Monday, September 21, 2020

The Great Outdoors ... Brought Inside

The term "the great outdoors" can conjure up many different ideas.  At this moment, and for this project it is to create something to bring bits of nature inside.  Using the Eileen Hull Tiny Book Case die, I came up with this banner to represent a tiny bit of the outdoors for display somewhere in the inside, plus with a twist.


Eileen Hull die, Tiny Book Case
Eileen Hull die, homemade alphabet, thinlit
Eileen Hull dies, book plate & labels, thinlit

Various Sizzix dies, 660694, 663607, thinlit

Fabric, lightweight denim
Fusible lightweight interfacing, Pellon soft-flex
Sewing machine
Hole punch
Eyelet setter
Jute cording, thin
Raffia ribbon
Metallic-like card stock
Coordinating card stock and decorative paper
Foam adhesive
Metallic foil, patina and copper
Velcro thin clear fasteners
Artificial/real elements for placing inside pockets.

  • When creating with die-cut shapes by Eileen, I usually like to find ways to combine a variety of materials within the projects.  Experimenting is fun!
  • When working with fabrics it is helpful to use some type of backing for many projects to add body to the fabricmif it helps the design.
  • The type of backing can change depending on the project. There are a variety of fusible and backing adhesives that could be used. 
  • If the design calls for sewing with a machine, use a backing/interfacing that is meant for sewing. (Some interfacings can “gum up” the sewing machine needles.) Be aware!
  • The pockets can be filled with any variety of elements. Use all dried naturals or purchased plant-like stems or flowers or a mix of both.  If ambitious, create plant stems or flowers from die-cuts. 
  • This banner can be made to be reversible if desired. Use the same fabric for both sides or a different color/type for the other. 
  • To connect the pockets, they are tied together using a raffia type ribbon, but thin cord, jute, or ribbon can be used.
  • Gather all supplies before beginning. 

  • Select fabric for pockets. Cut 2 pieces for each pocket needed of the main fabric and backing. 
  • Add a backing of choice to the main fabric for each piece.
  • When complete, die-cut each fabric backed pocket piece using the the Tiny Bookcase die.

  • After cutting all pieces needed, mark each for trimming away part of the section with the "V" and the side box flaps. Refer to photo.

  • Once all pieces are marked, trim the "V" section along the mark. Then fold the edge over, so the folded top edge of the pocket aligns with the top of the two side box flaps, as in the photo.  

  • Press the folds of each piece before trimming away the side box flaps. Then stitch on the sewing maching across the top edge of each about 1/4" from the fold. 
  • Match up two pieces, pin if necessary to hold in place. Stitch around the sides and bottom "V" to form each  pocket. Use about a 1/4" seam around the edge. 
  • When all the pockets are formed,  punch a hole with a tool and add an eyelet into each hole.  These holes will be for connecting the pockets together with raffia, cord or ribbon. Refer to the photo to see the eyelet placement and the tying between the pockets.

  • Add a length of thin jute cording to the last eyelet on each end before also tying a bow in each end eyelet. Refer to photo. The cord was looped through the eyelet, then one end of the cord was fed back through to tie a knot to hold it in place.
  • Use clear, thin velcro circles for holding the letter labels on the front of the pockets. Align them on each as shown in the photo. This is side of the velcro circles that are a bit stiffer then the reverse piece. 
  • To create the letter labels, I choose to layer together a decorative paper and a solid card stock with a foam adhesive sheet together.  Die-cut the shape for labels from the layered papers. NOTE: I choose to make 2 sets of changeable words, using a different die design for each. Plus used a different top paper. 
  • Each of the labels are glued onto a die-cut frame, cut from metallic card stock.
  • To make the letters to spell out the words, metallic foil was placed onto one side of foam adhesive, cut and then placed in the center of each label shape.

  • Add the other side of the clear thin Velcro dots to the backs of the letter labels. Press them into place onto the pockets over the opposite Velcro dot. 

