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

12 November 2017

Tim Holtz Style December Daily 2017

Hi everyone and welcome. I've been caught up throughout the week creating a Tim Holtz style December Daily for 2017, sharing the 'work in progress' on my Instagram and Facebook pages as I've gone along. As promised, it's now time to reveal the 'finished' journal - I say finished because it's now ready for completion with photos and memories from each day through December, hence the term December Daily!

The covers have been created using Tim Holtz Christmas Baseboards, sturdy 4x6 inch decorative bases that can easily be hole punched and then decorated. Tim's new Festive Greens Thinlits dies from Sizzix work beautifully with the Holiday Greens Thinlits dies, and if you cut them from Classic Kraft Stock then they are also pre-coloured! Here are some close ups of the cover details;

Here's a video walk-through of my 'completed' December Daily so you can see each page and element in turn;

Inside the pages are made from a mix of Holiday Paper Stash, Christmas Kraft Stock, Christmas Cabinet Cards, and Idea-ology Christmas Ephemera. I did some simple stitching around each page purely to add detail, though it also adds security to the pockets and tuck spots. The smaller pieces of Ephemera and more die cuts help to decorate the pages whilst leaving plenty of space for the photos and journaling which will be added throughout December. It's as though Tim had a plan for this as his Countdown Brads are the perfect way to mark each date. Hide the back of the brads with Design Tape and Holiday Flashcards. I even created some transparent pages by stamping the Nordic Background with Archival Ink on acetate, layered it with another sheet of acetate and sandwiched a Woodlands die cut in between. Don't forget to use your Metallic words stickers to help document the photos and of course you can always add some stamping and Remnant Rubs! To finish a collection of holiday themed charms, altered with white gesso, have been hung using jump rings from the spine. I would just mention that the 'essentials' for creating a good December Daily include Carnation Red Enamel Accents for those dimensional berries, Matte Distress Collage Medium and Dina Wakley White Paint.

I hope you've enjoyed seeing inside my Tim Holtz style December Daily and feel inspired to create a memory book of your own. And as luck would have it The Funkie Junkie Boutique have a 35% off MSRP discount on Christmas/Winter products through November 24th!

Whatever you're up to for the rest of this weekend take care of yourselves and get creative! Jenny xxx

7 November 2017

Eileen Hull Thanksgiving Treat Basket - Tutorial

Hi everyone and welcome! Last week I shared this Thanksgiving Treat Basket, created with Eileen Hull's Basket Die on my blog and on Facebook. Lots of people asked for a tutorial on how to achieve the look of rusted metal on the sides, so I'm back to share it with you all today.

Start by applying Ranger Texture Paste (or Grit Paste) through the 'Flames' Tim Holtz Layering Stencil onto the sides of the basket and set aside to dry.

Cover the dry surfaces completely with 'Ancient' Dina Wakley Media Acrylic Paint - one coat should cover them.

Dab dilute 'Evergreen' Dina Wakley Media Acrylic Paint unevenly over the surface and dry.

Dab dilute 'Lime' Dina Wakley Media Acrylic Paint unevenly over the surface and dry.

Dab dilute 'Turquoise' Dina Wakley Media Acrylic Paint unevenly over the surface and dry. You'll now have a faux verdigris look.

Re-position the stencil over the Texture Paste areas and apply embossing ink over them.

Cover the surface in Emerald Creek Crafts 'Charred Gold' Embossing Powder, tap off the excess and heat set with a heat too. You'll see the different colours included in the powder emerge and the paste bubble slightly which adds extra texture.

When cool and set, spray the surface with water before applying a few drops of Butterscotch Alcohol Ink. Carefully heat from a distance to evaporate most of the water leaving it still a little moist.

Add a few more small drops of the same Alcohol Ink randomly to darken some areas.

As you heat set this time some of the embossing powder will re-melt, allowing the Charred Gold colour to reappear on the surface.

Repeat this process for all visible sides of the basket. Use the same method, minus the initial application of Texture Paste, for the rest of the Basket pieces (including the reverse of all sides of the basket) before assembling it. At that point it's ready for trimming, filling and giving as a treat!

I hope you find this tutorial helpful and give the technique a go to make your own treat baskets.
Take care of yourselves and get creative! Jenny xx

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