This is a unique challenge blog where we are inspired by and focus on the Vintage; shabby; mixed-media; art journaling; industrial, timeworn and steampunk genres and encompass the talent, flair, expertise and ideas of many artists that we are inspired by. We welcome all types of projects - cards, journaling, assemblage, layouts, albums, atcs, altered art in fact whatever you want to share (as long as it is in good taste).

Friday 24 March 2017

I can't wait to introduce you to ...........

Welcome everyone, I am so excited to be able to introduce you to the very lovely and amazing ...........

Eileen Hull.

Eileen agreed to be our AVJ Guest Creative Guide for March and it is such a pleasure to have her here. Without a do let's go see what Eileen has made for us all.


I was very honored to be asked to join A Vintage Journey for their birthday celebration. It’s always a treat to see what Brenda and her talented team creates! 

The Wild Roses Journal I made was a fun experiment. My friend Ann Butler has a line of iridescent paints with Earth Safe Finishes and I had been waiting for a chance to use them. I decided to make a book using my new Sizzix Journal die, being released any day now! This is already one of my favorite dies because it is a blank canvas just waiting for you to put your style on it.

I started by running the die through the machine with mat board twice- cutting two covers, latches, labels and tabs (I wound up only using the covers on this project). The Journal is a ScoreBoards die which means it is specially designed to cut and score thick material like matboard and chipboard- anything up to 1/16”. I love mat board because it is so sturdy and the smooth surface accepts inks, paints, and mists really well. 

I laid my two covers out and treated the surface of the mat board with Earth Safe Finishes Gel Medium. On top of that I dry brushed Lagoon and Limelight Iridescents on both sides of the covers. Off to a good start! Then I spread some Wendy Vecchi white embossing paste over a floral Prima stencil and let that dry.

While the covers were drying, I decided to make my 3D flowers. I used the Heart & Soul Flower, Spring Leaves and new Stitchy Flowers and cut stacks of them from crinoline, coffee filters and felt. I layered them and secured the centers with a brad. Then starting with the inside petals, I scrunched each one into the flower center until all were wadded up and looking quite unremarkable. Then for the fun- fluffing! Next thing I knew there were a bunch of nice fluffy flowers. I colored some of them with sprays I had made from my Clearsnap ColorBox Blends ink and left a couple just plain white. I also inked the leaves and set them aside. 

Next I added gold Deco Art Metallic Lustre Wax Finish on top of the Journal cover, using a piece of dry wall tape as a stencil. I dusted some gold metallic powder on top of the whole cover with a paintbrush to make it sparkle. (We found this gigantic jar when we were going through my mother-in-law’s house after she died. I have no idea what it was meant to be used for).

Once the covers were dry, I glued the center tabs together to assemble the Journal cover, using binder clips to keep them together as they dried. (You could also stitch the spine together or use hot glue.)

I decided to add a twisted wire word, and since it’s spring, “bloom” seemed appropriate. I used my Sizzix Twist & Style tool to twist some soft aluminum wire into a perfect coil, them shaped the word to fit across the Journal. It was stapled to the front of the Journal with the Tiny Attacher. 

I glued some white cheesecloth down and then placed the flowers on the bottom of the Journal.

Still needed some additional elements though… lately I have been finding mismatched vintage earrings and bracelets in thrift stores and adding them to my boxes and books. So I went to a jar of bling I had recently acquired and added a gold leaf pin. I noticed that a few rhinestones were missing- no matter… there were extra crystal beads in the jar too. I glued the crystals over the gaps and it looked fine. I also found a library file card for an artistic work called “Wild Roses”. It seemed to be the perfect addition along with two gold letter “r’s” (for roses!).

My friend Jenny Marples had used some kraft packing paper to create inserts for a Journal she had made and I really liked how that looked. So thanks Jenny- I borrowed your idea :-) I crumpled a large sheet of brown kraft paper, smoothed it out and folded and cut the sheet into pages 8 1/2” x 8”. I folded the signature in half and sewed down the center on my sewing machine.

