Thursday 2 January 2014

Unplug and Go Outside

Happy New Year to you - wishing you a 2014 filled with good health and happiness. Many thanks for stopping by.

I'm especially pleased to post today as I've made this project as Guest Designer for one of the most talented and educational blogs around - Frilly and Funkie Challenge. The fabulous F&F team have as their challenge theme this fortnight 'New Year's Resolutions'. My top resolution is to spend less time on pc and smartphone and more time outside.

I wanted to created something light and fresh after all the darker coloured Christmas makes. As it is very stormy and wet in these parts recently I also needed something bright and pretty to entice me outdoors. The gorgeous Graphic 45 'Secret Garden' papers seem to meet these requirements imho. (Picture laden post follows!).

I've decorated a Tim Holtz Idea-ology configurations box with a selection of 'Secret Garden' papers. Similar to when I made box using Graphic 45 'A Ladies' Diary' papers I turned the Idea-ology box into a hinged type box with dummy outer and inner lids. In order to keep piece looking light I first painted the box and Idea-ology feet with a coat of Gesso, then two coats of PaperArtsy 'Vintage Lace' paint followed by a top coat of PaperArtsy 'Metallic Glaze' - this adds a lovely pearlescent shimmer.

The top lid has been embellished with lots of diecuts, charms and flowers - most of which I've drenched with 'Clear Rock Candy' distress glitter so that they all look sugary sweet. The two soft blue felt roses are from a prize I was lucky enough to win from the lovely Ivana at Paper Girl Crafts. (Ivana's blog and beautiful creations are well worth checking out). I've also wrapped the lid with pretty venise lace - you can see it here at Linda's Funkie Junkie Boutique. As usual I've managed to also include a bow.

I added a light dusting of Frantage to the papers and then set about doing a whole lot of cutting and pasting.

I can't remember who sent me a freebie of a diecut picket fence ages ago - it came in very handy here to give dimension to the inner lid. Painted fence with a few coats of PaperArtsy 'Snowflake' to give a clean white. Again decorated the little inner scene with glittered flowers, charms, ribbon and a Prima resin birdhouse.

The last time I altered an Idea-ology box I pasted paper to both the inside and outside of the drawers but the added layers made for a very tight fit. This time I painted the outer sides with pearly pale pink as above and just papered the drawer insides.

One of my favourite features of the box is the front 'lock'. First of all I diecut two layers of chipboard using Sizzix Bigz 'Hardware Findings' die. Then also diecut some thin grungepaper. I embossed the grungepaper layer with Sizzix Regal Flourishes folder so that it would have impressions similar to the Idea-ology box feet. Somehow though by the time I had glued the three diecut layers together and painted as above, alas it had mostly lost the embossed impressions - maybe the base coat of gesso was too thick. Added in two little gold brads as faux nails.

Around top and bottom sides I stencilled some Butterflies and Dragonflies using a Crafters Workshop stencil and white texture paste. Whilst wet I sprinkled on more distress glitter in 'Clear Rock Candy' - a girl has gotta add sparkle every chance she gets!

Very many thanks to the always inspirational Frilly and Funkie Challenge Blog for allowing me feature as their Guest Designer today.

Huge thanks in advance for your visits and comments that are all truly appreciated.

Nicola x

I wish to enter box to the following challenges:
Simon Says Wednesday - Something New (New Year Resolution)
Crafts 4 Eternity - Something New (New Year Resolution)
Crafty Creations Challenges - Anything Goes
Little Red Wagon - New Beginnings
Card and Scrap - Bruk blomster / Use Flowers
Natalie & Amy's Challenge - One for the Girlies


  1. What a fabulous, fabulous project Nicola and such a great idea to make the configuration boxes part of another box, useful and beautiful, what could be better! Love how you decorated it with those pretty, pretty papers, a stunning creation!!

    Happy New Year to you too!!

  2. This is so gorgeous! I just finished my first decorated box, but if I'd seen this first (and all the techniques you've so kindly shared), I'm sure it would have turned out even better!
    Also, the lock is just amazing! This really is beautiful work! x

  3. Totally stunning Nicola, no other words to describe really.

    I like the sound of your new year resolution, one I should perhaps embrace as well. Wishing you a happy, healthy and crafty 2014.

    B x

  4. What a beautiful treasure box this us Nicola, I love the papers you have used and it brightens up what has been a gloomy few days weather wise.
    Wishing you everything you would wish for yourself for 2014.
    hugs {brenda} xox

  5. Just visited Frilly and Funkie and absolutely love your creation. I love all my Graphic papers Nicola. Hope all things good happen for you in 2014. Hugs Rita xxx

  6. Happy New Year Nicola, I so hope we catch up more in 2014. Not sure when Eve will have another class.

    Beautiful and stunning comes to mind sweets. My fave papers added to some amazing embellies. I can see all the work and time that you have pored into this project it just oozes love.

    Warm crafty hugs from Shirl x x x

  7. wow Nicola your altered box is totally gorgeous. Loving all the texture and the freshness of the design. Happy New Year, hugs Annette x

  8. Wow, this box is so incredibly gorgeous, Nicola! I can't stop scrolling back up to see all the beautiful details! Thank you so much for mentioning me in your post, too! I love how the little roses add a touch of texture and pick up on the lovely blues in the paper! Stunning work, my friend!!!

  9. I'm so happy to see you GD at F&F!!! So deserving, and you knocked it out of the creative park with this uber gorgeous box! Looking at it warms the chill in the air with all those colorful florals! Beautiful design work! Happy happy New Year to you Lady! May it be filled with blessings of health, prosperity, and love!

  10. Wow, this is absolutely stunning! I can't believe all the tiny details you've put into it and I love the ornate looking feet and the lock. I just love that G45 set too, it's absolutely gorgeous!

