Sunday 23 November 2014

A Christmas Tale, Jane's Journal countdown to Christmas 2014

When is a card not a card? .....when it's a book. To explain myself; some time ago I bought a Tim Holtz configurations box book. I have been saving it for a special project. When I saw the challenge "All sewn up" over at A Vintage Journey I decided that it was time to get decorating. I chose to make a very special gift card for my son for Christmas. He is so like me and even at 25 loves everything about this magical time of the year. I realised my box book could become a Christmas card and decoration gift for him all rolled into one.I spent some time thinking about a theme and I decided that it would resemble a cloth bound vintage book on the outside and that inside it could tell a little vintage Christmas story.

 It is also the very last challenge over at Lili of the Valley, who are so dear to my heart. I wanted to make something really special for this too. So this became a special Jane's Journal Tim Holtz and Lili of the Valley vintage fusion.

For those of my blogging friends who have no idea what a configurations box book looks like, here it is in its raw undecorated state. 
It has little compartments which you can decorate as well as a "cover" to make it look like a book from the outside.

I made the very brave decision to not only decorate the inside but also to make a cover for the outside which would resemble a vintage cloth bound book.

 I suggest you grab a cuppa at this point or pop back when you have some more time as this is a very picture heavy post.

Firstly to make my box look more like a book I added some acrylic paints to texture paste and covered the top and side to look like book pages.

I spread this down the edges with a palette knife and roughened it up a little
When it was dry I also added some gold gilding wax.
To make the "cloth" covers I decided to first paint some printed papers with watered down Gesso. When Gesso dries it gives the paper a very different, almost material feel to it. I added some festive stamping, some stenciling and lots of Tim's Christmas remnant rubs. I love these as you get a black and white sheet in the pack. 
Here is part of the back cover showing my "gilded "pages. I also distressed them to give even more of a vintage feel
and below is a close up of the back cover.

Here is the front cover. I added lots of stencilling too. I also altered some silver metal menu holders with Distress Paint and added them as book corners.
You can also see that I tried to make the binding look like material. To do this I embossed some green card and added it as a spine for the book, with plenty of distress ink and gilding wax to "age" it. I added Remnant rubs to look like the title of the book.
and here is the book opened out.

For the inside cover I die cut my Cheery Lynn Merry Christmas sentiment as I shall write in this for my son.
I added some distress glitter for even more texture.
Above is the inside page, I used Astrid's free Santa download for this page from her blog, thanks Astrid.
So having made my "cloth" book covers, which I will confess took a lot of time and patience, it was time to think about what to put inside.
I had bought some fun wooden pieces which I thought my son would like. I then had to decide the arrangement of my little boxes.
I made some tiny little parcels which I wrapped with Christmas paper and tied with gold sewing thread. I altered the deer with metallic distress paint and I hand sewed a little hessian sack and made a little draw string for it with embroidery cotton.

I also made a little wreath, using the TH garland wire below which I stitched together and added some bells and ribbons will see this later.

Now my son is not really into LOTV cute fairies so I chose an image from their great Christmas eve art pad. 
I chose the bottom image from this page to use as the main Christmas scene. My son loves snowmen so I thought this one would be perfect to use. I also thought that the cottages already gave me an idea for a little Christmas story to tell with my artwork. 
My whole theme of my "book"is a
of a  vintage childhood Christmas.

So I then spent hours creating all these little boxes, each one is a special scene.
So how about a peep inside then........
I shall open up the pages.............and tell you a story..........

Come on in...............
Once upon a time one snowy Christmas Eve, in the village of Deepwish stood a snowman. Deepwish was such a pretty little village with cottages all lit up in the darkness by golden lights shining from within. Roaring fires inside added to the cosy glow. The snowman had been made by the children that afternoon. They had given him a hat and scarf which he wore with pride.  The moon had already risen into the inky sky lighting it up like a little beacon.

The snowman had a friend called  Leaping Deer who reared up with excitement as they watched the children excitedly taking their sledges home. Their shrill young voices could be heard ringing like bells through the still cold air. It was nearly time for Father Christmas to make his annual visit on his sleigh with his sack of presents bulging to the brim. The children hurried home eager to get to bed and await his arrival.
No one in Deepwish could ever remember the snow being so deep, it glinted in the moonlight like thousands of diamonds.

Daisy Harper was 7 years old and lived at Holly cottage. She knew that the deep snow would make a soft landing for Rudolf as he led his merry band of reindeer that night. It would be hard to hear the hooves on the roof, even if she managed to stay awake. 
 There were decorations up all around her home; lots of Christmas cards and in pride of place in the parlour was the Christmas tree with a special magical blue star at the top. She had stood there that evening and made a special wish before she kissed her parents goodnight and they tucked her into bed.

