Featured Etsy shop this week is Raumalainen: Gift items made with hand painted fabrics, appliqué and embroidery, hand printed cards and much more. Please have a look!
Hello, my name is Liubov Leray. I live in Rauma/Finland since April this year. After we’ve felt ourselves a bit settled here by the end of spring, I’ve started a blog and then launched a shop on Etsy at the mid-sommer. I named them both Raumalainen, because that is how I refer to the principal source of what inspires me – it’s all about my surroundings at the moment – my family, the house I live in, the nature around me, people I meet and what I think and how I feel about being here – it’s all here, it’s all in Rauma, inspired, designed and hand made in Rauma, it’s all raumalainen now.
I have several creative paths that I’m exploring now : textile accessories, hand printed stationery, stuffed toys (knitted teddy bears), drawings (mixed technique and ink), art for children. I share peeks of what I’m doing on my blog. Textile accessories and hand prints are now listed on Etsy.
I love quick projects that can be finished within a couple of days/couple of evenings and usually start working immediately after I’ve sketched the basic idea of the composition. Ideas come from my flower drawings, printing experiments, walks with my family, where I collect or sketch anything that catches my eye – leaves, seashells, feathers, bark pieces, everything that I incorporate later in my designs, whether for fabric pieces, of for cards, or just as colour study for later. The most important foundation of any project is a satisfying composition and how the colours and textures relate to each other – sometimes I like it tempered, sometimes with more contrast, it may be about warm colours, or may not, maybe neutral, greyish or bold and vivid. It’s all about the feeling of the moment. That’s why I try to work quick and finish in a little while – otherwise the feeling gets lost and it’s not that authentic any more. Once the idea is put on paper and I have found the basic value relations, I play around with different materials as long as I’m satisfied with the match, then sew all together and it’s done!
I have a three year-old daughter and she gives me lots of inspiration. Firstly because we do a lot together – painting, drawing, texting, making collages. Talking to her and answering her questions, making little ‘zines makes me see things from another perspective. Many of my current (yet-not-for-sale) projects, like colouring sheets with short stories, are inspired from these moments.
I find inspiration nearly everywhere - flea markets, yard sales, travelling, fabric stores, museums of applied arts, museums of fine arts, fine art galeries, art fairs, handicraft shops, my garden, nature in general, art books, children books, secondhand bookstores, fashion, fashion photo, cards, everyday objects. I believe that everything and anything is meaningful, and opens an opportunity to learn, to acquire knowledge and wisdom, both successes and failures.
Our move to countryside (first France, then Finland) was for me the best to get the inspiration reconnected with practice. Being in a big city was like constantly having too much creative input and losing myself in endless possibilites. Countryside has cleared my mind and got my hands doing stuff.
I’ve started my Etsy-shop in July, and now I’d like to focus a bit more on promoting my work beyond Etsy and participate in handicraft fairs, going meeting people and showing my works. At the moment, it’s nice having a market place online to be able to refer to it, when talking to other people. But I would be happy to show my designs more in real and find contacts to shops so that people can get better in touch with what I do.
It’s difficult to choose a favourite item, because I simply love all of them. Each piece is something special for me, it reflects lots of inspiration, hard but joyful design work and lots of pleasure seeing it taking shape and becoming a visible, usable and independent object.
I’m not planning anything in particular. I follow the feeling of the moment, and go with the creative flow of thoughts, dreams. I may suddenly be inspired and start a whole new project within one single day. If I’m pleased with the result I’ll share it, even if it feels a bit outsider to what I usually do – I feel myself like I’m still searching what my creative path can be. My point is to be true about what I’m doing and what I put out there, I’m not following any prescriptions besides of what I feel I need to make here and now – to create pieces that represent what is important for me in this or that moment of my life and what I’d like to create and share – in one form or another. So right now I just follow my inspirations and try to work as much as I can, coming up with new ideas, sewing, drawing, painting, photo shooting, blogging about it.
Posted by Nelli Kivinen
Diamond eternity ring with engraving
by Passi Torkkeli
This Diamond ring is one of my all-time favorite pieces I have designed. When it made it to the Etsy Finds email on August 14th my shop visits increased substantially. I got many views and inquiries about this ring as well as others designs.
