Friday, May 17, 2019

Mini Art Journal Play with the 100 Day Project!!

Hello Inky Friends, today I have an over view of my 100 day project. In case you haven't heard of this it is a project to do art everyday for 100 days. I believe it was started on Instagram by Ella Luna. I do a version of this concept. I use the idea to get more fun personal play time in but I don't stress over the time frame. This is my 4th-ish year participating. 

For 2016 I finished 100 art journal pages. That was kinda crazy and it took me over a year to do it. I want to turn them into a couple of books at some point. For now they enjoy life in this fun basket. 

Here is a look at some of the pages from that collection from my Instagram account- karenbearse


Year 2- 2017 I decided I needed to go smaller. Art Cards were the way to go. I managed to get 67 done before bailing or rather finding something shinier to play with. They reside in this fun metal tin. 

I enjoy this process plus of course collecting pieces of art!!  The other positive is I am using up stuff from my stash!

Year 3- 2018, I went with mini art journal. Using Eileen Hull's passport die I started working on the inside pages with the idea of making the books later. Sadly I only got to Day 18. I had stepped up my teaching & design team work and just didn't have the time. 

Year 4ish-2019, I decided to just carry on from last year and continue on to finish. Remember the point of this to me is to create & have some fun playtime.
I am already designing for teams & classes...

I get to play & experiment with product too on a small scale. This is just plain fun.  If you want to check out my full collections you can see them all on my Instagram account.
I hope you get the chance to get inky today!!!

Thursday, April 11, 2019

The 2019 Eileen Hull Inspiration Team

Hello Fans of die cutting, I am thrilled to be continuing my journey as a member of the 2019 Inspiration Team. These gals are some of the most talented, fun, kind & caring group I am so lucky to be apart of this team! 
You can hop over to Eileen's blog for the full run down of the team, their bio's & links to social media!  I encourage you to follow them all to see the creative treasures that are produced every month.

Monday, April 8, 2019

A Game of Thrones Notebooks with Eileen Hull

Hello loyal followers of the Inky Realm, I have today before you gilded notebooks of the Kingdoms of A Game of Thrones!!! The unbelievable, totally amazing series from HBO. Forsooth Winter is Coming as the show begins to end on April 14th, a day long awaited! EEEk I & many of you out there can hardly wait until the show comes back on Sunday!!! Today I can show you a sneak peak of the inserts that go in my Dragon Treasure Box!!!! War Drums & 3 eye crow caw...

Here is Eileen Hull's latest steel rule die... the Notebook. It is shipping now & available in some stores already. 

The book cover art was created by Thomas Gateley & I found them on My Modern Met 
The images are of course derived from George RR Martin's brilliant writing &/or HBO. 
If you want to see how the dragon Box was created keep scrolling it is the next post! Stay tuned for the inside reveal & how these covers were decorated! 

Remember "If you play the Game of Thrones you win or you die...

Monday, March 4, 2019

My Games of Thrones Dragon Treasure Box with Eileen Hull.

I have a fabulous project today, my Dragon Treasure Box! Wow I cannot believe it has been 2 months since my last blog post!!! There has been a lot of rough going in my family the last few months so my focus has been with them. Today however I am back with a vengeance with a March project for the Inspiration team that I love on many fronts!! The theme for the month is "Spring Things" & what says spring more than DRAGONS!!!! Using  one of the newest Eileen Hull dies that is currently available... drum roll... the Treasure Box. What better way to showcase a treasure box than Dragons? The timing is fairly perfect as well with the amazing Games of Thrones HBO series returning on April 14th for the final season. I know I am not the only one who CAN NOT WAIT.

While endlessly waiting I thought what fun it would be to create this Dragon Box. This will be a 2 part post as there is a lot going on! First up the box... my inspiration for this entire project came from the dragon I bought. It is designed to go in one of those fairy gardens, I may have found a much better use for it. The back drop is a painting my daughter did & the little figure reminds me of the Children of the Forest.

Let's Get Started!

