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Hello everyone!  We're already at Week 3 of the Tim Holtz Holiday Inspiration Series and I hope you are all enjoying the amazing creations from his designers as much as I am.  Today I am sharing my second project,  my Winter Wonderland Vignette Tray.

I recently went to my favourite garden centre where there were so many beautiful Christmas treasures, trees and thousands of decorations.  A grouping of Christmas shadowboxes that were filled with white and silver silhouettes inspired me to create this Vignette Tray, using just gold and white.

I'm starting my tutorial on creating the insides of my Vignette Tray. I really wanted to use these wonderful Christmas Transparent Tiles (TH93657) in this project.  I love that they are transparent, don't they remind you of frosty windows in the winter? When I was little, the frost would form in beautiful patterns on our windows on those cold winter days.  I used to love looking at them, but we don't see those beautiful patterns anymore, thanks to much better windows and insulation! 
I've made a narrow shaker box with my letters and a sheet of Idea-ology Frosted Plastic(#93153). I've had this package in my stash for awhile, I think it's still available, or if you're like me, have quite an substantial stash of Tim Holtz products from the very beginning. Time to use some of it!  These sheets can be used with your Bigz dies too!  Any clear plastic sheets or from packaging will do also, but I liked this frosted look.  To make the shaker box, I measured 1/8" along the edge and with my Tim Holtz Design Ruler(it has a steel edge which is great for cutting with a craft knife)I lightly ran the knife along the 1/8" marks, taking care not to cut but just score. Next score 1/4" from the 1/8 score mark. Your plastic will bend easy with a nice clean edge.  Next, measure the height of your letters (approx. 1.75") from the 1/4" line, then 1/4" again, measure 1/8" again, but instead of scoring, cut on this line. You now have the back, top, and bottom of your box. Here, I just applied double faced 1/8" clear adhesive tape to my 1/8 edges after bending the score lines, and adhered my letters tightly together across. If you are worried about leakage from your filling, just adhere your letters to a strip of clear plastic and then adhere to the box front.

This is what your box will look like.  My word ended up being longer than the length of my plastic, so I had to add another section on the end.  For the ends of the box, I just measured out a narrow piece 1/4" wide and 1.75" high to fit the end.  I've just taped it to the box, with clear tape or use double adhesive tape as you are not going to see it. I try and tape or glue behind the white parts so it's not visible from the front.  Leave one end open until you fill your box with glitter, imitation snow (I've used imitation mica snow), beads, whatever you can think of and tape up the end after filling.  I'm sure I'll start looking at those clear boxes that little things come in, differently now...another thing to save for future projects! Now that I think of it, doesn't samples of the good chocolate come in those narrow long clear boxes, hmmm.

The gold cardstock I have used for this project is Idea-ology 8x8 Metallic Kraft Stock Paper Stash (TH93586).  This is my favourite metallic paper to use, it can be distressed or sanded to look old, it die-cuts easy, and the package has silver and gold papers.  Just make sure you keep it in the plastic wrapping when not using, as it has a tendency to curl when left out, especially in my dry climate.  I created a stencil with this snowflake die that is included in the Winter Wonderland Thinlits set (662426).  Cut out your metallic kraft piece ( I had to add a small piece on one end to fit my Vignette box, but the seam is easy to cover up with embellishments) and apply Texture paste with your stencil.  Set aside to dry.

Next I die-cut my large deer with thin chipboard a 3 or 4 times for a thicker piece.  Glue these pieces together.  I die-cut another pieces with the gold metallic cardstock that is adhered on top.  To get the snowy look, just randomly dab on a bit of embossing ink with Ranger's Emboss It Dabber.. you don't need much and then Ranger's White Embossing powder. If you find you have too much, and would like a little more of the gold to show through, tap some off.  If you just have an clear embossing ink pad, dab it on your craft mat, lightly touch your deer to that, or use a small paint brush and randomly apply it that way.  This method is also good when you just want to emboss the edges or 3-d items and want better control where you are embossing.  Heat with a heat/embossing gun.

This is my new favourite foliage set!  Love all these tiny pieces, they are perfect for small projects or cards. I've die-cut lots from the gold kraft stock and Tim's Festive Greens (662425) set.   I also randomly applied white embossing powder to some of these die-cuts. Now, if you had a new Tim Holtz Sidekick machine, just think how fast and easy to cut all these small die-cuts out!! I can hardly wait to get mine!  This would make a perfect Christmas gift for any crafter! 

