Self-Love & Self-Compassion | Inspiration en masse

This year I will be posting the epic and awesome monthly link post in the beginning of the month instead of the last weekend of the month. It’s because the links will fit for the month a bit better than in retrospect… That’s why the February one is already here!

Self-Love & Self-Compassion BLOG QUOTE inspiration en masse

iHanna is teaching in The 2016 Journey Within - bookbinding and art journaling all year long! Join us now! My theme for this month is centered in self-love, so the theme of the links in this post is also mostly about that topic: self-love and self-compassion! My mantra will be: I love myself. I take care of myself. I will not let my brain say bad things about me anymore. This has been on my mind for years now, but I’m thinking about it even more right now – as the theme for the bookmaking workshop The Journey Within this month is actually Self-Love and Intentional Living! And I’m one of the guest teachers, so in my art journal class I talk a bit this a lot. More about that soon, but for now, a link love post perfect for Valentine’s month!

With the monthly post Inspiration en masse I bring you a lot of inspiration in just one post, and I hope you get ideas, inspiration and sparks for change here. We talk about self-love and how important it is, but this month it’s time to ask yourself, for real: Do You Know How to Love Yourself?

iHanna Loves this Louise Hay says, in her article Do You Truly Know How to Love Yourself:

To me, love is a deep appreciation. When I talk about loving ourselves, I mean having a deep appreciation for who we are. We accept all the different parts of ourselves—our little peculiarities, the embarrassments, the things we may not do so well, and all the wonderful qualities, too.

We accept the whole package with love. Unconditionally.

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Collage | Squares in a Grid

Held in the palms of thousands of disgruntled people over the centuries have been ideas worth millions – if they only had taken the first step and then followed through.
Robert M. Hayes

Collage: Grid number 03 by @ihanna

Thanks for all your kind feedback on my post about reseting your art practice yesterday. I’m more than ten years in on my bloggin adventure, and I still love getting comments and feedback on the stuff I put out. It feels like I am being seen and appreciated, and it means a lot! When it stops being interesting and feeling good I will stop blogging. To me blogging is about communication, so I feel thankful when it’s not just my voice echoing out into the vast emptiness that can sometimes be the internet…

Today I’m sharing three of my most recent grid collages, as I shared the fourth in the series yesterday. I have used some illustrations and prints by others, but mostly the papers are my own painted papers, some with gold acrylic paint even.  Continue reading

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Going back to basics with your Artwork

Going back to basics today! When you take a longer break from your main art practice, it is sometimes hard to find your way back into the well known and comfortable making of art… You want to find your way back to that wonderful place where you know intuitively what to do next, and maybe even into some kind of flow as you work. But as months pass you get out of practice and the longer time that pass the harder it is to find that flow. So when it’s time to start it up again, you might stumble, and everything feels rather uncomfortable. You might even start doubting what you’re doing, or that you ever knew how to do this thing…

I don’t think there’s any artist of any value who doesn’t doubt what they’re doing.
Francis Ford Coppola

Doubt is normal. It’s even an okay place to be, especially if you have more than one art practice. It’s okay to doubt your ability, but it’s not okay to let that doubt hinder you from making what you want to make!

You might move forward in another area, but you don’t forget all the rest of your knowledge in other areas – even when you are taking a break from it. It’s there, under the hood.

You might just need to go back to basics for a while, do a reset, and then find your way forward.

Going back to Basics in your Art Practice with @iHanna

If you’re anything like me, you have multiple interests going in all directions. I don’t think I ever stop making and creating, but how I express myself varies greatly from day to day. Last week I was all about journaling, doing cut and paste in my small notebook, and painting in my Art Journal. Being creative, but not in all areas at once of course.

So like I mentioned this weekend, it’s been a long time since I did any collagework. Way too long. I can’t believe it’s been two years since I made my 365 Collage Project in 2013. The thought of that makes me a wee bit sad. I loved that project, even though it took a lot of time from other things. Maybe I I should’ve done a 365 this year, but I decided against it. I have many things I want to focus on this year, so with a bit of grace I hope I can do many things and still stick to my idea of making a few new collages when I can, to share here… Continue reading

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Winter Check In


I am in hibernation, or at least that is how it feels this week. January has been full of long, beautiful winter days. I’m enjoying them mostly from inside, looking out. The sky is blue, the sun is shining – and it is so cold. Or at least, some days. Earlier I posted the temp to my Facebook page Studio iHanna, and then looked it up via google. -18 degrees Celsius equals -0.4 degrees Fahrenheit!

