Wednesday, 28 July 2021

A message to those of you who follow by email

 Hello everyone! 

This post is a special message to those of you who have signed up to receive email notifications whenever there is a new post here on the blog. You may be aware that Google is discontinuing Feedburner - this is the function which has been sending out email notifications to those of you who have signed up.

This short post is to let you know that you will continue to receive the same notifications, but they will now come through a company called This is a Feedburner Alternative and the company have been very helpful in getting me sorted with it all. 

I don't think you have to do anything as I understand it works just the same. However, there are additional functions and you do get the chance to change how you receive your notifications.  You can find out more information by clicking the link here:, which is probably easier than me trying to explain it.

If you would like to start receiving notifications by email you will find a "subscribe" widget if you scroll down the right hand side of the blog - it is quite large, you shouldn't miss it !

So here's hoping it all works ok as I was surprised to see how many of you do follow by email and I really appreciate that!

Best wishes

Jennie x

Tuesday, 27 July 2021

Crackled Ornament Box and Tag Book Tutorial

Hello and welcome to the revisit of my Sizzix Chapter 3 release project for Eileen Hull and how I turned a Christmas Ornament Box into a mixed media vintage art deco style box.

Although Eileen has designed the dies with a Christmas look they are able to be used twelve months of the year. 

They are also designed to be used alongside each other, with the wreath and snowflake fitting the inside of the ornament box.

I also love that the smallest tag from the previous release sits well inside! but is also a cute little junk journal by itself.

So here is how the box came together:

I cut a small slice from the bottom of the circle so the box would stand - I already felt it had an art deco feel.

I made up the inner part of the box in a rather tighter style by cutting off a little piece of the sides so that they would glue together in a tighter way. Everything then got painted with PaperArtsy Fresco Paint (Verdigris)

To cover the gap at the side I again cut a small piece from the middle part of the Ornament die .......

..... and this covered the gap perfectly.

I added crackle paint to the front and back of the box so some of the Verdigris paint shows through. I then made it look a little rusty with some rust effect paste and metallique wax. 

I was a little less heavy handed with this one! But that is the nature of the crackle you never really know how well or how little it will crack until it has dried.

I had some gelli plate papers made using the same Verdigris paint, so stuck a small piece onto some very light card and cut my sentiment. I knew it would hang over the edge so I needed a little more support than just the paper. It does need to be run through the Big Shot a few times but it does cut clean in the end.

I only needed to cut a very small piece from the wreath to fit the box and decorated it with some flowers and muslin.

On the back of the box I used the ornament outside half moon piece over the top of the box and some of the smaller leaves from the Thinlits die.

The little tag junk journal was made using the smallest tag from the Chapter 2 release. The front and back covers were decorated with gelli plate papers on light board.

The inside pages were cut from tea stained paper. I have used some fabulous new PaperArtsy stamps from Scrapcosy (Raquel) and Gwen Lafleur inside. 

A random mix of little pages but great fun to use the stamps!

All held together with a small ring clip with lace ribbons, flowers and some dangling keys.

I hope this provides some inspiration for these dies and how they can be used in so many different ways and not just for Christmas! I am sure I shall be using them over the next few months as well as at Christmas, so keep an eye out for more ideas.

Also visit Eileen Hull Designs for more team inspiration .... there are so many stunning ideas for using this new release. 

As always thank you for visiting me today and happy crafting!

Jennie x

Dies used:

Sizzix ScoreBoards L Die : Ornament Box #665327
Sizzix Thinlits Die Set : Wreath and Snowflake  #665326
Sizzix Thinlits Die Set : Card, Waterfall & Tags #665154

Thursday, 1 July 2021

Nature's Treasure


I am over on the PaperArtsy blog tonight with a small watercolour paper wallet showcasing Elizabeth Borer stamps for our Nature's Treasure theme. 

Do join me if you would like to see how it all came together.

Jennie x

PaperArtsy Blog

Sizzix/Eileen Hull Chapter 3 Release Party and Blog Hop

Hello and welcome to a new release of dies by Eileen Hull.

The Inspiration and Educator teams have been playing with these fabulous new dies and although they are themed as a holiday collection, they really are extremely versatile for any day, month or celebration.

This is what Eileen has to say about these wonderful new dies:

Celebrate every day with these versatile Chapter 3 Sizzix dies!

The Truck and Camper pair are a match made in heaven. Set it on the mantel, (paired with the Camper die!), hang on the tree, fill with treats or create your holiday cards with them. The Ornament Box may be used several ways- use the circle shapes separately as ornaments or build up the sides and add treats, snacks and gifts. Decorate the box with elements from the Thinlits Wreath & Snowflake dies or use those elements in your journals, tags, pages and pockets! You will want them all 🙂

It's not Christmas here 'til Christmas so I have used the Ornament Box to make a little "art deco" style box which has been decorated with the wreath, but also has it's own little tag junk journal.

Here are a few photographs to whet your appetite! Join me later in the month when I shall be sharing a tutorial for making the box and showing how it all came together.

Team members are sharing their makes with our Blog Hop, so make sure to head over to the blogs to see all of the fabulous samples created by the team.

There is a GIVEAWAY too! Leave a comment on each of the designers' blog posts and you will be entered to win one of the new dies! An additional die will be given to someone who attends and comments in the Release Party Facebook Live.

Join us for the Chapter 3 Release Party, where team members from around the world will share their projects! - including me ! The Release Party will be on Facebook Live on Thursday, July 1 at 12:00 Eastern time/1700 hrs BST. You will find the video on @Eileen Hull Designs Facebook Page.

Thank you for joining us! and I look forward to sharing the tutorial later in the month.