I was trying to keep my white and gold theme and wanted to add in the word, wonderland.  This package of Christmas Remnant Rubs (TH93635) has 2 sheets, one black, one white, all words in different fonts.  The white doesn't show up in my photo, but it's exactly the same as the black sheet.  I used the back side of one word band in the Christmas Word Bands Findings set (TH93630), applied my rub-on word, then lightly dabbed the band edge with Gold alcohol ink.  If you don't want to use a band that you already like the wording on it and want to use it on another project, I'm sure some of you have  some old metal embellishments around.  Maybe they have a word or etched picture on them that you might not want to use, so just turn it around and use the back side.

I used all three of the smaller deer from the Winter Wonderland Thinlits set and also die-cut two layers from thin chipboard or cardstock first, then the gold. I know this is extra die-cutting, but when I'm creating a dimensional project, I like some of my pieces to be sturdier when they aren't adhered flat.  It also makes those main pieces stand out more and gives them more polished look.

 These were also embossed lightly with white, mostly on the upper part of the deer.  Once you have all your inside embellishments finished, you're ready to build your Vignette Tray.  Before adhering everything, I used a white wash on my small vignette tray (TH93568) which measures 9 x 4 3/4".  Take a small amount of white paint (I used Distress Picket Fence paint) and add a bit of water to it.  I just dab some paint on my craft mat and spritz with water until it's diluted to the amount I want. If you're not sure how much white you want to add to the wood, just start of lightly, you can always reapply to add more white.  Paint this on your vignette tray.  I didn't apply it to the inside tray bottom, just the sides, as I was covering it with the gold kraft stock.  I added a Tim Holt Curio Knob (TH92840) that the silver was touched up with a bit of gold alcohol ink to the top of my tray.  You will need a long screw to go through the wood and Tim has created this Vignette Hardware Findings package (TH93668) which makes it soooooo much easier to attach the knobs, pulley wheels, or other findings to your wood surfaces.  This package even has those little nails, hooks and screw eyes.  I know things like this are probably near the bottom of your list to purchase, when there's so much amazing stuff that's always being released, but these things are so good to have if you enjoy creating those 3-d projects.

After your snowy gold back is adhered to your tray, adhere the shaker box.  Again, I just applied my adhesive around the edges, where the tiles are white, so you can't see where the adhesive is.  I adhered a few foliage pieces in the corner, before the large deer went in. His back end is tucked right into the corner.  You can add in more around him where you need it.  I have a few pieces covering that seam, where I needed to add extra paper. Tie a piece of Metallic Trimmings (TH93646) in a bow on the one side of your Word Band. I used a small nail from the Vignette Hardware Findings to attach the other side.  I have to admit, I was holding my breath nailing this in, the wood was starting to separate so if you choose this, be careful, as it's such a narrow piece of wood! I used adhesive on the back to also secure the word band.

To attach the tree, I took off the small wood base, poked a hole in the shaker box, placing the wire stem in the hole and used a bit of glue near the top at the back of the tree to the tray.  Adhere all your foliage, deer and bow using glue dots, and foam dots for extra dimension.

Here's a look at the knob on the top.  I adhered two pieces of foliage on either side, with the ends tucked under the knob.

Here's another look at my finished Winter Wonderland Vignette Tray.  The best part, is this can be left out all winter, not just Christmas!  

I hope you enjoyed this project and tutorial.  I've had so much fun creating for this Tim Holtz Holiday Inspiration Series, I love everything in this new release.  The hardest part, is having to choose what to use in each project, I just want to use it all.  Which is why I have to keep making another project so I can use everything!  There's more to come, so I hope you visit me again!  Make sure you check Tim's  Facebook, Instagram, and every Saturday on his blog he has a recap of the week's projects from all the designers, you don't want to miss any of them!  Don't you love how we all have been given the same product, but everyone has a different idea that can make it look completely different.  There's so much inspiration and the tutorials are fantastic, how can you not be inspired! 

Thank you so much for all your comments, they are much appreciated!  See you soon!



