Inspiration from Syfestivalen in Stockholm

Syfestivalen is Swedish and means “Festival of Sewing”. These days it is actually called Sewing and Craft Festival, but I think I’ll just keep calling it the short and sweet Syfestivalen for ever. It’s arranged twice each year in Älvsjö, just outside Stockholm, in a big convention center there. We went this weekend, and those of you that follow me on Instagram and check stories there, got a little video peak of it all when I walked though the convention hall. But if you missed it there (it’s only available for 24 hours on instagram) you are in luck today.

iHanna at Syfestivalen (quilt, knit & fabric inspirations) blogged by @ihanna #syfestivalen

I took a lot of big camera photos, and thought I’d share Syfestivalen with you guys here too, because there were just so much yummy things to see there. Get ready for inspiration in colors, patterns, texture and crafts…

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Posted in Fabric & Sewing, Photography, Quilting | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

Before you Start, create a Warm Up Collage

Warm Up Collage Notebook spread, by @ihanna #artbook

If you’re feeling stale and uninspired, in body or soul, you need to start with some warm up exercises, to get you going. I think this is one of the stumbling blocks when making art (or trying to restart it as a practice), that we expect to be creating something awesome directly when we sit down. Even if it’s been a couple of weeks, or sometimes months, since we last painted, did collage, doodled or knitted, we expect our makings to be grand at once. We forget that we need to be gentle with ourselves. To have grace. And to warm up our fingers and body before we start, but mostly to warm up our mind.

How can you expect to be fit without training the muscles of art making?

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New Year | Time to sharpen your pencils

It is time to sharpen your pencils , my dears. It is time I show up, and bring my sharp pencil to do some writing on this here blog. Don’t you agree?

But first two things I’ve already accomplished this year (braging) and some link love to goal setting, quilting and inspiration. First and last of the year (maybe).

Time to sharpen your pencils (neon pencils) and change the blades of your craft knife - photo by Hanna Andersson a.k.a. iHanna

As an update, let me brag a bit. I have bought my camera a new lens, and I feel excited to start doing some “real photography” again. Yay! And in the beginning of this week I showed up and finished my 31 yoga practice in 31 days. I did not think it possible that I could do it ever day for so long, but I did. I have done yoga ever day for an entire month. Wow, right? Wow! This is simply amazing for me. If I can do that, then I can do a lot of other things that have felt impossible before, right? Continue reading

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Art Journal Peek | Winter is Coming

The title Winter is coming is well known if you too are hooked on TV series that never end. It might be misleading here, but I’m staying indoors a lot watching GoT as my brother calls it and doing embroidery. Misleading perhaps, but at least it’s very cold around here, and white. Winter is already here.

Winter is coming, or in Sweden it's here already - photo copyright Hanna Andersson, January 2017

We’re diving right back into Art Journaling, with another peek at what’s happening in mine. Art Journaling is one of my favorite things to do, be it winter or summer or come rain or sunshine… I’ve been painting a lot lately, but this page is a simple cut and paste of magazine pages.

Art Journal | Writing on a magazine page (before) by iHanna

One big magazine image on each side of the spread, this cold lady enduring winter and frosty leafs already dead (see above), that I then did a bit of doodling and writing on top of.

I wanted to share this page to show that simplicity is a great option when you don’t want complicated. It can be something good, and not all pages need to be of the happy, colorful variety. Though remember:

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Is it time to Quit Blogging in 2017?

I want to welcome the new year. And I want to welcome you to this blog today and all through 2017. I have been blogging here, in this very spot, since 2004, and I will keep at it some more. I state that I blog about art, craft and creativity in everyday life, but the fact is, the art and crafty projects is now my life, and creativity walks with me everywhere.

I'm Not Giving Up Blogging in 2017

I love the promise of the New Year. It is a clean slate to become something bigger and better. To grow, to become stronger, richer and more beautiful than before. But change like that does not come on New Years Day, like a wrapped gift with a bow on top. It comes slowly, often grudgingly complaining and with lots of resistance, and often serving up quite a few setbacks. I’ve had more setbacks than success with growing, planning and changing, but damn if I will let that stop me from trying to grow once again.

