December 12, 2017

12 Tags for Christmas 2017 - Shiny-Brite


I used two large pieces of Tim Holtz Christmas Ephemera for the background of this final tag of the series--number 12 of 12.

I altered the edges of the top part to create an arch with paint mixed to match the bottom section. The silver glitter glue (Stickles) was applied thickly and the dryed result reminds me of tinsel garland.


I used more glitter around the edge of the tree and on top of some ornaments along with some clear sequins here and there.

The presents were made with Idea-ology Fragments and paper bits from the Tidings stash and I dusted around the edges with a little silver paint.


The sentiment was stamp embossed and I used a wash of thin, off-white paint behind the letters to make them stand out more.

I hope you've enjoyed seeing the tags I've made for Christmas this year and maybe found some inspiration for your own holiday crafting.

December 11, 2017

12 Tags for Christmas 2017 - Time of Wonder


Back in the day, Christmas postage stamps were printed using an elaborate process without benefit of the digital equipment we take for granted today.

And, sadly, a beautiful series of stamps commemorating great religious works of art is not something I'd expect the post office to take on in this day and age.

Thankfully, we have postage stamp collectors (philatelists) who preserve this vintage art form like my Great Aunt Esther who saved the one I've used for the tag I share with you today.


It was mounted in a little box I made that was lined with old book paper and sits on top of Tim Holtz Ephemera and a page from his Tidings paper stash.

The holly, pine branches and calendar page were cut out of that same Ephemera collection. It's mounted on a red satin ribbon and embellished with Rock Candy Stickles and Glossy Accents.


I used Folk Art gold metallic paint (good stuff) to trim the tag, box and text edges. For the text, I originally chose a Clippings Sticker but botched it up so I made a new one using another relic from the past, a typewriter.

Well, as this is tag number eleven (and also my favorite), I've only got one more to go to complete the set. It will be an homage to Tim Holtz if there ever was one and I hope you'll tune in!

December 10, 2017

12 Tags for Christmas 2017 - Special Delivery


I have a Christmas-themed playing card stamp by Inkadinkado that is useful for creating frames, ovals, etc., and was used to embellish my tenth tag. The photo was cut from Tim Holtz Ephemera.


The florals were cut from Graphics 45 paper (Winter Wonderland). To adhere large, intricate cuts like this one, I use an aerosol adhesive that works well but you must go outdoors to spray it.

December 09, 2017

12 Tags for Christmas 2017 - Noel


I drifted away from the conventional with tag number nine and I kinda like where I ended up.

The ingredients are Tim Holtz Tidings paper stash, a Christmas Collage stamp (on tissue paper), Ephemera, Distress Inks, black Stickles and a white gel pen.

The tree was made from a stencil (Clear Scraps). I traced the outline onto paper and then cut it out by hand. Some might think that's a lot of work but for me, it's relaxing and therapeutic.

December 08, 2017

12 Tags for Christmas 2017- Most Wonderful Time


It's tag number eight and that rhymes with skate!

(Sorry...  if you've ever made 12 Christmas tags in a row, you start to get a little slap-happy.)

The assembly consists of an Occasions found relative (Tim Holtz) which was masked then stamped, a die-cut (Tim Holtz Gothic Gate) made from a magazine page, and pinecones cut from the Frosted paper pad (Kaisercraft). Some Stickles and Scribbles provided the bling and text was cut from the Tim Holtz Tidings paper stash (2016).

December 07, 2017

12 Tags for Christmas 2017 - Dashing


Okay, I know, dashing through the snow is about a sleigh and a horse (and bells I think), but birds do some dashing, too, as evidenced by my cat's favorite entertainment (a live video cam of a bird feeder in Canada).

So perhaps that explains my combination of birds and text for this, my 7th Christmas tag of the season.


I was drawn to the combination of the golden yellows with the black and white. The birds were cut from a Graphic 45 paper called Winter Wonderland, the vertical strip is the edge of an old book page, and the snowflakes and text are from a paper pad called Deck the Halls with Chalk (Hobby Lobby/Paper Studio, 2013). The tiny white dots are Scribbles (3D fabric paint).

December 06, 2017

12 Tags for Christmas 2017 - Merry & Bright


I've reached the half-way mark, here's Tag 6 of 12 for Christmas 2017, and I am having a blast! This one was easy as pie using a Christmas Collage stamp tinted with Distress Ink and mounted on a page from the Tidings paper stash.

