Tribute to Georgia O’Keeffe

Oak Leaf by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. Tribute to Georgia O'Keeffe. Watch the video of painting this!

When walking the dogs, I wondered what could I take with me for the next painting. I saw a fallen oak leaf and felt a bit melancholic; it’s time to say goodbye to summer. Then I did exactly what Georgia O’Keeffe, an American artist (1887-1986), would have done: I picked up the leaf and once got home I painted it! Here’s how I got to know more about her and her painting style.

Portrait of an Artist: A Biography of Georgia O’Keeffe

When so many of the participants of Imagine Monthly, my monthly art journaling class, named Georgia O’Keeffe as a favorite artist, my project during the summer was to get to know her better. I only knew that she had painted large flower paintings and some abstracts. But I didn’t know anything specific about her background and about her way of working. So I purchased a book about her life. It’s written by Laurie Lisle, and it’s called “Portrait of an Artist: A Biography of Georgia O’Keeffe.” I bought an audio version so I could listen to it while I paint. I don’t recommend the book to anyone who wants to read an entertaining novel. I think it’s more like a historical study. But for anyone, who wants to learn the facts, it’s excellent.

Georgia O’Keeffe’s Mindset

There are two things that I have thought a lot after reading the book. First is Georgia O’Keeffe’s personality. Apparently, she was not a very social person and quite straightforward in her sayings. Second is how her photographer husband supported her both by being her manager and her muse. I don’t think Georgia would have discovered her painting style without the discussions with her husband related to photography. These two facts make me believe that her mindset was very analytical. Even if she was a visual artist, she also was a scientist in her closed personal world. She examined plants like they were scientific specimens. It was like she could measure beauty and then create a new version of it. The more I listened to her life story, the more fascinated I became about her.

Those who live in the UK or are visiting the UK: There’s a big exhibition of Georgia O’Keeffe at Tate Modern until October 30!

Botanical Discovery – Create Unique Collage Art!

As a part of Imagine Monthly Fall 2016, I have published a class where you can create botanical art inspired by Georgia O’Keeffe. It has directions on how to cut organic shapes from watercolored papers and build a painted collage out of them. Sign up for Imagine Monthly and get this class immediately after registration!

Botanical Discovery, a collage art class by Peony and Parakeet. Inspired by Georgia O'Keeffe.

Painting an Oak Leaf – Watch the video!

The oak leaf shown at the beginning of the page is an acrylic painting on an art journal. I made it as a tribute to Georgia O’Keeffe and recorded a short video of the process. In the video you see me painting with a broad brush and flowing strokes. This is one of the techniques that I’ll show more in depth in my upcoming workshop Nature in Your Mind. I hope to see you there too!

Create collage art inspired by Georgia O’Keeffe: >> Sign up for Imagine Monthly
Paint nature themes with your left and right brain: >> Sign up for Nature in Your Mind

Painterly Collage in Rut Bryk’s style

Art journal spread by Peony and Parakeet, see instructions of how to make this!

Here’s my recent art journal spread, inspired by a Finnish ceramic artist Rut Bryk (1916-1999). Espoo Museum of Modern Art Emma is currently showing her work and as a big fan of her work, I had to see the exhibition!

Rut Bryk

Paivi Eerola from Peony and parakeet at Rut Bryk's art exhibition

Rut Bryk is very known in Finland but not so famous worldwide. However, you might know her husband, a skillful designer and sculptor Tapio Wirkkala. Rut Bryk was an illustrator who got a job at Finnish ceramic factory Arabia in 1940s. Her early work was fairly naiive and illustrative. But after working with ceramics for some time, she began adding textures to her work. Her 50s pieces were very mid-century modern.

Ceramic art by Rut Bryk

In 1960s her work grew more dimensional and abstract.

Ceramic art by Rut Bryk

The abstract pieces she made are stunning.

Ceramic art by Rut Bryk

This black city view is one of my favorites.

Ceramic art by Rut Bryk

Many of Rut Bryk’s artworks are composed of small ceramic pieces. They look like quilts or crocheted blankets to me.

Ceramic art by Rut Bryk and Maaria Wirkkala

Rut Bryk’s and Tapio Wirkkala’s daughter Maaria Wirkkala is also a well-known artist. She had made an installation of Rut Bryk’s excess tiles for the exhibition.

Collage in Rut Bryk’s Style!

Get inspired by Rut Bryk’s brilliancy and create a collage
with these step-by-step instructions!

