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Thursday, 16 April 2015

Tales from the Coop Mini Album - Thursday 16th April 2015

Hello Friends,

Today I want to share two projects I have made using Eileen Hull's dies for Sizzix. I really enjoy creating projects that are tactile and dimensional. I love stamping and I really love dies...they open up a whole new avenue of creative possibilities. I was first introduced to Eileen Hull's dies by my blog friend Anne Redfern and her fabulous creations and in turn was led to Eileen's Art with Heart Challenge, which I really look forward to taking part in every month. I love Eileen's dies, they are so  versatile and I always have so many ideas rolling around in my head when I use them!

I was thrilled when Eileen invited me to post as her Featured Fan this week and what a time I had creating these two projects especially for Eileen's blog.

My first creation is something from the heart. I love animals of all kinds and we keep hens as pets: they are the most uplifting little critters we've ever owned, with their comical natures.Watching them as they go about their foraging, clucking softly to each other is so relaxing. Over the eight years we have been keeping hens, the only downside has been that they are not long livers and I have so many photos on my computer that I wanted to put into a proper record, but with a twist.

Eileen's Mini Album die is ideal for a photo journal. This die allows the  creation of a thin or thicker book and I wanted to create a really chunky journal to capture the lives of all our hens, other garden visitors and flowers right up to fact it is so chunky, I will soon be starting the next volume!

I wanted it to appear quite rustic: a mixture of photos, my own sketches, stamped images and journalling. The album was die cut using grey board, given a base coat of gesso and finished with a dull pink chalk paint. I used a honeycomb stencil with wild honey distress paint on the cover, ( just very faintly) and stamped the hens and nest, heat embossing the images. The lettering is from Tim Holz's Alphabetical die set, inked with Vintage Photo. I added metal edgers to the corners, die  cut flowers and then button brads on front and back to hold the ribbon to tie the book when closed.

I used Eileen's own tutorial for making pages by folding 12x12 card into half and then quarters and placing the long fold just short of the last score-line on the die. This gives two sets of pages. I inked the edges of each page with wild honey distress ink to give it a more vintage appearance.

The pages were bound to the book using string, it is really easy to add more...if there were room...

Now for the inside: I decided to try it out on 'our girls' but only one of them really took an interest and she was our young hen, Tilda. I guess that Cara, our oldest girl had seen it all before!

 On this page I used Eileen's bird die from 'Birds and Butterflies', the wings lift, so I  wrote a little message underneath. I took so many photos of the project and will share more on my blog tomorrow.

I love the 'feel' of the finished album, it's lovely and chunky to handle. It isn't completely finished, I aim to fill the pages with more sketching and journalling, plus there are a few pages left at the end to add some photos from this post.

Summer Colour

My second creation is  very summery and was made using a mixture of Eileen's dies.

 The Watering Can die has fast become one of my favourites and I think it will make a fabulous alternative to a birthday card for gardening friends, or can be used all year round for decor makes - autumn and  Christmas for starters.

 I used grey board again and a base coat of white gesso. I wanted a 'Country Style' so I sponge painted the main area with salty ocean distress paint and coloured the handle and spout with green and yellow promarker. I drew the checker pattern on the base and along the top, then coloured with pens and stencilled the flower.

The bee, butterfly and ladybird are all stamped images and the flowers from various dies. I attached them to thin sticks (which I had coated with wild honey distress paint). I added the bird die, I love the way the wings open. All were arranged using a florist's oasis for stability.

This project is in two parts, I wanted to create a garden scene, so I made a little storage pot using the medium size from Eileen's 3D Cube die, painted and decorated to match the watering can. I also die-cut plant signs and 'bloom' from the 'Phrase, Bloom and Plant Markers' die set and added lettering from the Tim Holz alphabetical die set. The project had to have some tools to complete it, so I die cut these from Eileen's Gardening Tools set. I coloured these using walnut stain distress ink and brushed pewter distress stain.

I do hope you have enjoyed my projects today, please ask if you have any questions. Thank you for looking and have a great Friday!

Happy Crafting!
Carole X


  1. Morning Carole,
    Wow! what wonderful projects they are fabulous. A work of love.

    1. Thank you so much Lydia, they certainly were, X

  2. So many amazing projects Carole! Do you ever take time to eat and sleep?? Wonderful spring creations! hugs :)

    1. Ha :) You made me smile as I wonder the same about you, lol...thank you for your comment X

    2. Right Carole I don't know where my first comment went? I did have problems getting to see all of your project, but got enough to see enough of it, it's a wonderful record of all your pets. Love your other projects too. Hazel x. Here's hoping it works this time.

  3. Carole I have had problems seeing all of your project, but I have got must of it now, it's stunning work and a great record of all your pets. Love your other projects too. Hazel,x

    1. Thank you Hazel, oddly I had a problem seeing it on my iPad last night, but fine on the desktop! X

  4. 2 wonderful projects< the hen album is very nice, so full of nice memories and a treasure to cherish forever, so well done. love the different pages that you showed, the little bird and the sentiment on the wing is so nice. And I like the photo with the hens!!! would love to meet them and pet them! thanks for the link to eileen's blog too. the watering can is so cute too! great post and lots of loving work here! congrats!

  5. Hi Carole,
    congrats on being asked to make something for the blog.
    oh Carole what a superb album, and such a lovely keepsake.
    So superbly designed too.
    Your other creation is wonderful too, and you are so clever, and a very creative person.
    Lots of crafty love. Jenny L.

  6. Hi Carole well done! I love all your projects but especially the mini book, it looks great and the chicken agrees lol!
    Have a great weekend and happy crafting. Thanks for the visit, Angela x

  7. This is such a fabulous post Carole, you do wonders with Eileen's dies, you work your magic and create such beautiful pieces! I love your beautiful album, the heart on the front and the lovely name you chose. Seeing Tilda looking at it made me smile! The watering can with the flowers, bird, butterfly, bee and ladybird are fabulous. The herb box looks incredible too, I think it might just be my favourite - I love them all though. Wonderful work, as always! Hugs, Anne xx

    1. Thank you so much Anne and thanks for introducing me to Eileen's dies XX

  8. Hi Carole, all beautiful projects - so very you! I especially love the herb box - I think my Hubby might like that! The Album made me smile, chunky is right, its fun to have all your memories in one pretty place. Cx

  9. I love all your projects because you are so darn talented, but I think Tales from the Coop ranks up there as a favorite!!

  10. Lol, loving Cara and Tilda paging through such special memories of their lives in their home garden. An awesome project. Just adore the embossed nest with eggs on the front. And wow, your second project with the garden theme is just so creative. Loving all the fun things associated with a garden.
    {Doing Life – my personal blog}

    1. Thank you Desire...I still can't believe the 'girls' stepped up to the challenge, lol X