Thursday, December 24, 2020

Merry Christmas Wishes

Wishing you all a peaceful and Merry Christmas! I copied my own card from this Saturday Showcase at The Funkie Junkie Boutique blog and used my new Cardinal die from Simon Says Stamp as a decorative lift tab for the flap. Think this fella's going to get a lot of use this winter.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Sara Emily

Challenge shares:

Simon Says Stamp Monday -Celebrate!

Simon Says Stamp Wednesday - Sparkle and Shine

Country View Challenges December 2020 - Anything Christmas

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

See The Garland, Gleaming Red - a Christmas ATC

Happy night before Christmas Eve! Can you believe it? Whatever happened to this month? I am finally getting in the Christmas spirit now that my cards are sent out and the cookies are made. Mixed with the cheerfulness of the season is the sadness I feel over A Vintage Journey closing down their blog. Having been a fan of this inspiring challenge blog and the very talented team members just about since they started it back in 2014, it was a huge day for me when Brenda asked me to join the team. I had to cut my time there short after just three years last year due to life getting in the way, but my life has been made richer by being a part of a genuinely close-knit and supportive team and making wonderful friendships. It was very important to me to join in with their last challenge, and so here is my Christmas ATC to play along, taking one more opportunity to celebrate the birth of Christ.

I don't have much in the way of how this came together. It was more or less just things that were leftover on my worktop after a flurry of Christmas card making and DT projects for The Funkie Junkie Boutique challenge blog. All the little bits and pieces seemed to work so well together, this ATC practically made itself.

While I've been using a newer poinsettia die by Sizzix all season long, this old Tim Holtz Layered Poinsettia Bigz die holds a special place in my heart, especially paired with the coordinating Poinsettia embossing folder. A bit of Diamond Dust and Stickles makes this poinsettia sparkle.

I've used a new favorite addition to my stash to serve as the background--Knitted 3D Embossing Folder by Sizzix. I just smeared green and red ink pads right over top the embossed card and then, topped it with a smear of Prima White Gold wax. What could be easier? 

This year's Tim Holtz Stunning Snowflake cut from his Metallic Kraft Stock adds some elegance and glamour to the festive seasonal colors.

After choosing this Tim Holtz sticker for my sentiment, (already inked, but sidelined from another project) I had to tuck in a snip of red tinsel ribbon from my stash (the only thing that I actually didn't have leftover on my desk). After cutting the knitted panel to regulation ATC size and rounding the corners, I added it to a sanded scrap of Metallic Jewel Kraft Stock. Just to make it interesting, I left those corners sharp.


That's all for me today! I'm thrilled I had the opportunity to play along in A Vintage Journey's final challenge, and hopefully, I'll have a chance to make and link up a second ATC, this time, to meet their 'farewell' part of the challenge. 

I'll have a couple of cards to share with you over the next couple of days, so I hope you'll have a chance to have another peek in later this week. If not, have a very Merry and blessed Christmas, and I'll see you in the New Year! Sara Emily

Challenge shares:

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Poinsettia Embossing with Oxides

Sara Emily Barker 3D Poinsettia Christmas Cards #timholtz #3dpoinsettia #christmas 1

Hello and welcome! I hope you are staying safe and healthy while enjoying some last minute Christmas preparations. Sadly, I procrastinated on sending out Christmas greetings this year. Having been persuaded by social media to purchase more Christmas craft goodies than I will ever get to use this year, I decided to pull out one of my favorites of the season to mass produce some cards. It's pretty clear I was inspired by Debi Adams beautiful Christmas card here, although I could never hold a candle to her level of artistry. 

Sara Emily Barker 3D Poinsettia Christmas Cards #timholtz #3dpoinsettia #christmas 2

I made a bunch of these cards, and each is slightly different. After embossing water color paper with the Poinsettia 3D embossing folder by Tim Holtz, I colored the design with a variety of Distress Oxides and inks. I smooshed the colors onto my mat and used a water brush to layer the color, drying between some colors and blending others. While I did use different products and colors than Debi did, I pretty much just copied everything. While I love her vibrant color palette, I am partial to pink poinsettia's. After applying the color, the image flattens a bit. I  misted the backs and sent them through my die cut machine with the folder for another embossing to make the image crisp and dimensional once again.