You will need hand-decorated papers, acrylic paints, marker pens and gel medium or paper glue. See ideas for hand decorated papers: Basic Instructions, Frugal version, Kiwi, Arboretum, Spring Flowers (PDF download)

1) Paint the Background

Paint the background black.

2) Cut Collage Pieces

Cut collage pieces to simple shapes like rectangles, triangles, diamond shapes and circles. Cut big, small and medium-sized pieces. To make the pieces look like handcrafted ceramic plates, round the corners and soften the straight edges so that they are slightly wavy. Don’t worry about the colors too much as you will be painting over them.

Create Rut Bryk inspired collage! Paivi from Peony and Parakeet shows how!

3) Glue the Pieces

Using gel medium or paper glue, begin glueing the pieces on the black background.

Pile up pieces so that some smaller pieces are glued on the bigger pieces. Before glueing, add black paint so that the piece on the top will have soft black borders. This will make your work look more dimensional.

Create Rut Bryk inspired collage! Paivi from Peony and Parakeet shows how!

Don’t fill the whole background but leave some of it black.

Create Rut Bryk inspired collage! Paivi from Peony and Parakeet shows how!

4) Paint Lightly Over the Pieces

To make the pieces look softer and to mute down their colors, add thin layers of acrylic paint over them.

Create Rut Bryk inspired collage! Paivi from Peony and Parakeet shows how!

Paint blocks where the black background is visible. Use neutral, fairly dark colors that suit well with the black background.

5) Draw Spotted Grids and Frame Collage Pieces

With marker pens or felt tip pens, draw spots so that they form grids. These grids can continue over the blocks. Also the size of the spots can vary. I use Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens as they work well on acrylic paint.

Create Rut Bryk inspired collage! Paivi from Peony and Parakeet shows how!

Frame the painted blocks and collage pieces with a black marker so that they look firmly attached to the background. I also used white chinese marker to add few white lines here and there.

Create Rut Bryk inspired collage! Paivi from Peony and Parakeet shows how!

6) Paint Slightly Over Some Areas

To finish your work, add thin layers of paint for some areas. These painted areas represent light and shadows over the overall composition.

Create Rut Bryk inspired collage! Paivi from Peony and Parakeet shows how!

Here’s my finished spread again.

Art journal spread by Peony and Parakeet, see instructions of how to make this!

Extra Project – Decorating a Box

My husband has made a wooden box for my paint tubes. I have painted it golden but the bottom part of the lid needed some decoration. I had already painted the framed area red so I just added black paint under the collage pieces.

Decorating a box with collage pieces by Peony and Parakeet

Then I continued the process like in the instructions. Finally, a layer of gel medium was added to protect the paper pieces.

Decorated box with collage pieces by Peony and Parakeet

I like the idea of opening the lid and seeing the collage.

Decorated a box with collage pieces by Peony and Parakeet

Thank you, Rut Bryk!

Rut Bryk inspired collage art by Peony and Parakeet. See instructions!

Expand Your Artistic Imagination!

This blog post is an example of how you can learn and get inspired by famous artists. This is how I see it:
– If want to find your own uniqueness, examine all kinds of artists and styles!
– If you have already found your style, keep on experimenting and expanding your skills!

It’s exactly what my art journaling master class Imagine Monthly is all about. Every month I will introduce new artist or style and you will get detailed instructions on how you can get most of it.

Imagine Monthly Spring 2016 ended in the end of June, but you can still purchase it!
Imagine Monthly Fall 2016 has begun in August, but you can still sign up!

Imagine Monthly Fall 2016, an art journaling master class by Peony and Parakeet

At Imagine Monthly Fall, you will get 5 mini-courses, 1 per month, and a great community of like-minded people.

Make the decision to move forward in art journaling!
>> Become my student and sign up now!

Less Sketching, More Creativity!

Fairytale, a mixed media painting by Peony and Parakeet

Did you see my latest video: “Art is a Conversation”? I have made this piece by applying the principle presented in the video: letting one detail lead to another. No sketching involved!

The Creative Process with No Sketching Involved

I picked a random background made with watercolors and started adding collage pieces. They, in turn, inspired me to paint some elements with watercolors.

Starting point for a mixed media painting, by Peony and Parakeet

Here are the first steps:

Creating a mixed media painting without sketching by Peony and Parakeet

Why Sketch? Why Not?

You might feel the need for sketching because filling the blank page feels too scary. Some people want to sketch because they find it difficult to bring ideas that lead to something. If they create a collage, the result is just an evenly spread pattern and then what?