Now it was time to add the gold metallic elastic to the book. I wove it from the inside of the cover through the top left hole, then through the top right hole, brought it down through the bottom right hole and through the bottom left hole, and formed a rectangle with the elastic. The elastic should be tied so there is enough tension to keep the inserts in the book but not so tight there is no give.

The pages have such a cool feel to them as you page through the book! I haven’t had time to write in it yet, but my plan is to gesso the pages and use them to practice my lettering in.

Thanks so much for letting me be part of your crafty community- Happy Birthday, A Vintage Journey! Best wishes for many more :-)


Wow What a fabulous journal Eileen with beautiful colours and embellishments, perfect as a practice book for your lettering. I think so many of us are looking forward to when the die for this journal will be available - hopefully very soon now. 
Thank you again for taking time out in your busy schedule to make this project we really appreciate it.

Look out everyone in your local stockists for the die being on the shelves or ready for you at your favourite on-line store. 


Don't forget our current 'All Aboard' challenge is still running and we've had lots of lovely entries - are you one of them?

Take care and have a wonderful weekend.

hugs Brenda and the Creative Guides. xxx


  1. WOW this is stunning! I love the colour and wonderful embellishments.
    Linda xxx

  2. It's so beautiful! Love the colours, the awesome textures, the fab flowers and embellishments. Thank you for sharing xx

  3. This is such a gorgeous journal Eileen. The background is stunning and the colours so eye catching. I love your flowers, such a perfect embellishment for your journal. Wonderful piece. The lettering is fantastic. Tracy x

  4. What a gorgeous journal - fabulous texture on the cover, and I love those crinkled pages.
    Alison x

  5. So thrilled to have Eileen as our Guest today, your journal is stunning! Love, love the gorgeous colour tones and the lovely texture you created. The piece of jewellery was such a great addition and your flowers, as always are beautiful. Hugs, Anne xx

  6. Welcome Eileen and thank you so very much for sharing this amazing journal with us!!! So much to love about the cover you created! Love the colours, those paints look amazing! The flowers are stunning and I totally adore the twisted wire word! The kraft paper pages make for the perfect pages! I so can't wait for the die to land on our shores, there is nothing I love more than little journals like this and the idea to have one to practice lettering is genius!! Off to search for some metallic elastic now, that makes for such a great way of binding it.... Thanks so much for all the inspiration!!

  7. Welcome Eileen, lovely to have you join us and what a fabulous project. There is so much excitement about this journal die and wonderful to see this design.
    Love all your embellishing! Nikki,X

  8. Welcome Eileen. Its such a joy to have you join us as a Guest Designer. Your journal is fabulous- lovely colours and texture and your flowers and twisted wire word are so wonderfully crafted. Thank you for sharing.
    Have a great weekend Amanda x

  9. Hi Eileen x lovely to have you here today and I love your journal x wonderful cover details and the colours/embellishments look fabulous.
    TFS and best wishes
    Annie x

  10. Thanks everyone for your kind comments- so happy to be part of A Vintage Journey!

  11. Gosh, this is beautiful Eileen! thanks so much for joining us at AVJ as a guest designer! Love the colors, stenciling, blooms on this wonderful journal! Julia xx

  12. Welcome, Eileen! Your journal is gorgeous! What fabulous colors and texture, and that word Bloom is a lovely embellishment! That jar of gold metallic powder sure does have me curious! Thank you for sharing your lovely art with us!

  13. fabulous journal Eileen!!! I like the kraft paper pages too.

  14. Eileen, what a treat to see you here at A Vintage Journey, thank you so much for joining us! I love your Bloom journal, gorgeous embellished covers and love your beautiful flowers you created to adorn it. Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful creation and can't wait to get my hands on your fabulous Journal die! Deb xo

  15. Absolutely gorgeous Eileen! LOVE all the details and color! 💗😍

  16. What a gorgeous journal Eileen and what a thrill to have you here as a very special guest at A Vintage Journey! Love the floral vintage theme and that incredible jar of gold metallic luster from your Mum. Can't wait to get my journal die!!! xx