12 Tags of 2016: December

Hi and Happy New Year!

Today I'm showing you my December tag in '12 Tags of 2016'. I made it already a while back, but due to quite little online time this month I did not have a chance to post it earlier. November and December are really hectic months for a paper crafter! :D

Again I took a bit different approach to the challenge. Instead of building a display of festive items, I decided to use a die-cut, glittering christmas tree, and decorated it with words reminding me what Christmas really is about.

Chipboard arrow and also the little star were heat embossed with gold colour embossing powder, the same one I used for the 'remember' word.

I'm hoping that a new series of these cool tag tutorials is started in January. I just love them!

I want to wish you a Happy New Year. Let your year be filled with love, joy and happiness!

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Winter card with blue tones

Hi and Happy Wednesday!
Over the past few days I've been creating several winter themed Christmas cards, but as stamping and inking are my favourite crafting techniques I'm not even close to getting bored! :D

For this card set I used the gorgeous Visible Image 'Winter Wonderland' stamp set. The set sold out very quickly, but I'm sure many of you have it and have used it for your Christmas cards. I will show you a fun way of creating an entire scenery with the stamp; you'll just need your Winter Wonderland stamps, blue ink, and blue embossing powder:

First you need a circle mask for the moon. I cut mine from a piece of scrap paper using my die-cutting machine, but you can as well use a circle paper punch or cut the circle by hand. Then you need two masks for creating the snowy hills; just cut two curvy lines from a scrap paper.

Then place both the the circle mask and the upper hill mask on the your card, and ink the background. Once finished, place the lower hill mask on the paper, and ink the edges using the same ink but less colour.

Then place the lower mask back on the card, and stamp the forest line partly on the mask a few times. Use the same blue ink as was used for inking the background. The forest line stamp is perfect for this technique; it looks like there's a pine tree forest behind the hill!

Then stamp the reindeer sledge over the white moon with embossing ink, and heat emboss the image using dark blue embossing powder. Repeat the steps and stamp a few larger pine trees on the bottom of the card.

I used the same stamping, masking and inking techniques and a similar design on two gift tags. Love them, too!

I wish you a wonderful winter day. Let's keep our fingers crossed for a white Christmas!

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Snow and ice on a Christmas card

Craft Stamper Magazine December challenge is still ongoing with a beautiful winter theme 'Snow and Ice'. There's still plenty of time to enter and an amazing prize to be won, so please follow this link for all challenge details and for viewing all gorgeous entries.There are plenty of them!

Our TIMI Design Team has put up a great collection of 'Snow and Ice' projects. I'm sure viewing this set will get your creative juices flowing!

My second card was a stamped and inked winter scenery card:

The houses are from 'Frozen Forest' stamp set by Studio Light. The original house stamp included  also a pine tree background, but I cut the houses out and used my own die-cut trees instead. The trees were made the same way than for this project (die-cut twice, re-assembled, glued in the back).

For creating the background hill I cut a simple paper mask, placed it on the card, and applied ink over the mask edge. Before removing the mask I stencilled a forest of pine trees on the hill; the stencils were actually the leftover pieces from the die-cut trees. From these images I only used the top part- I think the forest looks very nice in the background!

After stencilling I glued the trees on the background, coloured the houses with my Promarkers, cut them out, and glued infront of the die-cut trees. For attaching the houses I used pieces of foam tape.

I'm very happy with how the winter scenery turned out. Looks very Finnish; like Christmas in Lapland!

Wishing you a wonderful day!
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Winter wishes

New December 'Take It Make It' challenge started at Craft Stamper Magazine blog last Friday. Theme this month is 'Snow and Ice':
Create seasonal makes, or use lots of white product! Think gesso, embossing paste, white paint, embossing powders and glitters. Remember to include rubber/polymer stamping on your project somehow, somewhere!

One lucky winner will get an amazing prize by Craftbox: Worth playing for, isn't it!

I decided to make a fairly simple card with stamped, die-cut and stencilled elements. Here's my take:

I started with stamping the little bear on white cardstock, and colouring the image with Promarkers. Actually I stamped and coloured three bears, as I was not sure which colour combination I would use for my card. I cut out the images and stamped and heat-embossed the hats and scarves.

The trees are die-cut using a lovely Sizzix/Tim Holtz die set. I cut the trees twice; once from white cardstock, and once from dark green cardstock. I cleaned the die carefully, keeping all the tiny cut pieces on my crafting table. The next task was to assemble the tree again, placing green die-cut pieces on the white tree and vice versa.
When all pieces were put back I secured them with a strip of removable clear tape. I turned the trees around abd spread glue on the back. Glue held the little pieces nicely in place.

The trees on the background were stencilled using the die-cut leftover piece as stencil. For inking the background hills I used a simple hand-cut, wavy mask.
I finished the card by stencilling white texture paste on the bottom of the card.

Isn't the bear stamp set by Studio Calico cute!

Wishing you a wonderful day. Hope play along our fun challenge!

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Tutorial: Easy self-made die-cut masks

Today I wanted to share with you a fun technique I came up with a few days back. I was inspired by the lovely designs of my thin metal dies, and looked for ways to use the die-cut pieces as masks on my card projects.

My plan was to use mists and watercolours, so just placing a die-cut piece on my cardbase would not have worked that well. I did not want the wet media to flow under the mask, so I had to came up with a technique in which the mask would stick to the surface and stay in place.

