Thursday, August 3, 2017

It Begins...Finally!

Well finally it has happened!  You see I have this marvelous space in my basement that I had always hoped to utilize for more then my own use - and - it is beginning to happen.

Last week I had my first group and taught my first class here in my wonderful workspace.  I already have ideas to expand just a little bit to accomodate more people.  How lucky I am to have this opportunity.

I would like to share the experience of the evening here with this post.

Seven lovely ladies participated in some journal making with me that night.  Of the seven, I would say four of them had experience with mixed media and paper arts and three were "crafty" ladies, but much of what was shared, was very new to them.  The most important part of the entire evening was that they all enjoyed themselves, maybe learned or at least tried something new and left with a journal made by them.

Besides the journal making project I was lucky enough to have my very dear friend Rebekah Meier there to show her wonderful mixed media work and walk them through some of the great features of her line of products with Thermoweb.

Kits were put together for each person with all the materials needed to complete their journals.  Of course one of the main features of this session was to use Eileen Hull's Journal die from Sizzix.  Some of the participants have never seen or used a die or die-cutting machine.  After a quick demonstration on how the Sizzix Big Shot works, each were able to crank away on one to cut the covers for their journals after learning how to cover them with different materials.  The use of Rebekah's Mixed Media Adhesive sheets made this process easy for them.

Instructions continued on how to construct the journal and how to lace the elastic through the spine to hold the signatures for the inside of the journals.

Once the covers were together, with the use of Super Tape by Thermoweb, and the elastic was threaded through the spine and a second piece was added for the journal's closure.  Now the fun could begin - Embellishing!  Also a quick explanation and demonstration was given on how to create the signatures for the journals.  Three different signature covers were shown plus information on what can be used for covers and pages.  All were left to just have some fun and enjoy the process!

So  the evening ended with everyone completing a journal, plus trying some new things like tools, products, techniques, materials and ideas!  What more could I ask for?  Maybe more time!

I thank the class participants, Rebekah Meier and Eileen Hull for designing wonderful products to teach and share with others!

Happy Creating & Crafting!

Rebekah Meier Designs
Eileen Hull Designs

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Journal Making Becomes Personal

This journal making adventure began back in April and the creative journey continues!  With this next edition I am making it more personal.  It became what I call my personal assemblage journal, just for me and my personal thoughts.

For this journal I knew it had to include items that I like, so I began to assemble ideas and elements that are to my liking.  The color needed to be mostly blue.  Many of the embellishments are from the stash of favorite finds that are treasures.  With all the elements gathered the creative process could start!  What best way to start? The great Eileen Hull Journal die for Sizzix of course!  Combine that with the wonderful Mixed Media products by Rebekah Meier for Thermo-Web and I call that a GREAT start!!!
Back outside cover
For this journal I created a wider spine to expand the journal to hold four signatures instead of three.  The cover pieces were cut from a slightly thinner board so the Mixed Media Foam  could be added to the outside and inside of the covers.  NOTE: I found that the slightly thinner board helped to add stability to the covers and the foam layers added flexibility and softness.  


Die-cut all the board and foam sheet pieces for the front and backs.  NOTE: Before cutting the inside cover FOAM pieces, choose paper, fabric or other material to cover the surface of one side of the foam sheet.  I chose a textured fabric for one and Mixed Media Art Paper for the other.   Two board pieces, four foam pieces are needed for the journal covers.  The Thermo web Mixed Media Foam sheets are backed on both sides with adhesive.

Cut the foam sheet in half. Remove the backing sheet from the foam and adhere to the board.  Die-cut the first part of the two cover pieces.

Arrange the found items for the assemblage covers.  Once you find the arrangement that you like, remove the backing paper and return the items onto the adhesive and press in place.  NOTE: If there are any items that do not adhere to the adhesive, put in place with glue. 

The next step was to add some color, if desired.  Using inks, thinned with water, brush the coloring lightly over areas.  Dry the ink and add more layers of color if desired.

***SIDE TIP***
Raised Monogram Embellishment
This area was created by tracing the letter "M" from a metal shape, onto a piece of a foam sheet,  Cut the letter out with either teflon scissors or an X-acto knife.  DO NOT REMOVE EITHER BACKING PAPER.  Cut a rectangle shape from the foam, slightly larger then the letter.  Trim around the edges with decorative scissors.  Remove the backing paper from the backside of the rectangle and place and press onto the front cover.  Remove the backing paper from the topside of the rectangle. Now remove the backing paper from the backside of the letter and carefully position it onto the rectangle and press in place.  Glue the clay ebellishment in place on the foam letter.  NOTE: Mark the area where the clay piece will sit.  Carefully cut the paper backing away from this area and remove the paper, BUT LEAVE THE REMAINING PAPER ON THE LETTER.  Add glue if necessary to the clay and put in place.

