29 May 2023

Die Cut Mania (Part 2) with Eileen Hull Designs

Hi everyone and welcome. This month's theme is Die Cut Mania where the team are sharing tips, tricks and techniques for using with your dies. I've already shared one idea this month (see here) and am back with another suggestion for you. So many people feel nervous about drawing but this is where your die cuts come in - use them either as things to be painted on or use them as templates and get creative! We'll be exploring each method in turn, starting with painting on your die cuts.

Over the past few years Eileen has designed a number of floral and foliage dies and for this collage page I started by cutting some from the Eileen Hull Designs Sizzix Thinlits 'Shadowbox Frames #1' Die Set using thin white card. Think about whether you want to add a couple of layers to the flowers for extra petals and remember you can turn them over, flip them around and even chop into them to make different options.

Time to get the paint out! Even if all you have to hand is some black, white, yellow and green paint you can still make a huge impact with your die cuts. Paint the main elements with a base hue before mixing the black to make a slightly darker shade and adding white to make a lighter tint. Think about where the light (usually the sun!) is coming from and add the darker shades on the far side. Then add the lighter tints to the sunny side and finish with a touch of white for extra highlights. You'll see below how the centre of the daisies in particular is made to look more dimensional by using this method.

Create a layered background using translucent pieces, in this case dyed tissue and sewing pattern tissue; you could also use things like napkins and gel printed tissue. Try stencilling through another of your die cuts to create a delicate pattern. I used the Eileen Hull Designs Sizzix Thinlits 'Mandala' Die for this and applied a little paint through the design. Notice how I've also used a couple of pieces from the new Eileen Hull Designs Sizzix Thinlits 'Mini Slimline & Tickets' Die Set at the top and bottom of the page. This is a running theme through each page of the journal so that, even though it is being created over many months, there is a common motif linking each page to the last.

And here's a close up of the finished daisies; you'll see I've added a tiny flick of deep pink ink at the edge of each petal having taken a closer look at the real ones when on a walk recently. 

Now we turn attention to an example of using your die cuts as templates on another collaged page.

This time start by creating the background with more of those layers of book print, sewing pattern tissue and gel printed tissue. Tie all of these individual elements together by adding some stencilling over the top; I used Eileen Hull Designs Sizzix Thinlits 'Skinny Mini Elements' Die to cut a template through which I could apply paint.

Choose the die cuts you want to use as your templates and cut out one of each in plain card; I used the leaf and petals from Eileen Hull Designs Sizzix 'Sunflower' Bigz L Die, working out where to place the flower and leaves before drawing around them with a pencil.

Starting with the leaves, paint with a mid-toned base colour and draw in where you want the veins to run.

Paint in those veins and some shadows with a darker shade.

To finish the leaves add a lighter shade to the centres to create highlights and if necessary return to the base colour to tone these down towards the base of the leaves.

Now it's time to add the first layer of the sunflower, drawing around the largest of the petal templates.

Once again paint the petals with a mid-toned yellow; notice you can skip the middle as it will be covered by the centre circle.

Working in stripes add darker yellow/orange paint to the inner parts of the petals and lighter pale yellow/cream to the outer parts. Finish by going back over with delicate strokes of the initial yellow paint.

Slightly offset the large petal template over this first layer and draw in the second layer of petals.

Paint these petals in the same way as the first layer. Add the third layer in the same way to complete the outer part of the sunflower.

You have a choice to make here - either keep it simple and add the central section or use the smaller petal die cut as a template for another couple of layers of petals.

I went with the more detailed version, adding the smaller inner petals and painting them in the same way as the outer ones. I found I only needed two layers of these to make it look 'full'.

It was at this stage I added the central section, drawing around the circular die cut and painting it with a dark brown before using a stencil brush to dot on yellow highlights. And the flower now complete.

Using stamped elements from Eileen's Maker Forte stamp sets in the same neutral colour as the journal page helps give extra detail without detracting from the main feature, the sunflower. Add painted stamp shaped die cuts to coordinate with the stencilled collage background closer to the sunflower for the same reason.

Thank you for joining me today. I hope you have some ideas for using your die cuts to help you add 'drawn' details to your collages. Make sure to check out all the fantastic projects 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 May 2023

Die Cut Mania with Eileen Hull Designs

Hi everyone and welcome. This month's theme is Die Cut Mania where the team are sharing tips, tricks and techniques for using with your dies. I know we are all familiar with using our Eileen dies to cut regular coloured and patterned paper but have you thought about using some of those other fun techniques for decorating your die cuts? As part of today's tutorial I reached for some crackle glaze and used the results to create backgrounds for several journal pages.

I started by using PaperArtsy Crackle Glaze as directed with dark and contrasting pale shades of PaperArtsy Fresco Finish Chalk Paints on thin card to create a crackled look. You could also employ your embossing powders, stencilling, stamping and more to make your own decorative paper too. I would recommend using thin card/thick paper to ensure your your more intricate dies can cut through perfectly. You'll see below how I've cut some of the paper with Eileen's Sizzix Thinlits 'Heart Mandala' Die.

Once you've got your die cut created use it as a template to draw onto your journal page. Work out where you want to put your die cut and then draw/paint/colour the shape to make a background. It's a great way of adding a delicate pop of colour onto an otherwise neutral page.

Glue your Crackle Glazed die cut over the painted background before adding your stencilling and stamping - Eileen's 'Snail Mail Postage' Stamp Set is perfect for this.

And finally create your focal point; I wanted to mount a Rebekah Meier designed butterfly on something and found a piece of book paper that I'd previously die cut an Eileen tag from. A piece of vellum, embossed and inked using Eileen's Sizzix 3D Embossing Folder 'Vintage Buttons', worked well in the tag void and a little stencilling and stamping finished off the piece.

And here's the finished journal page; I used handles fussy cut from Eileen's Sizzix 3D Embossing Folder 'Silverware' to decorate the facing page and also popped on a few postage stamp shapes cut using Eileen's new Sizzix Thinlits 'Mini Slimline & Tickets' Die Set.

Here's a second journal page using the same techniques, this time with Eileen's Sizzix Thinlits 'Tile Alphanumeric' Die. Notice how some of the die cut postage stamp shapes have been embossed and painted whilst Glossy Accents has been applied to the die cut buttons.

My final journal page is a single page at the front of this book so I wanted to add one of Eileen's stamped library cards in a pocket envelope. To act as a background the crackle glazed paper has been die cut with the Sizzix Thinlits 'Skinny Mini Elements' Die and once again the page beneath has been painted. More of Eileen's stamped elements have been layered up to add even more interest to the page, including her 'Vintage Damask' design.

Thank you for joining me today. I hope you feel inspired to try using lots of your mixed media techniques on paper so you can die cut them for your own journals. Make sure to check out all the fantastic projects 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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