This is a unique challenge blog where we are inspired by and focus on the Vintage; shabby; mixed-media; art journaling; industrial, timeworn and steampunk genres and encompass the talent, flair, expertise and ideas of many artists that we are inspired by. We welcome all types of projects - cards, journaling, assemblage, layouts, albums, atcs, altered art in fact whatever you want to share (as long as it is in good taste).

Monday, 25 December 2017

Destination Inspiration--Pulling in at Terminal Four!

Merry Christmas! It's Sara Emily here with you today to guide you through the 4th stop on this month's creative journey. Each Creative Guide is using the same four items in our travel bag. To review, we are using the following ingredients:

Product: Tissue Paper
Technique: Embossing (dry or heat)
Color: Silver or Gold
Substrate: Acetate

Since it's Christmas day, I could see nothing more fitting than a Nativity scene, so we can all focus on the real reason behind this wonderful day.

You can see how my talented teammates Jennie, Sandy, and Astrid used these same ingredients by clicking on their names. Like my teammates before me, I had to do a little finagling. Usually I start with my substrate, but like the others, my acetate was something to be added to bring the piece together in the end.

I started with this gift box with the cheapo gift still in it. I picked it up at a yard sale for 25 cents, not for the paperweight inside, but for the box, knowing I would need it for this post. First I did my best to clean up the acetate sleeve that slides off the box; it had a number of stickers on it. Next I gave the cardboard box several coats of gesso.

I colored the back, "ceiling", front and sides with Distress paints, spritzing with water to blend and fade. I think I used Faded Jeans in addition to the Tumbled Glass pictured above. I didn't take too much care on the back and sides because I knew they would be covered in tissue, nor did I paint the inside back wall, since that would be completely covered with paper.

Then using Distress Collage Medium,  I adhered printed tissue paper I saved from a package my teammate and good friend, Anne (Redanne) sent me last year. Thank you, Anne! Once dry, I trimmed and sanded for a timeworn look.

For the inside walls of my tiny box, I stenciled stars on Tim's plain tissue wrap using Prima clear crackle texture paste. When dry, I highlighted the stars with Brushed Pewter (silver) Distress crayon and adhered the tissue to the walls.

While the tissue wrap was out, I stamped a Bible verse which I adhered to the bottom ledge.

Back to the inside, I built my scene, using the snow fall die from Winter Wonderland Thinlits, with silver Deco Sheets to back it. I die cut some trees using the Treeline Thinlits die, and colored a portion of them and the background with Distress Oxides. I added some snow to the foremost trees using collage medium and Clear Rock Candy glitter.  To make the treelines appear more dimensional, I used scraps of foam core between the layers. Multi medium matte is my go to glue for adhering all these little details.

Now it was time to make my manger. I used an Impression Obsession die set and black card and cut a second manger from fun foam. I wanted baby Jesus to stand out and be given importance, so I cut a half circle of card covered with a scrap of gold Deco Sheet. I die cut the Star of Bethlehem from the same card. Additional color is from alcohol ink. Everything was adhered to my acetate substrate fussy cut from waste packaging. I scored the acetate at the bottom and folded. This bottom portion serves as a stand for the manger scene. After adhering the manger to the "floor" of the box, I smudged on Grit paste and sprinkled with Clear Rock Candy glitter to hide the workings and to add some snow.

To finish, I die cut "Noel" (Vintage Tidings) and a snowflake from the Mini Paper Snowflakes Thinlits sets. I colored them with  Distress paint; Noel with Brushed Pewter and the snowflake with Tumbled Glass. While the paint was wet, I sprinkled with Emerald Creek's Fractured Ice embossing powder, then heated. The two embossed (technique) die cuts were adhered to the acetate sleeve, and I slid this over the completed box.

One more look at the completed vignette box. I realized when finished this would have been really sweet as a shaker box, but if I did that I would have had to glue my box shut. Since I was planning on sliding a gift card into the back, I couldn't do that, so perhaps on the next one...

Wishing you all a joyful Merry Christmas day today! Please join us again next Monday when our 5th teammate will thrill you with her creation using these same four art ingredients. In the meantime, there is still time to enter our current challenge Winter Wonderland!

Hugs and Blessings!
Sara Emily


  1. What a wonderful repurpose of your simple packaging Sara Emily! LOVE the snowfall and layered pines and the beautiful silhouette Nativity - your Psalm is the perfect sentiment for it - a lovely Christmas project using the materials in your travel bag! Wishing you a Blessed Christmas! Julia xx

  2. Such a perfect project for today Sara, the scene you created is beautiful, I particularly love the star and the beautiful background you created for the wonderful Nativity scene. You really transformed that plain box and made great use of the contents of the travel bag! Glad you found a good use for the tissue paper too!. Merry Christmas! Hugs, Anne xx

  3. I hope that your Christmas would be enjoyable and may the essence of Christmas remain always with you. Merry Christmas and Happy New year!

  4. Your snowy Nativity is wonderful, Sara Emily... serene and sparkling. A perfect way to celebrate at Destination Inspiration on Christmas Day!
    Alison x

  5. Thank you for sharing your lovely card illustrating the true meaning of Christmas - the birth of the Savior. I have a similar Nativity die and for next time will get inspiration from your card. have a blessed Christmas season.

  6. I so appreciate the 'how' you did it' on your post. So creative, so beautiful and full of fabulous elements. Thank you for the glorious inspiration x

  7. Oh Sara this is absolutely brilliant, what an amazing transformation of a cheap gift box and what genius use of the travelbag ingredients! That manger scene is so beautiful and I just love how you have set it in the snowy landscape! What a super creative gift this will have made!!

  8. Your nativity scene staged so beautifully inside a fabulously altered gift box is so wonderful, Sara . Just perfect for today. Such a thoughtful and considered project and a terrific post .

  9. Sara Emily, I cannot tell you how much I love this! The upcycling is brilliant and the manger die is sooooo precious with the most beautiful Psalm. I love the embossed Noel and beautiful depth you've created. Thanks so much for this very special Christmas Day post! I'm still celebrating in my heart! Wishing you every blessing in 2018. Hugs, Autumn

  10. How in the world do you think of doing all of this - amazing project Sara Emily -- This team is lucky to have you - your bring Southern Charm and great creativity to all you do. Not to mention the skill it takes. I am in awe of both you and Anne!!
    sandy xx

  11. Totally amazing project Sara xx Love the details and fabulous step by step xx Great use of the travel bag contents and amazing recycling of that package

    TFS and best wishes/hugs
    Annie x

  12. What a beautiful transformation Sara Emily and isn't the silver Deco Foil behind Tim's Winter Wonderland die the bomb?! I used it on one of my projects too and in the candlelight it is so beautiful. And I'm in awe that you stenciled the tissue paper, that must have been very tricky to do. A fabulous use of the travel bag contents and a fitting end to the December Destination Inspiration challenge, thank you so much for sharing it, Deb xo