12 Tags of 2014: July

Hello to you from burning hot Finland,

Over the past days we've been hit by a heat wave, and have witnessed temperatures not typical at all for July in Finland. Especially the nights have been really tropical, and the meteorologists say this has been the hottest end of July in past 50 years! Can you imagine!

So when making my July tag in '12 Tags of 2014' and following the instructions by Tim Holtz my mind traveled from my hot crafting room to a sunny beach, and I could almost hear the seagulls screeching and feel a refreshing sea breeze on my face.... I got so carried away that instead of just one tag I made two!

I did not have many of the suggested dies, so I had to improvise: The sea horse is cut with my Cameo, as well as the two larger fish. The smaller ones are just hand drawn and cut, as are the star fish. For cutting the sea weed I used the suggested Sizzix Sizzlits Decorative Strip Die - Spring Greenery, but for the embossing folder I used an older Sizzix design (which worked still quite well, I think). The plastic is clear packing material I kept from a kid's toy box.

The treasure chest I simply drew on heavy craft cardstock, cut out, painted with distress paints and markers, and decorated with silver and gold colored bead seeds.

I loved the background textures; they were created applying layers of Distress paints, stains, and inks together with some water splashes. My hands are still blue and green from the project, but I don't mind at all, lol!

I have to admit that I'm very bad with storing my projects in a proper way. So even if I loved Tim's sand decoration a lot, I did not want to make bottom part too three-dimensional; I knew that parts of the sand would break off very soon. Therefore I covered the bottom part of the tag with a piece of cardstock I had decorated with paints and embossing powder (using the same technique as for the star fish). On the finished project the painted surface is covered only with a thin layer of 'sand mixture' which is a more simple and practical but less beautiful solution.

Only few more days to go before the new tag tutorial is revealed. Woohoo! Have you followed the series of tutorials and made your complete set of 2014 tags?

Wishing you a nice and sunny day,
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Layout for Creative Scrappers DT: So much to love

Happy Sunday to you,

Time to reveal a new Creative Scrappers sketch!

It's perfect for using strips of your favorite patterned papers, stickers and chipboard embellishments; take a look here and see how the CS design team has used this sketch for inspiration!

Here's my boy themed layout:

The stars on the sketch and the patterned paper inspired me to embellish my layout with stars punched from vellum. I attached them on the background by simply sewing over them with a straight stitch. I used the sewing machine also for attaching the striped foil under the main photo.

The cloud stickers in the background are from Pink Paislee. The two additional white clouds are punched from white cardstock with a squeeze punch, and decorated with a grid stamp.

This time I did not use alpha stickers for the title, but just wrote it on the cream cardstock with a black ink pen.

Patterned papers: Elle's Studio, Studio Calico, Echo Park
Stickers: Pink Paislee, October Afternoon
Sentiment stamps: Elle's Studio
Squeeze punch (cloud): Fiskars

Paper Camellia is our awesome sponsor for July, so don't forget to link your layouts for Sketches 273 and 274!

Have a great day!

Rainbow Loom fever rising!


When traveling in UK a week ago I saw an article in Daily Mail in which they wrote about Prince William being a loom band fan. He had worn a turquoise and black loom band on his recent visit to Coventry, and had told to reporters that he had about 200 of them at home. Daily Mail continued writing that also other well-known people had been spotted wearing colorful rubber bracelets; His wife Kate clearly is a loom band fan, too, and so is David Beckham.

Loom bands? I had never heard about them before.

Photo: Daily Mail
The same day I had some time for shopping before heading home, and came across a Rainbow Loom starter kit in a local store. I bought the kit with some extra rubber band packages, and I thought that the loom set would make a nice gift for my 8-year old daughter. She likes to make beaded bracelets to her friends, and I was sure she would like making loom bands, too.

I could not have chosen a better gift for her. Since she got the package she has made nearly a dozen different bracelets, and learned all the new techniques herself  by watching instruction videos in YouTube. There are many good videos about Rainbow Looms, and even if she doesn't speak Dutch, English nor German she has managed to pick up the key information from the foreign videos without problems. Cool!

