Saturday, December 20, 2014



Santa Claus will be making his rounds in just FIVE nights!  I am so excited for his yearly visit and I know four little ones, namely my grandchildren, who are about to POP with the anticipation of Santa and his reindeer!

We are officially halfway through the Compendium of Curiosities III Challenges!  Can you believe that?  I hope that you've been playing along with us and have learned some new techniques or things about Tim Holtz products that you may not have already known. The entries have been so above and beyond amazing!  
Keep 'em coming!! 

Challenge 18 is not a technique challenge.  It is a product challenge so I will be able to share some techniques and ideas with you in creating Christmas tags and fold outs you can use with your POCKET PAGES.  Turn to page 36 in your Compendium of Curiosities III books and let's get started ...

I created these special vintage Christmas tags to celebrate my grand daugher's visits with Santa since her birth in 2011. I think that Tim's Christmas Wishes Worn Cover book and his Pocket Pages are the absolute perfect choice for creating and storing these little keepsakes for her. 

The pocket pages are so versatile.  You can use them as individual pocket pages or you can combine them together to create fold outs. You can also create tabbed tags or paper flaps that really create lots of extra interest as you thumb through the pages.  For this project, I combined two pocket pages where you see Tim's Merriment Tissue Tape.  But there is more to combining pages than just be sure to check out Tim's Compendium of Curiosities III book for more details! I also made a flip up that you can see here.  I will explain more about that later.

I used #8 manila tags as my pattern to cut tags out of Tim's Merriment Christmas Paper Stash. They are vintage double sided papers primarily in reds and white and I love them! I also used several of Tim's die cuts with plain grungeboard to create "frames" for my pictures. Glitters, Stickles, Tissue Tape, Tinsel Twine, Gesso and Glossy Accents provide that extra festive glitz and dimension that takes your tags from flat to WOW ... yet they can still easily fit inside the pockets.

My first tag is Katie's first Christmas.  The basic tag is Tim's vintage red bells on white paper from his Merriment Paper Stash.  I added Pine Needles Distress Ink to give more of that traditional holiday green and red look.  I accented the edges with a Gold Paint Dabber and set it to the side while I created my photo and frame piece. 

I glued Tim's red and white polka dot paper to a piece of plain grungeboard using Matte Medium.  Then I die cut the Mini Cabinet Card and distressed the cut edges using of the grungeboard and also the paper edges with Wendy Vecchi's Vermillion Archival Ink.

Next I sized my photograph to fit on the Cabinet Card and backed it with a slightly larger piece of kraft paper.  I added the lacy metallic photo corners to the picture and then added Platinum Stickles on top of the kraft paper border.  I added pop dots to the underside so that when I attached the photo to the Cabinet Card, it would have just a little more dimension.  I later punched a hole in the center top and added a piece of left over Tinsel Twine to add some more vintage sparkle to the top of this tag.

I added bits of Tim's Holiday Greens cut out of various green cardstock underneath where the photograph would go.  Then I popped the photograph in place. I die cut "Merry Christmas" (from Tim's Holiday Words Script) out of red cardstock and dabbed over it with my Gold Paint Dabber.  I ended up not using "Merry" because I didn't have enough room for it. "Christmas" got a little lost in the patterned background of the paper so I decided to add a strip of torn dictionary paper slightly distressed with Picket Fence (to soften the text) then Scattered Straw to age the paper and Gathered Twigs Distress Inks at the torn edges.  

 I glued it into place and using Glossy Accents, I glued "Christmas" on top of the paper. The dictionary paper provides a nice contrast and helps "Christmas" pop.  I also added a Mirrored Star to dot the "i".  I added Tim's Alpha Parts "2011" numbers at the bottom using Glossy Accents.  They are dabbed on the top with a Gold Paint Dabber and then given a light coat of Glossy Accents to add even more dimension. 

And here is the finished 2011 tag.  As you can see in this picture, Katie wasn't sure what to think of that bearded man in the red suit. 