Sara Emily Barker 3D Poinsettia Christmas Cards #timholtz #3dpoinsettia #christmas 3

I used a couple of Prima products to add the gold sheen to the green leaves and white highlights to the pink leaves: White Gold Metallique Wax and Old White Matte Wax. Finally I misted with Distress Resist Spray and sprinkled with Diamond Dust from my stash for a frosty finish to most of the cards.

Sara Emily Barker 3D Poinsettia Christmas Cards #timholtz #3dpoinsettia #christmas 4

I left a few without the icy finish, and the one above I added a heat embossed greeting to the front and edged with the White Gold wax.; the others were left plain and a hand written message was written inside.

That's all for today! If I don't manage to create anything else blogworthy before Christmas, I want to wish each of you a very peaceful and joyful Christmas! 

Challenge shares:

Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge Ice Cold

Country View Challenges December 2020 - Anything Christmas

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Teacup Gift Card Holders

Hello friends! I hope you're having a wonderful Christmas season. Just popping in today to let you know I have a Saturday Showcase tutorial for my Cozy, Crazy Teacups as well as these simple teacup gift card holders over at The Funkie Junkie Boutique challenge blog today. I hope you'll join me!
Merry Christmas!
Sara Emily

Challenge shares:
Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge Favorite Technique-Making backgrounds with Ink, Stencils and Stamps; making existing things look vintage- ignore the last teacup!

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Cozy, Crazy Tea Cups for Christmas

Sara Emily Barker  #eileenhull #3Dteacupandspoon #timholtz #snarkycatchristmas #sizzix #knitted3Dembossing 1

Welcome! Today we start a new challenge over at The Funkie Junkie Boutique challenge blog, and it's my turn to host. I call it 'Deck the Halls!', and here is my challenge to you:

"For this challenge, we would like to see those vintage or shabby chic Christmas decorations! This is not about Christmas cards this time, but think about tree ornaments, wreathes, vignettes, mantle or table decorations, etc. with a Christmas theme."

As always, the winner will earn a chance to be a Guest Designer at a future date at The Funkie Junkie Boutique challenge blog, and everyone who enters and follows the rules will go into the draw for the chance to win a $25 spending spree at The Funkie Junkie Boutique. There are also Top 3 Badges for three additional outstanding entries, chosen by the Design Team. Please see the blog for details, and while you are there, be sure to check out the wonderful inspiration by my talented teammates.

I made these three table decorations for each of my grown kids and and my husband to sit at their places at the breakfast table on Christmas morning with a little treat in them from our cats, Biskit and Roger. (I'll probably make one for myself as well, so I don't give away who they're really from. LOL) I think the Christmas Snarky Cats look just like my dear fur-babies, so I just had to have the set. 

I adore Eileen Hull's 3DTeacup and Spoon die, and it was on my wish list ever since I saw teammate Jenny use it HERE. I can imagine so many possibilities for it throughout the year, but for Christmas I wanted to make some cozy chunky knit teacups. I'll be sharing my steps on how these were made in this coming Saturday's Showcase, but for now I'll share a closeup of each of the teacups, but save some surprises for Saturday. Be sure to visit The Funkie Junkie Boutique challenge blog this coming Saturday for the details (you'll be surprised how easy they are to make!) and all the links to products used. 

Sara Emily Barker  #eileenhull #3Dteacupandspoon #timholtz #snarkycatchristmas #sizzix #knitted3Dembossing 2

Sizzix 3D Knitted embossing folder makes for a cozy pattern and texture on the dimensional teacups.

Sara Emily Barker  #eileenhull #3Dteacupandspoon #timholtz #snarkycatchristmas #sizzix #knitted3Dembossing 3

My inspiration to use the Tim Holtz Christmas Snarky Cats and Milk Caps along with the teacups comes from my Saturday morning tradition of bringing home donuts from Krispy Kreme after doing a little yardsale shopping with my daughter. She likes to drink milk with her donut (yuck!) and always drinks it from one of her many teacups. My cats are all over her for a sip from her teacup like white on rice.

