• Love is in the Air

    Saturday, 12 April, 2014

    My daughter is getting married in two weeks! We are in the middle of a kitchen remodel and hope that it will be finished before the family arrives for the big day...

    Here are a few projects for all of the spring brides.

    You will need:
    Sizzix ScoreBoards Cupcake Stand and Pennants by Eileen Hull
    Flower Layers #9 by Eileen Hull
    Flower with Heart Petals by Eileen Hull
    Borders and Hydrangeas by Eileen Hull
    Birds and Butterflies by Eileen Hull
    Leaves by Eileen Hull
    Serif Essentials Alphabet 
    Little Sizzles Matboard Pack, cream
    Prima papers, twine, aqua tulle, adhesives, silver glitter paper

    1. Cover a 12" x 12" piece of foamboard with scrapbook paper.
    2. Coat two sheets of matboard with spray adhesive and place 4 sheets of 6" x 6" papers on the matboard. Die cut four scalloped square bases of the Cupcake Stand with the paper side facing UP. Bend the sides up and position in a square on the bottom right side of the page.
    3. Die cut L-O-V-E from silver glitter paper and adhere inside each square.
    4. Add die cut 3D fluffed flowers, birds, flourishes, and borders to page.
    5. Wrap a length of tulle about one third of the way down the page and tie a bow.
    6. String some twine across the top of the page and add pennants die cut from the Cupcake Stand die from paper.
    7. You could also add photos to the page for a personalized wedding layout.
    I am very excited to share some other truly beautiful wedding projects by my talented friends
    Jenny Marples of Pushing the Right Buttons and Anne Redfern of Redanne blog from the UK. They have been creating Artist Trading Block wedding favor boxes from my Block/Cube/Bank die like there is no tomorrow! Every one of their projects is impeccable and beautiful! Which one is your favorite? I love them all! Please visit Anne and Jenny on their blogs to see how they created these beautiful favor boxes...

    I can just picture them working together in one of their studios, bouncing ideas off each other- isn't it fun to work with a creative buddy on a project together? Do you have a crafty friend that you can show your work to? Sometimes I think that is half the fun- to make something and then share it with someone who gets what you do...

    I hope you are inspired by these projects- I sure am! For lots more ways to use this die, make sure to visit The Artists on the Block. We are always looking for artists to feature so don't be shy- post your projects on our Facebook wall so we can ooh and ahhh over them!

    OR you can join our Art With Heart challenge over on my blog. The theme for this month is April Showers. Do you have a project you would like to share? There's a nice Sizzix prize that will go to someone who enters the challenge!

    Thanks for reading and hope you all are having a happy spring!

  • Animal Magic!

    Thursday, 20 February, 2014

    If you are both British and of a certain age you will no doubt remember the show from the title, featuring jovial zoo keeper Jonny Morris. Cute animals are everywhere at the moment in surface design, cards, gift wrapping, fabrics and yes, you guessed it, in Sizzix dies too (this is where the magic comes in!)

    When I saw these designs I was so excited because of their simplistic beauty. they lend themselves perfectly to children's projects and rather than create one card I thought I'd make 4. They are designed by Eileen Hull, a very smart lady who always comes up with the goods! Thanks Eileen for making my job a whole lot easier.

    There is nothing clever to see here today, no fancy techniques or patterned papers just great dies doing what great dies should! The dies featured are in two sets, Thinlits Die Set 7PK Elephant & Giraffe 658976 and Thinlits Die Set 8PK Lion & Monkey 658973.

    To create the base card (each measuring 8 x 12cm) I started by printing the greetings using my computer using my Publisher software. If you have ever used Word then this is really easy to use. All the fonts are free to download (Try the website, its really easy to find what you need).

     printing your own greeting is a great way of making a handmade card even more personal and you can adjust the sizes to accommodate your design elements too. For those font obsessives amongst you, here are the fonts that I used:

    • Blackjack
    • Stereo 
    • Hoedown
    • Showguide
    • Saddlebag
    • Bebas Neue
    • BigNoodle Titling
    Here are the cards that I printed off onto heavy weight white card trimmed to size and ready to go.

    I deliberately used simple bold colour combinations for each of the animals in question and cut them out before sticking the pieces together using PVA glue.

    Next I added some tiny 2mm pearls for eyes and attached to the card using 3D foam pads.

    Same again for the giraffe.......

    The Lion..........

