Saturday, December 29, 2012

My Top 7 popular posts in the year 2012 - Luetuimmat vuonna 2012

Yes, it's almost the end of the year 2012!? I decided to make a list of my most popular post this year. It has also been my very first year as a blogger. My first post that I wrote was about beautiful winter day on 29th of Jan. I was so nervous when I was writing my first posts. I still am excited but in a good way. After one month I will be celebrating my first blog anniversary! But before that let's get to my list of Top 7 posts in the year 2012. Hope you find great readings out of them.

Vuosi on kiiruhtanut melkeinpä nopeammin kuin kukaan meistä. Melkein vuosi takana bloggailua, hurraa! Sen kunniaksi keräilin tähän sinulle blogini Top 7 luetuimmat vuonna 2012.

1. Mosaiikkia ja kevään värejä - Life of Mosaic and spring colours

Photos: Anthropologie   Elephant Ceramics   Katiedesigns4u's   Marrakechdesign

2. Mood board

I made a mood board about my blog when I was planning and designing one. In this post you can also find a timelapse video of a new mood board that I made after I had started to blog.

3. James Farkut - Finnish Vintage James Jeans

These ones I gave as a present to my adorable godchild.

4. Pääsiäiskoriste - Easter decoration

In this post there's also a link to very funny video I made and now when I watched it , well could not watch it without laughing.

5. Tallinn Tallinn - photo story

beautiful day in beautiful city of Tallinn

6. Kevään ekat villiyrtit - The first wild edibles


 7. Suunnittelija ja kuvittaja - Lovisa Burfitt - fashion illustrator and designer

admiring talented people

The year is almost full and people are writing eagerly their new year promises. I don't usually make them (or I might have forgot one or two promises on the way) but this time I have only one promise and that is to live and enjoy as much as possible of ordinary day as such.

En ole koskaan ollut kovin kätevä uuden vuoden lupausten tekijä enkä pitäjä mutta nyt taidan ylittää itseni ja laittaa mustaa valkoiselle ja kertoa koko maailmalle, että vuonna  2013 toivon,  että osaan nauttia jokaisesta päivästä - oli se sitten kuinka tavallinen tahansa. Nyt jo tuntuu, että taisin luvata aika paljon...

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Handmade presents - one coming up - Käsintehdyt lahjat valmistuvat

handmade tote bag by gretchen

handmade by gretchen gretchen

You might have the same phase at the moment as I. You might feel happy that you've made present for your beloved one that you also really like! You can't wait to hear does she/he like it! I guess giving presents is more exciting than getting one. I'm already counting the days.

Omat lahjat eivät jännitä ollenkaan niin paljon kuin ne lahjat, jotka olet itse tehnyt ja odotat innolla tai kauhulla mitä saaja niistä tykkää! Hitaasti mutta varmasti ovat lahjat melkein kaikki jo paketissa...ja siitähän sitten se varsinainen jännitys alkaakin.

handmade by gretchen gretchen

I got inspiration of course from Pinterest. Ideas comes and goes and we are recycling the most of them again and again. But everytime the idea gets something new with different maker.

Ideat kiertävät ja polkupyörää ei keksitä uudelleen mutta toteutetaan kyllä monella eri tapaa. Inspiraation tähän kangaskassiin löysin Pinterestistä

Thursday, December 13, 2012

So this is X-mas and what have you done?

X-mas gift cards by gretchen gretchen
I have done these

I love the song Happy X-mas written by John Lennon and Yoko Ono. It's one of those songs that you can't survive without singing too high. And we all know it doesn't sound very good...competing with children's choir isn't the greatest idea. And I have to admit it has a quite powerful video in YouTube. If you survive with no tears at all - that is almost impossible...I think. But there you can also find this longer video which is about John Lennon and Yoko Ono speaking about the way of the world, people and violence. You can find it here. In the end of this video there's also the music video of the song Happy X-mas. Why I'm writing about Lennon's song, I'm not quite sure but when I began writing my post I was going to write about what I have done and that sentence reminded me about this great X-mas song and what it represents...without going too deep and hopefully without sounding too shallow let me tell you now about what I have done - my handmade presents.

I made a wrapping paper out of an old writing paper and decorated it with polka dots made by woodblock printing. And I used also sewing machine to make a one single line going through the paper. And also if you remember I had a x-mas gift card project in process few weeks ago and now as you can see - cards have come from printing house.  Yey!

This is hard to write about these two so different matters in same post. But that is reality.  Even though you can spend your time with doing nice things like presents to your beloved ones it doesn't mean that everybody can. So let's keep that in mind when we are making our perfect X-mas.

x-mas gift cards by gretchen gretchen

x-mas gift cards by gretchen gretchen

x-mas gift cards by gretchen gretchen

Monday, December 3, 2012

New magazines makes me wowww - uudet lehdet ihastuttavat

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams" by Eleanor Roosevelt is written on the cover of the new Flow magazine.