Once the inked areas are completely dry, coat the entire surface with a light layer of white gesso.   NOTE: A light coat of the gesso allows some of the colored areas to still show through.  When the gesso is very dry, use a stiff cloth and rub some of the gesso off some of the elements, example: keys, buttons, frame, metal tag, pen nib, clips, pearls.  Another layer of color can also be added to other areas by using inks or paints, example: the foam rectangle, rick-rack, lace, flower trims, paper flower, clay pieces.

Construct the journal according to directions.  I used 1.5mm clear Stretch Magic® cord for threading through the spine to hold the four signatures and a length of picot edged cream satin ribbon for the tie closure.

Touches of foiling were added to the keys, frame, pen nib, lace (on back cover) and  the small monogram letters.  Brush small amounts randomly onto areas with the Mixed Media Medium. Allow the medium to dry well.  Press on the foil paper and lift; add more if desired.  To add foil to the foam letter, remove the backing paper that remains in place.  Lay the foil over the surface and rub to apply, repeat if necessary.  NOTE: If desired, coat the complete journal covers, both inside and out with a decoupage finish.  I used Beacon Fast Finish Decoupage.

The four signatures were made by combining fabrics and papers for the covers.  Here again I used favorites like gingham, in tiny checks, denim blue and other blue fabric.  I stenciled on the outside of the denim fabric with a few of my favorite stencils by Rebekah Meier from TCW, using Eileen Hull's  Coconut Colorbox Blends.  The denim was layered with decorative papers, using the Mixed Media Adhesive sheets and stenciling the paper side again with my favorite designs and using the blends and spray inks.

Pages for the four signatures were cut from a tablet of newsprint paper, copy paper and graph paper, giving a nice variety for the journal inserts.

I enjoyed creating the journal with the "assemblage" look.  Using the Mixed Media Foam Sheets made the process easier.  The last addition to my personal journal was the black and white photo added to the tiny metal frame that belonged to my very sweet mother.  NOTE: Those locks were the look back then! Those were the days my friends!!!!

For more information see:
Eileen Hull
Rebekah Meier
Thermo Web
Eileen Hull Sizzix

PS - Feel free to contact me with any questions.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Journal Journey Continues

Journal making has slowed down a little because "life" seems to get in the way of the process!  Today I finally found time to sit down and share the next one on the list.

After a tiny "sneak peek" last week with an "instagram" post here is a the final journal.

It was decided to keep the embellishments on the outside of this one to zero so the technique for the covers standout and it can easily be carried in my purse without damage to those very decorations.

So now to take you through the steps of this journal making process.

Once again it begins with cutting the covers from matboard.  This time I used some scraps from a leftover colored matboard, though it didn't really matter with the additional covering of these two pieces.  NOTE: The spine of the journal was not covered leaving the colored matboard showing.

The inside of the covers were done by layering torn pieces of pages from an old dictionary onto Mixed Media Adhesive Sheets by Rebekah Meier for Thermoweb.  Once the layering is complete, coat the surfaces with Mixed Media Medium or any gel medium.  Die-cut this piece for placement onto the inside of the journal covers.

To make the front cover panels, I started by making a collage of decorative tissue papers on a square of muslin fabric that measures approximately 10 1/2" x 10 1/2".    Layer the tissue on with a gel medium.  When that is dry add color with the medium of your choice. Once the the colored layer is dry, add more design with stencils and/or stamps.  Coat the entire piece with gel medium.

To coat the collage square with resin, this is the process I used:

NOTE: I used EnviroTex Lite resinEnviroTex Jewelry Resin could also be used for a small project like this.  Follow manufacturer instructions. 
Place the square onto a piece of disposable plastic bag or a surface like a non-stick craft mat.  Mix only small amounts of resin for covering the piece.  I made a small amount to coat the backside first.  I poured it onto the fabric square and brushed it out with a small disposable brush.  Turn the square over to have the right side up.  Mix more resin and pour onto the piece.  Brush out the resin to the edges.  Allow the fabric square to now sit till the resin hardens completely.  When the resin sets well the piece can be lifted off the plastic.  Die-cut two cover panels from the resin covered fabric.  NOTE: To eliminate bulk, I only cut the cover part, not the spine area.

The front, outside covers and inside cover pieces can be placed onto the matboard die-cuts.  The resin covers are put into place using 1/2" Super Tape around the four edges of the front covers and glue added to the center. NOTE: More tape can be added to the center of the covers also for better contact if desired in place of glue. Then assemble the journal as given in the directions.