Sara Emily Barker  #eileenhull #3Dteacupandspoon #timholtz #snarkycatchristmas #sizzix #knitted3Dembossing 4

In between all your Christmas decorating, shopping and baking, I hope you'll have time to join my Deck the Halls challenge at The Funkie Junkie blog! I look forward to seeing your Christmas decorations! 
Big hugs! Sara Emily

Challenge shares:

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

I Always Thank God For You

Sara Emily Barker #timholtz #sizzix #catherdralwindow #knitted3Dembossing #elegant poinsettia Mixed Media Card 1

Hello and welcome, friends! Happy Thanksgiving to all those who are celebrating it here in the USA with their families and friends! It's time for our newest challenge at The Funkie Junkie Boutique Challenge Blog and Suzz has a timely theme for us -- 'A Time to be Grateful'. Here's how she describes it:

"Around this time of the year when we start to get into the holidays and the rush of everything it is a good time to reflect on what we are grateful for. My challenge to you is to capture that in your art. Show what you are grateful for in any type of project, it could be a journal page,  a card, or anything else that expresses your gratitude. You choose how to show your thankfulness and share it with us."

As always, the winner will earn a chance to be a Guest Designer at a future date at The Funkie Junkie Boutique challenge blog, and everyone who enters and follows the rules will go into the draw for the chance to win a $25 spending spree at The Funkie Junkie Boutique. There are also Top 3 Badges for three additional outstanding entries, chosen by the Design Team. Please see the blog for details, and while you are there, be sure to check out the wonderful inspiration by my talented teammates.

When reflecting on what I am most grateful for, what came to the forefront are my relationships -- whether it be with family, friends, on-line friends and most of all, my relationship with my Almighty Father in heaven. I decided to share those reflections on a simple card, featuring my beloved Sizzix Elegant Poinsettia (you can see it in action here  and here) and my newest (and a new favorite!) 3D embossing folder -- Sizzix Knitted.

Let's take a brief look at the details. I'll share a few highlights of the making, as I have no process shots this time. This card is so simple to make, it will be easy to build up either my Christmas card stash using this design along with a Christmas greeting or perhaps get a head start on those post-Christmas thank you cards.

Sara Emily Barker #timholtz #sizzix #catherdralwindow #knitted3Dembossing #elegant poinsettia Mixed Media Card 2

Using all three of the Poinsettia dies that come with the set, I cut two of each from linen. One set was colored with Fired Brick Oxide Spray and Peeled Paint ink and the other set with with Candied Apple Oxide spray and ink. I just smooshed the ink pads on my glass mat and spritzed with enough water to make a puddle. After I sprayed the bracts with Oxide spray, I dipped them into the puddles. I crinkled the ones colored with Candied Apple and left both sets to dry on their own.   I cut some green leaves from scraps of old Kraft Core, sanded and blended them with Peeled Paint ink. I had gold leaves left over from this project, as well as flower centers and used them for shimmery accents.

More gold paper was used between a layer of old Tim Holtz paper stash colored with Peeled Paint ink and the plaid layer from his new Christmas Paper Stash to form the background. (Love, love, love the designs in this pad!) This was adhered to a 5 x 7 card blank.

Sara Emily Barker #timholtz #sizzix #catherdralwindow #knitted3Dembossing #elegant poinsettia Mixed Media Card 3

I cut some foliage from scraps using the Sizzix Layered Winter Flower die set and tucked them in around the poinsettia. 

Sara Emily Barker #timholtz #sizzix #catherdralwindow #knitted3Dembossing #elegant poinsettia Mixed Media Card 4

The poinsettia takes center stage over the Knitted panel and a Cathedral Window die cut. I love the homey and deep texture of the Knitted 3D embossing. Chunky knit is big in home design this year, and I love there is an embossing folder to bring it to the maker's world, too. To make this panel, I just embossed trimmed white card from my stash. Spritz the panel lightly before inserting it into the folder and run it through the die cutting machine 3 times. I sprayed it with Antique Linen Oxide spray, dried with my heat tool and then blended the raised texture and edges with Frayed Burlap ink. 

The Cathedral Window die cut actually came in the little gift bag Linda includes with your order from The Funkie Junkie Boutique. I just spritzed it with Walnut Stain Oxide spray, dried and blended with  Peeled Paint ink.

Sara Emily Barker #timholtz #sizzix #catherdralwindow #knitted3Dembossing #elegant poinsettia Mixed Media Card 5

The sentiment is stamped in Black Soot Archival ink and heat embossed with gold powder on a scrap of card. I realized the card was too white after embossing, so I spritzed with Antique Linen Oxide spray and blended with Frayed Burlap ink. 

