Tuesday, April 25, 2017

HeartFelt Journal #2

Coming to you with another Journal idea using one of Eileen Hull's newest dies from Sizzix - Journal!  Once again I incorporated a few different touches.

Let's begin-

The first thing is always - go to my "stashes" of this and that to see what might lend itself to a new project.  Immediately a remnant of vinyl caught my eye.  Originally I was going to use it the "correct way"(the leather looking side) but found I liked the look of the wrong side.  A piece was cut to cover the matboard cover completely, with a about an additional 3/8 of an inch added to the top and bottom.  It took the Uniform Colorbox® Blends nicely.  NOTE: In this step of applying the ink, some experimenting took place with blending the inks with some water on a palette to get coverage.  I wll attempt to follow up with a tutorial for this application.

Follow directions on forming the journal, using Super Tape or a strong glue for center binding area.  Cover the journal with the fabric.  To hold the vinyl side onto the matboard, I used strips of Super Tape running vertically along the side edges and near the center of the covers to hold it in place.  Mark and pierce the holes for binding.  Fold over the edges along the top and bottom, tucking them neatly and glue in place (refer to photo).

The cover has a shadow like design that was made using a TCW stenci by Rebekah Meier and the Coconut Colorbox® Blend.

The cover embellishments are die-cut letters from textured paper, using Eileen's Thinlits™ Homemade Alphabet and fabric flowers made using her Twist & Style Tool.

Place the letters on the cover using a gel medium.  Apply a coat of medium over the entire surface of the cover.  Dry.  Brush the letters randomly with iCraft® deco foil™ liquid adhesive.  Dry well.  Place iCraft® deco foil™ over the letters and rub to release the foil onto areas with adhesive.

Flowers are made from torn strips of cotton fabric.  Use various lengths of fabric strips and twist them with the Twist & Style tool following manufacturer directions.  Centers of the flowers are made using a button and floral wire twisted with the tool also. Make the stems long.  The wire stem is also used to form leaves for the flowers.  Arrange flowers on cover and glue into place.

Bind the journal for the inserts.  This time, white grograin ribbon was used for three inserts and tied into a bow for part of the embellishment.   A piece of white elastic cording was attached for the closure.  It has a small old key tied onto it.

The latch piece from the die is used as a pen/pencil holder.  NOTE: Refer to my previous post on HeartFelt Journal for directions on how to attach this piece.

The inserts for this journal were made using old manila folders, copy paper, lined and graph sheets from downloads found online and a pocket folder, recycled from the bag of a cereal box.

Wash and dry the cereal bag.  Cut one piece to measure the same as the inserts.  Cut a second the same width but two to three inched longer in length for top flaps.  Fold over the top edge of the smaller piece and stitch across the edge using a zig-zag stitch on a sewing machine.  Do the same for the larger piece.  Align the two pieces together at the bottom and sides.  NOTE: It may be helpful to clip or pin them to hold in place while sewing.  Stitch around the three sides with the zig-zag stitch.  Fold in half and stitch along the fold line/center with a straight stitch to make two pockets.  For the top flaps, cut the sides and center area at a slight angle, fold over or tuck into the pocket.

Now...journal away!

Follow the new Pinterest Page - Sizzix HeartFelt Journals for journal ideas!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

HeartFelt Journal

Journals - Junk journals, Travel journals, Art journals, Collage journals, Writing journals - whatever you want to call them or use them for, they can easily begin with Eileen Hull's Journal.  Eileen's newst collection of dies from Sizzix are called Heartfelt.  In this collection is her fabulous Journal die.  I have several dies that were designed by Eileen and I can honestly say that they are my "go to" dies for many, many of my projects.

Here I will share the first one that I made using the Journal die.  First let me just say I LOVE trying different approaches to using all the creative elements at my finger tips.  It seems that I always go first to fabrics and papers.   Another LOVE is "found" items, the reuse/recycling of any materials, so for this journal I combined these and more.

Here is a walk through the steps taken:

Begin by die-cutting the journal from matboard and assembling the covers by using a strong glue or Thermoweb Super Tape™.

I then covered the inside with a fabric remnant and adhered it will gel medium.  Fold over the edges of the fabric for neat, even edges.  Apply a top coat of gel medium and allow to dry.  Poke the holes with a hole punch or piercing tool when dry.

