A very quick post to wish you all a joyful Christmas! And a big thanks to Sally who sent me this sweet ornament in our little ornament swap!
The Christmas craft fairs are all over and now I am doing my best to finish a few Christmas presents before I have to put away my studio for the holidays. It will be great with a break!
My 5 year old girl loves to dance to classical music so I made her a drawstring bag from this Japanese fabric. She will also get a new ballet suit, a Grieg CD and the wonderful ribbon wand I got on etsy from ribbonwands. The golden embroidery on the bag says "dansa min docka" (dance my doll), it's from a Swedish song. I think I accidentally put the pandas head the wrong way so she reminds me of a bulldog, but I guess bulldogs can dance if pandas do so... I will show another gift tomorrow!
Today we celebrate Santa Lucia Day in the Swedish-speaking part of Finland as well as in the rest of Scandinavia. My daughter was one of three super cute Lucias at Kindergarten yesterday so we have already started the celebration :) Tonight we are going to see our town's Lucia step down the stairs of the old dome, it is so beautiful! Finland's official Lucia is crowned in Helsinki. AND it is not raining, we have wonderful winter sun today! I hope it will stay, I have my last fair in Ekenäs this weekend, and it is outdoors. I look forward to do some serious Christmas cleaning next week!
The Lucia on the picture was made by me six years ago. Check out her striped socks!
I am back after a five day long trip to Helsinki. It was great to be away on what felt like a holiday, even if I was a the fair from 10-18 every day. I left the kids at home and stayed at my sister's place and we had such a great time! Eating out, chatting away, making plans for Christmas...
A month ago I got this letter from the editors of small magazine, they wanted to feature my robot scarf in the winter issue! So here it is in good company, I am so proud! The pictures and graphics and the stuff displayed, everything is so cool and well made! Please take some time to click your way through it, it's well worth it.
In October I thought I would have lots of time to make a few ornaments for a little swap in late November... Ha-ha. Just a few days late these two are ready to fly to their new owners! I hope they will like them! The little house has a surprise behind the door :-) Everything is red and white, my theme song for this Christmas. I like how the angel turned out so now I would like to make her some sisters. But first I really have to finish a bunch of cushion covers I'm working on.
For those of you who are in Finland I would be very happy to meet you at the Christmas fair at the Old Great Square next Saturday-Sunday (1-2.12) at 12-17 here in Turku!
I'm so proud of myself for making these curtains for our kitchen window this morning. It was a great frosty morning and I woke up to see the Christmas lights we put on the balcony yesterday so I got a good start. We are going to have a real old fashioned Christmas this year, twelve people(!) around the table and then you just can't have a poppy curtain in your window, can you? I know it's not even December yet, but I have a Christmas fair next weekend so there won't be much time for decorating. And if there is something I love it is decorating my home for Christmas. Our home is quite a mess usually, I feel I have more important things to do than to run around picking up toys and clothes and stuff, but the month before Christmas I become as much of a perfectionist as someone like me can be. If only the kids would join me, or even play with red and white toys only. It would look so nice....
What do you do when you want to think green and need something nice to put your products in at craft fairs? You think crafty! It helps out if you have Christmas issues of different home deco magazines from "a couple of years" back. It's simple!
Step one. Collect your mags. Go through them, do you really need to save this issue from 1998? No.
Step one and a half (forgot to take a pic). Cut out the pages and pick out the nice ones.
Step two. Take some red thread and start producing.
Step three. Eco-friendly, cheap and crafty bags!
My friend Anne came over to help me stuff some houses and gnomes today, we had a really nice time chatting away. She took a shot of me in my "creative chaos" and I decided to be brave and show it to you, because I know of experience that many people love to see other people's mess (I'm one of them). I need more space desperately, I wish I could sew myself a studio! But then again, spending the Finnish winter in a tent. Maybe not.
Thank you for you encouraging comments on my last post on making houses!I hope I did not scare any potential customers away with this post...
