Get Started Ideas for Creative Play – using the Phone

Never before in history has innovation offered promise of so much to so many in so short a time…
Bill Gates

When there is nothing going on we pick up our smart phone and check what’s happening somewhere else. Through the many apps that constantly connects us to news flashes, friend updates, new e-mail messages, and incoming text messages we always have something to distract ourselves with. I hate when I notice how I use my phone to distract myself from working, moving forward or dealing with difficult situations. Mindfulness is the only thing that I know of that can help me notice this behavior and move away from it. But Mindfulness on the smart phone is really hard, so there’s an app for that too!

I don’t think that the phone is all bad, not as bad as many would like to make it. It’s a wonderful tool for connection, finding inspiration, love and sharing updates and photos with friends close and far – and it’s also a great tool for creativity!

The always accessible camera is awesome for play and documentation as I’ve written about before, and instagram is the best thing ever after sliced bread. But there are some other fun stuff that you can play with too. I’ve been trying out a few ideas and I’m gonna share some ideas today, just to give you an idea of what’s possible if you haven’t started playing yet.

For example, doodeling is always fun, even on a small screen – and with your finger.

Creative on the iPhone
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Inspired at the Haberdashery

Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.
Steve Jobs

Have you ever been inside a really cozy Haberdashery Shop? The kind that you don’t want to leave. The kind where you wander around and touch materials. Where there are ribbons, buttons, thread, needles and similar sewing goods for all your needs and wishes.

When I was in Visby recently we found a vintage looking fabric and yarn store there, and had to stay for a while. And it was a haberdasher’s shop for sure! A friend called it overstocked and difficult to navigate. I called it beautiful and chock full of inspirational materials. I wouldn’t want to work there, but in the piles of embroidery thread boxes I see color combinations, new patterns, and magic.

Checkered button held and photographed by iHanna of

Today I’ll give you a glimpse of that magic, through the lens of my iphone…

I find such delight in always having my iphone camera with me these days. The pattern of what and when I photograph has changed since I got an iphone, especially as a tool to collect inspiration. Taking photos with my big girl camera is a lot about being artistic and/or documenting everyday life. But using the iphone is like snapping a mental picture, to remember something when you get back home.

Inspired by a vintage looking haberdashery - lots of awesome photos by iHanna of

At art exhibitions, flea markets and stores, and when out and about in town, I snap a tone of photos! And I share very few of them on Instagram (where I’m @ihannas) because I don’t have the time/energy to upload all of them when I’m on the go…

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A Beautiful Midsummer Weekend

Beautiful Swedish Midsummer Weekend 2015 blogged by iHanna

When it felt like summer was just about to start, there was Midsummer (this past Friday) – telling us that half of what we in Sweden call summer has already passed…

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Journaling - as it should always be (at the island of Grinda)

Enjoying: summer as much as I can, when ever I can. I’ve been having very low energy for days on end, but when I find energy I try to spend it outdoors. June has already provided two BBQ-dinners with family and some lovely excursions, so I can’t complain really. I have captured lots of photos along the way, and had wonderful creative times outdoors. There is few things better than a blanket in nature, a notebook and some pens or watercolors by your side! The above photo is from an excursion to Grinda, a tiny island in the archipelago of Stockholm.

Planning: a re-design of my blog! I haven’t changed the theme of my wordpress blog for several years, mostly because I’m so comfortable with this one and know where everything is. But it’s outdated and I really long for something new! I need a theme that will work better on a smart phone/tablet and in general give me a fresh start… I’m hoping to do a switch in July, and hope that you will take the time to give me some feedback when that day comes.