Sara Emily Barker #timholtz #sizzix #catherdralwindow #knitted3Dembossing #elegant poinsettia Mixed Media Card 6

That's my take on the 'A Time to Be Grateful' challenge. You have two weeks to link up your project over at the blog to be in the running for some great prizes! I can't wait to see what you make! Happy Crafting! Sara Emily

Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Christmas

These products were used and can be purchased at The Funkie Junkie Boutique:

Sizzix Chapter 3 Thinlits Dies - Elegant Poinsettia

Chapter 4 3D Textured Impressions Embossing Folder - Knitted

Sizzix Chapter 3 Thinlits Dies - Layered Winter Flower

Chapter 4 Tim Holtz Bigz Die - Cathedral Window

Tim Holtz Idea-ology Mini Stash - Christmas

Tim Holtz Distress Ink Pads - Candied Apple, Frayed Burlap, Peeled Paint, Black Soot Archival

Tim Holtz Distress Oxide Spray - Antique Linen, Candied Apple, Fired Brick, Walnut Stain

Ranger Embossing Powder - Gold

Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Collage Medium Matte

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Bright and Merry!

Hello! It's time for a new challenge at The Funkie Junkie Boutique challenge blog and Cec is our hostess. She names her challenge  'Celebrate', and here's how she describes it:

"Your challenge is to create a shabby chic or vintage project to celebrate someone or something special. Since celebrations are happy occasions, your project should be made with lots of happy, bright colours. Keep your dull or neutral colours to a minimum please because as winter approaches we will have lots of that naturally so your bright colours must be predominant."

As always, the winner will earn a chance to be a Guest Designer at a future date at The Funkie Junkie Boutique challenge blog, and everyone who enters and follows the rules will go into the draw for the chance to win a $25 spending spree at The Funkie Junkie Boutique. There are also Top 3 Badges for three additional outstanding entries, chosen by the Design Team. Please see the blog for details. While you are there, be sure to check out all the amazing inspiration by my talented teammates.

Well, I could not think of anything more bright or happier than the upcoming Christmas season, so I decided to make a tag to Celebrate! I think my tag looks even brighter (although busier) with the contrast of an old rusty metal grate in the background. What do you think?

Below, I'm sharing some close up photos followed by a brief tutorial on how this tag came together. You'll see I used just the teensiest bit of white on the Christmas word tag seen directly below, otherwise it's bright colors and gold and silver everywhere you look!

So  let's get started...I started by coloring white yupo paper with red alcohol inks and pearls. You'll see the colors I used two photos down. While  I'm not one to look at videos and just tend to do my own thing, I'm sharing  a link to this video that gives some great tips for using alcohol inks. 

For my red panel (and then green panel further below), I just dripped the inks starting with the lightest and kept adding and dripping with alcohol blending solution and occasionally spraying with isopropyl alcohol. In the end, I placed a silver foil sheet over the panel, burnished it and removed to leave some silvery spots and veins.

I decided my flower needed contrast between the layers so I inked this metallic paper I had in my stash, layered the two red inks by pouncing with an alcohol ink tool/felt. You can see the die cut on the left (shown below) has just the lightest red applied thus far, and I'm starting to build up the color on the other two.

I applied the pearls directly to the edges of the bracts. (These are actually leaves, but because they are colored, most people think of them as the flower.) In the end, but not shown, I pounced on some of the green alcohol inks and shaped the die cuts to give dimension to the flower. I tried shaping the yupo die cuts by heating with my heat tool, but this turned out not to be a good idea--the colored layer started to peel up, revealing white underneath.

I chose shimmery silver yupo for the green and yellow ink panel and cut a few green leaves and the cyathia from it. (More commonly known as the flower's center, but it's actually the flower of a poinsettia plant. Just sayin'...) I also cut some from gold metallic paper from my stash, but in the end cut a few from the silver metallic paper above and colored them in lighter shades of pink and green and used those instead.

To make the flower center, I colored some stamens with Alchemy Alcohol Pearls and Citrus Alcohol ink and cut off the wire stems. I adhered them through a hole punched in a burst die cut from Metallic Kraft Stock  using the Ornamental Birds die set.