Hello friends!  I hope everyone enjoyed the Tim Holtz Halloween Inspiration 2017 Series.  Weren't all the projects from his designers amazing?  Yesterday was the start of the Tim Holtz Holiday 2017 Inspiration Series and it continues until the first of December. There will be many holiday projects featured on everyone's blogs and Tim will have a recap on his blog every Saturday. This is my first project for the Holiday 2017 series that I am sharing today.

Why do I call this, the Secret Santa Frame?  There's a surprise under that decorated tree ring!

Here's the secret Santa!


A short little video showing how it works.

I don't know about you, but I've always been fascinated with boxes that open up to reveal an unexpected surprise.  I'm a lover of antiques and it always amazes me when I see the fine details and extra work that went into making an ordinary piece into something special from those days.  I like the challenge to try and attempt that with paper, making a project a keepsake.  So, pull up a chair, grab a coffee and enjoy this rather long tutorial.

I started out with this Tim Holtz Flip Frame (TH93195) using it as a base for my shadow box.  I cut a piece of chipboard the size of the frame (5 x 7).  Die-cut a circle in the center of the rectangle piece using the second largest circle(3 1/2") in Sizzix Stitched Circle Framelits (662229).  This is the front of your shadowbox.

The circular frame needs to be built up so it is level with the inside frame opening. This allows the tree ring to swing open without hitting the edge of the frame.  Cut four out thin chipboard.  I die-cut the 3 1/2" circle and the 3" circle inside to create my stitched rings.  

These rings are glued together and will be adhered to the matching hole in the rectangle, after it is covered with plaid patterned paper from Tim Holtz 8 x 8 Paper Stash (TH93625).

Another ring is die-cut.  Before adhering this on top of your layered rings, glue the bottom screw part of an Idea-ology Hitch Fastener (TH92731) to your ring.  Punch a small hole in your single ring and adhere it on top, the screw through the hole. Save the top part of the Hitch fastener, it will be used on the tree ring.  I lightly dry brushed paint on the ring.  This ring can be adhered after you get your box completed and attached to the frame.  This way you can judge how thick you will need the ring.

Adhere the plaid paper to the rectangle chipboard.  This is optional, I'm not sure if you really need to do this, but I cut another piece of thin chipboard the size of the inside flip frame opening (3 1/2 x 5 1/2), also die-cutting a hole in the center.  I glued this to my large piece before covering with plaid paper.  You can see it's slightly raised  in the middle, creating a ridge that fits inside the frame. If you don't want to add this, and find your circle rings aren't level with the metal frame, just add another ring to your stack. Hope this isn't confusing to you!  It really depends on the thickness of your chipboard or cardstock you use to create the rings, you might need more or less, just check when swinging the cover, it skims over the frame easily.  Set this aside.

I coloured my frame with Espresso Alcohol ink.

Now we are going to make the shadow box for the frame.  If you want to speed up this project, you can always use a Tim Holtz Vignette Wood box (TH93279) which is smaller than the frame but still creates a shadow box.  I cut out a thicker piece of chipboard for the back (5 x 7) and 2 sides approx. 1 1/4 x 7" and 2 sides approx. 1 1/4 x 5". Glue these pieces together, creating a box.  I just glue very thin strips of paper to the connecting pieces of chipboard. If you feel it's not secure enough, use a glue gun on the inside edges. You might have to trim a tiny bit off two of the sides, to make sure the box lines up with the frame size. 

A strip of chipboard is adhered to the inside to create a "floor".  Use your front to measure how high you need the floor.  Mine is about 1/4" lower than the circle opening, about 2" from the bottom.  The inside is covered with patterned paper.  You won't see a lot of it, but if I didn't want any of the chipboard visible.

Adhere the plaid front to the back of your metal Flip Frame.  This is what it looks like from the back.

           This is what it looks like from the front.

Colour your Idea-ology Salvage Santa (TH93661) and Decorative Deer (TH93640) with Ranger's Alcohol Ink.  I couldn't find my Gold Metallic Mixative Alcohol ink for the Santa, so I used this Ranger Ink Vintaj Patina Metallic paint in Aged Bronze.  These paints are made for metal jewelry pieces, but I liked the way it covered this Santa.  The deer was coloured with Caramel Alcohol ink.  Just lightly rub the areas, you want to expose back to the original colour.

To colour my trees (TH93639), I just spritz my Distress Spray Ink in a small plastic bag, throw in my tree, and squish it around.  Want a lighter colour, just add a spritz of water.

