Thursday, January 18, 2018

Unity Shirts Photo Shoot!!

What a day with some amazing ladies! A pro photographer (Cory Marie Podielski), a pro make up artist (Misty Kelischek) and two crazy gorgeous friends who agreed to model for the photo shoot! I'm a lucky lady with such a dream team around to help with my business!

After naming the print "Unity", I got inspired to ask my beautiful friends Hannah and Molly to be the models. They are identical twins, and love each other like no other. I know Hannah (the one with the big hair) from living close to her here in Brasstown and dancing with in the same group of ladies (with our wooden cloggs on!). She's a yoga teacher, ayurvedic counselor, a potter and a singer/songwriter. Molly works as a postpartum doula. It was so cool to see the sisters hang out and be silly together. They come from an artsy/craftsy family, where they have gotten used to being photographed all through their lives. It was so nice and so easy to make them look good and happy in the pics! Sisters Unite!

For these pictures I wanted to have a bit of a tropical and magical feeling. So we added colorful fruits and flowers, and again kept on going with the white/light background. The jewelry is made by the wonderful Julie Mills, who happens to be our neighbor at the studio! 

The final pics will be out soon, I just can't wait to see them and show them to the world!

Have a good week!!

Monday, October 2, 2017


More pictures to follow, just wanted to put these out here to show what's happening right now! Exiting!!

A little love affair with Photoshop ;)

Print design is something I've been thinking and planning for years already. Our last visit to Finland this summer really helped me in getting inspired and knowing there's a big show ahead actually got the ball rolling. I really want to have something nice and new to offer at the Fall Festival at the John C Campbell Folk School in the beginning of October. It's great to have some deadlines that make me do things fast and efficient!

This print started out with looking up images of things I find beautiful or somehow meaningful. I printed a pile of pictures that I found online - big ocean waves, pearl necklaces, hands, a map, lotus flowers and birch leaves. Then I traced the pictures through the paper with a pencil to have simple drawn images of the pictures. Then I photographed those drawings and downloaded them to the photoshop. The image had a hundred million layers when I worked on choosing, combining, scaling and cropping all the parts. For the first time ever, I also wanted to try out making a continuing pattern. And it was so much fun! And so slow! And a bit stressful! But I'm really happy with the result. These cotton fabrics will make shirts, maybe skirts or dresses. The canvas will make parts of meditation pillows.

At this point it's also essential to mention that Spoonflower is the company that printed the image on the fabrics! They are based in Durham (NC!), and have a wide selection of fabrics, also some organic ones, that I chose for my designs. Their website and service is easy to use and they have a whole big community of crafters and designers that are into pattern design. Check it out!

Thursday, September 7, 2017


Pretty sweet, right?! This photo shoot was so much fun. We had the lovely Cory Marie Podielski taking the pics and she was so good. Making sure the kids were in a nice pile and the parents were feeling happy. Catching these moments that just run by as quick as a lighting! For the people who don't know Corie Marie, she's one of those amazing renaissance ladies who are pros in so many areas - in her case at least photography, graphic design, pottery and dance! And, she is so witty and fun to be with. I had the chance to take her belly dance classes last spring and it was soooo fun!

In these pics I specifically asked for a white background, so that it would fit the general visual look of what we do, but also to make it possible for me to play with the pictures later in Photoshop. I started out experimenting some already, but I'm feeling a bit rusty and a bit shy, so those images will be published here a little later ;)

Monday, August 28, 2017


The fall is knocking on the door and we said "Good by" again to the sweet, precious Helsinki. We got to spend almost 2 months there this summer, which means we had time to hang out with family and friends, welcome a new baby-friend to the world, build a kitchen to our summer cabin, and oh yes, see some super inspiring indie fashion!!!

The jacket is by St.Malandra, a Finnish indie business, combining colorful clothing and yoga :) Sounds familiar, right?! It's so nice to come across some like-minded, friendly and interesting companies, and people behind them. And I have to say the name is just genius! Anybody familiar with capoeira or brazilian culture would know that malandragem is a thing - in a lack of a better translation, the name of the company would be in english maybe something like Saint Mischievous. Isn't that great! St.Malandra sews everything in Helsinki and gets their material by traveling in different places in the world. They just seem like they want to make the world a happier place, by sewing and selling cool clothes and teaching yoga. Makes so much sense!