Now find a good spot to hang the banner and bring a little bit of the great outdoors inside!

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Junk Journal My Way

The usual definition of a junk journal ...  A book which is often made using found and recycled materials to be used as a way to collect and record memories, thoughts, ideas and inspiration. 

Making any type of journal is always fun, making a "junk journal" can likely become more fun and maybe even a bit of a challenge.  My thoughts on creating one immediately went to creating one from fabric as the base of my journal. 

The process began with finding a variety of basic fabrics from my stash that would easily lend themselves to be used for the covers, signatures or pages.  The choices were chosen because of the neutral color, the ease of sewing and could be altered with my choice of paint, inks, stamps, stencils or other mediums.  

When making a “junk journal” it’s handy to have a great collection of all types of materials and ephemera at your figure tips. All those bits and pieces that seem to be laying around are a very good place to start. I gathered gel plate prints, stamped pieces and extra die-cuts that could be interesting additions. 

For this blog post I will be be focusing mainly on one idea.  Always wanting the challenge of experimenting with the unusual, I went to my collection of reusable/recycled materials, I will be using cereal bags to make some of the inserts for this journal. I had seen ideas using the cereal bags in various ways quite awhile ago.  How to instructions/ideas can be found by searching “how to fuse cereal bags” online. Several can be found online, along with You Tube videos.  

Working with cereal bags

  • Open the bags along the seams by pulling them apart. 
  • Wipe or wash (only if absolutly necessary) the inner side of the bags. 
  • Set iron to a medium setting (wool or nylon).
  • Lay the cereal bags to be fused onto a silicone sheet or parchment paper. Place another layer of parchment paper over the bags. Begin in center and move out to the edges with the iron moving for the fusing process. Lift cover paper to check the fusing, replace and iron again.
  • Cut, fold and stitch to make folders or pockets for journal inserts.  
Tips: Never place the iron directly onto the cereal bags, they will melt onto the iron. 
A bag from a large cereal box can be prepared and folded in half to create a decent size of fused material to work with. 

Edges can be trimmed after fusing. I like to use a acrylic ruler and craft designated rotary cutter.

Place bits of papers, threads or coloring between layers before fusing. NOTE: I've experimented with re-inkers. Results were decent and unexpected. 

  • For this journal I created two types of folder inserts and a folded pocket from the fused bags. One is a simple folded piece, cut longer in length for adding a pocket, as a page insert. 

  • A second one was created into an accordion style folder insert. It was also stitched with the pocket edge embellished with washi tape. 
  • Once the folder insert is made I stitched around the piece using a zigzag design with my sewing machine.  NOTE: The edges can be left without stitching, cut with decorative scissors or covered with washi tape. 

  • The folded pocket begins with a fused square slightly smaller then the pages length, but wider then one side of a page. Fold to create a pocket of any depth.
  • The side edges are covered with washi tape before sewing sides and bottomi onto one side of a page.  

Making the journal
  • The majority of this journal is made from various fabrics. Canvas is used for the covers plus a spine extension. 
  • Before die-cutting the covers and extra spine, the canvas was coated con one side with a clear gesso. 
  • Once covers are die-cut, add a zigzag stitch around the edges. 
  • To join the covers and spine extension refer to the photos. Once the 3 pieces are aligned, stitch them together.
NOTE: The extension expands the journal to 7 sections for inserts instead of 5.

  • The cover is embellished with a colored piece of distressed webbing (Lutradur), with a clear matte collage medium. Topped with a handstitched monogram. 
  • Cording is laced into the spine to hold the signatures instead of elastic. 
  • A length of seam binding is used for a tie plus a found button for a closure.
  • The extra length of cords are knotted along the top of the spine and held together with a scrap of the webbing. REFER to the photos.

  • Prepare fabrics for others pages by using using a sewable fusible interfacing between layers of thin fabrics. Experiment with a variety of fabric combinations. NOTE: Refer to photo for examples. I chose to use white or light neutral fabrics so that they could be painted, inked, stamped or embellished. Use a clear gesso on the fabric before stamping or stenciling or adding other mediums that could "bleed" through the fabrics.

