Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Guest Designer-Southern Ridge Trading Company-Springtime Observations

 Hello, friends! I'm honored to be invited by the super talented Design Team at Southern Ridge Trading Company to be their Guest Designer today! The challenge there this month is "Anything Spring". Be sure to pop over there to see what the Design Team has created for you in their latest posts!

 I made my first ever dimensional layout using some of the amazing chippies from Southern Ridge. Here is my  spring time layout I made for my husband. Just the other day, he mentioned he would like to see some of our family photos on our walls so I surprised him with this. I was reminded of these photos when I spotted a cardinal's nest full of tiny baby birds outside our window the other day. You may want to grab a cup or glass of your favorite appropriate beverage, because this is a photo heavy post.

This started as a cheapo piece of "art" I picked up at a yard sale about a year ago with intentions of making something with it.  It ended up in one of my boxes destined for our semi-annual sale coming up next month, since I hadn't used it. It seems I have a hard time parting with things, especially when I have an idea in mind. If you would like to see the step by step on how I transformed this yard sale find from trash to treasure, please visit Southern Ridge.

I used the beautiful Leafy Branches chipboard to make a sweet place to hold a nest at the top of my canvas. Papers from Tim Holtz Wall Flower paper stash and a few pieces from one (or maybe two) of his Ephemera packs make a wonderful backdrop and additional embellishments. I've added some Remnant Rubs here and there and stamping from Prima, Heidi Swapp, and Stampin' Up. To make my bricks I used a handmade stencil and crackle paste.

Love those Distress Crazing Medium cracks!

Splatters of watered down Distress paint in Walnut Stain add a vintage look I love.

I've been eyeing up those art stones everyone's been using, and thought to myself, I must make some of those! My recipe for art stones on a budget: paper clay and a half hour of watching our presidential candidates on the news.

This Remnant Rub seemed perfect for the photos.

As do the little pieces of ephemera-"Handle With Care" and "Air Mail".  You can see I got out my gesso, marker spritzer, and nail file to give these a vintage look.

I chose another gorgeous spring like chipboard piece for my layout--Floral Frames. It's so intricate and lovely, and comes in three sizes.  Mine is the smallest and is the perfect size to hold a little nest of eggs. The Distress Crayons are perfect to highlight those cracks!

And as for me, here are the stars of the show--my little twins when they were just three years old.  Every day we would pick them up and let them look at the house wren's nest made in our mailbox right outside our front door. How delighted they were to watch the birds come and go, making their nest, and counting the eggs each day. On this day, the eggs had hatched, and they were admiring the tiny birds. I just adore the expressions on their tiny faces! 


House wrens set up their nests in either our mailbox or in our garage every spring, and last summer I had to hand carry a few maturing young birds out because they were trapped in the garage, and driving our cats nuts! Late this summer, one decided to come in the house through the front door when my daughter was leaving one evening. Of course, Roger, the cat, chased it around the house for awhile, but  all ended well. My husband caught it, and released it safe and sound back outside. I guess that's why they're called house wrens.

I would like to enter my layout/canvas into the following inspiring challenges:
Frilly and Funkie Boy, Oh Boy! My boy is one of the stars of the show, and this is a gift for my husband, who happens to be a guy!
Stamps and Stencils Trash to Treasure I used stamps and stencils; a recycled piece of junk artwork from a yard sale and a piece of cardboard from the waffle box (we buy in bulk) and a cast off feather are all"trash". My photos are a real treasure!
The Artisitic Stamper April's Creative Challenge All Things Distress I used Distress Crazing Medium, Distress crayons, Distress inks and Distress paint. (Oh, and a Distress marker in my spritzer!) (final entry)
Word Art Wednesday Challenge #226 and #227 Anything Goes
Creative Inspirations Challenge #249 Your Favorite Things Wall Flower Paper Stash, Texture/cracks/bricks, Distress paints, inks/ crayons in neutrals, vintage style, mixed media, birds,  and of course, my kiddos!

