Monday, December 28, 2009

Making Yarn

My Christmas has been full of work. Or would I rather call it pleasure? As you can see, I have been making yarn, That is spinning and dyeing!
Spinning some seawool from Creatively Dyed.

Dyeing four skeins of sock yarn for future projects.

And dyeing the last portion of bluefaced leicester wool in oriental colors. These colors really give me strength to cope the dark winter days.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Holidays!

A page for the deco "Black And White"

Saturday, December 12, 2009

What Is Scrapbooking?

I have wanted to be a scrapbooker for years. My problem has been that I have never really realized what is is all about. First I thought it is about making a photo album with words and stories. I had no desire for photo albums but I tried. No, did not work for me. Then I thought it is all about fancy papers and embellishments which I do love. But many times I felt more tempted to use the papers elsewhere.

This autumn it hit me. Some photos are just more special than the others. It would be so wrong to just keep them on the hard drive or hidden in plastic pockets. It would be so wrong not to spend time with them and play with them. And, it would be so wrong not to photograph everything that is important and special.

I assume the idea of scrapbooking is more obvious if you have children. My first little scrapbooking album is about my first dog, passed away many years ago, but still on my mind constantly.

I really enjoyed making this small album!

I have also had difficulties understanding digital scrapbooking even if I use Photoshop at my day job. Why would anyone skip the pretty papers part? Now I realize it is so much fun to combine the digital processing and the papers. All the pictures in this album are processed so that their colors match with the papers.

I love the little windows this album is filled with!

What next? Soon after finishing this album I remembered that my husband has taken pictures about butterflies over the years. There are not many good shots but just enough for another mini album! I am going to enjoy making that during the holidays.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

First Beeswax Projects

Tags using beeswax.

I purchased Rangers Utee Melting Pot last week as I wanted to try beeswax in my collage work. My first trials were inspired by this week's Theme Thursday challenge: bookmarks. Beeswax makes the surface a bit sticky so these are more gift tags than bookmarks. I did not have quilting iron to smooth the surface so the surface became a bit uneven. I have ordered one though so I am looking forward my next beeswax projects.

The poem in the right side tag is: "Happiness held is the seed. Happiness shared is the flower." I found it on the net and it's so beautifully said!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Dotty Oriental

A page for the deco "Oriental"

I love dots. And white gel pen. And markers that I purchased during my designer studies!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Tiny But Overwhelming

I wanted to make something festive but not too christmassy. Something scandinavian, yet oriental. So I made a tiny folk bag combining the things I cherish in my stash. Some might think it is too busy, at least when the photo is showing one of my fabrics in the background. But I need to have this kind of pictures now, when it is so dark outside.

Speaking of design, Helsinki, the nearest city, has been name as the world capital of design in 2012. Can't wait for all the events of the year! My main profession is about designing digital services so I hope they will not be forgotten either.

Saturday, November 28, 2009


A page for the deco booklet "Bizarre.

I have been scrapbooking lately and actually even finished something that I have not been able to take pictures yet. And I have started to make Christmas cards too. But then, in the middle of all that conventional stuff I decorated the last page of the Bizarre deco with something pretty weird. I find this so enchanting I had to scan it!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tulips for the Next Summer

A page for the deco booklet "Tulips"

Luckily this deco came along in October and I remembered to plant tulips for the next summer. With peonies, they are my favorite flowers.

Winter is always hard time for me. It's so dark and cold here in Finland. The only consolation is that I can wear the woolly knits that I have made myself!

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Sometimes I feel that the form is overrated in design. I see white objects everywhere. I think we Finnish are obsessed in white. I am not a big fan of whites, and really, if you examine colors, it's like the whole world could be expressed with color only.

My starting points were the iris flowers from my garden, a dark blue belt from my sister's winter coat and pale blue baby merino yarn I had bought from the sale. My intention is to knit a hood for my sister.
Another project on the go is to hand spin yarn for a lace scarf. My color scheme is inspired by Nepal. I have dyed four lots using the same theme but different colorways. Here's the third lot.

I hope the yarn will be lovely. The singles look very pleasing!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Stamping Day

A page for the deco "Layered Stamped"

After reading The Stamper's Sampler, I just had to take my stamps and make something layered and romantic. Luckily I just had a deco booklet to sign of the similar subject. And I had a day off, so I had the time too!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Long Ago And Far Away

Mixed media collage "I am here at last"

Here's my entry for the week's Three Muses Challenge, themed "Long Ago And Far Away".

I started with my husband's photograph, taken at Barcelona in Sagrada Familia last summer. Then I picked one of the prints I have got with Somerset Studio magazine. I worked several layers using stamps, acrylics, patterned papers etc. I also attached two self made polymer clay buttons. I love using my horrible polymer clay buttons as they are not symmetric, nor pretty but blend so well in everything I make.

