10 May 2022

Birds, Nests & Eggs - It's May with Eileen Hull Designs

Hi everyone and welcome. Throughout the month of May Eileen Hull's teams are creating projects featuring birds, nests and eggs to celebrate the arrival of Spring. I've got a super quick project to share with you for this one that uses Eileen's Sizzix Scoreboards 'Phone Stand' XL Die.

Anyone with a larger size tablet will know it can be tiresome to attempt propping it up when you want to watch one of Eileen's YouTube videos or browse her Etsy store. So here's a larger stand which will make supporting your tablet much easier.

To create your own begin by die cutting two of each of the phone stand die pieces from Sizzix Matboard or board/card of an equally sturdy weight - this needs to be sturdy to support the weight of your tablet. You will also need to cut a rectangular piece of board measuring 7 1/4" (18.5cm) wide by 5 1/2" (14cm) tall. I rounded off the corners of my rectangle but this is not essential. Placing the two main Phone Stand pieces side by side glue the rectangle over the top of the main stand section (as shown below).

Once the glue is dry turn the now joined stands over and attach a strip of board measuring 7 1/2" (19cm) wide by 1 1/2" (4cm) tall across the back, moving it roughly 1 1/2" (4cm) from the top of the stand (as shown below). Test it out before gluing in place as this can be adjusted upwards if you want the angle of the stand to be lowered.

If you are planning on pre-decorating your stand make sure to stick decorative papers to the board before cutting the pieces. Alternatively, while the stand is still flat decorate it now with paints, inks etc - I chose to use coordinate my finished stand with our living room decor so used some leftover paint.

Now fold up the stand along the score-lines, butting the two small flaps at the bottom against the strip of board and gluing onto the back of the stand. When dry flip the stand over to the front and slot the support strips into the bottom of the stand, gluing them in place. Then glue the extra folded strips over the top as shown below; I find it really helpful to run a line of glue along the score-lines to keep the folds in place.

Finish the stand by painting the bottom supports and adding a piece of decorative paper (or in this case wallpaper which conveniently features a bird) over the large rectangular piece on the front. And that's it done!

Here's the back showing how the strip of board at the top helps to support the stand.

As a guide my tablet is 9 1/2" (24.5cm) tall by 5 3/4" (15cm) wide and it will easily sit sideways so I can watch our favourite lady in action :)

Thank you for joining me to see how this extra large stand came together. Make sure to check out all the fantastic projects and tutorials from the rest of Eileen's team members - links to their posts can be found on Eileen's blog throughout the month.

For now thanks for visiting,
Jenny xxx

27 April 2022

Eileen Hull Designs and Maker Forte 'Making Plans'

Hi everyone and welcome. Today sees the release of a new set of rubber stamps from Eileen Hull Designs in collaboration with Maker Forte. Named 'Making Plans' it features a number of labels shapes with words and phrases sized to fit inside.

In case you missed it Eileen hosted a FB Live on 26th April where some of the team shared ideas for using the new stamps. For my part I have made a new journal using Eileen's Sizzix Scoreboards 'Box, Book' XL Die and added tabs for the pages using the new stamps.

Here's how you can recreate this journal, starting with the covers which are cut using the Sizzix Scoreboards 'Box, Book' XL Die - you will need two of the large rectangular shapes (the box top and bottom) and a spine piece from matboard. Cover the rectangular pieces with paper embossed using Eileen's new Sizzix 3D Embossing Folder 'Crochet Mandala'. Once the glue is dry you can paint the front, back and spine and ink the edges with permanent brown ink.

To replicate the spine on the old 'Passport Book' punch holes at 1 inch, 3 1/4 inches and 5 1/2 inches as shown below.

Glue the covers to the spine along the two outer score-lines holding them together with clips until completely dry. You are now ready to fill your book with signatures and decorate it.

At this point I decided to change the colour to a salmon red, running a darker red permanent inkpad over the top of the Crochet Mandala covers to make the pattern stand out more.

Die cut, paint and assemble the little houses using Eileen's Sizzix Thinlits 'Shadowbox Elements' Die Set. I replicated colours seen on the buildings of Italy's Cinque Terre.

I used one of the new PaperArtsy Hot Picks Mini Stencils to create an archway, pulling paste through it before painting the little houses to match the die cut ones.

Assemble your houses into little villages and glue together before adding them to the front and back covers of your journal.

To finish cut the cloud shape from the 'Shadowbox Elements' Die Set out of some clear plastic packaging to use as a stencil with some white and yellow paints. Then repeat the process using the large flower shape, using brighter yellow paint to create a sun.