The background is from my stash. I had written notes on the back for some reason, and this is what I had written:  "Print left by cleaning off a stencil inked with Evergreen Bough ink. (I didn't note which stencil, and it wasn't a clear print.) Blended with Mowed Lawn ink. Sprayed with Peeled Paint Oxide Spray." 

On choosing this background for my project, I decided it needed to have some yellows to brighten it, so I blended the top with Fossilized Amber ink and then spritzed the ink left on the mat with water. I  dipped the panel into the little beads of ink, and after drying, I blended with Cracked Pistachio ink to up the brightness. I had quite a bit of Alchemy squeezed out from dipping the stamens that I wanted to use up, so I dipped a paintbrush into that and splattered the panel with that, too.

The sentiment is a combination of die cuts and embossed stamping. I used Christmas Ribbon and Alphanumeric Tiny Type Thinlit die sets for Merry, Bright and "AND"  is from one of the stamps from Tim Holtz' Festive Overlay stamp set. The background was cut with a Stacked Tags die and layered over trimmed red card (stash) and gold Metallic Kraft Stock.

I keep a stash of the little dyed crinkle ribbons that have come off the little packages that come in Linda's orders, and I chose a few lighter colored ones and dyed them further with inks and alcohol inks that coordinated with the rest of the tag. 

The last detail to add is the silver colored metal word tag that says Christmas. I found this single tag in my stash, but had to alter it to work it into my color scheme. I used Picket Fence and Tarnished Brass Distress paints and some gold foil and attached it to the ribbon with a loop pin.

That's my take on the 'Celebrate' challenge! Remember there's more inspiration by the team on the blog--be sure to have a look. Then it's over to you! We would love to see your happy, bright colors on your vintage or shabby chic projects, so be sure to link them up here. I can't wait to see what you create! Happy crafting! Sara Emily

Challenge Shares:

Simon Says Stamp Monday Remembrance/Thinking Of You (at Christmas)

Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Thinking Of You (at Christmas)

Country View Challenges November 2020 - Anything But A Card

These products were used and can be purchased at The Funkie Junkie Boutique:

Sizzix Chapter 3 Thinlits Dies - Elegant Poinsettia 

Tim Holtz Alcohol Ink Yupo Paper, White

Sizzix Thinlits Die Set 7pk - Stacked Tags by Tim Holtz

Sizzix Tim Holtz Thinlits Die Set - Christmas Ribbon

Sizzix Chapter 1 Tim Holtz Thinlits Dies - Alphanumeric Tiny Type Upper

Stampers Anonymous Tim Holtz Rubber Stamps - Festive Overlay

Ranger Tim Holtz Alcohol Inks - Watermelon, Citrus, Botanical, Poppyfield

Ranger Tim Holtz Alcohol Pearls - Alchemy, Deception, Sublime

Ranger Tim Holtz Alcohol Blending Solution

Ranger Tim Holtz Alcohol Ink Mini Applicator Tool

Tim Holtz Idea-ology 8 x 8 Metallic Kraft Stock

Tim Holtz Distress Ink Pads - Evergreen Bough, Mowed Lawn, Candied Apple, Cracked Pistachio, Fossilized Amber, Black Soot Archival

Tim Holtz Distress Paint - Picket Fence, Tarnished Brass

Tim Holtz Distress Oxide Spray - Peeled Paint

Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Collage Medium Matte

Ranger Embossing Powder - Gold - Super Fine Detail

Artificial Flower Pearlized Stamen

Pack of Perfect Pins - 3/4" Mini Safety Pins

Rayon Seam Binding

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Home is Where I Am

Hello and welcome! Today  starts a new challenge at The Funkie Junkie Boutique challenge blog and Jenny is hosting 'Home is Where the Heart Is'. Here's how she describes her challenge theme:

 "What does 'home' mean to you? Maybe it's a place of safety, somewhere you live with family or friends, or a place that holds treasured memories. It may be somewhere you can be yourself or a place from where you can grow and thrive. Whatever 'home' means to you create a project of your choice that represents it."

As always, the winner will earn a chance to be a Guest Designer at a future date at The Funkie Junkie Boutique challenge blog, and everyone who enters and follows the rules will go into the draw for the chance to win a $25 spending spree at The Funkie Junkie Boutique. There are also Top 3 Badges for three additional outstanding entries, chosen by the Design Team. Please see the blog for details. While you are there, be sure to check out all the amazing inspiration by my talented teammates.

