Peony and Parakeet

A Decorated Box Using Mixed Media

Decorated box filled with ink bottlesTrash can become a treasure

It was only a small cardboard box but I wanted to take it to the extreme. There’s something extremely satisfying in taking  trash and treating it like a treasure. Many times when I draw I miss working with 3-dimensional objects. This time I wanted to enjoy playing with the box and use all its’ sides. Mixed media was the driving factor here too.


First removed all the extra tapes from the box surface. Then I covered the box with white gesso. It would give colors better background than brown cardboard.


I painted the inside panels yellow. It is one of my favorite colors and I often use it when I want to add light but do not want to do that with white. As you may know, I am not a big fan of white!

Adding collage elements to the inside panels of the box

Plain yellow surface looked little bare so I added some collage elements. These were made by coloring pages from children’s books with color pencils and then  randomly cutting circles from the colored areas. I glued the circles with gel medium.

The bottom of the box needed something different. I decided to crochet a piece that would fit inside the box. I began with a small square and crocheted around it using a couple of colors. Finally I finished the pice by embroidering a flower.

At this phase the box reminded me about the sunflowers in the end of the summer. Then I began to decorate the outside of the box.

Crocheted bottom of the decorated box

Crocheted edge on the bottom of the decorated box


I continued with crochet. I made flowers and a long chain which I used in the outside bottom. It feels great to lay the box onto the table when there’s soft wool in the edges!

The I wondered how to attach the decorations like the crocheted flowers and various buttons to the outside edges. They were pretty heavy. Golden Fiber Paste was the perfect stuff! It created the textured surface and attached all the little pieces securely.

A decorated box using mixed media, a closeup

The end result is unusual looking but perfect for my indian ink bottles!

Folk Bag with Imagination

Folk Bag, Dancing With Imagination, by Peony and Parakeet

I finished this bag in the summer but have been saving this for blogging. Now when the autumn has come to Finland, showing this feels appropriate.

Folk Bag, Dancing With Imagination, by Peony and Parakeet

When making this my goal was to create something based on my own style so I created everything myself. All the patterns and ornaments are my own designs.

This bag is inspired by nature in the way many folk style objects were. It also represents the design process where wild plants change to stiff ornaments.

I named the bag after another of my work. This is called Dancing With Imagination because it is so much alike than the art journal page that I made a while ago.

Painting With Wool

For a long time I have believed that the most valuable things are those that you can make yourself from start to finish. The question is only, where to start. This project was a very special one as I started with natural white wool. I had the idea of painting with fiber and I thought I could take a layered approach as what I have done with papers.

My first step was to dye the wool by painting colors over it. Here’s one of the rovings I dyed.

Then I spun the wool.

Here’s some of the finished yarn. With spinning I added “painted” layers.

Then I chose the pattern. I could have designed it myself but I find so perfect one I decided to go with it. It’s Stockport by Sarah Hutton from Rowan magazine nr 46. I chose to make mine it a little longer to really show off the yarn.

When knitting the sweater I made random stripes, another layer of paint. I think that the result really proves that the layered look can be done with fiber too!

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