual projects), and make an effort to spend some time together in a special way--even if it's just sitting down together for dinner at the table (which almost never happens in our house).

  5. I hope you figure out what to do with christmas. my family is chinese and we are definitely not religious nor are we american enough to celebrate what we consider to be an american holiday (like christmas). but lately, with efforts on my part, we've turned christmas into a normal family reunion. a minor one, just all the families on my dad's side (his sibling's families that is). we do this during thanksgiving as well and that one is definitely an american holiday. we do the usual potluck meal, we exchange gifts but that's not required, we just hang out and talk. the only thing christmas-y about it is the family coming together and sharing a meal and exchanging gifts. we don't do what other families might do, such as storytelling, no snow here!, singing, piano-playing, or christmas movie watching, or celebrations that are more religious. our parents are not religious and do not speak english very well, so it definitely makes most traditional american customs odd for us.

    and thanks for sharing the name day celebrations. in chinese, some kids are born with two animals, one is the zodiac sign and the other is just the celebration of the animal. for instance, i am born in the year of the rabbit as well as the day of the dog. we also sometimes celebrate the birthday in the lunar calendar and the current calendar (gregorian, i believe?). but we don't do name days. but through wikipedia i found a link that told me my name day! i love the multicultural lists because i get to be exposed to so many wonderful names.

  6. Christmas, for what is supposed to be a joyous occasion, is fraught with so many difficulties, isn't it? Merry Christmas. That's all I have to say. And a happy new year (let's hope it swings through soon).

  7. Lovely simple striking pattern!
    Yes I have also given up on cards and send electronic greetings instead!

  8. Those snowflakes are just beautiful.

    Perhaps you would be happy concentrating on the Winter Solstice which does celebrate the shift towards more light in our lives. As you and your husband discuss what you two would like for this season, I'm sure you will make a start at creating your own traditions.

    Make it special but in your own style, and you already know that $$s are not the core. A Happy December to you.

  9. This is a beautiful simple design.
    I love the colour.


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