The next year is 2012.  Katie absolutely wanted no part of Santa Claus this year as you will see on the finished tag picture. I found the beautiful Victorian "Santa Claus" text on one of Tim's Merriment papers and decided that would be the perfect background for this tag.  Again I distressed the tag with Scattered Straw and Pine Needles Distress Ink and edged the tag using a Gold Paint Dabber.  I later added Platinum Stickles to some of the art work at the top of the tag to add more sparkle (as you will see in the final pictures).

The frame for this tag is cut from Tim's Mini Baroque die cut and embossed with his Demask embossing folder.  I then painted the plain grungeboard with Red Pepper Adirondak Paint and when dry, I lightly touched over the frame with gold paint on my finger.

I used more of the die cut Holiday Greens behind the frame only this time, I also added white Gesso and a tiny bit of Stickles Fine Diamond Glitter and glued them in place onto the tag background. Then I glued the picture and frame in place. 

I die cut a Tattered Curvy Banner out of cardstock and distressed is using Gathered Twigs Distress Ink and black just at the cut edges.  I stamped "2012" using Wendy Vecchi's Potting Soil Archival Ink and gave the banner a 3D effect by bending up the edges and gluing them together. 

Next I die cut a small reindeer and painted the plain grungeboard with Espresso Adirondak Paint. I scuffed up the surface using sand paper and distressed him with Gathered Twigs. I added a tiny little wreath using 2" of Tim's Tinsel Twine that was glued together and to the back of his neck using Glossy Accents. Next I added "snow" using a tooth brush and white Gesso on the reindeer and the wreath and then I added a tiny bit of the Diamond Glitter while the Gesso was still wet.  

And here is Katie's tag for 2012.  See what I mean about wanting no part of Santa?  On to 2013's tag ...

I created a fold up with this tag by adding more length to the tag when cutting it out.  That way, I could create a tab at the top that can fold under and be glued in place. The tag background is the story of 'Twas The Night Before Christmas in red and white.  

The beautiful Victorian looking frame is Tim's Ornate Frame die cut on plain grungeboard.  It is painted with Antique Linen Distress Paint.

 When dry, I covered the frame with Matte Medium and then sprinkled Stickles Diamond Fine Glitter over the entire frame.  If there is any Matte Medium that clogs a little in the intricate die cut, you can simply pick it out using Tim's Craft Knife.  It comes right off.

After removing the excess glitter, I gently heat set the glitter and the Matte Medium and then I lightly sprayed over the frame with Workable Fixative (as a sealer) so that the glitter won't continue to drop off.  It works really well and can be found at most craft stores and also at Walmart in their craft section.    

Then I glued the photograph in place under the frame and added some Silver Tinsel Twine that was lightly sprayed with Scattered Straw Distress Spray to take some of the sparkle off of the silver and add a goldish tint to the Tinsel Twine. 

Next I die cut "believe" from Tim's Holiday Words Script in red and also in an off white cardstock.  Then I added Platinum Stickles to the off white cardstock and let it dry.  Once dry, I used Glossy Accents to combine the red and stickled "believe" together.  I used two die cut stars; one painted in Red Pepper Paint, the other covered in Platinum Stickles and glued it in place to dot the "i" in "believe". I added "2013" from Tim's Alpha Parts and dabbed the tops with a Gold Paint Dabber across the top of the tag. 

Across the bottom, I added a piece of Tim's Silver Industrial border that I altered by using gold paint and my finger.  I wanted an antiqued gold look on that edging and the gold paint worked perfectly.  Across the top, where I scored the tag to create a tab, I added a piece of Christmas Tissue Tape.

And here is the finished 2013 tag.  As you can see in this picture, Katie, while still a bit guarded, managed to give Santa a hug when he came to our house to visit and read the Christmas Story to the grandchildren last Christmas Eve.

Here is the beginnings of the backside of the 2013 tag which is also my fold up. (This backside was actually completed before I created the other more dimensional side of this tag). I added several layers of Picket Fence Distress Paint to soften the images of the paper.  Then I used Scattered Straw to age the tag and added Gathered Twigs around the edges.

I created my own background using Tim's Festive Stencil and a combination of Pine Needles, Festive Berries and Gathered Twigs Distress Inks to create the leaves, berries and pine cone design.  I think it looks like vintage Christmas wrapping paper!  I love it!  I also added Glossy Accents to the berries and pine cones to add a little shiny dimension and I used a dark brown permanent marker to add the "stems" of the berries.