The elastic is covered with a decorative trim
I used clear jewelry elastic to hold the signatures.  Punch two holes on the edge of both covers.  Add a decorative button to the front for a closure; thread a length of flat trim or ribbon to the back for the tie.

NOTE: In making the outer and inner linings for the journal covers, they can be completed seperately, then die-cut individually before being adhered to the matboard covers OR layered onto the matboard pieces first before cutting the covers.  *Both ways will work, but aligning the edges can be tricky! I did the former with good results!

The journal hold three signatures. The signature covers where made from co-ordinated decorative cardstock papers and manila folders.  To make this a writing journal, the inserts are made using the lined paper from a "dollar store" notebook.  Two sections of pages are sewn together on a sewing machine with a zig-zag stitch sewn down the center.  Score the center using a ruler and bone folder.   Fold along the scored fold line; trim the inserts to fit into the signature covers.

For more information see:
Eileen Hull Designs
Rebekah Meier Designs


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Journal Journey - Part #4

Continuing the adventure of creating journals with the fabulous JOURNAL die by Eileen Hull for Sizzix.  The latest edition again uses the die as the starting point.  For decorating the covers and inserts I used the wonderful mixed media materials by Rebekah Meier Designs for Thermoweb.  I have only "scratched the surface" of the ways to use these but will be happy to share how they were incorporated into the journal making.

Just to familarize you with the product line here are some images and discriptions.

 Mixed Media Art Paper and Tape take paint, ink and other art mediums very well.  Tears and cuts easily and use with die cutting systems.  Stamp, stencil and emboss. Wonderful surface to be used in many ways.

Mixed Media Adhesive Sheets are doubled-sided making them very versatile.  Can be used to layer paper, fabrics and foils.

Mixed Media Foam Sheets are double-sided also.  Can be used to add dimension to collage projects of all types.  Can be painted, inked, cut, textured.

NOTE: The three variety of sheets all measure 9" x 12".

Mixed Media Medium is a multi-purpose adhesive that will work in a variety of ways.

Mixed Media Transfer Foils come in five new colors and can add that special touch to all your creative crafting.  The names alone make you want to use them! (Antique Pearl, Old Gold, Vintage Tin, New Penny, Patina)

Experimenting has only just begun!

Now let me begin to walk you through the steps I took -

NOTE: In making the outer and inner linings for the journal covers, they can be completed seperately, then die-cut individually before being adhered to the matboard covers OR layered onto the matboard pieces first before cutting the covers.  *Both ways will work, but aligning the edges can be tricky! I did the former with good results!

For the front cover: Using a adhesive sheet, I randomly layered a variety of torn bits to one side of the sheet.  Brush on a thin coat of the Mixed Media Medium to adhere any loose edges of papers.  Next, using a sheet of the art paper, I colored it with Colorbox® Blends Sunshine.  The process I used was to blend the ink onto the sheet, working in small sections at a time; spritzing each section with water and blending the ink into the sheet with my finger.  In areas I went and added more color using the same technique.  NOTE: The water does not hurt the adhesive on the sheet, but I did not over saturate the sheet with water.  If that happens, blot with a paper towel to help remove the excess. ***SIDE NOTE: These blotting sheets might make interesting elements for collage.  Set the sheet aside to dry before cutting.

Make the front and back covers for the journal.  (Refer the NOTE above.)  After cutting the covers, blend the edges with Nutmeg Colorbox® Blends.

Before putting the journal together I stenciled a design onto the front and back covers, using a stencil paste and some of my favorite stencils.  NOTE: Stencils are designs by Rebekah Meier for TCW

Once the stencil paste dryed I went back and added touches of color by painting on the ink from the Colorbox® Blends with a wet brush.  Some bits of foiling were added.  Apply the iCraft® deco foil™ liquid adhesive to areas of the stenciled design.  Allow to dry following manufacturers instruction before adding the transfer foil.  

Assemble the journal following the directions.  For the closure on this journal I added a decorative button and ribbon.

To finish the front cover, die-cut the label from the Journal die.  Stamp and emboss a title.  The edges of the label were wiped with clear embossing ink and dipped in clear embossing powder then heated for a slight textured effect.  Flowers and leaves are die-cut using an Eileen Hull die.  To make them, adhere small bits of fabrics (flowers) and tissue paper (leaves) to some of the Mixed Media Foam Sheets.  Die-cut the shapes and add extra color with inks.  The centers of the flowers have a bit of foil added for some metallic sparkle.

Inside the journal I added three signatures.  The first signature cover is made from a sheet of the art paper that was printed by Rebekah Meier on a gel plate and given to me as a sample.  I added some other stenciling and coloring to it; placed a piece of decorative paper onto the adhesive side before forming it into the cover with a small pocket.