Thank you for dropping by today and for all your wonderful comments!  I read and appreciate each and every one of them!
Hugs and Blessings!
Sara Emily DT


  1. Wow , Wonderfull layout Sara, Love all the Gorgeous details !Fabulous !

  2. I love it! Perfect Spring LO x

  3. What a beautiful layout showcasing a treasured memory!

  4. Wow! Gorgeous layout Sara Emily! Nicely done my friend!

  5. Such a beautiful layout, Sara Emily. Love the natural feel and gorgeous details. The handmade art stones are so fun! Hugs, Autumn

  6. What a lovely way to up-cycle something. Your piece is so cute and the colors are perfect for the challenge at A Vintage Journey.

  7. Beautiful!!! Thank you so much for sharing this with us at Creative Inspirations! Good luck,

  8. Congratulations, Sara! So well-deserved... Southern Ridge is lucky to have you guesting with them. :o) Your layout is spectacular! I *love* that this beauty will adorn your home to be enjoyed every day. Your kiddos are adorable and your use of chippies is fabulous! The art stones are incredible, as is your entire design. :o) Your backgrounds are always stunning. Congratulations again, my friend! They must be tickled to have you working with their goodies. Have a beautiful day. :o)

    Hugs and blessings,

  9. Congratulation on your guest design spot, Sara Emily!! You totally rocked it my friend!! This is amazing!! I just want to reach out and touch that texture!! The design and details you added are fabulous!! And what sweet pictures!! Love, love this!! It's spectacular!! Have a great day!! Big hugs :)

    A Mermaid's Crafts

  10. Congratulations from me too Sara and what a wonderful project to show off your incredible skills! I am so glad you showed the photos of the details - especially the art balls - they look amazing and the layers are wonderful. Your boy is one cute little guy too! Hugs, Anne xx

  11. this is delightful sara - I love the whole make and the photos are so very cute! Brilliant! Thanks for joining us at Coubtryview challenges too! Hugs rachel x

  12. Apologies, I was so busy looking at the photos, I forgot to thank you for joining in our 'Spring is in the Air' challenge at A Vintage Journey! Hugs, Anne xx

  13. Oh wow Sara what a fabulous lay out and what lovely photos!! I love the attention to detail in every little corner of this piece and the natural feel so suitable for your theme. Those two are so intent on what they are exploring, - just wonderful! Fabulous textural effects and crackle too of course, and last but not least, thanks for adding this beauty to our challenge at AVJ!

  14. AWESOME photo feature, love all the layers and texture!

  15. OMG, Sara, it's mindblowing! What a fantastic way to display those super adorable photos of your awesome kids! It's a layered heaven, my friend! Your art stones are amazing, brilliant idea! I adore every single inch of this fabulous piece of art!
    Congratulations, my dear!
    Thank you so much for sharing this stunner with us at Stamps and Stencils!
    Hugs and blessings! Branka xx

  16. This is gorgeous! Beautiful soft textures and colors behind the adorable pictures. Fabulous design. Thanks for playing along with us at Frilly and Funkie's Boy oh Boy Challenge!

  17. Hi Sara Emily what a lovely GD piece you made. It is perfect for our spring theme over at Country View Challenges, thanks for joining us. I love the cracked frame around the nest....beautiful work, your HB must have been delighted. Of course the star of the show are your sweet twins ;0)x
    Jane DT

  18. Howdy - Gail Scott here dropping by from WAW to say Thank You for entering your art work to our challenge - I am so loving this work! Nice job! have a blessed day!