Dogs have taught me many things. One thing is to focus on the present. I try to teach them new things by dividing them into small steps. When I focus on explaining the next step only, they will listen and respond. They will do their best to understand and make most of my advice.

Paivi's beagles Cosmo and Stella from Peony and Parakeet

My beagles say: Stay close, focus and stop controlling what we can’t comprehend yet.

Those principals can be applied to art making too. Add new element close and partly on top of another. Enjoy each stroke, each color and shape at a time. Stop worrying about the areas where you have not reached yet. Let creating grow your thoughts instead of being fixed to one idea.

Creating a mixed media painting by Peony and Parakeet

When I reached the upper right corner, I saw a watercolor splotch that looked a little bit like a fairytale princess, so I quickly emphasized those shapes!

Creating a mixed media painting by Peony and Parakeet

I believe that too much sketching brings too much stiffness: the stiffness of ideas, stiffness of lines, stiffness of composition.

Paivi and her beagle Stella from Peony and Parakeet

When we try to create with control, it is like trying to trace better than dogs do. We can guide them to sniff, but we also have to let them do the job.

Fairytale, a mixed media painting by Peony and Parakeet

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5 Ways Music Can Improve Your Art

Opera, a mixed media collage by Peony and Parakeet. Read about how you can improve your art with the help of music!

This mixed media collage is called “Opera”. For me, visual images have always been more important than sounds, but I still think that there’s a lot in common and a lot to learn from music.

Tip 1: Let music challenge you!

How jazz would look like as a collage? Paint the voice of your favorite artist! Create a  rhythm to your artwork!

A week ago was my first time in opera. I had bought the tickets as a birthday present for my husband who is a very cultured person. I was a bit worried of how I would endure the experience as I had disliked opera for all my life. At least the play was one of the easiest pieces, The Marriage of Figaro. While listening the beautiful sopranos, I saw strong colors and lines in my mind. I began to think how powerful and intellectual music can be. I felt I was challenged! Could I ever express visually what I was experiencing?

However, when I began to create the collage, I did not think of opera. I knew that it would come out someday or another. Like many times, I just had a compelling idea of the technique I was going to use. I was going to create strong shapes with a molding paste.

Making of Opera, a mixed media collage by Peony and Parakeet. Read about how you can improve your art with the help of music!

But before opening the paste jar, I grabbed a sheet of heavy-weight watercolor paper and the box of india inks. Painting the background was fast with a thick brush.

Tip 2: Think your artwork as a space for music!

I read an interesting interview from the newspaper Helsingin Sanomat. They had interviewed a famous Finnish painter Marika Mäkelä. She quoted another Finnish artist, Leena Luostarinen. She had said that you should imagine a lighting inside the painting. Even the colors of the painting should be considered through the lighting. I think it is ingeniously said. It made me think about the space I would create inside my artwork and how the lights, shadows and color contrasts should flow there. My addition to this thinking is: if the music was played in that space, think about how it would sound. Pick the shapes and lines to express that!

With these deep thoughts I cut both heavy and light cardboard into pieces. They were attached to the background with a masking tape.

Making of Opera, a mixed media collage by Peony and Parakeet. Read about how you can improve your art with the help of music!

See how irregular the handcut shapes are! I love the uniqueness that only handcuts can give! I can’t understand the popularity of machine-cut stencils.

Making of Opera, a mixed media collage by Peony and Parakeet. Read about how you can improve your art with the help of music!

After placing the masks on the background, I added the molding paste, a lot of it! Some swirls were doodled on the paste, so that the surface would look lively.

Making of Opera, a mixed media collage by Peony and Parakeet. Read about how you can improve your art with the help of music!

I removed the masks carefully before the paste was dry. Drying time was really long, almost a day, even if I used a heat gun to fasten the process.  I usually like to take breaks from creating, so this extra waiting time did not frustrate me at all. While I was waiting, I was thinking about how I was going to paint the artwork. How would the light flow around these dramatic shapes?

Tip 3: Pick the colors from the music

Making of Opera, a mixed media collage by Peony and Parakeet. Read about how you can improve your art with the help of music!

I like to think music as colors. The lower the notes, the darker the colors are. A melancholic song is also darker than the cheerful one. Red and orange are for deep, rich voices. You do not need to overanalyze it: just get into the feeling of the music and pick the colors that come to your mind! The Marriage of Figaro has both bright and dark sounds. I also wanted to express the dramatic nature of the music with colors.

