How does one join an art collective?

That’s what I’d like to know! I was watching a mini series about the Bloomsbury Group (I blame it on that Grantchester binge watching session) and got thinking what it would be like to be in an art collective and if it’s something that still exists in today’s world. The group was not an art collective per se and I can imagine the multiple love triangles caused a lot of drama but there’s something about artistic individuals creating together that intrigues me. I envision this lively but safe space where people inspire and challenge you. Where new ground is broken and minds enlightened. In the real world however, how does a rather paranoid introvert find/join/create an art collective?

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Scarlet by Stiina Saaristo, 2004. In my art collective fantasy, it would be the place where I would find my own painting style. Did I mention that I actually don’t paint that much?

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Organs III by Renáta Jakowleff. I have always been fascinated by glass, so maybe in my fantasy art collective I would become a glass master!

‘Cause here’s the thing, every time I go to a museum, I always get really inspired and eager to create. I often find myself asking, why I’m not painting/sculpting/writing more. The most recent time I asked that question my friend suggested I should join an association of some kind. She said there’s camaraderie to be found and you can have group exhibitions! So I’m asking all of you artsy people out there, where can I find an art collective to join?


Stitch me another letter

Date : 22/02/2017
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Stitch me another letter

Last time I was experimenting with embroidery I stitched my name on a piece of fabric. I really liked embroidering letters so when I wanted to try the chain stitch I thought I’d try different types of letters and ended up using my logo. It turned out to be a good practicing ground. It’s easier to compare the different stitches and swatches when the motif is the same. Here are some of my latest embroidery experiments.

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One thing I need to do is find a stronger heat transfer pencil or maybe try other transfer transfer methods. I had to sit by the window in order to see these lines.

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For this sample i was embroidering the logo using the chain stitch.

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Maybe not the best stitch for letters in this size or maybe I should have made the chain stitches shorter. Another option would be to stitch something along the edges of the letters.

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For my next sample I used my bigger hoop and tried using several colours. I chose the three colours below because I thought they worked well together and then I just improvised my way forward. Because of my weak heat transfer pen I quickly outlined the letters. Next time I think I’ll use a thinner thread, I picked this orange one by default but something thinner and lighter might have been easier to cover.

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When I start embroidering I really get into it and often forget to photograph some of the steps. This often leads to late night photo sessions with poor lighting that later requires a lot of photoshop. Note to self, buy additional lighting!

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The best thing to do while embroidering? Listening to a great podcast, like this one.

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Finished!

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I’m really happy with how this piece turned out. It would be fun to make a version with tonal colours but let’s see what I come up with the next time I’m in the mood for embroidery.


The Handicraft Master plan

The end of last year was quit hectic, which you might have noticed in how late I’ve been about posting about trips and finished projects. The good thing is that I’ve been busy meeting friends, going to exhibitions and even doing a bit of travel.
One thing I’ve decided that I’ll do no matter how hectic my days get is handicrafts. Finishing my green basket weave crochet scarf took too long because I was constantly putting it aside for things that usually involved sitting infront of a computer. Once I started experimenting with embroidery and rediscovering how relaxing and therapeutic it was, I decided that I need to always have one crafty project going. But since I’m a very restless person and I easily get bored I’m gonna try to have several pieces in progress at once. So that’s my master plan! Nothing revolutionary really, it’s basically what I’m doing with my sewing but when I thought of it I got very excited. Unlike my sewing (which takes up almost half of my room with patterns, fabrics and machines) handicraft projects fit in my lap and I can also take them with me when I travel. So here’s to a very crafty 2016!

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Random freestyle embroidery. I’m new to embroidery so I’ve been making it up as I go along. At some point I started practicing French Knots. I took a few tries before I got it right.

I’m an avid crocheter and I’ve also started to learn how to read charts so I feel I might be ready to try crocheting an entire garment. First I have to find a pattern, so if anyone has any tips let me know. Until then I’ll be trying out new stitches and crocheting scarves and pouches.

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I came across the Star stitch in one of my Pinterest sessions ( I can spend hours there!) and decided to try it out. Here a good tutorial.