I tried to find local Finnish retailers for Rainbow looms, but there isn't much available yet. I'm expecting the Rainbow loom fever to hit us, too, but until then I will need to look for foreign web shops for purchasing additional material for her.

My daughter told me how much fun weaving the rubber/silicone bands was, and of course I had to try it myself. My bracelet is not as colorful as hers, but I like this simple version of the dragon scale design a lot. Making the bracelet did not take too long, and I can now very well understand why people get hooked on the loom bands: As soon as you have finished one design you are already looking for the next, bit more challenging design to work on :D

Have you been hit by the loom band fever? Did you get hooked? :D

Wishing you a nice weekend!
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Flora Grande and Sizzix giveaway!

Two great companies, Sizzix and Prima Marketing, have joint their forces and released together a beautiful collection of dies called Flora Grande. To celebrate the launch of the new collection of dies Prima and Sizzix arranged a blog switch early July: Three Sizzix designers posted on the Prima blog and three Prima bloggers posted on Sizzix blog - all of using the new dies along with some of Prima’s papers and embellishments. How cool was that!

In case you missed some of the inspiring posts here are the Sizzix blog links for you

In addition, Sizzix bloggers have created some additional projects for you using this versatile collection. Click on the pictures below to read the project instructions:

by Minna Paajanen

by Pete Hughes

The collection looks amazing, don't you think!

How about winning a BigShot machine and three Flora Grande products?!?

Sizzix is arranging a great giveaway in which one lucky winner will get a gorgeous price:

All you need to do is to follow this link, enter your contact info, and cross your fingers!

The competition is open to all residents of the UK and EU, and one lucky winner will be drawn 1st August at 10am GMT. Good luck!
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Layout: Wunderbar

Happy Sunday to You,

SODAlicious papers always inspire me. I don't know what it is about them, but the papers are very easy to work with, and the cool designs tempt me to take out my paints, inks, and stamps, and get my fingers messy. I love the monotonous colors, and I feel they leave room for innovation. Yes, I'm a fan of SODAlicious.

SODAsketch no. 7 made me take out my SODAlicious papers again. For a city vacation themed layout the Subway Station paper was just a perfect match! The two photos I took just two weeks back in Berlin - if you want to see more snapshot pictures of the gorgeous city, have a look at my previous blog post.

I finished the page watching the first half of football finals with Germany playing against Argentina. Cheering for Germany I used only the colors of the German flag for my layout - Go Germany Go!

Scrapbooking layout for SODAlicious sketch challenge

Scrapbooking layout for SODAlicious sketch challenge

Scrapbooking layout for SODAlicious sketch challenge

Scrapbooking layout for SODAlicious sketch challenge

Have a nice day. Thanks for stopping by!

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Berlin through my SLR lens

Happy Saturday to you,

During the first week of my vacation we decided that we would make a family trip somewhere. Even though June was very cold and rainy in Finland we did not look for beach holiday destinations as none of us really is a sunbather. Instead, we wanted to spend a week in a city where we would have lots to see and do both for kids and adults, and we chose Berlin!

6 days just flew by. I had not visited Berlin since our class trip in May 1989, and it sure was time to go and check how the place had changed. Our hotel on Ku'damm was located in the city center; next to a bus stop and not far from a metro station, and traveling to different sights could not have been easier for us. We all loved it there, and we were very confident we would visit the city again. We just did not have time to visit all the places we wanted! :D

A perfect companion - A stylish camera bag

Whenever traveling I usually take my DSLR camera with me. Even if it is a bit heavy to carry, I think it still is worth the effort; Photography is my dear hobby, and whenever I see something nice I'm always happy that I have my favorite camera with me. To ease the task of carrying a large camera I purchased a few months back a great camera bag by Jo Totes. I had been looking for a stylish camera bag for a while, and after some careful thinking decided to go for Jo Totes. And I'm so happy I did! 100 euros well spent!

My mustard yellow tote holds not just my dear Nikon, but also an extra lens, together with other important stuff that I need to have in my your bag; wallet, phone, keys, pocket tissue, lip balm, ... There are more than enough pockets both inside and outside the bag, so in addition to an extra battery or memory card you have pockets to put your city map, metro ticket, and such.

