Sizzix Inspiration: Free floral papers to download!

Sizzix has published a new collection of beautiful downloadable floral papers. In the set there are five patterned papers and two solid colour papers, and two sheets of embellishments, all matching perfectly together. And they are all yours, for FREE!

Just follow *this link* to get your own set!

Sizzix blogger Annika Flebbe has used the papers to create this below card:

For reading her card tutorial please click *here*

Wishing you an inspiring day!

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Layout for May 123 Get Scrappy: Pretty As A Flower


Melina from 123 Get Scrappy! has put up a new challenge grid for all of us to play. Here it is:

It could be that the upcoming Mother's day made me use a lovely picture of my sweet daughter, and combine it with girly pink and green colours, lots of die-cut flowers and hearts . Here's my layout, for which I used the diagonal row Die cut piece - Lots of flowers - Circle shaped photo:

For the background I used plain white cardstock with pink watercolors. Without a contrasting color I thought the result would have been too soft and boring, and I added a hint of black with splashing black watercolor on the background. However, as the background was not treated with gesso nor anything similar, the black water color started fading and blending into the background. That's not the result I was after! I changed to a black marker, and doodled small circles and dots on the pink color. Better!

The lovely flowers, leaves and tiny hearts are die-cut using new dies from Sizzix Craft Asylum collection. The sets are called 'Woodland Flower' and 'Woodland Leaves', follow the links to see what shapes the die sets contain!

Before attaching the flowers and leaves on the layout I inked their edges and bent the petals ownward. I don't usually crate too 3-dimensional layouts, as I don't know how to store them. Layering the elements and shaping the paper embellishments usually are enough for having a 3-D effect on my project.

For shaping the photo I used the Sizzix circle die. For protecting the photo during cutting I placed a piece of printing paper between the photo and the cutting plate; that way you can use also the most worn-out cutting plates for die-cutting photos. I also cut another circle from vellum and placed it underneath the photo. The pink frame is made from emroidery yarn.

The flower center pieces are die-cut from white cardstock. As a finishing touch I shaded the edges with grey markers.

Wishing you all happy Mother's day!
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Scrapbooking layout: Courage


This Saturday I was happy to meet two friends at a paper crafting get together. As many times before we had booked a meeting room in an interior design shop 'Moko', that is the most inspiring place and visually most appealing surroundings for paper crafting! Their cafeteria and brunch buffet offer all kinds of delicacies, so that morning in the heart of Helsinki was good for both mind and body :)

The main thing in our crops is of course to see each other and to catch up, but I was able to do some crafting, too :). When I returned home I felt that I needed to continue working on something, so I used the Sketchabilities sketch #138 and the amazing projects by Sketchabilities DT as my inspiration source:

I had just worked on something soft and girly, so I wanted to create something in more grungy style. Here's my layout:

All papers and stamps I've used are from SODAlicious collection. I was really sorry to hear that the lovely SODAladies were closing their online store. Their simple, mainly black and white paper designs have always inspired me, and the paper quality has been my true favorite among papers suitable for mixed media. Hopefully an end of something means a beginning for something else!

Pink and red background is made with Gelli Plate.

Piece of punchinella and air-brushed black and white Distress markers in the corners

First I thought I would use black or white letter stickers for the header, but as the background was bit busy I needed to have a solid background for my header sentiment. The simplest solution for that was to use Dymo!

Do you have similar items like Dymo in your stash: Tools or supplies you have had for a long time but that you still continue using?

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Vintage style card: Now is the right time

Hi and happy Friday!

Have you already participated in Craft Stamper May Take It Make It challenge? If not, now's the time to take out your stamps and get creative! There's still plenty of time to enter your projects, just make sure you add your project link to the TIMI challenge post latest on May 27!

Again, our design team has created amazing projects for your inspiration. Check out all the gorgeous pictures here!

For my project I used a beautiful Prima stamp 'Now Is The Time', designed by talented Finnabair. I heat embossed the image with black embossing powder, as I wanted the result to be dark black. Another reason for using heat embossing was the need to create a resist for the watercolours I used on the background. I could have covered the image with masking fluid, too, but as the image was pretty large I thought heat embossing was an easier solution to protect the stamped image.

The soft background paper is from Prima, too, and even it their papers do tolerate wet media I decided to cover the surface with clear gesso. Gesso allowed me to use plenty of water with the watercolours, and prevented the background from buckling too much.

Once the background was dry I added more patterns with Finnabair's Vintage Vanity - Musica stamps. I also highlighted the beams, and heat embossed them with golden and bronze embossing powder.

Before gluing down the embellishments I attached the picture first on brown cardstock and then on a piece of corrugated cardboard. The embellishments were not too heavy and could have glued down with Tacky Glue, but for ensuring that nothing would drop I used gel medium for attaching the little metal trinkets on my picture.

Wishing you a nice weekend!

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Have you heard of Zentangle? Have you tried it?

Zentangle is a type of doodling, in which you draw repetitive, structured patterns. Actually there's nothing new in the Zentangle artistic style: Many of us have doodled black and white patterns when talking on the phone, or when listening to a lecture. Now it has been widely acknowledged that doodling is a great way to both focus and to relax. It's a way of 'artistic meditation' that anyone can do, without expensive tools nor special supplies.

Zentangle textures

What is a Zentangle?

Zentangle method was developed in US by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. They realized that when focusing on doodling the person was experiencing similar emotions than when meditating; feelings of timelessness, freedom and well-being.