I also added more vintage looking Christmas Tissue Tape and painted the backsides of the ornate frame and metallic border with the Gold Paint Dabber. The Tissue Tape that I've added on both sides of this flip up tag at the score line helps provide stability to that score line as the flap will be opened and closed.

It IS the most wonderful time of the year and a combination of Tim's Framed Alpha Parts (wonderful) and a label maker spells that out on this tag. I love the simplicity of this tag and yet how vintage it looks.

Once the back side of the fold up was complete, I simply added Scor Tape to the back side of my 2012 tag and attached them together. 

Here's a better look ...

And here is a look at the flip up in the down position.  You can also see Tim's Tissue Tape where I have joined the two pocket pages together.  The pocket pages can fold over to fit nicely into the Worn Covers Book yet be very interactive when you open the book.  

The Lovely Linda Coughlin of The Funkie Junkie Boutique is hosting this challenge.

Be sure to click on the link or her logo to visit her store! She is generously donating a $25.00 gift certificate to the winner of this challenge.  THANK YOU LINDA!  

And as always, Tim and Mario have so graciously donated lots and lots of Tim Holtz products that are given away in generous prize packages each challenge.  

Thanks for stopping by my blog! 

My Christmas wish for you is that you take time from all of the hustle and bustle to give thanks for all of your Christmases, past, present and future.  It is truly a gift to be surrounded by those you love.  Seek joy in the smallest of things and create beautiful and lasting memories!

Have a Merry, Merry Christmas!!

Saturday, December 6, 2014


Ho Ho Ho Everyone!  It's the first weekend in DECEMBER 
and time for the latest Compendium of Curiosities III Challenge.  

The lovely Linda Ledbetter of Studio L3 is hosting these challenges and we're all having so much fun sharing Tim Holtz' amazing techniques and products from his series of Compendium of Curiosities books with all of you.  There are two fabulous prizes given away with every challenge; one awarded by the Curiosity Crew (NOT an easy task) and the other a random winner.  If you're not already joining us, I hope you will!  It's a great way to meet new friends, learn all sorts of fun new things, share your art with others and maybe win some cool prizes! 

Turn to page 60 in your Compendium of Curiosities III book and check out Woodlands and Tinsel Twine.  It's so close to Christmas now and THE PERFECT time to use these products from Tim's Ideaology line. Since this is a product challenge and not a technique challenge, I can share all of my steps in creating my project this week!

I love this time of year and these particular products so much that I decided to make TWO pieces to share with you.  Since I'll be sharing all of the steps to create these, this post has lots of pictures.  So grab a cuppa hot cocoa and enjoy!

I totally LOVE making little vintage Christmas ornaments. The two ornaments I am sharing with you today remind me of ornaments that hung on my childhood Christmas trees. Ah...what sweet memories! My globe ornament had an angel in it and it was given to me by my paternal grandparents. Oh what I would give to have that ornament now! The house is also similar to little village houses and ornaments we used to have.

Both the house ornament and the glass dome ornament are from Melissa Frances. The house measures approximately 4" x 2" (just the house) the base measures 5" x 3".  They are just plain chipboard that you can paint, stain or cover with paper.  For this newest addition to the neighborhood, I decided to use papers from Tim's Merriment Christmas paper pad.

The glass dome ornament measures approximately 3" square.  I decided to use these two Melissa Frances items to show you that you can use Tim's products to give a real vintage charm to almost anything!  His Woodland Trees and Tinsel Twine really perk up any Christmas home decor piece you are making.

Let's start with the glass dome instructions.

I began by painting the plain chipboard base (front and back) with Ranger's White Gesso and heat setting it. Once that was dry, I lightly distressed it with Vintage Photo Distress Ink to age that stark white finish. Then I painted some Matte Multi Medium in a circle on the base top and laid down a piece of "snow blanket" (you can find this at any craft store this time of year) that I cut into a circle to lay on the base. I also lightly sprayed it with some honey spray to age it. This snow blanket has little silver specks already in it for an even more vintage look. 

