19 December 2023

2023 Round Up for Eileen Hull Designs

Hi everyone and welcome. Can you believe 2023 is almost over? Time sure flies! This month Eileen Hull’s team members are taking a look back and sharing their favourite projects from the year in designer round ups. So what are my Top 3 makes of 2023? Being honest it was hard to narrow it down to just three this year, but here goes...

Taking them in date order, February saw me sharing the 'Love of Home' Frame Pocket Journal celebrating my combined passions for journals, book-making, mixed media, stitching and architecture. As well as including a few hand-drawn doors I loved playing with fabric, paper, paint and lace to create the collection of pages inside.

In August I shared the results of a month long project, a Field Notes Accordion Album created as part of the #junkjournaljuly2023 challenge. The daily prompts and collage style landscape accordion pages were the perfect place to play with more of Eileen's dies, stamps and embossing folders. Mixing embroidered felt die cuts with hand drawn images and layered backgrounds throughout, it was fun to work with the random backgrounds and reflect what was happening on each day.

My last pick comes from October when the stitching reached a whole new level and much patience was required to decorate the Fall Slotted Treat Box. A true labour of love, I discovered that sewing machines don't like self-adhesive fabric and resorted to hand stitching all those zig-zag patterns on the patchwork background!

And there's more to come next year with the first of Eileen's releases coming in January 2024!!! The teams are already hard at work making samples to give you all some ideas for using them. For now that's it from me for this month's theme. Make sure to check out all the Top 3 projects from the rest of the team - links to their posts can be found on Eileen's blog throughout the month.

For now thanks for visiting,
Jenny xxx

21 November 2023

Starlit Village Festive Embroidered Hoop with Eileen Hull Designs

Hi everyone and welcome. This month Eileen Hull's design teams are fully immersed in the Comfort & Joy Event 2023. This is our fourth annual Comfort & Joy which started during the pandemic as a way to stay connected throughout the holidays even though we were separated from family and friends. Now it’s a Eileen Hull Fan Club tradition!

The team have been creating with holidays recipes that include an Eileen Hull die or product! Keep in mind “recipes” can include anything – actual baked goods, journals, banners, tags, cards, home decor, gift wrap and gifts to give and sell. Please make sure to share YOUR “recipes” in the Comfort & Joy ’23 photo album in our Fan Club group – there will be prizes! We hope that you are enjoying this event and look forward to seeing what we all create this holiday season! If you are not already a member, join the Fan Club on Facebook.

Having got the bug for creating embroidered leaves for my Fall Slotted Treat Box I went all out on the home decor front and added lots more stitching to Eileen's 'Starlit Village' to create a festive hoop.

Details and 'in progress' photos sharing the 'recipe' for creating this can be found exclusively in the Eileen Hull Fan Club so make sure you're a member to see those!

I used the Sizzix Thinlits 666535 Starlit Village Die Set and Sizzix Thinlits 666474 Envelope, Folder & Flowers Die Set to cut the felt shapes.

Eileen's dies cut through felt beautifully and the stitching adds to the design and dimension of each element.

That's it from me for this month's theme. Make sure to check out all the fantastic Comfort & Joy 2023 projects from the rest of the team - links to their posts can be found on Eileen's blog throughout the month.

For now thanks for visiting,
Jenny xxx

27 October 2023

Fall Slotted Treat Box for Eileen Hull Designs

Hi everyone and welcome. This month Eileen Hull's design teams are celebrating fall themed projects made with her versatile Sizzix dies. I've created a Fall 'Slotted Treat Box', making use of lots of stitching and fabrics.

This took more work than anticipated due mainly to having used adhesive-backed fabric to create the patchwork covers for the case - not sewing machine friendly!!! I ended up hand stitching all those zigzags but am so pleased with the results.

Cutting leaves from Eileen's 'Envelope, Folder & Flowers' die set in felt offered up the option to embroider them - if you haven't seen the incredible creations of Salley Mavor of Wee Folk Studio, from whose work this was inspired - then I strongly recommend a visit! There is something very comforting about sitting stitching wrapped up a warm blanket as the nights get longer and colder.