The cover was made with Kraftex®. It is a paper-like fabric that can be used in many ways.  Die-cut it, paint it, sew it, wash and distress it, stitch it,  fold it!  It's a great surface to work with.  I measured a piece that was slightly longer then the length of the cover (top to bottom) so I could add stitching.
To give the Kraftex® a faux leather look, I wet the material with warm water by running it under the faucet.  Once wet enough, wrinkle it up as much as possible.  This step can be repeated over again.  Once enough wrinkles are made, smooth it out and allow the material to dry.  NOTE: You can hasten the drying with a hair dryer or ironing it slightly, just don't iron out all the wrinkles.  When dry, using the nutmeg Colorbox™ Blends by Eileen Hull, lightly pass the ink over the entire surface, adding as little or as much color as desired.  Allow ink to dry.

To form the cover, place the matboard journal on the faux leather piece and make the folds necessary to fit. Once the fit is correct, creases the folds well with a bone folder.  Poke the holes for the binding and finish with any perferred binding.  For this journal a thin jute cord was used for the signatures and the edging stitches.  Make markings with a pencil along the top and bottom edges, approximately 1/4" apart.  Stitch along both edges using a blanket stitch (even a simple running stitch works).  Coat the faux leather cover with an application of gel medium.  Allow to dry.

The embellishments are made from washed wool that were finds on an thrift store trip with Eileen last Fall.  Of course the shapes are from Eileen's other collections of Sizzix dies.  The larger "Romance" flower has a couple layers colored with the wildberry Colorbox™ Blends.   Two of the "extras" on the journal die were colored and used.  The label/faceplate piece was used as part of the button closure, while the "closure" piece was attached to inside flap of the cover as a pen holder.

Simple pearl stick-ons, pearl buttons, old rusted keys and silk ribbon finish off the cover of the journal.

The page inserts are made from the packing paper that was used in mailings that I received.  * You know - never throw anything away, it might come in handy! *  The papers were ironed flat, then measured and trimmed with a paper trimmer.  Make three signature with the paper pages by folding in half and trimming the three outside edges with deckle decorative scissors.  Paint, draw, letter or just add some washi tape for decoration on the front pages.

NOTE: Some the packing paper I had was almost as thin as tissue paper and I fused sheets together with Pellon Wonder-Under® following manufacturer instructions.  These sheets add some interest since they were slightly translucent but still will take ink.  One sheet had some Blends slightly wiped over areas before fusing.  

This a wonderful, versatile die that makes journal making easy, fun and as creative as you would like!  I will be sharing some other journal ideas using another interesting cover material,  combining some new products for mixed media by another designer friend and another take on "faux leather" with brown paper.  Ideas are endless!

Go to Eileen Hull Designs FB Page to see more ideas for journals and other creative ideas.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Long Time Gone

Where, Oh where, have I been?  It's been some time since I last wrote anything on my blog, but I am finally feeling up to returning to all that has been put aside for what seems like forever!  Just as the Dixie Chicks say in their song I've been "a long time gone" and I'm coming back and it will be in the way I choose!

It's been well over a year since my life took an unexpected turn.  To write about it helps me find a way to move forward.  Most things in life are learning experiences and all this has been just that for me.  Sometimes we get forced into learning something we didn't want but have absolutely NO choice - this has one of those.

As the saying goes, to make a long story short (at least I'll try) - After overcoming several "fears" that I have, I had to face a situation that probably we all fear - and that is cancer.  First came tests, biopsies, consultations, more tests, surgery, recovery, more consultations, lots and lots of soul searching and questioning, then treatments and even more tests.  The protocol I followed was to be every two weeks for six months.  Yes finally, they are over with and had a few bumps in the road.  I was luckier than many, from the start, but it sure is something that was difficult to deal with.  I'll just say it was a hard situation to learn from.  There are so many people to thank for helping me down this road.  Their support and care, was so very, very appreciated!  It's not a situation that you can really say is completely over, though.  There will still be more tests moving forward, and I'm thrilled to say the first one is complete with good results.  Talking with others who have had to deal with any diagnosis of cancer, it becomes a part of you,  like it or not.

It's been a slow process to feeling like myself again.  Energy was a big factor in this process, especially when you don't like to have anything slow you down.  It's a situation that is difficult to handle!

I'm happy to be done with where I was just a year ago.  It's a time to be grateful for so much.  Grateful for those who were helpful, thoughtful, understanding, encouraging and patient.

Much had to be put aside to take the steps needed to get to today.  Now I believe I'm ready to move on.  The plan is to start doing all that was put on hold and that will mostly be what I enjoy the most - being creative and sharing with others.  I have already lead a "crafting" evening with a group of ladies where I live, with another planned for next month.  Joined a singing group ... what was I thinking!  Working on ideas and samples for classes to finally teach at home.  Lots of projects in various stages await me every day.  Really having time to enjoy my kids and grandkids! Looking forward to my oldest grandchild going off to college and my youngest  son getting married this September.

So now, finally, this new post needs to be published!  More to follow very soon too!