Saturday, 19 May 2018


Hello Friends

Here in the UK we have a Royal wedding today!  I wish Prince Harry and Meghan Markle the happiest of days and hope they have a wonderful future together!

I wanted to share a very quick post, I have been playing with a brand new stamp - Cindy Seahorse by the talented Kassa Hayselden (Kassa - delight in the detail) for Stampotique - I can't seem to stop stamping and colouring them...

I don't have any step out photos (sorry), I just got a bit carried away making this!
I stamped a few, coloured them with different colours of watercolour pencils.  I 'reverse stamped' the end one, on the right, just to see how it would turn out.
Here is a close up of two of the little beauties.  I love how Kassa designed the seahorse, she is so adorable!

I used a Tim Holtz Etcetera tag, in the smallest size, painted it with a mix of Broken China, Tumbled Glass and Peacock Feathers Distress Paint and stencilled and stamped with the same colour of paints, finished with PaperArtsy Crackle Glaze.

The 'planks' behind the seahorses were die cut using my newest die - Tim Holtz Planks (Sizzix 662705) and embossed it with the latest 3D Embossing Folder, again by Tim Holtz (Sizzix 662718). The embossed effect with this folder is amazing, it really does look like wood!
  The greenery is from Tim's Thinlit set - Holiday Greens (Sizzix 658759).  The Sand Dollar and Starfish are from Tim's Sand & Sea (Sizzix 659576) Bigz die and Movers and Shapers Mini Sand & Sea (Sizzix 659582).

To finish I added some prills and some real seashells.  I also added some clear glass domes, some gauze behind the planks and some seam binding.The Starfish were given a coat of  Glossy Accents (Crackle).

If you love the seahorse too you can purchase it in the UK - HERE and in the USA - HERE. (I am not on any commission!).

Thanks for stopping by, I hope to see you again soon.

Hugs, Anne xx

Monday, 14 May 2018

Flip Album tutorial for Mini Album Makers

Hello Friends!

Each month a member of the Mini Album Makers Design Team shares a tutorial and I would like to share with you my very first Flip Album, created after watching many tutorials on YouTube for inspiration.  I do hope you will find time to have a look at my tutorial over at Mini Album Makers!

Here is a sneak peek for you:

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit here (and hopefully there too), I appreciate any comments you may wish to make.  

All of us at Mini Album Makers hope that you will join in our challenge this month .

Regards,  Anne  xxx

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

When is a Journal not a Journal.....?

Hello Friends

All this month Eileen Hull's Inspiration Team are sharing projects made with Eileen's flower dies.  My project includes the Pansy Flower die (Sizzix 661109).

I really do love using Eileen Hull's Passport Journal die, I have made many journals, but I wanted to see if there was another way of using it... so.... I have created a Book Box.  From the front and side it looks exactly like a journal....
A few steps on how I created the box... I was looking to create a 'rusty' box and a bright flower embellishment.
1)  To create the flower I coloured cream canvas fabric with ClearSnap Crafter's ink by Ann Butler for Color Box, in Aquamarine**.  I applied the ink to my craft mat, spritzed it with a little water and then painted it directly on the canvas.  This wonderful ink is permanent once heat set.

2)  I die cut the flower using Eileen's Pansy Flower die, cutting two sets of petals.  I wet each piece with lots of water, scrunched them up and left them to dry.  Once dry I assembled the flower and added a large pearl brad to the centre (embossed with Baked Texture Patina Oxide by Kim Evans/Seth Apter).

3)  The butterfly is from AALLandCreate *, designed by the talented Tracy Evans.  I coloured the butterfly with Ann Butler's Aquamarine and also DecoArt Quinacridone Gold and then fussy cut it.

4)  After die cutting the Passport die pieces (including the spine - not shown), I covered them with canvas.  The canvas was first painted with a wash of Paynes Grey by DecoArt.