Daisy knew that tonight was such a magical one. She had written her list, using her favourite ink pen, to Father Christmas and sent it up the chimney a few weeks back. She knew that  if she had been good girl all year perhaps he would visit her and leave a present or two..........

As the clock in the hall struck 12 there was a gentle thud on the roof of Holly Cottage. There was also the sound of jingle bells and the crunch of boots walking through the snow. With a sparkle of magic dust a jolly face appeared and  smiled at the sight of the sweet sleeping girl. Shhhh, don't wake her...Father Christmas had arrived...Sweet dreams little Daisy and Merry Christmas. It looks as though all your Christmas wishes will come true  xxxxxxx

The End

I hope you enjoyed my little Christmas tale ;0)

Here are a couple more shots of the inside scenes

The Father Christmas image is by Nicecrane Designs. I also reduced a couple of images to 1cm size and made the tiny Christmas cards. Ignacio has lots of wonderful vintage Christmas designs. The tree is a Tim Holtz tree which I altered with Dylusions spray ink and I added some sewing thread as tinsel and gems as baubles. 
The icicle border is Cheery Lynn cut with a shimmery white card stock. The holly and Santa sleigh are also CL and the branch is Marianne.
The charms and corners are all from my jewellery making stash.

I absolutely loved making this piece and I have put lots of love into it for my darling son for Christmas xxx

It's his card and decoration for this year...all sewn up ;0)

I would like to enter my box card into the following challenges;

A Vintage Journey all sewn up
Lili of the Valley Merry Christmas
Sparkles Monthly The big guy aka Santa
                               Mixed Media Monthly stamps I have used lots of stamps to make the covers of my project
                                                         Divas by Design let it snow
                                               Frilly and Funkie a gift from the heart
                                                              Bunny Zoe snow
                                 Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas getting ready for Christmas
                                    Rhedds Creative Spirit mixed media anything goes
Pan Pastels UK cold and frosty colours

It has been such a dismal, wet day here. I hope that my little tale has put a smile on your faces. Enjoy your Sunday evening. 

Back soon,

Bye for now.

Jane x


  1. Oh. My. Goodness!!! What a splendiferous box card story!!! OK.. you need to publish this as a holiday story book! You would sell millions and gain fame and fortune!! :-) Really! It's magnificent! Good job. Your son will be so impressed! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  2. What a beautiful gift and card in one, Jane, made with such care and attention for your dear son! I'm sure he will adore and proudly display it!
    I loved your pretty tale and found myself with goosebumps as I read it - it really captured the spirit of Christmas! I suppose like many, we get caught up in the hype and consumerism of Christmas, so it's nice to be reminded of that special feeling that the festive season brings and that little touch of magic! I'm looking forward to the decorations and the time spent with family and friends and the traditional Christmas things like carol singing around the village tree, making Christingle oranges and seeing the children dressed up for the nativity on Christmas Eve! It really is a 'most wonderful time of the year' when we stop and forget all the material things and just enjoy the season! Hugs, Lisa x

  3. Wow Jane what an amazing box book and a lovely story to go with it

  4. Adore this Jane and what a beautiful keepsake. Love how you have a story to go along with it. Makes the magic of Christmas come alive.
    Julie x

  5. Oh for goodness sake Jane, this positively takes the biscuit for inventiveness! LOVE the way you've altered the cover and then the individual scenes are a joy to behold. How imaginative of you to add the tale to explain each and every one. Thank you so much for joining us at Frilly and Funkie and at A Vintage Journey. Jenny x

  6. Well Jane, I think you have surpassed yourself this time, what can I say, it's absolutely amazing!
    You have made it look so like a vintage book, I love the spine and the ageing pages, it really is wonderful and as for the inside....well, just wow!
    M will love it !!

    V x

    P.S. have you ever thought about writing a book?? :)

  7. Your project is gorgeous! Love all the detail in your design. Thank you for sharing with us at Sparkles Monthly Challenge.

  8. Stunning Jane, absolutely stunning, there's no other way to describe the amazing project you have produced. I think I'd like to go and live in Deepwish too! Thanks so much for playing along with us at Sparkles this month, good luck and hope to see you again.

    Brenda B
    Sparkles DT

  9. Wow - what a great book you created - story and all - so fun with each little scene and all the dripping and mounded snow! Thanks so much for joining us in the AVJ All Sewn Up Challenge with this creative project!

