23 May 2017

I Felt at Home with Eileen Hull Designs Inspiration Team

Hi everyone and welcome! Today marks the start of a new crafty journey as I post my first project for Eileen Hull Designs. As many of you will know it was my absolute honour to help represent Eileen at the Creativation show back in January. Having initially been invited to be a part of Eileen's magnificent Inspiration Team some time ago, the stars have finally aligned and I'm thrilled silly to be jumping on board.

For the entire month of May the Inspiration Team are sharing projects featuring Eileen's HeARTfelt Collection by Sizzix with Kunin Felt, which is 100% Polyester Fibre, made from recycled post-consumer plastic bottles. I have never worked with this felt before and am now well and truly hooked! It cuts like a dream, is easy to sew, adheres well with adhesives and comes in a huge range of colours.

Given recent form, it takes little guesswork to know what I created as my first project...

Cutting and binding the notebooks (shared recently over several posts) by hand has got quicker but is still time consuming.
Eileen's Passport Die speeds up the whole process immeasurably and here's how;

I began by cutting two cover pieces and one spine from Matboard, then painted them (Cracked Pistachio Distress Paint).
I also cut two covers and the central section of the spine from Kunin felt.

I machine stitched some wavy lines over the two felt cover pieces (this felt is a dream to stitch on!) and then hand stitched some more lines embroidery thread. Tucking all the spare bits of cotton underneath, I then stuck the two felt covers to the coordinating painted Matboard covers before attaching them on each side of the spine with a strong wet glue. None of it bled through the felt and it gave me a bit of 'wiggle room' to match up the cover pieces perfectly and stayed in place firmly when dry.

Cutting Eileen's Stitchy Flowers from the felt was a breeze when I used the following sandwich through my Big Shot; Multi Purpose Platform, Precision Base Plate, a piece of copy paper, Kunin felt, Thinlits dies, Cutting plate. My favourite parts to this set are the central stamens and they cut easily too.

I cut more of the stamens from card to add to the bottom of the felt layered flowers, then stitched a little more embroidery thread to the centre of each flower to secure them. Then it was just a case of cutting a couple of leaves from the same set, positioning the flowers and leaves on the cover, and gluing them in place. At this stage I also added the central spine section cut in felt to the Matboard base.

To enable me to add signatures easily inside I threaded three pieces of coloured elasticated cord through the holes on the spine that are part of the die design, Travelers Notebook style. The ends were trimmed too.

Now this is the bit that can take time - creating the pages to go inside the notebook. However, Eileen has made life so much easier by including the page template part of the die design.

I used the matching floral sheets from her HeARTfelt Paper Pad and cut three as cover for the signatures. The design pre-cuts the holes for stitching and even rounds the corners off perfectly! You could colour in those flowers to match.

I used the same part of the die to cut the pages by folding copy paper in half and running three sheets through at a time. So that's 6 pages cut in one hit! Once you've cut enough pages simply pop them inside each of the three patterned paper covers and thread through some waxed cotton, knotting it on the back to secure them.

 The signatures easily slip through the elasticated cord inside the notebook as can be seen below;

And here's the full view of the completed felt cover;

So that's it for my first 'official' Eileen Hull Designs project as part of the amazing Inspiration Team!

I hope you've enjoyed seeing just a fraction of what Kunin Felt can do when combined with Eileen Hull Designs fabulous dies. Eileen will be sharing lots of the team's makes and also those by the Kunin Design Team all this month HERE so do make sure you check them out.

For now enjoy the rest of your week, take care of yourselves and get creative! Jenny xxx

17 May 2017

The Sound of Music for Frilly and Funkie

Hi everyone and welcome! It's Linda Coughlin's turn to host the latest challenge over at Frilly and Funkie and she's called it 'The Sound of Music'. Here's what she has to say about the theme; "When this challenge goes live, I will be in Key West for the annual Songwriters' Festival. I thought it would be fun to create something vintage or shabby chic that tells what music means to you and/or to depict a favorite song."

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 created another of my little handmade notebooks to match the theme and have a feeling my Frilly side has rather taken over on this one! The background rather lent itself to a romantic feeling with the Opaque Crackle through the Flourish stencil rather reminding me of lace. The base is real vintage music score and I added a layer of Distress Matte Collage Medium over the top of the crackle to protect it from flaking off with lots of handling. The edges were inked with Tree Branch Archival to add to the aged look.

I also used the Tree Branch Archival ink to stamp the flowers from the Illustrated Garden stamp set onto watercolour card twice before colouring with Distress Crayons and water. To stop the colour from moving further and to give a more matte feel I covered the hand cut layers with Frosted Crystal embossing powder. I added a border about two thirds of the way down the notebook cover using some Industrious stickers from my stash and Linen Ribbon. Having added lace from my stash (Linda has some beautiful lace and appliques in stock) I layered on the flowers with self-adhesive pearls and a Mirrored Star. Finally words were used from my favourite Clippings pack. I went on to hand bind the book with Coptic stitching.

