Tuesday, August 26, 2014

In Situ

It would have been so great to show you one of my customers wearing my designs, but as I have been falling behind on this daily photo challenge, on such a short notice you'll have to settle for a picture of me. It was taken this morning, on my 34th birthday, in the exact spot where I sew all my clothing. Well, I'm afraid the last part is just make-believe... I have no time for sewing today - I'm spending the whole day studying.

Anyway, I've worn this shirt in several different occasions. On a night-out, when going shopping, when working (like in the make-believe picture here) or when just relaxing at home. I think I've even worn it on a walk with the dogs... so it really is very versatile and comfortable.

If you wish to have this shirt made to your measurements you can go to my shop and choose your favorite options. Or you could participate in my giveaway and win yourself one!

(This month I am participating in a daily challenge by Create & Thrive. To see my daily posts you can follow me on Instagram.)

Work clothes

When I'm working - whether on my photography or the clothing collection, I wear whatever I feel like that day. I never work in my pj's. I've noticed that getting my make-up and hair done as well as wearing nice clothes does help me getting into the "work mood".

Now that the autumn has arrived here in Finland I always wear knitted socks or legwarmers. This pair was made by my 94 year old Grandma. She is incredible - at that age and still knitting socks, blankets and the cutest dolls and creatures. I hope some day I will be as talented as she is!

(This month I am participating in a daily challenge by Create & Thrive. To see my daily posts you can follow me on Instagram.)

Monday, August 25, 2014

Neighbourhood












 

Click *here* for the story behind the first picture.

It looks like I'm living in a ghost town but that's not
exactly true... I do live in a rather quiet countryside
town but these photos were taken this morning around 6a.m.
so no-one was around...

(This month I am participating in a daily challenge
by Create & Thrive.
To see my daily posts you can follow me

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Why?

After my last post it's quite appropriate that the next topic is "Why?"
Why would I want to go through all that trouble, work for myself, work extra hours and pay a lot of business-related taxes? Why do I choose to face the stress of creating my own income and running the extra mile for it?

It's so hard to explain. I could always say sewing and photography make me happy, which is true. But dogs and good food make me happy, too - yet, I wouldn't even consider becoming a dog breeder or a chef.

But designing, sewing, making something with my own hands... Or capturing a perfect moment on camera and being able to create feelings through my work. Those are things I can't live without. The older I get, the stronger I feel that creativity is the whole essence of my being. I need it. I absolutely need to do something creative to stay happy.

I'm not after the big bucks, fame or fortune. I do understand I need to make money to pay the bills and keep going, but money is not what motivates me. I'm not even sure if I want my business to grow into a bigger company, because being unique is what I'm going for.

I actually believe I've been carrying the same fire with me through my whole life, from the childhood when I was so fascinated by my Mum's sewing creations, through the school years when the art class felt like heaven on Earth. Then I lost it for a while as I grew up and got a job. But now it's back and I just want to let it burn.

(This month I am participating in a daily challenge by Create & Thrive. To see my daily posts you can follow me on Instagram.)

Friday, August 22, 2014

Goal

Today's subject on the daily challenge is "Goal". I have a lot of smaller goals I want to achieve, but they are all just milestones on my way to the big one I have set for myself. My main goal is to make a living on my own business.

Now, I'm not foolish - neither am I naive. I don't believe success will come over night (well, some people are that lucky) or easilly. I have and continue making plans for my future and improving my business in any way I can. At the moment I am sewing custom orders and new pieces of clothing for my shop, studying 6 hours a day in a business program for young entrepreneurs, and I also have a part time job for 18 hours of my week.

Time is money, I finally understand what it really means. I get up early, work, study, then work a little more again and go to bed late. I get tired, but in a really good way. I feel like I have endless amounts of energy and I WILL reach that goal because I have decided to. A dream without a plan is just a wish, and I'm not the one to bet all my money on a shooting star.

(This month I am participating in a daily challenge by Create & Thrive. To see my daily posts you can follow me on Instagram.)

Morning

Yes, that is the alarm of my cellphone. Yes, it's says 4:40a.m. It's not unusual for me at all to start my day at that hour. When my husband wakes up for his morning shift, I always get up at the same time. I got used to waking up early when I still worked in a factory, doing some industrial sewing with heavy machinery. I had a long commute and I had to be there a little after seven every morning, so there really was no time to sleep in.