This lucky ring is made from 18k White Gold and it has a total of 0,84ct of F-Vs Diamonds surrounding the ring. Special details such as the engraving and the square azures add a little more beauty and elegance to my creation.
This ring is a classic eternity ring, which means that the diamonds go around it. Eternity rings are considered a symbol of eternal Love, and they are really popular for weddings and as elegant and great anniversary gifts.
I wanted to add to this classic ring something unique and delicate, and that is why I started doing the engravings on to the side of the ring.
I have originally designed this ring many years ago, but it is a timeless piece, that many brides-to-be have chosen as their engagement ring or their wedding ring. I think that one of the main reasons of this piece success is the engraving on the side of the ring, because it gives a unique signature that makes it very personal and different. I can promise that this eternity ring is even more gorgeous when you see it in person. For my rings. I always choose exceptional quality diamonds that match each other perfectly. I honestly think that you can see the quality of this ring with your own eyes, and the fact that this ring is completely handmade, really gives it a great, flawless and unique appearance that you can’t find anywhere else.
About the author:
Pasi Torkkeli is a fine jeweler from Finland with more than 10 years of experience. He loves doing engagement rings, wedding bands and other design jewelries. From his shop you can find a quality selection of diamond jewelries, like earrings, brooches and rings. He also like to use different gemstones and materials, such as titanium, palladium, white gold, yellow gold, rose gold, platinum and sterling silver.
His store: http://www.etsy.com/shop/TorkkeliJewellery?ref=pr_shop_more
My name is Minna Kaartinen. I run Vietto, my eco fashion label, in the capital of Finland, Helsinki. My aim is to create innovative, artistic, timeless and fresh fashion out of ecological materials.
I started my own eco fashion label to satisfy my need to create something new. I’ve been making things with my hands basically all my life: I started making clothing for myself at very young age, and I was very into arts and crafts as a teenager. Fashion has always been an essential part of me, but so has an awareness of the state of our environment. It was more than natural to choose ecological materials as a starting point for my creative work.
I pretty much do everything by myself, from sketching and pattern making, to sewing, knitting or whatever technique I’ve chosen to use. My concepts are material-based, but I’ve been very keen to keep the design the most significant part of my creations. I kind of like that the range of material I’m able to use is restricted – I think it really wakes up my creativity. I have to invent something new to make another exciting piece of clothing out of black jersey knit.
As a designer, I don’t want to create new collections every six months; I don’t find that really sustainable. My work is more like a continuous process. I keep working on my designs and develop them from one season to the next.
My garments are made in very small series or are completely one of a kind, since I use upcycled and leftover fabrics. There are some characteristic features in my work, like convertibility. I really love to make garments that can be worn in many different ways. I also like to add artistic touches to my designs, like hand-painted details. It truly makes the pieces unique.
I find strange combinations very intriguing. For example, I love to combine very traditional crafting techniques with modern pieces of clothing. While I’m excited about unconventional forms, I always keep my design usable.
One of my favorite designs is the chunky fringe scarf. I had bought few skeins of leftover cotton tricot yarn. The yarn is very popular material for rag rugs here in Finland, but I was thinking of creating something wearable, maybe some kind of huge cardigan or poncho. I started knitting the yarn with my over-sized knitting needles and accidentally created huge triangle scarf with long ties. I just added the fringes. I’ve been wearing my fringe scarf for many years now. Only during the hottest summer days and coldest winter nights will you find it on the coat rack.
The fashion business is highly competitive. It can be quite difficult for a small operator like me to find a place in a market dominated by huge industrial corporations making cheap products. However, I believe that idea of sustainable consumerism creates a great opportunity for me to survive in this tough business. People’s consciousness of their choices is rising, and I offer them a greener alternative.
I had been selling my clothing in a few little shops here in Finland before I found Etsy. It was magical moment when I realized that I’d be able to show my design to a much larger audience without investing a terrible lot of money. That is truly a great thing for a designer from a small country like Finland.
All photographs by Jaana Björklund.