I hope you like how this little notebook turned out. That's it from me for the current Frilly and Funkie challenge "The Sound of Music". Do make sure you hop on over to see how my talented team mates from both the Frilly and Funkie sides of the Design Team have incorporated music into their creations. And remember to link your own musical, shabby chic or vintage projects to be in with a chance of winning one of the fabulous prizes.

Behind the scenes I'm creating other projects to share as well as prepping for a demo day at PDA Cards & Crafts, Langley Mill, this weekend. Whatever you're up to for the rest of the week, take care of yourselves and get creative! Jenny xxx

12 May 2017

A Seth Apter Friday Focus

Hi everyone and welcome! Whilst I'm down in Kent setting up for the Create It! show at the County Showground this weekend, a new tutorial goes live over at Frilly and Funkie today. With the spotlight very much on Seth Apter's designs, I've put together a step by step for making a worn cover notebook and shared two extra new notebooks for good measure (obsessed? maybe!) Here's a peak at each of them and a close up of some delicious embossing powders from Emerald Creek which work perfectly with Seth's range;

I hope you can join me over at Frilly and Funkie to see more and find out how these came together.
Whatever you're up to this weekend take care and get creative! Jenny xxx

10 May 2017

We'll Be Seeing You Soon at IndigoBlu

Hi everyone and welcome! It's a very busy weekend coming up for the team at IndigoBlu. I will be joining Alfie and Ella down at the Kent Showground in Maidstone this weekend, May 13th and 14th for the Create It show. Meanwhile Kay Halliwell-Sutton will be premiering a new set of paints and some exciting new stencils at part of the One Day Special shows on Hochanda, also May 13th and 14th.

And I thought you'd love a sneak peek of a couple of show samples created using the new paints and one of the stencils! They were huge fun to work with and I discovered a combination of layering with the new colours created a faux plaster look for the backgrounds to these two projects.

This canvas started with that faux plaster base, with layers and textures added to compliment the striking stencilled face profile and delicate nature stamping. The lace has been dyed with acrylic paint and I finished with some 'rusting' around three aged washers to pull the design elements together. Here are some close ups of all those painted layers and textures;

Now for something more understated using that faux plaster painted finish - many of you will notice from previous/future posts that I have developed a love for creating journals and notebooks. This stencil is the perfect size for a little A6 size notebook, and having used some texture paste and the same layers of new paint colours I added a little stamping in each corner to accentuate the face shape - the flowers, butterfly and sentiment are all from the A5 Victorian Garden stamp set. The dots on the flowers and body of the butterfly have been added using Liquid Pearls.

And here, with the covers fully opened, you can see the face in it's entirety. I have used coptic stitching to hold the watercolour paper signatures in place as this allows each page to lie flat when needed.

I'm looking forward to seeing everyone who attends the Create It show in Kent this weekend, and for those of you around the rest of the country, make sure you tune in to Hochanda to see what Kay has in store for you!

For now, take care of yourselves and get creative! Jenny xxx

5 May 2017

Use A Quote for A Vintage Journey

Hi everyone and welcome! Today marks the start of the latest challenge over at A Vintage Journey and this time the theme is 'Use A Quote', so unsurprisingly we need you to use a quote! Any quote! Whether it be on a stamp, a sticker, handwritten or sourced from the internet, make it the focal point of your vintage, shabby chic, mixed media, art journaling, industrial, timeworn or steampunk project.

Our generous sponsors this month are That's Crafty! who are offering a £20 gift certificate to our Random Org winner.

As soon as I saw this clear acrylic light bulb surface on the That's Crafty! website I knew it was a match made in heaven with a brand new, as yet unreleased, A5 stamp set from IndigoBlu. Yes folks, you're getting a sneak peek of some of the images/words from the set right here first! And what encouraging wise words they are from everyone's favourite Hogwarts master. The fun bit was working out how to paint and stamp in reverse as all the colour is on the back of this once clear bulb!

If you are going to embark on a clear acrylic project my best advice would be to stamp the images and words you want to use onto copy paper first and work out where you want them to go and in which order. Remember, you are working from front to back so the foreground images come first. I stamped with black gesso and allowed each part to air dry before adding splashes of acrylic paint colour. You'll spot the colours 'inside' the lightbulbs had water added to allow them to run and merge a little. The rest of the painting was completed with undiluted paint to ensure it didn't move on the slick surface.

When dry I covered each bulb with white gesso to allow further layers to be added, like the background moths and hanging track flexes. Each of the bayonets were coloured with gold acrylic paint and I hand drew the screwcap detail on the main bulb shape with a permanent black Pitt pen. Oddly enough when wanting to make the main bulb opaque I discovered that simply using white gesso wasn't enough. A coat of black gesso was required to eliminate any light from coming through.

To decorate the clear base I added coarse texture paste and pushed car light bulbs into it. These had gold added to the silver metal endings and the same paint colours used to added drips across the tops. Finally to ensure the words were prominent I stamped them onto white card, cut them up and arranged them onto the front of the light bulb. It made for a portable, durable piece that showcased the stamps perfectly.

So that's where this month's fabulous theme took me. Now please do hop on over to A Vintage Journey to see what my fellow Creative Guides have come up with using their choices of That's Crafty! surfaces and focal words. Then it's over to you - the challenge will remain open for a month so there's plenty of time to get those creative juices flowing and link up your entries to be in with a chance to win.

