Thursday, December 1, 2022

Christmas Matchbox Tray

Hello Friends,

I'm back at my desk today after a wonderful week long holiday!  Happy to spend some much needed time away from my desk and with my husband.  We had a wonderful time traveling together.

I have made many Matchbox Trays over the years. So when Tim mentioned he would love to have one for the idea-ology Live, I knew I could do it before I had to get it to the mail the next day.  The challenge was on!  Needless to say, I do not have step-out photos since I was working at breakneck speed, but I do have close-ups of each section.

This is a large Vignette Tray (6 x12").  I used Christmas Backdrops paper to cover the box, inside and out.  
Problem: Backdrop paper is only 6 x 10" and the tray is 12" long!
Solution: Cut the paper (small poinsettias) into strips so the paper is actually only around the edge of the tray, not behind the Matchboxes at all.  You can see what I mean if you go to my Christmas Tray 2020 - there is a shot of the tray before I put the Matchboxes in.
The plaid tape on the lip edge is from the Christmas Design Tape pack. I love the diagonal plaid tape and it worked perfectly with the green stripe paper on the inside.

You need one set of 6 Matchboxes to make the project.  All Matchboxes were separated into boxes and drawers. The boxes were covered in different Backdrop papers and the inside of the drawers were painted gold with Dina Wakley paint in Ancient (it's my favorite).
All "snow" used in the Matchboxes is white cotton batting.  I pulled small pieces of the batting and added to each box with tweezers.  A small amount of Collage Medium holds it in place.  I also used a small paintbrush to add CM to the top of the batting, then sprinkled with Mica Flakes and sometimes Rock Candy Glitter. to create some texture and sparkle.
This is the die I use for all the greens in the project.  Before I started, I cut about 8-10 in green cardstock and covered all of them with Rock Candy Glitter.  Then I just set them on my worktable, ready to go! 

All words used in the tray were cut from the Christmas Sticker Book.

Box 1 -
The green piece is from the Junk Drawer Baseboard pack...Don't forget about products that are in the everyday line that can be used for Christmas like this piece!  There is a number printed on the piece, but I covered it with the 25 from the Christmas Ephemera pack. 
A small Mirrored Star and a bit of red and white string, finish it off.

Box 2 - 
Slightly bend the small calendar (ephemera pack) to fit into the Matchbox. Use a little Collage Medium to secure it to the box.  Add stripe tape around the edge of the box.
Spray the tree with Bundled Sage Distress Spray Stain and paint the wood base with Lumberjack Plaid Distress Paint.  Add the tree and a Tiny Bell to box with Collage Medium.  
Box 3 -
Use Foundry Wax to make Santa gold.  Super easy...shake it up till you hear the mixing ball, squeeze out about a dime size, paint it on quickly, heat with an embossing gun. Once cooled, add a bit of glue to the "fur" and sprinkle with Rock Candy Glitter. Let dry.
NOTE: This is a new larger Santa - he does not fit into the Matchbox as easy as the previous Santa so I had to notch out the Matchbox around his hat.  The older Santa was smaller and fit right into the Matchbox. You can tell the difference in the packs, because the smaller Santa was sold in a 2 pack (TH93747).  The current larger Santa is sold with the Snowman TH94301.  If you click on the link at the top of the 2020 tray, you can see the difference in size.

Box 4 -
Flair button added to gold seal (die cut with metallic paper)
Green Plaid tails are from the Sticker Book.
This is the LABLES die I used for the gold seal.  Its old die but still available!

Box 5 - 
Rub white paint over Deco Frame, then rub off excess paint. Let dry.
Add frame with stamps (ephemera pack) in the background to Matchbox.
Add Holiday Greetings banner (ephemera pack) to frame.
Use any red Alcohol Ink to color the rhinestones on the Snowflake.  Add snowflake and some die cut greenery to the frame. 

Box 6 -
Cover Bubbles with Glossy Accents and drop them one by one into the Rock Candy Glitter jar. Shake the jar to coat.  Remove to a disposable plate or paper to dry.
Once dry, pile into Matchbox using Collage Medium to glue them together.  I will take awhile for this box to dry, so set it aside for a few hours.  The Collage Medium dries clear.
Add small label the word snow to the background.
Box 7 - 
Use Collage Medium to adhere two Drippy Candles to a Wood Slice. Set aside to dry. NOTE: I used my Tonic scissors to cut off the back of the Wood Slice so it would fit into the box.
Add a small label with words to the background - this one says "Shines Bright".
Add candles to the Matchbox with Collage Medium.