  • Fold the prepared fabrics in half and cut from the page section on the die.  After die-cutting, stitch around the edges of each of the fabric pages.  
  • With pages cut, begin adding pockets, folders, paper bags, envelopes and any interesting inserts. 
The finishing of a junk journal may be ongoing and that's the challenge and enjoyment in making this type of journal.  My journal still has several "blank spaces" to continue adding any variety of elements to those spaces. Hope you enjoy the journey I took! 


Eileen Hull Pocket Notebook die, Sizzix

Big Shot
Various Fabrics, canvas, batting, muslin
Sewable fusible 
Clear gesso
Sewing machine
Collage medium, matte
Cereal bags
Cording or cord elastic
Various found objects

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Christmas In July Continues - A Banner Season

Continuing with another "Christmas in July" idea using the new snowman die from Eileen Hull to create this banner for holiday decorating.

Most dies are made to be used with paper only but I have a thing with always stretching my ideas to see just where I can take them.  For some reason most projects that I make it's difficult to not mix things up. Sometimes that means spending time experimenting first with the wide variety of materials that are available.  This project features one of the the new Eileen Hull chapter 3 dies used in a different direction, follow along with the steps given, for something new to give away or add to your holiday or seasonal decor.

Eileen Hull Sizzix die, Snowman
Snowflake die
Alphabet die
White felt
Thermoweb Ultra fusible iron-on adhesive
Foam adhesive sheet
Fabric scrap
Black heavyweight paper
Brown heavyweight paper
Orange card stock
White decorative paper
Metallic foil
Cording or ribbon
Ultra bond adhesive
Thin raffia
Red bead or tiny Pom-Pom
White pen

White felt is layered together to make the snowman bodies. Decorative fabric is also layered together for the scarves. Instructions will be given on the process of using a fusible adhesive with both types of fabrics.  *** Follow the instructions that come with the fusible adhesive for heat settings and process. Tips will be given here to help with the process. Most iron-on fusible come with a paper backing on one side.

Glue together 2 layers of the black and brown papers before die-cutting them for the top hat and branch arms.  Use heavyweight paper on hand and paint them to the color desired.

Preparing felt and fabric before die-cutting shapes

The dies used for the snowflakes and letters are older dies that are no longer available but there are some newer designs available.  Substitute another element for the snowflake and another style of alphabet.

Fabric Prep

  • Cut 2 pieces of felt large enough for the nine snowmen shapes and a piece of fusible adhesive to match. 
  • Press the felt if needed before layering.
  • Place the fusible down onto one piece of the felt with the paper backing facing up. Place iron onto the paper side of fusible. The best method is to press the iron down and hold for several seconds before moving the iron to another area. Once the entire piece is pressed down in this fashion, the iron can be slide back and forth over the fusible. Allow it to cool down.  Remove the paper backing from the fusible. TIP: If fusible was not heat set enough it may remain attached to the paper backing. Repeat that area again; cool and release.

  • Place the second felt piece over the fused adhesive. Press as before till both pieces are fused together. NOTE: Depending on the thickness of material used it may take a little longer to adhere the layers. Once shapes are die-cut and any edges are not completely fused, repress those edges carefully. 

  • The same process can be used for fusing thinner fabrics together (snowmen scarves). 

 Assembling snowmen for the banner
  • Die-cut ALL pieces from desired materials.
  • Lay out all the pieces needed for each snowman before gluing into place. 