Step 1: Die cut 2 sets using the Treasure Box die, out of mat board. Set the rectangular pieces (that have no tabs) aside, these will go on the inside of the lid & of the box. Cover the tabbed mat board pieces outside with stencils & paste. Do not put product on the tabs of the pieces. I used Paper Texture by Prima as it gives a rough, gritty stone look. I also created the lid at this time cutting a piece of mat board 5.25x3.25 this will completely cover the top of the box lid and was an idea by team mate Susie Bentz over on My Time To Play.  

This lid was also stenciled with the paste & the dragon piece was pushed into the paste while wet. This will adhere the dragon piece very strongly to the lid. Set everything aside to dry. The pieces may warp during this time but will flatten out when dry. While you are doing this make an extra test piece on a left over piece of mat board so color experimentation can be done.This paste takes anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours to dry depending on thickness. Let dry naturally. 

Adding Color Blends 2

Step 2: Once the paste is completely dry, it is time for color. I did not want to add a lot of wet medium to this project in order to keep the integrity of the mat board. Start with your test piece. Put a drop on Blends 2 in Flagstone (perfect name too) on your craft mat & add a small spritz of water.Caution a little ink goes a long way. Apply the paint with a brush pushing the color into the cracks between stones. This is where you can experiment with the colors to see what your final piece can be. I added some Bay to a part of it as well. Then added some Ebony to get the dark between the stones & wiped the color back to bring back the grey. I do love my test piece & will keep that with notes on the back to remember how it was done.

Eileen's new ColorBox Blends 2 are great for projects like this. They are highly pigmented with a longer dry time that allows for blending. Keep adding colors until you have reached your happy place. In the end I kept my bricks are quite light as I was thinking of snow & ice as well as stone. Good thing I did a test piece!

I also added the smallest touch of Bay to have a hint of the ice blue that we see in the show Games of Thrones. I just wanted the faintest shadow so wiping back the color with a paper towel helped to achieve that. The fact that these paints stay wet longer is a huge help in this respect. Also remember a little goes a long way so start with a touch and you can always add layers. 

Hot Tip: with the left over paint run a tag through it, waste not! With the drips left on the mat tap the tag on top of the drips to give added fun. 

Decorate The Inside

Step 3: Add paper or color to the inside. I chose to cut my paper pieces individually, adhere them, and distress the edges with the Flagstone Color Blend. You only need to color the fold & about a 1/4" of the tabs.

Another alternative is to adhere the paper first to the mat board & cut using the die. Just cut with the mat board side down, paper side up. That way the paper will score correctly. 

Step 4: Assemble the box. I like to use SuperTape from Therm*O*Web for any mat board project that needs a really strong glue. Simply follow the directions on the packaging for glue placement. Basically the tape goes on the tabs. Here is a picture of the top of the box ready for the lid piece to go on. 

Cover the inside mat board piece that had been set aside (cut with the die) with paper, put SuperTape on the tabs, slide it securely into the bottom of the box. I covered mine with a map of Westeros that shows the Houses locations. I printed this out from a digital image found online. This one happens to originate from HBO but I found it on the site i09. You can find this and some scrolls here. 

Winter Is Coming

Step 5: Yes, got the quote in and it is time for ice! Lucky for me I had some icicles that were perfect for my Treasure Box. They did need a little something, something & metallic foil was the perfect touch. Simply rub some DecoFoil Adhesive (my well used bottle) on the outside of the icicles and let dry until clear & tacky. Place the foil color side up and rub. I left some of the clear plastic show through. Add a little bit of the plaster, sparingly to look like snow on the ice. Adhere using a strong glue.

There were some gaps in my assembly job, so I also added some more plaster using a spatula, which looks fabulously like frozen snow. Ice blue glass shards were pushed into  the plaster again as a shoot out to the show. Finally a dragon eye was adhered to the bottom piece of the box, which adds a wonderful touch but also helps center the lid on the bottom. The lid is quite heavy and this adds some stability. 

Stay tuned for next month where I give you the secret of what is in the box. I will be using a die of Eileen's that is being released in April.Please go check out what my team mates are up to there have been some great projects over on Eileen Hull's blog. Until next time!