Jennie x

Tuesday, 22 June 2021

Treasured Summer Adventures from Long Ago for Eileen Hull Designs

 Hello and welcome to a somewhat nostalgic post of summers past.

Eileen's teams are this month creating around the theme of summer adventures and I decided to make a small box full of the memories of my childhood holidays spent with my brothers and cousins at Southwold in Suffolk.

The photograph is from Tim Holtz's Found Relatives Pack, but could so easily be my cousin Cath and myself in the 1960s. We had very similar swimming costumes made by our mothers. I wanted to use this photograph in a celebration of the wonderful holidays at Southwold where we were really left to explore by ourselves and had some amazing adventures!

We are a very close family as my mother's sister married my father's brother (two sisters married two brothers), so as first cousins we are more like brothers and sisters. Four of us cousins are similar ages, and then the two "little ones" came along some time later. We always stayed in one of the huge three storey houses on North Parade overlooking the sea, with the pier (an old fashioned wooden pier) close by, as were the marshes where we hired boats and played at Swallows and Amazons.

Southwold is well known for it's lighthouse which is actually in the town and we would go to the green nearby to fly our kites. It is also well known for Adnams Ales and in those days huge horses would lug the barrels around the town. 

We learnt to swim, row a boat, use binoculars, make scrambled eggs, invent treasure hunts around the town and Cath and I couldn't wait for the first cereal boxes to be emptied so we could make boxes and books (yes making them as early as that!).  Our time was our own, apart from a day on the Norfolk Broads where we hired a boat and the celebratory Fish and Chips on the last night.

Evenings were spent playing cards and more often table tennis on the huge dining room table .... both Dads were great players and we learnt how to play properly and two of us went on to play competitively later as teenagers (including me!).

So many wonderful memories, but how to sum them up in a box ......

To create the box I have used two lids from Eileen's Treasure Box Die and painted the front with PaperArtsy Fresco Paint (Lake Wanaka) and DecoArt Crackle Paint.

I have gessoed some lolly sticks to make a rustic gate .....

.... before decorating with shells, muslin, straw and art stones.

I used washi take to create my spine before covering the insides of the box and made little boxes and a shelf using and extra side piece cut using the die.

You can fiddle around with these pieces to get the size you want and when glued together they are quite strong.

The wooden sentiment and loads of sand (fine art stones) hide all the areas which don't look too good!

I have used Eileen's Treasure Box lids before to make these lovely little memory boxes and you can find a tutorial for putting the box and shelves together by clicking the link below:

For more fabulous inspiration around our theme do visit Eileen's blog as there are some stunning projects from the rest of the team: Eileen Hull Designs.

As always thank you for joining me and happy crafting!

Jennie x

Dies used:

Sizzix ScoreBoards XL Die - Treasure Box by Eileen Hull #663634

Saturday, 12 June 2021

Congratulations to Country View Challenges : Challenge #100

I am delighted to be revisiting a project I made back in 2013 for Country View Challenges on the occasion of their 100th Challenge.

I have blown off the dust and photographed it again and I still love that I made this so way back! It was for the third challenge and although I was appearing as Guest Designer (having been a Top 3 for Challenge #2), two weeks later  I was invited onto the Design Team. 

I have so many happy memories of being on the team and stayed until February 2017 creating for both the challenge blog and the shop blog.

The shadow box was made from scratch (I had no dies to make boxes then!) and is a bit of a flash back to some of my favourite techniques then ...... and now!

Tim Holtz Wrinkle Free Distress Technique and my favourite stamp of the time!

My own handmade flowers.

And textiles: scrim, muslin and paper string.

And here is the link to the original post:

My photography has also improved!

Thank you Susan for the opportunity to be part of the celebrations and here's to the next #100 !

Jennie x

Tuesday, 25 May 2021

Paper Bag Tag Book for Eileen Hull Designs

I think I have made mini books from most things over the years, but the Unconventional Materials theme which Eileen's teams are creating for this month called for perhaps something a little different.

In fact it is my fault that we have this theme! In discussion with Eileen I had joked that the most non-PC item I had used was the sick bags from the Shetland ferry to Aberdeen (they are very nice quality bags although not necessarily folded very evenly!). This prompted the idea of using Unconventional Materials for our May theme. 

So I thought I had better go back to my sick bags and make a tag mini book from them! I have used six bags altogether and used 6 x 6 papers to cover the individual pages. 

I have used Eileen's new Tag Dies along with Journalling Cards from her Thinlits Flowers and Leaves.

Another staple when travelling on the ferry is kitchen towel so I carried on the theme and used kitchen towel to make my mixed media cover.

It creates a lovely bumpy finish on ordinary cardstock and takes paint beautifully.

I have made a YouTube video of the process, both for the mixed media covers and for making the book inside. It is a slightly longer video but does allow you to see how I created this little book which is actually quite cute ...... and no one would know the basis of it!

I would add that I have had some lovely trips on the ferry, but after 42 years and travelling 12 months of the year it can get pretty bad!! It is 12 hours to Aberdeen, 14 hours via Orkney. So not for the faint hearted sometimes!!

Thanks for joining me today and do hop on over to Eileen's blog for more inspiration in using unconventional materials from the Educators and Inspiration Teams.

Jennie x

Eileen Hull Dies: Journaling Cards, Flowers and Leaves (Sizzix #662811) Card, Waterfall and Tags (Sizzix #665154)

Sunday, 9 May 2021

Shabby Chic Vintage Envelope Pocket

 Hello and welcome!

I am over on the PaperArtsy blog tonight sharing a shabby chic project for the Find Your Vibe theme. How could I not have fun with my favourite Fresco colours, Sara Naumanns stamps and lots of lace!

All the details are on the blog but here are a few photographs to whet your appetite.

Jennie x