Tag Archives: inspiration

creative blog hop

I have been invited by Liesl to join the the creative blog hop and talk about my creative process. I love answering questions like these, it’s always an opportunity to reflect and I usually find out something about myself that I didn’t know before I got writing and thinking!

Check out previous posts by Liesl, Inge and Melody (who invited me too a few weeks ago but whose message I read too late to participate then).

talking about creativity. little home by hand blogWhat am I working on?

I am primarily a photographer but I strive to incorporate handmade in all areas of my life – I sew, knit, garden and cook, with varying success.

Photography wise in between doing some fall portrait photoshoots I am working on putting a new travel photo series in my shop with images of a trip to Canada I took this year. It’s a long process of culling, editing, having samples printed, re-editing, stocking, writing descriptions and finally listing and promoting.

Fall is also knitting season for me – I am working on a new cardigan and there might be a shawl and a new pair of socks in sight too.

I have some sewing projects waiting to happen but since sewing takes much more of an effort to set up and requires me getting off the couch these take a backseat over knitting right now.

talking about creativity. little home by hand blogtalking about creativity. little home by hand blogHow does my work differ from others of its genre?

Does it? I see a lot of incredible artists creating wonderful things and I am not at all sure how my work differs, except that I always wish it was better! It has a certain, very colorful look for sure. I find every artist has their own style and it’s impossible to break that. Two people can photograph the exact same scene and their photos will be completely different. Nobody can see the world as you yourself see it and that’s wonderful. At the same time I see many people inspired by the same things and I am glad for kindred spirits who capture the beauty of the world in their own way.

I am not someone who gets lost in only one thing forever. Yes, photography is ‘it’ for me, but my other creative pursuits are also a big and necessary part of my life. I am interested in so many different things. Maybe that sets me apart from some other artists, who dive very deeply into one subject matter.

talking about creativity. little home by hand blogWhy do I create what I do?

I have always felt a need to create. Working with my hands and building something useful with them is as much a physical need as a mental one for me.

As a child I knew only that it made me happy. As an adult I also see another level to it – handmade has a value of its own. I want to live in a world where we still do things with our hands and value the process and materials. The animals and plants our wool and leather, fabric and color come from – they’re real, they existed, they have value. By making things by hand and using them I feel like I honor that worth.

As much as technology and media has expanded our world (and I revel in that) it sometimes feels like we are now very exposed and very anonymous at the same time – everything laid bare, interconnected and yet much more automatized and impersonal. Creating and building a life based on making things with my hands and knowing where they came from grounds and comforts me. Knitting a cardigan out of natural fibers warms the cold polyester world around me.

With my photography I try to capture feelings and emotions – the invisible connection between two people, the wonder at nature’s beauty in a world so far removed from it, the joy of shaping rough yarn into something wearable, the pride of watching a tiny seedling turn into a thriving edible plant under my hands.

talking about creativity. little home by hand blogtalking about creativity. little home by hand blogHow does my creative process work?

It’s a strange mixture of intuition and careful thought. My inspiration comes from nature, from connecting with other artists and from sites like Pinterest and Instagram. From there I try to break it down and shape the images and thoughts and feelings they conjure to my own needs. It’s a tough balance – being inspired but still doing things my own way.

With a craft project I usually need to give an idea time to grow, to take root and shape itself in my head. It’s quite unnerving, mulling something over in my head for days until the image has sharpened enough to be put into action.

With photography it’s often much more intuitive (which can be even more unnerving). I sometimes meet my portrait clients for the first time on location and I need to grasp immediately how these people tick, what makes them beautiful and tickle it out of them while also trying to use the location to its best advantage. My travel photography is much more relaxed, I simply capture moments as they happen, completely immersed in my own emotions and experience of the scenery.

 

Liesl, thanks so much for inviting me! Lindsay and Ruth, two wonderful creatives and bloggers, will be continuing the blog hop and will have their posts up within the next two weeks so hop on over to their blogs too.

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around the corner

I don’t get out enough, a realization that always hits me whenever I do go somewhere and immediately feel refreshed and inspired by new sights and sounds and smells.
The good kind of inspiration, not the Pinterest kind of inspiration that has you in awe and whispers ‘you could never make anything this awesome’.
sunday walk. little home by hand blog
sunday walk. little home by hand blog
sunday walk. little home by hand blog
sunday walk. little home by hand blog
Last Sunday afternoon I needed a walk, a breath of fresh air and a change of scenery. It had been raining all day and I had been working away in front of my computer. Late afternoon, the rain stopped and it started looking friendlier.
J and I drove out to a nearby village and went exploring, walking in the woods, admiring the old streets and generally soaking it all up.
sunday walk. little home by hand blog
sunday walk. little home by hand blog
sunday walk. little home by hand blog
Sleepy German villages can be utterly charming and I fell in love with the place immediately. The streets and gardens were lovingly decorated with flowers and there was beauty around every corner.
sunday walk. little home by hand blog
sunday walk. little home by hand blog
sunday walk. little home by hand blog
sunday walk. little home by hand blogsunday walk. little home by hand blog
Remind me to get out more.

on balance

rapeseed.
My friend and her baby girl, seeing and sniffing and feeling the rapeseed fields bloom. More rapeseed photos on my photo blog.