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Sewing day in iHanna’s Studio

{workshop} Sewing day in iHanna's Studio

I love having friends (and sometimes one or two small friends) over in my studio. It is super fun to share from my stash, sometimes papers and sometimes other materials. This was a sewing day. And since I have a lovely collection of pretty fabrics, that’s what we took out (though I might have kept a few new and more expensive fat quarters out of “harms way”). Two kids and one grown up visiting got to pick through my very girly collection of patterns and chose a few favorites…

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Where Inspiration Ends Up

“It is good to love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is well done.
Vincent van Gogh

Inspirational - Three friends peeking through painting by iHanna

I have special notebooks to glue in inspirational images, images that I think I will use as inspiration.

But I also glue stuff that I find inspirational into my diary. And make them into collages. Or postcards. I also have a lot of inspirational clippings, images and quotes saved in various folders around here.

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Index Card Postcard

Use Index Cards

Summer is here and it’s lovely. I’m just in right now to share this quick DIY idea with you guys: you can create a personalized and handmade postcard using an index card! June marks the beginning of our lovely ICAD-tradition as you know… ICAD as in One quick index card a day the entire summer of course, I know many of you are doing it. I did a whole two month of cards a few years back so I know how fun it is, and since I’ve been in mail art mood this came out of me in no time.

But now I’m out of vintage index cards, the pile I had was a flea market score… I was really close to buying a new pile this week at the book store, but I reminded myself of how much other things I have that I want to use/finish up/create already. I don’t have time for everything, so no index card summer for me. But this one was sent to a friend of mine, as a postcard:

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Art Journal Peek: Put a bird on it!

Put a bird on it my dear - bird stamps watercolored by iHanna

Put a bird on it my dear – bird stamps watercolored by iHanna

Hello my friends! It has been a long time since I did an Art Journal Peek, don’t you think? Sharing what’s in side my super secret journal is one of my most favorite things about having this blog… So today I’m sharing a whole spread and the creative process that lead me to that finished spread… It started with a little set of unmounted rubber stamps that I wanted to try out…

Tangled Pen Bird Stamp Set

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A Stockholm Must See: Spring in Kungsan

Cherry blossoms in Kungsan

Is it just me, or have spring been unusually beautiful this year? And long, stretching for weeks with blossoms in every tree top… At least I’ve been walking like in a haze, looking up at the tree tops most of the time. Maybe it was because I started spring of early by making a visit to the King’s garden in Stockholm in early April, to see the Cherry Trees blossom.

For the last couple of years now it has become the one thing that you should take time to do each spring. Visit the park! It’s in the papers when it happens: the cherry blossoms have sprung – hurry up to see them before the blossoms fall to the ground, and the trees become ordinary trees… And swedes from all around the big city hurries there to see the magic.

Studio iHanna: Spring in Kungsan - a Stockholm must see and visit if you're in Sweden

The Japanese Cherry trees are planted in a narrow alley in a otherwise rather ugly “park” called Kungsträdgården, Kungsan for short. The ground is mosty asphalt and it’s a busy pass-through-place. But for a week or two in spring it is transformed into a pink heaven. Everyone takes photos, stops and marvels at the beauty of these trees. And I’m not the only one who loves pink for once…

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Do it Yourself Postcards | Share & Connect online

Time to share YOUR creativity with ME! But first:

Postcards Made in Sweden by iHanna

Dear reader of this blog

A quick message to all of my dear readers: Sorry I did not send out my newsletter this time, I feel bad about it. In autumn when another swap comes around I promise to notify my dear Newsletter Subscribers first thing (and maybe I’ll even add in a little bonus for subscribers so be sure to join the Newsletter)! And sorry I haven’t blogged as much as you’re used to this spring. Thanks for sticking with me, it means a lot to me.


Now Share your Mail Art

Yes. If you signed up for the spring swap you can share your postcard blog post(s) below! I’d love to know how you made your postcards. What is your creative process like? Are handmade postcards new to you, or maybe you swap all the time? Please do tell, on your blog or in the comment section below. If you need inspiration you could check out our last postcard swap’s link list. And if you didn’t have time to sign up this round, there will be a new one in fall!

Please read the link up guidelines below – before entering your link!
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