To add to my little scene, I added in a Christmas Quote Chip (TH93655), a bit of snow (white paper covered in Rock Candy Glitter) and die-cut greens (cut from green cardstock and Sizzix Mini Holiday Greens Thinlits Die set 661597).  Everything has been highlighted with Rock Candy Glitter and in some places white paint. 

Just make sure your scene is placed within the hole diameter.

Adhere your shadow box with a strong liquid glue.  I used elastics to keep it in place while the glue dried.

Cover the outside of the box with woodgrain paper from the Holiday paper stash. Cut the sides a little bit wider than the box sides so it extends halfway over the metal frame sides.  I used Sookwang double edge adhesive which is pretty strong tape to secure it to the metal frame.

Add some Christmas Design Tape (TH93628) around the edge.  It covers up and finishes off the edge of the box and overlaps onto the metal frame, securing it a little more.  You can now glue the thick ring to the outside of the box. Make sure the Hitch post screw is at the top.  It will fit quite snug.

Die-cut a Tree Ring (Tree Ring Sizzix Bigz Die 662429) from Distress Mixed Media Heavystock paper, then emboss with the coordinating tree ring texture fade.  Yes, this die comes with a matching embossing folder!  Ink the raised areas with Distress ink. I think I used Gathered Twigs. Die-cut another tree ring out of thin chipboard and adhere this to the back of the embossed one to strengthen it.  Punch a small hole near the top to fit your Hitch Fastener screw through.

To decorate my tree ring, I die-cut a Tim Holtz Dimensional Star (Sizzix 661595) from Metallic Kraft  Paper (TH93586), a snowflake (Sizzix Paper Snowflakes 660059) from Mixed Media Cardstock and Kraft Cardstock.  I had coloured the Mixed Media cardstock with Oxide inks.  Also  a label die-cut (Sizzix Labels Thinlits set 660060) from patterned paper (Holiday Paper Stash) with a tiny hole punch at the top for the Hitch post. These are all adhered in layers.

In addition to my die-cuts, I added in some Christmas Ephemera (93627), painted Christmas Typed Token (TH93629), Tiny Bells Findings(TH93658), and Wishes word (Christmas Clippings Stickers TH93651).  The two bells, and Token are tied around the Hitch Fastener top with Tim Holtz Eclectic Black Craft Thread (015274).  I take the thread, wipe it with Distress Collage Medium, then wrap it around a pencil or dowel.  After it has dried, remove and you have curly thread.  

Here's a closeup of the Hitch Fastener.  I screwed the top onto the bottom, but not too tight, this allows it to swing to the side.  It will loosen if moved quite a bit, so just check the screw every so often.  The bells also have a bit of white paint and Rock Candy glitter added to them.

For my decoration at the top of the shadowbox, I die-cut a Snowflake Rosette(Sizzix Decorative Strip 658256) from Mixed Media Cardstock that had been coloured with Distress Oxide Inks.

Instead of making it a complete circle, I folded it half-way and glued it to a half circle piece of cardstock.

This tiny bow is made from Paper Stash Kraft Christmas Paperie (TH93626) and Sizzix Fold-Up Bows Thinlits Die set 662415, there's two sizes.  Love this die!

Die-cut various pieces of greenery from Tim Holtz Mini Holiday Greens Thinlits Die set (661597) and Green Kraft Cardstock.

I like to dab a bit of white paint on the ends of my greens and then apply Distress Rock Candy Glitter with Glossy Accents.  I usually add this to everything, even my embellishments.

Adhere everything to the Snowflake Rosette and adhere to the top of your shadowbox.

Here's another look, showing the side.

A close up of the inside.

Here's another look at my finished project!  Hope you enjoyed my tutorial and thank you so much for visiting!  Make sure you check out all the other designer projects, Tim Holtz will have all the links on his blog and social media.  Just look for the hashtag #timholtzholiday2017!

Until next time,




Hi Everyone!  Halloween is just a week away, but I'm still in the mood to create!

I have a small Halloween Vignette here, featuring Sizzix's Tim Holtz Lantern die and his Ravens & Feathers Thinlits set.

I needed a base for my Halloween Vignette, so I created this book.  I had an old pocket dictionary  which I used half of it and cut it down to fit this Tim Holtz Halloween Base Board (TH93622). I used a craft knife to cut through the pages, it's uneven but I like that look.  The back of the book was created with chipboard cut to the same size, covered in paper from Tim Holtz Halloween Paper Stash Pad (TH93696).

