Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Cool Calico!


I am over on the PaperArtsy blog tonight with a textile project for our Masterboards theme. I was going to cut this piece of painted and inked calico into ATCs but couldn't bear to cut into it so made a small wallet instead.

Do join me over at PaperArtsy if you would like to see more.

Jennie x

Seasonal Greetings with Eileen Hull Designs

Hello and welcome to a Christmas make, but one which you can adapt all the year round to create a lovely small present which looks good but it is actually quite simple to make!

This week it is the turn of Eileen's Educators to share a Seasonal Greetings project and I have made a small book/box which will hold six votive candles. I love that when you invest in Eileen Hull's Sizzix dies that you can use so many of them together and in so many ways. This project in particular uses pieces from four of her dies!

Before I share a tutorial here are a few close ups:

On the outside it looks like a book .......

I have kept the decoration relatively simple on the front cover. This is one of my handmade poinsettias and you can find a tutorial HERE on my blog. 

And here is the inside - a little box of beautifully scented candles.

And here is how it all came together:

I started with the Pocket Notebook covering my boards with this beautiful Stamperia paper before cutting out. The reverse side of the board is a lovely silver so I only had to cover one side.

Next up is the Treasure Box die. I used the lid section only, cutting the two side pieces and the inner piece.

When this is made up it fits very nicely into the Pocket Notebook.

For the front cover I cut the gorgeous oval from the Movers & Shakers part of the Trinket Box. I love this shape and find it a good size for holding down the ribbon and acting as a base for my decorations.

I used a little tissue paper to hold the candles inside the box.

And finally I used the little Scallop decoration from the Gift Box die to hold the candles in place. You do have to stick this down a little offset so the book closes but in the scheme of things it doesn't look out of place.

Add in a few decorations and you have a lovely present either for Christmas or New Year, but a something you can also make throughout the year for birthdays and special occasions ...... everyone loves a scented candle!

Do hop on over to Eileen's blog HERE for loads of seasonal inspiration from Eileen's Inspiration and Educator Teams.

As always thank you for joining me and happy crafting!
Jennie x

Dies used:
Sizzix Scoreboards XL Pocket Notebook #663638
Sizzix Scoreboards XL Treasure Box #663634
Sizzix Scoreboards XL Trinket Box #662360
Sizzix Scoreboards XL Gift Box with Scallop #664345

Friday, 6 November 2020

A Lifetime Trio

 Hello and Welcome!

Today we have a brand new challenge over at A Vintage Journey where we are sharing with you Pairs, Trios and Sets. I hadn't intended to be part of this challenge but then hey presto there I was creating a trio of little collages to decorate a book I was making. More about that later, but here are the details of the challenge.

Toni is challenging us to create a set that works together. It could be ATCs, tags, a triptych or any grouping. Just remember to create in one of our preferred styles: vintage, shabby, mixed media, art journalling, industrial, timeworn or steampunk.

Many of you will know that I do a fair amount of knitting and spinning of wool. Just lately I have been designing my own cardigan with my handspun wool and it has taken a lot of maths and calculations to get everything right. So ... yes I needed a book to write up all my notes properly and in one place where I will hopefully be able to build on the design created so far. 

As I started to make the book I realised I had been knitting for at least 60 years! My grandmother and mother taught me when I was six (apparently!) and I picked it up very quickly and was soon making dolls clothes and blankets. Despite knitting taking a bit of a back seat in terms of fashion during the 70s I still knitted colourful fair isle tank tops and shawls.  Coming to Shetland meant my knitting experience exploded and since moving here in 1979 I have knitted all manner of garments using techniques learnt in lace and fair isle and of course spinning my own wool. 

The three collages are very similar. I needed to keep them flat and so have used layers of favourite Tim Holtz papers and rub ons. I was experimenting recently with embossing powder and inks and so had these  three small bookplate frames to use as well.

I love layering the rub ons over the adhered papers - they are just so perfect. A stamp would not be able to to do that!

A slightly different colour palette for my "early 20s" period ......

Again creative use of rub ons but also adding the stitching around the edges of the pieces creates a more cohesive look.

And then finally the "older woman" .........

..... again using some of my favourite scraps and little pieces.

And so to the book -  using Eileen Hull's Pocket Notebook Die as the base, which has been covered in Calico and then another collage using Tim Holtz papers and ephemera. The Fair Isle heart is from a jumper I knitted in 1980 for Terry which was lovingly worn for many years and has now been felted and made into a Bear. But this little piece was still left. 

Shetland wool felts very readily being a short staple, so although this looks fragile it should wear well.

The three signatures look great with their collaged covers and by keeping them reasonably flat they have not made the book too bulky. I am keeping the signatures loose at the moment so I can write up the notes easily.

And the cardigan ..... 

.... a sneek peak of the first fitting on the dummy. I have handspun all the wool and dyed about 50% myself. It is a mixture of Merino and Shetland but all hanks had 30% of silk blended in, so it is beautifully soft and light.

The colourwork patterns are Norwegian as I thought it suited the wool better and you will note that it is not yet a cardigan! It  has been knitted in the round and now I have to cut up the front (known as steeking) after I have added the front bands. It needs a good press but I am very pleased with it and it does fit well.

This post has been a little bit of a journey for you all ..... but sometimes it is good to see why people create and what has prompted the creativity. My little set of three collages certainly have a purpose as you have now been able to see.

