Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Dear Santa...

Hello everyone...

Today, I'm sharing another project that I've created for the Tim Holtz Holiday Inspiration Series...if you've missed any of the projects from any of the designers so far, then you can see them all over on Tim's blog, HERE

When I started thinking about this particular project, I knew I wanted to create a Christmas Advent Countdown Calendar because I always love to count down the days from the 1st December, to the 25th. But I also love to tell a story with my pieces and this little boy just had to be used as part of the scene, surrounded by festive foliage and snow, as he waits for Santa to arrive, so that he can enjoy a holly jolly Christmas!
To begin with I covered the tag using the gorgeous floral paper and the polka dot paper. I adhered the papers onto the tag using Matte Collage Medium. To hide the join in the papers, I used some of the text Christmas Design Tape and added a Nailhead Finding to either side of the tape. I then sanded the edges of the tag with the sanding tool to create a more worn effect. To complete the tag, I added the hole reinforcer at the top which I painted using Black Soot Distress Paint before attaching with some more of the Matte Collage Medium.
To create the background section for my layers, I started with a base board and attached this to my tag, placing it on the right hand side using foam pads. I then used a couple of pieces of Christmastime  Ephemera, inked around the edges and arranged these to the left of the board, so they are slightly tucked underneath the edge of the base board. Attach with Collage Medium.

I'll now take you through how I made each of the embellishments and I'll begin with the step. For this, I used three pieces of wood that I had in my stash. I added some colour to the pale wood using Walnut Stain Distress Ink, just applying the ink over the surface and then using a semi dry wet wipe to blend it. Once the wood is thoroughly dry, I then built up the three pieces, layering them over the top of one another to create the step and using Collage Medium to attach each piece.
When the medium is dry, I then applied some "snow" to the top of the step.
I sprinkled Rock Candy Glitter over the top of the wet paste and allowed to dry before I attached the finished step along the bottom of the base board.

Countdown Numbers: Each of the numbers is separate and interchangeable, so once they are attached to the fixings, they can easily be swapped around as you countdown each day. To begin with, I used the Gift Tags die to die cut 13 little tags from Heavyweight Card Stock. Ink the surface and edges of each tag before applying the numbers 0, 1 and 2 for the left hand side and 0-9 for the right hand side. 
Take two of the screw eyes from the Vignette Hardware Findings and fix the screws directly into the tag, ensuring that they are level and placing them on the left of the base board. Add your tags to the fixings.
Foliage: I used the Festive Greens and Holiday Greens die to die cut foliage pieces from various shades of green card in the Classic Kraft Card Stash. I then used the splatter brush to flick Picket Fence Paint across the surface of the die cuts to create a snowy feel to the each piece. Heat dry the paint before lightly brushing the tips with Collage Medium and dipping into Rock Candy Glitter. Allow to dry. For the red berries on some of the pieces, I applied drops of Classic Cherry Enamel Accents and then sprinkled the glitter over the top.

Christmas Tree: Add white gesso to the tips of the small woodland tree and allow to dry ~ I left this to dry overnight. Once the gesso is dry, I then spritzed the tree using Peeled Paint Distress Spray Stain. I heat dried the stained tree, dabbing the tree in a piece of kitchen towel to remove any excess colour. I attached the tree to the left hand side of the step, arranging it with a good amount of the die cut foliage.

Pocket Watch: Remove the back of the pocket watch and cut a circle of paper from the stash to attach to the back section of the watch. To give the watch a more vintage feel, I applied a combination of mushroom and Gold Mixative Alcohol Ink to the metal.

For the inside of the watch, I used a Christmas Typed Token, coloured with Gold Mixative Alcohol Ink and then attached this with some of the smaller die cut foliage pieces, arranging the token with the foliage onto the paper covered backing. Add a small key adornment and a mirrored star before attaching the backing back onto the watch cover. Add some twine around the neck of the watch and place two tiny bells, which I altered with Cranberry Alcohol Ink, placing them in the centre of the neck of the watch. Hammer one of the nails from the Vignette Hardware Findings set into the base board and hang the watch from the nail.
Place a Christmas Clippings Sticker onto the glass.
Paper Doll: I very lightly coloured the adorable little boy with Distress Maker Pens. I then placed my paper doll onto my tag, placing small amounts of collage medium onto the back of the paper doll and attaching him so his shoulder is supported on the watch and his feet are supported on the wood slice, which I placed behind him.
At this stage, I added some more grit paste around the base of tree, onto the top of the wood slice and around the little boys feet, again sprinkling the paste with glitter for a touch of sparkle.

To complete the tag, I added a Quote Chip along the bottom section and tied some rope through the hole at the top.
I hope you've enjoyed how this tag came together and I've inspired you with my ideas! Make sure you keep checking Tim's Instagram and Facebook pages for more inspiration from some talented designers and friends and I'll see you very soon with another project!

Love Emma x

Sisal fibres, rope and wood from my own stash


  1. Stunning calendar and love all the embellishments

  2. Another absolute masterpiece Emma. You work Tims products so effortlessly and with such incredible style to produce amazing projects each and every time. This being one of those times. LOVE the concept and mega, mega impressed with the design and execution. You are a cut above .. Big hugs x

  3. Okay this is SO LOVELY! Amazing TFS Emma!

  4. Love how it came together. I think I could spend hours enjoying all the details. What a fun way to count down to Christmas. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Oh my word ... the details, the details... be still my heart (I'm so giddy looking at this) so adorable so fun !!

  6. Wow, I love this! Your pieces are so inspiring Emma. TFS!

  7. Absolutely love this. Could you please tell me the size of the tag used for your base?
    Thank you

    1. Thank you so much for your sweet comment Marilyn and the size of the base tag I used for this project is 5.5” x 10”...hope that helps and if you need to ask anything else, please don’t hesitate! :)

  8. Such a fantastic idea, I love the whole design Emma! xx

  9. Emma, I totally love your creations and this tag is no exception. Sam (

  10. Every detail the paper choices...another PIN.

  11. Oh Emma, stunning, absolutely stunning. I LOVE it...jaw S xx

  12. Totally love this creation Emma xx Simply stunning

    TFS Annie xx

  13. Love this countdown to Christmas tag, Janet


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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