Some Things

some_things_12-11 Something to walk by while bringing in piles of freshly delivered firewood. I’m not complaining.

Some things about student life, and good advice on how to handle stress. Brought back a lot of memories. I agree wholeheartedly with point nr. 2!!!

Another thing that brought back memories about a totally different kind of stress: believe it or not, that’s actually what my phd thesis was all about!

Something colorful and delicate I could spend hours looking at: Anna Emilia Laitinen, one of my absolute favorite illustrators, has a brand new website.

Something to brighten up wintry salads. Yum! Reminded me of the beetroot story.

One last thing! I’m having a weekend sale over at Alpha Angle before putting the shop into hibernation during the holidays. 20% off all greeting cards with the code ALPHACARDS.

Have a great weekend!

other things


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Time And More Time


A little package with my very own greeting cards arrived in my mailbox yesterday! I figured that my winter woods collage would make a nice touch of color alongside my black and white cards in the Alpha Angle shop. I had been a bit worried about ICC color profiles, but the colors turned out really nice.

I also wanted to add a “non-academic” option – because there’s a whole world outside academia!


Well, actually — ahem — this was the first idea I had in mind. I made this sketch last summer when I was very excited to try making a linocut. But finding the right combination of paper and ink turned out more difficult than I had thought it would be, and I set this project aside. It’s still there in the back of my mind, but it has to wait.


It’s been a constant this year: things taking way more time than I had thought they would. Although this fact is not really new to me — I constantly had the same feeling when I was a researcher — I seem to keep fooling myself about it.


I would really love being able to do all the bag-sewing and card-printing myself one day. For now I had to let that go – and learn how to make a print-ready vector file.

Still, it’s such a satisfaction to open a package and see a tiny batch of something that you’ve imagined and designed and that has become real.

After the photoshoot

One thing at a time. Yesterday was for taking photos. And guess what?
It took a lot more time than I had thought it would.

other things on my desk


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Big Eyes And Scanning Struggles

Einstein writing on the blackboard || Watercolor || bymarion

I could say that I’m sharing my desk with Einstein himself this week, nothing more, nothing less. But let’s just say that I made my own version of the famous portrait of Einstein writing on the blackboard. Although he’s plain flat watercolor instead of a relief cut-paper collage, he is officially joining my collection of big-eyed characters.

Einstein writing on the blackboard || pencil sketch || bymarion

As you can see, I changed the text a little. Ahem! But that’s because this painting was made to illustrate the first edition of the Outside The Lab newsletter, in which I chat about a political text called Why Socialism that Einstein wrote in 1949. You can read more about this here, if you’re interested.

einstein writing on the blackboard || infographic || bymarion

And here’s my final infographic, with a little shadow added digitally. The reason I made a flat painting instead of a relief collage was mainly to facilitate the scanning process.

Still, since I didn’t use high quality watercolor paper, it wrinkled when it dried. I had to flatten it to be able to scan in properly: I put the painting right side down on my ironing board, added a slightly wet towel on top and ironed it briefly, which did the job.

The scanning step is still a bit of a challenge for me, though, when it comes to color rendering, or dealing with the grain of the paper for example. Does anyone out there have any advice?

other things on my desk


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On My Desk


Academic Greetings - A Set of 5 Cards by Alpha Angle


I have sent my family and friends a ridiculous amount of handmade cards over the years: they patiently followed my experiments with various styles and materials. There were scrapbooking-like cards, cut paper cards, painted cards, minimalist cards, maximalist cards. Cardboard, magazine cuttings, egg cartons, whatever. You name it!

They often joked that if I didn’t pursue physics as a carrier, I could always make cards instead. Well, here we go! Of course, one cannot leave academia without after-effects: so, these are academic greetings!

I started with a quick hand-lettered sketch, and used it as a guide to draw all the letters digitally in Inkscape.

Now that these are done, I am hoping for a few weeks with less screen time. I came back from my recent trip with a pile of old jeans to recycle, so I guess there will be more of these pouches soon.


Back To It


watercolor painting

color pencils

These past few weeks have been a about sewing and knitting. Now I’m back to cutting paper and messing around with colors. I’m making more bookworms, experimenting with new patterns, and snapping little touches of orange on my desk along the way.

making papercuts

more photo challenges


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On knitting socks and running your own business

Bygdøy, Oslo

During Christmas break I asked my grandma if she knew how to knit socks. Of course she did. We couldn’t find any suitable yarn in the house or in town, but I traveled back home with her detailed explanations memorized, a precious old pair of hand-knitted socks made by my late great great-aunt to use as a model, and the promise of Skype rescue sessions if I ever got stuck.

In 2015, among other equally important things, I will turn 30, read every morning before switching on the computer (ahem), sew lots of stuff, run my own business, renovate my little red house, finish a philosophy book for children, grow vegetables, reflect upon dialog between natural and social sciences, take better pictures, live frugally, write more, buy even less stuff, make illustrations and learn how to knit socks.

Now, it does appear to me that 1) all these things sound really disparate, that 2) some also sound crazy (finish a book, really?) and 3) seriously, am I putting the question of dialog between natural and social sciences and the art of knitting socks on the same level?

But what I learned from 2014 is that:
1) however disparate these things might appear, there is actually a coherence in this list: work/life balance issues? Be gone. Plus, I really love all these things. I don’t want to choose between them. I need them all to be happy.
2) Er, you’re turning 30. Thir-ty, Marion. You’re allowed to turn “crazy” into “real”. Or at least try to.
3) well, darn yes I am. All these years, I’ve somehow contemptuously tried to convince myself that I shouldn’t, which has only made me frustrated.

There. I said it.

Happy 2015, friends!