Sunday, July 12, 2015

A new direction

I'm back! It's almost one year to the day since my last post on this blog. So much has changed in that time. It turns out I didn't get back into scrapbooking, well not yet anyway. I enjoy my embroidery so much I set a up an Etsy shop called "Suosaari" to sell my creations. The name is in memory of my mother (it's her maiden name) and a nod to my Finnish ancestry. So far I've been selling hoop art and mini embroidery hoop necklaces. I have plans to add some other non-embroidered items as well.

I started to set up a new blog for my shop, but something just didn't feel right about it. I don't want to be limited to just talking about what I sell. After a lot of thinking about what I actually plan to achieve, I realised I want to share with others exactly how being creative has made a positive impact on my life. This blog was started back in 2009 to document my various crafty pursuits so why not just keep it going? The name certainly suits me. I'm quite often "off with the pixies", dreaming about what I want to make next! I have begun to realise that I am what is known as a multi-passionate creative, and I'm embracing that whole-heartedly.

So here I am with my newly revamped blog. I'm keeping the old scrapbooking posts, as that was a wonderful part of my life in which I learned a lot and made some dear friends. There will be new posts about things like embroidery, crochet (my new obsession), sewing, home decor DIY, creative business and of course my Etsy store. I also want to talk about how all of these things have helped me deal with difficult things like grief.

That's it for now. If the sound of all this appeals to you, you might like to follow me on FacebookInstagram and Pinterest as well. Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Embroidery - my new obsession

Well it's been quite a while between posts. I've been going through one of those transitional periods in life, and didn't have much to share here. Those of you who've been following my blog for a while might remember I took a break back in 2012 when my beloved mum died. 2013 was a good year for me personally and creatively as I got back on my feet. This year was getting off to a good start when my dear old dad's health took a turn for the worse. He passed away in late February. 

We never know how grief will affect us until it happens. This time around I had some insight into it all and which coping mechanisms work best for me. I cut back on all work and design commitments and focused on just taking care of myself and my family. I thought about what activities brought me the most comfort and remembered how much I enjoyed the embroidery in the Brave Girls Club "Soul Comfort" online course I took last year. I grabbed my supplies, found some patterns, put a DVD on, made some tea and  got comfy in my favourite chair. 

As you can see by the following images, I got a bit carried away! One thing I have noticed about grief is that it doesn't necessarily stop my creativity, but changes it. I'm inspired by different things now. I'm feeling very drawn to bright colours and patterns of different cultures: mandalas, calavera skulls, paisley designs, prayer flags, achitecture... It's fun and exciting to be doing something new and different. I honestly have not felt the urge to do any scrapbooking or even art journaling for almost six months now. It might come back, it might not and that's ok. I think the best approach is to see where my inspiration takes me and not try to force anything. 

In my next post, I'll talk about a bit more about embroidery and my thoughts on the changing nature of creativity. I have a couple of works in progress I will share better photos of when they're finished. The ones above are just snaps from my iPhone. Thanks so much for stopping by! 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Three New Green Tara Layouts

Edited on 12-07-15 to add: 
I was quite involved in the scrapbooking industry for a few years, however in early 2014 I moved on to different things. I have fond memories of the years I spent on this hobby so I have decided to keep these posts on my blog. It's all part of being a multi passionate creative! 

I think the style and colours of these three layouts reflect the happy mood I've been in lately. Life is never dull with my sweet little girl around! She is such a character. Holly was my inspiration for my three new pages for Green Tara for February. 

For close ups and product listings, head over to the Green Tara blog and make sure you check out some of the other creations of the design team if you haven't already. Thanks for stopping by! 

Friday, January 31, 2014

The Documented Life Project

A few weeks ago I was absent mindedly scrolling through my Instagram feed when an image caught my eye. It was what looked like an art journal with different washi tape strips down the sides of the pages. I read the caption and discovered that the owner, Melita Bloomer, was taking part in something really cool called The Documented Life Project. I Googled it, read a bit about it and decided it was definitely something I wanted to be a part of!