The cheapest and easiest solution was to make my masks from masking tape. Not the fancy one I use for my projects but the cheap type you get in hardware stores. For being able to easily remove the tape from my die I used baking paper underneath the tape:

First I cut a piece of baking paper, and covered it with horizontal and vertical stripes of masking tape. I let the tape striped overlap each other for easier handling of the die-cut mask.
When cutting my die was facing down on the masking tape. I did not have to do any adjustments on my 'die-cutting sandwich', but just to use the standard stack for thin metal dies.

The die-cut piece was like a masking tape sticker that could easily be removed from the cardstock. It was yet sticky enough to prevent the ink from spreading underneath the mask. 

A masking tape mask is also quite durable. After misting I dried the project, and added some ink and paint splashes and stamped patterns. When all the layers were finished I just pulled the mask off.

For getting a crispier masked image I coloured the masked background with Distress inks instead of mists. Worked very well, too!

This technique was so fun and easy! This time I used it for my Christmas card projects, but my head is already spinning with other projects I will used it...!
Hope you give it a try!

Dies used (click on links for more info):
Deer: Sizzix Thinlits Die - Elegant Deer
Snowflakes: Sizzix Thinlits Die Set - Paper Snowflakes

If you have any questions, please write a short comment below :)

Wishing you a nice day!
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NYC skyline on a one-layer card

Last weekend December Jehkotar CraftChallenge started with a cool moodboard:

I loved the picture with city night lights and it inspired me to make this one-layer card:

The amazing NYC skyline stamp in from Altenew- I love it!
I started with stamping the skyline on plain white cardstock. My plan was to colour the night sky with Distress inks, and for protecting the stamped buildings while colouring the upper part of the card I used masking fluid. After inking I misted a bit of water on the background, and once dry I removed the mask.

My idea was to use only a limited set of colours; pink, purple and a few greytones. The end result is not too realistic, but it looks quite the way I had planned. After colouring the buildings I highlighted the windows with a white gel pen, and the card was ready!

Stamping, masking, inking and colouring. True pleasure!

Wishing you a wonderful week,
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Colourful everyday cards

Hi and Happy Wednesday!
Today I wanted to share with you two easy-to-make everyday cards I have made:

The patterns for the colourful panels are made using only one circle stamp by Visible Image. I stamped the image several times with black ink on white cardstock, letting the circles overlap each other and form random patterns:

Then I chose three matching ProMarker colours, and coloured the stamped pattern. I wanted the result to be light and bright, so I left many of the areas white. Focusing on one little area at a time and colouring without too much planning was very meditative!

The width of the coloured panel was bit larger than half of my card front. I trimmed the piece to size, mat on matching colour cardstock, and attached to my card front. For cutting the 'hello' word I used my die-cutting machine and little alpha dies. Done!

After finishing the first card I wanted to check how the card would look like when coloured with a new set of matching colours:

I think the result looked just as good!
And now I'm thinking whether I should make a few cards more using three different colours- blue, yellow and green perhaps?

For more information on the Visible Image circle stamp I used please click on the picture below:

Wishing you a wonderful week,

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Die-cut Christmas cards

This is the usual story every single year: Early autumn I notice that the amount of Christmas cards is increasing in the social media. Christmas is soon here! My head starts spinning of ideas, and I look forward to making lots of different Christmas cards, personalized for every receiver. I start planning, but not making the cards yet.
Then other priorities shift my focus elsewhere, and the great idea of spending several wonderful evenings making Christmas cards fades. With card design plans totally forgotten I suddenly realize that it's December already. Christmas preparations suddenly take all my extra time, and then two nights before the last Christmas card mailing date I start panicing. The first night I spend planning the one design I will use for each and every card, and the second night I stay up almost until morning making the cards, just in time to get them mailed for Christmas. Phew!

This year I even surprised myself. I managed to start early, as the Paperilla blog design team was challenged to create quick-to-make Christmas cards. I played along and my first lot of six cards is now ready. In the middle of November! Woohoo!

The main element for this card is a die-cut Christmas bauble, cut with a new Sizzix Thinlits die set 'Festive Bird'. The detailed design does not require much other embellishing, and I just added the heat-embossed Christmas wishes panel and a white die-cut twig (using a die from Sizzix/Tim Holtz 'Holiday Greens' set.

I decided to make six cards at one go, so I started with cutting pieces of grey cardstock, slightly larger than the bauble die. Thin two-sided tape is of great help when die-cutting and adhering die-cut pieces containing lots of fine details. I taped the back of the grey cardstock, and run the paper through my BigShot, with die facing the grey cardstock and taped side against the cutting plate.
If the tape has a strong backing paper the die may not cut completely through all the details which is the result you want. When you remove the backing, most of the little scrap pieces stay on the backing making the cleaning of the die-cut piece super easy.
I attached the grey die-cut baubles on white cardstock and cut out the circles with scissors, and decorated the card fronts with red birds, die-cut with the same baubles die. Little red dots are seed beads I like to use often on my cards.

I continued with die-cutting the twigs and heat-embossing the Christmas greeting text. For the card background I cut a simple panel from patterned paper, and glued it down on the folded card base. I'm not too fond of symmetrical designs, so therefore I placed the panel bit on the left.

Then I die-cut the top parts for the baubles, glued the pieces together, and glued the images on the card front. Baubles are hanging on the white twigs with silver yarn.

I really like the festive look of these cards. And the fact that they were really easy to make!

Wishing you a wonderful weekend!
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