I am determined to do some changes around here. Around myself, with how I act, plan, feel, and earn money. In my surroundings, how I get dressed in the morning, sort my belongings and clear out clutter and old projects. And maybe these changes will reflect what I publish on my blog, we’ll see.

Is it time to Quit Blogging in 2017?

I don’t think so. Everyone has to make up their own mind, of course, and decide what’s important for them. For me, I know I will not quit blogging in 2017, even though it seams to be a trend. I’m giving it this year (at least to start with) to see if I find new flow and love for the art of blogging again… Maybe beyond SEO, social media marketing and Pinterest sharing. I know I love your comments, the community feeling, connecting with you guys and writing to inspire, so that’s why I’m still here and will be back tomorrow. I’ve got a good thing going, but change is also good (albeit very scary)…

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Create your Own Christmas Cards

It’s time to create Christmas cards. Yee-haa, that time of year again – am I right? There are some really cute ones to buy these days, especially if you order from Etsy, but who planned for this in say, October? Raise your hand if you did?

Christmas Crafting and Gingerbread cookies of course

I’m a last-minute kind of gal, so I find myself in need of sending something ASAP – and I do love handmade. It would be quicker to go out and buy a 10-pack santa postcards, but those are so boring! Am I right?

All work and no play doesnt just make Jill and Jack dull, it kills the potential of discovery, mastery, and openness to change and flexibility and it hinders innovation and invention.
Joline Godfrey

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Posted in A Creative Life, Paper Crafting | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Can new washi tape make you Happy?

True confession time: I balance between knowing that you can’t buy happiness, and then doing it anyway at times.

Yes, spending money on “things” can make a girls mood lift, just like doodling can. Some shop for clothes or shoes, or buy new towels in matching colors even though they already have enough of them… I buy art materials and patterned paper, and indeed, new washi tape makes me happy. So even though I am opposed the crazy commercialization of our lives, and very well informed that we as a culture buy too much “stuff” each year that we don’t need, I sometimes spend money too. I’m just a human you know.

New washi tape makes me a happy girl by iHanna

Can I rationalize buying more washi tape by saying I mostly spend my hard earned money on things that gives me a broader creative outlet? Things I use rather than things I display and store away?

To live fully, we must learn to use things and love people, and not love things and use people. John Powell

Or do I even need to rationalize getting myself a few rolls of tape?

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Creative Doodles that will Brighten your Mood

What do you do when things are hard, and you feel like you don’t have the strength or energy to move away from the situation you’re in? I see a lot of psychological advice on how to brighten your mood in one way or the other way, like going for a walk to get fresh air or rearrange your furniture to gain new perspective. I almost never hear the recommendation to brighten your mood through art. But for me, that’s where happiness is, in creativity and the freedom to create.

Creative Doodles that will Brighten your Mood - blog post by @ihanna

Go see an art exhibition, sure, or if you’re so included, make art. It does not have to be great art to help lift the mood, just a bit of creative doodling will go a long way. I will cheer you on.

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Blue and Pink fabric finds

I’m glad I didn’t decide to blog every day this month, because this week I’ve been under a rock of work, so much so my own creativity has suffered and this blog was left alone for most of the time. All I managed, except making layouts for a magazine I work for, was sending out the 10 addresses to everyone who signed up.

Phew, I’m glad the work week is done.

Fabric finds in pink - for the quilter within me - photo by Hanna Andersson / @ihanna

Next week I’m thinking of trying to do some quilting, or at least open up my box of scraps. So today I’m sharing my latest fabric haul, with a lot of blue and pink, bought at the annual meeting for the Swedish Quilting Guild (for whose member magazine I am the new Editor in Chief). I promised myself not to buy anything, so that it’s a win that the things I bought were rather small…

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Blue and Yellow

The gold you have to dig for is not the real gold.
Marty Rubin

Sweden's flag are these colors: blue and yellow photo copyright Hanna Andersson @ihanna #sweden

This year most fall days have been horribly gray, with heavy clouds covering the sky. But then when the sun did peek out, I hurried out for a walk and took a few photos of my favorite fall tree, and some new discoveries…

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Posted in Photography | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments