23 August 2017

On The Cutting Edge with Frilly and Funkie

Hi everyone and welcome! It's Suzz's turn to host the latest challenge over on the Frilly and Funkie Challenge blog and she's called it 'On The Cutting Edge'; this challenge is all about using your dies, punches or other cutting tools to create a masterpiece featuring at least one die cut, machine cut or punched image. Make sure your art is in the vintage or shabby chic style and incorporates a cut out.

The team will choose their top four picks with the winner being invited to join us in a Guest DT spot at Frilly and Funkie and the next three will receive badges to display on their blogs. Everyone who enters and follows the rules will be entered into the draw to have the chance to win a $25 spending spree at The Funkie Junkie Boutique, so there are plenty of reasons for joining in the fun.

One of  the dies I have used most used this year is Eileen Hull's 'Journal' die - with it back in stock again at The Funkie Junkie Boutique it was a no-brainer to make a new journal. It was designed with someone in mind and need to have a robust cover with a relatively flat surface to prevent being caught when taken in and out of a bag. So I cut an inner layer from Sizzix Paper Leather because it doesn't tear but is flexible and painted the spine to match the old book covers that were glued on top for strength as well as look.

Decoration came in the form of fabric, pages from an old French text (picked up on my recent travels) and stamped masking tape. The focal points for both the front and back covers were the die cut Broken Maze shapes (using Seth Apter's fabulous die). These were cut from a piece of card which had a multitude of Dina Wakley Paint layers applied with brushes, a spatula, Seth's French Script stamp and a craft mat. Adding the white edging with a pen was a trick Seth teaches in his classes and I added stamping behind using one of his 'Rotators' stamp set.

After adding the name plate (the sentiment is one from Wendy Vecchi's 'Artful Thoughts' stamp set) and Nail Heads I strung the spine with 2mm elastic and added a piece of sari silk to close. Inside is rather boring and practical (hence no photos) as it's just lined notebooks that can be slipped in and out when being used for recording notes, ideas and designs. Here are more close ups;

That's it for my DT project for the current Frilly and Funkie challenge 'On The Cutting Edge' I hope you've been inspired by my latest journal. Do make sure you hop on over to see what my talented team mates have been inspired to create. And remember to link your own die cut shabby chic or vintage projects, to be in with a chance of winning one of the fabulous prizes.

I'll be back again soon with lots of new projects. In the meantime take care of yourselves and get creative! Jenny xxx

22 August 2017

Stitchy Flowers Earrings for Eileen Hull Designs

Hi everyone and welcome! I'm back today with my latest monthly project for Eileen Hull Designs. We were asked to use the dies from Eileen's HeARTfelt Collection in different ways and the Design Team have really risen to the challenge as can be seen HERE and HERE. With ideas as diverse as a tablet holder and shadow box to a wine cuff, pin cushion and money box it's clear they can be used in a multitude of ways. And today sees even more ideas shared on Eileen's website - make sure you check out them out and prepare to be amazed!

As you'll have seen from the title of this post I went down the route of making jewellery with mine and came up with this simple but effective design for using the fabulous Stitchy Flowers die set;

Despite their length these are incredibly light due to the special material I used for the flowers. Here's the all important tutorial;

The flowers were cut from Sizzix 'Paper Leather', a light yet super tough material that can be cut, embossed, stitched, painted and generally abused without risk of tearing. And as you'll see from the dies chosen and cut out pieces, it can be die cut with Thinlits dies too!

Having punched a hole at the top of each of the larger flowers I painted both sides with Dina Wakley's Lime acrylic paint.

The smaller flowers had the Ruby shade applied to contrast with the larger layer.

The flowers were then embossed with one of Eileen's embossing folders from Sizzix. I made sure the flowers were lined up so that the embossed details matched when layered, but that's just me - matching the patterns is not essential!!!

To add even more interest I diluted some of Dina Wakley's Ocean acrylic paint and splattered both sets of flowers (on both sides) using a small brush.

When dry this process was repeated with the White shade to contrast and coordinate with the beads.

When dry I glued the two layers of flowers together. Dots of 'Caribbean Coast' Enamel Accents were added to the centre of each completed flower.

To finish I used silver findings and some coordinating semi-precious beads from my stash to link the hooks to the flowers.
And as a reminder here are the finished results all ready to wear;

I hope you've enjoyed finding out more about how these Stitchy Flowers earrings came together. And a quick reminder to head over to Eileen's website to see a multitude of other ideas for using the dies from her HeARTfelt Collection.

I'll be back tomorrow with my latest DT project for the Frilly and Funkie challenge blog. Purely by coincidence the latest challenge is all about using your dies! Until then take care of yourselves and get creative. Jenny xxx

21 August 2017

A Candy Non-Haunted House...!

Hi everyone and welcome! Thank you to everyone for your overwhelmingly positive reaction to my first Halloween 2017 make. As I looked back at it I felt the next version would need an injection of colour to contrast with the first. There were also a number of valid comments from people outside the US who quite rightly said that Halloween doesn't play such a big part in their calendars, so I wondered what other uses this wonderful house image could be put to. Thoughts turned to candy houses in storybooks and films, and so the idea for a 'fantasy' style look took shape. Here's what happened;

This tutorial follows the basic principles from the last monochromatic version, but includes some tips for creating the splattered background by making use of the 'Ravens' stamp set as well as the 'Haunted House' set.

1. Use the Stamp Platform to position the Haunted House stamp on your card and impress with Antique Linen Distress Oxide ink. Leave your stamp in position and wipe away the remaining Oxide ink to prevent transfer to the next ink pad.

2. Paint small sections of the house with bright Distress Paints (in this case Picked Raspberry, Seedless Preserves, Wild Honey, Mustard Seed, Candied Apple and Dusty Concord). Allow to dry.

3. Re-stamp the Haunted House using black Archival Ink - the joy of the Stamp Platform, apart from the fact that you will get a perfect replication of your original stamping, is that you can reapply the ink if any does not transfer properly first time.

4. Repeat the process, this time with the twisted tree from the Haunted House set. I added leaves and after re-stamping with the black ink, painted over the face in the tree to make it less scary. I also used the splatter image from the same set to add faux 'foxing' to the paper before trimming to size.

5. As Distress Paint and Archival Ink will resist Distress Ink I happily blended over Scattered Straw (avoiding the windows) before spritzing with the Distress Spray to get those familiar watermarks. I finished the panel with a quick blending of Walnut Stain Distress Ink to age the edges.

6. To create the background use the splatter stamp from the Ravens set. Position the stamp on the Stamp Platform where required then apply a coat of Distress Paint using the dabber top. You can be sparing with it as it is easy to go in with another layer on top with this fabulous tool. You'll also notice I put scrap paper under the card to protect the Platform from excess paint over the edges. Allow the paint to dry and clean off your stamp before re-positioning and repeating with another colour until the background is complete.

To finish I mounted the main panel and background onto black card, with a strip of altered Metallic Kraft card used underneath the main panel along with a little lace. I stitched the background to the base card bland and added a suitable Halloween Clipping to complete the card.

Here are the close ups so you can see the card in more detail;

I hope this gives you some alternative ideas for using the Haunted House stamp set. If you have your own non-Halloween ideas I'd love to hear them!

That's it for now but I'll be back tomorrow with something completely different (and I do mean COMPLETELY!)
For now take care of yourselves and get creative. Jenny xxx

19 August 2017

A Tim Holtz Haunted House...

Hi everyone and welcome! I'm back to share my first Halloween card and tutorial for 2017. Having been lucky enough to win a recent Tim Holtz giveaway I was thrilled to receive a couple of Tim's newly released Halloween 2017 stamp sets and a fabulous new ornate stencil - and here's the first of what is bound to be a collection of projects using the Haunted House stamp set (click on the image for a closer look);

As promised here's a full step by step tutorial for recreating this card;

1. Spread Opaque Crackle Paste unevenly over thick white card.

2. When dry cover completely in Walnut Stain Distress Paint and allow this layer to dry too.

3. Apply a thin uneven layer of White Gesso with a dry brush to help highlight the texture/cracks.

4. Use the Stamp Platform to stamp the Haunted House image with Iced Spruce Distress Oxide Ink. Leave the stamp in place on the Platform and clean off any residue ink to prevent transferring it to the next ink pad.

5. Use a fine brush to paint in the stamped image with Iced Spruce Distress Paint and allow to dry.

6. With the Haunted House stamp still on the Platform re-stamp over the painted image with Black Archival Ink (several times if the detail doesn't show through immediately).

7. Apply Design Tape strips either side of the Haunted House (I used an old one with the new raven design) and add your choice of Halloween Clippings around them.

8. Stamp the moon and bat images from the Haunted House set using the Stamp Platform (so you can reapply ink if the first impressions aren't clear - you are stamping on to an uneven gesso'd surface so this is possible). Use a fine nib water brush to apply a smudged line of Walnut Stain Distress Crayon around the Clippings to highlight them.

To finish I drew some lines across the Design Tape to break them up a little, sewed around the edges and scuffed them with my Tim Holtz Distress Tool, and layered onto altered Metallic Kraft Card (tutorial for that layer HERE) and plain kraft card. I also used a white gel pen to add some highlights to the windows and lantern on the Haunted House.

Here are some close ups so you can see more of the details;

Isn't this Haunted House fantastically detailed! There are a myriad of uses for it so this won't be the last you'll see of it here :) For those who are interested I've added the full list of ingredients below.

I'll be seeing you soon with more projects. In the meantime have a great weekend, take care of yourselves and get creative! Jenny xxx

16 August 2017

Sizzix Maker Challenge with Eileen Hull's House Pocket

Hi everyone and welcome back! There are so many fun challenges going on at the moment for us creatives and one of them is the Sizzix Maker Challenge with Eileen Hull's House Pocket die set.

This challenge is all about using Eileen's House Pocket die. You can also use Eileen's Birds & Butterflies, and Stitchy Flower dies as embellishment pieces too. Starting today and ending on August 30th, you can enter your own House Pocket make on the Maker Challenge Page. You can enter as many times as you want, too! Eileen will announce our winner on Facebook Live Thursday, August 31st, so be sure to tune in. Not only does the winner get Eileen Hull's Heartfelt Journal die (which is currently sold out in a lot of places) but they also get a stash of felt from National Nonwovens!

So by way of inspiration here's my project using the House Pocket die set (and a butterfly from the Birds & Butterflies set).

This canvas was one of those where I got lost in the process of making it without taking photos along the way I'm afraid, but here are the basic steps taken so you can achieve a similar look yourselves;
  1. Cover a canvas or sturdy board with papers (I used vintage French book pages and some sewing pattern pieces) using a thin coat of gel medium to adhere (Crazing Distress Collage Medium or similar is perfect. Then give the whole lot a thin coat of white gesso to unify, taking care to ensure you can still see the writing/patterns underneath.
  2. Stamp over the whole board with your choice of stamps using a pale grey permanent ink (in this case Stampotique's 'Stitched Houses' and Watering Can Archival Ink).
  3. Die cut the house pieces from stiff card several times and glue in place onto the centre of the canvas. To ensure the shapes were properly defined I added at least two layers of every element except the 'bricks', which are in fact the waste from cutting the windows! Apply an uneven coat of white gesso over the house.
  4. Now you need brush water over the whole canvas before adding layers of heavily diluted acrylic paint. As each near transparent layer is added allow it to pool in all the cracks and crevices and if you have the patience let it air dry so as not to burn off any of the pigment with your heat tool. For this I used Dina Wakley paints (currently on offer at The Funkie Junkie Boutique though August 17th) with an initial layer of Rosy, followed by a layer of Elephant and a final layer of Umber). To make the house stand out further you can also add a thin line of darker paint, adding water and letting it bleed out to add shading.
  5. Apply lines of washi/design tape under the house and draw a border around the edge with permanent ink or paint (I used a black Dylusions paint pen for this). You can also add words to your border, in this case Stampotique's 'When We Love We Grow') and I chose to stamp the same words on the house itself. Stamp Trees and Bushes onto fabric using black permanent ink and glue in place either side of the house (I used Tim Holtz' Textile Surfaces as they are self-adhesive).
  6. To finish add green and red paint dots to simulate flowers and add matching butterflies. I also painted the heart on the door with the same red paint and blended a little brown permanent ink around the edges to give them dimension. For me it was back to the Dina Wakley paints for this step, using Evergreen, Lime and Ruby paints, highlighted with more of the metallic Rosy shade and Potting Soil Archival ink.
I hope that gives you a plan for tackling your own canvas using your die cuts, and remember, you don't have to use the same colours if you'd prefer a brighter or darker version. You will need to use at least one metallic shade if you want to get some shimmer and shine into your finished canvas. Now here are some close ups so you can see more of the details;

It's the little details that can make all the difference to a project like this, like a dot of Liquid Pearls in Rose Gold as the door handle. And it's when you get in really close that the layers of colour start to become even more obvious.

So that's my Sizzix Maker Challenge project. Now it's over to you to grab those dies and enter! For even more inspiration with these dies and the rest of Eileen's designs why not become a member of the Eileen Hull Fan Club! You'll also be able to share your own EH projects there too.

If you haven't already, don't forget to sign up for your copy of Eileen Hull's 'Journal Treasury' e-book HERE to help give you lots of ideas for using the Journal die and creating your own journals. At only $11.87 (roughly £9.20) through to the end of August, grab it quick before the price goes up!

That's it from me for today but I'll be back with more to share. So for now whatever you're up to, take care of yourselves and get creative! Jenny xxx

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