Friday, 6 December 2019

It's a Holly Jolly Christmas !

Hello to you all and welcome to this rather indulgent post!


I say indulgent because I just had SOOOO much fun making these wonderful little houses using Eileen Hull's House Ornament Die (as well as a few embellishments from some of her Thinlits dies). It brought back so many wonderful memories of making decorations like this as a child.

So I give you .....


...... three little Christmas houses, three great techniques!

All of which fit perfectly into our new challenge at A Vintage Journey which is

A Holly Jolly Christmas

Basically anything goes as long as it says Christmas and is in our preferred 
styles of vintage, shabby, mixed media, journaling, timeworn or steampunk.

Check out some great Christmas inspiration from my fellow Creative Guides and 
all the details of the challenge for this month by clicking
the link HERE.

House Number 1
Simply covered with some gorgeous Christmas paper


For all the houses I cut windows from Eileen's House/Pocket Stitchlits die. They don't quite match the window but actually look like proper vintage astragals from a distance!


The roof is made from a piece of greyboard which I ran through a wood embossing folder and then inked with Vintage Photo Distress Ink.


I love clusters of flowers and berries at this time of the year and you might just be able to see underneath a couple of flowers cut from Eileen's Journalling Cards (Flowers and Leaves) Thinlits.

House No. 2
Sparkle!


The technique used for this house was crackle paste added through a brick stencil and when it had dried I spritzed it with Perfect Pearls Heirloom Gold Spray.


The roof for this house was cut from corrugated packaging which had white acrylic paint dry brushed onto it.


A similar cluster around the window but you might just make out underneath I have used the leaf spray from Eileen's Floral Arch & Words.

House No. 3
Peeled Paint!


I love this technique! A combination of washi tape, crackle paste, PaperArtsy Infusions and a final layer of Texture Paste.


You can see the full technique HERE.


For this house I placed my cluster on top of the roof ..... just for something different .... well not really! I didn't want to hide any of the gorgeous cracked paint! Again I have used leaves from Eileen's Journalling Cards Thinlits dies cut from text paper. I also dyed the ribbon with the PaperArtsy Infusions to keep everything consistent.


I think these three little houses are going to look great on our Victorian mantlepiece amongst the ivy and lights. I wished I hadn't stuck down the bottom as I think they would also look fabulous with a little light inside ..... that means I need to make another one!

Thank you so much for joining me and I hope this gives you some ideas of how to use some of Eileen's fabulous dies.

Have a great weekend!

Jennie x



Sunday, 1 December 2019

Christmas Memories Book

Hello and welcome to this first day of December!

And what better than to share with you a small Christmas notebook for recording Christmas memories and which I hope will be brought out each year and added to in order create a timeline journal.



As it is the first day of the month it also means we start a new challenge at Mini Album Makers. There is no theme, just share with us any finished book you have made and if you can share with us how you made it as we love to see how books are constructed. My fabulous teamies have made some gorgeous books (as always!) so please do hop on over to the challenge blog HERE to see them. 



I have used Eileen Hull's Notebook die as the base of my book and decorated it with some fabulous Stamperia Wintertime papers. I have kept things simple and just added to the cover some layered papers and a small bunch of bright red berries.


A little bit of muslin between the layers adds a little texture.



I have kept many pages blank for writing on, but added a few covers to my signatures and used some of the gorgeous labels which come as part of the pack.

So here is a short tutorial of how the book was constructed:


I used thick mountboard to cut the covers and spine using Eileen's Notebook Die, cutting the spine from the covers and glued them to my patterend paper.


The corners were mitred and the edges folded over. I decided to use red sticky tape instead of glue - it is quick, dries quickly and means the papers lay lovely and flat.


Use a bone folder to score the papers around the spine before folding them otherwise they will crease.


I have stitched my signatures together following this wonderful video HERE by SeaLemon. It is very easy to follow. I have then glued paper to hold everything together (I am working on this bit and trying to perfect it so it lies flat and glue doesn't seep through the signatures!) and also glued some folded paperstock onto the top and bottom of the signature pile.


These pages then glue down onto the book as the photograph above shows. It is really important that you work with the covers flat at this stage.


Choosing the right papers for this part of the book is really important as either a plain or a patterned cardstock can really alter the look of your book.


The papers don't always meet the edges of the book so it is necessary to cut a small strip of patterned paper and glue this to the edge.


I made two panels to fit the front of the book from layered patterned and plain cardstock. I decided to sew the edges rather than glueing. I then sandwiched the muslin between these two layers.


A super little book measuring only 3.75" x 5" but which feels really sturdy and is full of pages for recording our Christmas and New Year memories.

As always thank you for joining me today and I hope you have a fabulous month leading up to the Holiday Season with hopefully some time for crafting.

Jennie x


Friday, 29 November 2019

A Little Bit of Christmas Tag



I know we are not quite into December yet but I found a couple of tags whilst clearing out my "bits box" and thought they would make a good Christmas tag for our Tag Friday over at A Vintage Journey. We all love this little challenge as it only happens a few times in the year (when there are five Friday's in the month), but it is a great chance to just .... well create!

Do hop on over to see what other tags have been made by my fabulous creative team mates.


There was a bit of smudgy stamping in the middle of the large tag, but this was easy to hide and I layered the other on top over some torn music paper and a bit of a doily. In my clear out I also found a huge wallet of rub ons which I have not used in absolutely ages.


I will have used the Wrinkle Free Distress technique but no idea what colours I used to get this rather gorgeous colouring. They might even have been mop ups!


I made a little cluster of leaves, flowers, berries and paper string and tied them with a tiny little piece of dyed ribbon found at the bottom of my ribbon box. It is great to use up all those little bits!


I spruced up the little doll dancer with some red ink - I think my Distress Markers have seen better days though!

A sweet little tag to get us in the mood for the start of the countdown to Christmas this weekend and a lovely opportunity to use up some leftovers!

Have a great weekend and happy crafting.

Jennie x



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