26 December 2017

Gifts to Die For with Eileen Hull Designs

Hi everyone and welcome! All this month Eileen Hull's Inspiration Team have been sharing ideas for handmade gifts using her fabulous die designs from Sizzix. Make sure you check them out on Eileen's website. Since the Trinket Box and Card Box from the new Book Club release are perfect for creating gifts I set about altering them to match the Photo Frame previously shared HERE.

So you can see how easy the decorated die cuts are to assemble I've laid out the elements for the Trinket Box and Card Box below. The dies cut and score the pieces needed so it's simply a case of using strong glue to stick them together.

Quick Tutorial

The pieces were altered in the same way as the Photo Frame (tutorial HERE) to give them a heritage look.

And you'll see the products used to create the flowers and foliage on the image below; the dies come from the Festive Greens and Small Tattered Florals Thinlits sets, also from Sizzix. A couple of Quote Chips, Idea-ology Adornment Stars and Pen Nibs complete the trimmings.

Close Up Photos

Let's take a closer look at the finished Trinket Box; it's lid opens and the faux suede lining makes it perfect for holding heirloom jewellery. And the Card Box is compact yet sturdy so you can line several up together on your shelving to hold favourite thin die and stamp sets, handmade cards and more.

I hope you've enjoyed seeing these gift ideas; there's lots more from the rest of the team on Eileen's website this month.

Need extra inspiration? With over 65 more gifting ideas using Eileen's dies there's still time to get the latest e-book 'Gifts To Die For' from Bella Crafts Publishing whilst it's on a special price (click on the image below).

GIFTS TO DIE FOR with Eileen Hull and friends

Thanks for joining me today to see these new dies in action. It's time to sign off for now and get back to sample making for the Creativation show in January. Whatever you're up to this holiday season I hope you have a peaceful and creative time. Jenny xxx

13 December 2017

Most Memorable Gift for Frilly and Funkie

Hi everyone and welcome! Suzz hosts our final challenge of the year over on the Frilly and Funkie Challenge blog and she's called it 'Most Memorable Gift' Here's how she's described it; "December for many of us is a time where we give and receive. That had me thinking about the most memorable gifts I have received over the years. These including a signed book from one of my favorite authors, handwritten notes from my children, a singing hot dog condiment stand and the first gift my husband gave me when we were dating. I want you to be inspired by one of your most memorable gifts. Use that inspiration to create a vintage or shabby chic project. You can make a card, a tag, share a journal entry or any kind of project you desire. Just be sure to mention the memorable gift and how it inspired your creation."

The team will choose their top four picks with the winner being invited to join us in a Guest DT spot at Frilly and Funkie and the next three will receive badges to display on their blogs. Everyone who enters and follows the rules will be entered into the draw to have the chance to win a $25 spending spree at The Funkie Junkie Boutique, so there are plenty of reasons for joining in the fun.

Here's my final DT project of the year for Frilly and Funkie, a festive Oh Deer Clipboard for someone incredibly special.

Part of the challenge is to say what has been your most memorable gift and how it has inspired you. I wracked my brains for the longest time - in our house we tend to save getting the most special gifts for our birthdays, whilst Christmas is more about spending family time. However, each and every year my amazing husband willingly takes responsibility for cooking Christmas dinner (which we have on Boxing Day) and spends many hours pondering menus and making lists. It's such a wonderful gift of time and effort and we've had some stand-out meals over the years. This year I thought he could do with an upgrade on the usual fridge magnets for collecting his lists and thoughts.

As luck would have it I still had an Oh Deer Clipboard hidden in amongst the stash and felt inspired to transform it after having seen one created by Kath Stewart. I began by covering the back of the clear board with paper from Tim Holtz' Correspondence and Dapper collections, joining the two together with Passport Design Tape and covering them with Starry stencilling.

On the front of the board the tape measure paper from the Dapper collection was combined with Christmas Ephemera to form a 'frame' on which to add the focal point. I used Tim's 'Alcohol Ink Resist' technique (from his online course - Creative Chemistry 103) with his Great Outdoors stamp set to create the deer panel which has the look of a photograph negative. A little faux stitching around the edge, some Metallic Kraft Stock to make it pop and the Small Talk Occasions words helped finish it off.