The pearl beads used as berries were coloured with alcohol inks and Sizzix Luster Wax in Gold has been used as a contrast on the metal corners, handles, locking mechanism and little label, as well as around the edges and inside of the box.

That's it from me for this month's theme. Make sure to check out all the fantastic Fall projects from the rest of the team - links to their posts can be found on Eileen's blog throughout the month.

For now thanks for visiting,
Jenny xxx

18 September 2023

Card Caddy Accordion Album with Floral Silhouettes for Eileen Hull Designs

Hi everyone and welcome. A new month equals a new theme and this time around it’s Box Bonanza month. Eileen Hull has designed many different box dies over the years so Eileen's teams are excited to share their ideas. I decided to use Eileen's Sizzix Scoreboards 'Card Caddy' Die to create a case to hold a new accordion album - with no spine this type of album can flop around a bit so a bespoke box is the perfect solution to keep it safe. 

The Caddy case has been decorated on both sides to match the pages of the album inside, with paper collage, washi, stamping, stencilling, stitching and lots of trims. The accordion album measures 5 1/8 " (13cm) square, so just a touch smaller than the width of the Card Caddy (which measures 5 1/4") to allow it to slip in and out easily and there's plenty of room for layered pages. In fact I made my accordion pages double-sided with covers cut from matboard and decorated with the flowers from Eileen's Sizzix Thinlits 'Envelope, Folder & Flowers' Die Set.

Inside the album opens out onto the first of seven fabric backed, double-sided spreads, each depicting bits of hand-drawn architecture spotted whilst visiting a local National Trust estate. Knowing I wanted to make use of Eileen's Sizzix Thinlits 'Floral Silhouettes' Die Set (available only at scrapbook.com) including these drawings felt like a good way to give them some context.

The basic backgrounds have been created with a collage of book pages, music manuscript, typed sheets, lined and squared paper, glued to a thin base layer and backed with muslin to help stop them tearing when stitched. It's easy to blend the various sheets together with a little coordinating paint, leaving some of the text visible and some covered.

After drawing and inking over the architectural designs colour has been added with washi tape, gel printed tissue and some beautiful trims from the lovely Sharon Louise at Rowan Tree Crafts.

You may by now have spotted some stencilled letters in the background, created by using a homemade card stencil cut with Eileen's Sizzix Thinlits 'Tiled Alphanumeric' Die. Using Eileen's dies to create stencils and stamps makes them an even more invaluable creative tool.

I wanted to include the Floral Silhouettes throughout the album but initially struggled to pick the right colours. In the end I die cut them from black card before blending Sizzix Luster Wax over them, starting with 'Ivory' before adding 'Gold' highlights. It really helps the layers to stand out.

All the stamping has been done using Eileen's stamp sets including adding the leaves behind the flowers, labels and days of the week.

Stitching is always great for adding extra texture so I have included machine stitching in black to emphasise some of the architectural details and hand stitching simple cross marks with Sashiko thread.

I hope you've enjoyed taking a closer look through this accordion album with its matching Card Caddy case. Make sure to check out all the fantastic projects featuring Eileen's box dies from the rest of the team - links to their posts can be found on Eileen's blog throughout the month.

For now thanks for visiting,
Jenny xxx

30 August 2023

Eileen Hull Designs Field Notes Accordion Album for #junkjournaljuly2023

Hi everyone and welcome. This month Eileen Hull's teams continue to share projects using her Sizzix Chapter 3 2023 new releases. As part of that today I'm sharing an accordion album made as part of the #junkjournaljuly2023 event, hosted and organised by Meg @megjournals in collaboration with Get Messy Art; details and her video series can be found HERE.