Eileen Hull dies by Sizzix- Treasure Box
ColorBlends & ColorBlends 2 by Clearsnap - Flagstone, Bay & Ebony
Mat Board by Sizzix
PaperPaste - Finnabair by Prima 
Foil Adhesive, Foil sheets & SuperTape -Therm*O*Web
Icicles - TimHoltz
Brick Paper-Bo Bunny

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Round Up Of My Favorite 2018 Eileen Hull Projects

Hello Fans of Sizzix die cutting, I am here today with a round up of my favorite 2018 Eileen Hull Projects. As we do at least 1 a month I thought top 5 would be a good number. Let's go! In no particular order, cause come on it was hard enough to pick just 5, which is a good problem to have!

#1: Under the Sea Journal- made with my all time favorite die- The Journal & Therm*o*web

 #2: Photo Box Organizers with Paper House Productions

 #3: Seahorse Trinket Box with Prima Marketing & Finnabair.

#4: Get Wrapped Blog Hop with Emerald Creek & Seth Apter

 #5- The Resin Wrap Journal for Resin Obsession.
Stayed tuned because I am trying to sneak in one more post before the end of the year. I will give you a hint- it may be Grinchy fun! Thanks for a great 2018 Eileen Hull & our amazing Inspiration Team!!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Let's Decorate the Inside of My As the Crow Flies Wrap Journal

Hello Blogland, today I am back to decorate the inside of my spooky wrap journal from last week! I love making these books but I am less fabulous at working on the inside. DCWV gave the Eileen Hull Inspiration Team a paper stack to play with. I scored the Spooky & Sparkly stack. I thought today I would come up with some simple formulas to create pages. This makes it easy as I work through my book to add tags, flips & pockets.

 Here is a hodge podge of items I made to include in my book. It is kinda hard to just take one photo to show all the fun. There is a flip through video of my book too, below so you get to see all the nummyness! Working from one paper line can make the job easier as it limits the "now where did I put that...favorite sticker" syndrome.

Here is a photo and link to make the outside of my As the Crow Flies Wrap Journal. 

First up on the day I started creating this project, a fine fall day in October, it was 82 degrees out. This makes it a little tough to get in the Halloween mood. The obvious solution was to crank up the AC, put a Halloween t-shirt & cardigan on & have Nightmare Before Christmas movie & a few episodes of Supernatural on to set the tone!

I made a video flip through so you can see all the fun elements in this book. Plus I have the written tutorial with some of the highlights & supplies for making this spooky book.You can find this 12x12 paper stack at Joann Fabrics.

I started by cutting my paper stack. The great thing about this paper pad is there are 2 pieces of each paper plus a sticker sheet. I have 1 booklet to show you today with the idea of adding to it. I cut paper in 2 sizes- 6.5" x 4.5" & 8.5" x 4.5. I cut the height 4.5" as I wanted to be able to use elastics & slide the booklets in & out. If I was adding them in permanently I could have made the books a little taller.  Beware of the pattern when cutting so your bats are flying right! 

I have been working on batch creating to save time. The idea is instead of creating one item you work in batches to save time. I also wanted to add in distressed ruled paper so I cut some of that. This is one of my favorite techniques, cause the paper ends up all crunchy. I distressed the paper with Eileen's Colorbox Blends in Ebony & mixed up some water colors on my craft mat with the Blends & water. Did you know that Bay & Wildberry make a very pretty purple? 

Next up was to add some stamping. Basically stamped a little something at the top & bottom or 2 corner sides. I can always add titles as I go. 

Time for tags! Using the Blends to distress the edges of some tags, plus some more stamping. These tags can be used for photos, journaling or ephemera. Maybe a favorite candy wrapper!

Let's add foil. The paper stack by DCWV has silver foil touches that go fabulously with the paper line. I decided to add some more foil using Therm*O*Web & various techniques to make that happen. So many options!! Using one of Eileen's latest thinlet dies- Journal Card, Flower & Leaves to cut double sided adhesive. The purple tape you see holds the die in place during cutting without tearing the paper for easy removal.

Remove one side of the backing & place foil shiny side up. Simple burnish with a bone folder or your finger. Lift foil off & you are left with a shiny, happy, embellishment sticker that can be placed where ever you need to add some wow. In this case I added some to my pockets & tags. 