Tip 4: Move to the rhythm of the music while creating

Making of Opera, a mixed media collage by Peony and Parakeet. Read about how you can improve your art with the help of music!

When the painting gets near the end, I often stand up. I need to see my work properly to find the essence of it.  This is the stage where I usually put the music on if I have not done it before. I wave my hands and take steps to the rhytm of the music. I try to get as close as possible to the feeling that I want to express. I also try to be as focused as possible.

White gel pen and black markers were in use as I dived into the melodies of the opera.

Tip 5: Focus your energy with the help of music

It is important not to change the music too much when you want to focus. If you listen to the variety of songs just when you make the final touches, it might not do good for your work. I often play the same song repeatedly when I am finishing the work.

A detail of Opera, a mixed media collage by Peony and Parakeet. Read about how you can improve your art with the help of music!

On the other hand, when I am in the earlier stages of the work, I am not that careful. I listen to this and that as long as it gives me energy to continue. I like to listen to the music that gives me confidence and which doesn’t feel too themed. Here are my recent favorites for boosting the creative process: A Sky Full of Stars (Coldplay), Viva La Vida (Coldplay), This Years Love (David Grey), Change (Tracy Chapman), September (Earth, Wind & Fire), Flower (Kylie Minogue), Thorn in My Side (Eurythmics), I Say a Little Prayer (Aretha Franklin).

Opera, a mixed media collage by Peony and Parakeet. Read about how you can improve your art with the help of music!

I love how dimensional my artwork became. I am also happy how finished it looks. Hand decorated papers were helpful while finishing the work. With them it is easy to add details that are interesting and different. Just do not use the same paper too much!

Sometimes I aim for flying lines and relaxed touch, but this time – it was all about opera! My computer was playing The Marriage of Figaro in high volume and I was pushing my boundaries to express the quality of the music. Then finally, after placing the two red pieces, I felt that I have solved it, the riddle of opera music!

Opera, a mixed media collage by Peony and Parakeet. Read about how you can improve your art with the help of music!

What music do you listen to while creating? Try changing the music if you want to fine-tune your art or expand to new areas!

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Fabric Collages

A collage made from fabric pieces, by Peony and Parakeet. See the instructions to make fabric collages!
The idea for this card came from the pile of fabric scraps that I have. I began to wonder: could I use these instead of papers to create fabric collages?

Fabric scraps in a drawer

Fabric Collages – A School Project from the Past

I also remembered one happy moment from the childhood. I was about 10 years old. A teacher asked us to bring fabric scraps to school. We were asked to cut the fabric into pieces and create a collage from them. My schoolmates were not excited but I was thrilled. I cut the fabrics into tiny pieces and began to glue them on a paper.

Fabric collage, a detail

When I had finished the collage, I was very pleased with it. I had also had such a good time. Little did I know that I would be cutting tiny pieces whole my life – that the moment I picked the scissors was to follow me many times afterwards!

A fabric collage made by Paivi from Peony and Parakeet, in the age of 10

1) Cut and Glue the Fabric Pieces

The supplies for fabric collages are simple: scissors, glue, paper, fabrics.

Creating a fabric collage, by Peony and Parakeet

2) Add a Layer of Gel Medium

Because my collage was small, I wanted to add some fine details and extra layering. To be able to do that, I covered the first layer with the gel medium.  When dried, I would be able to doodle with markers and create dimensions by adding more layers.

Creating a fabric collage, adding layers with gel medium, by Peony and Parakeet

My favorite is Golden Soft Gel Gloss but any gel medium will do. Even if I am not a big fan of buying more stuff, purchasing this is a good investment. You can use gel medium not only to create surfaces but also glueing paper pieces when making paper collages.

Unfinished fabric collage, doodling on the gel medium surface, a technique by Peony and Parakeet

3) Add Doodling

When gel medium dries it becomes transparent and you can doodle with thin markers or gel pens on it. Make sure to dry it first throughly!

4) Add More Details From Fabric Pieces

Adding gel medium on fabric surface. See instructions for creating fabric collages! By Peony and Parakeet.

After doodling on the first layer, I wanted to add details like the house in the middle. After constructing the house with fabric pieces and glue, I added gel medium to the details to add some doodling on them.

The photo below shows how the fabric is layered. A part of the card is covered with gel medium and feels like plastic. There are also fabric pieces without any coverage on the top and they feel soft.

A fabric collage card by Peony and Parakeet

You do not need a sewing machine to enjoy working with fabrics!