I followed Meg's tutorial to create the basic landscape accordion pages and then began to decorate them before attaching to covers cut using Eileen's new Sizzix Scoreboards 'Field Notes & Specimen Card' Die. You'll be able to see below how the covers have a layer of crackle paste painted over with a decorated frame (from the Sizzix Scoreboards 'Frame Pocket Journal' Plus Die)  embroidered felt flower (using Sizzix Thinlits 'Envelope, Folder & Flowers' Die Set) and lettering (using the Sizzix Thinlits 'Tiled Alphanumeric' Die). You'll see a few more of those embroidered felt flowers on the pages of this journal and I want to thank Lisa Hoel for her original inspiration for these.

Moving on to the first few pages/days you'll be able to see stitched hand-drawn flowers, leaves and brickwork alongside those provided by the base book pages. I've also made use of Eileen's stamps throughout to compliment the die cuts, like the Sizzix Thinlits 'Skinny Mini Elements' Die. Cutting holes through the pages in some places (for example in the window below) gives you a glimpse at what is to come, particularly because I've made use of both sides of the accordion pages.

Eileen can always be relied upon to provide the perfect tag die! I used the ones from her Sizzix Thinlits 'Card, Waterfall & Tags' Die Set for Day 4; it's even worth using the waste, filling it with pink card embossed with the new Sizzix 3D 'Keys' Embossing Folder. And the waterfall element has been used to conceal a drawing of an Italian doorway.

I made use of stencils, stamps and paints from PaperArtsy on many of the pages as each day was documented, and quite by luck discovered a map on which to record my journey south that month.

Getting to grips with some free-motion stitching has been fun and I even got to use some miniature oak leaf die cuts on my tree branch using a die from CoolKatzCraft Ltd.

Stripping things back on Day 10 was a challenge and a complete contrast to the busy buildings drawn for Day 11.

Moving on, more inspiration came from another Eileen team mate; Susie Bentz used the hearts from the new Sizzix Thinlits 'Envelope, Folder & Flowers' Die Set in colourful clusters whilst mine are all in shades of red to fit with the album colour scheme. And you'll see there's another cut away window drawn on Day 13.

The raised texture of the stencilled bricks meant I opted to stamp flowers onto tissue in order to transfer the images rather than stamping directly to the page. And then on Day 15 it was back to Eileen's Sizzix Thinlits 'Envelope, Folder & Flowers' Die Set to create the tuck spot and contents.

Here's where we go back to repeating those felt flowers from the cover, overlaying a busy background created with Eileen's Sizzix Thinlits 'Mini Slimline & Tickets' Die Set. And those same postage stamp shaped die cuts have been used with more of the hearts for Day 17.

I'm really loving adding hand-stitching to journal pages these days and it's in evidence with the embroidered stencil window below. 

Eileen's Sizzix Thinlits 'Journaling Card, Envelope & Window' provided the perfect little envelope in which to add my birthday message to myself, whilst the branches drawn on the following page are a nod to the wisteria I see from my workspace every day.

The pockets prompt was also easily resolved using Eileen's Sizzix Thinlits 'Library Pocket, ATC Card & Tabs', with the Pocket left open on one side to allow for more journaling cards. You'll see that new little Folder is also tucked in the front. And I drew, coloured and glazed the rose to sit on the Specimen Card window for Day 23.

One of the benefits of using both sides in an accordion book is that if you have stitched through the pages there is a readymade base for the design on the opposite side. And so it was that I just needed to add more paper scraps, lace, washi and stitching together with die cut flowers from Eileen's Sizzix Thinlits 'Shadowbox Frames #1' Die Set to complete Day 24.

The pages for Day 25 and 26 are a nod to family history research. Then rather than just add a plain postcard for the next prompt I die cut through it using Eileen's Sizzix Thinlits 'Snail Mail' Die Set.

Nearing the end of the accordion album, I used up bits and pieces from my stash to create the pocket and add altered lace flowers around the window.

Some final felt flowers, hearts and more stitched leaves helped to complete the final pages. I also added a large lace pocket at the end to hold the prompt sheet from the challenge.

Thank you for joining me today. I hope you've enjoyed the tour through this accordion album which is also being shared on my YouTube channel HERE.

Make sure to check out all the fantastic projects featuring the new Chapter 3 2023 releases 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
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