Thursday, May 2, 2019

Spring Cheer

A little bit of Springtime cheer comes from some of my favorite tools and products

Easter baskets may be put away for another year, but this idea for a container can take on a variety of uses for anytime of the year. 

Materials Used
Sizzix die/EH Loaf Pan
Sizzix Big Shot
Assorted colored felt
Assorted colored card stock, green
Seed beads
Small punch or piercing tool
Jewelry pliers
Small foam block

***With this little project, I wanted to share ideas using my "go to" tools and materials that are always near by when I get the "creative bug"!

I have included here, very simple steps to make the entire project, but will only concentrate on the process I used to made the springtime basket from a very versatile Eileen Hull Sizzix die in my collection. This process goes a little beyond the step of just embossing the surface of the mat board with an embossing folder, which is totally acceptable.

An easy version would be to just die-cut, emboss and color the piece of matboard to make the basket. The use of both the Mixed Media Art Sheets, added to the Mixed Media Foam Sheet will give the finished look more texture in two ways because of the properties of each product.

Die-cut a loaf pan from the sheet of mat board. 
Color the inside of the die-cut mat board with color blends if desired.
Layer a sheet of art sheet onto the foam sheet. 
Die-cut a loaf pan from this layered art sheet/foam piece.
Cut the the die-cut, art sheet/foam piece apart, into nine pieces.
***( 2-long sides, 2-short, ends, 4-angled,ends, 1-bottom)
With 3D embossing folder, emboss each of the 9 pieces.
Use the color blends to color each of the embossed pieces.
Fold along the fold lines of the mat board piece.
Use glue or double side tape to form the loaf pan.
Remove the backing paper from each of the embossed pieces.
Carefully align up the embossed foam pieces over each side of the mat board loaf pan.
Blend all the  exposed edges with the brown color blend. 

Use ColorBlends to add some color to inside of basket 
The 4 main pieces embossed and cut into sections
Basket pieces colored and ready for application

Die cut flowers from assorted felt. 
Die cut leaves from green cardstock.
Color wooden craft picks with green color blend.
Arrange the die cut felt flower pieces to form a variety of flowers. 
Glue the felt flower pieces together to create several flowers.
While gluing together the flowers, insert a green colored craft pick between the largest piece and the remaining layers.  Allow these flowers to dry before adding leaves to each with glue.
Squeeze a round glob of glue into the center of each flower. Cover the glue with seed beads. Leave to completely dry.

Poke two holes on each long side of the basket to insert wire handles, made with wire and the Twist and Style tool. Pinch ends of wire to hold in place with small pliers.
Glue a block of styrofoam to fit into the bottom of the loaf pan shape. When dry, insert the finished flowers into the foam.  Add crinkle grass of choice into the basket. Add any other decorations as desired. Tie a bow into the handles of the basket. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Ideas with Eileen Hull Sizzix Dies - #2

Since my “go to” tools for most things I like to create are my Sizzix Big Shot die-cutting machine  and dies, I will be concentrating on old and new projects to share here and on other sites.

This will be happenig because of a recent opportunity that you can read about by going to the followig link. A new concept that you can read about here:Eileen Hull Educators

My relationship with Eileen Hull goes back many years as designers within the creative craft industry. During those years are paths went in different directions but always stayed connected in some form. We meet and know people along the way that we may always be delighted to promote and share what they do because  are own passion is helped by what they do.

Now, from time to time I will be posting projects here, and also share them on Instagram and Facebook pages and likely other sites. They will be a way of sharing ideas with all who like to create.  Whether a beginner, an expert or anywhere in between, my hope and goal is to share my ideas with others, and how I enjoy experimenting with products and combining different materials to be creative.

NOTE: The projects shared here will be using old and new dies designed exclusively by Eileen.  If other Sizzix dies are used they will also be listed after Eileen’s.

This is a pin made combining fabric and papers.  Easy to make for gift giving or as your own wearable to match any outfit or to embellish an accessory.

If there are any questions about this project, please feel free to comment and I will answer them.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Creating with Techniques From "Paper Art Collage" by Rebekah Meier

If you happen to enjoy learning techniques that can be applied to your work then I highly suggest that you purchase a copy of this ebook from Rebekah. All the techniques found within the book are very easy and adaptable with all styles of creativity.  The cost is well worth the ideas that you will get. It is a wonderful edition to any "creative souls" library!

Mixed Media Journal

I was delighted to be asked to participate with the other very talented designers, to create a project that used techniques from the ebook by Rebekah Meier's Paper Art Collage. For my project, I chose to create a journal and incorporate as many of the techniques found in the ebook.  