Box 8 -
Cut 2  small pieces of Pine Twine. Wind both into circles and hot glue at the ends, create two separate circles.  Combine the two circles with a just bit of hot glue to create a fatter/thicker wreath.
Wipe Stickles Glitter Glue over the wreath and dry with a heat tool.  The heat will not melt the wreath material, but will make it move and become more realistic looking.  It sounds strange but it very cool to see.
Add the bow and bell with hot glue.
Box 9 -
Blue background is from the same idea-ology Junk Drawer pack used in Box 1.
The gold piece has the look of a pinecone but it is really a flower from the Heirloom Floral pack that I covered in Foundry Wax.
The greens next to the flower is just a piece of Pine Twine with added Tiny Bell and some string.
Don't forget the red label and words, "peace on earth".

Box 10 - 
Color the Salvage Deer with Walnut Stain Crayon. I scribbled the crayon on my mat, then picked it up the a slightly damp crayon and brushed over the deer.
You could add more Pine Twine around the deers neck but I went with silver Tinsel.  I did trim the Tinsel inside and out, before adding to the Deer with hot glue.
Box 11 - 
Cut up a few Confections sticks to fill a bottle from the Corked Vials pack.
Glue three Confections sticks together and wrap with string so they will stand up in the corner of the box.  The sticks and the round candies have been covered in Rock Candy Glitter.
Stamp in the background is from the Ephemera pack.
I did wrap Design Tape around this box before adding the candy with Collage Medium.
NOTE: The tiny red berries used in this project are from Hobby Lobby (they come in a bag of 1 million - you will only need to buy one bag per lifetime!).

Box 12 - 
The tree image is from one of the Christmas Backdrops papers and the candy stripe is a piece from the Ephemera Pack.  
And there you have it!
This is one of those projects I like to create because each little scene stands alone, yet when put together, they make a wonderful whole.  If I hadn't have had the short time frame for mailing, I could have made a tiny box a day.  No mater, I'm happy with what I created and I hope you will give it a go.

Now carry on,

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Holiday Greetings

 Hello Friends,

Popping in with a quick explanation of putting my Holiday Greetings project together.  Many people thought this was a card, but it is really a wood Vignette Divided Box that I flipped over (7 x 10").  So this project is big enough to hang on our wall!  There are lots of choices to be made when building the background and the tree, based on what you have on hand.  So lets get started and I'll give you some options as we go along.

This is how I started. I turned the Vignette Divided Box over and just laid out as many pieces of the Christmas 2022 ephemera pack as possible.  I knew I wanted to use my favorite piece from the pack as the base (or trunk) of the tree.  Then I started laying them out in order of size from large to small.  I knew I would not use all of the strips, but this gave me the possible order to put them in.  At this point, I had not even thought to add the Scallop Etcetera Trim, so that is not pictured here.

I moved all the ephemera pieces to the side (still in size order) and began working on the background.  I created a stamped background using Lumberjack Plaid Distress Ink, but if you want to simplify the project, you could just use paper from the Christmas Backdrops paper pack.
I cut a piece of Distress Mixed Media Heavystock paper to fit the back of the Vignette Divided Box. Then stamped with Lumberjack Plaid Distress Ink.  I used two stamp sets to create the background: Exquisite (floral and text) and Dots & Floral (polka dots)
The floral stamp images were added first, then the polka dots and finally the script.
I added multiple patterned papers to the edge of the Divided Box, followed by the stamped paper to the top (there is a better photo of the side of the box at the end).
I inked most of the ephemera with Gathered Twigs (still not knowing which ones I was going to use). Then set them aside while I prepared the scalloped trims.
The Etcetera Trims have two widths - I used both, then cut to length.

These are mine, but you can cut any length you need.  I just cut off the scallops I didn't need with my Tonic scissors.
I found that I got the best stamped image by adding a thin coat of Collage Medium over the dry paint.  Maybe it smooths out the painted surface? not sure, but it works.
Use Embossing ink on your stamp, press onto surface and add Lumberjack Plaid Embossing Glaze.  Tap off excess and emboss.
I will say, the other item I used with great success is the 'ole Embossing Magic Powder Bag.  I've used one of these for years and it works perfectly to get a clear image (the embossing particles only stick to the inked image).  Just pounce over the surface before stamping.  It's just that easy.
All three came out really good!
I had a few more things to add to the tree.
I added Clear Rock Candy to the large star before adding it over the red circle.  Both from the Baseboard pack.  The button is vintage and the snowflake is idea-ology.
The green label is from the ephemera pack and the 25 is from the Stampers Anonymous Department Store stamp set.
Now you can see how it came together.
As you can see, I didn't need as many ephemera strips as I thought I would to create the tree.  Adding the scallop trim change that.  The trims really helped to create dimension. I also used chipboard behind a few strips and 3D foam squares. 
The added holly is from the Ephemera Botanicals pack (a must have in my opinion).
The lace trim is vintage.
I added the silver Tinsel with hot glue (i gave it a trim on one side before gluing to the tree).
And you might notice that I added Snowfall Grit-paste to the top of the scallop trims.
Here you can see the dimension and the side of the project.
I had a fun time making this, since anything goes! You could make this tree 10 times and it could look different every time!