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Creating Collage Mandalas

Blue Eye Mandala by Peony and Parakeet

If you like cutting papers with scissors, create collage mandalas! And if you need more inspiration for cutting, read this post first: 5 Reasons to Enjoy Cutting Paper with Scissors)

Circles Are Everywhere

Daisy flower

For some people, mandalas have spiritual meaning. They usually represent universe or unity. As the word “mandala” means “circle” they can be almost anything and seen almost anywhere. I am often inspired by the circular shapes that I see in nature. Mandalas are usually symmetric, so they are surprisingly fast to make. The mandalas that I made are very straight-forward, yet eye-catching.

Basic Instructions for Creating Collage Mandalas

Creating collage mandalas from hand cut papers, by Peony and Parakeet

1) Cut a centerpiece and other pieces (3 to 5 different shapes, 6 to 12 pieces each) from decorated papers. I cut the pieces freely with scissors not worrying too much about their similarity.
2) Glue the pieces on the solid background paper. I used Golden Soft Gel Gloss gel medium, but you can use almost any glue. Measure the middle point of the background paper and start attaching the pieces from there.
3) Draw some more shapes with color pencils.
4) Doodle the finest decorations with a white gel pen and a thin black marker.

Red Energy Mandala by Peony and Parakeet

If you study my mandalas carefully, you’ll see how carelessly I have cut the shapes. They are not identical or perfect. I think that the result is more human when using scissors instead of cutting machines or shape cutters. Look at that photo of the daisy flower again, doesn’t the flower look more like hand-cut than machine-cut?

Blue Eye Mandala and Red Energy Mandala by Peony and Parakeet

I made my mandalas as greeting cards. I think they would make great gifts!

Create more luxurious collage art: Buy Doodled Luxury!

5 Reasons to Enjoy Cutting Paper with Scissors

Fruit Tree, a hand cut collage by Peony and Parakeet

I wrote an article about cutting paper with scissors to the Finnish paper crafting magazine “Paperilla.” The collage shown here was made as an illustration for the article. It is called Fruit Tree. For the collage, I picked some solid colored papers and cut them to pieces. After glueing the pieces, I added a black background and thin decorative lines with black markers. So simple yet effective!

Paper, rock, scissors - by Peony and Parakeet

I have nothing against die cutting machines but still – think about the possibilities of plain old scissors! It is like all the stencils and cutting files of the world are packed inside of them!

There are at least five reasons to enjoy cutting paper with scissors!

1) Hand cut pieces are 100 %  You

People often worry that if they cut by hand, their circles are not perfectly round or their squares perfectly rectangular. I like to call my irregular cuts “organic.” To me, they look unique and full of potential, especially when combined with the other imperfect ones. They are a little bit like my plants – marigolds and geraniums which I grow each year. They might bloom a bit late, and they would not probably be accepted by the finest of the garden centres, but I love them.

Growing plants, by Peony and Parakeet

2) While hand cutting Your subconscious guides You

When you keep on cutting those odd shapes, your imagination begins to work. Sometimes it takes less time, sometimes more, but when that happens it is like reading an interesting book, like taking a personality test … It is so much fun to find out what those scissors reveal each time!

An art journal page by Peony and Parakeet

3) You can repeat Your favorite shapes

Here are the six examples of mine! I have cut them so many time that they come out naturally.  I also know a lot of ways to use them. Because of their familiarity, I can easily make variations from them. Finding your favorite shapes can even create the base of your unique style.

Cutting paper. 6 hand cut shapes by Peony and Parakeet

I also love to decorate the shapes with some doodling. That makes similar shapes look different from each other.

4) You can use Your own papers – or any papers!

As you know I love to make my own decorated papers. They are often as curvy and irregular as my hand cuts but no worry. With scissors I can cut any paper, thick or thin. I can spend time with fabulous papers or make even the ugly papers fabulous when I cut them thoughtfully. (The papers seen here are the best solids I know – my own watercolored papers where I have used several layers of watercolor to increase the color intensity. There’s gel medium in the jar for glueing the pieces.)

Creating a paper collage, by Peony and Parakeet

5) You can always think about hand cutting

You can take couple sheets of paper and the scissors with you wherever you go. Or you can just take the scissors and re-use paper from the magazines, tickets, leaflets, etc. Furthermore, I promise, you will begin to see interesting shapes everywhere. (Feel free to copy that crocus shape – a long stem with an oval shape on the top!)

Crocus flower

6) Bonus! You are one step closer to being an artist!

