Monday, 11 November 2019

Vintage Sewing Box

Hello and welcome to some more fun play. Today I am thinking outside the box, well lids really, as I have used the lids from Eileen' Hull's Treasure Box die to make this little vintage sewing box.


There were a lot of things I learnt along the way and things I would do differently when making another box.


I have crackled the mountboard and used napkins to create a lovely crackled decoupage effect.


I love the way the napkins, although layered over the crackle, seem to look as though they are under it. I also used a couple of paper clay embellishments - the clock wasn't very level and took a bit to glue on.

I wish I had seen Jenny Marple's tutorial over on the TFJB Challenge Blog on Saturday as she has a great tip for taking the clay out of the mould and glueing it in place before it dries.  It is a great way to get the clay to lie flat!


I thought this little embellishment looked like a clasp so cut it in half and glued it to the front - a bit wonky! I have used gold wax over the paper clay just rubbing my finger over the raised parts.


I also made a little book which sits inside the left hand compartment.


I am pretty hooked on stitching signatures and making little books at the moment!!!


I started with two lids from the Treasure Box die, made them up and painted the outside a deep red.


I then crackled them using DecoArt Crackle Paint - but was a bit disappointed in my brush marks! I only wanted a light crackle but actually should have used more crackle paste to avoid the marks.


Once the crackle had fully dried I layered some pretty napkins over the top and the front of the box using Gel Medium. Napkins have three layers and after cutting out what I wanted from the napkin I managed to separate the layers so I was just left with the very fine top layer. It is easier to put the Gel Medium onto the box and then layer the napkin over it. Trying to glue the napkin just results in it disintegrating!


To make the compartments I cut two pieces from the die (the shortest part of the lid box side) and on the second one I trimmed it slightly to fit. It's the sort of thing you can play around with in terms of how you want to divide your box.


Once I had the sizes right I covered both sides in paper to match the inside of the box and glued them in place. They need a bit of encouragement to stick! but persevere!


For the lid I made faux layer inside from the box sides, cutting them about 1/2" thick. I was finding that my layered inside lid was disappearing so felt it needed a little help to stand away from the box. This worked well.


I was then able to glue my inside layer to the raised edges. I had made the lace pocket before doing this. I also added lace around the edges of the lid before adding this layer and in hindsight wished I had waited until I had stuck everything down as I removed some of it trying to get it in. Also before adding the lace I wished I had run a gold pen around the edge of the box lids to tidy them up a bit.

It is all about doing things in the right order ...... for example the hinges need to go on before you line the box with either paper or lace if you want to hide the ends of the brads. My advice would be to have everything ready to make the box and then glue together rather than making a bit at a time as I was doing!


I am really pleased with the way this has turned out and will certainly be making another!  It really is quite cute and I am sure my granddaughter would love something like this filled with lovely bits and pieces. Most of the ribbons and lace in this box were the result of my Tea Berry dyeing so there is a lovely smell of berries when you open the lid.

As always thank you for joining me and I hope this inspires you to have a go yourself.

Jennie x




Friday, 8 November 2019

Vintage Christmas

Hello and welcome to my first Chistmas project this year!


Vintage Christmas is our new theme over at PaperArtsy and I have been creating with stamps designed by Sara Naumann and Lynne Perrella.


I hope I can tempt you over to PAPERARTSY to see more!

Jennie x

Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Books are My Treasure

As promised yesterday I am sharing more Eileen Hull play!

My apologies for a long post but I hope it will be informative and inspiring!


I have been so inspired by my lovely friend Jenny Marple's beautiful hardbound books I just wanted to have a go. It is not easy! and takes quite a bit of practice to get everything the right size and stuck down correctly, but along with a video link from Jenny for the stitching and studying the tutorial she shared for the Funkie Junkie Challenge Blog HERE I am delighted with the books I have made and ended up with three which were just perfect to put inside my first go playing with the Treasure Box die. 

So thank you SO much Jenny - your work is always inspiring and I love how clear and straight forward your tutorials are.

So to start with the box:



I have covered the box with some Stamperia papers and a few embellishments. I was more interested in the actual putting together of the box at this stage it being my first attempt. As these papers were sitting on my desk from a previous project they got pulled into action again!


The box is a lovely size and I know there are going to be numerous ways of using and decorating it.


I got some hinges from our local Ironmongers and thankfully the screw holes were not too large and so were capable of being used with brads.


And so to the books! I just LoVE them!


Properly stitched signatures which are then glued into place.


Early attempts required a little extra paper to cover where the size of my end papers were wrong!


But I couldn't help using these wonderful Stamperia papers - it really doesn't matter how you cut them or match them, they just look fabulous.


The three books nestle into the box beautifully.


And because the signatures are stitched they lie flat for note taking.

So I hope you want to know more as to how I made the books.



As Jenny had done I used the Notebook die to cut my mountboard and then cut the spine to separate it from the covers. I then used a piece of the Stamperia papers to cover the mountboard. A basic board book which given the gap between the covers and the spine folds into a book perfectly. For those of you who come to my workshops in Shetland this is the basic book we made at the Gulberwick weekend.


And next the stitching of the signatures. Jenny had linked to a very good video in one of her blog posts and it really is superb in terms of learning how to do simple signature stitching. You don't have to worry about the knots on the outside as these will eventually be covered up. Click the link HERE to go to DIY Kettle Stitch Bookbinding by Sea Lemon. I have used papers cut from an A4 135gm sketch book - it was only £1.49 for 60 pages so quite a bargain.


Sea Lemon also has other great book binding videos,  but this one on what to do with the stitched signatures is also brilliant. Click the link HERE to go to DIY Text Block. As she suggests in the video I have caught my signatures in a small piece of cardstock.