The second signature was made from an old manila folder.  It has leftover art paper pieces added to the front (yellow torn stripe) and inside (pink print). I like the transparency of the  sheet with a stamped design over part of it.

The third signature cover is made by placing a piece of tea dyed fabric onto a adhesive sheet then onto a piece of manila folder.  Cut the signature cover and round the edges. Stencil a design and add shading onto fabric if desired.  A strip of colored art tape is added and stamped on.

Combining all these really wonderful elements from this product line,  I only see possibilities to be creative with!  Get your hands on some and HAVE FUN!

Thanks Eileen and Rebekah for endless possibilites!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Journal Making Adventure Continues - Part Three

Coming to you with the third edition of journal making!  Here's the latest version using Eileen Hull's "Journal" from her latest collection - HeartFelt by Eileen Hull Designs for Sizzix.

For this journal I decided to make one themed for quilting.   Since sewing has been a large part of my life, it was natural that quilting would probably become a part of my activities.  Years earlier I made a few quilts on my own with the "teach yourself"method!  It was about 10 years ago that I become involved with a small group of women in the neighborhood, and we formed a "quilting group".  We still meet monthly, except summer.  We share ideas, tips, tricks, projects and help when necessary.  From time to time we make treks around the area to shops that share our sewing and quilting desires, hence the inspiration for this journal.

Now let me walk you through the steps and materials used to create this.

It all begins with the base pieces of the journal.  I decided on one of many of my favorite quilt blocks to place at the center of the front cover.  I traced the journal cover onto copy paper then laid out the quilt design to the center and filled in with other shapes.  (Refer to photo)  For the back cover extra, random pieces of fabric form the design.

This part is the most intricate and time consumming, but worth it!  The fabric pieces were fused with the HeatnBond.  All pieces for the front are measured and cut with an acyrlic ruler and rotary cutter. NOTE: The small quilting pieces measure 3/4" for most and 1 1/2" for the squares and rectangle shapes.  The border strips are 1/2" wide.

Once the fabric fused pieces are cut, they are ironed onto pieces of the Mixed Media sheet.  Add a decorative stitch around the fused pieces.  NOTE: A simple zig-zag stitch was used.  

The fabric covers are then carefully cut to match using the journal die and Big Shot.  NOTE: You must carefully line up the fabric onto the die before cutting. Concentrate on the open edge and the top edge for allignment.  Cut fabric pieces for the inside of the covers also.  

Adhere the outside cover pieces to the journal using gel medium.  Once glued in place, cover them with another coat of gel medium and set aside to dry.  Repeat the same steps for the inside covers.
NOTE: If any warping appears, wrap the covers in parchment paper or any release paper and weight them with heavy books.  
Add the alphabet wording to the cover with gel medium, coat over the letters and allow to dry before assembling.

***TIP*** (Another way to adhere the cover pieces)
Fuse the pieces for the inside and outside covers onto HeatnBond.  Die-cut them on the journal die. Remove the backing, align the edges carefully and press onto the matboard covers with an iron.  A coating of gel medium is still suggested.

Assemble the journal in whatever method desired.  Embellish as desired.  I used some found sewing elements: large safety pin, blunt tapestry needle, small thread spool.  The closure is made by punching two holes into a thimble.  Tie it onto cording.  Cut a small circle of fabric, stitch around with a running stitch; stuff with a cotton ball and gather up tightly; glue into the thimble.

For the three signature for the inside I used related, decorative papers, a manila folder, graph paper and plain papers.  Two of the signature covers are made by folding over the paper to form pockets.  They were both stitched on the machine with a zig-zag stitch around the edges.  The manila folder makes the third signature cover, which has a fabric pocket  stitched on the front to hold business cards. The pocket is embellished with flowers and leaves cut from fabric covered Mixed Media Foam Sheets.  NOTE: Mixed Media Foam Sheets are part of a new line by Rebekah Meier Designs for Therm o Web.  ***The next journal will show other ideas using products from this line.

Three of the tabs are added to each of the signature covers.

Now off to some quilt shops with the handy journal to take notes or sketch or bring along needed information!

Materials Used

Journal die-cuts, 2 covers, 3 tabs
Alphabet die-cuts, Homemade Alphabet Thinlits™
Fabrics, assorted
Iron on Fusible , Therm o web HeatnBond
Mixed Media Sheet, lightweight iCraft®
Cutting mat
Rotary cutter
Acrylic ruler
Gel Medium
Super Tape, 1/4", 1/2", Therm o web
Papers, decorative, graph, newsprint, copy manila folder
Elastic cording
Jute cording
Embellishments: sewing related items
Paper trimmer
Sewing machine

For more ideas and inspiration follow the Pinterest Board, Sizzix Heartfelt Journals, plus find ideas and information at Eileen Hull Designs on Facebook.