Just wait, your art journal, card collection or whatever you do with the hand cut shapes will begin to live and breathe. Just keep on adding those elements!

Art journal spread by Peony and Parakeet

Think about how this spread would look if I had cut the shapes using a die-cut machine. Nothing alike! Without even mentioning the differences in the experience of cutting and assembling. Art needs freedom, and your scissors can take you there!

Create more hand-cut collage art: Buy Doodled Luxury!

How to Create Tissue Paper Collage

Here’s what I did today: the collage of spring flowers using tissue papers!

A tissue paper collage of spring flowers by Peony and Parakeet

The idea for the tissue paper collage came from a visual arts teacher who sent me an email asking if I had any ideas about creating art using tissue papers and markers. I had some tissue paper in the storage and when I went to fetch them several ideas came to my mind.

Decorating Tissue Papers

As I love to make my own collage elements I began with decorating the tissue papers. Alcohol based markers are best for the job. I used PITT pens but any markers will do really. You can also use color pencils if you do not have any markers. It is just a bit easier to draw with the markers on the thin tissue paper than with sharp pencils.

The great thing in tissue paper is that you can use both sides and create interesting layers. Create color motifs on one side (step 1), then turn the paper and do the same there (step 2). I always use various thicknesses of pens as it makes the decoration more interesting. You can add finer details in both sides (steps 3 and 4). This way you have created a paper that you can use either side up in your artwork.

If you have alcohol inks, they add color and interest, especially when layered. White pens or correction pens can be used for the decoration too.

Finally you’ll have something quite different from the original solid colored papers! The actual making of a collage can now begin.

Tissue Paper Collage

You can use plain white paper as a background but I could not do that. I am too much of a color person. I grabbed sone of my handmade background papers. This backgound is made using acrylics, stencils and color mists but you can use any techniques for the background. I have some instructions for the backgrounds: see a patterned paper with layers or the frugal version using less supplies.

 Creating a tissue paper collage

Cut the papers to small pieces. Grab some white paper (I used thin marker paper) and cut small pices of that too (image 1). Then glue the pieces together to create small clusters (image 2). Use the white paper between layers to create color variation and lighter shades. I always use matte gel medium to glue the elements together (image 3). If you do not have gel medium, you can use PVC glue with some water. But if you make collages or scrapbook the matte gel medium is a good investment. After glueing the elements create new details with markers and color pencils (image 4).

Tissue paper collage, a detail.Here’s a detail of the finished tissue paper collage. Looks like there are a lots of layers even if the structure is fairly simple. When creating this also some other ideas came to my mind. Maybe I will return to my tissue paper stash some other time to try those. What I represented here does not require wide range of materials.

Many times creativity is the best material you have. I strongly believe that even if there are so beautiful papers in the craft stores, the best papers are those you create yourself!

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How to Make Paper Flowers

Once you have made your own patterned paper, why not turn them into adorable paper flowers!

I just love the way they go along with the papers. Once you have developed your own style, anything you do can be combined together. As I have said, the best shop for papers and embellishments is the one you can set up for yourself!

So take out your hand decorated papers (I have quite a pile of them) and start making flowers! In addition to papers, you will only need correction pen, black marker (I love PITT artist pens), some embroidery floss, glue (Tombow is my favorite) and scissors.

Pick three papers that work well together. Remember to ensure there’s enough contrast between them.

Cut three circles, a small one, a medium one and a large one. My largest one is about 3 inches (7,5 cm) but you can make them in various sizes. Just be sure the smallest circle is big enough to add details like button holes.


If you have made your papers drawing layered circles, you have your circles ready to be cut. I cut the circles free hand as I am not so fussy about making them accurate.


After cutting the circles, take the biggest one and draw the shape of the flower with the black marker. I like my flowers to be asymmetrical. I think they look more artsy that way!

Cut by following the marker line so that the black marker line remains visible. The line frames your flower and make it look more dimensional.

You can also change the shape of the second circle if it feels right. I often find myself adjusting the shapes of the circles during the process.

Make the smallest circle to look like a button by drawing circles with the marker and the correction pen. Then add holes with the marker. Big holes look better than small ones.

Now you have the three parts of the flower ready to be attached. Glue the parts together. Then take your needle and sew the buttonhole. After this phase I often add details with the marker. Here I have added little dots around the button and circled the second circle. As I love adding layers to my work, I finally glued the flower to another paper (blue one in the picture) and cut it out.

Here’s the finished piece. Have fun with your papers!

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