Layering up Woodlands and Holiday Greens die cuts either side of this panel provided the backdrop for the festive scene at the bottom. Making a shelf from Letterpress Blocks (painted with Iced Spruce Distress Paint and sanded back) I used Grit Paste to cover the top in 'snow'. The small Woodland Tree looked more festive coloured with Forest Moss Distress Spray Stain, a touch of Grit Paste and Festive Berries. For a touch of extra sparkle some Pyrite Gemstones were tucked into the branches too. The Decorative Deer looked more realistic coloured with Mushroom Alcohol Ink. More Berries and Pyrite pieces were used with the Pinecones and Festive Greens to create a little bouquet to balance out the other side.

Funnily enough the last bit finished was the trickiest to get right. I painted the metal deer clip with Brushed Corduroy Distress Paint but it looked too plain. Zoe Hillman came to the rescue, suggesting I try a coat of Picket Fence Distress Paint followed by dabs of Mushroom Alcohol Ink. It worked a treat, especially when sanded back on the edges. By adding strips of magnetic tape to the back this festive clipboard was ready to mount on our fridge awaiting those all important menu and shopping lists.

That's it for my DT project for the current Frilly and Funkie challenge 'Most Memorable Gift'. Do make sure you hop on over to find out what my talented team mates most memorable gifts are and what they have inspired to create as a result. And remember to link your own die cut shabby chic or vintage projects, to be in with a chance of winning one of the fabulous prizes - the challenge is open until Tuesday, December 19th so there's still plenty of time. In the meantime take care of yourselves and get creative! Jenny xxx

7 December 2017

Launching 'Gifts to Die For' with Eileen Hull Designs

Hi everyone and welcome! There's some exciting news today - a brand new e-book called 'Gifts To Die For' has just been launched and you can get yours using the link below. Bella Crafts Publishing have put together a gorgeous and eclectic collection of gift ideas from lots of your favourite designers using Eileen Hull Designs Scoreboard Dies. With over 65 inspiring and varied projects included there's bound to be lots of ideas that will help you create gifts for friends, family and even customers at those ever popular craft fairs!

And as an added bonus the price for this e-book has been cut from $16.97 to just $9.97 through December 2017! Just click on the link below, order your copy and you'll be sent an email with the link to your downloadable pdf ready to be saved on your favourite device.

GIFTS TO DIE FOR with Eileen Hull and friends

And even more good news - if you don't have your copies already, Eileen's two previous e-books are also on offer at $9.97 through December 2017 too! You'll find links to 'Journal Treasury' and 'Die Cutting Magic' in my sidebar.

Make sure you get your copy of 'Gifts to Die For' and be ready all year round to make some very special gifts. Get creative! Jenny xxx

30 November 2017

'Letter It' from Ranger Ink - un-boxing video

Hi everyone and welcome! I promised to be back today with something special and ta-dah!!! Here it is! I was lucky enough to be sent a new collection called 'Letter It' from Ranger Ink - a carefully curated collection of stamps, pens, embossing powders, pearl powders, meduims, tools and surfaces designed to work together so you can create beautifully personalised cards, tags, gifts and more for all of life's occasions!

You'd much rather see it being un-boxed I'm sure so here's the video;

Of course now I'm going to have to play and will be back soon to share some samples to whet your appetite. In the meantime here's the link to the Ranger Ink blog to find out more about the collection; http://rangerink.com/new-ranger-letter-it-program

Thanks for joining me today. I hope you've enjoyed seeing the new collection. Jenny xxx

29 November 2017

Give Thanks at Frilly and Funkie

Hi everyone and welcome! It's Sara Emily's turn to host the latest challenge over on the Frilly and Funkie Challenge blog and she's called it 'Give Thanks!' This challenge is all about giving thanks as the title suggests; we have so much to be grateful for! The Frilly and Funkie team is thankful for our loyal readers and our newest visitors! For this challenge, simply create a vintage or shabby chic project that expresses gratitude.

