My Marimekko

March 16, 2017

Marimekko print — Winnie the Pooh

Marimekko print, detail

Back in the 1970s when I was working in Minneapolis, I found this Marimekko fabric panel at a fabric warehouse.  I bought it and saved it in my fabric stash, until about a decade later when I had it hand-quilted and made into a baby quilt for my daughter.  I still love the graphic style of the classic Winnie-the-Pooh images.  I suppose you could call it a vintage quilt, and for me it is a cherished keepsake.

The Nordic Heritage Museum in Seattle is currently hosting an exhibit of Marimekko fabrics and designs.  A friend and I went yesterday, and we found the colorful pieces quite uplifting on a gray, rainy Seattle day.  I only wish the exhibit were larger, as it left me wanting to see more work from this captivating design house.

Marimekko is a Finnish design company, and its team of designers create not only fabric prints, but also simple and fashionable clothes and home products.  I could easily see myself wearing some of the loose, blousey, simple dresses over black leggings.  If you are interested in finding out more about Marimekko, its website includes a blog, and a series of posts entitled “Every Print Has a Story,” that give some background into the designers and their work.

Here are some photos from the “Marimekko, With Love” exhibit at the Nordic Heritage Museum:

 

 

 

Hydrangea Orgy

July 8, 2016

Hydrangeas in blues

Hydrangeas in blues

I don’t remember seeing hydrangeas when I was growing up in Minnesota, but here in the Pacific Northwest they flourish.  I just love the range of colors they display, from purple to blue to pink and white.  I took all of these photos yesterday when strolling through the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle.

Hydrangea bush on a Ballard street

Hydrangea bush on a Ballard street

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I was in Ballard for a visit to the Nordic Heritage Museum to see an exhibit of photographs by Nathalia Edenmont, who works in Sweden.  I was intrigued by her use of botanicals as garments, resulting in some unique fashion portraits.  I laughed when I saw some hydrangeas in her photographs.

Deep in Thought, 2012 by Nathalia Edenmont, Force of Nature exhibit.  Dress made with dried hydrangeas.

Deep in Thought, 2012 by Nathalia Edenmont, Force of Nature exhibit. Dress made with dried hydrangeas.

Consciousness, 2012 by Nathalia Edenmont, Force of Nature exhibit.  Pink hydrangeas on shoulder strap.

Consciousness, 2012 by Nathalia Edenmont, Force of Nature exhibit. Pink hydrangeas on shoulder strap.

Edenmont’s photos are weirdly wonderful — the poses are a tad dark or serious but the outfits are whimsical and colorful.  Here are a few more:

Baby's Breath, 2010 by Nathalia Edenmont

Baby’s Breath, 2010 by Nathalia Edenmont

Saga, 2011 by Nathalia Edenmont

Saga, 2011 by Nathalia Edenmont

Cousin Red, 2014 by Nathalia Edenmont

Cousin Red, 2014 by Nathalia Edenmont

Tasty, 2015 by Nathalia Edenmont

Tasty, 2015 by Nathalia Edenmont

After enjoying my hydrangea morning, I think I’ll try my hand at painting hydrangeas for my next subject.

Watercolor sketch of hydrangea

Watercolor sketch of hydrangea

 

"Scissors for a Brush" exhibit, Nordic Heritage Museum, Seattle

“Scissors for a Brush” exhibit, Nordic Heritage Museum, Seattle

Papercuts by Karen Bit Vejle

Papercuts by Karen Bit Vejle

I just learned a new word, psaligraphy, which means the art of paper cutting.  Psaligraphic artist, Karen Bit Vejle, has an exhibit of her work at Seattle’s Nordic Heritage Museum.  Called “Scissors for a Brush,” the show displays the delicate, lace-like, “paintings” pressed between clear acrylic frames so that the airy negative spaces and shadows seem as much of the art as the paper.

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Karen Bit Vejle is a Danish-Norwegian artist, but the art of papercutting has roots in many other cultures as well such as Japanese kirigami, German scherenschnitte, and Polish wycinanki.  The Seattle exhibit is the first time Karen Bit Vejle’s art has been shown in the United States.  Next year, from January to May 2014, the exhibit will travel to the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis. If you can’t see it in person, you can view an online guide with more information about each piece on display at this link.