Janne Robberstad

Welcome to my site! I work as a costume-designer and an artist, and creating, or ARTING as I prefer, makes me happy! This is both a portfolio of things I´ve made and a blog meant to inspire.

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Sri Lankan wheel of color

By spotogspindel | July 31, 2015


Another photo-safari experiment can be looking at colors. I made this little color-wheel with photos from Sri Lanka. Again a very good “treasure-hunt” photo-safri to do with kids to make them more aware. (Though usually it´s the grown-ups that need to sharpen their awareness of their surroundings)

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By spotogspindel | July 31, 2015


Sometimes when I go on a photo-safari, I start noticing one certain thing that shows up again and again. Yesterday it was circles. Or round shapes. It´s a fun experiment to do with children as well, almost like a treasure hunt! Oh, and the last one, doesn´t it look just like Kenny from South Park? :-)

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Nothing is impossible

By spotogspindel | July 27, 2015

“Nothing is impossible – it just takes a little longer time”


My Dad´s motto hand embroidered on linen, and the beginning of a picture. The font is actually a font I found online and liked; it´s supposed to look handwritten. Although now that it is embroidered, it might look a bit TOO handmade… Workdays now are filled with trying to get as much done as possible for next summer´s exhibition, as I know fall will be busy.

It´s been a lovely, domestic weekend, with summer and barbecuing in the garden with the family. And strawberries! I bought a whole box. It´s been years since I made jam myself, but it tastes so much better than the store-bought one, so I thought I´d have a go at it.



And you know what?

It really was delicious 😉

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By spotogspindel | July 24, 2015

Today´s 10-minute work-break-project was to downsize a big, knitted sweater. I am a relatively cold person, as in I freeze alot. So whenever I can get my hands on some real good and warm wool, I´ll  jump at the possibility. This wonderfully soft and fuzzy mohair/wool sweater I found at H&M on sale for a third of the usual prize. Downside: it was size XXL. I´m not that big. Not nearly.


BUT I do have an overlock (serger), and in 10 minutes I had cut off excess fabric/knit, made new seams and voilá! A new, warm sweater size S! The great thing about the overlock is that it can both cut and sew all in one go. Below is a little  sketch to show how I cut away (the arms were way too long too).


And this evening my niece and nephew and I had our third creative date. My nephew wanted to learn how to embroider. And since that is what I am going to be doing a lot of this fall and winter, it was a perfect opportunity for me to see how they took my instructions, and what I needed to adjust. The hardest thing to remember is which way the stitch goes. And how to turn. I can actually remember that from when my Mom was teaching me, how I needed help in turning.


My nephew wanted to make a football. We found a simple drawing online and traced it to the stramei-cloth.


Even thought the form may be simple,, it´s actually quite advanced to sew all those lines going here and there. But just like his aunt, you can tell the concentration is there, when the tongue sticks out 😉


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the big squid

By spotogspindel | July 24, 2015

Today I was back at Hemmingstad theatre to finish the BIG octopus. Or the kraken, if you´d prefer. The costume will be worn  by an actor naturally. But at one point in the show, a giant octopus-arm will come in on the stage. It´s about 4 meters long.


We´d already printed the pattern on the purple fabric in June (with a self-made stamp). Today I got the bottom-half of the fabric, and sew down the tentacles between two layers of the fabric. The shape itself was made in foam by a furniture-carpenter. Two meters into the arm there is a long plastic pole, so one can operate the arm. But I have to admit, it´s a bit heavy.


After the pieces were sewn together, I spray-painted the underside, to even out the borders and to make it more 3D. Looking at the before and after pictures, I am sure you can agree there is a certain improvement in “jelly-ness”.


Back at home, my niece and nephew visited for the daily summer-holiday-craft-workshop. Tonight we made wine-cork mirror-frames. The frames are from IKEA in raw wood. This was originally my nephew´s wish to make. He started collecting corks half a year ago, and had 11. For a frame this size they needed about 30 corks. Good thing I still have a collection.


I think they were both surprised at how much muscle-work it is to cut the corks in half. They were also a bit nervous about the very sharp knives. Wise kids. And the glue-gun. They aren´t allowed to use it in school because it´s so dangerous. But they handled it perfectly and didn´t get burned once. (Which is more than I can say for myself)


Two happy kids with new mirror-frames. Coming back tomorrow for a new project.