    And of course, the elephant who also features a length of string tied around his trunk.

    I think I can afford to say without sounding too boastful that these are pretty cool cards because all the magic comes from the great dies. Sometimes all you have to do is just cut and stick!

  • Happy Belated Valentine’s Day!

    Wednesday, 19 February, 2014

    Happy Belated Valentine’s Day! Here’s a quick and easy project made from fleece and felt.

    My daughter had a baby a week ago and I drove down to Florida to help out. On my way down, I found this cute little felt pouch in a fabric store (it’s a 1070 mile drive! I had to stop and take a break here and there...)

    I had die cut some pink  Sizzix Flower with Heart Petals before on the trip I left thinking I would use them on a card. But this worked event better!

    The flowers were die cut from two colors of pink fleece and the leaves were cut from an old wool jacket. I used brads to hold the flowers together, then placed them on the purchased pouch. They were glued on using Fabri-tac glue.

    Fabric flowers can be used in so many ways- as hair accessories, on shoes, stationery, lampshades and other home decor projects. I love steel rule dies because they can cut so many materials...

    Heading back to Virginia and a foot of snow :-( See you next time!

  • Love Sampler

    Saturday, 1 February, 2014

    Valentine's Day is one of my favorite holidays. Is there anything more romantic than a heart shaped box? Thinking about what could be inside is almost more exciting than finding out what's really in there!

    Here are a few of my favorite LOVE projects done by friends from the Sizzix Design Team and me using the Heart Box ScoreBoards die, Heart Basket, Flower with Heart Petals, Hydrangeas & Borders, Create-A-Bow, and Square Box.

    I went to CHA and came home with the flu :-( I am only just now getting back to normal. Hoping you all are well and seeing signs of spring!

  • A Gift Box by Gerry van Gent

    Sunday, 5 January, 2014

    Hello Sizzix friends!
    Happy New Year!
    Sending you all the best wishes for 2014! 
    Let this be a healthy, happy and a very creative year!

    Today I want to share with you a small gift box I created using
    Eileen Hull's Candy Jars Dies which is one of my favourites.

    For front/back sides of the box I used as a base corrugated cardboard
    which I die cut together with the pattern paper.
    Once the pattern paper was adhered I distressed the edges with sand paper.
    Gift Box (front)
    657900 Sizzix Big Shot Machine
    657727 Sizzix ScoreBoards Die XL Candy Jars

    I added plastic lattice  to both windows and then decorated with
    different cut-outs.
    Gift Box (back)

    This is how the side of the box looks like.
    To make the sides more steady I added modelling paste.
    Gift Box (side)

    Gift Box

    Prima Marketing - pattern papers, flowers, stickers and a metal pin.

    Thank you for visiting today!

  • Artist Trading Blocks

    Saturday, 21 December, 2013

    I hope you all are ready for the holidays!

    Just a quick post here to let you know of an exciting new trend here in the US- Artist Trading Block or ATB's! Similar to Artist Trading Cards, but better, because now you can craft in 3D! Instead of two sides there are six to decorate. The largest one is 3 1/4" so the size is manageable- if you make a mistake, no problem- go on to the next side and put the mistake at the bottom of the block- no worries!  Everyone can be an artist on the ATB's.

    The blocks are made with ScoreBoards dies- this means they are specially designed to cut and score thick materials like matboard and chipboard . With matboard, your block will be rigid and not tear or wrinkle like paper would when you apply layers of embellishments. There are five different sizes of blocks ranging from 3.25" down to 1.5". Imagine the possibilities!  The dies will be released in February and are part of my Cherished collection, an adorable selection of dies for the wee ones. As you can see, these blocks just aren't for babies! Craft in 3D and customize the blocks to fit the occasion or person that the blocks celebrate.

    Here is a Tribute to Tie-Dye- a tower that I made from the blocks using all different techniques and supplies. I will share full instructions next week on the Artist Trading Block blog so please stop by.

    Gather supplies and die cut the blocks using Sizzix ScoreBoards 658983 Block/Bank/Cube and 656491 Cream Matboard.

    Paint the blocks with regular acrylic paint using a stencil brush, then blended the colors together, adding layer on top of layer. Start with light layers- you can always get darker. 

     I used white Wendy Vecchi Embossing Paste and StencilGirl stencils for the next step. Place the stencil on the block and position medallion where desired. Use post-it notes or paper to mask off surrounding areas. Take a small amount of the embossing paste and spread it over the stencil so it covers the area of the stencil, then lift up carefully. Try not to smudge the paste until it has dried.