5)  Next, I coated the pieces with Quinacridone Gold by DecoArt, this gives a beautiful rusty appearance.
6)  The covers were embossed with my favourite of Eileen's Embossing Folders - Sunburst (Sizzix 659879).
7)  I cut a strip of matboard to 11.1/4" x 7/8", painted it the same as the covers and embossed it, this was applied to three sides of the box bottom, with strong glue, to form the box element.
8)  I ran the ink pad over the embossing on both the covers and the box element, to give a slight 'patina' look.
9)  The spine element was not covered in canvas, I simply painted it in the same way as the covers.  I added the elastic to give the box the appearance of a journal.
10)  The front and back pieces were added to the spine before the box element was added, in the same way you would prepare a journal.  
11)  I also used Ann's ink to colour the vintage seam binding I used for the box closure.  I simply smooshed some onto my mat and dragged the seam binding through until coated.  I just love the versatility of these inks!  I dried the binding with my heat tool, to set the ink.
12)  I attached the seam binding to the top and bottom of the box. I die cut two further journal covers, painted them and added them to the inside of the covers for stability and also to hold the seam binding securely.
.A view of the inside of the assembled box.  I lined it with some turquoise felt and added another stamped image from Tracy's stamp set.

I really love the flower and butterfly on my box, but if you wanted to create a 'safe' box you could leave these off.

I hope you might be inspired to create a box yourself!  If you have any questions, please leave them in the comment section below.  

Stamps and Stencils challenge this month is 'Fake It' - I have created fake rust on my box and created a box to look like a journal..... and the butterfly and dragonfly are stamped (hope that is enough to qualify !).

I am also adding my rusty book box to Mixed Media Monthly Challenge #48 where the challenge is 'Rust'.

Image may contain: text
Thanks so much for looking.  You can see what my teammates are making this month by visiting Eileen Hull's blog HERE.

Hugs, Anne xx

Stockists for products I used:
** I was lucky enough to meet the very talented Ann Butler when I visited Creativation this year, she gave me a set of her beautiful inks to play with.  Sadly the inks are not available in the UK :( but other stockists can be found here.
*  A worldwide list of stockists for AALLandCreate stamps can be found here.
In the USA, Eileen stocks some of her dies in her Etsy Shop.

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Mini Album Makers - May Challenge

The first of the month means it is time for a new challenge at Mini Album Makers!

During a 'purge' of my craft room I found some chipboard ATC bases.  I used several Stencil Girl stencils and Lindy's Stamp Gang sprays to create my mini album.  
These are the products I used to create my mini album, three Lindy's Stamp Gang colours - Shabby Turbine Teal, Time Travel Teal and C'est la vie Cerise (which is a beautiful shade of blue).

All of the three stencils are by Seth Apter for Stencil Girl.
I started by dabbing Gesso over the ATC's to give them a little texture.  Once dry I used Ranger Crackle Paste and one of the stencils on two of the ATC's that would become the front and back covers of the album.  I used 8 ATCs in total.
Once the crackle was dry I opened up one of the sprays and dabbed the colour onto the crackle so that it would seep into the cracks.  For the other ATC's I sprayed both sides of them with the LSG sprays.

I sprayed Lindy's spray onto a length of vintage seam binding, scrunched it up whilst drying and added this to four of the ATC's, leaving a small gap between.  The four remaining ATCs were attached over the seam binding.
Turning to the front side of the album I added some script stamping and one of the stencils.
On the reverse side I added some script stamping and another stencil, all of the stencilling was done using DecoArt Media Paint in Cobalt Teal Hue.  The small circles have been stamped using a hand carved stamp by Kate Crane, it was a freebie in one of her classes.
To finish off the inside I stamped images from Chocolate Baroque and IndigoBlu onto tissue paper, coloured them with watercolour pencils and applied with Mat Medium.  The great advantage of using tissue paper is that you can make your seahorses face either way, so double duty from one stamp...
Here is a close-up to show you the sentiment, using Tim Holtz Small Talk tickets.
To finish off the album I attached a large seahorse charm which I coloured with Ranger Alcohol Ink.

Our Sponsor for this month is Lindy's Stamp Gang who are offering a $25 Gift Certificate to one lucky person!

Website -
Blog -
YouTube -

  As always, our challenge is Any Handmade Book Goes.  Enter any form of handmade mini albums, scrapbooks, journals and book arts.  Our focus is on completed works, so no layouts or journal spreads that are not part of a complete handmade book project.  You do not have to provide a tutorial, but we wish you would.  Feel free to use one of the DT tutorials to make your project and give proper credit where due.