I confess that after feeling pretty great the first three months of the year and using that energy to work very hard, this spring and the change to summer time two weeks ago has me feeling a bit tired and in need of sleep. I’ve frequently headed straight to bed after work these past two weeks, just catching up on sleep. I guess the time change plus the weather playing rollercoaster recently just throws me a bit off balance.

I’m itching to start sewing and creating again and in my head the projects are just bouncing around, not quite ready to be put into action.

Also:

quiet time

I’m working on my healthy eating posts, but as they take such a long time to write, here’s a jumble of some day to day shots.

homey. little home by hand blog

I’m already looking forward to a quiet long weekend with hopefully some first spring gardening (please make my seeds arrive by then!) and reading. Always reading.
I’ve been buying second hand books, some old childhood favorites. Just finished reading the ‘Gulla’ Series, a swedish book series set in the late 19th century. I had this down for a girls book, but reading the whole series has made me realize it covers a range of topics, most prominently poverty, resourcefulness and class distinction. The author is Martha Sandwall-Bergström. The original swedish series goes by the name ‘Kulla-Gulla’ but it seems there’s an english translation where the name Gulla has been changed to Anna (‘Anna All Alone’ is one book in the series)

oat cakes. little home by hand blog

Found the perfect oat cakes recipe by experimenting. Like, healthy and yummy and filling and did I mention yummy? Recipe post coming soon!

packaged with love.

I changed up the packaging of my prints and love the new look. More photos here!

Also:

  • What inspires you in your work? I talk about my photography style and inspiration as well as the challenges of running an Etsy shop in an interview on Katie’s blog: Do have a look and let me know what you think!
  • It’s totally spring here already but I know most of you still have snow, so here’s 10 tech chores for snow days
  • Not very practical for me since I commute by car but for any of you commuting by train, bus etc. check out these 10 ways to make it better
  • Our body language shapes who we are. Wow!

progress

Knitting is such a wonderful skill to have. The process of making something wearable from essentially a bit of string always amazes me. I’ve been eyeing handknit sweaters and cardigans wistfully for years and I’ve finally jumped in with the Shapely Boyfriend Cardigan. You can find my Ravelry project page here (after years of lying dormant I’m finally starting to actually use my Ravelry account).
cardigan knitting. tidytipsy
So far I’m loving this pattern. I could follow the instructions with hardly a problem and incredibly have not made a mistake yet (I think). I’m also making progress pretty fast. J and I have started watching Game of Thrones in the evenings and that has definitely been a good thing for this cardigan.
As always I’m now wondering why I waited so long to start a cardigan. The Shapely Boyfriend is an enjoyable knit even though the concept of constantly counting and keeping track of rows is novel for me. With socks and scarves I would just make it up as I went along, it’s so easy to try them on in between.
cardigan knitting. tidytipsy
Is it weird I’m still itching to cast on another pair of socks? I firmly believe sock knitting is as addictive as coffee or chocolate. I’m trying to keep myself far away from my yarn stash in order to finish one thing at a time.
Not sure if it’s an artist thing or if I’m just weird but the feeling of handling yarn and the smooth bamboo needles against it is such a joy. For me that is what handmade means…the sensual process of making things by hand is so satisfying and fulfilling.

In other random inspirations:

doing

To start this off with a photo, here is 10/52, titled ‘connection’:
10/52
Last week I read Jenna’s Post “You do too much” and it really resonated with me.
I get this a lot too, people telling me I do so much or I do too much. It’s true, I have a full-time job plus a growing business, I sew my own clothes, I do yoga, I go horseriding, I have friends, a household etc.
And I am sometimes plain exhausted by it. And I don’t get up at 6am on a Saturday after a long week at the office and jump for joy because I get to work another couple of hours on my own business doing tax stuff.
But still, I’m with Jenna. Not doing it all is simply not an option. Even if inspiration looks like “this” a lot of the time, it is what keeps me happy and inspired and proud and pushes me out of my comfort zone and makes me grow in ways I could never anticipate. All the hard stuff is so worth the rush of adrenaline and happiness that creating something good out of thin air gives me, whether it be a garment or a photo or a whole business.
This is so much less eloquent than Jenna put it, but it needed out today on a cold, grey, snowy morning on which the excitement of inspiration and creation (and the anticipation of a spring hopefully just around the corner) is pretty much the only thing which could make me crawl out of bed.