Many of you have seen the house ornaments on flickr already, but I thought I'd talk a little about them anyway. You see I've been trying to push myself to make angel ornaments for the Christmas fairs. They've sold quite well before but they are very time consuming to make and I simply do not feel like making them anymore. So I asked myself:
-Who's the boss?
-Do I have to make (the darn time consuming) angels I always do for Christmas?
-Can I make houses instead?
-Will people like them?
-No idea, but it's important that you like what you're doing! (And besides everyone makes angels, and people want something new.....)
Yay! So I'll just make a bunch of houses and cross my fingers. They are available in the shop too.
It's been a crazy flow lately, a wholesale order with a tight time schedule, kid with stomach flu, head bursting of ideas, laundry to wash, grumpy T that has stopped smoking and just too many projects and too little time.
Go and vote for your favourite in the Holiday Softies awards! My tomte did not make it this time, but check out this amazing snowman made by Cupcakes for Clara!
My mum and sister visited us a couple of weeks ago and we discussed what to do with the small laundry that is produced during a trip. And we agreed that plastic bags are no good for socks and stuff. Or shoes. So I came up with this new practical idea for a product. The cotton drawstring bag is washable in itself too.
Not much to tell otherwise, sewing and creating. How I love my days! Oh, I did some shopping, got older last week so thought I needed some presents... I'm waiting for another order. Who can resist a clothesline fabric really (I promise to show it off when it arrives!)?
I took the handmade pledge, we're going to have a handmade Christmas! Some gift ideas: 5-year old daughter, 2-year old son, 26-year old graphic designer brother. These would be great for all of them. More etsy gifts later!
Since I was making tomtar anyway and I stumbled upon the 2007 Holiday Softie Awards (in time!!!) I decided to let one of my gnomes, "Dotty", enter the competition. I just love the mint dotty fabric together with the red. Now I wish I could convince my family that our Christmas is going to go in these colours this year...
About: Dotty is a product of my imagination. A mix of a Finnish/Scandinavian tomtenisse, an elf and a garden gnome. A Christmas decoration or if treated well a guardian of your home and family the whole year (however I can not be held responsible for what she decides to do if she moves into your house...).
Materials: Cotton fabrics in red and mint green with dots and red & white toile de jouy for the legs. Filled with polyfill. Heart appliqué from synthetic felt. Mini buttons for eyes.
Some more Holiday Softie love from the flickr pool (they will have a very hard time choosing the winners!): a house, Sprincle, a sweater pigeon and a snow rabbit. And a wonderful dachshund dressed for Halloween by Elsita. Happy Halloween everyone!
I was making scarves with houses today and had a great line going when I found I had appliquéd one house on each end of one of the scarves. I got discouraged one moment (and nearly gave up, you know these wonderful moments in the creative process....) and then thought that this would be a great scarf for the REAL house lover :-) The scarves are all unique and numbered so these became nr 1 and 2. I'll try to get a shot of them all tomorrow. My house-loving craft friend Laurraine makes the cutest Tape Measure Houses! She also has a shop.
I finally finished this cushion that has been staring at me for weeks. Better do it before the trees turn bare and brown, I was thinking.
The cushion is about an ordinary Autumn day that might just bring something special with it... It will appear in the shop as soon as I get a decent picture of the whole thing.
It's all about gnomes here (or tomtar (sing. tomte) as I like to call them) at the moment. I like this time of year very much, a lot of planning and a lot of making for the Christmas fairs I will participate in. I love the intensive super social days at craft shows as much as I love sewing all by myself, the radio as my only company. I need both. This year I have taken on three Christmas fairs which makes things a little hectic over here, I'm afraid I won't have time to create enough stuff for all the shows. This is me three years ago :) Anyone else thinking about Christmas already?
Next time I will show you some progress on the interactive project. Cathy Gaubert came with the winning suggestion this time, birds it will be! She makes the cutest bags!
- sewing stripy scarves
- baking my own bread
- looking after kids pretending to have a fever
- hanging around facebook, want to be my friend?
- admiring the work of Julia's in the shop Lineanongrata.
- and mimi's tattooed man, she is an amazingly talented doll maker.
- elsita, I love her shop too!!