As always thank you for joining me and I hope you will be able to join in our fabulous challenge as I am sure you may find you are already creating a pair or a set or a trio! If you need inspiration there is plenty on our blog from the other Creative Guides, so do hop on over and take a look HERE.

Have a happy weekend whatever you are creating!

Jennie x

Thursday, 5 November 2020

Dream No Small Dream

I am over on the PaperArtsy blog tonight with a Words of Wisdom project, using some of my favourite Fresco's, Vintage Ink and the Dog Stamps and Alison's fabulous Daydreaming Quotes.

Do hop on over if you would like to see more!

Jennie x

Friday, 30 October 2020

Make it Count

 Hello and Welcome! 

It has been a bit grey this last week here in the North, so I seem to be turning to brighter colours to bring a little sunshine into the craft room. And the new Crackling Campfire Distress Ink really gives you that lift!

Today is the fifth Friday of the month and so we have a Tag Friday over at A Vintage Journey. The chance to have a play, use your imagination and ..... make it count! So that's what I did and bought them all together in this tag.

This was the base tag before I started embellishing it. Sprayed Crackling Campfire Distress combined with Fossilised Amber and a bit of Speckled Egg Oxide Distress picked up off the craft mat at the end. I have used a combination of stamping and rub ons and also added some texture with Distress Texture Paste which was then embossed with gold embossing powder.  I love layering tags but it is always a shame to lose some of the best bits in the middle of the tag!

I love this bookplate frame and never tire of it. I have die cut it from very thick card and used white embossing powder but distressed the edges a bit so I could add Vintage Photo Distress Ink. For some reason this Photo Booth picture reminded me of my Mum. 

These were yellow flowers which I sprayed with Crackling Campfire ... I love the way the inks take to different substrates and base colours so they all match on the tag but are all different in hue.

I probably spent more time trying to get that bit of string behind the frame than embellishing the whole tag! and it's still not right !

The ribbon was also dyed with Crackling Campfire .... are you getting that I really love this colour!

A fun play and nice to be back in the craft room creating. I have "come in from the garden" (so to speak!). It has been a lovely summer at home and I have really enjoyed the long hours spent in the borders and recreating the field garden next to the house. But time now to get cracking on some new projects.

As always thank you for joining me today and do hop on over to A Vintage Journey to see all the wonderful tags created by the team - it is our favourite part of the monthly schedule.

Have a great weekend!

Jennie x

Tuesday, 27 October 2020

Tea Cup Coasters and Napkin Box for Eileen Hull Designs

Hello and Welcome to a fun little project using Eileen Hull's latest two die releases - Tea Cup and Spoon and Post Box.

Before I share a tutorial here are a few details:

I have made the box by turning it onto its side. I have kept the decoration simple using some lovely stamps from PaperArtsy (Scrapcosy ESC15) and papers from Graphic 45.

The two tea cup coasters sit inside perfectly along with a couple of nice napkins.

I used the same napkins to decorate the coasters and spoon ......

...... which were crackled and aged using DecoArt Crackle Paste and  White Antiquing Cream. I have used gold metallic paint around the edges which you often see on china teacups and saucers, again trying to get a distressed look.

Unfortunately I am only working with die cuts as the die has not arrived  here in the UK yet. Once it does arrive I will die cut the cup in cork and adhere it to the back of the coasters so it doesn't slip.

This will make a lovely present for a tea drinking friend and there is just enough room to squeeze a couple of nice tea bags in behind the napkins.

Please do scroll down for the tutorial and there is a little extra at the end as I made another two coasters from a different crackle medium!  As always thank you for joining me and I hope you have fun with these new dies from Eileen. I can see there are many possibilities!

Jennie x



I have used the Post Box on its side, cutting off the two side flaps to create the open top of the box. Had I got the die I would have covered my board with papers for both the outside and inside of the box. But I made the box up and then cut papers to fit.

I had thought about having the side (which is the top!) of the box opening, but decided it looked better stuck down and the cups still sit inside ok.

Again had I had the die I would have adhered my napkin to the board and then cut out the cup shape, rather than adding the napkin and then having to cut around the edges. It still worked though!

I used a sanding block to smooth out some of the edges.

Once the Gel Medium had dried overnight I then added the Crackle Glaze and again left it to dry overnight to ensure the crackle did its stuff!

Adding the Antiquing Cream highlights the cracks. Each coaster then got three coats of varnish to seal the distressed napkin and to ensure that a hot cup does not cause any damage.

I also made another pair of coasters this time using a different type of Crackle Medium.

The die cut shapes were first painted with an Acrylic Chalk Paint (PaperArtsy Fresco Finish Space Cadet) and were then covered with DecoArt Weathered Wood.

When the Weathered Wood has dried the "magic" happens when you add another Acrylic Paint over the top which reacts with the Weathered Wood and cracks to show the colour underneath.

I have used the PaperArtsy stamps I used on the box, this time stamping on tissue paper with Archival Ink.

It is then possible to adhere the torn tissue paper stamped area to the cup shape with Gel Medium. Again I added three coats of varnish to protect the artwork and will add cork to the reverse once I get the die.

Dies used:

Sissix Eileen Hull Bigz L Die Tea Cup & Spoon #664797
Sissix Eileen Hull Scoreboards XL Post Box #664798