Monday, 13 October 2014

Found inklings

mixed media assemblage - vintage photo, vintage brass degree ruler, vintage book pages and notes, pyrite nuggets, lokta paper, thread, board, glue

approx. 9,5x22x1,2cm  /  3.7"x8.7"x0.5"

Found inklings
most victorious
fictive things

I just finished this one last night and already it's one of my favourites (I know I say this just about every time I finish a piece). I like blurry old photos, and I like old brass tools of all sorts, measuring tools above all. 

I planned to take photos of the process while making this, but I was in a particularly deep flow state of mind and forgot all about it. Usually I tend to finish a piece on one go, or at least with minimal breaks (for sleep or waiting for glue to dry) since I often have a clear vision (or obsession) from the start. This time I had to take long breaks because of a weekend filled with live music (first the lovely Maritta Kuula, then the loud Höstfest) and little time to get fully immersed in making. I felt I would ruin these found inklings if I tried to finish this without having the time to find the flow, even though I already knew nearly all details before I properly got started. Maybe the end result would've looked exactly the same even if I had added fragments every time I had a little bit of time to focus, but I wouldn't have liked this piece as much that way. For me it's important to spend time with my work and get to know it. Having this design wander in and out of my thoughts during the weekend, before I got around to making something more demanding than rolling book pages, was definitely a good thing. It was a bit like I knew there was a friend waiting for me at home.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Reversible pendants - work in a progress of sorts

mixed media pendants/necklaces - vintage 38mm coin holder, linen, artificial silk thread, mica, freshwater pearls, vintage chain

pidän sinua pitelemässä minua / I hold you holding me
mitä tahansa muuta / whatever else

The white one is still missing a chain or some other type of necklace to hang from; at the moment it feels like the red one is finished. I may still change my mind, I often do.

These pendants are the first in a series of jewelry inspired by my upcoming poetry book. The text here is simple fragments, nothing much, since there really isn't a narrative or anything other than a jumble of fragments in the original context. But it's the same with my poetry and mixed media pieces - simple fragments make something quite complex when put together. Still, I enjoy these little fragments on their own, too.

Currently I feel like adding freshwater pearls to everything I make; must learn to control this need. For these pendants the tiny pink pearls were perfect, though. The pendants are quite petal-like on their own, so adding something as romantic as pearls wasn't a disaster at all. The non-text side has an embroidered disc of mica, one has silver-tone mica, the other a more warm gold-toned disc. I'm actually pretty fond of these necklaces, and have a hard time deciding which side I prefer. Luckily it's not a decision I really have to make.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

A sampling of new books & a change of course for a while

All these and many others are now listed in my Etsy shop.

The word may have leaked that I'm having a small exhibition of my mixed media pieces in February (more info closer to the date), and I thought I'd give you a heads up: I will most likely focus on my non-book things for a while, and I'm not sure I'll be listing more books before the holidays. So, if you're thinking of giving someone a special book, this is the moment you have most books to choose from. Also, new assemblages and other things I'm making for the exhibition won't be for sale until March (or February, if you stop by at the exhibition in person). Occasionally there may be new items for Etsy, too, if I suddenly find myself in need of making books for a change, and I'll make sure to keep you updated if that happens.

Relating to this change I've got a question to ask - what would interest you most while I create my exhibition? Do you want poorly lit photos of works in progress at 2am and ramblings of me thinking out loud about how to finish a particular piece or whether or not something is finished? Do you simply want photos of finished pieces (with or without ramblings)? Other suggestions are welcome, as always.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

And there I found myself more truly and more strange

vintage tin bottom, vintage photo, cut up vintage text, pin, lacquer, glue
(diameter 3,3cm/1.3")

And there I found myself more truly and more strange.

You would think that after the Anthropologie issue was so quickly resolved I would be able to breathe easy and feel the anxiety leave my body. Instead I've felt like a giant chewing gum collecting dirt and debris in the pocket that is world. Not that I put used chewing gum in my pocket but you get the picture. I've had the most Asperger week in, like, forever, and it got to the point yesterday where V. asked whether I was high on something since I was acting like a miffed sleepwalker. Today was better but I still feel like my filters are off kilter (how could I resist, huh?) and I'm having much more tics than usual (and that makes for one sore neck). I'd love to fix all this by simply being alone in a quiet room but it's just not working this time. Too many things on the to-do list and creative ideas on the brink of emerging. I'm kind of hyper and exhausted at the same time. I'd really appreciate a personal assistant who could list my books on Etsy and write better and more polite messages to people requesting custom books I don't have the energy to make. Alternatively a pair of mega comfortable and lightweight hearing protectors combined with a break from everyone but friends could work, too.

I'll get back to you guys once I've ticked off some major jobs from my list and decided whether or not I'm catching this cold that hangs in the close vicinity. I won't be gone for long - there are loads of new books to share with you!

Monday, 22 September 2014

Anthro issue resolved!

I'm happy to let you guys know that Anthropologie will be withdrawing their gilt books from sale in a couple of days. A positive result even though they say they hadn't seen my books before designing theirs. Quite a coincidence to be a coincidence, but I'm content with the action they're now taking.

A huge thank you to every single person who shared the story and supported me! It means so much to feel a little less small when something like this happens.

You can find the above books (apart from the turquoise and the peachy-copper one) in my shop. All one of a kind and handmade.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Anthropologie strikes again

Dear Anthro, 

I'm extremely disappointed in you. It's not the first time I've been disappointed after hearing you've copied the work of an independent designer, but it's the first time it's my work that you've copied.

So, yeah, I'm not in the cheeriest of moods today. I was just browsing Pinterest and noticed someone had tagged my book #Anthro. It took me a little while to understand what was going on after I clicked through to Anthropologie's site. It was really an Anthro journal. I had risen to the level where my work is cool enough to be copied by Anthropologie. (Yay! Not.)

I realize both linen and gold are generic elements, but I still can't find it in me to believe this is a coincidence. Anthropologie and its owner Urban Outfitters are notorious for copying indie designers (visit this blog post here, just for one example!), and it feels there's nothing I can do about this. I've sent a cease and desist e-mail, pointing out the copying and asking to stop selling these journals that are clearly based on my creative work, but that's pretty much all I can do on my own. I haven't got the money or the health to lawyer up against a big company, so all I can do is ask you guys to please share this blog post, contact Anthro and ask them to quit this ridiculousness, and boycott them (if you don't already)!

<3 Kaija

PS. I've got a good handful of gilt journals ready for listing tonight and tomorrow, so, if you'd like to own one that's not a rip-off by Anthro, stop by at Paperiaarre and support an independent creative individual.

[EDIT: The issue is now resolved and Anthro withdraws their books from sale.]