The white background fabric always turns out grey on the pictures of this little quilt-to-be :( It reflects the weather here quite well though... Kirsten suggested I should add some clouds to it. So I did. The other one is hand stitched with silk thread and the other one is a piece of silk satin that I appliquéd by machine. I will save a few clouds for the quilting. Now I need ten more suggestions for stage 4, please! Instructions here.
Todays post is for my kids. I should give them more time. Be a better listener, do things with them. At the moment I am just so occupied with my own project(s) that it feels really hard. Must sew, must blog, must make food, must clean mess, must study taxes, must become a successful business woman... Must not become a crazy robot.
Big E is a great drawer. She draws with a steady hand and I just love her style. Recently she's been drawing animals, take a look at this bird and nest.
We've been to the library today, now I'm off to read a book to little e, step 1 in project Good mum. No sewing today.
I am here. I have a lot of projects on the go, but the business courses I'm attending takes a lot of my time at the moment. It is great however and I get all the information I need to make syko an official business. It now feels more like a lot of hard work and less like a dream (coming through). But a good proportion of both should make a good business, don't you think? AND I have been making so many carpe diem- and follow your heart quilts that there really is no other way to go if I want to have some street cred left...
When you start a business you 'have to' make some investments, mine will hopefully be a Bernina Aurora 440 that I have been dreaming of for a couple of years now. Can't wait to get it and try it out on the quilt I got so many nice comments on, thank you!
This is was happened when I decided it was time to empty my scrap boxes. It was so fun to make something big for a chance. I might have to make another quilt in a totally different colour scheme to get rid of the darker + black & white pieces...Now I "just" have to get some batting and do the quilting. My daughter wants this quilt for herself after reading this book. I think we've both enjoyed it as much, we're reading the last chapter tonight.
Thanks for all your challenging suggestions for the interactive project!
I must agree with Jules that it is more fun to watch someone else do a project like this, or at least it seems much easier :) It is very challenging to work with a picture when you have no idea how it is going to turn out in the end. However I thought I picked an easy one (I did not cheat) when I picked Anina's suggestion a bunch of wild flowers. But then again, how do you sew wild flowers and what kind of flowers would the girl with the sewing machine like? While I was thinking and breaking my camera (I got a new one, thank you very much!) Summer faded away and the only flowers that felt right were sunflowers. I hope they look wild enough... I placed them on the left hand side of the girl when I realised there has to be room for eight more things, what they will be it's up to you! Can I have ten more suggestions, please! Sorry for the rainy day colour of the picture!
I broke my camera! Left it on the floor during a photo session and accidentally kicked it. And obviously destroyed the zoom and lens thing. No kids involved. Just me. HOW CAN I BE SO DAMN STUPID? Just when we have a huuuge car bill to pay. And just when I got my shop up and running again. Does this mean that I can buy a new and better camera now?
The picture is from my kids drawing corner in the living room and has nothing to do with the accident. When we moved to this apartment I decided to try to furnish our home after our needs and what we actually do at home. One thing was the issue with the crayons and drawings that used to live on our dinner table. So they got this table next to my sewing corner. We also have room for a sofa and a tv, an armchair, a play kitchen and a bookshelf. So this really is a family room. You can make a lot of a small space. It's just a matter of organizing an being open for solutions out of the ordinary. Damn camera.
I also made the first of a set of alphabet quilts I have planned. Thought they would be nice to decorate the kidsroom with, or why not a work space for a grown-up with a sense of humour and a love for the cute. In other words some happy and naive individual like myself :) The next letter might be an H, thinking hippo, hat, house, hedgehog, horse...
I also did a little teacup quilt inspired by a piece of old lace I found in an old sewing table from the 1950's that I got recently (need to take a pic and tell you the whole story soon)! My friend Laurraine is the master of quilted teacups, go see her shop! She also has a flickr and is the founder of a flickr group for tea related craft stuff. Go there and get inspired!
Thank you everyone for your nice comments on my last post! Your support means a lot to me. And I promise that my next post will be on the interactive project!
