Friday, 8 November 2019

The Christmas Exhibition is now open...

Hey everyone...

Today, I'm sharing a project that I created for the Tim Holtz Christmas idea-ology Facebook Live and if you missed Tim or didn't get to see any of the amazing projects that were made by all the talented designers, then just click HERE. This release had so many fabulous new products and it's always such a honour to be asked to create with them and bring the pieces to life and this one was the first projects that I made and uses the new Tiny Lights that were in the release! I warn you, these are addictive and you will probably want to buy in bulk ~ I know I did!!

So, here we's time for the first of my three projects and today, I invite you to the Grand Christmas Exhibition!
So, let's start with the tray...

I took the largest of the vignette trays, they come in a set of 2 and I painted it all over using Candied Apple Distress Paint. You'll also noticed that there's a frame on the front of the box and this is the largest Vignette Frame in the set of 4, which I also painted with Candied Apple Distress Paint.

Once dry, I then used the dry brushing technique to 'knock back' the intensity of the red, which also created more of a vintage feel and for this I used a dry paintbrush, dipped in Black Soot and then after removing the majority of the paint on the brush, you can do this by just brushing onto a dry towel, I brushed the surface of the frame and the tray using the black paint and just allowing the brush to kiss the paintwork. If you feel at any stage the black has taken over, then just add more red over the top ~ this technique is all about layering and as long as you dry the paints between layers, you can't really go wrong!
I now have my frame and tray ready.

For the next stage, I covered the inside of the tray using papers from the Christmas Paper Stash ~ the papers in this stash are only 8" x 8" in size and therefore they aren't large enough to cover the entire tray from top to bottom but don't worry about that because all you need to do is use two different patterns and join them up where the lit framed section will be attached. I adhered the snowflakes paper across the top section and then, along the bottom section of the tray, I used a holly print design ~ both from the stash. Adhere the papers into place with Matte Collage Medium and apply a coat of the medium over the top to seal. Allow to dry.

Now to move onto the lit section at the bottom of this tray and to create this I started by attaching and threading through the lights. Don't be put off by this, it's so easy to do and you don't need a drill or need to be handy around the house, you just need a boring tool to create a small hole from back to front and I did exactly this, placing the hole at the very bottom. I then fed the light strand through the hole and attached the battery compartment to the back of the tray.

To create the word JOY that sits behind the frame, I used the stencil chips and placed them centrally on foam pads, attaching them left to right, onto the inside of the covered tray, ensuring that they will be in the centre of the frame once that is in place. I then adhered a piece of Snippets Ephemera, a small holly bough and attached this along the top of the chips. Finally, I added a Hardware Head in each corner.

Along the bottom of the tray, I used four of the Decorative Deers, inking each deer with Mushroom Alcohol Ink, then painting the antlers with Gold Mixative Alcohol Ink.  I adhered these into place using Matte Collage Medium. TOP TIP: When attaching the deers, make sure that they don't foul the frame once you place that onto the box!

Around the deers, I attached some foliage which I die cut from Classic Kraft Stash using the older Festive Greens Die Set. I frosted each of the pieces by brushing them with Collage Medium and then dipping them into Rock Candy Dry Glitter. Once they were dry, I arranged them along the bottom of the tray, placing the lights between the foliage and the deers.
Taking the painted red frame, I added a piece of acetate to the aperture which I splattered with white gesso to create a snowy effect. For this effect you could also apply Texture Paste through the Splatters Layering Stencil. I then attached the frame to my tray, using Matte Collage Medium and then placed a piece of thick chipboard across the top section, closing over the gap, which now creates a lit box at the bottom of the tray. I would recommend setting this aside to dry overnight before moving on ~ in the meantime, you can prepare all the embellishments ready to go!

Once the frame is set into place, I added the ledge ~ this is made using the Scalloped Trims which are crackled with Crackle Paste. I used two trims, both the same length but two various depths and attached them so that they will fit over the gap at the top painted frame. Trim away any excess on either side of the trims so that they fit the width of the tray and then attach the trims into place using Matte Collage Medium to form the ledge to create the scene...