The team will choose their top four picks with the winner being invited to join us in a Guest DT spot at Frilly and Funkie and the next three will receive badges to display on their blogs. Everyone who enters and follows the rules will be entered into the draw to have the chance to win a $25 spending spree at The Funkie Junkie Boutique, so there are plenty of reasons for joining in the fun.

We all have a need to say thank you to someone every so often and a handmade card is such a personal and thoughtful way of doing just that. Wendy Vecchi has designed so many gorgeous stamp sets that fit the bill for making these as this card shows;

The background was created by adding Dina Wakley's Ruby and Cheddar Paints over a piece of card before brushing her White Gesso over the top unevenly for a faded look. The dry card was embossed with Tim Holtz 'Flourish' Embossing Folder before a few drops of highly dilute Ruby and Cheddar Paints were allowed to run into the grooves with a spritz of water.

A small tag was cut from watercolour paper and I used the Stamp Platform to add the Simple Reality floral image to it with Antique Linen Distress Oxide Ink (leaving the stamp in place and removing any remaining ink from it). I painted the flowers with more highly diluted Ruby and Cheddar Paints, mixing Lime and Umber together with water to create an olive shade - on watercolour paper they blend together beautifully. Replacing the tag back in the Stamp Platform I restamped the image using Jet Black Archival Ink to finish it. The same process was used to create more flowers so they could be cut out and layered together over the tag.

By drawing around the tag on the background I could work out where to stamp the Lots of Leaves flourishes and add the Grit Paste through the Simple Reality stencil. Rather than remove the pencil lines I emphasised them with Hickory Smoke Distress Crayon (applied with the Detailer Fine Nib Water Brush) to create a shadow effect. Having added stitching along the edge of the background and blended Brushed Corduroy into it I layered the tag and flowers together with some die cut foliage, finishing it with the Thank You sentiment from the All Occasion Art set.

That's it for my DT project for the current Frilly and Funkie challenge 'Give Thanks' I hope you've been inspired by my latest journal. Do make sure you hop on over to see what my talented team mates have been inspired to create. And remember to link your own die cut shabby chic or vintage projects, to be in with a chance of winning one of the fabulous prizes.

I'll be back tomorrow with a big reveal... in the meantime take care of yourselves and get creative! Jenny xxx

28 November 2017

Photo Frame and Family History for Eileen Hull Designs

Hi everyone and welcome! Throughout November Eileen Hull's Inspiration Team have been sharing ideas and tutorials for using Eileen's new 'Book Club' collection Scoreboards Dies from Sizzix; you can find the range HERE. Back in September I showed you three ideas for using some of the dies and today I'm back to give you the lowdown on making new twist on one of them.

The Stamp & Photo Storage Die essentially cuts a pre-scored 4" x 6" x 1/2" box; that may not sound exciting but as ever it's the possibilities that this affords which gets those creative juices flowing. It's the perfect fit to go inside the Journal (so now you can make those storage pockets for Art Wallets with ease - make sure you check out Anne Redfern's tutorial!) Add handles and it becomes a fun little box bag. My twist is to add an easel and cut a hole in the front to create an interchangeable photo frame that can also be used for decorative storage purposes.

The first step is to cut two storage box sides and one easel piece (using the Small Easel Die). I used an oval Movers & Shapers die to cut a hole in one of the side pieces. You'll be pleased to hear one of these comes as part of the Trinket Box Die; it's a little smaller but that's still going to work perfectly for this project. Cover them all in Hickory Smoke Distress Paint then give them a coat of Brushed Pewter Distress Paint.

You'll notice from the picture below that I removed the end of one of the storage box sides as I wanted the top of the box to remain open. To give them an aged appearance use a sanding block to rub back a little of the paint, particularly along the edges. Blend Walnut Stain Distress Oxide Ink into the exposed areas using a mini blending tool then take a slightly damp piece of tissue and rub away any ink sitting on the painted areas.

Cut two 4" x 6" pieces of patterned paper (I've used some from Tim Holtz 'Memoranda' Paper Stash) two pieces at 3/8" x 6" and one piece at 3/8" x 4" adding a little of the paints and ink to the edges. Stitching can also be added to the edges of the of the 4" x 6" pieces for extra interest.