    I will share instructions for the other blocks next week on our The Artists on the Block blog. Check out some of the amazing projects our community has been sharing! We will have fabulous samples set up in the Sizzix booth at CHA so if you will be there please come by and say hi! Would you like to be featured as an Artist on the Block? Please like us on Facebook and follow on Twitter to see the latest new inspiration.

    Happy Holidays and thanks so much for your support of my dies. See you in 2014!


  • House Gift Card Folder

    Saturday, 7 December, 2013

    Hi everyone! I hope your holiday preparations are moving along. I don't know if it's like this where you live, but we give a lot of gift cards. Our family and friends are spread out all over the country and it's so much easier to mail a small gift card than an actual present. Giving the gift card in an pretty folder like this adds the just right personal touch.

    There are lots of other ways to use this die though... If you are not a fan of gift cards, use it to make a fun interactive card- make one for a child and put a special surprise under the door opening. Another way to use it is as a photo frame. I have also cut off the door from matboard to make a nice thick tag.

    657378 House Gift Card Folder
    656491 Little Sizzles Mat Board, cream
    Craffiti DirecBarn Wood stamp by Eileen Hull
    Big Shot
    XL Cutting Pads

    sheet music, seam binding, resin key and lock, snowflake punch, silver and white pens, spray adhesive, Velcro Brand® fastener, brown, aqua, yellow and green ink, hemp

    1. Use spray adhesive to cover matboard with vintage sheet music on front and back. Die cut House Gift Card Folder.
    2. Stamp Barn Wood in brown on front and back of folder, but do not stamp on door. Blend yellow, aqua and green inks on door and ink edges with brown.
    3. Add mini-rickrack to roofline with glue. Die cut or punch 3 silver glitter snowflakes and adhere to point of roof.
    4. Glue resin door handle to door.
    5. Stamp the letter B with leaf stamp and fill in with markers and white and silver pen. Tie B to seam binding using fine hemp. 
    6. Add Velcro closure to inside folder at point of roof. 
    7. Add gift card and give!

    Thanks for stopping by- see you next time!

  • Birdhouse Ornament

    Saturday, 9 November, 2013

    Brrr....the weather is finally getting chilly. Before you know it, Christmas will be here!  I like to make a few handcrafted ornaments every year for my tree. Here's one for this season.

    I used my ScoreBoard Birdhouse die to make this project from matboard. Crafting with thick material like this (up to 1/16") makes the projects you make so sturdy and able to hold up for years. I figure if I am going to the trouble of making something, I want it to last a while. Sizzix is the only company that makes dies specially designed to cut and score thick board like this. Have you tried a ScoreBoard die yet? Did you know you can also emboss matboard? Check out the fabulous metal roof!

    Sizzix Supplies:
    658451  Birdhouse, 3D
    657114  Flower, Layers #9
    658455  Basketweave and Honeycomb set
    656491  Matboard pack- cream

    Other Supplies:
    Adhesive backed metal tape (I found this in a home improvement store in the US), text paper, bamboo skewer, metal embellishment, wooden bird from Prima, black permanent marker, Copic markers, crystal glitter, spray adhesive, glitter
    1. Coat a piece of matboard with spray adhesive and cover with dictionary paper. Lay the paper on the matboard so the direction of the text matches up with the front of the birdhouse.
    2. Remove adhesive backing from tape and place over matboard where the roof will be cut (rectangle with scalloped edges). TIP- Here's how I lay this out: place my paper and tape right side down on the die and lay the matboard piece on top, then cut) Check die for reference.
    3. Die cut birdhouse, bottom and roof. Add text and doodles with markers and color in.
    4. Coat Birdhouse and bottom with spray adhesive, then sprinkle on a layer of glitter, smoothing over with your fingers to make sure all areas are covered.
    5. Emboss roof with Basketweave embossing folder. Isn't this cool?

    6. Use markers to color wooden bird. 
    7. Cut a piece of bamboo skewer to 1 1/2" and color with ink. Punch a hole below the open circle on the birdhouse and insert the skewer.

    8. Die cut 6-8 layers of the smallest flower on the die. Punch a hole in the center and secure all layers with a brad. Scrunch and ink petals. Cut leaves and glue under flower.
    9. Place embellishments on birdhouse and secure with glue.
    10. Punch a hole in the middle of the birdhouse roof and insert a wire hanger. Twist the wire around a pencil for a fun effect, then bend into a hanger shape.