For me, my life has been "I am here at last" for the last years. I have been able to do so much what I really love: be creative, achieve the things I value the most. I am very grateful for that.

Friday, October 23, 2009

18 Years Guinea Pigs

A page for the deco booklet "Unthemed".

I wanted to make a page to honor the guinea pigs that I have had as pets for 18 years. The page came out quite busy and bright but perhaps it suits with the theme.

I bought an issue of Scrapbooks etc. magazine this week. I have listened to many podcasts that have mentioned the magazine lately. It is a great magazine, even if you are not 100 % scrapbooker. If I had to choose between Scrapbooks etc and Somerset Studio, I would choose Somerset but I can understand if someone else chose otherwise. They are both great value for money anyway.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Felted Hair

Collage "Felted Hair"

Here's my entry for The Three Muses Challenge. This collage is approximately A4 size and made by cutting papers and adding acrylic paint. The idea of felted hair came from the last weekend's felting course.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wool Weekend

I attended a felting course at Röykkälä's organic sheep farm in Central Finland. I had lovely time with four of my colleagues from my day job. In the picture there's my first ever felted work.
In the picture below is the actual project I was working for the weekend. It's a bag, of course, but still a bit unfinished. The needle felting motifs will fill the surface and I am going to add fabric lining and fabric strap to the bag.
There are more pictures about the farm in my finnish sock knitting blog Sukanvarsi. I really enjoyed the weekend!

Patterned Paper Talk

I just received my order from Two Peas in a Bucket. Mostly patterned scrapbooking papers. I try to make my own papers but still, I cannot resist the products of these two companies: Basic Grey and Bo-Bunny Press. In the picture, my new Basic Grey papers are in the upper row and Bo-Bunny's wonderful two sided papers are in the lower row.

As you can see, I find dark colors very useful. They make great backgrounds for photos and I am pretty obsessed using my gelly roll pens to make decoration on them. I also like papers that imitate hand painting, Basic Grey has a lot of these.

To be honest, the best of these kind of papers are made with real paints. And I do love to make my own papers. The only bad thing in them is that I have to use quite thick paper with watercolors and acrylics. Sometimes I just need to use thinner papers to make the page fit the booklet.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Puppy Memories

A page for the deco booklet "Summer".

Here's my younger beagle Cosmo in summer 2005. He is lying on a hammock enjoying the summer and all the extra attention. I added some cuts from another summer photo to the background showing the flowers in the back garden.

Even if there's a summery photo of this post, it's getting darker and darker in Finland. This morning there was ice on the roads. Of all the four seasons I would gladly skip the winter. Luckily, in papercrafts everything is possible. It's very consolating to glue these summer photos while there's freezing outside!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Four Seasons, finished

The beginning is often difficult. It is hard to believe in something that is just about hundred stitches on a circular needle. I try to make sketches before I actually begin because it gives some hope that there will be a final product in the end. This time I had a lot to do. Lining, flaps and all. I know designing should be simplifying but this time I just had to put all the ideas in the one bag!

At my day job I do simplify, simplify, simplify. But this bag just needed all these details! And, because making these bags is not my day job, I can be as crazy as I want, eh?

I am so inspired by the queens of the 18th and 19th century. I pictured some noble women in their grand gardens carrying their treasures. They would be surrounded by the trees ... Trees! Why not make a bag showing all four seasons using the forms of a tree!

That's how this started.

I have been learning a new skill: spinning! My new spinning wheel is a beauty and truly wonderful. The yarn is not the prettiest possible but it's very dear to me! I am excited about the possibilities spinning can offer! Being close to fibers is just uplifting.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Zlightly Zetti challenge

A page for the deco booklet "Red And Black".

I am participating The Three Muses Challenge, this week's theme is Zlightly Zetti. This means you have to make something similar to Teesha Moore's style. I LOVE her style, of course, as I love everything that is overwhelming in details.

If you like Teesha's style and are looking for a great book, get Mixed -Media Collage by Holly Harrison. Great book, including Teesha Moore and other great collage artists, plus lots of reading and ideas.

Back to the little collage I made for the challenge. I wanted to include some humor in it, the woman in the collage looks a lot like me and well, aren't we all bit selfish at times! It's actually my aunt's face there, it's amazing how I never realized I look so much like her.

The upper body is from a print received with Somerset Studio magazine. The triangles in the left are motifs cut from Basic Gray scrapbooking papers. All the other elements are my own creation including the painted background.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Weird People

A page for the deco booklet "My Family".