Flow magazine Popshot Magazine by gretchen gretchen

I was so happy and surprised when I went to book store and found these two new interesting magazines. Flow magazine is kind of familiar but now we have English edition available. So I CAN read's a Dutch magazine originally.

Flow magazine by gretchen gretchen

Flow magazine by gretchen gretchen

Flow magazine by gretchen gretchen

If you like paper, design, creativity, illustration, making things by your hands, slowing down and enjoying your life the answer in Flow. It gets very close to what I'm interested at the moment. I'm still in the middle of reading it but I can already tell you that it's lovely! You can go and visit their website.

The other one is totally different or is it...Popshot Magazine. It's an illustrated literary magazine.

Popshot Magazine by gretchen gretchen

Popshot Magazine by gretchen gretchen
Yes, I bought a literary magazine that is so not me. But when I saw it I had to open it and when I opened it I had to read it. But I haven't read it through yet. Have to admit that I have felt uncomfortable with poems because I feel I don't understand or they just leave me with too many questions and bothered. But now that problem has solved. In Popshot Magazine they tell also what about the poem, short story, flash fiction is. Great. And I think it's perfect to connect two art forms: literary and illustration. They can reach even people like me. Haha. I noticed Popshot Magazine because of the great cover and smaller size. They have also website. Go and have a look!

Well, now I take a cup of coffee and open my flow. Hope you can do the same.

Have a lovely week!

 Ja kerran vielä suomeksi...
Lehtiä tulee ja menee mutta onneksi tulee välillä hyviäkin. Löysin Akateemisesta kaksi loistavan mielenkiintoista minulle uutta lehteä. Flow on hollantilainen lifestyle-lehti ihmisille, jotka tykkäävät paperista, luovuudesta, kuvituksista, luovista ihmisistä ja kenties hieman hitaammasta elämästä. Flow on aikaisemmin julkaistu hollanniksi mutta nyt on kauppoihin saapunut myös englanninkielinen versio. Jee, sitähän mekin jo ymmärretään. Popshot Magazine on sitten taas kirjallisuuslehti. Runot ovat olleet minulle hankalasti lähestyttäviä että ymmärrettäviä mutta kun ne ja muut tarinat yhdistetään hienoon kuvitukseen - jo minäkin tartun syöttiin. Varsinkin kun lopussa kerrotaan vielä mistä runo tai tarina oikeasti kertoi. Käy vilkaisemassa lehtien nettisivuilla: Flow magazine ja Popshot Magazine. Innostu ja ihastu. Loistavaa viikkoa!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Holly meets Circus

Lovely morning to you my reader - where ever you are! This week has been ful of working on handmade projects and time to time you have to get some energy and new ideas to make it happen.

earrings by gretchen gretchen

This friday is dedicated to Holly Becker and Circus. Both has given me lot of fine inspiration and ideas and power to continue on my path to bigger creativiness. Holly is great example of a lady who doesn't give up and believes what she is doing and makes it happen. And she engourages others too to make the change. Circus is so fascinating world - I love it! It's strange and weird but same time magical. There will be more work coming soon. This is only a beginning.

Here's two links of the day that you can see what I'm talking about.

Holly Becker on  Kelly Hoppen's blog telling her story.

A big image bank of circus by Circusmuseum, collected by Jaap Best.

Let's make it happen.

Have a lovely weekend!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Sketching the skyline on video - kaupungin siluetista video

Today my post is about sketching the city skylines. I made a time lapse video of it.

video title by gretchen gretchen
click the pic

I'm taking part in painting class and at the moment we have an assignment to make a view of urban city. It can be anything. Well, I already made one painting but didn't like it at all! So I'm trying to find some new inspiration and good ideas for the next painting. I made a time lapse video of my attempts to draw a skylines on a chalkboard. I should have made another about postproduction...and believe me that wouldn't have been so fun... Anyway I used pinterest as a source of different city skylines. I think I made more doodling than really serious drawing so it was also great fun and relaxing! And you know, I have never been good in practising, I just want to do straight away...and often (always) the first one isn't the best one, things what you are making takes time and still you are not even close. Yes, maybe I'm a little bit hasty and maybe even unthinking person time to time but when you get so exited about something - you just go with the flow...One more thing have to tell you now when we are talking about doodling and sketching. I'm waiting eagerly my Sketchbook from The Sketchbook Project 2013. I love snail mail even though I have to wait...I'm sure it will be in my hands very soon...