  19. Wow Sara, you are a busy gal! Congratulations on another well deserved guest spot, you have really outdone yourself with this gorgeous layout!! I just love the vintage feel of this and all of your wonderful grungy layers!! Fan-freaking-tabulous my friend! hugs :)

  20. Sara I am loving your delightful design !!

  21. You slay me dearie! Haha! Making your own art stones while watching the presidential debates. Lol! Now that's art! Your first layout is beautiful and one heck of a show stopper. Those chippies you used are the perfect addition to the story this layout tells. The joy on your children's faces at learning about these birds is touching. What a fantabulous way to share this memory and make your DH happy. So many lovely details are captured and can be treasured for years to come. Awesome sauce and stunning! Huge congrats on your guest spot as well. Hugz to you muffin! ~Niki

  22. Oh what a visual feast Sara Emily! LOVE the texture and balance, the detail yet uncluttered feel to it all. It takes real creative skill to get something this beautiful looking just right - you nailed it! Thank you for joining us at Frilly and Funkie x

  23. Sara Emily, this is gorgeous. So many wonderful details...the feather tucked behind the photo, the incredible trailing branch, the distressing and splattering. You are so very talented. Gorgeously composed and one of my favorites this go round for sure! Hugs! Thanks for joining the fun at the Frilly and Funkie "Boy oh Boy!" Challenge!!!

  24. Beautiful Sara!
    Funny thing, you should have two boxes...one to sell and one to really sell!! heehee xoxo

  25. Fantastic layout with your bird-themed elements. Loving the background stenciling and the crackle on the vines - they showcase the photos so nicely. Thanks for joining us at Frilly and Funkie.

  26. Delightful - from the charming photos to the delicate shabby textures to the subtle natural colour tones. I love this. Congratulations on another great Guest Designer spot.
    Alison x

  27. Wow I love the dimensional layers you have created in this gorgeous Layout.... Thank you so much for entering our challenge over at Creative Artiste Mixed Media Challenge Blog, we hope to see you join in again...

    Hugs Rhonda DT & Owner xxx

  28. love your layout, love all the texture and dimension you have created
    thanks for joining our challenge over at
    Debbie Dt

  29. Wow - what a great piece of mixed media artwork. Love all your interesting touches and such a fabulous way to recycle something.

    Thanks for sharing with us at Happy Little Stampers and I hope you will join us again soon.
    Carol x

  30. This post tells me exactly how much I don't know about you! Twins????
    I don't think you could EVER make anything as wonderful as this page is. Absolutely wonderful. You are so dang talented and clever. If you don't have the dern rocks make em! You are right, the twins are the stars of the show. And that smile is worth a zillion dollars! I am overwhelmed by this make. Would you look at those bricks!! You are a major talent - that's unanimous!
    sandy xx

  31. Hi Sara Emily!
    I just want to start off by saying your piece is brilliant!! Talk about a transformation! And your little men are absolutely darling!! What a wonderful and artistic way to preserve these precious memories. I always look forward to visiting you and I ALWAYS learn something fabulous and inspiring. Thank you so much for so generously sharing your creativity with us at the Frilly and Funkie Challenge!

  32. Such a beautiful project ! Thanks so much for joining us over at Country View Challenges !
    Corrie x

  33. Such a beautiful layout. Thank you for joining us at Words & Paintery

  34. Wow, what an awesome page...I love the worn-out look and distress. Great job! So delighted you linked your creation with us at Word Art Wednesday. I hope you join us again in our ongoing Challenge. I would love to encourage you with God's Word from 1 John 2:17 which says, "The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever." Have a wonderful week and God bless!

    JO ANN

  35. Fantastic up cycling ! This is really beautiful! So much detail and such cute pictures a brilliant transformation . Thankyou for sharing this with us over at Stamps and Stencils. Toni xx

  36. Such a fabulous way to display family photos . Your layout is a pleasurable feast for the eye full of texture, detail, layers and of course your lovely photos of your super cute son .
    Thanks for sharing this with us at A Vintage Journey
    hugs xx

  37. Incredible piece of mixed media art - what a wonderful blend of elements! Thanks for joining us at Happy Little Stampers.

  38. Beautiful! Thank you for joining us at Words & Paintery!


Thank you for leaving your comments...they mean so much to me.