  • Decorate black hats by gluing a strip of raffia around the hat (Refer to photo for placement). Allow glue to dry then add a piece of punched sprig and a red bead to finish the hats. 
  • Add all pieces by gluing onto the snowman shapes. Start  by placing the hats on first in whatever fashion desired. Next add the scarves. Add the eyes and nose, finish with the two branch arms. Set the snowmen aside till all pieces dry.  
  • Cut a piece of a foam adhesive sheet for die cutting the letters used to spell out - let it snow.  Remove one of the backing sheets from the foam. Place a foil sheet over the foam adhesive and press onto the adhesive we’ll.  Remove the clear foil sheet cover.  Die-cut the letters from the foam without removing the other release paper.  
  • Prepare another piece of foam adhesive sheet with for the snowflake spacers using the white decorative paper. Die-cut 4 snowflakes from the covered foam and 4 from paper only.
  • Place the foil/foam letters onto the snowman near the bottom (Refer to photo).
  • With white pen, add a small dot to each eye.
Stringing Banner
  • Lay the snowman out in-line, facing up to arrange. Note: Notice that they are each close enough to have it appear they are holding hands. The snowflakes act as spacers between each group of snowmen and those next to them appear to be touching the snowflakes. 
  • Carefully turn them over, keeping them spaced.
  • Run a bead of glue along the neck area to hold the cord. (Refer to photo). Note: If desired a small paper punched circle or square could be glued over the area where the cord runs along the back of each snowman for extra hold. 

  • Remove the paper backing from the snowflakes and line them up at each end and between the groups as shown in the photo.  Align the other paper snowflakes over the snowflakes with adhesive. 
NOTE: If you are in need of further instruction or clarification, feel free to ask. If you follow me on Facebook or are a member of Eileen Hull's Fan Club, you can ask a question there.  Until I can resolve a problem replying on by blog, I may not be able to quickly answer any concerns. 

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Christmas In July - New Die Release


Thanks for coming to the Eileen Hull/Sizzix Chapter 3 Release Party Blog Hop! Check out the creative ways the Inspiration and Education Teams have used the Mitten and Snowman dies! We hope that you will be inspired too and share how you use the dies in the Eileen Hull Fan Club.

But wait, there’s more - the Release Party continues! You won’t want to miss the Facebook Live at Eileen Hull Designs at 12:00 noon Eastern time on Wednesday, July 1! Join the chat- and a random commenter will win the Snowman die. We are so glad you joined us to celebrate the Chapter 3 release.

Please hop with us through all of the projects and leave comments on the different designers' blogs. A lucky commenter will win the Mitten Box die…

Never too early to begin thinking ahead to Christmas!  New dies being released conjure up inspiration and new ideas.  Eileen Hull has added two steel rule dies with a Winter theme. Here are my first attempts using these new designs.

Mitten Book

This little book combines all the piece from the die to create a little book with an accordion style spine to hold pages and easy embellishments. It uses a cotton fabric added to the covers. Fabric can be added to the mat board using various forms of adhesives. Coming from a sewing background, with the desire to experiment with a variety of products, I’ll be using an iron on fusible for the mitten covers. It’s something you may not have tried or thought of but it does work! I will share tips.

  • Cover both sides of mat board with fabric using fusible adhesive. Use a piece of mat board large enough to cut two mitten shapes. 
  • From solid color card stock, cut mitten shapes for pages.
  • Cover a piece of mat board for the box shape with decorative paper on both side, then cut one shape. Remove/cut away the two small side flaps. 

  • Cut a rectangle pieces from card stock for the accordion folded spine, measuring 2” x 6” approximately. Using a scoring board and tool, make score lines 3/8" apart, along the strip of paper. Accordion fold the piece. (Diagrams for folding and gluing below. The finished folded spine was trimmed to the length of 5 1/8" long.)

  • If adding pockets for tags on the pages, apply them before assembling the book. (The credit card cut was folded under to make a shorter pocket for the tag -2 1/4".)

  • Cut and place of double-sided tape to one mountain fold on spine to attach the pages.
  • Cut 2 pieces of flat braid for the ties, 12"-13". Glue the braid from bottom edge of mitten piece, down the center to top of mitten piece. Repeat for other cover. 

  • Glue the paper covered base to the inner covers of each mitten piece. Aligning the bottom edge of mitten with the folds of the base piece. Hold in place with binder clips till glue dries. 