Back then waking up at 5 was complete misery. I was constantly tired and frustrated, I had absolutely no energy for anything after work. And I had no passion at all for the work. Every morning I repeated the same routines, thinking it was totally normal not to like your job. I thought everyone hated theirs and that's just the way work is. I was so wrong.

For years I had a dream of doing something I love for a living. It started as a silly idea, a passing thought of "hey, wouldn't it be funny if I could earn my paycheck by doing something fun" and I buried the thought before I even considered it more carefully. I just truly believed it wasn't possible, because you're not supposed to like your job. It took me several years before I realised I can make it happen if I really put my mind into it.

So now I'm finally on my way to having a job I absolutely love. And suddenly I don't mind getting up early anymore. If I sleep until 7 it feels like I have lost a couple of hours of perfectly good time to do something awesome. Sometimes when I go to bed I'm already thinking "I can't wait to get up again", that's how much I enjoy what I'm doing.

Tomorrow it's Saturday, though, so I promised myself I wouldn't get up too early. Maybe at seven...

(This month I am participating in a daily challenge by Create & Thrive. To see my daily posts you can follow me on Instagram.)

Finished


Yesterday I finished another custom item for
a very lovely customer. I love the materials
I was able to find for this piece -
I hope she does, too!

Don't forget to participate in my giveaway!
You might win a shirt of your choice
made to your measurements!

(This month I am participating in a daily challenge
To see my daily posts you can
follow me on Instagram.)

Tools

These are some of my most often used tools when it comes to work - and hobbies, too. A big reason to start running my own business was that I wanted to enjoy working instead of waking up annoyed every morning. So right now my work doesn't even feel like working, it feels like a very dear hobby.

In my business I'm combining clothes design and photography, so I need all kinds of tools. These are just the ones I use every day. I also need my laptop all the time but it couldn't fit into the picture. So I added my smartphone instead - sometimes I actually work with it instead of getting to my desk where the laptop is.

That Nikon-beauty is only my free-time tool so far. As much as I would like to start selling nature themed prints, I need to teach myself to develope film first. I even have the developing kit ready - just not enough hours in a day...

(This month I am participating in a daily challenge by Create & Thrive. To see my daily posts you can follow me on Instagram.)

Customer

Meet Neea, one of my cutest customers!
Besides sewing I also do photography, like portrait
photoshoots for children. This is one of Neea's
1 year old photos that her parents asked me to take.

Photographing children is quite challenging
but also rewarding, as all the models are so cute
and photographic. It's also a lot of fun - they are
so genuine with their ever-changing feelings and moods.
If you know your equipment it's not very hard to capture
the right things. This is also something where I have
and advantage of my former job; I have a diploma
on childcare and I used to work in that area
for a few years. Children feel comfortable
with me - although sometimes they are a bit
afraid of my huge professional camera...

(This month I am participating in a daily challenge
To see my daily posts you can follow me

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Photography

O'boy o'boy o'boy! Woo-hoo! Yes, I get carried away when talking about photography... There can only be one true love for me and in photography that is film. Good, old-fashioned, 35mm film - either in black and white or beautifully faded colors. Lots of lovely grain, or sharper than any digital picture taken. The options are endless and the results always a surprise, no matter how carefully you compose the shot.
Here are all my babies - both film and digital. Only one of them is not working for sure, the rest I have either already tested and proved to be producing nice images or there is a first roll of film inside right now. Let's take a closer look at all of them and a glimpse of the photos I have taken with these pieces of art!
This is my strong and sturdy DSLR, Canon EOS-1D Mark II. It was already used when I bought it from an acquaintance. This is the camera I use for all my work related photography whether it's my clothing collection, some passport photos or a 1 year old baby's photoshoot. I'm using a Tamron SP AF 17-35mm f/2.8 for all the basic stuff. Next to the camera you can see a Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX APO HSM-lense (don't worry, I can't always remember what those letter combinations mean, either) that is half mine and half my sister's. We got it used, as well. I also have a Zenitar 16mm f/2.8 fisheye that I hardly ever use.
Canon EOS-1D Mark II, Tamron SP AF 17-35mm f/2.8

Canon EOS-1D Mark II , Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX APO HSM
 