The second way to add foil is using Peel n'Stick Transfer sheets. For this you need a heat laminator. I die cut the word wander & added a new foil called Glittering Green which is so cool as it has the look of sequins kind of embedded in it. Sandwich the die cut with the foil color side up between a piece of parchment sheet & run it through the laminator. 

The 3rd way was making a side tuck spot using Deco Foil Clear Toner Sheets. Here is a Therm*O*Web video showing the sheets & how to use the heat laminator. 

Finally using the Transfer Gel I edged a card with it & added red foil. This is also a great way to add some stencil work. Simply apply the gel, let dry clear & use the same sandwich as above to set the foil on your project. 

This book definitely required lots of pockets, tags & tucks. I cut some tags with Eileen's die & paper from the stack using the Credit Card, Sleeve & Tag die then added tabs using her other dies. See my video above for more info on the individual die pieces used. 

Here is an example of the Credit card sleeve at work on the left side. The right side has a simple pocket. The spider & crow are stickers from the paper stack. 

Who says Halloween can't have flowers? I cut them using the Flower & Leaves dies out of one dark, & one light foiled paper & sandwiched them with a brad. The flower was used as a tab to lift the pocket card. I added some washi at the top to make the card flip. This book was so much fun to make & is now ready to go as I take photos this Halloween season. As the book has room for 4 signatures I can add more to it. Please head over to Eileen Hull's Blog to see what the rest of the Inspiration team is up to this week!! 


Tuesday, September 25, 2018

As The Crow Flies Wrap Journal with Eileen Hull

Hello Eileen Hull & Spooky journal fans of all ages! I am here today with a Caw-tastic journal using Eileen's Wrap Journal die. This book can be used for Halloween, for your favorite creepy movie quotes, for fall lists or even as a Games of Thrones journal. The best part? There is room for 4 signatures, so you can use it for all of the above!!

Here is my finished cover, I plan on making booklets for the inside. Thanks to DCWV for sending me this wonderful paper pad called "Spooky & Sparkly"  I had all the paper needed to create my spook-tacular project. If you want to see how I used this paper on the inside of my book you see it here.

You can find this paper pack at Joannes & other online stores. Some of the double-sided paper have wonderful foiled images & you also get a sheet of pocket cards as well as a sticker page. That is a lot to work with!

I started by cutting a piece of mat board out with the wrap journal die & a mover/shaper die in the open space. That is how I got the cool, crow to die cut right out of my book.  Here I had to option of adhering my paper first & die cutting the whole thing or die cutting them separately as I went along. 

Next step was to use a stencil & texture paste on the flap portion. I like the paste as it dries very quickly. Once the paste was dry I spritzed it with Dylusions spray in Slate Grey. This will help the image to pop once I add the color. 

Using Distress Crayons to hit the high points & rubbing with my finger was the next step.

One of the challenges of the wrap die is it just a bit longer then 12" so a great way to cover the book it to cut the paper individually. I also like using different papers on the front from the back... this makes covering the book easy. I simply measure, cut & distress the book.

For the spine I used my favorite technique covering it with embossing powder. Seth Apter's Rocky Road from Emerald Creek provided the perfect texture. I added a bit of Hammered metal to add some silver to the mix. The bonus of using embossing is it helps protect the spine by making it stronger. 

My closure was created by adding a door knob to the spine. An elastic was hooked through an eyelet on the flap & that wraps around the door knob on the spine to close the book. Of course I needed to add charms!! 

For the hidden cover of the book I added some Tim Holtz Halloween pieces and the owl sticker from the paper pack. Here you can see that I covered the inside spines in black paint & embossed stamped spiderwebs with Fallen Snow. The skull paper is silver foiled and really detailed. Thanks for joining me today! I hope you take the time to see the other great projects the Inspiration team has made this month!

Eileen Hull Wrap Journal die by Sizzix
Tim Holtz raven mover/shaper die by Sizzix
Spooky & Sparkly 12x12 stack by DCWV
Dylusions Spray in Slate Grey
Distress Crayons- Antique Bronze, Fossilized amber, Squeezed Lemonade, & Wilted Violet
Opaque Texture Paste, Glossy Accents by Ranger
Tim Holtz Halloween ephemera & charms


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