The theme of my summer, spying on european people (haha, I'm becoming a foreigner!) was definitely prints. Colorful patterns in kids and adults clothing, crazy leggins with asymmetrical prints and different colorful prints combined together. The amazing flower pattern below is by Uhana Design, another Finnish company manufacturing their clothes in Europe (in Finland and Portugal). This is the pattern that has gotten so much inspiration in me that I can barely wait until I have time to draw and draw and draw, and then do some sweet photoshopping!

The fish pattern is from a baby shirt made by Vimma Clothing, a Finnish company making mainly baby and kids clothing, with some extremely nice pattens. It so happens, that while having brunch with some friends in Helsinki, I learned that a friend works as one of their designers. And according to her, the lady behind Vimma is a super sweet person - always smiles and sends really happy and motivating emails. And she has 6 (!) kids. Cheers to that!!!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

A SUMMER OF A SPY (getting inspired in England, Estonia and Finland)

My double life as a Finnish woman living in the States, traveling home every summer, gives me great opportunities to learn about indie design in different parts of the world. Where ever I go, the goal is to see if the city has their "young indie designer stores" ready to be explored. This summer I have found some definitive niceness and cool surprises in a small town called Evesham in England and in Tallinn which is the capital of Estonia. And the adventure goes on here in Helsinki as we speak! I google "indie design", "young designers", "local indie crafts/fashion", "sustainable fashion", "slow fashion" or "indie fashion store" and just try to find as many leeds as possible. Sometimes the internet doesn't help, and the best way turns out to be the sweetest: just walking around the town and asking people. Often finding one store or a studio helps in finding more, since indie designers seem to be generous about telling about their co-designers!
The pink and yellow is a shirt that wanted to move in with me from Evesham, England. The store where it used to live was a sweet little co-op of many (8 if I remember right) different style indie crafters or vintage lovers. This particular shirt was made by a beautiful lady who happened to be in the store as we visited. I love the bright colors and the fact that she makes it all out of scrap pieces, left overs or second hand fabrics, and uses tricot, like me! Also, the simple arches just make it somehow very pretty.

The black and grey is a super stylish shirt from Reet Aus, an Estonian designer who's work is just perfectly interesting and beautiful. She has a clear style to her designs, she uses industrial waste in her production, and is basically making fashion in a way that makes sense for the earth. She did her doctoral research about "the possibilities of implementing upcycling within the fashion industry and mass production" and so, is a total rock star. Now she's using what she learner in her own company and design work, and spreading the word to other designers and companies. This is what we need in the world instead of all the scary, cheap, poisonous fast fashion brands! Be sure to check out for some style and inspirational reading. Hurray!!

Monday, May 29, 2017


During the ten or so years of making these funny pants out of used tees, there's been a couple of really memorable moments that make me feel extra lucky, happy and proud of my work. Used tees aren't a thing of great financial value, or usually considered as a fine arts/crafts material. For some people it might even seem too weird to have pants made of tees that somebody else has already used. Unless that somebody is a person you love, or in this case, somebody you really loved and who no longer is with us. Then, the value actually is incredibly big, and the material turns into something irreplaceable and beautiful. 

A couple of years ago a dear friend was cleaning up her late husband's closet and getting rid of some of the clothes that used to belong to him. Some clothes could be passed on to friends, some given to the thrift stores, but what to do with a bunch of t-shirts left from a number of marathons that he participated in? You know what happened, right? Yes, she asked me to make pants out of them. Two pairs for her and one pair for their daughter. I remember clearly how my friend was saying that "these shirts don't have any value - except for me". Pretty. Sweet.

This spring another wonderful lady came to me asking if I would be able to make a pair of pants for her, and that she might have something I could use as a material. We met at my studio, and with her she had a black t-shirt full of random, different color paint stains. That t-shirt used to belong to her adult son, who passed away more that 10 years ago. He was an artist and he would use this shirt while painting. You can clearly see some places where he has swiped and cleaned his fingers, and it makes that material crazy unique and super special. 
I know I'm not healing anybody's cancer or preventing wars from happening, but I definitely feel like what I'm doing is positive and important. And that feeling keeps me going during those moments of doubt and insecurity! This is about love, respect and being real.