The inside of the bag is properly padded on all sides, so above all this tote is a good quality camera bag. But from the outside is does not look like a camera bag at all but a regular tote bag, which is not a bad thing when carrying a valuable camera with you on crowded city streets.

(A quick note to my European friends:  Jo Totes is an American company, but all European orders are placed to their UK delivery center :) )

Stylish camera bag by Jo Totes
Stylish camera bag by Jo Totes

Photo: Jo Totes

Berlin snapshots

One of the great things when traveling with kids is that they have a great eye on details. They spot little things you otherwise would fully miss. This fact strikes me especially when spending time with kids in a city I have only visited for business. You suddenly view the place in totally different light. With so much to see, and so much to explore. I love it!

Berlin snapshots July 2014
I'm not much of a planner when it comes to taking vacation photos. I shoot things that appear interesting to me. Or beautiful. Or just fun. I'm still a bit shy to take my camera out in a crowded place. Over time I have become better, and don't always think too much about people staring at me when I'm taking pictures. Overcoming my shyness will take time, but I'm getting there!

Berlin snapshots July 2014

My kids don't mind being in front of the camera. As a matter of fact they quite often ask me to take pictures of them. Maybe half of my vacation pictures are of my kids. Photos of  precious memories I want to keep for the years to come ♥.

Berlin snapshots July 2014

During our 6 days visit in Berlin I took maybe altogether 270 pictures. Not too many as I did not want to experience our lovely days only through the lens of my camera. Sometimes it's good to put the camera away for a while and just focus on the life 'here and now'.

How about you? Do you take lots of vacation photos? Any good hints and tips you would like to share?
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Layout for Creative Scrappers DT: Music man

Hi to You,
Time to reveal another great sketch of Creative Scrappers! The sketch is just perfect for showcasing your summer vacation instagram photos, don't you think!

I used two instagram pictures I took last summer. On the photos my son is listening to his favorite music on iPad; I love the concentrated look on his face when he's selecting songs to play :)

The lovely background paper is from We R Memory Keepers Inked collection ('Inked Rose'). The paper had pink, yellow and turquoise color splashes, and for the layout center I selected papers that had similar colors. Using pink on a boyish layout may be tricky, but I thought the fun Sassafras paper images balanced the softness of the background, and the overall feeling did not get too girly. My son doesn't mind at all that I use pink with his photos, as he does like pink a lot - he has learned the love for that color from his big sister :D

The stitched square behind the photo is actually golden vellum - you just don't see it's shimmer that well in these photos :)

Brown embellishments are cut with Cameo.

Flowers are stamped and embossed on white cardstock, cut out, and sewn on the background.

I hope you liked my take on the sketch, and wish you will play along!

Have a lovely day!

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Layout for 123 Get Scrappy DT: Wonderful You


It's time for July reveal in 123 Get Scrappy!

This time the challenge is bit different than the previous ones: Instead of layout elements the grid contains colors you need to use in your scrapbook page. Just select one of the rows, horizontal, vertical, or diagonal, and build your design on those colors. In addition you may use neutrals like black, white, and craft.
Cool challenge, isn't it!!

Here's the grid for you to play:

Inspired by the bright and warm summer days I decided to use the middle vertical line Orange - Yellow - Gold. Here's my layout:

Inspiration for the yellow background panel I got from Wilma Furstenberg's online class: The panel is made of folded tissue paper I sew on a piece of white cardstock. Easy and fun way of creating extra texture on your layout!
Yellow background paper is from Basic Grey.

The title is cut with my Cameo. I cut the same image twice; once from white cardstock and once from patterned paper. I like the shadow effect the darker patterned paper makes!

Some of the yellow and orange papers underneath the photo are leftovers from my previous projects. I love to try new techniques, and sometimes I keep the leftover pieces with nice textures for later use. :)

Follow this link to see which rows our guest designers and design team members have picked from the grid. Hope you get inspired and play along!

Have a great day!
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