Home means a lot of different things to me, but mostly I would say home is where I am. It's been different places throughout my life, and I've decided to represent different stages of my life on some wood block house ornaments. I'll start with a photo of the original blocks as I found them at a yard sale followed by closeups of each of the ornaments. Finally, I'll take you through the steps on how these came together. There were lots of steps and lots of photos, so grab a good drink and snack. This will be another long post.

These were hand crafted by a nice old man who seems to have better woodcrafting, than spelling, skills. He insisted the blocks spelled out HOME, while I smiled, handed him my dollar bill, and nodded my agreement. Uh huh. LOL

Let's start with the farmhouse that I called my full time home for my first eleven years and then a few more years on visits. That's me, in pink, with my oldest brother just around the corner. You can see this is the only home with snow, because we lived up north. I've lived in more southern areas in the other stages of my life depicted on the remaining three blocks. We're lucky if we get a little dusting every other year. but we always get a good frost on the roof. 

Some of my fondest and clearest memories of living in this home are the snowy winters, building great igloos and snow forts out of the massive snowdrifts formed after the snowplow had been through a time or two. Winter was a time of fun for us kids, while the more temperate months on our dairy farm were spent working in the fields and gardens--not so memorable. Although building tunnels out of hay bales in the hay barn was pretty amazing! But that was after the hard work of bringing in the hay was done.

My other two brothers, one older than me, and one younger pose around back. I selected the trading stamps from the Christmas ephemera pack, because I do remember pasting those stamps into a book when I was a kid--such fun!

Here's my two sisters, both older than me. I still remember a plaid dress similar to these, in green, handed down from sister to sister to sister. Even though there's a 25 on the ephemera, there's no other mention of Christmas on this one, since we did not celebrate Christmas when I was a kid. Sad, yes, but I make up for it now; throughout the year in fact, as I have a small vintage Santa collection I keep out year round.

 I chose this block with the big chimney, as one of the highlights of my childhood is the fire that started from the wood stove in the kitchen, one of two wood stoves which heated the house. My mom didn't live with us then, and my dad was in Europe visiting family. My oldest brothers and sisters had to grow up fast and managed to keep everyone safe and the house standing.

I skip ahead to when I was an adult, living on my own. After a series of other homes, this one was an important one to me, as it was my first home I saved up to purchase on my own. No more crazy roommates or rentals for this girl!

The younger version of myself looks ahead to see what's around the corner. It's 'good will to men' (and women and kids), as a I continue to work on my career as an LPTA helping others rehabilitate after neurological accidents like strokes, spinal cord injuries, and brain/head injuries. What a rewarding career that makes you thankful for your own health.

Here's my current 'home' status: Married with two kids. My kids are grown now, but back under the family roof once again, thanks to all the craziness going on with the pandemic. Nothing says 'home' like arguing over who ate the last of the frozen waffles, the extra clutter of three households now under one roof, or (on the good side) the family dinners we share or the occasional board game marathons we have. 

Around the side I chose the horizontal 'Christmas' from the Collage Wrap, as seen in the final photo below.

Next I take a glimpse into the future, when my husband and I might someday be empty nesters. I visualize a smaller home, and perhaps the kiddos will have families of their own, leaving us to celebrate most of Christmas on our own. Perhaps we might get a letter or card from them (See the letter and stamp ephemera?) and a quick visit, special delivery. 

Now let's take a look at how these little wood homes were made. They really are quite simple with the help of Tim Holtz Holly Ideaology Collage Wrap, a handful of mixed media supplies and very few details. I'm very fond of tiny things, and I was lucky to have enough of the smallest Paper Dolls from last year's Christmas pack to tell my 'home' story on these little blocks of wood. I was a little saddened to see this year's pack didn't cater to my specific wants. (Tim?) On the up side, there's a whole new wonderful cast of characters! I've linked to the new Christmas Paper Dolls below.

I start by applying Dina Wakley's White Gesso over the sides and bottom of each 'house'. The roofs are painted right over the existing color with Distress Paints: Barn Door, Fired Brick and a dry brushing of Black Soot on the red roofs and Black Soot and Hickory Smoke on the other two.

 I painted the reverse side of a couple of lengths of the collage paper, after determining what portions I wanted to show on my houses. I set that aside to dry while I continued to work on the blocks themselves. Some of the photos may seem a little out of sequence (or as you'll see later on--non-existant). I am constantly working on one part while allowing another part to dry, and lots of other business happens around the house between steps, so photos get forgotten, but I believe I can walk you through  the process.