But now skylines on chalkboard. Watch here

Olen akryylimaalauskurssilla ja tämänkertainen tehtävä, maalata joku urbaani näkymä, on aiheuttanut päänvaivaa. Ekan versioni olen jo tehnyt ja siitä ei tullut todellakaan toivottua lopputulosta. Joten tänään päätin lähestyä aihetta hieman leikkisemmältä suunnalta ja piirtelin liitutaululle kaupunkien siluetteja. Kävin pinterestissä keräämässä vähän malleja itselleni ja ryhdyin toimeen. Tein piirtelystä time lapse videon, josta tuli aika veikeä vaikka itse sanonkin. Myös itse tekeminen oli hauskaa ja suosittelen sitä kaikille. Tosin hieman päänvaivaa tuotti pikkuruiset tekniset haasteet, jotka veivät aikaa...ja vähän hermojakin mutta mutta ja joka tapauksessa...toinen asia mikä minua tällä hetkellä kovastikin kiinnostaa, on luonnostelukirjan saapuminen postissa. Olen osallistunut The Sketchbook Project 2013, johon voit tutustua täällä. Taitaa tulla hippasen kiire sen kanssa mutta eiköhän se siitä suttaannu - ja sitä ainakin.

Katso video täältä!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Natural history and Botanical library - great resource in Flickr

botanical from   The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL)

I was pinning - once again - this and that...and suddenly I saw Jeska Hearne's pin of botanical illustration. She is behind the Lobster and swan blog. I was following the pic and by doing that I found this great resource in Flickr to anyone who is interested in nature and it's shapes and forms in art work or just in general knowledge. 

 The edible Mollusca , The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL)

The edible Mollusca of Great Britain and Ireland

Direct quote from BHL's Flickr page: The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) is a consortium of natural history and botanical libraries that cooperate to digitize and make accessible the legacy literature of biodiversity held in their collections and to make that literature available for open access and responsible use as a part of a global “biodiversity commons.”

They are also asking if we can help them by adding MACHINE TAGS to images to supplement Encyclopedia of Life (EOL). Well, have to admit that is so too much asked and complicated to me with these skills what I have...but if you can, please do help them. To me this is great find and very good source of inspiration and knowledge.

The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL)
Choix des plus belles fleurs: et des plus beaux fruits

The Great Barrier Reef of Australia; its products and potentialities. Plates.

All the pictures in this post are from BHL Flickr photostream.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Key holder and memory board - Avaintaulu ja muistilaput

key holder and memory board by gretchen

I'm sure you've seen this before. Good news is that it works also! And compined with memory board - it makes your life a little bit easier. It's done from very basic things. I painted cork trivet and glued plastic animals on it after I had cut these poor animals half. It's brutal, I know. And paint what I used is naturally chalk board paint. You can also write on it...small words. I saw this kind of key holder in - guess where - in Pinterest and there I have a board called crafts. I have there 182 pins and I want more. Do you have nice crafting ideas? And where I can find them?

Olet ehkä nähnyt tälläisen muovieläin avaintaulun joskus jossain. Perusaskartelua. Korkista tehty pannunalunen on maalattu liitutaulumaalilla ja siihen on liimattu puolitettuja eläimiä...tiedän aika brutaalia...mutta toimiva ratkaisu, kun siihen saa vielä kiinnitettyä muistilappujakin korkin pehmeään pintaan. Ja jos haluaa kirjoittaa itse levyyn, sekin onnistuu. Keräilen tälläisiä ja monia muita askartelu- ja käsintehtyjä kivoja juttuja Pinterestissä ja niitä on kertynyt jo 182 mutta haluan lisää! Ei sillä, että ehtisin tai osaisin kaikki ne tehdä mutta se toimii kivana inspiraation lähteenä, kun sille päälle sattuu. Onko sinulla joku kiva idea? Ja mistä sen voi löytää?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Adorable vintage post stamp - kaunis vanha postimerkki

stamp book and stamps by gretchen gretchen

Quite many years I've been going through many flea markets, antique shops and auctions. You can imagine how much things you see and how much you take home with you. Yesterday I was reading my favorite blogs and in Hello Sandwich I saw some lovely handmade envelopes made by her. There were cute stamps on them. Then I remembered that I bought few years ago an old stamp book. I bought it because it had beautiful old stamps from Japan. Or I'm not sure but I believe so. I don't understand the written word. If you do, please tell me. Very simple - beautiful colors and flowers. I guess they are vintage because they are from 70's. I haven't decided what to do with them. They are just so incredibly beautiful. Maybe I just frame them and hang them on the wall for my inspiration.

stamp book and stamps by gretchen gretchen

stamp book and stamps by gretchen gretchen

stamp book and stamps by gretchen gretchen

stamp book and stamps by gretchen gretchen

And I think I should start to send letters again...maybe then I would also get one in these times of digital age. Would you like to get a hand written letter in handmade envelope? 