I machine-stitched around the edges with two colors of thread, went crazy with glitter glue (Stickles), added the holly and berries (hand-cut from some Tim Holtz Ephemera) and then a strip of Lace Trimmings.

December 05, 2017

12 Tags for Christmas 2017 - Wonderful Time


We had a toboggan when I was a kid. Not the safest kind of sled but ours could handle about six passengers at a time which made it easy to steer as long as everyone leaned the right way in unison.

This little miss was certainly safe when this vintage photo (Graphic 45 Frosted) was taken. It was nicely staged with a painted background and fashionable clothing (I wonder if it may have been done for an advertisement or greeting card).


She is the focal point for tag five of my 12 for Christmas and was placed on top of a background of embossed snowflakes tinted with Distress Oxide (Faded Jeans) and framed with tissue paper and a cut-out stamp border.

Embellishments include scraps from a Tim Holtz Mixed Media die and lots of Stickles. The ribbon is a scrap of Tim Holtz Eclectic Elements fabric

December 04, 2017

12 Tags for Christmas 2017 - Peace


One of Tim Holtz's 12 Tags for Christmas 2011 featured Ranger's Clear Rock Candy Distress Crackle Paint and I bought some.

Believe it or not, by storing it upside down it's still good! Granted, it is a little thicker than it once was but I just used a palette knife to spread it over the dove (instead of the brush the paint came with).

Once dry, a layer of white Perfect Pearls was added over the top for a little more sparkle.


The background is an Idea-ology Sophisticate Cabinet Card Frame that I separated from it's backing and aggressively sanded down then stamped with text before cutting it to fit my tag.

I cut a piece of Graphic 45 (Botanicabella) paper to fit inside the oval, added a black satin ribbon along the bottom and lots of tiny drops of Liquid Pearls.


The text was clear embossed but looked a little lost on the background so I used a fine paint brush and white paint to shadow the sides of the letters.  I also thought just a hint of color in the background would do some good so I smudged on a little Fired Brick and Forest Moss Distress Ink and Tag No. 4 was complete.

December 03, 2017

12 Tags for Christmas 2017 - Season's Greetings


Tag three of my 12 for this year's Christmas was an experiment using a hand-made stencil patterned after the original rubber stamp. I like to use Yupo for my stencil material because it is strong, waterproof and cuts like butter.


After pasting on a background of old book paper, I used thin white acrylic paint and the stencil to make a random pattern then stamped over the stenciled areas once the paint was dry.

I didn't worry too much about accuracy and you'll see places where the two (stencil and stamp) don't meet. But that's okay because the variations added interest in color and line.

My tints mainly came from Distress Oxides (lipstick and pistachio). I also used a light wash of white acrylic and a few watercolors, where needed, to adjust some values.

Platinum Stickles and Tim's Tissue Tape created a border that was darkened next to the inside edges with a bit of charcoal pencil.


Stamp credits: Penny Black Christmas Star, Echo Park Christmas Sentiments

December 02, 2017

12 Tags for Christmas 2017 - 'Tis the Season


A page from a Tim Holtz Kraft Resist paper stash was a key ingredient for this, my second tag for Christmas, 2017.

A light wash of white acrylic was used to bring out the resist design. It was embellished with stamped elements (the deer, pine bough, and cut-out holly leaves) along with some burlap ribbon and numbers from a vintage Tim Holtz grunge board collection.

And it wouldn't be a Christmas tag without adding lots of glitter (Gold, Rock Candy Stickles) and that is absolutely my favorite part about making these tags and I can really get carried away with it!

The text that wraps around the arch was made by cutting a strip from a pad of fairly thin paper. It was dampened lightly so I could round the shape before pasting. I used a slow-drying glue that allowed more time/wiggle-room and gently manipulated it to follow the curve.

December 01, 2017

12 Tags for Christmas 2017 - Joy to the World


♪♫ ♪ "On the first day of Christmas, my true love sent to me ..." ♪♫♫♪

Ten years ago today, Tim Holtz began the tradition of blogging about techniques for creating 12 Tags for Christmas and I've continued to make them every year since then to decorate my presents.

This year, I decided to post them in 12 consecutive days beginning December 1st just like he used to do and my first tag features a simple, understated design with an early American or Georgian vibe.