For the spine, I cut a piece of adhesive backed linen (Tim Holtz Textile Surfaces TH93294) and sprayed it with Distress Spray stain.

Before putting the covers on my dictionary pages, I used a couple of very small nails to nail the pages together. I didn't want the book to open, just wanted it as a base.  I applied adhesive to the backs of the front and back boards and adhered these to my book inside.

Next I die-cut two small bases out of Distress Woodgrain Cardstock. One from the Sizzix Tim Holtz Matchbook die (659447, this is an older one, not sure if it's still available) and the base with the pinked edge is from the Tim Holtz Village Dwelling Bigz die(660992). These were both sprayed with Rusty Hinge Distress stain.  Once dried, I inked them with Gathered Twigs Distress ink (run the pad across the paper so it just highlights the raised areas).  

I applied some Frayed Burlap Distress Oxide ink to my craft mat, then spritzed with water.  Lightly touch the inked base and box to the Oxide ink for this spotted aged look.

Adhere the base to the top of the book.  I used foam 3d adhesive squares under the base so the base doesn't dip down.  The matchbook is adhered at an angle on the left side of the base.

Next die-cut a lantern (Tim Holtz Sizzix 661818) out of black cardstock.  Assemble and then apply Distress Grit Paste (TDA53422) to the entire lantern.  I did not apply it to the flaps that are on the inside top of the lantern. Using a Tim Holtz Rosette Stencil (THS092) I applied a rosette on each side with Grit Paste.  Once the paste is dry, paint with Black Soot Distress paint, and then highlight areas with different colours of Distress paint.

Here's what my lantern looks like.  The top still can open up to put embellishments in.  I used a bit of spanish moss, and Tim Holtz pumpkins.

For the pedestal of my lantern, I painted the medium size of finial (TH93573) with Black Soot paint, and dry brushed with Spiced Marmalade. Glue this to the bottom of the lantern.

Using the Tim Holtz Feather and Ravens Thinlits die (662376), I die-cut two of each bird with black cardstock.  These were lightly highlighted with Distress Oxide inks.  Either apply the inks to your craft mat first, then spritz and dip your die-cut in or apply to the bird, then lightly spritz with water. I adhered the two matching pieces together with pop-dots in the middle of the birds. Fluffing up the feathers of the top layer, gives a more dimensional look.

I dyed some Tim Holtz Baubles using Ginger and Caramel Alcohol ink.  

On the larger ones, I added a few Halloween words from Tim Holtz Remnant Rubs (TH93604).  These (a bit of glossy accents first to glue them down) and a couple of strands of Spanish Moss go into the opened Matchbox drawer.

I like to play around with different sprays and inks on Ranger's Mixed Media cardstock, keeping them for future use.  This one was with Distress Oxides and I believe I started with a stencil(sorry can't remember!).  I used this piece to die-cut leaves from Tim Holtz Sizzix Thinlit Set Fall Foliage (660995) then inked the edges with Gathered Twigs ink.  The branch (from the Raven & Feathers die set) was cut out of Ranger's Woodgrain cardstock, then sprayed with Gathered Twigs Distress spray.

Here's a closer look at the Raven and leaves.  I applied Distress Rock Candy Crackle glue to Tim Holtz Pumpkin Pieces (TH93312), then a bit of Ginger Alcohol ink to grunge it up a bit.

The backside of my Vignette.  I adhered a Poison label on the box and spine of the book (Halloween Ephemera TH93603).  There's also a skull and crossbones Remnant Rubs (TH93604) on the box.  A bit of Halloween Fringe to add some colour (TH93615) was also added. The small Apothecary Vial(TH93302) had Rock Candy Distress Crackle glue added to it.  Some of it flaked off, but I don't mind.  

A few pumpkins and moss added to the inside of the lantern.  There's a couple of leaves and a painted Spider Adornment (TH93597) tied to the lantern with a piece of Halloween Trimming (TH93608).

Can't have a Halloween project with these wonderful skulls (TH93606) and bones(TH93596)!

A closer look at the Raven in flight.  I glued a very fine short piece of wire in between the two bird pieces and glued the end to the inside of the lantern handle.

Here's another look at my finished piece!  Hope you enjoyed my tutorial!

Until next time,


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