Julie has just finished a fascinating project on her blog (go see her shop too). I have decided to copy the great idea but I will do it all on fabric. So here' s the deal. I have a piece of white fabric waiting to become a little arty quilt and you are going to help me fill it (I hope). I will use appliqué and embroidery (and hopefully some buttons too). So please tell me what YOU would like to see on it by leaving a message here! I will:
1. wait until I have got ten suggestions
2. draw one of them
3. do my best to do as you wish
4. go through 10 stages
5. draw a winner among all the people who has come with one of the ten first suggestions at any stage
I hope you would like to join me on this, I'm sure it will be great fun! I will be away for a week, my very good friend is getting married but after that I will start with the first task.
I am having a little Summer sale in the shop to give room for the "Autumn collection", which I have had lots of time to think about and no time at all to start working on. I am not alone! Look at Jenny's beautiful way of putting it!
Oh, and if you need to brighten up your mind too, go and look at Marc Johns's drawings. So brilliant!
I am happy to tell you that I am a proud owner of this teacup print by Seealso. It is the first in a collection of etsy teaprints I'm planning to get for our kitchen wall. Any suggestions or any tea-art of your own to offer me?
I'll be back soon with a little new crafting. I'm working on a big wedding gift, three more weeks to go...
I'll leave you with a detail of the little rainbow quilt I made.
I have had Greek salad for lunch, cut three dresses, looked at my flowers growing, been quiet, made a pear tree pouch (a custom order), watched TV in the middle of the day, talked a long time in the phone without any disturbance, had sandwiches for dinner, finished one dress, taken some photos, surfed the internet, laid on the sofa dreaming of a future in a house of our own in a small town close to the sea... I am home alone and I love it!
These linen dresses will be up in the shop this week. I used the bird big E and I created together again and used our favourite materials too. I love linen, she loves tulle. And checkout my homemade tags! Couldn't decide on what to order, where from and how many so I just made some myself. Easy.
I hope you are enjoying yourselves too!
Sorry, but you'll have to wait awhile for the Finland part2 post. Thanks for all your nice comments about my Finnish lion anyway! I have a couple of other things on the same theme that I will show you soon-ish. I just have another project that feels more tempting right now. Or maybe two... I made another make-up pouch that I quite like, I found a great dotty shirt second hand that I lined it with. The follow-your-heart-theme will continue in my next project, i bought some wonderful linens today. And I left some wonderful ones back in the store, buuhuu... Anyway I can't wait to get them washed and to start cutting them up! Little E broke that tulip for me. I like them very much, they were planted by a previous owner and it was a nice surprise when they showed up.
And since I am not digging where I stand today go see artist Janet Bell in Chester, UK. Her house paintings are just wonderful! She also has a blog.
Finland part 1
Blogland is a very international community which I enjoy wholeheartedly. I find it very easy to get inspired by stuff from far away exotic places. So I have challenged myself to dig where I stand and make a few things that are based om typical Finnish symbols. So first out is a pouch with the Finnish lion (suomileijona), which is the official Coat of Arms of Finland and also the name of the Finnish hockeyteam. Ice hockey is a really big thing over here (not in my house, but in the rest of the country...). I think you have to be a Finn to understand that the look of my lion says that Finland got silver in the World championship... Before I make a fool out of myself I will stop talking about sports.
Pretty/Modest has featured me over at her blog, thank you very much. My circus cat is so proud to be in such good company ;-)
The birds are still flying around in my craft room, here is one and two new additions. Enjoy the weekend and stay tuned for more thrilling facts about Finland!
I've been tagged by Julie so I'll try my best to reveal some juicy facts about myself today :)
• Start with 7 random facts/habits about yourself
• People who are tagged have to write their 7 things on their blog
• Then choose another 7 people to get tagged and list their names
1. I talk a lot, laugh a lot and make bad jokes all the time
2. I am 30 and I think this is the best period of my life until now
3. I am broke. Last night I dreamed I had 118 000 euros on my bank account
4. I used to be a post grad student at the university, I quit to become a full-time crafter. I am too restless to sit by a desk all day.