I chose to glue some thin gauze to the inside of the entire cover at this point using a gel medium to help strengthen it and add texture to the finished journal. If you cut a piece that is slightly larger than the finished cover you can trim back the excess or leave the frayed edges exposed.

For the signatures cut and fold in half six sheets of paper measuring 10 inches wide by 6 1/2 inches long, folding them in half and repeating to make three sets. Punch holes through the signatures along the fold lines using the holes in the spine as a guide. Then tie the signatures into the spine through the holes using strong thread or thin yarn.

Once the signatures are tied in tear some of the pages so they are of uneven widths before trimming with the torn strips (embossed with the 'Crochet Mandala' Embossing Folder) and some lace. I then stamped labels and added words using Eileen's 'Making Plans' Stamp Set to stick onto the edges of the pages.

These are just a few of the 36 finished pages - you'll see I also used Eileen's Sizzix Thinlits 'Snail Mail' Die Set to cut stamp shapes and stamped on them using images from her 'Snail Mail Postage' Stamp Set. The pages coordinate more if you use inks that match the colours on the journal cover.

I hope you've enjoyed seeing how Eileen's new stamps can be used to embellish and enhance your books and journals. Make sure to check out all the fantastic projects and tutorials from the rest of Eileen's team members - links to their posts can be found over on Eileen's blog.

For now thanks for visiting,
Jenny xxx

5 April 2022

Eileen Hull Designs Chapter 2 2022 Release Party and Blog Hop

Hi everyone and welcome. Thanks for joining us for the Eileen Hull Chapter 2 2022 Release Party and Blog Hop. Eileen is on the road right now and will be doing a special FB Live to celebrate the release of her latest dies. Members of her teams will also be sharing some ideas and inspiration for using them. There's a giveaway too; comment on each participating designers blogs and during the live to let us know what you would create with these dies and you will be entered to win one of the items in the Chapter 2 release!

Notice something different? There are no Sizzix ScoreBoards dies in this collection! This release includes two Shadowbox Frames Thinlits die sets that also include some decorative flowers and shapes. The pieces may be used interchangeably to create square and rectangular frames. The Shadowbox Elements Sizzix Thinlits die set contains more decorative pieces to embellish your fames with but they may also be used on cards, tags and journals! Topping it off is the Crochet Mandala 3D Embossing Folder that you will just have to have - the detail is absolutely incredible!

This set of dies is very versatile since all of the components coordinate and work together so you can create endless combinations of projects in multiple sizes and shapes. The embossing folder creates a beautiful background for all of the scenes you might want to make, in addition to all the other uses you will find for it. Thanks for being open to new ways of creating!

For my first project using some of the newly released dies I've created a large journal filled with three coordinating notebooks.

The cover has been made from light-weight corrugated cardboard (used packaging from a parcel) cut using Eileen's Sizzix Scoreboards Plus 'Full Size Journal' Die.

It has been given a flexible spine using Architape® and has been lined inside with fabric to add extra strength and texture.

After applying several layers of paint to the surface of the cover I have added rows of buildings, cut using Eileen's new Sizzix Thinlits 'Shadowbox Elements' Die Set

The buildings are die cut from a combination of kraft card (to match the covers of the shop bought notebooks inside) and Sizzix Surfacez Cardstock which comes in a large range of colours.

Outlining the little buildings with some black watercolour paint makes them stand out even more on the cover. I have then cut more of the buildings and the little fences with the same cardstock to add to the front of each of the notebooks inside, in that way making them coordinate with the journal cover. It's a quick and easy way to embellish shop bought books.

I hope you've enjoyed seeing the first of my projects for this month using Eileen's latest die releases. Make sure to tune in to Eileen's FB Live and also head on over to see the rest of the project peeks, taking part in the blog hop to be in with a chance to win - good luck!

Eileen Hull Designs

29 March 2022

Topflight Stamps Birthday Blog Hop

Hi everyone and welcome. It's Topflight Stamps 5th birthday and to celebrate, I’ve been invited to team up with some great designers to showcase celebratory projects using the unique products available at Topflight Stamps. Please hop along with us and see all the beautiful talent from this group of amazing designers! You should have arrived here from Lisa Hoel's blog. If not, no worries, catch the details at the end of this post.


Of course, it wouldn’t be a birthday celebration without prizes! Topflight Stamps is giving one lucky winner a $50 Gift Certificate to the store. But wait, there is more; each stop on the hop has an additional $25 Gift Certificate up for grabs for some lucky commenter. For a chance to win, make sure to visit every stop on the hop and leave a comment by April 3rd. Winners will be announced on the Topflight Stamps blog on April 7th. Good Luck!