Now carry on,
(and happy holidays!)

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Small but Bright

Hello friends,

Looking back to last month when I created this small File Folder book. I had seen how Susie Heinz and many others were using our Linen Tape to bind books and I decided to try it with the Linen Christmas tape (love the plaid).  I also used Christmas Collage Paper to make a regular inline product, like File Folders, look a bit more Christmasy. So lets get started...

Here is the fished book with the belly band - I made that by sewing two pieces of green striped Wallpaper together to create a band long enough to wrap around the little book.  I added red stitching, eyelets, and some red ribbon to finish it off.
Once you slide the belly band off the book, you can see that there are file folders stacked up. 
In the next few photos, I'll show you how I created the structure, followed by photos of the finished book.
Cut pieces of Linen Tape and use to connect two 6" File Folders.
Repeat... so you end up with two sets with two File Folders each.
I worked with the File Folders like this till the very end, then connected them with a piece of Layers ephemera (I'll show you that part later).

The File Folders were too clean for the vintage look I was going for, so I began pressing each page into Gathered Twigs Distress Ink/water mix and drying with a heat tool.  You might not think the ink would stick to a coated surface but it will (you just need to be patient in the drying process).

Next, rip pieces of Christmas Collage Paper and add randomly over the pages of the book with Collage Medium.  Remember, Collage Medium needs to be under the paper and a coat over the top to smooth it out. Once dry, it's very easy to remove the excess paper, with a sanding block.
I set the pages aside to dry while I worked on choosing Paper Dolls and Snapshots (they come in the same bag #TH94290) to use on my pages.  I colored all but one of the images with Distress Watercolor Pencils.  If you would like to learn more about working with Watercolor Pencils on Paper Dolls, you can read my blog post HERE.

Before I show the pages, I'll let you in on a little secret.  I used Clippings stickers (found in the Christmas Sticker book) to create a poem that you can read as you turn the pages.  It is one of my favorite things, to add poetry to something I make. Since I'm not very articulate, I know I can depend on the stickers to give me the words.  Here is the poem I put together for this book.

Glowing red and Christmas green
Visions of delight
Our Hearts are now algow
Grace and light
Stand fixed in steadfast gaze,
Hear the carols sweet
With glad hearts, to you we say
of peace, good will towards men.

Pages 1 and 2
Watercolor Pencils on Page 1
Aged Mahogany Distress Crayon on Page 2. This was used because there is not (currently) an Aged Mahogany Watercolor Pencil. 
Page 1
Here is where the poem starts.
This Snapshot from the Paper Doll Pack was colored with Watercolor Pencils giving it a nostalgic feel.
Page 2
Here is the Aged Mahogany Distress Crayon in use.  The Crayon gives such a rich color of red and I needed their suits to be this color!
Other pieces from the Ephemera Pack and Layers Botanical pack + Label Stickers on the tabs.
Pages 3 and 4
Page 3
The card was sewn, then attached to the page with 1/4" Scor-tape.
Items in pocket are from Christmas Ephemera pack.
Round seal from the Christmas Sticker Book.
Page 4
Polka dots on the girls dress made with a POSCA paint pen.
The round label circle behind her head is from the Classic Labels Sticker sheets.
LOVE how the Collage Paper typography looks on the background of this page!
Pages 5 and 6
Stars from the Christmas Layers pack.
Page 6
Pages 7 and 8
This is the center - 2 file folders on the left, 2 file folders on the right.
The card with the wreath on it is holding the two side together.  
Because this is a small book, it is surprisingly stable with just the Layers Ephemera piece in the center. If the book was any taller it would need two pieces.
Page 7
Added holly from the Layers Christmas Botanical pack with added green Droplets.
Page 8
Poinsettias from Layers Botanical pack.
Pages 9 and 10
Page 9
Page 10
The Linen Tape at the top is holding a card that flips up once you turn the page.
Pages 11 and 12
Now you can see the card from the Layers Christmas pack.
Page 11 
Open to reveal a surprise.
Page 12
Dresses colored with Watercolor Distress Crayons
Page 13 and 14
Page 13
Again, another Snapshot from the Paper Dolls Christmas pack.
Page 14
And there you have it, one Christmas book complete.  I love the ease of using the File Folders since they are printed.  Only the added Collage Paper was needed to move them from everyday to Christmas.  I like that kind of flexibility!

Now carry on,