Tuesday, 22 September 2020

The Great Outdoors for Eileen Hull Designs

 Hello and welcome! to the first day of Autumn!

This month Eileen Hull's Inspiration and Educator teams are focusing on "The Great Outdoors" and there have been some amazingly inspirational projects showcased so far.  You can find them all HERE.


This week it is the turn of the Educators and I have made a small botanical box using the lids from Eileen's Treasure Box Die. As a child I was always fascinated with the butterfly specimen boxes at our local Museum (Colchester Castle) but was always concerned that a butterfly had to die to create such a beautiful piece of work.


I can rest happy with my paper butterfly coloured with Distress Inks (Rusty Hinge and Fossilised Amber). 


I have made little compartments on the left hand side of the box to house a little collection of botanical pieces ..... a little bottle with copper beads, a paper scroll and some autumn coloured flowers.


More Autumn specimens nestling in muslin.


And in the top corner words from a favorite John Keats' poem which I have copper embossed.


The little shelves add a nice bit of depth and I could have included more items.


I kept the outside of the box quite plain, using mixed media products to create a wooden worn look.

Here are the details of how it came together:


I made up two lids using Eileen's Treasure Box Die and some heavy matte board.


These got painted on the outside with PaperArtsy Toffee Fresco Finish Paint and before it dried I rubbed a little Copper in here and there.


When dried I added a layer of DecoArt Crackle Paint. 
It had been my intention to leave the covers like this, but I wasn't very happy with the overall effect of the Crackle Paint once it had dried ......


So I painted it again (!) in Toffee and rubbed in Copper here and there.


It was worth it in the end! I love the way the crackle adds to worn look.
I added a little Black Soot Distress Ink here and added a resin frame painted in the same colours with a little gold wax added around the edges.


I used washi tape to make a hinge for the two lids.


To make the shelf dividers I used offcuts of board and the die to cut the small part of the lid .....


...... which is the perfect size to glue across the box.


I cut a second one to create the dividers below but cut off the flap. This flap was trimmed and added to the top of the area created by the dividers so I could glue it flat.


I found it easier to add my paper to the sides of the box before adding the little dividers. And again adding paper to the dividers before glueing them down makes it easier.

I have made a number of little boxes using this technique with the lids from the Treasure Box. They are really a perfect size for decorating with small treasured items. Details of my sewing box can be found HERE.


Thank you for joining me today and I hope this tutorial gives you some ideas for using the Eileen's Treasure Box die.

Jennie x

Dies used:

Sissix Eileen Hull Treasure Box Die #663634


Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Life Is About ......

 Hello and welcome !


Over at PaperArtsy we are sharing lots of ideas for Hinges!
And here is my tiny little book using washi tape for hinges
and including some wonderful "Life" quotes.


Do join me over at PaperArtsy if you would like to see how this all came 
together.  See you there!

Jennie x

And here is  the video if you would like to 
see how I made the papers:




Saturday, 5 September 2020

Shades of White

 Hello and welcome!


I am over at PaperArtsy tonight sharing this layered tag for our Shades of White theme. As you can imagine I have a good stock of "white" shade Fresco's but it was interesting putting them all together so they had a chance to shine.

Hop on over to PaperArtsy if you would like to see more!

Jennie x

Tuesday, 25 August 2020

Inside my Wrapped Junk Journal for Eileen Hull Designs

 Hello and welcome! 


For the month of August the Eileen Hull teams are sharing ideas for the "insides" of junk journals. We sometimes concentrate on the covers and gloss over the insides, so here is a chance for some inspirational ideas from a great team (of which I am very proud to be a member!).

I am sharing with you ideas using vintage scraps to create a signature which will fit Eileen's Wrapped Journal. It is a photo heavy post! I am sharing how I start the process by making a small collection of pieces which I can then add into the signatures when I am ready, rather than making a page at a time.


I am using tea dyed papers - these are quite simple to make using ordinary copy paper. You can check out a tutorial on my blog HERE.


I have used some of the sheets to cut my signatures. Eileen's Passport Die fits perfectly into the Wrapped Journal and using the die means you can cut a few pages at a time.