A little glue is dragged across the stitched edge of the first and last signature.


This allows you to place a folded piece of cardstock which attaches the signatures to the board book.


It all looks so neat !!!! ... this was the third one ....... the others were not so neat!


The spine of the signatures is then glued to the spine of the base book. It helps if you have the same width of signatures as the book spine .... my first attempts were a little too narrow and I ended up with not enough card to attach to the book.


Finally the outside covers of the signatures are glued to the base book.

I hope this all makes sense but I would recommend you watch the video when it will be absolutely 100% clear!


I see a lot more books on the horizon!! I am always taking notes for knitting, spinning, drama, craft work and gardening so I am sure these will be taken up and used very soon.

Again thank you for joining me and I hope this post and links to Jenny's fabulous tutorial and also Sea Lemon's book binding videos will inspire you to give it a go.

Jennie x




Monday, 4 November 2019

Mixed Media Pocket Notebook

At long last I have had a chance to play with some of Eileen Hull's new dies ! It has been a tad hectic since I got back from the wonderful UK PaperTrail workshop in Dumfries with Eileen and the Pocket Notebook die in particular has been sat on my desk all that time just waiting to be used!


I decided to go down the mixed media route for my covers and get out my favourite Distress Ink Sprays - Faded Jeans and Dusty Concord.


I really loved the idea for the closure on this die so gave the piece a covering of the same crackle pastes and sprays.


The book has a matching back with just one small MDF clock but I really love how you can see the colours and textures more on this side.


I decided to insert two signatures but they are quite thick and will I am sure bulk out when used.


I started with a layer of builder's scrim on the covers and I love how the inks settle into the little squares.


I love this steampunk clockface from Calico Craft Parts and wanted to make it a feature of the front cover. As they do each of their parts in various sizes I was able to match it with a smaller one on the back cover.


Some of the pieces have a touch of gold wax just to lift them slightly.

And so here is how it came together (the ink colours show up slightly different on these photographs taken on my phone in the craft room ....)


I gessoed the covers and started with a layer of the builder's scrim (a huge roll from my local construction warehouse was about £5 and has hardly a dent in it after three years). I added some texture paste through some steampunk stencils and added crackle glaze here and there. Next I layered my MDF pieces, mainly under the clockface to give it some support. Everything then got a coat of gesso.


And then the Distress Ink Sprays! You have to be brave at this point and be ready to add loads of water if it is too dark. You will see that later I took some colour from the clockface with a babywipe - so there are always options!


Blending some Vintage Photo Distress Oxides around the edges of the covers helps to give it a little definition.


I was also doing the same on the back cover - it is quite good to do them both at the same time to get some continuity of colour.


Finally I added in some stamping around the edges of the scrim.


I found these small booklets in my local bookshop (Shetland Times)  and they were just the perfect size for sitting inside the elastics. One book gave me two good signatures and at 99p I thought was good value - it is a good quality paper too.


I really love the way this turned out and although a little 3D should be quite sturdy and capable of withstanding being handled.

As always thank you for joining me today and have a great week!

Jennie x

PS Watch this space in the next couple of days as I have also been making "proper" hardback books using Eileen's Notebook Die along with a Treasure Chest to keep them in.

Friday, 1 November 2019

Woolly Books!

Well not really "woolly books" but books for my wool!

Hello and welcome to this first day of November ...... (ouch! where did October go to?) and of course it is time for a new challenge over at Mini Album Makers.

As usual the team have got loads of inspiration for you this month so please do hop on over to Mini Album Makers to see what everyone has been making and to get all the details of the challenge.


As  you might know I spin, dye and knit my own wool and I recently went on a short workshop during Shetland Wool Week to find out how to record all the details and create tension swatches etc. in order to make sense of then knitting something that fits! It is actually quite technical and involves alot of maths!

I was just off into town to get myself a book to put everything in and as I went out of the door I suddenly realised .... how could I forget! ...... that I had all the materials to make a book up in the craft room. So I thought I would share my simple bound book with you this month as it was great to create something I really needed .... and needed quickly!


The idea is to be able to attach my knitted swatch on the left hand side and write up the notes for it on the other side. I have used massive binders as the wooly swatches are going to end up quite thick.


Each page has a little stamped collage in the corner.


I love the fact that Tim Holtz's  Holiday Knit Stencil is just pure Fair Isle!


There's a pocket in the middle of the book with some journal cards ready to record the projects I make.


Decoration has been kept to an absolute minimum as this will be workbook. I just love the Stamperia papers and how they make their labels look so 3D.


I couldn't resist using these papers for the inside of the book. They are just so gorgeous!


And then I realised I needed a second one to record commercially bought yarn!

So here are the details of how the book was made:


I found an old Watercolour Book in my stash (I think it was my mother's as I am not an artist!) I cut the top off to create some lovely thick feel pages measuring 9.5" x 7".


I made covers from mountboard (the same size as the pages) and covered them with the fabulous Stamperia papers. As a 6" piece didn't quite meet the edge I added a strip of sanded cardstock as a binder edge.


I only had a 12 hole piece of Bind It All wire so couldn't bind the whole spine of the book, but it is enough to ensure it is solid.


The envelope was made with my Envelope Maker (I really couldn't do without this!). I went for the biggest size it could make - 6" x 8.5 (cut from a piece of paper measuring 11.5" x 11.5").


The envelope was decorated with more labels from the Stamperia set so everything lies flat.


The book has already been filled with eight different tension squares, some plain and some lace. Now all I need to do is to work out what to knit !

Thank you for joining me today and I hope, like me, you find that sometimes you just need something simple for a specific purpose. But it has been made from some favourite, strokeable papers!

Have a great weekend!

Jennie x