  10. SO wonderful! All the details are just awesome!

    Mixed Media Monthly Challenge DT

  11. What a wonderful story to go with a sweet book! Perfectly charming!

  12. What an amazing box book, Jane! It is so special and so very festive and stepping into Christmas! I love the cover, especially the book spine!! And the inside is delighted your son will be with this treasure!
    Have a good week, and keep cosy.
    Helen xox

  13. Oh my Jane, you have outdone yourself!
    I cannot begin to tell you how much I love your creation!
    It must be published and shown to Tim of course ;)

    Thank You also for all the time you have spent sharing each step of your creation. I truly appreciate both your talent and generosity!


  14. Hi Jane,
    I'm always so impressed with your marvelous designs! I see you've outdone yourself with the book/box creation! I 'll be visiting often to recharge my Christmas Spirit!

    Have a great week!
    Jane T

  15. Simply stunning, I love the techniques you have used and the images and colour palette...wonderful pockets of christmas inside...just gorgeous and a lovely entry for our challenge over at Rhedd's Creative Challenge...x

  16. Incredible Dear Jane!! Love the story and I adore the card. Your son will keep this forever and ever!! Beautiful and so brilliantly thought out!
    Happy days to you and yours, xoRobin

  17. This is fantastic, Jane. Thanks for entering more of your lovely crafting for CHNC challenge 204 - you could also enter this into my CHNC challenge extra for November - I'd love to see it there too. x

  18. Oh my goodness are so clever!! Your son is going to be thrilled with his box really is a magical treasure and very special indeed x
    Hope you're having a lovely week,
    Susan x

  19. Brilliant work here Jane! I LOVE this configuration box. All the care and detail for each box is a real treat! I am blown away! Thanks for joining and sharing this amazing creation with Frilly and Funkie!


  20. Oh my heavens, Jane, this book box is absolutely incredible. The details are amazing and it turned out totally gorgeous. What a fantastic gift you have made for your son - LOVE IT! Thanks so mud for sharing it with us over at Frilly and Funkie!


  21. What an awesome configurations box. I love all the details you used to make the little scenes and the cover is so vintage and Christmassy. Thanks for joining us at The Mixed Media Monthly Challenge.

  22. Jane this is sheer utter delight from top to bottom and inside and out. Your many hours of creating the details have worked beautifully and it is a very inspirational piece. Lucky me to have seen it in real life, it is so inspirational.
    Thanks for linking to 'All Sewn Up' at A Vintage Journey.
    hugs Brenda xxx

  23. Wow, Jane - just amazing! You already had me with the covers - fabulous layering and vintage look. And then all those amazing details in the compartments inside... this is just enchanting! Thanks so much for joining us on A Vintage Journey.
    Alison xx

  24. Hello Jane, This IS enchanting and then some!! What a memorable present for M. Thank you for spreading some Christmas spirit around in blogland.

    Happy almost December!!
    Anne and all xx

  25. Dear Jane,

    I am back to blogging&commenting with my fixed pc, and wow! wow! wow! This was the best ever Christmas-post, and what a precious box/book, I am sure M loved it so. It just makes the most treasured thing to put on a mantelpiece - and the Holiday Spirit there. Fantastic!

    Have a wonderful 1st Advent, dear friend!


  26. WOW this is amazing the details and sheer time thought and effort that has gone into it - a masterpiece! Many thanks for joining the Rhedd's Creative Spirit challenge and good luck!!! Melissa (DT)

  27. Such a stunning work of art, love it all.

    Thank you so much for coming over and joining us at Rhedd's Creative Spirit.

    Great Big Huge Hugs

    Becca xxx (DT Member)

  28. This is an amazing project Jane. I'm just commenting for LOTV but I'll be back later for a better look!

    Thanks for joining our 'Merry Christmas' challenge!

    Good Luck!

    Anne x
    Lili of the Valley

  29. OMG Jane absolutely a stunning box cad, such a lot of rich details here,,,,,love everything,,,,,,,,,,,you are soooo creativeeeee,, yeahhh

  30. Jane, your book card is FABULOUS!! Oh my goodness, I came over to take a quick peek and ended up spending my evening drooling over your magical creation. The spine of the book looks so authentic as do the 'pages'!! Each miniature scene inside is a tiny work of love. What a peaceful little town you've created. You are an awesome mother. I know your son will treasure this forever. Thank you so much for sharing your art with us at the Frilly and Funkie Challenge!!

  31. my goodness you have been busy! i love your config box! each little square holds such a pretty scene! Thank you so much for playing with the Mixed Media Monthly Challenge!

  32. Dear Jane, this is absolutely AMAZING, really, really fabulous, I can only imagine how much fun, but also how long it took to make. I really enjoyed the story, perfect for getting me into the spirit of Christmas, all those little details are spot on. I hope it does well for you in the challenge. Bethxx


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Jane x