    Thank you so much for taking part in this month's Natalie and Amy challenge - good luck!

    Emma x

  11. What a complete treat of a creation, Nicola - so beautifully done... amazing use of the Configuration boxes as well as the G45 papers - amazing! Huge congrats on your F&F Guest Spot - so well deserved. What a great start to 2014!
    Alison xx

  12. Loved this over at F&F and it is wonderful to come here and see more of it. Your box is absolutely gorgeous, love those G45 papers, they are so pretty, especially on a dull day and just make you want to get out into the garden. That is a great tip about painting the sides of the boxes. Love the addition of the little picket fence and the lace is so beautiful on the top. Gorgeous work Nicola. Happy New Year! Hugs, Anne x

  13. Beautiful box! Thanks for joining us at Crafts 4 Eternity this week Happy New Year hugs x

  14. Gorgeous box Nicola... the attention to detail is amazing...the papers & lace are just perfect....I'm so glad the little six year enjoyed the snowman soup they are yummy!...Wishing you & your family a blessed 2014... Hugs May x x x

  15. Gorgeous Nicola, love the pretty little details.....I almost want to hide something away in there! Thanks for sharing with us over at Little Red Wagon this week.

  16. Gorgeous box! You did an amazing job!!!

  17. Absolutely delightful, Nicola. Such a special box with great meaning. Love all the garden images and the beautiful paper. I'm so pleased that you were chosen as our Funkie Favorite for the Christmas preparation challenge and we get to have you as a guest designer. Thanks for bringing our visitors this beautiful eye candy! Hope you will be able to enjoy fresh air and nature when the weather improves.


  18. Gorgeous project Nicola! Love the pretty patterned paper that you used and the little scene that you created! Thanks for the inspiration! Happy New Year!

  19. Your box looks fabulous from every angle, Nicola! You've really put your heart - and lots of time - into this project, and it shows. I love your choice of soft colors, and the scene you've made for the inside of the lid is gorgeous - such a beautiful combination of papers and die cuts!

  20. Nicola....your G45 box is fabulous! I totally love it all. YOU are so talented, my friend. I absolutely love your style and you always come up with the coolest projects. Your vintage work is utterly flawless and I have loved every piece you've ever created. This sweet little box is like a breath of spring. And with a winter storm approaching us and bitterly cold temps, this little box makes me smile. You've done a beautiful job as a guest designer for Linda over at Frilly and Funkie. Happy New Year to you! I look forward to continuing to see your gorgeous creations! <3 Candy

  21. I was stunned by this project, Nicola! It's absolutely gorgeous and I've been inspired to try one myself. Thank you for sharing your art and your talent. I'm a new follower. :) Happy New Year!

  22. Geez, seriously? My heart wasn't ready for this! LOL Oh my word, this is beyond adorable and such a wonderfully amazing little project. The cuteness factor is off the charts! LOVE THIS!!
    Hugs and Happy New Year :)
    Lisa x

  23. What a wonderful way to use the configuration box! This is gorgeous Nicola!
    Happy New Year!
    Alison x

  24. Absolutely fabulous! Thanks for joining us at Card and Scrap!
    DT Unni A

  25. What an outstanding project! I love G45 paper, especially this collection. What you did with it just makes me drool! I'm going to try to pin it. Happy New Year!

  26. This configuration box is truly magical. I love the secret garden papers and look. All beautifully decorated!

    Happy New Year Nicola! xx

  27. Wow, this is awesome Nicola, fab, fab, fab. A very creative project. Chris xxx

  28. Awe Nicola what a lovely box, really artsy and fabulously made once again!!!!
    I love every detail on it, all is really amazing. Also, I'd like to wish you the best things for 2014, I have many good thoughts and feelings for you... An Healthy, Crafty, and Happy new year... with less PC and Smartphone according your desire (I really should follow your resolution myself!). Hugs, Coco xxx

  29. You must be immensely proud of this creation, Nicola. It is glorious! And words can't describe just how amazed I am at this. A job beyond well done!

    Thanks for dropping by my blog is nice to see you!! Happy New Year!

  30. Hi Nicola,

    Thank you for your comments, all the best to you for 2014.

    Your box is absolutely fabulous, you are a very creative lady, I just love to pop in and see what you have been making.

    Moira xxx

  31. Hi Nicola, Your box is beautiful. A real keepsake. Thanks for the lovely review you left at my blog. Good luck with your challenges for it.

    Julie x

  32. What a gorgeous box, Nicola. I love all the embellishments and fabulous details on your project. Amazing! :)

  33. You are naughty, you never mentioned your fabulous news to me! Nicola I am over the moon for you.
    I remember the box you created for your Mum, it stayed in my mind for a long time as it was astonishing in its beauty and now I see this before me. A box, so much more than a box, with a gorgeous sense of nostalgia, of childhood days when the sun always shone, isn't that what we read of, picnics and play days.
    The most adorable detailing.

  34. Hi Nicola., just catching up - such a stunning box,beautiful details on the lid - and just as lovely inside.
    Avril xx

  35. This box is just fabulous! Thank you so much for the digital postcard I got from you for Christmas!
    I have had problems with my back lately but now I am better so I am blogging and making cards again.

    Synnøve xxx

  36. Pinned!!! I love what you did with this idea-ology box. I've got a few of these sitting in my hoard and I just have had not idea what to do them. Thanks for this amazing inspiration. Now I know the location of the enchanted garden where your fairies and butterflies reside (from your later post):) It looks like your new year is off to a fantastic start my friend. Hugs. Mary Elizabeth


Thank-you! Your visit and comment is very much appreciated. Nicola x