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!

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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 youíre aiming for. She writes:

Once you have those Yearly Goals in place, take some time to map out a plan for how youíre 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 donít have to do this for the whole year right now, but definitely make a plan for January.

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Art Journal Peek: Season Greetings

Pleasure is always derived from something outside you, whereas joy arises from within.
Eckhart Tolle

My Art Journal lays open but ontouched on my dirty polka dot desk. All the presents are wrapped (though they are few since family is downsizing the gift giving this year) and I’m ready to head out to my family.

Art Journal: Season Greetings from iHanna to you guys

I hope for a calm, peaceful day today, and I wish you the same, wherever you are.

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iHanna’s Ultimate Gift Guide for Artists and Creatives

We’re in the best season for list writing so I put together a little list for you that might be useful when you go shopping next. In my very modest way I’m simply calling it the Ultimate Gift Guide for Artists and Creatives of all kinds. I’ll only recommend things I use myself, and things that have worked in my studio for years. I hope you’ll find it useful.

iHanna's Awesome Ultimate Gift Guide for Creatives and Artist Wannabes

Art Materials is the best gift
you can possible give – it’s the gift that keeps on giving even after the birthday or Christmas has passed. It’s the gift of creativity! No matter age or experience levels I think you’ll find something that you will need or want to try out in this list, so pin it or bookmark it so you’ll remember what to look for next time you’re getting a little something just for you.

Yes, please remember, you need to be generous to yourself too. Sometimes the best Christmas Gift is the one you buy for you!

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Illustrating Christmas

I have been illustrating Christmas in two recent paintings. They are not elaborate in style or detail, or even very thought through, but they’re my try at doing some kind of “design”, illustrating the season of Christmas in my own way.

I follow a few illustrators on social media that has been filling my streams with Christmas illustrations these past weeks. Some of them are doing a 12 day of Christmas Designs for cards and such. I guess that is why I’ve been thinking about illustrating quite a lot lately. As a job, as a profession, as something to ponder more… How it is similar to simply painting or drawing – but still so very different.

Illustrating the season of Christmas

As an artist you express what you have
on the inside of your head or your heart. As an illustrator, you try to create some kind of story from the outside, something that will lead the reader into an article or sell as a Christmas card for example…

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