 **Important note:  Use the glue on the chipboard piece rather than the backside of the "snow" before pressing into place.  If you are using a white glue, even though it is supposed to dry clear, if you dab the glue on the back side of the "snow" and then press it into place, you will still see where you have dabbed the glue.  It is much better if you smoothly smear the glue out onto the chipboard surface and then press it into place. No gobs of glue visible!

 I had a little Santa candle that I found at Home Goods recently while I was in California.  I cut off the tea light style base and that made Santa the perfect height to fit under my glass dome. Next I used one of Tim's smaller Woodlands Trees from the Mini Tree Lot Collection to stand proudly next to Santa under my glass dome.  

To give this tree a different look, I masked the middle and top of the tree.  

Next I sprayed the bottom with Peeled Paint Distress Spray and removed the masking tape. 

 When the green section was dry, I masked the middle and bottom (green part) of the tree and sprayed the top with Fired Brick Distress Spray. 

 I love the candy cane effect! Then I added some Glossy Accents (using my finger) to the tree by tapping it onto the branch tips and I sprinkled Ranger's Diamond Fine Glitter over the Glossy Accents.  Man oh man!  TALK ABOUT SPARKLE!!!  It's amazing how much PAZAZZ you get out of just a tiny bit of that glitter! 

I wanted to add a little string of beading to the Christmas tree but I didn't have any silver chain.  No worries!  I simply changed the color of an antiqued bronze ball chain to silver by dabbing it with my Distress Antique Pewter Paint Dabber.  Easy peasy!  

Once dry, I hot glued the chain at the back of the tree top, circled it around the tree and hot glued it at the bottom of the tree. I had hot glued a silver star to the top of the tree but later had to remove it because it was too tall to fit under the dome. (I also had to cut off the wooden bottom of the Woodlands Tree for it to fit under the dome.) 

I hot glued the tree in place to the base and then hot glued Santa in his place next to the fancy tree. I added "Merry Christmas" in front with dabs of hot glue 

and a small present to the backside of Santa and the tree. The present is just two little stacked pieces of plain chipboard wrapped in a scrap of Tim's Merriment paper and tied with a red bow. 

Next I glued the globe to the base with Glossy Accents and held it in place for a minute or so to be sure it was holding.  I used a piece of holly garland that I've had for a long time (also found at a large craft store) and wrapped some of Tim's Silver Tinsel Twine around it. That Silver Tinsel Twine really livened up the holly garland!  I then started at the back of the dome and spot glued the garland all the way around the base using hot glue.  

 Finally, I added a piece of Tim's red Winter Tinsel Twine at the top of my dome as a tree hanger and a "Christmas Wishes" Tidings Token dangling from the hanger with a Jump Ring (seen in the photo at the top of this post).

On to the miniature house instructions.

This little house can be used as a Christmas tree ornament, under a glass dome as part of a little Christmas scene, or in a little neighborhood. 

I began by laying the house pieces face up on top of my paper selections and tracing around them.  Then I cut them out and using some matte medium, I glued the papers in place. 

Once dry, I used Tim's Kraft Knife and a cutting pad to trim away the excess paper.
Next I added my embellishments to the house while it was still flat. I love these little metal pieces! They were sent to me by Gaby; a dear friend in Germany who does some amazing art! We actually became friends through blogging so that is what I mean when I say that you're missing out if you're not getting involved with the Compendium Challenges! Anyway ... back to my little Christmas house ...

I chose these sweet little antique bronze metal pieces that Gaby sent to me and I painted them with Tim's Antique Linen Distress Paint.  Once dry, I gave them a quick spritz of Biscotti Perfect Pearls Mist to give them a sparkly sheen. I glued them in place on my house with Glossy Accents.

I added some Platinum Stickles accents to the metal pieces and also to the corrugated fence and the paper window and door frames (painted with Antique Linen) that would later be glued into place. The Platinum Stickles can take on lots of different colors, primarily gold or an antique silver and it compliments anything. I love how just a small touch of the stickles can add such a festive yet vintage feeling to so many things. When the Stickles were dry, I glued the windows and door in place using 1/8" double sided Scor Tape.

Once I was happy with the embellishments on my house, I glued it together at the back corner using hot glue to firmly hold it in place. Next I hot glued the roof in place. 