5. I am very tired of writing analytic texts, which is why my blog is about crafting and cleaning (haha)
6. I have a sign above my door that says My house was clean last week. Sorry you missed it! If you ever come to visit me I will probably say something like that. Seriously. I got the sign from my mum. She knows me very well.
7. I never thought having a blog would be this great and that I would meet such wonderful people out there that share my passion for fabric and thread. Among other things.
I try to tag the seven girls that made the first comments on my last post, sorry: Di, Mirre, Anina, Kirsty, Amandajean, Krista, Kristin
*edit* That quilt is supposed to reflect my current situation... *
I thought my first two houses became so picturesque that I decided to let the concrete bloom in house number three. Happiness can live in an ugly house too! I'm working on house number 4 now, it will have something to do with Finnish Summer...
When we moved we moved away from a great backyard (with possibilities to become a garden), now we just have a small patio. But my garden dreams are as crazy as they were last year. Planning the ultimate flowers for the little spot I have makes it hard to sleep at night. I'm sure it will be great, I just wish Spring would come a little faster, the wind has been so cold the last weeks I haven't been in the mood to go out at all. = Crafting time! Little E has a fever so I guess there will be more of it tomorrow. In between doing this.
I did not think it would take this long for me to be back in business with my sewing. Now I'm finally getting there. I just can't work if my space and my stuff is not in order. I googled clean desk and found out I'm not alone... You wouldn't believe this if you saw my home. Really.
Little E and I built the new ikea shelf together, he gave me one screw at a time :)
I had to take a smaller shelf than planned, our car has its limitations. I'm quite happy with it anyway. AND I got to spend a whole day in Helsinki with my best friend (and no kids), trying out wedding dresses for her. We had a wonderful time!
I'm on a diet, not because I have a weight problem but because I want to get rid of my rash. I want to get well NOW! No grain, no sugar, no milk. I've made it two days and it feels better already! My kids love the smoothies I make to get something sweet an healthy. This is frozen strawberries, 1 banana, 1 apple, some almonds and rice milk. Served in a thrifted strawberry bowl.
It's great to be back here after a long period of packing and unpacking and then a short period of living without an Internet connection (1½ weeks that felt like a million years... I know I'm a spoilt kid). However I feel a little empty since I haven't had the opportunity to do anything crafty in our new home yet, except a few chicks for Easter. Everything else is nearly in order here, but my favourite part is still very unorganised. I'm waiting for time and money to go and get myself a new shelf. So since I haven't got anything crafty to show you I decided to go look for some yellow. I'd like to call my photo "how to justify a yellow ashtray". Thank you Stephanie and Julie for the inspiration!
AND you can see a hint of a very typical house in the area we live in. There was a time when I was convinced I would never live happily in the suburb. Here I am, three bedrooms (rented though), two kids, one partner, one car, no dog ;-)
I don't want to forget to thank you all for your very kind comments on my last post! You are great!!! Have a wonderful weekend!
*oh, and it's not me that smokes...*
I've started a new project. As I usually do. Since we're moving to a new house I thought houses would be a suitable theme. It's an idea I've had bubbling in my head for a while now (it's kinda crowded in there...). One block will move to this wonderful little shop, sometime this Spring. Take a look at Catherine's own houses, they are adorable! I got a fun idea for numbering my house quilts. This first quilt will be house number one obviously. It's still missing in the picture. Number two will be ready soon. Stay tuned if you want a house with your number (I'm not sure how far my inspiration will take me...) or contact me (kajsa dot wikman at gmail dot com) if you want one in your favourite colours!
Yesterday there was an interesting add in the paper - there will be a craft exhibition in my hometown this Summer, applications should be handed next Friday. Should I try my luck and get something done until Friday? It would be great if they'd pick one of my pieces, but the time schedule is a little... tight. I was thinking about a large version of this, any opinions?
Talking about numbers I just noticed this will be post number 52 on this blog. I was quite surprised, didn't think I posted that often and I've only been here since last Summer. Anyway, thanks so much to all of you for your kind comments and encouragement, it means a lot to me!!!
Sunny Spring days to all of you!