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.]

Monday, 15 September 2014

Kew Gardens

You thought I'd forgotten, didn't you? Well I didn't, I just had more urgent blog posts to write. Today I'm finally sharing some photos from our excursion to Kew Gardens. It's been a month since we got back from London, so it's nice to look at the photos again and feel a smidge of the magic I felt while there.

I love botanic gardens and I love large glasshouses. I was a bit disappointed to learn the largest one is closed for restoration until 2018, but I suspect I will go back to London after the Temperate House is reopened, too. And the other glasshouses at Kew did a great job wiping away my disappointment; the Palm House was really gorgeous, and so were the waterlilies. In general I was drawn to leafy green things instead of bright flowers on this visit - beautiful shapes, lights, shadows and reflections. (I had to add the word 'leafy', since there were a couple of green guys at the glasshouses that gave me quite a fright. I've got nothing against lizards - oh fine, I don't particularly like lizards, they have a creepy stare - I was simply not expecting to meet them here, and I began obsessing over the possibility of a lizard tickling my ankle and scaring me to death. And I knew very well they were much more scared of me than I was of them, but the thought just wouldn't leave my head...)

V enjoyed the Japanese landscape (I did, too, but I was very tired by the time we got that far) and the yarn graffiti was something I wanted to show my mother, who has shown particular interest on the subject herself. Kew Palace was more attractive from the outside than inside, still, worth a quick walk-through. I'm sure this botanic garden, like all, is best enjoyed without a cold, but even with one, it was a really lovely place to visit. It's massive and there's so much to see we barely scratched the surface. Must get to go back some day.

Friday, 12 September 2014

the mother of beauty

mixed media assemblage box  - vintage photo, cut up vintage text, mica, feathers, linen thread, paper, board, glue

21,4x14,5x5cm  /  8.4"x5.7"x2"

I feel like introverting a bit, sorry. Half-formed thoughts may never take form if I rush now. Nothing grandiose, fear not.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Noiselessly, like

mixed media assemblage - vintage photo, vintage book cover (with writing in pencil) and endpaper, cut up vintage text, mica, linen thread, paper, board, glue

19,8x25,9x0,9cm  /  7.8"x10.2"x0.4"

I feel like holding onto this one for a while, so, it won't be for sale, at least not right away. This one was a stubborn one to make, and I made several boxes before settling for this plain dark brown one that allowed the collage to stand out on its own. Often the simplest things end up having the impact I look for.

Monotonous glueing tasks for the past days, but I'm almost done with it now. Casing in books and covering boards are possibly my least favourite parts of the bookbinding process; maybe spreading glue on larger areas simply lacks a certain finesse I generally appreciate. I really look forward to getting back to assemblage making once I've finished the large lot of books I'm currently working on. Still many Coptic bound notebooks and guest books left to sew but luckily very few messy glueing jobs left. I feel like I'm buying time for my favourite creative jobs by braving through so many hours of endlessly glueing paper. Lots of fiddly, nice things await for me in the coming days.

Tonight I've thought about creating larger assemblages and other mixed media pieces, and perhaps putting together a small exhibition, too. Baby steps, still.

Friday, 29 August 2014

One more wave (coloured by many waves)

mixed media art box - vintage photo, vintage book pages and papers, ink, bookcloth, board, glue

size closed 6,3x6,5x2,1cm / 2.5"x2.6"x0.8
size open 6,3x13x1cm / 2.5"x5.1"x0.4"

This is actually some sort of a pair for the Swimmers piece I made earlier this year as they feature two halves of the same photo. Otherwise they have a fairly different mood, or at least to me they have. I'm quite drawn to old photos of the sea as well as to found poetry about the old sea. I can't even swim myself, and I've never spent much time by the sea (just lakes, and they're a completely different thing), so maybe the sea is just something so exotic and symbolic it tickles my imagination and creativity.

It's been raining so much it feels like I see everything through a foggy lense now. Very tired, muscles aching from all the bookmaking. Somehow I keep forgetting a lot but nothing specific.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Friends with big smiles and even bigger hats

 vintage photo, vintage ledger paper, pleated wax paper, recycled paper, linen thread, board, glue
6,5x7,6x1,5cm  /  2.6"x3"x0.6" 

This is a small collage box I made for C, who in return surprised me with a collection of tiny treasures she had collected from Thames:

The Meloids this tin used to hold would've probably done wonders for my rather mellow voice the following day, too. Luckily these bits and shards will delight me for a much longer time than any sweet. This is such a perfect collection I don't know if I'll ever be able to separate these things from each other; it's simply a very lovely pocket museum just as it is. (And indeed, what you see on the background is Liberty's fabric, not from a trip to London, though - it's just a simple cosy I made to keep my iPad safer in my handbag.) I've been yearning to go mudlarking myself but somehow my sensible travel shoes are never sensible enough for river mud and we don't have tides in Finland (or anything interesting to find even if we had), so it's yet to happen. I have a feeling it might be too addicting for me, though. Best steer clear from mudlarking, computer games and smoking.

Ever since we got back from London I've been craving scones, and I even baked a batch myself but it's not something I should turn into a habit. Why are unhealthy things always the most elegant ones? Ok, maybe scones aren't all that elegant, but to me they're an extremely rare treat. What is elegant is having your tea in the garden/woods like my great grandaunt Saima and her father, my great great grandfather, who most definitely looks like an artist:

For more +/- 100-year-old photos of Saima, other people and other places, do stop by at my other blog, Emil's album

This has been a very productive week, against all expectations. There's a huge lot of books in the works as I'm trying to prepare for the holiday season in time, for once, and there's also a handful of mixed media pieces waiting for blogging and listing on Etsy, so I can fairly safely promise a steady blog existence for the time being. It's probably foolish to be this proud about blogging regularly again but this is something I've really missed (and never realized I was missing until I got back to sharing my creations and thoughts with you). So, I promise I'll be here. It'd be great if you were, too, but no pressure, you know.