And speaking of inspiration, I updated and sorted my Pinterest boards a while ago and made some new ones too and always forgot to mention it here. So, all new and tidy over there in case you want to have a peek (I do love Pinterest so!).

sewing frenzy

Yes, still sewing here. So many ideas dancing around in my head that it makes me dizzy. And some of it is actually being made these winter stay-at-home weekends.

I joined Jen‘s “Handmade Wardrobe | Spring 2012” flickr group and started off by trying to organize my many ideas by pinning at least some of them up on this new foam board above my sewing machine. Do come join the group as well, it’s still a bit quiet there!
Corresponding inspiration pictures (lots from the wonderful Downton Abbey) are still to come. This beautiful blouse for example begs for a modern interpretation I think.

Some of the things on the board have already been made. The blouse I made last weekend didn’t turn out so well, so I’ll wait to show it until I’ve made some alterations. This weekend’s top is still waiting for its buttons. If I can get it done before the light goes there’ll be pictures (EDIT: I just realized I don’t have the right buttons for it here, so no pictures till next weekend at least).

I’ve really stacked up the patterns these last few months, but I find I keep going back to the keepers, who fit me well: The Wiksten Tova and Tank, the Colette Sorbetto and a vintage top pattern I bought on Ebay. 2012 will probably see me drafting more again and changing these existing patterns, plus trying out a select few new ones. Compared to two years ago (when I first tried drafting patterns) I feel a lot more confident in my sewing abilities, know more techniques and definitely have more of an idea what I’m doing and how I want things to look.

If you’re wondering at the lack of non-sewing related topics and photos: I’ll be making some changes this year, taking my photography elsewhere and focussing this blog more on the handmade side of my life (plus home and barn and cat pics of course). I’ll let you know where to find my photos, not to worry! It’s all still in the making and nothing to show for it yet, so expect more in a couple of weeks 🙂

inspiration day

We have this great rule at work that every employee can take one day a year off to do something inspiring for him/herself.
Normally that would involve going somewhere to see something or participate in a day course but I chose to spend my inspiration day at home with this book:

It’s a decorating book but different from any I’ve ever seen. It doesn’t give you tons of rules or advice to follow but makes you work hard at finding out, step by step, what you need, what you want and what you like.
The book is organized in 18 consecutive steps toward your dream room (it makes you tackle just one room). My goal was to complete the first 5 steps and I barely got finished in the one day, even though I had prepared beforehand and already compiled lots and lots of image inspiration on pinterest.
The first steps are discovering your aspirations (what do you want to do in the room), your functional needs (what do you need to realize your aspirations) and your emotional needs (how do you want to feel to do your aspirations). Now Meghan really makes you work here, filling out dozens of work sheets which can be downloaded on her website.

I picked the hardest room (naturally) and did a combined living and dining room.
Since functional needs can tell us what things we need to put in our room but we have trouble translating emotional needs to actual items of furniture/lighting/accessories etc., Meghan concludes we have to find a muse and a style to translate them. Once we find a muse (1 to 3 pictures that perfectly capture your emotional needs which you’ve written down) she helps you break it up into actual, usable information like shapes, patterns, colors, textures.

Sources: image 1 | image 2 | image 3

Image Source

Image Source

Once you’ve done that your next task is to look at hundreds of room pictures and pick the ones you love and that represents the feelings you’ve written down on your emotional needs worksheet. When you’ve got at least a dozen of those, you go about dissecting them much the same way.

Sources: image 1 | image 2 | image 3

By now you have gotten a pretty clear idea what you need and want and what items and characteristics can help you build a room that fits you and your needs perfectly.
There will likely be some surprises. For example I always thought I was a color person and my styles pictures very clearly showed a preference for the colors brown, cream and white. This tells me to stick to neutral colors for the big pictures and choose colorful items (with colors from my muse pictures) as eye catchers and accessories instead of covering a whole wall in them.
There were also things I knew subconsciously, like that I need to surround myself with natural, warm and smooth materials like wood and fabric, instead of sparkly, cool ones like glass and metal.
All in all, a perfect inspiration day for me and the things I found out about myself will come in very handy planning and decorating the new apartment. I probably won’t be following the next steps in the book as closely, simply because of lack of time. But before I start buying stuff and throwing it together because I have a vague idea it could look good together, I will read definitely through them and look things up and pause to consider and plan and match it up to my insights from this day.