Sunday 1 November 2020

Snarky Cat's Dapper X-mas - for SanDee&amelie's Steampunk Winter Special Challenge 2020

 Hi, servus and thanks so much for stopping by! 

I am sharing my make (and tutorial) for our annual two-months-long Winter Special Steampunk Challenge over at SanDee&amelie's Steampunk Challenges and as you can see I am already in Xmas swing. 

I recently bought a cheap Christmas themed dome kit and decided to customise it by using one of the absolutely adorable and fun cat stamps from the Tim Holtz "Snarky Cat" stamp sets (in this case I've used one of the cats from the "Snarky Cat Halloween" set). 

And of course I wanted to have lights - so I used one of Tim's Tiny Lights as well! 

Snarky Cat had to dress up for the festivities on Christmas Eve (as is the custom in my family...well, not for the pets actually, but for the human family members of course) - so I decided to give it a dapper hat and bow tie (from the Tim Holtz "Distinguished" stamp set)! 

You can tell from his look that he obviously doesn't like wearing a hat and a tie, but there is a little present for him under the tree - so it is worth the little suffering, right? Or maybe he is already planning on some climbing the tree with its temptingly dangling baubles and the shiny star at the top and doing what most cats love (or would love) to do at Christmas ;) 

Our Winter Special Challenge at SASPC will ("Same procedure as every year, James!")  be open from 1st November until 31st December and instead of the usual three entries each player is allowed up to five this time. Two more chances to win one of our two prizes!!!! And if you need some inspiration, there is a link to the challenge blog at the end of this post, so you can hop over and check out my teamies' fabulous makes too! 

I've created my Christmas tree using an older Tim Holtz Bigz die - the "Evergreen" one (which is still my favourite tree die to be honest). As a base I die cut one tree shape from thick grey board. That was going to be mounted to the dome's base by cutting a wood slice (found at the home decor section of a Dollar Euro store) in two and gluing the finished tree between these two. 

Then I cut two more tree shapes from a piece of white card stock that I had first coloured using Distress Inks, Distress Oxide Inks and Distress Oxide Sprays and Tim's technique of creating this kind of beautifully splattered backgrounds with loads of lovely depth. (Make sure you die cut one of the two tree shapes with white side face down and the other with the coloured side face down so you get two different tree shapes for the front and back sides!)

I added a bit of Distress Glaze on top to preserve the colours and speckles and to intensify them. 

Finally I glued the coloured trees to both sides of the grey board tree using Tacky Glue. 

Next I die cut my dimensional star for the tree top using my beloved Sidekick and the smallest die from Tim's "Dimensional Stars" Thinlits dies set

I then folded the little star into shape and glued it to a piece of left over white card stock. Only AFTER I had painted the star with DecoArt Extreme Sheen "Vintage Brass" acrylic paint, I cut off the excess! This way the small star was easier to hold while being painted and my fingers stayed clean. 

Snarky Cat was stamped onto white card stock using black archival stamping ink and then I used my coloured pencils to colour him (as I find it easier for me to use these instead of Distress Inks and a watercolour brush). 

I also coloured the bow tie and dapper hat and then fussy cut all my shapes. Snarky Cat also got his tail chopped cut off - which explains the look on his face I guess. 

But he got to keep it of course - I just needed it to stick out at a different angle. 

So far, so good. 

Time to prepare the decoration for the tree! I used more white card stock, Tim's "Deck the Halls" Colorize dies set, his "Festive Things" dies set, Distress Oxide Inks and the ink blending tool on my media glass mat

I also added a generous amount of DecoArt media Liquid Glass on top of the baubles (to give these a dimensional and glossy look) and put everything to the side (on the central heating to be more precise) to dry naturally while I went on with decorating the dome kit base. The inner platform got a coat of DecoArt Americana Arbor Green acrylic paint, while the edge was painted using DecoArt Extreme Sheen "Vintage Brass"

I die cut some cogs in different sizes and shapes from white card board, painted these with more Vintage Brass (on both sides) and glued three of them to the back and one as a front piece around the base. 

I also added a self adhesive gold foil trim around the base that was die cut using Tim's 
"Star Trim" 3-D Impresslits folder. 

To create a stand for the Christmas tree, I sawed the wood slice in two (but first I made sure the tree would still fit into the dome when being put between the two pieces) - the smaller wood slice piece pointing towards the back. Next I used my rotary tool to drill two holes - one into the smaller wood slice piece and another through the base (at the exact same spot where the wood slice hole was going to be). 

I also engraved a notch into the bottom of the base - leading from the drilled hole to edge right at the centre of the three glued on gears at the back of the base. I made sure it was wide enough to hold the thicker part of the Tiny Lights' cable. 

Then I glued the wood slice pieces with the tree pinched between them (and more glue) in place and after that had dried I inserted the string of Tiny Lights. 

I used my small hot glue gun to glue the thicker part of the cable into the notch and to fix the Tiny Lights chain to the wood slice in some places. As it got wrapped tightly around the tree it stayed in place pretty well and I only needed two glue spots to fix the lights chain to the wood slice base and one at the tree's back. Snarky Cat, his present and the stamped quote got glued in place using little pieces of MDF left overs at the backs as little stands. 

Before I filled the dome with "snow" (from the kit) and glued it in place permanently, I checked the lights of course. Then I added glue around the dome's edge and put the base with the tree face down in place (otherwise the snow would fall out from the dome) and let that dry. 

Finally I added four pieces of self adhesive felt floor protectors to the base. 


Our steampunk/industrial style challenge is open until the end of December - the team and I hope to see you play along with us! Simply click HERE to get to the challenge blog with the actual challenge post. 

Stay safe, enjoy the advent season, merry Christmas and a happy new year! 



  1. Claudia this is totally amazing, so much love and attention taken to every detail to bring us the sweetest of little domes... it light up my Saturday!! Looks incredible lit or unlit, I'm unsure why the snarky cat reminds me of my Hubby haa haa!!
    I love it, again you bring be sunshine. Creative December Hugs Tracey xx

  2. Love it to bits, so sweet. Hope you're keeping well. Hugs, Angela xXx


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