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I really like this stitch, the only bad thing is that the reverse side doesn’t look the same. I make a lot of scarves so I prefer stitches with identical sides.

I’ve also been trying my hand at knitting. Basically before this fall all I could knit was a garter stitch. Once my friends taught me how to knit stockinette I got ahead of myself and tried really advanced stitches.

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Failed Bee Stitch. Too much to keep track of for my scattered minded brain. I’ll try it again when I’ve practiced more easier stitches. 

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Seed stitch. This is a good stitch for beginners like me. Once you learn how to identify your knits from your purls it goes quit smoothly. Here’s a good tutorial.

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Moss Stitch, which is a variation of the Seed Stitch. I really like the texture of this stitch. I think I might knit a scarf with it. I just need to work on the tension of the stitches so the finished piece doesn’t become so crooked. Here’s a good tutorial for the Moss Stitch.

There you have it, what I’ve been trying out lately. If you have any tips on more stitches I should try out, let me know!

 


Back in design school, what feels like a million years ago, I found this amazing book at the library while looking for some inspiration for ruffles. Once I was done with my ruffle experiments (I have a serious thing for ruffles, I have to write about it sometime) and had returned the book I decided I should buy it and put it on my wish list.  The book is called The art of manipulating fabric by Colette Wolff and NOW I’ve finally bought it. Hey, better late than never!

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What’s so great about this book you may wonder? It’s like a fabric manipulation encyclopaedia. Ruffles are just a small fraction of what this book covers. There’s chapters on pleats, tucks, smocking and quilting to name a few. The book might at first sight seem a bit outdated because of the cover and black and white images but they actually work well with the illustrations and make the instructions easier to follow.

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I’m very eager to try out all the techniques in the book so I’ll probably try out some of them on some pouches and later on some garments. I’ll let you know how that goes. I really recommend this book to anyone who’s interested in crafts and sewing.

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Milestones

Date : 23/09/2014
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A year ago on this date I published my blog post. I remember how excited and nervous I was when I pressed the “publish” button. What a year it’s been! Though I still have a long way to go to reach my ultimate goal with this blog I still feel I’ve evolved a lot during the past year. My images are slowly getting sharper and I now trust my gut more when deciding what is relevant to post.
Quit often you’ll hear successful people say that you have to believe in what you do in order to succeed and I’m starting to understand what they mean. I haven’t magically found some confidence potion, I’ve just realised that there’s always going to be people who think you suck and focusing on them is a complete waste of time. So I just have to keep learning, doing my own thing and evolving.
One of the biggest challenges I still face is still finding time for my all creative projects, especially now that I have a full time job. However, that won’t stop me, it just means I have to plan my time better. The state of the economy also makes the future look gloomy for a fashion designer but considering all the other crises going on in the world I can’t really complain.
So here’s to an educational and productive year, I hope the next one will be even more challenging and adventurous!



Learning something new

Date : 24/06/2014
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I learned to crochet as a kid but for a long time I only had a few stitches in my repertoire.  I’ve long wanted to learn new stitches so I can crochet something other that endless rows of treble stitches. Instead of getting lost in a new project that would end up in the “waiting to be finished” box, I chose to make small “swatches” with different stitches (see gallery below).

I found a great book at the library for instructions. The book is very clear and organised with a lot of step by step images to guide you. With the help of this book I was able to even learn how to read stitch symbol diagrams. I’m no expert yet but I’ve started to understand the basics. I think I’m going to buy this book as it has an equally informative section on knitting, something I’m not good at.

 

 

 

Now that I’ve tried these stitches my next project is to choose one and crochet a scarf. I also have a idea for a small cross body bag with flower/leaf decorations on the front. Now I just have to get started!

 

 


Crafts kindergarten style

Date : 11/11/2013
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Last week I tried something I’ve been wanting to do since the beginning of autumn. Printing with leaves like kindergarten kids! I finally got around to it when I realised that there soon wouldn’t be any leaves left, it’s been raining a lot lately. My prints as such didn’t turn out great but that’s fine. It was fun and therapeutic to do something crafty and playful after a long day. I’ll play around with the prints on the computer and see what I get!


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