There's no real Cousin Cathy and it's not snowing in Finland yet. I sometimes enjoy making these weird imaginary people by following Claudine Hellmuth's concept. You just need to paint the background, then cut a head and finally add some clothes from small leftover paper scraps.

This is the first time I participate Theme Thursday. The theme is script writing. I had a script stamp that looks a bit like crochet, especially if it's laid diagonally like in the hat.

Back to Claudine Hellmuth. If you consider purchasing her book, I would recommend the sceond one, Collage Discovery Workshop - Beyond the Unexpected. It is all about making weird people and does not require much skills, the concept is more about imagination.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

New Envelope for the Vintage Card

An old postcard with a new envelope.

I love old postcards and collect them for my collages. I had to make a birthday card and came up with the idea of using both the original card and the copy of it. First I made an envelope using one of Elle's Studio free templates. Then I made the background for the card and fold it in half. I designed and printed the back side of the card based on the original picture. I use Adobe Photoshop for processing images.

Back side of the card and the envelope.

After this project, I am quite excited about envelopes. They can be great backgrounds for collage work.

Sarah Kay and Her Relatives

The front page of the deco "Sarah Kay".

I was a child in the 70s and teenager in the 80s. Sarah Kay was very popular that time. Now, when her drawings are making a come back, I find them so appealing, mostly because of the nostalgia connected to them. I could not resist buying a couple of Sarah Kay stamps in the summer and I still love to use them.

I also think there's a lot of patchwork style in Sarah Kay. I have been quilting for tens of years and find all those calico fabrics so sweet and pretty.

A small quilt presenting Sunbonnet Sue.

Here's a photo of one of the little quilts I made over 10 years ago. I find Sunbonnet Sue very similar to Sarah Kay characters.

Another character of the 70s is Holly Hobbie. She has been modernized nowadays but the original Holly Hobbie is definitely a cousin to Sunbonnet Sue and Sarah Kay's characters. Very cute, wearing cotton dresses and big hats.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Summer Memories

A page for the deco booklet "Summer Feelings"

As I am so inspired by scrapbooking at the moment, I wanted to make a deco page using an old photo from my photo album. First, I scanned the faded photo taken in 1972. There's me and the biggest carrot of the summer! Then, I decorated the page with the papers and cut outs from my stash. I used mostly papers that I have painted myself, some with watercolors, some with acrylic paints. Even if I do buy papers for my papercrafting projects, I find it difficult to get the similar strong effects and hues what hand painted papers can hold.

Friday, September 25, 2009

In The Garden

The front page of the deco "In The Garden".

I love tulips and this spring I had some exceptionally beautiful ones. I made a deco booklet where my tulips are at the front page. First I painted the background with watercolors. Then I printed some of my photos on the watercolor printing paper and made the collage. Home made polymer clay bead finishes this little booklet.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Four Seasons

A glimpse of my newest bag, still unfinished. It's about trees and seasons and quite big. I was supposed to make small bags for Christmas, but got this so tempting idea and after some sketching I just had to start it!

I also have a new blog called Peony and Parakeet. It is about papercrafting. I have been especially keen on collage work and such for the last three years.

And like there's not enough to do with all the hobbies and the rest of the life, I just got a message from France that the spinning wheel I've ordered is now on its way to Finland. How exciting!

From Vintage to Cuttlebug

A page for the deco booklet "Unthemed".

I make a lot of vintage style collage. Here's one with a copy of an old photograph found at my family's old photo album. I do not know if she was one of my father's girlfriends or who - my parents have passed away and there aren't many notes in the album. A long time ago my mother told me that after she married my father she found a pile of women's photos. She finally decided not to throw away the potraits, but to glue them on a photo album. They weren't hers, after all.

From the vintage to the very modern: I have a Cuttlebug! It came just a couple of days ago. I love it! How did I ever managed to do without? The only thing that is bothering me: the cost of the cutting dies! I only bought few and am already desperate to get more more!

Peony and Parakeet now at Bloglovin

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Starting with Tea

A page for the deco booklet "Tea".

I became so inspired by scrapbookers' blogs that I wanted to join the papercrafting community by starting the blog of my own. I am more of a deco swapper than scrapbooker but I think we have a lot in common. The major differences are that my pages are usually smaller, post card size and I do not always use photographs.

The name of this blog originates from my other hobbies. I love peonies and enjoy gardening. I also have pets, including two budgies. Some may also find resemblance to my other blog, Kukkilintu, where "kukki" is very similar to a finnish word "flower" and "lintu" is a finnish word for "bird".