"The Zentangle Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. [...]
Almost anyone can use it to create beautiful images. It increases focus and creativity, provides artistic satisfaction along with an increased sense of personal well being. The Zentangle Method is enjoyed all over this world across a wide range of skills, interests and ages."

Source: Zentangle Method

"Zentangles are miniature pieces of unplanned, abstract, black and white art created through a very specific Method from an ensemble of simple, structured patterns called tangles on a 3.5-inch (89 mm) square paper tile. Zentangles are not only exquisitely beautiful, they are fun and relaxing to create."
Source: What is a Zentangle?

A few weeks back I bought a German magazine about Zentangle, and was intrigued about the described methods. I ordered myself a Zentangle book, did some googling, and made my first Zentangle drawing. I did not use the 3.5" tiles nor followed the method theory rules too strictly ("In our Zentangle way, you draw each stroke consciously and deliberately" I was amazed: it was easy, fun, and very relaxing!

Zentangle inspiration

For collecting inspirational Zentangle patterns and tutorials I created a board in Pinterest, dedicated to Zentangle. Please follow this link to see what I've pinned on that board!

My very first Zentangle: Owl

The basic idea in Zentangle is not to spend too much time on one design i.e. to keep the designs small enough to be able to finish them in 15-30 minutes. However, keeping the time limit was not my target at all: I'm not the fastest crafter, and was making the drawing on Saturday evening without any time pressure. The main thing was to have some doodling fun, after viewing some amazing animal shaped designs in Pinterest I knew for sure what I wanted to draw: An owl!

Zentangle owl

I started with sketching the owl with a pencil, and erased the pencil lines after the drawing was finished. Many amazing Zentangle drawings look really 3-dimensional due to the beautiful shadows and highlights the artists create in their projects. I like shadowing with markers, and therefore used my set of warm grey tone colours.

Zentangle tools

I wanted to keep my drawing monotonous, but still thought my artjournal page needed a hint of colour. For adding a soft touch of dark yellow I took a water-soluable Distress Marker and the Spritzer tool. I softened the colour a bit by brushing the colour with water.

Zentangle patterns

I loved the creative process, and the relaxing flow of doodling and drawing. And I like my owl a lot!
Now my head's spinning with new ideas for incorporating Zentangle elements into my future projects!

Zentangle owl

If you are already hooked with Zentangle I would love to see what you have made. Put a link to the comments and I'll be happy to stop by in your blog!

Wishing you a nice Sunday,
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Card for May Mixed Media Card Challenge: Let Your Dreams Take Flight


It's May first, and time for a new Mixed Media Card Challenge! This month's theme is 'Wings', and for those who want to challenge them a bit more we are suggesting to include the optional element 'Foil' in the project, too.
Talented MMCC design team has made a beautiful collection for your inspiration, just follow this link to see all the gorgeous cards.

Inspired by all the colourful butterflies in the challenge picture I made this card:

The key idea was to create a contrast between the colourful butterfly and the gray background. For the background I used a leftover piece of grey cardstock that I coloured with black and gold mists. As background decoration I used a white paper doily I inked black, stamped some random texts on, and glued on the background. At that point the background appeared bit too dark for a joyful card, and I decided to highlight the butterfly with white acrylic paint. Much better!

The butterfly was stamped on heavy white watercolour paper. For creating a resist for the watercolours I used black embossing powder for the image. Once I had melted the powder and the butterfly image had cooled down I cut it out around the edges. The antennas were too thin and difficult to cut, so I decided to replace them with a piece of wire I folded in half and coiled on both ends.

I stamped the sentiment text on white cardstock, trimmed sides and the left end, and mat on a piece of black cardstock. For creating a 3D look I bent the sentiment pennant over a round ink dabber, and glued down on the card front from both ends.

Such a fun and playful project to make! Hope you got inspired and will play along. Linky tool for participating in the challenge can be found in the challenge post.

In Finland (like in many other countries worldwide) we are celebrating labor day. Our family does not have any special traditions linked to this day, but are enjoying the day together, off from the office and school. In the evening I might still sneak into my crafting room for some scrapbooking; I need some warm-up for [inter]national Scrapbooking Day on May 2nd! Do you already have a schedule planned for that special day?

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Scrapbooking Layout for Take It, Make It May Challenge: Be You. Always. Vol II


Happy May Day to you!
It's time to kick off a new Craft Stamper Make It, Take It challenge!

Theme this month is: 'Take A Stamp'. In other words, anything goes, as long as you are using stamps on your project.

Lately I've been working on many hand-stamped cards, so I thought it would be nice to do something else instead. Like a scrapbooking layout!

So this is my 'Take A Stamp' project for May:

My son's favourite colour is orange, so this layout is made just for him: Be you. Love all the bright colours. Laugh often and be silly. You are so very much loved!

I wanted to decorate my background with orange and yellow watercolours, and as I was not sure how well the paper would tolerate a wet medium I covered 1/3 of the page with clear gesso before taking out my watercolours. I think that worked out pretty well!

Once the watercolour was dry I added some stamped patterns on the background. For that I used orange, brown and black stamping inks.

The dots glued on the background are from a little bag of confetti by Cocoa Daisy.

Little animal stamps are from SODAlicious collection ('Whoo lives here').

I suggest you follow this link to see all the great projects by TIMI design team. Then grab your stamps and play along; the prizes are amazing:

One lucky winner will receive a set of 6 vintage embossing glitters in a case, and a lace stamp. Wow!

Wishing you a nice day. Thanks for stopping by!
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