The background is pearly paper with clear-embossed snowflakes (Kaisercraft Frosted) that was tinted with Faded Jeans Distress Oxide.

I coated the book paper die-cuts (Carta Bella Joy Wreath) with Glossy Accents and created additional contrast by using a blue gel pen and a water brush (which soaked in underneath).

I gave the entire surface a wash of dilute white acrylic paint and took advantage of the resist properties of the Glossy Accents by wiping the paint away from the die-cuts where there was overage.


I used a Remnant Rub to complete the phrase and made a frame border with 1/8" silver metallic ribbon (Offray) tinted with off-white acrylic paint.

To age the appearance a bit more, I rubbed on Frayed Burlap Distress Ink here and there and added some Liquid Pearls along the bottom for a touch of Christmas bling.

November 21, 2017

Christmas Snow


I love this tag. And it was EASY to make. Perhaps this post will inspire you to give the technique a try?

Prompted by Simon's Monday Challenge Blog, where this week's theme is torn paper, I began to search for inspiration on the web and kept seeing cupcakes like this one by artist Nancy Standlee.

Her post made me realize that an easy way to start a torn collage is by using an underpainting as a pattern you can follow for matching shapes and colors.

So, using this image as my guide, I tinted several pieces of vintage book paper with red, dark blue-greens, and brownish grays and set out tearing and pasting my pieces down.


The paper on the snowman's face and body is untinted--it is the actual color of this really old paper and the darker areas are the page edges where most of the discoloration occurs.

His hat accoutrements were cut from Tim Holtz ephemera and of course there's lots of Stickles. I also covered the eyes, nose and buttons with Glossy Accents and I'm glad I did.

Making this tag put me in the spirit and now I'm now ready to tackle the job of setting up the Christmas tree!

October 26, 2017

Monochrome


A manila tag, a Halloween stamp set from last year (Tim Holtz), a vintage photo (reduced), Distress Oxide Walnut Stain and Versafine Onyx Black inks were used to create a monochromatic scheme as prompted by Simon's Monday Challenge Blog this week.

I found this to be quite challenging to make. First, I'm still getting used to the oxide ink used for the background's first layer. Then it took several stamping attempts to manage an arrangement of the single house stamp into the fortress you see before you. The Versafine ink is the best for bringing out the details of this really terrific stamp.

A poison label stamp (also from the set) was used for the base of the tag and I varied the degree of shading with a light wash of transparent black and even some diagonal scratching to create more depth and delineation between the two foreground planes.


The ladies came from a terrific vintage photo (source: Vintage Everyday) that I reduced in size before printing. Granted, the scale isn't accurate but I didn't want to lose too many details by making them super small.

I have to say working with a monochrome theme wasn't easy and creating a balance of light and darks in the same color meant thinking outside the box. But, I always appreciate the Monday Challenge prompts as I end up trying things I wouldn't have otherwise--so thank you, Simon!

October 22, 2017

Shoshin


A journal page to share today made with a technique that I'll definitely try again--a combination of Distress Oxide inks using a Gelli Plate, stencils with white paint and creating negative space with colored pencils.

I embellished my background with an image transfer of a shodo (Japanese calligraphy) for the word shoshin which means "beginner's mind" along with my own handwriting to further explain the concept.

The oxides provide a worthwhile alternative to acrylics when working with the Gelli because of the slow dry time.

Using white paint with stencils while the ink was still wet provided variegations and more subtle shades than just pure white.

I carved out some negative shapes here and there and darkened a few areas with colored pencils for further variety.

October 21, 2017

Abbreviations.


Abbreviations: Paper Dolls, backing paper from a Found Relative, Clippings Sticker, and text from a book pasted onto one manila tag.

October 19, 2017

Best in Show


Most collage artists have a habit of collecting images that might be useful for a future project. I like to collect people and the image I used here was found and saved to my stash six years ago.

I thought the spotted theme clever but had no way of knowing when I'd use it--until now.

This week's theme at Simon's Monday Challenge Blog is "Man's Best Friend" and became the perfect opportunity to use it.

The background is a page from the Tim Holtz Etcetera paper stash, an 8" x 8" collection of papers that are sized just right for tags.

I added polka dots using Tim's Dots & Floral stamp set, the label is from one of his Ephemera collections and most of the tinting was done with colored pencils.

