Creative Squad: Creating Connections – Riikka Kovasin

Hello from my Creative Squad! Today we have a post and video from Riikka Kovasin who has created a beautiful art journal page using my new LOVE foam stamp and inspired by our theme: Creating Connections – We’re playing along with the Creative JumpStart 2022 theme Creating Connections and exploring how our artwork connects us to the world around us, our community, our favorite supplies, or maybe our artmaking choices. Connections are everywhere when we create!


Hello! It’s Riikka here today with the first Nathalie’s Creative Squad project of 2022! So exciting – a brand new year to unfold and inspire! As you probably know already, this month we’re drawing inspiration from Creative JumpStart topic “Creating Connections”.

I’m super honored to say that I’m one of the teachers in the CJS22. When Nathalie held the announcement live, I threw an idea about being inspired by your culture, creating a connection to that. Naturally, your culture is a part of you and probably everything you do is connected to you. You see the world though your eyes, your perspective, so your cultural heritage is bound to shine through one way or the other. But for this project I decided to use my culture more clearly, drawing inspiration from the national epic, Kalevala. 

The first thing I did was to see the LOVE stamp with a new pair of eyes, though. I didn’t want to use it as such, to have the title be “Love”. Instead, I thought what other words I could make using the same letters. I pondered both English and Finnish words and finally settled to “evolve” as I could use that so many ways. When I then had the theme word, it was easy to decide which Kalevala part to use. I chose to go with the creation of the world, the primordial sea and Ilmatar, the air maiden.

In the Kalevala the world is created when a spirit of the air, Ilmatar, descends from the skies to the sea to bathe as she’s bored. She becomes pregnant from the wind. She spends quite some time in the ocean and a water bird, a scaup makes a nest on her knee. When Ilmatar then goes into labor, she moves her knee and the eggs fall to the sea. The broken eggs make up the earth, sky and rest of the world. The baby of Ilmatar on the other hand is Väinämöinen. He’s the hero of Kalevala, a skilled sorcerer and one of the main characters of the epic. I find it intriguing that the epic puts the start of the world to the ocean like the scientists nowadays think life started, in the primordial sea. With this on my mind as well, I set out to make a sea.

I used a gel printing plate to make myself a stash of blue papers first. For those I used the stamp as it is, spelling “love”. I also patterned the prints with a packaging from glue sticks. I’ve come across of the piece previously and it stayed in my mind as I then failed to gather it to my stash. But now that I happened to run into it again, I took it home. The pattern is really nice and you can use the part two ways, either leaving dots or rings to the plate. I then tore the printed papers in strips and layered them partly on top of each other making a sea with foam on top of the waves. If you want to see yourself how I made it, please see the video underneath.

As you could see from the video, I patterned the letters by using paint markers. I chose patterns that I connect to Kalevala, like the joined stylized hands, a pattern a little reminiscent of running dog pattern. It’s another connection created!

Thank you for stopping by today! Wishing you a splendid 2022! Xoxo Riikka

Thank you Riikka – loved learning this legend and seeing how that inspired your page, and seeing how you reconfigured the letters in the foam stamp to create something different!

Give it a try: you can find all my Foam Stamps in my Online Shop and in addition to some packaging material, here are some of the supplies Riikka used:

Comments (2)

  • Robin Seiz



    It’s so awesome that you saw the word love in a totally different way! It’s a beautiful page, I love the colors too.



  • jjhere


    Gorgeous! I love those colors and what a beautiful story of how you are inspired to create this.


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