Lueskellessa eilen suosikkiblogejani löysin Hello Sandwich - blogista mielettömän hauskoja hänen itse tekemiään kirjekuoria japanilaisine postimerkkeineen. Silloin muistin, että muutama vuosi sitten löysin kirpputorilta hienon postimerkkien keräilykirjan. Ostin sen näiden hienojen postimerkkien vuoksi. Ne ovat mielestäni japanilaisia. Postimerkit ovat niin kauniita, että ne voisi melkeinpä kehystää ja laittaa seinälle omaksi iloksi ja inspiraatioksi - nyt kun muistin niiden olemassa olon. Kaikenlaista tavaraa on tullut haalittua kirpputoreilta, vanhojen tavaroiden kaupoista ja huutokaupoista myöskin. Onko se sitten ihme ettei enää muista ihan tarkkaan mitä missäkin hyllyn nurkassa on...

Just got e-mail about stamps form friendly person...they might be Korean. I wished they had been Japanese...
Sain ystävälliseltä ihmiseltä sähköpostia ja hän epäili, että olisivat nuo postimerkit korealaisia...

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Blue Monday Dinner - Aina Maanantaina

monday dinner by gretchen gretchen

monday dinner by gretchen gretchen

monday dinner by gretchen gretchen

monday dinner by gretchen gretchen

monday dinner by gretchen gretchen

monday dinner by gretchen gretchen

Monday comes always too soon. Why not to make it lovely. Food is just basic but you can make a great atmosphere with the table setting. The candle holder is vintage and Danish Design. It's made from cast iron and called "Tiny taper holder", "Spider" made by Jens Quistgaard 1955.

Maanantai tulee aina liian pian. Harmituksen sijaan voi jatkaa viikonloppua ja kattaa kauniisti vaikka ruokana olisi mitä tavallisinta ja tylsintä ruokaa ikinä - viikonlopun jämät. Kattaukseni kynttilänjalka on tanskalaista muotoilua. "Spider" tai "Tiny taper holder" on Jens Quistgaardin muotoilua vuodelta 1955 ja vintageksi sitä voidaan jo kutsua.

Font in first pic is Brain Flower by Denise Bentulan 2012 from

Oops, always forget to tell you that finally bought a camera and playing with photoshop. Yey!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Fabric printing

Day 3.

rolling pin

My third printing day was a mix of trying with different kind of fabrics with different patterns and different methods. Haha..I made three different print patterns. One with rolling pin and I say that was quite fun. I used contact plastic and foam. I printed on fabric that already had print - an old duvet cover. Print was inspired by pearl necklace. 

rolling pin print

When using rolling pin, one has to think more carefully about pattern that one can make more even print. Mine is quite rough and needs a little bit development...but somehow I like the roughness. It's a good contrast to the very romantic roses.

Then I made two simple shapes from foam and played with them. It's much more easier. First drops on stripes and then on dots.

drops print

drop print

And then I finally made one of my - at the moment favorite - harlequin.

harlequin pattern

Very simple often works better than complicated. And I think this is the best of all. Now I have a lot of small pieces of hand printed fabric...we'll see what they turn out to be.

harlequin, drops, dots

That's it. Three days of hand printing. It was fun and you don't need a big space to do it. I had my own ways to do it. I used woodblock together with foam, carved woodblock and rolling pin with contact plastic and foam. No linoleum carving...but you know one thing what I'm going to do before I continue fabric printing again is to get linoleum and wood carving set. I want to try it!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Fabric Printing

Day 2.

If you want to carve wood - do have proper tools. I didn't have and it took time. Printing quality is also more difficult to keep with wood stamp. If you want to buy a wood block stamp - there's plenty for example in Etsy. If you want to DIY you should go to shop and buy wood carving tools. I'm like that kind of person who doesn't mind to read manuals and who doesn't obey rules necessarily. So sometimes it's not easy...but it's rewarding when you manage to make something without proper tools...and you don't have to be too serious.

wood block stamp by gretchen gretchen


wood block printing by gretchen gretchen

Now I have already 5 different kind of printed fabric. Actually I have six. Yesterday I also went back in history and made one wood block with foam. I just love dots so I made big dot. And I'm sure my printing quality is better with foam combined my concentration. But of course foam isn't so environment friendly as wood is so that is something to think about. And when you are cleaning up remember not to flush paint straight to the water supply. Wipe as much ink as possible off the printing tools. We do want to take care of our planet, don't we. Yes, I know...I'll have to work on with wood carving so I can forget foam.  

wood block + foam printing by gretchen gretchen

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