To make this journal I used a Sizzix die designed by Eileen Hull and the die cutting system that I like to use for most of my die-cutting.  I will also add the material list that I used to complete this project. I would like to add a "note" here for anyone who may not own some of the products mentioned here.
Please know that you can create a similar journal by cutting the mat board with a steel edge ruller and X-acto knife, as well as the mat board label on the front.  Embellishments do not have to be die-cuts.  There is an availability of pre-made embellishments at craft stores or online. 

***The purpose of this journal is to first show a variety of techinques anyone can learn to use to create any style of mixed media project, and also to show the versatility of the mixed media products that Rebekah has available for all creative souls. ***
Front Journal Cover
This cover was made using two different techniques from the book together for a layered look that still showed under the other embellishments.

Back Journal Cover
The back journal cover again uses a easy and fun background technique that will change with colors used, tools (such as stencils or stamps) and type of medium (paints and/or inks).

Front Journal Label

Another fun and interesting technique using foils that creates a lovely background, whether it is large or small.

Inside Journal Signature Covers

Transform double-sided card stock into something different using techniques found in the book along with a variety of stamps, stencils and various paints and other mediums.
Art Tape for Embellishments
Art Tape Foiling
Add coloring with inks or paints and then add stamped images to create "one of a kind" backgrounds for embellishments.  Add foil to the adhesive side for an intereesting affect.

Cover Embellishment Close Up

To complete the journal a burlap ribbon is added for texture, along with die-cut leaves from coordinating card stock.  The leaves have touches of various colored foils added to them before gluing in place.  A small bow was created from the Art Tape. The word "journal" is cut from foam.  The last element is an old jewelrey find.  Signature covers are made from the re-designed card stock, with inserts for each are  made by using copy paper.

Here is are links for information on materials used:

Rebekah Meier -

Rebekah Meier ebook from Bella Crafts Publishing -

Rebekah Meier Mixed Media products from Thermoweb -

Rebekah Meier stencils from TCW -

Rebekah Meier foam stamps from Art Foamies -

Rebekah Meier stamps from Impression Obssession -


Rebekah Meier

Karenliz Henderson

Deb Riddell

Connie Shaw

Madeline Arendt

List of Materials

ThermoWeb Products:
Mixed Media adhesive sheets
Mixed Media art paper sheets
Mixed Media art tape
Mixed Media foil sheets - patina, antique pearl, old gold
Mixed Media medium
Double sided tape, 1/4”

The Crafters Workshop:
TCW gold gesso, light & fluffy modeling paste
TCW stencils by RM 462, 462S, 768

Art Foamies:
Stamps RM mesh, mandala, Death Star explosion

Impression Obsession:
Stamps RM F22011,G22006, F22003, F22000, H22014, H22012, L22013, CC18

Paints - DecoArt media fluid acrylics, assorted colors
Distress oxide inks, assorted colors

Mat board, 2 -  6" x 13"

Sizzix Dies:
Eileen Hull journal die, thinlits 662813 
Sizzix nesting label die
Tim Holtz thinlits bows, skeleton leaves, funky festive

Gelli arts plate
Decorative papers, assorted
Assorted papers, Various weights and colors Black foam

Seam binding, white Various embellishments

Thursday, September 21, 2017

On The Personal Side - A Family Wedding

So this next blog post will include - "just a thought or two" or maybe a few more, about the celebration of a special wedding.

This past week-end I traveled with family to the northwest corner of our state, to the town of Galena. This town is a lovely historical area.  Just to the northeast lies the perfect wedding venue of Oak Hill Farm.

Here is the place where my youngest child and his soul mate joined together in marriage, with as many family members and friends who could travel there.

And the story begins -

An engagement takes place ...

... Reminders are sent out ...

... invitations are mailed ...

... and the day arrives!

September 16, 2017

So much preparation went into making this day memorable and fun by Andrea and Matthew, not only for them but for each of those in attendance.  From the location, to the venue and all the special touches, we enjoyed this special moment of their lives with them!

The weather was more then spectacular for early Fall.  The forecasts was calling first for 70's all week, slowly the temps climbed with each report.  The sun was shining and temps reached mid 80's.

The saying goes - "location, location, location" - and yes, it was big part of making this day!  Galena is situated in the far, northwest corner of Illinois.  It's filled with unique buildings and history.  With that in mind, guests who made the trip could enjoy all this rural town and area offered in any free time.

The venue for the entire wedding, from ceremony to reception, took place at Oak Hill.  It's a 20 minute ride from town, down country roads with spectacular views of the countryside and river valley in this area.