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By spotogspindel | July 23, 2015

You know how you´re supposed to be working, but then the weather is so nice and you just really, really want to do something else? Like upcycle some stuff you´ve been collecting in the basement? 😉


This old table I got from the theatre. It´s been standing like this in my living room, but the idea from the start was to paint it bright pink. What I like about it, is that it´s all hard wood.


I started by painting the legs. Putting the table upside down, I painted 3 strokes of paint before turning it around, doing the top. The paint was quite runny, so I had to keep going back, preventing it from making running-marks in the paint.


Last week, I found this American mailbox in a charity-shop. It´s totally going to be  this years Christmas-present to my middle sister! She´s kind of crazy for anything American. So I primed it, and painted it bright turquoise. I´ll be adding some details to it later on, but at least the base is now in place.


What else did I find in my basement? Well, to be honest, the little night-table I found in my sister´s basement. I used to live in her house when she was too young to live there herself. And I have a vague memory of buying this at a flea-market. I don´t know how old it is, but it´s all hard wood, and by the looks of it (in the back) it´s homemade. My bet is that it´s at least 60 years old, probably older.


The chest is also all wood. But of a poorer quality. I got this from a friend of mine, who´d gotten it from an old school. It was used by the school-band to store clarinets in! I knid of really like the color it already has, but it needed a good scrub. Also I did paint the inside. Both to seal the dirt I couldn´t wash off, and to get rid of the smell of basement… I want to add wheels to it, and use it for kid´s costumes.

Summer is also family-time. We spent the weekend with our oldest girl and her baby boy who´s not a baby anymore!


Look at this charmer! He´s is truly enjoying the perks of summer: watermelons are his favorite! And bathing in a pool!


My oldest niece and nephew visited today, and we had a jewelry-workshop. I showed them how to make make little links around the beads, and how to put them together, and they were both keen students. At first it was a bit difficult, but once they got the hang of it, they were very eager. And once I can find the fasteners tomorrow, they will both have new bracelets!

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… and more men

By spotogspindel | July 23, 2015

Still more men in the making. Dozens of them. I am making the panties for the bra I made for my Textile-culture exam.


I outlined the patten form a pair of panties I already had, but am not sure if this size will fit anyone, as the elasticity is less in the embroidery than in the lycra lace of store-bought panties.


Finally finished. Now all that remains is to put it in water, and see the fabric disappear! :-)


In a break I made this new passport-purse. My old one broke in Sri Lanka, and I haven´t gotten around to making a new one until today. The ribbon on the top is a Japanese kimono-fabric, I think I got that in San Francisco  3-4 years ago. The Japanese embroidery was a small silk embroidered picture I found at a local charity-shop. And the bottom ribbon, I think I got in France years ago. It´s nice to finally put some of all my stash to use!


Since I finished the men, I got started on a new piece. So far all I know is the title:


There are so many remnants from all the needlepoint embroidery pieces I´m working with, that I decided to make a piece just from the remnants. It´ll be called JUST ADD COLOR.


In the evening my friend Anne came to visit. She´s just bought a new apartment and needed a big piece of art in the living room. I found a big canvas, we put on some music and got started with the paint and the spatulas…. four hours later we were finished.


This piece is very much inspired by the artist Alf Ertsland, who paints in oil, and gets a depth to his paintings we can only dream about. But still, we were happy with the result, and I am looking forward to seeing it on her wall.

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Men, men, men

By spotogspindel | July 21, 2015


Men in the making. Freestyle machine embroidery on water-soluable fabric. Time to get some serious work done!


It´s been a while since the last time I did these, and it´s nice to get the feel in my fingers again, and to get a sense of the time-frame. These guys took me about 4 hours to make.


You can already see that none of them look the same, they all have their own personality. But once I dissolve the fabric, that personality will become even more apparent. There is simply no way to totally predict with this technique. Which is part of what I am fascinated by.

Topics: embroidery, textile | 1 Comment »

Creating in Mexico?

By spotogspindel | July 21, 2015

If you happen to have some vacation to spare, and love to create, I can totally recommend this workshop in Mexico in February! I am happy and proud to be friends with both Michelle and Sunny, and they are an amazing duo of colorful creativity! Such wonderful people both of them.


And in Mexico! Mexico is so much more, and so much different, than what is portrayed in the news. I was there four years ago, and was mesmerized by the beauty, the colors, the history… and the lovely, warm weather :-)


Topics: travel, workshops | 1 Comment »

Berit and the lobsters

By spotogspindel | July 17, 2015


A commissioned picture for a dear relative. Lobster-season is between October 31st and December 31st, so these pictures are from last fall. The final picture is 40×80 cm.

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