Glue the paper pieces to their matching sides. In a change from my original version you'll see in the photo below that I've added an extra frame detail to the front. This is cut from paper covered card using the Trinket Box Die and the Oval Movers & Shapers Die, and is then mounted over the top of the matching oval hole to emphasise the aperture.

Use strong glue to stick the sides and bottom of the frame together (I use Matte Distress Collage Medium).

Stick the easel piece to the centre back of the frame, lining it up with the bottom of the frame.

Now you can add those decorative finishing touches like Beaded Berries coloured with Red Pepper Alcohol Ink, Bouquet Findings coloured with Lemonade and Shell Pink Alcohol Ink, Classic Kraft Core die cut foliage, Quote Chips, Remnant Rubs and other Idea-ology Findings.

Your frame is now ready for those all important photos - leave them loose inside the frame box so that you can change them at will or fix one in place if you want to display a specific image (as I have for the finished sample). If you are interested in tracing your ancestry I thought it would be an idea place to add records and information relating to the people in the featured photo. Here are some close ups;

That's it for my inspiration post today. Make sure you check out the projects from the rest of Eileen's team on her website www.eileenhull.com.
You can also find all of Eileen's latest die collection releases over on the Sizzix website.

For now, whatever you're up to this week, take care of yourselves and get creative! Jenny xxx

24 November 2017

Bella Crafts Publishing E-Book Sale!

Hi everyone and welcome! A quick heads up that there's a HUGE sale this weekend on Bella Crafts Publishing e-book digital titles with over 50% off! If you haven't got them yet now is definitely the time to give yourselves the gift of inspiration!

Here are the links to the various titles including two publications featuring Eileen Hull's fabulous die designs;

So much creative information at your fingertips for such a great price (and you don't even need to clutter up your craft room or coffee table to have it!) Grab yours this weekend before they double in price and get creative! Jenny xxx

15 November 2017

Timeworn for Frilly and Funkie

Hi everyone and welcome! Autumn Clark is our host for the latest challenge over on the Frilly and Funkie Challenge blog. She's called it 'Timeworn' and here's the description for what's required; "As the last leaves fall from autumn trees, we are reminded of the beauty of yesterday. The leaves crinkled underfoot, the clock ticking onward, a fleeting memory... For this challenge, we would love to see your timeworn vintage or shabby chic creations celebrating the beauty of the aged, dated or weathered."

The team will choose their top four picks with the winner being invited to join us in a Guest DT spot at Frilly and Funkie and the next three will receive badges to display on their blogs. Everyone who enters and follows the rules will be entered into the draw to have the chance to win a $25 spending spree at The Funkie Junkie Boutique, so there are plenty of reasons for joining in the fun.

I haven't created a new 8 x 8 inch deep-edged canvas in a while and with some heavy duty rusty artefacts to include this seemed like the perfect opportunity. Every element has been aged, either by time or technique.

So how did this all come together. The base of the canvas was covered with uneven layers of Ground Espresso, Walnut Stain, Gathered Twigs and Vintage Photo Distress Paint before a layer of Texture Paste was scraped across the top and sides. When dry, more Texture Paste was applied through the 'Crossed' Layering Stencil followed by Fractured Ice Embossing Powder to give it a unique glassy look. For that final aged effect Rust Alcohol Ink was dribbled across the edges and Brushed Pewter Distress Paint dabbed on sparingly.

I have long admired those artists who combine fabric and stitching in their work - projects from the likes of Nellie Wortman, Roxanne Evans Stout and Jennalee Anderson (to name but a few of the best) leave me drooling and desperate to include more in my creations. So out came some plain calico, not exactly aged, ready for some uneven stitching. I added age spots by dipping it in drops of Mushroom Alcohol Ink on my craft mat before gluing paper on top with Distress Collage Medium Matte. When dry it was dampened and partially ripped off to leave remnants of paper on the surface of the fabric.