I have folded a sheet of the dyed paper into four and used die cuts to cut out labels and tags - again a quick way to get your junk journal stash started.


These labels and tags then get stamped with various stamps and sentiments. A little brown ink blended around the edges gives them a lovely vintage feel.


I have used more tea dyed off cuts to stamp some larger stamps to make tickets ......

.... and then gone through my bits and pieces box to find other little bits and pieces of stamped scraps and saved pieces which I can use. You might not use them all, but you have them all to hand.

I have used more of the tea dyed paper to make these little envelopes from a die cut. I have layered bits of old text paper, ribbon, flowers, tickets and buttons over some background stamping.

I store everything in a box so when I am ready to create my signatures I can have a grand decorating session!

I have included three signatures in my junk journal and decorated the front covers of two of them with vintage elements built up around a glassine envelope.


These glassine envelopes are easy to purchase on Amazon or Ebay (they are used by stamp collectors) and make a lovely base for vintage collages. I start by cutting a piece of card to fit into the envelope to give it a bit of support.


A piece of old text paper is the first layer ......


..... then a small doily and some muslin ......


.... add a vintage photograph ........


...... some tea dyed ribbon ......

...... and a small tag and button. 

The whole collaged envelope can then be adhered to the front cover of the signature.

And now to the rest of the pages.


For this page I have layered a torn piece of vellum over a stamped image on text paper. I have used my sewing machine to adhere some lace and other bits from my junk box. The collage was adhered to the page when completed.


I love adding doilies between my pages and you can see that most of the pages have been stamped with some vintage stamps but leaving areas free for more decoration. On the left hand side I have used one of the stamped labels to act as a pocket for stamped tags.


One of the pre-made envelopes with a few tags and labels.


Another collage made up of stamped labels and scraps from the box.


A single stamped tag can act as a "holder" for other tickets and labels.

I made two very similar signatures and the third is slightly smaller and contains more labels and tags.

I do hope that these photos give you some ideas and also the way I work in preparing a box of bits and pieces BEFORE I start my junk journal. I do this also for non-vintage junk journals.

Thank you so much for joining me and remember to check back to Eileen's blog HERE for inspiration for more ideas for junk journal insides!

Jennie x






Thursday, 13 August 2020

Tea Dyeing Papers, Lace and Ribbon

Hello and Welcome to a short tutorial on tea dyeing!


I use a lot of tea dyed paper and textiles in my vintage work and although I have little tutorials all over my blog I thought I would bring all the photographs together in one place.

So .... starting with Paper

I use ordinary computer copy paper 80gms to 100gms. The different thicknesses take the tea differently.


I make up a bowl of tea with warm water and let it cool. It takes a good number of tea bags! You need something quite rich in colour. Then I drag each piece of paper through the tea, shake very carefully and then hang it on a clothes airer over the draining board.

When it has dried a little and can be handled I load up about five/six pieces on top of each other on a baking tray and put them in the oven (140 degrees) for five minutes to "crisp" up a bit.

I store them for a few days before using as they can still be a little damp.

I only ever use ordinary tea for paper, fruit teas have no effect on the paper at all.

Lace, Ribbon and Other Small Textiles


I find the easiest way of dyeing lace is in cups or mugs.

I make up a little brew of either ordinary or fruit tea and place my lace or ribbon in the cup and squish it about a bit until it has some colour. Cotton lace or ribbon will take the colour quite differently to acrylic, so it is worth putting it back in again if it hasn't got much colour.


I lift the pieces out with a spoon and lay them on paper towel to dry.


This the general colour from ordinary tea.


Green Tea


Tesco Red Berries Infusion (smells gorgeous too!)


Tesco Cranberry and Blood Orange (very delicate hues)


Other things you can try in your mugs: Coffee Filters, Doilies, bits of muslin and calico, clothes labels and ribbon ....... I love how the Berry Tea has so much Blueberry in it! Quite a surprise.
Even the paper towels are a lovely colour!

And no need to buy good quality tea, supermarket special is perfectly adequate.

I store each tea in separate bags so I always have a "go to" and know that the different hues of one single tea dye will all match.

As always thank you for joining me and have fun!

Jennie x