  • Attach each page onto the folded spine .
  • Color the hearts and zig-zag shapes; glue to embellish the front and bach covers. (NOTE: The shapes were coated with Glossy Accents.)

TIPS:  To use iron-on fusible it's best to follow instructions on product. DO NOT use steam (it can warp the mat board). Lay the fusible onto the backside of the fabric; press to adhere. Remove the backing sheet and place onto the mat board, then press with iron to adhere. Die-cut the shapes, if any edges lift, re-press with iron.
NOTE: I would be happy to answer further questions about the project and materials if requested. 


New Eileen Hull Sizzix Die, Box, Mittens
Eileen Hull Sizzix Die, Credit Card Sleeve & Tags 662810
Mat board
Cotton fabric
Fusible adhesive (I use Thermoweb Heat n Bond Ultra Hold)
Decorative paper for box base, pockets
Card stock, pages
Card stock, accordion fold spine, tags
Scoring board, scoring tool
Adhesive tape
Flat braid, ties, 24”
Inks or paints
Paint brush
Ranger Glossy Accents 
Binder clips

Snowman Cards

The cuts from the new Snowman Box die are used here to create the two cards. The same idea could be used on a canvas board for display. Again a variety of materials can be used for cutting any of the pieces on this steel-rule die. Some suggestions are to use fabric for the background, hats or scarves. Use felt or batting for the snowman or snow cloud. 

  • Cut or tear paper or fabric for card background. Attach the background by sewing or gluing onto card front.
  • Apply modeling paste onto the snow cloud piece using a brush or pallet knife. Set aside to dry.
  • Paint the snowman piece with a shimmery, metallic white acrylic paint. Set aside to dry.
  • Paint twig arms, carrot nose, coal eyes and top hat (or any of the other pieces) appropriate colors. (NOTE: All the extra pieces could also be cut from papers or other materials.)
  • Apply washi tape to stocking cap, scarves and top hat band.
  • Arrange and glue all the pieces onto front of cards as desired or shown. 
  • Add a pom-pom to stocking cap; green sprig and red berry to hat.
  • Punched snowflakes and evergreen springs are added for extra background embellishments. 

New Eileen Hull Die - Box, Snowman
Paint, TCW Shimmery Goodness
TCW Light & Fluffy Modeling Paste
Blends inks, Nutmeg, Ebony
Orange paint
Washi tapes
Decorative background papers
Green, white paper scraps
Punches, snowflakes, greens
Pom Pom
Paint brush

This is a group blog hop to promote Eileen's latest dies. 

Here is the list of participants to use too!  Just another way to visit each of the  individual blogs.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

A Favorite Thing

A favorite thing is using what I have and what I LOVE!  For me, that also happens to be the fun and the challenge that comes when creating with my favorite tools and materials and mixing it all up with ideas into something worth sharing.

A project from the past begins with a versatile surface to create from,  Eileen Hull Sizzix die, the Journal.  (One of the main reasons her dies have become my "go to Tools".)

 Mixed Media Journal

Let's begin...
To make this journal I used a Sizzix die designed by Eileen Hull and the Big Shot die cutting system that I like to use for most of my die-cutting.  I have added the material list that I used to complete this project.  NOTE: Use what you have available or other perferred materials.

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.

To complete the journal a burlap ribbon band 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 fun 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.

NOTE: Techniques used to create this Journal can be found here: 
 ebook by Rebekah Meier's Paper Art Collage

List of Materials
Sizzix Dies:Eileen Hull Journal die
Sizzix Dies: Eileen Hull Journaling Words
Sizzix nesting label die
Tim Holtz thinlits bows, skeleton leaves, funky festive
Sizzix Big Shot cutting machine

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”

TCW gold gesso, light & fluffy modeling paste
TCW stencils by RM 462, 462S, 768
Stamps RM mesh, mandala, Death Star explosion
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"
Gelli arts plate

Decorative papers, assorted
Assorted papers, Various weights and colors Black foam

Seam binding, white Various embellishments