I hope you will have time to visit Mini Album Makers to see what my talented teamies have made, and hopefully join in this month!  Thanks so much for your visit, I truly appreciate any comments you may wish to leave!

Hugs, Anne xx

Friday, 20 April 2018

Leather Journal

I have been making leather journals for many months now but rarely show them on my blog because they are generally gifts to family and friends.  In Eileen Hull's Fan Club on Facebook there have been quite a few questions about using leather to make journals.  I thought I would try and answer some of those questions with this short tutorial on how I create a leather journal.

If you visit and read this tutorial and you still have questions, please leave your questions in the comments, along with a way that I can get in touch with you and I will do my best to answer them.
Here is my latest embossed leather journal.
I gathered together the items that I wanted to use to make the journal, these are:

  Eileen Hull's Passport die by Sizzix (660331)
 Eileen Hull's Embossing Folder by Sizzix - Waffle (659879)
A piece of good quality red leather
  Red cardstock to match the leather - for lining the journal and also for signatures
 A Premium Crease Pad (by Sizzix) - I only use my Crease Pad for leather as there is less tendency for the die to cut completely through the leather on the score lines
Leathercraft Glue


1.  You do not need to buy expensive leather, I use between 1.5 and 2mm where possible.  If you are based in the UK, you can buy excellent quality leather from - An A4 (8.1/2" x 11.1/4" approx) piece of leather will make one Passport sized journal, with a little left over.

2.   I glue cardstock to the 'fuzzy' side of the leather, this gives the leather a little more stability.  I found that if I did not glue cardstock to the leather, it 'stretched' when die cut.

3.  It is not essential but I always use a Premium Crease Pad when cutting leather as there is less tendency for the die to cut completely through the leather on the score lines.  If you do not have or don't want to invest in a Crease Pad, and the die cuts right through the spine, you can add some Washi tape, or regular cardstock to the inside of the spine to hold it together.

4.  I strongly recommend that you use a good quality leather glue and that you follow the instructions carefully.  I always leave the glued elements overnight to ensure good adhesion.

Top left - die cut the leather pieces (in my case, backed with cardstock)
Top right - leather embosses beautifully with standard embossing folders
Bottom left - the embossed leather
Bottom right - embossed front and back but no embossing to the spine


5.  Embossed leather is very beautiful but it can be tricky!  It is a good idea to 'practice' on an off-cut of leather before committing to embossing your die cut leather pieces.

In the above example I used a Big Shot to cut my leather, using the base plate and also the A plate, and passed the embossing folder through without the two cutting plates.  It embossed beautifully and quite deeply.

For thicker leather you may need to adjust the plates that you use, it really is trial and error, but be careful - if it doesn't go through your machine, stop and try a different configuration of plates.

6.  When gluing the spine to the front and back of the journal, especially if you have embossed it, it is a good idea to leave it to set, overnight if possible.
Once you are satisfied that the glue is completely dry, go ahead and add bindings of your choice. A view from the outside.
A view from the inside, ready for the signatures.  I usually add a pocket to the inside back cover to hide the elastic closure.

I created three signatures, using the Passport die to cut the inserts for each signature and then made covers from red cardstock, slightly larger than the inserts.  The beautiful images on the signatures are from Alexandra Renke's gorgeous design papers and Washi tape range.
One final look - I always add charms to the side of my journals, using hinge clips.  You can also create a loop to hold a pen, which is always useful when you want to keep notes!

Thanks for looking, I hope you picked up a tip or two.  Hope to see you
again soon.  Hugs, Anne xx

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Spring Showers

The theme this month for Eileen Hull's Inspiration Team is 'Spring Showers'.  If you live in the UK, we certainly get plenty of those!

But this is slightly different, we are celebrating Showers of a different kind - Baby Showers, Wedding Showers or different types of parties.  I chose to create for a Baby Shower/Party.
I made a Shabby chic card using beautiful Maja Design papers and Eileen Hull's Pansy Flower die (Sizzix 661109), and hand felted a little blue teddy to go into the Eileen Hull Book & Pages, Trinket Box & Frame die (Sizzix 662360).