The Bridal Party, the families of the Bride & Groom, the Officiant, the musicians and photographer arrived ahead of time for photos.  Guests began to arrive just before the 4:30 ceremony and took their seats near the handmade wooden pergola.  Above this setting, we waited for the ceremony to begin in a lovely renovated barn on the property.

The time arrived to start!  Matthew and I were the first to begin the walk down the hill for the ceremony.  As I took my youngest son's hand, I asked him to hold on tight and tried to keep the happy tears from my eyes.  He told me several times to just keep looking straight ahead as we walked through the doors to the area of the guests.  The attendants followed, each couple held a significent  relationship to both the Bride & Groom.  THEN came the Bride ... escorted by her parents!

The ceremony was officiated by a high school friend of Matthew's, Erik Peterson.  Readings were done by Matthew's sister and Andrea's brother.  A song was sung by Andrea's youngest brother.  Their handwritten, personal vows were exchanged as well as very special wedding rings.  A tree planting took place before it was over.  Then came the official annoucement of the new husband & wife, followed by, yes, the KISS!

Just before the ceremony was over the winds picked up slightly with gentle, cooling breezes.  Call it what you will - but many of us saw this as a sign of someone being present among us on this special day!

Now, let the party start!

After the ceremony, everyone moved onto the site of the "old schoolhouse" that is located on the property. (Yes, it's an actual schoolhouse that was moved to the venue.) Signature cocktails, for the Bride and Groom,  and appetizers were shared by all.  There was a place for "selfies" and instagram photos.  The schoolhouse had a message on the old blackboards and photos of the Bride & Groom could be found around the school room.

It became cloudy and a very gentle shower began but only lasted a couple of minutes.  Some moved on to the reception tent to avoid the few raindrops.

The time for dinner arrived.  Guests moved to the tent and found their seats.  Kraft tags were used for locating the table for the guests, along with it showing their menu choice.  The space captured the look of "rustic chic" they were going for - from the dining table style set-up, the mason jar water glasses, candle holders from recycled jars and handmade centerpieces from reclaimed wood (Thanks Brien Akers) and handmade succulents (made with love by me), each helped to create "their" look!

After introductions of the parents and bridal party, the DJ, Adam Ryan introduced the married couple. We immediately were asked to start the evening off with a dance and many joined in!  As dinner was served the speeches and toasts took place by the father of the bride, the matron of honor and the best man.  Each was lovely and emotional!

It was at this point the the best man, Matthew's older brother Kevin, presented the couple with a version of what is called a "shotski".  This one was made from a birch branch from Camp Nawakwa and wood burned with the couples initials and wedding date by Kevin.  (This camp, in northern Wisconsin, is a place of many memories for 4 generations of our family.) The couple, the matron of honor and best man broke it in that evening (I missed getting a photo of them).  Many did give it a try during the evening (as seen below) even I did!

Instead of cake, they chose cupcakes for their guests.  Again, I missed taking a photo.  The first dance was next, followed with Andrea dancing with her father and Matthew and I taking to the dance floor.

Things came to a slight stand still as dinner began because the sky was putting on a marvelous display!  The slightly cloudy sky that brought a few sprinkles, began to clear as the sun began setting and made for a priceless background.

It was a wonderfully delightful evening, filled with laughs and fun and so many special moments.  One being the performance of the Bride & Groom singing a duet together!  It was quite the performance to say the least!

The rest of the evening was filled with dancing, dancing and more dancing, with music provided by both Adam the DJ and a live band that was excellent!  Photo taking, talking, laughing and  catching up as much as possible with family and friends.  Then of course drinking and celebrating, with their signature drinks (one vodka, one bourban), their favorite beers from New Glarus brewery.  Each element spoke of who Matthew and Andrea are!  The only thing that could not take place was a "sparkler send off" before leaving the venue and heading back to town because of dry conditions! Oh what a night ... and day ... and week-end!

And now the story will continue.....

Just some additional photos of family and friends that joined Andrea & Matthew on their wedding day.  They really did come from near and FAR to help them celebrate.  Most came from in and around the Chicago area, others locations were Wisconsin, Minnesota, Kentucky(my college grandson), Atlanta, California, New York and all the way from Belguim.

Adam & Sarah from Belguim
Matt, Matt, Andrea, Lauren
Godfather & Aunt from California
Stacey(California), Patti,  Caroline
Uncle & Aunt
Relatives from Minnesota/New York state/Wisconsin
Bill, Mary Ellen, Mary(Godmother), Grandmother