I'd already decided to use one of Tim Holtz' 'Ravens' as the focal image. By stamping it into molten layers of Burnt Copper Leaves Embossing Powder with a mix of Tea Dye and Vintage Photo Distress Paint and Jet Black Archival Ink, a more dramatic effect was achieved. This was added to a piece of Woodgrain Cardstock (coloured with Vintage Photo, Tea Dye, Iced Spruce and Evergreen Bough Distress Paint and Potting Soil Archival Ink) book paper (stained with Iced Spruce Distress Paint and Rust Alcohol Ink) Metallic Kraft Stock (aged with Black Soot Distress Paint) and more fabric. These were held together with Distress Collage Medium Matte (fast becoming my go to glue) whilst some staples added extra security and a decorative touch.

The pieces of rusted metal were salvaged by my hubby (he's forever finding bits and pieces that 'might come in useful'!) I wrapped metallic wire around the large loop in order to hide the stems of Beaded Berries and to assist in securing the rest of the loop over the embossed panel. You can colour those Beaded Berries with inks (in this case more Rust Alcohol Ink) and to me the addition of Metallic Kraft Stock holly leaves worked well with them. Tucked underneath the berries is a former luggage strap holder, now most definitely aged to the point that pieces were flaking off in my hands! A coat of Distress Collage Medium Matte sealed them in place and again helped to secure them on the canvas so that a Quote Chip could be glued on top.

That's it from me for the current Frilly and Funkie challenge 'Timeworn'. Make sure you hop on over to see what my talented team mates have been inspired to create for this challenge, and remember to link your own shabby chic or vintage 'timeworn' projects to be in with a chance of winning one of the fabulous prizes that are up for grabs.

Thanks for joining me today. Whatever you're up to for the rest of the week take care of yourselves and get creative! Jenny xxx

13 November 2017

A Fun Felt Children's Art Wallet for Eileen Hull Designs

Hi everyone and welcome! Some long while back I had fun creating a fun felt children's art wallet using Eileen Hull Designs 'Journal' Die. Having been asked whether it would be possible to make a cover that didn't require a stiff base like mount/matboard this seemed the perfect opportunity to put the die to the test. Subsequently journals cut from file folders, place mats and so much more have been shared in Eileen Hull's facebook group HERE.

Felt alone is too floppy to hold pages etc so I began by cutting a front and back cover from Sizzix Paper Leather. It's tough yet light and flexible and you can even stitch through it! In this case I also cut a front and back cover from the light blue felt - Eileen's Scoreboard Dies cut felt beautifully. Having glued together the central spines on the Paper Leather cuts I trimmed away one fold on the back felt piece before gluing the two felt cuts onto the Paper Leather cover. To add some fun to the cover I cut 'Splatter' using the Sizzix Thinlits Dies of the same name from contrasting felt  to glue all over it - to ensure your Thinlits dies cut felt easily try using a piece of copier paper in between the felt/die sandwich. Finally some 2mm white elastic was strung through the holes in the spine as directed on the Journal Die cover, including a loop to hold it closed. The rigidity of the Paper Leather helped to prevent the spine from buckling - make sure not to tie the ends too tightly to stop this from happening.

Moving to the inside of this soft yet sturdy art wallet I wanted to add spaces in which to tuck stickers, rulers with cut out stencils and coloured pencils. I went to the effort of measuring and cutting pockets from white card (decorated with more Splatters) to the same size as the pencil packaging, which was in truth a little fiddly. However, Eileen is coming to my rescue in the not too distant future - included in the Eileen Hull Designs 'Book Club release' this December is a new Scoreboards Large Die called 'Stamp & Photo Storage'. The die cuts you a pocket that measures 6 1/8" x 4 1/8" x 1/2" the perfect size for attaching to the inside covers of the Journal. And the added bonus I found with my pockets is that they add even more rigidity to the covers. To complete this art wallet I cut and folded plain pieces of watercolour paper ready and waiting for little fingers to decorate.

Here's the back cover in all it's multi-coloured glory. It's so tactile and invites you to dive on inside to play with the contents!

I hope you feel inspired to create something for your budding artists on the go, and don't forget to keep a look out for that Stamp & Photo Storage Die. The fiddly job of measuring and cutting pockets will be a thing of the past!

Thank you for joining me today. I'll be back on Wednesday to reveal a brand new canvas. Until then take care of yourselves and get creative! Jenny xxx

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