So now it's time to share my celebratory project and as luck would have it there are a couple of family weddings coming up so my choice of celebration theme was easy.

Going with a neutral colour scheme I pulled out a wallet full of leftovers.

After choosing some bits and pieces from the pile I stamped, painted and cut out flowers from PaperArtsy Scrapcosy stamp set ESC018.

I shaped each petal with a ball tool and added pearls to the centres of the flowers. The leaves from my scrap pile were stamped using PaperArtsy Courtney Franich stamp set ECF05.

A border was created for the background by heat embossing with white embossing powder onto tea stained card.using an image from PaperArtsy Scrapcosy stamp set ESC28.

Moving to the background Grunge Paste was scraped through PaperArtsy Sara Naumann stencil PS219.

A central panel was assembled using gauze covered card with lace and the heat embossed border. The flowers were then placed in a line from the top.

It's always good to add a sentiment to the front of a special card. Having found the perfect words in PaperArtsy Sara Naumann stamp set ESN37 I stamped them onto a scrap from a gel plate print. This was then added to the base of the card after the background and fabric panel had been added to a white card blank.

Here are a couple of close ups of the finished card to show the different elements in more detail;

That's it from me for this hop. I hope you've enjoyed seeing how my card came together.
Thanks for stopping by!
Jenny xxx

And don't forget, for a chance to win, make sure to visit every stop on the hop and leave a comment by April 3rd. Winners will be announced on the Topflight Stamps blog on April 7th. Good Luck!

15 March 2022

Fabric and Fibres with Eileen Hull Designs

Hi everyone and welcome. Throughout this month Eileen Hull's teams are featuring creations with fibres, fabric and felt components. The designers are using them for accents on projects as well as major parts in their constructions. In one of Eileen's most recent Lives she looked at ideas for filling all those journals we've had such fun making. Feeling inspired I've decided to show you some ideas for doing the same, incorporating fabric and fibres with Eileen's dies. 

(click on each photo for a closer look)

The page with the pansies on may look complicated but it's easy to achieve and begins with pieces of brown paper (old packaging material, a used paper bag, etc) and some torn scraps of muslin.

Start layering them with extra scraps of fabric and gluing it all in place; curtain samples, old net curtains, linens with holes in that would be destined for the trash - it will all work to add texture and pattern to your page.

I save any paper/card left over from making the insides of journals because they will of course coordinate perfectly. Here I have die cut some using Eileen's Sizzix 'Snail Mail' Die Set; it's a good idea to cut the frame as well as the stamps - you'll see why later.

Tear apart the stamps and rearrange them over the layers of fabric before adding tracing paper or vellum die cut with one of Eileen's more delicate die designs; you can see below how I've used the Sizzix 'Mandala' Die and one of the Sizzix 'Journaling Cards, Hearts' Dies to do this.

You can draw your own flowers, die cut and paint some or (as I have here) find them in discarded gardening encyclopaedias. The one I discovered in a local charity shop had lots of botanical drawings which, when tea stained and watercoloured, make perfect focal points. At this point you can save your completed collages for future use.

And of course these fabric collages don't have to be limited to floral themes; use your own choice of images and when you have made a few scatter them throughout a new journal, leaving the remaining pages empty ready for the eventual recipient to add their own journaling.

To finish mine I added lace trim to the edge of each journal page and glued the collage pieces on top. I also like to hand stitch some cross stitches through the layers of the collage and even through the page they are sitting on.

Going back to the original photo of my two page spread you'll see how I've balanced the design on the opposite page by adding an embossed vellum flap and a coordinating butterfly cluster. Again, the blank page underneath can then be used for journaling purposes.

Taking a closer look you can see where the vellum has been embossed with Eileen's Sizzix 'Vintage Buttons' 3D Embossing Folder over-layed with one of the Snail Mail frame pieces - nothing goes to waste! The painted fabric butterfly was die cut from Eileen's Sizzix 'Birds & Butteflies' Die Set and mounted on another of those Snail Mail stamp shapes with a vintage tag and scrap of cotton lace.

Here's the collage page in more detail, made exactly the same way and this time incorporating tracing paper die cut with Eileen's Sizzix 'Heart Mandala' Die.

And here you can see those lines of cross-stitching which have added to the stencilled collaging on the next page. Also on these pages is a scrap cluster using Eileen's new 'Snail Mail - Postage' stamp set from Maker Forte and some hand drawn leaves over a Gel Press printed background (a tutorial for this process can be found HERE). The words and patterns come from a Rebekah Meier TCW stencil called 'Mini Love and Peace' which feels very appropriate at the moment.