I'm thrilled to be able to let you know that I'll be officially launching the A5 'Shine Bright' stamp set alongside more goodies from IndigoBlu on Hochanda, May 27th at 8am and 11am - hope you'll join me for that. And if you're going to the Create It Show at the Kent County Showground, Maidstone on May 13th and 14th I'll be demonstrating on the IndigoBlu stand.

As you can imagine there is a lot going on behind the scenes here in preparation for a busy month ahead. Whatever you are up to, have a fabulous weekend, get creative and take care of yourselves. Jenny xxx

3 May 2017

Put on Your Inking Cap for Frilly and Funkie

Hi everyone and welcome! It's Kathy Clement's turn to host the latest challenge over at Frilly and Funkie and she's asking us to 'Put on Your Inking Cap'. Here's what she has to say about the theme; "If you know anything about me at all, you know that I adore designer paper. It's my "go to" product for nearly everything I make. But not this time around! For this challenge we are asking you to create a vintage or shabby chic project without using any designer paper. You can use inks, mists, paints, texture paste, fabric, felt, embossing powders, pencils, markers, pastels, chalks...the sky is the limit! As long as you are not using designer paper on the front of your project, you are golden."

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.

For this challenge Eileen Hull generously sent the Design Team cuts of her 'Journal' die from the newly released Sizzix HeARTfelt collection, so each of us has created a Travelers Notebook style journal to share with you for this challenge. If you are inspired to create your own journal and fill it with your own choice of inserts Linda is taking orders for Eileen Hull's Journal die at The Funkie Junkie Boutique. However, you don't have to create a journal to play along with the current Frilly and Funkie challenge - just put on your inking cap!

I went with a distinctly oriental feel for my journal this time, using the Suburbia Cityscapes dies to create a Japanese village scene celebrating the arrival of the cherry blossom. The buildings and trees were coloured with Distress Oxides and covered with clear embossing powder to seal them. Before adding the collage elements, the cover had Blossom stencilled onto it with Texture Paste which was all coloured with Distress Paints. The ageing was added through a mix of Latte alcohol ink and water.

This journal cover holds three inserts (or signatures) each made from various pieces of 'junk', mixed in with paper from the Memoranda collection, lace trims and lots of die cut elements. There are a couple of photos below but the best way to see more is to watch this video walk-through;

Here are a couple of photos sharing a little of how the pages look inside the journal;

I hope you've enjoyed seeing this journal and feel inspired to give it a go too. That's it from me for the current Frilly and Funkie challenge 'Put on Your Inking Cap'. Do make sure you hop on over to see how my talented team mates from both the Frilly and Funkie sides of the Design Team have transformed their journals. We also have a very special Guest Designer joining us for this one too so make sure you check out her beautiful journal as well. And remember to link your own inky, shabby chic or vintage projects to be in with a chance of winning one of the fabulous prizes.

That's it for now from me. I'll be back on Friday with a new project to share so I hope you can join me for that. In the meantime, whatever you're up to for the rest of the week, take care of yourselves and have fun! Jenny xxx

20 April 2017

Memories Junk Journal

Hi everyone and welcome! Following the success of my last junk journal I'm back with a new one, this time a feminine shabby chic version that would be perfect for storing memories from weddings, christenings or proms. Once again it features the newly released Sizzix die from Eileen Hull Designs new HeARTfelt collection called 'Journal' - this die is designed to create covers which will hold regular Travelers Notebook sized inserts as well as those custom junk journal versions that are proving to be exceptionally popular online.

As before there is a video walk through below to take you through the details of the cover construction and inserts;

I mentioned Eileen Hull had created a fabulous video tutorial demonstrating how to create tassels using her Twist & Style Tool and here's the link;

And here are some close up photos of the completed journal with it's 'junk' inserts, all vintage in style and with a botanical theme to echo the cover:

I love the touch of understated glamour added to the centres of the flowers by the Moissanite gemstones from Emerald Creek Craft Supplies - as you move the journal around in the light they pick up rainbow glints in various shades of purple, blue and green.

Want to have fun and make your own junk journal to store those precious memories?
First up you'll need the Eileen Hull Designs Journal die from her HeARTfelt collection by Sizzix, available to pre-order from:

US stockist; The Funkie Junkie Boutique
UK stockist; Sir Stampalot
UK stockist; Country View Crafts

And then, the beauty of junk journals is that you can make the signatures out of any junk you like! Here are some links to favourite YouTubers who make fabulous junk journals and inserts to inspire you even more; Beth Wallen, Liz thepaperproject, Tiffy Butter, Amity Bloom, Nik the BooksmithMichelle Mooney (The Paper Addiction) and Denise (Practice Makes Pretty)

And if you'd prefer to make a Journal but in a totally different style then Eileen Hull has a whole heap of ideas appearing on her FB page Eileen Hull Designs from her incredible Design Team and a host of other guest designers.

I think that's covered everything for this one but if you do have any questions at all please leave a comment below and I'll do my best to help.
For now get creative, have fun and take care of yourselves. Jenny xxx

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