Brrr… Continue reading

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Experiments with acrylic paint | smooch, rub, lift

Creativity is an elixir of life. It keeps us from being dried up and brittle by
keeping the essence of our life-force juiciness channeling into new ideas, projects and visions. Heatherash Amara

I love experimenting with acrylic paint. Making collage papers or mixed media papers is my favorite way to experiment and play, just letting what ever happen on the page be as is. Because it’s just loose thin copy papers the results is not that important, which leaves you free to make a mess. I often find that mess darling beautiful.

smooch, rub and lift - experiments with acrylic paint by iHanna

I love how some papers looks horrible at first, but then grow on you…

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A Year of Making | January Inspiration en Masse

With the monthly link love post Inspiration en masse you get a lot of inspiration in just one post, or at least that is my hope. This year I will be posting the link post in the beginning of the month instead of the last weekend, so the February one will be up in the beginning of February, just so you know. Just let me know if you like this in the comments below, and if you got any inspiration out of this post, I’d love to know!

A Year of Making | January 2016 Inspiration en Masse from @iHanna

I’m hoping to inspire yet another Year of Making – for all of us. The world would benefit greatly if we all used our creativity daily. My advice is: Make the best of it, make things, make love, make art, make someone’s day! Make it a Year of Creativity!

Here we go…

Craft a Year of Making

iHanna Loves this A Monthly Painting Challenge posted by Jennifer Orkin Lewis of August Wren, join in and tag it #12monthsofpaint and post on instagram!

iHanna Loves this Embroidery Floss Folder [found via &Stitches]

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The Crocheted Gray Granny Square Shawl

Almost a year ago my father’s mother passed away. I have her photo on the shelf, and plenty of her “stuff”. Using some wool found in her stash, I crocheted a granny square shawl for myself. I love it and I’m so happy we finally got snow before New Year’s so I could enjoy it properly!

iHanna's Gray Granny Square Shawl 2015

I still miss my granny, especially on Christmas. This was our first Christmas without her and I felt like something was missing, liked we’d forgotten something. But she is not here, nobody forgot to call her or pick her up. She is gone from earth, though I haven’t forgotten. She is in my heart always and forever…

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My Word of the Year 2016: Grace

Stop shaming and start reclaiming. *
Beth Buelow

Today is the start of our work week around here, after the long holiday, so I thought I’d type up the first post for the New Year! Yay! Back to blogging, yes! It’s been a lovely holiday mostly totally away from the computer since before Christmas. We got snow for New Year’s Eve, and it’s still beautiful whiteness outdoors.

Just a few days before Christmas I finally decided to go with the only word that had come to me, a one little word of the year Ali Edward style of course. I read it in an article somewhere and noticed it when I saw it again, repeated in the same way in another blog post that I now can’t remember. But the word is a short and simple one (and so complicated as words can be). It’s Grace.

iHanna's One little word 2016

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Art Journal Peek: Polka Dots + An Invitation

I love to hand paint repeating patterns in my art journal, especially polka dots. I love the simplicity of dots, and how expressive and fun they can really be if you give them the space to exist on their own – not just as decoration. Polka dots is such a happy pattern, and they make me happy.

Around my studio you’ll find plenty of polka patterned things including my desk. Quite a few of the pages in my art journal have had their fair share of dots this year.

Polka dots makes me happy says @iHanna

Today I wanted to invite you to paint some polka dots in your Art Journal along with me, because it’s so quick and simple (though it can also be something you do for a couple of hours, and then it’s called painting therapy – perfect to calm your mind if you too are stressing about setting the ultimate goals for 2016).

But if you want to make it simple, just pick one color and get started making marks…

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Setting Goals | December Inspiration en masse

And now we welcome the new year, full of things that have never been.

Hey, how was the weekend? Good I hope.

Now, the most important thing to do in December is not celebrating Christmas but to set goals for the New Year! Especially these few days between Christmas and New Years Eve, setting goals is a great activity!

Set goals quote

I’ve been emphasizing the importance of finishing your year by Writing a List of Achievements, big and small, but writing that list will be much easier next year if you set a few big goals now, track them and finish projects all through the year!

That’s my plan. Here are some links to what I’ve been reading to get inspired. Hope they’ll help you too!

Setting Goals

iHanna Loves this Great place to start if you need some guidens, at BrainPickings article How to Find Your Purpose and Do What You Love: Why prestige is the enemy of passion, or how to master the balance of setting boundaries and making friends.

iHanna Loves this How to Change Your Life By Setting Goals by Crystal Paine, who is fanatic about setting goals. Why? Because she has experienced firsthand the fruit and fulfillment that comes from setting a goal and working hard toward it. In addition, without goals, you have nothing that you’re aiming for. She writes:

Once you have those Yearly Goals in place, take some time to map out a plan for how you’re going to accomplish your goals. Write down the specific steps you will take each month to get where you hope to be in a year from now.

I encourage you to take this two steps further and break your monthly goals down into weekly and daily goals. You don’t have to do this for the whole year right now, but definitely make a plan for January.

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