What it is, is basically a cross between a planner, diary and an art journal. I'm a shocker for using a yearly planner until about March when it gets put away somewhere and neglected for the rest of the year. Planners can seem so boring but this idea is a great way to make them fun. I'm kind of sporadic
with my art journaling and the idea of a weekly challenge appealed to me as I knew it would get me creating pages on a regular basis.

I ordered a Moleskine soft covered weekly planner/notebook and waited patiently (well sort of) for it to arrive. As soon as it was here I grabbed my ever growing washi stash and set to work adding all the "tip ins" to prepare it for some arty goodness. I also decorated my cover and got started on the
 weekly challenges. This is what it looks like: 

I found some canvas printed with book text in my stash to use on my cover. I decorated it with stencils, mists, stamps and pen, then attached it with extra strong tape and my sewing machine. 

Here are some of my challenge pages: 

I'm really loving it and look forward to the new challenges coming out every weekend. If you're interested it certainly isn't too late to start! The great thing about this project is there are no rules as such. You can make it whatever you want it to be. Some of the participants are using a different kind of planner or a folder. You could even just play along with the challenges each week and put them in a regular art journal or sketch book. There is a really inspirational Facebook group set up for this project with members at all different stages of their artistic journeys. 

If you'd like to find out more, start here at Art To The 5th. There you will find all the details of how the concept works, plus a link to a mini class by Lorraine Bell on how to alter a Moleskine journal the way I did. I've introduced a few of my local arty friends to this project and we are planning a meet up soon to work on our journals together. I hope you love this idea as much as we do. If you join
in or are already working on The Documented Life Project, please leave me a link in the comments so I can check out your work. I'd love to see it!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

My First Green Tara and Inspired Blueprints Layouts for The Year

Here we go with my first two layouts for Green Tara for 2014. I was very lucky to have this due date coincide with my latest sketch assignment for Inspired Blueprints  so I was able to combine the two in my first layout. I went for a summery feel for summer photos. My goodness it's been hot down here in Australia! We've had temperatures up to 40C (105F) where we live in recent weeks. New Year's Day was quite hot so we waited until dusk for our annual DIY family photo shoot. It was lovely to have new photos to use on these layouts. For close ups, product details and a mini tutorial on how to make the washi tape feathers visit the Green Tara blog

We usually feature three layouts for each post we do as design team members at Green Tara.
 Two must be new and the third can one that we have previously shared elsewhere. My third 
layout this month is this one  from my last blog post. Thanks so much for stopping by today. 
I'm excited to have today at home with my little girl and we can't wait to make some pretty things! 

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My Scrap Around The World Entry for December 2013

I've wanted to try a Scrap Around The World  challenge since they started earlier this year. Life has been busy though as I've adjusted to being the working mother of a school kid. When I saw the December mood board  I was so inspired and realised I'd have the time to complete it so I jumped in!

 Here is the mood board: 

Gorgeous! I was inspired by the colours, the patterns and what I interpreted as a "vintage bohemian" feel which is very appealing to me. I also used the sketch to create my layout, just flipping it to suit my photo. I used some 7 Dots Studio papers, 2 Crafty and other chipboard and of course Green Tara flowers (camellia, damask, gardenia, petals and flower spray) and lace. I had so much fun trying out some new techniques on the chipboard! I've altered the flowers with mist, gesso and Distress Markers. As a continuation of the paper design, I added some layers with texture paste, gesso, masking, petals, lace and muslin. 

The journaling says: 

"Anne and I are cousins. We are very proud of our
 Finnish heritage and love to talk about our ancestors. 
We are so alike we think of ourselves as sisters".

 We are actually second cousins. Anne's father and my mum's father were brothers and migrated from Finland to Australia in the early 1900's. I was literally inspired by "Scrap Around The World" to create a layout with the title in Finnish and journaling in English. "Sielunsisko" means "soul sisters". I think I'd like to learn how to speak Finnish now. It's my dream to travel there one day.