The roof of my house would normally be pretty plain but with Tim's Winter Tinsel Twine collection, adding some green Tinsel Twine along the roof life really sets it off and adds that holiday sparkle! I added the Tinsel Twine with a bead of hot glue and worked in little sections at a time. 

I used Tim's new Pine Twine to create a tiny wreath to place above the door of my house and I also created a garland to hang along the picket fence. 

 I fashioned some little bows out of red and green Christmas ribbon and hot glued them in place on my Pine Twine. I added sparkles of Platinum Stickles right onto the Pine Twine. Amazing how much just a touch of Stickles here and there adds to the Pine Twine!

Next I added the "snow" base onto the piece of plain chipboard that was included in the set.  I started by painting all sides of the base with Picket Fence Distress Paint and letting it dry.  Once dry, I added a piece of "snow blanket" just as I had done earlier on my glass dome ornament. This time, I cut a piece of the "snow blanket" a little bigger than the base. Once it was glued in place, I cut around the base to get rid of the excess snow blanket.  

Time to add snow to the roof!  I cut a piece from the snow blanket about the size of the roof and laid it on top of the roof.  Then I began snipping away at the snow blanket so that I had some snow on the roof but it was not completely covered.  I also cut a hole in the center for the ornament hanger to push through. I glued the snow on the roof in place just as I had done on the base, pressing until it was firmly in place. I hot glued the little wreath in place above the door. 

I decided to add a bit more of a vintage feeling to my ornament so I added some more of Tim's green Tinsel Twine from the Winter Collection completely around the outside edge of the base. I glued the twine in place with a bead of hot glue, working in sections just as I had done with the roof line.

My house was "built" and it was time to put the little ornament kit all together.  I hot glued the picket fence to the right side of the base.  Then I hot glued the house in place on top of the snow base. Time to add Tim's Woodlands tree to the left of the house!


I used another of the smaller trees from Tim's Woodlands Mini Tree Lot.  They are cream colored so you can make them any color you want.  I love that!  I cut off the base of the tree so that it would not be quite so tall. This time I sprayed the tree first with Shabby Shutters Distress Stain followed by spritzes of Peeled Paint Distress Stain.  Once dry, I added some Glossy Accents (using my finger) to the tips of the tree and sprinkled it with Ranger's Diamond Fine Glitter. Next I added little touches of White Embossing Paste and sprinkled a tag more glitter over it while wet. Once dry, I hot glued the tree into place on the snow base. Next I added little "ornaments" to the tree using Candy Cane Stickles that I simply squeezed onto the tree in a little round ball shape.  

While the "ornaments" on the tree were drying, I found a tiny reindeer that I had in my stash of Christmas stuff and added a little snow to her back using White Embossing Paste and the Diamond Glitter.  Then I hot glued her into place next to the tree in the front yard. 

I stuck the ornament hanger (included with the ornament kit) in place. To the back of the roof I hot glued another of my Christmas stash stuff; a plastic red script "Merry Christmas". I love the vintage look it adds!

Finally, to give an even more vintage look, I lightly sprayed areas of my ornament with spray adhesive and gently sprinkled them Mica Flakes "snow". I love that finished look that the Mica Flakes give and when I look at these little ornaments, I am taken back to when I was a little girl.  I remember those Mica Flakes sprinkled on Christmas ornaments and some decorations to give that look of vintage snow.  I'm so glad that that snow is still available.  I usually buy a box or two when I run across it this time of year.

I just keep adding to my Christmas collection of new handmade "goodies" this year!  These little ornaments are so much fun to make and display and they have so much more character than I can capture with the camera!

Now it's YOUR turn to create something using Tim's Woodlands trees and Tinsel Twine. Then link up to our challenge and join the fun!  This challenge's sponsor are the wonderful people of Inspiration Emporium who are offering a $50.00 gift certificate to one of our lucky winner. Thank you Inspiration Emporium for your generous prize!
 And as always, there is a wonderful selection of Tim's products awaiting our other lucky winner. This generous prize package was donated by Tim and Mario and all of us at  The Compendium of Curiosities Challenge THANK THEM for their support!

Good luck everybody!!