...and this is how the box looks when it's lit up, shining bright!
You now have the basic box ready to fill and you can create any scene that you choose ~ it's entirely up to you...

...but for my scene I based it around the Grand Christmas Exhibition and used two paper dolls that are  wrapped up against the snowy elements, ready for their day out.
The poster that I created to advertise the exhibition is taken from the Christmas Layers and Baseboard Frames Set and then mounted onto one of the Baseboard Frames. I attached the frame to the back of the tray using foam pads and then added Hardware Heads to each corner, rusting them up with a little Rusty Hinge and Black Soot Distress Paint.
At the top, I added a Star Adornment which I glittered with Vintage Platinum Glitter for some vintage sparkle.
I colour tinted the Paper Dolls with Distress Marker Pens and then attached both of them in front of the poster, placing them onto small strips of acetate that I added to the back to create some dimension. You'll also notice that I used some of the Wood Slices at the back of each of the Paper Dolls, this also helps to create support for the dolls and is a wonderful way of adding even more depth to the piece. Each of the wood slices are sparkled with Rock Candy Dry Glitter and a touch of Grit Paste that I applied to the tops and then glittered with the Rock Candy.
I also added a Mummy cloth scarf to the young girl. This was coloured with Antique Linen Distress Spray and wrapped around her neck.
To create the snowy effect on the Woodland Trees ~ I began by tipping each tree with white gesso, allowing them to dry ~ again, overnight would be preferable and then both are coloured with Peeled Paint Distress Spray Stain, spritzed over the entire tree. Allow to dry before adding some of the Metallic Droplets, attached with Matte Collage Medium to secure them into place.
I then attached each tree to the snowy winter scene, placing them onto the ledge which is covered with Grit Paste, a scattering of Mica Flakes and some Rock Candy Dry Glitter for added sparkle. I then just added a few more Wood Slices and some Bauble Findings around their feet.
Finally, the bucket of baubles and for this I used a Thimble, which I coloured with Mushroom and gold Mixative Alcohol Inks. I then added a Star Adornment to the front of the Thimble and tied some red twine around it.

For the baubles, I used a selection of Bauble Findings, all coloured with Alcohol Inks. I usually pop the pearls into a sealed bag and then add tiny drops of Alcohol Ink before sealing the bag and then shaking it to colour the pearls. Once each pearl is completely covered in the ink, I then arranged them in my thimble, adhering them with Matte Collage Medium. Smear them with a little more of the medium and then sprinkle some Rock Candy Glitter over the top. Allow to dry before attaching to the project.
The project is now ready to put into place and all that's left to do, is flick the tiny switch and turn on those twinkling lights to bring the magic to life.

Photo credit: Tim Holtz

Thanks so much for stopping by and hope you'll visit again very soon! xxx

Recipe for project:

Tim Holtz/Sizzix: Festive Greens Die Set
Stampers Anonymous: Scalloped Trims
Distress Inks: Candied Apple, Black Soot
Distress Spray Stain: Peeled Paint


  1. Such a fabulous project and a great tutorial, too! Thanks for starting with this one...Love it!

  2. I absolutely love this Emma. All those details and layers, so much to see xxx

  3. A lovely project, thanks for sharing

  4. If I'd have a Christmas wish I would like to see you working in a video. Your creations are so stunning and so unique! I would be so happy seeing once how you work.
    Thanks for sharing your beauties.
    Have a great time, Jeannette.

  5. LOVE the lights on this, so perfect! The distressed red border is perfect!

  6. Aw, JOY, indeed. This is one fantastic exhibition, Emma. You have showcased some of the new release products superbly bringing them all to life with your wonderful scene. Lit or unlit it truly glows .

    big hugs x


Thank you for all your comments and messages, they are all appreciated and I hope you'll come back and visit again soon...
Emma ~xx

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