Starting with the card, I simply mat and layered the beautiful Maja Design papers, added a Scrapiniec frame which I embossed with Stampendous Frantage Shabby Blue Embossing Enamel.  I die cut the word 'baby' and coated the letters with Glossy Accents.
The flowers are made from Eileen Hull's die - Pansy Flower.  Just a few steps:
1)  Die cut flower petals, 6 for each flower, 2 of each size
2)  Spritz the petals with water and scrunch up
3)  Carefully open the dampened petals and leave to dry naturally
4)  Layer up the petals and scrunch up again
5)  Add ready made stamens to each of the flowers
Next, I made the Trinket Box.  I covered the Mount Board with Maja Design paper and then die cut the elements for the box.  I followed the instructions on the die to construct the box and I added a button and elastic closure.  The word 'baby' was die cut and coated in Glossy Accents.
Here is a picture of the inside of the box, covered again in Maja Design papers.  I lined the 'floor' of the box with some beautiful soft felt.

Long before I had my wrist replacement I loved doing wet felting, but afterwards, I was unable to put the pressure required to rub the felt, so sadly, I stopped.  Once I saw my friend Rachel's beautiful felted creations (you can see one HERE) I wanted to see if I could make something using felting needles - much easier to do than all that rubbing!!  Thank you Rachel, I have had an absolute ball creating these little creatures! 

So, to complete my project, all that remained for me to make was the teddy, one that would fit in the box!  I had to make several before I got the right size to fit in the Trinket Box - and that just happened to be the blue one, the last one I made.
I thought I would share the whole 'motley crew' of bears that I made, the three sitting bears were my first attempts and to me they look a bit cock-eyed but I am happy with the three standing bears on the right hand side.

Thanks for 'bearing' with me through this post!  My team-mates have made some fabulous creations so far this month, you can check these out HERE on Eileen's blog.

I hope to see you soon!

Hugs, Anne  xxx

Friday, 6 April 2018

Rusty and Crusty for A Vintage Journey

Hello Friends

It is time for a new challenge over at A Vintage Journey where the lovely Autumn  is our host. Autumn has chosen Rusty and Crusty as her theme - I just love that title!   Here is what Autumn has to say about the challenge:

Many of us love rust and enjoy looking for new ways to get that authentic look of rusty peeling metal.  For this challenge, include some rust in your vintage, shabby, mixed media, art journalling, industrial, timeworn or steampunk project, whether it be the real thing, a faux technique or just a rust colour on your project.

I love rust!  When Seth Apter / Kim Evans brought out the Baked Textures Embossing Powders and I knew that Rust was one of the Textures I was thrilled - another way to produce a rusty result!  Autumn's challenge theme was very timely as, after taking a couple of classes with Seth recently I fell in love with his monoprint technique and I used it to create my rusty background.

In the class we all received a set of stamps and I chose ESA 08 by Seth Apter for Paper Artsy which you can see in the above photo.

 To create the background I used two pieces of watercolour paper and Seth's paints, Mahogony, Buff, Green Patina and Smoked Paprika.  I layered the colours one by one onto the first sheet and pressed the first sheet onto the second. I repeated the steps until I had the background I was happy with.  I was going for a rusty/patina look.
I also used the background stamp, with some of the Mahogany paint to create some further texture on the background.  If you use paint on your stamps make sure you wash the stamp immediately.
I stamped the main image onto plain white card with Black Archival Ink and gave it a good coat of Distress Matte Medium in Vintage, to tone down the white and make it look more vintage.

I used the keyhole stamp onto some watercolour paper, I coloured it with a coat of Mahogany paint, then some embossing ink before applying two coats of Baked Texture - Chunky Rust to get a lovely rusty and crusty look.
I wanted the key element of the design to stand out more so I embossed a key from my stash, using Emerald Creek's Allure Embossing Powder in Oil Rubbed Bronze.  I wrapped it with some Tim Holtz thread to give it some texture.

Overall, seeing it here, I think there is something missing, I may go back and add some rub ons or a bit more stamping..... not sure - the wonders of photography on grey days here in the UK at the moment!

I hope you will join in Autumn's challenge HERE.  You could be in with the chance of being one of our Pinworthies.  Please pop over too, if you have time, to see what my talented team-mates have made, you won't be disappointed!

Thanks so much for your visit, I always appreciate them!

Hugs, Anne xxx


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