    11. Add glue or strong double stick tape to the two tabs on top of the birdhouse and press roof into place.
    12. Hang on your Christmas tree!

    Thanks for stopping by- see you next time... 

  • ATC Box and Cards

    Saturday, 28 September, 2013

    I have been working way too hard lately but sadly it has not been creative work- things like taxes, orders, planning and writing. Time to take a break and do something fun!

    So tonight I sat down with some matboard, embossing folders, dies, scrap paper, buttons, trim and paint, turned on the TV and started playing. I used pages from a dictionary and cut out qualities that I admire and strive for. And they all start with A because those were the pages that I had already torn out!

    First, I die cut an ATC Card Box from turquoise matboard and some ATC cards from chipboard, then embossed the cards and box with a selection of Textured Impressions folders. The ATC cards were painted with the Gelli Plate in my favorite colors. I like the effect- not all of the ink comes through on each card so there is lots of variation and interest. And the embossing really stands out.

    I like having a collection of little cards to tuck in a note to a friend or just pin up on my inspiration board as my thought for the day.

    I started adding Prima papers scraps I had on hand, strips of paper and ribbon and some little die cut flower and label accents.

    On the front of the box I added Trinity's Flower which I had made earlier by cutting from coffee filters and inking softly. Then I assembled the box with iCraft tape by ThermoWeb. Added to that was more text with the definition of "ablaze".

    This was not a hard project at all to do and it was so relaxing... I will probably add more finishing touches as I go.

    So glad I sat down and just had a fun craft session without deadlines or boring paperwork on my mind. For me crafting is therapy. How about you?

  • 3D Flower in Canning Jar

    Saturday, 17 August, 2013

    Hello everyone- I have a fun summer project for you today.

    I used the Canning Jars ScoreBoard die from the Picket Fence collection to cut plastic from die packaging. Then I did something weird to it, just to see if it would work- and it did! (See step #5)


    658453  Sizzix ScoreBoards XL Die - Canning Jars, 3-D by Eileen Hull
    657122  Sizzix ScoreBoards XL Die - Album, Photo by Eileen Hull
    657118  Sizzix Bigz Die - Flowers, 3D #2 by Eileen Hull
    657119  Sizzix Bigz Die - Leaves by Eileen Hull
    658445  Sizzix Bigz Die - Phrase, Bloom & Plant Markers
    658458  Sizzix Textured Impressions Embossing Folders 4PK - Jar Labels Set by Eileen Hull
    657900  Sizzix Big Shot machine

    plastic die packaging, Turquoise and Silver Staz-On ink, green rickrack, yellow tissue paper, chipboard, spray adhesive, burlap, white and aqua spray paint, green wool felt, heat gun, matboard scrap

    1. Cover a piece of chipboard about 5" x 7" with burlap. Adhere burlap with spray adhesive.
    2. Run burlap covered chipboard through Big Shot using 4" x 6" rectangle from Album die. 
    3. Spray paint 4" x 6" piece with 2-3 coats of white spray paint. Let each layer dry, then add another coat. Concentrate white on the bottom and blue at the top.
    4. Die cut a small Canning Jar from packaging. Run jar through machine using Quilted Jar folder. With Turquoise Staz-On, ink the raised areas of the embossed jar.With Silver Staz-On, color the lid of the jar by swiping color across the jar with a sponge. 
    5. Lay plastic die cut jar over a jar or can (I used a soup can) and apply heat using heat gun. The plastic will melt to the shape that is below and when it cools, the plastic will keep the shape of what it was on top of. This will cause the embossing to flatten but the color will stay! Now you have a nice rounded realistic shape to your canning jar.
    6. Die cut 10-12 Flowers, 3D from yellow tissue paper. Follow instructions on package to assemble medium size flower. Use a pipe cleaner to keep layers together. Fluff flower.
    7. Die cut leaves from wool felt (I actually cut up an old jacket that I had in my closet for years!)
    8. Die cut "Bloom" from a piece of scrap matboard.
    9. Adhere jar to chipboard piece using Zip Dry Paper Glue. Position green rickrack for stem and glue in place. Add leaves, flower and "bloom". 
    10. Use Crop-a-dile to punch two holes. Thread three stands of hemp through and knot for hanger.
    Hope you enjoy what's left of the summer!

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