Canon EOS-1D Mark II, Zenitar 16mm f/2.8 fisheye

Next we have the Polaroid 600 which I bought way back in 1996 when I was in Texas as a summer exchange student. You have no idea how happy I am that I've kept this piece all these years! They stopped manufacturing Polaroid-films a long time ago, but nowadays you can get replacement films again. They're very expensive, though, so I've only tested this baby for 2 packs of film. Yes, it works. The little yellow digital camera is Canon PowerShot D20 which I bring along with me whenever I know there are going to be tough conditions. This camera can handle water, cold temperatures and even dropping it accidentally - and because it's small, it is very handy on the hikes in the forest.
Polaroid 600 with The Impossible Project-film
Canon PowerShot D20
Now we're getting to the good stuff! Top left I have the Agfa Clack that I just recently got. Haven't tested it yet but it seems to be in great condition. Top right there is the handy Minolta Hi-Matic F which currently has a test roll in it. I'm so excited to see the results - if it works, this might become one of my favorite street cams. Bottom left you can see my Canon Canonet 28. One of the most popular rangefinder film cameras that are still being used amongst film enthusiasts. It works but has some problems with the lightmeter, so the results are always a mystery until the film is developed. Bottom right is my dear Canon AE-1 that I bought from my brother-in-law. Even though the lightmeter is not working in this piece, it is one of my favorite cameras.
Canon Canonet 28
Canon AE-1
And here we have the rest of the bunch! Top left is a Bilora Standard Box which unfortunately seems too damaged to be repaired. It's the only one of my cameras that I got despite of it's condition; I just thought it looked really nice. Top middle is a Konica C35 that I have high hopes for. I have a test roll in and as this camera is super small and lightweight, it will become my trusty companion if it turns out to be a working piece. Top right is a Canon Prima Super 105 - one of the newer range of film cameras. It's a point and shoot automatic camera that I got just for fun (and in hopes of getting my husband to shoot film, too...) This one also has a test roll inside but I'm already pretty sure it works. Bottom left you can see the other one of my SLR's - a Nikon FM2. I have shot several films with it and I really like how easy it is to use, and how high quality the pictures turn out. Definitely a nice piece to have! And finally, bottom right is my Ricoh 35EFS, which turned out to be more fun than it looks and feels outside. I have shot one roll of film with it, and the results were really cool, vintage-looking photos.
Nikon FM2
Ricoh 35EFS
After showing you all these cameras (and I also have a film developing kit that I have not used yet) I must confess these days I take most of my everyday pictures with my cellphone. I always convince myself it's the easiest and fastest way, and it really saves time for something else I need to be doing... but there is no excuse, it is totally shameful and embarrassing! I need to get a hold of myself and start using all these beauties on a daily basis. So now that I finally got them arranged on my atelier shelves for this post, I intend to leave them there. That way they are easy to pick up and always right there as a reminder of what true photography really is to me!

(This month I am participating in a daily challenge by Create & Thrive. To see my daily posts you can follow me on Instagram.)

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Giveaway!

This month I'm participating in a daily challenge on Instagram,
 each day having a different theme that has something
to do with creative businesses. I've had a lot of fun
doing it - I've also learned a lot about myself and
the dreams and goals for my business. So I thought
it would be nice to share the good feeling by
arranging a giveaway!

If you would like to win a shirt - either mens or women's,
just *click here* for easy access to the giveaway. You have
until the end of August to participate, I will
draw the winner on Sep 1st. He or she will get a custom
shirt made to his/her own measurements with preferred colors!

Even if you don't want to participate in this giveaway,
do take a look at my Facebook page. You will see bits and
pieces of the work I do, giveaways and special prices
for my items.

EDIT: I've decided to accept participants for the giveaway
through this blog as well. If you're not using Facebook
you can participate by becoming a follower of this blog
or subscribing for my posts by e-mail (you can do that
by adding in your e-mail address on the right side
column of this page). When you have either
followed or subscribed, leave a comment to this
post on the comment section below.
And you're in!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Rest

Sometimes, in the middle of the busiest workday of the week,
nature decides you need a break.
When a thunderstorm shuts down the power from the
whole town, there isn't much to do but rest.
 
Fortunately I had already finished the custom order
in the morning, so I just took the time
to enjoy the result.

(This month I am participating in a daily challenge
To see my daily posts you can follow me

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Vignette

You can have a custom Lauren made for you by clicking *here*!
Decided to wear a Lauren piece from my personal wardrobe, for inspiration.
Today I've been working on a custom order Lauren shirt.
My lovely new customer gave me some options for the color
and style, and I was able to find perfect materials
right away. Searching for materials isn't always that easy
but I guess this time it was just meant to be.
I have yet to find the right fabrics for another
top she ordered but I'm sure I'll pick up something
just as pretty and feminine as for this one.
 It's a nice change after sewing some menswear lately!

(This week I am participating in a daily challenge
To see my daily posts you can follow me