I hope you've enjoyed seeing how fabric and fibres can be used with your die cuts and stamps to create collages which can help fill your journal pages. Make sure to check out all the fantastic projects and tutorials from the rest of Eileen's team members - links to their posts can be found on Eileen's blog throughout the month.

For now thanks for visiting,
Jenny xxx

15 February 2022

Eileen Hull Designs Book Box Journal

Hi everyone and welcome. As you may have seen during the Sizzix Chapter 1 2022 launch party for her dies Eileen set me a challenge to turn her new Sizzix Scoreboards 'Box, Book' XL Die into a handbound book and this is what I came up with; it's full of interactive pages using a number of Eileen's dies.

Since the launch I've had a number of requests to share how this was constructed so here's an in depth tutorial, starting with the pages.

You will need a collection of 12x12 inch double-sided scrapbook papers and some matching ephemera; I picked some from 49 and Market's 'Vintage Artistry' collection. Taking 10 sheets cut them lengthwise through the middle to create 20 pages measuring 6x12 inches. I scuffed the edges of the card and machine stitched around each page for added detail and texture.

With ten of the pages score at 4 3/4 inches and at 9 inches, leaving a 3 inch flap at the end. You can leave the 3 inch flaps loose, cut off 1 1/2 inches width-wise and glue down at the top and bottom to create tuck spot pockets or cut of the top 4 inches and glue down the remaining 2 inches at the bottom to create a pocket. 

With the other ten pages score at 4 3/4 inches and cut off 2 3/4  inches at the other end to leave a 4 1/2 inch page. Use the cut offs to create pockets and belly bands as well as reserving some to make extra ephemera with Eileen's dies and stamps.

Decide on the order of your pages making sure to mix up the colours, page sizes and types of page sitting next to each other. Once sorted make small holes along the central fold of each page at 1/2 inch, 1 1/4 inches, 3 inches, 4 1/4 inches and 5 1/2 inches. It is worth using a punch board or template for this to make it quicker and more consistent.

Stitch the pages together using a Coptic stitch binding to create a text block from your pages. I use a method demonstrated by Sea Lemon on her YouTube video HERE.

This text block needs to be self-supporting because it will not be glued onto the centre of the spine so to keep it in place but still flexible glue a strip of fabric slightly wider and shorter than the spine in place using an archival acid free glue. Hold the text block in place and upright by securing it with an elastic band at the edge of the pages as shown below.

Whilst the glue is drying you can work on your spine. To make it more flexible I cut off the half inch outer strips along the score lines and re-attach with an 1/8 inch gap using Architape®

You can see below how I've attached the second side back onto the main spine using Hinge Spacers to ensure an even gap between the two pieces of card. Stick the Architape® along the outside of the spine before wrapping around onto the inside of the spine to ensure it is secure.

Here's what the spine will look like when the tape and gaps have been added on both sides. The reason for doing this rather than leaving the die cut spine solid (with inbuilt score lines) is that it becomes more flexible and allows the pages to lay more flat when opened.

At this stage decorate your spine with trims, tassels etc  before you stick the spine, text block and covers together.

Add glue to the outside 1/2 inch strips on the spine only (the bits separated from the main spine by the tape). Do not add glue to the main portion of the spine. Sit the text block, now secured with the fabric strip, onto the spine in place. You should find there will be a 1/4 inch gap at the top and bottom. Press the fabric and outer pages into the glue and leave as shown below until completely dry.

When dry you can fold the text block shut with the spine now securely wrapped around it and glued in place. Now add colour with paints or inks onto the two die cut cover pieces before gluing them onto the spine on the outer 1/2 inch strips. 

Use some of the leftover paper and ephemera to decorate the front and back covers, making sure to glue ribbon beneath the paper layers if you want to use it as a closure. I used Eileen's new Sizzix 3D 'Vintage Buttons' Embossing Folder as a great way to add decoration and dimension to one of the layers, whilst applying Glossy Accents over the more delicate images helped to ensure they wouldn't get damaged each time the book is opened.

Here's a closer look at some of the pages inside the book where I've more of Eileen dies (including her new Sizzix Thinlits 'Snail Mail' Die) and some of her stamps to create interactive elements and ephemera. The rest of the ephemera, including the paper lace and tabs, came as part of the Vintage Artistry collection;

I hope you've found this tutorial helpful - if you have any questions please leave them in the comments below and I will do my best to answer them.

Make sure to check out the new release projects and tutorials from the other Inspiration and Educator Team members - links to their posts can be found on Eileen's blog throughout the month.

For now thanks for visiting,
Jenny xxx
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