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Inspired by nature with Faberge

Here's a detail of one of my collages, it just suits the theme of this post so well! Yes, the theme is Faberge. This is all about the the company who originates from the House of Faberge, which made the famous decorative eggs. As many of you might know, the famous Carl Peter Faberge's family currently live in Finland and thus most Finns are very familiar with the beautiful pieces made in the House of Faberge in Russia in the 19th century.

I was not going to write so much about the history but the present time. I read about the morning newspaper that the company called Faberge has been bought buy a man who really believes in handcrafting luxury items and he has changed the concept of the company greatly from what it has been lately. The new products of Faberge are displayed on the internet only. If you are interested in any of these luxury items starting from 40 000 dollars, the items will be delivered to you personally. This goes a way further like having the sales person fly over to you but I do not explain any further, I am sure that those of you who consider purchasing will find out the necessary details ....

Talking about the products: they are beautiful, I love them! My ultimate day dream would be designing for Faberge! They are filled with little jewels, have strange forms, a lot of details and they all represent nature: flowers, birds ... I assume few people might think they are a bit overwhelming. I think they are just wonderful!

I also love the intro of their web site. It is an animation with hand drawn fairy tale like characters. You would never imagine that the company of luxury jewellery would use a naive story like that to market themselves. But it really works and is just a reminder that in design sometimes breaking the rules can lead to an amazing result. All in all, go and see the rabbits and brooches on

Monday, August 31, 2009

Folk Is Pink

These are my favorite colors: browns, pinks, purples and warm greens. I could not resist buying that corduroy fabric! Instantly I knew I had to make a bag. Eight sketches later I was in the middle of making one, by knitting.

I tried to simulate woven fabric with surface textures and some Rowan and some handdyed yarn. Did I mention that I have started to dye yarn? It is so much fun and the best thing is that I can now dye yarn specially designed for my bag projects.

This bag has a corduroy lining. I tried not to exaggerate the portion of the corduroy by making the patchwork strap from cotton fabrics. I included a couple of small pieces of my Kukkilintu fabrics there.

This is my start for fall and I call it Ruska, which is a Finnish word for fall colors.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Folk in the Air

I was asked to make a Bluebell folk bag and I made two. I have really started to like the design, it has weird melancholy built in it. I also finished a couple of folk bags in orange, brown and green. They have been started in the summer but they look like fall fashion to me now.

I am so happy that finally folk and stranded knitting are fashionable again. Even Rowan, one of my favorite yarn companies, is so folk this fall. Lochalsh, for example, is like a folk bag turned into a sweater! Love it!

I had a journey to Estonia recently and I used the opportunity to fill my stash with estonian wool. I have lots going on, including making new Blythe doll clothes, designing bags, hand dyeing yarn ...

I have also ordered a spinning wheel. It has been three years I have been thinking of getting one. Just could not do without anymore!

Sunday, July 19, 2009


My newest folk bag is called Joy. It has been such a joyful summer! The garden has grown beautifully. I have felt relaxed and happy. In crafts, I have a lot of ideas of what to make and how.

I have found an Etsy seller that has beautifully dyed yarn: Hedgehogfibers. Check out her blog too: Fly along. Some might find her tones a bit melancholic but I absolutely adore them!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Memory Bag

I have designed a new bag which is a bit different than my folk bags. This is more two dimensional, without the round bottom. It is fully lined with cotton fabric. I think it has a structure very similar to many old reticules and other old drawstring purses. I call this bag "memory bag" as I think it'll be perfect for storing little treasures that bring us happy memories.

This is my first item where I have used the ribbons bought from Mokuba, Barcelona. Those ribbons are on my mind constantly. There's so much what one can create with ribbons. They also reminded me of an old hobby: weaving ribbons. I used to do that as teenager, I have to try it again soon!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Ribbons and Styles in Barcelona

I just came back from Barcelona, Spain. I spent the holliday with my husband. Luckily, he is interested in art and design too. Celebrating my recent graduation, we chose a stylish design hotel, went to several art museums and admired the local architecture.

All that would have been enough and almost overwhelming itself but the best of all was this: a visit in a small ribbon shop near the hotel. Look at the ribbons I bought! The shop was called Mokuba (Europe, New York). I love the little details and the delicate look of these ribbons. They are so inspiring! I'm afraid my future designs will be around ribbons, ribbons, ribbons ...!

Liking complicated and ornamental, I had to visit some Gaudi buildings, of course. But maybe I have been taught too much of Finnish design as I preferred the famous Mies van der Rohe's Barcelona Pavilion. The fact that it was built in the 1920s makes it so amazing.

When buying a simple hand made clay dish from japanese Katsue Kusumi I thought that my approach to simple shapes and forms starts from rustic things. In a weird way all design styles are connected to each other. It just takes time to really go deep to each and everyone and at the same time find the style of one's own.