Thursday, 18 October 2018

Blousy Autumn Flower

Hello Everyone! and welcome to a long overdue flower tutorial!
I have been wanting to play with Eileen Hull's flower dies for some time now 
and had a chance this week to sit and play.

I love a good blousy flower ! 

It makes such a wonderful centrepiece on a small hanging, book cover or card. 

I have used three of Eileen's die sets to make this project:

Here are a few more close ups before sharing how I made the flower:

So .... for the blousy flower:

You need four of the largest flowers from Flowers, Heart and Soul and four of the blunt spiked centres from the Thinlets set. I used a good quality cream cardstock.

I used Rusty Hinge and Aged Mahogany Distress Inks (on both sides) as I wanted the colours to bleed together during the next stages.

Gather all the pieces together with a brad.

Make sure you have plenty of water in your spritzer bottle and give everything a good spray. I like to use a muslin nappy for this so the flower is not sitting in a puddle of water on the craft sheet. With a pokey tool very carefully lift the first layer up into the centre around the brad and give the leaves a bit of a "squish".

Continue to spray and lift each of the layers separately until they are all standing up around the brad. You can see how the colours are already blending and look quite different to the originals.

Then start doing the same for the outer layers (spritzing and lifting) however, be gentle as by this time the paper is quite sodden and you don't want to break the thinner part of the leaves.

Finally it should look like this!

The next stage is to open everything up again - one petal at a time - curling the petal around the pokey tool.

Make sure you don't lose any of the wonderful folds and creases. Just curl them as they are!

Do this until you complete the outer layers.

Fabulous depth from four layers!

Finally use the pokey tool to rearrange the smaller leaves in the centre. You can expose the brad if you like and glue in a pearl or make the brad a feature.

Leave the flower overnight if possible to dry naturally - it becomes quite crisp and hard and capable then of even being on a book cover.

To make these smaller flowers I have just used the four inner set of petals and sprtized and layered them around the brad and then left them to dry.

For the leaves I have again used the Flowers, Heart and Soul die and cut the small three leaf petal.

I have used the same cream cardstock and Distress Inks.

Spritz liberally with water and use the end of an old paint brush to start the folding.

The paintbrush makes it alot easier to handle and get some good creases and folds.

Again leave to dry naturally, before unfolding carefully.

Before adding everything to the background I cut a sentiment  and leaves from the Thinlets set. These were also inked with the same Distress Inks. Once dry I heat embossed with clear powder.

I really do hope you have a go at making these blooms. Hopefully the photo step by step is clear but I also have a video on my Youtube channel for the technique but using slightly different dies. However, I really like the size of Eileen's dies as they make a good size flower without being too large and are not too small and fiddly to work with.

You might also like this post where I made similar flowers for a vase:

Autumn Love (again!)

As you will have gathered by now I just love ATCs and the colours of Autumn. Today I have combined these two loves in a colourful and texture laden project for Calico Craft Parts. Do please join me there if you would like to see more.

Jennie x

Friday, 5 October 2018

Autumn Splendour

Hello and welcome everyone! and a special welcome to those of you who have started following my blog over the last couple of weeks. I really appreciate your support and hope you enjoy my crafting journey.

We have a brand new challenge over at A Vintage Journey starting today. Sara Emily is our host this month and she is asking us to celebrate


With the glorious colours of this season it would be oh so nice to see 
some falling leaves, pumpkins, acorns or any other favourite 
images that bring the season to mind. 

I absolutely adore the colours of Autumn and was keen to create a mixed media art panel with as many colours as I could! I have used PaperArtsy Infusions (Rusty Car) over a gesso background. Some embellishments were added in the background and got sprayed, whilst others were added on top later. 

I have used a lot of paper clay embellishments - leaves, buttons and other shapes. They take the Infusions beautifully.

I am always amazed at the mixture of colours in one little pot of Infusions!

I tried to create as many textures as possible using builders tape and texture paste before adding the Infusions.

Copper micro beads add further texture and gold wax applied here and there gave the whole art panel a lift.

I had made these Vintage Roses some time ago using Spiced Marmalade and Rusty Hinge Distress Inks.

I love the way the Infusions coloured these beautiful seed heads as well - they are just cheap acrylic frosted ones but look so different when painted with the Infusions.

I just know that Sara Emily's fabulous challenge is going to appeal to so many of you. Do hop on over to A Vintage Journey for more details of the challenge and for some fabulous Autumn Splendour inspiration from the rest of the Creative Guides.

Thank you for joining me and have a great weekend!

Jennie x

Monday, 1 October 2018

Autumn Book Love!

Heavens above it is now October!
Hello and welcome to you all!

As it is the first of the month I am sharing my monthly mini album with you today as part of the creative team at Mini Album Makers.  Hopefully my stitched star book will inspire you take take part but as always there's loads more inspiration from my fabulous teamies HERE on the blog.

 We have had such a wonderful summer even here in the North that those wonderful relaxed, unhurried, languid days seem to have gone on for ever and it is really only in the last couple of weeks that it is feeling more Autumnul both in the weather and the garden. I adore the colours of Autumn so today I am celebrating the colours I love in a small book of Autumn prose and sayings. 

Over the last ten years or so I have collected quite a few "how to" mini album books and this one by Sue Roddis is one of my favourites. For a long while I have wanted to make her stitched star book and so I decided to just "go for it" for this months project.  There is not much of a "how to" make the book in this post as I have made the book as per Sue's instructions but I can share how I inked the insides and made the cluster on the cover

But before that I shall share a few pictures of the finished book.

Before I started the pages inside my book I gathered together all my Autumn stamps and stencils and Alison's (aka Butterfly at Words and Pictures) wonderful Autumnul sayings stamp set by PaperArtsy.

I used ordinary weight cardstock as it still had to fold inside the star book. Each page was given a coating of chalk paint to give it a bit of "tooth" for the next step.

 I then "squished" Distress Inks onto my craft mat and lightly pulled off the colour onto the paper. I wanted a suggestion of colour so dabbed a lot of the ink off whilst drying with the heat gun. I have used Aged Mahogany, Seedless Preserves, Rusty Hinge and Spiced Marmalade.

After stamping with Black Archival Ink I painted my autumn elements with the same Distress Inks.

I left everything to dry well overnight before folding the pages and inserting them into the book.

And now to the front and back covers ......

I cut two pieces of board to fit my book and painted them first with Mulled Wine Chalk Paint before adding a coat of DecoArt Weathered Wood and a final coat of Chalk Acrylic Paint. I wanted something rusty and worn!

The cluster was made from a selection of paper leaves and flowers and these cheap plastic looking frosted berries.

You can see from the back that I just twisted everything together to make a spray that would sit fairly flat.

Everything then got two coats of gesso.

Once the gesso had dried well (this does take a little time) I then sprayed everything with a lot of water and dropped PaperArtsy Infusions here and there. Keep on spraying with water until you get the coverage and colour you want. The gesso base allows you to do this.

This is one of my favourite techniques and is a great way to use up embellishments you don't like!

Finally I painted some MDF letters. I find the easiest way of doing this is to stick them onto a piece of masking tape so they don't keep jumping around!

The covers were stuck onto the front of the book along with a "blousy" piece of silk ribbon which I dyed with Seedless Preserves and Rusty Hinge Distress Ink ....... and yes I had hands to match for days!

Thank you so much for joining me for this rather long post but I hope it inspires you to make a mini album this month and join us in our challenge at Mini Album Makers.

Happy crafting!

Jennie x