Riikka sent me a fun inspirational package a while back, to play with for our monthly challenge. The package was carefully put together with each of the senses in mind:
Hearing: a CD called ‘Miracle and Wonder – Treasures of Nursery Songs’
Taste: a Fazer Geisha chocolate bar. Slogan of the brand is ‘Every day holds a piece of a dream’.
Smell: a tea bag ‘Emperor’s Bride’
Sight: a page from a old storybook with illustrations by Rudolf Koivu. The story is about a tailor with magic scissors.
Feel: a thread of Icelandic wool, bought on Riikka’s honeymoon.
Needless to say the chocolate bar went first… I had tasted this particular chocolate bar before and the first time I ever had it was at the restaurant at Intohimona Skräppäys:
I love tea and this tea smelled and tasted sweet. I looked up the ingredients and it said: Assam, Ceylon, elderberry, quinee flavourings, dried orange peel, pineapple pieces and thistle petals. I also found a slogan for this particular tea: ‘Your court is warm and happy even without walls’.
The CD was sweet too. Little children’s voices singing children’s songs. In Finnish, but once I had translated the song titles I could tell which title went with which song for some of the songs.
The story about the magic scissors reminded me of the awesome pair of Fiskars scissors that was given to me at Intohimona Skräppäys. ‘Sakset’ is also one of the Finnish words I looked up before I went to Finland:
I also looked up the illustrator Rudolf Koivu, but I only found pages in Finnish… Then when I Googled images, I found out that I had bought a post card with an image by Rudolf Koivu at the hotel in Finland. Riikka had helped me pick it!
The Icelandic wool didn’t remind me of anything in particular, but it felt warm and soft and the fact that it was bought on a honeymoon made me connect it to love.
OK, so almost all of the contents of the package reminded me of my trip to Finland in some way or another… My initial response was that I could make a mini book about the trip. Or… about the things I have learned about Finland and Finnish culture ever since… But then the wool and the tea would be left out. And then I thought again: what connects all of these elements? And I wrote down: sweet, comfort, childhood, memories, fairy tales and love.
I also thought about which materials to use and I decided that I would only use materials that were (for me!) in some way connected to Finland. This is what I came up with: gesso, spray inks, Luminart watercolours, masks and oil pastels. Riikka had sent me a small packet of oil pastels from Porvoo on another occasion…
I knew that there are stampers that use oil pastels in a background technique and when I looked up what it was, I came across this tutorial about oil pastel gesso backgrounds and I thought that would be something Riikka would like very much.
And that’s when I decided to let go of my mini book idea and just play. Play with my oil pastels, colour blocking, just like a child… Using warm colours… slapping on gesso… sanding it away again… and trying to make something dreamy…
This is what it became:
I tried the technique on cardstock first and then I went on to do the same thing on canvas. The cardstock piece is a little brighter and I didn’t use graphite stick and Distress Ink to tone it down. The cardstock version is going to be the background piece for a scrapbook page that’s still in progress. I will show it soon!
OK, now it’s time to take a look at Riikka’s project. Can’t wait to see what she came up with!