October 15, 2017

Kept Her Word


I've been experimenting lately with image transfers over stenciled texture paste using large, solid designs so I thought it was time to try the technique over a more intricate stencil (Tim Holtz Floral).

I used one side of a page from Tim's Memoranda Paper Stash to cover the stencil and another page from the same collection was used for the tag's background.

The little miss is also an image transfer, Remnant Rubs were used to cover the red-bordered labels and a Clippings Sticker became the sentiment.

I consider my experiment a success although it was a little harder and more time-consuming but doable just the same.

And, because this is Not a Card, I'm linking it to Simon's Monday Challenge Blog where the theme this week is to make anything but. Two entries in one week will double my chances of winning and I'm itching to buy some Christmas goodies. Wish me luck!

October 10, 2017

Field Notes


Tinted mostly with water-soluble oil pastels, an image transfer, some stamped images, Tissue Wrap and Quote Chips came together on a support made from an old textbook cover. I've got step-out photos if you'd like to see the particulars.

(Click on the photos for a larger, lightbox view.)


I stripped the cover of a textbook which left me with a sturdy gray board that I covered with Tim Holtz Postale Tissue Wrap using Modge Podge.



I edited an image (coincidently, also a book cover) and then transferred it to the board using Golden Polymer Medium (Gloss). You can read about my technique in this post.


I used dilute gesso to obscure the background details and this also provided a good surface for applying color.


I stamped the keyboard image (Tim Holtz) on tissue paper using archival ink, tore the edges and pasted it on my support. I added a border detail/frame using a dark brown Pitt Artist Pen. They are made with india ink and waterproof with almost all mediums.



The Quote Chips (Tim Holtz Idea-ology) were delaminated because I wanted the text but not the thickness. They were later stained and distressed to blend in with the background.



The snail (Carabelle Studio) was also stamped on paper, which I tinted then cut-out and pasted on.


Most of the coloring was done with water-soluble oil pastels. I like that they are transparent, easily blended with your fingers and can be diluted and spread with a water brush for thinner coverage.



I made this to link-up with Simon's Monday Challenge Blog, this week's theme is to make anything except a card. This may be out of the box for some but if the challenge was just the opposite, I'd expect to struggle a bit as I haven't made a card in quite some time.

October 08, 2017

Choose Joy


Still keeping with the "dark" theme (only this time with a more positive bent), I'm sharing a tag made with an interesting technique that may be new to you.

Using a clay-coated paper (like Ranger's Specialty Stamping Paper) and Createx Pure Pigment Colors, a background is created that, once dry, can be scratched into to make a design.

I found a tutorial here that describes a variation of this process in more detail. If you've ever tried Scratchboard, you'll see that this technique is a close-cousin made better because the surface has color.


I used a Tim Holtz Halloween stamp (from last year) for the bird image then used the point of my Exacto knife to scratch-in the details and added shading over the marks with watered-down ink and a paint brush.

I'm linking to Simon's Monday Challenge Blog where it seems the "Walk on the Dark Side" theme was just what the doctor ordered to get me out of my recent creative slump. Go figure!

October 07, 2017

One of Many



A walk on the dark side (Simon's Monday challenge for this week) prompted a tag made from Tim Holtz ephemera and a Clippings Sticker.



Why one of many? Well, let's see:

  1. One of many tags that I make.
  2. One of many from the popular technique of attaching butterfly wings to something.
  3. One of many bones in our bodies.
  4. One of many letters in the alphabet.
  5. One of many flowers in our garden.
  6. One of many elements in the periodic tables.
  7. One of many who perished this week by the hands of a mad man.
  8. One of many prayers said for an end to this insanity.

September 18, 2017

Sunday Night at the Goodspeed


I went to the theater last night. Or rather, I printed, cut-out and pasted together a theater last night. It took a few hours, it was something I always wanted to try and I was thoroughly entertained.

Perhaps you have also been intrigued by the vintage paper theaters posted on Pinterest and elsewhere? I came across a page for one section, then scrambled around to find the rest (a total of six pages) and I've put the links below if you'd also like to give it a go.







I printed the images on white lightweight cardstock but if I had to do it over again, I would use ivory to give it a more aged appearance. The instructions are printed on the pages and it was a bit like working a puzzle.  The only hard part was the fussy-cutting but that has never stopped me before.

I admire the person who designed this, the artwork is nice and I learned a few theater terms in the process. Do you know what a proscenium is?