I stroke on one more light coat of Fired Brick paint on the red roofs and sprinkle with Fired Brick Embossing Glaze powder. I dry with my heat tool to melt the powder. You'll notice I also painted the chimney with Black Soot paint at some point. After the roofs are fully cooled, I scuff with steel wool; I want texture but not shine. 

I repeat this process with the darkest roof with Black Soot paint and Walnut Stain Embossing Glaze powder.  I think I used the Embossing Dabber and Walnut Stain Embossing Glaze on the snowy roof. At various points in my process, I smeared on some Distress Grit Paste sprinkled with Distress Glitter to make the snow on the farmhouse roof and in drifts around the base. ( All of these process photos apparently were deleted or not taken--apologies.)

Each of the houses is wrapped in bits of the prepared Collage Wrap, making sure the desired images were in place. I do this by applying collage medium to the block, laying the desired portion of collage wrap over the wet medium and burnishing with my finger, not being particular about any wrinkles. Once the adhesive dries, I trim with scissors then lightly sand the edges to remove excess paper. 

I smeared on Distress Crackle paste randomly on each house and allowed to dry. I later decided to apply some stencil work, using the festive repeat stencil from Mini Stencil set 21 and Candied Apple ink. In hindsight, I should have used archival ink, so my final layer of collage medium wouldn't smear the ink. But I embraced the imperfection...

I decided to break from the red pattern and switched instead to brown for my non-Christmas homestead. Red would be too Christmas-y a color for this home.

After the wrap and crackle was in place and dried, I coated each of the houses with Vintage Collage Medium. When that dried, I smeared with Walnut Stain Crayon to accentuate the cracks. (not pictured) As predicted, the ink smeared under the collage medium, but I decided it lended a vintage quality to these already vintage houses, which I love. You might notice I chipped off the snow on the farm house when it got dirty from my stencil work and replaced it with some new. One thing we did not have on the farm was dirty snow!

At this point, I decided I wanted to 'frost' the three remaining roofs, so I swiped them with the Embossing Dabber randomly and sprinkled with Ranger Sticky Embossing Powder. This powder is heated just until melted and then immediately sprinkled with  Clear Rock Candy Distress Glitter. Heat it once again to 'lock in' the glitter. Above you can see what the sticky powder looks like before it's heated.

Here's the drone shot of each of the houses. Brrr! It looks cold from this view!

I chose a scrap of green ink mop up paper from my stash and add to it inks (Iced Spruce, Mowed Lawn and Pine Needles and Frayed Burlap Distress Oxide Spray splatters. I used one of the tiny dies from the Sizzix Foliage Wrap set to cut little pine boughs to tuck in behind my paper dolls. Each of the die cuts is then dipped front and back into puddles of watery Pine Needles ink and dried with a heat tool before adhering.

I altered a pair of bow adornments from the Ideaology Ribbon and Bows set, first by brushing with collage medium and then covering with Fired Brick Embossing Glaze Powder. I heat to melt, and when completely cooled, I smudge with a bit of  Prima Metallique Wax. These are adhered to the ends of two of the houses with collage medium.

All of the Paper Dolls are colored with Distress Embossing Glazes: Fired Brick, Tattered Rose, Cracked Pistachio and Speckled Egg were used. I use the embossing pen to apply the ink in one desired area and sprinkle with one color at a time, heating each color before moving onto another area. When they are all cooled, I buff with steel wool. All ephemera and paper doll edges are blended with Frayed Burlap ink.

As you can see from my little ornaments, home will always be where I am. I'm looking forward to seeing how you interpret what home means to you when you enter our challenge! Happy crafting! Hugs! Sara Emily
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These products were used and can be purchased at The Funkie Junkie Boutique:

Tim Holtz Distress Embossing Glaze - Tattered Rose, Fired Brick, Cracked Pistachio, Speckled Egg, Walnut Stain
Tim Holtz Distress Ink Pads - Candied Apple, Evergreen Bough, frayed Burlap, Iced Spruce, Mowed Lawn, Pine Needles
Tim Holtz Distress Paint - Barn Door, Black Soot, Fired Brick, Hickory Smoke